Thursday, March 27, 2008

Coming Down the Home Stretch w/ TIF and ......

I'm calling this close as it's almost the end of March, but I'll cut myself some slack as it's been a busy one for me. I am plugging along tho' and hook or crook, a few more days should see it done. One of the things I wanted to try to make was a birds nest..... so this morning I cut up some fibers and batiks and tried my hand with this water soluble product I got awhile back.

I encased it with the paper and sewed it up.

After soaking the soluble off and brushing up the nap with a nail brush, I got what resembled a dead bird. My husband came in and I told him that I'd found it it in the sink. "But where could it have come from ?", he asked. My quilting buddy Barb was here and we rolled with laughter.

Although it does look more of the consistency of a birds body than the actual nest-like look I was trying for, here it is and I'm hoping that imagination will carry over to what I had invisioned. Addendum.... please check out this live web cam of an eagles nest in Maine.... it is too cool... she is about to lay an egg or 2 herself. Compliments of Debbie from Maine of CQN

I was reading Judes Spirit Cloth blog the other day and read where she was finding faces in her fabric. Well, of course the next time I looked at this piece, I saw a face too, just begging to get noticed... looks like a baby bear, doesn't it..... ( OK, doesn't it ?? LOL)

This is where I cross stitched myself to oblivian at the beginning of the month. I think I did it more for mindless therapy than anything else. There is no other explanation for it... wanting to spend countless hours of time I didn't have making a million little stitches. I was meditating myself into a stupor of peace with it. I'd said I was going to make some burgundy flowers here but after I got going I thought it would look more like sun filtering through leaves if I did it this way.

As if my funny husband hasn't been funny enough lately, I showed him the backside of this piece to ask him what he thought of it so far... " Ooohhh", he said, " it looks like its coming along good, very pretty". So much for you , ya jug head.... to not know the front from the back... this man never ceases to try my understanding of him. I can't believe I am even showing you this, other than in the context of what my hubby would call a fine work of art... LOL... but this is CQ and since the back will never show ( unless it is unearthed by an archaeological crew some day ), it is what it is .Just enlarge at your own risk and don't laugh so hard that I can hear you way up here in the woods. I'm saving the full view till I'm totally done LOL.

My next to do will be to attempt my first ever spider web. I found the Quilting Arts has a nice spread about spiders and webs in their very first issue, pgs 30-37.... I'm hoping that not too much imagination will have to be used to view the out come. This block really needs to stop talking to me now, enough is enough.... but it's all those little details, ya know?

Of course Barb did't help me by bringing me another sack of quilt magazines when she came... I wonder what bit of inspiration I'll find to pull me off Track this time. (literally)

I put this bracelet on this morning as I was feeling frilly and wanted to dress up my oversize flannel shirt and knock off rubber crocs. LOL Well, it worked for a time, that little feminie feeling. Until it got tangled in my threads one too many times and I was cussing like an old leathered sailor man. I tried. BTW, I got my hair cut.... not super short but at shoulder top.. . I am considering going the natural route and found this blog about going gray..... hmmmm. That could be a whole new thing for you all to follow me through... what do ya think, should I ???

Till the next time, Jane

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter and 1 Year Here

A joyful Easter to everyone! And a 2 fold celebration as it means we've survived 1 year up here in the woods. So from our house to yours, may you enjoy the day and reflect on the hope & promises that Easter brings.

This would be one of the promises for me . New life.... in the form of a Hosta. Hard to think that there is still 2 1/2 feet of snow in the woods and some places none at all. These pics were taken today.

It doesn't seem like a year but then it seems like forever. When we moved last March there was no snow... the week after we moved in, there was 2 feet that fell. The snow of winter is relentless here but the peace and quiet means so much. The city was killing us, the stress, the traffic, the hoardes of people. We've made a good adjustment to the pace and in doing, no longer worry about keeping up pretenses. In suburbia, it was a way of life for us. Here it means nothing. We've cut down on consumerism and have adopted new principles regarding "using it up" and "making do". There's still changes to be made, but we're getting better as we learn the "ways" . Having the internet has made all the difference in the world for staying connected. I'm not sure if I could have done as well without it!

This sign hangs on the garage.

And this is the view looking down the road from our mailbox. That's Mt Arvon ahead.

There's plenty of windows here and the plants and dogs love it. Sometimes you have to wear sun glasses to sit in the living room yet other times it's so dark, you have to wait days for a peak of sun.

Of course we have to convey some of that northwoods lodge look. The cupola below has been buried all winter. Now its free to go with the warmer winds.

I promise no more snow photos. We'll leave off with this one and the idea that you'll see this chair again in a much more favorable state.

Till the next time, Jane

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Progression and Transition...

I've been working 2 parts of the Tracks block. Not real original as I'm just stitching over the print on the fabric, but it's something that is propelling it along to completion.

I'm cross stitching over this portion which is changing the shadows and I'll fill in the centers with a burgundy stitch hoping to get a resemblance of some type of flower. The bears were cut out of a novelty print and just fused down. (Judy S. I tried to email you but it came back undeliverable.)

Paula Hewitt , from The Beauty of Life blog has a great completed piece on her blog here for the March TIF and a great story about how she arrived at it. Do click on the link she provided to the song by Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody, "From Little Things, Big Things Grow". It introduced me to some great Aussie Folk music. I had never heard of Missy Higgins either. What great voices. Paula also linked here , to Ragged Cloth, to a post on the Art/Craft debate,a very good analogy.

We're all anxious to be getting our spring hair cuts including my 2 little fuzz balls, we've all turned into ragamuffins after the long winter and we're so pallid its not even funny. Every day now there is little signs of spring. The snow has come away from the house and there are bits of green to be seen even if they are but weeds.

I've got the eggs out to hang on the tree if I can ever get through the snow mound surrounding it


Starting today I'm on afternoons for a week. Thanks to all of you who've commented and wished me well with this. Here's a link to a video of " Shift Work" by Kenny Chesney, my current theme song... And that would be me when you see the med workers at 3-11... LOL Right before I got off yesterday I answered a call light from a gal whos my age and is rehabing from a stroke. One of the straps from the therapy device that attaches to her wheelchair had torn from the pad and fell off rendering it unusable. To the amazement of everyone I ran it down to laundry, sewed it back on and had it reattached in 10 minutes. I am dumbfounded daily by women who can't work a needle and thread and am dumbfounded even more by the "Its not in my job description" mentality. The biggest question of my days seem to be " What if it was you or someone you loved?" and it could easily be me one day who needs the help of another.

Till the next time...... Jane

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Photo-less Post ... Sunday to Sunday

Thanks to Blogger, there's no visuals today. "It is, What it Is".

I got a chance to work on the Tracks block today. Just one square where I am manipulating the look with a cross stitch and flower look but its something. Pretty mindless but soothing. I'm behind with it for the March 31 deadline but I won't stress over it. She'll get done.
It was cold enough to freeze the hot water pipe under the kitchen sink Friday night. Very fortunate that it didn't break but today it was warm and the snow is starting to melt against the house. There's small green weeds poking through the dirt & you can almost see the tips of the tree branches swelling with the sun. I am so dreaming of a lawn swing !!
The job is underway and I have to work 40 hours on each shift as orientation. It's a union job so I had to put in a shift request. It ended up that with the 4 new hires, my name was alphabetically first, so I got the highest seniority. Found out Thursday that I got the shift I requested, DAYS.. 4 one week, 3 the next. I think I can handle that. Going from 0 to 40 sure packed me a punch but I did it and it'll just keep getting better now.

There's alot of emotions working with the elderly but I believe that this is where I need to be right now. I was up in the air with my feelings and doing this has worked out several things for me. Aging, dying, death and fear were things I avoided and I had to face what I felt about it before I even took this job. It feels good when I know I made someones day alittle easier!

Till the next time ( and hopefully with photos), Jane

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Animal Tracks and Prints in the Forest.....

I spent yesterday making this block. Thinking about tiny details becoming larger led me to the animal tracks that we see here in the woods. Some are tiny bird feet, others, small mammals. But seeing a certain paw print, could lead to quite a large discovery behind a tree, in a stump or over a hill. Black bear. So this is my theme, tracks and prints in the woods. I can see little nests and hollows, tiny ferns and Jack in Pulpits, robins eggs and spiders ... All making up the big wilderness.

A few threads chosen and we're off and running with it. The color of the photos are fairly true to the actual.

I'm glad I did this earlier. As I'd said, things tend to come up and it did big time. I start my job tomorrow. YAY !!!!! Its time for changes and new pursuits as spring approaches. Now in more ways than one however my own best advice will be to remember the B word. Balance!

Till the next time..... Jane

Saturday, March 1, 2008

New Month - Choosing the Fabrics for TIF

I got out the bag of paint chips again and held them up to the color strip that Sharon provided. This seems to be the best way so far for me to get the pallette right. The fun part is pulling out fabric that goes with it. It seems to set the first ball in motion about how I'll proceed and what "feel" the block will have. The purple paint chip was not as "royal" as the actual color but I made up for it while I was "picking". Of course not all will go and it's always interesting to see which fabrics do end up in the block. The rest sit to cheer from the side lines as inspiration.

I always like to get the block pieced in the first few days to guard against all that can and ususally does come up to hinder me. I also like to have an idea of what it will be when finished as well as my initial understanding of the theme. I wrote a few pages down as things came to mind. I 'm trying to complete the project and not let it become some orphan something or other. So far so good as to honoring my pledge to do both the color and concept. Its a double whammy but very rewarding. Which leads to the next question... Details, tiny details.. and the key word "emblamatic" lends itself to icons, symbols or trademarks... & becoming larger ?? hhmmm. I didn't pull the threads and embells with the fabric this time. I 'll wait till the block is pieced. In my January piece I used some interactive embellishments and would like to try my hand at that again. Now to percolate it all....

I'd made mention about daylights savings time in an earlier post. I thought it was at the end of the month, but it happens this Sunday morn...2/9/08 at 2AM. Back to getting up in the dark again and an offset body clock, but well worth the extra light in the evening.

Till the next time. Jane