Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Household chores

Well I have finally done it.  I inherited some fabulous hand painted ceramic lamps from my Mom's estate.  They are about 65 years old.  I think the shades were the original, as they were rotting off like confetti.  We had only been using them for 22

DH finally pulled off all the silk and plunked them in the middle of the worktable in my studio....kinda forced my hand.

We auditioned fabric for a while and came up with a very tasteful cream coloured fabric and a nice narrow cream coloured trim.  Yawn.

This is what I did:
Lots of semi sheer scarves from the self help, and bead fringe. I did not have enough of either kind to do both lampshades, so I combined them...Way funky!
Since the furniture is bamboo covered with blue denim, the only thing that doesn't go well here is the actual lamps!!  But they are beautiful though.  The furniture is as old as the lamps........and me!  Good grief!

DH makes a table centre for the owners of his gym every year.  He is getting quite creative even though we no longer have the flower shop.  We are downsizing the jungle in my studio (which has the only bright window) and the Norfolk Island Pine is over two feet tall, so out it goes set in an artificial wreath decorated with chocolate and candy.  An edible Christmas decoration that they can keep year round.  I hope they have a big house.  My mom had one that grew to 16 feet!  It outgrew here cathedral ceiling.

He is in the process of unpacking his egg carving studio.  I swear he had as many boxes as I did.  He and one of his friends insulated and carpeted half the garage just off my studio.  DH didn't like the idea of working in his studio waaaaaayyy far at the other end of the house and down a flight of stairs in the spare bedroom.  He wanted to be near me......isn't that sweet?  We now use the spare bedroom for my extra bins of fabric which had been in the front half of the garage.  These bins are getting a lot of mileage on them, all up and down stairs!

We were given a huge roll of brand new carpet which did his studio, the now spare bedroom, my wee tiny sitting room (room for a rocking chair, a lamp and a small bookcase) and a runner in front of the washer and dryer.  A very generous gift indeed.

I am now feeling the urge to do more shoes.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sale over and sorting

The Art Expo sale was very successful, sold lots and was wonderfully inspired by all the sensational art around me.  I am pumped!  Except.......

We have turned my studio upside down twice!  DH is setting up his egg carving studio, some of my book cases are going in there.  We rearranged everything twice.  I am now trying to classify and sort my stash of gemstones and beads, trying to get like somewhere near like.  Kinda puts creating on hold, but it is fun to fondle everything again.

I have done a few small items for a gallery:

Tie Di bags made with ties and gemstones, beading and embroidery.

Double Credit Card holders, pull the ribbons at the top and up comes your credit card.  Fun!  These are done with ties as well.

I have a bunch more ties pulled and when I get my beads sorted I will be back at it again.  I have a request for more shoes for the gallery as well. 

It is going to be a fun winter.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Shoes as promised

I have done three shoes.  I will do more after Art Expo.  The Paverpol takes two weeks to really cure so I am past the deadline for more Paverpol work.

This is Silver Slipper.  A happy accident in finding a fabric with three shades of the same print.  (A thrift store find.) Conchos are from a leather belt with potato freshwater pearls added.

 This is Bronze Slipper.  Snow dyed fabric and some heavy metal. lol

 Dragon Fly Catcher.  The boot is a bit big but I loved the shape and the snow dyed fabric was two way stretch so is on real snug.  I had been wondering how I would use that super thick spandex-like fabric.  Pink silk is a thrift store scarf, quite lovely.

The working title was Zen, but there is nothing Zen-like about it.  It is now Step Off The Yellow Brick Road.  The orange is a tie, and the blue is a snow dye.

I did have some fabric pulled for another piece, but my dh tidied up and I will have to ask him where he stashed it.  He is a very good organiser and I do not want to discourage him by screaming in his ear "DON'T DO THAT".   He is currently working on establishing himself an egg decorating studio in the front of the garage......pretty soon I will be able to return the favor!

Nap time!  All this creativity has made me sleepy.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Last Hat Done

I have finished the last hat.  It is a journal of ten years of my horse showing days with some of my horses, from my first to my last.  I wouldn't trade a moment of those ten years but every horse I fell off of is speaking to me now!!  lol

Those Were The Days
The hat even looks authentically beat up!

I have managed another beady piece, I Love Imperial Jasper, 9 x 7.  These little guys are actually square and camera eats them funny.

The next piece is on the drawing board:

I can see using some ties here.

I have been busy packing up fabric for a sale in Winnipeg on Sunday.  I have ten boxes!  A lot of cotton, Laura Ashley, Jinny Beyer, etc. Some cotton poly some silk and some rayon.  A lot of it is 3 yards or more.  All garage sale priced.  I hope to do large volume, not high prices, and heaven knows, I don't want to have to unpack it all again!

Hope to see you all on Sunday!  lol

or at

Friday, September 14, 2012

Busy, busy, busy.......

Working in my studio has become addictive.  I find myself jonesing when I can't get there every day.  I am trying to exhaust my Muse......this is a good thing...right?

Here is a detail shot of Sedimentary II:
I love the chatoyance on the Ammonite, and the tubular mesh ribbon is a delight to work with.

These two are an example of less is more:


These are used dryer sheets, hand painted.  The hangar rings on the back are wildly off centre to balance the weight of the Agate 'vases.

Here is the Fascinator I promised:

Puttin On The Ritz
The hat itself is black velvet and sucks dust and lint.  I figured that this would be a major nuisance to the curators of the shows it will be in so I coated it with two layers of Paverpol.  It is not soft any more, but you can just blow the dust off.

The next hat is a badly damaged, straw, wide brimmed hat with a round crown.  It looks like it might have been a garden hat.  Since we are supposed to do something that reflects ourselves I am thinking a cowboy hat!?!

More to come.......

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I surprise even myself!

Wow, another post so soon!  There are heavy duty exhaust fumes in my studio from me revving my motor so hard!........or is that a disturbing mental image??

I shall have to get a better photo...this is perfectly square.....really.  Sedimentary II.  Hand painted fabric, actually it was the clean up cloth.....why are they always much better than what you were actually trying to do?  Seed beads, ammonites, gem stones.

I am also part of the big Hat Party.  I am a sucker for punishment and glommed onto three hats. I am a greedy so and so too!  This is Buttoned Down Winter Wedding.  Furry almost white hat with lots of a vintage wedding gown attached.

 The feathers and strings of pearls are the perfect finishing touch....who needs a veil anyway?

Next hat is an elegant little head-hugger that might just be a shame to cover up, but what a lovely opportunity for an outrageous fascinator!  So far I am starting out with black, haven't decided whether or not to add some colour.

The next hat is a little straw wide brimmed hat.....hmmm.

After that I am going to do up some shoes just for giggles.......wait for that blog post.

Back to the studio...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Back at it...finally

I am back in the saddle, so to speak.........nowadays I ride a Husquevarna!!

This is Rainmaker. 5 x 7  When you hold it up to the light you can see the stripes in the agate.  I used the corner out of a large piece in the Crap Quota stack, a shame to waste all the lovely quilting.

Thunder and Lightning. 6 x 8  I reworked another piece on upholstery fabric featuring a nice agate slab.  Much better title, but I am not sure how I want to mount it...or just leave it alone, the back is denim.

Mossy Burl. 5 x 7  Upholstery fabric, ribbon and wool accenting a truly fabulous piece of driftwood.

Seaweed and Surf. 13 x 13  Another great piece of driftwood with gemstones and seed beads, and hand dyed fabric, rhyolite and a nice amonite.

I have no excuse, but a very good reason for my long absence:
This wonderful spot is where I sit and have breakfast and my coffee every morning.  The cucumbers on the left gate post are now all the way around the next rung.  We can hardly keep up with them!  Tomatoes at the foot of the garden are ripening apace.  Picked about twenty this afternoon, not counting a double handful of wee Sweet Million.
It is a very green garden, the perennials are only on their first year, but there are some thrilling surprises!
A double day lily....eleven buds that all bloomed....that was a gift from friends.  They live about sixty miles west of us and have had a drought this summer, they lost the parent plant to this one.

An Angel's Trumpet, or Datura.  We did not plant this, it might have come in with the bit of soil a friend gave us in a box of six Zinnia. Which, by the way, are providing some nice colour in our green garden.   I only noticed it two weeks ago when it poked its head up in the middle of the potatoes! How it ever managed to out muscle them is truly a wonder.  The potatoes took over like Kudzu vines...but only 2 or 3 tubers per plant.  Everyone around here said potatoes were a big
disappointment this year.
The Kale we planted to get cabbage worms is working.  We had a snowstorm of cabbage butterflies (Canadian White) a few weeks ago and I have seen a wren in the plants picking the worms......big grin!  Humming birds in the Zinnia too, even bigger grin!

I have another piece almost finished, I will post more pictures soon.

Have fun in your studios ladies, and cuddle your cats.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Almost done for now....

The dirt arrived May 19.  This is a foreshortened view.  The pile goes back a looooong way!  One very willing teenager (he is saving for a dirt bike) and I moved this monster in two days, with another day by a big strong friend.  I raked and the others shovelled and wheelbarrowed and dumped.  I was not a very happy camper after that.  I hurt all over.

It is a crying shame that a 64 year old body does not perform like it did when it did when it was 24.......I still would have needed help then too.  lol

 Beds built up and planting for the first shift is done.  We gathered up a lot of the stuff we had farmed out when we were evicted by the Credit Union (they still have not started demolition and we keep going back to the old garden for more plants).  Lots of our perennials made it through the winter, but not the fruit trees.

I have planted Cucumbers at the base of gate planters.  I hope that with enough fertilizer and manure tea they will reach the top of the spiral.

We ordered a new orchard.  I am an optimist....planting fruit trees at my age on a rental property with only a five year lease (for all the good it did us last time!) We hope to renew the lease so I can pick some fruit. 
 At the first post there is a Sorrel plant, halfway to the next post is a Norkent apple, at the post is a Honeycrisp apple sent as a free gift, caused a change of plans in my espalier pattern.  Just past the second post is a Manor Plum, doing beautifully, at the third post is a replacement Crimson Passion Cherry.  This one is already leafing out and we will see how it does, the first one never became more than a crispy critter!  Between the last two posts are three Honey Berries, a Berry Blue, a Svetlana and a Borealis.  I lumped them together as they are not self fertile.

Onions fill the right side and a planting of Mild Mesclun Salad Greens is on the left sign of them yet, but it is very hard to tell.

The Painted Daisy was one of our firs transplants and it has been cheering us on from the very first.

 This is the overall view with our still temporary birdbath.  The soil in the bed at the edge of the patio is almost three feet deep!  Step into that bed at your peril! 

We brought back Day Lilies, Iris, Viola, Asiatic Lilies and a Rhubarb.  All faring well and even giving us an occasional bloom.  I hilled the row of potatoes straight ahead today.  There is a lovely Stonecrop and three Mini Globe Thistles (Two of which are up.) A row of Carrots and a row of Beets follow the left edge of this bed and there is a patch of dill in the centre....looks like a bumper crop!

The next bed left will be more perennials.  There is a row of 50 Liatris bulbs in a line from the stone circle and they form a spiral at this end, that is they will when they are up.  I see a few peeking through now.  There is a row of Lupin planted beside them but I don't expect to see much from them for a while yet.  Lots of ground cover planted at the front edge.  These will be our mother plants for spreading around in future years.  I want ground covers all through the paving stones.

The leftmost bed is very shady, have planted Hostas.  There is an Empress Wu that is supposed to be four feet high and five feet across!  It doubled in size in a week.  If it keeps that up it just might get that big!  It has been far too cold for anything to grow this week.  Lots and lots of rain. (There was water in the bottom of the hole when I replanted the cherry tree!)

The bins at the very back have a Sweet Million, a Purple, a Black and two red varieties of tomato that are up to the first rung on the tomato cages (I had to cover them last night due to frost!!) The peas and radishes in those bins are already up quite nicely.

We are in the process of mulching with grass clipping collected from friends' yards.  I really don't like to weed, and this soil will come up like grass when the sun finally comes out!  New soil tends to do that.

The plant on the left is a False Sunflower planted by DH.  At least that is what he says it is.  It seems to be growing flower heads with green petals!

Bin one is two Yellow Zuchini (I count 4 that have set) bin two was a Watermelon which got frozen out, bin three is a Green Zuchini, much slower than the yellow and bin four is a Spaghetti Squash.  All bins have Kentucky Wonder beans in the back to grow up the fence between us and our neighbors, and novelty radishes in the front (white with red centers!)  I replaced the Watermelon with Spinach.  I split a rubber hose to put around the sharp edges of the bins to protect the plants when they spill over.

I like to take my morning coffee out onto the deck to sit and listen to things grow, but that is drowned out by the multitude of sparrows and wrens at the bird feeder!
We are taking a hiatus until mid July when friends from Morden are bringing us a bunch of extra plants from their picture perfect garden.

Maybe now I can take a few hours to go into my studio.......Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Progress is being made!

And I am developing some muscle!  It is all slow going as my asthma is acting up due to some medication I am taking for the hip injury.....sort of a catch 22 situation! 

 We laid out the paths with some of the extra gravel, and put in the fence posts for the espaliered trees.  The rain barrels and self watering planters will keep people from ever trying to park or walk in the garden!

This picture is four days after a torrential rain.  Picture this with water so deep it covered the path paving stones in several places!!  Dirt delivery was delayed while I dug a channel through the parking pad to drain it.

We spent the long weekend cobbling together more self watering planters.  We will have line of four of them along the chain link fence with pole beans to hide it.

We planted a green and a purple grape at the join in the two panels but the grape vines will take a few years to grow up and make the fence attractive.  I am going to do a triple cordon with the main stems twisted around each other and green and purple cordons alternating on both sides. (Being an artist sure makes gardening complicated!)

The dirt was delivered with only four inch deep ruts left in the edge of the parking area and the foot of the garden.  It was a BIIIG truck!  Ten yards of dirt looks like this.  Had to dump it in the middle as there was a phone wire in the way.

 The local Robin thinks it should be a wealth of worms.  I hope it will be too, but for now it is pretty wormless.  It has dirt, sand, peat moss and manure.  Num.  I just want to run my fingers through it!  DH says yuk!

 The trees were planted before the dirt arrived.  We dug half holes, put in the trees and then built up to the graft line with potting soil.  We filled in around after the soil arrived.  First is a Nor-Kent Apple, second is a Manor Plum, then a Crimson Passion Cherry and finally three Honey Berry bushes which are not self fertile.  We had to replant the last one as it washed out in the deluge.  Thirty feet of espaliered orchard  only two feet wide and paths both sides for harvesting.....I am an optimist......

Bless our little birds.  We fashioned a temporary birdbath which they refused to even notice until we put a little forest around it.  I wonder what they will do when we plant the forest in the garden.
  1. This is an extra picture that I do not know how it got here, and cannot figure out how to delete.
We worked hard all weekend.  I was supposed to go to a fabric dying day on the Monday with my stitching group, but my DH gave me a sad-eyed puppy dog look and said that if I would stay home with him he would be my slave-for-a-day in the garden.  He won't admit it but he enjoys gardening as much as I do, but he is not too enamoured with the initial set up of a brand new space, it is a powerful lot of work!

We are a pair of cane-toting old folk, and do a lot of sitting enjoying each other's and the bird's company between spurts of strenuous work!!

DH has been bringing home perennials that we had farmed out last fall when we were told we had to move.  Quite a few did not make the winter, but we have a lot of lilies, iris, a painted daisy, a false sunflower, and something that we have no idea what it is.  We may have transplanted a magnificent weed!

I will be picking up a beautiful rhubarb from our old garden tomorrow.  It was given to me by a good friend and has sentimental value.  I think I will pick up some of the horse radish as well. (I left some roots and had great fun imagining the horse radish erupting up through the floor behind the new teller cages!  I'm baaad!)  (Construction has been delayed on the new Credit Union, they are haggling with the Town over parking....or so the rumour goes....). 

The beds are filling.  I want them to be a good foot higher in the centre but will wait to see how much dirt is left.  The harvesting path looks a bit like a drunk laid it!  Blame that on my meds!  Kind of quirky though.

The trees are all nicely nestled in, and there is some green coming after only six days...WOW!  That's Boughen Nurseries in Valley River, MB.  Last year was their 100'th Anniversary.  Everything is guaranteed to leaf out and their service is great. (The owner's wife and I used to show horses together many many moons ago.)

I gotta go as I have been sorely neglecting my office work......not as much fun as gardening!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Long time, no see!

Whooeeee, time flies when you are not having fun too!

Spring is the busy time for General Meetings of the two art groups I belong to.  As I am on the board of both, I am very involved.  One group is setting up their annual show and I am the Applications Co-ordinator and have been spending hours and hours with that.

I injured my hip again with the move in December, and am still, five months later, in severe pain and it has slowed me down to a crawl, not that I am very fast to begin with.  It is hard to be inspired and work on art when you are exhausted from dealing with constant pain.  DH has been a life saver with the help he gives me around the house, but he can't create art for me. 

We are both avid gardeners, and we are looking forward to turning this yard which is presently all parking lot and weeds:

into a respectable flower garden with fruit trees.

We have doubled the width of the sidewalk on the right, put in posts for espaliered trees (apple, plum, cherry and two honey berries) tilled it all and discovered that the back twelve feet of yard that we are not leaving for parking is 8 inches deep in gravel!!

We had the gravel dug out, saved some in our garden planters to use as paths, and we had enough left over to fill all  the pot holes in the back lane!  A good three and a half yards of the stuff.

We then had the top scraped off the dirt at the front and pushed it into the hole left by the gravel removal.  I am now plotting out the paths and building them up with gravel upon which we will put the broken pieces of patio tiles in an interesting pattern.  Then we will have twelve yards of good topsoil mixed with manure spread over everything, then dig down to find the paths, thus making raised beds.

Sounds easy, doesn't it?  NOT!  I am good for filling and placing three half filled pails of gravel then I sit for a while and watch the birds!  The paths are inching their way along slowly.  My Dr. has told me I can take a lot more Tylenol 3 than I normally do, and with that easing the pain when I work, I really think that the exercise and weight lifting is actually helping to heal my hips.  That and my weekly massages.

(You don't have five deep therapeutic massages in twelve days!  Ask me how I know!  That is a whole 'nother story!!  I thought I would get a jump start on it since our Income Tax refund arrived and I can now afford it.  Another NOT!  I am down to once a week and trying to be patient.)

In the studio I am working on a "hat".  I have volunteered to do several hats for an exhibit of a hat collection.  Various artists are taking the life time collection of hats to turn them into something wondrous.  My 'Buttoned Down Winter Wedding' is almost done, base is ready to have the Outrageous added!

I am also decorating some shoes.  The smallest and most impossibly high heeled shoes I can find at the self-help will be turned into more Outrageousness!  I am hoping to sell these at a gallery as table ornaments.  I also have some commitments for art quilts, and need a lot of new pieces for the show at the end of October.  I think I will have to chain myself to my sewing machine!

I will also try to blog a lot more often.

Happy Spring!

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