Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Quick sketches, coneflower

This week I’m back in hospital 4-5hrs a day again for the IVIg treatments. I didn’t do much yesterday other than water my veggies and fill in some spots with more seeds. I wondered around the yard and took photos of a few flowers, cosmos and coneflowers, some of the first ones of the season and 2 of my favourite flowers.

Today, after a bit of lunch, I watered again, and with my tea out on the sing, I read some of my new book.

I like the different styles by the different artists and so unlike most of my work. One of the exercises is to lay out a variety of drawing tools and mediums and then do quick sketches. They could be timed, something to try another day. 

I’m enjoying watching a family (or two) if baby grackles in the yard this year. They do live the birdbath.

On the first page, I used, pen, pencil, a stabillo in black, watercolour pencil and Neocolor II crayons plus a bit of wash.

Next I drew a coneflower onto children’s craft foam and loosely cut around it. I used the crayons on it, spritzed with water, stamped and then added some thin black pen lines. I’m really trying to loosen up. This is something I plan to experiment with more.

I am content if I can look after my garden, manage an easy supper, do some light housework, and do something creative.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

My yard, a free pieced cushion cover and painted sunflowers

Each day upon awakening, I have my tea in bed and contemplate my day. I must ration my energy and so I pick a couple  Of projects depending on how I feel  and the weather.
Today it was sunny, not too cool and breezy which meant no flies. A good day for a little gardening.

I weeded one more small section and added mulched. Little by little it gets done.

I’ve planted all my veggie seed against the deck and in the raised bed.

The apple tree is just coming into bloom.

I love the shadows.

Currently, I’m resting, but there’s always something to do. I put together a cushion cover made from a free pieced and quilted top done this past winter.  I like to put my front and back wrong sides together and then add a binding. I did cut the binding at 2 1/2”, a little larger than my normal. I think I could have gone larger still.


I like it against the grey sofa where I’m currently stretched out.

Finally, I pulled out this painted and screened sunflower piece started some time ago. It was meant to be a wall hanging or a runner; I think maybe I’ll finish the painting, cut it in two and make a bag.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

My yard, some baking

Finally, we’re getting some sunny days with warmer temperatures and the perennials are up except for a few hostas in cooler spots. The raised bed is planted with seeds; the radishes and some spinach are up.

The herbs are growing in the garden against the house by my back door. I can’t wait for it to fill out. Some are perennial. I planted a few new ones as well - rosemary, tarragon, lemon oregano, basil and parsley, to name a few.
The two windows on the right are my studio.

After my veggie garden is taken care of, I will finish weeding and mulching  the back perennial garden against the hedge a small section at a time.

The scarlet runner beans, snow peas and sugar snap peas are planted near the trellises against the deck. 
New this year is an awning that Gord put up for me overtop the swing on the deck. It’s south facing and always too hot for me. Now I’ll get more use out of it although mid summer when it’s hot, I retreat indoors.

Would you believe we still have risk of frost so I can’t put out the annuals just yet!  Maybe by the weekend. So, I’m sitting here, on the swing with my homemade herbal ice tea and muffin contemplating the next seeds to plant.

I’ve been experimenting with some low carb and sugar substitute baking. These drop cookies are meant to be a replacement for the frogs my mom used to make. They have coconut oil and almond butter to replace the butter and swerve, natural sugar derived from veggies, to replace the sugar. I find them good while I’m eating them but I don’t like the after taste of the sugar. 

Next, I made muffins with almond flour and coconut palm sugar, a Keto recipe, with some fresh picked rhubarb. They taste good.

I’m sitting with my knitting for a short rest before it’s time to start supper.

When I can’t be outdoors in the garden, I return to my studio. Progress had halted with this piece as I wasn’t happy with it. I pulled it out yesterday and finished some bits of foliage, added the inky looking water as well as adding few small highlights to the rock.  I’m still on the fence about it and pushing myself to at least get all the parts on and move it to the sewing machine to see how it goes. There’s still a little fussing where water meets the rocks and there’s a small bit of rock strip to add in the foreground.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Hand stitching and knitting

This is my week back in hospital again for the IVIg treatments. It’s Monday to Friday and it takes about 4 hours. My husband drops me off on his way to work and picks me up around noon.  I get very whoozy from the benedryl and the Tylenol they give with it as part of the protocol and for the rest of the day I don’t do too much. Today though we went for lunch.

It’s finally warming up - the gardens are sprouting and the trees are just starting to leaf out. I find this time of year before it gets too hot is very pleasant on the deck. In summer it’s usually too warm for me.

I’ve got my knitting and a book out here with me on the swing. There is a gentle breeze and the sound of birds in the yard at the bird bath and in the nearby trees.

Finally I finished the small columbine piece, all but the binding. And the binding is made. I quilted only around the floral motifs and then added some hand stitching and  a few beads.

It’s not quite time to put the seeds in the garden. Next week. But I did put a few in the raised bed. It’s so nice to get outside again.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Little Projects

in the last couple of weeks because of the bronchitis, I've been spending little time in my studio, choosing instead to rest for a good part of the afternoon after doing a few odd chores in the morning. Just when I think I'm feeling better, I will start to get very raspy and wheezy with a bad cough later in the day. So, I'm looking after myself; I finally got to watch the movie, The Shape of Water, which I enjoyed while knitting along. 
Even though today is cold, dreary and wet,  and I truly wanted to stay inside, I headed out this morning to do a few errands  since I'll be back in hospital next week for the IVIg treatments.  I've assigned a couple to do each day.

Inside my studio after lunch, I finally finished up the bit of stitching on the appliqué 12" by 12" Columbine piece.  I've added the batting but I'm not quite sure how to quilt it. I do know that I want to add some hand stitching so maybe it doesn't need much quilting.

The lilac just outside my window is budding but not likely to do much on such a cold day. When I drove by a couple of the garden centres, they were closed and some of the flowers and shrubs were covered. It was only 4C!

I'm limiting my free motion time right now due to the bronchitis and upper back pain associated with it. It's a good time to putt around a bit and finish up a few little projects as well as plan a future one.

I'm auditioning some possible fabrics for Jerome the Gnome purchased from MarvelesArtStudios. Not usually one to do someone else pattern, I have a fondness for gnomes and couldn't resist. I've also followed Leslie for a long time and I love her work.

 These are some possible fabrics for the gnome hat and robe. I'm still looking. The one on the right is a dark green velvet which I could distress for the look I want, maybe.

I've had this piece of selvedge edge pieced fabric lying over my sewing machine for ages. I trimmed it today and cut the side pieces which I'll stitch insert for a proper fitted cover. It's especially important, I think, since the machine sits in a sunny window.

I'm going to go pour myself a cup of tea and sit until I must put supper in the oven.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Small creativities

Over the past weekend, we visited our grandson, Ollie, and family. We took Ollie out for a few hours - swimming at the pool, to the market, Wendy’s for lunch and then the park.

I picked up a second. Orchid pot. The orchid in last years pit is happily blooming again.

A little watercolor sketch. I’m taking it easy. We had to leave a bit earlier as what I thought was an allergy cough turned into a fever and full blown bronchitis, again, 3rd time this year. I saw the doctor Monday, and again today. Today, she gave me an antibiotic and increased my cortisone again. 
So for now, I’m resting again, doing unchallenging physical activies. 

This is the baby quilt finished last week. It was sent off with the machine quilter yesterday.

I’ve put up a few quarter log cabin blocks up on the design wall and pulled out the scrap bin. It is no brainer work and I can do a few when I’m up to it. I liked one I saw on Pinterest that had self sashing blocks matching the set in squares which I think I’ll do.ill have to purchase a plain color.

The shawl slowly grows. Another easy relaxing activity.

Now, I need to recuperate and wait for some warm sun and gardening to get my strength back.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Week of treatments and some decolorant paste testing

I finally got the call for the IVIg (intravenous immunoglobulin) treatments at the hospital. This is my view for the week. It is a treatment that has been successful in improving Small Fiber Neuropathy which for me includes numbness, tingling, burning, and rapid heart rate. At night even the softest pjs feel picky and painful against my skin and I often have restless legs and feel as though bugs are biting me. I’m optimistic.

I’m here for 6hrs a day, Monday to Friday and by the time I get home the day is nearly done. You wouldn’t think laying around all day would tire one out so much. They give Tylenol and benedryl as part of the protocol too though and it knocks me out.
I will be doing this one week out of every month for a few months and then maybe less depending on how it goes.

While my supper is warming (I’ve lots of leftovers from the weekend) I’ve been trying a few samples of monoprinting using a decolorant paste with some dried flora gathered last fall. I want to do try a few more small pieces. The one on the right came out pretty well; the others not so much.


I added green paint to the decolorant on the blue and green fabric and it didn’t work as well. I don’t have anything specific in mind to do with these. They’re small pieces for experimentation, something to occupy my mind and creative need this week when there’s not much energy or time. They will be added to my print box, perhaps with a few more tonight, to be used in future projects.