Friday, October 28, 2011

A New Embroidered Painting (?)









Here's something I just finished. Oh, how I love the word FINISHED. It's always fun to do something 'new' and then, by the time it's finished, I'm thinking...."good - it's done, now what can I get into?" This little piece of art should have been done weeks ago....but, here it is now, thank goodness.

I have a little dilemma - I really am clueless as to what to call this kind of work. I don't know anyone else who does this exact thing. It IS embroidered quilt batting. It IS also painted canvas.
Do I call it an embroidery? Do I call it a painting? What to do? I know it's mixed media, but I'd like to call it by a unique kind of name. If you have an idea as to what this should be called, kindly let me know, as I would like a lovely little name for it.

The first thing I do when making one of these pieces is to choose the size canvas I want to use, then paint it. The second step is to paint the batting with some of the same colors used on the canvas. (To paint the batting, you must dilute the paint as you want it to sink into the batting, not just sit on the top.) As you can see, I have painted a small "leftover" piece of quilt batting and then embroidered it.

As always, there is a tree, one of my very favorite motifs to embroider, applique, quilt or paint.
This tree is really different as I've embroidered the tree trunk, then painted a vintage book page in orange and green. I've cut that painted page into tiny little leaf shapes. TINY. Then, with gel medium, attached the leaves to the tree. This step actually comes later after I have embroidered everything I wanted to embroider on the painted batting, I then gel medium the batting to the painted canvas and embroider around it. Lastly, I make the frame to fit the finished canvas, attach it to the canvas and paint it, add a hanging wire on the back, put a sealing coat of gel medium over the painted and paper parts and it's done. (By the way...this piece is 5 1/2" x 7 1/2.") (One other thing....on this piece, I removed the canvas from the wood stretchers, embroidered it, then stapled it back onto the wood stretchers when all the embroidery was done.)

So....knowing how it was done....what would you call it??? So, ok......I know you are wondering why I used paper for the leaves. My answer is "I just don't know....it seemed like a good idea at the time." Really, it just popped into my mind to use painted vintage book pages and so I did!

I'd love to hear your opinion on this piece and what you would call this technique. I've got it displayed at the downtown studio, but if anyone is interested in buying it....well, send an email and we can talk about it. Meantime....y'all continue to have fun and take care, pat

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Roses and Crochet









Two pretty combinations: roses and crochet. Simply saying these words makes me sound like a 'grandma' type. Well, I definitely AM a grandma type....still to this day called "Grandmother" by my one and only grandchild. He's 26 years old. So...yes....roses and crochet....that's me. Grandmother.

The roses you see on this post were sent to me on my recent birthday....last Tuesday, by my favorite son, Scott. Aren't they beautiful? There's not much on this earth prettier than flowers, is there? And, a rose...my goodness. I've saved lots of roses that he has sent and even though those are dried now...they are still very beautiful. At one of my flea market raids, I purchased what I call a sieve - my husband says it looks like something you'd use to find gold in some river somewhere. When my roses start to look a tad wilted, I cut them off the stem, place them in my 'sieve' and let them dry naturally. It works. I'm saving them, although I really don't know what for except I still like to look at them and keep them on my dining room buffet in an antique rose dish. I thought you'd enjoy seeing my 'birthday roses' sitting on my dining room table.

You'll notice this is where the crochet comes in....that crocheted tablecloth on my dining room table has a story too. I made it myself. It's the only one I have ever made...or probably ever will make. And, I made it under circumstances that are rather unique.

So, here's the story: When my children were five and six, I insisted they take swimming lessons. She wanted to, but he didn't. I wanted them to know how to swim so they wouldn't be afraid of water. I couldn't teach them, so they took private lessons at a friend's home swimming pool during that summer. It was very important to me that they KNOW how to conduct themselves in water because their mother (ME) is deathly afraid of being in the water. I can't swim and don't like to be on boats, or drive over bridges. Yes, I know it's weird. So, the kids took their swimming lessons, learned to swim and love to swim to this day. That summer, after they learned to swim, I took them several times a week to the local pool. Now, this is me......of course, I couldn't swim with them, but watched as they swam and while I was watching....I crocheted this tablecloth. It took six weeks to crochet the tablecloth and when it was done...swimming for the summer was over. That summer, my kids became very good swimmers and I got a crocheted tablecloth out of the deal.

I enjoy knowing that my 'forty-something' children enjoy swimming and so does that only grandchild of mine. They LOVE the water. And, even though they think there might be too much of the 'grandma' touches in my home....they enjoy the fact that I LOVE my roses and my crochet and all the other vintage-y things I seem to 'drag in here' (as that old navy man says). Then, too, finding, making or collecting these things keeps me 'out of their hair, I guess! Yes, roses and my crocheted tablecloth....love 'em! And, I enjoy remembering how that tablecloth was made too....back in 1973. Hope you enjoy seeing them....take care, pat

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Birthday!!!




Well, tonight I am running a little later than I intended to....you know how the day just gets away from you...especially on your birthday! I want to announce the winner of my Birthday Giveaway, as promised....before the day ends. And, then, I want to tell you about the quilt shown on this post.

First, the Giveaway. As I've said here....I love to give something away on my birthday, so this time I chose the Candlestick Pincushion shown on my last post. I was astounded at the response I got to this giveaway...thank you all very much for your interest in the giveaway and for your responses! I do wish I could give you all something...wouldn't that be fun?.....but, I can only give away one. (Thank you, my old navy man, for choosing the winner!)

The lucky winner is BRENDA from Nebraska!! Brenda, I will be sending you an email as soon as I publish this post. And, for the rest of you....please remember, I will also be giving away a pretty nice gift for Christmas....so keep visiting!

Now, about this quilt I'm showing you on this post. If you'll remember, last post I mentioned I'd be showing you something that might make you laugh from a previous birthday. This little quilt is that item. It is 14 inches x 16 inches. The quilt was made for my 55th birthday by my great and good friend, Jim, or as I call him most of the time...Mr. G. At that time...he often referred to me as the 'Queen of Everything' and so was inclined to make me a quilt with that in mind. Of course, what he has done is put my face on a photo of Queen Victoria....and...look there....HIS head on a photo of Prince Albert. You'd kind of have to know Jim to 'get' this....and I do, so at the time it really made me laugh and now, TWELVE years later...I still laugh. Maybe even more.

Mr. G is really into embellishing his quilts...often using things other people would never think of.
He does embellish with embroidery stitches often....but sometimes, you will find things like these...a large pin, some shiny, rhinestone buttons, a crown button. And, then, there is the label on the back. You can click to enlarge and read it. Yeah....this is one of the more unusual birthday gifts I have received. And, one of my very favorites.

So, another birthday has come and is nearly gone. It's been a great day. Thank you all for visiting!! take care, pat

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Birthday Giveaway!







Another birthday.....how can this be? Time goes by so fast and now I'm another whole year older. Seems like my last birthday was 'just yesterday.' Well, let's make the best of it...how about a present? I learned from my friend, Jim, that it's quite fun to give someone else a present on your own birthday....so guess what....since I can't give you all one...I'll give one of you something and you'll just have to enjoy it enough for everyone!

I was born on October 18, 1944.....so on October 18, 2011, my 67th birthday, one of you will win this pincushion.....hope you like pink/lavender/blue! I made this using a glass candlestick, some dyed lace and a few embroidery stitches. Click on the photos to see close-ups. On the top is a covered button with a beaded flower and beaded edges. And, at the base is a bow with a beaded flower and leaves. Oh...and it's wool. It was fun to make and I hope the winner enjoys it.

Also in the Giveaway is a vintage cross-stitch tea towel. I think it looks pretty good with the pincushion....some industrious person could make a little sewing kit out of it...or just enjoy it as it is. There's a bead bracelet....in matching colors and a nice card. Well, I had that box of cards, none of them looked 'birthday' to me....but I love stamps and the colors looked good with the rest of the giveaway items. I think it says 'thinking of you.' Which, of course, I am!

What do you think? You want to win it? Well, around 10:00 p.m. on my birthday, next Tuesday, I'll have the old navy man choose the winner and I'll notify you then. So....go ahead....leave a comment on this post. No matter where you live on this planet...I'll get it to you should you win it! Be sure to give me a way to get in touch with you.

When I announce the winner on Tuesday night, I will also be showing you a present I received 'way back there' when I was fifty-five. It might even make you laugh...which would be a really, really GOOD thing.....so comment away...and I'll be back with you then!!! take care, pat

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Another Fine Hanky













Today I wanted to show you 'another fine hanky.' But, I also wanted to show you a framed piece given to me by my friend, Susan. It's very similar to the hanky....so first, the background of my story.

In 2008, Susan made a visit to Chicago. While there she did some shopping and in the midst of the shopping, she found a piece of Drawn Thread Embroidery in a frame. Thinking I would love it, she purchased it as a gift to me and at our monthly meeting, she presented it to me. Of course, I loved it, however, it was framed over top of a piece of yellow fabric and I thought it should be changed, so I decided to reframe it over a piece of green fabric...green, you'll remember, being one of my most favorite colors. When I took the fabric from the frame, a piece of paper fell out. It is shown here. A note written by the owner of the piece (born in 1903), telling how her mother had embroidered it at age SIXTEEN in 1898 had been placed in the frame...and had I never wanted to change the color of the fabric, we would have never seen the note. What luck!

So, I've loved this embroidery since Susan gave it to me. Imagine my surprise to find a hanky at our new flea market made with exactly the same Drawn Thread Embroidery stitches. I was very thrilled to find it.....and without even taking a breath, I purchased it. The asking price for such gorgeousness.....$1.00. Do you believe it? I get kind of irked that people who have never worked an embroidery pattern, or stitched a quilt, or knitted a sweater, often devalue the work as something their great-grandmothers or grandmothers did 'to keep their hands busy', so consequently, not worth all that much. Often they hold these pieces in very low regard. (I mean, really...$1.00???) That is changing, I think because there seem to be people like me, who never had a grandmother or anyone else who embroidered, or quilted, or knitted, but nevertheless, became fascinated by it at an early age. So, because I highly value the work, I'm proud to own the framed piece and to be able to hold this wonderful hanky in my hands and marvel at the time, effort and LOVE that went into making both of these beautiful pieces of embroidery.

And, so, it is up to me to preserve it for as long as I can....and enjoy it too. And, show it to YOU, so you can enjoy it also. Maybe the precious ladies that stitched these two pieces KNOW that I have these pieces they created and that I love them. Now, that is something I'd like to imagine is true! What about you? Do you have such pieces in your collection? If so....do you feel the same way about them that I do? take care out there, pat

PS. I've no idea why the framed piece looks so bluish...it's white. Funny thing how these photos turn out sometimes!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Few New Flea Market Finds











This past Friday, I drove out to the edge of town...right off the Freeway, where a new flea market has opened. I heard about it 'through the grapevine" and it was open, but not all the vendors were set up yet. If you read my blog often, then you know I love going to flea markets on a regular basis. In my opinion...here's what makes a habitual flea market shopper: #1, you must love other people's old stuff. #2, you must love to collect that stuff. #3, you must love a mystery, because you never know what you will find. #4, you must also like to talk about the stuff you collect with other people who are in the flea market shopping with you. People you don't even know. It's great fun! So, Friday afternoon....I went to size up the newest flea market in town.

It's huge! There are spaces for a LOT of booths. I've no idea how many....a hundred at least is my guess. Less than twenty, or so, were occupied, but like I said, it was really just beginning to open. So, I went to every single space with anything in it and looked around. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to attract my curiosity...and I tried! So, I'm hoping if I go back in a week or so there will be more vendors in there. IF not, well, I have my favorite places here in town and wouldn't think of much time going by without them having a visit from me!

So, here's what I found: a lovely pair of crocheted gloves with embroidered flowers on them...really cute, as you can see. I have several vintage gloves and can remember when people actually WORE them. Look at this green hanky....it weighs practically nothing. I have never seen one like it. There is a row of white stitching around each bow motif. I'm thinking it would be really neat with something embroidered in the center and framed or something.

Then, there is the bowl. Well, ok, the color green...and beautiful flowers....all soft looking and vintage-y. Of course, I had to have it. It has such a pretty shape. I've photographed the markings on the back so you could see it. See, I like it because I just like it....but I know some of you are 'into' finding certain types of dishes. This one is so dainty and just 'suits' me.

I'm not going to tell you about the white hanky yet. I'll save that for my next post, as I have something similar I'll be wanting to show you at the same time. So, expect that in the next few days. And, of course, if I return to this new flea market....well, then I'll have to give you an update...especially if I manage to FIND something neat! Take care out there. pat

PS. As I always do....I will be having a birthday giveaway before long. Please stay tuned to see if you'd like to have it....giving something away for my own birthday is something I learned from Mr. G, and it really IS fun!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Paintings by Sandra Kraft






In my last post, I mentioned that I would show you some of the artwork of my sister-in-law. Her name is Sandra Kraft. I think she is very talented, so I'm proud to show some of what she does. We currently have several of Sandy's paintings at the downtown studio. I've chosen just a handful to give you a little peek at her art.

I first met Sandy when she was still in high school. More years ago than she and I want to say. I was much older than she, of course, and at the time was getting ready to marry her middle brother. It was obvious to me, even then, that she had lots of talent, but it's taken until just recently for HER to really take up painting and go with it. I'm so glad she has. The whole family is really proud of her and we never cease to wonder at what she does....it's great fun to see what she will bring into the studio next.

The paintings shown here are just a sample....anywhere from 12" x 12" paintings such as the rooster and the Fall scene, to 24" x 24" as in the abstract, to many other sizes...just about any subject matter....oils or acrylics, we can't wait to see her latest work.

It's fun to have her for a sister-in-law......she is dear and has been a lot of help to me. Hope you enjoy seeing her paintings and 'meeting' her through her artwork. Take care out there. 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.