Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Plant pressing, a Halloween wall hanging, sandpipers

My husband is away this week and things are pretty relaxed here. I finally got in for the spinal injection last Friday. It took about 1.5 hours including recovery time and I felt relief within the first hour. Within days I was walking longer, with my poles, and I’ve been out collecting more plant material to press in old phone books for printing projects in winter.

Wild asters

These are delicate and I’m not sure what they are. If I use them, I’ll attempt to find out. They were gathered along the woods trail.


I’m still looking for a few more although my stack of books is pretty full. My husband has more away work in the next while so maybe I will get to do some printing.

I also finished this tea towel which I was using in a gift and can now show. I made the gift bag to match.

This is a small table which I picked up at a yard sale for $5 and that I’m painting white. It’s solid wood, maple I believe. My daughter was looking for something that would fit beside the bed in their new bedroom in the house they just moved into. A lucky find I think.

I’ve really slowed down this summer whiling away my days with not much in the way of art. At least not my usual. I haven’t been sketching since early summer until yesterday except for drawing out the pipers and my sea birds.

Today, I put homemade beans in the slow cooker; I haven’t had them for ages. To cut the sugar content I used half blackstrap molasses and I used coconut palm sugar. They are delicious.

After my knitting group today, something else I haven’t been to all summer, I needed a short no brainer time filler and so cut a few pieces for a Halloween wall hanging.

Working on my own artwork often involves more time and concentration something I’ve not had as much of lately.  There've been a lot of appointments and tests. I’m trying to take the days as they come, not putting too much pressure on myself to work as much in the studio as I did. When I’m inspired and when I feel up to it, I go. I find that I’m easily stressed as I age and as I have medical challenges so I’m working on letting go a little. I’d still like to stay connected and will keep posting when I can.

I’m off now to have a plate of those beans.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Sea birds fiber art

It’s sunny and warm with a slight cooling breeze today. Perhaps I should be outside on such a lovely day, but I’ve been anxious to try to re-establish some studio routine. 
I did get out over the weekend though, golfing with hubby and walking on the trail near my house. It feels food when the air has cooled and I live watching for the late summer blooms and colours. Pearly everlasting in the first pic is one of my favourites.

This morning after starting a wash for the line and going round the garden to pick the fresh veggies, I went to the studio. I made the deal with myself to go for a short bike ride after supper and then later remembered that our first guild night is tonight. 

After working a a couple hours this morning, I broke for lunch and an errand. I’ve been playing with shades of hand dyes half the summer trying to make up my mind on the best choices. It tends to look a bit high contrast at the moment. That will change though when I apply some shading with mixed media and then add free motion stitch.

I’m not settled on the sky piece either. Oh decisions, I’m having a terrible time making them lately.

Wow, it is difficult to get a good photo with true colours. The first one above was taken outside and the last one inside. The second one is closer to the true colour.

I’ve finished most of the fusible collages pieces now and I cut out and backed it with stiff interfacing. I was hoping to get it to the machine tomorrow; however, I’ve just had a call from a doctor in Moncton, a back surgeon, who can see me tomorrow. So, I’m off for the day again as we’re a couple hours away.

Before sitting to write this, I took a wander into the yard and snapped a few pics. The scarlet runner beans and climbing peas are taking over the deck.

The apple tree is heavy with fruit.

The zucchini plant is laden with zucchinis and I’ve already picked several from this one plant including one that I’m using for supper. I don’t have a spiralizer but this tool from Pampered Chef is perfect for doing tiny strips, plenty enough for an Alfredo sauce combined with some noodles.

Fall is definitely my season. My birthday comes early in October and I’ve always loved this time of year. I enjoy observing the days as the harvesting proceeds and wanes and the colours of autumn brighten as the days cool, all the while trying to hang on and not think about what’s to come, lol.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Plovers on a tea towel

This is one of those slow rainy summer days when sewing is guilt free. You don’t feel like maybe you should be outside in the garden or doing something to enjoy the sun. Our summers are so short. Most of the time, I really do try to let my days unfold as they will though, according to how I feel.
Today, I decided to get a little much needed house work done early (for me) and then I popped over to Staples where I picked up a small wireless speaker, something that had been on my wish list for a while — perfect timing as it was on sale.

I’ve got it linked to blue tooth on my computer although I could quickly easily link it to my I Pad if I wanted. And one can move it from room to room. I know I’m rather late in discovering this; I feel pretty excited about it, lol, like I’ve discovered something new and exciting.

Once I got that figured out, and it took all of about 2 minutes, I was ready to finish laying out the little plovers on the tea towel. I ironed it all down and started the free motion stitching in black. 

I’m not adept at the satin stitch, nor do I often have patience for it. I do like the sketchy look of black free motion though. It has a gestural quality similar to a loose pen and ink. Hopefully, it will hold well enough to be used as I also used a light Steam a Seam.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Prince Edward Island

Last week, we visited family on the Island. My daughter was moving into a new  house and we took Ollie with us for a couple of days and an overnight at the family cottage. We kept him busy at the park, at the beach and around the cottage.

We were lucky to have excellent beach and swimming weather. I’m always happy if I can get in the water.

We wore him out. Us too! He did very well overnight with us for the first time and not even in his own bed. During the days we made a point of showing and having him play in the cottage bedroom where he would sleep and mom also prepared him well, sending his night light, his noise machine and his favourite books. He put his things into the room when he arrived so I think that helped too.

We went into Charlottetown for our last night so we could be around to keep Ollie busy once most of the furniture was in the house. I’m ever the teacher.

On Friday, I had a chance to go for lunch with my sister and my mom who has Alzheimer’s before we left for home.
It was a busy and somewhat exhausting week that sped by in a flash. You now how it goes.

Monday morning I was lazy and slow to rise. G has gone back to work and it felt a bit lonesome at first. Putting one foot in front of the other is how I get going. Tea and breakfast. Some wash. I cooked macaroni noodles at breakfast time for a macaroni and cheese casserole and I made the cheesy sauce for it after my lunch.

An easy supper.

With my tea at lunch, I sketched a few plovers for a little appliqué project.

Then I headed to the studio where I gathered some fabrics and some fusible and started cutting. Here you see them loosely arranged on a tea towel.

It’s a simple project for a little gift. Another day, I’ll add some water and sand, iron it all down and free motion stitch it to add detail and ensure durability.

My last thing is another afghan that I’ve started. My fingers must keep busy! I did this pattern, the basket weave in a smaller baby version and really liked it so I’m doing one for me.

What are you up to this week?

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Bits and pieces

Bits and pieces is how I have learned this summer to break up my days. I’ve at the moment figured out how to be more consistent with pain meds and to balance small activities so not to aggravate the slipped disc which I’ve had for some time but which has worsened. As often happens with health problems depression is an issue. It’s not a serious clinical depression; I would not want to diminish the seriousness of a depression  some people contend with. I handle it by trying to relax and to let the day unfold as it will. There are always possibilities on my mind when I awaken, but they’re not firm goals.
After my morning tea in bed, and I stay as long as required, and breakfast, I take another tea out on the deck to ponder my morning. Today, I decided to pick some of the last of my rhubarb and mix up this recipe of rhubarb biscuits that I’ve been saving.

They are delicious as anything with rhubarb can be. I found not all the rhubarb was well softened during baking though. Still a nice little treat with my salad.

I’ve been picking away at my gnome, cutting flowers, bugs and butterflies sometimes in the early evening while watching the news.

I still need more of the smaller vinelike flowers. They’re intricacies take more time than the larger flowers. 

This is a pattern by Leslie McNeil. I have followed her for many years and love her work. It’s kind of the perfect project for me right now.

Today after lunch, I did a little free motion quilting on the sunflower bag. I know it would have been nice to have this finished by now. Readers if your getting bored, I apologize. It’s good though to think about the process sometimes, after all, for me, it’s more about that than the product. The process is where one can relax with good music and immerse oneself for a time. Although the finished product does make one happy too.

I feel content that in my allotted time this afternoon I got the center quilting done on one part of the bag.

Keeping it simple. It is a bag after all and will be used.

On my needles is another baby afghan knit from my leftover stash. Basketweave pattern

I’m excited because over the weekend I was able to pick up some of the fabric paint that I will use to paint a sky for my terns. We took a drive along the Acaduen Peninsula to Caraquet and stopped at the Grand Anse beach for a swim on the way back.

And, I’ve got some hand dyed blues on the way that I’m hoping to use for the water.  Something to look forward to. 

This is what I mean about pacing myself. I’ve got the paint and would like to do the sky but it doesn’t fit into my creative time today. I have to dole it out. I’m planning to make a simple pad Thai for supper which is one reason why I’m sitting resting and writing this right now. Also, it is warm and muggy again. We may go for a swim later or take a short walk and then get an ice cream.