Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Less sewing, more gardening

An easing in the humidity meant more comfortable temps today. After making a beef barley soup and delivering it to an under the weather friend, I was able to  sew a sample block for an I Spy quilt before heading out to do a little gardening. 

I’m sure you could guess it will be for my grandson, Ollie. I’ve been waiting and collecting awhile to make one of these.

I noticed through my studio window that the raised bed was looked parched so I headed outside. My rain barrel levels are nearing the bottom. the thunder storms missed us last night. At least I’ve been using a bucket to fill my watering can from the kiddie pool rather than dump it out.

Since it was not as hot today, I took some time to do some much needed weeding near the veggies around the deck and around the apple tree.

I also did a little clean up in this new little space along the shed.

I really enjoy strolling around the yard to see how much the plants have grown and picking a few here and there, just enough for a delicate table top bouquet.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Grandsons visit

These past few days I’ve been busy with my daughter and 1 1/2yr old grandson Ollie who were visiting from Prince Edward Island. We spent a lot of the time outdoors—at the beach and in our yard, with a quick early morning trip to the park nearby. It was very hot and muggy.

A highlight for me was a CrossFit workout with my daughter yesterday. It was very hot though and we’d not had a lot of sleep the night before with Ollie up in the night. I had to have a nap mid afternoon when he did.

It was even too hot for too much outside water play. As I write this, I can scarcely believe the visit is over. They left this morning and I distracted myself by cleaning a bit, going to CrossFit at 11 and sewing this afternoon.

I’m putting together the 3 Swoon  blocks into a twin size quilt which I plan to give my mom to use in the home. I need to get it ready soon while she can still maybe remember I made it. She tells everyone that she made the pillows that I made.

The picture isn’t perfect as we haven’t yet hung my design wall. At the moment it will finish at 50 by 72” and I’m wondering about adding one more small strip to each side besides another blue one.

We’re looking forward already to our next visit but at the same time not wishing for summer to pass too quickly.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Summer days, gardening, pickling, sketching, stamp making, sewing, crocheting

I have been oh so busy and involved in my life — getting my mojo back. I’ve been gardening although I’m restricting my time outside in the heat and humidity. Gord put new rails on the deck (our little one is coming next week) and it looks so much better. It’s easier to see the garden too.

The radishes are one of my first harvests.

Yesterday, I made  a small jar of my favourite Vietnamese style pickled radish. Oh so good.

This week I started my 5th week at Crossfit  and so far I’m really enjoying it. The workouts are adapted for beginners and everyday is different with such a variety of exercises.  Fun! I went today at 12 and then had this for lunch.

This morning, I made a few large flying geese (5 by 10” ) to go in the side panels of the twin size swoon quilt. The design  wall is not yet hung and I’m only able to show the central part for now. As it gets further along I’ll try to get a picture with it laid out flat.

The bag with my Gelli print Artwork on front is done except for the top stitching along the outer rim.

Since my garden is central to my days right now, I’m thinking about some artwork using some of my flower motifs. With my tea after lunch, I started making some foam stamps using the Columbine motif that I’ve been using recently. This is a recent paper collage with stitching added.

For the first stamp I drew into craft foam with a pencil. This will make great background texture both for printing on a painted piece of muslin and for Gelli printing.

I tried another one using a low temp glue gun but the paint wouldn’t stay on the ridges.

I’ve done it before. It must have been the hot glue gun as it works great. I’ll try a very fine sanding and a coat of gesso to see what happens.

All these things I will slowly gather to use as texture on painted muslin backgrounds. Here I’ve cut a couple of motifs from fusible backed fabrics, auditioning them on a small piece of a Gelli print.

Last but not least a new crochet project — a throw in my bedroom and living room colors. It’s done double with Red Heart so goes quickly.

The colors are actually a little softer than the picture. It’s been a while since I crocheted anything and I’m quite enjoying it.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

A little gardening, stitching and bead embellishing

Yesterday, was a day doing errands, visiting the in laws at the beach and going for a small kayak while there.

The wild peas were in bloom and I brought home a piece picked near where the cars park that served as a little fresh centrepiece and as a subject for sketching after dinner.

 I planned for a rainy day today when I would spend the day in my studio. While it was grey, there was a breeze but no rain. Hubby was putting new rails on our small deck and I went out to do a few little gardening chores. We walked around the yard a bit talking about where I might put a small hosta that needed planting and Gord mentioned how he’d like to remove the small bit of grass in the back corner between the garden and two blueberry plants in front between which the mower wouldn’t fit. 

I’d told myself in early spring to simplify and have less gardens to look after. That didn’t last long!

I expanded by about a foot and a half in the back left corner. It curves outward now rather than inward. It is all perennials that are there at least and I tell myself if it ever becomes too much, we can simply haul it out and grass it.

After lunch, I headed to my studio. First, I put together the lining for my bag. it’s ready to put together as soon as I make the straps.

Then I sat with a cup of tea and finished sewing the beads onto the postcard. I think I’ll add the scraps of lace when I sit down to Quilt it and finish the edge.

While I had the beads out I threaded a few to be glued around the arm of the garden fairy that I made at a workshop at the Fiber Fest in Amherst last year. I’m in the process of adding some embellishments before she goes out to the garden— maybe a dragonfly or butterfly in the hand. The hands are not nearly as finessed as the teachers, so I’m looking to cover them a bit.

That’s my weekend just about wrapped up. I think I’ll stretch out for a short read before hubby returns from the golf course.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Gardening, sewing and a Gelli print postcard

The weather is slowly warming although we had a frost just two nights ago. I’m tired of covering everything up but I think we may finally be done with it.

The lilacs and apple blossoms are waning as other plants take over. All my hosta and astilbe against the back hedge are just fleshing out. It is the last spot to warm up. The bird house that you can see on the pole above  is occupied with a family of chickadees. I’ve been watching the parents fly in and out with no sign of the babies yet. I may have heard them though. I hope I won’t miss seeing them leave.

My shed is housing a good collection of glass found at the local second hand store and I needed to use some up. This past weekend I put together  a few more garden ornaments using an exterior clear caulking. 

The little birds will drink out of them and bathe if I lay a flat rock in the bottom of the bowls.

Some are decoration only. This small one below has a solar light in the bottom which comes on at night.

My kitchen herb garden is also filling in nicely with savoury, lemon thyme, oregano, sage and parsley. I have basil in the raised bed.

Now that most of my outdoor work is done, I can turn my attention to my studio projects. As I write, I’m sitting in my rocker where I can look at my most recent fiber art piece, the surfer, which I taped to the back of my ironing cupboard door. I like to sit back and think about my next steps; however, I’m not quite ready to delve into it yet. My second window is in at Kent’s. I’m only waiting for my carpenter.

In the meantime, this morning I made the pockets and set them onto the lining for my bag.

I had to quit to go to my CrossFit class at noon. It’s week number three and so far I’m really enjoying it. Of course lots of the moves are adapted for me because of all of my joint issues but I can see progress. So far I’ve gained 4 pounds, lol.

After my lunch, I felt like doing something a little creative, so I pulled out my Gelli print stash and chose one to cut up for a 4 by 6” postcard.

A stiff stabilizer on the back enables me to do the free motion stitching.

I often enjoy adding some hand embellishing so I pulled out some beads and lace.

I know it’s a bit labor intensive for a postcard; the little details are the fun part though.

I’ve got to get going and start supper. I’m making Philly subs with peppers, cheese, mushrooms and leftover barbecued steak. Hubby wants to eat early so he can head to the golf course.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Gelli print bag, kayaking and hiking

It’s pretty much a perfect weekend for me when I can say I did all the 3 things in my title in a weekend. Yesterday, was sunny and warm and after a visit with the in laws, I was able to take my kayak out for a first of the year short paddle.

I’m very careful about how much I do at first as I don’t want any strains. While it was lovely and calm, the tide was running out, and paddling against it took effort.

We had colder temps overnight and frost this morning. A 10C overcast day was perfect for my first hike of the year on the mi’gmaq trail. We did about 1hr 20min but this includes walking around roots and up and down some steep hills. It’s a good workout. There were lots of mosquitos which a small spray of fly dope repelled. We saw no bears only moose droppings, not fresh.

Near the water a good breeze kept the flies away.

There is so much flora to see as well, so much more than I’m familiar with on the trails closer to home.

Now that raised my iron levels I’m feeling so much more like myself. After a short snack and rest, I headed to my studio  where I ironed and put away a few newly washed pieces of fabric. I pulled out one of my Gelli prints to play with — my first real creative work in a while.

I’d like to start using some of my stash of prints (so I can make more!). I also sometimes like to use my prints in useful ways so I cut and sewed a piece for the front of a bag that will be similar to the twister tote I made a couple months ago only a little smaller and with no twisters. The print on bottom will be sewn on after I finish the free motion on top.

I really had to do a little free motion before I quit. After pulling a few different variegated threads, I defaulted as I often do to black. It’s so effective.

I got it started and stopped to go make homemade pizza crust for pizza. Hubby chopped veggies.

It was just enough to make me happy!
I hope your having a lovely weekend too.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Back in my studio

This is the longest break I’ve had in posting since I began my blog. Life has been really happening. Besides my mother who we recently moved into assisted living, both of my husband’s parents have suddenly had serious health issues involving round the clock help. We’ve been very busy. 

Meanwhile, the weather is warming, things are greening and I’ve also been spending some time cleaning, mulching and planting in my garden.

I’ve got a few things up in the raised bed which I can view form my studio. The lilacs are just opening and we have chickadees nesting in the birdhouse on the pole near the back of the yard. Things are changing everyday; I love watching all the different flowers and blossoms opening. 

I’ve finally gotten the top of the Cascades baby quilt finished. It needs trimming—finished should measure about 38” by 48”, a pretty good size. I will leave the quilting until later as I need a gift for a new baby.

I do have some art pieces to finish up and lots of ideas for new work but there is too much going on right now. I am happy to continue working on UFO’s. With my new studio cupboards all organized, it’s easy to see all my fabric and projects and I’m inspired to get more things done. This is a section of selvedge edges that I’d started to make a cover for the back of my computer chair.

It needs batting and some quilting before I’ll make a simple slipcover for the chair back.

Our Northstar Quilt Guild has a show going on this weekend which I’ve not helped with. I did pop in for viewing quilts yesterday and spent some time and money in the shops. I ordered a cute pattern for a gnome quilt and bought more batiks for the Majestic Mountain quilt that I’m making.  I didn’t even get pics. There are so many beautiful quilts and displays and even a bed turning. I think it has been well attended. 

I contributed a lap size Hallowe’en quilt, one piece of fiber art and this Twister bag.