Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Watch Them Grow

The baby chicks are in a brooder box just outside the back door on the covered patio. Yes, they could be located in the barn, but I would miss so much! They have become our entertainment.....scurrying here and there......scratching the shavings.....then backing up to see what they have scratched.

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At 7 days old they no longer look like cotton balls with legs.....they have long necks now and you can see the tips of their wings beginning to grow.

They are eating and drinking more and spending more time away from their heat lamp.

They are very alert.......pecking the shavings and looking for bugs!

At 7 days old they are beginning to get wings and change their colors.

Here they are this chilly morning under the heat lamp......14 days old. They have doubled in size in the last week! They all have beautiful spotted feathers. There are 3 different breeds: Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington. They will all begin laying big, brown, beautiful eggs at 5 months of age.

While I watch the chicks grow I can also keep an eye on the State Fair Zinnia seeds planted in the kitchen garden window 2 weeks ago. The seeds were planted, watered and covered up.........I peeked under the cover on the 4th day and the seedlings were nearly 3 inches tall. Wow! I have never had anything germinate that quickly!

The tallest seedlings are 5 inches tall, with more pushing through the dirt each day. I have to start them indoors......or the birds will eat all the seeds before they can sprout!
State Fair Zinnias are BIG.......3 feet tall with a bloom nearly 5 inches across. They are prolific bloomers and I am enjoying the blooms well into October each year. They are hearty, very easy to grow and need very little care.

Gunnr is 2 years old.......and we have been watching him grow too. He loves water. His favorite part of the morning is helping fill up the baby chicks waterer.

He loves the hose and leaps into the air to try and catch the stream of water.

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Watching Them Grow,

Cherry Blossom Welcome Home

I quickly snapped this image as we were leaving for Tahoe last week. The tulips and flowering cherry trees are so full of life this time of year, and they change from day to day. I was anxious to get on the road and do some traveling, but also wondered what beautiful changes I would be missing here at home in the garden....

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We had a wonderful trip. Tahoe was sunny and snowy and inspiring. When we returned home and pulled down the driveway I was so excited to see we had a Cherry Blossom Blizzard in the front favorite time of the year!

The snowy blossoms are such a welcome sight, and I hadn't missed them!

I brought the Pepper Dish quilt with me and stitched on the binding, hanging sleeve and label as we motored down the road. I love to do handwork while we are traveling. My husband reminds me every now and then to look up and see the scenery going by.

The Glen Campbell concert in the South Shore Room was wonderful. What an intimate setting to see such a wonderful entertainer in. Every seat was the best seat in the house. What a talented and genuine person he is. He still has a beautiful voice at 73 years young.

I posted several images......textures mostly.......yesterday on this blog. I plan to use some of them in future textile pieces. I hope you will find one or two that inspire you and use them in your artwork.

I will leave you with a beautiful song by Glen Campbell, that goes perfectly with these Cherry Blossom images.........Today is here.

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May Your Bobbin Always Be Full,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Colors & Textures of Tahoe

The Elements of Design: Color, Line, Shape, Texture & Form

I saw Tahoe through an artists eyes.
Remember: What you see depends on your POINT OF VIEW

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The following images are in the order that I viewed them. Something in them struck a chord with me and I began snapping the camera. After a few hours I realized what was grabbing my attention........Design. The visual arts are inspired by The Elements of Design: Color, Line, Shape, Texture & Form.

This was my first view of Tahoe.......Inspiring!

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This little guy is definitely walking into one of my future textiles

The bare stems on this shrub have so much texture.
I could see them enlarged and transferred onto cloth as a background.

These abandoned boats drew me in with their color and orderliness all lined up in a row like soldiers.

Not a lot of color here, but color doesn't always need to be your biggest design element. The silhouette of the trees against the setting sun creates the mood.

Most of the time you NEVER want to shoot into the sun. It is preferable to have the sun at your back. Once in awhile, when it just feels right.....I shoot directly into the sun and sometimes something wonderful comes from it. This is an inspiration for a landscape quilt.

The texture of the water, the texture of the rocks.

This is a door in a hotel. The lines in the circular design would lend themselves to a free-motion quilting motif on a quilt.

This is a floor in a hotel lobby. It reminds me of a bundle of rust dyed fabrics I won last year at a quilting retreat. I now have the inspiration I need to get busy and cut up those rusted fabrics and put them into a quilted textile.

It wasn't long before my husband, who had NO IDEA why I was taking photos of floors, got in on the fun and was finding different floors for me to photograph!
This floor really appeals to the circle lover in me...

We stayed on the 11th this was a daily image for me......elevator buttons!

I have always been intrigued by the bark on the Ponderosa Pine Trees. Such line and texture.

If you study the bark close up, it will help you visualize the lines and patterns to use in your free-motion quilting work.

I love the softness of the blue sky and water, and also the texture of the tree needles, and the contrast of all the colors.

The cedar tree also has wonderful texture and line to its bark.

This cedar tree, still growing and surviving after a fire. This is the burned out section of the trunk...I love the texture of the bark on the right side of the tree.

This is a rock wall on the outside of a hotel.
Another great background or layer of transfer on a textile.
I am attracted to the texture of the rocks, and also the play of light and dark around the rocks.

The carpet in a hotel lobby.
Curves are so eye catching.

Another carpet in a hotel hallway.
I like the contrast of the curves and swirls with the checkerboard.

A flat, metal sculpture hanging in a hotel hallway by the elevators. I love the way the light dances across the metal.

Sometimes you need to look down at your elements are all around you!
A marker on the sidewalk displaying the location of the telephone lines.

This surrounded the trunk of a tree, set into a sidewalk. It protected the tree, and was beautiful to look at...lines, curves, dots, points.

The last image I have to share, along with my foot, is the carpet in another hotel lobby. Curvy lines add so much movement, I am drawn to them.
Keep looking......the elements of design are all around you!

If you are inspired by any of these images, help yourself and download them. They are at full resolution and will print very nicely for you.

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Just My Point of View,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Road Trip...

We loaded up the pick up and are heading down the road.
We are ready for adventure!

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We are headed south to Lake Tahoe
I have my Pepper Dish Quilt packed up. I am ready for miles and miles of hand sewing the binding, hanging sleeve & label.

We grew up watching The Glen Campbell Good Time Hour
True Grit is still one of our favorite movies

While in Tahoe we will see Glen Campbell sing Live!

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On The Road,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thread Shed Tour

Thread Shed Tour

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It has been a few years since I have photographed my Thread Shed. It was a beautiful day today and I had time on my hands......between many loads of laundry.
My favorite guy built this for me in 2000. This is the front entrance. The building is 20 x 16 feet. It is located in our yard just a few feet away from the house. My husband named the building, Thread Shed, while he was building it.

There are 3 different kinds of ivy growing up the front of the building. I also have a vine planted on the archway in front of the door. Over the years we have landscaped the building on all 4 sides.

My aunt surprised me with a chicken bell.......visitors enjoy ringing the bell before they enter.

My brother-in-law, who is a sign maker, surprised me with a vinyl sign for the front door window..... Annylu's Thread Shed. My nieces and nephews shortened Auntie Lu Lu to......Annylu years ago.......and it stuck. I am known to many friends and family members as.....Annylu.

Last summer we built a new design wall. I originally used flannel backed tablecloths thumb tacked to the wall. This works well, and I could layer the tablecloths 6 deep and stack up many works-in-progress. Now I have the best design wall ever. We used sheets of insulation, they are very lightweight like Styrofoam, 4 x 8 foot sheets. We covered 2 sheets with Warm 'N Natural batting and put them on the wall together, creating an 8 x8 foot design wall. I Love it. It is thick and I can stick pins into it. Most projects stick to the batting really well, but once in awhile I get a heavier piece, and it needs to be pinned. I work on a lot of quilts at the same time, so I can still stack them 6 deep if need be. Right now there is Moose Lodge on top, under that is a baby quilt, a landscape quilt, and pieces for my sunflower quilt in progress. Having a vertical design wall is one of the very best improvements to my quilting since I began in 1987.

I enjoyed furnishing the Thread Shed with used furniture that was sentimental to me. This green bookshelf was purchased from an estate sale at a nearby neighbor's house. I Love the old chipped paint and I think of her each time I reach for one of my reference books.
The top of the bookshelf is like a shrine. Look around your sewing room, I bet you have created a shrine without even realizing it. My quilters journal, family photos, gifts from close friends are all located on on the top of this bookshelf. It is very old, but very sturdy and holds most of my reference books and binders.

This is the media center. The corner cupboard on the left belonged to my husband's grandmother. It was her sewing cupboard. I found old patterns and notions still inside when I inherited it. I keep a small TV on it. Inside the door is a DVD & VCR player. On the right is a lime green cupboard found at a thrift store. It has a stereo on top, and inside the double doors it holds DVD's and VHS tapes. I like that I can store everything away inside these cupboards and keep the clutter to a minimum.

All of the wall outlets are 3 feet up on the more bending over to the floor to plug something in. There are 24 outlets around the room, each wall is on its own circuit so I never blow a fuse. My husband installed a switch that turns the electricity off to the entire room at once.

This cupboard is the island out of our kitchen. We remodeled years ago, and I salvaged the tall island cupboard for storage. It is tall, so is a perfect height for rotary cutting.......easy on my back when I am cutting for several hours. Behind the 3 doors is my collection of landscape fabrics.

This is a very old spool cupboard I found at the thrift store. It is homemade, with nails hammered in very neatly to support the spools of thread. It was a whopping $2 dollars and worth every penny. I keep my everyday threads in here that I use for general sewing.

This is a vintage kitchen cupboard that was mounted on a wall at one time. I have it standing on an old piano bench to raise it up off the floor. It holds all my notions. Again, everything is kept stored behind the doors and keeps down the clutter.

This cupboard was my son's baby dresser. I found it at a thrift store and refinished it when he was an infant. When he was ready to part with it, I was more than happy to use it for storage. It holds all my mixed media supplies.

I do the majority of pressing on this vintage, wooden ironing board. It is small and doesn't take up a lot of floor space. I have a large ironing board with a BIG BOARD that fits on top, but only use it when pressing large quilt backings.

This is one of two tall vintage cupboards that holds my fabric stash.

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May Your Bobbin Always Be Full,