Monday, November 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday

photo used for subject
After many months, I think I'm back in the swing of working on my pieces. Today I have a mock-up of my Common Grackle. This little guy will be changed a bit as once I take photos of pieces, I can really step back (sort of) and see what doesn't look right to me.
mock up with swamp/marsh fabrics I dyed the other day
I realized this morning that I now have three pieces that I have in line waiting for me to work on and my working time has been limited. Got to fix that!

I found this piece the other day looking through some older pieces I have. It's one of the last pieces I made BA or before accident. As you can see, it is very geometric and I had started hand quilting it - there is even a little left over blood on it where I pricked my finger!

See what others are doing at

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dyeing on Black Friday

That title sounds morose. BUT, I got this idea to start another bird depiction and need some brown/tanish background fabric. So I decided to do a tiny bit of dyeing. Instead of getting all the usual stuff out, I just wet the fabric and sprinkled the dye colors on.I then added soda ash water on top of it and now it sits stewing. I'll probably rinse it out tonight or tomorrow and then, hopefully it will be the colors I imagined.

Thanksgiving- everything tasted fabulous and there were happy people that we all spent good times with. Can you ask for more? Nah.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Changing covers

Yesterday after doing WAY too much, I decided it was time to put on my new ironing board cover.

So I took it outside and stripped it down to the original padding, brushed the ugly thing off and then looked for a new sheet to replace the old padding. Couldn't find one as we use those - LOL! I found some ugly fabric instead and made a pad from that and then put the brand spanking new blue cover on. OOOO! So new looking!
Got his from a Fuller brush dealer at the Deerfield Fair in maybe October. It's been kicking around waiting for me to do this.
 Does this new cover mean I have turned over a new leaf?Changed my thoughts and values? No, it means I have a pretty mundane life and just changed my ironing board cover  :)

Holidays are fast approaching - nothing to do with ironing boards. I'm having company and as usual will be left alone to cook all of Wednesday and Thursday morning. Not complaining here, but a couple more burners and maybe some more pots would be helpful, not to mention new dishes. I'm having kitchen anxiety. It comes every year when I am at the peak of hating my kitchen (holiday season the most.) I've entered contests, checked on line a lot to see if one of those home improvement shows are coming my way, but nope not here. So I'll just cook on my dinky stove in my inadequate kitchen with ancient refrigerator and not enough pots. I'll get someone to crawl inside the cupboard to get the turkey pan  for me.  It's behind the frying pans, behind the soup pot, under the angel food cake pan I never use. (of course all this is in the dark, so you need a flashlight to get to it.)

A few members of the Merrimack Valley Artisans (me included) got to present our work to the Groton Women's Club this past week at their meeting. We had a good time and got our message across of how much we love to do our art. A Good time was had by all. So much for my normal part of life.  :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Gentian mock up

So I took the newly painted fabric and cut it up. What a surprise! I did a little bit of stamping on it, then cut, chopped and discarded lots of little pieces to create this pic of gentian.

The second pic is the approximate size it will be once appliqued. I think some french knots on the stamped branches would imitate the gentian in a small way - but not too many of them.
I will probably baste this today and this afternoon work on my marsh marigolds to get that down on the background. I am still working my thumb, but not too much as I don't want to strain it. Daily (sort of) exercise for the hand works I just have to do it daily - LOL!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fabric Painting

I wanted to start another wildflower picture? thing? There is a word for that, but I am not getting it right now.
Anyway, I decided to use a painted background. So I took out my stuff and painted this. It is covered with salt right now and drying. I suppose after I wash out the salt I will have to dry it again.

That's ok as I have to work on the trim in my bedroom. I just got sick and tired of the color and will be going to a nice Ivory instead of dark blue (that is very 80's) Do I watch too many home improvement shows? You bet! So once I get DH to agree on something there is no dust on me, as he could change his mind, but once I am going he just gets out of the way :)

Yesterday I went to the store and bought all kinds of supplies that either dried out or needed replacement. WOW! Prices went up in the last 20 years! LOL! It will look fine when it is done :)
Maybe I'll put the piece outside to dry with some leafy things on it. HHMMM, I like that idea.
Do you think the chipmunks will walk on it too? Could be interesting.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Life is always interesting - so is dyeing fabric :)

Life changes constantly from one thing to another. Dyeing fabric though is just as baffling some days. I tried two new colors yesterday and did the washout and ironing this morning. Three types of fabric, sort of. I used silk and crepe de chine and just plain old pfd cotton from ProChem. The colors are from ProChem too. I used Olive Drab # 7182 which came out nice on the cotton, but more bronze on the silks. The other color is Dark Green # 7207. This color came out with a blue cast to it. Not bad for making shadow leaves. With the type pf work I do, I need to have a large collection of greens and these are good to add to the bunch.

So, to help you out.....
The olive drab pieces are (from left to right) 1, 2, 6 & 8 the others are the dark green.

For anyone interested, I have let my fabrics batch overnight and they are SO much easier to wash out - doesn't take a ton of water.....I like this as we have a well.

Why are there too many things I want to do? That is my question for the day - ponder, ponder.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Back from the dark :)

We got power back four days after the storm started. I feel very fortunate as there are still people out there without. It was miserable for us and I just can imagine how hard it is for them too.
Something is not quite right about counting on such a fragile system. We go about our daily lives completely unaware of the electrical infrastructure we depend upon = clueless. Until our lights and power go out - then it makes you realize how dependent you really are.

I guess that if I had the get up and go (as I did in my young days) I would create my own power/solar supply. I would also garden, put up my veggies and fruits, store stuff away for the long winter. Put wood by and all that Hippie stuff. I do know how to do all these things (which makes not having electricity easier) but the body doesn't want to be tough anymore - just wants to exist happily, not work hard like that.

So I sit here with my electricity and my diatribe spouting all kinds of drivel - and it is fun and comfortable in my heated, electrical house. Every day I thank the powers that be (NOT the electric company) for how good this life is.  :)  Enough said.