Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Precious Possessions

The other day I received an email from Lesley Riley, which included a video Making plans for your precious possessions on you tube by a lady named Susan Lenz.  I could not get her talk out of my head.  The next day I was in my studio dusting off my grandmothers old rocker and bringing out my can of paint.
 I spent the morning painting this chair and while I did that I thought of all the memories that were held within this piece of furniture.  My grandmother reading risque Victorian novels.  The first night my daughter, Amanda came home and I held her and rocked her to sleep.  My nephew, Shawn, helping to feed her, patting her head and holding her tiny fingers.  This was a precious possession and lately it held nothing but dust, dirt and spider webs.

Not anymore, as I set the pot of flowers down in the seat I could feel my grandmother saying, "thank you, for giving this a new life."  It now sits on my patio where I enjoy the colors and the memories that come to mind when I see it.  If you have time, check out Susan's video.  She is an artist that uses others precious possessions to create amazing items.  It will be worth your time.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Blue Birds hard at work!

I caught these shots of a pair of Eastern Blue Birds the other day.  They seem to be hard at work on a nest in the corner eve of our car port.


 They were flying from the fence to the edge of the car port.  There is an open area right below the roof where they are making their home this year.

 I think they were talking about what "paint colors" they were going to put in the babies room!!!!

Dad watches over things while Mom goes out for materials to build.  Just like a man!!!  I hope we have new ones this year.  I would love to get some photos.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Irish Chain Quilt

I have always wanted to make an Irish Chain quilt.  I found a pattern in one of my old books and started it last year.  Lately, I have been working on the 9 patch blocks.

 I have 400 of the pieces to make and I'm up to 250.  This past week I worked on a few strips and twice, not once, but twice, I sewed the strips together wrong.


 The center cream color is supposed to be horizontal so it will match the solid squares in the block, but I sewed them vertical.  These pieces are 1.5" strips that are pieced together and I have used
the seam ripper to take one strip apart and put the pieces in my scraps so I won't pick them up again.  At least I only made 2 strip sets.  I would have been devastated if I had made a bunch.  I think I will have to go back to that old rule, measure twice, and in my case, maybe three times before I cut.

This is the finished block and I need 41 for the queen size I am making.  I have all the other pieces cut and ready to assemble.  I need the quilt gods to send down prayers that I finally get it right.

Friday, April 24, 2015

New Study of a Waterhouse Painting

I am such a fan of John William Waterhouse and recently found, through someones blog, a painting of his that I just fell in love with.  I ask the lady if she could tell me about the painting and she gave me the title, "I'm Half Sick of Shadows" said the Lady of Shalott.  This is my study in oil of his painting from 1916.


I had to paint it because, for some reason, I had this connection with her.  I could feel her frustration from working with her tapestry and only having a certain time to work on the detail of the piece.  I can't imagine what it would have been like using a setup like she had.


At first I thought the view behind her was a window, but upon closer observation, I realized it was a mirror and the view was a reflection from the other side of the room.  I had a wonderful time working on this piece and it will be displayed proudly in my studio.  I would love to give credit to the blogger that I found out about this from, so if your out there and read this, please leave me a comment so I can let everyone know where my information came from and link your blog.   Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Headaches over this PC

I was soooo happy when I purchased my new PC.  I also purchased a new, more powerful router, that allowed wi-fi access in my studio.  Boy, I was on cloud 9, or so I thought.
I am having the darnedest time figuring out the transfer of photos from my Samsung phone or my Ipad to One Drive and then to get them downloaded to my picture file.  I did not realize I was so "old school"!

I am going to try to upload a few pictures just to see if I can do it properly.  I hope so, because I miss not blogging about things going on here in my cottage and on the farm. So here goes, wish me luck.

 These photos were made at Scarrett Bennett Seminary in Nashville, TN.

 I had the honor of auditing an Old Testament Hebrew class at Vanderbilt University.

I always parked around Scarrett and walked to the lecture hall.  I love these old buildings

 There style just draw me to them.  I think a painting series will be in the future for these photos.

Unfortunately, I had to withdraw from the class due to my husbands accident on Sept. 6th.  He is doing a lot better, I would say 90% recovered.  I may get another chance at the audit next year.

On the other hand, it looks like I have finally figured out what I'm doing with the photos.  I hope so, because I want to share other things with you all and get back to blogging on a regular basis.  Have a great day and I will post again real soon.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Organizing Thread

Well, I took a couple of weeks off because of Christmas and New Year and when I walked back into my studio the other day I saw this.

 My embroidery thread was all over the floor.

The racks that were hanging on a peg board were broken and stuck behind my embroidery machine and table.
 For some strange reason the board fell off the wall.  Hard to believe, when it was hanging on 3 bolts screwed into the wall.  Once I got everything pulled out away from the machine (thank goodness it wasn't hit) I realized that the top strip of the board broke lose and that caused it to fall.

I decided then that I was not taking another chance on that happening again so I made a trip the the Container Store and purchased shoe boxes as well as other storage containers for my thread.
I have spent this morning getting everything sorted out and placed in the correct sized containers.  Doing this has also made me realize I have way to much thread and spend far to little time using my embroidery machine.  Through the years I have collected up Maderia, PolyX40, Robinson-Anton and Floriani threads and have barely used any of it.

My intention this year is to put this thread to some kind of use.  I love Jenny Haskins designs and have several of her books.  I think it's time I pulled them out and made use of them.  I feel kinda like a thread hoarder as well as a fabric junkie.  Maybe I should go into rehab!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

New Oil Painting

Back in the summer, I had a request for a commission oil painting.  I was about 75% through it when Ricky had his accident.  In October, I found out that the painting needed to be finished before Thanksgiving instead of Christmas.  I had not been to the art studio since September and had really no desire to do anything, but I was committed to this, so I had to get to work on it.

I went to the studio and picked it up, came home and started working on it a few days a week.  At that time Ricky and I were spending 3 days week going back and forth to therapy for his hands, legs and neck.  I stuck with it and was able to get it completed.

I had it framed for her, and my sister-in-law delivered it to her.  She was so pleased and sent me the nicest thank you card.  I hope the family member that she was giving it to was pleased with it.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Quilting Progress and Update on Ricky

Back in October I mentioned that my husband had an accident that injured his spinal cord.  He had to have C3-C5 fused together.  He lost the feeling in his hands and has trouble with his shoulders.  He has 95% of his balance and walking ability back.  The doctors tell us that whatever ability he has in a year will be all that he will get back.  We have 9 months to go.  He is back to working on his antique tractors, with help from his brothers and friends.  He can't pick up over 25 lbs but he enjoys being out in his shop and trying to do as much as possible to keep busy and moving.

I have finally started working on my quilts again and it really makes me feel like I am doing something worthwhile.  I have finished the blocks on a sampler of the month called "A Chocolate Sampler".  I added about 12 extra blocks on the outside to make it big enough for our bed.
I still have to piece them together, add borders and quilt it but it's a lot closer than before.

I have also, just this morning, finished quilting my "Tennessee Country" quilt made from Bonnie Hunter's "Blue Ridge Beauty" pattern.  You can find it in her Adventures with leaders and Enders book.  I originally wanted to use variegated thread and quilt it with a Baptist Fan panto graph, but kept having problems with skipped stitches. After ripping out stitches twice, I really became frustrated so I just used Superior Bottom Line on both top and bottom.


 After all the attempts with the variegated thread, I really like the solid color because it doesn't take away from the pattern of the quilt.  I just did a free form meandering on it and I am a happy girl.  Now, I just have to add a binding and put this baby on our bed.

It's nice to be back on the blogging scene.  I have been reading most of my blogs but don't make comments very often.  Now that life on the farm is getting back to some normalcy I should be able to be more active with everyone.  I wish you all a wonderful day.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Part 2 from 2009

Really, it's from 2009.  I have several quilts that I'm working on and one is a mystery quilt of Bonnie Hunter's called Double Delight.  I finally finished part 2 today!

 I have told myself that I needed to start working on the projects that I have already started before I get caught up in another new one.  Even though I did print out the material list for Bonnie's new mystery, I know that I won't ever work on it this year.  I do feel good that I have finished this step.

I also finished all the blocks from a block of the month video on Craftsy.com.  I did purchase the fabric for this one, but I couldn't help it.  I just fell in love with the colors.

I love batiks and I guess if I could spend lots of money on fabric it would be for colorful batiks.  They just make me happy.

I will pick another project to work on tomorrow and will be posting about that later on.  Enjoy your day.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Better Service

I am still learning about my new laptop but I have realized that I can now get service all the way out at our barn.  That's because we purchased a new router for the house.  I now have a new wireless mouse, I'm still the old fashion one that likes that more that touch screen.  Now I'm working on getting the hang of adding pictures and sizing correctly.  Here are a couple of shots made with my phone, but sent to my email.
 I have made a lounge area in my studio.  I think I will enjoy using this space when I'm looking at quilt or art books and writing in my journals.

This is a table my daughter had that I thought would be great for an art table. It has extensions on each side that I have pulled out for extra space.  I'm thinking of adding a shelf above it so I can put my laptop on it while watching videos.  Today I was just playing with the computer so it all looks pretty neat.  Usually it's a mess with paints, papers and sprays.