Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wishing You

Friday, October 30, 2009

Form & Color



I wanted to do a sketch of this lovely bush before I painted it, so to get a look at the structure of the leaves and flowers I changed it to black and white (to see the color version, click on the image.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall Quilt Block

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Car Zen



I wouldn't mind following this guy; I bet he goes to some interesting places.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tri Cloud



When the sun sets here, the light does neat things to paint the clouds.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hmmmm



The bag boy who didn't load the groceries fast enough, perhaps?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Who's Your Daddy?



I think this is the Grandaddy of all Daddy LongLegs; it's bigger than my hand. I didn't get too close but I'm pretty sure it was bigger than my head.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Back in Pink



Did you know that the only company in America that made authentic plastic pink flamingo lawn ornamets closed its doors three years ago? Neither did I, until I snapped this shot and did a little research out of idle curiosity (I remembered someone telling me a few years back that this classic bit of Americana was going extinct.)

Fortunately the birds were rescued by GetFlocked.com, who now sell them (always in pairs) online as fundraiser gifts. As unfond as I am now of anything pink, I'm glad.

Monday, October 19, 2009

First Jack Sighting



First jack o'lantern I've seen around town. I like his smile.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rise of the Lichen

If you're looking for visual inspiration, WebEcoist has a neat post on 15 of the most bizarre-looking places on Earth that is definitely worth a look.

The post inspired me to hunt around my corner of the planet, which is not quite so spectacular, and take these pics of some of the strangely beautiful lichen that grow on some of our trees:



Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

For Sal

Thursday, October 15, 2009

In the Pink



We get a lot of rosy sunsets here, but it's not very often we have pink sunrises.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Waste Not

I had a test panel leftover from my project for the last guild challenge, which was too small to really do anything with and too big to throw away:



I could have used it as a front panel for a gift bag, but I had ironed it and squashed it pretty flat. Which is what gave me another another idea:



All I had to do was cut and sew scraps of the bias binding to finish the edges of each strip, and voila: some neat-looking bookmarks. Here's the first one I finished (I have about three done now):

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Colorful



This is the first time I've ever seen a plant with these colors -- beautiful, colorful, but a little alien, too.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hide and Seek



The sun never wins when it plays hide and seek.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Very Small World

You'll probably have to click on the image to go to the larger version and clearly see the occupant of this tiny world:



I left my work mat out in the garage last night, which gave the little madam here the opportunity to set up house. She was carefully relocated to the garden.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Small Worlds

I accepted a fellow cameramateur's five-cent challenge: find and photograph five things around the house that I've never photographed before,and that I think are beautiful. Only one condition: they also had to be smaller than a penny, and I had to put a penny in the photograph to prove it.

Since the yard is around the house (hover over each image for a little description; click on the image to see a larger version):









Friday, October 9, 2009

Froggit

Another thing I've learned from working on PBWindow is how difficult it is to take low-light shots with a digital camera. They all seem to come out blurred.



For example, I wanted to get a close-up of this little guy here, but unlike a pic I took a year ago of his cousin, I just couldn't get a better focused shot than this.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Unwholecloth Challenge

I did finished (tardily) my entry in this month's guild challenge, and my long-suffering guildpals were gracious enough to let me turn it in late. So here are some pics of my entry, Chimera's Window:





The light in the garage plus my camera didn't want to pick up the stitching, so I snapped this shot to show a little of it:



And finally, my inspiration -- the not quite as colorful panes of my garage window:



Each "pane" of the quilt was made of two 13" X 9" pieces of batik fabric sandwiched together with batting, pinned, and then freehand-quilted. I didn't worry about marking or making a specific pattern with my stitches; I just followed some of the lines made on the cloth by the dye/discharge process.

Once I had quilting all six panels, I attached them to each other using black single fold bias tape, narrow between the panes and a wider strip down the middle. I also used the leftover wide bias to bind the edges.

Problems with this project: I measured and marked all my seam allowances, but after quilting the panels I didn't remeasure them to match up the front and back bias tape applique, which out of laziness I eyeballed. The result skewered the panels 1/16" off in a front section and 1/8" off in the back. I didn't press each panel after I did a spare one as a test; to me the piece looked better with a little puffiness to it. I also didn't prewash the bias (Wright's, pre-packaged) to save time, and it was stiff as hell to work with; next time, I'm cutting and making my own.

I had three yards of bias tape leftover, so I pinned it around the piece and fold-mitered the corners instead of cutting and sewing them. Again, laziness, but I happen to be good at it so it looks cut & sewn, and I ended up with only one seam to join on the bias, the look of which frankly I like better on small pieces like this.

I know I could have done better with my fabric selections for the back of the piece. The four predominantly yellow-green and two red-green pieces don't look as cohesive as the front, and a wholecloth quilt should be completely reversible.

I did manage to hand stitch, quilt and bind the entire piece; not one inch of it went under the presser foot. That's something I feel strongly about when it comes to wholecloth quilts. Traditionally they were 100% hand made, and while machine quilting definitely makes them flatter and neater-looking, I think we need to remember our roots as needlework artists and do some things like this by hand.

It was a neat experiment, and I'm glad I tried it. I don't think I'd do this method for a bed quilt, mainly because the bias strips would create a ridge-y feeling the the underside of the piece, but for a wall hanging, tote bag or other conservatively-sized project it would work well.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ordinary Slices



After almost a year of fiddling with my camera and working on this project, I've learned that little sections of the most ordinary snapshots (like this one) can be really lovely when cut out and separated, which is making me pay more attention to details. To see the entire picture I snapped, click on the image.

Monday, October 5, 2009

1979

Mom sent me some old pictures she found of me, my dad and my grandmother/his mom. These are really old, circa my first leave from the military back in 1979:



This is the last picture I took with my grandmother before she passed away, I think (probably why they were tucked away somewhere.)



I know the shaft of light on the right is coming from a mirror or something, but I like how it shines down on her. She was a sweet lady.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Autumn Arrives

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Vanguard or Vulture





This two unusual window displays (both in the same shop) seem to say it all.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Black & White & Run All Over



To see the *cough* color version, click on the image.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Holiday Ready



You know you're a holiday enthusiast when you put out the Halloween pumpkin in September -- while you still have up the Christmas lights from last year.