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Sun, Moon and Star Update

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I wanted to write you a quick update today 
as I am flying out in the morning for the south of France.
 I won't be working on my piece while I am down there 
but I wanted to show you my progress so far.
I picked the lower left hand corner for my first sun and I wanted it to be red.
 I really liked the way this cotton gauze and silk gauze looked together...

I layered them over a piece of golden velvet and appliqued them onto my square 
and then created the face. 
I have never used the silk gauze in my sewing,
 I mainly had it on hand for the shop for nuno felters.
 I think in the future I will avoid it for this type of work.
 It snags easily and I wasn't expecting that. But it is here now so it will stay.
 Unfortunately two of the other squares are layered with the silk gauze on top of cotton.
 I will have to take special care with them.
 Ah well, lesson learned.

I had a lot of fun with this applique method. 
One I really haven't used before but I found the silk was such a dream to handle. 
I started with Silk Charmeuse which is as always gorgeous
 but it is a bit thick for the corners I am working on. 
So the second ray I used silk habotai which is perfect for those extreme angles,
 then I pulled out a pile of silk ribbons because they are so nicely variegated and the 12 cm is wide enough that I was able to do the third ray with a ribbon.
 I will definitely be using this method with silk in the future. 
It gives me much more control of my angles and curves
 and I think with practice will even go a lot quicker than my old methods, 
Hand stitched satin stitch is a long consuming thing and was not always the effect I was going for in the past so I am glad that this looks so good without it.

I am sure I will be eager to pick up where I left off when I return home.
 I am so happy to continue stitching again. 
My eye doctor agrees with me that resting has not solved my eye problems and so there is no sense in continuing to go without sewing. I will return for observation in another 45 days. 

Hope you all have a blessed holiday season,

Back Again

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Back Again

I see from my last post date that it has been almost a month.
 When I left you I was in the middle of creating my base for my new piece. I had cut all my pieces and pre-basted them ready to join them together. 
Which I did. 
Then on rising the next morning I decided that the order was completely wrong and took it all apart again! SO...I had it all apart and ready to rejoin but it didn't happen.
Instead I have spent the last month trying to recover from an ear infection, a sinus infection and inflamed bronchial tubes. 
The entire time I had a non stop headache so there was no sewing for me!
I am finally on the mend and today is day three of no headache. I can finally think again, and even better yet, I can sew again. 

So last night I stitched together my squares in the order I want and pressed them out. Here it final base for Sun, Moon and Stars.  I was surprised that I didn't gravitate more for the blues, I have so many to pick from but the other pieces spoke to me and I could see stars dancing on those black and maroons and suns glowing from those mottled golds and browns and splashes of fuschia. So now my mind wanders to my suns. 

         My first will be the one I saw in the beginning, my beautiful, powerful glaring red sun. I will place it on this square. It speaks of turmoil and strife which was where my head was at when it came to me. Our sun, glaring down on us in all its powerful glory.
And now I am back to mulling over how I will bring this figure to life. Hopefully I will be back a bit sooner this time!

Sun, Moon and Stars

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Sun, Moon and Stars

Well all of my fabric has been unpacked. I played with it yesterday, sorting it into different piles. Feeling the softness of the velvet, the slickness of the silk. I forgot how much I had, how many pieces I truly loved What brought me to this place was a post done by a much admired fiber artist that I have followed for almost ten years now. I saw her post on my facebook timeline and clicked over to read it and when I did something happened. I don't know if it was the distress of the day or something else I can't define but I decided I couldn't spend the rest of my life not sewing. Life is too short and I hold it too dear. So right then and there, in the blink of an eye, I told myself enough is enough. It is time to sew again.

She is giving a class that one can follow along with and make something similar to what she is doing. I decided I am going to do this class. It is a way to find myself back to where I was so long ago when I had to put down my needles and 'REST'. Well that advice wasn't much good as I still have the same problem I did when my doctor told me that, so here I go...

She starts with a nine piece square, something I have never done. I picked out my pieces of fabric last night and ironed them all, today I will stitch them together. It is cold out and it feels good, curled up here with my blanket and my cloth on my lap. Good times!

Cloth is Comfort

Cloth is Comfort
 I am home again. Done with the airplanes. No more strange beds. Suitcases unpacked and various goodies have found their place here in my home. I spent a week in bed mostly, just sleeping. or at my computer drowsily emptying my email box. 

     Finally the time is coming round to me, or me to it. And then the election hit and I just wanted to go back to bed. I still do. And amidst all this confusion, this lethargy brought on by jet lag and confusion, I am seeking comfort. And when I seek comfort I always turn to cloth. It has been my love forever. 

To put a needle to cloth and make my imagination come alive with the colors and twists of thread and fabric. It really is my greatest love. So I am picking up my needle again despite my eyes. I have let my eyes rest for two years, have they healed? NO. Resting is not going to do it. So why should I spend the rest of my life rejecting my greatest love if it isn't benefitting me at all?
 I go for an appointment in December to have the damage looked at once again, I will discuss it with my doctor then but in the meantime I am going to sew. I need to.

Kitchen Update

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Kitchen Update

I promised I would write a bit about the house. The thing is there has been SO MUCH done on the house since I last wrote about it. It's a bit overwhelming. I decided I would pick out one small project I did and show you that first.
This is what greeted me when I first looked at the house.
Now if you have been following my blog you know that my kitchen has been the bane of my existence since we moved in. Absolutely NO storage space. Cabinets in odd places and just generally dark and unwelcoming.
A brand new coat of paint!

 If you look at my previous posts on my kitchen then you know that I gave it a nice bright coat of white paint with a splash of bright red on that awful stuccoed wall beneath the counter. That helped immensely. Then I went on to mount all the shelves on the walls and make my jars for storage. Another big step that was a great improvement. 
The shelves were a big help.

Now before I go any further I have to point out that these are just stop gap measures. We plan on redoing the kitchen in the future but it is not a priority at all so this may very well be in two or three years. No way to determine how long at this point.

So I decided to redo the space in the counter area. This whole section is my most hated part of the kitchen. It is just a huge stuccoed wall with a hole in the center.  When we moved in it had an ugly curtain hung up there and inside was a shelf. This was my one storage space in the whole kitchen. Ugh!
The finished project.

I first cut down a set of drawers and put in the hole with a makeshift shelf with a few baskets on it. It was serviceable but not very nice to look at. Also the drawers were old and stuck frequently, they also had horrid contact paper inside of them and had a general air of neglect about them. So I completely dismantled the drawers. I took a wire brush and some wd-40 the the drawer slides before remounting them. Then I stripped the contact paper off the drawers, scrubbed them down and sanded them thoroughly. I also sanded the outside structure. Then I painted it all black. I purchased some gorgeous blackened chrome drawer pulls and attached them to the drawers and the finishing touch was this bright polka dot drawer liner. What a difference!

I then took the two old cabinets that had been left behind and sanded them down and painted them the same black, with the new cabinet pulls on them.

My last part of the project was building a nice sturdy shelf for the baskets. I took some nice heavy plyboard and cut and assembled the shelves and then painted them the same black. Also painting the floor of the hole black.

I think this looks so much better. The drawers work like new and the shelf for the baskets is much better than what I had in there before.  I think this will be great until we do redo the kitchen. Sorry that I didn't take pictures of the process, I didn't even think about it till it was all done.

Hope you enjoyed the update. I still have much more to write about but right now it is time to start packing my suitcase. I am heading to the U.S. for a month to catch up on family and friends!