I come from a long line of sign writers and am happiest with a brush and some paint! Add
paint to fabric and I get really excited!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nothing like a Naysayer who is won over to the cause.....

My husband still tells the story of how I came to be enamoured with computers and the world that comes with it. My brother had bought a Commodore 64 for our children to play games on and we endorsed this gift mainly because my husband realized how great a part technology would play in their futures. I was not so supportive. 

I ignored the computer for a long time although eventually I was won over enough to play the odd game of Lode Runner (anyone else remember that one?). Still, I couldn’t see the sense of using the internet as a research tool. To me, it just wasn’t as reliable an information source as the hard copy materials at the library, or the well worn dictionary I purchased with money my grandmother gave me when I went off to university.

One evening he finally said the magic words to get me online, “I bet there is all kinds of quilting information available.” Well. He showed me how to use dial up, how to use a browser and I was off!! I stayed up until 3 am that night with my face glued to the screen and my fingers flying over the keyboard....oh my. And I am sure I didn’t sleep at all when I finally did go to bed. My life was never to be the same (and neither was his!) as he introduced me to the great world of information available anytime, anywhere with just a touch of the keyboard!

So, when I was told by numerous people that they were unable to leave comments on my blog, the research started once again. I spent quite a bit of time trying to solve this problem and I hope I have resolved it by installing Disqus. To be honest, every time I learn something new about blogging, browsers, software installation, Power point, excel, whatever - it takes me back to grade 10 biology and the almost 6 weeks it took me to totally understand the DNA/RNA protein. I remember telling my poor teacher, ‘Why didn’t you say so in the first place?’ because all of a sudden it made perfect sense! Not that I can remember any of this information now, but at the time, it was a lightbulb moment and I never forgot the impact it had on me. I learned then that my lightbulb moments would continue to be hard fought and on my own terms.

I am hoping this is another battle of mine well won. I hope my persistence in finding a solution will encourage anyone who wants to leave me a comment to do so. I know that I enjoy the convenience a computer provides and the connections I am able to make quickly, but when something doesn’t work well, I get frustrated. To me it is all about this mantra that gets me through each and every day: ease of execution. 

I can’t believe it is Wednesday again so soon and today I am joining The Needle and Thread Network. Check yourself and see who is there and what they have been up to lately!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hitching my Wagon

I am continuing to add components to my latest project. Although I am still not completely sure what direction I will head in, and which parts I will end up using, I do seem to be staying within the same colour family. All good!

I print a lot of my photos on fabric and use them in varying ways in my work. Last year I channeled my inner 8 year old and wrote a letter to Santa asking for my very own flywheel. This year I will try that strategy again and ask him for Photo Shop. I have used the editing program and love what I can do with it and know there is so much more to learn and so many ways for my pieces to evolve if I have it at my disposal.
Four individual photos printed on one fabric sheet using my inkjet printer

Another photo of mine printed on fabric as well as two mono prints, the one on the left mounted on solid black cotton
These photos were taken on a canoe trip on a lovely lake near Port Elgin, NB. We usually make a trip or two there every year and often see beavers, eagles, frogs and even the odd fish, as well water lilies in abundance. I think my photos reflect the tranquility and peacefulness to be found there.

Today I am hitching my blogger wagon to The Needle and Thread Network. It is great fun to see what everyone else has been up to - check them out! There are lots and lots of Canadian bloggers represented there.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Halifax, Nova Scotia will be the site of the CQA’s Quilt Canada 2012 from May 29th to June 2nd. Along with all kinds of great teachers and workshops and exhibitions, there is a Merchants Mall! Like many other quilters, I am particularly drawn to vendors and have been checking out the list of those participating, as well as having a peek at their websites. Everyone should check out the CQA Virtual Marketplace! Even if you are unable to attend Quilt Canada, spend a few minutes to see who is offering sales and coupons because some deals are available for online shoppers. Plus, if you will be in Halifax, you pre-order coupons, many of which offer discounts or freebies!

I have to admit, I am pumped about the opportunity to see some quilting wares, seeing some Canadian quilting up close and personal, and hitting the NSCAD art supply store! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I have been ridiculously excited that my 10 year old magnolia has finally bloomed! We all spend a lot of time admiring it and enjoying the glorious, beautiful flowers. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Gradually the components seem to be coming together. I tend to work on pieces intuitively and simply enjoy the process though I do love when the light bulb moment arrives! For now I am enjoying all the experimentation that is going on.

Foam sheets can make great stamps very quickly! I use adhesive sheets for the stamp design and a block of the thicker non-adhesive foam sheet for the base. All are easily cut with scissors.

Adhesive foam sheets are great when you want to cut a stamp with fine detail, like the grass stamp I have cut above.

I brushed Seta fabric paint on this stamp but you could use a stamp pad or roller to apply paint or ink as well.
I especially like the grass stamp on this sky fabric I painted for another project.
I think I am going to need to do some more sky painting! That is obviously going to be the next piece of the puzzle. And painting skies is so easy and fun! Although it really is an activity for outdoors, I don’t think I can wait for the skies here to clear up....the kitchen table will do!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Linda, a fellow Maritimer at  SCRAPMASTER has honored me with the Liebster Blog Award! I really appreciate her lovely gesture! 

Liebster is a German word meaning "dearest" or "favourite”  Here’s what you must do if you accept this award: 

  • Thank the person that nominated you and link back to them 
  • Present the award to five other blogs under 200 followers
  • Let them know by commenting on their blog
  • Post the award on your blog
Here are the blogs I have chosen to receive the Liebster Blog Award:

Holly in NB with her blog Through My Window
Nancy in NB with her blog Threaded Arts
The bloggers of the Fredericton Quilters Guild
Laura in Manitoba at Prairie Peasant
Tiffany in Ontario with her blog Quilters Workshop

You should check these blogs out. All of them showcase some amazing work!

Thanks again, Linda!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Time has been freed up in my life, totally unexpectedly. If and when this happens, it takes me a while to settle down, to relax and to enjoy it. I have also found that I have been starting to wake at the crack of dawn (and I do consider anything between 5 and 6 am to be the crack....) and madly rushing to get things accomplished. I have been taking part in some long put off cleaning and organizing and sorting and purging. One day last week I was vacuuming my bedroom at 5:50 am....who does that?? Apparently I do, but I really think it was a one time experience. Really.

I am trying to get a grip on my situation and understand what is going on in my subconscious. I think....and this is sheer speculation on my part...that I need to tidy up what has been a very busy life for the last 20 plus years before I can feel free enough to settle down and spend my time creating. I need to sort through the bits and pieces that have gathered and decide what I need to keep and what can be passed along to someone else for their use. As you can imagine, my husband is thrilled and is cheering and smiling with each bag or box that heads out the door. (I expect to see him out measuring the foundation soon to see if the house has risen up any with the weight that has already been removed!) I got a huge hug for deciding to give up the winter coat I wore when we were first married and living in Goose Bay, Labrador. That would be 26 or so years ago, so you see I do tend to keep useful things, until perhaps they are no longer useful. Then I need help breaking the bond I have created and letting them go. 

As I pack up more things, I feel a weight lifting from my shoulders and a freshness to the space we occupy. I have a lot of reasons to downsize and this seems to be as good a time as any to start the process with vigour. And taking breaks here and there to spend a few minutes doing something fun and creative seems to be all the more pleasurable.

One of the things I like to do when I feel the pull to create something and don’t want to start a big project, is to draw simple pencil sketches in my handy dandy 5.5 x 8 inch moleskin. Sometimes I complete a whole sketch, ink it and then slap on some water colours all in one sitting. Other times I just get the pencil work done and leave the ink till later. I seem to complete those two steps most often and leave the painting for later because for some reason, I prefer to use my water colours in the summer on the deck in what I like to call my “summer office”. My summer office is where I can put my feet up under the shade of an umbrella, or under fun dangling solar lights with lots of candles burning and sometimes, a moon and stars to keep me company, and I can paint and dream that summer lasts all year round. 

Continuing to be inspired by the fiddlehead ferns growing off my kitchen deck, I sketched and inked these stylized fiddleheads.

Pencil sketch, inked and water coloured
Pencil sketch, inked and water coloured