Friday, April 19, 2019

Happy Easter!

This week seemed to go by in a flash and I made a stitchery but it still needs to be finished. I did spend time finishing my new garden, and planting some seeds, so more time spent outside. Easter is another bittersweet holiday,  remembering the moments with my kids, but making new memories with the boys.

I tended to spoil the kids on the holidays, but the joy on their faces when they came downstairs, was worth it.

And speaking of the boys. Today mom and dad needed to get out for Easter shopping and dropped the boys out. I really wanted to go to the beach before the rains came, so we took the boys. The problem was, the temperatures dropped when we hit the beach and it was windy. Alex kept saying cold and wanted to snuggle in Grandpa's arms, so he went back in the car while Nick and I hunted for awhile. It was the perfect time with the tide going out and lots of rock piles from the storm, but we took what we could find, quickly and headed back to the car.

After a rest and nap for Alex, we headed up to their house and made a stop at a playground on the way. It wasn't crowed and just the right size for the boys. Nick always has to try out everything and he loves to climb.

Alex was content to swing in the big swing and on the regular seat swing, he loved going up high, he seems fearless and it is wonderful to see him smiling and having fun.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Easter.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Weekend Wanderings!

We had another nice weekend and it is so nice to get out again, I do hate being cooped up in the winter. On Saturday we were going to pick up the boys and on the way up, we stopped at the thrift store.

They get a lot of new items, so I grabbed a new beach pail and a stuff kitty that makes sounds and talks, and it's eyes light up, only a buck a piece. I also found a couple of quilting books. My fun find was a vintage nautical kit, from Maine, which I realized was three in one package. It will be fun to make some things with the items and add a few of my own.

We took the boys for a walk at the park, then a visit to the Umbrella Factory. They had a new photo display, so I had to get a photo.

Alex was loving all the animals and he would have to say hi to all of them. There were new pathways in the bamboo forest so they had fun exploring those.

 On Sunday they were dropped off so we took them to the beach. The boys loved playing at the beach and it was nice to just enjoy watching them play and hunting for glass together. Alex seems to love water, we have to watch that he doesn't go in, which he did at the pond, on the previous day, sneakers and all.

Nick loves to dig and he even found some glass in his hole. Afterwards we took them to the nearby park, lots of fun equipment for kids, but crowded and hectic. Nick had to try everything out.

It was a wonderful weekend with the boys and helped ease the pain of these weeks. Last week was the fourth year anniversary since we lost Danielle and tomorrow is her birthday, along with Easter, it is always the hardest month, missing her and wishing she were with us.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Friday Finishes!

This week I worked on an art piece. Something I have been wanting to try and practice a few techniques on. I decided to go with a small 5" x 7" canvas board. I used a new product, Liquitex matte medium. It went on a lot easier and nicer than the heavy gel, but I noticed bleeding right away.

The end result for my transfer was a bit more faded than the usual, but I did use plain copy paper and a design from one of my photos, that I put through an art filter. So, it wasn't that bold to begin with and gave me the effect I wanted as a background image. Once I cleaned off the paper, most of the red went away, so I was happy with that, as well.

This is how it looked, I did enhance the buildings with colored pencils.

I decided to further enhance some details by painting over the buildings and some of the surf. Then I started playing with things I had in my beach finds. First was the driftwood log, then I found a rock that looked like a body with an arm and some shapes and rocks that I liked and it became a little scene of me at the beach. I used wool for the hat and gloves, small pieces of glass and a shell. It was fun to do and when done, I added glass gel beads to the sand and under the boats. The boats are also my photos, I printed them out and cut out the boats.

I also finished my rug, I decided to stop since I was running out of the dark blue and truthfully, it is hard on my arm and slow going. It is 36" x 26" and I decided to put it at the top of the stairs. I gives a nice pop of color in a dark area and Bean can lie on it when he is waiting for us to get home.

This was done with precut wool, that someone had given me. It is a bit thinner than I usually work with, so the next one I will do in thicker coat weights.

And of course we went beach hunting last weekend. I am trying to keep from over doing it and making sure I get some straight walking in, great exercise and gives my back a rest. We found some nice pieces on Saturday.

And Sunday we got a bit more. I will definitely be making more mixed media art and using some of the fun pieces I find, as well as the glass.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Friday Finish!

I always love a new month, it means a new stitchery from Kathy Schmitz, for her One Stitch Club. Lately she has been doing bird themed stitcheries that are the same size, so we can make them into a quilt. This month, she went with a sweet bunny and as an added bonus, another bird theme to add to a quilt. I have so many blocks to make into quilts, I am just making mine into small pillows, fun to make and great for gifts.

This week I made the bunny, a fun piece to display for Easter. I colored him in with colored pencils before I stitched. Once he was done, I didn't like how the bunny himself, was too start with all the color, so I colored him in, after I made the pillow. I didn't have gray with the Faber Castell pencils, so I used an old Crayola pencil and was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it went on and how nice it shaded, so cheap pencils work just as nice.

This one I reduced slightly, I didn't want another large pillow, so it fits nicely on the shelf with my other easter smalls.

I am still working on my rug, it is slow going with the stitching, but I am almost done with the braid I made, then I can see how much more I need to do. I find it harder to stitch it together, than the braiding, so I will stick with small rugs.

Of course last weekend was spent at the beach. We found a lot of nice pieces on Saturday, always seems to be the best day to find glass and not as many people.

On Sunday we went back, I couldn't resist. It was a little cooler and windy, so the waves were whipping up, so it makes it harder to get glass on the edges, with the waves crashing up. Not as much this time, but still a nice haul to add to the stash.

The dark piece on the bottom left, looks like a rock, but something told me to keep it. When I got home, I used the flashlight under it and it is a piece of olive sea glass. I might have to take the flashlight with me next time, they are so dark, you cannot see through them without a strong light.

Afterwards we rode around the island to enjoy the views and stopped at the cove, overlooking Newport. A nice place to relax and get out of the winds. It looks like another nice weekend, so I am sure we will be hitting the beaches and hopefully get the boys one day, to join in, on the fun.

Even though Bill is sitting on piles of rocks, it is actually comfortable, so many that they are more cushioned, lol. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy exploring the hidden gems in your area.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Friday Finish!

This week I have spent working on my rug and my hand quilting, still lots to go. I have been wanting to make something felted, so yesterday I worked on a stork. I got a book from the library, but you know me, I looked at the pictures and did my own thing.

I also have been wanting to try a wire form, so for this one I used chenille. I made a body part, wings and feet and then I wrapped roving around the main frame, to get started. Once that was done, I added the roving to form the stork.

It was nice having a form to work around without thinking about attaching the pieces, but it also made it harder to felt, since I had to work around the chenille and once I hit it and broke a needle. I think I enjoy free form felting better, I have more control over shapes and forming the shape to get depth and details.

Not what I wanted to happen, but not too bad. I think I will go back and fix a few things, definitely his big feet, lol. I can cut off the excess and reform with new roving.

Since I have made a long length of braid, I started sewing it together. I tried following the directions for sewing properly, which didn't work for me. The braids are smaller and not formed perfectly, so I have to sew under some and through others. As long as I can't see the thread and it is sewed tightly, I am fine with that.

This is what I have done so far, it is taking a lot longer than I remember. I work on this for a bit during the day and my hand quilting at night, eventually both projects will get done.

Here is a close up, I cannot get the true green. It is bright, but more a blue/green shade, with dark blue and medium blue.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We have a nice day tomorrow. I have decided it is time to get out for more hiking and less bending over the beach, so hopefully I am up for a good hike tomorrow.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Free Easter Bunny!

This weekend I took a break on Saturday since it was windy and cold. It gave Bill a day to work on the bathroom, though I am not sure how much he really did, lol. On facebook there is a group called Homespun Whimsey - Woolen Friends. She offers free patterns and block of the month. When I saw the bunny, I knew I had to make one.

I used what I had in my stash drawers and did more prim stitching, but I wanted to add a pop of color too. I like having things that the boys enjoy too, so more color in my pieces, lately. It was fun to make and I put it on the wall with rug tape. A great way to hang pieces without wrecking the walls.

On Sunday the boys had plans with mom and dad, so Bill and I went exploring by ourselves. We went to a small wooded park, that has paths and along the way, artwork by local artists.

It was a short walk, but fun to see something different and I left a painted rock along the path, for someone to find.

I was in the mood for a longer hike, so we went to the bird sanctuary at Trustum Pond. It was more crowded than usual, but we could still enjoy some quiet hiking along the paths and the local wildlife along the way. There are fields that are off limits for hikers, but I spied this guy and snuck in a little way to get a shot. A red tailed hawk, perfect spot to watch for mice in the fields.

The turtles are still hibernating, but we spied this beaver in the pond.

At the entrance, there is an area for birds with feeders and water, so a great place to see varieties of birds that are coming and going for the spring migration. This little Tufted Titmouse sat just long enough to get a shot.

The tide was going down and I wanted to check out the beach nearby. It was windy and cold, so I did a quick look in the immediate area and grabbed what I could, but too cold to stay out too long. The beach was covered in rocks, I know there was tons of glass in there, hated to leave, lol. The larger round piece was so clear, I grabbed it, thinking it was probably a rock, but I realized it was glass, so a nice find.

Hopefully I can get in the creative mood this week and start working on some art projects.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday Workings!

This week I have been working on old projects and starting a new one. I have tons of wool, especially scrap wool, so I plan on using the wool that is not great for hooking or appliqué and making scrap rugs. I was gifted wool, years ago and decided to start with that and making a braided rug.

The great thing about braided rugs are, they are not hard to make and you do not need any tools, if you use what you have. There are various methods so it is a great way to use up junk wool and fabric scraps, as well.

I couldn't find my braid aids, but I did find an old set that was still in the box and it even came with a measuring tool and flat needle for threading. I get old supplies from friends and relatives, so sometimes I don't even realize what I have. It is a nice set and never been used, so I can use it for future rugs. For this one, the strips are too thin to get a nice braid with them.

This is what I have gotten done so far, a bit thinner than I like, but I have enough rolled strips to make a small throw rug, so once I use up this wool, I will finish it off and if I need a little extra, I know I have plenty of similar wools.

I am using my hands to turn the wool under, as I go, so slower going. It also twists as I braid, so I have to untwist it, as I go, so that slows me down, but also gives my hands a rest.

While I was looking for the aids, I found items I had forgotten about. To finish and paint the floral rug, or sell to someone else. The cats would be a fun one for the kitty bowls. And, it is one rug the cats won't claw at. The dog piece is another oldy, I really need to clean out my supplies, lots from the 80's.

And we got to spend time at the beach on the weekend and a few days during the week. The glass photos to the right are from my favorite beach, we found some nice treasures. The smaller photo on the left is from a local port beach, not a lot of great glass, but a few fun finds, a domino and an old local beer cap. Now I need to make time for working on some art pieces I have been thinking about.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.