Friday, May 22, 2015

Memorial Weekend

Memorial Day was a big deal when I was a kid, not so much these days.  Another day to shop for most.  We usually go the the cemeteries but this weekend may be do rainy. Whatever you do, I hope you find peace and joy.

I've actually done some stitching lately but don't have photos.  I do have some more garden photos.  I've been working on walking more and this spring I've added a daily stroll around the house (not much of a walk, really, but I like it enough to be motivated to do it daily).  
 A huge columbine plant in the sage pot.
 Kale.
 Leaves in the sun.
 When I was a child, I remember someone, probably my grandmother, had a hat with little red velvet oak leaves. Now I see where the idea came from. Velvety red little oak leaves in our yard. 
In one of the Outlander books (Diana Gabaldon), there's a comment that in North Carolina you plant corn when the oak leaves are the size of squirrel ears. These are quite a bit larger now, but I noticed them a few weeks ago, when they would have been the signal for planting.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Enjoying Spring

I haven't been stitching much lately. Trying to be more active and walk more, get to the gym once in a while (and really feeling it!). Being lazy.
 On my morning walk on Sunday, I took a walk down the alley, to see new things. I had spotted this glorious lilac bush the day before as we drove past. It's at the back of a friend's yard--Tish is quite the gardener and it shows!
 The bush also smelled wonderful.
 I'm not sure what this white flower is--it was next to the lilac.
 Then a couple of houses down, I spotted this lovely flowering tree. Some kind of cherry, I think.
 One more lilac before heading into Indiana, to Valparaiso University's Brauer Museum of Art. We went to see their current exhibits and their student show, which was closing that day. It was not as exuberant as the little kids' show, but fun and interesting.
 Outside, on the campus, I spotted these sculptures. It is a sculpture installation, Borders, by Steinunn Thorarinsdottir. More information here, about midway down the page.
 It is strangely compelling.
A view I'd never noticed before, outside the Valparaiso University arts center, looking in. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Kid Art

 Leave it to kids (and art teachers) to take recycling to new levels.  This Chihuly-like sculpture is made from colored plastic bottles. It's lit from within and just sparkles and glows.

 I love the spooklies here. Each little pumpkin has its own little spider.  The bigger spiders above, if you look closely, are tracings of the maker's hands.  A great idea. 
More recycled plastic bottles.  These were hanging from the ceiling, just below a light. Another larger panel was hanging in a window.  Brilliant in so many ways.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Finally Spring

It's warming up in Chicago. I took these photos on Sunday. The rain that is falling this week was needed.
I'm still not stitching much, but I did plant Kale in the pots recently. The kale nursery is above.
This tulip was transplanted from Grandpa Max's garden many years ago as a remembrance. He had an awesome garden. The tulip hasn't bloomed in years, but this year it blessed us.
On my walk on Sunday I was intrigued by the sidewalk covered by pollen/seeds/something. Wouldn't this make a nice background fabric? 
This past weekend we went out to Lubeznik galleries in Michigan City for the annual display from the local schools. As usual the color, exuberance, and joy jumps off the walls. 


This last photo is from one of the gallery shows (the other is self portraits this time and just felt too personal to photograph).  This is part of a lovely display of ceramics by a Korean artist, Taehoon Kim. 

More kid art next time.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bunnies!

Here's a basketful of bunnies that I stitched for my niece's baby shower. 49 in all.  They were scattered around the buffet table. Guests took some. I think I'll make a mobile with some.  

The shower was fun. 
The mom to be is surrounded by big boxes. She's hidden behind the quilt her mom (my sister) made for the baby. It's Dr. Seuss fabric.
I love this photo of the mom-to-be.

I haven't been doing much lately. I have a few Mollie-Makes finishes--kits that came with the magazine. They're instant gratification.
 
 
These are shoe clips. In my youth they were a popular way of dressing up your shoes without buying new. I hadn't seen any for years.  I wonder how they'll look with my black oxfords.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wetlands Walk

We recently went to a local wetland area, a boardwalk in a backwater of the Little Calumet River along the expressway in Hammond (just east of Kennedy, just south of I-80).  It seemed unpromising at first. The expressway is very loud, even with the sound barrier. Once we got into the woods a bit we could let the noise fade to the back of our minds and hear the birds. 
 We saw this Great Blue Heron looking for lunch.
 Taking our time and looking a bit closer, we spotted a second Great Blue (on the right in the water).
Then we found two Black Crowned Night Herons. I hadn't seen them so clearly before.

Along our walk we saw some turtles sunning themselves and signs of beaver and muskrat. It's not a long walk. Some people were having family picnics, others were fishing. We took the shorter trail that led to the Little Cal. There was a deck you could fish from and also a dock where you could put a boat into the water.  

It was a nice interlude in a couple of busy weeks.

I also taught a class on color last weekend. A great review of it is posted here--the author did a great job.  Thanks!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Back to Int'l Quilt Festival

Some followup on this event last month.  First, in a baggie of random silk fragments that I got (I get one each time I go to this event just for the fun of it), I found a fragment of Japanese embroidery.
I think it's pretty cool.  That cord in the upper left is something I will learn in a future phase.

I also completed the books from Belinda Spiwak's monoprinting class. I added pages to both and brushed printed pages with some gesso to allow me to write on them. 
 
I liked my cover so much, I made a title page on the first page of the book.The picture of the sleigh determined that the book would be bound at the top instad of the side. 
This is the back of my booklet.  The front and back covers of the tag book are pretty much the same. I made them very different on the booklet. Hubby picked which cover would be front.