3/31/2009

A day shopping

Yesterday was my post-op check-up and since we were already halfway there we decided to go on into town and do some shopping. D needed some new pants for work...he starts tomorrow! I also wanted to check out a few shops I had looked up in the phonebook. I have had such a hard time finding supplies since I moved here and half the reason is because I havent explored enough I think.


It was a perfect sunny day, such a beautiful blue sky! Signs of spring are everywhere. I just had to stop and snap a few pics of these...


This gorgeous rosemary bush, this is as tall as me! In full bloom, so beautiful


Lilacs everywhere, I wanted to take some home with me. The perfume wafted down the sidewalk after us.


This wisteria is just getting ready to burst out in bloom. I will try to get back up there later this week and take a picture of it in all its glory. I remember last year it was just gorgeous!


We took a walk down Rue St. Catherine, the longest pedestrian street in Europe. This is a bustling area with many a pedestrian and shops lining it all the way down.

We visited 5 of the places on my list. One was gone and the lettering was already fading on the sign above the entrance, two were closed and a look in the windows showed they were not what I was looking for, but two were open and they were great! One was a yarn shop just chock full of fiber goodness. The lady there was very friendly, even showing me some examples of her CQ work and also giving me the web address and phone number of an American woman who owns a fiber shop not far out of town. She even had some wool rovings, silk ribbons and DMC's. I bought a nice ball of ribbon yarn that I liked the colors of and five little baby buttons...they were too cute to resist.
The second place was an art supply store and had oils, water colors and all kinds of fine art supplies, in the back was a huge room with various fancy papers. I spotted a few I wouldnt mind having. I have been wanting to make a tall lamp for the livingroom, one of those cylinder lamps made with special paper like that. Sometime...
Upstairs they had all kinds of craft supplies and I found a great treasure. White silk by the yard! Many kinds including velvet. The best part of all was it was reasoably priced and I bought a yard of the velvet for only 7 euros!


I am quite happy about finding these two shops. I plan to explore further into the city at some later date. I still have about 10 stores on my list to find ^_^


Late last night on another insomnia evening...I think I finally came up with the idea for my next piece. What do you think?
3/30/2009

FINISHED!


Yay! I'm done, I finally finished my celestial paisley piece.


Barring a few kinks in the binding process I think it turned out pretty good ^_^

3/29/2009

Lazy Sunday Afternoon


It's a gorgeous day outside. The sun is shining and the sky is blue with little cotton candy clouds floating about. Who couldn't be in a good mood with weather like this?


Last night I gave into temptation and printed out the little sun box that I featured from The Toymaker the other day. D had been wanting a box to put his pennies in and I thought this would be prettier on his desk then a plain box. It was easy to do and I think the results aren't bad. My printer leaves much to be desired though. D had to battle with it to change the ink when one of the cartridges decided to leak everywhere and then the heads didn't want to align. I think with a printer in good working order this would have turned out even nicer. Anyway, he likes it and that's what matters ^_^


Today I am determined to finish the embroidery on the celestial paisleys. I am so close I can taste it!

3/28/2009

Awakening

So slowly I am falling back in place. Getting up and down is easier. Insomnia is still a guest here, becoming quite common in fact. The days are longer now though and the sun is coming back into our lives. I hope it will bring much health and long nights of sleep with it.


Last night my honey and I had our first little romantic meal at our new table. It is nice to take time out to just enjoy each others company. The wine was very nice and so were the wonderful shrimp he made. I think he is on a seafood kick this month *grin*


I did this sketch before bed last night and was quite satisfied. Today is just looks garish. I need much work getting my pencil skills back in order.


I had another long session of wakefulness in the middle of the night last night, so I worked on my celestial paisleys and added some more crazy quilt detail. I am really loving this piece!


I have many plans for dyeing but have ran out of soda ash. Since the last box I found was in a hardware store in Agen I am really hoping I can find a place to purchase it here. I already searched the two grocery stores nearby. I didn't think I would find it there but I had hoped. We are going to go into town Monday after my checkup...hopefully then!
Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend with much sun!
3/27/2009

On recovery and peaceful slumber...

Hello everyone! I am home again and working on getting back on my feet. I'm actually doing pretty good except when I stand up, then the bottom drops out *hehe* So I plan on taking it easy for a few days, its nice to be lazy and get the doctors to back you up! ;)


I haven't felt like doing to much the last few days but I did this sketch for an idea I have. D thinks he looks very angry in his sleep, that's not the look I was going for so I may need to rework him.

I also finished hand stitching the patchwork into place on this piece and also adding a little more to the body of the picture. I still have a bit to do on the inside but most of that part is done. Now the fun part with the crazy quilt stitches will start ^_^
I have decided to make this into a little mini hanging quilt instead of a purse. I think I have made enough purses for awhile!
Hope you are all feeling well today!
3/26/2009

The Toymaker

The Sun Box

Recently I stumbled upon this site The Toymaker and was delighted by its presentation. Marilyn Scott Waters makes paper toys and they are just wonderful! And you can download them yourself and print them out!

The designs are quite whimsical and often accompanied by creative little stories or poems.

If You See A Faery Ring
~ William Shakespeare

If you see a faery ring
In a field of grass,
Very lightly step around,
Tip-toe as you pass,
Last night faeries frolicked there
And they're sleeping somewhere near.
If you see a tiny faery,
Lying fast asleep
Shut your eyes
And run away,
Do not stay to peek!
Do not tell
Or you'll break a faery spell.

She has a whole section just devoted to the different holidays and little gift ideas.

A storybook section...

And even paper dolls!

I can't begin to tell you the scope of this site, Marilyn has put so much time into it, you can easily tell. The stories, props and just plain fun involved are priceless. So if you have a little one who needs some fun...or you're just a fan of paper art and games this is the place to be. I know I dont have any little ones anymore..but I am eyeing that sun box ^_^
3/24/2009

Coming down the last stretch...

So I am grumpy. Really grumpy. Today is day three of my pre-op diet. Tomorrow is hospital. The bright side of it all though is after tomorrow I AM DONE. *crosses fingers* I am not letting another person get near me with a needle or any other sharp object for a lo-o-o-ong time *hehe*
I have been keeping busy though to keep my mind off things. Remember how I said I was going to re-dye my t-shirt rug as i didn't like the colors...well here it is! I really like how it turned out. This is so much more what I had in mind in the first place.


Now I also tried to dye that poor stained sweater and it soaked up a load of dye. I thought it was going to turn out perfect...but it was a dud. I didnt make it dark enough so it really hasnt changed much at all. I think I am going to have to go black on it. Which is ok...I do like to wear black. D says throw it away but its nice and big and warm...why would I do that?

I still havent got the trick for a nice rich red either. I dyed another piece of gauze to felt onto and threw a tshirt in there for good measure...I got more pink. For a girl who doesnt really care for pink I sure have a lot of it around. I think I have the solution though...as soon as I get more soda ash those babies are going to be red...no matter what!


I tried out my turquoise and it looks fantastic...just the color I was wanting. A little of the dark color leaked onto it from the sweater but I really like the effect it made.


Last but not least I am getting close to finishing the embroidery part of my celestial paisley piece. After that I have plans for a next step. I may start on that today instead of finishing the embroidery...then work on the embroidery in bed...since I am looking forward to a few days in bed *sigh*


I am liking the way it looks. It IS my favorite subject matter though ^.^

Hope you are having a wonderful week...and I hope the sun shines on you all!
3/23/2009

A trip around blogland

Kelly over at Colorfuldayz tagged me with this award. Thank you Kelly, I am very honored! You should all head over and check out her wonderful artwork. I am constantly amazed at the scope of color and pattern involved in her designs. She is truly a talented artist!
Now I myself am a little unsure who to tag. Instead I am going to list a few of my other favorite blogs and I encourage you all to go visit them. They are all wonderful artist who do amazing work! And if any of you wish to feel tagged...consider it done ^_^
Spirit Cloth
Jude's blog was one of the first blogs I stumbled upon having to do with fiber arts. I have kept a blog off and on for years but had never seen anything like this. Her work AMAZED me. She is the one who inspired me to change my blog to an art blog. I immediately set out to read her entire blog starting at day one. It took me a few weeks and it was well worth it. This lady is one amazing artist. Her work with cloth opens new horizons every day. She changes the way I think about cloth and that means a lot to me. I want to always learn. I want to stretch. This lady helps me to do that.
Contemporary Embroidery

Karen is probably the second blog I stumbled upon. What Jude does with cloth, Karen does with thread. She has such a delicate touch and such great sensibility with cloth. Her images evoke great feelings of crisp, cool cloth with beautiful design elements. One of the first pieces I saw of hers involved punching holes in paper and I immediately fell in love!
Creative Diary- A colorful research
Eva is a wonderfully warm and creative woman. She is one of the first friends I made in this community and I value her advice. SHe has acute perception and a great outlook on things. Her josephs coat project is a brilliant work in color and texture. She is constantly experimenting and learning which I love about her.
Morna does beautiful work with recycled felted sweaters, she also dips her hands into other projects. I love the richness of her work and find it very comforting. She is a very kind and caring person with a great sense of humor.
Fibermania
Melody makes the most splendid quilts! Her use of color is so much to my liking. I have followed along on her adventure of decorating her house. The colors and pieces she has used were just so perfect to me. She is also an extremely talented dyer and has time and time again patiently helped me with her wise advices. Her pieces are bright and pack plenty of punch.
Studio 78 Notes
Rayna is another great fiber artist. Her work with pattern and color on fabric is wonderful. She makes fantastic hand printed cloth designs.
Bee Creative
Deborah's blog is one I just recently discovered. Her work with her holey quilt is one I have found very interesting.
I could go on and on in this vein. I follow well over a hundred blogs each of them standing on their own merit. The blogging community is rich indeed. I find inspiration around every corner. Having moved to a new country and found myself a bit adrift without the comfort of my friends and family, blogging has helped me in that respect. It is good to reach out and connect isn't it?
I had planned on blogging about other things today but they will hold till tomorrow. I hope you enjoy the trip around blog land and you all have a wonderful Monday. I myself an taking it easy today and catching up a bit on my stitching!

3/21/2009

A-shopping we will go


Today D's mother came to pick up our dining room table. It was on loan from a friend and they needed it back. We were off to buy a new one. The one we were using was too big anyway. We do live in a small apartment and it seated 6 without the leaves in it. Since we live on a budget we first went to this second hand store and I couldnt believe the prices they were asking for their old furniture. A plain PINE unfinished table was 325 euros. My eyes about dropped out of my head. So what's a girl to do? We were off to Ikea. Found the perfect table at the perfect price. 99 euros. its a nice square table with two pull out leaves. Now we dont have to be overpowered by a huge table and it converts for company.

I even had fun putting it together. Yes, I am handy like that. With two brothers and a father that all built houses, I learned at an early age how to use a hammer and just about every other tool out there!


After all that work we settled down to enjoy the wonderful snacks D's mother brought us. She showed up with these four boxes chock full of goodies for us. Figures it would be the day before I go on my pre-op diet. Four days that I will have to behave around all of these. I am going to enjoy them while I can! *grin*


With all the running we did today there is no wonder that this is coming along slowly. I am still making progress though, and that's all that counts!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
3/20/2009

Chasing the cobwebs away!


I have been lost in spring cleaning land. Here is my work area clean and sparkling again. I am so happy to be able to find everything!After my work space I went on to bigger things. I am still not done but the house is starting to sparkle. Time to chase all the cobwebs away. In doing all this my mind has been turning more and more to our imminent move. I am amazed at how much stuff I have accumulated in less than two years! Thats ok though...most of it is art supplies *grin*

I also received my new dyes yesterday so I am planning on some more color work. I bought some turquoise and I'm needing a nice bright blue for this idea I have. Also I have this poor cotton sweater that D trashed working in the vineyards. I am going to try to bring it back to life.


Lastly I have decided to dye my bathmat I made. Remember this? I am thinking to give it an all over red dye. I just dont care for the colors in it now.


Last night during yet another bout of insomnia, I managed to get a little more done on this piece. I needle felted the clouds then outlined them with silver. Everyone needs a little silver lining with their clouds right? I also did these satin stitch stars and decided I HATE satin stitching stars. So...you see the turquoise star up on the right? I made up a new stitch to make it. I think it looks a lot nicer than the satin stitch ones. What do you think?
3/19/2009

Fiber heaven


I don't know about the rest of you creative types out there, but me? I love me some art supplies. I'm talking pure unadulterated coveting. I can sit for hours and drool over space dyed rayons or rainbow silk merino tops. If I were a rich woman, I would have no room in my house. It would be wall to wall art materials. I have a serious case, let me tell you! Last night I stumbled on another site that I just LOVE. You see, I have a thing for fibers, and this site, well it's just pure eye candy.
Yarndex-the yarn directory is exactly what it's name says and it does its job well. You can search for yarns by fiber type, weight, texture, brand, color type, color name, color family and yarn name, in any combination.


After you enter your search parameters it gives you a page of thumbnails for each type of yarn that fits your description. If you click on one of these it will direct you to a page giving you full information on that particular fiber: gauge, weight, yardage, the distributor, etc...it will even tell you if and when it was discontinued!


On each page it also has a thumbnail you can click to get a nice supersize image of the yarn showing the full color selection in most cases.


Then below this is even more in some cases. There are thumbnails for every color that you can click on to get an extreme close-up of that color. I find this invaluable as so many times when searching for a particular item I can never find a site that shows it with enough detail or the full color selection.
Many pages also have links to pictures of garments, close ups of details and even links to projects. The project links take you to a site called yarnmarket.com where you can purchase instructions, yarns and supplies to complete them.
yarnmarket.com is the company that made the directory but what I love is that they dont just document the yarns they sell, many of these yarns aren't even available at their shop. They have created a valuable resource here and I had some fun looking at this last night.
I know some of you might wonder why I get so excited over yarns. I mean..I don't knit or crochet so why bother? Well, I love using a lot of cords and ribbons in my embroidery projects. The rayon and viscose ribbons that are on the market these days are wonderful. Their beautiful sheens and bright colors are right up my alley. They have some very fine slinky cording out there now that is a dream to use. I just bought some metallic cording that I used on my moon paisley that is of the same type as they make graduation tassels out of except it has this wonderful variegated look with metallic threads running through it. Just beautiful! Often times if I buy something off ebay I will have no idea what its name is or where I can get more, that is why I find this resource so invaluable.
I hope some of you find this information useful. Take care and have a great day! ^_^
3/18/2009

Is it really time for spring cleaning already?

So yesterday, an hour before I had to leave for my cardiologist appointment, I started messing around in my work area. Before you could blink I had managed to pull EVERYTHING off the shelves. What a mess! I just couldn't take another minute of that unorganized jumble and it had to go! Unfortunately I didn't have time to clean my mess up. Silly me. So last night although I was tired I did work for awhile on putting some of that mess back in order. I still have a long way to go. Upon waking this is what greeted me:




I have managed to create a little order though and it looks like this is what will be occupying me today.


That's ok though. I love cleaning out and rearranging things. It always gives me a new perspective. I find things I forgot about and I can once again move about freely and find things easily. I love a well ordered room. I think it opens our minds and helps us to think and feel better.

I also worked a little more on the moon paisley last night. Today if I get a chance I will be making little felted clouds to float about him. I think he would like a little window dressing ^>^
I am having more ideas for this piece. New things popping into mind..we will see.

BTW...the cardiologist pronounced my heart good and strong, so that gives me a green light with the anesthesiologist. This is good to know :)
3/17/2009

Spring is in the air!



Yesterday as I walked home from the doctor....


I soaked in the sun and the signs of spring.


Everywhere I looked flowers were blooming.


Even the lawns are covered with flowers.
It's so nice to see the sun peeking at me. I feel like it's breathing new life into me also!


I'm off to the cardiologist this afternoon. As you can see, with all this running around I didn't make much progress yesterday on my paisleys. It is coming along though, little by little!

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