Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

Not very festive but it was fun working on the original Rock Paper Scissors while I went back and forth between a sappy Hallmark movie and the U of M game last night.

I'm glad to say good-by to 2016.  There were some ups but a lot of downs too.  I wasn't feeling the downs so much until I began to look back on the year.  Oh well, it's past.  Looking forward to 2017 and a good outcome for my brother's surgery on the 3rd.  His cancer news was one of the downs for 2016 but he has a positive attitude and that goes a very long way I think.

One of the ups, our trip to France, was truly a highlight.  The trip was cut short because of my husband;s knees and hip pain; however, we had a wonderful time while we were there and saw most of what we wanted to see. I love old textured walls and they were everywhere.

So now I'm thinking about what is to come.  My goals, my word, what do I want to improve, what do I want to eliminate.  Well, eliminating is the first thing and an easy one... eliminate negative thoughts. There have been a lot of them this year because of the political scene and my husbands joint and blood clot issues.  No matter what in 2017 I want to concentrate on staying positive.

And speaking of concentrate.... that's my word for this year.  CONCENTRATE.  I thought about many, focus was in the running but I realized what I really meant by focus was to concentrate on the thing that I am doing at the time, get lost in it, put all of your focus on that one thing while you are doing it.  So concentrate is the word for 2017.

Goals... finish the winter blanket I started how many years ago.  That's been a goal every year, maybe this year I will be able to check it off my list.  Another goal, learn something new, a new skill, a new language, Maybe this will be a year to concentrate on abstract art, maybe learn more about a particular artist.  I don't yet know what but to learn something new is always a good goal I think.

Resolutions... I usually don't do those but it's time I got back to painting and a daily practice is good.  At one time I was in the practice of drawing something every day.  Somewhere along the line I got out of that habit.  It's time to get back to something daily and I'm torn between stitching and painting.  So, something to get me started during the day, play in an art journal.  I'm not going to say I will do it every day, rather I will try to do it every day.  And stitching... that's something I can do in the evening while he is watching television and I'm just sitting with him because it's what we do.  If I'm not paying attention to his program he won't care a wit.

And here are a couple new works that will be in the January show at the Gallery Uptown.  Both are collaborative pieces; starts by Annie Morgan, finish by yours truly.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 12, 2016

It's Beginning To Look Like Christmas

Sinterklaas is out along with a few Santas that haven't gone to Marshall's yet.  Not this one; I made this guy for my husband.  

Most of these are Marshall's.  The exception it the tall one in red.  That one is mine, made from one of my dad's red sweaters.  And the next one, made from a patched Pendelton shirt of my husband's.  Of course, eventually they will all go to Marshall but for now they live here with Ed and me.

This little green Santa goes so nicely with the three green trees, He will live in the den this Christmas

My collection is angels though my Grandson would just as soon I not put them out; he doesn't like girl angels.  Most of mine go on the tree but I have a few that get scattered around the house.

And finally, the tree is ready with the lights on.  Now it waits for Warner to help me decorate.
Meanwhile, I have more Christmas to get out.  I've been doing a little bit every day, singing along with the Carols that are playing on my computer.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Back to Stitching & Some Painting

Years ago I made a simple table runner for a table that sat in front of our living room window in our old house.  One side was Christmas fabric, at least I thought of it as Christmas.  I was with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law at the time and they didn't think it looked like Christmas at all.  We all have different taste don't we.

Anyway, the other side was just plain burgundy so when Christmas was over, it was turned over and pretty much stayed there all year.  Eventually the fabric faded badly along with the boarder binding which showed on both sides so I put it aside planning to throw it away.  That was probably 20 years ago.  Every time I went to get rid of it I looked at the Christmas side and put it back on the shelf.  I still love the fabric.

Finally, this year I decided to forget the bad side and just put new binding on so I can use the Christmas side.  Here is the bad can see it once was quite nice

And here is the Christmas side with the new boarder.  Not a perfect match but close and now I can use it again.... for many more years since it will only be out for Christmas.

I've also done a little more painting, working on some starts that my friend Annie Morgan gave me so finish.  They aren't finished yet, I have to sit with them for awhile, they'll tell me where to go next, I hope.  These are mixed media pieces which is something I've been playing with for awhile.

I added the pears, no I brought out the pears on this one, added more white for contrast and gave more definition to the line work.  Much of the color was there but fainter, I added to it.

On the one below the lower left side and making the whites whiter and the golds golder is all I've done and I am thinking this one may be done.  What do you think?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Christmas is Coming

And our front porch is ready...

No stitching or painting yesterday, instead I filled the crock on the porch and made a wreath for the door. 

The only other thing I did yesterday was start on the clutter clearing in my studio.  I have one work surface cleared, today I’ll be able to work on some  WIPS (works in process) and start to clear another surface. 

The goal is a clean, clutter free studio by Christmas.  We’ll see!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Sun Moon and Stars Progress and some Christmas

A bit more on this one and then a break to do some Christmas stitching while I consider where this is going.

I usually make a table runner for Christmas but one can only use so many table runners and I've already given enough away; it's time to do something different.  I saw this wreath in a fabric store and thought it would make a nice centerpiece with a candle.  I  bought some very nice Christmas fabric but couldn't get a pattern so I took a photo and bought some not so good Christmas fabric to try and figure it out.  This is the not so nice though it isn't too bad.  I think it will work just fine in the middle of our kitchen table.

This is the good fabric
And some detail...

The one I saw had little star buttons  holding the tips together where I have the butterfly pin.  I don't know if I'm going to add those or not.  There's time to decide.  Meanwhile I have some of this fabric left, lots of the flap fabric and a bit of the stripe,  Maybe another table runner after all.  We shall see.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Sun, Moon and Stars Continued

A bit more progress, now it's time to think a bit about what direction it should take.

Meantime I'm stitching another bookmark....

I have a lot of thoughts today but don't want to share, my mother taught me... "if you can't say something nice don't say anything."  I started the morning smarting off to someone who said something about the deplorable Trump supporters and how upset she was with we Americans.  She is Canadian.  I regretted it but too late.  Hillary was gracious in her speech today.  Trump gave a good one too.  They both worked hard.  Now it's time to put differences aside and move forward.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Bookmarks, More Sun Moon Stars & A Fish

I finished this one today, This one is 9" x 4".  The rest are about the same + or - a bit. Here are 4 more.  They can act as a mug rug while you are reading or they can hang on your wall.  They'll be at the Gallery Uptown along with the wine bags.

So back to Sun, Moon and Stars.  I've stitched the 9 patch to a larger piece and printed it so I can play with what to do next.

Meanwhile, I've passed this fish on the sidewalk every weekday morning walking our grandson to the bus.  Finally as I walked back home today I decided I had to take a photo and use it somehow.  I'm not sure how for certain but I love it enough, it may end up in several works, fiber and paint.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Back to Sun, Moon and Stars

The suns, moons and stars are mine but credit goes to Jude Hill (Spirit Cloth) for the layout.  The only difference is hers is horizontal.  I'm not sure where I'm going with this so I scanned it and will do some doodling.  Grandson said he wanted it so maybe this will be a small quilt for him.  So far I have only a few very sketchy thoughts that need to be flushed out.  

Meanwhile I've also done more work on bookmarks but need to photograph them.  Maybe for tomorrow's entry.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fall & Another Wine Bag

Every year for the past several I've made a Christmas table runner.  This year I decided to do one for Fall.  I still have some hand stitching to do to finish but it's close to done.

A design wall would be helpful.  Now that this is all together I can see that I should have put the top one the other way around and on the bottom.  Oh well, most that see it won't notice.  Perhaps I'll do another one next fall.  One can only use so many Christmas table runners.  On the other hand, there is still time... maybe there is room for one more for Christmas. But first, more wine bags.

This one is denim with ribbon from my grandmother's knit shop and tatting done by my mother.  The ribbon is an indication of how long I keep things.  My grandmother has been gone since 1958.  It's taffeta and pretty sturdy but just in case, I put a fusible backing on it before adding it to the bag.

I've used the ribbon on wreaths and lots of other holiday decorations and think of her every time I use it.  This is the first time I've used it on something that may go away.  Still plenty left though so I'm not feeling a loss.

I recently saw a knit wall hanging where the person used a lot of her grandmother's knitting tools to make it an art piece.  I have been thinking about doing something similar though not a knit wall hanging. While I was once an avid knitter, my fingers no longer enjoy it so I do another type of stitching.  I have some of Grandma's tools, some of my mother's, and some parts of quilts done by my great, great grandmother.  One of these days I'll figure out a way to put them all together in a piece of art.  Maybe that will be my project for the January exhibit at the Gallery.  We're suppose to do a work of art that is totally different than anything else we have done.... maybe an assemblage?  Have to talk with my friend Annie Morgan... the assemblage expert.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Halloween & More Sun, Moon, Stars

This is the start of my Halloween decorating, it will hold the glowstick bracelets we give out.  I think I'll put a black cloth on the table; no idea yet what else will be there but it's a start.  the crow is one I made with another idea in mind.  He was sitting unfinished in my studio, he still needed legs.  I saw him and one of those AHA moments came... went out and bought a pail, sprayed it black and attached the crow.

I also did a bit more stitching on the Sun, Moon and Stars project...

The top three stars I was lucky enough to be able to buy from Jude Hill (Spirit Cloth.)  Things in her store go as quickly as she puts them there.  I have 9 of these little stars but I don't want to use them all in the same piece.  The rest are mine.  Harvest moon and the sun are appliqued as is the little boat.  

For the boat I was thinking Winkin' Blinkin' and Nod; however, they aren't in a wooden shoe. 

And I this is our little guy, I got there just as the photographer was about to snap his photo for the team pictures so I was able to get a shot too. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sun, Moon, Stars and Wine Bags

 This is one of the Sun, Moon and Stars pieces that I'm working on.  It's small and I have no idea what it will eventually become part of but for now it just says something, a quote I saw and liked but I have no idea who said it. "The Sky is no limit.  There are footprints on the Moon."

 And a couple more pieces to add to the basket of potential for this project.  You can learn more about it over on the Spirit Cloth blog, Jude Hill's blog is one of my favorites.

And I'm still working on Wine Bags, these are the newest, two of denim and 1 velvet.  I think I need to make some in Christmas colors next but I also like the combination of denim and lace.  And that reminds me.... I spent three days taking a huge pile of old jeans apart.  Some mine, some husbands, some my sons and some my grandsons.  Now all that denim is neatly organized in tubs and I filled a 39 gallon trash bag with the parts I wasn't going to use.  That's a lot of old jeans.

Today, more wine bags and more Sun, Moon and Stars.  

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Poor Farm and some fiber stuff

We're going to the Poor Farm.  I remember hearing about the Poor Farm as a child; however, I didn't know there really was such a thing.  I thought it was just a figure of speech but when I moved to Grand Haven I learned there really was such a thing.

Since it's no longer used it's a Historical Site and our local museum is the caretaker.  Tonight they are having a fundraiser dinner and we are going with some friends.  There have been events going on there all day but I've been buried in my stitching room working on Wine Bags and getting ready to do some Sun, Moon and Stars along with Jude Hill over at Spirit Cloth.

Here are a few of the wine bags...

The one on the left below holds glasses, silverware and an opener.

The Sund Moon Stars was a class I took several years back but only finished a couple pieces and they have been given away.  Jude is doing the class again, free on her blog so I got out pieces I started before, a few new ones and some fabric.  I also got some of Jude's stars in the mail today... those are center left in the first photo.  Time to get ready for the Poor Farm

Monday, August 29, 2016

More Bookmarks

It's been a busy month and still not much time but I did want to show you some of what I've been stitching.... Three new ones, two done and ready to use as bookmarks or small hanging pieces.  The middle one is still in process. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Retreat Week and a Work In Process

For the past 20 some years my friend Terry and I have come to Spider Lake for an Art Retreat Week. It's just the two of us and we do a lot of art, reading art books, catching up with each other's news (we live on opposite sides of the state,) swimming and laughing.  We cook and eat too.

This is the week and so far I've gotten quite a bit of work done but only one photographed and that's a WIP (work in process)  I thought some of you might be interested in the process I go through to get to a final mixed media piece like the one above.

This is the image I'm working a photo I took on a recent trip to France.

First a drawing with some modifications to get the person away from dead center...

Then I ink a plate and transfer the drawing to mulberry paper.  I place the above drawing on top so I can be sure I get the print the way I want it.  As a result it is reversed but that doesn't matter to me as long as there are no words... with words I need to do the original in reverse...
Now comes the fun part but it's not going to get done right away.  I will be adding collage materials and possibly some paint.  I do plan to get it finished in time to deliver to Freemont where I will be having an exhibit later this month.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Long Time Friends Gather

We gather to celebrate....

These friends are long time friends... here are most of us in 1957....

We go back to Junior High School... we've lost track of a few and a couple have died but 11 of us still get together regularly.  One was missing yesterday but she was there in spirit,  Nine of the 11 are in the 1957 photo although you can only see the top of Char's head (she's still the tallest.)

Twelve years ago we had a retreat at one of our friends' mountain home in West Virginia.  At the time Karen was going through Chemo, she had been diagnosed and given very little time.  Yesterday we jokingly called it her blue hair period (a blue knit cap covered her head.)

Before we left to come back to our respective homes she announced that she was going to be in remission and planned to have a Remission Picnic in July so we must put it on our calendars.  We have no doubt her doctors would not have agreed with her that Spring; however, she was determined to stay positive.

I am so happy to say she was right... yesterday was her 12th Annual Remission Picnic.  She;s second from left in the top photo and top left in the 1957 photo.  I feel truly blessed to be able to call these awesome women friends.  Love each and every one of them.