Saturday, May 28, 2011

receiver's choice update

A couple more additions to my Receiver's Choice swap from the Sparkly Chickens Yahoo Group. My theme for this swap is "Botanicals".

The first one was sent to me by Liz, who chose to make a lovely Tree of Life with fused applique and teeny, tiny hand embroidered, blanket stitches surrounding each piece. She used a very fine thread for the stitches and her technique is flawless. I must find out what kind of thread she used, because I'm sure that I need to add some to my stash!!

Jean sent me the purty, pink tulip that's oh so appropriate for the damp, wet spring! The colour makes me very happy!! She used a raw edge, fused applique technique, and added machine zigzag to finish off the edges. It just "shows to go you", that you don't need complicated techniques to be effective! My apologies to Jean for not noticing the loose thread. I'll fix it the next time I pull out the camera.

Thanks to these two blocks, I know have an idea on how I want to finish the quilt. Of course, with six more block to go, my idea could change many times......keep tuned for more updates!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

blue mood

A few shots of the piece that will be displayed in the Southampton Art School Gallery from now until September. It's a sample for the Introduction to Fibre Art class that Deb Milton and I will be co-teaching, July 30 to August 1st. This piece was trouble from the very beginning!! I had a vision and the muse insisted on making me sweat! I knew what I wanted to do, but couldn't seem to translate it into a finished piece. At the end, we came to terms, but it was almost scrapped and replaced. I'm glad that I perservered!!

Acrylic painted cotton and silk, heat distressed organza, machine wrapped braid edging, beads, hand embroidery, free motion machine embroidery, stitching over a gap with watersoluble stabilizer and just a touch of shading using Neocolour II Watersoluble crayons. Another example of my designing without a net! Everything was cut freehand............

Mainly machine stitching, with machine over hand seed stitches in the sky)

I do love the ruffly texture in these flowers. I'm glad that I had just the right colour of organza in my stash.

I call it "Blue Mood" for obvious reasons!! Do you think that it was worth all the angst?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

adventure on a saturday

Just a few photos from a lovely drive I took with Deborah Milton, yesterday. We dropped off a couple of pieces, for a class we're co-teaching at the Southampton Art School in the summer (more info to follow in the near future). No pretty little sandy beaches here, but instead a wild and wonderful beauty, on the shores of Lake Huron in Ontario. Despite the rather gloomy mood of some of the photos, it was a beautiful day for a three hour drive (each way)! Lucky for us, the art school is within walking distance of the beach.

The beach looks pretty lonely now, but I'm sure it will be packed by the next time we visit!

The gull was scoping out dinner!

I spotted a few blooms.

Dandelions were popping up all over the place but, I didn't expect to see one on the beach!

Spotted along the route. I couldn't resist the big, black crow and the rustic fence, now could I?

Hundreds of these windmills help to power the Toronto area. At least that's what someone told us when we inquired. It's funny to see what looks like hundreds of these, plonked down in the middle of farmer's fields. What the heck are they growing??

Sunday, May 15, 2011

a few signs of spring

A few signs of spring from Marilyn and Rain's, rather wet garden.

Bleeding Heart - at it's prime!

Violets - don't you love the water droplets?

Candytuft - when this plant is blooming fully, it will be completely covered in white. However, I love the contrast of the white against the rich, dark green!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

colourful treasures from down under

I received two lovely packages from Australia during the month of April. The first is from my friend Kaite in Bathurst, NSW. I had admired her googlie eyed koala, that was originally destined for a child in New Zealand, so she quickly made another and sent the original to me. Now doesn't that just make me feel special? She also sent some naturally dyed fabrics, a sample of her silk twining, a special little button (a little birdie told me that there were only two in the world) and a teeny sample of waxed irish linen thread. Do you believe that the pink fabrics were dyed with a green avocado? I feel oh so lucky to be the recipient of all this bounty!! Thanks my friend!

Did you notice that the Koala has been tarted up just a little??

The second package was from my new friend, NormaMc in Longwarrin, Victoria who, unfortunately, doesn't have a blog. In 2010, I discovered the wonderful paper swaps hosted by Lawendula. The following photos show the goodies I received from the very special Scavenger Hunt Paper Swap that Norma and I participated in. We tried to be faithful to the swap and had the best intentions, but in reality we both cheated just a little, by leaving out a few things and including some extras (fabric anyone??). It was fun trying to beg, borrow, steal and buy things to include in the package. Norma's to me was Australian themed. Mine to her was an eclectic mix of whatever I was able to throw together. I hope that she enjoys reading the Chinese newspaper that I sent!!! LOL! I think that I also sent a page of something in an arabic type script from a book I purchased in the library garage sale last year.

Included in the package were some very special things:

Some colourful bits and pieces that include some wonderful Japanese paper, a cute little doggie, a hand cut and painted house (and lots of other stuff).

A lovely, felted ATC sprinkled with beads and hand embroidery(does Norma have an embellisher?).

Three pieces of Australian themed fabric. The yellow one is my favourite!

A vintage Christmas postcard with the following written on the back:

"To Martin,

Wishing him a Merry Xmas from his Teacher

Dec, 1912"

I'm soooo in love with this little bit of history!!!

Thanks Norma for a great swap! I hope that you send some photos of my goodies when the envelope finally arrives. I was in such a rush to get it in the mail, that I forgot to take pictures. I'd like to post them on the blog.