Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WEATHER!?!, SOUTHWEST LANDSCAPE AND JOY EXCHANGE

WEATHER
What a difference a day makes. We went from a beautiful warm day with temperatures in the 60's to a cold, windy day with temperatures in the 30's. A warming trend is coming back, though, so it's all good...for now at least...and here...not so much in the political arena, though. What an absolute mess this administration has become...but that's all I'll say for now.

SOUTHWEST LANDSCAPE
I ran into a snag with my Southwest landscape. I tried cutting out an arch, I tried making one using 'rocks' including two different types. None of them worked. So I am a bit stumped as to how to proceed. I really wanted an arch but so far I haven't found a way. Stay tuned...

JOY EXCHANGE
I received my Joy Exchange gifts in the mail...all the way from 'The Republique Francaise!  Isn't that just great.  Here's what I received...


A beautiful card, the decorated heart has a magnet on the back and the small ATC card in the first picture. Then there is a bookmark and notebook in the second picture.

The notebook opens up...
What I especially liked was the cover, and original painted design on what I suspect is oilcloth. I remember oilcloth tablecloths that my grandma used daily. They lasted forever. I haven't seen real oilcloth in a long time. It would be fun to find out if there is an outlet here in the states. I would love to be able to use it in my creations.

Short post today.  It's been a bit hard on the eyes with both sinus problems and, more than likely, way too much reading.

Tomorrow is lunch in the Bronx if all goes well...
Have a great evening...
Talk to you tomorrow...



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

SOUTHWEST PROJECT CONTINUING, HIGH ANXIETY? TAKE A WALK!

Right, it's spring...passed me right by...course, I was busy with other things like listening to intelligence hearings! But, I wanted to perk up my blog with a bit of color so off into my photo bin I went and this is what I found. I love the automatic time, date and place stamp on my photos. This was taken last May, right here in my neighborhood!

SOUTHWEST LANDSCAPE
So this is where I left off yesterday with my project...

It's coming together quite nicely, I think. Today I finished the part between the two backgrounds. The fabrics I chose were these. They appear darker in this picture than the actual finished portion...

And, once again, I sewed them together but this time with very small strips of fabric and I kept it vertical instead of horizontal. Check this out...

When I took the time to really look at my work, I realized that different places came to mind for each section. For instance, the background reminds me very much of both the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. The front section on the left reminds me of Canyonlands and the latest addition reminds me of Brice National Park.

The next section to add will be an arch which of course reminds me of Arches National Park. I have yet to decide whether to cut it out of one piece of fabric or to use several pieces and build it like a rock formation. I am leaning towards the latter. The placement will be from the middle to the right so I will have to choose fabrics that stand out from both the dark areas and the bright orange areas. Another reason to build it with rocks.

After that, the only section left will be the foreground which will represent the sandy floor of the desert. And finally a border. The end is in sight!!! Well, not really...there's a lot of stitching to do.

HIGH ANXIETY?  TAKE A WALK!
Mental health experts are becoming more and more concerned over our national high levels of anxiety stemming from the chaotic political theatre that doesn't seem to let up. Individuals who remain in a constant fight or flight level of anxiety will certainly do damage to themselves both mentally and physically. Our bodies were simply not made for these sustained high levels.

While there's not much than we can do about lowering the level of political theatre, we can do something to help ourselves. Simply tune out. No, not indefinitely! But we all need a break. Another great idea is to take a walk. And that's what I did today. And I took a few pictures to show you what walking is like in my area.

There's a long expanse..almost two miles of walkway like this...

Block after block of benches. And this is what you see when you sit down...

The New York Harbor. If you look close, you can see a walkway close to the water. Here's one of the places to access that area...

The stairs lead to a walkway over the Belt Extension. And the walkway next to the water goes for a long way.  From the pier down around 60th all the way past the Verrazano Bridge to the Best Buy Plaza...several miles.

We still have snow...

But there are signs of spring...



Taking a walk not only perks me up, it relaxes me and clears my mind. And it's free...just stand up and walk out the door. I bet you can find treasures all around you by just taking a walk.

Once again, my eyes are signaling that it's time to stop...
Thanks for stopping by...
Talk to you tomorrow...

Monday, March 20, 2017

SOUTHWEST LANDSCAPE, TIME CHANGE & SURGERY UPDATE

NEW PROJECT: 
Well, I told you last Friday that I was working on a new project and this is it: A Southwest Landscape. I thought I would share my steps in creating this landscape.

First off, I like to have a foundation to work on and once again, I used a piece of painter's cloth. One thing you need to know about this material is that it ravels very easily so something has to be done to stop it. You can use either tape (I prefer duct tape over a packing tape because it sticks longer but you need to add to the size of the foundation.) or a zigzag stitch. I used the latter. Another reason I like painter's cloth is that it's easy to draw on (and erase, if needed.) So, this is my foundation piece with the general outline of my landscape...

The next step is to pull the fabric that I want to use in this landscape. I usually pull a lot of the colors but then I pare down to those fabrics that work together for my purpose. And, here is my fabric selection...

I may not use all of these fabrics but I have a big enough selection to choose from. I did forget one area...the sky.  So I had to go back and pull blues and grays in order to start this landscape.  This is because when creating a landscape, I always begin with whatever is furtherest away.  In this case, the sky. So here is the finished sky...

The next step was the background formations. I wanted these darker than the foreground so I chose these fabrics...

I used the same technique to sew these fabrics together as I used in the sky portion. In other words, lay the two pieces on top of each other, right side up on both, and using a scissors cut the seam as straight or as meandering as you want.  Next, using the two pieces that fit together, pin right sides together and sew. It does take a lot of pins but not using pins for me is not an option...

Once I sewed the fabrics together, then I cut them to reflect how I wanted the background to look


Here is where the two background pieces are going to be placed on the foundation...

Next I chose the fabrics I wanted to use on the middle portion of the landscape...

And, once again, I sewed the fabrics together in strips...

My original intention was to use this as a whole piece, cut to a particular shape, so I began with the basic shape...

Unfortunately, I did not like this...so, I decided to do what I did with the background formations. In other words, cut and sew together at different levels. I liked the results much better...

This is as far as I have gotten...next up, the open space between the two background formations.

NEW TIME:
I don't know about you, but I am having a harder time adjusting to this new time. It's taking me longer in the morning to get going and get my mind working. Talked to someone who told me that it usually takes them about two weeks to get accustomed to the new time. Okay....well, I hope it doesn't take me that long.

SURGERY UPDATE:
For many folks, this operation (cataract) is a breeze to go through. Although I am not saying that I have had great difficulty, it has taking longer for my brain to adjust and for my sight to become sharp. Each day does bring more clarity and once I get my new prescriptions for glasses I think it will be all good.

However, the restrictions on what I can and can't do are still in force. That is probably because I have had a partial retina detachment as well as being of Scandinavian descent. In case you are not aware, folks with Scandinavian heritage have a great opportunity to have retina detachments, macular degeneration and impaired vision.

So, although I can walk, I can't do any weigh lifting nor strenuous exercises for at least another three to four weeks. And that means that even my walking videos are too strenuous to use. Once the weather warms a bit, I guess I will do more walking outside...

Well, that's it for today...
Thanks for dropping in...
Have a great evening...