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!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Calm Before the Storm - Shediac, New Brunswick

Whenever snow, storms, blizzards are coming our way, the media is all over it. Conversations are dominated by the topic of what is expected. Comparisons are made to storms of the past and predictions are made for the one coming.

Right now the first blizzard of 2015 is brewing outside my windows. At 8 am, the air was still, no snow fell. Within a half hour the view out my living room window had changed considerably. The snow had begun and the wind had picked up. 

We have electric heat, so the most that can be done to prepare is to run off some extra water and bring in the camp stove. I don't react well to a loss of power, but a cup of hot tea or coffee can go along way to a better attitude. After all these years together, my husband knows this well. 

Our antidote to an impending storm is to head to the beach. Saturday was spent exploring the sands and wharf of the Shediac - Pointe du Chene area. As always, I took my camera and my husband exhibited extreme patience as I stopped and clicked and oohed and oohed more. He carried driftwood and feathers after my pockets were full and helped me push huge chucks of ice into the current and we watched as they floated and crashed and broke up into smaller pieces.
Shediac Beach

Looking toward Pointe du Chene

We met some other like minded folk walking and biking and even had a gentleman in an ultra lite fly just over our heads and wave! My photos don’t convey it well, so you will have to believe me that by times the sun was glorious. 

It was an incredibly restful and fun day.

off the Pointe du Chene wharf

Pointe du Chene Wharf

Shediac Beach

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tyvek Experiments

I received some lovely gifts at Christmas and some came in tyvek envelopes!! Sometimes you just can’t think about something too much - you just need to gather up the materials and give it a try. That is how it came about that I spent a lovely hour or so playing with tyvek, some fabric paint, a teflon sheet, an iron and a heat gun.

Trying this out wasn’t my intention; I seem to recall that I was looking for something totally unrelated when I saw the envelopes and something in my head clicked. Whatever it was, I gathered everything up, laid it out on top of the other bits and pieces I was working on and I found myself painting and heating tyvek. 

Everything I have read or seen about this process tells you to work in a well ventilated area. Disclosure - I didn’t and I didn’t use a mask. Bad of me, I know. I tend to be slack about this type of thing, but I do encourage everyone else to take the necessary precautions. I figure after lettering signs with lead based paints and silk screening for years with little or no ventilation...and besides, it was just two envelopes and I didn’t breath deeply.

Lots of fun to be had playing with this technique! And you don’t need to use fabric paints - any old acrylic paint will do apparently. I can see beads and such intertwined with the pieces I have created. There will probably be some bits of over painting, too, and maybe some fibre bits added. Right now I have some of these laid out with a couple of the pieces I sun printed this summer and I am thinking there are possibilities..

Friday, January 16, 2015

Full Disclosure

These are two views of my dining room. Kind of a before and after..haha I was hosting a planning meeting so had to tidy up this first shot so we could sit at the table. Not even a half hour after everyone had left, the room looked like the second photo. And it isn’t the only room I work in..My excuse? I am working on some techniques and surface treatments as I create fabric for some designs I have going on. 

I am part of the organizing committee for one of my guild’s annual retreats, so there is a pile of materials and props and goodies accumulating in another room upstairs. It is sharing space with the Christmas things I still haven’t sorted and stored again for this year. Maybe I should get to that..

My long arm takes up the back half of our living room, cuddled in next to our treadmill and my beloved spin bike.

I have a room full of fabric, materials and tools downstairs..

I try to contain everything, but I tend to spill over and over into the other spaces in the house. I prefer to work in natural light and when I can’t work on either of my decks (boo! winter), the dining room is perfect for sewing and painting, catching sun from the east, south and west. 

How lucky am I that I am married to a very understanding man. He is used to dirty paint pots and brushes lying by the kitchen sick, dye tubs and rags sitting on the washer, bundles of knitting projects scattered here and there, rug hooking that sits in the living room, plus all that other clutter that comes with me. And he cooks..

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cabin Life and Pickle Quilts

I have to be honest, sometimes by the time I complete posts for the SAQA Atlantic blog where I share moderating duties, I am blogged out. I am transitioning to a new computer as well and the aging MacBook I use for all my photo work takes soooooo long some days when I am trying to edit, watermark and post photos, that I feel like a 4 year old about to throw a tantrum. I usually end of sliding down in my rolly chair (highly technical term for an office chair, but around here, we know of what I speak), throwing back my head and doing a grotesque version of jazz hands...It isn't pretty.

I believe I have written at least a dozen posts for my own blog over the last 3 weeks...apparently all in my head and never committed to the blog. I realized that now as I completed a post for SAQA Atlantic. Wow. Reality check here. 

I could say I have been busy. Which I have been. But after an interesting conversation with my son over Christmas where he detailed his reaction to people who tell him they are busy, well, I hesitate to say that. He pointed out that as an opener, saying you are busy is the best way to stop interaction. If you are that busy, well you had best get back to what is keeping you that way. I am still pondering if that is a "big city" way of thinking as opposed to the more relaxed east coast mentality. But, best to not take chances..

So, I will just show you a couple of lovely quilts by my friend, Giselle, who made these for her very talented daughters as Christmas gifts. She requested straight lines and simple quilting, so I did my best to oblige. 

This one her daughter, a photographer, dubbed her "Pickle" quilt. It is pieced with Kona Cottons.

Giselle used a fabric she ordered from an upholstery shop for the backing. It is relatively soft with a looser weave and matches the colors of the top perfectly.
The second for her daughter, a chef, and is called Cabin Life. This is a free download from Connecting Threads and Giselle pieced hers from their beautiful flannels. Giselle provided 80/20 cotton batting and as always, I used my favorite Glide threads top and bobbin.