Thursday, March 9, 2023

LaBella Luna

We seem to be having connectivity issues from the road so will give you the scoop tomorrow on our trip to Richmond.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

International Women's Day Gallery

All shapes, sizes, and colors, there is nothing I like to paint more than the female form.
Strength and beauty, determination and grace:
Happy International Women's Day.
Here's a gallery to celebrate!

 Today is Day 15 of posting for #the100dayproject. 
Not sure this counts as writing but wanted to celebrate something that is important to me! 
Thanks for following along. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Variations on a theme

I decided to knit up this beautiful hand spun wool yarn I had in my stash.
Even though I know my friends to the north & west are still knee or even waist deep in snow you will notice I have a tank top on in this picture so I thought 
"Am I ever go to wear this?, Really?"
It's gorgeous and SO soft.
I might be more likely to wear it as a hat.
What else could I think of??

Then I had the idea to combine it with some retro linen I have and make a funky pillow.
I kind of eyeballed the size for the pillow. 
Zipped it up, it went together smoothly.
I was going to applique the knit onto the pillow but then it dawned on me I could slide it on kind of like a sleeve (or a scarf, ha!) and then it would be removable.

Of course, I am not sure who needs a handknitted, wooly, multi purpose fashion and home accessory, but if you have a friend who loves orange & red, 
let me know!

Today is day 14 of #the100daychallenge where I am challenging myself to write a little slice of life  every day for 100 days.  I feel like I am kind of in Dear Diary mode here so far.
But I am proud of myself for persevering thus far.
Thanks for following along. I appreciate it!

Monday, March 6, 2023

Signs of spring

Feeling slightly guilty that so many of my northern and western friends are being buried under snow when spring is busting out all over here in coastal Virginia.
Tulips are one of my favorite flowers so I was delighted to see these beauties in Yorktown this week.

Our front garden daffodils and hyacinths are in full bloom too! Such a bright spot of color on a grey day. It will be sunny & in the fifties here for the next week, so the flowers should last QUITE a while.

Normally I am quite tolerant of letting nests stay where they are constructed but some very busy bird built this nest in my outdoor wall vase this morning. I was glad there were no eggs in it to be compromised. The flowers would have rotted out underneath it and the nest would have collapsed into the water below. So I made the command decision to just remove the vase until they find a new place to build. Last year I watered around nests in my hanging basket ferns and my roses!

It always amused me how OFFENDED the mama bird was by me daring to come in and out my front door and get too close to her nest and babies. I loved peeking at them as they hatched and started peeping constantly. It astounds me how there is a raucous chorus one day and they are gone the next, flown the coop as it were!
I don't know anything about identifying nests but this one seemed quite deep, over three inches down,  almost shaped like a funnel. 
It also had quite picturesque mossy accents and some baby's breath woven through!
I felt bad about having to remove it but I think it is best in the long run.
I am looking forward to seeing if I can spot where they rebuild.

Is it spring where you live or no?

Today is day 13 of my attempt to write a bit every day for 100 days as part of the global #the100dayproject. Thanks for following along. I appreciate all of your messages but fell free to comment here too, if you like. 

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Joy Despite Everything

I ordered this book, "How To Begin When Your World Is Ending" on the recommendation of my pastor friend Liz. Not because I feel like my world is ending but because I am always looking for ways to find joy in my circumstances.
I was delighted I got the book. Phinney Baskette has quite the adroit turn of phrase and a way of writing that compels you to keep reading.

I said to my friend using the word "adroit sounds a little contrived, but it is the word that came to mind. Like when you watch a musician fingering valves on a trumpet and magical music comes out.

Fair warning the book contains a fair amount of cursing (certainly not an unusual thing in a cancer patient, although one might not expect it from a minister) and the author's progressive politics are transparently on display. Also on display is big hearted spirit and a perspective that made me think about how I tackle adversity. 

A thought provoking, witty read.

This post is the 12 of #the100daychallenge. I forgot to hit publish last night show so it is showing up the next morning. Although I will confess I am backdating it to keep me on schedule.
Am proud of the fact I did not throw in the towel because I missed one deadline. 
Yay me. ;)
Thanks for following along.


Saturday, March 4, 2023

Which came first? The chicken or the ...?

As I just might have mentioned before, I LOVE linen.
Especially hand worked pieces.
Especially quirky ones.
Do you know what this round item with a crowing rooster on it is?
Does the second photo give you a clue?
The third photo is a close-up with the rooster as the star.
These are all hand embroidered, all just a little too serious, considering their end use.
They are cocktail linens! Get it? COCK TAIL?
We all know the Rat Pack era was when cocktails reigned supreme.
Please forgive me for using a wine glass to demonstrate instead of a short stemmed glass but I wanted to show you how they are used.
These petite napkins could have been used for just that napkins or for tray liners to carry snacks, nut bowls or petite sandwiches or tiny trays to accompany your cocktail (or in my case a glass of wine).
To me the astounding thing is these rowdy roosters are all hand embroidered! 
The embroiderer would have used a transfer to print the pattern on her (stereotyping here but most of the stitching was done by women) linen or counted the stitches onto the fabric by eye.
Consider that this tiny final rooster is made up of over 240 cross stitches. That means 480 individual stitches conjured this tiny figure less than ONE inch tall. There are 50 stitches along the end of the final napkin, embellished with a crocheted edging.
I would bet it is safe to say this needle artist did her stitching BEFORE she has any cocktails!

Today is Day 11 of #the100day project where I am attempting to write every day for 100 days.
Thanks for following along while I ramble about all the different things that come to mind. I am sure some order or emphasis will shake out eventually. Maybe.


Friday, March 3, 2023

Studio Snippets - Wall 1

When we bought this house it was the first place I have ever lived with a garage.
This place had kind of a "fancy" garage - dry walled, painted a cheery yellow, with windows, and climate control. Like I said, FANCY.

This wall is hung gallery style with work from friends and family, plus a traffic sign and a reminder that everything else in this place is supposed to be leaving this place.

When we moved in the garage was filled immediately with an obscene amount of vintage goodies (stock from my old brick and mortar that I couldn't part with, finished art, box after box of books (because this lovely home had no built in storage like our old colonial), art supplies, things that masqueraded as art supplies: stained & ripped linen, antique papers, falling apart books, broken jewelry, random balls of string, you get the idea. It was a lot.  Like that run on sentence. ;)

Frighteningly, these next photos are just one wall of my studio. The painting "Side" if you will.
I've got brushes, palette knives, works in process...
Boxes of random paper, tools I have bought and not used yet (I am looking at you printing press and quilting iron), mark making goodies, inks, markers,  On and on it goes.
The perils of being a mixed media artist is that EVERYTHING is an art supply!
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Hope you enjoyed this partial peek into my studio.

These two stacked to the side? They are paintings I am in the process of re-working. 
They are what I will be working on while I am waiting for commission layers to dry.
Leila, you are next (finally!). Kathy you are on deck!

Today is Day 10 of #the100day project where I am attempting to write every day for 100 days.
I am hoping by the time this 100 days is in the books I have regained some stamina and met some new friends. Thanks for following along!

PS When my late father came to visit he, the man who sheltered every vehicle he has ever owned, just shook his head, and said "there will never be a car in her, will there?" with a resigned shake of his head and a small smile. 

Sorry Dad. xo