Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mays Take It Further

" Winging It" Fabric Postcard

It's been a strange month... seems like everything I did involved questions and clarifications with answers being needed immediately. With the sheer quanity of them all, I really had no chance to rethink my replies, second guess the decision, or console my self in the bittersweet wallows of remorse. Things moved fast this month. But Sharon B's introspective query of "how I see myself as an 'artist/craftswoman' " was a question I had all of May to examine and now a month of days later it's really no clearer to me than when I started.

So to help me get closer to the answer I asked my self a few more questions & these thoughts came to mind regarding my art and I'm not sure whether this is a confessional or a claiming of random thought but this is what I "see"....

1) I don't allow myself to have as much fun as I should while creating. I'm most always drawn off course by should haves or could haves... including cooking, phone calls, relationship "maintenance", chores, the list goes on...
2) I tend to be repetitive with color and theme, but I love certain colors better than others and love working with them
3) I bore easily half way through a project, especailly if I feel its a bad one or it's not going where I want it to go. My truest joy is when a project gets that "life of it's own" and surprises me.
4) I have too many ideas which keep me from beginning something
5) I love the thrill of the hunt but have too much "stuff" for my lifetime. More reason to just throw caution to the winds and see what happens, make the biggest crazy quilt in the world?
6) I'm on the internet and inside books too much "oohhhing over" what others create. Just more awesome ideas for my head.
7) I often wonder if I wouldn't be better off to just choose one thing ie, theme, and try sticking with that I'm always changing, shedding, expanding.. ( future personal trademark, series perhaps? )
8) I would love to find a jump off point where no ones ever been before. (Yeah, right!) yet at the same time I'm afraid of my originality and how it may be perceived.
9) Although I detest deadlines the last hour has sometimes been the brightest burning one.
10) Finally, I need to get off my duff and seriously take it further by going here to Writing the Artist's Statement site originally linked to by Gayle at Sparkle Jars

In the mean time I'll keep doing what I'm doing and try to keep these kinds of creative interruptions away...

Taken from Quilters Home Magazine

Till the next time..... Jane

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Snow Be Gone

Finally some greenery up here in the north and although there was a brief snow shower earlier in the week, not to worry, we're on the other side of the weather now.


Varigated hosta



No annuals yet, frost is still a strong possibility!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

So glad to be back...

and if a picture's worth a thousand words this would be it....

I had a few paragraghs written about the happenings of the past couple weeks but thought twice and decided to just pick up where I left off and spare you the details. I'll just say it was productive and the time spent being with family was what I needed!


Of course to diffuse and unwind between the family visits and chores, Sis and I had to do a little shopping.

These photos above are from the Viking Sewing Center and Quilt Shop in Ann Arbor Michigan. Very NICE store where everything was right up my alley. The batiks they had were awesome and I loved everything in the place !!!!

We also went to the Lake Street Mercantile located in South Lyon . Here's my sis holding the current Quilt Sampler Magazine with this store (and quilt behind) on the cover. The shop was nice but not geared to my kind of quilting.

The only other shop we went to was Wendys Simple Stitches (no website) in Howell. This little shop was really cute and a total surprise not to be expected from the looks of the exterior.

This was the take from Wendys. I loved her scrap bins, the wool one definitely provided me an inexpensive assortment to try and I found some batik cutoff scraps from a class sample in the cotton bin. A few flosses and a green print made up my purchase there.

But the main damage was done at the Viking store. I could have spent a couple days locked in there!

As crafty things go, I brought home a sack of dads ties along with a white brocade scarf with hunting dogs on it. Highly possible that these may end up in something one day.

Although I'm still reading all my favorite blogs, I've kind of lost enthusiasm for maintaining my own. I'm sure it's only temporary. For a change of scene, I've joined up with a new group called Stitchin Fingers , Sharon B set up and it looks like it'll be an interesting place. Here's the link to take you to the Stitchin Fingers Home Page It's nice to see some pals over there already so please join along, OK?

Now if I can just get past my funk and get back on track.....

Till then, Jane

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Add On to AM's Post... April TIF Done

Change was a good meditation while doing Aprils "Take It Further" work. Change is a by product of living. Some changes are thrust down my throat, some changes happen suddenly, some changes are under my control, some totally karmic. Either way it boils down to how I handle it, how I choose to see it and experience it. It can drag me along kicking and screaming or I can go with the flow. Odds are it's going to happen anyway, with or without me, so how do I see it??

Much better with the proper eyewear on.

I'm not sure, but I'm thinking the colors left me lagging with this one. I found it hard to pick this up and desirously stitch on it. Obviously, I did no hand stitching on it at all. It'll come in handy for the sunny days ahead as it has a pocket that allows the fit of 2 pair, reading and sun glasses. Change is the ability to roll with it and this is just what I did with this block.

This photo makes it look like an oven mitt LOL

While waiting for the pics to load, I sat and looked at the house plants. This is one I dug up last fall. The only survivor that lasted the winter. It some kind of chamomille I'm guessing?

I'm now feeling better about starting the May challenge. I really didn't want to punk out on this TIF thing and now I can move onward. Yay !!

Log Haulin' and Stick Pickin'

I decided that the only way I was going to finish Aprils TIF was to give it a purpose...and I need an eyeglass case. This will shrink down considerably after stitching and construction. I'm hoping I can get over the conundrum of last months challenge. I'm just stuck.. I won't even touch Mays theme until finished with this.

This is what the main project is at the moment. The first spot that we've chose to work on is directly between the house and the road. Clearing logs and brush is no job for the faint of heart (or back) but the end result will sure put a shine on the overall appearance of the land. The intent is not to tame everything and there's lots of natural deadfall we'll never pick up but a circumference around the house has to be "controlled" somewhat.

I'm throwing all the rocks I find into this sink hole which should make a nice little spring pond and I'm hoping to grow some native flowers and ferns through out this area. A little path meandering through with a little seat or swing somewhere would be great. There's several trees of interest on the property and I want to play up to them with more little paths and seating. I've done a few landscape projects of this size before but this one will form with the lay of the land. This is no place for rosebushs or tomato plants. We've yet to decide where a small veggie plot will eventually go, but I doubt it will happen this year.

As always, things happen for reasons and things have worked out where I'll be going down to Detroit either Thurs or Fri. More needs to be done to clean out mom and dads house and situate paperwork etc. I'll be staying at my sisters while there and the jokes are already starting with me in regards to her nickname..." kook magnet ". It doesn't matter where you are... there's always a befalling of weird happenings around her. I'll have to keep notes while I'm gone LOL..

So till the next time... Jane

Friday, May 2, 2008

"M" Stands for May, Michigan, Moss .....

and making up for the past several days of not posting, it's great to be outdoors again with the glorious sun and the next couple of weeks should bring the leaves and flowers....

but in the meantime, mail brought them early via Judy's postcard that she named "Spring in the North". Judy lives in the Lower Peninsula, I live in the Upper of the same state. Downstate experiences spring a good 3-4 weeks earlier than we do up here. I love how she included some of the things I've blogged about , the pussywillows, the waterfall, the birch. the pines, and the sun. The flowers are a definite tease and so delicately tiny on the lovely felted pieces. I'm enjoying looking at it, Judy! Thanks so much for making it for me.

I have it resting in a plate holder on my sink sill. Those little holders are a great way to display smaller pieces around the house and you can get 3 for a buck at the dollar store. A small bowl of moss from our walk last week is near and you can just make out the beginnings of a lawn in the background. ( minus the white stuff)

This is the postcard I made Judy . It was fun doing our little swap!

The birds are making their way back . We've 4 pairs of these very tropical like birds called Evening Grosbeaks nesting in the cedars. The females are not so brilliantly colored as this guy is but definitly more mannered. The males are all little scrappers trying to get the top spot. They look like a toucan to me. I had to hang a 1/4 filled hummingbird feeder out just in case some of them arrive. You never know when, all of a sudden they're just there looking in at you all sad-like from the window. I sure don't want anyone to go hungry after a 1500+ mile trip.

I'm trying my hand at a landscape cabin block depicting our house. I've been inpired by all the landscape CQ I've been seeing on blogs and thought it would be a challenge to do throughout the summer, taking things that I see and trying to put it to thread. ( I'm hoping trees will take away from the crooked windows)

I'm working off a different angle than above. But the sky and tree layout of this photo was what I wanted to go for. Most of these trees have been cleared away from the structure now but this is the photo of the first time I saw our house after it went up. Living so close among the trees is romantic but not feasible with the dampness, darkness, and debris. I'll always remember it this way though.

I enjoyed a serendipitous refit of some items in "the space". I was able to stick the cedar chest under the table and put one of the plastic drawers inside the desk I use for the s machine. I popped the wheels off the bottom of it and it slid right in. It's nice to be starting spring with an organized area in a more condensed space, easy to get at yet stored out of the way. I'm happy to be taking up less sq. footage and getting the most cleared surface as I can.

We'd gotten rid of alot of our furniture before we moved, things that we knew wouldn't fit and or need. One of those pieces was a computer armoire that would have been ridiculus here. Living with less required downsized pieces and an added bonus was a dual purpose item. Little by little we're finding pieces that do that. I'm a secondhander with an eye peeled to possibilities and Vinnies is a big scorer.

It's bigger than a student size but not by much and was in a condition to be used immediatly. Murpys Oil Soap bath and ta-dah! (Instead of it sitting in the garage for refinishing. How many of my hairbrained purchases have ended up there?)

Not bad for $20 and another area spring cleaned to boot. D likes it, and thats good because as predicted, he's spending more time on the web hisself.

Other things going on would be these:

I'm not working (again),I've not colored my hair yet, I'm not done with April TIF,we have not had to use the furnace, the ticks are out, and it's much harder to blog than be outdoors...

So till the next time, Jane