Sunday, February 19, 2017

Leading Lines : Week 8 Let's do 52

Leading Lines
Eroded Sandstone


I am participating in Denise Love's 2017 "Let's Do 52 : 52 Weeks of Photo Prompts" to kick start the lull in my photography.   If you'd like to join us, find out more at the link above.  The more the merrier!

Light : Week 7 Let's do 52

Light

Last summer, I took an Outlander-themed trip through Scotland.  This was in the chapel where they filmed Jamie and Claire's wedding, such as it was.  It's actually a beautifully restored chapel (Glencourse Old Kirk) that had to be re-done and made shabby for the film scene.  The afternoon we were there, the light streaming in through this window lit the candle without a flame and left amazing shadows on the stone.   Mmmmh!


I am participating in Denise Love's 2017 "Let's Do 52 : 52 Weeks of Photo Prompts" to kick start the lull in my photography.   If you'd like to join us, find out more at the link above.  The more the merrier!

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Possibilities : LYA 2017


I just ordered my postcards for the 2017 Liberate Your Art Postcard Exchange happening in March.

I tried printing them myself on my home printer, but the quality is just not the same -- and it kind of defeats one of the purposes of the project which is to print your art, and get it out into the world.  Having them professionally printed add a level of legitimacy and professionalism that just can't be beat -- provided you've got good stuff to start with. ;-)

I've been using Moo.com for professional printing.  And they do a nice job!  At present, they are offering 15% off of postcard sets.    With shipping, I'm paying about $1.30 / postcard and I get to use my own designs.

I will have extras, so if you like what you see, join us!  I'm also open to side swaps--so if you don't get one of my cards in the official exchange, contact me about a side swap.  There are several people I keep swapping with every year, just because I met them through this artful exchange.


Symmetry : Week 6 Let's Do 52

 

I've been thinking about what to do for this week's Let's Do 52 prompt for a few weeks now.   I finally decided the best way to meet this challenge was with a Kaleidoscope.

The orange and green star photo above is  a slice from The Orange Blossom Breeze quilt I made for my Grappa years ago.  It came back to me after he died, and stays on my bed through the winter. 

I used the Kaleidecam App -- I swear, this app is the best $3 I've ever spent!  I can spend hours playing with it, seeing the world in new ways.   I start wondering what would it be like if this is the way we saw the world -- in slices kaleidoscoped together?  How would that change our perceptions?  It's essentially a very narrow view in great detail, many times over.  But it's always moving, too. Always in motion--at least in the app it's always in motion.  How would that change the way our brains work?

I love this app!  I'm even starting to dream in kaliedescopes now.   It's a much needed diversion from current events.  And these kaleidoscopes can be a wonderful focus for meditation, too.  They come out like mandalas. 

Even something as ugly and mundane as an old rusty cookie sheet has a natural and muted beauty to it when it's kaliedescoped.  Who'da thunk? 










I am participating in Denise Love's 2017 "Let's Do 52 : 52 Weeks of Photo Prompts" to kick start the lull in my photography.   If you'd like to join us, find out more at the link above.  The more the merrier!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Out of Focus : Week 5 Let's Do 52


From my archive -- I tend to delete out-of-focus pics, so this is one from a past trip to France, cropped and edited with Topaz Impression to give it a Monet-ish,  out-of-focus look.



Here's the original photo of a willow tree, from along The Gorge-du-Tarn.


I am participating in Denise Love's 2017 "Let's Do 52 : 52 Weeks of Photo Prompts" to kick start the lull in my photography.   If you'd like to join us, find out more at the link above.  The more the merrier!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Welcome Sophie


Sophie Pet Portrait - Worked up in PhotoShop Elements and Topaz Impression with a new 2LO texture background.


Here's the original photo, taken in our kitchen which is her territory while we're house training her.

 
She's about 10-11 weeks old here.   
It's a real challenge to take decent pictures of black dogs.  Oftentimes, the pics come out looking like dark shadows, puddles or silhouettes where you can't make out any features.
I'm learning the secret is to make sure there's enough Light in the scene to start with.


Gotcha Day : When we drove to Indiana to pick Sophie up Dec 28, 2016 :


Yuo, I think this is gonna work out just fine!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunset : Week 4 Let's Do 52



From the Archive.  Both these pics were taken just a few blocks from my house.  It was a beautiful May evening.  I was working on framing my pics in the camera. 

I am participating in Denise Love's 2017 "Let's Do 52 : 52 Weeks of Photo Prompts" to kick start the lull in my photography.   If you'd like to join us, find out more at the link above.  The more the merrier!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Equipment Makes the Difference : Ski Shuttle Glides


In December, I purchased a Glimarka ski shuttle.  It works so nicely to carry the yarn through the shed.  I was having trouble with my stick shuttles catching on the warp strings.  The ski shuttle has ends that taper up and down, and avoid catching on the warp strings.    And it holds a lot more yarn than a boat shuttle does.

Just look at this lovely cloth I was able to weave hassle-free with the ski shuttle.   Beautiful and soft Alpaca yarn that Nancy S. gave me.


This is Janet's favorite Twill from the Floor Loom Weaving class at Craftsy. 
I expect the warp strings to disappear once I take it off the loom, and things tighten up.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Something that Makes Me Smile : 2 Newfs : Week 3 of 2LO Photo Prompts

My sweet 2nd-hand Newfie, Maggie always made me smile.
She died in December 2016, and this photo is one that I actually printed and framed simply because it made me smile.  With her goofy Newfie cowlicks.
We had a special bond.  Sigh!



 Here's the new puppy, Sophie Blue -- because I can't live without a big, black dog in my life.
This is one of the most common puppy stances she takes, looking up at us with all her attention. Sweet puppy.

I am participating in Denise Love's 2017 "Let's Do 52 : 52 Weeks of Photo Prompts" to kick start the lull in my photography.   If you'd like to join us, find out more at the link above.  The more the merrier!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Shadows : Week 2 of 2 Lil Owls Photo Prompts

Shadows on the Red Stairs

I was riding by on my bike last summer, and had to stop to take a picture of this unusual scene--red steps with light and shadows.  Striking!

I am participating in Denise Love's 2017 "Let's Do 52 : 52 Weeks of Photo Prompts" to kick start the lull in my photography.   If you'd like to join us, find out more at the link above.  The more the merrier!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Something from Every Day : Week 1 2 Lil Owls Photo Prompts


I thought I would use Denise Love's 2017 "Let's Do 52 : 52 Weeks of Photo Prompts" to kick start the lull in my photography.   If you'd like to join us, find out more at the link above.  The more the merrier!

There are a number of reasons I've let that interest wain -- some of it involves :
     1) not liking my current camera as much as my old one, even though it's the same company (Canon)
     2) the demise of Picassa as a photo management system and catalog
     3) my abject fear of losing pictures in LightRoom (despite a 60-hour class designed to show me all the ins and outs.) 
     4) frustrations with PSE14.

Time to bite the bullet and get back to it, and master some of these challenges!

Here's the original still life I started with : 
a simple bowl of apples with some nice light.

The photo at the top of this post uses the Topaz Impression filter for Georgia O'Keefe.  
One of my favorite treatments!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Oliver's RBW String Quilt is Complete!


Oliver's RBW String Quilt is complete, and given for Christmas 2016.

Happy Boy finally has his quilt!


Detail of the quilting pattern mapped out on quilt tracing paper, so that I can stitch through it, and know where to go.  The wuilt paper can then be pulled off, leaving only the stitching.  I love this no-mark method because it yields such great results for intricate designs.


Detail of the quilting from the backside.

 We were trying to get the sun to show off the stitching from the back, but didn't quite work out as planned ...  Still, it's an unusual smiling picture of OKL!



These are the quilting patterns I chose for the blocks.  
These were all used multiple times.




Batting : Hobbs 80/20 Cotton/Poly Batting.  
I love this stuff, as it gives this antique-y crinkle look after it's washed.

For the haf-square triangles, I used this design. 

And for the corners, a quarter section of a full design worked well.

 I wasn[t sure what to do with the borders for the longest time.  Finally, I took inspiration from the wooden trim edging doorways in our old house.  Simple.


A simple hand-written label, as I didn't want to wrestle with the printer and the special fabric.  

Another finished quilt for 2016!
That's 3 quilts finished, and all 3 given away this year.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Free Taste : Baby Quilt for France

Free taste of a baby quilt-in-progress.  

We discovered that our Cousin Delphine in France had another baby in October, so a new quilt is in the works for Bebe Anatole -- to be delivered next spring / summer.

This is how far I got at Quilt Camp in November with a pack of 40 2-1/2 inch Island Batik strips.  If I used some short-cuts, and didn't follow the directions as given in the pattern, it came together rather quickly.  

Even I'm looking forward to seeing how this one develops!

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Shade Tree Quilt is Done Tied with a Fat Wool Batt

 Show and Share at Quilt Camp, Silver Birch Ranch, November 2016

Here I am explaining the Shade Tree comes from the green blocks, a batik with a curly leaf pattern on it.  This fabric reminds me of the curly willow outside our living room windows that lends such nice cool shade in summer.  
At Quilt Camp a few weeks ago, I sandwiched and enveloped this Disappearing 9-Patch Quilt with a fat woolen batting that had been taking up space in my closet.  I thought it was about time to give it a final home and put it to good use--on our bed!

I had acquired the woolen batting for  a mere $24 at a rummage sale at my local quilt guild several years ago.  That's a pretty good deal for a wool batting, even 10 years ago.   It was carded by The Courtney Woolen Mill in Appleton -- I think (hope?) they are still in business.  It turned out to be the perfect fit for this particular quilt.

For info on how to envelope and tie a quilt, see my previous post on it.  It was very helpful for me, too, as I used it as a reference when I needed to do this one. 

After the first night of Quilt Camp, I had the edges sewn, and turned the inside out, re-pinned it for temporary basting, and brought it back to the cabin to keep me warm that night.  I was grateful to have it as it was cold enough to snow that night.  Chilly!  It kept me toasty and war -- such a treat!


I've been going back and forth about whether to quilt it or tie it.  In the end, I quilted the borders, but tied the middle part after I got home.  Quilting something this thick just makes it stiff, so I opted to tie it.  It was difficult to find a matching green yarn in wool.  The green I wound up with is as close as I could get, and it's not wool.  We'll see how it wears.


Lessons learned :
The wool batting seemed easier to work with than the poly batting I used last time, as it was easier to push the tying needle through -- or maybe it was the needle itself?  This time, I purchased a long needle for making dolls--the packaging said it was great for tying quilts, so I took a chance.  It does work well!

The ties are in the cream-colored crosses and where the little back squares meet. I used a matching wool yarn so as not to take away from the quilt blocks. I did also quilt the border and edge blocks to add some stability.

Tied quilting from the back.  Nice puckers! 

Warm Winter Woolens

Up-cycled wool sweater slippers with Pear wood buttons.  

These have been on my to-do list for a couple of years.  That big bulky sweater has been taking up a lot of space in my closet / sewing room.  These days, the priority crafts seem to be using stuff up, or moving it out.  Now I have some cozy warm winter slippers, and a little more space in the closet.

For the slippers, I used this basic pattern/method.  I liked the simplicity of the crossover strip.

Lessons learned : Although the sweater had been washed and somewhat felted, it still had a lot of stretch to it.  I had traced my feet for the general pattern, but once I wrestled with sewing on the stip for the upper part, the soles became quite stretched out.  Next time, I think I would fix it to a stabilizer foot -- maybe an actually felt foot liner, or something to keep it from stretching as it did.  Or I would wash it again in really hot and agitated soapy water to get it to felt more.

As it is, they stretched enough to slip in a pair of flip flops for some extra comfort (not necessarily support).  The foam also adds a layer of insulation to keep cold floors at bay.   I used 2 layers of wool sweater for each foot.  It seemed thick as I was working with it, but it matted down, and I could have used a few more layers. 

I added some patches of shelf liner to the soles to make them non-slip.  That works really well -- Easy to cut and sew, and shelf liner is cheap at the dollar store.

I also added a little elastic around the foot openings, to mitigate some gap-o-sis and to help keep them on my feet. 

The sweater still had a lot of good and usable parts left to it, so I gave it to a crafter/quilter who can turn them into mittens.  She was happy to have it! 

The buttons are from the Sweet Leaf Wooden Stick buttons I was making last spring.  Glad to finally have a project where I can show them off!  These are the pear (fruit) wood.