Directions and sleeves, again!

Are you tired of looking at this piece, yet? Here’s the newest rendition ————

And the detail

I had always planned on making the spot where the bead is my focal point. And I thought this large bead, surrounded by small beads would work. Played with laying out more and more beads and it simply was not working for me.

So I took them all off.

There is not a single bead or button or rock in my collection that is just right for this spot. For the moment then, I have decided to stick with the total hand stitching aspect and  identify that focal spot with a few French knots.

They don’t stand out very much, so I know that won’t be the final look. I changed the direction I was thinking of, too, because I don’t want to give the idea of a picket fence!

This one is going into temporary time out until I get it all figured out!

And since I’m working on several shows right now, I have sleeves and finishing…always!

Sleeves last night

and today I will work on adding hanging hardware and wires to my canvas pieces.

When everything is actually ready to be sold, I can relax and think about new pieces again!

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There’s probably a better way…

The construction methods I am using in this scrap project are very time consuming. I am positive there is a better way, but…these scrap projects are make-it-up-as-I-go-along. Sometimes you go forward, then backward to make progress.

I started with the dark blue background and put some contrasting strips on it. Tried lots of variations but didn’t have what I wanted to add with me so I basted it and put it aside until I got home.

Original idea

I ended up adding only a couple of little strips and basted again. At this point of construction, I baste to a piece of batting or felt. Then I can do any stitching or beading without worrying about the messy back showing. I add a backing after all that work is done. That requires a bit more stitching to hold those layers together, but I can plan for that!

Thought I wanted to add tons of glitz and foo-foo, but really couldn’t figure out what would look good AND not totally obscure the strips! Then inspiration struck, thanks to a picture from Katie McGrath and I decided that a simple circle pattern would work the best. Sooooo, I machine basted that, using the presser foot as my guide.

Basting all over this baby! Started hand stitching, again keeping it simple and removing basting stitches as I went along. The basting on the machine took about 5 minutes. The hand stitching takes a bit more time! Here’s where I’m at, hours later, with lots more stitching ahead.

But guess what? Simple stitches are so relaxing. No worry about which new stitch to use, or to learn or balancing the variety of stitches chosen. Simply sewing. Lots of basting, and more basting and taking out the basting. Then lots of stitching and when I add the back, more stitching.

Yes, there probably is a better way, but this way gives me lots of decision making time and every bit of it is working with the textiles I love! It’s all good!

And it was our local Appleumpkin Festival this weekend, so we took time out to walk uptown and check out everything. It’s also become a family tradition to visit one particular vendor who creates metal yard art. I ALWAYS find something I love and here is this year’s winner.

I have a pretty good metal art garden going on now. I plan to arrange it more purposefully in the spring, and make it a nice feature in the front of my house. Always have more plans than time, but this is a spring project–lots of time!

Right now it’s finishing time for all my pieces—Holiday Show in Lansing, through Grove Gallery, my Artisan Showcase on Nov. 3 and a joint show with Katie McGrath at the Northville Art House in January. Life is busy, but it’s soooooo wonderful!

Happy stitches

It looks like I got more done on vacation than I really did! When you put the little bits and pieces up on the design wall all together—yep, looks like I worked very hard.

But these are only the very beginnings of new pieces. I am excited to have them to work on, but I needed to get this finished.

I will get a better picture of it up on the design wall, but I got it done right at the last minute before we had to leave and pick up the grandson for our regular Friday night sleepover. Boy, did I ever miss that while we were gone!

Of course the vacation had to include a visit to local quilt stores and even though I tried, I could not resist picking up a few more pieces of fabric!

It’s always good to get home, and I’m especially happy that it’s home with lots of new ideas!

Happy hiking!

Mostly pictures today. We went on a hike to see some waterfalls. The “road” to the trail head was very rough and part of it included fording a small stream–which I did not get a picture of, since I was bouncing around a little bit!

The trail was narrow and steep, starting out going way, way down and then up, up, up! We were so disappointed that the bridge was out at the main stream. There were not enough sticks laying down in the water to make me brave enough to cross it. If it had been warmer though, I probably would have taken off my shoes and waded!

Saw lots of trees down in the forest, of course, and the mushroom growths are so very beautiful.

The most fascinating thing to me, though, was the root system that held the trees firmly to side of the mountain.

And this single tree system continued

…and continued

…and continued.

It was absolutely amazing to see this clinging to bedrock, supporting the tree and a major section of the trail as well.

And since we didn’t get to the waterfalls, we did the tourist thing at an old mill creek and dam.

I REALLY love big old rocks!

We finished our outing with a big ol’ juicy burger and were quite happy to get back for an afternoon nap.

What a great day!

I guess I liked this spot the best…several pictures! Hahaha!

Little bits of nothing much

Having time and not having the right materials is hard. The ideas are there but I need more of a palette than I brought with me.

This one starts with a fat quarter of navy blue. I wanted it full sized—really did not want to cut it into pieces! So I added a previously cut square with a rainbow of colors.

I went through every piece of fabric I had to decide what the next step would be———-and put every piece of fabric back on the pile. This is basted and set aside until I have access to more options.

Going back to smaller pieces, I tried this.

It’s a start, but I think I will want a series of embellished lines all across it and I don’t have any of that kind of stuff here with me. This is basted and set aside until I have access to more options.

Third time’s the charm, right? Pick up a few more pieces and just lay them on top of one another. I’m happy with the start…

Guess what? This is basted and set aside until I have access to more options.

My attempt to force the fabrics I have to go together in more configurations is done! I think I need to wait until I have access to ALL my options!

Time to go read a book….and probably attempt my favorite sport, napping!

Aaaaah….vacation!

Mountain fun

Most of these pictures are from the top of Bell Mountain, which now has a steep, paved road to the top, with a nice little parking lot and an observation tower. When my family first started coming to this area, it was a dirt road and a steep climb. I’m glad we are doing it the easy way now!

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Looking forward to our next hike…whether it’s high up in the hills or down in a deeply shaded valley!

Idea train—hop on board!

While on vacation, I thought I’d have time to play a little bit making some back grounds. I grabbed a small stack of fabric and really believed it was more than I would ever have time to use.

Well, I had time to make this one, but nothing else appropriate to add to it.

Then I had almost all day today and looked at many, many…yes, many options. I’ll put them into a small slide show for you.

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To my mind, I don’t have the correct color. I do like the single strips woven through the light blue strips, though. I think I might need a brighter fuschia, but I will have to settle for this first step and try out other fabric when I have my full palette available.

Soooooo–having more time to sit and relax is wonderful! And I do have quite a bit of fabric left to play with. I’m having fun with the colors I’m working with, so I think I will simply continue to create backgrounds, or parts of backgrounds with them and use them as best I can later.

Deck time-mountain view-family—————that’s is the major agenda right now, but you know I will always find time to sew if I can!