Monday, April 16, 2012

Vacation Kaleidoscope

 Kaleidoscopic views of the Oregon Coast from our recent road trip...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Rainy Flowers

 More post-rain, momentarily-sunny spring-is-finally-sprung pictures.

 That one big drop of water turning the colors because of the reflection really caught my eye.
 Irises can hold a surprising amount of rain.

All the raindrops and their shadows just sitting on top of a tulip leaf.
 The red of the tulip caught in the raindrops surprised me when I saw this photo.  It wasn't something I saw when I was taking the picture.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bending The Calendar

More work-in-progress, which is currently titled "Bending The Calendar".  This one features the calendar portions of a vintage linen calendar towel.  The image part of the towel was already used to make a sweatshirt jacket for my mom.  It featured strawberries and was by Vera.  Which for the longest time I remember thinking it was Usna.  That's what the signature looked like to me before I could read hand-writing.  Anyways the things I continue to find in my scrapbox remain inspiring to me. Sometimes I start to question myself on keeping ALL those scraps, but if I keep finding inspiration in them and keep using them, I guess it is worthwhile.
You can see some of the machine embroidery stitches I'm using in variegated thread along the edges of the calendar.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hole-y Jellybeans

 More work-in-progress pictures.  Maybe it is due to eating jelly beans recently, but these colors and that particular shape is saying jelly beans to me.  We'll see if that makes it into the title by the time this is finished.
Holey fabric, mistakes happen sometimes, like leaving fabric for months soaking in soda ash solution.  Whoops!  It really does weaken the fibers, the books aren't kidding.  See I did the experiment for you, now you don't have to do it yourself...
By using this fabric I am taking a risk that it will continue to deteriorate further, not a good start for quilt conservation.  But I can't resist how cool and organic that hole looks, so there it is, right in the middle of everything..

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

All Along The Coast

 A recent spontaneous trip up the Northern California to Oregon coast to deliver our son Zach back to college after spring break led to us finally getting to drive through a redwood tree.  After all these years living in a redwood forest, I can finally say I've driven through one. I had to drive for about 6 hours to get there to do it as this is the Chandelier Tree in Leggett, California.  Good thing we had the smaller car, I don't think my SUV would have fit!

We drove through many times, got our money's worth oh yes we did.  Even if it was pouring rain, still was worth the $5 admission.  Skipped the gift shop, we've got all the burl items we can use thankyouverymuch.

 It was really interesting to stand in the tunnel and feel the weight of the enormous tree around and overhead.

 Such a rainy day for a drive, but it was really beautiful too.

 The beaches are rockier and darker than the ones near us.  Oh and a lot colder and windier too:

 The next day we drove over the border into Oregon and the sun broke through just as we got to the Dunes park! Woohoo! Luckily there is a part set aside for non-motorized visitors, otherwise we would have been dodging all the ATV's and motorcycles.

Steep steep steep, but fun to roll down once you get to the top.
I was just happy to be out of the car and walking around soaking up some sun.

I  think this might be one of my favorite pictures of Marc and the boys.

The reflection of the trees in the slowly moving water was mesmerizing.  I really liked this one a lot.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Am The Lorax

Have you ever read "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss?  It's one of our family's all-time favorite Seuss books.  We also had the animated movie as well which is as good as The Grinch in my opinion.  Anyways, I was really excited to see this panel in my local quilt shop, Sue Dee's.  I bought it with the thought of making a pillowcase for my son Zach since he's leaning towards environmental studies in college.  The Lorax speaks for the trees (and the environment in general).
Mostly I was just glad to see this book highlighted in fabric like this.  No doubt because of the recent big-screen movie adaptation (haven't seen it).  But I was really glad that the original illustrations were used.  There's something about them, the clean lines, not overly detailed, and surreal as all get out.  I've always got a weak-spot for surrealism...  And the use of text and font and word placement to help communicate the story.
So, no I haven't made the pillowcase quite yet.  I may combine it with the squids will be squids fabric since it's the same brown/orange/blue color scheme.  Hmmm, I wonder if any of my nieces like the Lorax, I'd better find that out...

Monday, April 09, 2012

Farewell Rexie

Sorry to report, another sad day, our sweetest cat ever, Rexie passed away last night.  He was in his favorite spot, on my son Alex's lap, snuggled up as Alex was writing an English paper on his laptop.  It all happened so fast, and now he's just gone.  He really was the sweetest, most gentle cat we've ever had the pleasure to live with.
When he was a kitten he used to stand up on his hind legs and battle with his front paws, and my dinosaur crazed at the time son named him T. Rexie.   He had the most mellow personality of any cat I've ever seen, until he got pushed too far and then watch out, he was fierce.  One of his favorite places out in our yard was perched high up in one of the redwood trees so we'll be burying him under one of those.
We'll miss you forever Rexie.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Totally Tulips

 A I'm-Happy-It's-Spring post!  Here have a whole bunch of sunny day after rain tulips.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Printing Chickens

 I recently found this chicken wood-block at a local store and just couldn't resist, because, chickens!  I got out the Dr. p.h. Martin's ink and dry ink stamping pad that I like to use for stamping and some nice tight pima cotton and tried it.  Didn't work too well, as you can see below on the left.
The stamp isn't very even on the stamping surface, so I put a layer of quilt batting underneath to give more to press into and make all of the stamp surface come into contact with the fabric.  I also used my trusty brayer to get the ink onto the stamp because the stamp pad didn't work too well either.
 It did much better printing with the quilt batting underneath.
 And the third print?
Hmmm, still pretty spotty.  The ink was gathering in these deep cut out parts in the design.  I think I'll either thicken the ink, or use fabric paint next time in hopes that it will just stick on the stamping surface.
Not giving up, I need more chickens...