Tuesday, February 24, 2015

21 Day Art Journaling Challenge

I joined a group on Facebook called the 21 Day Art Journaling Challenge.  Each day there is a theme or prompt.  Day 1 is to journal about a day in your life.  Since I am lucky enough to be retired, I chose one of my happy bright backgrounds from last weekend, and drew a tree over it with text describing the things that I like to do.



Life is good!

Another snow day...this time in Raleigh!  It sneaked up on us without much warning.  Instead of babysitting for my little ray of sunshine, I stayed home and watched the birds when I wasn't playing with paints.  The owl was in his usual post.  He did not seem one bit perturbed by the snow, which has fallen all day.


I usually don't have much luck attracting bluebirds to my feeders, but I guess the snow forced them out of their comfort zone.  There were four hanging around the back price feeders.




Hope you are safe and warm wherever you are today.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fun With Backgrounds

We made it up to the snowy North Carolina mountains.  My brother Chris and his wife Debbie made the trip from Boone to our cabin to pick up her grandmother's Double Wedding Ring quilt.  We had lunch along with my sister Katy.  It was a nice family afternoon on a cold mountain day.


After they left I got out my watercolor paints, a few acrylics, some homemade stamps...and had a fun afternoon making some background pages for collages or journals.












Sitting by the fire...drinking wine...Life is Good!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Crazy Scrappy Quilt Blocks

I have been randomly piecing fabric scraps together to make 81/2" quilt squares for children's quilts.  I keep a basket under my sewing machine table, and throw in trimmings, orphan blocks, ones that did not turn out to be the right size, etc.  Most are bright pastels.

I have made enough for a little girl's quilt, and am auditioning how to set them.

Here they are lying on top of a bright turquoise hummingbird fabric.  I think they get lost.


Here they are just butting up against each other with no fabric in between.  Too busy.


How about on a light dotted background?  Not enough contrast.


If contrast is needed, how about black?  I love the dramatic look of the bright blocks against the black, but don't want to use black for a little girl's quilt.



Black with the turquoise outer border?  Maybe, with a less "in your face" black fabric, or a dark green or blue.


Still have not decided, so I contacted her grandmother to find out her favorite color and her bedroom color.  But I have ordered the backing fabric, which has bright pastel birdies.  I decided to go with flannel for the three kids' quilts I am constructing.

For two brothers, I have made lots more of the scrappy quilt blocks.  This time I have added more darks, and I like them all set together with no sashing.


It is really fun to do this kind of piecing.  No measuring until you trim the final blocks.  Lines can be straight or not.  I added in a few big pieces of fabric like the frog print.  I have ordered two different froggy flannel prints for the backings.

The weather here in Central North Carolina is bitter cold.  So we are heading to the North Carolina mountains this weekend, where it is even colder!  If the weather cooperates, my brother and sister-in-law from Boone will come over to pick up the double wedding ring quilt.

Here is a picture my sister sent of the creek, dam, and road where we are heading. BRRRR!



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Double Wedding Ring Quilt- Finished!

I finally got the binding completely done on this double wedding ring quilt.


It took longer than usual because of the scalloped edge.  It was already cut out by the maker.  I made a bias binding and did the best I could on those curves.  Clipping the inside curves helped.





Now all I have to do is sew on the label and deliver it to my sister-in-law this weekend.  That is, if we can make it to the mountains.  We have had a snow/sleet event and the roads are icy.  Everyone stayed home today, even my husband who almost always goes to work on "snow days."  

Here is something to warm this cold day...the beautiful roses he gave me for Valentines' Day.




Monday, February 9, 2015

A Little Painting, A Little Sewing...

I have been keeping busy with family, babysitting, trips to the mountain cabin, and of course my hobbies.  The cold mountain weather kept me indoors most of the time.  I did several watercolor paintings, all from Tom Lynch's book Watercolor Secrets, which I received for Christmas.


I actually have three of his books and a couple of his DVD's.  I have taken two classes from him in person at Art of the Carolinas.  

I made a stab at painting Monet's Door, the cover photo of the Secrets book.  This painting is not quite finished.


I also tried my hand at a creek scene from his book.  I like the different color scheme of the lavenders and golds.  I liked this one well enough to take it to the framers' last week.


I also have a book of landscape exercises by another of my favorite teachers, Tom Jones.  


I have done several of the painting projects in this book.  I am almost finished with this one.  It actually had two boulders instead of the deer, but I did not want to paint the big rocks.  My nephew Donnie wants this one when it is finished.


I also have a new book by Tracey Verdugo called Paint Mojo.  

This one is about making mixed media art, mostly using acrylic paints.  I worked on one of the first lessons about making marks and personal symbols.  I created some easy stamps from a foam food package that I etched with a ball point pen. 





Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Painted T-Shirts

I recently had fun making a shirt to match my granddaughter's fancy leggings.



They were so cute that I bought three more pairs on an after-Christmas sale...and then painted some long-sleeve T-shirts to match.

Here are the ladybug pants and matching shirt.





Here are the strawberry pants and shirt.  I made stencils for the top and the berry, then used pieces of painter's tape to make a resist for the dots on the strawberry.


And here are the rainbow leggings and the shirt.



 It sure is fun to dress up this little princess!





Monday, January 26, 2015

Eyeglass Case from Quilting Test Scraps

When I am quilting, I often make a test quilt sandwich to try out my thread tensions.  I happened to have a couple of those when my eyeglass case unfortunately got run over last weekend.  I stitched a lot more decorative stitches into the two small quilted pieces, joined them together, and made a new eyeglass case.


The little red square is a scrap of needlefelted fabric that I sewed on to cover the Velcro square on the cover.

Here is the back side.  I just joined the two pieces together with zigzag stitch.


Pretty easy!

We have had quite a few lovely warm days, interspersed with dreary cold rainy days.  Here are some pictures from the nice days.


This is the pond behind our Raleigh house.



And here is Lake Lynn in Raleigh, which has a nice greenway all around.  Kasey and I walked the whole perimeter yesterday, which is about two miles.



it was sparkly and beautiful!