Sunday, October 31, 2010

out of town

I am very lucky this weekend. I am visiting with family in Tenn. Eva, Jessica and I drove down part way on Thursday night. We finished the trip on Friday and arrived a little before school was out for the girls. Bud isn't so lucky. He stayed home to deal with our power outage. Our power went out in the afternoon on Wednesday and didn't come back on until Saturday afternoon. He just brought in a large garbage bag and emptied the refrigerator and freezer. I am glad that I wasn't home all that time without power.

I have been taking lots of pictures so I will posts them when I get home.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Be Gentle, I am sharing my work

I said in an earlier post that I attended a class this past weekend that really stretched my skills and tested my desire for art quilts. I was attracted to the class for two reasons, a very dear friend was the hostess and invited me to share the experience and an 'overnight'. Also irises are my favorite flower. I won't subject myself to the test though, the above and below piece were made by the instructor. She was teaching the technique of applique and using paints to blend the colors. The thing that makes this technique so difficult is that you use fabric for each one of the color changes on this piece. You start out with 6 different shades of purple, 6 different shades of green and a couple shades of blue. You put a fusible backing on the fabric and iron the pieces on the background fabric, following a pattern, kind of like putting a puzzle together only using an iron, fabric and paint.

You can see that she quilted her piece after she finished.
These two pictures are of my piece. The one above is how it looked before I started blending the edges with paint. You can more clearly see the small pieces of different colored fabric on this piece. I hadn't put the stems or grass on it yet but this is about how far I got in the class. She did start me with my painting and blending before we left so I decided to finish it right away last night, before the paint dried since I don't have any paints and wasn't planning on buying my own. I did my best blending and mixing the paints to complete the project and blend the areas where the colors meet.

Here is my piece finished. Like I said, I blended the colors with the paint last night and today I added the leaves and stems. I don't plan on quilting mine though. I really don't enjoy machine quilting. I am not very skilled at it either but am not interested in practicing to get better. I always take my quilts to a quilter and she does that part. What I am thinking of doing is stretching this piece on a canvas and just hanging it.
I have taken several classes since retirement and I am kind of getting to know the kind of quilting I like to do. I have worked in applique 3 times, and I am finding that it really isn't a technique that I enjoy. First of all I don't like cutting out little pieces and then fusing them on another fabric. Usually you need to use the zig-zag technique around the pieces to make them stay on the quilt and I don't enjoy that part of applique projects. I don't enjoy the look that well either. I DO enjoy doing quilt piecing in a pattern though. I like cutting up strips and sewing them together for blocks and making quilts right now so I think I will stick to that for a while.
SO, like I said in the beginning, be gentle with your assessment of my project. I will continue to share other projects as I expand my quilting experience.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quilting weekend

I spent this past weekend taking a quilting/fabric painting class. I am unsure of the outcome just yet. I really 'wrestled' with the technique on Saturday. Sunday I was able to grasp the concept of cutting up the fabric and putting it back together correctly to make the iris that the pattern showed. However, then I had difficulty with the finished work of blending the lines with paint. I will try to finish it up tomorrow and post one from the class instructor and mine. It may be posed as a test to see if you can tell my piece from the instructors, if I am confident that mine is worthy of the test. Right now I don't think that the piece is worthy but maybe I will feel better tomorrow. That may be true of many things while you are in the middle of solving a problem. Waiting until the next day is a good idea to check the worthiness of of the outcome. Maybe another way for me to check my work it to seek approval from outsiders which will be why I post the pictures. However, as in life, how important is outside approval???? Sometimes it is pretty important.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The seasons are changing

Eva brought me some of the last flowers from her garden. They look beautiful in my window with a jam jar as a vase. The last of summer on an October day.
I took these two pictures in the woods in Coleman a couple of years ago. The fall colors look so great. I do miss those woods. I know that there are other woods but none so beautiful with so many memories. That stream running through the woods with all the fall colors around them.

Finally Eva wondered what the farm looked like this year. I didn't get down to take a picture and I think that it would be a little 'guttsy' of me to get this close but this one was taken a couple of years ago too. It does capture the beauty of the front yard.

We spent many falls there, shooting guns, skinning a raccoon, climbing trees, eating ice cream and of course walking in the woods. Treasure the memories and smile. I understand the new family is enjoying this same view and their new home.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend visitor and crafts

I am back making baskets for the upcoming holiday. I made this little one and then decorated it with some sparkling spider 'iron-ons' and a ruffle ribbon trim. I gave this one to Eva. I just like making them and finding homes for them.
I got a little creative with this one. I wanted to make a top for it but it just didn't turn out right on the first try so I then ironed on the face and still it was too plain. I added the green vine hair and may put some leaves on it later. I am planning to take this one to Tenn. when we visit in a couple of weeks. I will continue to 'spice this one up' before I go and maybe fill it with some 'treats' for the girls.

Eva came to visit yesterday afternoon (Sunday). She arrived about 4. We chatted for a while and then decided to go for a drive out the peninsula to check out the fall colors. She said that the trees were past their peak on the drive up but we knew that the colors on the peninsula were still looking good. We took the slow drive up the east side of the peninsula, all the way to the tip and the lighthouse. The colors through some of those back roads were spectacular. The sun was shining and the trees just glowed. On the way back we took the west side and drove down about half way to eat dinner at the old Bower's Harbor Inn Pub in the back. The view out the back was on to the woods and they had just finished their Oktoberfest celebration day. We had a great dinner and just enjoyed the company.
After dinner we came back here. Eva and Bud spent some time going over investments and finances. She is seeing an attorney today and heading home. I told her it was good that she came up so that I would have something to blog about. My life has been a bit boring lately. Not enough inspiration.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Glowing fall colors

This morning when I came out to check out the world there was a beautiful glow in the woods. The sun had not quite made it over the peninsula so the light was behind us. The sky was blue above and the woods was all aglow with the leaves that were giving off this wonderful light. That beautiful light is hard to catch on a camera with me at the lens so I just enjoyed the beauty. This afternoon I did take a picture of the view outside our window but I am sure that the colors once again don't show up as well as nature really intended.
I think the fall colors are at their peak here in N. Michigan this week. The air is crisp, the sky is blue with some light fluffy clouds and the sun is shining through the leaves. The blue water behind the trees gives it the extra beauty of Traverse City.
I hope you enjoy your weekend and the beauty of the fall colors.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekend activities

This past week Sue and Walt went to Rome with some friends. They left on Thursday and are returning tomorrow evening (it was a quick trip) We gladly volunteered to watch over Jack and Charlotte while they were gone. It was a pretty easy job. We just had to check in every school day morning to make sure that they were up and getting ready. We also provided an occasional ride for Charlotte but they pretty much took care of themselves. Bud did get Jack to come over and help him move firewood on Sunday afternoon. Bud had hoped to burn the wood that was cut down to build our garage but he found out that it was not dry enough so they had to move it back over to the drying area and we will order some dry wood to burn this winter.
We were also the source of evening meals this weekend. Friday night we took Jack out to dinner. Saturday night it was Charlotte and we spent the night over there because Jack was with friends. Sunday night we ordered out sandwiches and pizza.
We enjoyed our time with Charlotte and Jack and were glad to help out with the little bit that they needed us. It is nice to be needed. Maybe someday we will need them to help us out too.
I hope that if they do help us out someday, we will be as good and as easy to take care of as they were. We can't promise that we won't sneak out or try to have a party when they are not around though.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad

I have been experiencing writer's block lately so my blog posts have not been coming easily. Today is Dad's birthday. I looked through my pictures and thought this would be a good one to share today. It was taken in 1942 when he was about 28 years old. I thought that you might appreciate this young look. Enjoy the day.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

How do you hold your light?

This was one of the entries at Art Prize last weekend. It was a tall sculpture with different hands and a candle in each hand. It was a very beautiful piece.
Jessica is holding her light here.
SO, how do you hold your light?