I come from a long line of sign writers and am happiest with a brush and some paint! Add
paint to fabric and I get really excited!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Glimpses of a Maritime summer

Looking toward Charlottetown, PEi across the Charlottetown Harbour

A typical incredible roadside view, Cumberland, PEI

A couple of happy bikers on the south shore of PEI

Our favorite honey stand which works on the honor system for payment, a standard for road side stands in the Maritimes

The absolute best..Blueberry Honey although the Blueberry Cream is equally as delicious

The view from under my rainbow umbrella

The skies over my favorite NB beach

Throwing a few lines off a wharf in Petit Cap, NB

So many seaside treasures, this an abandoned crab shell picked clean by the gulls and washed by the ocean

Monday, August 18, 2014

Summertime Baking

So many of my very useful tools are ones my Mom gave me. This great little outdoor oven is one of the most useful appliances. It is perfect for those hot summer days when you just don’t want to add any extra heat to your house, yet still want to bake or cook.
Over the years I have hosted numerous summertime parties, celebrations, family dinners and this little Toastmaster oven has been at the centre of it all! There have been turkeys and hams roasted, muffins, breads, scones and biscuits baked, veggies roasted, so much yummy food prepared.

This summer there have been whole cut up chickens cooked in fresh springs of rosemary (14) and garlic cloves (I used 28, but the recommended is 40) and pans of blueberry muffins and banana chocolate muffins. There have been loaves of zucchini breads and sheets of biscuits, quite a few batches actually, as I search for the recipe that works for me.

With the recent cool temperatures and heavy rain we are experiencing, I suspect those hot, sultry days are soon behind us. I am hoping there are still a few more days where I have an excuse to sit on my deck basking in the sun while fresh basil scones bake, or a lovely medley of fresh garden veggies roasts.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Time for Creative Pursuits

I tend to jump into activities feet first, never really thinking of how this new responsibility might affect my personal time. As I age, I try to take the time to consider all sides of the argument before I agree. But, now that my daily schedule is free of any job related tasks that I choose not to do anymore, I think 24 hours is more like 36 or 40..Can I cram more into my day than I did before? Do I have more energy and enthusiasm?

Well, yes, I do have more time and I do have more positive energy. And I know what I want to do. I know where I want to spend my time. I have projects that are very dear to my heart that I want to accomplish. 

A young technician remarked to me yesterday during a conversation about retirement that she was pushing her dad, who happened to be the same vintage as me, to retire soon, so he could “enjoy the days he has left”..I understand her sentiment, but her choice of words left me pondering and a tad troubled. First I gave closer regard to the reflection looking back at me in the mirror. Yes, 57 leaves some battle scars, probably more than I can actually see with my deteriorating eye sight and lack of X-ray vision. After I considered my physicality, I considered my energy and focus. I realize this morning that subconsciously, I assume to prove a point to myself, I stayed up till after 1 am finishing up some orders and projects. I get in a zen state when I quilt and I hate to stop until I am done..old habits do die hard. 

I have had so many all nighters in my lifetime..finishing yearbook pages in high school, writing papers in University, lettering all night at college, constructing costumes for my daughter’s drama experience..the only times it was difficult to stay awake all night was when I was nursing sick children and while watching my dear sweet Mom slowly leave us. The energy of a creative pursuit can carry me through and leave me energy for the next day. Worry and caring for another doesn’t have the same effect. Overwhelming loss is unbearable and you lose all sense of time and your place in the universe. 

At my ripe old age, should I be allowing myself to do keep this late hours anymore while I pursue creativity? Perhaps 1 am is my new limit. I did let myself laze in bed this morning until after 8 and then remembered to do those stretches that help get my decades old neck muscles ready for another day. Maybe I am learning to create a balance in order to continue. 

I do have a new to me project to share very soon. With this project I have committed myself yet again to more personal time, but the need tugged at my heart strings and I did give it quite a bit of consideration before I made it “real”. People have amazingly jumped on board with me and I think this can be an enriching experience for everyone involved.

Watch for a dedicated post soon...Right now I have to get another decaf and get moving on today’s goals and objectives. Only 14 and a half hours left in my day and there is so much to be done.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Dumptruck Pantograph

A local fabric store was selling these cute little panels and I was asked by two quilters to quilt one for each of them. They were excited when I said I could quilt trucks on them, so with two to do, I invested the time to create a pantograph of dump trucks.

When I create my own pantographs, I use a very basic method. I draw my design element out, outline it in a fine black line with a Sharpie, then I print multiple photocopies of the image. I cut the excess white background away from around the edges of the image and then lay them out on paper I cut from a roll. Once I am happy with the layout, I tape the individual images down and add marker lines to create a continuous line of quilting.

This is a fairly antiquated way to create pantos, considering I could be creating digitized ones on my computer if I had the right software, but I actually enjoy this process. I am able to enlarge or reduce my designs and I can flip them and reverse them. And it allows me time to study how pantos are designed and how to best create a flow for the stitching line to follow. 

As well, I sometimes enlist the use of my opaque projector, or even my overhead projector when I want to enlarge a design and adjust it to the size I find best suits the quilt top I am working on. My opaque projector was one of the first tools I purchased when I started out in the sign business and even this many years later, I still find lots of uses for it.

Both clients provided me with Fireside for the backing and 80/20 cotton batting.