Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Playing with fabric and fusible

Still following my resolve not to follow any schedule, yesterday I walked to and from the coffee shop to meet friends and then walked over again for lunch. I relaxed and read the paper. It felt nice.
This morning I went to yoga. It was the third of an 8 week session. The stretching is good for me but boy do I have a hard time to slow the thoughts bouncing around in my brain.
After lunch, I had the urge for the first time in a few days to play with some fabric, revisiting this tree that I started about a month ago.

I added some final snippets of fabric and started stitching it all down.

It's not based on any photo, so not completely realistic, just my mind's eye view. The plan is to sandwich it next, do some background quilting and we'll see. Sometimes it's only about the process and working out an idea and it may never be finished.
I have mixed feelings about it so far but at least it's absorbing and interesting so far.
I'm linking to The Needle and a Thread Network.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Taking care of myself

As some of you may know if you read my blog once in a while, I've been dealing with some health issues and as result, my creative art endeavours have dropped off.
I haven't been blogging because, I've not been doing much that it is picture worthy or inspiring. I've decided to write a bit about what I've been going through but don't want to dwell on it too much.
In fact the neuropathic pain I've been having combined with the side effects from the medications has caused me some depression. It's understandable as my life has drastically changed. I don't have the inspiration to create right now. I think I am doing all the right things to look after myself, taking time to relax, read, exercise, meditate and eat healthy meals each day. Some days it becomes overwhelming but I'm trying to practice patience and kindness to myself hoping 'this too shall pass'.
We had a beautiful sunny day on Saturday, the first one in ages. I sat out on my deck barely moving a muscle for 2 1/2 hours. I read a bit, but also spent a lot of time lost in the warmth of the sun and the songs go the birds. It really felt good.
Yesterday and today, were back to rain so I'm concentrating on inside comforts. I'm sharing a recipe for banana chocolate chip muffins that I made this morning.

I used 3 bananas and altered the recipe slightly adding 1/4 cup of yogurt, a handful of coconut, and some chocolate chip muffins.
My daughter had the bright idea to add a dollop of Nutella to two of them as an experiment.
A bit of an indulgence, but Oh my, yum! You must try them!
Another thing I'm doing as a bit of a distraction is a little baby sweater. They do say knitting can be meditative.

I bought the Baby Tea Leaves cardigan from Ravelry. I don't have a specific baby in mind but I do enjoy knitting small sweaters and it's nice to have one or two on hand just in case.
I just thought I might add that I've been and will be seeing doctors and I surely don't recommend my methods to deal with incessant pain and depression to anyone. This is just the road I'm taking.
I'll pop in once in a while when I do have something creative to write about. The muse visits me occasionally; I'll try to store it up for better times.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cosmos runner

Aside from vacations, I think this is the longest I've been away from my blog. I've got my daughter here until next weekend when she will move to PEI for a year. This works out great for us since most of my family live there and there is even a cottage for me to stay at open from May to October.
Also, I'm still having brain fog issues stemming from my medications which are not working anyway. I found a massage did as much (or more) for my burning/tingling pain (neuropathic pain seems to be the consensus) as the drugs. So, I've joined 8 weeks of a yoga class once a week and I'm trying to do more meditation. Lots of reading on the net has made me realize this could be a long term thing I may have to deal with and I'm not sure all the drugs the doctors want to throw at you are the way to go. Well, at least if they worked, it might be worth it but so far nothing has.
This afternoon while another snowstorm blows outside (hardly believable!), I finished up the machine quilting on the cosmos runner. The binding will have to wait a few weeks until I go to Moncton as I don't have any fabric large enough to match.

I decided that I need to experiment with different quilting designs and these small pieces are perfect for that.
This is how confused I am right now. I have just remembered that I wanted to taper each end to a bit of a point and I completely forgot! It's all quilted now so I don't think I'll cut it. Darn.

I at least have some ideas on what I might like to do for my next project. For today though I'm going to stop so I can go do my bit of a workout.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fern runner

I've finally finished sewing back the binding on my second fern runner and laid it out on my coffee table for photographing.
I can't decide if I like this one or the first one I did.
It's funny how we go through phases with our quilting and artwork isn't it? I seem to be on a bit of a runner craze right now. It's quite satisfying to make a piece of art that can be used and enjoyed.
I've got my latest, the purple cosmos one sandwiched and on my machine, ready for quilting. This morning, I made muffins, did a wash and did my 'time' on my sit on bike. It's a bit damp out here today although warm. Now, I'm free for a bit to meander on the runner and perhaps do a bit of reading form my latest book which I'm quite enjoying, Anna From away by D R MacDonald. I love to read good books that set in familiar places. (It's set in Cape Breton where I once taught for several months.)
Got to go now and get a bit done before my daughter arrives home from her PEI trip where she secured an apartment for herself for the next year while she takes her Bachelor of Education at the University of PEI. We'll be moving her in a couple of weeks.
I'm linking to the Needle and Thread Network..

Monday, April 14, 2014

Building the runner

This morning I got up and did a house cleaning job that was way past over do. I cleaned my big freezer downstairs, a big job as it is large and was quite frosted up. It didn't take long to knock the ice off the walls but then I had to bend over it, scoop it all into a bucket, and mop it up. All in all, between that and making spaghetti sauce at the same time upstairs, I got a workout.
This afternoon, I added some batik prints to the thread sketched center that I did the other day.
I haven't yet made up my mind as to whether I should cut pointed ends.
It's quite purple isn't' it? I auditioned some greens but the purples somehow seemed best. I have to give some thought to how I will quilt it as well.
I feel satisfied that it's been a prolific Monday. I hope yours is too.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thread painting in black

I'm not sure how much I like this piece. It's not meant to be a work of art, just a little something for me to dabble at while I'm still going through my health issues.
I like the colors and the sketchy black outlines though. The plan is to add a small plain border and then some batiks to make a small table runner. I enjoy looking at the fern one I made for my coffee table. It's a useful bit of creativeness that makes me happy.

Sorry for the shadows. It's still on my sewing machine. I'm just so excited to be doing a little something. Haven't resolved any of the itching and burning symptoms-- I'm just trying to get through my days without totally losing it!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Some fabric printing

Yesterday, I vowed that I would do a couple of fabric prints today, not a big session , just a couple to do some free motion work on. And I did! All of a sudden I'm feeling less groggy and I got out for a good brisk sun filled walk this morning. My daughter went with me even though she went to the dentist and then for a 10k run this afternoon. Oh, the energy!
It's a start. I'm already thinking of a different color combination. The first one is done by applying paint to a large plastic freezer bag, removing bits with a paint brush and drawing into it with the wooden end. Then you flip it and rub it onto the fabric.

The idea for this method came from Alicia Burke's blog. It is square in shape and will make a nice center for a table topper or runner.
Onto the second piece of cotton, I ironed flower shapes cut from freezer paper.

I then played with adding paints and textures to the Gelli plate, laid the fabric with the ironed on paper shapes atop it and rubbed.

This method gives more of a resist look because of the paper mask. I will add some color with my Neocolor II crayons before the thread sketching.
I feel like a new person today! I hope it lasts through tonight as that's when the itching/burning is at its worst. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring wreath

As you can see by the time in between my posts, I'm still struggling. I had some blood tests and everything was ok there, a relief, but we still don't know exactly what's causing my all over itching and burning. We've also ruled out allergies. I'm now taking a common medication for nerve pain which is making me very dopey until I get used to it. It seems to be helping some although night time can still get pretty uncomfortable. Can you imagine, to see a skin specialist or a neurologist, I could wait a year!
Each day, I drag myself to my sewing studio and do a little bit. I'm currently stitching the binding onto my fern runner so I'll show that in the next couple of days.
Today, I felt like I accomplished something when I added a few flowers and a ribbon to a wreath.

There are some little art bits floating around in my head. I even picked out paint today. There is hope.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Finally a bit of free motion stitching

We have been so housebound here with all the blizzards coming one after the other. That along with my itching problem has just about driven me mad! I really don't want to complain too much because many places here in the maritimes are still having snow and wind with the schools closed for another day. Some places got freezing rain and are having power outages. The weather is 'the' topic of conversation right now. We are so fed up.
My girl's flight from Montreal got in late last night and today dawned bright, mild and sunny. We went for a nice walk this afternoon.
She brought me back two little wire men that her friend made. This friend who is also a world traveler, makes these little men and passes them out to people along her travels. I once remarked about how cute they were.

They're about an inch and a half tall and it's not very clear that one is blue and one is green.
I actually sat down to my machine and did a little free motion stitching-- haven't been near the machine in days! I haven't got my mojo back yet but at least I'm doing a little something.

I'm still having my itching and burning problem but I've found a medication that seems to be helping some. I don't feel quite so close to insanity anyway! I'm beginning to wonder if it might not be hormonal.