Friday, August 31, 2012


Still no sewing or new clay work to share but for bird fans here's a flicker woodpecker I enjoyed watching this summer.....

Monday, August 27, 2012

Which is My Good Side?

It was early morning, not much light so I lost the blue sky in the background as I had to lighten these photos to see this guy's (girl's?) face. (One day I hope to learn to use the manual settings on my camera.) It's still a thrill when I see these birds.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Making of Architecture

 Over at Tangle Textiles our challenge this past two months has been 'architecture' and this is how mine evolved.... after many, many sketches of ideas I settled on this as my starting point.....
While spending time on the west coast in July I was mesmerized by the gorgeous sunsets over the ocean so gravitated to bright yellows, oranges, reds and ocean blues so I started creating a background of wavy blues...
... but realized that wouldn't work so set those aside and stitched a couple blues together in strips as if boards on a house.
Then I experimented with how I would represent the sunset reflecting in the windows ..... I sampled water colour pencils on water colour paper and stitched to fabric which remained an option. Then I tried water colour pencils on fabric but that was not bright enough for me.
I may return to that idea of water colour paper stitched to fabric for another project but I decided on a crazy mosaic-like patchwork. I cut and laid tiny bits to fusible web. I wondered if I would regret not having put the fusible web onto each of the fabrics and cut those, thus creating less ravelly edges and less need to stitch like crazy to hold the edges down but I'm happy with my choice as it gives a more rustic feel to the piece. I started with more yellow in the center which would become the center of the sunset and also the reflection on the door window.

I drew a pattern so I could cut out the pieces to fit our designated 16 by 16" size.

I pieced the door with two different browns. Later I cut out the window and laid the reflection under the door to create the window.
As I started laying our the yellow windows I realized the brown door did not tie into the rest of the piece and the windows were boring so I adding some 'beams' to my fantasy sunset house and added a few bits of blue to the left windows to tie in the blue and represent reflection from the ocean.
Suddenly dozens of options appeared as I started laying out the windows and beams. Perhaps I should have one long window on one side, should it come to the ground or should there be blue at the bottom, should the top beam be horizontal or should it slope, etc, etc. I took dozens of photos of different layouts. Below are just a few.

Decisions finally made so I started sewing. I used clear thread to stitch like mad the little bits down on the windows, satin stitched the window pane lines and around the windows, created little wooden beams to go around the door window and opted for a machine stitched handle.
When the blue had seemed too bright I was thinking I would add some paint at the end to scruff up the house but I decided that I liked the bright look as after all I had begun to think of this as my "Fantasy Sunset Reflection, Oceanside". I did add a little touch of gold and red sparkle paint to bits of the windows.
So completed my architecture challenge piece! Now I'm thinking should I hang it from some driftwood? Perhaps a piece at the top and another at the bottom? What do you think?
The photo above was taken before I added the sparkle paint.

To see the other architecture pieces head over to Tangled Textiles!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


When my husband and I were on vacation this summer we saw this amazing bird performing acrobats above us. He pulled out our bird book and identified it as a swift. It is somewhat related to the hummingbird although in many ways resembles a swallow. They are interesting birds to read about.

Their relationship to hummingbirds is evident as it hovers in the air behind this tree trunk. We wondered if it had a nest back there as it approached that spot many, many times after swooping around the air first. But when I blew the photo up it doesn't appear there would be room for a nest there. Perhaps catching bugs in the tree?