Friday, July 31, 2015

Midsummer Heat, Tomatoes, and Kittens

Where does the time go? Just keeping a few flowerbeds alive has been difficult in this near 100-degree heat in South Mississippi. I had high hopes for cherry tomatoes after my neighbor's vine climbed up and over my fence last year, giving me dozens of tomatoes. I planted one this year, and my huge vine finally produced a total of four tomatoes, which grew to tennis ball size. When they began to tempt the birds I picked my entire harvest and used them for paint subjects.
I'm enjoying an online botanical sketchbook painting class with Val Webb--just for fun. Drawing and painting have been a favorite pastime for me for years, and I love to be involved with some instruction. I rarely share these with anyone, so if you're looking, understand that I realize their limitations! I learned to stain my heavy watercolor paper with coffee, tea, mud, or pigment. Then we painted an undercoat of gouache and added Prismacolor pencils for shading and highlights--a totally new technique to me. The tomatoes above and the peppers on the right below are gouache with Prismacolor pencils. The peppers on the left are only Prismacolor pencils.
This month I finished a piece I had started in 2009 from a Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry pattern called Square Dance. Making this pattern is actually what introduced me to her Applipiecing technique and caused me to take her four-day Beyond the Grid workshop at her studio in Paducah--a dream-come-true experience! After making one block back then, I finally made the other three, added borders and quilted in a circular design. So the name became Circle Dance.
Circle Dance, 26" x 26"
And now for kitty news--Southern Pines Animal Shelter put out an urgent plea on Facebook for foster help with an influx of kittens. I picked up three little brothers who had been found and rescued. They had just been introduced to canned food and they looked like they had been rolling around in it! I bathed them and dried them--two solid white ones and one cream-colored with brown ears and tail.

I think they had lost their mama too soon and had been hungry and were food insecure, because they ate just like they kittens nurse--pushing with their feet and fighting for space. They were fun to watch and take care of (needing another bath in a couple of days!), but another shelter saw their picture and wanted them, so they were transported about 300 miles away after less than a week. It's nice to know that they had homes waiting for them once they grew enough. Meanwhile, my three grown cats are happy to be the only cats again.

Rah-Rah and Elizabeth


Vivian Helena said...

Made it home and finally had a moment to post to my blog. just have to reread for errors first. I will be writing about the trip later.. but one more Reception at the gallery to get through.
It was such a joy to meet you and see your lovely home. Makes me want to redo somethings here.. starting with the studio.
The Dr. have talked Ralph into the fact that he does have to have shoulder surgery in mid Sept..I do have a week at the beach in August with quilters.. now to find what UFO's to take and finish! I am thinking of spraying one that is a cuddle quilt and roll it so it will be done and easy to put under the machine... but wondering if this will work,, I am passed the crawling around on the floor stage. And not sure there will be a table there that I can spray layer. And thought our granddaughter would like it to take to college..
You fell for the kittens again,, you are such a good mama cat! They are beautiful. We are watering down the llamas, supposed to be 104 here today. Willow fire looks like it is calming down.. wish we had your rain now.. hugs,

Martha Ginn said...

Vivian, Glad you got back to California--it was such a treat for you to stop by here on your travels in Mississippi! About spray basting--that's the only way I baste anymore. Add a safety pin to each corner and maybe one in middle of each side; it will fold for quilting later. No more crawling on floor! I do this in the garage to avoid stickiness on furniture. Enjoy your beach retreat.
Good luck to Ralph on his shoulder surgery; it's a bear to go through but such an improvement after it's over.

LA Paylor said...

Hi Martha... what sweet little kittens... hungry and dirty faces.... your cats are so big now... why I remember it like yesterday they were the little fosters. LeeAnna and ColePorterPoodle

Vivian Helena said...

Oh, forgot to mention, love the Intense Pencils,, and the brush that holds water to use after.. .nice and bright.