Thursday, March 30, 2017

I Like #29

From Newport mansions tour
Welcome to this weeks list of likes, please sit down with me on my chaise lounge for a chat...
*I do like old style furniture one never sees being sold these days, like conversation seats
and how smart is this? Recline, munch on  bon bons while you read French novels....
and write thank you notes for all the parties you attended last week.
So call me
*I Like this old phone's face!! It looks surprised to be ringing! Hellooooooo
or call me
*I Like these colors! I would adore a pink phone like these! I grew up with black phones like these, and one day my mother gave me a princess style phone for my room. (she still listened in on the kitchen phone with her hand over the mouthpiece. Hmph) In my life we went from dials, to punch buttons, to cordless, to enormous cell phones to the ones we have now I hardly know how to make a call on. Hmph again.

*I Like the new show on Bravo "Sweet home Oklahoma"
I watch the "housewives" franchise but they seem to think one must argue and fight, find reasons to argue and fight. That's not the way I am with friends, but Sweet Home Oklahoma is the way I am with friends.
Joyful, funny, no taking offense, openly wanted to be involved in each other's lives.
I mean, I laughed out loud so many times, my husband heard me from rooms away! Whee!

*I Like that John Leguizamo has a standard poodle!

this link takes you to a video of John petting and talking about his chocolate standard

Let's finish with one of my favorite videos... an orangutan and hound dog
Smile... go ahead.
 I mean, when two kindred spirits find each other it's magical isn't it?
(won't open here? try this link

Also sharing LIKES this week are:

7. https://craftscaviescontras  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Baby steps with baby tumbling blocks

I'm always up for a scrap project. Use those little treasures! When I wanted a little carry along project recently, I went to my paper pieces for diamonds to make some little tumbling blocks.
You need light/medium/dark shades so that required some looking through my treasure trove of scraps.

These were the choices for three blocks
Here is another.

I haven't made the blocks yet, and I chose three tones of many colors as this will be a scrap quilt project.

Just because the color of the month is red at
RSC, I am showcasing the red here.

I have about 15 stacks of threes waiting for basting and hand sewing.
The thing I learned making small scrap pieces is to consider scale. This is not a favorite scrap. I would not use it in a quilt but someone gave it to me and I saw the value in it for lots of circumstances. A dish? A belt on a dress? or a little lightest diamond in a baby block...
 If you want the most impact, consider how small these diamonds are and choose a higher contrast in shades, matching tone and pattern somewhat.
Just one more... a pink set. You can see the larger fabric scraps I chose from, and the cut pieces ready to baste...

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I Like #28

Welcome to another list of things I enjoyed this week.
*I Like tulips. These pink ones especially as DH surprised me with them after a Trader Joe's trip.They are  little ballet dancers swaying and full of color in their little tutu's
I like this pitcher I painted long ago and use for a vase
 *I Like this small painted fabric sent by Sonja from Hawaii.Looks like a close-up of my tulips
Can't you just see it with hand embroidery and lots of beads? I can...

* I Liked this book on disc by Alice Hoffman and the reader was very good too.
Image result for the marriage of opposites on disc
It was a really good story, a character story of a woman who lived quite a life, sometimes doing what was expected, sometimes fighting the expectations of the day. It's the story of Camille Pissaro the artist as well. I listened to it on disc while sewing, and I believe reading (listening to books read) increases one's ability to write. In this case I had to stop mid-way, put down my sewing, find pen and paper to write a story of my own.

That's how a good book influences me. Especially lyrical ones, using words to paint a picture for me. Is there anything more magical than the pictures our mind's Eyes paint? So I took pen and paper and let my own story write itself. Lovely.

*I Like having a washing machine again.
Image result for whirlpool washer
Ours finally gave up the ghost, after tormenting us for years, not working well, getting itself off balance, actually traveling across the basement floor. We ordered one not so high priced, a top loader this time, and despite several problems with delivery, it's in place.

It's also very noisy. We don't know if it's a real problem with the engine so will use it a week then start the round of complaints. We were running out of clothes though, so it's a good thing to have a washer.

*I Like Dancing with the Stars on ABC!
Image result for dancing with the stars
A lot! And this season is shaping up to be a doozy! I like almost all of the stars from MrT to Simone Biles Olympian. I actually vote. Yep, I call in. Can you believe it?
I am a dancer. I love dance. I studied ballet, I can tap dance, I did Jazz, swing, waltz, tango, Cajun and Zydeco and Contra, I have tried almost any dance I have seen. I have performed in many a musical as a dancer/ bit part actor. (Once I was hired to sing, which I couldn't believe. I said, uh, I'm a dancer.

*I Like old sewing items... enjoy these in a store window, from a recent trip to Frederick

so many antique sewing items to see. Hope you get a gander at the details.

All these items were used by people long gone. All of them spent their lives sewing like we do.

I wonder if they loved it as much or if it was just a job?

I gave away a lot of quilting threads this week, acknowledging I will not likely hand quilt much any more. I hope my bee mates use them with joy.

*I Like sparkle water, and especially flavored sparkle water. What a great invention!
Image result for deer park sparkling flavored water
It saved me when I gave up diet drinks. I love orange, but also cherry.

*I Like this video of a boxer pup meeting cows. I was surprised to see how curious cows were, and how well they all got along.
If it doesn't play here, check this link

It's a short I like this week but I'm glad to say these fine folks did an I Like post too... go see!

7. https://craftscaviescontras 
.and new this week
linking to several parties including

Thankful Thursdays pet parade

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Red leaves, or flowers?

 the color is RED at the RSC this month, and my red leaves are done!

Isn't this a joyful setting??? I would not have discovered this but for the challenge to use red scraps, so I thank you Angela!

I love to work with components. I make a lot of something.... shapes, or blocks like hexies, then arrange them. I pulled the interesting scraps from my red bin, (click on the image to see details) thread baste them to paper shapes, then PLAY!
To see the other colors Click HERE !

 I bought some paper shapes, now just cut out my own from cardstock so I have plenty of components.

My initial thought was to do a tree of all colors but now I am open to any and all settings. I LOVE the one above. Then again, tulips are nice too...
and just seeing Red shapes on the turquoise batik was stimulating as I moved them around and around...
The first month was purple, then turquoise and now red so I've got lots of leaves as building blocks now.

My goal this year is to play more with color. Not fuss over an intricate block, but to explore relationships between color and line.  

See what others are making with their scraps at http://superscrappy

Friday, March 17, 2017

Luck o the Irish to you!

I should call this the " 24 hour quilt" but it's not done yet. It all started with the fabric sorting....

As I sorted, I ran across a packet of three St. Paddy's day fabrics.  The leprechauns were only a long quarter yard. What to make?? Let's do fast 4 patches.

I could do the picture pieced leprechaun wall hanging I've planned for ages but don't feel like it. Too many decisions and following of directions for today.  Should this fabric should be saved to use on it???
I thought of my mantra,  USE IT! so I thought, make a seasonal piece in two days? Why not! Challenge!
Added this extra shade of green, oy!
I am not attached to the old fabrics, so it will just be a fun activity. I added in the above green as a little path.

Then the learning began...
1. All shades can go together... if there are a lot of them, Three do not constitute "a lot" so the different tones stand out more
2. A motif that looks fun up close, can look like PJ's from a few feet away, even after you've cut borders and sewn them in they may have to go.
3. Just because fabrics are all "in theme" doesn't mean you can use them together
4. Most projects can be saved.
After finishing this I woke up to say, oh no! How can I fix this?  I do not want to rip out all those long borders stretching the inner border... so I will cut it down, do an envelop turn instead of binding, and be done even faster.
Toyed with the idea of words on it
When Mr. Not Afraid of Color came home from work, and I showed him my design and said, "fabric out of the bin!!" he replied "but one more quilt to store".

Er... well.... yeah.... but it's what I do.

Insulate the house with quilts.

I have many quilts that are shown in lectures, others that are shown as examples when teaching, others that are so sentimental I would never voluntarily give them up.
Every quilt isn't for exhibit. Some provide design experience and the fun of seeing how fabric looks cut up into shapes. Some fabric's only purpose is to entertain me for the moment.

Wish I had enough of these for the back, heh heh
So this will be finished today. It will be a table runner (19" X 36") size.
It provided fun sewing time and some learning moments.  If only by negative example!

A side note, from the Writer's Almanac for today... this is the birthday of the National Gallery of Art opened this day in 1941 as a bequest from Andrew Mellon:

"When the National Gallery opened on this day in 1941, President Roosevelt gave the dedication speech. He said: "To accept this work today is to assert the purpose of the people of America - that the freedom of the human spirit and human mind which has produced the world's great art ... shall not be utterly destroyed."
Admission is always free to the public. More than 4.5 million people visit the National Gallery each year to view its 120,000 pieces of art.

Much of the art was purchased by Andrew Mellon from Russia, Stalin ordered their national art to be sold to pay off their country's debt. Secretly. Beware of leaders with secrets. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

I Like #27 random snow storms and memories of the tropics

Welcome to this week's list of things I liked!
I actually welcomed the snow storm this week. It was our first and last of Winter 2017. And it was kind of pitiful as snow goes.
Mostly ice and the dreaded "wintery mix" not the predicted 10" of snow. Still it covered the ground, and was pretty. Hopefully all the spring blossoms are survivors.
Speaking of which...

* I Like the tv show Survivor. It has changed over the years but I am always up to see how societies work (or not) even small ones of 20 people. I like to see how they interact and compete to stay, and overcome obstacles.
It would be different if they were encouraged to cooperate and keep everyone happy and healthy. I'd be in for that show!
(Guess most people want to see something more like our political system, dog-eat-dog, no compromise, winner take all and damn the others. Even so these contestants will form friendships and that interests me)

On a sweet note, look what's showing up in the grocery stores...
*I Like Rugelach
One of my sewing bee mates brought these and forgot to take them home, so I GRACIOUSLY agreed to "bite the bullet  cookie and this is what's left. The only reason these apricot beauties are still left is sheer will power. I mean to share them with my husband.

*I Like fabric . In bringing more order to my stash this week I ran across this beauty to be stored with the tropical fabrics...
while I sorted, I looked out this window
and LOVED the fact that I have a sewing space, ON the first floor, with windows to nature, and daylight full spectrum bulbs to keep me happy, and a stash of fabric that is now more orderly,

more or less in color order but there are collections such as "dogs" and "flamingos" and some fabric this week just flat out defied categories...

I mean, pizza (for PI day two days ago lol) sombreros and dogs. I don't know what trip the designer was on at the time but I HAD to have some of it!!!
ps I put it in the dog category but it could have gone in southwest.

 * I Like this face cream by L'Oreal
It smells terrific, and seems to be helping my winter/ aging skin.
I remembered a friend of my mothers telling me to start using cream as a teen. 
I grew up in Fl. with hot humid weather, and always looked younger than I was, product of round face I believe. I didn't like the feel of anything on my skin but now I am late to the party. Shrug. This feels nice, so time will tell if I have found the fountain of youth.

Frozen Fountain and Flamingos
 *I Like receiving surprise mail from Hawaii and Sonja...
She included painted fabric as well as these paintings, and fragrant soap and blossoms. It brought back memories of living in the Tropics which seems to be a theme this week.
One of life's pleasures is getting mail for no reason other than the person was thinking of you. One of these paintings is leaning up against the hand made card Eliza sent this week, just because. Love that.   

* I Like trimming my own hair...kind of

My back is so unstable that I cannot sit in barber chairs for professional haircuts these days.

Combine that with chemical sensitivities so I can't dye it and a round face that is now a bit droopy and thin straight hair, and well, what's the point??

This week I was Edward Scissorhands and think it will do for the moment but it's not edgy like a good cut.

Of course I have never found a person to give me an edgy cut around here anyway.

*speaking of the 70's, I found a classmate from high school this week, contacted her and we have caught up a bit. She was a good friend I lost track of. Always creative, she and I used to design greeting cards we labeled RoseOak with her drawings and my words/ideas. She and I marched in the band, spoke French, went to Disney World together and shared some of the hardest years a person will have. It was fun to see her picture and read her words now.

* I Like the idea of not worrying if someone likes you... this video is about not trying so hard to be acceptable. People have so much to give and contribute, that it's wasteful to discount them for being gay or  worship differently or live somewhere you've never been or are different in some way.
if it doesn't play on your devise try this link on youtube

Please visit these fine folks but give them time to publish their posts! If you did one, let me know!
7. https://craftscaviescontras 
linking to several parties including

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Want a challenge?? Giveaway and a way of looking at art

A bee mate brought this to me from the free table at guild... it started a big discussion about color and proportion and what the heck is wrong with that boat?

shall we start with the tsunami wave right in front? Or the odd shape? what's the dark blue line about? The weird shading of fabrics?

I am not criticizing the maker. I am critiquing  her choices in order to learn.

This seems to be based on a Lorraine Stangeness pattern. I LOVE her patterns using sew and flip pieces. She lays them out in such an easy graphic that you want to keep going til it's done.

This was given away for a reason. The maker just didn't get colors and shading right. To do her patterns one must consider more tone and shade, less contrast. It's why we have a design wall, so we can step back and see if fabrics blend or scream out.
I mean, each fabric alone is really pretty. 
This is how pretty fabrics can go wrong, in relation to other pretty fabrics.

If something is supposed to be representational such as a boat in the ocean, in a sunrise or set situation, then why go from extreme orange to deep sky color to bright yellow stars to bright light blue skies to peach?

Our senses want to make, well... SENSE of an image.

I do not know who designed this, but I wish she had asked friends during the process.
"Something is wrong here... what is it? "   Know what I mean? That is a great service good friends can offer each other.

Ask what's wrong, but do not worry if they do not see your vision of the finished item. I once had some unsolicited advice by friends, "You can't put all those yellows together!" But I knew what my vision was, and that quilt went on to win many local and several National prizes!! It's still one of my favorites and so very jolly. (I've never shared it here)

What do you do when you know "something ain't right" ? Do you walk in and out of the room til it comes to you? Do you ask a friend you trust to be honest? With design skills? I've done it all, including writing to it.

Um hm... a great design teacher once suggested that, early in my career.

I take out a pen and paper, and write, the mood I wanted to create, the idea or line or concept I wanted, and ask what do you want? I keep writing til it comes to me, Ohhhhhhhhhh! That's what's missing/too much/wrong. It's worked for me more than a few times.

 I've studied design principles and listened to artists, looked at a lot of art, often ask other artists what they like or not about certain pieces, all in an effort to make the process....effortless.

 Learn all you can, observe nature, draw a lot so you learn about shadows, take a lot of photos so you see reality differently, critique your own work honestly.

Then it's intuitive, lol!
And it is really.

I took an hour to really look at this, adding in pieces, changing proportion with folding, ripped off the bottom offending strip, and as much as I like little color scraps, I decided to offer it up to you as a challenge.
Notice what I've temporarily done here...

 a dark strip under the boat,
 change of fabric under the ocean,
replace the tsunami with another orange,
 remove some of the peach replacing it with a sunset fabric...

Not perfect but it's more balanced to me.
The boat is still weird.
You will receive it as it was originally minus a little bottom strip, not the way it looks after my manipulation. 

So are you ready for a challenge? Will you actually work on this and show us what you accomplished? 
 Do you disagree with me, and like it as is??? Fine with me!

 Want to be part of my little critique group here? What do you think? Leave an amusing comment and I'll send it to you... if there is more than one response, I'll just pick one of you. 

Come on and play! 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Seeing Red

Red sparkly shoes, Hon!
There's no place like home if it's Baltimore, Hon! Especially red "Wizard of Oz" shoes!

Still working on my three abstracts this week.The color is RED at Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month.
See the post with my progress on all three HERE

(I am also knitting, reading, beading and meeting with friends, walking, petting dogs, having phone chats, watching survivor which started this week, playing video games, and a few other things! )

In between that and writing blog posts, I've been working on the three abstracts.

It was slow going.

I tried yellow as several people suggested. It did not work. I think I will settle on this:
It's mostly pieced already, the black and white strip on the side was supposed to be slanted but it doesn't read slanted.
I placed a few black and white raw edge pieces in the side for some reason.
I may border it in the spiral.

Whatever happens, I think the next step is heavily quilting it. Probably pink and orange threads maybe neon.
Then embellishing with extras and maybe beads
If there is one thing I know it's that it ain't over til it's over!

Now for a bit of fun...

 I took this quiz to see what color represented me... I am a blue even though I love red.
It was so much fun actually to have to choose from the interesting possible answers as well.

I found this page very interesting about color types. I'm a green here!

A few quotes

Image result for red colour quotes
Imagine the shade of red:
red shoes
red popsicles
red lipstick

red convertible
red apples
tricycles and wagons

"Color is like Food for the spirit... Plus it's not addictive or fattening!"
 Isaac Mizrahi 

For more normal scrap projects in RED visit
also linking to:   sewcanshe Saturdays