Friday, May 30, 2008

Everyday Pleasures #6

First off, I would like to shout out a great big
"Happy Birthday!!!"
to my youngest, who is turning 14 today!
You are one of my most cherished everyday pleasures my dear, and I wish you the sun and the moon and all the magic in between!

And now for this weeks "Everyday Pleasures", where once again, I find myself in my own backyard, for it is an endless source of wonder to me. Have a great weekend everyone!

Bearded Iris

Bumble Bee on Lupine

Siberian Iris

Wild Primrose

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Yoshiko Jinzenji

Yoshiko Jinzenji is an internationally recognized textile artist, known for her beautiful minimalist quilts. Jinzenji is a master of textiles; dyeing, weaving, piecing, quilting, designing, writing and teaching her art form. Pictured above is her Filled Check print.

Dot & Dashes

Dots & Glyphs

I first came to know of her through her fabric designs. When I stumbled upon some at a quilt show last year, with just a bit of money left in my pocket, I happily spent my last dime on one of her printed fabric panels, (the one pictured directly above) It hangs it on my door, by my work table. I look at it everyday. It is too beautiful to cut!

I love her simplicity and her use of line. Jinzenji's designs are like a language all it's own, which she sings fluently, straight to my heart.

All of the images above and below came fromREPRODEPOT FABRICS.

Thumbprint Mix


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lucienne Day

I am in love with the designs of Lucienne Day. Here are some examples of her textile work which was put together by the Center for Advanced Textiles at Glasgow School of Arts.


Dandelion Clocks


This book, Robin and Lucienne Day: Pioneers of Modern Design, which showcases both Lucienne's work, and the work of her equally talented husband Robin, is now at the top of my wish list.

Robin Day's Armchair for the Royal Festival Hall, 1951.

And check out these cool Jack Purcell Converse sneakers made with Lucienne's Trio pattern!

More information on this dynamic due, and many other thoughouly fantastic designers, can be found from Britain's Design Museum

Friday, May 23, 2008

Everyday Pleasures #5

Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I had no need to go any further than my own backyard to find this weeks "Everyday Pleasures"!

An old, forgotten artifact from when the girls were little, hidden in the branches of our weeping willow tree.

Looking over the farm fields from atop of the sliding board which no one ever uses anymore, but it has too many nice memories to take down just yet.

My dog Mo, who is looking forward to everyone being home for the long Memorial day weekend and wishing you all peace.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Prehistoric Space Spores

Who isn't fascinated with cave paintings? The earliest evidence of human artistic expression! What could be more exciting!?

Well I thought it would be fun to imagine finding a cave with little prehistoric space spores drawn all over it!

I spritzed some bright pink fabric with walnut ink, water and fabric paint, then with a combination of free motion machine stitching, (the dark brown stitching) and hand embroidery, I created my little cave spores.

I was just having fun, but I like how they turned out and I think I will be exploring these more at a later date.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Happy 100th Birthday Jimmy Stewart

I am in love with Jimmy Stewart. Never mind that he is no longer here on earth, or the fact that if he were he would be 100 years old as of today, I still love him and always will. It isn't just the fact that he stared in some of my all time favorite movies, such as Rear Window, Harvey, Vertigo, The Glen Miller Story, The Man Who Knew Too Much, It's A Wonderful Life, and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, it's more then that. I love Jimmy Stewart because of what he represents. Goodness, honesty, strength, imagination, aspiration, loyalty, compassion, humor and passion. These traits were often present in the roles he played, and I think the reason that he was so convincing playing these types of parts was because he truly embodied the same traits. It wasn't an act. He was the real deal.

So Happy Birthday Mr. Stewart. Thank you for leaving such a body of magnificent work and for setting such a humbling example of what a person can be.

I found this video of Jimmy Stewart on the Johnny Carson Show, where he is reading a heartfelt and touching poem which he wrote in loving memory of his dog Beau. It makes me cry. Such a sweet man.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Candy Button Space Spores

I finished making my four "Candy Button Space Spore" mini embroidered art quilts this weekend! They may be little, (4" x 4" each) but there is a lot of embroidery packed into each one! (I counted 104 french knots in one of them!)

Above is a picture of one little spore displayed on a table top. Because I back each of my quilts with a piece of fabric covered Timtex, ( a stiff, heavyweight interfacing) they won't droop or flop and they sit wonderfully on a table top easel frame. I also sew a flat cord hanger the back of each quilt so they can be hung on the wall.

Below are close up views of each little spore! To see them in their entirety please visit my shop!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Everyday Pleasures #4

Here is my Friday installment of "everyday pleasures". Hope you enjoy, and have a great weekend!

This old and abandoned covered bridge.

My two dear little 1930's chalk dogs.

This gorgeous red barn with the three cupolas, and the rooster weathervane.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fun With Color

Well I survived the eye doctors! Spent the whole day on the couch wearing those cool plastic sun shades that wrap around your whole face. I was a true vision of loveliness.

Now on to important things like these cool paint chips!

They have little windows cut out so you can really see how they interact with other colors. Great idea!

And new mini Space Spores!

The colors were inspired by those fun little candy buttons that come on the long sheets of paper. They were one of my sister's favorite candies when we were kids. I hope to finish these in the next few days, and post them in my shop!

I would also very much like to thank Kelly, the winner of my first giveaway, for her lovely blog post about me and her new little flower quilt! Thanks Kelly!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Eye Doctors

I have to go to the eye doctors today, and while I appreciate having the ability to be able to have my eye health and well being attended to, I can't seem to shake my frustration at knowing I have to receive those damn drops. I am of course referring to the eye drops that make your pupils enlarge to the same degree as if you were in the depths of an under ground cavern, where it would be so dark, you would be unable to see your own hand in front of your face.

Ohhh, I despise those drops! I am extremely sensitive to them, and it can take a good 12 hours for the effects to fully wear off. In the meantime, My close up vision will be all blurry, so no artwork for me today, and any light is rather uncomfortable, (and of course it is a glorious sunny day outside.) But this all is a very small price to pay for maintaining healthy vision, and for that I am willing to do almost anything. But I have to ask, why do they always wait until my eyesight is super-duper blurrified from the drops, to tell me that I may now go and select a new pair of frames?

Above is a small illustration piece I did a few years ago. It is free motion embroidered onto a piece of stabilizer. Free motion embroidery is when you set your machine stitch to 0, drop your feed dogs, and use a darning foot. By doing this you are able to move your fabric anyway you wish, giving you complete control, thus allowing you to effectively draw with your thread, (which I used a lot of!) and needle. Some day I hope to do some more of these, but it takes lots of concentration, which I seem to have an increasingly hard time sustaining!

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Green Frogs

In honor of Mothers Day being just yesterday, (hope it was a good one for everybody!) I thought it would be a perfect time to share one of my all time favorite books, The Green Frogs, which is a delightful Korean folktale, retold and exquisitely illustrated by Yumi Heo and published by the Houghton Mifflin Company.

"The Green Frogs" tells the tale of a mother frog and her two sons, who always do the opposite of which she asks of them. It also deals with the death of mother frog, in a rather unusual way for a children's book, (but necessary for the story). So if you're an uptight adult, you may have a problem with it being a children's book. (The same way that many adults were afraid that children would be adversely affected by Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are", and I have yet to meet a kid that didn't love that book!) If you aren't uptight, then I highly recommend it, whether you have kids or not! The best part of the book are Yumi Heo's illustrations, done in oil and pencil, which are rich in tiny layered details and joyful patterns. I could look at these illustrations for hours, (and I have) and still continue to find something new.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day! And The Winner Is...

First off, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Mothers Day! Here's a little quilt I did to honor you all! And if you are not a mother, then I would just like to wish you a very happy day!

And now for the winner of my very first giveaway! Congratulations, Kelly! I will be sending you your little flower quilt prize, I hope you like it! I really appreciate everyone who entered, as you made this very fun! I look forward to having another giveaway soon!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Everyday Pleasures #3

I hope everyone has had a great week and I want to thank all of you who have entered my giveaway! If you haven't yet done so there is still time, just leave a comment here. The giveaway ends tomorrow, Saturday night, at midnight. I will be randomly selecting and announcing the winner on Sunday!

And now it is time for this weeks "Everyday Pleasures". Have a great weekend!

The delicate, white sweet woodruff flowers that grow in our garden beds.

The yellow field flowers that sweep across the farmland behind our home.

The various shades of lavender found in the thick blossoms of our much beloved lilac bush.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What's New

A new banner. It's not the best, as I find these things very challenging. However I will appreciate the results of my efforts, the same way that a mother appreciates the efforts of her child, doing it's best to navigate the big wide world, for when it comes to computers I am but a babe in the woods. In other news......

Two new little flowers have grown in my etsy shop!

This little flower...

and this one, too!

And don't forget about the Little Pink Posie below that I will be sending off to one of you very soon! If you haven't yet entered my giveaway, you can do so now by just leaving a comment here. I will be picking the winner on Sunday. Good Luck!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

102 Whoop-Dee-Do! It's a Giveaway and an Award, too!

Welcome to post #102! Whoop-Dee-Do!
In honor of this momentous occasion I am having my first giveaway! (Yes, I know it has become tradition to do so on your 100th post, but I wanted to wait until I reached 102 just because it rhymed with Whoop-Dee-Do. It's the really small insignificant things such as this that keep me amused.)

I am giving away this "Little Pink Posie" Mini Embroidered Art Quilt, which is a part of a new flower series that I am currently working on! Like all of my other art quilts, I have backed it with a fabric covered piece of stiff, heavyweight interfacing to give it great durability, and super flat hanging ability! It is also titled and signed on the back and has a flat cord loop for instant hanging gratification! If you would like a chance to win this, simply leave a comment and make sure I have a way of getting in touch with you. I will be randomly selecting a winner next Sunday!

In other news, I was recently given the Excellent blog award from the amazingly talented Karen of Contemporary Embroidery. Thanks Karen! Karen's work is original, innovative and totally fascinating in my opinion, so please check her out!

I believe I am now suppose to pass this award on to several more people, and this is where I always break out into a cold sweat! By now some of you may have gathered from a few previous posts, that when faced with having to pick and choose, especially in these cases, I tend to chicken out. To many good choices. (This is why my husband does the grocery shopping, for I can spend a full 45 minutes just in the tooth paste aisle, unable to choose with such a vast selection. Yes, I am weird. But there is one blog that I am so in love with, it surpassed my fears!
I am passing this award onto Elsa Mora of Elsita. I am simply a gah-gah for her work! Head over heels! My keyboard gets all wet from my drool when I look at her delightfully creative art. My heart goes a pitter-patter. I think I may need some counseling! Anyway, if you are unfamiliar with her magic, you must go check her out, you will fall in love, too!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Everyday Pleasures #2

It's Friday and that means it's time for another installment of "Everyday Pleasures"!

A momma sheep with her two little lambs.
(I know that they look like they are quietly grazing here, but I have to tell you, these sweet sheep were extremely vocal! I have never heard such loud, beautiful "Baaahhh-ing in my life!"

Our crab apple tree, thick with pink blossoms against a clear blue sky.

My blue Rocket Dogs, with the cute hula girls all over them, covered in dust from a day at Green Dragon.