Monday, August 31, 2020

Monday already?


don't look back!
I've been feeling a bit angry lately... too many stressors and lack of safety, groceries arriving out of their date from the store, people making noise just for the sake of it, heat, failing appliances, my cursor hops around the page at random so when I type it wreaks havoc around the computer,  modern technology being a brat...

Anger thearpy | The 5th Wave

So it's Monday, again.  Old patterns define Monday as the start to the week, just like January 1st is the start to a year, and September is the start of Fall and school. All very artificial in today's world. 

But, artificial or not, it's how I look at it, and I make lists of things to do this week.

 lowering expectations during scary times....

An accent | The 5th Wave 

I would like to keep ahead of meal time... suddenly we're "hangry" and have to do all the prep work to make a meal... again... all day long. I do not love cooking, but enjoy eating, so as they say, "it is what it is" 

I'd like to create today, to paint in the style of Braque but using a very limited palette. To sew using my painted fabrics. To write a chapter in my novel or start Milo's mannars which has been in my head and needs writing. I'd like to walk several times today, and not have maskless people walk/run/bike/skateboard, right. up. to. us. 

I'd like to make turkey reuben sandwiches for lunch using the turkey that came yesterday with today's use by date on it. (whole food is not careful here) and to make potato salad out of the leftover boiled potatoes. I'd like to talk with a friend by phone so we both remember we are connected despite distance. 

This week, I want to climb the laundry mountain to victory! 

The floors need mopping, the fresh peaches are going bad, the dining room table is still covered in random stuff no one really knows what to do with. 

I realized I have several elephants collected or made over the years. I thought my love of elephants was recent, from youtube videos that keep me calm enough to carry on... but apparently not. I'd like to draw out an applique pattern to make my own elephant quilt, then bead it all over, and do handstitching on it. 

I am slogging through an ebook that is just okay. Life is short, there are many books to read and some of them can be safely downloaded into an ebook. It takes perseverance to find them and I am a slow reader at night, but I do have one I could switch to... why does that make me feel guilty? (more left undone I think) 

So here's to Monday, with it's lists and expectations, it's chance to start again. What's going on with you?


Saturday, August 29, 2020

sewing saturday... purple impro log cabins and two finishes!


Welcome to this week's sewing round up! Starting with my two little friends. 
I LOVE elephants and watch videos to calm myself... so when I saw someone made an elephant applique quilt I began searching the internet for patterns. 
I decided to download two free coloring book pages to make a pattern, and then thought, how about a felt stuffie? I have some cute felt scraps in dots, and pink with white dots...and found a free pattern which I put on word to enlarge a bit. I cannot find the pattern online again, and the maker did not put their name on the page, but you can look for them online. 

You will need a little experience putting in gussets. I added in some crystal eyes, and some floral embellishments, a metallic thread tail and they are my studio mates now!
The color of the month at RSC is purple, and Angela encourages us to make something using our purple scraps so... back to the purple improv log cabins:


little scraps, probably should be thrown out, become these lovely uneven log cabins. Amazingly enough the white bin is getting pretty low!

when they were done, I just sewed the really small ones together and look who showed up! 

Looks like a whale to me!

then these starts to an improv landscape of purple blossoms in grass... can you see it?

the big finish this week was this small artwork
I wanted to do a trial for a larger blossom quilt,  and I learned a lot. On freezer paper I sketched out a heart and star then drew swooping lines over that intersecting the image. I wanted to see if a change of fabrics would interrupt the shape, and it all worked out great!


I carefully cut each segment out, and used it as a pattern on fabric that was already backed with fusible. 

as I cut them, using scraps so color didn't matter, I put it back in place. Then I put each piece onto a foundation muslin and fused it down . I learned I should not butt them up against each other but allow for some overlap next time.

I replaced the pattern as I did this. Then it was time to layer with batting and backing and quilt it!
I used neon rayon thread and a satin stitch around the swooping lines. I used a variety of colors, and stitched in straight line echo changing directions to emphasize the lines of design, then free motion spirals and pebbles for fun. It's about 9" X 12". Trim after quilting

and face, meaning sew binding to edges, and pull the whole seam to back so you don't see binding.


iron on some crystals and done... now for the blossom quilt in my pink flower series!

don't you love it when things turn out to make you happy? This makes me happy!
patchwork Sunday          

Friday, August 28, 2020

a painting and a drawing


So, it all started with a post from the Writer's Almanac this week... mentioning Georges Braque. I remember I like his work, and wanted to learn more about him, so I did a little research...

On Georges Braque Artist of Cubism 

I looked and looked through his artwork, to see why I'm drawn to his style, and what makes his style so definable to me... 

pablo picasso, georges braque and the advent of cubism 

 I decided it was the hard edges, or planes, with color dragged away from them... kind of like last week's leaves painting I did. I got out the prismacolor watercolor pencils and did a quick still life of a pink flower. My goal was to be sparse with detail, but capture some planes of shape.

sometimes I blended the pencil colors, and the whole thing was pretty simple...

just pencil lines
til I added water.  I wet the area just away from the line, the way I wanted the paint to travel, then wet the line dragging the color toward the wet paper...

finished version
Well, then... 

Not so simple after all, but very impressionistic to me. I love the slashes of color and how they blend out, I like the odd vase, the stark table, the very simple flower shape. I went back after it dried and added in white highlights with posca pen.

Then I wondered if I could capture the planes of a reclining  poodle

and without overthinking it, got out a pencil and scrap paper. I will try this with the pencil technique on better paper, but I like it.

I'm finding a style... it's quite simple compared to people who sketch in detail with lots of shading. I like this not that I won't continue to study other styles. 

In fact, I found a show on youtube called the Forger's Masterclass... three people are taught how to paint in the style of a master painter, so it discusses the painter's style in great detail. I watched that after doing this exercise, and plan to watch the one on Braque. I imagine I'll enjoy watching this show on all the great painters. 

this week I did a small fiber piece, in sort of a painterly style too... more tomorrow on how I made it...

I feel this follows along in the simple, planes kind of style too although this was made before the painting or research on Braque! Must be where I'm headed...

linking to

Thursday, August 27, 2020

I like Thursday #208


Welcome to this week's list of likes... amidst all the stress, we strive to find joy and comfort, right?

1) I like my mantel... and feel like I have my own gallery exhibit of recent work to enjoy!


2)I like that I found a volunteer petunia in the planter holding one of my little bean plants


I loved seeing actual fruit on the tomato plant this week!

3) It's been hot, nearly 100 F every day for a long time now, and smoky from 4 out of control wild fires in CO plus one blowing in from California. I can't be outside without getting side effects from the smoke but we went out to water the vege and DH found four little tiny tomatoes trying to grow!! Monika told me to flick/thump the plants to start the fruit. It worked on this one but the other one just cried, "stop hitting me! Isn't it enough I'm too hot, and can't drink enough ?" and the flowers just wither on the plant.The beans are kind of withering too, not ripe to pick but looking dried out. 

Fine Dining

4)we found english muffins this week at the store, so with butter and melted cheddar, and a side of turkey sausage, we had a good breakfast. 

We also made spaghetti sauce with turkey sausage because that's what they had, and the next night we made lasagna with the left over sauce, ricotta cheese, spices, spinach, mozzarella and parm cheeses. Yum! We have enough for several more meals... win win. The sausage was spicy but on the lasagna tasted great!


room for one... only...

for several nights there was only one, original, bird sleeping over... what happened to the others??

5) Chatted with several friends this week, what happiness!! zoomed with Joy! emailed with others, connections... it's a good thing. 

6) I joined a lovely link party called T is for Tuesday, and am getting to know some really wonderful women through that! My post this week came out good,  with some Doobie Brothers music too, I'd love you to see it HERE


7) I finished a couple books, and read another Ellie Alexander but it was quite short and our library doesn't have many of hers in Ebook form, sad. 


8)I finished the first "book and scone society" book in the series (I had just listened to #2 out of order) and am waiting to hear the third book. For now I'm listening to Susan Wiggs story  Oyster Sewing Society. I love listening to audio books in the studio.

I don't like the hunt for ones to hear, but have enjoyed most all of the ones so far.

9)TED talks... David Brooks  on happiness


10)I love the pink ukelele dh found for me!! I haven't played it yet tho...   I like that dh can take his guitar lessons on zoom... here he is in his office...


11) I found this series on youtube, called absolute history, story of  building a castle and am watching #3. I plan to go back and watch all 5 in the series... fascinating account of historians building a castle with the same techniques as originally used. This episode is in how a castle would have been painted, decorated and used inside. Plus how the tiles were formed. We are used to seeing them as relics but they were plastered inside and painted bright colors, with tapestries on the walls!

 just interesting

12) On August 15 in 1843, the amusement park known as Tivoli Gardens opened in Copenhagen, Denmark. It's the second oldest amusement park in the world; the oldest is in nearby Klampenborg. Denmark's King Christian VIII agreed to grant the charter to the park's founder, Georg Carstensen, after Carstensen pointed out that "when the people are amusing themselves, they don't think about politics." He designed it mainly as a pleasure garden, with flowers, caf├ęs, theaters, and bandstands set in a lovely park setting. Today, almost none of Carstensen's original park remains; in 1943, Nazi sympathizers bombed it, burning most of the buildings to the ground, but rebuilding started immediately and the park reopened just a few weeks later.

In 2009, Tivoli Gardens became the first amusement park to operate entirely on wind-generated power.


13) painting post tomorrow, here's a tease... 


Sewing post on Saturday with lots to share... a tease....I LOVE elephants! Now I have two in studio!


Milo here, I like to chase things... like critters.... and I've seen some mighty large ones this week. There's a set of raccoons that hang out in front of our house at night... you outta see 'em! I don't start anything because I'm smart and they are just about as big as a big poodle!

I like to be outside in case there are bunnies or squirrels to chase too... but... it's been too hot. The smoke makes me sneeze and my ears hurt too... so I only chase bunnies on our nature hunts. 

Mama: er, Milo? those are just walks for you to do business, not hunts

Milo: well, you say tomato, I say tomahto... humans have the weirdest ideas!

now sit! Stay! visit these people also keeping lists this week!  (who also has a tute on the new blogger!)

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

T is for Tuesday really strong coffee tempered with cream...


 yesterday, a friend of mine and I talked by phone... and during the lively conversation, we talked a bit about age. I am not good at telling a person's age. I guess it doesn't mean too much to me... some young people are old, some older people are very young, and I tend to see character in someone's face rather than age. 

For that reason, and some others, I don't much like plastic surgery just to change yourself. I don't think big lips or a smaller nose make you look better. 

I think I might have always felt this way... I'm attracted to people who have passion for the arts, music and dance. 

They see beyond themselves. 

I thought about things I've done, stages I've gone through, how I felt when engulfed in those stages... and would have liked to tell my younger self to relax a bit. I came of age with some mighty fine people. People who cared about others, about human (and living things) rights. People with a passion to do good. I went to college originally to become a surgeon, but moved into social work. 

Passion. I also loved to dance, act, sing, paint, laugh, talk, and feel ocean breezes cooling my damp skin while walking along the shore. I liked palm trees and flamingos, cochina shells under my feet, the smell of coppertone lotion, the sounds of the Doobie Brothers playing on radios... 

 They are still here, still passionate, still using their talents. I still hear them, and am transported back to my college days when I worried about a career path, about being too pudgy, about what to wear, about what people thought about me, about where I'd go when I grew wings.

I'm still me.

I've been through so much in life, made a lot of decisions that were neither good nor bad, just needed to be lived with... 

The 20-something girl who yelled at me last week, has no idea who I am, what I know, what experiences I've had... she feels like she is the whole world and should be the whole world. She yelled at me because her dog got out and chased us, and we told her to catch the dog. 

My country is confused right now... values are skewed.... real beauty is ignored,  and purpose is too. 

Is it possible to really look at other people and see them, not their lips or other unimportant bits, not their color or age, but them... the part of them that is real?

and remember to listen to the music....

Linking to:

T stands for Tuesday...  

Saturday, August 22, 2020

sewing Saturday Two finishes and two starts!


LOTS of pretty fabric work done this week... maybe the smoke from 4 wildfires kept me inside?
This is #6 in my pink flower series of 12" challenge quilts. The final stitches went on this week while listening to the audio book by Ellery Adams (secret book and scone society series)
When you see a finished quilt, you don't always realize all the hundreds of decisions made while constructing it... 

It started with my tiny 2" watercolor squares on the design wall...then sewing those together matching corners and keeping them oriented correctly

how to quilt it and finish the edges. This time I sewed a tiny strip all around and pulled the top to the back in a facing. But it needed more definition, so I got out a specialty thread that looks like beads when couched (appliqued) down 
To emphasize the flower idea, I used hand dyed thick embroidery thread from ArtFabric to do a large chain stitch on the surface in petal shapes...
when I put it on the wall and stood back I realized the stitching needed definition so I took a darker hand dyed thread, and, after breaking a needle trying to outline the stitching through the peltex, decided to do a half hitch knot around some areas of the chain stitch... 
and it worked! Of course I only did this to some of the stitching, to lead the viewer to notice the blossom but leave some of it less distinct where they could fill in the blanks themselves. I think this is one reason we like impressionism, because it encourages us to put ourselves into the artwork.

Please look back now at the finished piece at the top, and see what I mean...
I also finished the bonus HST piece started last week... if you look at last Sat's post you'll see I chose the off center design for this month's purple HST's that were cut off making the lozenge blocks
Again, lots of decisions... I sewed the tiny 1.5" squares into the bullseye first. It was 7" X 10" and needed more,
since the handpainted  fabric with flowers was on the design wall, I realized it would look fun with this... so the challenge was in letting myself cut it up! Better on a finished piece than in a drawer, right?
Here it is quilted in, with iron on rhinestone diamonds and baugettes! So cute showing the words Imagine and create!
It was a big decision about a border fabric too... but the gradated purple flower scrap in the drawer was nice along the edge
 fussy cut to match on both sides.              The quilting was pretty simple, with purple sulky bumpy metallic thread turquose halogram thread, and the sulky mostly behaved itself, I did have to rip out one section after seeing the weird tension on the back...but I used up the old sulky and that is very satisfying!
I couched a metallic purple braid along one line for definition and sparkle, bound it in a tiny black line and am quite satisfied with it! Here is a photo of four of the little bonus HST pieces done this year... a good design project for me
The design wall is wonderfully full at the moment. I decided to stop everything and try Joy's little 4" amazing star blocks, with some Halloween scraps, 
Which gets me working on this year's Halloween quilt!
In looking for borders for the purple piece, I pulled this lovely fabric and might make a simple applique piece with it. That painted heart is also calling my name to work on... 
 Like my purple piece says... remember to Play!

 Linking to
patchwork Sunday                    
oh Scrap Sundays