Monday, April 29, 2013

No time to sew.

 Between one thing and another last week, I barely had time to go in and look at what's in my studio, much less do any sewing.  The good news is gardening weather has finally arrived!  I have only a slight sunburn, broken nails and achy back and knees to show for the weekend!

I have taken an a new responsibility at the shelter.  I've been going in to help one day a week.  Now I'm sort of the shift supervisor on that day.  Scary, but also fun, since I get to play with all the kitties.  This pretty girl was visiting last week, on her way to a foster home with the babies.  How many do you see?  There are 5!

One of the "fun" things I do while I'm there is laundry. This blanket was in the load I folded when I got there.  Isn't it gorgeous?  Wouldn't those colors make a fabulous quilt?  Maybe in Ann Brauer's style!!!
I once saw a quilter lecture who said as long as you do something using your creative energy every day, that's enough.  So I guess I'll have to be satisfied to be inspired by a ratty old blanket!

My own foster kittens are doing fine without Momma.  (she went to be a wet nurse for other kittens).  Robin suffered a bit of separation anxiety for a couple days.  He fell behind his brothers, but it looks like he's trying to make up for it now!
  They will be big enough to be neutered soon, so I only have another week or two with them.  If you know anyone who wants a kitten......

My green thought this week is to use as few pesticides and other chemicals as possible on your gardens.  There are alternatives for many of them. I myself am vowing to do the edging the hard way rather than using roundup.   For pest control, here is a list of natural alternatives to try.

I am grateful for:
Perfect SPRING days!
Opening the windows to enjoy the fresh air.
Listening to the birds sing and battle for nesting sites.
Cuddling kittens.
Macaroni salad!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Landscape fiber collage class

Last Saturday at the guild meeting, we enjoyed a visit with Sharon Bottle Souva.  (She has a website, but it is being rebuilt because of hackers.  GRRR!)                 She is a very talented quilter and fiber artist, and a lot of fun to spend time with!  She did a great trunk show and shared some of her journal writings and poems with us.  This is one of my favorite of her pieces. I forget the title of it.

After the meeting, a small group of us took her landscape collage class.   It's a no sew project, and we were able to try some fun techniques I would not  otherwise have ever done.  For example, the background of this piece is a painted dryer sheet!  And most of the elements are made with art tissue!  It's just like the tissue paper we use in gift bags, except this is made so that when you get it wet, the ink runs and makes wonderful patterns and mixtures of color.
 This is my inspiration photo.  I took this at Glacier national Park in 2010, when we made our road trip to Portland with Guy.  This spot is near where you can see the continental divide, so that's what I titled the collage.

Here is a not so great picture of everyone else's collage.  Tracy's Letchworth Park (upper left) and Jeri's sunset were the class favorites!

I hear we may have Sharon back to do the quilted landscape class.  Sign me up!

My "Green" thought this week is about making small changes a habit.  I see so many events at the college where people leave behind items that are easily recyclable, even if there are recycle bins nearby.  It's all just changing our habits and mind-sets!  So easy! 
I would also ask that you write a letter.  I have no specific person or business in mind.  But if you are aware of an issue, let someone know.  For example, does a certain store automatically give you 5 coupons  that you know you won't use every visit?  That's a waste of resources.  Write to them asking them to offer a way to opt out.  It may not make an immediate difference.  But if no one speaks up, no one is aware of a problem!  I still say complacency is the biggest threat to society!!

I am grateful for:
The opportunity to try new things.
Spending time with creative people.
Being thought of as someone who can handle things on my own. ( I hope I can!)
It's not windy today!
Cookies in a mug.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Doing what little I can to help

 As usual I am having trouble getting the pictures where I want them.  Sorry in advance- again.

I made the trip to BCCR on a gorgeous sunny Monday to take these quilts up for their "Pals packs".  The two with red blue and yellow were made by a friend.  I made the others, mostly when I was teaching scrap therapy.  In my online groups, we call them "Jennie quilts".  We lost our dear Jennie to this dread disease in 2008.  She loved bright colors, so I always try to use them in my donations.

I made a couple of sweet hats for a friend.  The mannequins in the PSG classroom didn't mind modeling them for me.

My babies are growing quickly!  Their eyes are turning yellow and they are getting their grown up fur.  Wasn't it nice of them to pose for me?  I surprised them- other wise they are moving too fast to get pictures these days.  It's SO hard to tell them apart, but I think from left to right is: Morgan . Bean, Mouse (lower right) and Robin

I am nearing the end of my "One Zentangle a Day" journey at last.  At the beginning of the last section of the book, one exercise is to choose some of your tiles and frame them.  I found a frame made for old LP album covers that seemed perfect for them.  Mine are nowhere near as good as the ones at "Tangled up in Art", where I have been following others' work from the book.  But they are good enough that I enjoy looking at them and reminding myself I do have some artistic talent.
 The one in the center is called  "zendala".  The Zentangle inspired art form is addicting!

This one was made with a template (sort of) from the book.  It's not easy to draw them on y our own if you aren't good with protractors and compasses. 

However,  I found a site with challenges that include the template for tangling!  I could spend days just looking at the pictures of how others filled the templates!

The "green tip" this week is a new resource ( to me) with information if you are planning to remodel in your home.  The National Association of the Remodeling Industry website has plenty of information on what to look for, and ways to make your home more Earth friendly!

I am grateful for:
The fact that more people weren't killed in Boston on Monday and the first responders and bystanders who saved lives
A gorgeous sunny day
The green appearing everywhere outside- there is color in the world again after months of grey!
The relief of laughter even when it isn't really funny
A visit with Lucas and his family

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Finally, Spring!

Last weekend we had two actual spring days in a row!  It seems Mother nature finally got to my order.
I spent a bit of time in the gardens clearing the detritus of last year.  I was happy to find a few flowers already making appearances! 

Up in the nursery, the babies are growing up fast.  I call this the leaning tower of cute. 

I have been thinking of doing another Ann Brauer style piece using coral and turquoise.  But how to transition between those colors?  I tried colored pencils, but they didn't blend as well as I would like.  Watercolor crayons? Same thing.  So I got a plain white t-shirt at ACMoore and got out the fabric paints.  I didn't have coral, but the one called "salmon" was close.  This was done using "Dye-na-flow" paints.

As long as I was at it, I decided to try and cover a stain on one of my favorite shirts.  I used a color called "Brass" on this one.

Here are the finished shirts.  So now I know- it's a sort of purply grey I need to find for the transition.  I see fabric shopping in my future  I wonder- do quilt shops sell fabric by the inch?

Since I had the paints out, and Kathryn Schmidt had just done a post about fabric painting in a bag, I gave that a try.  I'm not sure what kind of paint she uses.  I used the Setacolor paints, which are very thick, so I always thin them at least 50% (approximately).  Anyway, my results weren't as striking as hers, but I am quite pleased.
The pink and orange one was the first into the bag.  Then after squishing that around a bit, I took that out and out the other piece in.  It wasn't getting very colorful so I added a few drops of purple.

The turquoise was first this time.  When I took it out, I realized I had grabbed the wrong piece of fabric.  The second piece was much bigger.  So I added some green and a few drops of purple again.  When it came out, I scrunched it up and dabbed some silver on the bumps.  I may go back and stamp more silver on that one.

Earth day is coming up soon.  Many places have events where you can safely dispose of household chemicals, e-waste, etc.  (Eco-fest at GCC is Saturday, April 13, from 10 -2) If you've been wondering what to do with that stuff, find the collection in your area!

I am grateful for:
Sitting in the sun outside with my kitty next to me soaking up some sun.
Listening to the frogs sing in the evenings. (you can hear it here)
Aching knees and back, and broken fingernails from time spent in the gardens.
Collaborating with a fellow quilter on a project- that moment when you both realize it's perfect!
Playing with tiny kittens every day.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Ann Brauer piece finished

Last week I showed you the construction of the Ann Brauer inspired project we did at ArtCGirlz.  Yesterday I had a bit of sewing time and decided to cut it up and make my little bag.  I had no waste and nothing at all left over.  I'm quite pleased with it, but was thinking how much more interesting it would be if the stripes had intersected.  So, I guess I'll have to do another one....   

Since I don't have much else to write about this week, I thought I would share some of the wonderful art on display at the Galleries at GCC.    
The first pieces are student work from the various art classes offered.  

by Emmaline Vacanti

 These two pieces are  by Hikaru Kishimoto

 "Historic artifact" by France Lippold

I found myself wishing some of these fabulous pieces had price tags on them!

 In the Lobby Gallery we are happy to have an exhibit by Geeta Harvey.  I attended a lecture she gave on her work, and should really have taken notes so I could share some of her insights and inspiration for these pieces.

This piece is titled, the Gold Necklace.  I'm fascinated by the shadow below the gold!

 This piece is called "Engineers"  Part of her "Virtual Icons" series.
 This is the only piece from the sari series on display.

Waterfall detail

A lot of people give their house a good cleaning in the spring. (these people can be neither quilters nor gardeners, in my opinion)  If you are planning to do some cleaning, try some of the recipes for earth friendly cleaning here

I am grateful for:
A little extra sewing time last week.
An actual spring day over the weekend (it's winter again as I write)
I finished something!
A bonus outing with my BFF!
Private jokes that keep us close and keep us laughing!