Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Another snow day

All schools in 3 Maritime provinces are closed today and I have kept busy in my studio. This morning, I did a little watercolor experimenting in my sketchbook - an idea for new fibre art.



This is a sample pinned on my wall. The chickadee is thread painted, cut out and pinned to the background. The hand is a photocopy cut out and pinned up. The rosey patch is left from a previous piece. It’s all percolating.



I remind myself from time to time that I haven’t been practicing much with my sketching and watercolors.  I get lazy, as I often enjoy doing crosswords with my tea. Today, I took out my watercolors and studied a bouquet of dried roses. These were purchased about a month ago for half price and I let them dry out, proof that you can really get your moneys worth!



I am not adept at roses as you can see, but I will keep experimenting.



After lunch, I was on a mission to finish a small piece that has been laying by the wayside for too long. So long, that I couldn’t even find the reference photo and had to work from memory (which isn’t great, lol). I managed to finish the stitching, back it with batting and to do a small bit of quilting. I’m auditioning fabrics for the binding which I think will be the darker blue.



My son lives in Lunenburg, NS and often goes winter surfing on the Atlantic. Wave conditions are usually better. Several years ago, I did a piece with my son in it. This is one of his friends.

If you follow me, you may know that I struggle with severe osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis along with neuropathy and other medical conditions. I work at staying mobile. Yesterday, was a beautiful day and I pushed myself to get out on the snowshoes despite fatigue.



It felt good. I had a hard time all evening to stay awake. Today, I have had good energy so I decided to sign up for a 30 day free trial of beginner Pilates. My back has been very stiff lately, I do have 3 herniated discs so I have to be careful, and I have a hard time to reach my feet to put on footwear. I need to move and stretch so thought I’d try it as a change from yoga. I did a short 20 minutes before I took my break for tea and to write this.





Saturday, February 9, 2019

February guild retreat

This is the first February retreat that I’ve been to in a few years - since before my shoulder repair and hip replacement and I’m so happy to be here. I’m currently having a little rest in my single room. This resource Center was once a nuns residence. The rooms are small but simple and comfy enough for a weekend. The bathroom is nearby in the hallway.



Our home cooked meals and snacks are all provided for a very reasonable cost. It is a very warm, friendly, chatty, and sometimes  funny atmosphere. I enjoy watching the quilts grow as the weekend progresses. This is a small quilt made from a panel of animals that I’m doing for my grandson.



I don’t bring any fiber art to work on  - it would be too complicated. That’s for my studio. This is mindless (mostly, I’ve had to rip a couple of seams and recut some pieces, lol) affording time for chatter  and laughter.






 



There are 10 quilts done by the ‘quilting angels’ that are destined for Haiti.




At night I can retreat to my room at any time. I have reading and movies to watch on my I pad while I knit before bed.



It really is a nice little happy getaway even though I’m only a couple km’s from home and excellent,,ent today with the temperature at about -15C with gusty winds.

Im wishing you a happy creative weekend.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

When it’s snows, we sew

I thought I’d catch up a bit with you here on what I’ve been up to. My days are broken up into a slow start with my tea in the morning, followed by a few chores, and today a quick errand. While out,  I pushed a bit of snow off the front steps and into the driveway, cleared out the feeder and added some peanuts for the blue jays who I could hear squawking in the nearby trees. They are raucous pigs but pretty and fun to watch.










That’s one of my studio windows on the far right.

It’s almost like walking through tunnels. Please no more snow for a while! To add insult, I had a cortisone shot 2 days ago to my wrist without improvement and I have a sore swollen foot which I will see about tomorrow, so no snow shoeing right now.

Just before lunch, I did a short workout downstairs - rowing and a few exercises and then I showered.

I try to spend a couple hours in my studio in the afternoon. Today, I fiddled with the 2nd seedpod piece that I started, placing the silk ribbon stalks and ironing it all in place.



It measures about 14” by 25”. Maybe I’ll add small borders.

Then I sat down and free motion quilted this little 6” by 8” piece, A Chickadee along the Snowshoe trail, that will be a donation to the SAQA Spotlight auction. 



The chickadee was thread painted on another piece of fabric backed with stabilizer, cut out and fused to the hand dyed background. The hand embellished branches are almost finished and I will add a few ‘frosty’ beads.

I’ve also pinned up a 2nd slightly larger piece with another chickadee. Somewhere I have a picture where the chickadee was coming into land on my hand for a sunflower seed. Maybe I’ll add the hand.



Now, I’m taking my tea and heading to the sofa for a short rest before I get dinner which I started at lunch time by cutting up veggies for a vegetarian sort of pad Thai. I’ll have brown rice instead of noodles. My energy often peters out by this time of day so I either like to have supper made or started earlier.

I hope your staying warm, or cool, depending on the need and having a bit of creative fun. Cherish the moments.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Another storm day and more studio time

G and I went out out early this morning for groceries before the big storm. While I’m all for a little snow, 30 - 50cms doesn’t thrill me, especially when it’s accompanied with winds. Spending the day in my studio  during a gentle snowfall is looking lovely’s being stuck inside when it’s a bigger storm makes me a bit edgy. 
On our way  we stopped at the river to snap a few pictures of the shanties. Last year I didn’t get any. I enjoy sketching them although they are less colourful this year and more spread out.







It’s starting to pick up out there.






I put on some nice music and finished most of the quilting on my pod piece and also pieced a binding.



Once I finish writing this, I’m going to work a little on the hand stitching. Short sessions are necessary as I’m still wearing a wrist brace. It’s not improving so I’m booking for a cortisone shot in a few weeks.

On my design wall is a little chickadee that I thread stitched. I added fusible, cut it out and I’m auditioning fabrics for a small piece I want to make for an auction fund raiser with SAQA.





Now that I’ve got my counter top for my other machine with the under cabinet lighting and my large monitor that I can watch shows on, at night I’ve been spending more time there working on regular quilting projects including these majestic mountain blocks.



I haven’t been listing here as often as I’d like. I’m listening to my doctor and trying to slow down a bit. I’m still working in my studio and often post on Instagram and Facebook. You can find me on Instagram under the name  naturetotextile. I’ve yet to figure out how to add the link here with this latest blog APP.



Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Years Day

I’m writing a super quick post to wish you all a Happy New Years - sending positive vibes out across the world. We’ve gotten a fresh fall of snow today. 




I’ve spent most of the afternoon in my studio cutting the end of the pieces for my rock cliff and except for a few tweaks here and there, it’s ready for the machine and some thread painting.  It’s been peaceful and I even finally feel like the prednisone and antibiotic are doing their work in my lungs -  my breathing seems to be improving. It’s been a rough couple of weeks.

As I finished up the fused collage on this piece depicting a part of the local mig’mag trail, a scalloped potato and ham which hubby helped make this morning, are baking in the oven.

As my main  has been to heal, I have not given any thought to the new year and what it might mean. I don’t generally make resolutions but I sometimes choose a word and make goals. 

I have a few goals:

Finish my most recent pieces for possible entry into a juried show.
Get my health and fitness back on track - no diets but I’ve really got to clean up my diet 
                                                                 -    Looking forward to snow shoeing again

A word I came across while reading this past week - depth- caught my interest.  Finding depth in the moment, in my studio, in my creative work. As always, it’s a work in progress to try to slow down, breathe and fully savour all the moments in my life.

Warm wishes and vibes to you!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Stitching, crocheting and Christmas preparations

This year, I’ve really scaled back on Christmas activities and preparations. I think I might be suffering from a ‘perfect storm’ of ailments  rendering me exhausted. This morning occupational therapy made this brace for me and I was told to give it a complete rest. It’s my right arm and I’m right handed! It’s going to seriously hamper my stitching and sewing which were already cut back. I’m doing some of this:



It could be worse, I try to tell myself to keep my spirits up,  but not always easy.
I’m having only my son and his wife for Christmas Eve and day. They are vegetarian so no turkey. I’m doing easy stuff, a soup, cheeses, olives, baguettes and a main dish as yet undecided. Maybe filo with feta and spinach. We will go to PEI to see the grandson and family later in the week.

Yesterday, I made a gingerbread cake with cranberries and butterscotch sauce which I will freeze for Christmas dinner. Of course we did a taste test! It is a delicious , moist recipe.



I’ve been working here and there in my studio only in shorter lengths of time. I’m pleased with where I think I’m going with the seed pod.



The smaller pod top left is only resting there and will move. I’m glad I got it to this stage as my mind will rest easier . I’m not completely sure exactly how I’ll finish but have an idea.

When I want some no brainer playtime I’ve been playing with the ‘scrap box’ piece. It’s also near to finishing and will also cause no angst to sit.




I suffered through finishing this double stranded very heavy waffle stitch  afghan because it’s a Christmas gift. I love it so much if it wasn’t for my daughter, I’d be tempted to keep it. When my arm is better I will use leftovers in a different pattern.it is so weighty and warm.


I put together this small table topper (about 10 by 15”) to fit my small kitchen table in between the placemats. My machine was acting up while stitching the appliqués on so I left it and put it on the table as is, lol. No stress.







I’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas, happy holidays or whatever suits! I’m going to be taking some time off here until I do can some healing and I’m able to create again.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Some improv sewing

It’s been a bit of a slog lately -  fatigue, illness from a new med and tendinitis, lol. It’s been seriously hampering my stitching time. The doctor has switched me to an injection which will bypass the stomach, rather than a pill once a week. I just gave myself the first one and was pleasantly surprised. It was easy.
I have been sewing a little here and there but not what I’d liked to have been. Generally, I don’t sew at night; however, with my revamped sewing room, I’ve subscribed to The Quilt Show and I’ve been watching and stitching. At night, I like no brainer stuff, so I started a little improv piece just for fun. It may become a small baby quilt or simply a wall hanging.



This afternoon, I did a little cleaning and organizing. I figured out how to hang my design wall using command hooks. It had previously been screwed up. I did one half so far.



I took the rocky cliff down and laid it on a cutting board for now. There are a lot of pieces with more to come, so it’s easier laid flat. I’m anxious to finish this section and stitch the pieces on before adding it to the background I think.



Then I trimmed the seed pod and added stiff interfacing to the back. Next step, some free motion stitching for accents.



I’ve been gathering up some prints and fabrics to work with it.
This is not the finished arrangement.



The last thing is that I got the I Spy quilt ready to go to the long arm quilter this weekend. I pieced the backing fabric on the right.



I feel back on track and hope it stays! Have a great weekend.