Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Modern Stitching at Art & Soul

I enjoyed myself at the Modern Stitching class I took last month; it was the only one I got to attend at the Colorado Springs Art & Soul Retreat.  Taught by Ruth Chandler, it followed her book on the same subject.
There were only four of us in the class, which went on for two nights, 3 hours each evening.  We were working on a book of stitches, which I've always wanted to do, and we went stitch by stitch through a whole bunch of them.  I already knew many, but it had been a while since I'd done them.

We weren't able to complete the entire book in class, and I am looking forward to finishing it on my own.  It was so relaxing to learn from Ruth...
and I got a lot of inspiration for using some of the stitches in the future on my fabric collages!  I never know how to go about with "free style"-ing stitches, but Ruth had tons of examples for us to admire:

She had some beautiful, high quality threads and fibers for us to try; I fell in love with some of the silk ones!

My favorite stitch of all we did was "ricing" -- I could just do that all day!
As much as I loved my class, I have to say it was very expensive.  In addition to the 6 hour class costing $150, I had to pay a $25 materials fee, as well as a $50 registration fee to the Retreat.  Personally, I think the registration fee should be waived for people who take just one (or two) courses out of all that are available.  The event wasn't well-publicized locally and it would 've made a huge impact if it had been.  I understand it was held here last year as well, and, as plugged-in as I am to this art community, I didn't hear about it!  It will be held next year here, too, so there's time to plan and make improvements.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Amid May

Precious time is flying away, here we are almost at mid-May!  Lots of happenings:
Ben has graduated from college and is getting ready to move once more to a new apartment (his fifth move in as many years!)
This graduation was more enjoyable for me than his high school graduation, but less comfortable as it was out in the blaring hot sun!  We were all happy when it was over, and had sunburns to go with our smiles!
Dennis and I spent a couple of days in Ben's college town and had a few meals and visits with him, which were a delight!  The campus is very pretty.

Above, I'm making fun of his stiff photo stance.  Just teasing him -- he gave us lots of "real" smiles during this visit.

In other news...
My friend Wendy and I have gone in together on a booth in a section of an antique store called, Citywide Garage Sale; we are sharing a table to sell off odds-and-ends, random antiques and vintage stuff we've collected that doesn't really go on Etsy.  I hope it's fun and profitable -- I have been wanting to try this for a while and it's so much better when you do it with someone else, I think.
(Those big pink block-like things are the back of table of the person behind us...)
We had an unseasonably cold, snowy April that I was glad to see the end of; unfortunately, the snow has continued in May; although, today and tomorrow we are having weather in the 70's.   I can hardly keep up with it and I really, really get my nose out of joint going back and forth between sweaters, socks and boots, and skirts and sandals!  I will be so happy when it is finally, and dependably, summer!
I have occupied myself with a few creative projects since I last posted: this one is a fabric collage that I put together with abandon, choosing bright colors and making lots of random, free form stitches.

I am pleased with how it turned out and will likely be selling it in my Etsy shop soon!
I made some Easter decorations for my co-workers, and then they sweetly surprised me with an Easter basket!
I had explained to them that I don't really get "into" Easter because we didn't celebrate it much when I was a child, and I'd never had a basket!

I want you to know that I tried very, very hard this year, once again, to "get into" Easter decorating and crafting, but I've come to the conclusion that it is just NOT my holiday.  Whew, now that I've admitted that I think I can go straight from Valentine's Day to July 4 without feeling guilty for not getting into the spirit!
I also bought these two drawer units from the Habitat for Humanity thrift store; they are made of plastic, which used to hold contact lenses...
I covered them with vintage wallpaper!  I love how they came out!
The drawers are sitting on my dining room table right now as I'm taking spare moments to fill the compartments with BUTTONS!
As you know, playing with my buttons always makes me happy!
The exciting news, though, is that I am going to treat myself: I managed to get registered for one class during the Art and Soul Art Retreat when it is in town at the end of the month!  The class I'm taking is called Modern Hand Stitching.  I can hardly wait for the time to indulge in creativity with other students!  Have you ever been to an Art and Soul event?  Apparently they've been going on for years and years...but I think this is the first time one is being held in Colorado Springs!
What are you going to do for yourself this month?

Saturday, March 30, 2019

The joy of older estates

Once again, I'm here to show you some delights I found at two different sales at older estates yesterday.  One of the sales was small and the other was PACKED.  The packed one said they would be putting more stuff out every day, which makes it hard to resist popping back by.  I will resist, though, as part of my this-year's RESTORation is to curtail my antique shopping!
That, however, was not my mindset yesterday when I treated myself to some shopping!  Both estate sales were, in my opinion, mostly overpriced.  I detest going to sales where they are asking antique-store prices for their best smalls.  For example, there were several valentine planters/vases that I would have loved to have but they were marked $20 each!
Here are the ones I did get - the large was $5 and the small was just $1.  They did gift me the Hallmark nut cup, which I love because it matches these little guitar favors I found this year!
I also got these three fabulous hand sewn quilt pieces:
the one on the bottom is a doll quilt, and it's beautifully done in perfectly faded feedsack fabric.
It's almost impossible for me to pass up a postage stamp quilt like this square!  And I was surprised that the whole roll of that vintage lacy gimp trim was just 75 cents!
 Also impossible for me to pass up any kind of Victorian crazy quilt piece, like this one.
Love!  I know you spotted that huge vase with the three cherubs -- I typically leave stuff like that behind because I know if I buy it I'll never be able to part with it!  I just didn't care this time and had to have it for myself!  It matches a smaller, yellow one I bought a few years ago (and couldn't part with)!
Then, there was this fabulous heavy glass paperweight!
The wooden back pops easily out, and you can put in whatever you like.  She had some vintage Halloween images in it.
 I just had to have it for its texture and weight and shabbiness!

There was a whole room of overpriced Christmas stuff, but I also found these bargains: a nearly perfect German tray, adorable Santa tin, and one of those pottery deer that are so dear these days!  (Pun intended!)
 At the second sale I found these beautiful items: the silk moire ribbon (I think that's what it's called...) is old and I believe French and hand painted.  There are about 10 feet of it.  It's magnificent.  I got the covered glass dish because of it's generous size to use as a display piece.  And this stitched ribbon:
The stitching was fancy and unusual, also unusual to see on gabardine.  Beautiful.  I almost left it behind!
Not everyone would appreciate this ribbon; it's been scorched by an iron and has tears and some unraveling.  But I think it's just perfect that way -- it makes me swoon.  (Yes.  I said it!)
Paul Simon was my unpacking companion this morning.  Do you see the boxes in the bag behind them?  In the last week or so I have printed a couple of thousand -- yes, thousand! -- photos to put into albums.  I'm literally 10 years behind in doing so.  It's been my major passion project for the last few years and I'm tired of procrastinating!
Paul's not sure what to make of any of it.  He's found a good hiding place, though, just in case things get a little too crazy around here!
Meanwhile, Art Garfunkel is exploring the latest acquisition -- a huge diploma frame for Ben's college diploma.  Which he's getting in a little over a month from now!

And what are you doing this weekend?