The left upper stitches are three layers of cretan stitch. Upper right is layered fly stitch. The top middle is varied density buttonhole stitch. The rows at the bottom are the herringbone stitch using various threads.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
I haven't posted in a while. I've been busy trying to get an appliqued tee shirt finished for my great-granddaughter, Macyn.
This sampler is an experiment in painting my own linen. I used fabric pens, one of which turned out to be a neon color. So, the piece is pretty wild. I'd like to go on to do Lesson 6, but Christmas activities are in the way. Maybe I'll attempt the challenge next year.
I'm having my 79th birthday on January 3! Yikes! I'm almost 80!!! I sure don't feel that old. I want to take a watercolor workshop in the south of France next summer. I feel I need to get into shape for that. After the first of the year, I will definitely start doing Pilates again.
Posted by Caroline Commins at 9:24 AM
Thursday, December 6, 2007
I think I'm finished. I could go on until there is no longer any felt visible, but I want to start Lesson 4 - density. These embroidery pieces are addictive. I have several other projects I need to be working on for Xmas, two of which are for my great-granddaughter, Macyn. I can't stay away from the samplers, tho. Must practice discipline!
Posted by Caroline Commins at 8:44 AM
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Here is more progress on my Lesson 3 sampler. I'm wondering if I am getting carried away with my color selections. I probably won't be able to tell until I'm almost finished. I love working on 100% wool felt. I recently ordered a whole bunch more in lovely colors.
Posted by Caroline Commins at 9:56 AM
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The day before we went to Ghost Ranch, our group went to Chimayo to have lunch at their famous restaurant and to visit the Sanctuary. I was strolling through the church and the "annex" with Carol DuChamp, our group leader. We came to a tiny room off the sanctuary which had a small, shallow pit (called "el posito," or Little Healing Well) in the center of the room.
The sancuary is called the Lourdes of America. Like that French shrine, the Santuario has become known as a place of healing. Legend has it that because the church was expressly built on land where a crucifix mysteriously appeared nearly 200 years ago, its dirt is sacred. Ever since, people have believed that touching this dirt, rubbing it on a wound or an affliction, could bring about a cure.
I'm not very religious, but I felt I needed to rub some of the dirt on me. I couldn't bend down so Carol gathered up a handful of dirt for me. I rubbed the dirt on my jeans and rubbed my hands together. I started to tell Carol my story about falling. It seems that when I take a fall, I relax and just go with it. It may be my experience as a skier that has taught me not to tense up when I fall. Because I instinctively relax, I've never broken a bone. Plus, it doesn't hurt that I have a high bone density.
When I took my "leap" off the path to the petroglyphs, I know I didn't stiffen up. I just rolled down the embankment clutching my camera and my sketch book. I landed with them still in my grip. I believe to this day that the "dirt" from the Santuario de Chimayo kept me safe from serious injury.
Posted by Caroline Commins at 11:48 AM
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
In September of 2006, I went to Santa Fe for a Watercolor Self Expression workshop. On the third day we visited Ghost Ranch where Georgia O'Keefe had done many of her paintings. We painted the surrounding landscape, sat though a thunder storm, and then left for the day. On the way home it was suggested that we take a detour to see some petroglyphs. It was necessay to climb a steep trail to see the carvings. On the way up, I stepped a little to the left to avoid a large cactus. The soil was soft from the rain. When I place my foot down, the earth gave way, and I went tumbling down the 200 foot embankment. I rolled over and over and just before I landed in a drainage ditch, my back landed on a huge rock. As I lay in the wet ditch, I was sure I had broken my back. I just lay there face down trying to catch my breath. Several of the ladies in our group rushed over to me. I just lay still, but after awhile I was able to get myself to a sitting position. My shoulder was killing me as well as my lower rib cage. My instuctor and my friend, Sue, drove me to the ER in Santa Fe. After x-rays were taken, the doctor determined that nothing was broken - just painful contusions. He gave me a prescription for a pain killer and a mild sleeping pill.
There's more to the story which I will relate at another time. The next morning at breakfast, we all decided that Freeflyinglady would be my new nickname. Oh, the painting is my emotional interpretation to my fall.
Posted by Caroline Commins at 9:52 AM
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I scanned my titmouse quilt into Photoshop to try to improve the upper right area. I came up with this version. Now to try to duplicate it with fabric. Only problem is I covered everything but the bird with light blue tulle. These extra leaves will be brighter than the others unless I can figure out how to cover them as well.
Posted by Caroline Commins at 3:14 PM
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I've added more blocks of color under the bird and added a background fabric. Jane suggested I make the pink shape above the bird smaller so it doesn't compete with the bird. Also, the titmouse got anxious and hopped off the branch. I'll have to put him back where he belongs before I start to stitch and quilt.
Posted by Caroline Commins at 2:40 PM
Monday, October 29, 2007
I've laid out the fabric pieces for my quilt. I need to add some color to the lower left to balance the upper right. About a year ago I bought some upholstery fabric remnants at Britex in S.F. I was into making purses at the time. I thought these fabrics would make terrific tote bags. Never got around to it. I decided to make my bird quilt using the upholstery fabrics. I pulled out the colors I thought would work together, added a piece of periwinkle cotton and a piece of sheer metallic, and found a colorful jaquard batik for the accent color. I fused the pieces of my titmouse, but the rest is not even pinned down, yet. I also thought I'd try doing a quilt with raw edges on the fabric pieces. I like the way the quilt is going right now. Check back soon for further developments.
Posted by Caroline Commins at 9:46 AM
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Our next art quilt in Jane's class is a "Bird" quilt. I chose this saucy little crested titmouse to use for my bird image. I have titmice in my garden. They are such cute little guys! I will face him the other way for design's sake.
My garden also attracts scrub jays, goldfinch, junkos, hummingbirds, robins, and house finch. I've seen red-tailed hawk in the area. One came into my garden once and sat on the back of a garden chair waiting for a bird to fly down to my bird feeder. I've since removed THAT bird feeder! At first I thought it was a sea gull it was so huge. When I realized it was a hawk, I almost freaked out. He hasn't been back since I removed the bird feeder, at least not that I know of.
Posted by Caroline Commins at 3:03 PM
Friday, October 26, 2007
I've finished Freddie except for the edge binding. I machine stitched around the shapes, hand stitched around Freddie and around the edge of the canvas, and I hand quilted the red fabric using red thread. It doesn't show up in the photo.
I'm very happy with the way it turned out.
Posted by Caroline Commins at 4:45 PM
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I "cheated" and painted my canvas in Photoshop to see how to go about painting the actual canvas. I'm not so sure about the large green shape below the scarf. Maybe if I put a green shape somewhere in the lower left section it might be less obvious. Any suggestions?
Posted by Caroline Commins at 12:15 PM
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Quilting Arts Magazine sponsored a seven day cruise to Alaska aboard the MS Zuiderdam of Holland America Cruise lines. It was my first ever cruise. I had never desired to take a cruise, but I couldn't pass up the chance to take the workshops put on by Quilting Arts Magazine. Well, I didn't know what I had been missing all these years! I loved the cruise and can't wait to take another one. The photo is the view as we cruised away from Glacier Bay. I have oodles of pictures of the trip that I will post another time.
Posted by Caroline Commins at 10:17 AM
Thursday, October 18, 2007
On my drive to Napa this morning, I saw the herd of Dutch Banded Cows out in the pasture on their farm. I couldn't believe these cows the first time I saw them (except I had seen them on a calendar). Since I moved to Sonoma, I love to drive the back roads to see the different kinds of cows that live here in Sonoma County. Why do cows all face in the same direction when they are grazing? Anyway, one day when I had my camera with me, I stopped and took quite a few pictures of the Dutch Banded Cows. I thought I might use the image in an embroidery. This photo is one of the best views of how the white band encircles the cow's belly.
Posted by Caroline Commins at 3:23 PM
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Want to hear a good one? The other day I found a spot in my sewing room where it looked like Freddie had peed. It had been there a few days because it was starting to mold and the mold was growing. The mold was all these pastel colors. I couldn't figure out when he had done it. I put off cleaning the spot until today, although I looked at it several times. I took everything off the bookcase in order to move it. I wanted to clean under the leg of the bookcase, too. I shook the can of cleaner and bent over to spray the spot. The mold had grown higher, I thought. (Weird, eh?) I decided I'd better wipe up the mold then spray the spot. As I bent closer, I realized it wasn't colored mold. . . . . . it was a piece of pastel colored tulle that had fallen on the floor. I couldn't believe I had been so mistaken about the moldy monster growing on my new carpet, especially when it was these pretty pastel colors. I felt pretty stupid. But, I was glad it wasn't Freddie's pee after all.
Posted by Caroline Commins at 12:29 PM