Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Nests, birds and feathers

Before my surgery I was experimenting with some monoprinting using black screen printing ink on white fabric. Do you remember? I put them up on my design wall to think about during my recovery. I had time to add some color to a couple with Neocolor II crayons and to try some free motion out lining with black thread. I wasn't inspired.
For a while it was tempting to abandon them for other projects, but after giving them lots of thought, I decided to persevere to see what would emerge. I started with a small piece that wouldn't take a large time investment.
The pink designs in the background are printed using one of my own designs on a thermofax screen. It actually has some significance to me. The prints remind me of the wallpapers that my father Used whenever he was redoing one of our houses where I lived growing up. I think I may like where this is going. Not sure. It's going up on the wall for a bit before I proceed. I'd like to get to this larger piece. I will need to finish adding the color first.
However, I may try a little bird first. The weather here is spring like although we have lots of snow. I'm going to head out on a few errands after lunch and try to leave time to get out on the snow shoes.  Our backyard is filled with several feet of snow.
We have pathways to the sheds and the back door.
It's beautiful! Even more so at dusk when my little snowflake lights along the deck rails come on. Dusk came around 6:00PM last night. We're slowly gaining light.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Free motion embroidery

I'm in a bit of a lull. Yes, the shoulder is healing, but I'm feeling a bit listless and without my usual creative energy. I imagine how nice it would be to curl up under a blanket and stay there for the day, but then at the end of the day I'd be unsatisfied. I start with a few simple chores which then inevitably leads me into my studio. It's like the adage, what's in motion stays in motion. Did I get that right? After getting my bed sheets into the wash, I mixed up these chocolate banana muffins. They're mainly sweetened with banana and unsweetened applesauce. I used a dark cocoa.
After lunch, I dallied at the table. I managed to get my tax papers clipped together and organized. Definitely satisfying! Then I went into my studio to finish the machine stitching on the small Gelli print.
The gold vines are done using the bobbin technique. It is loaded onto the bobbin and stitched from the back. I draw a bit of a guide using a frixon pen. Now I'm ready to sit at my leisure and hand embellish using some fibers that I ordered from Monika Kinner-Whalen at My Sweet Praire Studio.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A little free motion on a Gelli print

Well, I've gotten the neuropathy under control, I think, with the latest increase of gabapentin. Feeling more comfortable. The last couple of days I've had a bit of a raw throat and feel a bit tired, maybe a cold.  Hopefully it will pass. I had some book work to catch up too, so I haven't done any sewing until today. I struggled a bit with the vinyl front bag from last post. Then, I decided I must try doing a little free motion on a Gelli print.  It's a small piece and it was easy to do without taxing the shoulder.
I stopped when the bobbin ran out of thread.
It was so fun to do even just a little! It measures 7" by 10". I'm going too batt it after the free motion and do some hand work. Can't wait! Before my surgery, I ordered a new book which I've been slowly devouring.
There are a lot of different artists and styles featured, some very different from mine.
Lots of eye candy and inspiration to try out some new ideas. I love the idea above of including the sketches. The prints I do, but I have a hard time with raw edges coming from a quilting background. I'm learning to let it go. And lastly, Happy Valentine's from my Ollie.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Zippered bag

Here's a little update on the zippered bag I'm making. This is definitely why I'm better at art than I am at following directions. First, I misread the materials list- I tend to be a little ADD- and I ironed on fusible fleece instead of fusible interfacing. This made it a real challenge to get nice top stitching and putting in the zipper was a trial!
Then, I found this grey fabric and decided I liked it for the inside. I just finished cutting it and ironing the fusible fleece on, but guess what, I cut it a half inch too narrow, lol. I'm leaving it for another day. Sigh....can't wait to get this sling off and get back to some art work. At least it's not for a gift. My daughter asked for one for her diaper bag. Another reason for my struggles is that I'm living in a fog right now. I've had to increase medication for neuropathy that has flared back up, my blood glucose levels are a bit high (no idea why) which also makes me sleepy and I'm generally fatigued. I'm on a new and second medication for my blood pressure and I need to start something for cholesterol. Frustrating. I could stand to loose at least 40 pounds; so far I've lost about 8. On a good note, I've tried to get out for a walk almost every day or a snowshoe, and I bought a rowing machine which I've started at 5 minutes since I'm using only one arm. I've got about ten days before my surgeon's appointment. After that I'll be starting building exercises for my shoulder, not just the passive ones I'm doing now. I'm so anxious to get started and especially to be able to drive again! That's my little rant for  today. This is the real me. One day at a time. Today I walked 40 minutes on snowy streets. I did a wash and hung it downstairs ( we use the drier only for towels and pants.) I made my bed. I cleaned up the kitchen. I did my exercises. I sewed in one side of the zipper. Those are my accomplishments for today. I forgot, these are the socks I've just started. Grey, again, my daughter's favourite.
  My little Ollie wearing my latest sweater. I can't keep up!
  At 4:00pm  my husband is picking me up. We have an appointment at the bank and we'll go for supper afterwards.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Relaxing but Productive Sunday

Caley and baby left yesterday around noon and for a while it felt empty and quiet in the house. She is lucky to have a baby who content and happy  much of the time. When he does fuss, you can find the reason and comfort him quickly.
He had visits with lots of my husband's side of the family including the great grandparents.
We took him snow shoeing.
We took him to lunch on Friday with my group of friends.  And now we keep posted with daily pictures and video chats and look forward to the next time. This morning, hubby and I went snowshoeing. I'm slowly building time and distance. It feels so good to be outside but I'm counting the days until I can get rid of the sling!
After lunch, I stitched the hem on a pair of cords for Gord, and stitched together the 2 1/2" square for a zippered bag.
Not my usual colors. They were requested by my daughter. Grey and beige. I've made a few of these bags and have had two gifted to me. They are very handy for small projects such as these socks that I've slowly been knitting. The yarn is six ply and they're knit on 3.5 needles so a little easier than the 4 ply I usually do.
I put together one more Trip Around the Road block. There are now 13. I need 20.
A batch of peanut butter oatmeal and banana muffins just came out of the oven and hubby is stirring a pot of hot chocolate. He just got in from x country skiing. I'm going to get myself a warm muffin and cup of hot chocolate.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Canada 150 charity blocks

I often wonder what one would do all day without hobbies. Reading can only take up so much time. Yesterday, I was lucky to have a friend take me to see the surgeon and get my stitches out. Yippee, now I can shower. Still no driving or using the arm for another month. I will start physio with passive exercise only. I'm happy to be patient, well let's saying doing my best, because the doctor said the outcome should be good. After my appointment, we met another friend for lunch and visited Walmart. That took up half the day at least. This morning, I put a roast pork into the crock pot with a homemade sort of barbecue sauce. I decided I'd like to roast a pan of veggies instead of adding them to the pot. I've been cutting them left handed a bit here and there all morning.
I also did a wash and  hung it downstairs. Not very exciting but I'm happy to find an activity I can do. Yesterday, I walked in the sub division since it was so beautiful. Today, I've decided to stay inside. It's damp and gray. After lunch, I finished up one block for quilts that our guild is making for Ronald McDonald house using the Canada 150 fabric as the focus fabric. I started the second one.
It feels good to be able to do something although I can't do it for long as the sling tends to strain the back a bit when sitting at the machine. I can always rest and go back to it. I've now got all the mistakes fixed- and there were several- and got another block almost together in the Trip Arounf the World blocks.
I can get the rest of the strip sets together as they're all cut. After that, I'm hoping to bribe a friend into cutting them up for me. I think twenty blocks finishing at 12" and I'll add borders. I've saved the best for last. A pic of my grandson, first thing this morning. My daughter said he's a morning person like her. Definitely not me!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Trip Around the World blocks

I thought I would be really bored recouperating from this surgery but not so! Grant it there are lots of things I can't do; there's nothing wrong with my legs or my left arm though and I've been finding lots to do as I feel better from the surgery. I've been needing to do some sorting in my storage areas. Who doesn't! Obviously not heavy stuff. I can, however, pull out smaller items to add to a giveaway box. It's getting full!I don't go at it all at once, just when I need to get up and move about.  I finished the book, The Improbability of Love; it's excellent! I also realized while sorting a few things in the studio that even though I can't do free motion work, I could likely do some regular piecing as one feeds with the left hand. I happened to have a box with some Trip Around the World blocks done, and all the rest of the strips are cut. I can strip piece easily.
Good thing I laid it out. I discovered a mixed up block. Can you spot it? I'll fix it later. ( since I posted, I found another block, lol. No wonder I'm into fiber art!) I plan to do 20 blocks for a 4 by 5 arrangement with borders. As I've gotten more and more into art Quilting and traditional Quilting, In recent years I've  really let myself get caught up in new things, thus resulting in too many UFO's. I must look at this time as an opportunity to organize and get some things done or to give them away. It's going to feel good.