Monday, May 30, 2016

Grey Days Away

I mentioned that I headed out to the coast.  Here, June Gloom has been in full force, though it's only May.  When compared to the valley's 100 degrees, I have no complaints, whatsoever.  I've been asked to share pictures, so here are some images of Laguna Beach.  The umbrella is on the brick patio, right outside the door to our room.
 Yesterday, there was enough of a breeze that a few sailboats ventured out in the afternoon.
 The flag flies daily on the point.  I've yet to see a sunset, so I've only got daytime pics.
 Tsunami zone?  We don't have signs like this at home!  :)
 The trees here are all extensively manicured.  I've never seen anything like it.

 Palm trees are chopped into conformity.
 Eucalyptus are stripped of peeling bark.
 Weird wind-blown trees are groomed like giant bonzai.

And the birds!  This had to be a raven, because it was three times the size of any crow I've ever seen.  That is a rooftop, with full-sized shingles!
 There are also hummingbirds, right on the coast.  This one was looking out to sea...
 And the Art!  There is art EVERYWHERE!
 I'll leave you with this, the best photo I've snapped so far.  Hope you find it inspirational!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Back Side

I've left the valley for the coast, and find myself admiring the June Gloom.  The sky is misty moist and hazy, the ocean is a cool grey.  There is no blue, in sky or ocean, and the only green is seen in the trees in the park across the street.  But the 65 degrees here, as opposed to the 90+ expected at home, makes the lack of color quite acceptable, thankyouverymuch!

The room I am in is not easy to access.  I was not expecting this, and both sewing machines, the sewing table and the cutting table are still in the car.  I've hauled two of my handwork projects to the room.  Once I've finished one, I'll trade it out for another.  None of this "bring everything and I'll work on it all" this time.  No, I'm being forced to choose what to work on and what to postpone.

I am very glad that I brought along this OLD UFO.  You can see it here.  A few (several) years ago, I promised I'd finish it for my daughter, for their wedding quilt.  In August, I believe they are coming up on their 8th wedding anniversary.  Or is it the 9th?  Hard to remember, it's been so many years!

Anyway, I have it with me, and I am working somewhat diligently to finish it.  Do you remember old-fashioned trapunto?  The kind where you use a long needle, and stuff quilted areas?  Well, that's what I started all those years ago.  I know why no one does this any more.  It takes FOREVER.
 I am stuffing from the backside, and hopefully, eventually, the needle holes will become less noticeable.
 Here you can see my distraction.  If I look out the window and across the street, I can see the ocean and the lone surfrider paddling off to whoknowswhere.
 This is the distance still to travel up this side of the quilt.  Once I hit the end, I will go back to the corner and work my way up the other side to the middle.  Right now, I think I am 13/16 of the way through.  Yes, I play fraction games when I've got an overly consuming project that never seems to make forward progress.  I am looking forward to being 16/16 of the way through!
Before I left home, I finished one more postcard.
I think the Asian/lotus "charm" was actually part of an earring.  I'm not sure how I came to have this in my possession, but I think it looks nice installed on this particular background.  :)

You're wondering about the front of the trapunto'd quilt?  It is in desperate need of a good scrubbing.  Once I've cleaned it, blocked it, and hopefully removed all signs of bleeding - doggone 90's reds! - I'll take a nice picture and show you all.  Goals are good.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Few More "Finishes"

A long time ago, perhaps as long ago as 2013, I bought two chairs for $5 a piece at a yard sale.  The grand plan was to strip them, stain them, seal them, and reupholster them with quilted seats.  I then thought maybe I should paint them, instead of stain them.  Yesterday, I finished one.  Here's how it looks.  I think I will paint the other one, just because.
 I also made a little quiltlet, for a friend, and a second one (that I forgot to snap a photo of) for my sister.  They went out in yesterday's mail.
 I think I mentioned that I've been busy, with this n that.  One of the things I've been doing is trying to clean up the clutter in the studio.  I just finished washing these buttons, which I bought in Missouri.  They filled a Mason jar, and the cost was $5.  Such a deal, such a deal!  Look at all of that color!  :)
 I also washed buttons from an estate sale in Visalia.  No wonder they've been pushed aside for months (like since before Christmas!)  There's no color to be seen, compared to what Missouri had to offer.  Then again, I think these were somewhere in the neighborhood of $3, so I don't know what I'm complaining about.
And, hmmm.  I guess that's it on the creative front for today.  I'm working on it, definitely working on it.  I'm trying to do one major household task - yesterday was to finish reassembling the shower - and then reward myself with sewing. So far, sew good.  And now, it's time to get back at it.  Happy creating, y'all!  :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

This n That

wow.  Where has the time gone?  It seems like I blink, and I lose another week!  If this is the way 2016 is going to be, maybe I should start writing my Christmas letter.  Seems like before I turn around, it will be December!

I've been busy doing a lot of things other than sewing.  Like working on the hall bathroom shower.  My sons took the glass doors off when I broke my leg, to make for easier access.  They are still off, and I haven't been broken for months now.

Hubby thought we should replace the caulk, so he peeled some off and never got back to it.  On Saturday, I peeled out all of the old.  Yesterday, I replaced it.  On Sunday, I asked him to take the doors outside for me, so that I could really scrub them down.  oops.  One of them broke, so finishing that project has now been delayed for another 2 weeks, as we wait for a new door to be delivered.

We have house guests arriving next week.  Good thing we still have that shower curtain, eh?!

Yesterday, I made more postcards for our Postmark'd Art exchange.  The theme for this batch was "Crazy Quilt."  I had a lot of fun doing the embroidery.  I really should do more of it.  I really love it!

 Each one is slightly different.
 I made this one second, thinking I would use different trims around each, but I disliked this one so much, I went back to the first trim for the last card.
And then there are the backs.  On the first one, I used commercial fabric.  But then, I was moving the mess on my tabletop, and noticed an old, well-used handkerchief, that had wear marks and a cigarette burn.  The embroidery was too worn to use for the top, but for the back of the postcard?  It was perfect!
I'm not sure why the pics got tipped, but oh well.  You get the idea, right?

This coming week I have plans for a bit of a sewing getaway.  We'll see if I get anything done, but plans are useful, and goals are good!!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Today's Production

I went to bed last night with a runny nose.  This morning, I was dragging and tired and not motivated to do much of anything other than laundry.  But there is work to be done, and deadlines to meet, doncha know?!

One of the most rapidly approaching deadlines is for our Postmark'd Art postcard exchange.  All cards must be in the mail before May 31, if we want to participate in the next round of trading.  Because I'm one of the three oh, what do we call ourselves?  moderators?  coordinators?  Because I am one of those, I really do need to set an example by meeting the deadline.  Goals are good!

Today I made my cards for the "Lines" exchange.
 After making three of them, I looked for my trade paper, to see how many were in our trade group.  Well, will you look at that?!  There are only three of us, so that means that only two cards need to be mailed.  I'm ahead one postcard!  Woohoo!
These are the two that are headed out in tomorrow's mail.
Next up:  Crazy Quilt postcards.  They'll probably take me longer than a single day, but then again, maybe not.  Goals are good!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Day of Sewing

Wow.  I can't believe it's been 10 days since my last post!  I don't know where the time goes, but it's definitely flying by!  We had an amazing week in Sisters, though I did not finish my project.  It currently hangs in pieces on my design wall.

Mother's Day came and went, accompanied by a lovely bouquet of flowers from my middle son and his wife.  They're looking a bit worn, but I still find them bright and cheery.
I adore Shutterfly.  I am especially fond of their photo books, and put together another one.  This one features images from my garden, along with some of my garden-inspired quilts.  It's my favorite Shutterfly book so far.

I can't wait to do the next one.  I'm just waiting for inspiration to strike.  It will probably be something featuring more quilts, and the photos that inspired them.  I like this one better than the ocean book I made.  The words ruined that one.  Maybe I should just do it over, without the words, and let the images speak for themselves?  Now there's an idea.

Over the weekend, my husband and I hosted a thank you party for the quilt show committee and their spouses.  Then, yesterday, I hosted a sew-in, to really thank the ladies. Only about half of them were able to attend, but we had a grand time.
 I even found the time to sew together not just the blocks,
 but an entire baby quilt top.  woohoo!  LOTS of babies have arrived or are on their way.  I am quite behind.
And with that, I guess I'll sign off.  I am hopeful that the remainder of May might hold at least one finish.  The goal is more than that.  Goals are good!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

SO Inspired!

I am having an amazing week, here in Sisters.  We just finished Day 4 of our 5-day seminar.  I can't believe it's almost over.  The group of women in our class are fantastic.  Each could easily become a dear friend, if they didn't live in Oregon, Ohio, Montana, Utah, etc.  Yes, we've come from across the country, to congregate in Sisters and learn from Jean Wells Keenan.

This is what my work area looked like this morning:
 Here it is, 8 hours later.  I remembered to take the photo about 10 minutes after I began straightening the mess.  Believe me, it was much more organic than the photo indicates.
I'm pretty excited with my piece, though at this point, it feels chaotic.
By the time I left, I had the bottom right corner filled in as well.  I forgot to snap a shot before we headed to dinner.

Sisters is BEAUTIFUL.  I've heard about Oregon, but all I'd seen before was the Portland airport, and Hood.  I'm captivated by the art galleries and antique malls, and could spend several days just poking in and out of shops.  Instead, I work in the studio from 8:30am - 5-ish, only window shopping from about 12:30-1pm each day.  Despite my dedication to my craft - typed tongue in cheek - I have managed to spend at least as much as the workshop cost, if not the cost of lodging as well.  If I thought I was getting away for less than Asilomar, I was mistaken.  Shopping is a LOT of fun here.  Be forewarned, if you're headed to Sisters.  Art is available for sale EVERYWHERE.

And with that, we're early to bed, early to rise.  That way we might actually finish something before we hit the road and head home.
I think I could grow to love the mountain environment as much as I love the sea.  Sisters is delightful. 

And with that, I'll rest, so that I can sew more in the morning.  Happy Creating!  :)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Inspiration to the Max

Had a great time in Missouri last week, stopped in California for less than 24 hours, and am now in Oregon.  wow.  Where in Oregon?  Sisters, to be exact.  What am I doing here?  Charlotte asked if I wanted to take a class with her, from Jean Wells.  Did I?  You betcha!
 Behind the door of the Textile Education Center, the 5 day seminar is underway.
 I brought my equipment with me, which consists mostly of fabric, fabric, and more fabric.
 By the end of the day, I had my first strata, sliced and hung to my satisfaction.
 I also did a color study, from one of my inspiration photographs.  Can you tell that my inspiration for this week comes from this year's incredible Spring?
And if I get tired of greenery or flowers, I can always look out the window.
Stay tuned, because there's definitely more to come!