Thursday, July 31, 2014

Last Day of July

During a usually miserably hot summer, we enjoyed a morning temp of 64 and had cloud cover all day. I've got art quilting projects under control and decided to capture a few of my favorite plants in the flowerbed. I've been enjoying Basil in a little giraffe ceramic vase (pictured in an earlier post), as well as cutting for cooking.

The Lemon Thyme is growing and spreading. Behind it is Parsley. I never cut Parsley, hoping the caterpillar that becomes a black swallowtail butterfly will devour it and then build its chrysalis nearby.

Then there are pots of Croton and some green/pink/red long-leafed plants whose names I don't know. It doesn't matter--they're beautiful and colorful.

I cut some coleus for a vase, and it rooted so quickly that it is now back outside growing healthily.

In the house, the kittens are now 8 months old and a constant delight. They play and chase and sleep and eat together with rarely a spat.

Elizabeth and Rah-Rah watching Tarbaby
Tarbaby--so black!
Elizabeth sleeping

Two minutes later

Monday, July 28, 2014

Quick Draw a Fun Event!

To complete a piece in an hour, yes, it is most important to have a plan. First you need to locate a frame the size you want to use and be sure the art can just be set into it without any tools required. For the previous Quick Draws, I have usually done something with thread-painting, but this year I thought I'd create a background by some strip piecing in the sew and flip method, using a variety of black and white prints in 1" to 2" widths. Of course, these strips were precut and ready, as well as a backing and batting, with several 45-degree lines to keep the angles true.

I started near the middle on one of the longest rows and sewed to the bottom right edge, then turned the piece upside down to add strips toward the top left edge. Next I heated my tiny Clover iron and fused the precut sunflower to the corner and added several shades of yellow and green stitches to enhance the large flower. I also added a rust-colored butterfly and stitched it. (Looking at the picture makes me realize I must wash those Machingers!)

I taped the piece to the mat and called it finished. Since there were a few minutes left before the bell for the 15-minute "framing" period, I decided to try fusing some of the green leaves onto the mat. The Steam-a-Seam had a good sticky back and I could position the leaves, then apply the iron. I love extending the picture off into the border, so this helped carry out this idea.
The afternoon was full of excitement and fun, visiting with guests who walked around asking questions and commenting. I didn't have time to circulate but enjoyed seeing all the finished pieces during the live auction. Proceeds benefitted the South Mississippi Children's Center.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Getting Ready for the Quick Draw

Every year our local South Mississippi Art Association participates in a Quick Draw for Charity, and it's coming up next weekend. I've enjoyed doing this for the last four years. I bring my sewing machine and fabric and threads to work among the others using brushes and paints and easels. But when my name appeared on the poster as one of the featured artists, I thought, "Oh, dear, how about a little pressure!"

It's lots of fun and quite well attended. Guests pay $35 to get in and enjoy heavy hors d'oeuvres while they circulate around the large building listening to a steel drum band and watching the artists work. We have one hour to create our piece and 15 minutes to finish or frame it. Then a live auction is conducted with proceeds going to the South Mississippi Children's Center. A frame with mat will take the place of borders and binding, so I just have to concentrate on making the center and popping it into a frame. I have a plan--will post a picture of the piece before it is auctioned.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blueberries in Watercolor and Fabric

My one scrawny blueberry bush in my yard always excites me when it blooms and then puts on beautiful green to pink to blue/purple berries. I take pictures every year, and this time I got up my nerve to try my hand at capturing the image in watercolor and in fabric.


8" x 8" watercolor
9" x 12" threadpainted piece
mounted on gallery wrapped canvas
It was fun to try these two methods, but I think I'll stick to fabric and threads.

Friday, July 4, 2014

It's Been Three Years

It doesn't seem possible, but Roy has been gone three years today, July 4, 2014. As I celebrate Independence Day in our country, I also celebrate our  57 years together and our precious daughter and son and his family. I remember Roy standing in the doorway of my studio saying,"I'm so glad you have this room!" So I enjoy thinking of the pleasure it brought him as it still does me.

He always loved to raise a garden and kept beautiful flowerbeds. He had a bumper crop of tomatoes in 2010 but had so many falls into the tomato vines and cages that I wouldn't let him plant again in 2011.
His last spring he could still walk all over the yard and pick flowers to bring to me in the house.
Now my three kittens keep me company--not the same, but I am thankful for the companionship and entertainment they provide. They remind me that I am still needed.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bumper Basil Crop

A friend shared one of her basil plants with me and it seemed quite happy to be transplanted into my flowerbed. I have made a delicious pesto sauce from some leaves and have enjoyed little vases of cuttings in the house. The cuttings root and I have moved some to other pots for sharing.

Basil and Catnip
Meanwhile, the kitties are growing and exploring. There have been a couple of accidents when their chasing resulted in tangling with a lamp cord.
They are very curious of the outdoors and have found one window screen needing replacement. Tarbaby pushed his way out on the ledge while Elizabeth and Rah-Rah complained.