Saturday, March 28, 2020

Inspiring sunny days feel good

On fb first thing this morning, I noticed a post by a very small local florist, showing pics and offering free delivery. There was one I’d been interested in when I last visited and she had one left. I was able to email transfer the money and she rang the bell to let me know it was on the doorstep.

It’s a castle cacti and is perfect for the skinny window shelf in my studio. Notice the snow which is still above window level in the back yard.

I’ve been getting myself into a routine of playing with my previously printed sketchbooks and collage in the mornings.  I’m going to have to find a way to organize the paper and ephemera; it’s currently all in one box and seems to be multiplying as I continue to add and tear things up into ever smaller pieces. I have one empty plastic box that I think I’ll use but to sort some colors maybe I’ll try file folders.

This is one I started yesterday using the inside of a business envelope that I’d just gotten in the mail!

Another one made using a copy of a boiled page with leaf imprints. Maybe I’ll work into that grey with some pastels.

Today, I was inspired by this pic posted on Instagram.

And tried this. It’s not finished yet. I left room for a little pen work.

They are no works of art but very fun and absorbing. It’s a good way to develop design,s, ideas and even symbols and motifs that could transfer to fiber art. Start looking through your papers and see what kind of scraps you can come up with. I’d lov3 to see some!

It’s such a warm sunny day today that we had to get out. We took a few snacks and the snowshoes and went to the local golf course. Look at that sky!

Hubby wanted to check out a few of the birdhouses made by his father.

Look what we found in one of the birdhouses.

And of course I had to bring some of the wasps nest back along with a few other things.

While I was on the golf course, I also did a few small sketches with a water solvable granite pencil, adding a tiny bit of watercolour at home.

I had my tea while I wrote this. Now I think I’ll head outside to the deck for a while. 

It’s sheltered and warm in the sun.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

A week of creativity

Well another week has gone by like that. I still find myself waking up in the morning and having that split second before reality sets in. Do you feel like we’re living in a bit of a nightmare? In my lows and because of my asthma and lung function, I despair a bit, I have to push aside thoughts that something is coming for me. Most of the time I do my best to stay positive and to keep the creativity flowing which puts me in the moment and relaxes me.

I’m keeping to somewhat of a routine, breakfast, chores, creative endeavours, lunch , more creativity, a walk with hubby and perhaps some cooking or baking. We are so far eating well.

I’ve started going through my sketchbooks and using foam print test pages as a basis for collage. It is something I don’t have a lot of experience with but it is fun and absorbing. I do have quite a bit of paper scraps and ephemera that I can use.

I’ve seen posts recently with simple line drawings that I really liked so I tried it. I think this would be fun to explore a little more. It helps to relax and not be so concerned about exactitude.

I leafed through my sketchbook and found a small watercolour of a dried columbine seed head and another stamped page. I cut out the seed head and added some scraps, an old stamp, a tea stained letter, a candy wrapper, and a bit of pen work.

Then I couldn’t resist adding another quick line drawing. Maybe it would be a fun session to sit and do several of these for other pages. A little relaxing background music helps. Take the time to relax and breathe and do not be concerned with perfection. They’re not works of art but they are so fun!

I can do a short session of free motion stitching before the shoulders get sore. I backed a couple small pieces with stabilizer. This one will be the behind the vinyl window in the little zippered pouch.

And I’m not sure about this one yet. I want to experiment a bit with it.

I’d like to hear how your faring and what your doing. Pictures welcome. 💜

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Keeping creatively busy

It’s interesting to see how much one gets done when in self isolation at home. Mind you some things get done out of a sense of anxiousness. Once I put the music on though and get going, I can relax. I’m having more time to write my blog, so why not, it might give someone some ideas or even just a bit of relief to see what another is doing. Things being so uncertain, (it really seems almost sci fi-ish doesn’t it?) it can’t hurt to have a little reading and hopefully some inspirational pics.
Today, I simmered a couple of ham bones that I’d frozen to make ham and split pea soup, a comforting meal. It’s simmering now and it smells so good.

Once everything is cooked soft, I’ll use the immersion blender on it and add the ham bits back in. Maybe a nice Irish soda bread will go nicely with it.

This is a fast and easy baby quilt of which I put the last few blocks together this morning. I always disbelieve those who say you can make a quilt in an afternoon because I’m oh so slow but this really is fast to do. These blocks finish at 7 1/2”. The center rectangles are 3 1/2” by 7 1/2” and the side bars in the grey polka dot ate 2 1/2” by 7 1/2”. 

There is a larger version of this pattern so you could scale it up. 

As I was putting away the leftover scraps I got distracted in the scrap bin. I grabbed a few pieces and crazy patch sewed them onto a scrap of ironing board fabric. It’s a potholder that finishes at about 8”.  I’ll add a backing envelope style and a little loop hanger.

Then at lunch I continued cutting a few more paper stencils, something I started yesterday. This is the collage I did then.

Today’s cutting. Of course it takes a little time to get the hang if it; I think kids could have fun with it too.

I’ll save these along with other scrap paper in a box for some collage play later.

It would be interesting to cut some from freezer paper so I could use them as a stencil on fabric or paper.

As handwork when I put my feet up, I’ll be working on adding hand embellishing to Ferns and Lace.

So hopefully, I’ve provided a little distraction, a little eye candy and maybe some inspiration. 💜

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Quilts and stuff

We just keep on getting snow which really isn’t atypical for here in northern New Brunswick, Canada. Yesterday my husband and I travelled an hour to Campbellton for my spinal injection for my herniated disc and managed to get home before the worst of the snow. It is really a quite painless procedure. I only need a driver and must not be alone for 24 hours. I had good results with the last one about 6 months ago. It was suggested some weight loss would help too. I’ve lost about 20, need to do more but there is definitely some improvement. 

The snow levels are higher than the studio windows.

The view from my kitchen window.

We also tried to stock up with groceries on our way home. We have no virus cases in our city yet and only 1 or 2 in the province but I’m being told because of underlying issues to self isolate, so I will other than essential appointments. Our schools have been closed as well as sports and any other gatherings. It’s the same in PEI where my daughter lives. She is scheduled for her C section on March 30th and it’s looking like we won’t be able to get there to babysit Ollie. They’ll make due somehow; we’ll be sorry to miss it.

I visited a local florist last week and picked up a little green therapy. One is this little string of pearls which I’ll eventually hang.

I also picked  up a plastic lined basket into which I plan to put several orchids and an ivy plant. And that’s the book I’m presently reading.

On my design wall. I’m slowly joining the rows of majestic mountains. 

These are 2 sets of Gelli prints I’ve put up for thinking about.

This project has been laying around in various stages of completion for ages and I’m finally getting the binding on it. It’s a classmates bag.

Getting UFOs finished is one nice thing about staying home.

As always I have knitting on the go too. This is a baby or child sized afghan. I can’t watch tv without something to keep my hands busy. I’ve got lots of yarn in the house too!

Stay safe and healthy. Look after yourselves and others. 💜

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Free motion quilting Gelli prints, screen prints in the sketchbook

Some exciting news! Yesterday, I received notice that my last fiber art piece with the birch tree, Autumn Lilies, was accepted into the juried show at Quilt Canada in June, in Edmonton.

We have a snow day in our region today, while further south in the province they’re getting rain and freezing rain. Schools are closed. It’s a good time to stay inside and be creative. I don’t know about you but I’ve had to cut back on listening to the news. I find myself getting anxious over this virus and the stock market crashes. It means  listening less to CBC talk radio, so I miss the news times.

So, here I am today with the classical Music channel on my tv, trying to relax into some creativity.

I sandwiched this piece and free motion quilted one quadrant.

After some thought I decided to do feathers in the sashing areas.

Around lunch time, I got out my sketchbooks and did a little collage and screen printing on a couple of pages. This one I started before. Today I collaged the burgundy part on the left and added a thin layer of gesso. I plan to sketch on top so we’ll see about another coat of gesso when it dries.

On the second one, I collaged on a few strips of torn tisssue paper horizontally, and once it was dry, added a screen  print in white acrylic. I love the white on white texture.

Here it is with a light watercolour wash of blue over the top. I have in mind to sketch feathers on it.

This week I finally got a new coffee table. My old one was from my mom and was one of those ugly orange solid wood ones. I painted it lime green which I loved but it was too long for my space and it always looked messy without a shelf underneath to organize a few books.

You may also notice the pendant light in the right hand corner. It originally hung in a church and was purchased from an antique store and rewired  by my husband. The gold framed mirror next to it is from my husband’s aunt who lived to 101. I like a mix of old and new with some quirkiness, colour and evidence of creativity thrown in.

 I like 

To add some color, I pulled out a mandala doily that I crocheted a few years ago.

Finally, on my design wall I’ve put up a few Gelli prints just to give me something to think about.