Saturday, May 25, 2013

Current works in progress

I've been working on several things at once recently, and keep forgetting to write about it!  For one, I have had a couple of special orders from a new customer, and that always takes priority over things I'm doing for fun.  Got the second one in the mail this morning, so I'm clearing the deck to return to other things.
Another side trip - I do blog visits first thing each morning after I feed the cats and while I'm having my first couple of cups of coffee or cocoa... recently, Deb Lacativa posted about dyeing embroidery floss here and it finally inspired me to get off my duff and give it a try... dug through my tangled mess of floss and pulled out a bunch of white or ecru floss, and dug into my stash of dyes to play:
Here are the first 2 - I've already used some on a project where I'm embellishing a batik fabric:

I've done more on this piece since I took these pictures, but figured I would get it done before I take more.... the swirl at the lower left is done with the yellow/orange/red variegated thread, and the small circle to the right of the swirl is outlined with  some of the blue/green.
Another project I have been working on is a piece I'm calling "Snippets and Scribbles"
I used scraps I accumulated from other projects and just made an abstract composition with them.  Normally, I would have fused them onto a foundation, but I decided to stitch them down this time.  I have used free-motion stitching to attach and do some quilting.  Now I'm looking at how I can use some of my hand dyed floss to add embellishments.  These 2 pieces are quite different for me - I generally do landscape quilts, but since my theme this year is "PLAY", that's what I'm trying to do!  And you know what?  I'm having lots of fun!  More to come...   

Monday, May 13, 2013

Nocturnal visitors and Greenhouse update

This morning, my hubby and I took our usual walk around the square (we live on a dirt road out in the boonies!).  About halfway down our property line, I started noticing elk prints.  We are about a mile from the treeline, and they sometimes come through the area, but I haven't seen any in awhile.  Anyway, we got back to the house, and did our circuit around the perimeter of the property, and I saw quite a few more prints:
This one was in soft dirt out front of our driveway... not the largest I've seen, but you can get an idea of the size next to my foot.  These guys are at least 5 1/2 feet tall at the shoulder when they are fully grown, and it's pretty awesome to see a herd of them meandering through the neighborhood!
On another note, I have been adding to my greenhouse population and doing a little maintenance outside:

I got cinder rock laid around the pavers this morning, so that should keep the weeds out along with the weed cloth.  I've been hauling a lot of dirt over to behind the garage, then brought the cinder rock from a large pile next to the garage... great exercise!  My shoulder was a little sore last night, but it's fine today, so I'm good to go.  Oh, and I ordered a trellis yesterday for some cucumbers I'm going to plant in one of my outdoor planters, and it will provide some shade for lettuce that I will be growing there as well.  I may finally be able to make salads this year from my own home grown produce... woo-hoo!  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Busy week!

Last Saturday was the Artists' Coalition Spring Marketplace, and I had a good day:
I decided to add this shirt to my wardrobe...

A shot of my booth

My friend Cinde, showing off her purchase - a 'cairn' made by fellow ACF member Dudley Bacon.
Cinde and I both did well at the show.  Next, I got an order from a friend for a t-shirt with the 'Neon Graffiti' batik pattern I used for my mounted batiks... 
I'm still working on making a shirt board large enough so that I can stretch the shirt over and not need spring clamps to make it taut... probably will need to get some more foam board and cut larger than the ones I currently have.  But I did make some nice inserts for the sleeves this time, using regular corrugated cardboard. 
Finally, I made another coiled fabric bowl yesterday using some african batik print fabric I bought years ago in the downtown L.A. fabric district:
I should take a picture of the fabric as it is before I cut it out, so you can get an idea of the beautiful patterns, but even cut into 1 inch strips for the bowl, I love the rich variety combined with solid black and some hand dyed muslin in palomino gold.
This one is about 10" across by 3" high.  I'm starting to make them wider at the bottom, so I could make them higher and wider at the top, but this is a nice size for an accent piece... never get tired of making these!
Other than that, I've been watching my seedlings sprout in the greenhouse... no pictures yet, but I'm pleased with my progress so far.  I have lettuce, carrots, scallions and cucumbers sprouted, and  planted radishes and basil this week.  Still waiting for my bell peppers to poke through, and before you know it the weather will be warm enough for me to transfer them into the raised beds outside!  I promise to post pictures soon...