Thursday, June 30, 2016

Unique Rose

Today there wasn't much in the garden except a few early day lilies.  I thought I'd have the time to work in the garden, but that didn't work out.  Instead the desk drawers found their way into hiding and some of the drawers were sorted through.  By lunch time I was finished, but it was hotter than I like for working outside.  

Instead, I worked in my studio and selected bags of fabrics to donate.  Doing that made me feel good so I thought I'd share this pretty rose with you.  It's one of the old ones which don't last long but tend to be more fragrant.  What attracted my attention though was the fact that it's a bi-color

Pretty, isn't it?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Trivial News

Still working in the family room even though things have slowed down for us as the construction crew is off doing another job.  Almost every day I spend some time in that room, and almost every day I say to myself, "Well, my part is done" only to discover there is something else to do. Tomorrow I will move the drawers of my desk to the garden room's closet where they will be out of the way as well hidden.  Maybe then I'll be able to move on to something more interesting to do.

At some point there is also the garden to contend with.  Make that the weed beds.  Nothing has been done there yet, but I don't think my plants can wait forever!

The good news of the day is that I do not need new orthotics!  They may look a little scruffy, but they are still in great shape.

A good note on which to end this entry!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Another Day Closer

A painting day, hurrah, hurray!  Since I wasn't able to paint last week, today was a special day.  To top off my pleasure, most of my painting friends were in class also.  Then, I was able to do some good work or at least what I thought of as good work.

This is what it looked like on May 3rd.  I show earlier versions to remind myself and to be able to think about where it was in the early stages and where it is now.  I loved the storm cloud and the bridge - or what there is of it.

Here's how it looks now.  I notice that the roof of the most distant building isn't straight.  I need to turn it upside down and work on that as well as seeing what I can do about the windows on the main building on the left.  They are in need of straightening, too, but it may be too late for them.  Another  building collapses due to my determination to see what I can do without any preliminary drawing. 

But, on the positive side,  I am proud of the fact that I have been able to do so much that is decent  without preliminary drawing.  So caught on the horns of a dilemma?  No.  I have learned that I can do some things free hand but that there are certain things that really cry out for more work, i.e., preliminary sketches of buildings.  

Now the pedestrian on the bridge, some revisions on background buildings, the water in the canal, and all the ironwork have to be worked on.  There is no class next week so I will have to find time to do what needs to be done.

It is time for this painting to be finished.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Hindsight on a Glib Response

"Another Chapter for Girl with a Pearl Earring" did not ribbon at Vermont Quilt Festival.  I was not surprised.  When people asked (there were many at the show I knew), I'd tell them it didn't earn anything, but that I was okay with that.  I said I was looking forward to the evaluations of the judges and hoped to learn from that.

All that was true.  But as I drove home, I thought about my answer and realized that I had given the answer I prepared in advance. As I said, it was true but . . . It didn't go far enough.  Here's what I should have said:

"I didn't earn a ribbon, and I am disappointed.  It would have been wonderful to have this one recognized because I challenged myself to make a design that would require trying methods new to me," and then go on with the rest.  

Hindsight is twenty-twenty.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lemon Meringue Pie

When life hands you lemons, make lemon meringue pie.  Lemonade is all right, but to my way of thinking, homemade lemon meringue pie is the bee's knees!  

Today was that kind of day.  I had an appointment at 7:45 for the car, and I emailed Sharon yesterday to let her know just in case I was late to painting because of it.  It shouldn't have been much because it was only for checking the air conditioning and the tires.  Well, you can guess already what happened.  It turned out that all kinds of things were wrong, and after a brief wait (during which I was able to write one-and-a-half letters), I was given a ride home.  No painting today (but I did finish the half letter when I got home and got both of them out in today's mail).  No errands today.

Instead, I spent the time I needed to make the labels for the quilt exhibit at the Pine Bush Discovery Center and make them properly . . . or rather, re-make them properly.  I know how to make two columns and to make sure the final result will be exactly 3.5" wide.  What I don't know how to do is find the middle of the paper horizontally.  It's probably on Google somewhere, but I used the old fashioned way of figuring out how to "wing it".  All but one came out perfectly, and that one is only slightly off.

Then I turned one woman's educational idea about her quilt into a matching game for youngsters who might be at the show.  And typed up my own "find it" game for my quilt.  Sent those off for approval by the Discovery Center with a plea that they print them if they approve of the ideas.

A chariot came to pick me up around 12:30 and took me back to the dealership to pick up my repaired car.  Yikes, the work they had to do came with a much heftier price tag than I had anticipated!!!  But thinking of lemon meringue pie, I paid it and remarked that it was because they did such good work that I have a ten-year-old car with 241,000 miles on it rather than a car payment every month.

Back home, I did some more work in the family room before calling it a day at five o'clock.  Made myself supper and watched some recorded Calling the Midwife episodes and now off to bed.

One of these days I may actually make some lemon meringue pie!

Monday, June 20, 2016


I feel I should explain and apologize for being so unreliable in my entries of late.  There have been quilts that had to meet deadlines which are now met, thank goodness!  Also, as you know, we have been busy with the construction of a new room so even though we are not doing the actual work, it does take up some of our time.

What has now added to the complexity of our lives are two major items.  The first was expected.  D is off to D.C. for a week of meetings.  That's the trip on which I usually accompany him, but this year I am headed in a different direction.  I'm off to the Vermont Quilt Festival.  Then, on top of those interruptions of our usual schedule, we are trying to remove everything from our family so it can be painted.  Arghh!  Anyone who has visited that room will know that packing everything up would not be either easy or quick.  But I am working at it a couple of hours (or four) each day, and it's getting there.  Since we haven't received the quote for that painting job, we do have time.  We just don't know how much time.

Then there's the garden which hasn't been touched yet this year.  It will have to wait until after the patio is poured because there's no point in doing it while heavy equipment is wandering all over the yard!

There are oil paintings swimming around in my head (good thing there's plenty of room!).  Those have to wait until the dust dies down.  However, that leaves more time for more quilting so there is an "up" side to that issue.

And to take the occasional break, we run errands, poke our noses in places we haven't checked out, and revisit sites around here we enjoy.  Here's one D took me to on Saturday:

He knew I would love to see it again and that it would be just the kind of site I'd want to paint.  So he hustled me over here after our morning walk when, as he said, "The light will be right."  And he was too!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Garden Room Closer to Completion

Whenever I have the time to dash into the Garden Room to take pictures, I invariably walk smack into two or three workmen who are busy working or find the light is impossible or the phone starts to ring.  So as you can guess, there are no picture today.

That's really too bad because it is truly a lovely room.  It's sunny and airy just as a garden room should be.  It's a lovely, light-but-bright blue with white trim.  I walk in there and can imagine sitting with D, a cup of coffee in hand, looking out the glass doors no matter what the season.

However, that will still be a week or two away.  The floors are down in room and bathroom and most of the framing and baseboards are in.  But some painting still needs to be done and heating vents put in.  And details . . .

But it's close - really close.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Post Pine Bush Challenge

Laziness is my middle name of late!  After "Another Chapter for the Girl with the Pearly Earring" was shipped off to the Vermont Quilt Festival address, I hurried home to finish work on "Pine Bush Dreamscape".  That was finished in time for the Guild show.  Then there was getting ready for the show for which I was primarily responsible.  Fortunately, several very good friends did yeoman's work  helping with the check-in and hanging of the two categories (art and traditional) so all went reasonably smoothly thanks to those friends.  After that there were some unpleasantnesses to take care of afterward so it wasn't until Sunday that I was able to put it behind me until the big show at the Pine Bush Center.

It felt wonderful to take it easy these last couple of days - or relatively easy, anyway.  I was able to find time for reading, spending time with D, and finally today spending two hours at Verizon to buy new phones . . . Whew.

I promised to show the quilt here on the blog once the show at the Guild was over:

The quilt:

In this section, on the left you can see a fisher and lower left is a woodcock on a nest.  On the right in the middle is the wood turtle.

There are Karner blue butterflies through out, but in this section you can see the ones I drew as well as the Swarovski crystals that represent the butterflies also.

The red-shouldered hawk soars in the sky.

The only animal of which I do not have a close up is the prairie warbler who is perched in the biggest pitch pine (on the left).  He's on the highest bare branch on the right.

But my favorite part of the quilt is the waterfall (shown here before bling).  The idea for this feature was what turned the ordinary landscape I was thinking about creating into a dreamscape.  The other improbabilities merely gave me chances to have more fun.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Basic Report

While there are no photos today and maybe not for the rest of the week, it was a reasonably good day.  I was able to go to painting class today.  Much of my time was spent in thinking about how to paint what I needed to, and then, once I had it figured out, I had to practice my solution.

What I needed to figure out is probably simple for many others, I had to figure out how to paint the negative space between some balusters/spindles. It took me a few attempts before I realized the problem was in my thinking.  I needed to paint the negative space as though it was positive.  Basically, I had to trick my brain and act on the trick.  It worked.  Now I'll have to see if my hands can make the right images.

The rest of the day was up and then down and then up - the way it goes some times.  There were disappointments in embellishing my Pine Bush quilt, but there were positives in knowing the Girl with the Pearl Earring quilt was sent and off to the Vermont Quilt Festival.  

And then there was the painting of the Garden Room..It's beautiful!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Life in General

The only thing left to do on "Another Chapter . . ." before it is sent to the Vermont Quilt Festival is repairing the pearl necklace, adding the key, and replacing the pearl earring (taken off during the second quilting phase).  Once those things are done, I can take the quilt to UPS and have it shipped to Vermont.  The deadline is June 11, and I am sure that, barring any dreadful confluence of planets, it will arrive in time.

And I can breathe again.

As for the other quilt that has taken all of May to begin and finish, well, that needs some embellishment (what, you thought I'd leave it "nekkid as a jaybird"?).  I think that after "Another Chapter . . . " is mailed off, I may want a day to relax, but I also know that I can't afford to do that.  One never knows what unforeseen issues may arise.

Like the contractor not purchasing the tile I chose when I gave it to him weeks ago.  When he went to pick it up, it had been pulled off the shelves.  He couldn't find it anywhere.  That meant that D and I had to spend to two days finding tile which was quite different from our first choice.  Because of that we had to choose different flooring.  

And around and around we go.

On the really positive note, our peonies have no ants this year!

Another floral photo:

The bouquet of peonies, light blue amsonia, pale pink kolkwitzia, and Japanese iris (tight buds you can't see in these photos.

Close up showing the amsonia in the upper left. And peonies without ants!

I love this pink peony and would like to try painting it - someday.  In the upper right is the almost white kolkwitzia.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Bit of a Joke

Four construction workers are standing on ladders with their arms stretched straight up as they hold a huge piece of sheetrock over their heads.  A fifth man screws the "rock" onto ceiling rafters.  

The foreman standing below shouts up to one of the men, “Say, Joe, you must be about fifty now, right?”  

Joe replies with a grunt, “Forty-eight.” 

Foremen asks, “So, Joe, how’re you feeling about your job choice now?"

I had to walk away quickly and as quietly as possible as Joe began, in very colorful language, to tell the foreman precisely how he felt.