Thursday, 28 February 2013

Remember THIS WIP?

I started this piece quite a while ago and sort of got distracted and kind of  fed up with it- but I rarely quit! I will never say never- but rarely. SO... here it is again! I have dismembered it, lopping the left edge of it off and I have been quilting- and quilting------------and QUILTING the right hand square today. I am on a tea break at the moment . We are housebound today, awaiting a call from Ma Bell . Our phone died last night during the storm and we think it is because moisture got into the connection outside because it is fine today. Anyway, here we sit- me quilting, DH practising his piano.
Here's what I have done to this!
I have removed the left edge and will use it for something else- more later. Unfortunately, you cannot see the quilting very well but I will post pics of that later on. I am only on a break. I need to get to work again soon.
Here's what got chopped!
I am teaching a multi media class in a couple of weeks and think I will use this strip as my base for embellishing. I'll square it up and get it quilted before that and then I can play and demonstrate different techniques and materials. You see! Never say die is my motto- well, ONE of my mottoes! 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Enoki, Step 2

I began this little project yesterday by painting the Evolon all over in a swirl of pale yellows and pinks . I had already fused Steam a Seam Lite to the back side. Then I drew my Enoki on the back side of the piece on the SaS paper and cut the whole thing out. Last night, the last thing I did was to outline the individual fungi with a brown fabric marker.

Today, I mixed up several sorts of paints- regular craft acrylic, Setacolor and finally, just for a giggle, Dye na Flo. The Dye na Flo DID work but the colours were far too strong. Setacolor and acrylic worked fine, as I knew they would so I experimented with colours and got a nice pinky,purply,brown and watered it down to several different consistencies. I painted my fungi- shadows, deep shadows and highlights and then ironed over the whole thing when it was pretty dry. Finally, once I was fairly satisfied, I removed the backing paper and fused the whole to the background fabric- a nice pinky, greeny mottled hand dye. The result is as follows....
 I cropped this neatly for displaying the pic on my blog but the raggedy edges are still on and I will trim it to 12"x12" eventually. It SHOULD look about like this in the end.
I will play with some stitching and the quilting and will do any paint touchups as I see fit- e.g.- that little stem at the bottom right that runs off at an angle. It is too pale and I MAY add a bit of paint to tone it down a bit IF I keep the whole stem. It may get lopped off when I trim. You could start to bet now if you wish! Will she keep it? Will she prune it off?

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Enoki

I am fond of grocery stores! I am particularly fond of fruit and vegetable markets. When my daughter and I used to shop together she despaired of my always having my camera in my purse and snapping pictures of the produce. She KNEW the picture would end up in a sketchbook or a quilt some time. Well, look what I found a few weeks ago! Is this not a stunning design !!
They are , as you can see, tiny Enoki mushrooms. I have never tasted them but they fascinate me nonetheless- fascinating fungi! I have finally finished the little mini quilt for the SAQA auction and sent it off on its merry way this afternoon :-( ( I liked that little piece!) and , although I thought I was done with mini, here I am again. I painted some Evolon the other night to use for the fungi and found a piece of nice mottled hand dyed fabric to use as the background. Here is where I am now...
I have cut the enoki out after drawing them on the back side of the Evolon on the paper from the Steam a Seam that I fused onto the back first. I now have fusible fungi!! I used a brown fabric marker to separate the individual mushrooms and will now paint in the detail, the highlights and shadows and then stitch around the mushrooms and then do the rest of the quilting. I THINK I can pull this off??? Stay tuned. I have to experiment with the paint and decide if I should fuse the fusible fungi first or paint first, fuse later. As I said earlier, stay tuned! Did I mention how much I love the look of these fun little fungi?
I will post this to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com  It looks like the start of an interesting week there. Drop in and see what is going on and add your WIPs!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Finished !!!

I have finally finished these two little pieces I have been working on and I chose the red berries one to send off to the SAQA Fundraising Auction. It was fun working so small and I may actually do a few more little ones now. A while ago, I did a series of one inch crops from photos and made a sort of photo mosaic of them. Maybe a collection of a few 12 "square quilts would be fun??
"Chiaroscuro", Fused Applique Quilt, 12"x12"

"Lunaria Seed Pods", Fused Applique Quilt , 12"x12"
Now I am looking at some other square photos I have done with the idea of making some other little 12" square pieces of work .
Pansy centre

Red Trillium

Enoki Mushrooms

Peony Centre

Poppy Centre

Yelow Tulip Centre
Lots of food for creativity here. Wouldn't they be pretty as a set of small squares! Do NOT hold your breath, but I Think I will start some time soon.

Meantime, some more dyeing coming up. Thanks for dropping in.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Ready to quilt number two

I have finished the Lunaria pods now , except for a label. Today, I finished the Honeysuckle berries to the point of layering and quilting. I think I LIKE it! I am calling it Chiaroscuro because of the dramatic spotlighting of the fruits and those few remaining leaves. I am VERY pleased with the fabrics. I finally feel like I have a bit of a stash to choose from now. Hurrah!
This is not trimmed yet, not layered and obviously, not quilted  but to date, I am happy. I still have to figure how I want to put the blossom ends and shiny little highlights on these jewel-like fruits- (remember the photo?) The quilting will really lift it off the page- it says here! I have looked for a finished picture of the Lunaria quilting but seem not to have one so I shall take one after dinner and add it to the post. I like the quilting I did. I sound awfully pleased with myself! Sorry. I am NOT but I am pleased with certain aspects of my work this week so far.

And now, DH is making M'ungry noises so I am off to feed the inner beast!

Here is a bad picture of the finished Lunaria pods. The light was poor so the pictures are kind of dark.Maybe better ones tomorrow in the daylight? This one is crooked too because I was hurrying. Excuses, excuses!


I am posting this to the  needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com.
Have a look at what everyone is working on this week!




Sunday, 17 February 2013

Working in miniature- for the moment!




I am fooling around with my freshly dyed fabrics and HAD to do this little piece - because the fabric cried out to be used here! This , for the gardeners among us, is Honesty, the seedpods thereof ( Lunaria, for the REAL gardeners!) I took the photos last summer in our back garden. I LOVE it, in all its stages. This backlit stem was gorgeous - so here it is , beginning to be translated into a wee quilt, just 12"x12"!
And here is the photo I am working from. I liked the pink , out of focus rose but decided not to mess with the lovely greens.
I trimmed the photo so I can see more accurately, what the piece will look like finished.
A little fuzzy because I am a wiggly photographer and a lazy one too. I did not use a tripod!
When I finish this little one, I have another ready too which I also intend to do as a 12"x12". It is honeysuckle berries on a bush that lives on our property line . They always remind me of little red glass beads. Love 'em!
Isn't that pretty! I love the Chiaroscura effect . I THINK that was because I used a flash on a darkish day. Whatever, it works for me .

Stay tuned folks. I am keeping out of trouble :-) Good thing too! I may be the person who inspired that saying about the Devil making work for idle hands (tee hee hee )

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Hearts and Flowers for All

PINK_ Cyclamen, Orchid and Hyacinth

Happy St Valentine's Day ALL! I would send you flowers or take flowers to your door if I knew which door, but in lieu of that, here are some romantic pink ones growing in the sunshine in our house. I hope you will enjoy them as if they were your own!
Tangling again- especially for you.
Here is a heart especially for you. I have not done many Zentangles for a while so I am a tad rusty, but I did it from my heart to say thanks to all of my kind, loyal followers and to wish you all a very happy Valentine's Day, 2013!

DH kindly drove me to Toronto today- the big city. I know now what a country girl I am! Holey molly- what a wild place!! The traffic is horrendous. We drove along the Lakeshore highway looking for a legal left turn to go north into the city and it seemed we were half way to Kingston before we found one. In the end, we DID get where we were going- to G&S Dyes on Dundas Street and I was able to get my chemicals and dyes AND I found that they also carry a wide range of interesting looking fabrics for dyeing and screen printing. Yummy! Must look into that :-) I was so grateful to DH for this huge sacrifice on my behalf ( he does NOT do Toronto !) that I treated him to a Tim's on the way home. He seemed happy, bless him.

Well, Happy Valentine's Day all. This is neither Needle nor Thread but I am posting it anyway to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com I wanted to do that because there are so many kind folk there to whom I wish to give hearts and flowers too. Enjoy!!

Friday, 8 February 2013

A gorgeous Canadian winter day




We have not had a storm like this for five years- or so "they" say. When we went to bed last night , after midnight, there was not a flake on the ground. I was up around 3AM and there was about 1/2 an inch. This morning... a good foot! It is cold. The snow is dry and fell hard in tiny flakes so it is REAL snow. LOVE IT! It has now started to blow so DH may have to be out again .
Cannot get this one to go to a sensible spot. Grrr! Why does that happen?? Anyway, DH blowing the snow out of our driveway.

DH in his snowblowing suit.
Way out of order but the BACK of DH.
If you look carefully, you can see the partial depth of snow at the end of the driveway. 
Early this morning, DH out feeding "his " birds. He fed the squirrels too and swept the deck between feedings. At that time, it was falling at about an inch an hour.



The Plough pushed a huge  roll of snow across the driveways - three feet high, five feet wide. GREAT fun blowing THAT out!

OK, has anyone else had this trouble with Blogger? I cannot return to regular text after captioning a photo and I cannot select my pics in proper order.






Wednesday, 6 February 2013

New Hand Dyes

I have been dyeing all of my own fabrics lately but in a sort of hit and miss fashion. I decided the colours I needed for a certain project and tried to dye to order. DUMB idea! Anyway, over the past few days, since finishing the Red Iris ( posted earlier) I have been making a concerted effort to do some serious dyeing in a more orderly manner and to end up with a good variety of colours and values. To that end, I have been ordering dyes from G&S Dyes in Markham, ON and from Pro Chemical and Dye in MA , USA. YUMMY!!!I have some delicious colours now and am having a major ball. Here is some of what I have been doing.
A nice lively dark made with Chocolate, Eggplant and Warm Brown

The darks so far- not TOO dark!

The lights and mediums with an emphasis on greens .

The greens alone.

I am currently working on some new colours . I cannot WAIT to see how they turn out. 
I will post this to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com  Drop in there and see what is in progress this week!I will post the new colours when they are finished later tonight. 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Ruin Inchies

As you can see , I am catching up a little bit! I am really just NOT finding enough time to do everything! Boo!!!Anyway, here are two Ruin Inchies, A Hut Inchie and a Stone Inchie. Sorry to be such a laggard:-(

A stone projectile point

The Hut on Fowl's Legs( Moussorgsky)

Ruin #1
Ruin #2
I am going to post this - late- to everyinchiemonday2012.blogspot.com Join us over there and see what everyone else has done!

It DOES make a difference!

I have been playing around , trying to get an accurate photo of the Red Iris piece, fairly unsuccessfully till now. I was at the camera store yesterday talking about proper floodlighting etc and the man I spoke with ( actually LISTENED to!!) reminded me that I have a custom white balance setting on my camera- Canon S100. So, DH and I came home and figured it out and - voila- I have pics now that accurately represent the colours of this piece. At the risk of boring you all to tears, here they are . Have a look back at some of the Iris posts and see the difference. I can see a HUGE diff. Can you? Look at your cameras and check your white balance. I had been using the auto settings but this is MUCH better!







Accuracy at last! Try it! You'll like it!!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Liebster Award

What a pleasant surprise I got this Saturday evening when Margaret Blank nominated me for a Liebster Award. I am flattered too but have to agree with Susan Being Snippy- LOTSA work to put that little sticker on my blog. However, I shall endeavour to live up to the honour and follow the rules.

First, I have to post eleven random things about myself-HMMM!

1- I have a passion for creating
2- I am married to a wonderful husband with whom I have shared 46 happy years
3- I have an absolutely spectacular daughter who is working very hard to finish a PhD dissertation
4- I LOVE gardening
5- I LOVE to cook
6- I LOVE to eat what I cook
7- I frequently have to "pay" dearly for numbers 5 and 6 as I am diabetic and weight gain is strongly frowned upon
8- I LOVE to travel, particularly to Britain
9- I am my family's genealogist ( DH and I both are for our respective families)
10- I have very big feet
11-I cannot figure why this list is suddenly offset!

OK, moving right along...

Now I am expected to answer a series of questions-

1-If I could live somewhere else, where would I live?
Well, Tennessee- because my daughter is there or Britain in any one of a number of locations because that is my roots.

2-What is my favourite memory?
The night- or more correctly, the early morning of 25 October, 1977 would be a good bet for both DH and me. That is the day our daughter showed up in the world!

3-What do I collect?
Blue and white china, hellebores, hostas, fabrics.

4-Which musician did I discover last year?
I am not that into discovering musicians.

5-Is there something I would do differently? What? Why?
That is pretty personal and I am reluctant to get into that sort of thing in a public forum. Sorry!

6-Who is my favourite author?
Hmmm? I like JK Rowling, JRR Tolkein, Evelyn Waugh...

7-Which country do I want to visit again?
Well, I would return to Scotland and England in a heartbeat and know I WILL do that but I would LOVE to return to France again some time.

8-What is my weakness?
Um, maple syrup, maple sugar, Canadian Maple Timmy's - get the picture? Oh, and did I mention that I am diabetic??

9-What do I detest ?
Wasting time - especially MY time, lack of a sense of humour, untying knots.

10-What is my favourite art tool?
I agree with Margaret- my hands! I do love a good sketchbook and a nice fine black permanent pen though too. I also love my digital camera.

11-What is my favourite pet?
Cats and a favourite but I love all of our wild "pets" too- squirrels, chipmunks and all of our various birds.

Now then, 11 blogs I enjoy with fewer than 200 followers.

1. multicoloredpieces.blogspot.ca

2.elainequehl.blogspot.com

3.www.margaretblank.com

4.morningaj.blogspot.ca

5.paleogirl7.blogspot.ca

6.somethingfiber.blogspot.com

8.anaslua2.blogspot.ca

9.natureart-hollym.blogspot.ca

10.truebluecanadian.blogspot.ca

11.hookandbake.blogspot.ca

There are a number of other lovely blogs I follow but they have too many followers!

There we go! Now I have to try to figure out how to catch the Liebster badge. Thanks, Margaret. I appreciate it.

The pretty, The practical and the ZOWIE !

A few days ago, I treated myself to a bunch of five little tight budded bright yellow tulips. I have really enjoyed them. I LOVE tulips. I love the sound tulips make- go figure! Have you never noticed that when tulips are moved against each other , as in while they are being arranged in a vase, that they make a lovely little hollow, squeaky, popping sound as they rub against each other? Well, I have - because that is the kind of a strange woman I am! Anyway, these buds opened up and I noticed, to my great delight , that there was a tiny, fine red line around each petal. As the blooms opened, that red bled down into the yellow, eventually turning the yellow tulips coral-y orange. LOVELY As they opened further, I saw that beautiful slatey blue star shape in the base and the stamens were bright orange! LOVE IT! I could help myself no further. I had to take a few pictures to share. Here are a couple ...




 Now, the practical-I am finally finished the Red Iris and have used the wonderful instructions on Elaine Quehl's blog to create a strip facing. This is not a great photo but it DOES illustrate the finished product. The hanging sleeve is in place too as you can see. All it needs now is a good label.



And , finally- the ZOWIE part! I ordered some dyes from Pro Chemical and Dye and they arrived on Friday AM. One of the colours is called Eggplant! LOVE that colour- not so keen on the taste, but I took the dyes down to my subterranean dye shop and wet a piece of paper towelling and then opened one of the little pots of dye powder to try the colour. I dipped a tiny brush into it and just sprinkled the powder over a spot on the wet towel. INSTANTLY , the gorgeous Eggplant purple bloomed- but then-
because it is a mixed colour, and the component parts of mixed colours strike at different rates, began to travel!!!! I was VERY VERY excited, ran upstairs for the camera and here is the result!



Look at THAT! I say Zowie! Cannot WAIT to try it on cotton. That is it for today. Now I am off to adjust the white balance on my camera so I can get more accurate pics of my quilts. Enjoy the rest of the day :-)