Saturday, April 12, 2014

Thrift Stories - Aqua

I have a history with things aqua. It's one of those go-to colors that always pulls my attention. It's such a happy hue.

A year or so ago I found this vintage rotary telephone. Slightly overpriced, I just had to have it!

It's kept me company in my office ringing away with its classic bell tone. (Yes, it works!)

Although as a practical device in these digital times - not so much. (Try responding to a menu tree from a rotary phone - can't be done!)

 Great accessory piece, regardless of it's practicality.

For practicality, a Samsonite suitcase fits the bill. This one was tucked into a corner of my favorite thrift shop. (The one that features a wide range of prices.)

 For $4.00 it came home with me. I love the subtle sparkle to the aqua blue textured exterior, and I love the shirred cover over the lid.

 It's a bit stained inside so I use it to tote art supplies to our Odd Tuesday creative group.

Some items come with great surprises inside.

 A recent jaunt to that same thrift shop on a busy day had me feeling that the offerings were picked over.

 Up high on a shelf I spied this aqua and white ice bucket - obviously older with the robust metal handle. Dangling from the side was a small tag with tiny writing - "ice bucket with 35 silver".

They weren't kidding - inside an almost complete set of Towle silverplate flatware. Gorgeous! Made my day.

Suburban thrift picking - always a pleasure and sometimes there's treasure!

Do you venture out thrift picking? Are there go-to items that you always seem to be picking up?

As always - thanks for stopping by!

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Use a Theme as a Creative Jumpstart

Hi folks! I'm back to blogging again, Yay!!
Here's a little creative recap then I'll show you some enjoyable things I'm trying.

Last year, I created many pieces using this dog silhouette: lots of postcards with the hand carved stamp, some fabric pieces and postcards. After the loss of my dog Lily we are going to be 'cat people' only for awhile.  This kinda' remained in the back of my mind all year and I unintentionally turned to the dog shape again and again.

Kitten Huey joins us - our Dewey is mildly amused
(next year we find Louie?)

You know, I didn't realize that I was doing it at the time, but I found that a theme is a great catalyst when wanting to try a different technique. It gets me past that 'blank paper - YIKES- what shall I do?' fear. The dog silhouette was a jumping off point to get going last year. The end result was a year of projects with a common thread, creating a cohesive mini collection.

Gouache Resist First Effort

This year my creative group 'Odd Tuesday' gave the gouache resist technique a go. (You can find Jane Powell's brief video tutorial here.) I'd tired of my dog silhouette and after bright day outside trimming the oleanders I thought I'd play with the flowers and the associated caterpillars/moths.

That day had brilliant blue skies and clear colors in the blooms and foliage

On Pinterest I started an oleander board for reference (and disappeared down that rabbit hole researching plants and several ways to trim my oleanders - darn you Pinterest!). Sketching from some photos I drew several blooms, buds, leaves, caterpillars and moths.

Four oleander mini cards using gouache resist technique

Taking scans of the resist images I created grid arrays of the flowers and printed them as  paper for origami boxes.

Later, I used those same images to produce some notecards from Shutterfly.

 Do you ever use that service? They make great quality photo books, cards, magnets, etc. Here's a tip: sign up for their email newsletter. They offer frequent free and/or big discount coupons for their products. Then, because their lead time to use the offer is often a matter of days, be prepared with a couple of projects ready to go on the Shutterfly site. When the free/discount offer hits your email, you'll be all set to get great products often for just the cost of shipping! (Not an affiliate - just a happy customer)

I'm a bit excited about the floral images and have some mini projects in the pipeline using them. Next month I'll show you those fabric and stitch ideas.

That's my creative recap for this month. I'll be sharing some vintage finds from the thrift shops next time! It seems that aqua colored bits have been a theme for me there...

How have you explored working with a theme in your creative pursuits?

As always - Thanks for stopping by!

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Friday, January 24, 2014

A Brief View - World Quilt Show Florida 2013/2014

Where's Mickey - Gabriele DiTota - World Quilt Show Florida 2013 - Jan 2014 

Confusingly, Mancuso's World Quilt Show Florida 2013 was held in West Palm Beach in January 2014. Previous years this was a November show - typically right after The Big One in Houston.

Taweekaachee - Linn Shimek -World Quilt Show Florida 2013 - Jan 2014

Probably my fourth year visiting this show, this time it seemed smaller and less diverse. My perception may be off though, it was held in a different part of the convention center and in a different layout.

Spiders In The Night Exchanging Glances - Carol Churchhill - Magnified View exhibit - Quilts on the Wall at World Quilt Show Fl

As always, I'm drawn to the details of quilts regardless of which exhibit they're displayed in. You can see more pictures and full views in my flickr set album. Click here.

With the low light at the venue I had few stellar photos this time!

My Favorite Flower Basket - Karen McTavish quilter - Quilt as Desired vintage 1940s top - World Quilt Show Florida 2013

I did enjoy the Quilt as Desired exhibit - where pieced tops from the 30's and 40's were completed by top long-arm quilters of today. My favorite was that one above with Karen McTavish me it had just the right amount of detail and big flourish quilting.

Equus - Sandy Monk - Martin County Quilters Black and White Challenge World Quilt Show Florida 2013 - Jan 2014 

At the entrance to the convention hall was the Black and White challenge quilts from the Martin County Quilters - this thread painted zebra won several ribbons.

Mozart - Barbara Stewart -World Quilt Show Florida 2013 - Jan 2014

Taken from the side - this portrait of Mozart has quite a saucy glance! A ribbon winner from the Florida quilts challenge.

In the World Quilts section I was enamored of numerous entries - none of which I captured well in photos! These included Laura Kemshall's 'Don't Go', Annabel Rainbow's 'Life-1, Measures of Time' which I'd seen on blogs as they developed and delighted examining them in reality.

In general, I'm experiencing a bit of fatigue viewing certain styles of quilts. I'm going off heavy machine quilting, instead preferring quilts with more dynamic texture. I'm looking for variety, whether through hand and machine stitch combinations, or those with variable stitch density. Regardless, I appreciate the work that all these quilts need to complete!

And I leave you with this simple gem: A Christmas in Kindergarten - quilt created from kid's art:

Christmas in Kindergarten - Jenny Shirley artwork interpreted as quilt - World Quilt Show Florida 2013 - Jan 2014 

As always  - thanks for stopping by!


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