Sunday, October 27, 2019

A quiet Sunday

Do you like to try to relax a little more on Sunday or even treat it as a more special day, doing things you especially enjoy? Religious or not, I’ve always tried to keep Sunday a little quieter than most as I think one needs it. Of course I’ve never had to do shift work but any other day would work.
Today, I slept in a bit, made eggs for breakfast and then went for a trail walk in a different place than usual.

The riotous colours have faded to more neutral and soft greys and holds. It’s quiet and soothing.

After my walk, I headed out to visit the in laws. My mother in law gifted me with one of her quilts. She was reluctant in the past to give me one, believing that I could make one better than her. (I know your reading this!) I don’t believe this and besides quilts are more about making something handcrafted with live, given with love and really appreciated. 

I will cherish sleeping under this quilt.

When I returned home, I headed to the studio for a bit where I hooped up 2 layers of green tulle and commenced to free motion stitch the base for some tree 🌲  moss.

A couple more layers are required.

In the evenings while tv watching, I’m making socks. The grey ones are done with Merino wool for my daughter and grandson, Ollie.

I started a third pair which I’ve nearly finished made with a Christmas wool edition.

For my outdoor activity yesterday, I picked more of our apples - most of which my husband already picked - and picked some kale, a wee bit of Swiss chard and final bits of lettuce.

We are lucky to have a cold room where we were able to keep apples through the spring last year. After looking on line, I wrapped every apple in newspaper and packed into Rubbermaid boxes.  It worked well.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Retreat and back to my fiber art

What a nice weekend I had at retreat. There were quilters from various New Brunswick guilds besides our own,  an interesting mix. We stay at the resource Center in small cozy rooms that used to be inhabited by nuns. It’s quiet and a really nice way to get away from a busy life. All the meals are providing and are homemade by the resident staff. Of course entering the big room where all the machines are going there’s lots of excitement, laughter and conversation going on all hours of day and night. 
Here is a sampling of some of the projects in progress.

I think this pattern was called something like Mariner in a Pickle.

There were a few stack n whacks in the works.

I was working on a couple small items. The Halloween wall hanging which is now ready to quilt. Button eyes and embellishments will be added after that.

And I started a quilted advent calendar for our grandson, Ollie, with coordinated pockets in random sizes.

I made 24 pockets and then started stitching some trims onto them.

The background I sandwiched using the envelope method. The quilting will happen when I stitch the pockets in place which I couldn’t start yet because I need to add the numbers. I bought a number stencil today.

Monday was a catch up day and yesterday, I was able to get back to my birch tree stump with berries.

I continue to cut out fused leaves, berries and stalks. Very time consuming.

I’m ready to stop and add a few more painted details to the birch and then thread paint on it so that I can add the foliage in front of it.

I came home to find that hubby had hung a vintage light that came from a church that I’ve been revitalizing with paint. 

I’m happy with it, especially the shadows it gives off, however; it’s a bit darker than the light that used to hang there. While it’s a nice ambient light,  I have to rethink it as I need good lighting for knitting.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Birch tree, packing for retreat

Today has been a busy day- packing my suitcase, my projects and miscellaneous stuff that goes with my machine, my pills, and some snacks. I also ran a quick errand, did a load of clothes and finished vacuuming a couple rooms. Whew. I was motivated though. Not only do I need to be ready to go at around 9:30ish in the morning, but I also really wanted a little time to work out a couple of ideas for my fiber art birch tree. 

The windy is howling, the leaves swirling and it’s rainy here today. Some places are without power in the maritimes. I hope it’ll be ok here.

I had about an hour and a half before I had to stop to put a chicken with veggies  into the oven. There will be leftovers for the weekend for hubby.

Using the rotary cutter, I laid some slivers of neutral fabrics onto a sheet of Saran Wrap plus and then added another layer of Saran before hooping it. Now it’s ready to free motion stitch.

Finally, I take it off the hoop and cut off the access Saran. Then I put it between layers of newsprint to melt away the Saran by ironing. I open my window for ventilation.

Although my stash is pretty good, I want the ‘twigs’ to recede into the background layer, so I think I will try a layer of greyed paint over the top.

I then cut apart some pieces and laid them out on the background along with a few leaves. I’ll paint some lace at the same time which may be used for some birch bark texture. You may notice if you look closely that the brown fabric (I changed the original background fabric) has little birds on it. The color was right though and it will be mostly covered so hopefully not noticeable.

I’m mulling over how I can simulate some of the curled bark bits that are common on birches. I’m thinking of adding paint, some matte medium for stiffness and wrapping small pieces around a pencil for the curls. It will be an experiment which I have no idea if it will work!

I’ll be at retreat tomorrow, Saturday and until Sunday after lunch. This piece will be on my mind. I’ve packed some more mundane stitching projects, the Halloween wall hanging, some Christmas fabrics for a pillowcase and maybe the start of an advent calendar for Ollie.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Autumn colours and a new fiber art

As I’m very aware of how long it’s been since I posted, I’m taking a few minutes to write a short post. We’re heading to Lunenburg this Thanksgiving weekend and I won’t have a chance to write. I’ve had a few appointments, a guild quilting day for Victoria’s quilts, a trip to a quilt show, a hike on the mi’qmag trail for my birthday on Sunday so I think you’d understand where I’ve been, lol.

You can see why I wanted to spend my day there for my birthday.  It’s breathtaking along the river.

The trails close to home are pretty spectacular too with the colours and such light that is unique to autumn in northern New Brunswick.

And then there’s the garden with a few things left to pick and lots of things to clean out. Today I pulled down the runner beans, cut the herbs and picked the rest of the ground cherries.

The seeds from the dried pods are bead  like to me. Pretty jewels.

Here and there I’ve been squeezing in some studio time. This is m season and it’s hard not to be outside on sunny days. Today, I traced my line drawing onto tracing paper which I then pin to the fabric underneath.

I can use it as a guide for placement of the main elements.

Actually I will cut the slim stalks for the leaves and berries to add before I place the leaves. I’m looking forward to some thread lace making sessions to make some foliage and moss.

We’re leaving in the morning for Lunenburg where my oldest son and wife live for thanksgiving weekend. Looking forward to rain or shine.
Have a nice weekend and for my Canadian readers, Happy Thanksgiving! 🍁

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Getting back into things

Last week we were away way to PEI where we babysat our nearly 3 yr old grandson for a couple days and a night. We were so busy and were  having so much fun that we took few pictures. I was hemming some curtains for my daughter’s new house and my husband took this of Ollie helping out. He was fascinated by the sewing machine and very good about keeping fingers back while the machine was running. Each time I stopped he would pull out the pin. He was patient, staying there for all 4 panels.

Just before we went, I had a scope in the bladder and it was confirmed that I have something called interstitial cystitis, a sometimes very uncomfortable condition. There is a rather strict diet and perhaps medication. If any of my readers has experience with this, I’d be glad to hear how you’re coping.

Yesterday and today, I’ve been getting back into my routine, doing a bit of garden clean up and working in my studio. I assembled a simple book from my boiled pages so that I can set it nearby and add color and notes when the whim strikes.

While I was at it I also put together some pages that I had started this time last year featuring the dried seed heads of the balloon flower from my front garden.

Today, I went back to yoga for the first time in a couple years! It was a 30 minutes class which I thought better for me right now. We’ll see how my back feels tonight and hopefully I’ll be able to continue. This is thanks to the spinal injection as well as the new medication for arthritis that I started a few months back.

Feeling pretty good about that, I came home, had a quick lunch and headed into my studio where I cleaned up a few scraps - I’ve been cutting the pieces for the Halloween hanging. There are a few more pieces to add and adjustments to make. Each quadrant will have a sashing in between meant to be as if one is looking through a window.

I’ve been very restless and somewhat anxiety ridden lately, finding it difficult to get down to some of my own fiber art, but felt I was ready to get back to the sea birds. I fixed a little issue at the horizon and stitched the water down at the horizon line. It doesn’t look like a lot of progress although I spent about an hour changing threads for the blue water, some brown on the log and some soft pinks and purples in the rippled shadows. 

I’m content. I stopped at 4:00 to get my boneless Parmesan chicken cutlets ready to start for dinner.

While I’m sad that summer is over, I do enjoy autumn with all the colours, the interesting dried plants and the cooler temps. As I was leaning in to snap the picture of these berries I noticed the matching beetle.