Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

I always have good intentions, but too often get sidetracked.  I think that is a pretty common dilemma for many of us.  This year, I'm going to try something new...actually, something that I used to do when I was in the "corporate" world:  plan some tasks to be completed a during the following week.  Like a dreaded term paper back in the day, certain things just get set aside repeatedly.  Maybe I can get a handle on them this way.

Now, I know that some of you are already laughing.  I am, too.  But I will TRY to manage things one week at a time.  A month is too long.  A year?  Might as well be infinity.   Maybe I can do one week.  I realize that with Mom and her needs, any plan I come up with could fly out the window in an instant. 

With that in mind, I will try to list, every Monday, 5 things that I hope to accomplish during the following week.  The first one will always be the same, I know.  It is a fact of life, but when you do as much laundry as I do, it can get out of hand very quickly.

Week 1:

1.  Finish all of the week's laundry.  There, I've said it, now just to DO it.   Note to self:  Are there disposable sheets as well as undergarments?
2.  Finish my Thursday Stitcher's group challenge.  The challenge for this quarter is to create a crazy quilted 3-dimensional, life-size fruit. 
3.  Quilt one of the quilts in my stack of "to-be-quilted-some-other-time quilt tops.
4.  Make more laundry detergent.
5.  Get all the January birthday gifts selected, wrapped, and mailed.

I'll report on my progress on this week, and forecast Week 2 next Monday. 

Are there tasks you always put off?

Back to Square One

On a whim, I signed up for the Vicki Welsh/Judy Laquidara 2013 challenge, the  Back to Square One Mystery and chose to use these wonderful hand-dyed fabrics from Vicki's Etsy shop:

The mystery starts tomorrow, and it will be a nice kick-start to the new year.

While I was shopping for this fabric, I was inspired to do several other projects using Vicki's fabrics.  It isn't as though I don't already have an enormous stash....but her hand-dyes are downright irresistible.  Now, visions of placemats, wall hangings, and some sculptures are floating around in my head.

What sorts of projects to you plan for 2013?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dabbling with Color

Sometimes, I don't feel particularly energetic and enjoy colorizing rubber stamped images.  Here are a few of the ones I've done recently:

Watercolor background with rubber stamp which is then colorized.
Embossed a rubber stamp, then added watercolor.

Intricate stamp, used Inktense Pencils then water.

An autumn-themed  rubber stamp with watercolor.

This bamboo with birds was fun.

Another intricate rubber stamp and the Inktense pencils with water.

I love this little bird stamp.
Of course, I love to fiddle with paper almost as much as scraps, so here are a few paper and paint creations:

Watercolor on Suminagashi

Watercolor on hand-made paper

Watercolor and acrylic

Playing with Manilla Tags

Manilla tags are a wonderfully fun surface for painting, stamping, and making art.

I've been experimenting with many techniques on tags, and here are a few results.  In this first set,
I played with marbling a few manilla tags:

And dabbled in all sorts of media.  Here are a few more:


I have assembled all of these tags onto a book ring.  It is a fun mini-album.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nine Lovely Ladies

Nine lovely ladies
   walked in the drive
I rushed out to feed them
   I want them to thrive
First one, then another
   came to check out my gift
Then all came a-tumble
   to fill in the rift
Now nine lovely ladies
   are searching for their corn
And I smile to know
   they're not hungry this cold morn.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Quiet Week is Such Fun

When things are quiet around here, I have time to work on projects.  But sometimes it is a long time between the last time I painted/stitched/dyed/doodled and the next time.  To "limber up" my hands, I always do some practice projects first.  This week, I've had some quiet time and I have spent some time doing watercolors.

First, here is the cover I made for my journal.  I prefer a larger format for my journal, so the cover measures 9 x 12 inches.   Since I actually started the journal last fall, I did the cover in autumn colors with drifts of rubber-stamped maple leaves floating across a watercolored rusty palette.

Next up, a more spring-like page.  A pair of watercolor plants in early spring greens, graced by a paper butterfly.

I went back and finished the painting of the stargazer lilies that I posted for Easter, added the ombre band of pink on the right, and the hand-lettered name.

I did this batch of watercolor postcards all in one afternoon.  First, a whimsical splash of colors to celebrate my GD discovering that she likes watercolors.

Next, a watercolor abstract map.

Then, whimsy took over, and I doodled this card, which simply started as a rubber-stamped hydrangea blossom on a twig.

More whimsey and rubber-stamped work, bits of writing, a few circular stains, and some blobs of pale green gesso.

While I had the gesso out, I did this grove of birch trees.

After that afternoon of drawing and painting, I'd better get back to work while it stays quiet.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

I've been drawing and painting a lot lately. I thought this watercolor I did of a lily and two buds was a good image for today.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The February Color Palette Challenge

< The Color Palette Challenge colors for February have been posted and the selection is fabulous! Just look at these colors from Vicki Welsh:
Here is the selection I've pulled from my stash. The darker violet and the greens are actually the exact same colors as the palette above, but for some reason, they are not coming out right in this scan. Two colors are still needed: the red-orange that would appear between the red and the paler orange, and a lime green to round out the four green selections. I can't seem to put my hands on any fabrics in those colors, so I will just add them as part of the embellishments.

This is going to be a fun challenge!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crazy Quilt Journal Project Month 1

A while back, I mentioned that I'd signed up to do the Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP). I did not mention that I also wanted to work on a color challenge that Judy Laquidara was hosting. In that, a specific color palette is selected each month the participants make something from that palette. I was too late to actually sign up for Judy's challenge, but I still wanted to, I decided to combine two projects into one. I will be doing the monthly crazy quilt block in colors dictated by the color challenge.

My blocks will be all 9 x 12 inches, and each will have the month's name on it. Colors may be all over the rainbow, as I follow the color palette challenge. I think it will be great fun.

This block has fabrics I selected from my stash (all are silk) which I thought matched the colors in the January palette. The green I chose was a touch darker, as I had no exact match. I embroidered the word "January" on the block as a start, and to get my fingers back in form. It has been several years since I've done any embroidery at all. The big snowflake was done on my Janome 300 embroidery machine. The smaller ones are hand done needlelace and tatting. The lace flowers and scalloped lace are hand dyed to go with the palette. I found a bit of sari ribbon in my stash and scrunched that into a ribbon river. As a part of this challenge, I am trying to add at least one thread that I've never handsewn with before. In this case, I used Razzle Dazzle, which I normally use in machine bobbin work. It worked great! A few charms, beads, and some mother of pearl buttons round it out.

February is almost here. I wonder what the next selection will be?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sledding Crow

How clever the crow.
He slides in the snow.
Why not just fly?
No one can say why.
Only the crow can know.

Vickie Tobin, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Etsy Shop

In early November, I started an Etsy shop

I've listed a number of my little hand-painted domino pins, lots of hand-dyed laces, and am starting to list stuff from the PPPatch that I know I'll never have time to use. It has been fun pulling things together for this shop, and it helps keep my mind off other issues (mostly worries about my mom and her illness).

I also started a Facebook page for bertseesabox, and have set Etsy to allow me to update the Facebook page when I add new items to the shop. Technology is great!

I think this is the correct URL:

Have a look, and leave a note to say you were there.

A New Blog

I've created a new blog:

just for reflecting on my Mom and her ongoing battle with Alzheimer's Disease.