Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beautiful Britain - Westminster Abbey

THE big day in Britain is almost upon us (depending upon which time zone your in) and I for one will be glued to my chair watching THE event :)
I lived in London for a couple of years. Loved it. Such an historic place with many wonderful sites to see.
Westminster Abbey is gorgeous and a must see if you ever visit the area. Get off at Westminster tube station and walk over to see Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, the Abbey, and behind you The London Eye and London Aquarium. If you want to keep on walking you'll find the Churchill Museum, St. James Park and Buckingham Palace. You can also take a bus tour round the area which is very interesting.

Monks have been in the area since the 10th century. Kings and Queens have been crowned in the abbey since 1066. 17 are resting in peace there along with many other famous people. The abbey has been host to 15 royal weddings, though there might have been more.
The current building was started in 1245 and is typically Gothic in style. I love the ceilings, arches and in particular, the stained glass windows.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blog of the Week - Summerland Cottage Studio

I am currently experiencing internet access issues at the computer I store photographs for my blogs. I tried using my mini pad to create postings but that was a bust.

While I have access come with me to visit Paulette Adams, the creative genius behind Summerland Cottage Studio Paulette finds inspiration everywhere, particularly in nature, and then translates that to artwork that is delicate and beautiful to behold. I love the way she captures that in the photographs at her blog. From Paulette "I believe that creating beauty and harmony in all aspects of our daily living, feeds our souls, thereby enriching and fulfilling our hearts and lives."

Look at the flower vase in the photograph above and take a guess at how she created the roses............. Have you worked it out yet ........ let me give you a moment longer .............

She used 2" fabric strips ripped from an old cotton sheet covered in slip !!!!!! How brilliant is that. The fabric burns away in the firing process and you are left with delicate flowers to then glaze.

Another of Paulette's "ripped and dipped" pieces. This time using a cotton tee-shirt as the base.

Paulette does some very pretty water color painting. Here's one of my favorites which is based on a client's actual house.

I wonder if she has done anything with this photograph from the Hamlet at Versailles?

This multi talented lady also repurposes items. This jewelry travel case is now her ........... calligraphy supplies carrier !!! You will have to find out for yourself what she did with a small antique travel case :)

Shells show up a lot at Paulette's blog. They are used as inspiration for all kinds of interesting pieces of art.

While my blog was originally intended as a place for me to explore quilting and fabric art I'm of the opinion that inspiration comes from all sources and that we each should try out any kind of art work that makes us happy or intrigues us. (More on that in another posting.)
Paulette's thoughts on the same subject "I believe that if we don't break rules there would never be new art.".
And for those of you wanting to know if Paulette has ever quilted - the answer is "yes - crazy quilts back in the late 70's."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Beautiful Britain - Belfast

I'm going to do something a bit different today. I'm going to send you to Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti who is currently in Ireland on a business trip (her husband is doing the business part and she's tagging along). She has done a couple of fabulous postings about Belfast.
After that check out the rest of her blog. She shares some great information and photographs about New York,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Inspire Heart

This is the most recent in my "wordy hearts" series :)

Meet Inspire Heart

Monday, April 18, 2011

Post-op Breast Cancer Pillows

Our Stake Relief Society (church) had an event on Saturday. Ladies came in from all over Nashville to participate in classes and have a delightful lunch. The service project was making breast cancer surgery post-op pillows for the Vanderbilt Breast Cancer Center. I was asked to organize it and we had a very good response. In about 60-90 minutes we managed to make 191 pillows. Another 70+ are in process.

Want to see what that number looks like ? There's 13 in each sack. All of the supplies were donated.

There was a lot of interest in doing the service project again so we just have to get that organized. Next time round we plan on taking a bit longer so that everyone can work at a slightly slower pace :)

Something to think about - The Vanderbilt Breast Cancer Center performs 34-68 breast cancer related surgeries per month.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Colourful Fridays - Hexagons

My one picture attempt is two this week because my candle mat is packed away with our christmas decorations. Don't look too closely because there is a pentagon shape amongst the hexagons :)

So what did I find in addition to my candle mat? A piece of fabric, a birdhouse, color pencils, sequins, templates, soap and pomegranate wax. 

Hop on over to Robyn's "nest" to fond out what all the other "birdies" found in their domains.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Beautiful Britain - Outer Hebrides

Oh be still my beating heart. I am going to Scotland to visit my parents, siblings and nephews, and taking my two oldest daughters with me :)
If I can swing it I would love to visit the Outer Hebrides. It's a wee bit of a hike from my parents house to my cousin's farm but I would at least like to work out the cost and travel just to see if it could be accomplished this time round. My brother made the trip last year with our nephews and sister-in-law and had a good experience.
Having lived on the Isle of Skye (Inner Hebrides) as a child and having a good friend from Stornoway when I was in high school the idea of going to Lewis/Harris and assorted outer islands has always appealed to me.

Outer Hebrides (orange), Inner Hebrides (pink)

Garenin Black House Village, Isle of Lewis close to the Calanais Standing Stones.

West coast, Isle of Lewis

A pretty look at how Harris Tweed was made.

The islands have inspired many photographers. Here's one beautiful interpretation by Bruce Percy.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Blog of the Week - Chasing Cottons

I'm not entirely sure when I ran across this particular blog but when I read it I liked it. Rebecca Johnson hails from Australia and has been blogging since June 2010. The death of her baby boy, Chase, in March of 2010 was the main catalyst for her decision to go full steam ahead with her sewing, pattern designs and quilting. We are the very fortunate beneficiaries of her talent.

"Star Jewels" 2010

"Birds of Paradise" currently at the proof-reading stage.

Starting April 6th,  Rebecca will be hosting a 12 week on-line Quilt Class 101. It looks like it will be fun and she wants lots of interaction.

The Course Outline -
Week 1 - Fabric - Choosing fabric, fabric designers, fabric bundles, Fat Quarters, jelly Rolls etc, Where to buy fabric locally or online overseas, shipping costs.. My favourite online shops etc.
Week 2 - Design - 'Sew as you go' OR the Designer - Using a graph book and planning, no rules.. Books/ blogs/ flickr... all the online sources or inspiration..
Week 3 - Cutting - Tools I use, how to cut your material properly, to wash or not to wash, incorporating seam allowances etc.
Week 4 - Sewing - Your machine, threads, needles, 1/4" foot, seam allowances, joining seams accurately, pins, 
Week 5 - Constructing your Quilt Top - sections etc
Week 6 - Borders - adding borders the correct way, 
Week 7 - Batting - The different types and what each one is used for..
Week 8 - Basting - how to Baste your quilt, spray? Pins? Types of pins? Tape etc..
Week 9 - Quilting by machine - Straight line Quilting, using a guide, free motion quilting, stitching in the ditch etc..
Week 10 - Quilting by hand - Cottons to use, technique, needles, hoops...
Week 11 - Binding - By machine or by hand.. or both.
Week 12 - Quilt block techniques.... This last tutorial will prob run over another 6 week period where i will teach the basics to make various traditional and modern quilt blocks. Sewing curves, 9 Patch, Stars and diamonds, Stack and Slash, Raw edge applique, Needle turn applique, paper piecing, log cabin, spider block, etc... 

Anyone with experience in quilting is also invited to join in by writing tutorials of their own related to any of the weekly themes.
Oh I almost forgot ........ there's going to be sponsors AND giveaways each month :)