Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Poodle Feeding times are...

I'm reminded of the Little Shop of Horrors! movie, where the plant says, Feed me Seymore! and sings,
Movie video of the plant singing
Cole is a challenging dog when it comes to food. He has developed so many food allergies that we are limited mostly to Science diet ZD and a few vegetables. He has become skinny because he hates kibble.

"Mommy, I want to eat a chipmunk or bunny"  (Cole sends message telepathically)
 I am opposed to catching said animals and frying them up.

He must eat to take his pain meds, so we are often doing a song and dance to get him to eat. (come on, you like this)  As my friend Pat says of her dog Mindy, we all gather around to observe the miracle that is Cole eating. He will eat by himself at his raised feeding station half  of the time at least.

 He will eat kleenex anytime he finds one. He has been known to eat toys and  dance shoes.
(see the carnage here in this post showing remains of shoes)
 His preferred feeding method is being fed by spoon, one kibble at a time, heated with a bit of canned food mixed in.

He also likes finger food.

The blue bag on the floor is an ice pack, that was just held to his shoulder as he's had an upset tummy  so I haven't been giving the pain meds.

My husband has hurt his back lifting this poodle into the tub for a bath. I have a serious back injury that requires coping, and now the dog...

Well, we are a family, we three, and a family pulls together through thick and thin and illness.

Fall lights and colors

window box ready for Fall, just add leaves

Whee! I love orange especially in the fall. The summer flowers have passed on to the great garden in the sky. Replacing them are mums, pansies,  pumpkins and Halloween decorations.
Halloween  decorations are lots of fun!   We were pretty understated this year but then again, it's not over yet either, heh heh.
 This is another porch flower box with mum, pumpkin and Halloween house.

We also put up the front lights seen in
this picture from last year  
"voodoo poodle"  (It's just a click away!)

Fall has brought slightly cooler evenings, which are enjoyable to do a bit of porch sitting, wine drinking and now enjoying the twinkling light show.

See the poodle on his perch, watching the squirrels careening around the yard eating and storing acorns in their frantic attempt to prepare for winter. He watches the bird feeder just to the left of his bed lest chipmunks come to eat seeds. That's just not allowed in his kingdom.
Here are the spider lights hanging out back this year...
 They look especially festive under the solar globes Drew gave me for my birthday. I asked how he knew orange was just the right color for me, and he delayed... thinking... til I asked, was that the only choice?? (yep)
 Fall is a good season for me. I like cool temps. I love that leaves turn rainbow colors, the sky is usually bluer and less grey. It makes me feel like home is a good place to be. I kind of imagine I am living in an L.L.Bean advert. I could be baking lots of breads and soups.
 I'm not but I could be.
 For now, we three will be found on the back porch, chatting, reading, watching the twinkling orange lights, watching the leaves fall and squirrels acting squirrely and enjoying the nature show.
Do you decorate for Halloween? Thanksgiving?  LeeAnna

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall Farmer's Market and interview with two spinning artists

 We went to the local  farmer's market on Saturday to get a few more pumpkins. What a display of beautiful and somewhat unusual pumpkins! It was visually exciting to see all that orange, as well as the exotic ones.
We got enough small ones to go on the porch's flower boxes for the fall. Then we looked at the bounty of fresh vegetables and decided on some zucchini. So beautifully displayed!
Had to show you the odd but real variety here...
 We also bought two loaves of bread, cranberry pecan and Cinnamon Raisin. So moist and fresh we have eaten half of it already!! Save us from ourselves!
 Among the vendors and crafts people were these two women spinning hand dyed wool. I did a short interview with them both and thought you might enjoy learning a little bit about spinning.
Lori Beard of just lori creations  was using a treadle spinning wheel to make yarn for socks and other projects. She was spinning a mix of wool and silk in lovely bright colors. She was sure a few sessions of spinning and a person would get the feel of the process. I asked why she was attracted to wool and spinning as a textile. She loves the feel of it and it's something she can do in the evenings while being with her family.  It is a soothing meditative process

An important point she made was that there is a lot of tactile learning, or learning by doing. A person can be taught a skill but they really learn by doing it. She tries different patterns with different wools and learns from each item she makes. I am like that as well. She is inspired by the Md Sheep and Wool Festival each year, and folks if you haven't been, it's a dream come true of fiber love!

As for wool and yarn organization, and she said she has a lovely IKEA shelving unit full of colorful roving and yarn she has spun. Sounds much more contained than my stash of supplies!

I asked how her family accepts her spinning, and she said they really like to get hand knitted items, so they accept her wool love! I asked both women if they also wet-felt and they do, Lori sells felted soap bars as well as other items in her etsy shop.

BTW, She can't use the spinning wheel with shoes on, and I can't use the sewing machine foot pedal unless barefoot. Fiber people are tactile sorts!!

Her companion this day was Marseille Bunk who also loves  vintage dolls. She was using the drop spindle, a quite small tool that spins around to create the yarn from roving. (Roving is carded wool) Both women prefer to buy dyed wool instead of dying it themselves. Marseille's family loves getting her hand made items, and she loves the feel of wool running thru her fingers as it's soothing at the end of a long business day.
She just bought this unusual tool for weaving thin items like belts. Cool isn't it??
I'm reminded again that artists are more similar than we realize.
 Tune in tomorrow for pictures of our Fall decorations using said pumpkins. LeeAnna
Want to see more interviews with artists? click here!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Creativity Roadblocks?? Making the right choices

I don't consider getting stuck on fabric choices a creativity roadblock really. (check out more articles HERE!)    It's just part of the process of design. It stimulates creativity. But...
I'm stuck. What about the top one?? Or the following combination?
I could do this one...

I like all the fabrics and they all match the pumpkin.

They would all make a  lovely piece of art. I know from experience that most viewers would then say it's the perfect fabric for that quilt!
They didn't agonize over the choices and after something is done, we usually can't imagine it any other way.

 For instance,  when you find out a different actor turned down a part in your fave movie, you can't imagine them in it now that it's done.
I pull out so many fabrics and try them in different combinations, different proportions, different positions.
There have been times I couldn't decide and the piece became a UFO.
What about the times when you want to finish and you can't choose the right fabric for a piece?
You can ask questions like, what mood do I want this work to have? How large do I want it? How will changing the proportions effect the whole? Is there a focal point (my pumpkin) and how do the choices impact it? Does this combination help it remain the focal point? Does the really cool confetti fabric on the top picture detract from the pumpkin itself?

Some piece are just learning tools, and happen to come out good enough to hang later. But some experiments like my pumpkin come out good enough to warrant all the decisions.

Tell me if you have trouble with these kinds of things and which combo you like better. I'm open for suggestions! LeeAnna

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cats and Dog, sketch and the real deal

We thought we'd just take a little morning walk in Annapolis on Sunday.
What we discovered was two Festivals going on!!
 We like to be festive!
This picture is from the Fall Festival and an antique store with it's "old stuff" out in front of the store right on the closed street. I was happy to see this iron statue of a poodle.

The other thing I want to show you is a sketch, this time of a cat...(more sketches click here!)
I was thinking about Martha who sent me the poodle pin cushion and her three kittens. I know dogs, but don't really know cat physiques.

When I sat down with my morning coffee to sketch, it was off the cuff. Then I thought to zentangle it, and color it in with faber-castel pens I use on fabric. What fun! I made up a font, and just added stuff I thought might be fun and I loved it! What a surprise!

The way I see it, if I don't know how to draw something I can research it or just try it.

 If it comes out wrong I can salvage it or throw it away. 

If it comes out okay I can show you!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Another Quilt Show and a few purchases

a few vendors
My husband, the "Quilt Widower" went with me to another quilt show. He is so good and it's really fun to share time with him something other than clearing out house problems.
He has a man's perspective. He has a non-quilting perspective. He has a different perspective that makes events like this fun to discuss with him.

The top picture is the sum total of all I bought at the show.

My husband's  advice to me when I leave for a show is "Show great restraint"

This time he shopped along side, and helped me choose this:

 I know!! Another pin cushion!! I first asked for poodles, then flamingos, then cows, none.
But the little burro that started life as a candy dish:? Chocolate karma? I'm in. Plus it reminds me of the poodle pulling a cart from my, er, collection. Anyone know anything about it's history?

The two books were the first purchase and on sale for $5 each, at Dover Books.  Christmas!!

The thread is Presensia, and the sampler pack of small spools was perfect to take in my hand sewing kit with my hexie project. I get to try their thread, and use colors I didn't have. I opened the pack on the way home, sewing my hexies while Drew drove, and we listened to our new book on tape by Rita Mae Brown. Back to the show...
 I started with vendors, but did look at the quilts. I love seeing the World quilts  and this one by Teri Cherne won best of country (USA) this year. I like a circle design, and these exuberant colors and intricate quilting made my heart beat faster.

I also enjoyed the New Zealand quilt where the artist saw a picture of the land and saw a woman's figure in it!
Ideas come from all sources, the muse finds you if you let her!
Wendy Ward

There was a group of small Celebrate the Day challenge quilts.

Each artist chose an obscure holiday, a real on the books holiday like popcorn day! Walk your dog day or Mole day.

This one,  for Cow Appreciation Day and in case like me you want to celebrate a cow each year it's on July 15th.
By Stacey Koeller. I took lots of pictures of this exhibit since it was my favorite one.

Whimsical and just plain silly, right up my alley!
Oh and by the way, they had a Nerd Day quilt and I asked my resident scientist if he wanted it on the blog. He said no, and acted like he had no idea why I would even ask. It had a pocket protector with pens.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Penchant for Poodle Pin Cushions and Pigs

When my blog friend, Martha Ginn (blog) in MS decided to sell a few things, this was among them...
the tongue is a retractable measuring tape! The tail is a thimble holder!
 and she thought I might want it.  Of course  I wanted it! Made in the 50's, like me. Black poodle, like mine.

This little boy brings my black poodle pin cushion collection up to two :

 I'm on my way. This is how the flamingo collection and the cow collections began and look at them now...

Here is a link to my Collections quilt post that showcases the cow, flamingo, poodle, & Betty Boop collection.   Wanna see?? click   its-not-tacky-its Kitsch!  If you want to see other poodle art of mine, check out the link to the STAT quilts label. Fun stuff!

The post that follows under this one, has a pic of two piggie-pinatas in Lake Placid. I'm not pig-crazy but...

I do enjoy a piglet in real life.Once a little piglet at the county fair nuzzled my hand with it's wee little dirty pink snout. (like a tiny suction cup!)  It caused my heart to beat faster. Another time, I observed a history reenactor at a farm pick up one of two little piglets to get them both back to the house, and the one in her arms screamed squeals louder than a siren causing the other one to trot along in solidarity... well I love a little pig now.
Louie the pig
read about Louie here www.dailymail.

My friend Pat sent me this video of a comedian telling the story of the three little pigs in Shakespeare-ese.
If it doesn't open, try this link  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxoUUbMii7Q

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!