Don’t Throw That Away

As many of you know, I have recently expanded my studio and have been continuing to clean out “stuff” as I go. I pulled out yet another box full of “not remembered items” (aka UFO’s) and found this…..

This is not an actual rust dye but is a photo of one that has been printed on fabric. The quilting, however is real!! When I was making this quilt……

“Sunflowers in the Rust”

…..I wanted to practice before I took off on the real thing and decided that quilting on a copy would work just fine

I have no idea why I thought it was necessary to keep this practice piece but I am so glad that I did.

I used my special tool, a piece of card stock (read the blog here), and tried out several different orientations …..

When I was happy with the plan, I moved to the garage to play with frames. MANY, many years ago, I ended up at a craft supply sale that had wood frames for $1 each and mats priced at 4 for a $1. I stocked up, not knowing if I would ever use them….

….but over the years I have used over half of them and I’m dead yet so I have hope that my kids won’t have to figure out what to do with them!!!

I played first with just using a single frame….

….and then decided to dress it up a bit and use a mat as well…..

It now decorates a shelf in my office….

…….and I LOVE to see it when I walk to my desk. It not only reminds me of my favorite Sunflowers but also of the fun quilt that I made so long ago!!

So the final moral of this story is to Never….Ever…. EVER…..throw anything away!!! But, if you are reading this blog, I think that I am preaching to the choir!!

Art for the walls

Once we got back from our travels, Michael and I both hit the ground running.   We each had lists of tasks that needed to be done and amazingly they all were accomplished fairly quickly.  So, we decided to hit a few of the “long-term” tasks as well!!!

One of the things that we have wanted to do was to purchase some art for our home.   When we moved in 4 years ago, there were large expanses of blank walls and we knew that we wanted to find special things and not just fill it in with framed prints. 

The year after our move, we made a trip to New Mexico and purchased two paintings that got our collection off to a good start…..

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But then we got busy and money got tight and we forgot about adding to our collection, but we have added quite a few things in the past 18 months.

Last year, when we were in Colombia, we purchased a couple of pieces….

  –  this wooden carving that Michael fell in love with…..

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….and this Mola that I fell in love with…..

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A friend of ours (Scott Pope) from Church had a solo show and we bought one of his smaller pieces…..

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…although we both really wanted one of his BIG canvases!!!

When we were in India last year, I also bought two small pieces for $6 each.  When I checked into having them simply framed, the cost rose to over $75 EACH!!!   So, they laid around the laundry room for a year but then amazingly I had an idea that only cost $8 for BOTH.  I  bought a piece of foam core mat board, had it cut to the proper size and used a spray adhesive to attach the artwork.   Perfect!!!…..

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For my birthday this past year, Michael bought a painting that I liked….DSC08944

When we were in Spain back in May, we added this wonderful tile….DSC08951

….and I insisted that we buy these wine drinking Chickens in Vienna…..

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When we were in India in 2015, we were introduced to tribal art from the Gond people.  In particular, we saw a piece by  a woman named Durga Bai, an illiterate but talented artist…..DSC05778

This style of art struck a chord with both of us and this past trip we searched in vain for a gallery where we could buy some of her pieces.   We never found a “brick and mortar” store but we did find a website!!   So, when we got home, we logged on and picked out three pieces that we liked….two painted by Durga Bai….DSC08936

DSC08937…..and one by Shiv Prasad Malviya (sorry for the window reflections)…..

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All three of these pieces were either ink or acrylic on paper and arrived safely (and quickly) and were soon framed and ready to reside in our home!!

But we weren’t quite thru yet!!!

We spent one Saturday at the Oconee County Fall Festival and came across two things that we liked.   The first was a three-dimensional painting by Eugene Swain…..DSC08933

The bridge is actually made from small slats of wood and the water image could not be better!!

Finally, being a life-long Sunflower lover, I found this stained glass piece in another  booth and bought it to cover a laundry room window…..

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I typically don’t leave decorations in the same place year after year and basically re-do the house every few months.   This gives us a chance to enjoy more pieces each year.  The problem of doing this is that you have to have places to store things and over the years I have added several storage cabinets and LOTS of Rubbermade bins.  But those don’t work well for paintings and I was finding that it was really hard to keep them stored where  they were safe and I could get to them easily.  Then when we added all of these other pieces, I was truly in trouble.

A series of events meant that we had to clean out the closet under the stairs and Michael had the idea that it would be the perfect place to store our pictures.  I started looking for a shelf to purchase but couldn’t find one with the right dimensions….unless I wanted to pay BIG bucks.  I finally came up with the idea of building one ourselves (I designed and Michael provided the labor) and ended up with this……

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A perfect solution!!!

I also have a few other oil paintings that were done by my Great Aunt and were hanging in my Mother’s house.  Mom was into big, ornate frames (which I am NOT) so I need to do some re-framing before I can enjoy them to their fullest.

All of this to say that we are glad that we have taken our time in buying art and that we are looking forward to continuing to add to our collection over the years to come!!!

A new painting for the wall

Many of you know Elizabeth Barton and enjoy her beautiful quilts as well as her wonderful blog.  If you have followed her at all, you will also know that she is a Watercolor painter!!

A couple of weeks ago, Michael and I visited an art show put on by the “Osher Lifelong Learning Institute” at the University of Georgia.  When we first entered we saw Elizabeth standing by her beautiful quilts and immediately went over to say hello.  

After finishing our greetings, we started looking around the show and both of us were immediately drawn to this painting…..

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As we were getting ready to pay for it, I realized that it was painted by Elizabeth….that made it even MORE special!!!

It is now hanging proudly in our home……

Two quilts in one day!!!

This post has to start with the way that I decorate my house.   I have lots of stuff that I like to put out, but too much to have out all at once.  So, over the years, I have sorted all of my bits and bobs into seasons and have enjoyed changing things up as the year goes on.

Now, with the new house, I have needed to add some bits and pieces to fill in the spots, and thus begins this post….

Last year I didn’t have time to really decorate for Spring, so the Winter blues had to hang around until May, but this year I had time and energy to redecorate at the start of April.   However, I simply couldn’t figure out what to put on one of the mantles!!

I knew that I wanted spring flowers and first decided to use one of the photos taken in China at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden…._6294724

I remembered reading in one of my blogs that you could get photos printed onto a wrapped canvas, so I enlarged the center section and sent it off to be printed.   I was thrilled with the result….

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The next addition to the mantle was a funky metal bird that I had found (cheap) at a local store….

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I added a brass pitcher of yellow flowers and the mantle looked like this….

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It was ok, BUT I felt like it needed something….maybe some more birds or something yellow???

Then this afternoon, I had time to do something creative, so I decided to make a yellow bird quilt, modeled after this one  that I found on the internet…..

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In about 45 minutes I had this “quilt” finished…..

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….but after placing it on the mantle, it was still lacking, so I went back upstairs and made another one…..

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And, now my mantle decorations are complete…..

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AND….more importantly…..I made TWO, count them, TWO quilts in one afternoon…..AND during tax season!!

 

I can see my busy season coming to an end and am now excitedly thinking about upcoming creative projects, including a quilt based on a photo from inside the Blue Mosque in Istanbul!!   CANT WAIT!!!