Friday, July 31, 2009

Thinking outside the box

In this case it would be outside the electrical box!
My dearie needed to go to the city so I leaped into the truck with my list. My focus for the house is the master bedroom. We have small rooms, plaster walls and two electrical outlets per room. The head board is on a low knee wall. We read in bed and there is no night table on my side but a plug is kinda close. The hubby's side has a low dresser but no plug. I need wall mounted lights that swivel. So I had finally located them a6t Canadian Tire and yes, we can adapt them to lamp cords with in line switches and hide the power bar under the bed. I also got the hardware for the bookcases so I can get the shelves in place as soon as the weather clears so I can finish painting them. The four botanical pictures are calendar pages I especially bought for framing. I have four in dark wood frames in the front room and now I have these four in white. BUT! 8^( The darn foot board cuts right across them when I lie in bed so I will change them to three across. I shoulda made the units six inches taller and then the pictures could have hung higher. Oh well, live and learn and die dumb! lol Things really are coming along well though.
I am thinking ahead to the sewing room and got a couple of boards for some wall shelves above the sewing counter. I'm making happy noises. I think I also found the right colours for the upstairs paints. It is from a brochure on kid's rooms. But why should they have all the 'kewl' colours?

What if ya don't know....

... all ya thought ya knew? Good place to start I guess is knowing that you DON'T know anything.

I got out the art supplies and I learned I am messy. I may have to find another spot to do mixed media stuff. I learned that supplies dry out when they are bought tooo far in advance. 8>( I learned that I haven't a clue what a basic supply list would include. I learned that variety would be better as watercolours on watercolours make very low contrast. lol

But I did actually start to put creativity down on paper in amongst the reorganizing and I'll be thinking about the concept of standing up even before the proverbial first step never mind running to the winners circle. sheesh

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Making things fit

The word adapt is "to fit" (something for a purpose). It is to undergo modification so as to fit new circumstances. That's my life. Adapting! There always seems to be something that requires a little detour sign. I am happy to say that with the focus for the day figured out I at least have a destination to head for after the detour rejoins the main road again. This week there are 3 sections of detours and that doesn't even include the weather.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Foxtail Barley

I'm not sure what this is really called. We call it foxtail barley and once it gets to this stage it is unpalatable for the sheep, in fact most grazing animals. The farm yard area has had the sheep grazing in it but they left any of this stuff and it makes everything look untidy so I was in that part of the farmyard cutting it down. whooo, itchy stuff. We need to remember to rotate them sooner as this grass is taking up far too much time when I could be doing something way more fun.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Small start, a pleasing start

A challenge for a quilted shape is done. I'm pleased I am ahead of the deadline. I'm pleased that it is actually going to be part of another project that will become finished. I'm also pleased that I managed to do it without getting sidetracked by all the stuff that still needs putting away here in the coop. I cleared the sewing and cutting table in the morning. I cut grass as the window of opportunity was only open for a short time. Then I locked myself in the playroom after supper.

The inspiration for this was a challenge to make a quiltie shape. I had taken a class to make small quilties, stack them, cut them, shuffle them and resew them. They looked exactly as I've described the process. 8b I did like the fabric so I was looking to see if I could make a shape from one of the sections. Hmmm, they could be a background if I off set them, play with them... There ia a leaf motif in the Bali fabric I had used. The colour wheel showed me an accent option and I had the perfect piece of fabric, kinda small but just maybe, if I don't mess up. Leaves aren't flat so the thinnest batting I had added to the puckery look and I couldn't find the interfacing anyway. I traced a shape, zigzagged around it using my walking foot, then switched to free motion for spine and viens. I cut it out and then free motioned with the zigzag around the edges. Thank goodness the Bernie really can sew on air! lol

Next challenge will be to get this background worked up into something I can also be pleased with. The first two I'd originally joined did not craete artistic confidence!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The week in review

I'm rather liking the focus for the day. Things don't always go as planned but it helps me see where I need to go next. My long suffering hubby has been looking at the menu or lack there of and I was actually one step ahead of him. I do like to eat but the mechanics of food is not high on my desirable list. So I'm thinking I could add it to Thursdays with the reward/carrot being a fun art night and perhaps a snack treat.
I took a learning style quiz and I am a visual/nonverbal learner. The good news is that this category of learners has an artistic side that likes visual art and design. Hence the graphics I luv to add. I am a huge fan of colour coded office supplies. I like things pretty! But the learning strategy recommends I translate words and ideas as much as possible into symbols, pictures, and diagrams. It almost makes me wanna go back to school! 8^)
So when I look at the week I see a calendar. I see me quilting, me gardening, me reading, me, ah, well, at least looking like a cook and then I see a jumble of stuff laid out on my cutting table, then me cleaning house and I'm making happy noises 'cause I like cleaning. Now Saturday strategy sees me as a secretary, stacks of coloured files, pens and pencils sharp and at the ready; fancy daytimer WITH my initials, surrounded by office sounds! Then my dearie bursts into my dream with a folded serviette as his list and spitting out "just do it"! Need I mention that we are opposites. He is auditory. But I bet I have more fun! <>
But we won't compare accomplishments. I'm sure the problem is a daytimer that is the wrong colour!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Coop

The coop is a working coop. The back part opens to a large area and houses the chickens. I have Buff Brahma Bantams mostly. Buff is the colour, Braham is the breed, and bantam designates size. This rooster is darker than the hens, has a plumy tail and feathered feet. The hens fade as they age but are definitely less colourful. They lay small brown eggs. This year they are babysitting my farmer's spring chicks. He ordered some Canadian chicks. Chanticleers from Quebec. His are full size and will live free range on the main farmyard.
My favorites are the call ducks. They live in the front of the coop and exit from the side. They have a smaller area but I've given them a pond. Call ducks are minature ducks that come from England. They were originally used as decoys to lure in wild ducks. They are very noisey and their small size enabled them to be kept in pockets. I particularly like the butterscotch/apricot colours. I can watch them in their kiddies pool from the upstairs windows.
They, too, are babysitting as my farmer ordered 3 Indian Runner Ducks and 3 Kahki Campbells. They are full sized ducks and quicly outgrew their surrogate mothers. Actually they'd kinda run them over! 8^) I've been leaving their gate open so they can get used to the big wide world as they'll be living over at the barn. Mine often forage about in That Faerie Place near them. I lock them back up at night as an owl visited and 'did in' my male a while ago.
Yesterday when I returned from the city I could hear a call duck. Usually they are quiet in the heat of the day, chillaxing under the shrubs in their pen. I found the neighbour's dog in the pen and much carnage. The chickens also did not escape as they often find ways to 'visit' the ducks and perhaps they feel the bugs are juicier on the other side of the fence!
The final tally is still not in as some were driven off into the bush behind the coop and the stress on the live birds is huge and they just sucumb later. So it has been a sad day, but nothing for it but to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again! Hmm, maybe the Faeries can console the survivors! I'll have to see if there are any faerie lights tonight!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Little quilties

I had taken a class that had us making little quilts, stacking, cutting, shuffling and resewing them. They didn't look like art to me, they looked just like their discription. But I really liked the Bali fabric I'd begun with. Another challenge to make a quilted shape had me drag them all back out to see if I could use one to make a shape. As I was fooling around I started to get a background that I could live with. The colour wheel gave a clue for a dimensional shape, a leaf. A necklace helps me see some beading at the bottom. This could be the beginning of an art quilt. I am off to the big city with a list that will include some beads, especially a few leaf ones.

hmm, what if I did some stamping as well? oooh, what if one thing leads to another? 8^)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sheared for shape

The shearer gives little notice. He brings all his supplies and we provide meals and a place to stay if it ends up being an over nighter. He has been shearing our sheep for 20 some years and we have a lot to catch up on over lunch. 8^) Our flock has decreased so we now only require half a day. The light coloured sheep are the ewes (females) which have just been sheared. The smaller greyer sheep are this spring's lambs. They have actually done very well this year and the whole flock is in good shape.
What if... I've kinda taken the sheep for granted. What kind of creativity would they inspire?


When life throws you a curve...

A curve can be a baseball pitch. It can be a line on a graph representing data. A curve is also the trace of a point whose direction of motion changes. Those are nouns. The verb is a curl, curve or kink!

Curves always happen on my life line. It does make life interesting.

But if you are heading towards a goal, any deviation will take you away from your goal. That is probably not good. But there are also curves that stay on target. They just dip down into a valley and then rise up over the top of the hill. They don't have to way lay me from my destination. They just take more time. I need to be relaxing on the straight ahead curves and get the benefit of the coasting or exercising that happens on those curves. The sideways shuffles need to get my attention real quick so I can focus and get back on that straight trajectory.

Last week's curve was the lack of internet access. I did not too bad on staying focused. Today the shearer arrived to do our sheep and I almost got off track until I realized that curves don't have to be sideways! Thank goodness I didn't get a kink!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Whoops! Just when I thought I had things licked, a workable plan and was seriously making progress the computer throws a nasty curve. Actually it was more of a straight line; you know, the code red in the emergency room. I became well acquainted with many of the tech support people from our provincial telephone company. Then I was razzle dazzled by a young techy at the 'puter store. Then back to the telephone advisors. I was just about to lose all hope when the connection happened and things are once again looking promising.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


"I took the opportunity to..."

In my attempt to reorganize the house I was hauling a 5 drawer dresser up from the depths of the basement. As I was cleaning it up I thought, hmmm! Why don't I paint it with some of the left over paint I have. Not at all in the plan. I haven't done any painting in a few years. I'm messy, it is late in the day....

But I took the opportunity and I'm wonderfully glad. It looks great!

An opportunity is a noun that comes from fitness, suitableness, favorable time. It means a possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstances.

I had paused by the front door with a drawer. The sun was shining and not much wind. I checked out the paint on my next trip for drawers. Yup! The primer needed some mixing with my electric mixer but it is washable paint. I got the chest set up by the front steps and the parts were practically dry before I was ready to start the last coat. I was washing things up when hubby arrived.

Circumstances were favorable. I had suitable paint and supplies. I kinda knew it was now or never. But the ramifications are much more than a freshly painted chest. It has revived my 'make do' creativity. Reminded me of my younger days when it was all 'make do'. I feel virtuous.

I shall be looking for more opportunities! 8^)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I need to straighten up a bit and smell the flowers. I probably should have heeded the advice to start small and get things under control before adding new beds, especially as I kept dividing the little to spread over the much. Those darn weeds hate to see any bare ground. But my peonies are really doing well this year and I have a big bouquet on the table that makes everything so worthwhile. I've also left the roses alone and they, too, are doing well. I stick to the hardy Canadian Explorer roses and the Morden roses that have been developed in Morden which is in my province. I try to get the fragrant ones right up near the house. I don't find the roses to be very demanding and they come thru winter without needing much more than some pruning and of course the peonies live forever. I have realized I'd rather not fuss with my plants so I try not to get the big doubles that tend to flop and I'll cut those that do for fresh flowers in the house. The roses aren't the big teas but they are still charming and suited to our farmsite. The bulk of my beds are mixed plantings but I try to have a sprinkling of flowers happening somewhere in each bed so there is always a flowering focal point.
Now that I've got a few of the kinks out, I think I'll go for a stroll and a sniff before I retire.

So creative

Wish it was sew creative but my Dh has been watching all the organizing and now wants his own room. ??? A knock down, drag em out fight got me to offer him the best closet in the house. No? Another go 'round and I allowed him the guest room if he agreed to keep a single guest bed. My attitude definitely needed adjusting as I envisioned the warehouse look with his talk of roll away cot and folding work table. awk! But I hauled Everything out! This has caused logistic problems all over. But I've been pleasantly surprised as he gathers what he wants. First was an old cupboard we got at an auction sale. Gee, no room for big table. That's too bad! This may actually be good. 8^) I'm rising to the challenge of making a guest room with office capabilities.

So no sewing today but I did dig out the paint cans and my creative juices are flowing better than some of this old paint. lol But I really do need to get a baby quilt done this week so I shall be stealing some time from some other endeavor.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The week in review

Well, just because I assigned a general purpose to each day doesn't get it done. A lot of flurry and I guess some things done, but...
So I better unearth the little black book and start to number things 1-5 and face up to which wheel is squeaking the most.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Two steps forward...

and one step back!

In my attempt to sort stuff I seem to be making more of an upheaval than planned. I know I'm pitching stuff but it still doesn't look like it is all gonna fit back into the closets that it came from. hmm, part of the problem is I'm reacquainting myself with stuff (good stuff) that I had put away for 'later'. I'm thinking that time is here and I am making new piles! vbsigh


If boys have toys...

do girls have curlers???

I don't think so. I have ordered a free DVD from the Dremel web site that is gonna tell me all about this handy dandy tool that is apparently a 'must have' for serious mixed media artists. I'm kinda excited/scared. I can do serious damage with hubby's hammer and if I can't find a screw driver the hammer is sometimes just as useful, but probably not for this artsy stuff. :0

I did buy a cute little tool kit from the scrapbooking shop but I need to take it back and ask them what it is I exactly bought and how it works. lol I am still sorting stuff and I'm gathering my supplies together. I'm into old photos, epherma and memorabilia now. I have made a spot for wrapping paper and ribbons. But it seems ya have to make a mess to clean up a mess. Oh, well. I'm starting to see bare floor and spots on the work table surface.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


ORGANIZE comes from Latin- instrument, organ

That is neat because our body parts, organs, are very organized.

The verb can mean several things and the ones that resonated in me were:

-action of organizing parts into a whole
-cause to be structured or ordered or operating to some principle or idea
-arrange by systematic planning and united effort
-create (as an entity)
-plan and direct (a complete undertaking)

So this whole house organizing is a grand idea to create and execute a workable system but I need help because it is a united effort. ooh, wait'll I tell hubby!

Shelter belts

I've been out and about a lot and I'm noticing the shelter belts out on the prairie. Many are old abandoned farm sites with a few straggly trees around the perimeter of the site. The wind does a number on the trees and sometimes they are hard to even get established. Many of the rows are just one kind of tree. When I drive by areas of bush I see much more diversity.

I think that diversity is also needed in gardens. I'm planting our wind breaks in clumps rather than rows with various levels. Upper story of several trees, middle ground of small trees or tall shrubs, some accent shrubs for the understory and then close to the yard I add perennials and ground covers. They are happy to help each other and I think things remain healthier.

I do wonder about those old abandoned sites, some with crumbling sheds and windowless houses. What if...