Sunday, September 22, 2019

sunday stories wandering

THIS WEEK'S WORDS come from "You and I" by Stanley Moss: wanderer, create, guilty, particle, painter, potter, mercy, straw, end, follows, clay, all 

Joe found himself wanting to create again.

He went on this trip, because he was bone tired of his life. He needed a change, to be refreshed, to see life with hope again. It was very bold, this move he made, but he felt he'd fade into the background unless he colored himself in.

He had quit his job, which seems irresponsible on the surface, it was steady and paid his bills. It also drained him. He heard his father's words in his head, "son, you don't have to love what you do, you do need to take care of a family though" Thing was, he didn't have a family yet despite wanting one, he didn't own a home yet or even a dog. If not now, when?

Is there ever a good time to wander looking for meaning? He supposed  as scary as this was, now was his time, so he went. In his car, with his savings. To see what he could see.

It had been hard to leave his mother though, only a year after Dad died. There was guilt as he looked into her sad eyes, but he knew if he didn't risk now,  he would never be able to go.

Following the road ahead, with the idea of seeing as much as he could along the way, he watched his mother's waving hand get smaller in the rear view mirror. He wanted to meet people, and feel what it was like to let the moment lead you.

He didn't anticipate missing his potter's wheel so much.

When he read about people doing this kind of trip, he never heard of one who missed their creative sides. If he painted he could take along supplies and paint on the road. But he was a potter, and didn't realize how empty his hands would feel without clay oozing under his nails, and how calming it was to watch the wheel go round with a piece of mud rising with just his hands to guide it.  He was a "potter" but no one he encountered would know that now that he was a "wanderer" . He didn't realize how much identity mattered when meeting people. He didn't realize how much being creative meant to his soul.

Mercifully he knew one day he'd return to a more stable life, one where a studio had dust particles floating around in shafts of sun, one where he could lose himself in making. He couldn't go there yet as he was not settled inside himself.  To be content was a goal, to know one had made a choice to be in one place over another.  To be sure one hadn't  settled there because it was expected was his goal.  He had something to experience, something to learn but not knowing what made it unnerving..

He suspected he'd find it though, and one day return to his wheel, to a home, to himself.

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

sewing saturday working toward finishes

more to come!
This week I've loved being in the studio

I'm kind of obsessed with the  lattice quilt and made a lot more blocks.
I had my art quilt group meeting on Wednesday and had many interesting discussions about art and quilting, and got to see what my group members are making with fabric. There is a lot of mixed media going on right now, with layering of paper, paint, threads. I showed  progress with my SW piece and quilting.

I spent some time going through a few boxes of squirreled away ufo's and supplies, and it felt good to see some things again, happy they made the move.

I began to research ideas for this year's Halloween quilt... last year I did a sort of enormous dresden and this year I'm drawn to doing more of those, or a big traditional block quilt using lots of fabrics.

So on with the show!

Two insights this week on my lattice quilt were, if I'm cutting up a square into two triangles, then I could use two triangles from my scrap boxes!  I want the two halves to match as all the others do, so it would need to be two matching triangles for this quilt. I thought I might have a box  of triangles and found it. Sure enough someone had started a block similar to mine but given me the triangles, I suppose as there were dozens of the perfect cut triangle pairs already cut so all I needed was to find two matching ones.
see? never throw anything away!
Then I began to wonder, should I use these? Maybe I'd need them later.
Now this is an illness.
I said to myself, "self,  first they aren't precious, they are already cut and you need about 150 more blocks, what project could come up that you couldn't cut others for? they are already old but washed.
So I took them into the project!
 Good sense won out!
groups of ten blocks finished

Some of the prints have four cut out triangles that could be used to border something but I still took two for this project (I'm trying to not repeat any fabric in my lattice)
groups of ten ready to be chain pieced

The second revelation was to quilt it by check allowing me to sew the top together now. I have never done that, because, I'm a quilter. I planned to quilt in big sections and was planning for that.
 I thought of all the time it would take to layer this, making a pieced backing, and the struggle to just quilt a king sized piece on my little machine. I could do it, and have done it, but... not right now. This quilt can be done with an all over design, it's busy with prints, and I won't risk hurting my back pushing and pulling it. I have others in sections to do that to, but this time, this one time, I want to have a longarm quilter do for me.

there was relief when I accepted that fact.
I have a lot of art quilts in progress that a longarm person couldn't do, because I know what the  quilting should be and will need to do it. Quilts made from my heart, original works that have a message I need to stitch in.
16" X 20" (the painted part is 7" X 9")
so I quilted my little southwest quilt to show my group.
It took more care as it's small.

I didn't want to show much of the stitching lines as it's so small and intricate, I didn't want to take away from the piecing, so I matched thread colors, used thin cotton 2 play broder threads,  and stitched in the ditch. 17 pieces in a 4" square! , so I chose areas to quilt around,

 I did straight line echo quilting in areas, I did a bit of programmed stitched suns in one 3/4" sash, spirals in another. I did measured sun rays through the curved geese at the top, and free motion sun emblems in blocks.

The painted section, the reason this got made at all, threw me.... where to quilt on sketched lines? I pulled out the only sparkly thread, a yellow metallic Madeira to create cloud lines, and a flat thin 50 wt 2 ply Broder cotton thread in medium purple to stitch along the mesa's. I might add more but might not.
lighting is off from my images, sorry bout that!
The aspen trunks are barely stitched on, allowing them to fray a bit, and stand out a bit, I love that they are the impression of trees with out leaves, with out limbs.
can you see the sparkly threads in the sky? see the sketched dashes that remain unquilted?
Now it needs a navy blue tiny 1/8" binding, and beads. I have set aside turquoise and agates to bead on as accents.
What did I learn?
Paint larger pieces next time for more impact
it's hard to stitch over sketches and line drawings as quilting adds more lines
it takes time to stitch in the ditch but it's effective texture to accent piecing
use my hand dyed cloth as it's very satisfying to work with, stop storing it for later
you never know what piece will turn out to be a favorite, so do good work on all of them, but don't over work them, allow for error showing the hand of the maker because it gives a piece character.

Friday, September 20, 2019

watching paint dry....

welcome to paint party fridays!
The birdie pic was done quickly in my sketch book. I love the attitude, forward and interested, singing it's song, ready to fly. Can't you just see the tail twitching?

I feel these paintings just show up to amuse me, although I'm the one doing them!! (cool)

 I sketched a quick (two minutes max) face each day this week, adding wise cracks
so they are rough, and poor placement but there is value in sketching in pen and not looking back!

I tore up some mixed media paper, painted some free form flowers, then used marker over them. Painted a green line to show under the torn edge and
This is the back of the card of flowers... it's going to be my new "chop" or representational image!
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Thursday, September 19, 2019

I Like Thursday #159

Welcome to I Like Thursdays... I like cut flowers in the house, especially sunflowers this time of year!

I worried I couldn't find things to list  but the more I thought about it, there is an abundance...

I like:
1.having lots of good food in the house after making a run to Trader Joes

2.DH's mechanic said they figured out at least one of his car problems... they researched it and repaired one of the big problems. He should get it back tomorrow.

3.We are headed for cooler weather, about 81 for a high next week, and had rain tonight
pumpkins are available all over and we got one for the front entry!

4.pumpkin bagels at trader Joe's monthly art quilt meeting was a lot of fun and they were complimentary about my latest work
6.Milo has been exceptionally funny lately, and loving

7.I finished the studio book on disc and it was really good, and am nearing the end of my nighttime book (monday's post lists books, shows, etc that I've enjoyed)

8.I quilted the SW quilt and it looks good, just needs binding and beading
while I added up how large the lattice quilt should be, I realized I need about 100 more blocks
While sewing on it, I thought, "hey... don't I have a box of triangles somewhere? Sure enough there are LOTS of triangles the perfect size of my 5" blocks cut on diagonal. Someone gave me most of these, so they must have had a similar block going! More on that on Sewing Saturday
9. we met the new people moving in across the back yard, and they were quite nice
10. I really like the paintings I did this week!
11. When I told Milo's bestie's mom, we went to the farmers market and got cajun flavored okra pickles, she just stared at me and asked, "why are you so weird?" I started laughing, took that as a compliment because she was was just teasing me which means we're good enough friends to do that
12. I love my upstairs laundry, and do not mind doing lots of loads
13. I got a tomato that doesn't have black spots, finally. My beans started producing again too.
and some dried lima beans
 14.Mums are back and we got two for half price. What a pop of color!
fun display at the bead show
 15 . DH went to the bead show with me, and we had a great time.

a platter of fish beads!

16. I found these wonderful fabrics at the quilt store, to get me in the mood for this year's Halloween quilt!
available at Holly's Quilt Cabin

17. I received this prize in the mail this week, from Podunk Pretties/ Jacquelyn Steves giveaway
18. The finale of bachelor in paradise was so much fun, as is the great British pottery throw down, and the Bake off. Survivor is returning... can't wait. Also the new season is starting on tv soon.
19. my olukai sandals, all four pair are so supportive and comfy.
20. Lancome special with purchase, and I actually needed some cleanser (doesn't dry out or cause blemishes) and some mascara (only one that doesn't irritate my eyes) AND Nordstrom was price matching Macy's 15% off!

21. The yarrow I planted this year is going gangbusters in a pot. In fact I can't even cut the old blooms as the bees are enjoying it still so much! I like the red color.

Milo's Moments
did anyone order a chicken leg?

Parts Department
I've been busy with my chicken collection. I won't let Mama throw away the chicken on the left , the one who looks like a scrap is still good for grabbing and running. The middle chicken is good for chewing off wings and beaks still, and there's some good fluff left in it. The one on the right is the latest "indestructible" chicken, and still has most of it's parts, and two working squeakers.

They all have their jobs, and Mama doesn't get it. I have to keep an eye on her so she doesn't accidentally throw one away.
LeeAnna here: well, he comes by this hoarding naturally, by seeing me keep every little scrap of fabric and bead.

Please visit these fine folk also keeping a list this week:  

not posting this week but one of our group  

Linking to these great parties!
rosie and the boys nature pics   

Thankful Thursdays pet parade

Monday, September 16, 2019

the week ahead September 2019

zucchini blossoms that don't turn into vegetables
It's Monday, and we're looking at another busy week. Aren't they all?
For some reason it feels like a fresh start each Monday morning, not just another day.
the one tomato without a black spot the whole season, and some dried beans from a new pod!
This morning...
I'm still having my first cup of strong coffee with milk, and waking up from a lot of dreams. Ever notice some times you have lots of dreams that leak into the day? Sometimes not?
Milo greeted me with a tail wag and hug, DH handed me a cup of coffee and said good morning. He took Milo for his first walk of the day leaving me to slowly wake up. That's a good start, right?
see the big green grasshopper on the porch ceiling?
The weather in Aurora this week
The forecast fools you into expecting cool temps, because they say it's "cooler" but the temps are in the mid to high 80's all week still. In the thin atmosphere and high altitude with sun here it feels plenty hot! At least that gives the vegetables another week of growing!
It hasn't rained as much this month as all of Spring and Summer here, and there are wildfires going on. That could mean smoke throughout the area soon, and hard to breathe.
cajun spiced okra, dressing, cherries with no corn syrup
we got these specialty items at the garden center, and the okra pickles got a thumbs up from the clerk. We know the cherries are really good from experience.
We went to Trader Joes yesterday and stocked up (it's far away), also getting pumpkin bagels!
I got a big green cabbage at the garden center's vege stand, so I hope to make some old fashioned cabbage soup... shredded cabbage, onions, celery, tomatoes, garlic and chicken broth.

we shared a bottle of Riesling over two nights this weekend. How pleasant to have a glass while sitting on the porch in the evening. We bought another bottle, this time a red mix at the local farmer's market, so that should be much healthier for next weekend. 

We are both enjoying the great british pottery throw down (on youtube) and it's nearing the finale. We are also watching the G.B.baking show (last season) on netflix and each time someone goes home we feel we've lost a friend! Such a good season.
Tonight is the final Bachelor in Paradise, and it's been lots of fun. Big Brother has been odd this time to me but it's approaching the finale too.
I am sad that Dancing with the stars is starting... I LOVE that show but this time there is a contestant I won't watch, so no live show for me, it will have to be DVR til he's booted off. I've never felt that way before, and I wish I could tell the producers they are losing a loyal viewer.

The good shows are coming back soon, here's a link to descriptions of when, and the new shows:

I had no idea the work that goes into getting a show on tv... some of these that didn't make it sounded good to me... but so do some of the ones on the schedule.

As to returning shows... here's the premier date

book cover of The Little Teashop on Main
Jodi Thomas (the little teashop on main)  which has captured my interest and heart. I now want a long series on these characters but this is one of her one-off novels. Apparently she's been busy writing.
I am finishing up the Kate Morton boon on CD in the studio... last disc and as usual it's engrossing and fascinating. I love to be read to! (the Garden)
Library books have been wonderful this time:

we went to a wonderful bead festival on Friday afternoon in Denver.

 I was almost overwhelmed, but did manage to choose a few new beads to come home with me. I have a great love of beading, so just seeing all the possibilities was great. Plus I met some awesome people! One vendor was from Maryland too, so we talked about the adjustments. She talked of the same things that are hard for me, so I know I'm not alone in this. One artist making huge glass lampwork beads was VERY chatty and we laughed and had a grand talk. Even my engineering husband was laughing and joining in. I'll talk more about her later, but the thing that struck me was, I almost walked right by her booth. You can't judge people quickly or you miss the opportunity for a real connection.

We spent more time at home, and on errands this weekend than we have for a month. Our goal is to explore the area, and we will but this was a calm weekend for us. We still did errands meaning we had long drives where we talked, and I sewed.

One of the people in my art quilt group has found an exhibit opportunity for us as a group, so I had to scramble to find images of some of my work for the proposal, as an example of our skills.
Interesting exercise.actually, choose three works to describe you... if we are accepted I have to choose actual artwork to hang, which will be much harder.
For those who don't enter shows, it's risky to leave your art where it could be damaged or stolen on display in a public place. I've done it of course, it's a way to share your work, but at least this will be local so no shipping risks of loss, and it will be fun to be part of a group experience again.

I've been painting or drawing each day, to build up my skills and for self expression. I've been sewing again, so both design walls are full. I hope to start beading again, this time bead embroidery. Writing has taken a back seat for the summer. I hope to locate my sock knitting stuff this week, and use some of my sock weight yarn this fall.

Purchase of the week
not only beads, but I needed some face cleanser from Lancome, and since Nordstrom has a special (freebie) , that's where we went. One had to spend 39$ so I got the cleanser and a mascara (it's the only one not irritating to my eyes) and found out at the register that Nordstrom was price matching Macy's 15% off! Yea! two bonus's.

To Do
last but not least...
There are the usual daily, weekly maintenance things, the usual books and tv shows, but my big hopes are to finally organize my finished quilts onto the shelves DH put together for me this weekend.
This goes way beyond hobby for me, and I have MANY finished quilts that are in spreadsheets, and in groupings but in the move they were stored in the second bedroom and need to be more accessible.
 we had the broken drain cleaned out last week by a plumber, who found the tree toot had grown into the buried pipe, causing the whole thing to burst over the winter. Now we have to figure out what to do to fix it all. Oh and by the way there needs to be expensive work to repair another pipe.

My teeth are not right after the big dentist trip... I have to face that and go back now that time has passed and it's not well still, and possibly get the root canal repaired. Why can't people do anything right the first time any more?
 I want to finally be able to bend over and mop the wood floors after a long back issue.
I have an art quilt group meeting this week.
I'd like to write my weekly posts, today's, Thursday list of likes, Friday paint party, saturday sewing
I need to pluck Milo's ear hair... that's a major undertaking as he is not happy with the pain it must cause
can't we just not pluck and say we did??

I'd like to find perspective on life, to stop feeling so anxious, to grow in wisdom and be aware of the great chances to connect with lovely people this week.
Wish me luck

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happy homemaker monday

Saturday, September 14, 2019

sewing saturday purple's and purchases

The studio was alive with color this week! Since the design wall is covered with lattice blocks, even more lattice blocks stacking up in the little black bins holding it up, I filled the portable design wall with my purple flowering snowball blocks.
These are slower to make than some blocks, cutting is challenging even with the rotating mat and acrylic templates. as always it was fun to go through my box of purple scraps to find the right sizes to cut pieces from. I don't like to cut into usable larger pieces, so I try to match the sizes. I also needed to catch up with the light blue month I missed so they are mixed in.
I cut all the components and got organized. Then sewed block units together and pressed, and stacked them on the sewing table ready to finish all at once. There is a lot of matching and pinning on curves as well as slowing down and taking care to keep a good quarter inch seam allowance.
they are all crumply before you press carefully. I press to the snowball (white here) and it lays flat.
Look at that special scrap with the sleeping kittens! The pretty Asian scraps, butterflies, and stars!
sometimes it's hard to cut into even a 10" square, virtually wasting some of the fabric but I'm trying to force myself to use fun pieces too.
I didn't do as many as other colorway months, because I got tired. I usually do 12 of each color, this time there are 11 purple and 8 blue. My back got tired cutting them all. I might go back later and do a few more...
I LOVE the mix of light blue and purple. I'm beginning to wonder if some of these block quilts should be put together in analogous groupings instead of rainbows of color.
I like green and blues together, pink and orange, yellow and blue.

I thought I'd show you some recent purchases too...
a 2 lb scrap bag for $6, some cool alphabet black and white fabric and the cute little leaf pattern I hope to start on soon.

I really like dresden plates and saw this tool being used to press the points, so...
nothing like the right tool for the job, right?
How I spied this little lonely fat quarter I don't know. I have an eye for the unusual and whimsical, and it was the last little bit of that fabric left in the shop so come on home with me! I would have purchased a yard or more to have enough motifs to play with but I'm happy to have this!

I also sewed the light blue chandelier blocks but that's for next week.

can I get a whoop whoop Fridays  
Esther's blog Wednesdays 
Midweek makers wednesdays
design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
oh Scrap Sundays 
 scrap happy Saturdays

Friday, September 13, 2019

paint party Friday

Welcome to Paint Party Friday... I have been trying to sketch or paint daily, and

My favorite piece of the week came from this tutorial... LOVE IT!

I used Fluid 140 lb paper and KOI paints. Enjoyed the mixing of colors, removal of colors, pushing them around on the paper, and additional colors added.  After all that it was so much fun to doodle with my pigma marker. I think I'll do more of this
I checked out some books from our library on zendoodles. I think that will come in handy for the inking after painting. I went back to this piece from last week, the bubbles, and added a few lines
I had fun with the sketchbook too. A Shayda Campbell tutorial led to a sort of goal list for the week.
this really lovely piece. Simple, graceful, organic. 

I talked to some artists last weekend (see Thursday's post) and each one gave me a lot to think about. I learned two ways to do encaustic work, talked to a pastel artist about how he approaches his work and how he lets it go (sales), and one artist who combined metal sculpture, with bird nests and mannequins.
She used to make clothing, and cares about our environment, so she combines that with her metal work. I loved her deep need to make a visual statement. I just wish we were in the financial position to support each one of these artist, I would have left with a vibrant pastel landscape, a delicate layered encaustic collage, and a meaningful sculpture. Oh and some very modern pearl earrings!

So the gist was, use good materials, find your vision, and keep working...

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