Friday, May 17, 2019

Friday Finish!

First I would like to apologize to those of you, who have blogs. I see to be having a problem with my browser lately, so I am going to have to backup my data and clean out my computer and reinstall my browser and hopefully my computer will run a few more years without having to get a new one. I am not able to comment on most blogs, I comment and it disappears, but on blogs that have security pictures, they seem to work. So, I do enjoy reading your blogs, but I can't always comment.

This week I wanted to do something from my Seaside Ornies pattern. I made ornaments to hang on my tree, but I wanted something larger, so I enlarged the ship and lighthouse. The ship is 5" tall and the lighthouse is 6". Perfect sizes for shelf sitters and a summer display.

I added the pail and one of my felt starfish for fun, along with a piece of driftwood, I found on the beach. I think it would be fun to make smaller pails and items and make a whole scene. Maybe if I get creative, I can make an old salt man to add to the scene. Not sure if I would punch it or do one in needle felted, which would be a fun challenge for me.

Later I can make a better back drop for the scene, I do have plenty of larger canvases. If you have the pattern or would like to purchase this one, you can redo them into larger sizes, even for hooking, I was thinking, larger pillows would be fun. You can find the link to the pattern in the left column, or my Ecrater site.

Last weekend was spent with the boys, which is always something I love, no matter what we do. We took them to the bird sanctuary which they loved, but even the short walk, wore them out, so we will have to take shorter walks for now. The beach is always their favorite, they got to play in the sand and a small playground, just their size.

I am also enjoying my back yard, I am adding more flowers on my deck and garden, and the trees are full and green, and two of the bird houses have residents, so it is my own little sanctuary. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, looks like we finally got away from the rain, so we can enjoy getting out, both days.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Friday Finishes!

This week I kept busy with some new projects. I started with a little hut style house. It is from Lin Wellford's painting houses book, so I basically followed her pattern and added some of my own touches. The roof on hers was done with wood putty to make it stand out, but I just painted mine.

Then I decided I wanted to make something quick and easy, so I did some ladybugs. She also has this pattern in one of her books. The large one is for the garden and the little ones are to hide, when we go hiking. Hopefully the boys will go out with us tomorrow and Nick loves to hide the rocks for me. I really don't hide them, I like people to see them as they walk along a trail.

I also finished a stitchery from Kathy Schmitz's one stitch club. It is not really a design I would use for display and I will be doing americana soon, so I kept it simple and put lavender inside, so I can use it as a sachet.

This week I have a lot of visitors. We put up some peanut butter suet and some cheap wire holders and the birds love it. Of course the squirrels and other critters are enjoying it too, so I won't be replacing them everyday. The other day I saw the guinea hens under the feeder and they had company. This guy is huge and he is all alone, not sure why, but someone said he is an older turkey, the beard which is hanging down in front, is long, which helps to tell their age. I learned something new.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I also wanted to let those who comment know, I do read and appreciate all of your comments, but I cannot always respond if they are no reply or email that I can respond to.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Monday Finish and Finds!

This weekend I was able to get more work done on my new rock, we had rain on Sunday and today I finished the last of it. It is a bit shiny since the spray finish was still setting. But I need the higher shine since it will be sitting outside.

The design came from a rock painting book by Lin Welford. She has several books for animals and painting on rocks, that have easy to follow patterns and diagrams for each step. Of course I never follow directions and added a few of my own touches. I really do think I do better when I go from a photo, when I try something simple, I make more of a mess, lol. I like the idea of doing churches that I have taken photos of, I just need to find the right shapes.

We were able to enjoy a day at the beach, even though it sprinkled on us, a few times. The good thing was, no people and Bean got to play off leash. I found a few nice pieces, but with a dreary day, it is harder to see glass with all the wet rocks on the beach.

Since we had more time, and the tide was at it's lowest, we were able to walk along the entire beach. It is good to get some walking in and I did find a nice piece of driftwood. The photo is deceiving, I am at the farthest end that you can walk, before you hit cliffs and looking back, there are rock areas and small beaches in between each one, until you get back to the sandier end.

The Rocks in this area are carved out by the strong waves, they remind me of a landscape in the mid-west. It was nice to get out, before the rainy Sunday.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Friday Finish and Finds!

I finished my turtle, that was it for this week. I am working on a new stitchery of the month and other projects and gardening and keeping up with the house and animals, it seems I have less and less time lately, to do it all.

I love how he came out, not perfect but he is fun and makes me smile.

And one thing keeping me busy is, stripping and sewing strips for rug braiding. The great thing is, it will cut down on the old wool stash from the thrifts and I will have it ready whenever I want to make a little rug. I think I will make a mat for the cat dish next, the thinner wools will be good for that. This is just a start, I was trying to sew on my machine and the bobbin messed up again, so I think I need to get my little Juki out and use that, not worth wrecking my good machine, sewing on wools. Sew by hand is relaxing while I watch tv, but it will take me forever.

And of course we went to the beach on the weekend. We stopped at the southern beach after shopping and the tide was almost in, but we still found some nice pieces. The second day we went to our favorite spot, at low tide. There were a few beach collectors that got there first, but I found quite a few pieces that they missed.

And I have been enjoying some time on the porch, my way to relax and unwind. Lots of critters and birds are enjoying the feeder. The squirrels are a pain, they knock all the seed out of the feeders and I have seen them batt a few birds to get it all for themselves. The Guinea fowl have been spending more time in my yard, even taking naps. There were six and now there are only two, not sure if they got hit by cars or predators.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We have rain coming in, but I am s sure I can squeeze in some more beach time.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Friday Finish!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. My Easter was nice with the boys, not so much on the food. They only made one thing that I could eat, mashed potatoes, lol. They did make salmon, but he baked it in the oven and it was horrid, so I ate a few potatoes to hold me over till I got home. Next holiday, I will cook at my house.

I am not a big day time eater, I just snack, and they ate early, which was fine with me. We got to enjoy some time with the boys and an easter egg hunt. On the way home I saw the plant stand was open, so we also got some new plants for my garden.

Another thing I got over the weekend, two birdhouses. One if fun and the other is a bluebird house. Bill got some posts and they will go to the back sides of the garden.

And I hesitate to show you this, I have base coated a rock for my garden. Alex loves to turtle photo I have for inspiration so I know he will love it. I am thinking it will be fun to add some rock critters to the garden, fun things the boys can discover when they come to visit. I messed up a few things, my perception is always off, so it still has to be fixed and detail shading, so hopefully it will look better when I finish.  I like the idea of fun critter, compared to realistic, a happy garden space.

And for my finish this week, a pillow from a design by Kathy Schmitz. It was a free extra in the monthly club. Perfect for a spring time pillow. I am also working on finishing my hand quilting and stripping my old coat wools for braided rugs.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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.