Saturday, June 15, 2019

Using the blues

back in the studio this week... to make blue flowering snowball blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Color of the month is blue, and I'm assuming dark and medium blues as there will be light blue as a monthly color later.
No surprise, I have a lot of blue scraps, so it was good to use some of them.
I really like using this template and the effect. When you lay them all out, it's fairly quick to sew.

I made 12 blocks, and it took a few hours while watching a rerun of Gilmore Girls. I do use a variety of tone on tone white and beige blocks but it doesn't show here. I worry the whites are too similar and boring.

Just like  with people, it's the variations in our looks, experiences, and personalities that keep life interesting.

Speaking of people, I quilted my orange petal woman, my orange Mona Lisa, and now am kind of stuck...
Do I keep this as a one-off piece, or do a series of stand alone flower ladies? I painted five other ladies as possibilities
It's a decision to be made before I finish the background quilting. If they go together I need to leave a margin for joining. Do I want a big quilt with people staring at me? Or ones I could hang alone each month.... endless choices to make!

How entertaining it is to make original work. I went to a small local quilt show yesterday and 90% of the quilts were made from patterns or kits. The original quilts stood out. I am making the flowering snowball blocks from a traditional block so I do enjoy working from the quilters who came before me, but... mostly it's more fun to create something from my heart.
It's more satisfying and exciting to me.
It's more restful to make something from traditional sources so that has it's place, but whether I'm writing, painting, beading, cooking, or quilt making it's better to express myself.
Know what I mean?

linking to:
 scrap happy Saturdays

Thursday, June 13, 2019

I Like Thursday #145

Hi y'all! Welcome to this week's list of likes! I like cows and wind sculptures that are cows.

I like grouping flowers in a pot, then watching them fill out and grow. I also like the colors here, purple pot with lime green creeping jenny, and red celosia.

I've enjoyed seeing the vegetables recovering from being put in the raised beds. I have high hopes for their producing before first snow!  I'll learn what can survive here.

I moved my easter eggs to the back yard for the turquoise color, and put one in the crab plant holder on the table
He looks kind of cross, no?
It's so nice to see summer after a winter of snow, and a spring of rain. I love flowers, and last weekend I found these 12 roses at the grocery store for $8. What a deal!
And they are healthy! Look at the pretty mix of color!

I like that my neighbor shared a raspberry lemonade mix with me, to make me drink more water! And she also told me she found out Johnson's baby oil cream repels mosquitoes. You can bet I'm going to try that!

I loved finding big ceramic pots and hanging baskets on sale at the grocery.
I like Amazing Race, Project Runway, Master Chef, and chopped Junior on TV.
I like watching the bachelorette, but the current one is such a mess I spend the hour yelling at the tv.

I'm enjoying my novels for summer reading, (especially forgotten garden) and quilting again. It's hard to go up to the studio in summer, with all that sunlight calling me outside. I liked going for a walk yesterday and meeting a neighbor who has formed a haven in her back yard.
 She took me on a tour of her flowers, and I loved her rustic birdhouse, fence and bush. She grew up in PA and her Dad made this. It's so nice to meet new people who share an interest with you!!
She had this plastic guard around her tomatoes to keep tomato worms off...
Related image
I love my art supplies. I have a great assortment now, paints, pencils, markers, brushes. I'm enjoying printing quotes to put on my pictures too. I still quilt and bead, but I'm having a love affair with paint on paper at the moment.
Making this art is influencing my writing,  how I look at objects and my quilt making.

I noticed this shadow on a walk, and loved the gradation of light to  dark as well as the organic image.

Last week, Shannon put some pretty pics of her trip to Scotland on her I Like post, and I painted one of them... fun!
 Diann at little penguins shared a hike picture on her I Like post, and I had to paint it too!

If you missed their original photos, check their blogs for last Thursday.

Milo's moment
I love my neighbors! Tonight while Daddy was trying to get the sprinklers to work, I ran off next door to play with the boys.
Hey! I'm a boy! I brought my ring toy, to make them jealous and want it.
 At one point all three boys held hands pulling together to get the toy away from me but I won the tug of war!It was hilarious, you should have been there!
I like my ring toy. First you gotta bite off all the fuzzy covering, then it's just great to carry around.

Even human puppies like it!

visit mama's friends also keeping lists of things they liked this week! Gotta keep paw-sitive! 

Linking to these parties!
Pink Saturday!

rosie and the boys nature pics  

Thankful Thursdays pet parade

Monday, June 10, 2019

the week ahead

Another colorful week ahead! Welcome to this week's Happy Homemaker post!

Weather in Aurora CO this week
It rained and hailed Saturday, which brought it cooler weather (70s during the days, 40's at night)
We've noticed it rains daily here.

beans and eggplant, holding on for life
 My vegetables have not been happy with the sudden cooler nights but I like to sleep cool so I'm happy about it.

To Do
always laundry
always mopping and dishes and straightening up
I really must put down the paints and go back to sewing this week.

Cake on a hot tin roof   which I want to like but is slightly slow and tedious to actually read although reading it a night puts me to sleep. score!
God and the afterlife reading on the back porch. A doctor writes from his experienced research
Forgotten Garden  reading together aloud in the evenings on the porch, when there's time
pile of magazines, which I enjoy but don't like to recycle so they pile up

the sunday story this time came out well I think. It's really short but used 11/12 prompt words
link: courage!

we found out about Agatha Raisin from an I Like Thursday (here on Thursdays) poster, a fun romp of a show, mysteries and quirky characters.
project runway ends this week, what a fun ride full of creativity this has been. I actually agree with the judges so far, but we'll see how the finale goes.
Amazing Race is awesome this time, I missed it on haitus!
Youtube tutorials on painting which leads to midieval and vintage clothing videos lol
I laughed at this woman's show on dressing in 1920

I painted her face because the woman in this entertaining video (how to dress like it's 1920) was so interesting to look at...
what I learned doing that: the woman is much prettier. I see now, from this still shot, that her eyebrows are longer, and more hair shows, but when I painted her it was while watching the video. Movement, the way a person handles themselves, the smiles and tilts of the head, all contribute to how they look in life. When taking a photo, or painting a portrait you get one shot at it. It's hard to capture the essence of a personality in a picture.
When I see a publicity photo of a movie star, then see them moving and talking in a movie, I often think they are much prettier/handsome in the movie.

way, way too much sugar. We got some sour cream cake donuts from the grocery, because I was there. DH shops from a list and will not veer from it. He loves a list, loves to check things off. Unfortunately I see grocery shopping like another creative exercise... what can I combine to make something fun to eat? Then money flows from our account like water.

pj's! hopefully that will change soon, although I never quite know how to dress here. The temps today are in the 70's but multiplied by the sun factor may feel like 90, then walking into the shade like 60, and when the wind picks up like 50. It's a constant putting on, peeling off sort of dressing here. 

Do not ever, EVER, have a yard sale. I am not a good yard sale doer. Nope. I saved stuff from the move (where we purged half or more of our belongings before leaving Maryland) that I decided should not have been moved, and put it out, and people were not feeling it. I made $5. Total.
My neighbors put out sofas, freezers, dive suits, even a standing scale (yikes!) and made moola from it.
Now I must pack it to give away, hoping someone will want the dresses with tags that look awful stretched across my lumpy frame. One woman picked up some nearly new hiking boots, asked about the price, I said $2. She threw (!) them down and turned away in disgust!

What did she want?

my watercolor version of iris
I have been inspired to paint from my friend's blog entries. I saw this quote somewhere along the way, and did a freeform (not drawn first) iris to go with. I also painted two others from inspiring photos shared on the I Like Thursday posts... I'll show them on Paint Party Friday later on.
I sure appreciate my friend's putting great photos on their blogs! And the friend's too!

Linking to
All Seasons 

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Sunday's Stories Courage!

Today's Sunday story comes from The Sunday Whirl (creativity prompts whether painting, writing or quilting challenges all  make us more creative)

There was no magic way to talk herself out of this situation this time. Nope.

Lean into the truth, her soul advised her. Have courage

Why is it a struggle to be vulnerable? Isn't it human nature to be vulnerable? To be real even though it's messy?

Be-real-be-real-be-real, the words repeating in her mind like a mantra.  It will be okay, he'll understand, you'll handle it together, he loves you, words to accompany the mantra like condiments.

She didn't like the tendency she had to worry, life was to be lived in the moment right? No worries of the future. Just trust the universe to support you if you're striving to live the right way.

Still, as she walked, she made up a story in her mind of what might have happened... there could be enough truth in it to carry the moment right? wrong... she was never happy stretching the truth, it was wrong and she knew it, and it never helped a situation to lie.

Nope, nothing to do but admit that she lost the phone again. The expensive phone that she begged her Dad for, the one with pink crystals on it. He didn't want to buy her one, and said she was too irresponsible for, even said she'd probably lose it. Oooo, she hated to admit he was right. Nothing to do but tell him now, just pull her courage around her like a coat.

"Dad? Can we talk?"

"Sure, but first, look what I found under the cushion on the sofa... it was lost and hungry, I heard it beeping at me... what's say we feed it while we chat? Now what did you want to tell me?"

"you're the best Dad, that's all!"

"I love you too honey"

Thursday, June 6, 2019

I LIke Thursday #144

at Denver's Botanical Gardens
Welcome to this week's list of "likes"
I like a fresh flower bouquet and loved the mix of purple Iris and yellow carnations.
The Iris are in bloom at the botanic gardens right now. So many gorgeous colors.

I liked that my friend Pat sent pics of her iris and then I painted them. Fun! It's challenging to capture the essence of a flower especially white sections. The  painting colors are more delicate in person.

I liked getting the orange flower girl ready to be quilted, so she will be done soon. I painted some flower girls in all the scrap colors so I hope to make them in fabric soon. Pics tomorrow!

 I Love the book The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. One of our library staff recommended it. The story line is intriguing and the writing lyrical.

I like the sun. It has rained daily for weeks here, not all day but sometime during the day.

I like finally being able to plant the vegetables... I think, I HOPE there is no more snow this summer!
We got these raised bed boxes from Lowes... they have a platform in them, and you add water via the tube and it wicks up to keep the vege hydrated. This box holds a white eggplant, a ichiban eggplant, lima beans and bush beans. I like the red wire trellis thaat folds around three sides of the box. The beans are already holding onto it. We also planted a zucchini (in the pot there) and in the other box, a tomato, basil, parsley, and bell pepper. We'll see how it goes.

I like fresh vegetables!

And the little individual servings of tapioca pudding, for dessert.

a different black and white cow!
I like cows... contestants on the Amazing Race this week had to decorate a real cow with flowers and lead her along a path.
lucky them!
I like sharing a book with my husband, reading aloud on the back porch after work. 

Milo's Moments
Mama is calling me a first responder lately. I have to be first. First on a walk, first to get to a friend's house, first one to catch the toy, first one to respond when another dog barks, first one always.
That's what I want.... but lately Mama is making me wait. Wait to go outside, wait til she wrenches my toy out of my mouth, wait to get my leash on.
I hate wait.
I am a first responder  why can't she get that ?

Now sit! Stay! visit Mama's friends keeping it paw-sitive this week! 

Linking to these parties!
rosie and the boys nature pics  

Thankful Thursdays pet parade

Monday, June 3, 2019

the week ahead gardens, coffee, dentists oh my!

The weather in Aurora, CO this week
the forecast is 80's during the day, 50's or so at night. Time will tell if the forecasters got it right.
It was hot, then rainy each day, then cool last week and weekend.

DH and I wrestled the new wicking raised boxes into a vegetable garden of sorts. YEA!
We had the heavy snow, then frost each night, but it seems to be summer now, so I planted a few seedlings. Lima and bush beans to help the white eggplant and japanese eggplant. Another box holds the tomato bush, bell pepper, parsley and basil. A separate pot holds the zuccini and another holds the chocolate mint. Right now at 9AM they are in shade but they all should receive afternoon sun.
Fingers crossed we didn't over fertilize them and they are hardy enough to survive CO wind and hail, fire hot sun, and cooler nights.

I also planted some marigolds in patio pots, to hopefully keep away some mosquitoes, which shouldn't even be here since it's so "dry" which it isn't really. I have doubts because mosquitoes were circling me as I planted.

over the weekend I changed out the closets to summer clothes. I kept out some warm clothes this time. I dusted all the ceiling fans even the one at the top of a two story family room, bu standing on the stairs and leaning over with a 6 ft swiffer!

three weeks ago, I cracked my two front teeth, which has really upset me, and must return to the dentist to see if I need a root canal along with three crowns (!!!) so I am hoping for good news.
And God's strength to face the dentist as I have a true phobia. It's always been painful, and with my childhood, I can hardly face having hands my mouth. Anyone relate to this or have a good answer?

I need to see about cleaning out the computer trash so it runs efficiently. It's old too.

DH tried to find a solution to my tv in the little studio space. I have it on top of a cabinet, he bought a wall mount, but it doesn't work anywhere. It's either too close to my peripheral vision as I sew, which is distracting to a visual artist) or behind me where I can't glance at it. On top of the cabinet is okay while I stand at the design wall or cutting table, but it's black screen when I glance up from the machine. High class worries.

Read the great book checked out last week, recommended by staff:

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. SO good. Unfortunately DH and resumed porch stories, where we take turns reading aloud a novel in the evenings. This means I have to wait for him before continuing the story. A 4 year old girl is mysteriously put on a boat by herself, leaving England to Australia and the story unfolds...
I"m trying a new mystery at night, about a baker in New Orleans. I'm not into it but there are lots of books in the series.I think it's called cake on a hot tin roof

I got excited about making my orange petal woman, and got her ready to stitch down yesterday so I'd love to do that.
just a paint doodle

I'm painting daily now, and expressing myself in paint.
It's lovely to look at a blank white page, and touch a wet brush to it and watch color spread.
I may paint like a four year old, but my inner four year old was a lovely expressive girl!

LOVED Queens of mystery on BBC. Now found Agatha Raisin mysteries to watch together. Whee! A surly band manager buys a home in the Cotswalds and tries to fit in to country life. Fun!
I'm also watching Project Runway as it winds up this season, the stupid bachelorette because I can't stop but I do have doubts of her sanity, The Amazing Race is wonderful and back! I watch the Housewives on Bravo, don't judge, I'm not alone here.
I am starting back on Mrs Maisel and just watched one episode twice as it's so wonderful! The family went to the Catskills for the summer, and hilarity ensues. It's just so 50's and cute, and funny and cleverly written and acted.

nothing special. We realized we are overwhelmed with sudden financial expenditures (car, teeth, taxes, insurance) so we are eating too much comfort food.

I had a great lesson for you til I forgot it.
I will tell you that I've been going to a neighborhood coffee group on Wednesday mornings to meet people. We were all having lots of fun til the restaurant (here in the neighborhood) decided we weren't spending enough money between 9 and 10:30 AM. They said they don't want us to come in unless we buy breakfast so the organizer said we should buy breakfast.
This is the land of early risers as the sun is up by 5, and most of us have had our breakfast before coming.
There is no one else in there,  but they said we take up room golfers need. The golfers do not come in for breakfast or even coffee, they may  pick up one to go so the room is open for business but we are the only ones in there for the most part, lots of empty tables.
It's a public restaurant on the public golf course.
It feels mean spirited and short sighted as people came who had never known about it, and could, like us, go for lunches or dinners now.
The manager said, they didn't want all the older retired people there not spending money.

blink blink
I wrote a response asking if they make the golfers purchase food too, and if this is legal. I mean, if I wanted to meet a friend there for coffee, we'd be allowed. We're talking  two tables of friends having coffee.
Mean spirited, and once again driven by personal profit. They can be closed or open, if open they are a public restaurant. If they want a cover charge to enter, that should be on everyone not just us.

And a stupid mistake in marketing. Good will goes a long way in the service industry, no?
I'm angry these days about so much that having a good thing, forming a community of neighbors, taken away is the final straw.
I may go missing as I chain myself to the door with a protest sign, saying "let the older adults have their coffee!!!!"
 well, better get at it! Milo is ready to walk

Sunday, June 2, 2019

sunday stories

From Sundays whirligig, these words:

dance, need, care, tumble, salt, yet, best, dead, bind, dread, crying, wind

He found himself crying by the tree in the front yard. How embarrassing as a strong man. Or was it?

Loss is universal.

Salty tears tumbled from his kind eyes. Eyes that had witnessed many moments of love and grief over the years.

Now the tears were being dried by the wind swirling around the tree and the steadfast man who stood there.

His best friend was gone, not just dead but gone from his life. He would no longer feel the soft touch of that little nose pushing into his hand as he walked.

 He had no little dependent creature to take care of, no one to greet him and care that he came home.

He swayed a bit while keening inside.

It felt unreal still, even though each person knows there is a limit to time on earth, they dance while here, dance with the feeling of connection and joy.

That is all we have actually, the moment, then the memory of that moment.

Friday, May 31, 2019

paint party Friday... learning, trying new things, expressing myself

The love affair with paint continues... I am painting every day. I try new ways to approach it in my sketchbook, using new to me supplies like the white gel pen, and these tombow watercolor pens...
which do blend with water but lay down a sort of harsh line on paper, so blend immediately.

I am learning from videos too, as well as looking for sketchbook prompts. Yesterday was draw animals in clothes
Loving words, I chose alliteration... bird in bathing suit, poodle in pants and seal in a sweater

I liked the lessons by Jay Lee and am combining those with some song lyrics or quotes I printed then tore out.

I choose different fonts and sizes so even that's a fun exercise. I have saved a list of quotes to use in future. Sometimes I run the side of the tombow pen along the torn edge to accent it.
Jay Lee demonstrated trees one day, so I tried it too
When my inner critic comes out, and says "you draw and paint like a 4 year old!" I have to remember it's all learning, and experiencing, not about comparing myself to others.

I was struck by the bare branches of our tree out back, with black birds on it. I had just purchased a new KOI travel paint box, with metallic paint so I tried it out. It makes a wonderful effect but the light has to hit it just right to see it. The magic lamp at the bottom is awesome in person. I used the tombow brown marker for the tree, then went over it with a wet brush to soften the lines.
I also enjoyed a bit of pentangle doodling to make an edge.
I suppose this is on it's way to being mixed media. A torn painted (by Sonja) coffee filter, a magazine cut-out in poodle shape, and song lyrics. Then since my sketchbook and journal writing are both a part of me, I combined them, writing around the images my words for the day. I like how they formed a kind of decorative border in aqua uni-ball ink.
Whether painting on paper or fabric, beading, writing or other media, it's all good. All expressing myself and learning what works for me. Artists must be brave, to show who they are so openly.

Linking to:
Pink Saturday!
off the wall Fridays

Thursday, May 30, 2019

I Like Thursday #143

hey, where's the best place to find some poodle art???
Welcome to this week's list of likes!
We went to two craft festivals last weekend in Stapleton near Denver. It was a pretty day and all three of us enjoyed being together.
I asked this guy to let me take a pic of his shirt... quilters... can you relate?
While Milo was checking out the critter art, I spied a flamingo...
and a cow
teapot being held by a tin man. Cows and flamingos what could be better?

I met many very interesting artists, and it was intriguing how many were engineers or had been! DH could relate to them easily.

How about I show you some of what we saw?

 I liked this Michigan artist for his circles... the eternal shape, and also loved by quilters...

Andy Carter of  the was very knowledgeable about varieties of trees, and how time changes the look of the rings. The colors were so pretty in person, organic, swirly, like watercolors.

He does mail order, this is his card...

Whew! Glad Mama trimmed my hairs, it was hot in the sun. I had to take a little rest while she looked and had a bottle of water. Then I chewed the lid off the bottle and was ready to meet some more people and dogs. I liked most all of them, look at this little dingo-dude chilling under a tree.
I really liked being petted by this lady, so I laid down and let her get at my back.

My advice at craft shows? Never ever turn down an ear scratch or a back rub!
This lady said I was a really good boy! Hear that Daddy?
a GOOD boy!

We all enjoyed a visit with this stained glass artist, and I did a mini-interview with her while basking in the color!
Barb has been working with glass since the '70's. She worked as an engineer but one day decided to make glass art full time. She works out of her home, dedicating a spare bedroom for "clean" work, and using the garage for the "dirtier" work of glass cutting. I always want to know about studio space.

I asked how she handles roadblocks. She said she usually has 4 or 5 pieces going at once (quilters... you can relate right?) and when she hits a difficult spot, she walks away for a bit, or works on another piece.
 Her companion said, sometimes she even comes over to visit her for a day or two before returning to solve a design problem. She said rarely does she scrape it all off but she has done that to start over.
 Her process involves  laying out the colored glass onto clear glass, building the design as she goes intuitively. Her colors are clear and bright, with contrast. She likes all colors. People tend to return for more pieces after living with one for a bit. As we talked about the design concepts of line, repetition, movement and her use of color, I felt a real affinity with her. I told her I've been enjoying watercolor again to refresh my creativity, and she said she had been considering working with it too.
Ah, it's my opinion that working with different mediums is a good thing, all creative work adds to the whole person's artwork, right? Do you enjoy working in different mediums?

I liked talking to one acrylic artist about her process, no pictures but she uses a persian plaster over doily's to build up texture before painting, and she made some awesome chair seats with belts!

We enjoyed looking through some really modern kaleidoscopes while talking to the artist. He was an engineer too, and the exacting nature of his work showed that.
A very modern jeweler from Taos, Cristina Radu is an environmental engineer and turned us on to a movement called Long Now project. I checked it out and it's just fascinating.
waiting for Daddy to return with lunch in the park
 She is passionate about her day job and her art work both! And loves dogs too. 

We met many dogs and kids that day, giving Milo a very fun outing. At one point he closed his eyes, and a little 2 year old squatted down to pet him. He opened his eyes, the boy reached into his granola sample bag and gave a handful to my pup. Then he stood up and walked off eating his cereal! Milo said, hey! What's your hurry?
I liked chatting with this couple who just adopted the doodle there. After he and Milo played a bit, they both laid down trusting each other to have their backs! If people could make friends so easily! Well, I guess we did as we enjoyed a relaxing moment chatting too. This was their first dog, the man saying he always wanted a poodle, so when they got the chance to adopt this two year old they did!

We also liked returning to the botanical gardens to see if the Iris was up yet. All of our gardens have taken a hit from deep wet snow and hail lately.
some were out in their Sunday finery, and some were still buds. I love iris, and bought some at Trader Joes after we went to the gardens. Here are a couple of pics of what I liked there this visit

this is an esplaired apple tree!
and tomorrow's paint post will include some pics of flowers. I've really loved painting again. Seeing the colors mix on the paper is soothing and exciting at the same time.
Quickly, I've loved the raspberry rugelach from Trader Joe's, the BBC show Queens of Mystery, watching numerous painting videos on youtube, eating Thai food, having DH home for the three day holiday. 
Now please enjoy these fine folks also sharing their likes for the week. Let me know if you do a post, I'll add you in too. 

Linking to these parties! Awe Mondays
rosie and the boys nature pics  
Thankful Thursdays pet parade