Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Taking a walk around Mirror Lake

Pretty right? Every day on vacation I took a 3 mile walk around Mirror Lake in the morning and the evening.
Let's start at the end of the walk, shall we? Drew spent his exercise swimming while I watched Cole, and he did puppy sitting service while I walked. Cole used to be able to go around the lake both times for many years. Now he hurts too much so near the end of the walk, I call Drew and he and Cole meet me at the beach.
Look closely at the top photo, click on it, to see a poodle and and man walking to meet me. click on the pic at left to see man and poodle at the beach.
I made two videos of Cole playing in the water but haven't been able to put them on the blog yet.

He splashes around in the water, gets his toy, and saunters back to one of us. Until he's done. Then we saunter back to the hotel.

 The following are sights I saw along the walk...lots of pictures, so grab a cup of something...
This house always has a lot of  sounds coming from the secluded yard. Usually it's a chorus of dogs barking but one day, what's that:??

Pig squeals and grunts? For real?

Yep, I looked up at this tree and saw these...
and the sign under that says:
Old Dog...Young Dog...Several stupid dogs... please drive slowly

and now, several real pot bellied pigs! Now the weathervane makes more sense

 I love Lake Placid! I wish we lived here...

Look at the driveway.

(our driveway at home is broken pitted concrete)

The pattern is so quilt related so of course my mind went immediately to interpreting this in fabric

Fall was in the air up there.

The leaves were changing and the berries so plump and shiny. Boy if I were a bird... I love Fall, the colors and loved seeing the way these leaves changed, along the edges only. Again, nature is awesome. If I'd have painted those someone would say that's not realistic.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Winter BOM--Trees

 I'm doing the BOM over at quiltdoodledesigns.
This month it's another tree, to go with two others and a house all on one row.

I cut all fabrics from my scrap bins, (want to see the scrap-containment-system?)   and got a little dark compared to the other blocks already made.

It's been so much fun making a row or block once a month.
At the end of the post I'll show you what I have made so far...

The tree and sky are dark, so I decided to couch a lime perle cotton around the tree to make it stand out. This thread nest happened all by itself in the thread drawer...
 For Pete's sake! What a mess. Reminded me of the great ribbon floss knitting skein incident of 2010.

(Never, I repeat never cut the tabs on a ribbon floss skein before putting it on a swift)

I took a moment and wound it onto an empty spool so it can be used, maybe, to define the tree when I start the quilting. Like this?

When I started to cut out pieces for the tree I didn't make in May, I thought, why not use those gorgeous snowy fabrics you've been saving?

(I am saving them for two winter quilts planned/started)

Use them, girl! You will not use them up, and you can enjoy them on this quilt!
Are the moderns out there smirking yet?

Look at the stash of beauties I've accumulated over the years.

They are so pretty, cows in the snow, stars in the snow, snowmen in the snow!

Look at this one...

 So delish!

Good thing I was smart enough to buy more than a half yard this time! Of course it was probably on sale at some cute little quilt shop on one of my travels.


Here we are, cut out and ready to construct the ahem, May block.

Never too late to join, y'all

It's going to be a big quilt, a bed sized and I'm planning to quilt it in sections then join them.

We have a king, so I need to think ahead to the quilting process.

So far here are  the finished parts
There will be lots of extras as well, like little black button eyes on the snowmen, adornments on the house, snowflakes around the trees and metallic threads. Pretty! LeeAnna

Friday, September 12, 2014

Orange stained glass blocks

Still doing the RSC (superscrappy)  rainbow challenge, orange.
Above pic is my line up for chain sewing. It's fairly fast work when you get organized. I made 5 orange blocks this month. They are looking very exciting!

I also finished up some lime green blocks from last month. I wasn't thrilled that there are two shades of green chosen as colors of the month. When I use color, I use all shades together, so the previous green blocks had a bit of lime.
Here is a shot of the fabrics used this time...

note the fabric on the right is pumpkins, very seasonal right??

That fabric and the one to it's left have been used in several of my quilts over the years.

Scraps last almost forever! There are certain fabrics that find their way into many quilts. Maybe it's the mix of light and dark, or the pattern, the shade or saturation of color. I don't know why.

The fabric on the bottom has coral, orange and purple with a flower graphic so I expect it will surface more than once.

Hope it's not to jarring to switch back to the lime green blocks but here they are.
I'm having a lighting challenge in the studio. They stopped making the bulbs I used for years in the spotlights. They gave very natural light and were GE reveal. We replaced them with GE Reveal bulbs that are LED and they wash out color. It's no longer light daylight.

I hope to find an answer to be able to take good color pictures again soon. I know there is a way to check white meters, but then I have to change the camera in every circumstance and it used to capture correct color wherever I was. It's all about those bulbs.

I also thought I might amuse you with this picture of a poodle...
picture from sister baird's blog

and this picture of my flowers with two little candy corn people I bring out to decorate each Fall.
I have actually made 5-10 Halloween inspired quilts so I'll show those in "shock-tober"
Happy orange y'all!

Monday, September 8, 2014

interview with an artist #2

Just look at those beautiful flowers! Just my kind of bouquet because they are a mix of texture and color and shape.Look at the colors in this one sunflower! If I painted that and quilted it, someone would say, that's not the way they look.

And what in the world is that apple looking thing? There are four red ones and a green one on the stalk.
And the next picture is the other oddity in the bunch. This thing has white balloon looking things, two on a stalk.

 Nature is grand isn't it?

 The flowers came from the 'First Sunday'  festival in Annapolis. We three had a great time looking at art.

  Cole has a few words:  (from the poodle's mouth)
"I wanted to go because I knew there would be people to pet, other dogs to see, to get out of the house, and hey! I like art more than most poodles.
 I have joint issues now that I'm mature, so I was content to lay in this little doll house on the porch while my people and I had a slice of pizza and listened to this band. I was plenty tired by the time I got home, and had to walk all the way through the house to get to my water bowl. I need servants"
Me again... this band called Bumper Jacksons was rollicking! They played clarinet, bass, slide guitar and some odd percussion instruments as well as a washboard. Just about quirky enough for me.

Reminded me of my 20's when I followed a band much like them all around Tampa. Drew and I even got in some swing dance moves while listening.

As to the artists... I interviewed three this time. The first one was a man who makes sailboats out of driftwood and canvass as well as tiny glass ones.
Bayshore Art & Design in Cambridge MD. He couldn't take but a moment to talk but said his studio for driftwood sculptures is usually messy, but his jewelry studio is very tidy.
He got the idea for the driftwood boats from the wood itself one day.

The next artist was fascinating.... we talked for at least 15 minutes, long enough for Cole to pet him and his friend and recline in the booth to cool down. I was so engaged in our conversation I forgot to get a card! Or a picture! The thing is, he was so  interesting I must include him in this post.
He paints in a whimsical and humorous way. I told him there are some people who dismiss my art because it's humorous and whimsical, does he run into that? He considered and said, people who tell him they enjoy a different style are fine, but the naysayers should be blown off, and he waved his hand. I asked how he got the ideas to paint his figures. He said he loves painting figures, but paints the crabs and sea scenes for customers who love them.
I noted that his style was the same for the human figures or the boats. He centers one item, uses bright colors with wonderful shading, and the segments are all slightly separated on whatever he paints. Like the hands are slightly apart from arms, slightly apart from shoulder, etc. Same with components of boats, or crabs.
He looked around the booth, and said he had never thought about it, but it was true. He just paints.

The next artist also segmented her work...
Sara Knox ( who works with clay, accidentally broke an edge one day, then proceeded to break the entire piece. She then thought what if... and look what she makes now! You can't tell in the photo but the shards are varying sizes, then painted. So cool. But the coolest part was the connection we forged while talking about art. I told her a bit about my art, and that one of her pieces reminded me of quilting...
See the intense line work on that vase? Very quilt like. When you touch it, and I just couldn't resist, I reached out and ran my finger over it not even asking first as I lost my mind for a minute, it feels textured like quilting lines.

Anyway, she was gracious about my touching it, and didn't even say anything like back away from the art.
She said she loved to sew earlier in her life so that led to this piece. Visit her website for better pics.
To summarize,
1.we are more alike than we are different.
2. every artform you explore informs your current work
3. when you make a mistake (something breaks) it can lead to great things
4. do what you love, some people will love it, some will not
5. talk to an artist, they are fascinating 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

now what am I gonna make with this?

  Now what am I going to make with this??  Or this?
There have been times when fabric store employees ask what I'm going to do with my purchase.
Who knows?? 
I'm going to buy it, take it home and add it to the stash. It's the possibilities that keep me excited about buying fabric. 

I'm an ENFJ personality type. It's hard for us to commit to a decision because it stops all the other possibilities.

I got the top fabric at the Joyful Quilter in a little prepackaged bag, pig in a poke, for $2. I used a similar fabric in A MOO HA Go ahead and click here to see that one!
I let it simmer in the stash for years, then poof! there was the perfect place to use it. A non quilting husband of my friend said he didn't hoard 2x4's so he didn't get a fabric stash concept. I said Hoffman doesn't limit production of your slats of lumber does it?

The black and white fabric was found at Adirondak Quilts in NY on the sale rack. At first I thought it was Betty Boop, which would be enough reason to buy it. Then on closer inspection it was sewing ladies from the 1930's! Score! I love a black and white anyway because of graphics and you can hand dye them. But fancy vintage ladies hand sewing while wearing heels?? Come on!

Now these were unearthed during the great clear out of the archeological dig dining room. I asked DH what in the world?? He said they were mates to the ends that hang off the dog beds. In case you want to strap the dog to the car seat. Did we want to toss them?

Are you kidding me?? Have we met ?? OMG the possibilities abound!
I opened the orange scrap bin yesterday, took out fabric to make the sugar cone blocks, and now the bin won't close again. There is less fabric and yet it won't close.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Orange you glad you asked?

one 3.5 inch unfinished block

Oh that's right... I LIKE sewing!! It's been a while since my machine and I had a moment.

The RSC (click here) color of the month is orange.
Ever since the panetone color of the year was orange I have been loving orange. So this is pretty exciting for me. I really like coral, and mixing fuchsia and orange is the best but golden orange is good too.

The  sugar cone block from Sew Precise  may look familiar. I've been doing the 6 inch version.

Look closer, this is a 3 inch version. I got a grand idea to do some four patches of smaller blocks to include with the larger ones!

Look above and see the little segments, at 2 in. unfinished. The whole little block is 3 in. finished.
Look to the right and see a segment being made. Some are pieced and some whole.
Here are four little blocks next to the larger one. So stinkin' cute!
 After I threw a fit sewed the little blocks together into a 6.5 inch unfinished block, it will fit nicely with the others, don't you think so too?

I didn't bring them all out this time, but I've been basically keeping up with the monthly colors.
It was harder than you'd think to match up all those little points where lots of fabric meets. I will have to take a break and drink some wine before tackling the other colors in tiny blocks.
This is the aftermath of a couple blocks

linking also to paper piecing friday

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Guilty Secrets part two/ Magazine obsession

I want to discuss another Guilty-Quilty secret today.
Magazines. I love 'em. I hoard them.

Recently while clearing out a corner of the second BR I found a cache of fashion magazines from 09.( Not ashamed.) I took them for lakeside enjoyment and recycled them right there so they didn't come home with me. That's progress my friends.

Living in a relatively uncluttered hotel environment for a few days made me come home and start going through piles of stuff in our storage room  er, dining room. I thought a fall table runner might look better on the table instead of over the pile of stuff on the table.
 I stumbled head first into the magazine obsession.

 So many un-read brand-new old magazines. All new to me, all fresh and un-bent.

All full of surprises I need to know, patterns I want to make, pretty colors, advice I need, interviews with people I want to know, and lots of pictures.

 Years ago when I worked in a middle school, I ran  group counseling sessions. One of my activities was to have each student stand in front of the class and list as quickly as possible all the small things they love or that make them happy.
These kids #1 usually focused on what they hated and #2.didn't know how to listen to another person without judging.  I modeled the exercise first for them and learned a lot about myself! 

One of the things I just love is freshly laundered sheets and towels. Another is gooey desserts, another is anything new.
 I just love a new magazine. LOVE. I won't open them because I want to be settled down to really appreciate them, not see a couple pages then put them down, all used and bent and un-new now. I would never breeze through a magazine first then go back to articles. Oh no, that would break the surprise.

Anyway I unearthed lots of un-read magazines. This is how I am handling it:

 I stacked them up according to type on my dining room table, and am devising a way to keep track of the ones I read but want to keep. Like Home Companion by Mary Englebreit, and Quilting Arts among others.
Each type will get it's own magazine holder. 

I used to pull out an article to keep and recycle the rest however it is unsatisfying to dig through these flimsy articles later. I tried marking the pages with little flags but they get dusty and bent. I tried ripping out everything but what I thought I might want to keep and the cover, so I could store more magazines in one holder.  This works but they feel so anemic and skinny...

It makes me sad for some crazy reason!! Like, loss.   Loss of clutter should feel better, shouldn't it?

Today I thought, I will use an index card for each magazine, with the word "read" ( done) and pages noted with patterns I might want and tuck the index card inside the front cover. Then  tear out the adverts and uninteresting articles and then store them in a holder with their mates.

I started with some Quilter's Newsletters. They are now torn down to the keep pages but still in their covers. I sorted them by date, and found I had several of the same month. People give me magazines, and because I wasn't organized I had duplicates.    I took 5 years worth of QN  magazines down to one magazine holder!

I will keep all the Home Companions intact.  Other titles may go intact into the recycling bin after reading. Some will be torn down to the essentials. I get to have my cake and eat it too.   Kind of.

I hope to have all of one kind together in a holder. 
I have two shelves worth of white IKEA magazine holders, that look very tidy when stored together.

It will take some time to go through my lovely mags.

Do you have similar obsessions, and how do you deal with space issues? LeeAnna