Monday, August 31, 2009

A lovely getaway

On the spur of the moment we decide to hook our trailer up to the new truck and take a test run for the weekend. We headed up to visit Sarah in Missoula. It was a fun but short trip. On Friday we camped in Divide, Mt and Saturday and Sunday we were at Beavertail State Park. Its about 25 miles from Missoula. We went into town had lunch and picked Sarah up.

At first no one wants their picture taken especially these two.

Then Flynn needs to worm his way in and get his picture taken.

Before long primitive behavior starts to rein in and the fire bug girl returns. Here Sarah is with her burned poking stick being mesmerized with the smoke.

There was this neat railroad tunnel near the campground.

We also found another tunnel right beside it that was closed off.

We had a great visit with our daughter, it was way too short but it was fun none the less. The truck pulled the camper great and now we are ready for a real trip but now D is so busy at work he can't take time off. Hopefully sometime this fall we'll be able to take a trip.

The other day my friend Kate and I got together for a fabric day. We sometimes pick days to get together to work on projects and we both have been getting back to fabric so a special day seemed in order.

I pulled out this little kimono wall hanging kit I had put aside. I had one kimono done last week. The rest I did this weekend. I am stitching it by hand am finding the process slows me down and its quite pleasant to just stitch. I think the little kimonos are so cute.

This also led me to the zillion cross-stitch project I started over the years. Twenty years ago before I got into spinning and weaving I was an avid cross-stitcher. I found this project almost done so I put the finishing touches on it this weekend. It feels good to complete things no matter how many years are in between.

Do you have any projects you need to pull out from drawers or closets? Maybe its time to reconnect with them.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I heading off on a weekend adventure, see you Monday. Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Additions to the Studio

It seems like every time my friend Lisa revamps her studio I seem to do things to mine too. Not quite as elaborate but I have a few changes. I put this shelf up to hold my collaborative books. Its almost too small. If I do another one I will need a bigger shelf.

I got the top tier for the Clip it up. It holds embelishments and so forth.

I got this table the other day. I had looked at it before when it was on sale for 129.00 but decided to wait. I went to see if the table was still on sale only to discover it was now 50% off or $99.00. Needless to say I bought it right away. Putting it in the room led to a complete cleaning of everything, I am not done yet but I am getting close. its basically a cutting table for fabric but I know I will use it for many other things too.

It folds up to a nice small space. Boromir is always trying to help.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vision Board

I believe in the power of vision boards so I like to use them for varous things in my life. This book project of mine is a big thing so it definetly needed a vision board. I finished it up today. I painted the entire board and then used foam stamps in several colors and images. Then I glued down a pretend book, a pretend article and some ideas I have for the book.

I like how vibrant it looks. I may change it over time like take off some things and add others. I could add a picture of me signing a book or the actual book cover after its designed or some reviews and so forth. There are so many things you can put on a vision board to keep the vision alive. Maybe today is the day you make your own.

Monday, August 24, 2009

French Flea Market Apron

I am still into making aprons so here are the results. I loved this French market apron. You can't help but feel saucy in it. It was easy to make and you really do feel like dancing around the room when you are wearing it.

Then yesterday I managed to make this utility apron. I had this great embellishment of beads and a roman coin hanging off the button area but it fell apart. I tried to use it as it was but I should have restrung the beads. So I will most likely add it later. This little apron has four pockets in it and will be great to wear in the studio. It won't keep paint off your clothes but could hold scissors or pencils when sewing or drawing.

Working on my book.

Over the weekend I came up with a working title for my book. Its "Living your artistic dream" an in depth guide to becoming the artist you always thought you were. I am excited at the title and worked on a vision board for the book today. I plan to use the visual to keep me motivated to work on the project. I took a piece of my art and turned it into a book cover with title and all. That takes center stage along with a sample of ideas I want to talk about and a simple beginnings of an article. It looks pretty white so I think I will go ahead and paint the poster board before I add all the stuff to it permanently. Right now I have it hooked up to a large magnetic board. When it is picture worth I will post it.

I have done a couple pages in the stencil book. I used this filmy fabric that really looks like water. sad to say I am unable to photograph it well.

This page has another filmy fabric across the bird and a simple collage on the left.

I really like this image of mother and child and I thought that thw quote went well with it too. I added a piece of paste paper I had made previously. The colors blended perfectly.

This page is using that filmy fabric again. I cut the stamped mermaid out of card I received from my sister, she seemed to fit into the color scheme. I sewed some batik fabric onto the next page. I may add more to it later. I am finding this book is a real work in progress.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Sunday Adventure

I had intended to post this right away but here we are and its Friday already.

We saw an article in the paper talking about a place a couple hours from here so we thought why not check it out today. It was an article featuring one of those out of the way places you see when you are headed somewhere else. You always think someday I am go ing to stop and check those out but you never do.

First on the list was the Gilmore ghost town.

A lot of the former residences are really collapsing. I was fascinated by the views and the colors in the deteriorating wood. click on pictures for more details.

I always seem to like the houses that still have some paint on them. It is like you can glimpse a little bit of their former glory.

I love looking through doorways for different views

Then we headed up to Meadow Lake. Its pretty high at 9,160 feet. The Mountain behind me is over 1600 feet higher at 10,760 feet. There were still some pockets of snow on the mountain.

Then we had a little lunch, it looks yummy to me. It started snowing while we were there. Not heavy or anything but snow none the less.

We then went down the Mountain to see these.

They are Charcoal Kilns. At one time there were 16 of them but that was back in 1885. There was a silver mine in the area and it used a smelter which needed the charcoal. It took 35 cords of wood to make 15 bushels of charcoal. The kilns are 20 feet high and 20 feet in circumference. The smelter was on the other side of the valley. As we drove the road we thought of how the charcoal would have been transported, by wagon. Truly an amazing enterprise.

This is a look inside the kiln you can see the charcoal on the bricks.

Here I am looking through one from the top.

And this is a close up of one of the ones falling apart. The rest of the kilns were dismantled and the brick was used elsewhere.

What was a spur of the moment trip turned out to be quite fun. My advice is the next time you pass a site a little bit off the road take the time to check it out you just might have a wonderful adventure.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More feathers and a face

I found this feather on my walk yesterday. Everywhere I go lately I am finding feathers. Sure must be a sign for something.

I liked the stripe effect of the pieces and the fluffy tuft at the end

This feather has a shaft that is big enough to make it into a quill but I am not sure how I will use it yet.

I haven't drawn in my sketchbook in a long time. I decided last night it was time and this face is the result.

Is there some kind of art that you haven't done in a long time? Maybe today is the day to do some more of it. I know I got immense satisfaction in drawing last night. Maybe you will too!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Domestic Goddess Apron

Here is the apron I made, I really like how it turned out. The fabric is really wonderful and it looks great too. I was amazed how long it took to actually make it though. I guess I am out of sewing practice. I now have fabric for another apron that looks totally different. I will show when its finished. I am falling in love with sewing again. I have 3 projects planned waiting their turn. I finished a new strap for my water bottle and am now sewing fun fabrics into my stenciled book. I am finding it fun to add different kinds of things to it.

I hope you had some time to be creative today.....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sharpening a Pitt Artist Pen

This video shows how to sharpen a pitt artist pen. I thought it was a great idea.

Then I saw that Pam Carriker did a video doodling with them, she is using the grey manga set and what she does with them is amazing.

Here are some more stenciled pages from the book I am working on. I have been collecting things to add to the pages. That will be the next step.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stitched and Stenciled

I am signed up for Mary Ann Moss's Stitched and Stencil Class. I haven't watched all the videos yet. I have such a slow connection its problematic at times. I have started my pages and I will be showing these as works in progress as they are ever evolving.

I decided to go with just a blue and green theme. These are the backgrounds I painted first. I used some craft paint and some Golden Fluid Acrylics. I did some pages using drops of paint and smearing with a credit card. With the Golden's I added water to make it more like a watercolor wash.

This is the first round of stenciled pages. Eventually there will be more stenciling, sewing and embellishment added. I hope to continue to show these pages as they evolve. If you are interested in taking Mary Ann's class just click on the link in the first paragraph.

and here are two more pages. Its going to be interesting to see how these evolve. Right now I wish I had added more colors and I think I will eventually do so.

and the last four that I have done so far. I have 10 pages which have 2 sides and actually 2 pages per side since they will be folded in half eventually. So there will be a lot more to do for this book.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A simple gift

I was out for a walk with Flynn the other day and just when I walked into the driveway I found this. I am not sure what bird it came from but it looks quite like the owl feathers I have found before. What a beautiful gift.

Some of you asked about the missing boy, Robert Manwill that I talked about earlier. Last week I was just about to mention what I knew when they found his body in a canal. I am sure you have seen the news reports. So unfortunately this tale has a sad ending. Right now there are no suspects in the case and an investigation is continuing. Thanks to all of you who were concerned.

I spent yesterday going to Bozeman Montana with a friend to pick up her mom who had been visiting a daughter. Its a 4 hour drive so we were on the road all day. The drive is through some beautiful country so it really was a nice time just a little tiring after all that time in a car.

For Creative Everyday

I finished this scarf the other day. It is made of cotton that I dyed in various shades of green. I am adding to a collection of scarves that I will eventually get posted on etsy. I have another scarf ready to be threaded on the loom so progress is being made on that front. I have my apron almost done, would you believe I ran out of off-white thread? I guess those big spools do run out eventually. I have to say the Amy Butler fabric that I bought is some of the nicest cotton I have ever used. I know I will be using her fabric again.

I started this shawl I found the pattern online. Its called Ishbel and is a small lace shawl that is more like a neck scarf. The picture does not do the yarn justice. It is really gorgeous in person, its a mohair blend dyed by a friend. The color is really luminous.

The pattern was done by Ysolda.

I also started spinning this fiber I bought back in June. Its corriedale wool in beautiful shades of cranberry and maroon.

It looks like this now. My plan is to make a 2 ply yarn and knit some fingerless mitts for my daughter.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Firemen in Kilts

My friend Amy invited me to go watch the firemens combat challenge held in our town on Saturday. Her friend Kevin was competing. First we heard the bagpipes and saw these guys. I didn't know that Idaho Falls has a pipe band.. Here they are warming up.

and here they are performing the opening ceremonies.

The firefighters challenge included the following.

Running up 6 flights of stairs in full gear with a 40 pound hose on your shoulder.
Pulling up a 40 lb disc from the top of the tower.
Running down 6 flights of stairs
Pounding this weight with a sledge hammer
Running an obstacle course
Running with a pressurized hose and hitting target with water
Dragging a 175 lb dummy a certain distance.

This shows the tower they climbed.

This is a firefighter dragging the hose.

Here we see 2 fire fighters, one hauling the dummy and the other offering encouragement.

This is our friend Kevin after competing. He won the individual and every other competition he entered. They had men's teams women's teams and coed teams. There were single double and relay teams. There were local teams and some from Colorado and Utah and Wyoming and Montana and the Air Force Academy. It was quite fun to watch and cheer them on. Amy and I thought about what leg of the course we could possible do and we decided we could be the dummy's. These men and women are incredibly fit and made it look easy.