Thursday, April 30, 2009

What's In the Journal



Someone (you know who you are) asked what I put in my watercolor journal. Watercolors, of course. :) Here's one I did this morning of Alexandra Keller.

One recycling/art trick -- I use old egg cartons as my water containers now when I paint. I get twelve separate little pools of clear water to use before I have to dump and refull, and I don't pollute my brush with a different color every time I change shades.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Watercolor Journal



This is a before-and-after look at a purchased journal and the cover that I altered a bit to suit me. I like enhancing things versus making them over, so I played with the colors of the rough handmade papers used to cover the end boards and added a little metallic peach, forest green and plum watercolor to them. I like the effect; it's more me than the original color scheme.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Novel Notebook Cover



This is one of the prettier covers I've photoshopped for one of my novel notebooks. Although the man depicted is too dark to accurately represent my male protagonist, the woman is a perfect fit for my female protag. I liked the feel of this image, too, which reminded me of what brought these two characters together.

Cover image credit: Vitalii Gubin

Monday, April 27, 2009

Judging



I sat behind this gentleman at our regional school band compeition for eight hours, and couldn't resist snapping a shot.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Winterfire

After the disaster that was the fiber art quilt, I needed a big project to get me over the quilting blues. Found it:



This is a log cabin variation quilt that just needs to be quilted and bound, which I bought off eBay. I loved it as soon as I saw the photo. The piecing is superb and the maker sent it basted and ready to go. It's the perfect test for my newly-repaired sewing machine.



It's a very large quilt, so I couldn't fit it all into the camera lens. Here's Cole posing by it, to give you some idea of scale:



Should be a lot of fun.

(Note: Tom and I are both out of town today, so new comments will probably not post until after 7 pm EST.)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vineyard



When we passed this vineyard on the road, I had to stop and snap a few shots.



Harvest season for an American vineyard runs anywhere from June to September; a bit earlier than their European counterparts. This naturally depends on the type of grape, vines, weather, what the winery wants to produce, etc. If you're ever out on the west coast, Napa Valley has some of the most beautiful vineyards and wineries in the U.S., and most are usually open to the public for tours.



Right now these particular grapes are no bigger than the head of a pin. I'll have to come back and do a comparison shot when they're ready for harvest.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quiltfail

As I mentioned over on the author blog, I finished the watercolor quilt I was embellishing with fibers. The colors are screwy; I couldn't get the dimensional effect I wanted, and I couldn't stand looking at it anymore, so I whipped through it this past weekend.

You might want to shade your eyes a little before you stare directly at the image.



Ick. And ick again. It looks moldy and hairy. Like garbage dump world. I even hate the binding, which I thought was darker than that.

This didn't work out at all the way I imagined, so back to the drawing board. I've learned that fibers are not my friends, and no matter how many beads you pile on top of a fiber art-type quilt, it still looks hairy. Good experience, or I'll likely think so, as soon as I can stop sulking.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fountain

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wind Damage



Evidently high winds uprooted this tree, which missed a house by about two feet.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

All Your Radio Stations Belong to Us



Saw this attached to the top of a news van; got immediate antenna-envy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Meet & Greet

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dolphin!



This is beautiful in black and white, but you should see it in color, which you can if you click on the image (unretouched color, too, btw).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cole at 5 months



Must take more photos of the pup -- he's getting really big, really fast.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Guild Challenge

For April my quilting guild challenge was to repurpose an unfinished quilting project into a gift or decoration for Easter. My problem is I don't have any unfinished projects I wanted to cut up into pieces and make into something else, so I raided my collection of antique quilt blocks, which are technically unfinished quilts (just made by someone else a long time ago.)

I had seven four-patch quilt blocks made of shirting and other household fabrics circa 1970 that I know I'm never going to make into a quilt because the colors are weird and the blocks were sewn unevenly, which made them perfect repurposing material.

Using Simplicity pattern 5461, designed by Elaine Heigl, I cut my old squares into pieces and made Mr. Easter Bear:



The only problem I had with him was that I had to hand-sew him together, as my sewing machine is in the shop being serviced, so he took two days. On a machine you can probably whip up this pattern in less an hour. Still, he came out cute, and I recycled some patchwork that probably would have sat in a box forever.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mama Wren



I took this shot through a screen + window, which is why it's so blurry, but it's the first time I've been able to get a pic of Mama Wren outside the nest.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tennessee Walker

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Presents

This afternoon I went out to sweep the porch, and took a peek at the wren's nest. Mama wren was gone, but there was something else in there:



I didn't want to disturb the nest or move the pot, so it took about 30 tries before I could get the camera to focus on the new occupants:



I count four, with one egg still to hatch. The big black dots are the babies' eyes, which are still closed:



Definitely a great day to come into the world, and seeing the new arrivals was a wonderful Easter present for all of us.

Wishing You

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Recount



I had thought there were four eggs in the newest nursery. Mama bird flew off to get some breakfast, and I tiptoed over to the pot to have a look at how they're doing.

No babies yet, but eggs. And guess what? There are five.

Hopefully no tabloid journalist shows up wanting to know why Quintmom decided to give birth to five chicks instead of a more modest number, and I don't have to give a statement to Bird Welfare about why I let her have her babies in my dead plant (I swear, officer, we put out perfectly good birdhouses . . . )

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rescued Horse

A friend of mine introduced me to this sweetheart of a guy, who is recovering from neglect:



A beautiful, gentle animal, and he's so quiet and watchful it makes your heart hurt just to look at him. Also makes me me want to go find who abused him and return the favor -- with a baseball bat.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

GSC quilt completed

It's done:



When I showed it to my quilter friend Jill she said, "That quilt isn't crazy, you are." Which clinched the name for it: Crazy for You



I left putting on the peacock feather for last because 1) it's real 2) peacock feathers are too fragile to endure much handling and 3) it felt like a great finale for the quilt.



Now I think I'll work on an easier project for a while, like a hand-pieced mariner's compass or something. :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Other Side



All embroidered quilts look a little like Frankenstein's monster on the flip side (stop by tomorrow to see the front.)

Monday, April 6, 2009

I'd Rather Be Playing Gameboy



I envy this kid. Whenever I had to sit through boring events when I was his age, I'd either fidget or fall asleep.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Maid Service Requested



What the mourning dove babies left behind. *Sniff* I miss them.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

The (Other) Shack



I'm playing around with tinting parts of black and white photos; it's an interesting effect. And I have no idea why there's part of a picket fence on the roof of this place.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cole Makes A Friend

We waited until Cole finished getting all of his puppy shots before we made our first visit to the local dog park; and within minutes my ladies man started chasing around after this pretty girl:



He and his new pal ran around too fast for me to catch much of them on camera, but I did manage to snap this one as Cole was taking a wistful look at some future friends hanging out in the large dog area:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bird Frog

Here's a blast from the past -- the first time one of our birdhouses were occupied, we couldn't wait to see what lovely feathered creature had moved in.



Wishing you all a Happy and Not Too Annoying April Fool's Day.