Saturday, October 14, 2017

Cacti and Stitches

Hello Friends,

My husband and I went to an Antiques Marketplace in New Hampshire recently, and I came home with this sweet dish garden of succulents. The elderly couple who sold it to us seemed really delighted with the sale, which made it seem all the sweeter.


Honestly,  I've been feeling a bit down in the dumps lately. I try to stay "up",  realizing that others have far worse problems than I have, but the constant negativity in politics, plus the strain of dealing with a family member with dementia has been taking its toll on me. Also, I've been doing a lot of thinking about my artwork, as I skip around from one medium to another, trying different things. I'm often influenced by what I see on Pinterest or Instagram and get too engrossed in the work of other creatives, admiring and praising their work, while being unsure about my own. I'd like to find one medium I love (I'm pretty sure it's fabric!) and stick with it.

What keep me going are my classes with Amy, and my Thursday morning stitch group - creative women working and laughing together. A few friends and I meet at Amy's house on Tuesday nights, taking a continuous stream of classes. There are usually little dogs under our feet, cats making rare appearances, and a parrot or two talking (or singing) in the background. In our last class, Amy made a digital copy on fabric of a photo chosen by each of us. I chose a print of Matisse's "Goldfish Bowl". I stitched the goldfish with some slightly metallic thread, which gave them a little shimmer. I'm still working on the leaves and will post the finished piece when it's done. Our next class, which begins this week, is an introduction to weaving.



And finally, that Thursday morning stitch group I mentioned has moved from our friend Susie's dining room, to a cottage she had built in her back yard. She named it "Freedom Cottage", filled it with a large table and chairs, sewing and ironing tables and two comfy armchairs. I made her this fabric picture as a "cottage warming" gift. Such a charming place for our meetings!


We're moving into cooler weather, although warmer days keep popping up. Soon enough the snow will come, so I'm planning to get out and enjoy these fall days as much as possible!

Here's wishing you a wonderful week to come!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Welcome Autumn!

I love Autumn.
The changing leaves always seem like a miracle to me, even though I've been a New Englander most of my life. I think, somewhere in my subconscious, that I associate Fall with starting a new school year, and I remember vividly shuffling through orange and gold and red leaves on my way to the bus stop. I was one of those kids who loved going to school!
Today I drove around my town, looking for the first signs of Autumn. It has been fairly warm around here lately, so the seasonal leaf change is just beginning. 


This row of Maple trees in front of a local school
always transitions into a blaze of color as the weeks go on.



A couple of early leaf changers..

 Next, I went to a local nursery and loved the
 decorations and display of mums.



I settled on a coral colored mum for the front stairs.
but will definitely go back for more.


I picked what I think are the last of my hydrangeas - but you never know!
I love all the shades of green, blue, lavender and burgundy
that appear as the summer winds down.



Since I last blogged, I've been doing some projects that were very enjoyable.
For my friend Amy's birthday, I made this necklace - just for fun.
It has all of her pets in a row - yes, it is amazing how many pets she has!


And I started doing a few paper collages, inspired by a post I read on the Ihanna's blog.
I made a cut-out on the cover of a sketchbook and inserted some artwork, something 
like what she did on her sketchbook. I'll share some collages in a later post.


This is a little embroidery I did on a car trip with my husband...


And these are some fabrics I dyed in a shibori class over the summer.
This was something I had never thought of doing, but I'm so glad I took the class!




I hope everyone who stops by here to visit 
is enjoying the beginning of fall.

Hope to see you again soon!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

100 Day Challenge Completed!

I'm so happy to have done the 100 Day Challenge. It taught me some valuable lessons about perseverance and how much I love being creative. I'll have a longer post about it soon, along with pictures I haven't posted, but meanwhile, here's a little lady I embroidered last week. She'll be part of a fabric book I'll tell you about later.


I haven't decided on a name for her yet, but I know it will be "Mrs." Something!

So glad you stopped by -
Have a wonderful week!

Added later - my friend Simone suggested the perfect name for her,
while elevating her position in society:

"Lady Rose Fortescue - Hartley"

Love it!!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Catching Up

I'm still doing the 100 Day Challenge -
for me, 100 days of faces!
I've been filling in my sketchbook, putting compatible
people side by side. This will make it amusing when 
I flip through it in the future.


This is Molly.


She is opposite her sister Sandy who,
she suspects, is something of a drama queen.


Here is Kevin and his dog Max...


They should get along well with Megan and her kitten.


Maureen is a proud mom,


who looks over and smiles fondly at her sweet daughter, Susie.


This is a little sketch of a lady named Jillian.


And this is James, who is glancing mischievously


across the way at his older sister, Maggie.
He will always be her kid brother!


Brenda is a nature lover


who loves to go hiking with her niece, May.
They are like sisters!


John doesn't quite know what to make of
Erika's advances!


They are residing next to a much younger couple,
Jenny and Bobby.



Peter seems to be totally captivated


by his neighbor, Amelia.


And Jacques wears a rose behind his ear


to tease his niece, Celeste.
He is her favorite uncle!


And finally, since I've missed a few days of the challenge here and there,
I did this drawing in celebration of women! I'll be putting it on the 
inside cover of my sketchbook.


I have to say, I've loved this challenge!
Just a couple of weeks to go!

Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

What I've been Up To...

 Hello again!
Although I haven't posted here for a few days,
I have been working on faces!
This is Randall...

Since he is Felice's best friend, I put them together in my sketchbook.


Julie was originally done as a line drawing,
but I added color for another day's drawing.


And Enid, whom I had originally drawn with her hair in curlers,
now is shown in the morning with her curly hairdo!


Both images are side by side in my book.


And young Mary...


is placed beside her older sister Margie.
Hope they get along with each other!


Finally Marian, done as a pencil sketch,
rounded off my week.


I've come to look forward to making a face, a person.
a bit of a story each day.
I wonder what I'll attempt when this 100 day project 
is finished!

Maybe some stitching?
We'll see!

Hope you've had a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bobby


Sending love to my British friends.

How do we comfort children
when we do not even understand 
acts of violence ourselves?

So sad.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Howard


Back to line drawing with a brush pen again today.
I'm starting to question my ability to draw faces,
as everything I make is beginning to look the same to me.

If you've stopped by to look at this post, I'm wondering -
Do you prefer my line drawings or colored pencil portraits?

I'm questioning myself, but I suppose that's to be expected
after all these days of drawing faces!

Thanks for visiting!
Hope your week is off to a good start!