Quick Shot Post

I’m sitting down to write this – just to try to remember how to write a blog post. It’s been that long. There are numerous reasons for my delinquency, but one of the big ones has to be the fact that I’m not happy with the “theme” that I’m using. Several times I’ve tried to find something new that I like, but thus far I’ve been unsuccessful. I think I need to just try a few on for size, so watch for some new looks. Don’t expect much for content until I find something that I love. Promises, promises, promises.

Adding photos is also a bit more tedious since I moved my photo library to an external drive. Unfortunately my computer and my external hard drive aren’t always in the same room – a problem I need to work out.

Well, the good news is that I still remember how to type. That’s got to be worth something, right? Now to test my ability to add photos… of course, the only ones I have at hand on my computer of photos of Kush the cat.

Great – I can’t remember how to add a photo to the heading on this theme. Can’t see/remember where to add categories or tags. I definitely have some work ahead. Stay tuned as I try to get back into the wonderful world of blogging!

Too Many Ideas – Too Little Time!

Sure – I know that every creative person feels this way, but lately it’s been overwhelming! So rather than try to summarize everything I’ve got going on, I think I’ll just pick something to share so that my blog isn’t totally neglected. I’m busy working on a very stimulating project. I’m hemming tea towels. I know – you’re thinking – how can she handle that kind of excitement – and be able to tear herself away long enough to blog about it? Well, let me explain. First of all, all the fabrics I’m working on are fabrics of my design. They are printed on a beautiful linen/cotton blend fabric by Spoonflower. an online textile printing company. I have been aware of this company for several years, but it’s only after taking a class with Jane Dunnewold at Art Quilt Tahoe that I started to design on the computer. Some of my designs start with my photos and some from scans. What makes it fascinating is that I have scanned artwork that I have created, even some of the textiles that I screen printed this summer. And that’s just the beginning. Once the images are on the computer, they can be manipulated in various ways to create an infinite variety of designs. There is absolutely no end to the fun that is possible! Which brings me back to my tea towels. I love that the designs I’ve created can be made into something useful – something practical that you can enjoy. Since the towels need to be hemmed on four sides, my friend, Lynda, suggested that of course I would need to miter the corners. She described a technique that sounded plausible, but it was one I didn’t have experience with. I assumed I’d be able to find detailed instructions online. I looked and looked and looked and could not find exactly what I was looking for, so I worked with what I could find and what I thought Lynda said and started experimenting. It took a few corners, but I figured it out. I’ve finished about a dozen tea towels (which is 4 dozen corners) and by george I think I’ve got it! Several of my designs are for Christmas gifts, so I can’t show photos of them yet, but here are the steps used to create a beautiful mitered corner.

Here are a few of my designs that I can share now:altered pine cone pattern altered rust pattern altered tree pattern silk screened fabrics pattern altered rust pattern computer created imagerySorry the samples aren’t all properly pressed, but I hate to waste time doing that until they are finished. After Christmas I’ll have more designs to share.

OMG My Head is going to explode!

I just returned from a trip to “Art Quilt Tahoe“. This conference takes place at a stunning setting – the Zephyr Point Conference Centre – located on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. It was hard to stop taking photos of the lake and gorgeous surroundings.  This was my outstanding view. No complaints here.lake view from class beautiful lake viewI spent 4 days working with Jane Dunnewold, an accomplished fibre artist I met last year at the Surface Design Association conference in San Antonio, Texas. I fell in love with Jane’s work immediately, and when an opportunity presented itself to take one of her classes, I jumped at it. The class was called ” Improvisational Design for Digital Printing”. It was everything I  expected and more. I have been totally consumed with designing fabrics on the computer and on Sunday night I placed an order. My head was busting with ideas and it was tough to decide what to order first. I ordered from Spoonflower, an online service that does terrific work. I am really excited to see how my fabrics turn out, and I’ll post photos once they arrive.

Here is a piece of Jane’s work, titled “It’s All About Proportion”.work by Jane Dunnewold

The conference classes were small so teachers were able to give lots attention to all their students. Every lunch and dinner featured a speaker, with established art quilters giving terrific presentations. There were amazing quilts on display to stimulate and amaze, and what fun to spend time with so many like-minded individuals! I met some terrific people, including a quilter whose work I have admired for many, many years – Theresa May. I might have even stalked her a bit after we met, but I couldn’t help myself. She is talented and totally unassuming and I was just so thrilled to meet her. Here is one of Theresa’s quilts titled “San José Beauty”. Totally amazing to see up close!quilt by Theresa MayMust get moving now. I’m working on things for a craft sale and I’m a little behind. Where would I be without a deadline?

Computer Issues

We all have them now and again, but that doesn’t lessen the world of frustration felt when programs aren’t behaving the way that they should. Last week I lost access to my photo program (Aperture) and my word processor (Pages). Both problems experienced “errors” while they were updating and would not open because in theory they were still updating. Insert scream and mild hair pulling. I wasn’t worried about losing my data. I assumed that the program and the data included were hopefully stored separately. I thought that perhaps I should just delete both programs and reload them, but that sounded a little too drastic for me to follow through on without confirmation. In order to obtain that confirmation, I booked an appointment at the genius bar at the Apple store. I know there are a lot of jokes about being a “genius” at the Apple store, but for my money – that’s exactly what they are. Fricking geniuses. In my 15 minute appointment I was able to get my problems resolved and learn a little more about my computer with time to spare. What’s that if not genius?

I should point out that without access to my photos I felt like I had lost an arm or something equally valuable. So, I am now a happy camper. I was anxious to work on my blog, but without photos I didn’t think it was worth posting. I never have anything that fascinating to say – I need the visual enhancement of photos. I was panicking because I couldn’t take part in the weekly photo challenge, but then decided that the theme this week – eerie – didn’t really appeal to me. Take a look – there are some great responses to the challenge. Just don’t waste your time looking for mine.

We’ve had some renovations going on in our basement, largely because of water damage during heavy rains in June. I decided that enough is enough – the problem needed to be dealt with. Apparently our house sits on a street with a high water table, even though we are on the top of a bluff above the river. We already had 3 small sump pumps installed, but obviously they were inadequate. On the recommendation of a friend, I called a company who dug up the concrete basement floor to expose the footings. Then a trough was installed, leading to a new giant sump pump. You can tell it’s a giant because it has 3 motors and a battery back up that is larger than a car battery. Unfortuately, this was installed in the adjoining guest room – practically in the middle of the room. In order to fit a bed into the room, we had to reconfigure, tear out the closet and build a cabinet unit to hide the pump. Oh, did I mention that the basement systems people chopped out the bottom 2′ of drywall everywhere that they worked? We’ve been in a real mess trying to get everything repaired and put back together. Yesterday we installed new carpet in the bedroom. I chose carpet tiles from a company called FLOR. This particular pattern is totally random. I love it. The yellow bit shows the wall color.new carpet tilesI’m hopeful that the ceiling will get a last coat of paint today, and then I can start to gradually move things into the room. Unfortunately I’ll have to stuff it to the ceiling because we need to empty the adjoining family room to finish work there. The fun never ends!

Winter has arrived, or at least the first big dump of snow. This coincides perfectly with the new roof that is being installed on our house. I believe the work started 2 days before the snow arrived. But never fear, a little snow is not enough to stop outdoor work in Calgary. As the stomping and hammering and goodness knows what else continues over my head, our roof work continues.roof work continuesThe work in the back yard does seem to be on hold just now, but I’m sure there will be some action there once more of the snow has disappeared. I’m sure of it. I’m sure of it. I’m sure of it. Here’s the view from my studio.back yard

Hopefully the next time I post yard photos you’ll actually be able to see what’s going on!

P.S. There is work going on in the back yard right now. How’s that for the power of positive thinking? Also a huge blue plastic tarp just went up past my window – good to know I’ve got interim coverage from the weather!