Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Spring Flowers"






As you can tell from reading my blog posts...I'm very slow in the production department. It seems to take me quite a long time to finish a piece of my artwork. Bear in mind that I enjoy it....so it could be that I am subconsciously making it 'last' by taking so long. It would never enter my mind to hurry and finish so I could make lots more! No, for me....well, this kind of work should never be hurried, which I guess is a good thing, since making a zillion French Knots does, by its very nature (and mine!) take a while. If you understand that...then you understand me. I don't know what that says about either of us!

Pictured here you see my latest piece of work. And, it DID take a while. Of course, first, I had to develop an idea, then paint the canvas, paint the quilt batting, embroider the quilt batting, stitch it to the canvas, embroider some more, blah, blah, blah. I almost never know when to stop, so eventually, I just say to myself..."OK....that's it." I think I tend to 'overdo,' never knowing when I'm well off. Sometimes I go just that one little step TOO far. Tell me what you think. Hopefully, my technique will improve as I make more. (I'm saying making more while my brain is saying 'you have a quilt to finish!' Nag, nag, nag. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to sleep!)

This is an 8" x 10" canvas. The quilt batting is Warm and Natural. I used DMC embroidery floss. Acrylic paints. I would like to make more of these at some point and, as always, will never make any two alike. Yes, I KNOW I promised to do a tutorial on how to make these...and I will, but it looks like I won't be able to do any of those until after our guild retreat in September...there's just too much I have to do to get my classes ready and, as always seems the case...I am behind on those. This 'embroidered painting' is now in Second Saturday Studio, and for sale. I don't expect it to go flying out the door....but you never know.

Someone reminded me the other day that last year (or the year before) was supposed to be my 'year' of the basket where I would show you lots of quilted, embroidered and crocheted baskets...what happened to that idea? Well, life happened. So....I suppose at some date in the not so distant future....I need to fulfill that commitment too. I have decided that our retreat this Fall will be the last classes I will be teaching. I'm not getting any younger and there's just so many things I'd like to make, see and do, so hopefully, things like tutorials on this blog will take the place of the classes. Only time will tell....but it sounds like a good idea to me.

So, tell me....do you like this little 'piece of work'? I'm thinking it has a bit of potential and, as always, I love showing YOU what I do. Hope you all have a lovely Memorial Day......take care out there, pat

Friday, May 20, 2011

What I did Today






I try to spend several hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at our downtown art place - Second Saturday Studio. Since we've moved our work spaces downstairs....we are actually open more often. It has certainly been easier to manage since we can now work in the same space as the gallery. Officially, we are still open on the Second Saturday of the month...but the new rule is...if the lights are on...we're open for business.

The other day, Micah showed me how to make Paper Clay Roses. I had been wanting to try making something with paper clay and she had a rose necklace she made using it. We were in need of a creative diversion, so she kindly showed me how to make the roses. It was very easy and a lot of fun. Not having an oven there, we let them dry naturally, so this morning I was able to paint my roses. It turns out that having work spaces in the gallery is not only good for us (we can actually get some work done)....but people drop in to check out the art and, while there, seem to love watching us do what we do. Cool.

So, here are my very first roses. With the notion that 'practice makes perfect,' you can see that I've a way to go before I can say I really know what I'm doing and these aren't perfect....but they DO look like roses, so I'm happy. Today, while Micah painted some of her lovely faces and Kelly worked on a 5' x 7' canvas....I painted roses. It was great fun. I've no idea how I will use these roses....but it will be fun to figure it out. (Thank you, Micah!!!)

Also in the photo is a bird....I used a vintage jello mold to make it. Not at all sure what that will ever be...but I'll do more with it in the future. There is also a five petal flower I made...not nuts about that one....so it may never see the light of day again. I think I will stick to the roses and find a few different ways to use them with fabrics, etc. You know....my kind of 'stuff.' By the way...I purchased the paper clay from Hobby Lobby.

I did want to mention that I have received several cards, letters and gifts in response to my 'handwritten letter' giveaway last month. Really, my blog readers (YOU) are so nice and I appreciate each and every one of you. I've been asked a couple of questions that I feel should be answered here. #1....how are my broken toes doing? I'm happy to say they are much better.
I can't move my little toe....and it's turned funny now....but the pain is gone and that is great. There has been no 'daily walk' since I fell, so I'm hoping to return to that activity on Monday. #2....have we been affected here with flooding? No, we haven't had that particular problem in the exact area where I live, but many people in parts of the state have had and continue to have those issues. We are very grateful to have been lucky at this house. And, I appreciate your concern.

So, today I painted roses. Working with Micah, Kelly and Cheri at the downtown studio is a wonderful experience. Wish you could be there with us! Have a safe and lovely weekend....pat

Saturday, May 14, 2011

More Shorebird Photos






As promised, here are more photos of the Shorebird Pincushions. Several of you sent email asking to see more. From the photos I had taken before these pincushions were mailed, I chose these five to show more detail of one of the pincushions.

Here is the Mama bird.....and a closeup of her. Now, you know these are really 'fantasy' birds...the same way I embroider 'fantasy' flowers, so we are assuming this is Mom. If she is Mom...then the little bird has to be baby bird and here's a closeup of baby. These are stitched with DMC floss....two strands.

One of my very favorite things to do is bead the edges of these pincushions. If you check my archives...you'll see many different beaded edges I have made....and hopefully, I will make many more...it's so much fun. This 'fringe' is made with random lengths. I chose to do random lengths on these pincushions...well, mainly because I wanted the fringe to represent water and doing random lengths meant I didn't have to count each bead I put on the needle. I have shown the pincushion sitting on a candlestick so you can see the lengths of fringe. Every so often, I have added a small shell. So much fun. Yes, time-consuming, but all parts of this kind of work just eat up time. It's not something I worry about as I love tedious work and won't begin one of these projects unless I am determined to finish, no matter how long it takes. And, really, you have to be goal-oriented to want to do this.

Lastly, here is the back of the pincushion. I like adding a label. My friend, Sherry, stamped several strips of muslin with birds, as a gift to me. One bird made a perfect label for this project...don't you think?

No, I can't tell you how long one of the pincushions takes from start to finish. Let's just say if I actually kept count....it might scare me, so I prefer not to know. Let's just say the hours are many...the love is great. Hope you enjoyed seeing them again. take care, pat

Oh, yes, I forgot to mention that these are stitched on painted vintage fabrics...old dresser scarf fabrics...or linen pieces.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Two Shorebirds






Here are my latest creations - some stitched Shorebirds. Two pincushions requested by a friend. One is for her own collection...one for a charity event. The event will take place the end of this month and afterwards , on her blog, she will post more photos and finish the story of these pincushions. I think you would enjoy her blog....so visit my friend, Vicki...here. After she posts 'the rest of the story' on her blog.....I will post my response here on this blog. It should be great fun and I can't wait to see how it turns out. (By the way...her current post has some absolutely gorgeous photos of she and 'the Gardener' on vacation. You will enjoy a mini-vacation of your own if you check out her post...and you will absolutely LOVE the color!)

Vicki asked that I used a 'Shore bird' theme. At this point, I've made several 'bird' pincushions. It took a while to think of what to do...but in order to finish, I realized that they had to include work that I loved to do or I'd never finish them....I set out by painting the fabric, then proceeded to embellish by embroidering the birds and foliage, then beading the edges. I knew she wanted some shells there too...she loves the beach....so I found some tiny shells to include in the beading. In my mind, all that beading represents the water. It's all relative, of course. You probably would have done something completely different. Each pincushion has it's own bead selection and colorway.....and Mama and baby birds. The last photo shows you my bead 'tray' which is a vintage glass serving dish lined with a square from an old Velux blanket. This holds all the beads I'm currently using so they won't roll all over the place. The tray is just a pretty way to keep everything in one place as I thread those beads on my needle. I love using this.

I've used painted fabric, DMC embroidery floss, some perle cotton, silk ribbon, and hundreds of beads to make these pincushions. Upon receiving these, Vicki told me she could never stick a pin in them, which thrilled me to death, but also made me smile....my, how many hundreds of needle holes have already been made in them!

If you'd like to see more photos concerning these pincushions...I can post some more...just let me know how you feel about it. And, then, too, at the end of this month, there will be more on this blog and also Vicki's....I'll keep you posted. Please DO visit her....you'll love the visit!
take care out there...pat

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Entertainment and a Giveaway Winner






At this hour of the night....guess most of you are in bed....but I have a Mother's Day Giveaway Winner to announce. Let me prolong the mystery a bit by showing you some photos of my Mother's Day Entertainment.

This afternoon, I got to visit with my son via iChat....and that lovely little camera on my computer. I don't know why we don't take advantage of it more often (maybe because he's always at work!)....but when we do it's always nice to see his face....Thank YOU, Scott!!!

We were invited to our daughter Kelly's house for supper and a little entertainment. It's always fun to be there and tonight was no exception. I had no idea the entertainment would be Kelly and her husband, Rick. Who knew?

Rick gave Kelly a guitar for Christmas. She wanted one even though she knew nothing about playing a guitar. It's a very pretty one and to my surprise, she has been learning how to play it.
So, tonight, we were lucky enough to hear them play together....it was a riot, I must say. You'd really have to know the two of them to really appreciate this story....let me just say it's a blessing to see them have fun and share it. Their home has become the 'party' place...both for family and their many friends. We enjoyed the evening very much.

Rick's Mom, Louise, also got to be there and it was nice to see her....she and I love to tell each other how special our kids are. We mean it, too. Rick's brother, Ron, was there. Also, of course, the old navy man. I never did get a decent photo of either of them....we were out on the patio and it was kind of dark and I do well to get photos at all. Their patio is a place we all love to sit and the temps were very comfortable tonight. My favorite time to be out there is when it's chilly and we can have a fire in the fireplace out there. But, tonight was special, and the entertainment - delightful! I did manage to get a pretty good photo of Trixie, who appears to love the guitar music!!!

The food was wonderful and we had a great time! I asked them to choose a number for my Giveaway Winner. They chose the number 12, so I'm happy to announce that DARLENE wins the apron and all the goodies. I always wish I could share with everyone, but that would be impossible, so I'll just say I hope you will give it a try again when I have another giveaway. I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother's Day....I know I did!

I hope to show you some of my latest work in my next post.....a clue.....some of my painted fabric/stitched birds. Til then.......take care, pat

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother's Day Giveaway






Mother's Day will be here on Sunday and I'd like to have another Giveaway. How about you?
Would you like one? If so, please make a comment on this blog post and late Sunday night, I will announce the winner. Kindly make sure I have a way to get in touch with you....

So, what am I giving away, you ask? I've given it some thought. I have a small collection of vintage aprons and for a while, I have toyed with the idea of giving one away on this blog. Now is good! This is another flea market find. As you can see, the apron is blue and white checked and embroidered with a cross-stitch pattern. One of the things I like about this apron is there is no waistband...it's pleated and stitched to form the waist. Different. Then, a month or so ago, I bought a recipe box at Hobby Lobby. Liked it so much I bought two. One for me and one for YOU. You know I love birds, so the recipe box appeals to me. So cute, and notice the
cards inside match the outside of the box....just another 'cute as can be' thing. I thought an apron and a recipe box would go well together.

While thinking about the Giveaway...I thought I should add a couple of other items. Just for fun. So there is also a 'watch fob' with silk ribbon embroidered roses and a heart. This is a pin.
I have had it pinned on the mannequin in the studio for a while, but thought you might enjoy having it.

And, lastly, a vintage dresser scarf, also from the flea market. It would make a great table runner too. It has some very pretty lace trim in crochet. Just love that! There is a medallion sewed in the center....I think that was added years later. Makes this scarf pretty unique. I thought you might like it also....if, indeed, you like the vintage stuff as I do.

So, leave a comment on this post and you might win this stuff. And, on Sunday, have an absolutely wonderful Mother's Day....then very late Sunday night, check this blog to see if YOU won. You never know....it could happen. Take care.....pat

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.