Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stitch & Slash

I told you in a previous post that I signed up for a class on Craftsy called Stitch & Slash.  It definitely was money well spent (plus it was on sale). I'm having the best time!!
It's perfect for overcoming your inner perfectionist. In fact, it's like wonderful fabric therapy. :)
You basically layer four (or however many you want) fabrics one on top of the other, then sew them together in a pattern you make up. It doesn't have to be exact (oh, how freeing!).
When it's all sewn together (I just chose to use wavy lines), you start slashing away layer after layer to expose the very bottom layer while still showing some of the other fabrics.
Oh, the fun I had slashing away with my seam ripper.  You want the edges to be raw and frayed for wonderful texture and depth.
I felt like stopping with the third layer, which was so pretty, but I made myself slash down to the last one, just do do it!  No fear, right?!
Basically, you create you own artsy fabric - and there really is no limit to what you can do with it. The instructor, Carol Ann Waugh, adds couching with yarns and ribbons and fancy stitching, and some people add beads.  Your imagination is your limit! There are no rules and no mistakes - I love it!!
I didn't do any fancy stuff with this one as I liked the way it looked. I cut it up and am making more little clutches, combining it with yet more different fabrics.
 This one has a really fun lining.
You can see more photos in my Etsy store if you are interested.

In any case, if you love sewing and (like me) don't like following the rules, this will be perfect for you. It's like painting with fabric! 

On the weather front, the winds are starting to die down here (and luckily we only lost two trees in the storm) and it's sunny again and quite cold. We've gone from having the air conditioning running to turning the heater on within one week. That's how it can be here in the South. I'm not complaining though. Cold weather agrees with me!! 


Monday, October 29, 2012

While resting yesterday...

Yesterday - between sneezing and sniffling - I did a lot of resting in our most comfortable reading (aka nap) chair. While I was sitting there, I took a few photos of the things around me to share with you today.

Cashews - one of my favorite snacks! I have to dole them out to myself in small portions because I could easily eat a whole pound in one sitting... Well - ahem - I did finish all of what we had left in the pantry yesterday! Not really a small portion. 
Right in front of me ... lookie there ... my art! :) Pretty, no?
And to my right on the living room table (please disregard the dog hairs on it... Winslow is like a big fluff muffin - his fur flies around everywhere) - one of my dear friend Vicki's gorgeous fall nests! If you are interested in growing your blog, head on over to hers (click here) and join the blog party she is planning. And if you knit or crochet, you might want to participate in her very worthy Pink Scarf Project. You can read all about it on her blog.
Ok, now a view our our front entry way. Doesn't the floor look shiny? Well, it's an illusion...I really need to get out the mop soon! But not today...

I love those skinny windows next to the door letting in light, but I don't always like that people can look in from the outside, especially when I am home alone. I've thought of putting up a curtain rod and sewing two narrow panels of sheer (but not see-through) material. Do any of you have a suggestion?
Ok, back to the from-the-chair sightseeing tour.

On the fireplace, a little bit of halloween decoration (we bought these waaaaay back when we still lived in Michigan at Horrocks, a fantastic country farm store I still miss) and some of my favorite pottery from Germany, which seems to multiply every time I visit my family.
And speaking of waaaaay back when - my mother bought these little etchings probably over thirty years ago. I still love them!
To the right of the chair: the aquarium - or as I also like to call it, my meditation station. It is impossible to watch the fish and feel any kind of stress or anxiety.
Now we've arrived at my lap and a throw I am crocheting for us. Did you notice how I chose a color that is compatible with both Ramses' and Winslow's fur?  Pure necessity at our house! If beige looked good on me at all, that's the only color I'd ever wear!
Friends, there is absolutely no way to sit on the chair (or really anywhere) without Ramses joining you. It was hard trying to dissuade him from sitting right on the knitting and crocheting projects, but he finally agreed to settle on my legs - and consequently refused to look at me for this photo. I tried for five minutes and gave up. Cats!
So different from Winslow, who was happy to pose for me, sweet boy that he is ... as long as he didn't have to lift his head. It was an exhausting day. NOT!
"Where was Daniel?" you might wonder. He was in the kitchen cooking up a pot of delicious midwest chili for us and making our most favorite corn bread recipe (double yum!!), which I might just have to share with you in a future post. 

But for now I am back to sneezing and sniffling and resting and keeping all of you who are in Hurricane Sandy's path in my thoughts! 

Wishing you a most wonderful Monday!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weekend Mishmash

Here a few unrelated things from this weekend:

1. Hurricane Sandy merely passed us by way off the coastline bringing us nothing but wind, not even a drop of rain, which our yard could have used. However, the wind did a little bit of damage and snapped our ornamental pear tree in half. 
That giant falling branch, in turn, snapped off our beloved kumquat tree, which was laden with not-yet-ripe fruit. That makes me sad, but then again, the damage could have been much worse!
I hope that all of you in the path of this huge storm will stay safe!

2. I finished another painting, which took a looooong time to come together. At some point, I actually thought it was finished, only to discover that I was so mistaken. It still wanted more. But now it feels "right."
Mixed Media on 11" x 14" canvas
I have it listed for sale here

3. I've been doing a good bit of knitting and "stuff" for my crafty store.
Some of it already sold, but the rest you can see here.

4. Two nights ago, it was so windy that I had trouble sleeping. So, I got on the computer and promptly signed up for a sewing class on Craftsy called Stitch and Slash. It's basically working with fabrics like I like to paint - with lots of layers and texture. I know I'm going to love it!!

5. I'd have gotten going with the sewing already, except that I am traveling with a box of Kleenex these days - I've caught a little cold and am taking it easy. Hopefully next week I'll be back to my usual energy level...

Until then, I will be thinking of all of you in the path of Hurricane Sandy!! Stay safe!

Happy Sunday!

P.S. Thanks for all of your understanding and encouraging comments on my last blog post! Yes, blogging is supposed to be fun!! And today, it is!! :)


Friday, October 26, 2012

Beach and Surf

Yesterday afternoon, Daniel wanted to go to the beach to see what effect Hurricane Sandy was already having, being so far away from us. We had been in town all afternoon and I had just settled into our very comfy reading (or napping :)) chair and I did not want to go. I couldn't believe it myself. Me, not want to go to the beach. 
Daniel dragged me there and am I glad he did. Here are some of the photos and also two little videos at the end bringing you the sounds of wind and surf, both much stronger than usual. It's also much warmer and more humid than usual as Sandy is bringing us moist air from the south. Not nice!
Now on to another topic. Dear friends, I have been very conflicted about my blog. When I first started it, I had much time to blog and was only starting out being creative and painting. Now, that has shifted and I feel as though I am neglecting my blog and all of you.
When I have the choice of blogging or painting, knitting, sewing, cooking, baking, often blogging is at the very end of that list. And it's not me putting up a blog post - that doesn't take that much time - but visiting all of your wonderful blogs, which I get so absorbed by that easily one or two hours can pass without me really noticing.
I've been feeling guilty about that. About not visiting your blogs like I once used to. And feeling guilty when you visit mine and comment so regularly. And then I thought how guilt is such a colossal waste of creative energy and so I'm just putting it out here.
My blogging will be hit or miss for a while as my time allows. As will my visits to your blogs. If you want to stay in touch with me more than that, there's a link to my e-mail address on my Blogger profile. And if there's something you absolutely want me to see or read on your blog, let me know! :)
And now a couple of super short videos featuring Daniel and the surf and sounds of Tybee Island with the effects of far away Hurricane Sandy. 

Enjoy your weekend with whatever projects and fun things you have planned!!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hibiscus Mutabilis

... or Confederate Rose, which is how it is commonly known around here. I posted about it last year sometime, but I have to tell you about it again just because it is so beautiful and fascinates me.
When I picked this big blossom Tuesday morning, it was bright white.  During the day it turned from white to very pale pink to the gorgeous pink below.
This morning, it was dark pink and started to close up again. Each flower blooms for two days. Beautiful!
Our Confederate Rose bush went from being a small stick two years ago to a big 10-foot bush this year. It's amazing and just a little scary how fast plants grow in this climate!
We are going to be out of town for a few days, but I'll check back in with all of you when we get back.

Enjoy your weekend!!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Painting

12 x 16 inch mixed media painting on canvas
This painting was a royal pain at times and a joy most of the time - especially when it finally came together. 
There are layers upon layers in this painting, and some of the layers were amazingly ugly. But I resisted the urge to gesso over it all again and just kept going.
Adding many more layers. Many more! Sometimes thinking I might never be done with it...
Finally this morning, I worked on it some more and thought I made a mistake. When I wiped it off, it left behind the most wonderful fluid color play. And it was done. Perfect to me!
There really are no mistakes, are there?! Sometimes they add the most beautiful layer yet.
I hope you all had a great weekend and start to your week.

We celebrated Daniel's birthday yesterday with lots of good food that got topped off with a pumpkin pie (you can find the most excellent recipe here), Daniel's choice of birthday cake! It was a good day!

Wishing you a beautiful Tuesday!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Hoppy Friday

A colorful resident on our front porch. When it gets humid and is about to rain, he starts singing... loudly! It makes me happy when I hear it. 
Thanks for your visits to my blog - I so appreciate all of you!!

Wishing you a very hoppy Friday! 


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Evolution of a Painting

12 x 9 inch acrylic painting on canvas
I took a few photos along the way of creating the painting above. I was interested in looking at the photos afterwards and seeing how it all progressed. I thought you might enjoy this as well.
This process is entirely intuitive. I started with a blank canvas, added some doodles in purple and yellow and then a layer of light molding paste in some areas. I let that dry over night. The next day, I added another layer of green gold and nickel azo yellow, both pretty garish colors. So, the above photo already has three layers.
I then added a layer of diarylide yellow (such a pretty color) and cobalt turquoise (photo above). While that was still wet, I worked into it with some titanium white and titan buff (photo below).
After letting all that dry I got totally lost in adding more layers and promptly forgot to take pictures. I added many more colors in transparent layers - yellows, orange, red, turquoise, blues, and maroon. I used brushes, rags and fingers to apply color, smear it around and wipe it off in place. Totally messy and fun!
I let the above version sit overnight again and added a few more layers this morning to come up with the final version of the photo below and the very first photo in this post. Love it!
I've already got the next one started and am two layers into that one. This is the most exciting painting process I have worked in yet. It's totally unpredictable and incredibly gratifying when the painting comes together in the end!

Thanks for visiting! I hope you are having a great week!!


Monday, October 8, 2012

In the clouds...

Mother Nature put on quite the spectacle for us last night and Daniel was kind enough to take pictures for you all while I was making dinner. Enjoy!!