Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter Cactus Lilies

Every year about this time our cactus lilies bloom if they get a little water.  I've been recycling our dishpan water, after hand-washing items not suitable for the dishwasher, and gave the cacti a little drink last week and we were rewarded with these blooms today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vacation and a Little Progress on Sunflower Quilt

Yesterday was my official first day of vacation. I drove up to Pacific Grove with a friend and had a wonderful day complete with beautiful ocean views and a visit to one of my favorite fabric stores, The Back Porch.  Bought a couple great fabrics and had lunch at Goodies.  The only thing missing was Frances Bailey, with whom we often made this trip.

Been working on my holographic sunflower quilt doing more machine quilting but leaving room for some hand quilting here and there.  Which brings me to a great blog post I read today on "Waiting for the Muse" blog.  Sandy, the blog's writer usually has great posts of very interesting happenings in the art world and about life in general, I've added a link to her blog in my blog list.  Her post from Sunday, with accompanying pictures about a Brooklyn artist by the name of Melissa Zexter really caught my eye.  This is an artist to check out.  Melissa combines photography and stitchery in a very interesting layered way.  She stitches right through the photographs.  I emailed her to get permission to post some of her work here but have not heard back from her yet, so you will just need to go to her site to check out her unique work.

Meanwhile I want to show you my progress on my sunflower quilt. I'm hand-stitching in some places trying to keep a more delicate line drawing in tune with the organza layered, flipped photograph.  In other areas I'm machine quilting.  Hope to finish this quilt by the end of break.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Green and Lilac, Green and Pink, Green and Red in the Garden

Sorry it's been over a week since I last posted.  Been very busy with student art shows.  Some of my talented 8th graders have paintings up in Paso Robles City Hall for the month of April and three others won cash prizes at the Brushmarks show at the City library last Friday night.

Also, my garden has been going wild, so have tried to get out there and pull weeds, trim back overgrowth, etc.  Here's some photos of what's growing in my yard.

These lilacs are just lovely.  The green in the top photo is so different from the green below due to  changing the position from which I was shooting.

There is a huge mound of these ice plants.  The pink is practically fluorescent.

Pomegranate blossoms already.

I've been eating fresh lettuce from my garden for the last couple of months.  It came up from seed planted last August.  It's yummy too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hand Embroidery

I've been embroidering since I was about 10 years old.  I enjoyed it then and still do.  Back then I was embroidering dresser cloths and towels which had stamped designs.  Now I like the  fabric to dictate to me what needs to be outlined, emphasized or filled in with thread texture.

Over on the "And then we started it on fire blog," a variety of artists have  been sharing some great info and pictures of their wonderful hand stitching throughout the month  of March. Be sure to click on my link to the right to check it out.

Here's a picture of a piece I've been working on for some time, which I keep in my craft bag, so I can quickly grab it when I know I may be sitting somewhere.

This piece was made through using Setacolor transparent paints with tissue paper overlays
 and then placed in the sun to dry.  The colored tissue paper was then removed, 
leaving an imprint of the color on top of the paint. 

 Above and below are some closeup areas of some of the stitching thus far. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hand and Machine Quilting

On this quilt I am combining hand and machine quilting.  With the cotton velveteen, regular machine quilting doesn't show up well.  It gets buried in the nap.  I started by doing rays around the solar hurricane center, but it didn't show, so I hand-couched a pretty, nubby yarn in between the machine stitched lines, using them as a guide.

Below is a close-up.

I'm working on the mountains now, trying to put in some shading. I'm enjoying using a 12 weight Sulky blend.  I'm doing free motion quilting using a small zig-zag stitch.

Below is a close-up of it so far.

Stil a lot more work to do on this, but just wanted to share what I've been up to.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Library Book Sale Finds

My monthly Cutting Edge group was in San Luis Obispo Saturday and there was also a library book sale, the largest one in the county, so I had to check it out. Love the really old books, especially children's ones with beautiful illustrations. I grew up with a complete set called My Bookhouse printed in the 20's or 30's that were absolutely beautiful with art deco period artwork and illustrations, and wonderful end papers. I'm not sure who in our family ended up with the set, but know I didn't and often think of them.  Didn't find any of those at the library sale, but did buy a couple of great things.  Wish I had been able to get there earlier, but that might have been dangerous.

Over the top of this lovely illustration is a transparent tissue paper thin leaf,  on which is typed, 
"Secretly, too, both were ashamed, having come unawares upon knowledge that was not meant for them. - pg. 82"

 Every page is  beautifully framed with red printing at tops and sides.  Lovely, lovely, and only $5.

 This is the other book I found for a mere $5.00.  It has front pages from the New York Times from dates on which great events occurred.

The Wright Brothers from September 10, 1908

This one has special meaning in light of what's happening in Russia these days. 
It's from October of 1962.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hand-dyed and Marbled Fabrics and Shirts for Sale

Tomorrow night at the Almond Country Quilt Guild meeting I'll have a table and be selling some of my hand dyed and marbled fabrics and shirts.  I hope if you are in the area, you can swing by and take a look.  Below are some of the items that will be for sale.  Also, look at some of my February postings on this site and you will see more items that will be available.

Above are some of the ice-dyed fabrics.  I have 17 Fat Quarters for $6.00 each or 2 for $10 and some 1/2 yard pieces for $10.

The marbled pieces above are about 15 1/2  x 12 inches and will be for sale for $6.00 each or 2 for $10.00 

This is one of 9 shirts that will be for sale at $20.00 each.