Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Hawaiian Flamingos an impressionist quilt

It may be small but it represents a lot. ( 10" X 12.5")
My friend Sonja in Hawaii, is an artist who also teaches painting on fabric, and got the great idea to send me some scraps. Tiny pieces, odd pieces, strings that tied the sweet soap she included
all that in a little bento box with two ti leaves!
I pressed all of it, even the little strings holding the soap, and arranged it to make myself see a landscape.
I have found if I think about a certain thing in nature while making an abstract work, it comes out looking like it, in this case, tropics.

It took some play to best use all the fabric, sew this to that, then the next one to the union, then those three to another... then I saw a little dot of random color on the peach fabric, and cut a flamingo... then another... and...
then it was time to over-quilt it.

I used cotton threads this time, variegated on the sand, added in a little piece of blue left over for a small eddy in the sand, zig zagged some legs on.

see the palm tree quilted in? The pink blob looked like a feather so that's how I quilted it. I put the tiny bit of green scrap left over for a leaf as that area seemed to want some green. Look how tiny the red strip is when pieced in... finishing about 1/4"
I just put the applique's down and stitch over. I do not like fusible, I do like texture in an art piece. I would turn edges in a bed quilt or one to enter in competitions. I love the rough immediacy of these.
Look how the little eye shows up from the splatter. I also like the tan thread I was going to just baste them on with until I saw how painterly they looked with it.
note the french knots in the sand
I like repetition in quilting lines

thank you Sonja for providing a wonderful prompt for me, I needed to lose myself in a project, and to stretch my imagination, to use my thread and machine, to remember how to play.

I painted with fabric that Sonja painted.
Spirals, waves, pebbles, feathers... layers... can't you just smell the ocean?

linking to these parties

Esther's blog Wednesdays 
Let's be social Wednesdays 
 Free motion by the River Tuesdays    

Monday, November 12, 2018

the week ahead # 10

Looking at another week... and welcome to it!
don't those two spotlights look like the lawn is looking back at you?

  The weather in Aurora CO
it was like Fall all week,
then it was like Winter on Sunday
 and if weather predictions are true, back to fall-like temps later this week

Breakfast yesterday
much more interesting than today... turkey bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches while watching the snow come down
On the to do list
How come the to do list never gets shorter? Or more fun?
The usual maintenance items but I finally mopped the wood floors and cleaned the FR carpet. That is the good news. The bad news was the reason it got done.
Milo had a playdate, his friend pooped 4 times in our yard, his mom picked it up but also got it on her hands and unknown to us her shoes.
Yep, we realized it after she walked through the family room to wash her hands in the powder room. I never actually saw the evidence but being a germaphobe, we totally scoured the kitchen and FR floors.

We have to get the furnace worked on as it has a nasty burning smell, and I sure hope the repair guy can help with the problem.

 I have PT this week, and I have an art quilt meeting this week. Yea! I am the new member.

I still haven't set up the studio but I've been sewing more anyway. I still have that on my to do list.

I will brag that I finally took off my chipped fingernail polish and repolished them... that was only on my list for 5 days!

I listened to Rhys Bowen's book on cd while sewing and finished it. I love her Molly Murphy series.
I need to get the art quilt group's book to study from the inter library loan, I have nearly all Jean Wells' art books but not that one of course.

I've had a great time watching the BBC Victorian Farm show on youtube this week (6 episodes) and learned so much. I gave that link in Thursday's "I Like " post) All you homemakers out there have probably (like me) have  no idea what laundry meant back then. How cooking mean hunting gathering, plucking or gutting, firing up the stove, back breaking efforts to just make a meal.

We are coming to the end of  800 Words, sad. I love it. And we are on season 2 and latest season of
Striking Out. It's so engrossing I hope they make another season. Don't you hate getting way into a plot line and the show is cancelled?

I've been watching Romanov's on Prime... holy cow! It's intense, different each episode, different plots and actors. Very weirdly fun to watch.

I finished the quilting on my Web of Fun quilt and need to bind it. With some really annoying shot gold fabric. Ought to be a challenge.
I made a quilt with the great hand painted fabric my friend Sonja sent from Hawaii... I only used fabric bits she sent but love the composition., That should go on the blog tomorrow.

I sculpted Milo's hair yesterday, does that count? He was not amused, and kicked me in the chest at one point trying to get off the table.

Accomplishments last week 

I met my challenge finish deadline with Poodle with a Pearl
I wrote a short story on Sunday
We went to another town for a craft festival over the weekedn
We got Milo bathed and groomed!

Image result for wild poodle haircuts
He's not this sweet ... he looks like a clean cut black poodle who's mama's back hurts now.

Lessons learned this week
I stood in awe watching the geese flying south this week.

I've seen birds fly south but not thousands of geese at a time, day after day! It was so loud, and so striking a view that Milo and I stopped in our tracks on each walk to look up and watch the move.

They are really brilliant to be able to coordinate the trip, know which direction, decide who will lead, when to stop for meals, when to rest, how high to fly. I watched smaller groups catch up to the big ones of approx. 600 to 1000. When the small group of say 5-10 caught up, they blended in, the vee changed to include them, shifting happened and straight lines became chaotic til order was restored.

They never stopped, they let the stragglers join it, made room for them, included them into the group, moved forward or back in line to adjust but kept moving. They sing as they go, calling out cadences and encouragement to each other.
They have a common goal, and a strong social need to be part of the group.
Safety in numbers

Acceptance and belonging

being able to lead when called upon, being able to follow.
Working together.
 Fitting into the group because life is better when you're not all on your own.

Giving in or taking charge... knowing when to do which.

If you lead, be darn sure you know where you're going and that others trust you to care for the entire group welfare. A good leader keeps the group together.

Geese, people, tomato, to-mah-to

My heart goes out to the state of California and it's citizens. They provide all of the USA with food, drink, entertainment and beauty.  May the fires be put out soon.

Linking to
Wednesday around the World
happy homemaker monday

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Sunday's stories... on Saturday

This week's writing prompt by Sunday's Whirlagig includes these words to use in our prose...

first, write, name, help, white, page, anything, letters, outside, senteces, written, by


She knew this was going to take a while... and observed as he struggled to hold the pencil at first, trying to control it.

Her heart broke with love for this one... so sweet and sincere. They both looked down at the blank, white page together.

She wrote his name on her sheet, with capital letters. Easier to copy. She was careful not to write anything too complicated as it is easier in the beginning to understand and master  block letters. She so wanted to help  but she was new at this teaching business.

She remembered learning to read and write, how it felt like magic to finally unlock the key to the written page.

She grew up sitting on her mum's lap, listening to stories, and following her mum's finger trailing over the words as they were read. She longed to be so powerful!

She remembered singing the letters, sometimes as one long word, elemenohpee! then she remembered the feel of that thick paper tablet, the one with the two solid lines and a dotted line, the way the letters looked growing on the blackboard as her teacher formed them. The aha moment when she realized the sound they represented went together to make the words in her story book! Yea!


Now she could teach others to do that. What a gift! A gift to her to see them excited about it! Forming sentences, then paragraphs, and next stories and reports. "Written by.... fill in their name here!" Budding authors and poets. The magic of words!

First they had to control their fingers and pressure on the pencil as they carefully traced over her letters ...

Yep, it wouldn't be a quick process but Mr Johnson would have the same pride at relearning to write after his stroke as he did when he learned the first time. She would be just as proud of him too.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

I Like Thursday #114 Quilts, shadows, books and a poodle

look at my old phone... my Barbie phone that's great for a purse!
Welcome to this week's list of Likes... Short list this week folks but I'm here. First of all I've written two posts already this week: Monday Happy Homemaker and Tuesday's Poodle with a Pearl reveal of my challenge piece.
That post is HERE
I liked finding Marshmallows made with tapioca instead of corn starch at Trader Joes! Got several bags for recipes then got home and noticed the soy protein... uh oh... I'm allergic to Corn and Soy.

I liked the sun we had several days, balancing the cooler weather. I took this cool shadow shot showing off the sun

I cannot say I enjoyed the time change, I do not like darkness but we've had some spectacular star shows lately. Adding to the sparkle one evening was 7 visible airplanes flying over at once!

I am enjoying this show on youtube, about Victorian Farm life. Three historians agreed to live as people on that farm might have in 1850, have to renovate the farmhouse and handle crops with horse drawn plows, deal with the new miracle COAL, and all the thousands of things a woman had to do. There are 6 parts so I'm not embedding it, this is the link

Usually I think of Victorian homes in a city, full of bric a brac and velvet. Farm life was of course quite different. People fought the new-fangled  thresher as it took jobs from workers.

Times change, jobs that were needed in one decade are no longer needed, one has to keep up, not hold on and fight progress, even in 1850.

I love the aqua super narrow rolling cart I ordered at Amazon, to fit between my cabinet and sewing cabinet!

I am liking my new novel,

I like Honey crisp apples

I like packing away the Halloween fabrics and being nearly finished with this year's quilt

I liked being able to, as they said when I was younger, "letting out" Milo's jim-jams. I made this sort of long t-shirt when he was younger, and it fit. Then we put it on one night during a cold snap, and it was too small now!
My baby's growing up!

So I carefully folded it in half matching the leg holes, cut down the back to make a Poodle Cardigan, found a scrap of the fleece and cut a 3.5" strip,

finishing the neck edge with a tiny scrap of the existing neck fabric, hemmed the end, and sewed it into place. 

Voila! It fits perfectly and is ready for a baby to snuggle up on the big bed between his pawrents, all cozy and comfy!

Milo's Moments

Hi Y'all.
I've had a great week of fun with my pals. First of all I noticed three of my buds are named Murphy... then I began to wonder if Murphy means dog?

It's hard when Mama says I've got a playdate with Murphy... which one?? Well, two of them this week! Little Murphy the Welsh Terrier and Big Murphy the golden doodle.

I also ran into my new girlfriend Onyx one night. She was out walking her mama, and I saw her across the street and stopped! I was not going to move til we had a chance to run together so we both had to convince our pawrents to let us. They know we'll stay right there in the grass, but we ran and ran and that girl can run like me! Whee! I sometimes had the ball, sometimes she had the ball, but it didn't matter who had the ball as long as it wasn't her Mama!

I like the new kibble Mama has been giving me with Salmon in it. I'm also taking fish oil capsules.

I like snuggling on Mama's blanket when it's cold at night
Mama tries to get it from me, saying she's cold too, but I want it so I close my eyes tight, and pretend to sleep... I can't hear you I'm asleep!
Gotta rest up for any playdates !
While I pull the wool over Mama's eyes, you just take your time and visit these people keeping it pawsitive this week with a list of their likes!





Minou's Minute 

Linking to these great parties!

https://comedy-plus.com/ Awe Mondays
sunday selfie day for pets                                
Thankful Thursdays pet parade

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

"Poodle with a Pearl"

"Poodle with a Pearl"  12" X 12" 
Today I am sharing my challenge piece for Art with Fabric Blog hop hosted by Alida at
 ( Art with Fabric Hop )
My quilt was inspired by Vermeer and his painting Girl with a Pearl earring. I saw an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in DC a few years back. I've done almost 20 STAT quilts (see more here) over the past years, all interpreting a famous painter but in fabric with emphasis on texture.

I start by researching what made that Artist's work so outstanding. I try to learn from each piece I do.

Most of my STAT quilts have a poodle on them, as my muse for this project. This time I studied Vermeer and his capture of light and shadow. I used a photo of my poodle Milo so like the painting to me. Painting his portrait would have been easier! It's so much easier to mix color with paint than fabric.

I built the applique out of tiny shards of fabrics from the scrap bin in blues and blacks. I built it onto shirt tailor stabilizer because it's lightweight yet stable to do the embroidery on before auditioning backgrounds.

To be like Vermeer's painting,
1. I stayed in his color family of black, blue, shade of brown/tan with a strong blue (hat for him, ear in same kind of shape for me)
2. He used layers on layers of transparent paint to achieve shading, and I used layers and layers of different shades of fabric colors
3. I kept to the strong lines in content
4. I had a strong light source

I started on it Friday afternoon, and finished it Sunday afternoon... lots of adding of color and layers of stitching, layers of threads in metallic blue and silver, and black cotton. I added in a tiny bit of white pencil to form contrast of my black fabrics.

I liked how the fussy cut stars looked as eye highlights and hair highlights. I loved the way the blue ear color reflected her hat, and I pulled in bits of blue around him to repeat the color. I liked the challenge of doing it.

I did not like how it photographed, and how there could have been better contrast between shades of black if I'd had access to my whole stash. I tried to capture Milo's sincere little face but am not totally happy with my effort... still.... I love it. I learned, I sewed, I got lost in the process and it was fun.

I had some trouble finding my beads, but the largest pearl is real called a potato pearl for it's shape. The ones on his collar are a mix of real and faux. I made a dangle of the pearl on wire, twisting the top and bottom wire into what I hope is an artistic shape. I left fabric to ravel, and layered it without fusible so that edges would lift up creating more texture.
I loved this batik to represent the window (sliding back door) with it's view of nature and light. I quilted it in straight lines, unevenly placed to remind me of reflection on glass, using silver mylar thread for serious bling you probably can't see.

The floor was a brown hand dye from the scrap bin, so I had to make do with the size scrap and piece it together to have enough for the angular piece
I stitched increasingly farther apart straight lines to indicate a wood floor

In general, I do not draw out a pattern, I sketch rough lines on the stabilizer, and free hand cut shards of fabrics to fill in. I like to work in an additive way. Place fabric, stand back and cut another sliver, add that stitch, step back, repeat.

It all blends well when you see it in person, and my husband said the photos make the blue stand out more than in person... so come on over to see it! Or invite me to your guild for a presentation sometime!
linking to
 design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
oh Scrap Sundays 
sewcanshe Saturdays
off the wall Fridays
can I get a whoop whoop Fridays  
myquiltinfatuation Thursdays
Esther's blog Wednesdays 
  Midweek makers wednesdays
sew stitch snap share
 Free motion by the River Tuesdays    

Monday, November 5, 2018

the week ahead... happy homemaker #9

Welcome to this week's Happy Homemaker post about the week ahead...Isn't that leaf interesting?
I love the way the color starts at the vein. The whole tree was like that! Then they were down after quite a blowing rainstorm this weekend.
Bare now, there is little to buffer the views of neighbors, or to block a certain puppy's barks
Even these bright pinkish red fruits were blown mostly off the tree to decorate the sidewalks with red bead necklaces
and ball bearings for us to skitter on walking in the dark. It's dark a lot now that the time switched back. "Fall back" as the saying goes. I don't like it to get dark so early but we're moving to less daylight as we approach winter.

The Weather in Aurora
It's been Fall like weather, highs in the 50's and lows below freezing. We had some cloudy days and rain, but today has a little sun. I'm sad to say goodbye to my pretty flowers out back. We're covering them at night but it won't be long before we say bye bye for the winter and rely on Christmas lights for some color.

Milo and I had some scrambled egg whites with cheese. I take a whole carton, scramble them with cheese and butter, pull some out for him, then I mix in some chives, garlic and paprika for us. There is enough for us all to have some for a few days after.

To do
I love being home! I need peace and quiet in my life now.
The usual maintenance chores that every house needs, as a house is always asking for something. I'd like to mop all the wood floors today and try again to clean the hardwater off the shower walls. Vinegar didn't do it like it did in MD. Shampoo didn't do it. I have to turn to Mr Clean Eraser next and chemicals as last resort.

I have to write tomorrow's blog post on my latest STAT quilt, an ongoing study of famous artists and their styles. A friend in DC does this hop and each of us chooses to make a piece inspired by another artist. I approach the challenge by researching the artist, this time my choice is Vermeer. More tomorrow, please come see what I made.

Walk lots, drink more water, eat better.
I already put away the Halloween seasonal kitchen towels and took out the Fall ones to use. We changed the clocks to the new time.
Water the plants... I brought some in for the winter, and must remember to water them daily as it's very dry here. The skin on my thumbs has cracked and is painful. Green growing plants clean the air for us, and put out oxygen so I have to take care of them.

 Living things need care.

Watching TV
I've been watching Who Do You Think You Are UK ,  on Youtube again. We also liked the law series on BBC Ireland show "Striking out". Good actors, fresh plot lines, not gory. We are finishing up Murdoch Mysteries season 13 out of Canada, and 800 words (LOVE) out of NZ too.

I am way into Survivor this season, and dancing with the stars as always, This is us. I am trying to like New Amsterdam and A million little things. I have come to like the Good Doctor. Love PBS The Durells and still trying to figure out where "jamestown" is shown. I saw one episode and poof! gone

What happened to daytime TV? I mean, hundreds of channels and nothing interesting to me?

Reading Books

I finally finished Agony of the Leaves tea shop mysteries, and started a new book described as charming. Since I fell asleep after one chapter, time will tell.
I hope to listen to this book on CD while I sort things in the studio this week...

how did I miss this book in the Molly Murphy series??!

By the way...
what's the deal with Christmas decorations going up before Halloween??!
 I like to live in the season, and folks, it's fall and Thanksgiving is weeks in the future!
In case you want to say people put up lights before it gets too cold, I live in Colorado now, and the weather is so changeable you get all four seasons every week. I saw a fully set up Christmas tree with lights inside someone's house last night! And Christmas lights already lit up in yards!

Crafting and the Arts
My Muse and Inspiration
I suppose I might label myself these days as an Artist. I think about it nearly all the time, find inspiration in every day life, want to express myself with my painting, drawing, quilts, and writing.

I agreed to do the Art with Fabric challenge (mentioned above) again, and my day to post is tomorrow. I am a deadline person, who gets more done with a strict deadline. I am dependable but I forgot the post deadline wasn't my true deadline. The organizer needed the finished thumbnail and post URL a week before, and life being the little brat it is, got in my way.

Oh it's finished, "Poodle with a Pearl"  for my post deadline, but I must be more aware of the needs of the organizer next time. I have done about 20 of these small works now. I was in a group in MD for two years exploring great artwork/styles in our way. All of mine are 12" and most have a poodle as subject.

Now that a deadline is nearly met and over, it's time to really face the studio organization with energy. I must make it a working place. It's too small, and lighting is awful, I started our house hunting with the idea we needed a good place for me to work at home but the market was nutty, and we had to vacate the rental earlier than we hoped because the owners decided to sell in the nutty market. I have to make the best of the situation, and I think the task feels overwhelming. I also think I kind of resent having to make do in such an expensive home.

Lessons learned
I can't say I've truly dealt with resentment or as I like to call it righteous indignation. It's been a recurring theme in my life. I believe we come to earth as spirit comes, to experience and learn. I think we are defined by the choices we make, the actions we take, lessons we learn,  obstacles we overcome, and how we handle love.

I've been hurt so many times, hurt as an innocent child, hurt in body so many times, hurt in heart so many times.I have injuries that must be coped with daily as do other people. It's made me aware of others in a very real way. As a social worker, I often knew before seeing or being told, that a child was being hurt. I have been through therapy to sort the hurts and resentments, as they are as important to treat like physical wounds, they will fester like a scrape or burn if ignored.

A person can heal, but there is a scar. The scar is tender, and each new resentment joins the rest, and feels like more than it would alone.
Each  time I hear of another woman being overpowered or not listened to, it tears open the scar. Each new assault goes on the pile.

I am always learning, and growing and seeing things more clearly. If I could tell my younger self any advice, it would be that life will be full of slights, and hurts, disappointments and loss, but will be balanced by beauty, and connections with others, by sunlight. It's a balancing act. Each time something is taken from you, it is an opportunity to learn what is important in life.

I had to give up my home in MD with it's larger studio on the first floor. This isn't trivial as it's my workspace. It was my creative space, the part of me that is pure joy. I am lucky enough to have a home, and will eventually figure out how to make the new area joyful. Looking back at what I had is a roadblock to enjoying what I can make now.

Resentments held or ignored, will pull your attention away from  the beauty that is left to see. I can focus on what's lost or look at what's left. I know I didn't deserve the pain lived through as a child and young adult, but I can acknowledge that it happened, learn to understand others and myself because of it, and turn my eyes to a new view.

It takes intent to do this.
 It takes energy to change.
I've had too many life changes this year, and my word for the year was change. I've learned not all change is good. I realized change is good in small doses. I learned that I enjoy ritual, so that life's unexpected changes are not the largest part of your day. I learned that I'd enjoy change more if it was more controllable.
As Michaelangelo said, "I am always learning "

Please visit other people at the Happy Homemaker Monday party HERE 
linking to

sundays in the city

Thursday, November 1, 2018

I Like Thursday #113... spooky!

Welcome to this week's list of likes! Ahhh so that's where my tiara got to! On my pumpkin pin cushion!!

Halloween took center stage this week, with lots more decorations in the 'hood to enjoy
 this guy sways while playing  creepy organ music... I stopped and listened for several songs
this is what happens when you give up sugar
Let your freak flag fly!
even scarier at night

Now About quilting,
Sewing is so much fun! I had a ball picking out fabrics for this year's halloween quilt
the post with better pics of this Halloween quilt (36" X 36" ) is HERE !

I like working in my new space even though it's not set up yet...
studio one
studio two...
(feeling better about your sewing space? )

I enjoyed finding this site listing some of the most viewed quilting blogs... gave me some new ideas to see during life's quieter moments

I love this mix of fruit and nuts we found at Sams club

I liked finding my Fall decorations in the basement,

and finding lots of my fall towels to use from now to Thanksgiving, when Christmas season officially starts.
Did those of you who put up your Christmas decorations and lights the week before Halloween hear me?

this house has all it's garlands and lights up already
Stay with the tour! Enjoy each season!

What's in the candy dish you ask? tootsie pops and truffles!

What is playing in the studio you wonder? Swing music from the 40's on xfinity!

What books did I just check out one might enjoy...
 the one on the right is about returning to art school for an MFA after age 60

I liked the bright flowers still blooming despite our latest 3" of snow night before halloween, doesn't the snow look like ghosts as it melts?

My good friend Sonja in Hawaii sent me a surprise gift of her hand painted fabrics... I am already playing with them!

she included some heavenly smelling soap from gardenias! It's so good to have friends even if they are far away in body, they are close at heart!

Milo's Moments

Hi Y'all, this week Mama invented a game for us to play. It's not all that much fun and involves something called "stay with Mama!" but every time I don't pull on the leash and walk next to Mama, she gives me a tasty treat (or sometimes kibble but you never know) 
I'm getting really good at it but sometimes... you just gotta PULL! 
I am only doing it for her!!! 
When I pull I grind down my toenails so Mama won't have to touch my toes with that grinder

I only pull to make sure they are on the leash, not lost or something... and now they drop the leash, just like that when I pull, and then I have to check back to make sure they are there, and keep a VERY close eye on them, and walk VERY close to them so they don't get in trouble.  

But sometimes I pull on the leash to get a bunny, again for them. I'm just trying to feed the pack, but they do not get it! 

Sometimes if I pull, which I don't but might just sometimes, it's to lie down in shade because it's hot here in high country when the sun is baking your black fur coat.

Now, try to understand this... if you are out walking at night, and you run into a sleek black lab who is also one and a half years old, and who's name is Onyx, and who wants to play the same games as you,  then take advantage and let the peeps know you. Will. Play. 
You gotta take your moment to play even if it's dark and both of you are black and the night is dark
just be sure to stay close to your peeps so they don't wander off without you!

that's about it for this week, I'll give you more of my Poodle Ponderings Next week

check out these people keeping it pawsitive this week, with their list of likes! Join us by doing a post and letting the Mama know and she'll add your link in!

    http://sonotorganized.com/ (new this week!)



Minou's Minute 

going to these link parties!

pet parade
Our World Tuesday
https://comedy-plus.com/ Awe Mondays
sundays in the city
http://sky watch Fridays
Thankful Thursdays pet parade