Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Over the Banks; Into Everything


Worst flooding in over 70 years.

We aren't threatened in our neighborhood,
but our hearts go out to those who have lost their homes
or are still trying to stave off the river.

Source of all photos:  Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office




Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Deer Diva

My first completed Eccentric Twiggy.

Deer Diva

 She loved practicing in the garden.

 I still had some small pieces of raw silk, muslin, and cheesecloth
that I eco dyed and embroidered a few years ago,
and they went into the making of Deer's clothing.





 She practiced her arabesques with great enthusiasm.




Tuesday, June 02, 2015

This and That

A break from the rain!  We are having some sunny days and appreciating them greatly.  The following video was taken several days ago.  The Red River is expected to crest this coming Saturday.



----------
My fidget quilts have gone to an Alzheimer's/Dementia unit 
right next to our subdivision  and to Holy Angels--
well, to Amelia, who will deliver them to Holy Angels.  
I'm working on one more right now, 
but it may be the last for a while.


This fellow has been helping relieve my generalized anxiety 
(which seems to fluctuate with drops in the barometric pressure),
 for several weeks now.
 I have been picking him up
and filling him with stitches
 as a form of meditation.
The process is random and organic:
I pick a color, find an empty spot, and stitch.
Think he's done now.
 

My scrap basket from my last few fidget quilts
was overflowing.
Looking at it one day last week
led me to another digression.
That old crafting ADD syndrome.

I started piecing some very tiny scraps,
 then larger ones,
then began adding them together.

Kind of tedious, but I like playing with scraps
when I can't think of anything else that appeals to me.
It is another displacement activity
that keeps me occupied when I'm unfocused.


Now, I'm thinking about how to use all of the twigs 
I've been trimming/gathering from the yard. 

Two projects in progress right now  
(stick figures--a Deer Diva and a Twiggy Nymph),
but I want to explore other possibilities. 

 :) At least once a year, I get hung up on twigs and branches.



Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekend in the Country

It rained, several times, but it didn't rain all the time.  They saw deer, heard the coyotes, kept their distance from a snapping turtle, and played with tree frogs.     From Mila's hand to her hair! 

Mila and Bryce Eleanor loved the watermelon.
      
Back home and this morning, more rain.  It has rained almost every day for the last several weeks.  In fact, I'm only sure of one day it hasn't rained in May.   Enough, already.  

From our front door, you can see how the water pooled around the cul de sac.  At this point it has gone down, but is still over the sidewalk across the street.  Later, during a break in the rain, the water managed to drain, and the garbage trucks were able to get in and pick up the trash.  


Forecast for the next ten days?  Rain.  Every.  Day.  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fidget Quilt #8

I intended the next f.q. to have flaps, 
but instead decided to see if I could make a zipper pocket.

The deep orange would work for a contrast in pocket since I used an orange zipper.  
Then, I pulled out orange prairie points from my "odd bits" basket.
Added the prairie points and another strip of the light purple.
Then added the orange border around zipper block.
And some green strips along the side
to make it fit with the blocks I'd pieced.


The first bit of sun we've had in days!
Finished quilt after being washed twice.
Need to press the rick rack down.

Dangling buttons can be tucked inside zipper pouch.
Zipper can be opened and closed.
Buttons, pompoms, prairie points, rick rack, and loops
can provide places for restless fingers
to fidget. 

After washing the quilt the first time,
I didn't think the machine quilting was enough,
so I added more quilting by hand.
Not a lot, but some inside each of the charm squares.
It is time-consuming, but soothing.

 
I put in all of the previous quilts for a second wash.
Everything held up again,
So I assume all items are attached sufficiently.

Now, I need to take the next step.
I said I'd donate them when I had 8 done.
Guess it is time to see about that.
-----------
What else have I been doing?
My own form of "fidgeting."
When I am stalled, for whatever reason,
I turn to free form embroidery.
  

It is relaxing, meditative, and comforting
to stitch without any plan, filling in blank spaces with color.
I will fill this little fella' up,
a bit at a time.

linking to My Quilt Infatuation and The Crafted Sparrow

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

Wonderful Day--

From Erin--all sorts of goodies from the Wooden Spoon!  
Mmmmmm!
From Amelia--worm compost and garden tools from the Holy Angels gift shop!

I've already added some to my potted plants.

Brunch with the Chandlers and long phone conversation with Erin.
Mayhap one too many Mimosas at brunch,
but I have to keep up with Amelia.
:)

Has anyone watched Grace & Frankie, the new Netflix offering?  Lily Tomlin (love!), Jane Fonda, Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen--can't beat that for a cast.  Excellent!  Well, at least, I think so.






Books:  Just finished Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin.  My review is here on my book blog.  Oh, I will definitely be reading more by Heaberlin!




Rain predicted for the next seven days!  This is the rainiest spring ever.  

Thursday, May 07, 2015

thinking about

This Dutch man does what more of us should do. 
 He put words into action and inspired others.
via Bored Panda
------------

A five-year-old boy designing and sewing his own teddy.  
I love his determination to do it himself.
------------------

School lunches (at least in the schools I attended and taught in) were never appetizing and the cafeteria smell was always overwhelming.  However, the French know how to do it right.  I bet even their hospital meals are a treat for the palate.

First course: Cucumber and tomato salad
Main course: Veal marinated with mushrooms, broccoli, cheese
Dessert: Apple tart

Compare to the lunch below from Jackson, Georgia.  
lunch-2
via Collective Evolution

Check the link to see more examples.
Both good and bad.
-------------

Crafty/Quilty Stuff

I made a good deal of progress in organizing and re-arranging my studio.  For better or worse, I never finished, just began getting things put away at the end because I needed to have a clean space for when Bryce Eleanor visited.  Superficially, it looks so much better, but there is still much to be done.

Yesterday, I started another fidget quilt, working from around 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM.  It isn't the quilt I had in mind because I failed to consult my LIST (the one that has my ideas for fidget quilts).  The top, however, is pieced, and I put together the quilt sandwich before quitting.  :)  All the little fidget quilts are approximately 18" by 22"--which is a good lap size.  I finally took that first step and kept at it all day.  
---------------
Reading

 I read Sharon Bolton's Little Black Lies at the end of April and the review is up on my book blog.  It is the best book she's written so far, and I hope some of you will read it. A psychological mystery set in the Falkland Islands about ten years after the Falklands War, it is completely different from her earlier works and a stand-alone, I really could not put it down!






Tuesday, May 05, 2015

To-Do Lists

I'm a list-maker.  Not a list-completer, but a list-maker.  Sometimes, I really do mark off all the items listed each morning, but not consistently.  Most days, a few items are marked off, a few are neglected, and some days, I add an item to the list that was not there originally, but that I've done--just so I can draw that line through it (laundry, weeded flower bed). 

A few items on the list keep showing up, day after day, and are not marked through (yoga, quilt label, clean closet).  When I manage to finally draw the line through the offending item or chore, I'm inordinately pleased with myself.  With my (now very haphazard) yoga practice, I often manage to get back in the habit for a week or more due to the initial satisfaction of completing one day's practice.  Then, I'm back to skipping a day, then two, then more.

I have my daily journal list, a long-term list, a list of garden chores and plants, a list of ideas for fabric art or dolls, a list of kids' activities....  All of these lists and more are in different notebooks or scraps of paper and referred to occasionally as reminders.

After reading Karen's post, I laughed at the fact that, with the exception of the beanie baby collection, I identified completely with her generalized items.  I'm always wanting to do stuff and a bunch of other stuff.  I frequently move mess from here to there, ponder, and stare at the wall.  As often as not, I get little done except reading and/or playing in my studio.


On the other hand, the list below from Learning Minds 
is probably what I should aspire to.


 In fact, that is the one I am definitely going to use today.  Under Be productive yet calm, I'm going to assume it means to get started on another fidget quilt.
  What's on your to-do list today?


Sunday, May 03, 2015

Bryce Eleanor on Hershey.  Her first horse show.  
All of the kids were adorable.  
B.E.'s category was walk/trot,
a good place for a seven-year-old
to compete in her first show.
I forgot my camera and had to steal this photo from Amelia.

After the show, Amelia and Chris came over and visited for a while.  
Amelia and Chris were going to a Kentucky Derby party...
so Amelia had made hats for her crew.
Bryce Eleanor decided that the wolf mask
needed a nose.  
She found one of my peat pots and showed me.
We cut it down a little,
and she painted it black.
Sadly, I didn't get a photo,
after we made the adjustment,
but B.E. was right.
The nose when painted and attached
made the mask MUCH better!

After Amelia and Chris left,
B.E. and I worked on little houses,
tiny animals who will live in them,
and B.E. sewed up the wolf tail
to go with her mask.


We didn't get finished painting the houses.
Bryce Eleanor wasn't as interested 
in painting the houses as
with working with the little animals.

She added air dry clay for 
ears and tails
and painted them.

I coated some pretty fabric
with a fabric stiffener,
then we cut out 3/4 circle shapes
for the roofs.
The solid colors roofs
are made from that Dollar Tree craft foam.

Now, for clean up
and getting ready to get back to my stuff.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Studio Mess

has not improved much because I keep interrupting cleaning and organizing with playing and making new messes.

Bryce Eleanor will be here on Saturday, and Mila and Max will hopefully be here on the weekend of May 15, so my play has taken a different direction.       

I'm saving tp rolls, boxes, and milk cartons and experimenting with possibilities.  Little houses and some crowns are looking good for crafty activities.

Turned out to be a perfect size for a tp roll!
Make the roof, paste on doors and windows--a little home for tinies.

We can also paint the rolls,
cut out doors and windows,
decorate the exteriors with 
trees or flowers.

Idea sources:

(I don't have those wonderful papers
for the roof, but we will figure something out.)


(So many fun ideas at Krokotak! 
I love these charming little houses.)
---------

I kept to my "NO NEW FABRIC"
intention for nearly two months.
But...
I wanted all of them, but settled for 
just a few half yards.  


I'm watching two Kdramas
 as a reward 
for efforts to clean and organize studio.
We don't talk about actual results,
it is the effort, and sometimes, 
just the thought that counts.

While watching, I make fabric beads or more pompoms.

Time to return my cleaning schedule--
both upstairs and downstairs.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Wolf mask in progress.

Bryce Eleanor has no interest in dolls,
but has a fascination with all animals.
She has a large collection of stuffed critters,
and loves little tiny plastic ones:
cats, dogs, horses, etc.

She also loves tails.
We've made various tails in the past
out of ribbon and rope and strips of fabric,
but this time, the textured wool felt
in my stash called out to be tails.

Of course, you can buy tails on Etsy
and at TellTails,
and mine won't be as elaborate,
but they will inexpensive,
and B.E. will like them just fine.

At some point,
I might make a dragon tail, 
but this week will be generic-looking
wolf and cat tails.

Here is another tail I love,
Telltails' Cat in the Hat tail!

We will be making some little Peggies,
I have to try things out first...
I painted one and added clay ears and tail
(which have not been painted yet).

We might even make little
houses for them as well.

Rabbit Lovie.
Muslin--gessoed, painted, sealed, sanded.
The effect is so different from cloth.
When I've done this technique in shades of brown,
the result looks like leather.
Should have paid attention to the butterfly
when taking the above photo,
it got folded back.
Second Lovie has a number of problems
that need to be corrected,
so I'll probably keep it as a kind of example
of what TO do and what NOT to do.

I find Lovie 2 a friendly sort 
and don't mind keeping him around.

 Just for fun:
Would you?