Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Mr. G Watercolor









OK...it's still February, so I'm still finding 'hearts' to post. Here is one of my very favorites. This painting was created in 1996 by my very dear friend, Jim...sometimes I call him Mr. G. I don't know why except his last name starts with a G. It makes sense to me....and he doesn't complain.

Mr. G presented me with this wonderful watercolor 'out of the blue' one day and I have loved it ever since. Isn't it fun? It was his way, I expect, of making me a 'different' kind of quilt. It's approximately 24" x 30" and has been hanging in my house since the day I received it...well, except for a couple of times it escaped and managed to be shown in a couple of Jim's quilt showings.

I love all the bright colors....and all the little 'blocks.' I am particularly fond of that big red heart, the 0ff-kilter basket, and the house...three of my very favorite motifs. Yeah, Mr. G knows me alright....he seems to always manage to either make or find things that he knows I will just be 'over the moon' about. Thanks, Mr. G, again, for this lovely painting...it is one of my great treasures!! Y'all take care out there. pat

PS. The other day I finished a project I have been trying to get finished for what seems like years, but it's only been months. I am so happy to have it done and on the way to it's new owner, a very patient owner, I might add. I'll be showing it to YOU very soon...I'm waiting until the new owner receives it so I can share her thoughts on it with you. And, NO, I have not forgotten I'm to do a heart tutorial and another giveway...they'll be here soon too. (Time just gets away from me...does it you?)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Two Rose Collages












Well, two more collages today...these with more 'paper roses.' I use paper napkins in many of my collages and I have to say....I'm pretty fond of this particular napkin. You really have to see the napkin as it was purchased in order to see what I have done with it, so I'm beginning with a photo of that napkin. I rarely use the napkin as a whole, usually tearing bits of it to suit whatever it is I have in my mind. So, I hope seeing the napkin photo, helps you understand how it was used in each of these collages. By the way, I seem to find the prettiest napkins at Tuesday Morning. This one was is copyrighted by Gail Flores, Licensed by Suzanne Cruise. It's gorgeous.

The first collage is what I thought would look like a rose basket. I tore the napkin to 'fit' the painted canvas, and then drew the 'basket' on.......and finally added some stamps from my stamp 'collection.' (My stamp collection was purchased all at once, in a gallon jar, from the flea market a couple of years ago. I will probably never be able to use all the neat stamps from that jar, but I do have fun with them.) Again, a paper butterfly. A strip of ribbon too. And, the words, of course. "The fragance of the rose," cut from old book pages. I have 'touched up' the roses with even more paint. I like the way it turned out.

Next, is a canvas I painted, then made into this collage. I had cut the words out of a magazine,
"Well behaved women rarely make history." I just thought it would be fun. A page from scrapbooking paper, a date from a very old ledger from my son-in-law's family store, and again.....the wonderful rose napkin! (Don't worry about the vintage ledger....it was falling apart, so we didn't worry about using it for collages as there are wonderfully intact and beautiful ledgers we would never touch!)

The 'lady' (I think she is gorgeous and don't you love her outfit and jewels? I used some hot crystals for her earrings.), well, I just don't remember at this moment where she came from, but from scrapbooking paper or somewhere similar. I did add some hand drawn vines, touched with a bit of paint...and that number - 509...means nothing except it was the page number from the ledger. I had fun making this...getting paint and gel medium on my hands is great FUN...and using these napkins is too.

So...there you are...two of the latest made in the downtown studio...and, as always, for sale there.
If I can get my etsy up and going again...SOON....they might wind up there, but for now...they are with me as I play in the paint downtown. You all stay safe, warm and cozy....pat

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Two Heart Collages







Yesterday I promised to show you two 'heart' collages I recently made at the downtown studio. Here they are. Yeah, ok, so I'm not the best collage artist around...but I sure do enjoy making them. The 'girls' at the downtown studio all paint, and beautifully, I might add. I've never really used paint much...well, except to paint my background fabrics on some embroidery. But, I like watching them paint and they have inspired me to try things....just because they seem to enjoy it so much...even when it is WORK.

So, I took up this collage business. I do get to use some paint, plus lots of paper napkins. I think that is just a hoot! Who knew? I learned to use paper napkins from Sharon at allnorahsart. I've been reading her blog for a long time and was fascinated with what she did with paper napkins, so I had to try it. Of course, that also means I am always on the look out for pretty paper napkins. Oh, the thrill of the hunt...one of my favorite things!!!

There is the 6" x 6" stenciled bird collage. This was FUN! I had the bird stencil and I cut two hearts out of old book pages...."tied" the hearts on the branches with linen thread and then embossed the hearts with embossing powder. The first time I had tried the powder. Well, ok...there's another thing to find out more about!! I like the hearts really well and the embossing kind of highlights the words underneath. I also used the powder to make the 'snow.' Can you see it? Little snow drops. Gosh, that was fun!

Then, the heart. I painted the background, drew the heart freehand, then added the paper napkin roses. I love the napkin those roses came from. I will be showing you another collage that I made using that same rose napkin. I'm even going to show you the napkin....so you can see just how that works. FUN. But, for now.....I just added the roses. Then, I wondered what to do next and found the birds on another napkin. Two sweet birds....they gave me the idea for what the words would be and I found them in two different books. It's so much fun to pick out words that seem to have something to do with your collage....but really, it's just random words. I love the words on this one.

So, there you go. Two heart collages. They are for sale at the downtown studio. And, I'll enjoy them until they fly off, maybe near, maybe far. Hope you are all well, safe, happy, warm and cozy!!! See you in a couple of days or so.....pat

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Valentine Giveaway Winner!!!


Did you have a Happy Valentine's Day? I certainly hope so. I was pleased to receive your comments concerning my Valentine Giveaway....y'all are so nice to visit and comment too. So...want to know who the winner is? OK, then....the winner is PAT SALADA! And, she says her birthday is in February. How cool is that? (Thank you, old Navy man, for your help!) So....PAT, please email me and let me know what your mailing address happens to be so I can send you a package from my little NEST to yours.

I appreciate all of you who responded and would like to remind you that I will be having another giveaway toward the end of this month to celebrate Bird Nest on the Ground's 4th anniversary. Please visit again and see what I will be giving away...it will involve more hearts and some beading. And, kindly come again in the next day or so, I will be showing two collages I made for the downtown studio. Til then, stay safe, warm and cozy!!! pat

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Valentine Giveaway







Happy Valentine's Day! Well, in a few days, that is. Would you like a giveaway? I'd enjoy giving something away as a Thank You for visiting my blog. And, as you've heard me say several times....I can't give something to everyone...so there will be one person chosen to win these goodies. You never know...it might be you!

There is a 6" x 6" heart collage...made by me in the downtown studio this week...just for that someone special...representing all of you. The collage consists of a canvas, painted...then embellished with paper napkin roses and a painted heart. A Cheerful Heart. A real vintage two cent stamp is in the lower right corner. A paper butterfly flying above the heart. I drew the heart freehand, painted it, the embellished it with those FUN dots. Who knew painting dots on a canvas with the sharp end of a wooden skewer could be such fun...that skewer has become one of my favorite painting 'tools.' Then, words gathered from an old book....another of the things I find I love to do, finish the heart. I also have a rubber stamp that is about a two inch square and it is nothing but rows of dots. So, I painted the stamp and randomly added dots around the edges. I enjoyed making this collage and I want someone else to enjoy owning it.

There is a little heart Journal...just a cheapie from Michaels, but it does have a heart, so it's included. A strand of red, purple and pink glass hearts tickled my fancy, so I bought two. One for me...one for you. You know I love birds, so I'll write you a personal note inside the bird card.

So...to win, dear friends, just leave a comment on THIS post....and I'll have the old navy man chose the winner late Tuesday night. Hopefully, you'll be out having fun that night, so check to see if you've won on Wednesday!! If you are the winner, kindly let me know your mailing address in an email....and these goodies will be on their way to you. If you are not the winner, do not despair, I'll be having another giveaway before the month is over....as the 23rd is my blog's anniversary....4 years. Who knew I could keep it going this long?

As always, thank you for visiting and have a good weekend out there...stay warm, safe and cozy! pat

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My "New" Old Quilts









On Tuesday, I showed you my Bear's Paw quilt. The one that survived the fire in the early 80's.
I've heard from some of you. Thank you so much for commenting! Yes, I DO consider this quilt a 'miracle quilt.' It's just a wonder that it survived. And, it looks so good despite it's history. Thanks to that old navy man!!!

I have been asked if that quilt is as long on the other side of the bed as it is on the side you see in the photos. The answer is Yes. But, there is a trick there. It really is a large quilt, but the day we put that bed in the Nest, I realized that with the bed so high above the floor, ALL that 'stuff' I wanted to store under the bed would show. (Remember, no bedskirt!) It was at that point I decided to put the quilt on the bed with the top and bottom toward the sides, making it longer where I needed it to be longer. There is still plenty of quilt at the bottom and top....but not enough to match the length on the sides. Anyway, it did cover up all the stuff underneath....and it not only looks good, but a person can still sleep under it and have their feet fully covered. Great solution to an odd problem, if you ask me.

So, now....about these two quilts. I purchased them at two different flea markets. The Rose one before Christmas at the Freeway Emporium and the Star just last week at Green Alley. I got the Rose one for $40...yeah, that's what I said! And, the Star for $50 and some change. Yeah, I said that too!!!! Couldn't have said NO if I wanted to....such pretty bargains. I wonder what great ladies made them? And, they are soft, so very soft!!!

The Rose is cross-stitched. Hand-quilted. Full size. Delightful. And, doesn't it look good in the Nest? Yeah, I know, you can see a lot of my 'stuff' in the room. You can check my 'label list' and find studio and see more of it...but I guarantee that it never looks the same many months at a time before I've moved it around. Won't be that easy anymore with a bed out here, but, I bet I find a way to change it once in a while anyway. I've posted several photos....one of my faves is the dark one. I posted that one just because I like the 'mood' of it. Would like to be curled up in that bed right now, all cozy and with my Kindle!

The Star quilt is wonderful. Older than the Rose. It has lots of wear, especially in a lot of the diamonds....but is still in good enough shape to use. Gently. I can piece a quilt...but I most often applique. I guess that is why this quilt spoke to me so loudly in the 'flea.' I would never make it, so therefore I love it. Whoever the maker was...she did a FINE job....not only is the piecing wonderful...the hand quilting is fabulous. I know I would have liked this lady a lot!!

So....don't you love them too? Thank you so much for visiting.....I'll be back soon with whatever I can find to share with you.....you know you are special!!!! stay warm, safe and cozy, pat

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Bear's Paw Quilt







I recently moved my white iron bed out into The Nest, to make way for another bed in the house. Well, no way was I going to get rid of that great old bed, so I went on a tear moving stuff around in my backyard studio until I figured out how to make it fit in. Realizing some time back that I didn't need to have an entire classroom set up in The Nest helped me to figure it out....so away went all those tables and chairs. (At one time, I had four tables and sixteen chairs in here.) Now, as you can see, there is a big bed in here. I rarely get a nap, but this bed surely makes me want to take one!

This vintage bed is high off the floor because it has a modern mattress and box springs on it. It used to have the springs 'built in," but nowadays has slats instead. I have to have a step stool to get on it. You know what that means....most quilts, coverlets or spreads will be too short. So far, I haven't found or taken the time to make a bedskirt for it. Who knows when that will happen, so I had to decide how to dress that bed so I could store lots of stuff underneath it. Enter the picture, my Bear's Paw Quilt. It fits perfectly. I was in the process of making this quilt when I moved to Arkansas in 1981. It's BIG. I really didn't know what I was doing....hence, it's size.
Perfect for a very high, old white bed. I love the way it looks out here in my Nest.

I actually made this quilt for my favorite son. He kindly let me know that he probably wouldn't take care of it like I'd want him to, after I gave him washing instructions, so it has remained here at my house. He has slept under it many times, though, when he visits from California, and I consider it HIS quilt. Maybe he'll actually take it home at some point, well, after I've finished playing with it, you know....a few more years from now.

This quilt has another entirely different story and has lived quite an exciting life. I finished it in 1981. In 1984, it appeared in a quilting book, "First Prize Quilts," by Dimetra Makris, published by Simon and Schuster. (There weren't many of those in 1984!!! Notice it's in black and white!) After the book was published, I had the quilt hanging in the local quilt shop as I was teaching quilting there. The night before my class, the shop caught on fire and burned to the ground. Early in the a.m., that old navy man of mine went down to the site to see what had happened. He asked the fire chief if he could enter the remains of the shop to see if my quilt could be found. "Good luck," was what he was told. One of his co-workers told me that he offered to buy my quilt for $5 when the old navy man spread it out on the parking lot to assess the damage. It was all in one piece, but black as pitch and so wet, it weighed a ton! Can you believe it survived? We couldn't. It seems they sprayed so much water on the building, the quilt had fallen off the wall and was in a very wet heap at the bottom of a pile of rubble when the old navy man found it.

I was heartbroken when I saw it. But we both thought it could be cleaned, so I took it to the local cleaner. A couple of days later, I received a call from the cleaner saying that it was hopeless, did I want them to throw the quilt away. Heck no! So, I brought it home and washed it....over and over and over and over. Many times. Eventually, it came as clean as you see it now. Everyone thinks it is an antique. (Well, NOW, I guess it is, but back then it was still new, but looked old after the fire.) Wasn't it great of the old navy man to want to rescue that quilt?

In 1995, I was asked to let Oxmoor House and Leisure Arts, publish the quilt again. Here is the book...."Grandma's Quilting Bee." And, I've photographed two of the pages so you can see it. Looks pretty darn good to have survived a fire, doesn't it?

So, this quilt was published BEFORE a fire and then again, AFTER the fire. I'm almost willing to bet there haven't been many quilts that fit that description! I hope you enjoy seeing it, especially out in my Nest! Next time, I will be showing you my two new vintage quilts, found at a local flea market, and now here in the Nest, on this bed...just for you. Meantime, 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.