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"I do believe in an everyday sort of magic...the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we're alone." Charles de Lint

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Crazy Beautiful

While on a walk a few days ago Anita and I came across a tree with these crazy beautiful blooms. Nature will never cease to amaze me.

"It always pays to dwell slowly on the beautiful things...and the more beautiful the more slowly."  Atticus



As I mentioned already....I'm heading out of town to be with family and friends so may be somewhat absent from the blog. But I'm always on the lookout for joyful things....so you may hear from me once in a while. The coolest thing is that I'll be staying some of the time with my sister who just retired from teaching after 30+++ years.  This will be her first stress free Labor Day in a very long time!  Enjoy the last days of summer!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Checkerboard Project

I hunkered down last evening and this morning and finished my homework for last week's composition and design fusing assignment.  I'm excited about this week's overlay illusion assignment... but it will have wait.  I'm heading out of town for a bit to visit family so no fusing for me for a while.


There may be a bit too much going on...but this is about practicing learned techniques and working on design....so if that was my goal I guess I was successful.  I used a couple elements from previous assignments and of course a little of the checkerboard fabric I created. There are certainly things I would do differently....but I'm enjoying the process and learning a lot. I actually think it looks better in person.


I experimented printing on fabric and had this little "joy" on a piece of muslin....so fused it on.  It got me thinking that I could print it in a variety of sizes and fonts on a variety of colors of fabric...and there may be a little joy on all my fused quilts somewhere. hmmmm




Sunday, August 28, 2016

Checkerboard Fusing

The fusing class continues...and Melody keeps offering lessons on her tried and true techniques.  This last week she wanted us to create a Pinterest board and pin images that will inspire our work...and I spent way too much time on that.  Here's a link to my board called "fusing inspiration."

Also in last week's lesson called "composition and design," we were to create our own little piece from start to finish using what we have learned. It was a busy week and I haven't quite finished it yet...and I got a little sidetracked making my own fused checkerboard fabric.


I started with 3/4 inch strips of green and blue hand dyed fabric.  I fused them together by overlapping them just a bit.


Next I squared off the end and sliced 3/4 in strips again going the opposite direction.   

Then I fused those strips together.  It looks like it's weaved...but it's not...there is literally no waste.

Here are some of the elements I might use in my piece...
some of them from other lessons.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Just Dance

This video made my day.  It was shared by my friend Tracie on Facebook and features a guy who traveled the world and just danced with people.

"Though we often focus on our differences, dancing is something that all humans have done for thousands of years."

You can't click on the picture...but click here, look for this picture and press play. Hopefully it will warm your heart like it did mine. Thanks Tracie!




Friday, August 26, 2016

Sticks and Stones...

...and seed pods.



I was walking a couple of mornings ago with Anita and we saw these sweet little seed pods on the road. I've added them to my collection of little natural findings I have sitting on a shelf in my dining room along with my mini pottery vessels, stones, and old clay marbles. One little vase above is made from a rock.






The curled driftwood stick below is one of favorites little finds....and I do love that little antler looking stick I found in Florida.





Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Rock Fairy?

I was doing some long overdue weeding and watering this morning and discovered a handsome new rock in my little hosta garden by my front door....complete with its own orange starfish.  I have a few guesses....but I wonder who my rock fairy is....and how long it's been there. Good timing based on yesterday's post...this may become my second favorite rock story.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My Favorite Rock Story

I love a good story....this one is a my favorite rock story.

I have good friends in Maine that I have known for almost 30 years.  We still gather when we can.... but years back three or four of us would gather every Monday night at Patsy's house to stitch, drink tea, and visit.

Often when I arrived I would find myself in the kitchen visiting with Patsy while she got the tea water ready or finished whatever else she was doing....and almost every time I would pick up this rock. I loved this rock. It's about the size of a golf ball...almost perfectly round and smooth.

Just before I moved to Madison in 2007...after almost 20 years gathering with these friends...I was at Patsy's on a Monday night, and per usual I picked up the rock. Without hesitation Patsy said something like...."you need to take that rock with you...it needs to go with you to Madison.  You need that rock."  I was touched...I couldn't have asked for a better gift.  A piece of Maine...a piece of Patsy...a piece of our shared Monday nights.

It was still a few weeks from my actual departure day....and I got a call from Patsy. "I hate to tell you this....but I need my rock back."  Long story short she had forgotten that it was given to her by her brother-in-law and she realized that it was important to him; he knew she would love it.  She didn't want to hurt his feelings...and I totally got that.  Of course she could have her rock back. And even if it ended here...it makes a good story.

I told Paul about it and he kind of chuckled...it all actually seemed kind of silly...it was just a rock. But he understood. But at this point I have to pause the because you have to fully understand my love for rocks...and my husband's awareness of this. He knows that one of the best gifts he can give me is an interesting rock....round, heart shaped, one with interesting lines....it didn't really matter...he gets it.
Remember this post?




And this one?
X heart O
Yup....that's my husband....FULLY in tune with my love for rocks.


Back to the story.  So I'm telling Paul the story of Patsy's rock and he excuses himself and goes to the garage and comes back with something in his hand. He gives me this rock he found in Boulder Creek in Colorado when he was about 10.  Other than different coloring...it was the same rock...same size, same feel. Paul had it all these years without me knowing about it. He waited (or that's what I'm telling myself) for just the right moment to give me it to me...and this certainly was the right moment. I feel like I still have Patsy's rock and Paul's rock....and it makes for a really good rock story.
And just a week or so I was visiting Patsy....and I did what I always do when 
I go to her house...I picked up the rock....her rock....my rock....our rocks.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mesmerizing

This Artists' Magazine video is mesmerizing.  You can't click on this picture..but you can click here and look for this image of the log splitter....then press play.

It's worth a couple of minutes....life is artfully mesmerizing sometimes.



Monday, August 22, 2016

A Splash of Color


A welcoming splash of color at Jane's beach house...










 


sunflowers in her kitchen window...




and the beach just steps away.  I was just there....but I snuck this picture off her Facebook page.  



Sunday, August 21, 2016

Speaking of Purple


Flowers from Jane's, Patsy's, Tracie's, and Linda's gardens...
and Becky's coloring book.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Constantly Amazed

I love watching this little hydrangea in my back yard...the purple color has deepened as the bloom matures. The pictures were taken on August 13th, 15th and 19th....what a difference a few days make.

"Be infinitely flexible and constantly amazed." Jason Kravits




Thursday, August 18, 2016

"Sittin'.....

....by the dock of the bay."  


Enjoying the last days of Paul's vacation.

Lobster roll and homemade salt and vinegar chips.....a little bit of heaven.



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Little Poof

My succulent bloom in South Portland is not the show stopper I had hoped. It reminds me of the occasional firework that would go up with a big boom...then produce just a tiny little poof.

It's still beautiful...don't get me wrong....but every time I come to Maine I anxiously check it out hoping for that big moment when it's in full bloom. But it's just quietly doing its thing...a few buds at a time...barely opening. But that's just fine....there's probably a good life lesson here.

What is does have going for it is its height...standing more than 17 inches tall...and there's another stalk one coming.



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Balance

I saw the quote on Pinterest....it originated here...and the salad fixings are from the South Portland farmer's market.



Monday, August 15, 2016

All Stitched

I finished the machine stitching on my little class quilt. I may add a little hand stitching and embellishment...and I may mount it on a canvas.  We'll see.



After the top stitching was done...following Melody's instruction on finishing techniques...I cut squares out of the corners....
folded the edges over and fused them to the back.
Then I fused another piece of fabric to the back to cover all the mess. Pretty slick...and pretty easy....a technique I will use again and again.
Now I just need to practice my stitching and get a little more creative and brave about stitching patterns. There are some problems....but I learned a lot that I can apply to the next one. Yes...there will be a next one to be sure. 

I'm sketching and collecting all kinds of ideas for more fused quilts.







Sunday, August 14, 2016

Bursting With Blooms

I went to the "Art in the Park" craft show in Mill Creek Park yesterday morning...it's such a delightful setting for a show. There's a lovely pond with a fountain and gardens bursting with blooms. I am always inspired by seeing other people's art...and I loved the flowers.








Saturday, August 13, 2016

Littlejohn Island

Paul and I took a drive to Littlejohn Island this afternoon.  We drove past two houses where we used to live...and pulled in to take a look at Paul's first church, the Foreside Community Church, where he served for just shy of 20 years. It was a great way to spend an afternoon...lots of memories along the "Foreside."