A festival of…fiddly bits!

Of course, I spend a lot of time watching paint dry when I’m mounting work on canvas!

But I’m pretty happy when it finally dries and I get that piece mounted!

Today I thought I might do some more pieces with this type of string background, but I couldn’t make myself work with those strings. I decided to look through my unloved, previously quilted pieces and maybe cut them up for coasters. Thankfully I don’t have too many of those, but the first one I came across is not going to end as coasters!

It was pretty unattractive as a whole piece but when I cut it into smaller chunks—well, it will do! Two larger and two smaller pieces that look so much better in tiny doses!

And then there’s this–

big, very bright, in your face red and stripes. Don’t have a solution yet, but I’m pretty sure there are some coasters coming out of this!

And there is always more quilting to be done. In fact, I thought this piece would be finished with some straight lines in an afternoon. But noooooo–it needs much more stitching than I originally thought.

It really does. So it will take quite a bit longer, but I simply cannot be satisfied with it as it is here. Yep–quilted to death on this one.

All of this is in an effort to organize myself for three–yes, three–upcoming shows! And some of my stuff is out at yet another show now. Usually the shows are one at a time and what doesn’t go in one will go in the next. This time though, there are applications and photos, so some items have to be reserved for each show. I know this is normal for most artists who regularly enter shows, but I haven’t done this many at once before. Lots of fiddly bits to work out and forcing myself to finish all the way–including labels, sleeves, hardware, photos, and inventory sheets!

Not creative, maybe, but necessary.


Busyness abounds…

Have not spent any time in the studio this week! Grandson and friend here Tuesday, so I got to watch the race cars racing and the nerf guns shooting and listen to their lovely laughter.

Got some new shoes, though. Aren’t these perfect for a quilter?

Wednesday was lunch with friends, drive to Grand Rapids and dinner with other friends. A totally wonderful day.

Thursday–AQS quilt show in Grand Rapids and that is always a delight. Hubby went to the Gerald Ford museum right across the river and he had a good time, too!

Got to check out my friends working on an Art Prize neighborhood project…really cool! All four sides of the building will have a mural in this style.

Home again and an extra baby-sitting night with the grandson. BONUS! And then our regular summer Friday with him. Loved that he climbed high up in a tree…look at that smile!!

High enough to make me nervous, but also made me remember how much I loved to climb trees, too.

Maybe sewing time on Sunday, or maybe one more lazy day!


It’s a beautiful world

Had a bit of free time today, so I took a little drive around the Blue Lake area. I should say the White Lake area, because that’s where the towns of Whitehall and Montague are located and where I actually wandered through.

My first stop was a quilt store that I have visited each time I’ve been here. You may be surprised to hear that there is always something that I cannot leave without! Today, however, had a huge bonus.

Yes, quilt show AT the store. I’m missing my Ann Arbor Guild quilt show this weekend, so this was a wonderful consolation! I only took a couple pictures, but there were quite a few quilts and it was just lovely.

As I headed back to my room, I definitely took the scenic route!

It’s so nice to have some time to relax and really enjoy the beauty around us. It was a glorious day.

Oh, sweet lavender…

We decided to go to a nearby lavender festival this past weekend. Would never have dreamed that there would be a traffic backup! On a long stretch of country road with no cross roads or turn offs. And a fender bender. And another disabled vehicle. Couldn’t hardly¬† move forward and the police and tow trucks had us blocked the other way, so we simply gathered our patience and waited our turn to get into the festival.

The aroma was noticeable the moment we stepped out of the car. Look at these full, beautiful bushes!

And we finally arrived just in time for the lecture and demo I had wanted to hear, so it was all good. I learned about French and English lavender and planting and pruning, and when to call it a day and pull out the plant!

I never knew it was such a “thing” to have your photo taken in a field of lavender, but there were lots of little girls in fancy dresses becoming very pretty pictures!

I did not take too many pics but I sniffed in that delicious aroma a lot! There were vendors and oils and jams and sachets……………I successfully resisted.

It made me very happy to see lots of bees around the plants, too.

Interestingly enough, they were plentiful around those big, full bushes, but where the ones were not as full, I did not see any bees. I guess they know where to get a good meal.

There is a lavender labyrinth near Blue Lake that we visited last year and that inspired the desire to visit this festival. I really never knew how much I loved this fragrant plant until I had a bush of my own. Now I am almost obsessed…I will be making room for more plants in my garden! Perhaps now I can actually keep more of them alive!

Bored and lazy…sigh…

Boredom is, of course, a reflection of a lazy mind. And my brain is very lazy today. It’s a too hot summer day—I’d much rather be sitting outside on a normal hot summer day than in the air conditioning–and my energy level is near zero.

It’s about all I can do today to lift a needle, much less thread it and actually use it!

I picked up a few scraps and started to work on another little block and hated it. The background was fine–on it’s own–and the scraps were fine–on their own. Not so good when I tried to put them together!

That sent me on a search for some better background scraps. I’m a lot happier with this piece now.

I have so many of these little pieces now and most of them are still waiting for me to decide on beading or no beads. They are certainly fine as they are, for what they are. I simply need to decide if spending more time on them, adding more embellishment to them, will raise them above the level of ‘okay’ to ‘very nice’.

And my lazy brain is not up to that task today. Must be time to lie around on the couch for a while and read a book. Might even slip into a nap!

Cousins Re-connect

Met up in Chicago with my California cousin Peg, with a plan to spend a few days doing family research. Spent the night and had to take at least one pic of the skyline. Nothing like a big city at night!

The next day we connected with our Chicago area cousin Bill. He has an old one-horse buggy from the family and it is just beautiful!

He also has this beautiful old car…which he admits he has not cleaned up and run in a few years!

AND he has a serious woodworking hobby!

Loved catching up with him and his lovely wife.

Then we spent a couple of days going to cemeteries and libraries and the old family farm sites. Found out we had a relative who was running a dance pavilion and got arrested and convicted, from not having the proper permits. Quite a local scandal, but it was during the Roaring 20’s and I think it was a time when people were looking to have a good time!

Our cemetery searches found almost everyone that Peggy was looking for, and maybe all that were ‘find-able.’ It helped that most of the relatives had big headstones with their names on them! I didn’t take any pics of those but took one of this monument.

I came upon it from the back and thought it was a tree stump with carving until I got close. It’s stone! Totally awesome!

There are some other cousins from my mom’s side of the family that I am going to try to meet up with on our way home. This could be a really good weekend for making family connections!

In any event, we have had a wonderful time. Peg had done so much research on the family that she made it easy to find any missing links. Better than that, though, is that she and Rick were great to hang around with!!