Monday, July 28, 2014

Sketching, Knitting, and Dreamy Books

Had a lovely and breezy cool week in Chicago visiting family.  So happy to have missed the brutal temps here!  I spent one day sitting out back sketching.

garden chair........

freshly picked tomato........

and a tiny interpretation of my step daughter's home........

Still using my little blank book of handmade rose petal paper.  It's almost full!

Finished up my latest experimental knitting project.  A curly sheep bag!

My friend, Claudine, calls it the party bag.  I think she's got it right!

On a different, but a creative sort of note, I'm so completely in love with the books by Mary Randolph Carter right now.  She works for Ralph Lauren and her books are all about old wonderful objects she's collected over the years.  The need for some of us "that would be me" to have our surroundings filled with lovely objects and memories.  Here's the latest I ordered.....

"Never Stop To Think.... Do I Have A Pace For This?"  How many times have you been junk'n with a friend and said those words?!

I have two more of her books.....

I picked up "For The Love Of Old" years ago and have looked at it about a thousand times.  The other is titled "American Junk".  All the photos are a wonderful jaunt into the homes of artists and collectors.  Mary's home is always my favorite though.  She also has great photos of her office and barn.  Great curl up on the couch with a glass of wine kinda books!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What's New?

Summer has always been a time for new things in my life.  I guess it has to do with all the years I taught school.  When summer vacation rolled around, time seemed so precious.  I always wanted to cram it with projects and new learning experiences.  Once school started back up, very little time was left to pursue anything that wasn't about school, working on my masters for school, attending meetings, professional development,.....well..... if you've taught, you get it.

Even though I've been gone from teaching for five years, it's hard to change my need redo, revamp, invent, and create during the summer.  You may notice a few new blogs on my sidebar.  You may also notice that a few others aren't there.  I still follow the same blogs, and those can be found under the little blurb about me (which is in definite need of an update).  Before, I was immersed with primitive rug hooking, and have sort of left that to move on to a more abstract form of the art.  I'm still having fun making bags and finished this one for my lovely friend Janet.

It's similar to some I've done in the past, but larger.  I did a different treatment for the strap.  Instead of wool, I used a natural linen ribbon that's reinforced on both sides with wire.  This causes it to crunch, twist, and fold in the most wonderful way!  I looped some gorgeous sari silk ribbon to the sides to finish it off.  I think Janet looks fabulous with her new bag!

We did a fun, fun trade!  Janet creates many treasures, but what I wanted was a set of her hand knotted fresh water pearls.  She made me a gorgeous choker and bracelet.

The jewelry was nestled inside the white curly lamb yarn in this sweet little birdie box.  I felt like it was Christmas! I received these yesterday, and haven't had them off except for this photo!

A new project that I'm VERY EXCITED about is sketching.  I'm following new blogs and sites on Pinterest that are about sketchbooking on the go.  I have a precious tiny book of handmade paper that I thought would be perfect.  I bought the sweetest little set of Winsor Newton watercolors.  It all fits easily into my bag and I'm ready to sketch.  Here's a few tiny watercolors I did yesterday.

I'm trying to stay loose and fast.  A bit more abstract, with not too much attention to detail.  What appears to be smudges and petals in the background are rose petals, leaves, and stems that are made into the paper.  I'm planning on attending an online sketchbook school that begins in a few weeks.  I'm excited!

So.... that's a bit of creativity here at the doorstep.  Hope you're finding lovely, wonderful, and new adventures this summer!


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Home Is Where My Heart Is

Home is where my heart is right now.  I'm so loving being tucked in and working on projects.  I'm using this summer to attack the house in various ways.  Right now we're having a screened-in porch redo going on.  Painting, calking, fixing, etc.  I purchased this adorable light fixture from the Vintage Suitcase (where I work and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE ......)  I know I say that in every post, but I'm so happy with my new little part-time job.

Sweet little birdie in a cage will hang from the ceiling.  Just waiting for it to get wired in.  I'm also going to chalk paint my old porch swing.  Hopefully, things will be clean, white, and lovely when done.  The cats, Willow and Iris, hang out on the porch and aren't too happy with the current situation.

You can see that they're a bit misplaced at the moment.

Today has been so cool and beautiful outside.  I picked a few herbs and flowers.

Sprigs of lavender..................

Russian sage, hydrangea, and Japanese fern in my sweet little old green metal teapot.........

And I've been hooking away!  Here's a peek at a bag I'm doing for dear friend Janet.  I've done this pattern on several bags, but this one is larger, and I've used quite a bit of sari silk and ribbon.  Loving the effect!

I'm going to try a whole new treatment for the strap that I've vaguely put together in my head.  Hopefully my vision will come to fruition and I'll have a pretty finished bag to post later.

My very large "red rug" from the Heather Richie rug camp was cluttering my mind.  So....... I cut about two feel off of it and feel light and new!  Using lots of sari silk in this piece also.  I may even use the silk to crochet the border.  I think I'm going to love it!

So all is busy, creative, and beautiful at home.  Hope the same for you!