Monday, September 30, 2019

the week ahead... here comes October!

flamingo and poodle in repose
The weather in Aurora CO this week
I'd love it to be 65 for a few weeks, but it's more like hot, then cool, then hot, then frost. It's on a cooling trend although there are many 85F days still. The evenings are much cooler and there's a chance of frost in a week or two.The wind has been so strong, and persistent for days that it blows things off the porch, the report was 35 mph sustained winds. Feels like 50.
shattered in the winds on Sunday, wah!
We are noticing the trees starting to color up and may be on a mountain expedition today to see something new along with color changes. I'm writing this on Sunday so who knows what we did.

To do this week
The washer has been broken, and the repair person is scheduled for Thursday so here's hoping it's not too much money and we won't need a new one.
I got a shirt at the Manitou springs show, that ruined other clothes by bleeding it's dye. I had pre washed it twice already. Called the maker who first said she'd send me a new one, that she also saw that dye running. Then she changed her mind and said to send it back at my expense, and she'd send something to replace it but not pay for shipping. Oy vey. Got to call her and discuss this again.
sort through the studio projects and take notes on finishing some of them.
After the washer is fixed, and I hope it can be, I need to look through recent purchases and wash the fabrics so I can use them. I want to start a Halloween quilt this week.
I need to finish cleaning my cherry pits to make a cold bag but I can't remember how to clean them.

find a long arm quilter to pay to quilt my lattice quilt as it's just too large for my little home machine
look through my library books before they're due

finished Jodi Thomas nightime reading Little teashop on Main and loved the characters.  Set in Modern day, a slice of life story. Listening to Secrets by Kate Morton on disc in the studio, very good mystery that goes back and forth between characters and their time lines. My library books on beading and quilting are just terrific this time. What artists see is a real lesson in observation. What beaders look for in inspiration is not only eye candy but an insight into other artist's work.

My fave dramas are back, This is Us, New Amsterdam, Real housewives of Dallas... and survivor. I LOVE that show, and it's gonna be really good this season. I find myself drawn to one woman especially... she seems deserving, funny, capable and kind. She'll be a target as the others know a likeable person could win over them. Not watching Dancing with the stars.
We finished the first GBPottery throw down and it was great... we have two more seasons to go.
GB Baking show... we are at the finale of last season and I just love the contestants. Wish they could all win somehow. When we're done we can watch the current season so that is great.
Doc Martin is being streamed on Acorn one a week now too.
I'm watching youtube tutorials on painting and drawing.

This video of baby animals lowered my blood pressure by half. And made me go Aweeee, then laugh!
what do you mean frost warning, it's 85!
I am back to hand sewing on my hexie star blocks, and in the studio,
and painting
my hand made cards

we don't spend a lot of time on food around here. What's quick and semi-nutritious is important. Each night we have a protein source (fish or chicken) a fresh vege and a starch. My vegetables are looking scratched up, don't know why. The tomato plant is finally making some tomatoes and I planted four elephant ear bulbs. One is going well but isn't tall. Another put out one leaf but is alive, the other looks like it could have a new leaf 3 months after planting, one just dried up. All getting the same soil and care.

A neighbor said it may be time to cut it all down anyway. What? seems like it is just going finally.
love fall flower colors!

Image result for take care of the earth quotes
go look at the facts

Remember, we need clean air and water, and bees to pollinate and we are responsible to take care of our earthly home. It is no longer possible to ignore our impact in a chase for more profit for the few.
Is it?
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” -Genesis 2:15 
Linking to
https://comedy-plus.wordless wednesday Awe Mondays
happy homemaker monday

Saturday, September 28, 2019

sewing Saturday... still blue (scraps)

see the little scissors on the zip?
back to the blues scrap bin this week.
I bought a sewing box at a quilt show, for my friend Mary's birthday. I asked the maker to make one for my friend Nancy with pugs on it and she declined.
So I figured I had to figure out how to make one and did. 
from the scrap bin
I think the pattern may be available on etsy if you want to hunt it down. (this just in, someone said the pattern was available at fat quarter shop here
Note: it was difficult to sew with angles and thickness of supplies. I had to hand stitch the binding down at the end. It doesn't fold as well as the one I bought too. I used peltex but suspect the other one used bonsal.
The zipper separates so you can store tools in it to go to a retreat, then unzip and voila!
a little tray to hold things next to the machine!Please make it easy on yourself and hunt down the pattern! I don't mind some glitches in the finished product. 

Aside from that, I finished (possibly) the blocks for my king sized lattice quilt... 
and sewed them in groups of 3X3 into sort of 9 patches. Easier to cope with on the design wall. I'm now sewing the remaining blocks, mostly blues, 
into 9 patches, then I can start to sew all of them together into the top. I suspect I'll prefer sewing an additional 76 blocks to give myself more hangover on the bed, but there's a chance I'll put a border instead if I find a good one. 

I went to a sewing expo with my friend Mary yesterday, purchased a few items like some more neutral hand dyes, and a flannel Christmas panel to make a TV watching throw. It was so stimulating to see the expo and think of all the things I could make... right? We'll all finish our projects right? 


Linking to:
design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts

Friday, September 27, 2019

watching paint dry...

Welcome to Paint Party Friday! I've been enjoying my supplies this week!

My local art supplies store had a buy one, get one free brushes offer, so I got two to try, both a mix of squirrel hair and synthetic. A black velvet round jumbo (size small) and a 3/4 Princeton flat chisel tip.
I also invested in a new to me paint set, by Kuretake Gansai Tambi, and have used it a lot since.

Sampling the colors in my sketchbook
I like the intensity but I do have to mix colors every time I paint. Usually I must layer color from my paint pans of KOI but these are so intensely one value. I LOVE the shades of lavender I've been able to achieve with it... and have been experimenting with the big flat brush for leaves, water, and petals.

There's not a lot online about ways to use it, and since I am working small now it's challenging but I love it! The strokes are bold, and push the color around in interesting planes.
Lettering practice from Shayda Campbell, and water scene a quick use of new wide flat brush and new paints

For a long time I used water filled brushes, but am in love with regular brushes now. I do not enjoy having a pan of water nearby though... I am a clumsy painter.

For some reason I just love rinsing out the brushes, then dragging them along a tissue as I twirl them to reset the points for drying. Funny what feels satisfying in life isn't it? I also like seeing the mix of brushes and pens next to my work space.

I've been tearing mixed media paper in half, then folding that half into quarters to make cards. It gives me a chance to try an idea and make something useful to send a friend. 
Note my "chop" on the back!
while watching a tutorial this week, the artist was unhappy with the way her paint bled... oh no! She said, it's not working today!.

First of all she's brave to do a  tutorial and post it if it's not "perfect"
Second of all, it wasn't wrong, it just wasn't what she wanted to happen, or expected to happen. I thought the bleeding color was lovely.
There is some kind of lesson there, right?
snail is for my friend Joann in the Netherlands
beginning to look like halloween!
Love the shades from my Tambi paint set!

As my poor sunflowers began to droop in the vase this week, I tried doing a little sketch each day on the calendar.

I enjoyed this video this week too...

I LOVED this drawing video... so helpful about drawing each day, without  pressure

I went back and listened a second time, and made notes in my sketchbook

 as I felt it was important info. The gist is to allow yourself to grow, and expecting perfection in drawing doesn't always encourage that growth... and to observe. It's just as important a step.

Linking to:

Thursday, September 26, 2019

I Like Thursday #160

Welcome to this week's list of likes! 
I love having mums and a pumpkin on the porches again. I actually saw a maple tree in full color this week. Early... but some neighbors have already said the S word (snow) Halloween decorations are showing up on porches already!

art supply store decorations

I enjoyed visiting the art supply store, and finding two new brushes (two for one!)  and a set of paints. I liked painting fall items with my new brushes and paints. SO pretty, the fall leaves, pumpkins, and colors.
this week's cow picture from art supply store Guireys

I loved the murder mystery night held at our clubhouse. The organizers brought in professional actors, plied us with delish wines, grouped us at tables to work in teams, allowed us to mix and get to know each other better. The mystery was set in the 1920's and lots of people dressed up. We missed the answer, but had a lot of fun, laughed a lot, and got to know two more couples. Neighbors were assigned roles to play, and one man I've chatted with before was named Little Willie (who's father was big willie) so I had to go up, crack wise, and touch his arm saying "just wanted to touch a little willie" Oy vey! It's a miracle I have any friends at all.

I liked looking through my library collection this week. The above book is a fascinating discussion of what artists think of museum art.  I also am listening to another Kate Morton mystery (the secret keeper) while working in the studio.

I enjoyed working on the final blocks needed for my lattice quilt, the binding on my SW quilt, and figuring out the pattern for a zippered box I got for a friend's birthday. I couldn't locate the pattern so I'm making one up on my own from the finished box.

I liked drinking coconut water this week. For some reason I feel it's healthy.

I loved The Good Doctor's return show this season!! And Survivor started again, whee! New Amsterdam, and This is Us are also back.

I like Fall magazines with pretty pictures of what my house could look like if table tops were cleared off.

I liked the fall festival in Parker, a small one but it had music, and artists in the park.

 I met a woman who is going to all the craft shows she can this summer, because she wants to start doing the circuit. She studied art in school, and became an advertising executive but now that she's retired she wants to return to watercolors and sell them. I loved how chatty she was, and that she approached me!
We also saw a bouvier there, very rare breed but lovely big dogs.

While I don't like a trip to the Vet's, I was relieved Milo's ear issues were allergy yeast not a "foxtail" plant that works it's way into a dog's skin.
Help! The doctor touched my ears! I screamed!
MIlos Moments
Hi Y'all!
I like scrambled eggs with cheese. I like cheese. I liked playing with Little Murphy this week, and finding a new rope toy in his yard, with a bone on it!!! Why doesn't my mama buy  one of those for me?
(the vet said it could break your teeth, that's why, Milo)
(crazy talk Mama!)
I like finding tennis balls when I'm out on a walk. I carry them a bit, then drop them when I'm done... which is fun. I'm not responsible for them like when I bring my ring toy out for a walk. Plus some other dog can find it and feel excited about it!
I liked going with my pawrents to a fall craft festival in Parker, and being admired by so many people, one artist was a vet by day and said standard poodles are her favorite patients!

I saw a BIG dog there who barked at a skateboard, so I barked too, in solidarity brother!
(mama has no appreciation for doggie solidarity barking)Then I saw a small poodle who looked like me but not so nice, snapping at my nose!
So, after you leave a comment for my mama, please visit these people keeping it happy this week!  

Linking to these parties!
rosie and the boys nature pics

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.

Linking to

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.

Linking to
Midweek makers wednesdays
design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts