Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Finally Organized!

I realized last week that I am finished - finally! - organizing the new studio. It has taken me about four months, due to everything going on around here, but it's done. While I still have to go through magazines, filing, and sort out some small containers, I can use the space and know where to find what I need. With the holidays approaching, it is just in time.

Even though it still looks messy due to the paper and containers that need to be processed, I thought you would like to see the new space. It includes not only my sewing studio, but all of my art and needlework supplies and doll-making materials. To my delight, I finally have a design wall. I was also able to fit in my books. All of this is a real blessing, since I no longer have to go to different levels or rooms to access needed items.

In the process of organization, too, I was able to identify the WIP's I am interested in pursuing, cull patterns and books that no longer work for me, and set up projects so that I am more likely to get them done. It bodes well, and I am looking forward to a creative and productive season. I hope you have one, too.

Until next time, I wish you peace.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Seems Like Constant Motion

The grandchildren have now flown back home to be with their parents. They return to school in a couple of weeks. During the last few weeks they were here, we made the trip to the zoo. We also had another chance for a fishing trip, where each of the kids caught fish, which we then had for a late afternoon snack.

I have made a little more progress in organizing the studio, going through two sets of magazine subscriptions, and working on finding places for the things I need to keep. Additionally, I am working on an autograph quilt from the wedding. An example of the basic blocks, which my son's MIL, Jan, made from fabrics in both of our stashes, is shown above. (The example is not one of hers. I found it at Strawberry Patch Quiltworks.) I am making a center piece with embroidery that will also contain a picture of the bride and groom. Once I have that done, I'll piece the top and hand it back to Jan for backing, quilting, and binding. (She has a long arm machine.)

Seems like it never slows down around here.

Until next time, I wish you peace.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Projects and Plans

The grandchildren are still in town, so we have had a couple of additional visits and hope to have two more before they fly back home. Grandpa wants to fish with them, again, and have their catch for lunch, if possible. We were able to meet up with many family members for lunch and a visit to a petting zoo (at the restaurant complex), where the kids got to feed the goats and llamas. A trip to the regular zoo, which has been put off twice due to the weather, looks like it will finally happen.

Our own yard continues to provide constant sightings of a variety of wildlife. The fledgling birds are beginning to learn to eat seeds. The new generation of squirrels is fighting over territory, and I am learning more about the way various species communicate.

On another note, I am carrying on with writing my mother's story. Earlier this year, one of my cousins' children gave me a wonderful gift. She had been sending me pictures from her mother's collection and included two of my maternal great-grandmother. Since I had heard stories about her sitting in her rocking chair and greeting the children but had never seen a picture of her, I was overwhelmed not only to see her for the first time, but also to have a picture of her in that chair.

I am persisting in my work on the studio, too. The new project cases are set up, and I have been putting away fabric that had been stashed for a project that changed. Some of the pieces I hadn't seen in years, and I am delighted with how beautiful they are. My hope is to be done sorting things out by the end of this month so that I can get to work on Christmas gifts.

I hope you enjoy the season and, as always . . .

Until next time, I wish you peace.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Celebrations, Visits & Living Life

It has been quite a year, so far. The wedding was beautiful. Everything fell into place, and the weather cooperated. The wedding party was composed of all the attendants the bride and groom had hoped for, including the grandchildren as flower girl and ring bearer.

Since then, we have had a few visits with the grandchildren, including a few days while their parents were in town when they stayed with us. Grandpa got to have them help him feed the birds and there was the obligatory fishing trip. We are looking forward to another couple of visits before they return home with their other grandmother.

The garden has been going through its paces. We have milkweed growing and hope to entice some monarchs to our yard. The lilies, both day and tiger, have been blooming profusely. In addition, we have a volunteer trumpet creeper that is blooming and will, we hope, attract the hummingbirds. (We do have feeders, but the volunteer is a nice addition.) The gooseberry bush produced an enormous amount of berries. The cherry tree was also prolific. Now the raspberry bush is beginning to set fruit.

I have slowly been putting my studio to rights. I've made some progress since the picture above, but not enough to call it done. One thing I am trying to organize is specific projects with the hope that it will help me to tackle them sooner. In addition, I have been thinking more lately about mending, both to take care of items and get more use out of them.

I've been reading a lot about the latter at pages instituted by Jen Gale. She has a blog at My Make Do and Mend Life. She had a Facebook page associated with a decision she had made to blog about mending for an entire month. While I was unable to fully participate in mending during that time -- it was right in the middle of the preparations for the wedding -- I did follow it and was able to contribute some, I hope, helpful tips. Now, I am thinking more about the issue, especially in light of my continued interest in downsizing and not having more than I need. I expect I will talk more about the subject in future posts. For now, it seems enough that I have finally gotten back to the blog.

I hope you are having a wonderful season. Until next time, I wish you peace and all good.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Sprung into an Empty Nest

The last month and a half have been surprisingly busy. Our youngest decided he was ready to move out. The move was accomplished by the middle of this month, though he still has a few things here that he needs to clear out. Once that is finished, we will be remaking his room into my new studio, and my current studio will become a dedicated guest room. It means I will, hopefully, finally be able to have all of my studio tools in one place, though some materials will need to be stored elsewhere.

In addition, he and his fiance have finally set the date for their wedding - in June of this year. That brings another set of challenges. Obviously, there is the scramble to get all of the details taken care of, but I have not had to be involved in most of that beyond giving advice, especially on where to find information. However, I do need to find an outfit, and prepare our home for guests! Our older son and his family will be traveling back to town for the wedding and a short vacation. They will be staying here part of that time. As mother of the groom, of course, my outfit is supposed to complement that of the mother of the bride.

In addition, the grandchildren will be staying for the summer with their other grandparents. That means we will be able to spend more time with them over the couple of months following the wedding. So, I have been trying to plan things we can do with them that they will enjoy.

In the meantime, spring has been starting to make an appearance here. Our forsythias have begun to bloom, as have the hyacinths and daffodils. The lilacs are budding, and the grackles have arrived en masse. We have been talking about what to plant in the garden and are adjusting to being empty-nesters.

All told, it hasn't left much time for working in the studio, though I have done some organizing in preparation for the move to the other room, and while I have been working on my book, I haven't taken time out to blog. It may be hit and miss here for a while, for which I apologize in advance. I hope you will continue to check in, and I will try to get back to a normal schedule as soon as possible.

Until next time, I wish you peace.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Informal survey

Japanese Dreams - framed quilt

Butterfly brooch (about 2 12" wing tip to wing tip)

Butterfly pincushion (The ruler is not attached.)

Table topper

Table runner

Baby quilt - butterflies

Priority quilt (Approximately 8 1/2" x 11")

Baby quilt - stars

Bookshelf quilt (about 4' long)

I am going to really put myself out there this time. Each of the items above is a piece I have designed and created. I am curious to know if you would be interested in purchasing anything similar to any of these pieces, and if so, what you would consider an appropriate price for it. If you would, please respond in the comments with identification of any piece and a price range. If you would not, please let me know why not. Thank you, in advance, for your help.

Until next time, I wish you peace.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Making a Difference

The wild weather we have been experiencing around the world has me thinking about climate change and ways we can do something about it. I've come across some very interesting articles recently that illustrate possibilities.

Most urban trees grow yards; they belong to individuals, but we all benefit from them. Rain falling onto branches and leaves is dispersed, meaning gradual absorption into the soil as opposed to sheeting over the ground that causes erosion and flooding.

Likewise the sun’s rays are intercepted (shade), foliage absorbs air pollutants, and beneficial root fungi take up phosphorus and heavy metals that would otherwise pollute ground water. During major storm events Gainesville’s abundant tree canopy intercepts the winds, deflecting damaging force away from homes.

Home Sweet Home by Carolyn Pearce - this has sparked some ideas for pieces focusing on places and peoples that have not received a lot of attention in the artistic community nor the media.

Making Do . . . - reminded me of the times I sat with my grandmother while she darned socks or sewed on buttons.

And then, there was this from a book I've been reading:

[O]ld quilts made from recycled fabrics reminded Japanese needlewomen of the past, of the days when their mothers patched clothing or made household items from scraps. It didn't matter that these quilts had tears or worn patches in them, this was part of their charm. We Japanese have traditionally cherished old fabrics, and the idea of creating something artistic and useful from scraps appealed to our ideal of beauty.  (Japanese Quilts by Jill Liddell & Yuko Watanabe (c) 1988, p ix)

It ties in, of course, to using recycled, found, and vintage materials in my work.

What do you think? Is there something you would like to suggest to others?

Until next time, I wish you peace.

(Note: I provide links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply affiliation by me with any site.)