Friday, June 30, 2017

6" Cutie

Little bit of lace, a row of French knots & beads, and a few more beads for good measure.  I'm calling this one DONE. 

Too much fun!!  :D

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

This n That

What a week!  SO nice!  Eight days in Oceanside were followed by a 2 day "40-ish SPHS reunion" event.  Yesterday was our 36th wedding anniversary.  Lots to keep us busy during the end of June, that's for sure!

One of the things we did in Oceanside was go thrifting.  My favorite place to visit is Estate Sale Liquidators.  Usually it is packed to the gills, but the owner was on vacation, and they'd just finished a big sale.  Still, I was able to find some treasures.  My favorite is the Bavarian roses bowl. It had two price stickers on it:  $50 and $5.  I paid $5
 When I asked about it, the gal said that they purchased six storage units from a 95 year old antique dealer.  This was part of the liquidation.  I paid $2 for each of the little creamers.  The gold-striped one also had an $18 price tag on it.
 This one cracks me up.  Look at the fish spout.  It has a lot of character!
When we got back, I retrieved two chairs from Quality Upholstery.  The first has been my studio chair for quite a while.  I neglected to take "before" pictures, but here is the after:
 The other is a bedroom chair.  As you might have noticed, neither the Studio nor The Annex has been straightened into submission.  yet.
I've been home for three days, and have spent the time changing lightbulbs, doing laundry, cleaning leaves from the yard (courtesy of the heatwave) and dreaming of the last week in Oceanside.  Yesterday, I paid a visit to my sewing machine.  Another 6" treat is in the works.  This is where I am so far:
If this is a sign of what's on my mind, there will be more ocean quilts in the not-too-distant future.

In other quilt news, I have shipped "By the Sea" to Sacred Threads for the upcoming exhibit.  If you live in the Washington D.C. area, you might want to stop by.  The exhibit runs from July 7-23, 2017.  I had hoped to make it out there this year, but life got in the way.  Maybe in 2019?  Goals are good!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Doing Nothing

There is something about doing nothing that is completely relaxing.  I truly enjoy having no set schedule.  Do what you want, when you want, if you want.  Plans are fluid, and sometimes, all one wants to do is watch the boats float by.
 We haven't seen the sun since Sunday, but that doesn't stop the call of the wind.
 I have no problem with grey days.  Especially when the alternative is hot and dry, with potential for flooding back at home.  Huge snow pack + triple digits + insufficient/inadequate water storage = recipe for disaster.  Some evacuations are already mandatory, from what I've heard.
In contrast, I've been working on project #2, and have made it about as far as I can, without access to my studio.
By this afternoon, I should be on to UFO #3.  Goals are good.  Stay cool!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Oh. My. Goodness.

Lots going on in my life, beginning with dumping a large mug of water into my laptop.  whoa.  Talk about a successful derailment of one's plans!!  Thank God the laptop brain is still intact.  It contains my everything.  The keyboard is a different story.  Some of the keys work, some do not.  I now have a USB keyboard attached to my laptop.  Next week, I will be looking for a new piece of equipment.  This one was limping along to begin with.  I have just hastened its retirement.

In the meantime, I escaped some brutal valley heat (110 for days) by heading to the coast.  I parked at the Blue Whale, in Oceanside.
 On the weekend, we took a 3 hour tour around Mission Bay with Xplore Offshore.  It's a business owned by a high school friend of my husband's.  This was my first time to do anything like this, and I highly recommend it.
 The Common Dolphins love to play around the boat.  I was sitting in the bow, the front of which you can see in the bottom of the above photo.  We also saw Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, (below.)  We were this close.  Amazing!
But the (literally) BIG fun was the Blue Whale.  We watched him surface three times, and I snapped countless photos, most of which showed only sky or water.  It was hard to take pictures and watch him simultaneously.  But I tried!
 It truly was a spectacular day out there, buzzing around offshore.  woohoo!
But it hasn't been all outdoor fun and games.  I've been working, too.  Penny's Pinwheel has come out of storage and is back in process.
 I thought I would get everything stitched down, except the jacket bottom.  (I still have to put the skirt together.)  Unfortunately, I could not get the left arm to look right.  Fortunately, I realized that the problem is piece #139.  I have no idea where it is, though I know it was bouncing around my studio for months.  I have no idea where it ended up.  I will hunt for it in both the Studio and The Annex.
The best news is that I am once again enthused about this project.  Maybe 2017 will be the year that I really truly finish it.  Goals are good!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

This n That

The Studio continues to be in disarray.  Or not.  I guess it depends upon one's point of view.  I've been gradually sorting through things, bringing them back into the Studio.  If I can't find a place for it, back it goes into The Annex.  I'll make a decision later.

But I've made enough progress that I've been able to sew a bit.  Last week (or was it the week before?) I made a little 6" quilt.  But I'm getting ahead of my story.

Months ago, I bought a quilt, from New Zealand quilter Lisa Call.  It was one of 100 6" quilts that she made in 100 days.  I can't find a picture of the installation, but here are the quilts, as offered for sale.  I bought "Stillness."  I love it.  It is mounted on stretched canvas, which has been painted black.
I showed it to my Art Group, Sew Eclectic, and we challenged ourselves to create a 6" quilt each month, until the end of the year.  It's a lot of fun, and it goes quickly, if one can only get started.

Last week, I finished my first and second 6" pieces.  I've yet to mount them on canvas.  I bought the canvas, I just can't seem to remember where I put the bag containing it.  yep.  It's been one of those weeks.

Here are Study in Green #1, and Study in Green #2:

Both were made from bits and snippets leftover from "The Early and The Late Rain."

I thought it would be boring if I continued to make green pieces...then again, that could be the title of the series:  Greenpiece.  hahaha.  I crack myself up. 

Anyway, I remembered stashes here and there, of leftovers from this project and that project.  I dug through a bin, and found pieces from Lesson#3, Abstract Still Life, from the Katie Pasquini Masopust class that I took last year.  I quickly pieced them together, appliqued leftover seaweed, and began embellishing.  It took a while, to remember where I'd stashed my fish buttons, but eventually I was successful in unearthing them.
I love this little quilt!!  Look at the goodies I stitched along the bottom.
This was great fun, and just what the doctor ordered.  It makes a mess, but not like the messes made from working on a large quilt.  Or is it?  Here is my workspace, upon completion of Study in Fish.
 (The mug rug by the machine was made by Jan Krentz.  The matching mug is in the dishwasher.)
So, the studio may be a mess, but it's a healthy, controlled mess.  Or so I tell myself.  I can still see carpet, so that's something!!

And I've been busy outside, as well.  My old patio chairs have been sandblasted and powder coated, and look amazing.

The result inspired me to spiff up my yard flamingos.

I suspect that what is really going on is that dealing with my dad and his home of 53 years is daunting.  I can't do much for him right now, but I can take care of the things right here.  These things are under my control, and it's up to me whether or not I control them, or allow entropy to reign. 
Down with entropy!
Up with organization!

Goals are good!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

oh my

To get myself sewing again, I decided that order was desperately needed.  In pursuit of organization, I talked my housekeeper into helping me empty the studio on Monday.  Here is the before:
 I told you it was a mess.  I'd actually been working on it before I remembered to pull out my camera.  Several bulletin boards and another design wall had already been removed.
 Here is the "after."  That's Brea, my housekeeper, cleaning everything to make it shine.  She is a treasure.
Where did all of that stuff go?  Well...remember the guest bedroom that seems to magically transform itself into The Annex?  Here is the before:
 In the "after" picture, you can't even see half of the stuff, since I couldn't really get into the room for pictures!  oh my.
We worked on this for three hours on Monday.  Well, Brea worked for three hours.  Five minutes into it, I picked up an oversized bin and tweaked my back.  And I had just been thinking the contents should be split into two bins, rather than one.  oh well.

Brea came back on Tuesday, and the first thing I had her do was empty the closet.  What was in the closet?  Well...
 I know. You are probably appalled.  I know that I am.  But look!  Brea is WonderWoman!  She cleared out the closet floor!
 oh dear.  That means that I need to sort through the things she cleared out.  This job is more extensive than I realized.
 But this part was easy.  Packing materials. I'd already broken down all the boxes, but bubble wrap?  And newsprint?  How many packages to I think I will be shipping in the next 5 years?  I condensed the collection considerably.
There hasn't been any sewing going on, but there has been progress.  And I've been to the chiropractor, so I think the progress will speed up.

Apparently I have Spring Fever, even though it is summer.  I've taken a couple of chairs in for reupholstering, and another pair to have sandblasted and powder-coated.  It's time to clean up around here, and believe me.  I'm taking the task very seriously.  for now.
Stay tuned.  Maybe one of these days I'll be quilting!!  Goals are good.  :D

Thursday, June 1, 2017


The return home has been a busy one.  This past week we had the house at the walnuts painted.  wow.  We used the same color chip for paint as the first time it was painted.  I knew the color had faded, but wow.  It REALLY faded!
 You may have to click on the photos, to see the dramatic difference between before and after.
Yesterday, or was it Tuesday?  I actually cleared enough space in my sewing room to be able to sew.  Not much, just a bit, but it was enough.    It measures 6" almost square.  I think I need to fiddle with the facing, to see if I can improve the shape.
The next item on my quilting ToDo List is Attack The Studio.

On Monday, my housekeeper is coming for three hours.  We are going to empty the loose items from the studio.  She will deep clean, as I decide what to keep, what to toss, and what to give away.  It's either that, or move into a larger room.  And once I move my quilting furniture?  the larger room wouldn't have any additional useful space.  I need to just fit into the current room.  Goals are good.  I'll keep you posted.