"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

Friday, September 30, 2016

Win Win!

My sister-in-law Liz's birthday was a few days ago....that means I just finished her 2017 Readers Calendar. As I've mentioned before she collects "readers" so I look for images all year and make a 4 x 6 calendar for her desk at work. It's fun for me...and fun for her.  Win win!

You can see more of my homemade calendars here: http://joyfulputtering.blogspot.com/search/label/calendar

I make two months on a page in my Pages program and cut them up with my rotary cutter. I enjoy matching images to the months...and using the tools in Pages to find ways to make the art work within my 4 x 6 space.  

I now make the number part of the calendar on a spreadsheet so I can change the font and size easily keeping everything nicely lined up. I add the name of the month with a text box and can easily place it where ever I want....even turning it sideways.

I am aware that all of these images are other people's art I have found on Pinterest and am grateful for their use in this personal gift.  These calendars would never be sold.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fusing Frustration

I struggled a bit with this week's fusing assignment. Our task was to create a simple quilt block in just two colors (different values were OK) and in three sizes: small, medium, and large...then create a design around them. How hard could that be?

I made simple square within a square blocks in blues and grays. I liked the scheme and the simplicity of the squares....but now what?  I played around for a while but couldn't come up with a layout that I liked...almost giving up. But if there is one thing that is true about me...I don't easily let things go. I get a little obsessed.

So with one day left before a new assignment comes out I started sketching around the blocks and that helped me see that I needed to "build" a design...just letting it create itself. I started with the smallest block and started building around it.

I created pieces and parts and just kept fiddling. In the end I chopped things off I didn't like...covered up mistakes....added a few little elements to make it more balanced...and then I finally stopped. Sometimes you just have to move on. 

 Three sizes of a simple quilt block in two colors....done. 
I'm not sure I love it...but I continue learn and see what I need to work on.  
Maybe it needs a few buttons. Many things are better with buttons.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Completed Collaborative Collage

The collaborative collage is done and Connie and I are pretty happy with it. It's a birthday gift for her daughter Andi and it's filled with images of Connie's art...and a little recipe.

I stitched around the the individual parts before I glued them on. That gave us complete control to tweak and change our minds with the layout. I love the addition of the buttons and the stones for texture. I think it's pretty special.

We make a good team Connie!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Flower Connection

After I posted about Anne's garden yesterday I remembered a note and picture she sent me this past July.  She was celebrating the orange day lilies along the side her house that I gave her 20 + years ago and wanted to thank me for adding color to her life.  It made my day then...and again today.

I love this flower connection! And...I've even grown to love orange day lilies.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Wedding Blooms

Anne and Dana have a beautiful home and property on Deer Isle.  As you walk up the drive way you see Anne's beautiful garden where she grew all the flowers for her son's wedding.

There were zinnias in every color...and a rainbow of other wedding blooms. The garden looked amazing for late September....especially after our hot dry summer.  

 Sorghum was new to me....it was beautiful!

The bouquets on the tables at the reception were stunning...every one of them different. I believe Dana made the little boxes. Nice job Anne and Dana!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Pumpkins With a View

Paul and I had an amazing weekend on the beautiful coast of Maine with very special people. Today was our travel day from Deer Isle back to Lexington and I told Paul to keep an eye out for pumpkins for sale along the way...and boy did he come through.

Pumpkins with a view in Searsport, Maine.

I came home with a few funky pumpkins...the one on the left is a "wolf pumpkin" with a thick massive stem.

I also picked out an assortment of gourds and the farmer threw in a pile of potatoes and some hot peppers for free.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Life is Good!

Greetings from beautiful Stonington on Deer Isle Maine.  This is the view and the lobster ravioli from the rehearsal dinner last night. It doesn't get much better than this!

Our dear friends and generous hosts, Dana and Anne.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Down East

Yesterday Paul and I drove "Down East" from South Portland to Deer Isle Maine. Paul is doing the wedding of the son of our good friends Dana and Anne.  Yesterday was a picture perfect day and it's a picture perfect spot.  How lucky are we!

I will pause the blog for a few days while we enjoy this lovely island and all the festivities....but will be taking plenty of pictures of this quintessential Maine Island.

So many beautiful vistas along the drive Down East...and after a funky bridge and a twisty stone causeway....we were on the beautiful island of Deer Isle.

 Views from the lobster dinner last night....does it get much better than this?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Dwell in Possibility"

Melody finished covering the basics of fabric fusing in her on line class and has recently been addressing individual questions. The class will continue at an intermediate level and she will put out a challenge that we can apply to our own projects and designs using skills we have learned.  I'm in! 

This week's challenge was to do some sort of a composition that could best be done by fusing...rather than traditional stitching. It could be anything and any size.  I woke up in the middle of the night knowing I wanted to do a little fabric weaving. 

I cut random strips of fused fabric and tacked the ends to my release paper with a piece of fused muslin.  I wanted to keep one end held down while I wove in the strips going the other way.

One I had it the size I wanted I could peel it off the release paper because it was all fused together. I snipped off the muslin and cleaned up the edges a bit.

I like the way it looked on dark cobalt blue hand dyed fabric 
and I added one of the little quotes from my experiment a few days ago.

I cut out a piece of my new batik (with fusing) that would wrap all the way to the back of a 5 x 5 chunky canvas.  I cut out the middle because it would be under the design....fused fabric is precious so why hide and waste it. Thanks Melody...this is a nice little square for something else.

I also learned from Melody that you can fuse fabric right onto a canvas. Who knew?  So that's what I did....trimming and folding as I went to create a fabric covered frame.  I was giddy seeing how well this worked. 

Next I cut the middle out of a piece of gold hand dyed fabric and overlayed a piece of cobalt blue and fused it together.  After I stitched around the blue, I trimmed the gold down to an 1/8 inch.                                                                                                      

I fused the whole thing onto the canvas....added a little fused circle as a focal point and stitched on a button. 

And finally....I added a little "joy" on the side...and there you have it....a fabric project best done by fusing.
Next time I'll do more top stitching because I think it adds an interesting textural element. Stitching lines along the weaving could have been pretty cool. It's all about experimenting...and there's always a next time. I dwell in possibilities!

Paul and I are going to a wedding this weekend...and this will be part of our gift. (Paul is actually performing the wedding.)

Do you notice the sliver of soap at the top left?  Another tip from Melody for marking lines for cutting.  The marks just fade away during the ironing process.  I'm learning so many cool tips and tricks!