Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In My Garden

It's the height of caterpillar season...I have lots and lots of Monarch's and have even found a few Swallow Tails munching away at my parsley. Today I discovered a Monarch chrysalis hanging from my mailbox post. I rarely see them in this stage outside - I think they usually hide in the bushes to transform, so a close up view like this normally only happens in the bug box.

In these uncertain times it's nice to see reminders like this that life goes on. Beauty is all around us...where have you found it?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What's new

Boy, am I behind on posting! It seems like everything happens in September.
The boys have settled into their new routines for school and all of the homework that comes with AG classes, and they both have their first baseball games of the season this week. Scouts starts Friday.
I'm tending to this year's Monarch caterpillars...I took 6 to the elementary school for the kindergarten classes to raise, I have one in a bug box for us to watch up close, and there are at least 20 more in the garden. I suspect there are lots more than 20 but that's what I counted on today's run by. I don't think I'll ever tire of them - though I'm sure my neighbors tire of the sight of that flower bed. It's a mess!

It's been a crazy busy time in the studio...I have my exhibit up at the library, 2 pieces going to the Piedmont Arts Association invitational 'Art of the Quilt' exhibit in Martinsville, VA, 2 other pieces going to the PAQA-South member's show in Cary, NC, a piece to submit for a women's exhibit at Salem College, a piece to make for EPU II, my first FFFC (Fast Friday Fabric Challenge) that will begin this Friday, a solo spot at Associated Artists 'Fall for Art' coming up the first weekend in November to make more things for....somebody pass the OXYGEN!!!

And then there's my 'day job'. I have three interiors projects going there.

I just love fall!! I really do. That first little hint of coolness in the air re-energizes me. Good thing, huh.....?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

More FUN!

Once again, the ladies of Miss Bee Havin' gathered for an all day quilting retreat, and this time everyone got to come. We spent Saturday from 8 am until 7 pm creating away to our hearts' content. There were quilts being pieced and basted and tied all over the place. Gorgeous stuff, and if they weren't my good friends some of them would have gone missing! I mean the quilts, not my friends!! I may covet but I'm not a kidnapper. Well, I'm not a thief either. But there were some really fine works happening in that room. Anyway, as usual when this group gets together, we had a blast!

I started out dye painting some silk/cotton blend fabric - just a small piece. I'm working on an art quilt that will have 2 sided leaves and I thought the shimmer from the silk would play well into that piece. I used Dynaflow but I didn't get quite the color I was after and the sheen was almost all lost in the process. It's a color that I can use elsewhere but not in this one, so I opted for some other cotton that I had hand-dyed about a week ago and I'll check the store again to see if they had green silk. Shoulda thought of that to begin with...I just saw white and said,"ooooh, shiny!...think of the possibilities!" I'm still going to play with the rest of it...maybe a little rust dyeing, and maybe some color dyeing with a product better suited to silk.

Meanwhile, while the fabric dried, I got on with another art piece that I'm cranking out for a Black and White challenge. I ended up spending the entire day on it and got the top completely done! I can't show it though...it's hopefully headed to be juried if I can get it quilted in time. Nothing like a tight deadline!

At the end of the day we headed over to our favorite Italian restaurant and had a wonderful meal and some really good red wine. I can't wait for the next retreat!!

The cutting... The sewing...