Easter Weekend

Happy Easter, everyone. I bought myself three bunches of tulips to enjoy over this joyous weekend and thought I would share them with you all. This colour is a tad harsh as I was rushing ( nothing new there!)

I have been out to the garden and picked up a few downed sticks and branches and I wanted to show you what is blooming in our garden this Good Friday, 2013.
Iris Reticulata

Early red Helleborus

Galanthus Nivalis

Later blue reticulata

One scilla and one anemone blanda

And this glorious little purple reticulata again.
Lots of things are showing promising shoots. A deer ate a whole clump of tulip shoots a few days ago but tulips, daffodils, LOTS more later hellebores, SCADS of scilla ( bane of DH's existence! Many live in the lawn !!), lilies, zillions of hostas, hemerocallis- you name it. It is all coming up! Spring, it appears, is here! Oh, and the greenish winter goldfinches, are now becoming noticeably lemon yellow with black velvet wings. The magnolia is under strict instructions to COOL IT! Last year, it got frozen off after opening too early.

On that cheery note, I wish you all the many blessings of Easter 2013 and hope you have a lovely weekend. 

Getting the crinkly crunchy

I am making good, but slowish progress with this little piece! I really want the stamens crinkly and nicely textured. To that end, I am free motion satin stitching, varying the density and the width. My machine makes a maximum 9mm satin stitch so that leaves a lot of choice. The hardest thing for me is "driving" with my left hand while I twiddle the knobs with my right. Adding to this, I feel like the knobs twiddle the wrong way- you know, righty tight, lefty loosey? Well, on my machine ( Bernina Artista 730) Righty makes the stitch wider or longer while Lefty makes it shorter or narrower! I feel like it should be the other way round! I am just an old dog and it takes me a while to catch on, but I AM making progress! Here are a couple of shots to show you what I am talking about . Remember, not finished, just started!
When I get more done , I will decide if I will completely fill some of the anthers

I think I am beginning to see the crinkly, crunchy look I want!
I am linking with the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com  Drop over for a visit.

Getting there

I have been picking away all weekend and so far, this is where I am . I will haul out my Artistic Licence now and add a few bits to make me happier, then sandwich and start quilting. I am not so much of a "pink person" but I kinda like these colours. The little greenish ovary in the bottom left corner relieves the pink for me . I am just staring at the little 12" square across the room and realizing what a HUGE bloom this would be if I did the whole picture! Wish my "sewing room" had that much space, but it does not :-(

Just a thought- here IS the full photo. Gorgeous flower, eh!
The centre of a nameless pink peony from the RBG in Hamilton ON, taken a few years ago.
I am adding the start of the quilting, mostly to see it side by side with previous shots of the little quilt. BTW, this is another 12x12 inch one. Fun and fast to do.
This is NOW as far as I have gotten. I am toying with the idea of some satin stitch free motion on some of the anthers. I just have to find colours of thread that will work. OK, that's it for now!


Remember this picture?
It is a part of the centre of a stunning Pink Peony I photographed at the RBG a couple of years ago. I am working on a mini quilted version of it now, part of my 12" x 12" collection. Just started this afternoon.
Step one- lay down the substrate. I have it all covered   now.

Here is the substrate all covered , ready for detail. I have kept all of my pattern pieces and will reuse them with detail drawn on and I will cut from there. Too bad the background pink of the petals is not more coral pink. Never mind. My own peonies are sugar pink, just like this! More to follow , as and when I get it done. 

Don't travel light!!

Are we going to have fun , or what?

I have not posted anything for a while but I have NOT been idle! I have nothing pretty to show for myself but I DO have something to show you! Tomorrow, I start a three session class on Embellishing and Multi Media. I have taught it before and it is always fun . Thought I'd share the mess and some of the plans. I have been making samples to teach from and collecting my claptrap at the front door. It is a nasty sort of a day here today and promises similar tomorrow so I will try to pack the car at an advantageous time so I do not get TOO blown apart!

This is the start of the pile of stuff I plan to haul in to the shop tomorrow. I believe in "concrete materials", as I was so carefully taught in Teachers' College a hundred or so years ago. I am a good describer, but who'd describe when you could SHOW??? Besides, some people cannot imagine, even when something is carefully described. I do not have paints, brushes, my display board and nice little wooden stand DH made for me in the pile just yet. You get the idea though, I am sure!

In this little class, we will not be striving so much for a masterpiece at the end ( although I am sure some will be created) as for a LOT of experiences and experiments. I hope the participants will try everything and learn to adapt things that may not have turned out exactly as they had imagined them. This is as much a class in coping with serendipity as it is in learning new techniques.

We will look at all kinds of new manmade materials- polyesters, Tyvek, Evolon, Lutradur. We will play with Bubble Wrap, dryer sheets, cheesecloth. We will paint things, foil things, burn things. We will emboss, stamp, embroider, quilt, cut with soldering iron. We will play with Shiva Paintsticks, pencil crayons and Caran d'Aches wax pastels. We will do odd things with fusible fabrics. We will have FUNNN! I hope people will relax and go with the proverbial flow and just enjoy learning and teaching each other lots of new things.

Best of all, we will learn to look around us for interesting materials to use. The recycling man may suddenly find our blue boxes less full because we will be noticing that MANY fun things can be recycled into art. My pockets, purse, wallet etc are ALWAYS full of rusty washers, rusty bottle caps, bits of wire plastic treasures and I have BOXES full of them . At one stage, I had all of my drinking friends saving their bottle caps for me as no one at my house drinks alcohol . Eventually, I had to call them off as I now have a prodigious collection. Check out my doll making posts and you will see where some of that stuff ended up! A friend in England even sent me a dead wristwatch to dismantle to get springs and gears. I AM a crazy woman, but nice when you get to know me :-)

The piece of work that is displayed right now as the sample for this class is the Blue Moon Reflections.
Not finished but you get the idea. I seem not to have a finished photo.

Closeup of some of the hand embroidery over poly organza
Closeup of the "moon" with silk waste- including a beaded silkworm cocoon- with him still inside YIKES!

A couple of closeup looks at some of the samples and materials

The painty, coloury stuff- some of it!

I am planning to post this to needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com  I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else is doing, has done . Check it out and enjoy!

Quilted, Trimmed and Reoriented

You know how sometimes, you just get a better idea? Well, I MAY have a better idea! I finished quilting the Layers Project and when it got hung up before trimming and pressing, I hung it a different way. It is turned a quarter turn to the left- and I LIKE it that way! It is NO LONGER the piece I started with ( see Thursday's post) so I am feeling free to do whatever I want with it- and here it is, with some closeups of some of the heavy quilting I have done on it!
This is suddenly a different piece!
some background- lotsa little circles!

I really DO like the deep purple iris bud.

more background and petal edges
I went through a LOT of Bottom Line thread! I love it as a bobbin thread and I emptied a whole spool and started another on this project plus the little red berries!

It is cold and raw here today, but guess who could care less?
Bit fuzzy as I was kneeling down and it was Cccolddd! 

Silly little things- Bless them!
It will soon be spring. These little snowdrops and clumps more have been in bloom in our garden for several weeks now.

A little Post Script- as I have been torturing my lovely sewing machine a LOT lately, cleaning and oiling it as best I can, I decided it needed a holiday at the sewing machine spa - so I took it to my dealer and her Tech Wizard for a good cleaning and whatever he thinks would be a treat for it. I am machineless until Tuesday at the earliest!!! I am already suffering withdrawal! On another occasion like this, I did a whole little quilt using my serger and hand sewing because I am NOT good at "nothing to play with". The Devil and idle hands is ringing in my ears. My hands will not be idle though as I have some dyeing and pattern making planned- but.... so the Devil will have to pester someone else :-)