Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Free motion stitching

We arrived home last night from a nice long weekend and a family gathering at the cottage on Prince Edward Island.
The old folks are a bit slow.
We hadn't thought it was going to be warm so although we had bathing suits on, Ollie didn't have his. It didn't seem to bother him.
 I had a clinic appointment this morning and then picked up a few groceries. I'm feeling pretty tired! After lunch, cup of tea in hand, I went into the studio to putter which often gets me going. Since black thread was still on my machine, i sat down to stitch a few sea shells onto deli paper.
These are meant to be added to my mixed media piece and painted and stitched over.
Before removing the black thread, I also finished stitching the left hand flower on this Gelli print that I started as a demo for my workshop.
I'm always thinking ahead; I knew there would be lots of Queen Anne's lace growing in the ditches by the cottage so I packed an old phone book. 
I like to press wildflowers late summer into fall for winter to be used in my printing sessions. Finally, I took off the black and threaded the machine with a variegated color that I picked up while away to match my collaged piece.  I had time to get started. This piece is made from various prints of wildflowers picked and pressed last year. I have phone books full.
I can't wait to finish so i can add some layers of hand work and other shear fabrics.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Gelli print wildflower collage

I've been floundering a bit this summer as far as my fiber art goes. Ive mamaged to finish some things, but I'v also had a few starts and stops, a couple that i wasnt happy with -- i couldn't seem to work through it.  Finally, i gave myself permission to pull out my box of Gelli prints. I have lots because of my recent workshop, so i gathered a few with similar flora and colors. These are sone of my fabourite things to work with. Generally, i would seam them together, sometimes adding sashing and borders.  There are two artists whose work I love--Cas Holmes and Jane Lafazio. Their fibre art pieces are often raw edge layered with personal symbols using different textures, fabrics, and with both machine and hand stitching.
 Here is a piece by Jane LaFazio.
Inspired by these artists, yesterday, I started cutting pieces up with the rotary cutter and no ruler! I put a piece of fleece up on the design wall and started laying them out.
I couldn't wait to get back to it this morning. Finally, after moving a few around i decided to commit and start stitching. After taking a picture, i did a light spray baste and put everything back in place.
The next picture shows a detail of the machine stitching over the raw edges.
I think I'll continue to stitch everything down in this way, maybe varying colors and pattern. I also plan some overlays with textures and sheers using free motion sketching and some handwork. Finally, I'm excited! It is summer though and i have to start packing for a long weekend at the family cottage in PEI. There will be a barbecue attended by any of my 3 brothers plus spouses, a sister, and some nieces and nephews. My son and wife are coming from Lunenburg and of course we'll see my daughter with her partner and our grandson. A real family gathering that we do every summer. Ollie started crawling last week and is really enjoying exploring his parameters. One day, after coming back from putting cloths away, my daughter found him sitting in the corner with his book.
He is very active. I'm hoping this means he'll enjoy the quiet times too.       

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Dragonflies, seashells and summer adventures

This is one of those rare weeks, especially in summer, when I have no visits and no appointments. I'm spending it as creatively as I can. Before i tell you about what I'm working on, I want to show you what hubby and i did on Sunday. I've been reading a book about New Brunswick waterfalls. It has long been on my bucket list to swim under a waterfall. I discovered one near Miramichi called Little Sheephouse Falls anout an hour and a half from here. The weather Sinday was perfect and we set off with a lunch and swimsuit, bug stuff, etc, in a backpack.
It was a short hike but then we discovered to actually get down to the falls, there was a steep trail into the ravine. I made it with the help of my poles and a rope which had been tied to the trees along the descent. What a pretty spot! It was so worth it. 
The dark area near the falls becomes deep, over my head in a small spot.  I ventured into the very refreshing water (that's a nice way of saying cold). After going in and out in between eating our wraps and sitting in the sun, we quickly got used to it.
I can't even express how exciting and exillerating this was for me, especially after spending the last few years physically limited. Thanks to my new hip and a couple of joint repairs, the world has opened up to me again. I am thankful. I also heard about a zipline opening in Miramichi, reported to be the longest in NB and we were driving right by it. Yes, im terrified of heights, but I thought i could do it. I've been adopting the philosophy that i must not miss opportunities when they arise. 
I can say i did it! Wish i had a photo to prove it! G took a movie too big for me to upload here. The platform is set above a cove of water. You zip over, climb another hill to another platform and zip back over the water. French Fort Cove. We stopped at Boston Pizza for supper. The first thing i ordered was a cup of tea. I think it took an hour for my heart to slow to normal!  It was the best day! Now, to my latest fibre workings. Finally i finished a few dragonflies, terribly fine work, although absorbing and metitative at the same time.
I'm even adding legs made from stiffened perle cotton. I'm pretty happy with these although I'm already thinking about how to make the wings thinner, lol. For now, I left the 'cows' on the design wall. In order to proceed  i need more mixed media to go with it. This is what i mean. I decided to use a summer theme on a smaller piece for practise, starting with canvas, some washes and free motion stitching in black based on a page from my sketchbook.
Yesterday, i applied some lazer prints to organza using gel medium and after drying last night, soaked them and gently rubbed the paper off leaving the color on the irganza.  I cut two pieces out and laid them in the background. This is a method described in a video by Jeannie Palmer Moore. She also has an article in the latest Quilting Arts.
Next, i added more color using chalk pastels which work like a watercolor wash when brushed over with fabric medium.
Around lunch time, while i was eating, i took the time to boil some new potatoes, and blanch some fresh yellow beans and peas from my garden. I assembled a salad, inspired by a Pinterest picture of a niscoise salad. Dressing was mixed in a jar using, rice wine vinegar, fresh oregano, herbs, a little greek yogourt, some avocado dressing and some olive oil. 
I'm getting hungry thinking about it! After that I searched up some info about seashells along with some sheet music of a little song and printed them out. More transfer onto organza to be made with thise later.
The shear beige organza which came from my stash (found as a blouse at Frenchies), I free motion stitched, again with black.
These can be cut out and collaged to the background.
It's pretty warm out; I ventured out earlier to water and pick veggies. I spend my time in a cooler interior when it's like this unless it's the weekend and we go to the beach. Tonight, we may walk at the waterfront. I hope you're having a nice week so far and have some creative time planned.