Thursday, June 24, 2010

Too Busy!!!

I have had almost no time for creative endeavors the last week or so. I did get some quilting done on an art quilt I've been working on in fits and starts for nearly three years! I hope to have it done in time to finally enter it for the Quilts = Art = Quilts show this fall. Just being accepted would feel like winning the biggest prize ever! I am also working on a sample for the quilt shop using paintstiks. I'll be teaching a basics class next week. Hopefully next time I'll have pictures to share.

Most of last weekend was spent watching my step granddaughter play softball. They WON the tournament, so it was all very fun to watch. ( I haven't found baseball this exciting since the Mets won the series in 1969!)
Amy and her Dad are the ones on the far left. She's the strike out queen!

I spent a short time sitting on the porch watching the clouds one evening. This thunderhead was just amazing. As I watched it, lightning flashed across the surface of the cloud and I could hear distant rumbles of thunder.

Otherwise it was pretty much pulling weeds, watering the pots, trying to keep cool on the muggy days we've been getting -even a little housework. (when the floor is crunchy, it's time to sweep)

This week has been more of the same. I did go see the Nancy Crow exhibit at the Schweinfurth Gallery in Auburn yesterday. (same place as Q=A=Q) I admit she hasn't been among my favorite quilters, until recently, but seeing her work up close like that was just inspiring!

I am grateful for:
My very best friend, who loves me anyway.
Bright colors
Some of the flowers I grew from seed are starting to blossom
Sock knitting is portable
Having something my husband and I can enjoy together

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Meditation in the gardens

Yesterday after dinner I picked up the camera and headed outside. I pulled a few weeds along the way, deadheaded the pansies and lupines, watered the potted plants. But mostly I was there just to find inspiration. To look and the gardens in a different way. To SEE the gardens. I have spent too much time lately reading books that encourage you to create an inspiration journal. To find things that please you on some level. And to be "in the moment". And I suppose this was a result of all that. But what joy I found! This butterfly was a brown shape on the rocks. I stopped and looked because I thought how odd that leaf is sticking up like that. But then he opened his wings for me! Clearly he's been in a battle of some sort, but he survived!

The moss that grows in the shaded ares fascinates me. I can't begin to say why.

This is Lady's Mantle. People would think it's my favorite plant since I have it everywhere. In truth it spreads quickly and makes a nice border in the garden, so I plant it where ever there's a space. (want some???)

The whole collection of pictures is here (assuming the link works this time!), but this one is a surprise even to me. It's the bud of a purple cone flower! Isn't that texture fabulous????

I am grateful for:
Getting close to being done with my "spider quilt"
Lazy summer days- they are SO rare!
A dress that doesn't need to be ironed
Really bad movies (you can't beat this one!)
Good music at Pandora

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fabric painting

Last Saturday, a group of ladies from the Guild took a class with Barbara Murak. She is a great teacher and a very giving and generous person! She encouraged each of us to try all of her techniques, ensuring us that we can do it! She inspired us all to play, have fun, and find our inner artist. This is one of her fabulous landscapes. I so want to be able to do this technique.
My first attempt is not what I would call a success, however. The green I put on to be trees, looks more like smoke rising off the trees. I noticed at one point it kind of looks like aurora borealis, so maybe a piece called "Arborealis" is coming???

I really love the stripe I did, though, and am looking forward to trying it again very soon!

I finished my self portrait in time to be able to add it to the show the art group is doing. I used this silly picture , since I was keeping things simple on my first portrait style piece. next time it will be a glimpse inside. (sounds yucky, right?)

I have decided this is the final arrangement for my one block wonder. Once again, I have my seams running across the quilt instead of from top to bottom. Not that it's wrong, but as a sort of compulsive person, it bothers me a little. (not enough to "fix" it!)

In the gardens this week, I was thrilled to find this gorgeous Iris blossomed. I moved some of the iris after they blossomed last year, and just knew this one had ended up way out near the road, rather than in the bed near the house. The wind broke it off the very next day. :-(

Our baby birds are growing very quickly! This was taken a week after they hatched! I think by next week, they will be nearly ready to leave the nest. I will not bother them again as I don't want them to hop out of the nest where my cat might find them!

I am grateful for:
A glorious sunrise yesterday morning
The way the swallows fly over the wheat fields to catch bugs
Peaceful music
A nice chat with my son
Sleeping under a quilt when it's cold outside

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Coming up with the title has me stymied this time. There really isn't a topic. But since I'm posting pictures of flowers- and things that look like flowers....

The high point of last weekend was the sew along we had at Mt Pleasant. Kathi posted a picture of us getting silly on her blog. I got the rest of my hexagons put together and started to play with them on the design wall. This is what they look like at the moment. I need to rearrange a bit so I can add another row- and get more green in the one corner. The design part of One Block Wonders is the most fun- and most frustrating- part. I always think I can make it a little bit better.

In the garden, I was able to get a nice picture of the baby birds! Remember that single egg? Well, there ended up being four of them, and the babies hatched Monday or Tuesday. They will be "Chipping Sparrows" when they grow up. The nest is maybe 3 1/2 inches across. I still want to know how those birds were in those tiny little eggs!

Out front, the California Poppies have started to blossom. They self-seed- almost to the point of being invasive. But they are so pretty I can't bear to pull them up. A couple of years ago, a momma bunny set up housekeeping among them. Imagine my surprise when weeding and something moved under my hand! Would you have guessed it was bunnies?? me, neither.

The last bloom I will share this week is the nearly completed quilt the members of the small art quilt group has been working on. The flower is called a "convolvulous", and I grow them in my gardens. The petals are finally all made and are ready to be attached to the background quilt. It seems a shame to cover up Elaine's beautiful quilting!

I am grateful for:
Friends to play with who at least seem to tolerate me acting childish at times.
Occasional uninterrupted periods of sewing time.
Chocolate ice cream with peanut butter sauce on it.
Cold beer
The sun sparkling through the leaves when I lay on the hammock