Feb 17, 2015

A Fabulous Week !

As some of you know, I house-sit for friends and look after their animals while they take well-deserved breaks and jaunt off to a warmer clime. 
I love doing this as it gives me a chance to get away from the busy house that is my home. 
I take minimal clothing but take lots of 'stuff/stash/projects' to do while I have the peace and quiet of an, otherwise, empty home. Once I have settled in and figured which to do first, I just lay it all out and get to work ... the dining table turns into a conveyor belt of activities. This past week, snow came often or the days were sunny and very bright. Colder than heck  but the sun warms up the space that I occupy and is just so conducive to working on my stuff.  
My charges, 3 cats, don't care what I do as long as I am available for a quick snuggle/rubdown, when it suits their fancy, or a meal... and a clean litter box. They don't even need to be walked ;)
So, I started with a sketch of a rose (one of my own photographs),
then free-handed a Zentangle Rose
It took the whole week to decide what patterns to use and then fill up the petals (I take my sweet time)
The back of 'Sunset, Parry Sound, Killbear' before the tree is added to the front
... the back always has its own special interest ... the stitches wouldn't pass muster at a quilt show ! ;) I was using a rayon thread to do the quilting part ... it kept breaking and was the right colour, so I continued for many days to cover the background 
Some hand-stitching to secure the paper pieces and to connect the water
on both pieces of brown paper.
Then some machine sewing in the ditches to secure the previously made tree (see 2 posts back) in place ... easy-peasy :)
Hanging from my ironing board today ... off to get a stretcher frame in a few days after my truck battery is deemed ok ... the freezing temps have played havoc with my little truck.
This finished canvas is slightly smaller than the original measurements due to shrinkage when 'quilting' the background, but I quilted beyond the basting line, to cover that little problem ... so finished piece will be 18" x 22"
Sunset, Parry Sound, Killbear
... couldn't change the direction of this photo ... it's upright in my 'Photos'  :(


  1. Beautiful piece, I love it. I took a moment to scroll back to review your process...tks so much for posting along the way. It's always so great to see how a piece comes together...as your has done, so fabulously!!! Well done. And how nice to have the undisturbed time to work on it, litter boxes notwithstanding!!!

    1. Thank you for the lovely comments, Marny. I think the 'process' is as much fun a the finished piece. And, yes, I am so lucky to have these stretches of uninterrupted peace ;)

  2. (ahh missed a bit so had to catch up ...)
    Love your "sunset" and the "extra" tree on watersoluble.
    Did you stitch zigzag across the original "curls" ???

    Hmmmmm ... the back of a piece is always fun to see !

    1. So glad you have come by to catch up Els ! The original curls (granite stitch) are about 6 layers (top thread & bobbin thread) and become a strong surface for the zig zag (satin stitch) ... so another layer of dense threading, top & bottom ... all threads in a water-soluble piece must interlock or it all comes apart :) Thanks for asking ;) I love the conversation.

  3. I am completely fascinated by the different textures you have created. This is beautiful!

    1. Thanks Caterine ... tactile textiles, eh ? Glad you like it ;)

  4. I just started zentangling (is that even a word?). I am so addicted and find it to be so relaxing! That rose is stunning!

    1. "Zentangle" is a noun ... don't say: 'I Zentangled my bathroom floor'.
      Say: "I tangled my bathroom floor".
      Other things to say: "I need to create a Zentangle, right now!" "Sorry, I didn't hear you. I was busy tangling." S.S.Bartholomew

      I'm still confused, but entangling sounds good to me ;)
      I like the rose, too, but I drew on the back of another nice Zentangle (stupid, what was I thinking ?) So, when in the art store today buying a stretcher frame for above piece, I bought a package of Zentangle tiles ... lol !

  5. zentangling ... something else to try ... oh my!
    I just love the stitch close up on your Parry Sound piece, especially those long, spread out hand stitches.

  6. You'll love Zentangles, Margaret ... there mainly black & white and very relaxing !
    Thank you for the lovely compliment. The long stitches are very fine rayon thread and are a barely there indication of the water, but stitching thru 4 layers of fabrics at times ... very hard for my poor arthritic fingers :(

    1. A nearly there suggestion of water ... I like that ... and might try it on a piece I'm working up at the moment ...

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  7. Your rose looks great - definitely a weeks worth of work :) I've been seeing a lot of 'Zentangles' around at the moment. My sister and I used to do these kinds of pictures when we were kids (before it had a name), but we stopped as we got older and our lives got busier. I've been thinking I should take it back up again.

    I like your other artwork, too. Great job.

  8. Thank you,Willit, for your visit and I hope you take the time to try a Zentangle ... You'll be glad you did ;)


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