Sunday, July 25, 2021

Meow #5 In Amongst the Agapanthus

Meow #5 In amongst the Agapanthus. Hand dyed and commercial cottons, fused, hand embroidered and machine quilted, mounted on painted wood panel. 9x12".  $100 plus shipping. Email me fibermania at g mail dot com SOLD

When I am in house cleaning mode, I often move the furniture to get at the tumbleweeds of collected doggie hair hiding underneath. This sometimes results in a better configuration and it has happened for this room. I recently brought a small desk in and now it holds stuff that might previously been on the floor. Not good. And my wheely chest of knitting accessories slides neatly under it and opens up the floor a bit more.  That ottoman and bench are really there for the dogs to help them jump onto the bed. Without them, they whimper, which I cannot ignore. This gingham fabric came from tablecloths I ordered ages ago from Amazon. It's a heavy cotton, and just right for upholstery, pillows and summer bedcovers. Hmm. I have enough leftover to make arm covers to match. I'll get right on that. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Meow #4

Having a wonderful time making these kitty quilts. This one went to Rosalind and hand dyed and commercial cottons, fused, hand embroidered and machine quilted. 11x14" mounted on painted wood panel.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Meow #3

Meow #3
Hand dyed and commercial cottons, fused, hand embroidered and machine quilted. 11x14" mounted on painted wood panel.
I am having such a wonderful time making these kitty quilts, as if you couldn't tell. I love their individual personalities. This lovely fellow reminds me of the cat my husband had when we met. He rescued him from a friend who was not a cat person and we all lived happily ever after. So essentially, he was our first cat, of many to follow.
Here he is keeping an eye out for intruders on his garden domain.

Available for $100 plus shipping to your home. Email me at fibermania at g mail dot com SOLD

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Meow #2

I am happy to present Meow #2, made by request for Kathy in California. 

Hand dyed and commercial cotton, with gold foil, fused. hand embroidered and machine quilted. 12x12, mounted on painted wood panel. 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Our neighborhood

Our neighbors have their house up for sale and the listing has these great overhead drone pictures of the houses in our 'hood.  The red X is our yard and their house is next to us with the trees right at the street edge. They are wonderful neighbors and I pray that the new people are going to be just as nice as they are. Our street is a real busy one, especially since the state is putting in some sort of highway around the bend at that top end. Loads of huge dump trucks pass by daily and with any luck the whole project will be completed this year and we will have quiet again, and maybe less truck traffic. Our town is part of Collegedale, but is called Ooltewah and is the home of Little Debbie snack cakes just fyi.
In back of our yard you can see a dense woods which is where those rascally deer live and come to my yard to eat my hosta, tomatoes and peas. I will be getting a real fence later this year.
Here's a better view of the hill behind us:

We enjoy the sunrise coming up over that hill and especially love the mists that hang below the top. The name of our neighborhood is Misty Valley, and is exactly the description I would choose.
For me living here is a dream come true, altho I never dreamt I would be living here, if that makes any sense. I always wanted to live in a place that is beautiful, with really nice people and a safe environment. 

Here's the backyard shot: Several families have pools in their yard and it makes me wonder why don't we? I'd love one, especially if it came with a pool boy. Just sayin'.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Meow: For all the cats I've loved before


Meow: For all the cats I've loved before
Hand dyed and commercial cottons and silk, fused, hand embroidered and machine quilted. Mounted on painted wood panel 12x12".
I may now be owned by pugs, but that happened late in life after the demise of our oldest cat Popeye, who lived to the ripe old age of 21. I must now love cats at a distance, which is pretty easy since my BFF Patsy has two cats, Springsteen and Jackson Brown (her actual surname is Brown) and my sister has six cats, since her new husband of one year had two, and she had four. So really, I am not far removed from kitties. I figured it was time to feature cats as art subjects.

The question was, should I make a cute cat or a serious cat ? How about seriously cute? His eyes are shiny silk charmeuse and the light makes them change color. 
Today was the inaugural session in my newly organized and feng shui appropriate studio and I had so much fun making this little buddy. The lighting was decent and all my supplies were at my fingertips, not lost in piles or hidden in bins anymore! It's so much easier to work when one can find things. Who knew?

Many of our cats have been orange tabbies. Beside Popeye, there was Bjorn, and as a child we had Marmelade. We also had our share of black cats, several varieties of Siamese, as well as calico and brown tabbies. So many cats, so little time. Available for $100 plus shipping to your home, email me at fibermania at g mail dot com. SOLD.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Domino Effect

At the end of May of this year, I decided to move my studio out of the dark front bedroom and set up in the dining room,  a room that is rarely used. I loved it. Bright, sunny, open, a great view and great lighting. (It was never this clean...only for the first pictures).
Then I decided to decorate the living room and when it was as finished as it is for the time being, I realized that the mess I make in this creating space does not compliment the new decor at all. So my first thought was to put it back as the dining room with a coordinating table setting, maybe even a centerpiece, and make it look cohesive with the nice living room. 
That would mean I would have to return to the dark old studio in the front bedroom. But I knew that all it would take to make it a workable, more creative space, is a better ceiling fixture, LED of course with a gazillion lumens. 

Thus began a marathon furniture move.

First I had to empty the dining room of my sewing stuff, and make room in the old studio for it all to come back. In the meantime I changed my mind about restoring the dining room and decided to move the old couch in there and make it a TV lounge area, where messes could happen but cleaning could also be swift.
What this entailed involved a third room, Dave's bedroom, because there the couch had been living. Also, the second twin bed was in the old studio and that had to go. I bought a zippered mattress cover and we put the mattress in it and tucked it on the floor under Dave's bed and disassembled the bedframe and found space in the garage to store it. 
As I studied the old studio arrangement I was dubious that I had made a smart choice. Something was always wrong with it besides bad lighting , and it may have been TOO MUCH STUFF.  Yep, that was it, so as long as I was moving things I might as well toss stuff, which delays the process considerably as one has to make a lot more decisions. I got as far as I could before my old body gave up, and put off the rest for the next day.
Overnight the light bulb went on in my mind and it revealed the real issue. Bad Feng Shui. Nobody I know believes in this stuff but essentially it means that the room arrangement has to be mindful of the doorway and the windows. One wants to be facing the doorway and have the windows behind the work area. That way anyone entering the room is seen and is not a surprise and the light is over the shoulder of the worker, as well as in front at the ceiling, illuminating everything well.
The thing is that this room has an angled front entrance. One wall that is not square to the rest of the room and that has the door opening on it. Aha!
This means that the work table also must be angled to match it and that's just what made all the difference. I'm not usually a fan of  angled arrangements like this, but it really has to be this way to feel right. 
The sewing machine is tucked nicely in the corner with the pin up wall above, joined with the thread chest and storage drawers. Plenty of walk space between the work table and the machine, and lots of sunlight over my left shoulder for sewing, as well as my LED lamp for those darker times. Now all I need is to replace the dim ceiling light with a big blast of lumens and I will be happy to be here.
 My fused fabric is tucked in the corner and the rest of the remaining stuff is shelved. Packed shelves yes, but really I got rid of a lot of stuff, so it was worse, trust me.
80% of my yarn now lives in the closet and it much more accessible than under my bed or in the garage. I didn't change anything in there.
Hmmm, looks like a lot of empty, maybe I need more yarn?
O yes, here's the dining room that is now the tv lounge and see it now before the snacking plates, cups and crumbs, and knitting yarn enter the space.

UPDATE!! I switched out the bulbs in my ceiling fixture to brighter ones and what a huge difference it made. The orignal  ones were 450 lumens and then new ones are 800 each. Yay! Saved me the trouble and cost of installing a new fixture. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Home #5

 It was a dark and stormy night...actually it was a dark and stormy couple of days. I love the rain and especially because it means I don't have to water the garden. We have been having rain almost daily this week, and boing! then the sun returns and the plants are going crazy. But when it is raining when I wake up, I really love it. Sunday was such a day, and before I went off to church I started this new house quilt. I came back to finish it today but then we lost power and no electricity means no ironing. Sigh. Altho it is late in the day, I am calling this a Monday finish. 
Home #5, hand dyed and commercial cottons, fused, machine and hand quilted and embroidered. 12x12", mounted on painted wood panel. $100 plus shipping. Email me. fibermania at g mail dot com. SOLD.
Here's a side view to show the depth of the panel and some of the hand embroidery.
I was planning on showing the finished living room with the quilts hung in place, but alas that was not to be. Besides losing power today, our air conditioning system failed, and my car has been in the shop for over a week (I have a loaner), so everything that was planned got bumped and we were in a holding pattern. The AC got fixed and the power restored, so now it's just my car we are awaiting. Sigh. It's all good.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Penultimate Project Completed

 Finally, finally, finally I have made the new cushion covers. I was adamant on covering them in silk since I have a bunch of glorious colors in dupioni and shantung, but something we like to call cognitive dissonance got in my way and I procrastinated and did a few hours of cutting of lining and batting and just could not cut the silk. Then Monday morning I woke up and realized that I could change my mind and not do the silk (which included quilting the fabrics first...argh..too much like work) and could find some decorator cotton that would be doggie proof, which was the original idea of this whole makeover. Immediately the dark mood lifted and I was set off in search of the perfect fabric. I had dreamed of this stripe and hoped to find something like it at Joann's or at least try to find it online, but no luck. Actually I thought I might stop at the Walmart next door to Joann's on the off chance some of their Waverly decorator fabric might hold promise. I immediately found this unopened bolt of the very stripe I was hoping to find and it was at such a great price that I felt certain it would work for me. 

 I made one cover Monday afternoon and then got up today to finish the other four and was done before lunch. Yes!!! 

 FYI I worked in a custom home furnishing factory between under-graduate and grad school, so I know how to mass produce the same item, DIZACTLY.
I am so relieved to have conquered my bad idea and found a better one and now the only thing left to do to finish this room is to hang the rest of the artwork. That will be the icing on the cake. Phew!

Here's the breakdown: The inserts are from IKEA, several years ago and are feather stuffed. $7 each.
The fabric was $6.97 (not kidding) and is 56" wide, so the 15x26" pillows were easy to cut from less than half a yard.  The zippers were $2 and I only had 4 so two were reused from the previous covers. So five pillows cost about $60. Can't beat home sewing!

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Happy Independence Day!

I'm celebrating with floral fireworks. I cut these just after dawn and put them right in the new vases I bought yesterday. 
This little red pot is so me, with dotty texture and squatty body. ha! 

And here they are in situ.

Here's hoping your holiday is happy and safe!

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Playing House

This is called Black Eyed Susan Vine, also known as Thunbergia. First time to grow it for me and luckily it took to my planter really well and would like to be the ONLY plant in this spot, as it is maneuvering its way in and under the adjacent neighbors.
Here it is on the front of the planter. That's what I call vigorous! You can be sure that next year I will again have this beauty in my garden, but this time on a trellis worthy of its growth habit. Imagine this in a  hanging basket...whoa.
Inside I have finally hung some artwork, and propped up some more. Concentric Circles and Red Series collages are now situated. It was a fury of getting things done indoors yesterday, spurred on by my new Youtube obsession Sarah Richardson, a Toronto based interior designer. I used to watch her on HGTV but now can just go directly to Youtube for my fix.
In the kitchen, I tried to minimize the clutter on my counter, but have far to go to make it really cleared.

This wonderful house came without a built in microwave, so we have this box instead, which I just moved from the far side of the kitchen, to right on the counter, against everything I believe in. Of course it is so much better here, not having to walk several steps from the prep area. The cabinet it was previously on, moved to the entryway, with art on a slant sitting on top. It fits perfectly here. Who knew?

Then I grouped some turquoise filled paintings on the mantle as a trial arrangement. We'll have to see  how this feels after a while. I had planned on hanging a quilt there, but I have two other empty walls where quilts could go. What do you think about the picket fence fireplace screen? 
I'm thinking it works. 
Note: the pillows are not going to stay gingham, but I have been dragging my feet making the new covers. Everything is ready to sew together, but needs to be quilted first, so la dee dah, I am procrastinating.
One more flower zinnias are rising above all the rest of the flowers in this bed, and just starting to push blooms with lots more buds about to open. Love these hardy beauties! I may cut some and make a bouquet for indoors. Ah Summer!