Monday, April 21, 2008

Trying to Reclaim Some Time...

Somehow I managed to get a block pieced for TIF .... I found a place to use a piece of some of the lovely things Paula sent me. Its the black piece in the upper right. It'll be a great seam to work on. It was a larger block, but due to some funky fabric I used in one of the corners, I had to cut it down in order to square it up. It's roughly 9" now....

but sadly it sits in this basket along with it's threads gathering dust like everything else. (apologies for the poor photo quality here)

The same day I pieced it, I made up some postcards and I'm at least working on one of these for Judy. (a fellow Michigander) She'll have to wait to see which one I'm doing for her.

The other night I did get online for a shopping therapy/fix. I bought a couple things from one of my favorite Ebay sellers kuteasabutton and then at Amazon I ordered the Bead Embroidery book and another I've been wanting for ages, Annemeike Mein Wildlife Artist in Textiles. For good measure, I ordered a music CD, Norah Jones Come Away With Me. I'm looking forward to a peaceful afternoon when it all gets here.

On the other front, my mom and dad are now residing in the same room at a skilled nursing home downstate. My parents have been married for 61 years so it's only right that they're together now. Dad needs the 24 hour care and mom can't live by herself with her own health issues. Assisted living wasn't an option because of Dad. Mom wheels him all over and they're enjoying talking with the other folks there. We do good at burning up the phone lines though and I can expect the daily call from them at 4:45, just like clock work. They're adjusting and I know we all feel better to know that there is someone there at all times.I had to emtionally adjust myself that I'll never be able to go home again and it's taken a sense of security away from me that I've always been able to carry with me and count on. That might sound stupid as I'm going on 50, but it's a Boomer adjustment none the less! Alot of the happenings lately have been hard for me to get my head around.

Speaking of married years, this Sunday is our 14th anniversary. We'd both been married before so the wedding was strictly for us. We had a nice ceremony at Las Vegas' Silver Bell Wedding Chapel on the strip, lots of photos and music we picked for eachother. I'm hoping that we can go and have dinner someplace this weekend, nothing big, just out. I definately won't be wearing my big hair nor will Dan be wearing his dark mustache.

I picked a bunch of Pussy Willows from the ditch last night. A definite sign of spring. The snow is almost gone and the frogs across the road are faintly warming up for their song. It's been a good day and things are beginning to quiet down again. I'll be in the groove again soon as I do miss all my blogging buddies!

Till the next time, Jane

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Chatting it up for the Week...

Looks like today is a good day to post the happenings of my week... so here goes.....

I've been mulling over some ideas for Aprils Take It Further Challenge... (see theme and color there). I wrote a couple pages of "thoughts" and pulled some fabrics that go with the palette (or pretty darn close) and came up with this pile. It's hard working with the colors this time but I can honor my "South of the Equator" friends even though Spring is here and I'm itching for the color of it, just another pose of the Challenge. I can actually see these colors as a sizzling July, sun drenched, kind of day to suit this hemisphere. As in the past, I'm using paint chips to act as my color guide and this is the first time I've been short of one, the vanilla-esque color shown... I didn't have anything close so my eye will have to replicate it. No telling where this will go...

First thoughts that jumped out (and I mean way out) about how I see change was that any change has to happen with me. I can't wait or hope for anyone else to do it to make my world right. Ironically, that's been one of my personal challenges to deal with these past couple years.... learning how to let go, let live, and let God. I'm thinking that I can use this piece to cement one of the things I've made my "truth", these realizations about change that will take me to this next place in my life... pretty profound and catalytic, eh??? All I could seem to think of was this, "Man In the Mirror".... by Michael Jackson... video here.......and..... lyrics here. .... pretty well sums up my thoughts vicariously. So I'm looking at "reflection" and a "mirror" to use as my muse . Maybe a hand mirror with infinite reflections of myself to symbolize the "million" changes I've been through thus far???

I'm wanting to work on the back/construction of the Geronimo blocks too, wanting to use this kind of look which fits with this months colors... hhhmmm.... could I accomplish 2 in 1 somehow....? I best not push it for now but the idea did pass through me...

Ya never know what you'll find at St Vincents.... yesterday I stopped in after work... lo and behold.... 10 cents a piece... I'll take them.... vintage button hole twists. A couple Birds and Blooms and BHG Garden & Patio mags....$5 and some cents and I'm enthused for the week.

What 20 cents would buy back when, huh?

I've been trying to pretty up some on my days off... trying not to loose my whole "citified persona" up here in the woods. "I am what I am" and they say you should never forget where you come from.....both bad or good !!! My dear friend Mary Anne made these for me about 20 years ago. She macramed the most awesome bottles and plant hangers... a resurgence to be anticipated. If you really love something , it will come back to style again.

And this is my head... while I was photographing the earrings, I thought I would let you know that I'm GONNA DO IT..... Well at least really try and see how it goes..... GRAY or GREY.... (either way I claim it) ... I figure the sun is coming which 'll help me out with the natural highlighting, but here it is ( the best pic I could get by myself). I have a back up box of L'oreal Preference just in case I freak out, (unlike like the box of Marlboro Lights of which I am NOT ready to give up just yet).

Speaking of hair.. a few posts back I mentioned it was "Spring Do" time. I ensconced myself in the bathroom for 2 1/2 hours, towels rolled up around the base of the washer and dryer so the hair wouldn't float under and unmercifully sheared my 2 Lhasas of their winter coats. Tash and Tang are really happy about it no matter how they look.

I asked them to smile and this is the best they could do under the circumstances. Per a bad experience, I had to take them to the town vet for their nail trimming but my hair work saved a few dollars anyway.

Thank goodness Felon, the "Big Boy" doesn't need shearing.

Although we got 4" of snow this AM ,again..... Arggghhhhh, these are pics from yesterday.... The Trout ( Steelhead) are running in the Huron River. This is a view from 5 miles (as the crow flies) inland from Lake Superior. Big Eriks Bridge Campground is full of fisherman trying their luck. I thought this was the coolest campsite with the TeePee.

The snow is melting off the mountains in a big way now and heading towards their goal of filling up the largest fresh water lake in the world.

There's green peeking out in the forest...

and the Maple trees are putting out the sap that will become "sugar in a bottle".

Everythings feeling good to be getting into a schedule of sorts. I love my job but I love the time I get to dream and create,having fun with my camera and playing with fabric and threads too.

Till the next time, Jane

Saturday, April 5, 2008

More Surprises... from England & a Dancing Deer

I am so blessed to have met so many wonderful people from across the globe through the internet. One of those people is Judith. her weblog is Threadspider. Dont you love that name? She has recently changed her blog address and is now residing over at Wordpress. I followed her over there and just so happened to be her first visitor. I was just happy to find her but look at what she went and sent me.... this postcard she made has "spring" written all over it as well as the beautiful colors of the threads, ribbon and beads. How very thoughtful of you Threadspider, thank you!! Her blog is a wonderful mix of fabric, fiber, gardening, etc.. please check it out

I have to share this photo from the other evening. This particular deer kept standing on his hind legs and hopping from one cedar branch to the next. Spring tonic to him, great entertainment for me.

The birds are also coming back to life with singing and twittering. These 2 Mourning Doves must be nesting nearby as they're here everyday now. Although they don't migrate, they're showing themselves and practicing their cooing... sooo pretty! Yes those are deer legs; the wildlife resides peacefully together for the most part. However the wolves and coyotes are mating right now and the sounds of that in the dark of the night is ominous, especially when they're are so close to the house. Very wary creatures but a photo op is imminent, I'm always ready. One way or other.

Hmmm, now what can I get into??... Jane

March TIF Finally Finished... April Already?

9.5 x 17.5

I could have kept going with this as I see more spaces and seams that could be worked.... but I had to concede to it being done. I started with the idea of the details of paw tracks in the forest... how something bigger than just the prints could be right around the next tree or hillock. After I started stitching, I was letting some of the details of the fabric prints guide me through.

My first attempt ever at a spider and web turned out more taut than I wanted. The spider was a "booger" but I was just happy that he looked like a spider when done. The nest is out of proportion but it works its point... I added the sticks to the nest to counteract the feathered look that it had when I made it. The little bear face is hiding in there if you can see it along with some other little things..

Now I might be called a cheater that I didn't do real silk ribbon embroidery for the leaves but I found a huge bag of silk flower heads and leaves at St Vincents ($2) and saw the opportunity to use them and save myself some precious time ( which was very precious in March). This block is the epitomy of crazy quilting, both the quilting and me. I am finding the outcomes of my stitching very untraditional to the Victorians CQ. This may be a new genre, coined Ozark CQ !

Heres what this block taught me...
Theres lots of details in the stillness of the woods. Theres lots of accountability in making a commitment to something and sticking with it. Theres much to be said for using details already available, and theres lots of details I'd never paid attention to before. I'm a novice at this and my best teaching has been from my mistakes, creativity is born from a good laugh, my best tool is a needle threader, I can't have a couple drinks and sew straight, and alas... know when to say when.

When!!! .... and happy to change direction to something new. hint, hint, of whats to come.

till the next time, Jane

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Surprise from Queensland...

Now with the day really underway , let me share with you what came in the post from Paula Hewitt. I was totally surprised when I saw what all she enclosed! An awesome collection of some really unique fabric...

and if that didn't get me oohhing and aahhing, this beautious group of threads, beads, buttons, shells, and lace. I'd made mention of Aussie folk music and what did she go and do??? Mixed me up a CD with some very eclectic samplings of music as well! I love it all, Paula.... thank you so much for your generosity, your intuition and your internet friendship. We'll keep eachother motivated and supplied one way or another.

I'm enjoying the lists that some people are keeping on their blogs; stash in, stash out, to do's, tis dones, etc. Seems like everytime I write of a deadline, idea, or "I'm gonna", it backfires or changes so I'm thinking that's not a good approach for me. My running notebook- list steeps enough guilt in me that I cringe to think of putting it on the internet. I'm just hoping that my next post will hold a photo of the completed March TIF. The more I linger here the farther off that is, soooo....

I'm off to stitch and daydream about this......

and how close the good weather is to getting here. Much fun at Witz's Marina in about 6 weeks or so, can't wait.

Till the next time, Jane

No April Fools Joke for us ....

Did I really say no more snow photos ?????
This started last night... and after the power went off and on all night... and the wind howled and gusted, this is our April 1st reality.

Out the side door..... do you think the dogs want to go out ?

Out the upstairs door

Guess I'm not going to work today, this was 10:15 and we're not dug out yet . I've been working on this for awhile now

But this keeps happening.... how'm I gonna drive when I can't even walk, 4 wheel drive or not?

What a way to spend your Birthday Dan... BTW, Happy Birthday Hubby

Taking a break

A few more swipes and we might get out to the road, its now 11:15
Guess I got my wish for a play day!