C

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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

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Queen?

Happy New Year! I'm excited about 2018!

I love my new studio in Maine....when I'm there I feel like a queen. When we were looking for a place and we walked into this room Paul was sold. It was the kind of space he always wanted me to have....and the kind of space I dreamed of.

I brought some artwork up from Lexington....including a couple of cross stitches. One was made by my friend Patsy which confirms it....I'm a crafting queen. The other one, however, suggests that I'm a little wild and wacky.



I did have fun putting this wild and wacky bulletin board wall together....full of colors and snippets....all gathered over time. Several artists are represented here and I'll probably point things out over a few posts....but a favorite item is Connie's watercolor paint pallet at the bottom. And her white console underneath is just perfect. Margie...do you see the handmade gift tags you gave me a while back?



Saturday, December 30, 2017

Winter's Here!


I actually really like winter.....and there's no denying it's here. It's been COLD out there! I've been nesting in my studio space....and may have some pictures to share soon. It's a work in progress and always looks worse before it gets better.

Paul caught this lovely low winter sun in the woods. 

There's a skylight in the upstairs bedroom at the condo...and I was quite taken with this trapped leaf.  With the temps so cold...it may be there a while. 



Paul also found this icy snow on a log melting in a way that looks kind of like lace. 



Friday, December 29, 2017

Now What?


I've said it before...and I'll say it again...2017's monthly Folt Bolt color scheme project was good for me. I liked the challenge of a new scheme each month....even then single color ones.  I enjoyed the mixed media aspect and seeing what new twist I could come up with. And that I stuck with something for a full year kind of surprised me...it's not my usual pattern.



I do think it helped that I submitted to Folt Bolt each month...I often need external accountability and a deadline. I had some busy stretches....but I know there's alway room in our lives for things we really want to do....especially things we enjoy.  We should MAKE time for them.

I knew I wasn't going to do anything with them until I finished the whole year...and here they all are. I like some better than others and I don't think they look good all together as a group.  And...just for the record I do think they look better in person if anyone is interested.  But I am proud of them...if not just the shear accomplishment of the project. But now what?  I've got a couple thoughts about what to do with them....but like most things I'm going to mull it over.  And what about 2018?  Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Big Ideas

I've had this Brian Andreas quote sitting on my desktop for a while now....but it's especially timely for me right now. I follow Brian on Intragram and some of his posts are from Cape Elizabeth, Maine....so he's practically my neighbor!

Today was a chore day....and a transition day. After an event in Lexington this afternoon we drove to Maine with the car filled with more craft supplies to move into the studio. We will settle in for several days so I'll have time to play with some of my big ideas! But I will sneak outside every now and then....just to breathe.



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Circles and Squares

Sometimes you just have to cut stuff up!

I have been saving colorful catalogs and art magazines for years and I've been itching to cut them up. I love the idea of using recycled materials. The paper tube art piece at the top of this blog is made from cut up art magazines.

I cut up circles and squares insprired by a video I saw on Folt Bolt advertising a class by Carla Sonheim. I'm tempted to take Carla's class called Daily Creative Practice....but I have my own ideas for 2018 I want to focus on!



I think there's potential for an interesting collage from all this mess.

I realized after the fact that it's exactly like a magazine collage my sister Marilyn made for a creative exchange we did years ago. I've always loved it. You can read about her collage here which was inspired by Kandinsky's Circles.

I discovered during my cutting how important the negative space was...the lighter pieces and the ones with writing. I can see here in Marilyn's piece how she did the same thing...it helps the colors just pop!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Comes and Goes

Paul caught a beautiful sunrise over the historic Buckman Tavern Christmas Eve morning. I'm so glad that he shared it with me and now I'm sharing it with you.

There's always so much anticipation for Christmas....then is comes and it goes....just like that. Ours was wonderful!

But now it's time to start tending to all the ideas that are rattling around in my head. It's going to be hard to prioritize....there's hundreds of things I want to do.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Abundance

Joyful...Colorful...Abundance! Merry Christmas from my house to yours!

A couple of days ago I was sitting on the couch having my coffee, enjoying the tree, and going through my morning computer routine. Something I saw must have lit the spark because I got right up and was compelled to shop the tree for a rainbow.  I literally undecorated some of the tree...had a little photo shoot...then put everything back. I had a blast.

I decided to include this photo so I could talk about my trial and error strategy.  I worked on a board so I could arrange...then move it to a chair by the window for better natural light.

At first I couldn't get things to stay in place and actually broke a bauble in the process. It was kind of a comical fiasco to start...but I stuck with it. I finally fetched a wire wreath form to hold everything in and wrapped the whole thing in some holly garland to fill in the spaces at the edges. I also used some of my felt balls as filler and they helped blend everything together. They're also a nod to the felt garlands on my tree.

In the end I think it's a fun celebration of colorful Christmas abundance.


I'm going to pause the blog for a couple days during Christmas.  I hope your days are merry and bright!


Friday, December 22, 2017

Solstice...

sunset....snow...shadows...and a little party.

Yesterday was the winter solstice and I peeked out in the back yard at just the right time. The sun was setting in the woods behind our condo in Maine and the snow and shadows were stunning.

What followed was an evening of laughter and card playing with dear friends....a perfect solstice celebration!

"Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable." 
Mary Oliver

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Brothers

On another shelf in the living room are these sweet little wide eyed brothers.  I raised two boys and cherish the memories of magical Christmas mornings.  My Cindy Grisdela quilt hangs here all the time...but it seems to shine during Christmas.



Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Joyful Santa

When I walked into church this last Sunday Joan stopped me and said, "This is your day!" Sure enough it was the 3rd Sunday in Advent....and the theme was JOY!

Another favorite decoration is this very joyful Santa Paul gave me years ago. It looks like he's shouting for joy and is right at home on a shelf in my living room with my "Surprised by JOY!" And... Lynn's colorful zentangle watercolor makes a festive backdrop!

I just got a special ornament from my friend Rosy who visited me this summer from Wisconsin. Maine and Wisconsin are linked by the ribbon....so clever and so sweet! It looks great on the tree.  Thanks Rosy!                                                                                              

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sweet Caroler

It's Christmas week...a good time to share some of my favorite little Christmas vignettes and decorations around my house.

Today it's this sweet little caroler...and a lovely candle holder given to me by my friend Jane. The green ornament is suspended in the glass and a I love the battery operated candle glowing in the holder.  I don't remember where the caroler came from....but I love her sweet little face and she always lands in this spot in a corner of the kitchen with my very special candle holder.


Monday, December 18, 2017

Everyday Still Life

I had several hand stitching projects going while I was in Maine this last weekend including my December project...and this was the view on my side table. It's just the kind of mess I like.....



But remembering back to my "Everyday Still Life" exercise from Philippa's Consciously Creative class I decided to take a few minutes and do some rearranging. I moved out some of the riffraff...and used only what was already on the table (some you couldn't see in the first pictures) to create a more pleasing arrangement. Just five minutes...and it's an every day still life. I can see now that if I gave it 6 or 7 minutes it could have been even better....but I'm back in Lexington now so this is as far as it goes. Tips, tricks, and lessons from that wonderful class pop into my head all the time!


One of the things I was stitching was this quick little 3 x 5 collage based on the December color scheme using mostly scraps and recycled materials. 

I bought this beautiful indigo felted vessel when I was visiting my sister Nancy in Minneapolis.  I'm experimenting with adding a rim of beads but I'm still deciding. I know something is going along the edge...

Sunday, December 17, 2017

December Project

The 12th and final art quilt in my year long Folt Bolt color scheme project is done. I'll be reflecting on this project in the next few weeks....it's been good for me on so many levels.



Once I saw the December scheme....I was immediately inspired by these aqua bottles of pine snippets in my window sill.



You can read how I created
the bottle image  here.
I'm quite fond of this little stack of aqua blocks...and the little chunks of beads.  I think this piece has a nice wintery feel...and also a nod to sea glass.                                                                                                                                                                            

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Clip, Trim, Wrap, Fuse

This adorable snowman came across my Tumblr feed today from versaversa...it originated here.

I used both hands and both knees to fuse the edges of my December project this morning. Clip, trim, wrap, fuse...repeat.

I'm just about done....and WAY early
this month I might add!



I always use a piece transfer paper I peeled off the fusible webbing as a pressing cloth. The last thing I want is a scorched project.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Staying Warm

It's 22 degrees in Portland, ME....winter has most definitely arrived.  It was a good day be stay inside doing a little handwork.



Every few days images and articles from "Birds and Blooms" come across my Facebook page.  This image came today with a link to an article on how birds stay warm in the winter.  I was drawn in because I love birds and it matched the December Folt Bolt color scheme...and I have always wondered the same thing.  How DO birds stay warm in the winter?  You can find a few answers here in this article.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Little Surprise

I found a nice little surprise when I was watering my plants yesterday....a beautiful fuzzy orange bloom on one of my succulents. And...two more on the way.

I lopped off the tops of most of the succulents I had outdoors and replanted them inside for the winter.  I didn't notice that this particular top had buds on it until after I cut it and I was worried it wouldn't bloom. But lo and behold it did!  I keep them in a sunny south window in the guest room...so they are mostly out of sight and I hadn't noticed it. What a nice surprise! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Clouds and Puzzels

"I only do this until I get dizzy and then I lay down on my back and watch the clouds, she said. It sounds simple, but you won't believe how many people forget the second part." Brian Andreas

Are clouds different in the winter?  They seem so "wintery" in the winter.



It was a little cold today to lay on the ground and watch the clouds....but one of the ways I pause when life makes me dizzy is work on my puzzle. I'm making slow and steady progress on my pumpkin and squash puzzle.  It's good to pause with a puzzle....or clouds...or something.




Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Outlines

I finished the machine stitching on my December project today....now it's time for handwork.

There's something about a little outline that makes things just pop.



As you can see I'm going with the image of the bottle....I like how the machine stitching emphasizes the dimension. I used the release paper I peeled off the fusible webbing as an overlay to help me get a basic idea for placement of the branch. I'll settle in this evening and get started on the hand stitching.