Thursday, September 3, 2015

Playing with Gelli printing

I've been wanting to take a morning to do some mono printing on fabric and decided  today was the day. I started by gathering supplies:

white cotton sateen
fabric paints,
the Gelli
Baby wipes
water
rags
foam brushes
lots of previously dried and pressed plant material
brayer


It's like being a kid again, rolling out and dabbing paints on the Gelli plate, laying on various plant materials, and taking the plunge by placing the piece of plain white fabric on top of it all, and rubbing well.

Pulling off the fabric and finding the print is so fun!


I think those were bits of Queen Anne's lace.

The one above had a spot where the paint wasn't transferring so I dampened the fabric slightly and rubbed it. I like the effect.

The one above was printed twice. I think the flowers in pink are astilbe.

I had a hard time to stop myself for lunch.






After I cleaned up a bit,( at least the brushes and paint stuff) I grabbed a quick lunch with leftover salad fixings --greens, Vietnamese pickled beans, tuna salad, sliced turkey. Then, I sat long enough to have a cup of tea while I had the hot bag on my back. I actually debated sitting with my knitting for a while but I really wanted to get the rest of the background painted on the birch trees and I knew it would only take a half hour.

Also, I needed to get the zucchini for the supper frittata grated to sit and drain a bit this afternoon.



This piece was done as a demo so I hadn't finished all the way across the scene.


The trees on the right are not in their permanent position. I laid them out to add the shading and grey areas to them.

I've accomplished what I wanted to today. I'm taking a break and getting ready for my little bike ride with my friend Alma. I'll have a glass of tomato juice my new go to snack.

If hubby wants to kayak to-night, I may be too tired, lol! It's beautiful out. Maybe he'll decide to go to the golf course. e do want to pick up our kayaks from the beach so we can have them here to go to Mt Carlton-- a beautiful wilderness park in central NB--for the day on the weekend.

Do you feel  there just aren't enough hours in the day, nor enough energy to do everything you want? I feel it, all the while keeping my 2015 word, focus, in mind. It's hard to reign in my creative mind sometimes. I try to jot things down which will allow me to continue on with what I'm doing in a more focused way. I often need to rest and I think it's good to sit quietly for part of the day, often with knitting in hands.

Exercise is important too. I've signed up to start a yoga class in two weeks. Now, I'm going to have my tomato juice with a few almonds and get ready to bicycle around the neighborhood.






Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Thread lace foliage

Instead of a sketch with my tea this morning, I did a few rows on the shawl That I started last night. It's a painted cotton yarn, worsted weight. I've misplaced the label.

 

This afternoon, I had an errand and an appointment to get a prescription, so I didn't have time to get into the central birches in my latest piece.

It's so nice to have the two machines set up. I did a little sewing repair and then I put together one more crazy patch.

On my other machine that is set up for free motion, I worked on some thread lace that I will cut apart and use in the background for foliage. I'll do an all over meandering layer with the dark green and then switch to a lighter green.

Frustrating! I'm using an APP on my I pad as I write this and it won't upload my last photos. There, I got one.

 

 

 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Mushroom sketch and Fiber birch trees

 I started my day off right with a small colored pencil, Neocolor II crayon sketch while having my tea after breakfast.

 The mushrooms were picked up along the trail in the park last evening.
As I sketch, I'm sitting with ice and then a hot pack on my back..


After that, I went outside to put in a few more seeds for fall crops. I cleaned out the deck box and put in a fall lettuce mix. Then I put some spinach and radishes into my raised bed. Unbelievably, the mosquitoes were out!

It is still summer, I'm trying to hang onto it, (aren't we all?) but although I want to work on my beach themed piece, my head is into my beloved birches again.

Before doing any more crazy patch squares, I thought I'd move the piece along with  the ideas that are running through my head. As i move along with it pieces will come and go. This is just a design wall with my mix of ideas for now. I do believe if I continue with the busy crazy patches, that I will use the solid black narrow border.





 I'm thinking this time about adding a path leading into the grove, so I cut out a few pieces of fabric backed with fusible and tacked it up.Of course it will need lots of additional bits to give it depth and dimension. Do you get the idea?



Well, I've got to go change into my bike shorts.A friend is cycling this way shortly and I'll join her for my little 20 minute jaunt.

Happy Monday!




Thursday, August 27, 2015

Birch trees again


    After lunch, I completed the zig zag edge around my tulip hanging following a tutorial on line that I remembered, stitching a narrow zigzag the first time round while loosely couching down a pearl cotton. Then, I did 3 more rounds, increasing the density and the width of the stitches each time.

 Finally, it's finished!

 It seems that I often walk into my studio intending to do one thing and ending up doing something else. After I finished up a few of my odds and ends for some pieces that need to be mailed, I was ready to get onto another project.

 Over the past week or so, I've been thinking about what I'd like to do next. A few ideas are circulating in the grey matter. My paints have been calling to me to do some fabric printing. Something 'beachy' maybe.

There didn't seem really to be time to get everything set up this afternoon, so I pulled out a scrap box containing birch tree forest colors and decided to put together a small crazy patch for one  idea. I've been considering as a border.  It's a fall project but if I opted for them for one of my shibori birch tree pieces, it could take a while to get enough done.





I'm also contemplating a plainer border.


I would do a branch with some thread painted leaves for either version. The pictures are really different sides of the same piece. The birch tree scene is not done yet. So, I'll work on the borders off and on in between other projects. I think I will need more crazy patch blocks before a decision can be made.


It seems I made a good decision not to get into the paints because a friend dropped by on her bicycle and I decided to join her. She came in to take a look and went right for the crazy patch side. One thing she noticed were the obvious verticals repeated in the border of the second version. The strip is actually a scrap from another piece. If I were to use, I could break it up with some diagonal branches.


I just made it back and brought in a line of clothes before the thunder storm hit.


My husband is off for the day golfing with his dad, so I get to eat what and when I want! I just ordered a take out seafood chowder from a nearby restaurant and made it back here before it really started to pour.

I'm wishing you a nice evening/morning depending on where you are. I'm heading out for my bowl of chowder and some quiet stitching time.









Tuesday, August 25, 2015

a watercolor, muffins, resting

This morning, I lazed about a bit, enjoying a second cup of tea, doing a crossword and then a quick watercolor study of the cosmos from my garden.



 I decided to use more of the blueberries and make this recipe for Oatmeal Blueberry muffins. The only change I made was to use half whole wheat flour and to add sunflower seeds They are yummy. After sampling a couple, I wrap them individually and freeze them in bags for my husbands lunches. (And a few for me)


While I had my camera, out I thought I'd take a few pictures of my favorite spots in my home. I had a little chuckle at my own expense. A few times a year when I clean and give things away, I like to think that I'm a bit of a minimalist, lol. I'm a bit delusional. While I'm not a big collector, I certainly collect.






Nothing rare or pricey, kitschy things that catch my eye, natural bits from the world outside, and often art supplies.


I hang some of my artwork and I love lots of plants. Even in the bathroom.




This is at the end of my hallway at the entrance to my small sewing room/studio.



I really did make the tour all the while appreciating my favorite things.

Several years ago, my husband made these chimes for me from the copper pipes that he removed from the house. It has been re-strung a few times and we've had to replace the wind catcher at the bottom. We needed another new one when it happened that we found a piece of 1/4 inch thick molded plastic found floating on the water of the bay while kayaking.  My husband picked it up and we brought it home. It was then that he noticed the chime and asked me what I'd think of using it for the new wind catcher. Last night he cut a piece and attached it.
I love being able to re-purpose things!

This is a small framed mirror that I made from my collected seashells.



My artistic endeavors and my creative thoughts tend to be all over the place too! Last night, I finished this crocheted basket.. that caught my eye on Pinterest.



This afternoon, as I stretched out with an ice pack on my hip, I've been looking at my photos,  thinking about a new piece of fiber art and how I might approach it it. I'd like to do something beach or water themed and use some mono printing methods.
Even my mind is busy when I can't be. I got the call yesterday for the much awaited cortisone shot done by the radiologist at the hospital for this afternoon at 1pm. It was a different doctor this time and besides that each time it can be different. He did use some freezing,but when he put in the catheter with the dye to see the placement it wasn't exactly right so he had to adjust it. There was a bit more pain than last time and I was glad to have my husband to drive me home. After ice and Tylenol I'm feeling less pain. Still taking it a bit easy though. It could be painful for a few days. I'm hoping for improvement in mobility after that.

I'm glad that I have my supper all done too, so I can relax now with my thoughts and my tea.

I'm linking to The Needle and Thread Network.

Monday, August 24, 2015

the shore, the garden, fabric

Yesterday, was a golf day off for hubby and we decided to take a short drive down the coast to the Stonehaven wharf. It is in the opposite direction of the in laws place at the beach and we hadn't been there in years. I like to get around with my camera, taking pictures that i store for future inspiration. My husband joked that he was 'driving Miss Daisy'. 
The terrain there is completely different than the more beach-y areas that stretch before and after it.

We don't see the fishing boats in the Bathurst basin as it is too shallow. Fun to read the names.


Afterwards, we went to the in laws place in Beresford to visit and take out the kayaks. There are lots of shore birds around right now as fall approaches. I cant believe I managed to catch this one in flight.

And this one with a fish.


The heron however, kept moving away from me.


This morning, after my tea and breakfast and getting clothes on the line, I made a couple of jars of  old fashioned blueberry jam using no pectin and less sugar. This recipe has maple syrup in it. I made 1/2 a recipe.

Wild Blueberry Jam


I'm planning to do a tomato and sausage stuffed zucchini for supper.

The garden is looking a bit wild with the nasturtiums winding their way around the cosmos and the herbs by the back door.


The sunflowers are just blooming and I really like them against the fence.


The scarlet runner beans are taking over the deck.






Late summer colors run from deep purples, pinks, oranges and gold.  I can't resist picking some of the wild tansy that  grows along the roads. It will dry out and hold it's color for months.


I can't possibly sketch or use all this inspiration in my work but I do try to enjoy all the sensual nourishment at least.

Now, I must go and get started on that zucchini

I'd love to hear how your enjoying your summer (or winter).












Saturday, August 22, 2015

home again, domestic creativity, sewing again

I have been away to Prince Edward Island to the family cottage to spend time with family and visit the opening of the SAQA Atlantic Region fiber art show Structures at the Guild Gallery in Charlottetown.


I'm not fond of my picture - I never am--but here I am with my piece. Can you see how red I was from the heat? We were in the midst of a heat wave.

 The weather was spectacular! It was almost too warm even at the beach. I hated to leave this view after I'd had all the sun and salt water I could handle for the day.



My daughter spent the two nights at the cottage with me; it was a much needed break for her and some nice bonding time for the two of us. We sunned, we swam, we walked a bit and when we'd had enough we visited our favorite pottery shop to pick up a few small pieces. This will be my new go to mug. My old one has developed a hairline crack. I collect the little bowls to use for individual dips and small snacks.


 On my last day, I went into Charlottetown for the show and to stay with my brother for the night. It also gave me time to visit my mom and take her out to my sister's cafe for lunch. She has recently been diagnosed with pre Alzheimers, so time is precious. You can see the valances that I made for the cafe, The Thoughtful Squash..


Everything on the menu is made from scratch. Mom and I each had an egg and lobster salad on ciabatta and we shared a piece of rhubarb/apple crumb top pie.

Just around the corner from the Thoughtful Squash is an art gallery called The Red House Art Gallery. Both mom and I purchased watercolor paintings. Everything was at a very reduced price in the small shed. I bought one that said 'island' and mom bought a sweet one with two dachshunds standing together and looking back at the artist. I  think she will enjoy their  mischievous look. She always had a dog until her senior years in an apartment.

It seems impossible that I've been and returned already. Sometimes it feels as though I'm aboard a spinning wheel that goes faster as I age and as determined as I am to slow down and enjoy life. I do enjoy it, but there is so much I want to do!

Since I've been home, I've been trying to catch up on the house and the garden. There were beans, rhubarb and zucchini to pick.This morning ,I grated a small bit of my huge zucchini to make muffins.


I'll be looking for more ways to use them up. And, to add to that, I got an email from a friend who picks wild blueberries and I just got back from picking up a large bag. from her.

They are well cleaned though, so what we don't use immediately for breakfasts ,can go into the freezer.

I've continued to work at my little sketches at meal or tea times.


Yesterday, hubby sent me an email from his work with a picture of this bug, asking if I'd like him to bring it home. So thoughtful! Some wives get flowers; I get bugs. Much appreciated though. Better than store bought flowers.
Last night, I picked up the twig which was laying in he middle of the paved path in the park where I walk.It was inviting itself home to my table where it has joined shells, seaweed, and the bug.

I've had time today to work at a zigzag border for the tulip piece that I've had on the go for a while. It's not something I tried before but I think it suits this piece. I've a few more rounds to go before it is finished. I'm showing just a bit even though you've seen it before because I'm sending it off to a quilt show.


Now, I'll hit publish and head to the kitchen to put some mackerel into foil for the barbecue.