Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not much here, so go here instead...

Oh my, I feel like I'm spinning in all different directions with the different things going on around here.  It's routine stuff (work, household chores, doctors' appointments) and preparing for exciting family times (parents moving closer -- yay!-- and upcoming travels far and excitingly farther.  Dear readers, I'm afraid the blog has slipped far down on the list of things clamoring for my attention.

BUT I must admit that I find a few minutes now and then to take a mental break and visit some of my favorite blogs.  And because I'm lacking for my usual fascinating (ahem) blog fodder, I'm sharing some of my recent delights with you:

Pam over at Three Many Cooks is sharing great ideas for creating your own signature ice cream mix (warning -- do not read this one when you are hungry and/or very hot.) 

Jeni at In Color Order is making me want to dive into my floral prints to jump into her "Warm/Cool Quilt Along"  (and frankly I think I'm showing remarkable restraint for not having chucked all of my chores to do this... but then again, I could cave at any minute.)

Katie at Color Me Katie is, as always, making me smile with her latest exploits with Improv Everywhere -- watch how they surprise carousel-riding kids with an impromptu horse race!

Julia at Hooked on Houses has me dreaming about what it would be like to buy and live in Katherine Hepburn's former house in Connecticut.

Cynthia at Sip and Bite is making me crave all sorts of delicious goodies --  including a buttercrunch toffee that looks scrumptious.

Vivian in Japan takes me away from my daily life by letting me imagine what it would be like to pick up and move to Japan.

Kris at Kristina Klarin continues to make me swoon with her gorgeous photography and her eye for such luscious color.

Happy blog-hopping!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cropping instead of cutting

What you see here is what has become of this piece of painted and stencilled fabric so far.   I cut up the fabric, fused and stitched it onto a ground, and have applied a few more birds and some machine quilting.  I decided to work extra big, figuring I'd sort out the final size and shape later.  

So yesterday, after folding and pinning for a while with the thing up on the design wall, it occurred to me that taking a photo and playing with different crops would make this decision so much easier.  I just LOVE my digital camera.  

So I started with a basic ordinary crop.

How would it look with less green on the sides but more on the bottom? Hmmmm.

What about square?

 Maybe even more green at the bottom?

Maybe off center?

Perhaps a tight crop that cuts off elements ....

So far, the second one down strikes me as a balance I like but it's ordinary.  To my surprise, the last one with cut off bits has the most energy to me. I will mull on this for a while.  What do you think?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What day is it again?

One of the consequences of having husband and daughter both done with school and home all day during the summer is that every day feels like Saturday.  I lose track of what day it is, and I am even more scattered than usual, darting between household business and real work and family and sewing and art projects and just enjoying summertime.

But yes, there has been a bit of activity in my little studio -- I'm having a good time moving forward on several different projects.  Remember that painted fabric I showed you recently?  I've done some things with it and I'm now involved in quilting it which is a lot of fun. 

And then I've been experimenting with something and I have no idea where this is going to end up:

This fabric has been hand-dyed, fused, discharged, paintstikked, masked, and painted.  And I'm not sure what's next. 

But I'm having fun.  I hope you are too!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Who was that little kid?

I think I mentioned here recently that my parents are in the process of moving out of the house they've lived in for the past forty years.  As they are going through everything, my brother and sister and I end up bringing home stuff we can't bear to see go.  My brother is currently having fun going through old family photos, and every few days I get another batch of them in email -- it's like instant flash to childhood.

So here you see the three of us kids -- my sister Laura, the oldest, there on the left, my brother Gregg, the youngest, in the middle, and me on the right.  Don't you just love the angle of the bangs?!  And there, in the background -- all that midcentury modern furniture, some of which still lives in my parents' house and will go with them (long upholstered into something different from that orange, thank goodness) to the new house.

And here's me and Laura posing for what I think is an Easter picture. I can remember how it felt to sit on that brick planter edge to pose, and I remember that jeweled pin that seemed like the height of elegance (Laura and I both had them but I don't remember where we got them).

I wonder what Gregg will send next...

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

In the Works

Oh, I have so many things in the works and I am pulled in all sorts of directions.  How I am longing for a week -- even one entire day! -- with nothing to do but play with fabric.  Perhaps I can squeeze it into the schedule this weekend.  Meanwhile, here's one of the projects I am excited about.

I made this fabric by drawing the lines with a tjanting tool and acrylic paint, then added color with diluted acrylic paint.  I tell you, just the drawing process is meditative and mesmerizing.

Then these fellows were added with a stencil...

So I am eager to keep going but real work and family matters distract me.  Darn.  You'll have to tune back in to see where this goes.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Container full of inspiration

I am continuing to inch forward in my City and Guilds' patchwork course.  For a recent assessment piece, my task was to design and construct a container based on something architectural.  I decided to use as my inspiration architectural elements from the Shaker Village in Canterbury, New Hampshire -- I lived near there and visited it often as it was a fascinating and beautiful place.  So I started thinking about the white clapboard buildings I love, the brightness of fall leaves against the white buildings...

And the lines of the picket fences and granite posts...

And that got me thinking about the beautiful wooden boxes for which the Shakers are famous...

So so working with all of those ideas, I made a fabric oval container. I used stitch-and-flip piecing techniques for the inner and outer walls of the box; and I machine stitched and then painted leafy branches hanging down.

I decided this looks rather nice holding my small collection of wool roving!

I'm not heading into making more of these, but it was a very satisfying project to put together elements that were meaningful to me and make them into an object. 

Friday, June 03, 2011

You can do it

It's been a busy week here -- all good, just busy -- but I thought I'd share a few words of encouragement while I'm busy elsewhere: 

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