CQJP July Block

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Inspiration Sunday

Inspiration card #1 instructed me to paint a picture with keys as the subject.
Card #2 instructed me to create a square, circle or rectangle in the centre of the watercolour paper, use it to create abstract designs around it, and to use contrasts in my painting.
So I began with a sketch:

 a wash
 a heart
 and added some keys
 The one key beside the heart looks more 3-d than the others, so I shall leave them that way for a contrast
Completed painting
warm tones against cold
soft heart against hard metal
realistic key against abstract patterns
straight lines against curvilinear
hard edges against soft ones
the written word (real) against the symbolic heart
3-d  against 2-d renditions
geometric shape against organic
 close-up of the top half
bottom half

I think the painting is cohesive, in spite of all the contrasts, by repeating the same colours throughout.
Seeing it on the computer, I recognize a few areas that could benefit with a little more work. I may do a bit more painting on this, once I've had a few days to examine it.

I hope your Sunday has been a good day.
Have you been creating today?

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Giveaway Winners!

Being high tech as I am, ahem, each follower who made a comment was assigned a number, which I wrote out onto a slip of paper and placed into a paper bag. After a good shake, DH reached into the bag and pulled out the names :
Dorthe, and then, The Puppet Lady. Congratulations Dorthe and Janet!!!
I'll be sending you both an email.
Thanks to everyone who participated in my little giveaway!
Hope you all have a great day!
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Tats

It's Tuesday, and I've been tatting!
Gee, this doesn't look like tatting---it looks like crazy quilting!  Well, you're right.
I've been working on a white CQ, and, so far, many of the seam embellishments have tatting!

 I used this length of tatted flowers to cover a repair seam on a hanky.

               A JK cascade:
a twirling rope atop a lovely lacy trellis scallop

swirling border covers the seam between free-motion embroidery and plain 'silk'.  I've been using the same Sulky thread as in the embroidered piece, in a pale pink-ivory-green blend and pairing it with white tatting thread of various guages to keep the colour uniform, but add variety to its size.

A wandering JK cascade.

I'm pleased with the progress on this piece so far, and I'll post more tatting another time.

What have you been tatting? Or sewing? Or CQing?
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Inspiration Sunday

The subject for this week's painting is keys, and the second card directed me to create a circle, square, or rectangle in the centre of the watercolour paper, and surround the shape with abstract de--

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post for an important announcement!
This is blog post 100!!!
Yippee!!    Hurray!!     Applause!!

Well that's how I feel about it. Wow! 100 posts!!
So I'd like to thank my faithful followers for being here, and offering such positive support and encouragement!  You guys are awesome!!! 

So, that must mean it's time for a giveaway!! Yes?        

What's up for grabs?

I have two copies of this book, so that means one copy is for the giveaway. And, of course, ya gotta have some tatting thread, too. A few samples, maybe a surprise or two!
Not a tatter? No problem! Maybe you'll win this:

 a nice little quirky fabric bag I sewed. Why is it quirky? Well, the handle is a little off centre..........

Of course, if you don't really like polka dots, you could always turn the bag inside out! for a quilted, and laced bag, with just a little topping  of polka-dots.
As you can see, the bag is just large enough to hold a small grapefruit.

Cute enough as a little holder for a Valentine's giftie, it comes with a few surprise contents that are sure to please a CQer or stitcher. And you can always fill the bag later with candy for your own Special Valentine.

If you'd like to enter the giveaway, please leave a comment. (current followers only, please) First number chosen has first choice. The draw closes at 10:00 p.m.(EST) Wednesday January 26. Best of luck!

I'll have DH pick the two winning numbers and I'll post the winners Thursday the 27th.

Have a wonderful Sunday and thank you so much!

Your reularly scheduled blog post Sunday Inspiration will return next week.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday Tats

The next pattern I chose to tat was the edging "Martha" from "Tatting Patterns and Designs" by Gun Blomqvist and Elwy Persson. It's a pretty little edging, done in two rows.
 Tatted in DMC varigated blue, size 80.

I see that the first chain is a little too loose and I could improve a bit on my picots, but it looks quite delicate. Perfect for a pillowcase edging, don't you think?

It's tiny in this thread, and I think I shall tat with a larger guage next time as it's a bit difficult to see  clearly, especially at night. Old eyes. ha!

Have a great day!
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Inspiration Sunday

Inspiration Sunday means a painting exercise. The cards chosen last week instructed me to:

card 1: - use matte medium, gesso or gel medium to texture the paper, and paint over this surface

card 2:- use at least 12 pigments then glaze over some or all with a transparent wash

I chose a piece of watercolour paper that had an unwanted wash on it, and applied gel medium to add texture. I was thinking of hills, a tree, and rocks. Not a wonderfully inspiring subject, I suppose.

Here's how the paper looked after the gel medium and a coating of gesso was applied:

Normally, I would use either oils or acrylics over gel medium, but most of my art supplies were packed away in preparation for painting my art room.
I had some crayons, and wondered if they would work on the medium.
Did they?

Ummm, no! Yech! Ugly!

Okay, cover it with gesso and wait for it to dry............

I found some acrylic paint, but no brushes, and no palette, so I 'stole' a watercolour brush, and mixed the paint on the paper while mostly dry- brushing.......

Well, it might be a little better, but dry-brushing the paint onto the paper and trying to blend it just wasn't working. The texture from the gel medium was hindering the painting rather than helping it.
Obviously, I hadn't thought this through very well before jumping in......(I tend to do that regularly, and then wonder why things aren't working....lol )
The next step? More gesso. I slopped it over the acrylics, and waited for it to dry......
Liquid acrylics to the rescue!  I decided real wasn't working, so I'd play with an abstract background. I used the following colours: titanium white, red oxide, quinacridone gold, phthalo green, sap green, green gold, iridescent antique gold, iridescent copper, iridescent gold deep, iridescent silver, interference red, burnt sienna, and payne's grey.
Okay, now what?
I decided to play some more.
I hadn't packed away my watercolour inks yet............
And doodled this design

Then added a touch of red

Although I should have put a wash over part of the paper, that would have made the inks run and disperse, so I opted not to do that step.
I learned that crayons don't work on gel medium, that I should plan ahead better, and that not having the  proper equipment means I'll probably just be making a mess instead of creating art. I also learned that having a big jar of gesso can be a good thing! haha
What do you think of the result?
Next week's challenge:
card 1: in the centre of watercolour paper, draw a circle, oval or rectangle and design borders around your shape with abstract patterns. Use contrasts.
card 2: do a painting about keys
Hope you've had a wonderful weekend!
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Friday, January 14, 2011


There is something so exciting about beginning new projects. I suppose it's the possibilities of what may be created. Perhaps it's the options and myriad choices; gathering of supplies and dreaming of designs, or playing with one's stash and getting lost in thought. I could happily spend days searching and sorting through fabrics, threads and beads to discover the perfect combination. (still working on that part)
I'm addicted to the process, although not every beginning ends in a completed project.
Here are a couple new beginnings, with hopes they develop and grow, and become more than their origins:

 White piece
lots of patterns and a little bit of colour and texture
 two close-ups
there's a small tear in this hanky piece that I'll have to cover
'satin', lace and a bit of free-motion embroidery with a decorative thread

 warm tones and rusty bits fabric

I'll post pics as these projects progress.
Hope you have a wonderfully creative weekend.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tatting Tuesday

I began the next edging in "Tatting Patterns and Designs".  'Ingeborg' was tatted with a blue varigated DMC thread, size 80. This pattern can also be used as an insertion and is very easy and simple repeats of chains that are joined.
It appears quite delicate and pretty, but I thought it to be a little 'thin.'                  
                                                                                    Perhaps two rows together might look nice.             
                                                                            But joining them at the picots might lose that laciness.                                                                    
So I joined them with a double row of stitches
Yuck!     Too messy, and the joins are not even.  So, perhaps just joining the centre picots on the rows might have worked better.  So much for my idea.
The original pattern is cute, though, and it was easy to follow the directions. Now, to cut off that joining piece........
Happy Tatting.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Inspiration Sunday

If we create, we look for inspiration. Perhaps it is found in solitude, in nature, or the bustle of the city. While we each find inspiration in our own ways, sometimes it's nice to be prodded to think past what is comfortable and familiar.
I used to paint every day, even if it was only for 10 minutes. I had a room set up so all I had to do was walk in the door, spritz my watercolours, and grab a brush. I loved it! Unfortunately, I no longer have a room set up just for painting, and, as a result, I've found myself painting less and less. I want to change that.
I have been collecting books on creativity and inspirations, and I recently purchased "The Artist's Muse" by Betsy Dillard Stroud. It has a key to " unlock the door to your creativity", and I thought it might be an adventure to begin a regular painting post using this book as my inspiration.

Besides being a book, it is also a 'game'. Three different shaped card decks provide instruction in three different areas to spark one's creativity. One might choose 1, 2 or all three cards to follow.
For my first inspiration painting, I decided to choose two cards: a rectangle and a round.  I shuffled, cut the decks, and chose the top card in each pile. The instructions from card 1 were to create a narrative painting about an issue that I am concerned about, and to use symbols and words to express my ideas.
The card from the round deck instructed me to create a high-key painting using transparent pigments only, making my focal, in the foreground, my darkest dark.
Here's what I painted:

The completed painting:
What do you think? Did I follow the instructions?

Although this work is a little different from my comfort zone, I am pleased with the result.

While creating my inspiration painting, I listened to the CD  "Boheme"  by Deep Forest

The concern I wanted to express was the destruction of the world's forests, as we are all affected by this destruction. I used written words in the painting, and the symbols were created with my hand-carved stamps: the branches of leaves, and the circle of life.

For next week, here are the directions from each card:
card 1: :- use matte medium, gesso and gel medium to texture the paper, and paint over this surface
card 2: use at least 12 pigments then glaze over some or all with a transparent wash

Maybe you'd like to play along with me in whatever medium you choose. If so, I'd love to see pics of your creations.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Another Scarf

 I wanted to knit another spiral ruffled scarf, and see how a different colour yarn on the first and last rows of the pattern would affect the wave. So here is BobE.
 Single wrap

Double wrap

What do you think? Do you like it better with the extra colour?

I like the way it emphasizes the spiral. I might just do a few more, since I have tubs of yarn to play with.

Hope your day is filled with colour.

Thanks for visiting.

Hugs from Suz

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday Tats

It's Tuesday, and I've been tatting!

"Astrid" edging tatted in Yarnplayer's 'Peace', size 40

I'd purchased several tatting books last fall, but, other than leafing through the books, and drooling over the pics, I had done nothing.

Since it's the beginning of a New Year, I thought it was time to start tatting from my new books.

I chose to begin with this book, "Tatting Patterns and Designs" by Gun Blomqvist and Elwy Persson, and the fourth pattern entitled "Astrid". I liked the way this edging looked, reminding me of dancing clovers.

What I found as I tatted this pattern was that the joins did not specify where they were to join, so I had to refer to the picture in the book. Tonking followed.
A lot of tonking, (un-tatting)

When I came to repeat the portion of written pattern, there were omissions of joins, and the joins were not indicated. I tried to figure them out as I went along, but,..........tonk, tonk, tonk.......

 I then grabbed a thick yarn and heavier needle to re-tat the pattern and see if I could work it out as I went, and record the proper joins. I guess I'm not very good at that, as more tonking ensued, and still there were errors. It's frustrating when I can't see where I should have made a join until three rings later. sigh.

Are patterns often written in this way?
If so, I'm not a fan.
Perhaps there was an error in this pattern, and I was just lucky to chose this one first?  Ha!

I shall try the next edging, and see if I have a better result.

 In the meantime, I've been creating more cascades of tatted JK's for a project I'm planning. They're easy to tat while DH is driving, or while I'm watching TV. In various shades of white and off-white, I'm hoping they'll add lots of texture to my project.

Have you been tatting?  I hope you've had better luck with your pattern, than I did.

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Finish the Old, Begin Anew

I like to knit in the winter, the yarn warm on my lap, the rythmic click-click of the knitting needles marking the passage of seconds. Since I usually knit while I watch TV, it has to be fairly mindless knitting. I'm not very accomplished, but I like to keep my hands busy, so I knit easy stuff such as scarves, or afghans, something where I really don't have to pay much attention. I knit a lot of scarves. But, being lazy, I don't often do the finishing. sigh.
Since I'd been ill the two weeks before Christmas, I didn't get all my Christmas knitting finished. The last week found me knitting up these.

Spiral Ruffled Scarves

I had a basket filled with scarves that needed finishing. Every time I walked past, it niggled at me. All spring they nagged, all summer, too. Into the fall. So, I finally decided I needed to finish the scarves, and doing that as the year came to a close seemed appropriate.
The basket was overflowing:

9 scarves, all different. Some have been created with one yarn, but several have two or three yarns knit together for added warmth and texture.

I love the texture of this scarf: knitted with three different yarns, and using two white yarns of different scale, it seems to shimmer. I love how the colours peek through the white.
I spent New Year's Eve finishing off the scarves,  and hung them with the two ruffled scarves over the back of our love-seat.
I've finished the old, and now I'm on to the new:
perhaps another ruffled scarf, or two.
Hmmmmn. Now what am I going to do with all these scarves?
Thinking of plans for the New Year, I would like to be a little more focused with regard to my art. I'm planning to have Tuesday Tats and An Inspiration Sunday in regular posts.
At least, that's the plan.
Here's hoping the New Year brings each of us many Blessings.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz