Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas... and

Christmas is a special time of year. For our family it includes presents, friends, gatherings, family and attending services. We attend services at our own church throughout the year but this year we attend services at a friends church because we were invited. And today we will attend services with my mom at my childhood church. Very different services. One very contemporary... video, song, dance, praise team. One traditional. Organ, communion, reflective. Is one service better than the other? no just different.

I am trying to be more open in my thinking. Inclusive, outreaching, reflective, quiet, attentive, less words spoken . I always feel that I need to talk, respond to something that I am told. A confirmation story, advice or just plainly my point of view.

Often people pick a word for the year. Today it came to me that if my intention is to do the above I need a word to match.  The words that come is "be still..." Not be still and do nothing but more of a be still so that you can process information and be open to others.

So for this up coming year of 2014 I am going to try to "be still...." 

Be still so that I can...

  • Learn to listen without making quick decisions
  • Learn to not give advice so quickly
  • Learn to not jump in to "solve" a problem
  • Slow down and enjoy what I am involved in
  • Allow myself to create
  • Allow myself to take care of me physically,mentally and spiritually
I am sure that "be still..." will evolve. 

During the ice storm on Sunday morning. I took time to go outside and take some pictures. It was very quiet with not as much activities going on. A "snow day" for  most. Besides the sound of ice cracking and the delight of a happy dog playing while we walked and enjoyed the moment. 

Here are a couple of pictures that I took that showed the ice on the vineyards near by... beautiful but potentially harmful to the plant. 

and one of one happy dog... 

Wishing anyone reading the peace that passes all understanding, 

for 2014 and beyond. 


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Where have I been...

I really haven't been far since March.. I just have been on Sabbatical from  my creative side.
My DS1 was getting married. Showers, dresses to be made for the bridal party, a carnival instead of a stag and doe, vacation, water in my basement, working for my hubby's company temporarily...
Time has flown by. DS1 is now married... I am only working one day a week... house is back in order. Just my canning to do. Time to rethink again. What do I want to do when I grow up?

Here is a snap of the beautiful bride.

With the equally adorable flower girl my great niece.

and a random shot of the bridesmaids

and the happy couple.

Wishing this couple Gods blessings on their lives ... and the strength that they will need for their live journey. 

Love you guys! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I have had a very productive week.

I played more with Lutradur

Rubbings with Shiva paint sticks and rubbing plates.

Stencils with Shiva paint sticks.

Finished my piece # 2 of Rebecca for the BFA group entry. 

 And finished two quillows for my great nieces.

Made a table runner for a present for a wedding shower. This is a pattern by Sara Lister of Lady Bug Designs at U Quilt It. . It makes up very quickly and is very pretty with the prairie points in the centre.

And this is only Wednesday! 
Although all these projects have been in the works for awhile so it is not like I did all the work this week. 

Tomorrow I am going to a workshop at my quilt guild in Smithville. And a nice lunch out with my mom. A nice treat out. 

I am linking up with needleandthreadnetwork

Have a great week. 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday...

I am trying to make more reliable posts. I don't know where the time goes. Being "retired" (meaning I am not working out of the house right now) I don't seem to be getting much done. But again I am.

1. I am making headway each Tuesday in hand quilting my friends wedding quilt with his mother. Line by line we are getting it done and watching British sitcoms. This week it was To the Manor Born. I love British Sitcoms.

2. My "Rebecca" piece I have posted about is almost done. I had to rework it and I like the result better. I have to get a good shot of it tonight as we are seeing how things match up.

3. Lutradur experiments continuing.

4. Diversion. Last week I did snow dying... Yes I know so much on my plate and I snow dye. But we won't have snow here much after a few weeks being in the Niagara Region, Canada

After seeing how many different ways you could snow dye I did mixed MX dyes with fabric scrunched, fan folded and with elastics on different random sites placed in a container. I loaded up the snow on top and squeezed the dye out onto the snow. The next day I rinsed and washed the fabric. I ironed it Sunday but took no pictures of it ironed yet. The only pictures I have this week is of the snow dying set up. The blue dye added.and the blue dye bucket while the snow was melting.

I loved some of the results.

Again I have to take pictures of the final results.

My aches and pains have been annoying lately so I have not got as much done as I have wished. Sometimes sleep is the best medicine for me. We have had so many grey sky days I am longing for sun.

I am linking up with TNTN's WIP Wednesday. I am really enjoying going to the different links.

Off to deliver my son's thermos he left on the counter. It is on my way to an appointment or he would be out of luck.

Have a great day!

In Niagara, Ontario

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What is Lutradur...

What is Lutradur...con't

I posted a review of the book Fabulous Fabric Art with Lutradur by Lesley Riley c. 2009 published by C & T publishing on February 17th, 2013.

Last Friday I tried to do as many techniques as I could get to with the whole family around home on reading break.

This was a great exercise because I first had to find all the supplies. I thought I was organized but when I looked for the water colour paints I purchased awhile ago I could not find them. It was like playing craft room and supply area hide and go seek! What this did was help me organize more of my stuff. Do you ever have this problem?

While I found stuff I did not put it fully away until I had sorted it and labeled the box it was in with my label maker. (that I only found a few weeks ago)

So I tried alcohol inks, regular acrylic paint from Micheal's, colourvie, setacolor, shiva paint sticks, regular  crayons, regular paint sticks from Micheal's, lacing, and stamping.

Plus I tried the colouring techniques with plain lutradur and with lutradur with Golden soft matte medium gel.

I am going to have to try to fit in another full day session this Friday to finish up all the samples I want to try so that I can see what is doable to achieve in a workshop.

Here is a look at my kitchen table mid process...

Drying that  samples that I have coloured on.....

Stamping(top of picture), gel medium drying (front of picture) and paint, stamping and lacing on the right.

Clearly you can not become an expert in a day on the subject but I am starting a sample book of my experiments so that I can compare what I have done. So far I enjoy painting the lutradur with any of the paints, using the alcohol inks, and stamping. The lacing done with a heat gun would take practice to do if you want to control the areas you melt. This would take some fine tuning and practice. But would be very cool to use in a piece...

So far I am not a big fan of paint sticks. Maybe it is the smell that bothers me, the mess on my hands or having to wait so long for it to dry before heat setting.

And yes you can heat set lutradur. Using an iron on the recommended setting will flatten the lutradur after wetting. When you wet it it tends to curl. A heat gun or creative burning tool is much hotter than your iron and is a concentrated area.
With that said you will - and I have - started to melt my piece when ironing it to much.

So I am looking forward to another day of play this Friday. Then I have to whittle down what I have learned to pass onto my Fibre Arts Group at the
Burlington Arts Centre

Have a great week. I am enjoying the WIP link up at the The Needle and Thread Network.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What is Rebecca...

I am a member of the Burlington Fiber Arts group that meets on the 1st and 3rd Wed. evening of the month at the Burlington Arts Centre in Burlington, Ontario. thebac

I joined roughly a year ago and have experienced lots of new ideas from artists of various disciplines. We are not all art quilters but some are felters, free style knitters,weavers, potters, paper makers, painters and mixed media artists. Combined I sure there are more art disciplines I have not mentioned.

In other words they are a very talented pool of people!

As someone who is a beginning artist it is great to be in such a group!

The Burlington Arts Centre was formed 25 years ago and is celebrating this year.
They are hosting a call for entry entitled Tall Tales.
As a group we decided to commit to making a group entry. The idea was hatched and has developed into a collaborative project where we created a photo and "sliced" it vertically to give all who wanted to participate a slice. With patterns of our slice and picture reference in hand were are free to develop our piece in the fiber method of our choice.

I have had a few hitches in the way but my slice is 70% completed. I have to finish stitching my "water" and then create a backing for my piece. The slices are 6" in width and 54" in height.  It was exciting to see half of the pieces last meeting. And I hope to see more tonight.

Below are a couple of pictures of my slice #2

The first picture is the slice with the plastic overlay. I did not start with making a plastic overlay. I made my slice and had sewn down my appliqued pieces with a paper pattern. When I went to see how it matched with number one at the meeting it was off. So I took home my friend Robynne's pattern and soon realized why my piece was off. I had taken a short cut. So I made an overlay from an old plastic clear tablecloth. And I unstitched my pieces of the pier.
I then reconstructed my slice. Here I have layered tulle over the water element to give the water a shimmering feel of movement.

Here is the slice as it currently stands. The water waiting to be stitched. The pier complete. The sky is batik fabric layered with tissue paper pva glue and paint.

Can't wait to see all the pieces together! The project will be done by May and has to enter the jurying process but I hope it will be accepted.

So what is Rebecca? Rebecca is the sculpture outside the BAC. And the Pier is the Pier being built in Burlington's harbour front area.
To see how they combine you will have to wait until all the slices are together....


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Thread Painting and Landscape Class...

For the first time I am going to try to link up to The Needle and Thread Network.
I hope I get it  right.

I took a class from a local Hamilton, Ontario women Dianne Bergman teaching at Quilters Dream Quilt Shop Burlington, Ontario.
Quilters Dream

This was February 9th, 2013. We had had a huge snow storm on the 8th but major roads and highways were clear.

This was a great class. In the morning we learned to thread paint different kinds of trees and bushes to use in our landscape.

I had taken this same class a few years ago but did not do anything more with it. Learning and expanding thread painting skills and free motion stitching is a goal of mine.

Diane was organized and has done quite a bit of teaching this class. We all received the sample page of how the trees were done. We had instruction on thread choices and demonstration and then practice.

After lunch we began working on a small landscape from a page of sample designs. We discussed fabric choices, view point, how the fabric reads in each section of the design from foreground, mid ground and background. While I have read this information in books I have and actually having taken the similar class a few years ago maybe I am ready to absorb the material now. I took a ton of notes. And some pictures of the process on my chosen scene.

I am not done yet (Story of my life it seems...) I did not make the "trees" the foreground big enough. So I need to add in a larger tree and claim the two that are there as bushes. I am not sure I like the stuffed snow. And I over did my stitching in a few places. I need to learn that sometimes less is more...

I liked the class so much I signed up for Diane's Floral Picture class at the same store in early March.

I had never been to Quilters Dream before. It is a great store with very friendly staff. Telling myself that I did not need anymore stuff. I did end up buying a large cone of thread to put in the bobbin of my machine.

I also succumbed to 3 fat quarters  for landscapes and one half meter of sky fabric.

Part of the class was taking the class for more advanced work but it was only 7 people and I did not feel that having newbies and experienced landscapers was a problem.

Great day out and part of learning something I want to improve on. This class more than met my expectations!

What do you find hard about landscape pictures...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Book Review - Lutradur

I am trying to work through my books... literally  I want to try out the techniques in the books and create a sample binder. I want to try to find my style.
The first book I have chosen to do is 

I have glance through this book several times but now I want to make up a sample book of what I can actually do with it. 

I have experimented a small amount with it. Mainly printing on Lutradur. But I did not read the instructions so well. If I had followed the text instead of the pictures... I would have know that if I put it through my ink jet printer I would have to treat the fabric - the spun polyester - to ensure the inks would remain stable. This can be done with Bubble Jet Set. 

I have had no problem with Bubble Jet Set on fabric. It just requires thinking ahead to treat the fabric or in this case the Lutradur and drying time before you use it. 

Or Lesley states you can use another spray product that will make it stabilize the inks. 

Here is a picture of one of the projects I have started by printing on the Lutradur with my HP printer. 
The sepia black and white photo is of my Grandfather, My Great Aunt and their cousin. This was taken sometime around 1920 or so. The picture is not dated. 
I first printed a piece of fabric with the picture on it and then layered the same picture printed with the lutradur and layered it. 

Currently this piece is sitting waiting for my free motion skills to catch up with it. I am also working on that. 

But back to the lutradur book. 
Lesley has a spot in the book where she suggests 27 ways to use the lutradur. 
Since I am on a budget (I am not working at the moment) I have pledged to not buy any supplies. So I am going to try to do most of the ways she suggests and leave a blank spot in my sample book for the ones I don't currently have the supplies for. 
This book is well laid out. Flows nicely for the most part. And suggests methods that would suit any level of art quilter or mixed media person to do. 

In March I will be sharing my experiments with my Fiber Art Guild in the form of a small workshop. This is a leap for me but has got me quite excited to play in the basement. 

Because of its layout I would recommend this book. It first has the 27 ways to use the product and then has some sample projects to work through. This is a great go to reference with its clear instructions and  great pictures. 

Since I want to use this book as a primer for skill development I am going to work through the first section and see where it leads. 

The book can be ordered directly from C & T.  www.ctpub.com or any of the usual...amazon, indigo/chapters, local bookstore, some quilt shops. 
Do a search for lutradur and find the best place for you to get supplies. 

Have you ever worked with this product? 

Let me know your results. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

What is the weather where you are???

It is a snowy blustery day... in Southern Ontario. Outside the predicted storm has blown in sometime during 10:30 pm Thursday and 6 am this morning when I awoke. Guys got off to work. And I get to stay home with Moe. We have about 8 to  10 inches already in the Niagara Region of Ontario. And it is still snowing.

When the kids were small we would be out shoveling and tobogganing down the local hills.

So now you would think I can stay inside and have it nice and cozy! But no... my new "child" Moe needs to play in the snow. I was like Papa Bear from the Berenstain Bears and took the easy way. I let Moe out to go to the bathroom and instead of being overwhelmed with the snow, he took the opportunity to visit all the neighborhood.


I took no more pictures after this because I had to run into the house to get out of my pj pants and into snow gear. Cell phone and treats in hand I had to run through the neighborhood calling and looking for him.  I called a neighbour to look out for him. He finally came back and I got him to come to me with a treat in hand. 

After a walk on the leash we returned home. Now he is moaning to go back outside. But he is not going to get to go out unless he is on his 5' leash! 

So what is your weather like today? 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Year and ... beyond.

The New Year has such promise.

I did get a lot done in December. I knit some finger less mitts for a Christmas present.

I made two Knitting needle rolls out of my own head for my DD and soon to be DIL.

With that I made a interesting little bag to hold knitting notions for them too! I got that idea from a you tube video and forgot to note where I got it from.

Both girls loved their gifts. But I forgot to get pictures.

Worked on my great nieces quillows but did not get them done. -yet!

For the New Year I am working on a plan.

My goal items may include:

Blog - improvement and regular posting.
Photography - actually learning to use my SLR not on just program
Photo organization - deal with piles of photos and digital prints.
How to use photo editing program
Start Genealogy project
Get rid of stuff project.
Find it Finish It...
Techniques - free motion, thread painting, dying,
Produce work to get in to one venue to sell to support my habit of fabric since I am now unemployed (strictly my choice)
Work on getting my body and mind back in shape.

This is a start. I have to figure out a way to do this with out stressing the details.

Meanwhile I am off to take my DS2 back to Guelph University. Wow has a month ever gone quick.

Thanks Elle for posting about the site to hook up to finish our projects. Some accountablity might be good for me.