Feb 4, 2015

Post Blog Party Post ;)

We were advised to leave our Grow Your Blog Party post up for about 2 weeks before carrying on as before ... almost made it !
WOW - this party has been a blast ! Not only have I have grown my blog substantially, I have had a one hell of a fine time jaunting around the planet meeting some very fabulous ladies.  It has been especially nice to find like minds when it comes to my particular passion - free-motion machine embroidery ... but, there are so many just terribly interesting people, out there, whom I can hardly wait to get to know better, as friends, as fellow bloggers/mothers/grandmothers and artists.
It's like having Pen Pals  ... just a different format !

Is it just me ? ... I hate seeing a blog with, for instance, 50 lovely comments attributed to the artist/author but not a single word from the blogger ! ?   (yes, I know that she has most assuredly sent them each a lovely email  instead) ... but, it just looks cold, impersonal. Must just be me :) I'm kind of a Chatty Cathy (omg, speaking of 'blasts', do you remember her ?)

Anyway, nearly 2 weeks has passed and I am anxious to show you what I have been up to !
I went to house-sit for 3 days ... too short a time to haul in my sewing machine (very reluctant to use my hosts' newer machines) so I gathered my drawing materials, sketch books and a new book that Santa brought me 'Totally Tangled' by Sandy Steen Bartholomew. I was drooling over the many gorgeous 'tangles' and determined to try my own, by the rules. But right of the bat I had forgotten to draw 4 dots ! (provides a boundary). Then the decisions to make !!! So many patterns to use !
Or to devise !
 This one will become a part of my 'flags'...  

                             ... and this one reflects my tree love ;)------------>

Then I found this wonderful website  ... Zentangle ... oh, what lies in store for me ?
I have played with this style with pen & ink before, but apparently, there are rules for zentangles ...  like, they must be a certain size 3.5"x3.5" ... it's certainly a nice size to work with, because it takes a lot of time to work the designs to completion ... I like the 'zone' I get into ;)
While working with my ink marker I tried my hand at sketching/remembering a beloved 94yr. old, distant cousin ... must practise making an older person looked more aged. Her eyes were a very pale blue, but I have made them a too prominent feature.
She was a very sharp lady right to the end and politics was her 1st choice for debate. She died last year ... miss her a lot ! Until I found her through my genealogy search, I had never known she existed ... what a font of family information ! When I walked into her house for the first time, I felt like I had travelled back in time 8 decades ! She had art hanging everywhere ... we needed to know each other longer !
She trained as a nurse in New York in the 1930's, married an intern and emigrated to Venezuela where she lived for 45 yrs.  Frances and her husband came back to Canada in their retirement.
She had 3 children, while living abroad, who were all born in Canada, (dual citizens) and all 3 live in Canada, now. I intend to look them up and get to know them.

Progress is being made on 'Sunset ~ Parry Sound, Killbear' but I ran out of black thread on the weekend ... couldn't believe this ! Full steam ahead and the abstracted tree is finished ... now for the finishing, after the ironing, the basting, the drying, etc. ... sometimes I just don't have the patience to wait for the grande finale !
Pinning this to a piece of foam and rinsing did not remove enough of the water-soluble ... I took it off the foam and rinsed it well (in my hands) and pinned it up to dry ... this tree, with it's more solid stitching, is much easier to recognize, in this state than a previous cedar tree, in Lake Huron Sunset. (scroll a bit) ... but it still took a day to dry ! 
 The shrinkage (from the original drawing) is substantial but it won't affect the final piece at all.
Placement of the individual pieces took some time but I think I have it right, now.
Today it's on to the mundane, but necessary parts ... basting tea-dyed background to a piece of muslin, machine stitching/quilting these 2 pieces together while incorporating the brown paper bits and adding machine or hand stitches that will tie these floating pieces together.

Before I leave I want to share a photo of my youngest 4 gr. kids ( 3, 3, 2 &1 1/2) enjoying the fresh snow from the big storm the day before.


  1. Your sketch is wonderful she looks as if she will speak at any moment. Love the grands in the snow. I do wish it would snow here or even rain would be great but the Calif. drought continues. I'm still cleaning out my creating space - ugh! so no fun is happening at my place right now.

    1. Thank you Patricia ! I would send snow if I could ... good luck with the cleaning, but I'm sure you will be inspired soon ;)

  2. What a beautiful portrayal of your relative, she really comes alive and the eyes are riveting!

    1. Thank you Valerie ... I felt the same as I was sketching her ... maybe sh was trying to say something :)

  3. A thought provoking post. I may have to start adding a comment to my own blog! :) Lovely sketch and I'm always glad you show your process.

    1. It's just me Elle ... I'm nosy that way. Glad you like my sketch and it's just the way I am there, too, showing the steps, 'cause that's something I like to see in a post, too ! Busy basting yesterday and on a road trip this morning with one of my daughters, so kinda late with my responses ;( Hope the winter is treating you well out there !

  4. Love the drawing of your cousin, very expressive. And your project looks amazing if not a little daunting. And the grandkids look to be having ever so much fun! Beauty and joy all around!!! Lovely post!

  5. 'Expressive' is the right word to describe Frances ... thanks Marny.
    The project is all ready, rolled up for transport as I ready myself for a house-sitting stint today.
    The grands loved it out there ... mind you, it's pretty hard to move when one is bundled up so well ;)

  6. I was so sure I'd posted a comment about this lovely post when it first appeared - now I realise I hadn't so I'm making up for lost time! That drawing of your cousin is just beautiful - full of character and of the strength of mind you describe. I'm really glad I came back to say so!

  7. I,too, am very glad you came back to say so ... Thank you so much for that lovely comment ;). Several times lately, I have done the same thing ... me or machine? I always look forward to your comments ;)


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