I Lost a Few Months…

Since my last post in late September, the past few months flew in the blink of an eye….Here is a quick rundown of the happenings since then till the end of the year….

The “After the Show Crash” from the quilt show was worse and longer lived than I had hoped, so I didn’t get back into the studio as soon as I had expected…  My Pears art cards were done with hand  stitching while I wasn’t feeling up to sitting at  my machine.  As it turned out, the hand stitching worked better than machine stitching would have been for the design I worked with.

First Trial of Thread for Pear Cards

First Trial of Thread for Pear Cards

The photo above shows a close shot of the first card I started stitching… I used a piece of a painted coffee filter gifted to me and a rusty  fabric from an exchange of fabrics and other goodies as the background of them with a piece of a fabric with text on it topped with a bit of handmade paper and scrap of ravelly silk. I also added a few beads over the  silk bit…  I ended up trying different threads and was to stitch the cards before I chose the stitching used on the bottom right card below.  It was a bit of a switch from  my “normal” work, but a very satisfying way to pass time when I was otherwise not feeling very well.

Four Pear Cards with Different Stitching Experiments.

Four Pear Cards with Different Stitching Experiments.

October brought visits with a new doctor in hopes of some answers to why I have less and less control over daily pain and fatigue…  New meds were tried, tests done, etc.  Our washing machine finally completely died, used hot tub was added to the deck, the last of the garden blooms of the year froze, and the last of the sunprinting sessions was done…. My last day under “The Big Top” was October 26th and by the end of that day the tent was down and packed away in the shed to wait until next year’s warmer weather.  We were blessed to miss the worst of Hurricane Sandy that caused so much damage to NYC and NJ along the coast.   I did get a few postcards and book covers started using some of my newest sunprints, and got my Art Cards for the AITC Fuchsia exchange finished and sent out on time for a change….

Fuchsia Single Card

Fuchsia Single Card

For the Fuchsia theme, I began with a dyed fuchsia colored fabric and combined stripes of it and a number of painted fabrics for the bases of the cards, then I added die cut butterflies and flowers in lime green. Mylar butterfly confetti added to the look of the butterflies, and Inktense Pencils and pearlescent paint added even more interest.  I actually did stitching done on these, too.

Fuchsia Group

Group of Fuchsia Cards

I forgot to take photos of the group until after I had them all in their clear bags, ready for the mail…. Pardon the shine of the plastic…

November began with the remnants of the storm and a set of  postcards made and sent as the last group due for Postmark’d Art.

Mixed Media Postcards

Mixed Media Postcards

The postcards shown above were made using various papers glued onto fabric with a coat of pearlescent paint over everything. The fruits were cut from a wallpaper border and die cut flowers and butterflies were also added… You can see the wrinkles of tissue paper that was used as the top paper layer.

Shortly after these postcards were mailed, the month of November became a blur….  Wreath orders came in and had to be filled (I was amazed that I got through another year of wreath making).  Our youngest son Nick and his wife and baby who live in Germany came to visit, and doctor’s appointments came and went…. I especially Loved being able to spend time with little Lincoln who had just turned a year old.  It is hard having family living so far away, but so great when they can visit!

December began with the last of the wreaths being delivered and purchase of nearly 200 new Spring blooming bulbs that I found 75% off at Lowes…. When I found they were so inexpensive, I just HAD to get some Tulips to go with the Daffodils and Hyacinth bulbs I originally wanted. A warm spell made planting a fairly pleasant thing to do… hard work, but the weather was great.  I also got a bit more sewing done using a few more sunprints. The second week of December was a visit to Zack’s house in Philly a pair of new shoes and a visit to Longwood Gardens to see the Christmas displays… Thankfully, the new shoes I got made walking much less painful than usual.

New Shoes and Ferns at Longwood

New Shoes and Ferns at Longwood

With the gardens frozen till Spring, it was wonderful to see all the flowers and plants in the conservatories and greenhouses as well as all the lights on trees inside and out.   Back home, I started to catch up on my Art Cards…. “Lake” was the theme for November (very late by now), and Tiger Lily was the December theme….  At first I thought Lake would be sooo easy…. I thought I had  the perfect fabric to use, but fabric did not work with the glossy media I wanted to use… After a couple utter failures, I finally got something close to what I had envisioned complete with a photo of a Loon on each…. The sounds and antics of the Loons I saw while on vacations in Canada at various lakes still bring smiles….  Instead of fabric as a background base, I ended up using a blue colored transparency.  The fabric didn’t allow the glossy goodies to remain very glossy….

Single Loon Lake Card with Glittery Thumb

Single Loon Lake Card with Glittery Thumb

Using profits from my wreath making, I purchased some new “fun” supplies to play with.  I got a number of different clear glossy mediums as well as several dollar store nail polishes in glittery and pearly colors, and very pearl-like paints.  After all the trouble these cards gave me, I ended up even glittering up my fingernails with one of the nail polishes when finishing them. The first time in many, many years I have painted my nails…. The first and last time for the glitter… I had fun with it, but removing it was very tricky….  It is hard to see in the photo, but I used Ranger’s Glossy Accents to add glossy dimension to the Loons.

The final theme of 2012 for AITC was Tiger Lily, and that set of cards caused me very little trouble… I envisioned the speckled petals of Tiger Lilies in the various colors that Lilies are available in.  This was my first attempt at featuring ink drawing on fabric.  Lily petals with the spots were drawn on a multicolored painted fabric, and accented with pearl paints, Glossy Accents, and beads for texture.

Group of 4 Tiger Lily Cards

Group of 4 Tiger Lily Cards

You can see the pearl paint in the lower 2 cards in the photo above.  The beads don’t show well, but they are there along with drops of the Glossy Accents that add texture and gloss to the rest of the spots.  The two sets of cards were mailed out to their new owners on the last day of 2012… Barely under the wire for the deadline of the second group.

Below is a photo of the two granddogs on Christmas morning….   A couple weeks before that Vladdi was covered with mud and skunk spray after a skunk made the bad decision to get inside the fence of the dog yard.  I couldn’t be mad at the dogs…. they were just doing what dogs do…. the skunk made his last mistake….  They both smell much better now….

Christmas Dogs

Christmas Dogs

Christmas brought snow and by the new year we had about a foot fall so far…. Maybe we will have a “real” winter this year….  I am praying for a great 2013 for all!!  Maybe I will finally get that “creative groove” back???

About

I am a former textile artist and new pattern designer with a degree in horticulture, wishing to share my love of nature, flowers and gardens with everyone through my photos, sunprinted fabrics, and now pattern designs. Chronic Lyme Disease has caused major changes to the direction my life. I have to limit the amount of time spent digging in my gardens, and quilting has become more difficult. I discovered pattern design as a way to get art back into my life. I now use my gardens and photos to inspire designs that can be used on fabrics and print on demand items.

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