Monday, May 31, 2010


The creative prompt at Artquiltmaker's blog this week is 'quirky'. Quirky has been on my mind for a couple of days and this is what came of it! I was reading a Lee Child novel - just started it - and set it down somewhere not obvious so pulled out my art supplies and quirked. Done now. I'm going in search of my novel and a cool place to sit!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

'Remember' pendant

I realized when I looked through my blog posts that I have referred to the 'Remember' pendant while never having posted it! So here it is. I made this at "a Work of Heart" in San Jose with my SBdaughter the week before coming down to take care of Mom.

The picture reminded me of pictures of myself when I was very young. The picture is the first layer, the word - remember - is the second layer and resin is the third layer. I drew on the dress with a sparkly pen (don't remember the kind, sorry) and that shows through the resin. I am glad it shows up in the picture, too.

A Work of Heart has all kinds of great classes. If you live in the bay area, check it out.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

fabric fabric fabric

I did in fact go to Beverly's on my day off today. I purchased about sixteen pieces of fabric in quarter yard cuts! That should give me a leg up on the food quilt. Am going to cut at least four patches from each piece and possibly more, depending on how well I can fussy cut some of them.

For instance, I picked some really nice black with limes, lemons and oranges on it and I can probably get six from that one. The black has white polka dots too.

Two of the pieces are half yards because they are panel prints with several different images. That will be fun to fussy cut.

I also purchased a new cutting mat which is purple! Probably could have talked myself out of it if I weren't so tired. But the mat I brought with me is one of those 6x7 inch ones. Couldn't face cutting all that fabric on such a small mat. And anyway, its purple!

There were pink ones, too but how many mats does one quilter need? I wonder if there are purple ergonomic rotary cutters? Then I would have a coordinated set!

Friday, May 28, 2010

What once was lost...

YEAH!!! I found the ATCs that I thought I had lost. I am so happy. The Big Guy is visiting me and Mom here in SoCal and he dropped something between the mattress and the bed. In the process of retrieving that I saw a little pack of ATCs! Sure started my day off well!

You may notice the drawing on the lower left is quite different from my usual style. The grandchild did a super hero for me. When I have access to my printer again I am going to print that one and see if I can make a pendant like "Remember" that I made at A Work of Heart. It will be my talisman and good luck piece.

The other good thing is that The Big Guy is going to give me a day off. He has been here three days so pretty much knows Mom's routine. I think I will call my girlfriend and see if she wants a visitor.

This is one of the ATCs I really didn't want to lose. I like pen and ink, especially when it works well. This image is of Mom while she was still in the hospital and pretty out of it on morphine. If you look at her facebook fan page - The Adventures of Super G - you will see how much better she is. Two more months in the brace and she will be re-evaluated by the neuro surgeon.

The Big Guy brought me my Singer Featherweight and two of my UFOs. I have been collaborating with Artquiltmaker on the food quilt and may go to the quilt store today (or - don't tell die hard quilters) Beverly's (I have coupons) and get a charm pack of a solid color, buttercup, and start working on that one. I only have 63 6 1/2 inch blocks cut so need some more food prints. Saw tons of them on the internet yesterday. Wonder what the smallest piece is Beverly's will cut? I only want two of each print. Artquiltmaker says I need 238 blocks! So I still need 88 other prints. Geez, are there 88 more food prints out there? Maybe I need four of each print? With four of each I'd only need 60 prints. That's still pretty daunting! I think this might have been a good thing to do BEFORE I started cutting blocks! Oh well, onward and upward! Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New ATCs

Four ATCs at one blow! The book I got at Aaron Bros. last week is inspiring. This is an example of one of the exercises. The instructions said to drop blobs of watercolor onto the card and then find images and outline or highlight them. From upper left around to lower left here is what I call them: Seahorses, Stroke, Fungi, and Goddess Carrying Purple with Elephant.

Went online and perused ATC trading sites but am not ready to let go of any of my cards yet, even with the promise of receiving a card in return. May post some when I get my big pack of them from home. Hopefully I will get to go home for the weekend the first weekend of June.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The kindness of strangers

O.K. I admit it. I am pretty grumpy and whiny lately. Also tired, short-tempered and probably some other negative trait I can't think of right now. So if you are looking for Little Mary Sunshine don't come to me!

That being said, I got a short break yesterday from Mom Care due to the good graces of a great neighbor, and I went (TAA DAA) grocery shopping. o_o

First to Whole Foods where I saw a woman from a caretakers group I went to Friday (didn't like the group but will go back) who, quite sweetly, listened to me rant for about twenty minutes. She was saved by my husband phoning.

I was standing in the gluten free aisle of WF and got about $50 worth of GF snacks (oh the belly and hips will suffer for this but the psyche will love it). Finally pulled myself away, finished shopping (got sushi and a fizzy mango drink for my lunch) and sat in the car, by myself, in almost total quiet, and ate. Then I drew an ATC! Second one in five weeks, I think. =(

Before going to Trader Joe's I went into Aaron Bros. - Santa Clarita's idea of a great art supply store - and looked at stuff. Gathered up about $100 of stuff which duplicated stuff I have at home as well as a book on ATCs. Then I went around and put everything back except the watercolor brush and the book and went on to TJs.

Picked up what I needed (they have great blueberries!) and when I got to the cashier (a young man about 18) he asked me how I was and I said "fine" (no one really wants to know how one is, it's a polite rhetorical question) and I asked him how he was and he said "great, I get off in half an hour. But I'm tired and I have to go to my second job so I guess I'm not so great." I said I would trade his day for mine and he asked me why so I told him about Mom falling and me taking care of her 24/7, being here for over 5 weeks, getting fired from our job, facing homelessness and being impatient and exhausted. He said "you win the bad day!" He finished checking me out and asked me what kind of flowers I like. I said sunflowers. He gave me a bouquet of sunflowers!

The kindness of strangers is a sweet thing. I'm still smiling. })

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A work in progress, part two.

Yesterday I posted an image from my camera that I said I was going to make into a quilt block. Well, I didn't get that far yet (the fabric is on Mom's kitchen table) but I did get the drawing done. This is going to be 6.5"x6.5" which includes the quarter inch seam allowance. Ir may go into the food quilt I'm cutting patches for except how edible is this?

I think the triangle will be bias tape or appliqued down. The circles will be on top, raw edge appliqued to the base square. Or maybe the triangle will be stitch painting. As you can see, a work in progress. Also, need to do it by hand as I don't have my trusty featherweight with me and really dislike my Mom's machine.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Drawing inspiration from strange places

Housework seems to be my major occupation while I am taking care of Super G after her nosedive off the arm of the swivel rocker. But my creative brain still seems to work. We have no errands or appointments today so I am going to use this photo to design a quilt block.

Stay tuned!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Artquiltmaker's creative prompt - LEAF

Artquiltmaker's creative prompt recently was "leaf". Today was run all over creation morning (and afternoon) but in the process I saw this tree with the two leaves growing out of a colorful trunk and the bushy leaves behind it. So, for the creative prompt, I am sharing this with you!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dog tag

I made this at a work of heart the same evening that I made the Mothers Day gift blogged about
earlier this month. When the class projects were described I had only negative connotations for dogtags. That is because I have so many friends and my husband who were in the Vietnam Conflict and are suffering still because of it.

Anyway, my solution for that was to make a happy dogtag! I thnk it is a success. Have further plans for this piece but haven't gotten around to it yet. Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Original cupholder

I recently lost my perfect travel coffee cup. I left it in a rental car! (Left a bra in it too, but that is another story!) In my search for another perfect travel mug I went to Starbucks, oh, yeah, I got coffee, too!

I found a really cool looking ceramic mug and shelled out the exorbitant price they asked, had it filled with coffee and found that it got really HOT! So one afternoon while waiting for my husband to be ready to go out with me I whipped up my own version of the cardboard sleeve.

It is three layers, backing, batt, and front and I embellished it (my husband is a little poky sometimes). It serves it's purpose well and I enjoy using it. Can't say as much for the cup and am still on the lookout for my perfect travel mug.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quilting again, kind of.

Am still at my Mom's helping her recover from THE FALL as you can tell from the spacious kitchen behind me. Last week I succumbed to a bout of retail therapy and one of the things that I purchased was a copy of "The Quilter Magazine" May 2010. The article in it that attracted me is called "Floral Waves" because it uses curved piecing. I took a class in curved piecing from Jeanette Meyer at EBHQ last year but have never used what I learned. This article isn't as specific as Ms. Meyer's wonderful class but it does refresh my memory. I haven't got much in the way of supplies here at Mom's but women quilted long before all our wonderful goodies were invented (rulers, mats, rotary cutters, sewing machines - yes, I left all four of them home!, etc., etc.) so I got out a pencil, small cup and my shears and hand sewed this in about 20 minutes.

With a little border added it will fit on the food quilt I have started cutting out at home. If I had planned better it would be the right sized patch. Oh well. It did what I hoped, got me started quilting. The urge has been growing over the three and a half weeks I have been in SoCal. Mom has a ton of fabric - gee, is that hereditary - and I have separated it into cotton and other junky stuff - oh sorry I mean polyester!

Oh! A little tidbit of very exciting news! I got a message on my facebook page (look for Peggy Carroll on FB if you are interested) from Mark Lipinski! He wished me a Happy Mother's Day and told me I had done a good job with my daughter, Artquiltmaker. He complemented her work. I am thrilled!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pollenate your art!

This is a fuzzy image of a cool idea. I am staying in SoCal currently taking care of my 86 yo mom after she fell and broke C4, a vertebra in her neck! She received many boquets of flowers
while in the hospital and shortly after coming home. One contained some violet lillies with tons of pollen. My SBdaughter said one could paint with the pollen so I did! Just messed around and found it fascinating. All the colors above are from the same batch of pollen wet with plain water. Try it sometime!
By the way, I've lost a pack of ATCs! If you see them, send them to me. I'll buy you a cuppa coffee!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

ATC - My pup - Drawing familiar objects

Our dog, Roxy, is a continuing source of joy and inspiration to me. As you can see, she is the most beautiful dog in the world! Also, she is well behaved, friendly and smart.

She enjoys curling up on my lap and the other day I felt like drawing when she was in my lap I drew her.

I started out with pencil, then rubbed some oil pastels in - blue and black - and highlighted it with india ink (great medium, it's waterproof!) and some color pencil for her collar.

The phrase is of course a messed up form of let sleeping dogs lie. Don't know where that came from (the messed up version, I mean).

So, use familiar (pets) objects as your art subjects. It is much easier to draw something familiar than it is new, unfamiliar ones. And the practice with familiar objects will make drawing unfamiliar ones easier.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Well, thanks a bunch Hallmark! Mother's Day is coming up and the gift I made at A Work of Heart what seems like months ago, still sits at the shop because I am down at my mother's taking care of her after her fall (see April 21 blog entry).

Mom needs constant attention to prevent another fall. She is actually doing very well with an occasional lapse. But it is the lapses we have to watch out for. She has always done so much at the fastest speed possible that relearning her behavior is hard.

Anyway, on to the picture above. Mom has always loved word games - crossword puzzles, Scrabble, and Upwords among others. This bauble is an "F" (for her first name) Scrabble tile.

On the back of the tile I inked and stamped the design and after it dried, poured clear acrylic (?) on the top. The reason this piece is still at the shop is because it then had to set overnight. The shop is in San Jose, CA 45 miles from where I live.

So, for this Hallmark holiday, I have no gift for my mom!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Adding Passion to a Design

This a a perfectly acceptable drawing. After looking at it for a few days I got really tired of it and sat down to analyze this drawing to figure out why.

First of all, there is no value shift - all the colors are basically the same, no variation of dark and light.

Secondly, the green and brown are half the page and the blue is the other half. In art there is a "rule of thirds" which tells the artist to divide the page into third horizontally and vertically and place interest points on the intersections of the horizontals and verticals. That wasn't done in this drawing, to its detriment.

So, I got busy and doodled on this drawing to try and make it interesting to look at.

What do you think?