Tuesday, 18 July 2017

A Trip To Provence.........Well, Milton really.....


I first saw this farm, Terre Blue, Milton,  advertised last fall.


After stumbling upon their ad again last month, we finally got our act together (and the rain stopped) to have "a little adventure"

It's rarely things are this handy to where I live in Guelph.

It was hot (so is Provence)
There were blooms all around me (so too in Provence)
The air was redolent of Lavender (so too in Provence)

There were bees everywhere. With the crisis in the bee populations, its been a long time since I could actually hear the bees in the flowers. That was actually a plus in my books.

But the farm is only a few acres, not like the famous vistas in France. And there were people.........everywhere.

But to add to my fantasy there was a group of young girls in billowy white dresses and straw hats. (I think that's also part of my imaginary French scene).


But I'm glad hubby indulged me. It was beautiful.

http://terrebleu.ca/















Thursday, 13 July 2017

Jane Stickle Quilt - Almost There

Most of you will have heard of this iconic American civil war era sampler quilt.
I AM plugging away and I'm almost ready to take this gal off the frame to hand finish. I've hand quilted 11 rows ( in a little over a year.....seems slow but I have been working on a few other things!!!???)

Rather than re-post, here's a link to my album in another quilt forum.
My favourite block from this row, and the choice was difficult, is below.

https://www.quiltingboard.com/members/marykatherine-u22131-albums19752.html


Sunday, 9 July 2017

Welcome Interlude

Celebrating Hubby's birthday at the cottage on Georgian Bay.
It's always a nice getaway and with his daughter entering her last trimester it's certainly more exciting. We're all looking forward to this little boy.



The weather was a bit over cast this morning but I got some nice quiet time with my stitching and the sound of waves. (Having the "Timmy's" at hand is always a plus...nobody drinks REAL coffee up here so I make the 10 min trip at dawn into town, summer or winter, and fill up!!)



Breakfast was definitely the choice of a pregnant lady. Featured this morning was Cherry PIE! (plus an assortment of other fruit and cheese. LOL)


Friday, 7 July 2017

Ageing Indignities - Not For the Feint of Heart

I have been busy but I can't post much, as the intended recipient of my recent efforts also reads this blog. But this post is a bit different.
READ IF YOU DARE!

Yes we grow older, albeit at different rates but our mind is always caught off guard. This is a little tale of shopping....when your body is no longer.........the low side of 65.

It was time to replace those two indispensable items of clothing. They're the ones you wear until they are practically rags. They're old friends......but friends that just don't support you anymore.

Yes ladies......... JEANS and BRAS.
Alas, the need to replace them fell in the same week.
While kids love having holes in the their jeans I'm just not comfortable when the crotch finally gives way. And the bra? When you put a finger through the material..... I'd say there is no support left there.

Have I ever mentioned I hate shopping? I NEVER shop. Hubby swears the steam is rising from my ears BEFORE I leave the house. I left him home! Where to go? The mall of course. Nobody TOLD me the mall is for the under twenty and the pre puberty crowd.

I started in S^^^^^s. This was where I had purchased support for years? When was the last time? I can't remember.
I was hard pressed to ....
A) Find the Lingerie section and
B) find my boxed brand.
Never did find it.
So I was reduced to TRYING ON brassieres. At least 20, I swear. When your flesh has lost all integrity, the "GIRLS" try to escape, any which way. They're creative that way. As I rejected style after style and size after size, the staff drifted away......never to be seen again, leaving me to solve this dilemma on my own.
But I persevered and 2 hours later, clutching 2 "bras?" as if they were my ticket out of this Torture Chamber, I wandered around the store until I found a sales desk.

I KNEW I should have called it quits and gone home to lick my wounds and try for the jeans another day. 😓
I wandered, innocently out into the mall. I walked from one end to the other trying to find my GO TO store, the store I'd bought my last pair. Tucked away at the end of walk (my cardio for the day) was my store. But when I looked at the merchandise (at outrageous prices) they weren't jeans at all!!!!
They were OLD LADY pants in blue. All kinds of elastic and gathers????? Where were the JEANS to control the girth? to tame the wobble? to turn the excess into muffin tops (I wear loose tops). I left the store empty handed and wandered aimlessly back down the lonely mile.
There were all kinds of JEANS in the windows of the shops. Dare I hope?

I mentally defined what I wanted. TRUE denim weigh, straight or relaxed leg, NOT boot cut, Not low rise, a Regular PAIR OF JEANS.
Finally a nice young man, (younger than my children) suggested I try "OLD NAVEL".... I mean Old N****y.
And there it was... a WALL OF JEANS. (Hallelujah)
My pulse quickened.
And then I read the descriptions......low rise, mid rise, skinny, boot cut.
EUREKA... original curvy cut? I held my breath and touched them. Not too bad. Already broken in (remember that phase?).
My size? I guessed?
They swam on me. I ended up with size 12.
NEVER in my entire life have I worn a size 12. But they did "fit my curves" and were gentle with the "muffin top", so I paid the price and brought them home.

I lay down.

A day later I decided to wear my new jeans. As I was taking off the labels I read Spandex!! In DENIM?
Sigh.
The last part of this tale will bring tears, I promise.
We all have an underwear drawer. If you're anything like me you have trouble parting with these as well (though I draw the line at holes). The bikinis, the low rise, no grannies here. Symbols of our lost and distant wild side.
MY underwear drawer has 2 piles. The "wear anywhere, with anything" panties.....and the "wear only with pants"............... so they don't fall down.
To celebrate I chose the "better" pile and donned a "frisky" pair and over them, "the JEANS". Profile was OKAY! Muffin top was negligible! What a plus.
I went off on my morning walk enjoying the swish of new material and the song of the birds.
About halfway through this exercise I stopped. Something was amiss.
MY PANTIES were falling down. THE GOOD STRONG ones.
The SPANDEX was inching them down, millimeter by millimeter.
(I haven't worn them since and I patched the old pair.)

Getting old!!!!%#)#$(^#($




Sunday, 2 July 2017

A Break in the Rain = Painting Time

I like to paint first thing in the morning. The breezes are down so my drying cloth stays put.
I mixed some fresh green paint this morning. I want to round out my stash for vegetation. While I have been given a LOT of green fabric, the commercial prints don't lend themselves to vibrant leafy scenes. They are great for the under layers, or background.


I did one yellow piece as an experiment. Those leaves that turn only yellow like elm, poplar and birch, are often mottled, so I spatter painted a few colours on a pale background. The paint movement is caused by re wetting the semi dry material causing the pigments to move away from the rapidly evaporating areas.


A few Blue pieces for future water? work...



The pigment movement this time is cause by salting the wet fabric. I'm playing with controlling the direction of the pigment movement by hanging the pieces to dry.

I just may get those Northern Lights yet.
And last.. lots of green.........







Thursday, 29 June 2017

My Children are Home from The Fair

The kids relaxing on the carpet to get the kinks out.
After the anxiety of letting them go, (to the CQA Show), it was nice to see the postal person walk up to my front porch with my mailing tube Children.

Enclosed in the return mailing was a summary of the critique from the three judges.

They were well received by all three, commenting favourably on balance, the use of colour to create depth and the "skillful" use of fabric to create a 3D affect.

Alas, my technique left a lot to be desired.
One thing I will take away from this, (from my haste to finish), I vow to HAND STITCH the binidngs.
LOL
Now I need to decide the fate of my two Birch Beauties.
Till next time.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

New Cloth - Dried and Pressed

This is the exciting part.
After the colours have shifted and blended in the sun, ironing sets the paint. Often the backside is just as exciting if not more intriguing or usable.
Some cloth is destined to be cut up and incorporated but some takes on the staring role. I never know until it's time to create.

The first three photos are the top side of the 12 pieces I painted today. They are all fat quarters.




The next three photos are the backsides of  some of the above. Choosing which is the "good" side all depends on where the art is going.




Some of these will stand alone as backgrounds or as a feature.

AT LAST - a Paint Day

While all this rain has made for a fabulous garden, I've had to shelve any ideas about painting.
Thought it was a bit breezy this morning I decided to go ahead anyway.

Today was actually a purge day. I've known I needed to do this for a while. The problem with holding this brand of paint was, (Seta Colour Transparent), it's not meant to be held this long, 2 yrs+ actually.
It was starting? to get gloppy, clumpy and slimy.

But I hated to throw it out. So I spent a fun couple of hours....FINGER PAINTING and used up as much as I could.

I went through the colours, by working around the colour wheel and blended 2 or 3 analogous or similar colours on a fat quarter of white cotton. They should dry quickly today.




I was also able to add to my coloured cheesecloth collection. It comes in so handy to add a different shade or soften colours in my landscape work.


A couple of uninteresting pieces I scrunched for texture.



And the "dead soldiers" will head to the garbage. Time to mix fresh paint.


Friday, 23 June 2017

I know I'm a Hand Quilting Novice but.....

Is it normal to use a whole spool, 400 yd. of thread on the first half of the quilt?


Monday, 19 June 2017

Back to the Mundane

All the flurry over the CQA show is past, selected pieces are mailed out west, the garden has been returned to reasonable shape and Father's Day was a nice low key visit with our eldest son.

BUT

You can't suppress that creative urge for long. SO, it was time to catch up on some on going projects.

My Jane Stickle quilt has passed the halfway mark. Some of these blocks stumped me a bit, deciding how to quilt them. But it was nice to get back to it. As I worked I envisioned some of the awesomely small stitches in some of those show quilts. Inspiration !!!!


The Embroidery for another quilt needed a lot of light, so that necessitated me sitting in the garden. Such a hardship.


But OH NO!
I FINALLY succumb to the barrage of ultrasound shots of my grandson.......and started KNITTING.
I found one of my favourite patterns, one I had knit for my two boys thirty odd years ago. While my hands weren't too happy about this change of usage....... (I told them to toughen up and had some aspirin), I dove in with a lovely blue that is the same colour as Daddy's eyes.


Thursday, 15 June 2017

CQA 2017

It came..... and I went yesterday with some very good friends and creative buddies.
We were blown away. There were some old favourites, some awesome hand quilting, and lots of jaw dropping pieces. This year's strong presence was the use of heavy embroidery as an embellishment. It certainly added luxury and sumptuousness to pieces.
So here are some. The show runs till Saturday. Get there if you can. Next year it moves to B.C.

BEST IN SHOW


Selvage Art









PROUD AS PUNCH!

 My two pieces above stood up very well. Birch and poplar seemed to be a favourite this year.





Confetti work on a large scale










detail of above

 



This is a sister to the Best of Show at the beginning, done by the same talented and patient woman.







Got a chance to chat with the creator of this one.













Detail of above
 


Blue and White reverse Applique