Saturday, October 31, 2015

Eight outstanding oh's for October's end.

I'm glad to have captured this photo early in the week because things have gotten distinctly grey, cold and rainy.  The step is ready but the inside of the veranda is 'decorated' with produce, boots, garden tools, etc.  Much too chilly to attempt cosy!  lol 

one- don't reinvent the wheel
slow start Monday- I had a book!  After the requisite cleaning  I did find a web site that provided lesson plans for the book I'm using with the grand kiddies.  I was happy to pay the fee and get all the printables I'll need.  I like planning but it does take time and this will be better than figuring out how to do the same thing someone else has already figured out better!   Finding the monthly themed scrapbook pad was also a great bonus. :0

 two- just do it

 Tuesday I just made myself start messing with stuff right away and I got so into it I hated to stop!  Journal days are so much fun if you just go with the flow and live in the moment.  I must do that more mindfully.  And definitely with a few happening at the same time as multiples seem to work for me!  But I need to lose this greyness and get back to happy colours! 

three-  see what is there

When I put up the purple and gold shower curtain it reminded me that purple and gold were my fall theme colours.  I started gathering up my purples and there didn't seem to be lots.  I did break a lovely vase last year.  vbsigh  I was so busy thinking I hardly had noticed the two pictures that have been on the stair landing wall.  I'd walked past them for some time now and was not really seeing them.  I have been working on my seasonal theme for a few years and when I'm reminded and actually see, I can shop the house successfully!  (these pictures will preview in the kitchen reveal)  And this wall is gonna be my art wall.  I have an IDEA!!!

four-  visitors are good

Being empty nesters means I can spread my stuff out on the spare beds.  This is not such a good idea for a 'piler' like me.  I am always schlepping piles from one place to another when company shows up.  And when two or three piles avalanche together it is a pretty mess.  I am now at the place where this is no longer fun.  Reducing the stuff, colour coding and keeping stuff contained in its area is an ongoing project.   Gee I wish I had a great picture!  lol

five- idle hands are the devil's workshop
And I am starting to think he lives in the 'puter!  I'm not down on the computer but it can be a real time suck if I am 'idle'.  So, I need to get that handwork handy so the Rooster and I can sit together in the evenings.  :)  If he goes on the 'puter for his genealogy stuff I am within eye/earshot.  If he is down stairs I can grab my kit and join him.  Now to fine tune the readiness!  ;^)

six- a place for everything

I spent some money on hanging tabs for the stencils.  These will hang in the open craft closet and I can put them in some kind of order.  I've the smaller stencils and all the masks to deal with but things are in reduction mode! 

seven- stay at it

I also have found that if I have something, an audio teaching, I'll stay sewing until the session is finished.  :)

eight- routine is good but if there is no spontaneity in the day...  :(

The older I get the more I appreciate routines.  But it can be boring so I really welcome the unexpected.  Spontaneity is the spice in my life.  okay, Maybe I should look at it like routine keeps the craziness out of my distractability!  :)  This week has a bit too much in the way of changed plans but a visual reminder from Monday's post reminds me of what I am 'supposed' to be up too.  October has been kinda outstanding!!!  :)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mixed Media Multi tasking!

I have discovered the secret to success, at least for me.  I need to work in multiples.  :)

I started the day getting the grand kiddies smash books ready for them. 

 Those background pages don't work so I glued down better ones.

We'll see what they do with them.  We are not into scary/ugly so this is a summing up of October courtesy of Tia Laura's scrapbook paper overflow.  She gave me a Graphics 45 calendar 8X8 pad.  woo hoo!

But then I had some leftovers and I was fooling around when I began to think, what if...

I kept glancing at my hardboard picture which I wanted to 'fix up'.  The kids' colourway could work and so...   This is drying and isn't finished so I need to screw up my courage to press on as I kinda like it the way it is.  eek!  Does "do no harm" apply to art???

Then I had to work on the weekly palette challenge and when the stencil got all wet with colour I opened another journal to catch the over flow!  The stars weren't purple enough so I needed to spray.

The one on the top left is a future something or other and the bottom left is awaiting more inspiration!

But now I need to tear myself away because it is art 101 with the grand kiddies today over at their house. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

To strip or not to strip!

I should never have let my first quilt book slip away. It was Mary Ellen Hopkins You Can Sit on My Quilt!  I learned sew much.

I totally got strip piecing!

I was also reading an old magazine.  I think it was American Quilter where I learned about all kinds of quilt styles. Gwen Marston wrote for them.  I really liked the old strippies!

My first was an Ivy fabric. The alternating fabric had a gathered swag look.  Great concept but the cross hatching caused me to always think of it as a mattress pad!  :[  I still have occasion to use it but it is usually under another.

I'm not sure if the zig zag layout qualifies as a strippy but I really like it.  I first tried it as a miniature.

I set these star blocks into a zig zag pattern.  I only had so many blocks and the setting could have been better if it was a bit longer but...
It is documented in this and  this post.

This was a backing for another quilt that was being given away. But I liked it so much I will be turning it into a top for myself.  This is within the last ten years.

I also like the row concept.   This large wall hanging (baby quilt) evolved from a sampler class I made up to teach an early quilt class. Gee, that was long ago. :/   My sister in law and I were invited to teach quilting to a church I am affiliated with in Ontario.   We divided the ladies into about four groups as they came from four areas.  It was a team effort so they could take away a wall hanging for their home churches.   I think we all had a marvelous week away.
This wall hanging is smaller but I had made it for my youngest son and it told a little story.  This one started my interest in button collecting.  ;^)   These are photos of photos so the quality is not great.   But then the quilts aren't 'that' great either but we need to do them so we can develop our creativity.

This is a another row sampler that also builds on techniques.  I plan on practicing some machine quilting on it so it is in the ufo pile.

In exploring my own style I tried a lap quilt that I came up with all on my own.  Its not that old.

 And kind of a mate for the first- another version.  But still in the strippy format.

This was a quilt challenge.  I usually find some place to display it even as the season changes.  I even did a wee bit of fabric painting on the black and white fabric we were given.  :)

 This has been kind of a stripping away of layers to discover who this quilter is and also the why of what I do now.   Kinda revealing, isn't it?

Monday, October 26, 2015


Lets see how this week progresses!   I'll be as surprised as anyone!  ;^)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bonus post- Note to self!

The fall weather has continued to hold and we have been quite busy.  The laundry is barely drying but it isn't too bad working outside. 

We have postponed doing the last of the chickens.  The rooster and his flock are due to be moved to their winter quarters and are taking advantage of our busyness to invade the yard.  I hope most of my plants are dormant and that they don't eat too many of my volunteer seeds.  :(

The turkeys need a bit more time but if they don't stay off my front step it is going to be 'ready or not'!!!

 We have been working away on getting the shed back together.  It is now resting on the ground and the two sections are tied together.  phew

Stuff is already finding its way inside and the Rooster has us keeping a tidy site in case the weather changes.

The next urgency is to get the roof up and on.  The front door may not make it but we can fix up a temporary solution.  Next year will be the year of the doors.  :)

Now before we married the Rooster said that one day he would build me a house.  As we have been working together I have been recalling that promise.  Gee, wouldn't it be fun to build a new coop for us ol' birds!!!  He is looking slightly horrified.  As an incentive I promised him an air hammer.  Isn't that exciting???  He said it would be more exciting if it came with an operator.  I raised my eyebrows but he nixed that pretty quick.  lol  Perhaps I have been overly estimating my worth as his carpenter's helper!!!  ;^)    Note to self-  buy myself a proper apron!!!  

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Balls in the air!

I am really appreciating the benefits of focusing on Monday's visual.  It is definitely working for me as I see what I hoped to accomplish!

Voting done!  I'm liking the feeling of optimism I am picking up from everyone.  I hope it never gets dropped again.

The mixed media ball is developing a solid feeling as it passes through my hand.  

Perhaps with this momentum I can get the sewing added to the routine a bit better.  Truth to tell the media flinging has created a bit of mess that I need to get contained within the wet boundaries.  EEK! Something to work on for next week!  ;^)

The fibre art/hand stitching was set aside as the Rooster has me helping him in the evenings.  Hopefully he'll be getting busy on his off season hobbies so we can be inside after supper and he can do his thing and I can do mine! 

Art 101 is coming together solidly.  I found a good web site that connects ideally with my focus book.  This means better time management because I am not going to be reinventing the wheel 'so to speak' all the time.  :}  A quick review of colours and then we can transition nicely into the five basic elements of shapes. 

The kids like their books and I shall release even more creative/designer license as they 'get' the idea of page layouts.  I, myself, am quite pleased that we are staying up to date and should have a great progression of this school year.  I do hope we don't run out of room!  eek!

The home decor for this week definitely has propelled my focus into a higher throw!   Purple has always been my inspiration for fall.  That and the yellow gold.   The shower curtain is a favourite but how to tie it into the aqua bathroom had me looking for more purple accessories.  I don't have lots of purple but it sure inspired some creative ideas for the rest of the fall decor plan.  I am really excited for the rest of the season reveals!!!

So not quite as smooth as previously.  A little herky jerky in passing the balls but perhaps that is just a got reminder not to get too cocky one's abilities.  ;^)

Friday, October 23, 2015

and the winds blew and blew...

I do like our seasons.  The sky blue is always the constant.  Winter is white and wonderful.  really!  Maybe cold but I'm inside playing!  Spring silently pushes up all the yellow greens.  okay, there is the mud.  Summer is green with dots of wild rose pink.  Grass to cut but also bouquets of flowers to collect.  Everyone sighs with the splendor of falling leaves.  The problem is they fall very fast and almost before they can be collected into piles they are all chased away by the wind.  If one likes tress and leaves- summer is the season.

 The two sheds we tried to combine into one shed is now a hybrid.  The second half is a modular effort.   We'll stand everything up and nail it tight as soon as the wind calms itself enough for the big day!

 Because I never have to rake leaves I do have time to play.     I always seem to choose way too many options as I settle down to actually using a small portion of them. 

I took the leaf masks from the previous project and a so-so canvas I'd made and let my ideas blow around.  I thought green would play a prominent part but ...

Trying to get some decent light!  Unfortunately it is a bit small for where I want it so I will be looking for a good large canvas sale!   And likely some better ideas will blow my way!  :)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

journal joy

I am quite happy with this new way of journaling.  I don't over think things I just have some fun with the process.

The challenge on Wednesdays is to work with a paint chip and a couple of pages in any old journal that is available and handy.  I often pick a page I've used to clean a stencil or wipe a brush.

I hadn't thought I was afraid of a blank white page but it is definitely inspiring to jump start the creativity with a messy page and a box full of options rather than look around a room full of tucked away supplies!

There is always some after thoughts but I  am determined to look ahead to the next session and not angst and gnash knuckles over the "I shoulda/coulda...".  It is a joy!