Thursday, September 20, 2018

Getting back to sewing and artwork

Oh my, it’s been a while since I posted! It may be the longest I’ve ever been away from my blog. We had a very busy August with our trip to PEI and then to Moncton for a wedding. And then we took our big trip to Nfld for 12 days in early September.

I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful it was. The weather was perfect and we hiked some spectacular trails along the edges of steep rocky cliffs with awesome views. Can you believe those colors!

We flew to St. John’s where we picked up our rental car. Our itinerary was done by a company called Vision Atlantic. Crossing the province form east to west, we stayed in B and B’s or Inns, spending 2 nights in each place.

Here at the Ferryland Lighthouse outside St. John’s, we had the most delicious picnic lunch given to us in a basket along with a blanket to sit and eat where we wanted.

The colors were so vibrant and views so full of energy that it was hard to come even close to capturing in my journal. 

This is the view from the hilltop garden in the Fishers Inn in Port Rexton, our second stop on the tour

A beach nearby.

We even were lucky to catch some puffins just before their migration. They are so comical that they hardly seem real.

In Twillingate we stayed in a B and B under the eaves on the 3rd floor in a very spacious room with ensuite bath which gav3 us a lovely view of the water and allowed cool breezes to drift in at night.

Here we hiked on 2 different trails and attended a dinner theatre.

We made our way to Gros Morne and checked into a small Inn on a little cove.

On our First day we had a boat trip up the fjord. The guide told us that one of the tallest rock masses there is taller than the CN tower. The caribou actually climb these rocky  mountains and swim across the river for greener pastures on the tops of other mountains.

There were many waterfall along the way.

Our last stop in Nfld before we flew out of Deer lake was at the end of 5 hour drive north  to St Anthony’s and L’Anse aux Meadows where there was a Viking settlement thought to be the first in North America.

A 3/4 scale Viking replica built in Greenland and sailed to Nfld in 1996.

It’s so hard to sum up the trip in a few photos and words! The people were so friendly, the landscapes and flora and fauna so beautiful. This is the rare bakeapple that I spied near L’Anse aux meadows, slightly tart, tasting a wee bit like an apricot and a bit seedy. I loved them, my husband didn’t like the seeds. Bake apple and partridge berry preserves and desserts were served almost everywhere we stopped. 

Is it any wonder that I’ve collapsed this week? While we were away the carpenter came and put in my second window to finish my studio Reno, so I had lots of drywall dust and such to clean before moving my machines back in. But it is oh so worth it.

Just imagine the sun coming through in winter.

I’m trying as usual to finish a couple things. This little kit has been cut out and ready to sew for a while.

I can really use it for carrying all my assessories to my sewing days. It’s about time I get it done.

While I think about a new piece of fiber art (there are so many pics to chose from ) I’m finally going to add the finishing touches to my surfer which you can just barely see on the ironing board above.
In the meantime I started an on line course called Draw and See by Rebecca Sower.  I love her work and saw the ad for it before my trip. It is a fun course and I’m learning some new skills — I’m trying to loosen up in my sketches and my work and see things in a new way. It is priced very reasonably with ample instruction videos.

This is a sample of what I’ve done so far.

You may think I’ve been pretty busy but I’m really still dragging and find myself flopped on the sofa a good part of the afternoon and evening which is one reason why I could write this post. I sewed some this morning but after lunch gave in to a catnip and then decided to write.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Some painting, gardening, a wedding and another afghan

I’ve been lax with my posts here. We’ve been away twice in the last couple of weeks and now I’m packing for a major (for us) trip. We’re flying to Nfld and doing a coast to coast tour by car. I'm having a lot of anxiety making sure that I’ve got all my medications filled and packed properly. Seriously, I’ve filled 2 large ziplocks. I haven’t flown in quite some time and never with my husband so it will be quite the trip for us.

This past weekend we travelled to Moncton, NB for our niece’s wedding. It was outside at a a garden and The mosquitoes were a bit of a problem. They had a table of bug sprays, lol. It was a lovely ceremony though, and short, after which we moved inside to the tent which was great.

My sons and daughter also came so it was a nice little reunion. We met at the splash pad in the afternoon for a little fun with our grandson, Ollie.

My husbands happy place.

Some of you may remember that I started crossfit (on an extremely basic level) about 3 months ago. Sticking to it hasn’t been hard because the workouts are always different and fun and I’m seeing huge improvements. This morning, I saw my doctor and she adjusted my blood pressure medication because it’s dropped so much since I started. 

The only sewing I’ve done recently are these little zipper bags that are made from vinyl lined fabric which I’ll be using on our trip.
That’s a mug rug on the bottom.

They’ll come in handy for little snacks or for keeping track of pill packs and small items.

Today, after my lunch, I took out a piece of randomly painted canvas and added some free hand flowers and the black screen print.

I’m making a couple of very simple luggage tags. This is the front and back view with vinyl on the front. I’m going to do a zigzag stitch around three sides and add heavy elastic.

This is another double stranded crocheted ripple afghan that I just finished. They are so fun I wish I could do more!

Along with all that, I’m trying to keep up with the garden and use what I can. Yesterday, I harvested  a few beans, peas, tomatoes and the yellow zucchini. I managed to use most of the zucchini.

I’m hoping a friend can use some while we’re away and not too much gets wasted. My scarlet runner beans are just getting going. I have a little rhubarb I’d like to pick and freeze and I’d like to put in lettuce seeds for the fall. We’ll see if time permits.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Sunshine, gardens and paint and stitch.

Some days I have ideas floating around in my head and regardless of what is lying on my machine, I just have to try them. The sun was shining this morning and after all that rain, the temperatures are more comfortable and the gardens are lush. After I got home from the market, I took my camera outside to snap a few photos. As happens every year, the scarlet runner beans are taking over the deck.

There’s is a veritable tangled garden growing along the rest of the deck. Mingling and winding their way are snap peas, morning glories, tomato’s, cucumber, Brussels sprouts, peppers and a few tomato plants.

In the raised bed, there is lettuce, carrots and broccoli and by the back door besides herbs, I have one large yellow zucchini plant.

Most of the poppies are done but I especially liked the sunny picture of this small one with the seed pods.

Using my pictures as reference I sketched a few designs on some various small pieces of fabric. With Derwent Inktense blocks I painted  the coneflower and then took them to the machine to free motion outline with black. While the black thread was on the machine, I also finished outlining flowers on a piece of flower painted canvas which I want to use to make a sketchbook holder.

I will be adding color to the poppies. I plan to use them as a front and back for a small bag.

Already I trimmed the cone flower and picked out and cut backing and lining fabrics for a small bag.

I just had to follow my creative flow but now it’s time to pack up and change. Hubby is loading the kayaks and we’re heading out for a paddle. Haven’t decided where yet. That’s what summer weekends are about.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Gelli prints for little bags

We’ve had a spectacular, if a little too hot, weekend here; at least we were able to get cooled in the water. Sunday we went to my in laws at the beach and had a lovely swim.
Yesterday, we packed up lunches and the kayaks and drove about 1 1/2 hrs to Mount Carlton near the Center of the province. The highest peak in the maritimes is there as well as great hiking trails, but we went to kayak the Nictau Lake that has a little island where I love to swim. We hadn’t been in a couple of years.

It’s about a 45min paddle when conditions are good and they were.

We dock on the other side where the rocks are lower and have our lunch there. 
Jumping off the rock is exhilarating and reminds me of summer days at the lake when I was young — even if I can’t go as high.

Water is so enticing to me. I not only want to look at it, I want to be in it!

Even hubby joins in although he doesn’t jump not being a strong a swimmer. He enjoys it just the same.

This was the view before we started.

Meanwhile,  I’m still working on my sea life piece. After fusing on some foreground shells and rocks and adding some Inktense it’s ready for more thread stitching and embellishing. I had just enough time at the end of a sewing session on a different project to thread the machine and start on the pink seaweed.

On the long weekend in between outdoor adventures, I cut and bordered a Gelli print from my stash. I had the urge to sew up a couple small zippered bags like I do every so often.

One half had a small white blob that I doctored a bit using a light blue fabric paint and the end of a thread spool. It picks up the blue in the small striped border.

There’s often some way to fix those spots you don’t like.

After my gym workout and lunch, I started free motion outlining with black thread, a look I go to a lot.

I got both parts done, cut out the backs plus interfacing, and the lining and quilted the backs as well.

I’m ready now to move onto the zippers and construction.
In my evening hours I’m working on a second double stranded crocheted ripple afghan with totally different colors.  I had so much fun doing the first that I had to start another.

The rest of the week is fairly quiet except for a hair appointment and the gym so I expect to get a bit more sewing/printing done.