Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wat's Up?

We were away last week for the "big sale" in Pinawa and I did quite well. So this weeek I've been working steady--about 15-16 hours a day--replenishing my stock for the "big sale" in Sioux Narrowns this weekend. DH who really is a Dear, has been running the house and helping with odds and ends whenever he can. I didn't get done all that I had planned, as I simply ran out of steam. About 4:00 this afternoon I said "Enough" and went to bed. Now I've eaten and have about 18 hangings to tag, and I'm done.

So tomorrow it's off to the lake, which is about half way to Sioux Narrows. We'll be sleeping there and driving back and forth. It will cost a bit on gas but still be cheaper than renting a room at the site. My friend, Dianne will be with us, as she has a booth at the sale too. We'll probably stay down thee until Tuesday. We really hate being on the highway on long weekends.

So wish me well. I have high hopes and have invested quite a lot in this sale. I would like to, at least, make my expenses.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


At least this close-up is right way up
Well, here is my pcture, but it's up side down. How the **&%( did I do that?

Navel Gazing

I've finished the piece titled "Courage". This work is so very different than anything I've done before, and I really need to give some thought to whether I want to move in this direction. Some, but not many, of the skillls I've developed over the years can be applied. It's going to mean that I have to start all over in terms of both skill and recognition. Is this what I want? On the one hand the design aspects challenge me more than a lot of the other things I've been doing, but it is a much simpler technique. I have no idea whether there would be any degree of public acceptance,and I'm just starting to gain some public recognition, for my other work. Is it possible to do both? I've tried to balance stitching and quilting for years with varying success, now to add a third technique??

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New work

In the few spare moments I've had over the past couple of days, I started the preliminary work on a new multi-media collage. I got out a piece of fabric paper for the background, started to gather beads and ribbons and charms, and started to make up little pieces that could be used as fillers once I started putting the whole thing together. I had wanted to incorporate Runes, as this is somewhat of a"trademark" for me. I also wanted some text, and found some little stick-on letters. Well, I now have a good portion of the first piece in a series based on the Serenity prayer. I have added some leaves, as my first instinct was to make the theme of the piece "Nature", but I can change this if they don't work. They might work better in a piece that is themed "Serenity". It's scare-y when your work starts to talk back and tell you what to do.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Baking cookies

the problem with baking cookies is that I eat them. But before that it exhausted me. DH baked bread in the morning and then we cycled to the store to buy chocolate chips. I don't keep them around because I eat them whether they are in cookies or not. Then two different types of cookies. It has been hot and humid, and by the time they were finished, so was I. DH finally agreed to turning on the AC--we've been arguing about it for three days. I manged to sleep before the grandchildren got here for supper, but my DS and his children visited while I was sleeping--they just came by to pickup a loaf of home made sourdough bread--and DH didn't wake me. (Probably a good call. I had been a right b---h before I lay down). Later the other children and their mother arrived for supper--which DH had cooked while I was sleeping! The littlest one is practising standing--still holding on-- and her sister tries to help her. (LOL) No teeth yet. Seven months old and no teeth. I've told her she's a slacker, but she doesn't pay any attention.

Today is for the final arrangements for going to the lake on Wednesday. I guess for anything left to do for the sale next weekend as well. I have to sit down and make a list of any shopping we have to do. We are running out of a few things, and while some of them can wait for the end of the month, there are a few that I should pickup for the lake. I should still be able to find time for some studio work. I'm playing with multi-media collages again. I have found that book by Beryl Taylor so inspirational! I spent some time sorting out my beads yesterday (OMG! I had no idea!) and found a small camel bell that I have had for about 20 years. I'm giving a lot of stuff away but I can't bear to part with this, so I'm designing a collage around it. We'll see how it goes. DH insists that the collages be offered up for sale. This bothers me, and I resist, but then break down and put a ridiculous price on them. They don't sell, and I get to keep them for awhile longer. Domestic politics!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Was feeling very restless yesterday evening and no money to do anything, so DH suggested a bicycle ride. He usually doesn't ride in the evening, but we went. That meant a total of almost 20k on the bikes yesterday, as we had cycled down to Tim Horton's for breakfast. But--was I ever sore by bedtime! I'm also fighting a bladder infection which doesn't help. So a very restless night and now I'm up and probably not in very good shape for the day. The Grandchildren are coming for supper, and that always takes a lot out of me--so maybe a nap will be in order this afternoon.

The yard is looking very good. We hired a lawn care company. Five weed and feed applications over the summer. He also gave DH some ideas about caring for the grass that appears to have paid off quite nicely. For the last week DH has been pruning and trimming and weeding the flower beds. We've lost a bit of privacy from the neighbours but overall it's looking fine.

Went through all of the stock for the two big sales, yesterday. Today I plan to gather together all of the other stuff--the table skirts, lights, extension cords, cash books etc. and have it ready to pack. I want everything ready by Monday night because Tuesday I have to spend the day getting ready to go to the lake. This means that either Monday or Tuesday I have to go to the bank to get my float. I'm always a little uneasy carrying that sort of money, especially these days when no-one carries money--everyone uses Interac. Not having Interac probably looses me some sales. The two venues have cash machines, but that just gives people a chance to reconsider their purchase. Probably a good thing in the long run. Now I actually have to think about baking some cookies, as I'll have all four grandchildren with me for Wednesday and Thursday. And I've promised them a rhubarb pie!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Here is the close-up. This one seems to be right side up even though I took it sideways. Go figure. Cameras and pictures are a mystery to me.

Here is the whole view of my picture made with the washer lint. It is sideways and I have no idea how to rotate it

Saturday already

Yesterday was silliness. I knew I wasn't in good shape to do any serious work. ( There are days when you JUST KNOW that things won't go well) I spent some time tagging all of my work for the sale next week, since I have to have everything ready to go by Tuesday evening. I cleaned up the studio and then I sat try something I had read about. I've been collecting washer lint--you know--all of those threads that clump together inthe washer when you are washing fabric. I had quite a pile of them. I also had a piece of gelatin printing that I just haven't been able to do anything with. Nothing to loose--I free motion 'd the threads onto the gelatin print, with invisible thread. Iput a couple of lengths of yarn in as well. Now the gelatin print had been stamped, drawn on, sprayed with walnut ink etc befoe the threads went on. Well, darned if the result didn't look pretty good. I checked my pre-cut matts and one just made the whole piece sing. So I beaded it, matted it, and stuck a tag on it and it's now in my stock for the sale. The left overs have been cut into the right size for ATC's. I'll finish them up over the next little while as I don't need them until mid-October. I hope my conscience lets me sell it, but if not, maybe I'll make the washer lint a conversation piece and sell it anyway.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Have been having trouble getting into the blog over the past few days. But as has happened before, I waited and after a little while it let me in. I now have my minimum amount of stock ready for the big sales. ( well, more or less, I still have four hangings to hem) Monday we took the evening off and worked a charity bingo, and last evening I managed to get into a lampwork beadmaking demonstration. It was fantastic and I sure understand why lampwork beads are so expensive. Tonight the demo is on bead making with polymer clay. Now I'm not sure about beads, but I want to learn more about the clay. But after being able to relax Monday evening, I went into the studio and worked up a storm. I started one of my ho-hum routine fibre collages and it absolutely took over, telling me what it wanted and where. I've ended up with a very special piece. I'll have to charge a good price for it, if I decide to sell it, because of the amount of work in it and the number of beads that have been carefully sewn in place. The beads were out of one of the "bead soups" that I put together earlier this spring. I've found that I prefer to work with a variety of co-ordinated beads, rather than just one type--most of the time. It certainly worked this time. So now I just need to get everything mounted ( not a big job), and tagged, and I'll be ready for the sale. Since we are going down to the lake next Wednesday to replace the roof on our building, I have to have everything ready to be carried out the door, by Tuesday evening. If I can get it done today, I may even find some time to work on my fabric paper collages. I sure have the ideas!

Friday, July 11, 2008

today I got to go to LazBoy Gallery and sit with the quilts that will be auctioned to provide for persons with cancer. There were a couple of outstanding quilts on display, but many of them were "ho hum", until you read the stories that were posted with them. It put such a human face on them and brought home why this whole project exists.

Life gets in the way

For two days now my DD has called and asked if we would babysit while she looks at new cars. Wednesday I ended up feeding all three of them supper. I'm trying to work full out getting ready for the big sales at the end of the month, and at first blush, I resented the intrusion. But How can I ever resent being able to spend time with those lovely lovely children? The older one is into blowing bubbles, so we've all been sitting in the back yard watching her do that. The baby is able to see the bubbles and follow them visually. She has the most delightful laugh! I don't remember any of the other grand children either having such a deep "belly laugh", or laughing more often. So I sit there and count my blessings.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Not the day I expected

First of all, because I had trouble sleeping last night I took a pill. As a result I finally woke up at about 9:15. The weather was great, and we've had so few really nice days, that we immediately got onto our bikes for a ride. Once home, we read the weather forecast and agreed that it was a good morning for sunprinting, but it had to be done immediately because of rain predicted for the afternoon. So three hours of sunprinting--work, work, work. My DD phoned to ask if we could watch the children for awhile, so at 1:15 , after cleaning up the sunprinting, I finally sat down to breakfast. The children were in fine form and then they decided to stay for supper. By the time supper was cleaned up I was so exhausted, that I sat in front of the tv and watched aa religious program ( gasp!!) because I was too lazyto change the channel.

Usually we stop at "Tim's" for breakfast, but last time we were in we found out that they have re-sized their coffee. Now, I have no problem with a price increase, and they had several of those posted, but I thought that shifting all of the cup sizes down, but leaving the prices where they were (e.g. What was formally a medium cup is now called large and the large price is being charged) was downright sneaky. If they had just said that they were raising the price of coffee, I would have understoood, but this has raised my hackles and we are seriously re-evaluating our patronage of the store. The shift in the economy caused by increased oil prices will affect all of us. Being on a fixed income we are looking at a lot of our habits. This is one we've decided to break. My rant for the day.

Maybe tomorrow I'll sew.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Work, work, work

I've really been slaving away in the studio. A couple of nice collaged wall hangings, and a whole bunch of the little stuff. You know--the things that we hate to make, but sell like hot cakes and provide a pretty good profit margin. Today I took a little time off and made some postcards for a couple of swaps I signed up for. I wanted them off my plate and away before push comes to shove with the two sales at the end of the month. I've also been getting things like Call for Entry e-mail that I would really like to be albe to take a closer look at, but know that I would then just want to get busy making something and it would make me crazy. So I procrastinate and play internet poker. It's mindless and doesn't cost anything but how silly can I get--there's work to be done!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Quiet day?

A very nice service yesterday, anad a chance to see family that we haven't seen for years--literally. A nephew who had been very close to my son when they were in school, wasn't recognized by most of the people there. My son only recognized him after hearing him speak! All in all a very emotional day. After weeks of painting and travelling back and forth to our DD's new home, my DH has declared that today, he rests. I feel that I would welcome a quiet day at home, although for me, that means a chance to get back into the studio. I have a quilt to get off to a show in the States, so have to spend awhile filling out customs declarations. Maybe sitting down with a cup of tea, and doing that will be enough work for the day. With the leftovers from the service yesterday, I don't even have to cook--which is a good thing with temperatures in the 30's and a humidex even higher.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Work, work...

I actually did it. I cleaned my house. I don't do the whole thing at once very often, as I try to keep it up, but it has got away from me recently. With a family funeral today, there was the chance that I would have overnight guests, so the job had to be done,-- and quickly. The guests didn't materialize, but I now have a clean house--more or less. Some things got put away and I may never find them again in this lifetime.

But there was still time to spend in the studio. I've made a prioritized list of the minimum stock I want to have for the big sales later this month, and I'm going to work through it, as much as I can. First on the list were, at least, two fibre collage hangings. A couple of these sell at every sale I go to. One is finished and the second started. These will be a little different as I'm using my hand-painted fabric as the background. I rather like the appearance of this. I'll have to re-design my tags to reflect the fabric, but that isn't a big chore. I'm thinking of raising the price a little, as well. If things work out, there will be enough hand-painted fabric to make a couple of smaller, matted collages as well.

So my task over the next couple of days is to finish collages, and then I need to make a couple of sun-printed hangings. I've put my sunprints on the design wall, and none of the current crop are particularly inspiring. If the wind would just die down, I could make a few more, but I woke up this morning to 28km/hr winds, and it's been that way for almost a week. Still, I have a store coupon, and this morning it's off to buy more fabric paint.

This afternoon is a family funeral. Not a fun time. Like many families, we seem to only see each other a funerals. We're between generations in our family. Everyone of marriageable age is married, and most families are complete, so there are few happy occasions. My DD has found a sitter for her 3-year old, but we'll have to take the baby with us. Maybe I'll get to hold the little one. I haven't seen them for almost a week.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Well, my life has changed for the foreseeable future! I was contacted by a lady yesterday from an established craft gallery, wanting some of my work. She says that the gallery is lacking in fibre work, and she would really like to increase the percentage of fibre that they have in their inventory. She wanted to know if I had anything I could give her. Since I was just finishing my inventory for the two big sales I have at the end of the month, I have lots. Now,-- she will be able to pick and choose what she wants to take, but this probably means that I need to get down to work again to re-build that inventory for the end of the month. I have enough of some things , like greeting cards and post cards, to stock several galleries, but my larger fibre collages and sunprints sell well, and I have to be working on them constantly. This is quite a validation of my work and I'm excited.