Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ladybugs, bees, and dragonflies

I've now finished the stitching on this piece and I'm ready for a backing and a few lines of quilting. The insects were the last things to do.

Last night and this morning, I put together a tiny dragonfly, about 1 1/2" long.

Neither one is stitched down yet as I will block the piece first and probably put them on before adding the backing.

I quite like the little one made by wrapping a folded piece of 24 gauge wire with a layer of yarn and metallic thread, two tiny beads for eyes.

When I'm working on them, I lower my ironing board and use my sewing chair.

Can you spy the bees and ladybugs?

2 bees, 3 ladybugs.

My favourite bee below.

On top of this, I'm organizing a baby shower for my daughter-- our first grandchild, and it's a boy! We're holding it at the cottage on Prince Edward Island on the last weekend in July. Both parents live and work there and there is lots of family on both sides. I've been busy making lists and running to the dollar store for decorations.

Besides that, a few friends are coming over on Thursday to make glass garden art and bird baths. I've been experimenting with arrangements.

Nothing is glued yet and there's lots more glass pieces not out yet.

I went yard saling last weekend with a friend where we picked up lots of pieces of glass and I also scored these glasses. A friend tells me the ones in the back are depression era. They both fit my hands perfectly and I love the polka dots! I'm thinking they may have come from peanut butter or mustard promotions at one time. I remember having some like that growing up.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

A dragonfly emerges

Well, I can't tell you how many hours went into figuring out this one dragonfly. After many trials I've come up with something. To me it's all worth it as it's all about the process and one's absorption in it. And I have been absorbed even when I haven't physically been in the studio. The mind and the creative process have proved for me to be as good or better than pain killers.

I finally settled on a pipe cleaner coiled at the head, wrapped with yarn and then the moire strip of fabric, winding it with thread and stitching it down.

Two beads for eyes.


I've enjoyed working on this piece so much. I'm almost ready to back it and quilt it. A few ladybugs are needed.

I just centured outside to hang clothes and check plants. Wow, it is hot and muggy. Hubby is back from Labrador and plans to come home from work at lunch time. We may head to the beach. While I was watering plants and nipping buds, I spied a cricket hanging on a stalk. I ran inside for the camera thinking, oh wouldn't this be nice on my piece. Of course he left before I made it back. There's always the Internet as a resorce.

So, I stopped to take a few pics, views that you may have already seen. It excites me so as it grows! These are some of my herbs by my kitchen doorstep.

And another one of the birdbath.

The vegetables against the deck are growing and climbing. There squash, zucchini, yellow zucchini, pole beans and peas, and tomatoes all squeezed in there below the deck. In the pots are Swiss chard and peppers. No space wasted.

On the deck tomatoes are filling out and a new pot of lettuce has sprouted.

This is happiness to me.

Simple pleasures.


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Gardening and sewing, the best of times

It's not warm and sunny, but at least the sun pokes out now and again and it hasn't rained yet today.

I spent an hour in the garden this morning after going out for a Saturday paper and gas.

I moved the rock border forward, dug up some sod, moved an astilbe and put in a new plant, a bleeding heart. Very satisfying. I won't push it, that's it for today.

After lunch, with my tea, I did a small coloured pencil sketch.

And then I headed to the sewing studio for more stitching on the garden piece. I haven't settled on the name. Dream Garden? Dreaming Garden?

I'm getting closer. When I see it on the screen, I notice spots where I want to add more stitching. The orange flowers need a darker thread and the burgundy ones need highlights.

I always love the view from my sewing machine, even, and especially the line of clothes.

The last time I worked on the dragonfly wings, I struck the wire with the needle and broke it, the wire that is, not the needle. Today, I wanted to try again.

I was quite succesful by going as slow as possible in the narrowest zig zag.

It's painstaking but it works. I'm just not sure about the thickness it gives the line. I'd like them to be more delicate. I've used the narrowest zig zag, sparsely spaced and the smallest wire I could find locally. That's the best I can do for now. I'll be away in a few weeks and will look for something.

I also played with an idea for the body wrapping a pipe cleaner with fleece and fabric which unfortunately list its iridescence when wrapped. There's always a drawback. I'm wondering if I could use starch on the unwired ones to mold them into shape. Or a white glue. Research is needed.

I'm actually sitting on my deck with my tea, the first time in a week. I'm on my own for supper. The plan is to bake salmon tips with yellow zucchini and bok choy with some fresh herbs in the little Black and Decker oven. Simple and tasty.

Wishing you a lovely weekend.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Free motion stitching

There's not a whole lot showing as different. I've been free motion stitching a bit, slowly making my way around the leaves and flowers.

It takes time because I like to go back in with a darker value to give some depth as I did in the hosta below.

I went looking for a lazy boy that would suit my style and my needs this morning as I believe I may need one for comfort after my hip surgery. I think I found the one I want.

I'm quitting my sewing time a bit early now to run on a couple errands.

Oh, and I quickly put together this little pillow cover for my knee cushion.

I hope you're having a good week. Take a few minutes to be creative, nurture your soul, or to simply breathe and be.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tangled garden

Hubby took the day off today to join his father in a seniors golf tournament. He packed his rain gear in expectation of rain but so far there's been nothing but the odd sprinkle.

I did a quick but much needed cleaning this morning and then took a quick run to a local couturier who does alterations and carries a little bit of everything. I picked up a few more flannels for the burp pads.


This afternoon, I'm free to play to my hearts content as I don't need to cook, yippee!

I've been cutting up fabric like a preschooler with scissors and coloured paper. It's totally absorbing and maybe a bit crazy!

It's not meant to be at all serious or even realistic, fun only.

It's very therapeutic for me right now. Cutting and pasting

As is my actual garden and my humble deck. Right now, it's muggy, although quite breezy and comfortable. I've brought my snack outside. Summer fruit, cottage cheese with a sprinkle of homemade granola, and homemade ice tea with a touch of unsweetened cranberry. The best thirst quencher.

I took a stroll around the yard for a few more pictures. A reader asked for a more close up picture of the blue bird bath.

The one above I did last year and there's a solar light in it.

I've got the other pieces laid out still. I'm waiting to pick up another little solar light before putting them together. Especially the 'mushroom' it will be cute lit up.

My husband groans when I bring home yard sale junk because he doesn't see the potential.

I spray painted this bent and rusty side of an old metal crib and leaned it against the deck as well as putting in a few vines at its base.

I should have the good camera out here. I'm being entertained by the birds in the bath. A hummingbird just visited the deck. So far, a grackle, two chickadees and a gold finch have been in the bath. Who needs tv!

A gold finch just came for a drink from the fountain. The chickadees will often bathe there.

I've taken a single serving of chilli for supper so I can relax until I'm hungry.

I'm hoping your day is going well.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A little gardening, a little sewing

As per usual this time of year, I divide my day up into a few different activities with some rest in between. This morning , I watered the veggies and put in a few perennials in my back border.

I'm especially cognizant of my time right now since my appointment with the surgeon yesterday. As for the tear in my shoulder, we'll wait and see if it improves. If not, surgery is an option. However, I've been scheduled for a hip replacement in August!

I will need to set some priorities for things to get finished. I need to be recouped aged before the birth of our first grandchild in November.

I put my most recent bird bath that I made from second hand store glass pieces out in the corner of the yard. It's the one on the left with the blue.

Things are growing but I'm anxious for it all to fill out a bit more.

Those tiny bits to the left of the apple tree are cosmos, one of my favourite flowers.

In the sewing room this afternoon, I stitched up one baby burp pad just to see what it would look like, following a pattern sent to me by a blogger friend, Linda Hubbard.



Then, I switched to a little playtime on the latest fiber art piece I'm doing.

The background is all stitched down under a layer of netting. Today, I started cutting some foliage and the lace flowers for the final layer. They look weird now -- the stitching will make them more realistic. Those green clumps are meant to be hostas.

I think a few bigger flowers and leaves and a few insects should do it.



Saturday, June 25, 2016

Recycled glass garden art

Over the last couple of years, I've been collecting cheap glass pieces from yard sales and the second hand store.

I did one small birdbath which has been in my garden for a couple years. There is a solar light inside it which still lights up and the birds do drink from it.

You can just see it in the back left corner where I was doing a bit of gardening before lunch.

I brought my collection up to the deck and tried a few combinations. They're not glued together yet. I use exterior caulking.

The upside down pink one was a ceiling light shade. It's deeper so I think it'll be a mushroom. I'm pretty happy with the large one on the left with the nice glass bowl, blue vase and the larger vase on bottom. Nice finds.

Hubby hung the yard sale tiki face in my apple tree.

Another recycled piece is the sunburst clock. I removed the clock and sprayed it and now I'll get a mirror cut for it. I can't wait to hang it in my newly painted bedroom.

It's getting warmer so for now, I'm retreating inside to the AC for a while.