Monday, January 29, 2018

Beach Combing for Art!

This weekend was warmer but it was windy, so beach combing wasn't as easy. The tide was also out earlier, so we go there as it was coming back in, but still lots of shoreline to explore. I got a nice amount of glass and some stones, so building up my stash of glass, a bit at a time.

We got quite a few large pieces this time, the large heart rock is 3" wide, to give you a perspective. The heart will be painted and hidden, hoping to finish a few to hide before Valentines.

The wind got so bad, I decided to give up, since the wind was blowing the waves back in, higher than normal. Another reason to go to this beach was, to go to the lighthouse to watch the moon rise. It was daytime, but I just wanted to see what it would look like as it rose above Newport. We waited over a half hour and no moon, the fog took over, so I gave up. I found a spot on a cliff side, with a rock ledge to protect me from the wind. At least I got to enjoy some relax time while enjoying the views.

Sunday was a rainy day so we decided to go shopping. I hit the jackpot this time, I found a motorized, ride on firetruck that blows bubbles marked down to 15.00 dollars. Alex will love it and I will save it for his Birthday. I also got myself some art supplies, so I can start painting more angels and other items. Luckily the rain stopped when we got down the Watch Hill, but it was definitely foggy.

The boardwalk is desolate in the winter, but it is so calm and peaceful when it is shrouded by the fog.

We enjoyed a ride around the ocean loop and came out to Atlantic Beach, a long strip of beaches, hotels and amusements, but nice and quiet in the winter. This is a beach that has high banks, so the rocks get thrown up and tumbled, so there are a lot of smaller, smooth stones, which is just what I was looking for.

We found a nice amount but gave up with the rising tide. I was looking for stones that I can use as heads and bodies and as you can see from the photos, this is why I am collecting them. I have seen pebble art in the stores and they charge a fortune. The rocks are free and what you can make is only limited by your imagination. It is like a puzzle, you just play with them and see what you can make. You can also go online and look up beach, pebble, art and you will find lots of wonderful pieces to inspire you.

I was just playing around, I want to try a bird piece and something simple to start with. I like the idea of painting the background with watercolor and adding a quote or word to the upper corner. I played in photoshop to see who it would look, and like the color better. I also want to use a small piece of glass for his beak and maybe wire legs, still playing and thinking.

I hope you all had a nice weekend and remember, even in the gloomiest days, you can find joy and creativity in the simplest of things.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Friday Finish!

This week I made a new piece, A BOM from The Little Red Hen, a new group on Facebook called Wooly Mysteries. There will be a new block each month and it is cat themed, my favorite subject to create.

I decided to do mine scrappy, using striped homespuns from my stash and old thrift wools. I added a mouth to mine, each one will be different but similar, since I do mine by hand and my hand has a mind of it's own, so that is what creates the personalities.

On this one I used green shades, the body is a men's jacket that I over dyed with a greenish blue, it got washed out in the photo.

I also got all my stockings prepped and ready to sew. I use freezer paper and decided to cut out the shape itself, before cutting the stocking. I was able to use the same piece for all five stockings, which is a nice way to save on freezer paper costs. What I did was, iron on the stocking shape, then I put it on the table to have a harder surface. I used my General's pencils to trace the design around the freezer paper, then removed that and cut out my stocking, 1/4" from the chalk line. It made it easier for me to judge the cut around the line. It also makes it easier to turn under, since you can use the lines as your turning edge. The pencil does make the line outside the original line, so you need to compensate for that, by turning the chalk line under, but it still works, even if your stockings are not the exact size.

This is with the white pencil, they also have them in colors, if you are working on light fabrics.

And this is how they look, when done, not perfect, but much better than my usual wonky applique. I will wait till I make the next three, before I decide placement. There is also a sashing and a middle section, so I think once separated they will look much better.

I hope  you all have a wonderful weekend and hopefully it will be warming up in your area. I am going to get out early to catch the tide and look for more beach glass. I have been collecting ideas for things to make for my beach room.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Weekend Wanderings!

We actually had weather that was nice enough to go outside. It was so nice to get out and enjoy the fresh air without freezing to death. It was still a little chilly, but with gloves and a hat, it was the perfect day to enjoy a few hours on the beach.

Of course Bean loved getting out too, enjoying his favorite activity, rock pushing. And, the freezing water temperatures didn't seem to bother him, he kept running in the water too.

It was also the perfect day for beach combing. The tide was going out and with less people going out in the winter, I found a nice amount of sea glass. Some is shiny and the tiny bits are being collected for art pieces. I am thinking of trying some mixed media pieces.

Sunday was another nice day and a great day to take Nick out for some exploring. He loves going on trails and leading the way. He decided to mark the trail so we wouldn't get lost.

He was excited to see the tower at the end of the trail, at first he started running, saying playground, lol. But even though, he was just as thrilled when he found he could go up the tower and enjoy the views from the telescope.

We headed across the road to the beach and enjoyed some time, beach combing. Nick was grabbing rocks, so it was slow going. The tide was still going out, but this beach has steep slopes so the rocks get tumbled and I even found some nice smooth rocks for painting.

We walked down one side of the beach to the rocks, a nice spot to stop and enjoy the views. The clouds are superimposed with photoshop, it was all washed out from the sun glare.

A beach bench, made with found materials.

We ended the day at the park, down the road. I knew they had bathrooms and I had to go, lol. Nick loved the fun equipment and digging in the dirt. It was a wonderful weekend, but Grandma is beat, so today was a rest day. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and now it is time to catch up around the house and work on some projects.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday Finish!

I have a habit of seeing something new and wanting to make it. And with Cheri's free patterns, there are way too many to keep me distracted. This week I made the wedding pillow, perfect for a gift, for an upcoming anniversary.

This was another fun one, done in wool and stitchery, and I added my own fabric touches for the clothes, as well as, faces and buttons. The finished pillow is 12" x 11". If you haven't joined Cheri's Facebook group, you can visit and sign up at, Quilts by Cheri.

The rest of the week was spent taking down Christmas and cleaning out my sewing room. I am thinking of taking out the large table and the kids need one, so they can have that and Bill will make me a skinnier cutting table with stock cabinets, and I am thinking wheels so I can pull it off the wall to work on quilts, so it will be nice to design one to fit my needs and space.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We have some warmer temps, so hoping to finally get out for some beach combing.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Weekend Wanderings!

Another cold weekend, so shopping was more on the agenda than going for walks. The good thing is, we got to enjoy a few nice rides and check out the frozen scenery.

We drove down some back roads to see the rivers. With the snow and rain melting it all, the rivers were running fast and high. This area is part of an old mill village. There are mills all along the different sections and the main mill was a textile mill.

With the rising rivers, it meant rising waters. The boat ramp was getting swallowed up. A lot of people like to start here and go down river, along the rapids. We always start further down and paddle the slower moving, section. I noticed a few areas that I can get down to the mill section, so when the weather is better, I will have to do some exploring.

On Sunday we did our ride to the ocean. It is nice to get out and hit the stores at the south end and then enjoy the scenic drive, along the waterways to the ocean. The problem was, way too cold to get out. On the way home, we stopped at the boat launch in town. Even with the rains, the cove is still half frozen.

There are still boats in the water and I was surprised to see this pirate ship at the docks. I heard it is wintering in our harbor. It is actually a motor boat that was outfitted with a pirate facade. Even comes with it's own lady pirate.

I love shopping this time of year, got some great bargains and even found a large Glitter house church with lights for only 3.50. Another thing I have been looking at is bean bag chairs. I thought it might be a fun and comfy chair for my room, something I can sack out in when I am drawing or creating. I was surprised when I found one in a TJ Maxx home store and a matching ottoman, and half the price. So, it came home with me and it is so comfortable, but it is a lot bigger than I thought, lol. Now I have to redo my room, maybe time to get rid of things I just stuck in there. I will have to find a nice crate to use as a table.

For now I decided to leave the chaise in the room and I actually like it much better, now that it is in the other corner. Seems more cozy and with some large pillows and a quilt, it will be another cozy spot to relax. Still a work in progress, so I may change my mind again.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Time to get going on my projects and I even found two new greens to match up my stockings better.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Finish!

I love projects that I can finish quickly and have fun, while doing so. This is a pattern by Cheri Saffiote, offered in the file section of her Facebook group, Quilts by Cheri. Cheri has allowed others to scan in, her out of print patterns and their are enough to keep you busy for years.

I made this one into a pillow, I think it would make a nice gift. It is 9" x 15". I used a wool yarn for the edge and gather it as I go to make it like a nubby scallop. I also added a light walnut stain to age it a bit.

We have a rainy day and a bit more tomorrow, then cold again. That means no walks on the beach, the cold is bad enough, but with the rain turning to ice, walking anywhere will be dangerous.

Bean and I were able to get out and enjoy one more snow day before the snow turned to mush this week and now the rain is turning our yard into a pond. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I plan on relaxing and working on a new project and getting my stocking blocks ready to sew.

Bean will try and catch anything  you throw and his mouth is big enough to catch most things.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Day Late Finish!

This week I wanted to try something from a  free pattern by Lori Bechlin, on her Facebook group, The Punch Needle Guild. It seemed simple enough and I thought I could finish it over the weekend. I made it larger than i had planned and I didn't get any work done this weekend, so I got it done yesterday and the finishes today.

I made them to hang on my prim tree for Valentines. I also used what I had in my scrap box, so kept it simple and antiqued it to mottle the colors. I finished it by trimming the edge to 1/4 inch, then I folded that to the back and tacked it down with stick glue. Then I cut out a wool heart and stitched that onto the back of the heart. I made a twisted cord to add to the edge and left enough to use as a hanger. I still have to sew it into a loop and trim the pieces on the front, forgot to do that.

I tried some leaves on one, but I like the one with just hearts, better. I also did them in different sizes. the top one is done in 3 strands of floss and the bottom in 6. I found the 3 strands easier to work with and easier on my arm.

Today was actually warm enough to go outside without freezing. Bean was very happy, even though Dad takes it out during the day, he still wants to play with me.

His soccer ball is perfect to play in the snow with.

Soft enough for me to kick in the air and easy to catch for him.

And who needs a ball when we have all that snow on the ground to throw around.

And when you are stuck in the house, you find ways to entertain yourself. Izzy wasn't thrilled with being my photo model. I used my phone, will have to see what outfits I can get on her and use my good camera;)

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Friday Finish!

I hope everyone faired well during the recent storm. We had a bit of a blizzard and the cold winds are continuing through the weekend. Too cold to enjoy being outside, but perfect for working on projects.

This week I got the newest stitchery from Kathy's One Stitch Club. The design is french inspired and she did hers in light shades with light thread, which I like, but I decided to try it in dark shades. I used coffee stained fabric and on one a yellowed tan and the other a medium tan shade. I used stash thread, so no idea the actual colors.

I like how they came out, they are stuffed with batting and lavender, since I made them to be sachets. The problem is, the blue marker ran into the threads, so I used soap to wash it out and that soaked the pillows. With all that moisture and drying, it changed the coloring on the fabric, I guess it runs and reforms into shapes. It also did something to the lavender and there are stiff spots on the back. I have learned, wash off the marker, before I stuff them;)

I realized I forgot the button at the bottom and I also stamped out the initial at the top, didn't want it showing;) The edges are done with a wool, rug yarn.

I also started one of the stocking blocks. I wanted to try it first, to make sure I wanted to needle turn. Since the stocking is so simple and big, it was a breeze, turning it as I went and sewing it down. I did use a template this time, then traced around the seam allowance with a white pencil. That way I knew to turn it on the line and keep the shape.

I was thinking of adding the fabrics for the heel and toe, but not so sure. This is for the kids, so I want it to be more modern than prim, but I like the idea of making that part more scrappy. Not sure this works with the red snowflake, though. Maybe a white shade? So, perhaps keeping those pieces in solids, since the prints are busier? I may even have some mottled solids that would work nicely, need to go through my stash this weekend.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I need to go back to the store for more black. The one I picked was too thin and the one I am using is a medium weight and not enough for all the blocks. Luckily I got it at Joannes, so I can get more.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Wonderful start to the New Year!

Today was another cold day, they all seem to be. But, I wanted to get out and thought a walk on the beach would be good, since I was all bundled up. But, it was still cold and it got through and my fingers got cold trying to get a photo, so I gave up.

This evening I wanted to get the moon rise. It is still cold, but we could sit in the car and I could get out when I wanted a photo. We went to Beavertail lighthouse and the sun was setting fast and I couldn't see the moon, so we stopped to get a few photos. It was fast, but beautiful.

We drove to the other side to catch the moon and it had already risen. I really wanted to catch it as it came up, but it was still beautiful. It is rising over Newport's Castle Hill Inn and you can see the lighthouse to the right.

We came back around through the town and stopped at the wharf. It was getting darker so my photos had to be lightened and I lost quality with the slow shutter, but it was still beautiful with the Christmas lights and the bridge.

On the way home, we stopped in the village to get a shot of the moon, over Wickford Harbor. Love how the lights play on the ice.

On the way out, I took a shot of some of the buildings in town, they always look so beautiful, decorated for Christmas. It was a nice way to end the first day of the new year. And to top it off, when I got home and went on the porch, a meteorite flew overhead.

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year and will be blessed with love, joy and good health, in the coming year. I am ready to relax and start working on new projects. I decided to start with the brighter fabrics and even found a fun print, that I will use for the middle section and the border, so the stars and trees will be on this and the stockings on the shiny, solid black. I may give this one to the kids next year and make a primitive one for me.