Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Work vs Fun

A year or so ago I think I wrote that I've had a line drawing of the above quilt in my sketch book for years. Ever so often I would look at the sketch and flip the page and go on to another of the many ideas living in more sketch books than I want to count. Several time I have actually started to work on the design. The first try was pieced and the next try was appliqued. Both of these techniques and approaches to taking this idea from paper to fabric was too time consuming, and NO FUN. I suppose I could have fused it easy enough, but since my favorite fabric is PFD Kona which does not fuse well, I thought that would be a lot of work not to have a successful outcome.

I call the act of making quilts my "work" but in all honesty, I REALLY don't want to work HARD. What I want to do is work FUN. An none of the ways I thought of was going to be fun. Then after telling myself that anything one does for the sake of their art vision is permissible I realized that this design could be easily done if it were dye painted. And painting could be FUN. So dye, thickened with rice paste was how "Jester's Garden", the quilt pictured above was accomplished. And yes it was fun/work.

The smaller version below was to be another class sample. I was done using Inktensive Pencils, PanPastels (the larger yellow areas) on soy milk soaked cotton. I am not as happy with the results as I was with the original so I will do this design twice more starting tomorrow with two other mediums, dyes thickened with sodium algenate first and other with dyes thickened with rice paste.
So come back tomorrow or the next day to see what I did.

Not much progress on the condo, just more of the wood flooring was done. The appliances were all in their proper places. I know stainless steel and black are in vogue as far as kitchen appliances are concerned, but I am so glad I decided on white ones. The kitchen looks so much bigger and brighter with yellow walls than it did when it was painted mauve and the appliances were over sized and black.
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Walking and working

This morning the sky was overcast and a fine misty rain was falling as I made my way to and around the lake this morning. I listened to a book on my CD as I trudged along, but unlike most mornings when I am out there with the single minded thought of "get it done" I took my camera and did a mile and stopped along the path during the second mile to take pictures of images that caught my eye. The third mile was completed and then I came home to work on the project pictured below.
Petunias, ducks, a tree draped in moss, a drainage grate, the azaleas are beginning to bloom in the areas of the park that the sun is not blocked by the trees. and a crack in the sidewalk.
I will be teaching at a retreat in April in Virginia Beach for the 54/40 Quilt Guild and I need a class sample. Time has a way of getting away from you and I did not want to leave it to the last minute getting some of my ducks in order.
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This piece should end up measuring 20" wide x 29" long after it is quilted. As a painted piece this is a doable size for a one day workshop. I will show you their second choice of a pattern to use tomorrow when I get that one painted tomorrow.
Update on condo remodeling: The hardwood floors are being put down and it is reassuring to realize that you made the right choice when all you have is a 2' x 2' sample piece to select your color from. The flooring color looks really good with the yellow walls. And will look even better after all the molding are back in place.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I think I have a love for tall skinny things like palm trees and long stemmed flowers

I am thoroughly enjoying the sunny days we have had this week. Each day has gotten better than the day before. It was like everyone was waiting for the cold snap to end so they could return as I did today and for the past two days. The lake is filled with people of all sizes, shapes and ages again who are walking faster than me or strolling (slower than me) and like the many huffing, sweating joggers (what I
will never be). As I am blogging the sun is setting and it is still 69 degrees here.
This is a familiar image for those who follow my blog. This is the second small piece (approx 18" x 40")I have made since I sent my work off to Ann Arbor. So I am working. I love the simple shape of the blooms and they are a no brainer to use compositionally as I am exploring what my limitations are when using soy milk soaked silk and cotton fabric. My previous painting on fabric has been done in two ways; with sodium algenate thickened dyes and dyes thickened with Rice paste. There are discernible differences in the techniques and results. With the soy wax I am using Pan Pastels and/or Inktensive pencils. I didn't take a picture of the first one before I took it to the quilt shop in Kissimmee to use as a sample of no-mark free motion quilting. It was the more successful of the two in my opinion. Will let you have a look at them both when I get the other one back.
Am enjoying listening to a new to me author by the name of Lee Child, his Jack Reacher series. Have to borrowed from the library and just went on line to reserve three more.

And Kathy, the flowers are holding up well, this is what they look like today, day 13. Looks like they will last until the end of the week easy.
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Where has the time gone?

I don't remember much about the days between Feb. 1 and Feb 9 that is worth writing about. Yes the condo closed and yes the renovation has begun and yes there were unforeseen stuff that came to light (mainly more mold than we thought COULD be present), but we had planned to gut the bathroom anyway. Just not down to the studs. That said, the mold is gone and we should still be on target to get it all done by the 26th of the month.
My daughter will move in initially because her lease will be up at the end of the month and while she started the process to get her condo a couple of weeks before mine, her paperwork is moving much slower than mine did.
My friend Kathy came to visit on Tuesday Feb. 9. She arrived to a very chilly day after she got out of Louisville where they had a 7 inch snow fall the day before. We had to laugh about her trip here because at three in the morning on the day she was to leave she looked at her boarding pass and saw to her dismay that she was booked on a flight out of Providence, RI instead of Louisville, KY. She got that straightened out at the airport, but too late to make the flight at 6:15 am that she thought she was to take. Instead, they put her on a plane to St Louis that sat on the tarmac for a time due to the weather. After several hours lay-over in St. Louis, she finally arrived in Orlando at 2:30 in the afternoon. In hind sight, her flub up was a good thing, had she gotten her flight, she would have been stranded in Baltimore where they got a whole lot of snow and had closed the airport soon after that flight arrived at BWI (Baltimore/Washinton International).
We had an early dinner at Bahama Breeze ( one of her favorite eating places) and came home, put our feet up, ran our mouths for a spell and went to bed. She had had a L-O-N-G day.
On Wednesday we did the tourist thing and went off to Downtown Disney. On Thursday we traveled to Kissimmee because I had to drop class samples at Queen Anne's Lace Quilt Shop. We did a little antique shopping while we were there and visited a small farmers market. On the way back home we detoured through downtown Orlando and Winter Park. It was too breezy and cool to enjoy at walk at the lake, but we stopped long enough for her to see some of the fowl and get a view of one of my favorite places here.
Friday it rained all day and we had lunch at the Italian restaurant on the Lake front and then walked real fast from there to the movie theater to see Avatar in 3 D.
On Saturday we went to St Augustine, a city my daughter Rene said I would enjoy and I did. On the way there we stopped to walk a short distance on the beach north of Daytona.
And yes we did all the tourist stuff in St Augustine, like see the fort, and the cathedral and drank from the fountain of youth and walked along St George street and more.
Today Kathy and I woke early. Her flight left at 8:40AM so we were out the door by six.
So while I can't tell you where all of the last two weeks went. I can tell you I have enjoyed every day since the 9th of February because Kathy was here. If you are interested in seeing some of what we say and did, check the blogs entries below.

La Florida

This flower which I have no idea of what it is called was seen on the grounds where the Fountain of Youth is located as is this placque and tiled pattern that reminded me of a crazy quilt pattern.
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Here is some of what I saw as

we did a walking tour of the old city. The City Gates in the lower center. Part of Flager Memorial Presbyterian Church, bottom left.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, an old anchor (there were many about the city) I loved the pattern in the brick (second from the top on the right) that was in several places about the old city. The St. George Street pedestrial mall was worth walking.
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The Fountain of Youth

I drank some of the water but really couldn't see that it helped. :)
The fountain is in a park ran for profit and is a little commercial, but worth the $8.00 (senior rate) to get in. The cross in the upper right area is on the rocky ground over where the (healing) spring water emerges.
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The Castillo De San Marcos

What luck, we got there in time to see and hear the firing of the cannon. Shucky darn, they do no fire real cannon balls anymore, but the BANG was REAL LOUD and echoed. This is a National Park and it was worth touring and hearing about the history of the fort.
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A walk on the beach

The day started out cloudy and breezy and by the time we got to Hammond beach, north of Dayton it was still overcast. On a better day I we would have stayed longer but it was on to St Augustine.
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The Lighthouse at At Augustine

No I did not climb the stairs to the top. Just seeing it and the grounds on which it stands was enough
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Views from the lake

I have talked to Kathy so much about my love of the lake that she had to see for herself.
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Some of what I saw in Kissimmee

I thought these wire instument in a art galley window were really neat.
My friend Kathy as we were deciding if we want to stop in this shop. Which we DID.

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Downtown Disney

Here are some of what caught my eye.

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There were a dozen or so places to eat and many more places to spend your money.