Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Mini printing wild peas with a foam stamp

Having had a bit of a late night last night, I was slow to get going today. Sometimes I’m very groggy and the best thing for it is to just get moving. Do some laundry, clean up kitchen, make bed, etc. We debated heading out to the beach for a swim; with dark clouds looming and thunderstorms predicted we opted to stay home. It’s very sultry out and still not raining though.

I pulled out the sketch books and some craft foam to play with the wild peas motifs.

For the first print I usedNeocokor II crayons - coloured on, spritzed and blended before printing. It makes a watercolour effect.

The next ones were all done from 1 acrylic paint application, spritzed and rollered a bit.

Each one gets successively paler.

I really like all the textures and lines. I’m looking forward to trying it out on fabrics.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

A muggy Sunday with thunderstorms, doing some stitching and sketching

It’s been mostly an inside day today, starting with a leisurely breakfast and a little sketching. I brought home a few more sprigs of wild beach peas yesterday to use as an artistic reference. As a bonus, I pressed the last bunch in an old phone book for future use in mono printing.

I did another pencil sketch at mid day. As I become interested in a particular plant, I like to do detail sketches, slowly becoming more familiar with the shapes and colours. It may or may not become fodder for a textile work, if not now in winter when I need a lift. I plan to do some foam stamps and maybe some printing.

Hubby went off to the golf course around 7:00 (crazy) and came home soaked after 9 holes, when he joined me for breakfast.

Besides raining off and on, it’s very warm and muggy outside, not my kind of day. When there was a little sunshine breakthrough before the rain returned with thunder this time we took advantage and did a short bike ride around the nearby subdivision. 

I’ve been taking it easy, low gears and no hills hoping to build a little muscle without bothering the knee and at least keeping things moving a bit. Walking is a little difficult right now but may improve once I’ve had the spinal injection.

The yard has filled out, especially with the rain and warmth this week.

I’ve not been able to get all the weeding and mulching done but hubby has said he’d help this week during his week off. When we work together this back garden might take an hour; by myself I’d be at it for days.

The two windows on the right above are in my studio.

I’ve been in the studio today, getting the front and back of the bag finished, I thought, and backed with the Soft and Stable. But look what I did, lol.

I put the top and bottom strips on the wrong ends of one section of the bag and shall have to unpick. As if my progress isn’t slow enough!

Like most studios, there are projects that have been sitting aside for too long. Sometimes, one gets to a point on a piece where it’s not appealing and not making one happy. Just so with this piece. I have a hard time to completely abandon something unless I’ve given it my best. There are times when you have to push forward and see where it goes. It may work or not. While I still had the black thread on my machine, I decided to work on the dark areas with lots of stitch to see how it goes.

I see progress but still not sure. I left stitching the foliage on top because it’s the rock that was giving me pause.

I will go a little further I think and we’ll see.

This is my second small baby afghan that I’ve done as a tv watching project. I’ve got sweaters to work on for my grandson; however, it’s ‘no brainer’ knitting I like to do at night.

It’s soon time for me to move and get a quick supper started. I’m using leftover salmon and adding a white sauce to serve over rice. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Flowers, wildflowers, sketching and foam stamping

It’s amazing what a good doctor and his team can do for your spirits. Yesterday, we went to the pain clinic in Campbellton where I met with the doctor, nurse practitioner and his nurse. He spent a good hour going over all my health issues and recommended and referred me to an excellent young endocrinologist that he works with. We looked at the MRI pics of my back and he recommends a spinal injection first which he hopes to do within a few weeks. We will see how it goes and discuss surgery for 2 slipped disks depending on the results of the spinal injection of a cortisone and numbing drug mix. I felt cared for and hopeful afterwards.

Today, my outlook on life has lifted. Not to say my problems are solved but there is hope for improvement.

After meeting a friend this morning, doing blood tests and then errands, I felt ready for a little creative experimenting. First, I watered some veggies and picked a fresh bunch of flowers.

And I made a new pot of my herbal iced tea. 

It is light ( I add only about a tsp of honey and the teas are all caffeine free) and thirst quenching. I even drink it while it’s still a bit warm when I’m thirsty.

I’m still doing small sketches of the wild peas from the beach, this one in ink and watercolour.

I also experimented with a craft foam stamp, drawing directly onto the foam very lightly with pencil first and then redrawing with a heavier hand.

The fun part is testing it out with acrylic paint in my sketchbooks. There were a couple slight flaws in the foam which showed up as straight lines but it’s no problem as I plan on doing more. It occurred to me that it might work nicely to do the actual flowers and the leaves as 2 different stamp, an idea for another day. I do quite like the lines and textures in this one though. You see how one thing can lead to another? And I wonder how it will work on fabric. I think I may try making a stencil for screening too.

First, I will need to search for my heat gun which is currently hiding on me.

Summer to me means, the beach with all its sounds and sensations, the breeze, the bird calls, the sound of the water, the great expanse of water and waves. I love it. And then there is my yard with my small gardens of veggies and flowers and all the birds who come to visit the birdbath, all of which I can watch  from my studio.

And inspiration collected and displayed on my window ledge.

Can you feel it? The optimism. The fun in a little creative play no matter where it leads.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

An Afghan and a cushion finish, the painted sunflower bag

We’ve just had a visit from our daughter and grandson. They left after lunch today. We are having some very warm and muggy weather so this morning we took Ollie to the splash park downtown while mummy showered and packed.

The last 2 days were spent at the beach. I was surprised at how fast the bay had warmed up; we were all in the water for a while.

At home in our yard, we set up a swing in the apple tree and a small pool.

Even a little one on the deck, lol where he could play in the shade. I think he actually liked playing with his toys at this one the best. 

After they left, It was very quiet here this afternoon. It’s a 4hr plus drive home to Charlottetown and I just got a message they’d stopped for a break as Ollie was crying. At 2 1/2 he runs out of patience in the car even though mommy packed some special treats and toys.

After picking up the toys here,  I headed to the studio for a little stitching, adding the interfaced borders to the front of the sunflower bag I’m making.  The plan is to add Soft ‘n Stable and lightly quilt it before I put it together. 

The handles will be this heavy twill that I purchased. 

Last week, I made  the free pieced panel that I did some time ago into a sofa cushion. Every so often I have to make an effort to finish up some things or my drawers get full. I get all excited to start something and then it sits.

While in hospital a couple weeks ago, I started a baby aghan suitable for the car or stroller using Bernal Pop.

It was so enjoyable and easy to knit that I had to start another one.p in a different colour way.

That’s it for my energy today. Tomorrow, we p,an another visit to the in laws at the beach to take down our kayaks where we’ll leave them for the summer. I haven’t been out yet.
I hope you’re having a nice weekend in whatever part of the world you live. 
Happy Saturday!

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.