This past week I had a lower back then a knee injury which kept me close to home and spending time sitting with ice packs and heat pads.  It’s very rare for me to sit for longer than a few minutes at a time so I picked up some stitching to keep me busy.

I have a few more stitches on my practice “doodle” cloth. (this is where I just practice and play with needle and thread).

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I LOVE the woven circles below.  I will be making many more of these.

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I pulled some scrap fabric and randomly sewed the pieces together then basted the piece to muslin and began stitching on that.

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And then created some fabric wrapped and beaded balls.

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I saw these on Alma Stoller’s blog and couldn’t resist making them.  I would love to make lots of these, layer them in a clear jar then place them on a coffee table.  Wouldn’t they be lovely to look at and a good conversation starter?

A few weeks ago, I discovered Debby Schnabel’s stitched quilts and fell in love with her hand embroidered Kantha beauties.

I am pondering using her style of embroidered circles with Kantha style stitching on this quilt top that I finished in February.

Quilt Top 2

I think appliqué embroidered circles will lessen the checkerboard effect of this pattern and provide another layer of color and texture.

This week also began our local CSA subscription at Working Hands Farm.  Look at the beautiful organic veggies we received.

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Beets, radishes, spinach, broccoli, chard, kale

IMG_2609Strawberries, arugula, turnips, lettuce, cilantro, bok choy

Is there anything better than fresh (picked that morning), organic, locally grown produce?

How about vases full of flowers picked from my cutting garden this morning?

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Keep it Simple!

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Warm, Sunny and Flower Full

David Austin Golden Jubilee

The first rose bloom – David Austin’s Golden Celebration

Viburnum

The Viburnum have fully opened.

Deck ChairsThe deck chairs are out.

Garden SouthThe cutting garden, south end.

Garden NorthAnd the north side.

EmbroideryAnd another embroidered flower sewn on the jean skirt.

Another flower-full day at Glenn Acres.  Keep It Simple.

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Flowers, Birds and Embroidery

The flower garden is awakening with all of the sunshine that we’ve had the past few days. The first blooms of Clematis “Ville de Lyon” have made their appearance.

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Along with the Geum “Totally Tangerine”

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And Salvia “Cardonna”

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Look at the beautiful white edged Syringa Vulgaris “Sensation”.

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The tree swallows are back.

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Besides roaming the garden looking at flowers and birds, I’ve been stitching a bit on my jean skirt.

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Enjoy the weekend and Keep It Simple!

 

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Simply Stitching

Simply Stitching, yep, that’s how I’ve spent the past few days.  To-Do lists hidden, appointments rescheduled, music playing in the back ground.  Slow stitching disengages my busy mind.  I focus on each stitch, the rhythmic up then down of the needle, each color selection, each pattern.  Calming, methodical and mesmerizing.

Below are some practice stitches on a scrap piece of muslin.

Embroidery practice

My inner critic told me that I was wasting time, “What good is a scrap piece of fabric with random stitches?”

I replied “You’re right!”

So I pulled out my new long denim skirt and channeled my “inner hippie child”.  “She” is not a critic but a free spirit that gives flight to ideas.

Jean Skirt

(I ordered this skirt on line through The Skirt Outlet.  They have a great selection of denim skirts and wonderful customer service.)

Chain stitch, running stitch, back stitch, Fly stitch, French knots and Bullion stitch.  I’m using a mixture of DMC six strand embroidery floss, DMC variegated and Valdani Perle cottons in size 8. All of these threads are colorfast and durable and will hold up to many wash and dry cycles.

Here is a close up of that flower.

Jean Skirt up closeMy “inner hippie child” is very happy.  More stitching to come in the days ahead.

Keep It Simple.

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Lots of Layers

DLP Journal Page 022015

I’ve been quietly following along with the Documented Life Project by Art To The 5th.  Last week’s challenge was called Cover Up Good Stuff.

I created this page twice!  The first time was much different, it had a Valentine’s Day theme and color scheme, that is until I spilled my coffee on it.  I gesso’d over the whole thing and started down a new path.  This spread is layered with acrylic paint, collaged paper bits and deli paper scraps, stenciling, rubber stamping, lots of mark makings, pencil script, Copic marker and oil pastels.

It is a very simple page with lots of color, texture and layers.  I love it.

Make it a great day and keep it simple!

Posted in 2015, collage, journal, mixed media, paint | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

From This to This to This

Quilt Top FabricsFrom this stack of solid cotton fabric

Quilt Top Strips

To these 3″, 4″ and 5″ strips

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To this quilt top.

I saw this design/kit in the new Keepsake Quilting catalog and realized that I already had lots of solid cotton fabrics that I could use.  I recreated the pattern and made the blocks a tad smaller (11.5″ finished) and used brighter fabrics.  The top will measure about 57″ x 57″ when I finish with the backing, binding and quilting.  I have lots of left over strips that I may randomly piece together to make the backing.

My initial thought is to quilt this with floss in a Sashiko style (straight line) hand stitch.  How would you quilt it?

Make it a great day and keep it simple!

 

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The Cost Of Ownership

I’m selling my car. Yep, that one! The one my late husband diligently searched for and found in another state, drove it home and handed me the keys on my 50th birthday. Yes, that one. The one whose name is “Blackbird”, the code name for a program I worked on many years ago, perhaps you are old enough to remember the Stealth Bomber? The one that screams “soccer mom” but has overtaken many obvious “street race” cars. She is my alter ego that wears gold wire Aviator Ray Bans and black leather driving gloves, reminiscent of my younger days of racing cars on an oval track in California.

I am a numbers/data person. I love to track and compile, compare and analyze, chart and review. I live my life in black and white, yes or no, go or stop for as far back as I can remember. During these last few days of the year, I start my journey, looking backwards, as I begin my compilation and review of the past year.

For me to make sense of the hours, days, weeks and months that have passed, I look to my daily journal, the photos that were captured and my checkbook! Yes, my checkbook. Were the units of exchange (life vs. money) worth it? This is where the rubber meets the road. This is the hard, sometimes cold truth that answers the question “What have I done with the time and money that I was given?”

I calculated the total expenditures for “Blackbird” in 2014 and then averaged out the cost by month.   The total included regular maintenance, repairs, tires, gasoline, insurance, registration and DEQ (smog testing).

What did the numbers reveal? $660 a month! What!? Really? The cold hard truth smacked me in the face and left a mark. I had to let this fact simmer awhile before I could write this and act accordingly. My head searched for excuses to explain the absurdity of this expenditure. “You just replaced the engine two years ago”, “You just rebuilt the transmission last year”, “All of the major work has been done, it will last another 500,000 miles”. Blah, blah, blah.

My head and heart are opposing each other with this decision and I will mourn the loss. It’s more than just the physical act of driving the car that I love, it is the emotional attachment to the man that knew me better than I know myself.

Our thirty year anniversary would have been tomorrow.

Front view blur

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