Saturday, May 16, 2015

It's A Wonderful World

It really is a Wonderful World, isn't it?  Oh, how I love that Louis Armstrong or Willie Nelson....makes me tear up every time I hear it.  And, to me, nothing says it better than flowers.
So, today, I was looking through some of my photos and thought it would be a good time to show you flowers I photographed while in San Francisco.  And, in thinking about those particular flowers, I also thought of some mixed media art pieces I created, you know, back before I lost my sense of direction
workwise.  With those in mind, I decided to post not only a piece of that artwork, but some of the photos I took in Scott's neighborhood of Bernal Heights. 


 As you can see, and as I've said many times...when I see flowers...all kinds of them, I immediately think of French Knots.  I'm just an old embroiderer at heart, you know.  This piece has an extraordinary amount of them and I loved making each and every one!  Also, a lot of Lazy Daisy stitches.  The background is painted quilt batting, embroidered, then sewn onto a painted canvas. 


Here you can see the embroidery, as well as the painted canvas.  I loved making this piece.  In fact, made several...all different.  And, sold everyone of them...I haven't a one.  Maybe someday I'll do more, as I still haven't seen anything quite like them. 

 I took these photos as my sister and I walked around Scott's cute neighborhood.  Down the street and around the corner we went.  I'm sure if the neighbors heard us, they may have thought we were crazy...oohing and aahing over every flower we saw.  And, there are many there!  You'll see more as I go through my photo collection from the trip.  Some of these gorgeous flowers seemed to pop right out of the sidewalks!  Like this Butterfly Bush.  At least, I think that is what this one is called.  Just absolutely gorgeous!!!

It was a treat to be on that walk, with my sister, in such a beautiful place.  

A close-up!  Fantastic!

 Coming around the corner, we saw this Morning Glory.  And, seeing as how it was appropriate.  And, beautiful!!

 Don't you agree?

 Here are some sunny and quite beautiful California Poppies.  You ought to get a good dose of Vitamin D just looking at them!

And, these gorgeous things....I don't know what they are called, but they are taller than me!  And quite wonderful.  Look at those leaves....about eighteen inches across.  These are growing right by my son's garage.


Now, I have to say...these pink beauties really caught my eye.  These were not taken in the neighborhood, but in another part of the city...I actually don't remember where, but I do remember taking this photo from the car as Scott was driving us around.  The flowers, which look like roses to me, grew on the tree in little bunches....a "ready-made bouquet" of a sort.  Just gorgeous!!

 And, here is my sister, admiring this fabulous succulent.  I'm not sure of the name, but know it is HUGE, and quite beautiful.  See that little one to the right....that one is probably even huge if compared to one growing here.  We really did enjoy our walk through the neighborhood.  We even went to the top of Bernal of that experience coming in another post.

Yes, truly, it IS a wonderful world....most especially when treated to a week in San Francisco!!
Thank you, again, Scott and Debbie!!!

Until next time,


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Where I've Been and What I Found

Well, I've been on a trip....and back!  It was a rather hurriedly planned one encouraged by my favorite son and also involving my favorite sister.  A visit to San Francisco!  The last time I was there (2004), the old navy man and I visited.  This visit was a lot different, but I thought of him a lot.  Anyway, Scott is an excellent host and tour guide and he made the visit especially nice for Debbie and me.    It was FUN!

I am not going to show you all the photos I took....but will include some here and there along with my usual postings.

The first thing my sister wanted to see was the "Painted Ladies."  Well, Alamo Square, here we come!
Debbie just loved being on the Square, we walked around the whole thing, even "upstairs" through the park.  It's quite lovely.  I took lots of photos...(some to be deleted, as you know, I'm not a great photographer).  I will be showing more than just the one above, on some other day.  Anyway, we did thoroughly enjoy our visit to the "Ladies."

This is my son's living room.  Well....actually, he lives in this house with three roommates.  You know, lots of people there share houses and apartments....well, unless they make much more money than the average person.   Emphasize the words MUCH MORE!  So, here is their living room.  It's a house...a mid-century style, with three floors...the living room on the top floor.  Well, San Francisco isn't flat you know....houses all up and down those hills!  I love the view from this room....I'd never get a thing done if I lived here...I'd always be looking out the windows!!!  It's BEAUTIFUL!! 

More to come regarding "the visit"... in future posts.

We were quite busy every single day.  Seeing the sights, going to a Giants/Dodgers game (loved that!!), museums, etc.  And, since my sister and I aren't great shoppers....other than buying food and a  few books, etc., this tote bag is all I bought.  And, other than the fact I liked it, it seemed I should buy it to show it to you.  We've talked here, in recent posts, about making things using the Chain Stitch so when I saw this, I knew you had to see it.

Chain Stitches.  On a lovely muted floral background.  Love at first sight!  


I'm not sure I'd spend so much time making a tote from Chain Stitches....but I can see making all those Chain Stitches on 'yardage' for other, smaller projects.  Yeah, I'm somewhat OCD about doing tedious I would....really, I would!

 Not to ponder the idea very long....I'm thinking it would make a great border on an art quilt, amongst other ideas.  Surely other ideas would drift through my mind, or yours, if we let them.

And, as I did on the pincushion, here are two rows of Chain Stitch together.  A double whammy!


One more view.

 It's quite pretty, I think.  Glad I got it!  Oh, yes, I should say - it was purchased on one of our drives around the country side, at the San Gregorio General Store, on Hwy 84, one mile east of Hwy 1.  A fun place to drop by for a little visit.

Well, so glad I got a post done....such as it is. I don't know why it is so difficult to prepare a post after a bit of 'time off.'  Oh, yes I do...issues with photographs and me not being technically 'savvy.'  Makes me put things off sometimes.  

So, there we are....with help from my favorite son....a new post.  With more to come.  Thank you for stopping by and hanging in there with some of you tend to do.  

THANK YOU, Debbie, for going with me and being my guide through the airports!!  And a huge THANK YOU, Scott, for showing us a WONDERFUL TIME!! 

Until next time, 

The Painted Ladies, Alamo Square, San Francisco....beautiful!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Chain Stitches for Maureen

 I remember way back in about January, one of my readers, Maureen, commented on the pink pincushions shown here.  I'm not sure she wanted to see the Chain Stitches done, or just more pink, but I have intended to show more and so, today, I am.  The photo above is of a grouping of pincushions I made for a class I taught several years ago.  I now only own the largest blue one of this grouping, but felt I needed to make have reproduced the largest and the smallest of the pink square pincushions, so I can show them to Maureen, and YOU.

 It all began with this page of my sketch book....along with notes.  Some things I sketch or write down never reach a finish line, but it is a place to start after my initial idea.  In a photo further down, I will show you my inspiration piece for these pincushions.  Oh, this design is about five inches square.

Here is a little drawing of the way I would add the Chain Stitches to the work.  You will notice the leaves and the flower have the Chain Stitches on TOP of them.

Another view.

And, here is a 'clean' drawing of the pattern.  You may use it if you wish.  (And, yes, I did reduce it down for the smaller pink's about three inches square.)  The dotted lines are just to aid in placement when tracing the pattern.  Oh, yes, I DO use a light box for that.

Here is the latest version of this pincushion, traced with a white chalk pencil, on a Lilac colored fabric.

Yes, this is the same fabric....have no idea why it looks blue!!  In this photo, you can see where I have added the appliques for the pincushion.  I used an organdy fabric (by the way, it could be any fabric you wish to use!) adhered to some double-sided iron on interfacing, then ironed in place onto the square. That way, it stays in place while I do the Chain Stitching.   You could baste those pieces on if you would rather.   I machine baste around the squares (both front and back of the pincushion) on the sewing lines (the exact size of the pincushion).   The basting serves as a guide to line the front up with the back when I sew the pincushion.  Makes every thing line up nicely.

You can begin on any part of the pincushion....but, on this one, I began right here on this stem.  Bring the thread from back to front and begin!

Make a loop and come up with the needle, then, draw the thread completely through...tightening the loop.

And, continue on along.  Now, see, that is easy!  These loops are really small ones.  Don't get too stressed about how small they are....just keep going.  The more you make, the less you notice the sizes or tension of each one.  Consistency comes after making thousands of them.  Then, like me, you will just enjoy making them, rather than becoming uptight about how 'perfect' they are...or not.
But, really, just enjoy the stitching!!

As you will see, we are just following the drawn line as best we can.

In this photo, you can see that I am beginning to stitch the second line of Chain Stitching on that side of the stem.

And, go!!

There you are...two lines of Chain Stitch on one half of the stem...and then on to the next.

Now, the second side.  It should be fun....

In this photo, I am beginning the Chain Stitches on the center flower.  Again, up from the back of the work, make a loop, tighten, and keep on stitching.  You will be working a Chain Stitch around each 'petal.'

Go the way, I didn't say, but this is one strand of DMC floss. works up quite nicely!

Just another view.  And, those photos are of the how-to of making a Chain Stitch.

This photo is of the pincushions...AND, the inspiration piece for them.  I bought this small appliqued and Chain Stitched place mat at the flea.  The minute I saw it, I knew I wanted to stitch something like it...that is when the pincushion idea popped into my head.  I didn't want to use the design exactly as it was on the place mat, so I just used the elements of the design in a different way.  If you enlarge this photo, you can see exactly how the stitching was done...and the appliques also.

So, here is the smallest, newest, pincushion...along with the beading, using the Three Bead Edging as shown on my previous post.

And, here you can see the beaded corner.

Another view of the largest pincushions.

A look at just the Pink Pincushions!

And, just another look at the corner.

A look at the edge....and a close-up of the Chain Stitching.

Thought you might want to see a close-up of the blue pincushion's corner also.

Then, here is the completed Chain Stitch Flower.  Really this is quite a simple project.  I hope you will give it a try and ENJOY it!!

Thought you might want to see these again....They remind me of a frosted cake.  I've no idea why!!

So, Maureen, I hope you and my other readers enjoyed this little Tutorial.  

No idea what will be in my next post....but, 

Until then,

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio
Right in My Backyard

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.