Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Birds in the air.

I luv this block. I thought of it when I saw the robin singing away on the fence. Great colours: browns, reds, a bit of black. What if you added momma to the colour mix , or even a bit of robin's egg blue?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rainy Day Plans

This is 'the office'. I keep it small because no matter the size I only ever have room for 1 cup of coffee and my elbows.

There is significant water happening outside and a rather small tornado has taken out the guest room where I've been pushing stuff ahead of me as I sort. They are starting to avalanche as I need things. 8( I'm also reorganizing the playroom as I redefine craft areas. Amazing where I've been hiding stuff. I luv organizing. I just need to luv keeping it organized. So just like the weather, it is looking like things will get worse before it gets better. Heck, I can't even find that little black book with the 1-5 priorities! Here's to a wild and wet weekend!

Friday, June 26, 2009

I guess I better add the other half.

This is the view from the sitting room into the front room. hmm, much too dark but that is a pellet stove on the north wall. I shall do better.

A Mover and a Shaker

I have a short attention span so I do well with change. The first house we had was tiny, no plumbing, in fact no cabinets or closets. I changed rooms around regularly. This old farm house (circa 1930's) has 4 bedrooms upstairs and the kids would come home from school and wonder where they were sleeping this week. I luv vacuuming and it just makes sense that when you move stuff to clean, put it in a different place. Well, the years have rolled along and I don't have the 'jam' I used to have. lol So when I hit upon seasonal decorating, those who hadn't left home breathed a sigh of relief and nailed down their favorite things.
Now there is just my dearie and me. But it is time to go thru each room, painting and fixing as we go. I do desire some continuity to the house and the wood floors and woodwork help. Downstairs is the public area and I guess relaxed traditional would best describe it. Upstairs is our private area and I try for whimsical. Well, maybe more funky. I'm also wanting more intense colour. Down will be more harmonious because they all open off one another. Up, I want each quite different and found a fabric bundle that had a theme fabric and 4 colourways in it that will put me on the right track. Then I found a 'must have' funky rug for the hallway that helps fine tune those colour ways. So I have a plan for the colours.

My seasonal plan is Spring: simple, slightly modern; lots of white, glassware, some tulips
bare wood, few accessories
Summer: Victorian cottagey; pinks, yellows, blues, lots tea things and
ornaments, battenburg lace, baskets, flowers, bunnies
Fall: Folk art; leaves, grasses, plaids, chickens, golds/purple,
wooden boxes, not too cluttered
Winter: Traditional; candles, burgundies, pillows, tablecloths, back to
more clutter as window sills fill up with vignettes

In the basement I have 3 metal bookcases from a gov't auction sale. I store my accessories there and just rotate stuff around. It is good exercise and it keeps the dust bunnies on the move. My memory isn't so good so stuff never quite makes it back to the same place and there is always editing going on because the bookcases only hold so much auction sale finds.

The summer season is now upon us but our dd's family just bought their first house so until they are all settled I'll be a bit behind. I will add a photo to give a flavor of how we live. I've reversed the living room and dining room as we eat more than we relax. The front room is off the central entrance hall and looks into the east facing verandah.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

If you build it...

...will they come?
Before I can invite anyone to the Coop and Saucer Playroom I need to get it ready. Now where are ALL the supplies I've been accumulating for the big day? Good grief! Come out, come out, wherever you are. I hope things are still usable. The biggest container is in the spare room closet. It is a 60" x 24" x 12" cupboard. So I changed places with it and the rolling stacked shelving in the playroom closet. It'll be much easier to bring a drawer to the playroom than use the flashlight in the guest room.
My ironing surface is the top of an old wood office cabinet. It has glass doors in the lower section, 4 drawers in the middle section and 5 drawers in the top section. I'll need to clean out the odds and sods in there and organize my supplies. Looks like I'll be making a bigger mess before I can actually make a creative mess. But the good news is it'll be surprises all the way as I become reacquainted with all the things I've purchased in anticipation of crafting/playing!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


My definition of passion would have included some sort of discription of steamy car windows. 8^) But the movie, The Passion of Christ, kinda challenged that. So I have spent considerable time pondering the word passion. One definition explains it is to feel something in such a way that it affects your life. Hmmm???
I've now learned that my dear hubby is a passionate man. I used to wonder why he got so mad sometimes when he talked about certain things. But he was just trying to express what he felt so strongly about and other people weren't 'getting'. He hates, with a passion, social injustice.

So I began to see, that while it can involve relationships, it is also about principles, concepts, ideas.
I can be described as excitable, exuberant, maybe energetic; but I hadn't ever considered: Elle the Passionate.
But since I've been meditating on this, I've come to realize I am passionate. I'm passionate about creativity. EVERYBODY is creative.

My daughter took an art credit in high school. Looking at her course and watching her progress was an eye opener. You can learn art. She has a book, Teaching Children to Draw. I tried it! It is true. Colour drew me into quilting. (Gee, maybe I'm passionate about colour!) My quilting progressed from simple blocks, patterns, 'follow the classroom rules', and peer pressure to conform to 'there's got to be more'. There is a stirring to break out of the mold. That is the birth of creativity and one can gaze wistfully into the what if... or one can get some instruction and do it. Actually, colour is a good example. I liked it. I wanted more, so I bought a colour wheel, studied up about harmonies, opposites, triads, etc. and that tool has helped in my creative growth. And there are 'what if's...' inside me. If I can get more understanding then that creativity can be expressed.
But passion can be frustrating as well. Trying to convey the powerful force that you feel and how it affects your life (and could affect theirs) is hard to articulate.
I am absolutely convinced, I am passionately believing, that anyone can be creative, even elle in da coop!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Today is garden day. I have a large yard. A wooden fence divides the house from the farm yard. I'd rather not cut grass but the sheer size of the borders, boundaries, etc. require some flat green stuff. My farmer insisted I could not just sew; I needed some physical exercise so... I don't know if he is really aware of how much 'black gold' I've buried in my new hobby! But I'm coming up out of zone denial and plain stupidity. When I read Bonnie Blanchette's article on 'Create a Garden Vignette' in Fine Gardening I got 'the vision' of how to pull the long continuous curve that spans the perimeter of our front yard all together. It is like figuring out the sashing for a sampler quilt. So I divided the border into areas with a focus (i.e. vignette/sampler block) and then I join it to the next one with zone 2, native, hardy, cheap, low maintenance, non agressive.... You are right, that narrows the list considerably. The good news is that mass plantings work well and wonder of wonders, I get stuff reseeding. Some will not be allowed to do that anymore, but it has been very helpful. I also was pretty quick on the uptake when people go oooh, when they find out we have LOTS of sheep manure. It has become the mulch of choice and I'm a now a believer in mulching. So now I'm happily planning vignettes and mulching away. I'm starting at the house and I'll work my way up the south side of the house, across the front verandah, over to the NE curve and so on. As I'm rather easily distracted, I shall get stuck at some vignette and probably not make the first turn. Do I here sighs from the resident weeds???

Mixing it up

On the wall are 30's pinwheel blocks, leftovers from dd's bed quilt. They will work for a baby quilt for a 'back to the land' couple and their first baby.
More exciting is the shaped quiltie challenge. I took a class for making small quilties, cutting them up, shuffling and resewing. I wasn't too thrilled with the result. They looked exactly what they were. Resewn, shuffled blocks. I thought I could use one block as a base for the challenge and dug them out. Then I fiddled and voila! I had a background happening. Now I need a new shaped quiltie base. The colour wheel will help with the contrast colour.
But the mail brought my new book. There was a halt in the play process and I kinda skipped ahead to reading day! 8^)

Monday, June 22, 2009

sing along with...

does anybody remember the bouncing ball? not sure Mitch sang this old song. You know the "Today is... Is everybody happy?" Monday was wash day, some day was soup. Anyway, I digress. In order to have some sort of plan I've divided up my week. Weekends are family days so I figure Monday is my day off. Playday. My sewing room, (dare I call it the Studio?) is called The Coop and Saucer Playroom. I Quilt. Tuesday is the physical exercise day, Garden. Wednesday is words. Could be reading or researching design concepts/ideas, but I'm thinking I could maybe get some creative journaling done. Thursday evenings I'd like to get some friends coming for a creative coffee clatch. I've bought baskets of supplies and how to books. Surely two or three minds are better than one and somebody needs to just start to squirt, scribble or smear. Friday is the House part of House and Gardens. No, not house work, although I do have some boxes of memorabilia stuff to sort, shift or shovel. But I mean moving things around, making my junk funky, ACCESSORIZING! Saturday morning should be the stratagy meeting for the coming week. DH is starting to make some headway in helping me get organized and focused. I'm so tired of UFO's and wandering about wondering where that 'safe' place I put stuff is! I now have a 'little black book' with the numbers 1-5 on the pages. 8^o I can't quite get into the crossing out part that he sees as so joyful but...
I shall report on the play progress.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Come join me as I explore colour, design, techniques, etc. for making our homes and gardens reflect who we really are. I'm not real sure who I am but my advanced age gives me great hindsight. I know what I'm not. I'm easily distracted from the finish line but I'm determined to become a focused finisher. I've begun by simplifying, sorting and shoveling my 'STUFF'. I've tried to keep what is relevant. Now I need to get it out where I can see it and "get 'er done". This could be a marathon, but there is no need to actually rush. I anticipate the journey being as rewarding as the destination.