Thursday, June 30, 2016

Finding the Muse #5 Inspired by a Technique

There are times in life when you find it more difficult to be creative. I am going through such a time, while sad about our pup's illness. When  our sewing group decided to explore the techniques of Sue Carlson, I knew my heart wasn't in it but wanted a diversion.

 I chose the moon pattern in Serendipity Quilts

Today we'll discuss finding the muse via techniques, books, and group activities. 
 I made my own pattern from a photo which I'll share in a moment.
 Each person in the group chose their own pattern but we did it together. Parallel play. The technique calls for tracing the image onto muslin, and filling in with bits of scraps in color/tone of choice.

It's a lot more exacting than I thought it would be. I dithered over little scraps of color, replacing them as I went. I don't think I am totally happy with it yet. It will change with background on, and thread painting.
 It was  learning experience and that's a good thing.

You can be inspired by working in a group on your own quilt.
 You can find inspiration in trying a new technique.

The real creativity will show when creating your own image to use, tweaking the technique to suit you, and making it your own. 
I took an image of Cole, traced it (bottom left) enlarged that on paper. Then traced it onto muslin.
 As for this technique... I like the idea of working in wild colors, paying more attention to line and shadow than realistic color. I did not enjoy tracing onto muslin. (I used identipen) I did not enjoy laying on a scrap, pulling it back to see the line underneath and trimming to the line. I may create an art quilt combining some of  these techniques with Jane Sassaman's techniques and some of my own.

I am too emotionally drained right now to consider working on this. It's important to know we all go through times when we do not have the energy to create. Even a person who lives a creative life.

The Muse understands and will be there when I'm ready to work, just as she's there for you too.
Other Finding the Muse inspiration posts under the label on the side Finding the Muse

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Watercolors in fabric

I needed fabric therapy one day this week.
I turned to the magic box of fabric candy...
As I am digging through scraps for projects I come across small squares and cut them to 2". Not 2.5, because my very first watercolor class used 2" and I had some left so that's the size I cut after that.
That little box probably holds thousands of little cotton squares.
Seeing this it looks like a fat quarter doesn't it?

Wouldn't you like a fat quarter of this?
It's one reason why I love fabric... all the possibilities in one print.

it's actually one of these...

I arranged, and moved, and played around til I did a tree, summer sky and wild flower covered ground.
I plan to hang a rope swing from that branch. The picture is before sewing the little squares together. It's a flash project once you start, a speedy tutorial on my tute's page.
Look as some of the prints...

I use these based on color, or the light to dark scale.
I admit, sometimes I use them for the cuteness factor, such as the cows....

After I pieced the center,
 made up of 99 2" squares

The decision of whether to border or not surfaced.

Let the auditions begin...
Rejects.  Not quite right.
 And the whole drawer unit?
No...not right....

while some of these might "do" none of them gave the effect I want. When we create art, we are not satisfied with what might do. We want the whole thing to be exciting!

And I don't know exactly the effect I want either.
 That complicates things.
I have made an improv winter quilt, an improv Fall quilt, and a Spring quilt. I want something that sings summer.

I know it will have lots of thread work. Hand embroidery and beads. Surface embellishments. But the borders???

Next post I will show what I chose, and what new question came next.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

It's good to have friends...

Recently while on a mini vacation in Connecticut, Cole met this little puppy.
Oh he was enthralled!
Puppy bow! Leash tangle! romping, playing, and I swear he was laughing.

My first inclination was to stop him, so he wouldn't get hurt.

Then I realized, I have to let him have fun even if he might get hurt.

I'm mostly about "protect"  especially in these last days. I want to keep him as well as possible. But life is for living. Cole has a need to play as well as survive. I have to let go, let him do what he likes. This was a hard exercise for me.

He was sore from the bowing, but happy for having been free to play.
There is a big lesson here for me.
Ain't it grand to learn from your dog???

In our neighborhood there is a woman named Pat. Cole LOVES Pat. If there is a remote chance she's out in the yard, he senses it and nothing will do but we go to the end of her cul de sac and say hello. She drops everything to have a moment with my boy. Bless her.
On this day he got two for one as his schnoodle friend Zoey was walking by.

Cole: I KNEW she was outside, Momma!! I told you! And she needed to be petted! And maybe a stinky little kiss too
And one for Zoey because she's just cute as a button!
There! All kissed. I even went over to Zoey's dad and kissed his knee.

I have my favorite people in the 'hood. I don't get to visit every day but when I do, it's grand!
I just have some favorites. There's the woman who rides her bike and always stops to pet me. She used to have poodles. There's Miss Maria (and her guy Mike and her Mom Evelyn) that I could visit every day.
Mr. Mike and Hayley. (Mr. Mike smokes cigars and I want to smoke cigars but momma says I'm too young)

There's my friend Oliver ...
Those legs belong to his mom Bonnie. I love her.

Oliver has a great sense of humor. What a kidder, he always barks right in my face when we meet but I know he's teasing.

Man! I could tell you about our pee-ing adventures.
I always let Oliver walk ahead and pee last.

Wish I had a picture of my great friend Mr. Paul.
He has such a big heart and love for dogs. His dog Rocky is a black lab... I always wanted a black lab for my birthday.

Mr Paul is so nice. He always gives me the best pets. He doesn't mind when I jump up to "get his nose" (I could just eat him up he's so sweet) and he always tells Momma not to worry about it, he doesn't care if I get dirt on him.

Yep, there are days when I could just hang out and watch for friends. Of course you know to have friends you must be a friend. I am Very willing to be friends...
Now, everyone one reading this go out and pet a dog today in my honor!
 Love, Cole

Monday, June 27, 2016

Caption this picture...

Cole is very sick. I haven't shared much but he has cancer. He won't be with us long but every day is a gift.

 He also has old joints that no longer work well when he tries to stand.
One of his habits it to come in from a walk, ditch the leash and sprawl out on the cool tiles.

He sprained his leg scrabbling to stand one day, so we banned the tiles.

 Then we told him he couldn't lie down there. Then we barricaded the area.
So I was surprised to see this one day.
Okay Angel.

Momma can't lift you...

Usually he won't go near a faux barrier.  Our fence is waist high to him now, and poodles have springs, but he respects the barrier.

However habits being what they are, tiles being cool...


Another day he was in deep sleep when a squirrel dared to come within inches of the giant poodle teeth.

Can you see it looking in at Cole from the fountain?
Luckily Cole, still the "Great Hunter" was snoozing.

How would you caption these photos?
1. Dreaming of squirrels
2. Let sleeping dogs lie
3. On a dare the squirrel won a pile of acorns from his pals

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Turquoise guitar

this is how it starts...
The color of June at the rainbow scrap challenge is teal with limes. I choose to see teal as turquoise.

Here is my guitar, a free paper pieced pattern at paper panache (I think)

I love it except for the lime interior.
Wish I had put lime accents somewhere else.

Lets just pretend it's like Louboutin shoes that have red soles, shall we?

This is a limited edition Lana'sArt  guitar with a lime interior.

Get them while they're hot! What kind of person would play this guitar?  A Hipster for sure. Someone who knows the latest coffee craze. If it's a female she wears dangling earrings, has curly hair, lots of mascara.

There, now you can see the cool fabrics. And the set of guitars so far...
see what other people are making at  Soscrappy

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Turquoise Sewing machine

pattern ( aquiltingsheep )
Boy I sure would love to have a turquoise sewing machine with a flamingo on it! With lime accents! And stars all over! 
This time I tried a buttonhole stitch around the applique. I like it. 
Just like the others, I pieced scraps together, layered that with the interfacing and pattern, sewed around and turned right sides out. 

Fused it to the background square, about 14" I think. 
Here are the three that have been stitched to the backgrounds so far, green, turquoise and blue. (I made six so far) 
 Speaking of inspiration, I might not have made these if I hadn't joined the Rainbow Scrap challenge at superscrappy
We are using  teal scraps with lime accents in June. I am using turquoise and making those blocks out of the scrap bins. I actually took on too many blocks this year, so I might have to let the retro blocks wait til next year. 

I don't anticipate a scrap shortage .

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Finding the muse #4 a poetry festival and a pet

Welcome to Thursday's series Finding the Muse. 
I've been inspired by many animals and many words, so that's today's focus. Inspiration from traveling with our poodle and seeing new things.

 First stop off at AAA for some travel info... let your poodle do the talking. 
After we got maps and tourbooks I found a cool travel purse, and as luck would have it... it was marked way down in price, Yea!
I liked this sign...                                        it says Find Joy in the Journey                   That fits  in with our inspirational posts doesn't it?                                                  Finding your Muse                                      Sometimes you set an intention of living a creative life, and see what comes in that journey. On this day at the poetry festival I found the muse in my poodle.                
 One after another poets stood at the front of the tent and read their work. That was inspirational to me. You know I love words.
Much of it was prose, so there was a merging of stories and poetry. Live performance is always so dynamic, one doesn't know what a person will say or how they will say it that day.
See Husband in hat, and dog along side
 Drew and Cole sat down to listen, and as smart as that poodle is, he isn't interested in poetry. He made himself at home. We didn't expect to find a health fair, a wedding and a poetry reading at the Rose Garden. Inspiration is all around us and I found myself wanting to draw.

Everyone was very kind to step around Cole who is not well. I haven't discussed it here but he is not well and tires easily. He loves to walk and meet people and dogs but if a chance for a nap appears he takes it.

 Drew took a walk around the grounds while I did watch-dog duty. 

Luckily I had my sketchbook and pencils with me so as I listened to poetry I sketched Cole. I was standing so that set my perspective.  Mid-way he sat up a bit, sensing I was concentrating on him. The day was very inspiring, the words, the beauty of flowers, the people doing reike under tents, the wedding, the colors, and my boy...
I don't know why it looks pink here... camera tricks
 I am not trained in drawing. I was told, draw what you see not what you think is there.  I sketch for the love of it, laying down lines without over thinking it. I colored Cole in with purple just because... I tried to capture the sense of folding-chairs and people's legs. 

The words are my poem that day, of the moment... 
There is something compelling about not planning "creation" just allowing it to happen.

 Listening to Poetry
People, strangers, surround him.
Lying in the grass---He makes himself at home
Wherever he is...
Seeking comfort from heat and old bones
Secure, trusting his people will not leave him as he sleeps the sleep of old dogs who no longer hear.
Not even poetry being read. 
"I lived it, he thinks"

Have an inspiring day, and I hope you think about the inspiration all around you. Draw something...

find all four Muse posts HERE

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Cole's walkabout... in Connecticut!

Cole here to tell you about my recent trip to Connecticut.
It all started when the parental units wanted to go somewhere to escape the neighborhood mosquito spraying (that happens every three weeks) Off we went for a "ride in the car" Whee! Uninterrupted time with the peeps! There are just so many stories and pictures it may take several posts to show you all the fun we had.

The picture above is of we three at the country's oldest Rose Garden Elizabeth Park.
Momma went cuckoo! Darting all around while Dad and I tried to stay to the shade.
Why look y'all! Ice cream! I could use a scoop how about you two?
Daddy brought back a dish for them and one for me.
mmmmph, lick, lick, mmmm... mine's gone! You two still have some, that means you had more!

I want more!
anyway, we rested in this cool gazebo in the middle of all the roses while Momma ran around like a puppy.
She'll show those shots later... it's my turn at the blog now heh heh.

No matter where I go the paparazzi find me.

I was cooling my jets on my blanket when a newspaper person took my picture...lots of them!

How nice! She obviously enjoyed my stories! Smart cookie!
She recognized me as a....
This nook had lots of cool titles with which to take a picture
         Sagacious Thinker
Momma read that some people think poodles are the second smartest breed. She questioned that. Border Collies who came in first, are just more obedient. They blindly obey commands so some people think they are the smartest.

 The poodle understands all the commands too, and all the other stuff their people talk about.
We just think about it, and decide if we want to obey... that makes us the smartest.

Lots more stories of the trip to come. Shopping trips. Old towns. Inspiration and art. Y'all come back, ya hear!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Turquoise Prisms

Aqua, turquoise, lime, flashes of fuchia and green. 
It all mixes together into the mix I love. 
 All from the scrap heap, er bin. I love the sewing notions print. And the pink swirls on turquoise. 
 Here are the six finished colors so far. They make a statement! 
60" across right now before quilting. 
see more color challenge blocks at
Linking to other cool parties seen on my Links page at top!