Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Peek into my sketchbook

Getting back into drawing, painting, and more....a 24x36" canvas is blankly staring at me. So I thought I better warm up first on a smaller scale.

Felt tip marker on watercolor paper

I can't ever imagine writing on the lines I ruled in there! I think my words would take away from the visual & seem so mundane.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

To warm the eyes and body

A finished quilt to brighten up the last days of winter...

I love the colors, don't you?

my enthusiastic quilt holder :) first attempt at free-motion quilting - meh. Not 100% happy with it, but I'm still learning. The backing puckered up a little in a few places, but I'm calling that a design feature (ha ha). Since this was a practice piece made with a kit from JoAnns bought on sale for 50% off (some of the fabric had flaws in it), I decided to let the mistakes remain and press on. Machine quilting isn't really jiving with me - I prefer hand quilting. I think it's the process I love, even though it takes forever to do. The machine quilting left me with sore shoulders and grumpiness. That's not how I want my hobbies to be! So the next project will be hand-stitched. Can't wait!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nail Art

More fun with nail polish, in honor of Valentine's Day. I dipped a bobby pin in polish to make the hearts, drawing two dots downward to make the point.
I didn't feel brave enough to tackle all those hearts left-handed!
I tried one and switched to plan B - a polar bear.
There's lots of runny noses, coughs, and fevers here this week, so we're all staying in - and obviously need to find something to do!

Hope you all are well - I'm ready for Spring!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Remembering What Love Is

There are a thousand songs, poems, and movies that try to describe what love is. If you were an alien landing on our planet, you'd probably think love is pink hearts, lace, and roses all given a good dose of chocolate. Maybe it's champagne and a candle lit dinner, or black lace and heady perfume? I think our ET visitors would leave quite confused, and probably chuckling to themselves about our quirky species.

"wove, twue wove, is what bwings us togevaaaah.... today."

Valentine's Day is not my favorite holiday. All the shmoozy, sappiness leads us away from the truth of love. It's a day for high expectations which can often lead to disappointed hearts (will HE call me? Oh, grocery store roses? the cheap chocolate? dinner at THAT restaurant? Really? No card? No diamonds? Nothing???). So take some pressure off the men ladies, let's refocus a bit.

I have 3 boys - this day could be a big turn off for them. What boy LIKES pink, hearts, and lace?? Instead I want to encourage them in their growth into manhood by having them remember that real men love in a real way - and the only text that I know of that really describes that well (in a non-flowery way) is the Bible, namely 1 Corinthians 13. Real men can handle some pink hearts and lace, not forgetting what true love is.

A little project for the kids to help all of us remember the right things today.

our spelling needs some love

Yeah, the boys weren't keen on the lace and pink hearts. One on my sons colored a very dark blue/black heart on a card for me today. But it was very sweet in his little-boy way. A project like this helped the boys to remember that the foundation that supports all the frou-frouness around us today is earthy, and rock solid granite. Paper doilies easily tear and blow away. God's Word - and His love - is immutable.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Stop me now!

A burst of extra energy (from where????) overtook me while making dinner the other night. We were having chicken pot pie, and I made the crust myself (instead of being lazy and unrolling some refrigerator section pie crust). There wasn't any lazy-mom crust in the fridge, so I made my own. I follow the half-half-half method, in case you're curious. Measure some flour, use half that amount of fat (butter, Crisco, etc), and half of THAT amount of cold water. And there was a bit of the pie dough leftover....and two apples nearby.... and now I have 6 mini apple pies (with top crusts only!) waiting for Valentine's Day.

Here's hoping they taste as good as they look!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

New Yarn - I did it!!

Hi there - I'm excited to share my latest achievement - I can spin yarn!! I've had a persnickety antique spinning wheel for awhile, but I've given up hope of getting her up and running consistently. So I picked up my drop spindle with the aim of mastering this ancient art.

I've fiddled with it before, but nothing serious. I set a goal for myself to see how fine or skinny of a yarn I could knit. I was hoping for laceweight - because I love to knit lace! Originally, I hoped to enter it in a skein competition in September, but the deadline came and went before I finished my skein. Oh well, it's all about the learning, right? About 130 yards of laceweight yarn were the result! Isn't it pretty?

I forgot to take a pic of the spindle - it's a beautiful little lady created by butteflygirl designs, very similar to this one. It's very sturdy too - no damage from all the drops and falls it's taken while I mastered my technique. :)