Monday, February 23, 2015

Color Mondays: Coneflower Palette and Watercolor

Record cold here means lots of indoor time with Robin and Jay.
It's been a great couple of weeks and yet I am really itching to get outside with them again.
For Color Mondays, here's a nice white coneflower.  Many people who grow these have no idea that they are also a powerful herbal healing remedy.  I love herbal landscaping.
Meanwhile, here's my watercolor inspired by the reference photo above:

Still a work in progress, obviously.
I love painting, but it does get a bit stressful even for me, leaving paints out while I drop the brush to go take care of something.  There are lots of things I love to let the boys help with, so usually when I paint they do, too.  I know it looks silly to leave it so close to finished on the background, but there was an emergency involving blue paint and Berber carpet..... Eventually I gave up.
That carpet is going to be history one day, anyway.

I think once I finish all the washes I'll do some pen and ink detail work.
Happy creating, whatever your medium may be!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Color Mondays: Fine Art Reds

This week I'll take a quick detour away from the vintage seed catalogs for Color Monday.  I've turned instead to some favorite fine art for help in dealing with a color that I need to work with more:

Yes, Georgia, you said it.  And didn't apologize for it.  That's right:


I'd like to think I'm bold enough for it in real life.
For a very special piano student, I shall have to try, because I intend a surprise for her before she leaves to start her own music school journey.  Red and black.  Oh, my.
I'm still not sure I'm ready.  But Jennie's example may help me work up to it.

For now, here's another palette built off of a classic Cezanne, including that intimidating first color of the light spectrum:

So, the question is... how brave am I, really?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Jay joins in: Dinosaur quilt finish

You might not think a three year old could be ready to work on fabric himself, but with supervision here is my Jay sewing his own quilt:

He picked out his own fabrics at the store.  Just two was the rule.  I supplemented the jungle leaves, which were leftover from the backing of his previous quilt.  Those dinosaurs are pretty roaring awesome, if you ask me.

This project of course did not happen all at once, but children want to be involved in things WITH you.  Jay sewed about 2/3 of the straight seams on this quilt. He helped *very carefully* with the rotary cutting and loved snipping threads.

Yes, it took a good deal of extra time and the outcome isn't perfect. But that is not what any of this is about, is it?

You know what it's about, really:

That's right.  So find ways to include them whenever and in whatever ways you can.  Messes may happen.  But so may something magical.


Robin and Jay: Daddy Works from Home

When Daddy is working from home:
Perceptive little guys.  It just depends on the day, doesn't it?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Color Mondays: Hidden Creek and Hydrangea Color Palettes

Two harmonious color schemes this week for Color Mondays:
Hidden Creek:

Vintage Hydrangea Botanical Illustration:
I've already made my quilt in this color scheme, blogged here:

The natural light blued it up a bit, but those greens really are more of a sage.
Wishing all blue skies for bluebird winter days,

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Robin and Jay: Pirate Hats

Sometimes, it's asking the family history questions that really count and keep the memories alive...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Vintage Seed Catalog Coloring Page - Bolgiano & Son 100th Anniversary Vegetables - Vintage Garden Ephemera

This is my digital sketch version of a vintage seed catalog cover.  It is to be the first of a collection of these coloring pages, especially good for the meditative gardener and older children.  Click on the image to access a larger version for saving and printing.
I've worked the crosshatching so that you will find it easy to know how to correctly shade each fruit or vegetable for a really lovely result.  Coloring is a great activity to do with your kids, and it's always nice to have a coloring page that challenges you a little bit, too.
As a reference, here is the original vintage seed catalog cover image, courtesy of the Smithsonian's extensive public domain databases:
Have a wonderful day and here's to blue skies and clear planting weather soon!

Project planning, Spring To-Do List: Fabric Selections

Getting on top of my goal to sew up about half of the fabric waiting for its turn is proving difficult, but I think it can be managed if I can just stop fiddle-faddling around and make up my mind.  Cutting into a brand new piece of gorgeous material has always been one of the hardest things for me.

Still, it must be done, so here are some of my most stable project plans for now, starting with that intuitive and delightful process: color, texture and design weight planning.
This first is a rather boho-style combination that makes my fingers itch for a really great pattern to go with it.  I'm quite tempted by a couple over at Jennie's pattern shop.  I'm thinking of Catching Rays, as it allows for a larger swath of fabric to show, and I love that.  All of Jennie's patterns have a great balance, but I think her latest is my favorite to date.
Next is one of the most traditional and certainly the most regal purple color palette I have ever put together, this one calls for careful planning.  I love the birds in the Jacobean floral, as bird watching is something I have always enjoyed.  Jay has picked up on the same interest.  Normally I despise Thomas Kinkade anything, but the Kinkade tree fabric at bottom right is meant as a blender and binding, so I don't feel too wretchedly superficial about it.

This one will be too late for Christmas, but then again, it might come right in time for next year.  And of course, it's never too late for beautiful horses and a gorgeous batik!  I'm thinking a traditional pointed star around fussy-cut centers.  I'm not completely averse to lily blocks, but I'd like to do something a little different.

A not-quite Baroque concerto ensemble in warm tones.  The toile is leftover from I think at least two other projects.  The gold damask as well.  You know how you have to reinvent a fabric so many times over as you try to use up every last bit?  I dislike keeping track of tiny scraps, but I'll show you what I do with all of THOSE later... ;)

And the above, quite simply because maps and kraft belong together...

For an Urban Blues / City rain layout I've been contemplating...
 And, finally the above were picked from a clearance bin to try out the pattern for a modern lattice quilt in a bold primary color scheme.

Moving right along, this week has a lot of potential to change the next few weeks or even months for us.  I will be away from the garden AND the sewing machine for awhile, but hopefully I can make some progress on my reading list, some writing and a little hand needlework (hence my big push to have at least three quilts ready to bind soon).  I'll no more on that score, but will just add a hope that we all be more aware of and charitable towards others.  We just never know the depth or breadth of what another may face on any given day.  I am grateful for those who help me through such times and hope that a bit of slower pace will help Robin and Jay learn greater gentleness and consideration too.  Let us all learn daily to be more kind.

With cheerful good wishes,

Monday, February 2, 2015

Color Mondays: Two Spring Bulb Colorways

I won't even pretend not to know that tulips are Jennie's favorite flowers.  I won't even pretend not to know that her very VERY favorite is yellow.
Which is nice, really--because my favorite spring beauties are quite similar:

In fact, I've also created an Etsy treasury in honor of the bulb Wordsworth also adored:

Find the treasury on Etsy:  The Freshness of Daffodils by Kathryn of Aspen Arts Studio

And by the way, you see those daffodils and pussy-willow in the treasury on the second row?  That's a printed fabric block.  I think I might need it, really.

Watching for those first spring bulbs to appear soon,