Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Last Week

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Last week the weather was glorious, 70′s – low 80′s, low humidity, just perfect! I took advantage and spent the afternoons out on the deck doing the hand work to finish the latest work of art. Here’s the view!

reflections

I decided that it needed a faced edge so I finished that and also the hanging sleeve. I think bindings are faster and easier than facings, but for this one, it was worth it!

facingAfter I finished the hand sewing I was not ready to go inside, so I paged through the two latest SAQA Portfolios sequentially, comparing the works of the different artists.  If they had work in both volumes, it was fun to really look and note the similarities and the differences in each one’s work and the many styles of working amongst all of the artists.

portfolios

I noticed that in Portfolio 19 the page headings throughout the book said Portfolio 18!

Garden Chores

Monday, July 7th, 2014

We were recently blessed with some cooler weather, so having completed the sewing of the new art quilt top, I was able to dedicate the whole morning to the bank between the house and the new storm shelter. Earlier in the spring we planted some burning bushes and a few perennials there, but then it went to weed grasses. At least they held the soil in place during the heavy rains. I pulled most of the weeds and started to plant Liriope. I’ve mentioned this plant before as it does so well here that I always have an excess ready to be thinned and planted somewhere else. It will hold this bank wonderfully well and look good doing it! Then I added the stepping stones to channel the dogs and us through the plantings. So far I have Liriope every 4-6″ in the top half, and the bottom half yet to do.

bankplanting

It will fill in quickly- probably too quickly! I left a few weeds to temporarily hold the soil in the meantime. In the fall, I think I will transplant some Plumbago to the space between the stones and the wall where it will drape over the edge.

plumbago

I love the brilliant blue flowers, but it is a pretty plant even when it is not blooming. And it grows well enough for me that I have plenty to move . And maybe a few Dayliles will go nicely.

Every year about this time the blister beetles hit the Clematis and they can strip it overnight.

blisterbeetles

This year, since the Clematis has grown so vigorously they were only able to eat half of it overnight and with the cold morning, I was able to knock many of them off into a container of soapy water. Usually as soon as they sense you coming they dive off the plant, but the cold makes them sluggish. I checked a couple of times throughout the day and they seemed to be gone, but by morning the next day there were hoards again so – more knocking them off into the container. By then there was not a whole lot of green left so I applied some Sevin to try and save what’s left. So far, so good!

A Busy Week

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

It was cold and rainy, a good week to stay inside, though my husband ventured out and found some of the best morel mushrooms ever. Big and plentiful, we enjoyed as many as we could handle and froze the rest for later. The asparagus as well. To further mark the arrival of spring the hummingbirds and orioles have begun to arrive. Alas, I have seen no bluebirds yet. Still planting new stuff that loves this kind of weather in which to get established.

I finished the dogs quilt and named it “Fur Family Portrait”.  No photos til after the entry as requested by the venue, sorry. It is bound and only needs to be taken outside in the bright light to be scrutinized for stray threads. I plan to do that tomorrow when the temps return to the sunny 70′s. It’s time to get the deck furniture out!

Yesterday I took my sewing machine in for a past due cleaning and tuneup since I thought I had a small window of time when I could part with it. Sadly it is going to be three weeks before they can get to it. I have a spare if I get desperate.

Today is First Friday at the Topeka Art Guild Gallery and I will be there from 2-8. “Jesse At The Lake” is still there on display. The members were challenged to do a small artwork to fit in 4×6 mats to donate as a fundraiser for the gallery. They are to be sold for $7.50 each to benefit the gallery.

4x6tag1

Mine of course are quilted. I showed these plus one more last night at my small quilting group and one, a landscape was snapped up early!

Pink Grass

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

I continue to have computer problems which make it difficult to post, but in the meantime I have been sewing. Here is the progress to date:

konzadeer4

 

The original photograph shows a lot of pink in the distance and I think this fabric portrays it pretty well. We really do have pink grass in Kansas and it is blooming right now. I took these photos this morning!

pinkgrass1

I’m afraid people might question all that pink if they live where there is no pink grass – but it is what it is!

pinkgrass

 

Coming Together

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Nice progress was made yesterday as I stayed inside all day waiting for a call that never came from a computer tech. The weather was cool and nice and I would have loved to have been outside working, but the time was well spent anyway.

konzadeer3

The doe is taking shape, and the only two fabrics that I have that show leaves against a pale green background are laid in at the top. I think they will do the trick. Finding fabrics that will work together and play off one another is part of the challenge that makes this fun. I like how this one is coming together, but it has been slow work, with so many little pieces!

Seasonal Palette 2

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

My work is machine pieced, in this case I will be using straight seams.
Transferring the original picture to tracing paper, figuring out where the
seam lines will go and dividing those into sewable sections comes next. I have to leave space at the bottom for the deer.

The finished piece needs to be 32 X 78” , so my working pattern will be
about 36 x 85” since I know that my intensive machine quilting will take up several inches in the end.

When I am satisfied, the lines are transferred to overhead projection film and projected in the mirror image to freezer paper on the wall in the finished size, which will be cut apart to become the working templates.


Freezer paper has a plastic side which will temporarily stick to fabric when pressed with a hot iron.

When these templates are ironed to the wrong side of the fabrics, cut with a quarter inch seam allowance and sewn, it will look like the original layout.

I have a pretty good stash of commercial prints and hand dyes suitable for nature inspired work. One of the first things I do when starting a new work is to pull any fabrics that I think have possibilities of working into the piece.

My studio has good natural light from windows and overhead fixtures so I keep my fabric behind bamboo and canvas roll – up blinds to combat fading.

Much of what I choose will never make it in and more will be added later, but this is a starting place. The fabrics are all 100% cotton, mostly commercial prints, though I do sometimes use hand dyes. I use a lot of batik fabric because I love the variations of colors within a piece that lends itself well to the nature inspired work that I do.

Behind the cutting table, you can see the blinds in the down position.

When I was teaching in Springfield, Mo., I found this wonderful panel.

(Winter Whispers by Michelle Mara, Wilmington Prints)

The scale seemed right and since my specialty is working with commercial prints, and even though I didn’t know if I would be accepted into Seasonal Palette I just had to buy two panels just in case! I needed two panels so that I could accommodate the seam allowances and still have things line up. I would want to fracture the scene, maybe rearrange the figures and integrate them into the piecing.

Deer often frequent the area of our farm pond and I thought they would bring life to the composition.

Fall Color

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Not to be compared with some areas of the country, but this year in spite of (because of?) the drought, we are experiencing some of the best color I can remember seeing here! Sunday, “just because” we spent the afternoon just riding around the edge of the Flint Hills taking it all in.

The trees seem especially bright this year.

The grasses play a big roll in the local color.

 

There is some pink starting to show but they don’t seem to have developed the fuchsia pink tones yet that I find so lovely. Some years that is more pronounced than others and I don’t know if it is dependent on moisture, frost, or what.

The weather was a bit windy but gorgeous in the 70′s, then we had some heavy rain so lots of leaves are now down.

Oktoberfest

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Yesterday we went to the German Oktoberfest because Bierocks for lunch sounded good – and they were! But the plum kuchen wasn’t as good as it looked. There was rollicking beer drinking music and dancing, too, but my photos of that were not so good. It was 46 degrees, overcast and breezy so we were glad for  jackets as we watched the Weinerdog Races.

There were 48 entered so they were broken up into heats of 6 to start. We decided to leave before it was over, after a man got in front of me and took away my small window of photo opportunity.

This little guy caught my eye for his unusual color. The owner said they had petted him so much they rubbed the black right off!

On the way home

we saw this guy and had to stop and get a picture. Maybe the most unusual leaf man we’ve seen in a while!

We had a hard frost last night so finally had to bring the deck plants inside. Filling two of the three windows really closes in the studio. When I add the two Amaryllis plants, it’ll really be full! Nice to have flowers in the winter though….

 

Flash of Blue

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

It’s still hot and dry here. As I settled in last night to watch some TV, I could see the tree over the water garden and a brilliant flash of blue. I hadn’t seen bluebirds this year but nothing else is quite that color! I got up to see and there were four juvenile bluebirds getting drinks from the waterfall pool and sitting above on a branch! They stayed until a bluejay came along and ousted them. Others that are visiting for the water are robins, cardinals and the orioles. A few days ago we saw a doe going across the lawn in that direction as well, but she spooked and didn’t get that far. There are still some farm ponds in the area that have water, but both of ours are dry.

I sat out on the deck for a while yesterday morning while it was still cool and hand sewed on the binding of Bignonia after my walk. I think I will do that again today. It is so tranquil there in the shade with the sound of the waterfall and the splashing fish.

Fire!

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

We are enjoying a brief respite from the record breaking heat – now it is only in the 90′s! We are about 6″ behind on rain.


It shouldn’t look like this in July.

The creek has been dry for a couple of months.

It looks deceptively lush in the shade.

On the 5th of July we had a grass fire probably started by fireworks about a mile away. With everything so dry, it didn’t take long for it to get to our land where it burned some trees and two hay fields and part of another.

The fire department got it out just before it would have gotten into the woods that separate the fields from where the house is, maybe a quarter of a mile away! As it is we were getting lots of cinders in the wind. Kind of scary!!