Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One Lucky Girl

If you know or know of Dijanne Cevaal, you should immediately recognize that the above pic shows her work, one of her Sentinelle quilts as well as a panel printed with the same design. She was having a blog giveaway, not letting on what that giveaway would be, and although many people signed up for it, I decided to take a chance and sign up too. I really did not think I had a chance at having my name pulled out of the hat, but looky looky, luck was with me. How lucky is this to have, not only one of her quilts, but that panel so that I can make a companion piece? Very lucky! And how perfect is this to have as guardians for my new home?

Monday, November 26, 2012

More Assembly Required

I decided to treat myself to a new chair for the new studio. I'd been getting by with a straight-back chair from my dining room set when I worked at my new machine. The space was so tight that I didn't have room to push the chair back anyway when getting up from the machine. The comfy office chair I've used for years remained in use with the older machine which is set in a table allowing more movement. Trust me, I spend more time at the new machine, and even with a cushion, that dining room chair got very uncomfortable.

I guess I was still planning on using that chair, but as my office space got smaller, requiring a space saving computer table, the studio space got a little bigger, allowing for a rolling office chair. Still, I may not have thought to follow up on that so soon had I not sat in this chair at Staples while waiting for them to bring the new computer desk out from the storeroom. Oh my - so comfy, and those arms are adjustable. I've always disliked arms on office chairs but I could see how this might make my machine quilting easier on my shoulders and back. Add that it was on sale and, as the assembly instructions declared, "Behold!" - I now have an inviting place to park myself in front of the machine or the computer.  I could have had the Staples guy put it together for a few dollars more, but I'm pinching pennies these days. Besides, I actually enjoy getting out tools, studying instructions and tackling assembly.

As to how soon I'll actually use this chair in the studio, it may be pretty soon. I've finished arranging all 360 half-square triangle units on the design wall and can start sewing then into rows...once I unpack a machine. Yesterday I emptied another box, one with my lamps and irons, power strips and daylight bulbs for the overhead fixture (and lots of other things I'm not sure just where to put yet). I'd say I'm just about ready to begin, even if I don't have a work table set up yet.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Taking Shape

Packing is an art, I mused, as I filled box after box preparing for my move. And being an artist who enjoys challenges and puzzles not to mention organizing, I should be good at this. I'd saved some of the boxes from previous moves and was amused to find many labeled for the studio. Yes, I could pack very much as I had the last few moves in the very same boxes. The strategy included as much logic as possible so that things would be easier to locate on the other end, but as with any good puzzle, I found myself throwing out logic and organization to find odd pieces to fit odd spaces as the boxes filled up. And then my memory failed me as I struggled to remember what was in the bottom of the box once I was ready to close it up and label it. In many cases, my cryptic notations left me scratching my head as the movers asked where some of these boxes needed to go in the new place. So much for organization.

Suffice it to say, I arrived in my new digs with the unsettling realization I literally knew not where to put my finger to locate many of my belongings. It's been one surprise after another as I've gone on searches or randomly opened boxes or drawers. Oh look! So THAT'S where I stashed my pincushions and more...I really have no recollection of doing that.

This week has seen a lot of shoving and shuffling of furniture, boxes and bins in the new studio as I try to get it to the point where I can start some work. And my brain could not remember just where I stashed the batiks I bought in Rochester, one of which I want to use as background to the first piece I thought I wanted to start on. Yesterday, I shifted a bin and look - I found the box in question quite by accident. Am blanking on what the "triangle cutoff's project" is, though.

But while I am supposed to be focused on setting up the studio and starting that new art piece, this is what I paused to do instead. You may remember the hundreds of half-square triangle units I've prepared off and on over the years (see this post and this one for the technique), finally reaching the total I needed to piece together a reproduction quilt top in, oh my...2010. The shoebox where those units reside was one of the first things to take up residence on a closet shelf. It has been shouting rather loudly at me ever since I got the flannel up for my design wall. Hey - you gotta start somewhere, and this has been a nice warm-up to getting back into designing and creating. Now, if I just get a machine set up...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The New View

I'm still settling in, hoping to finally get at least some of the studio unpacked and set up this weekend. Starting to itch...  In the meantime, I'm working on making peace with my more "urban" place for daily walks and the loss of my lake view, searching for fresh bits of inspiration. The new view out the back of my townhouse is an essential part of being ok with losing the old view. 

From my kitchen, I used to look across an expanse of open field to see deer feeding along a treeline of mostly firs and tamaracks. Now the trees are just yards away from my living room and dining room windows, and include those same tamaracks that turn color in the fall.

I'd seen a squirrel venturing out on the lawn and wondered if any deer lurked in those trees - the stand is not very deep and act as buffer between a railroad line and highway. The other day, I got my answer. Maybe in the spring, I'll get visited by a moose.

As for my daily walk, it takes me through my little development and past a Goodwill store (surprisingly tempting that store but I put blinders on and keep walking!). Between the sidewalk and street in front of the store is a ditch full of cattails.

And a little farther down, the ditch full of water and leaves provided this bit of beauty.

The street "t"s at a busy crossroad lined with a variety of business. It appears to be zoned for mixed use as I spotted a few houses as well. But it is not solid business, one gap showing me the stand of trees I'd spotted from my upstairs window when they turned golden a month ago.  Yes, my familiar inspiration backed by mountains.

Back home, that lawn out back sprouted some interesting mushrooms. Just goes to show that if you keep your eyes and mind open, beauty and inspiration can be found most anywhere.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

River Reflections

A lot can change in 3 months. While I was off in Minnesota over the summer, the bypass built to divert traffic around Sandpoint opened and with it, a new bike path. That was part of the deal with the state transportation department I guess. The bypass threads between the lake and Sand Creek, and eliminated age-old cottonwoods along the creek bank. In recompense, a beautiful landscaped bike path was created, running several miles along the creek. Since I am no longer living right across from a bike path, I suspect I'll be spending time here - alternating with the paths along the lake at nearby city beach.

This is one of Sandpoint's famous landmarks - what once was a wooden covered bridge connecting one side of Sandpoint with the other, it now houses retail shops and eateries.

Unlike the waters of the lake, the creek is usually very calm and mirror-like, perfect for capturing reflections such as these supporting pilings for the bridge.

If straight, one can't tell where they meet the water. If angled, the reflection angles back, breaking the illusion. Only a tiny bit of distortion from the slow movement of the water.

A little more abstract, a little more distorted, here is part of the bridge reflected in the creek below.

Looking back toward the beginning of the bike path, I caught the reflection of the bridge which allows cars access to city beach. Somehow, the railing and lamposts in reflection reminded me of pictures I've seen of Paris.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fascination with reflections

Since the rather dreary and shorter days of winter have set in, I thought I'd treat you to some pics I took shortly after returning from Rochester, back in September when the weather was still warm and sunny, and the lake levels were still up. I'd seen a post by Sherrie Loves Color and decided to take a page from her playbook down at my own marina. Yes, Sherrie, I have blatantly stolen your excellent idea!

Sherrie noted that while one could get nice pics of boats including their reflections, she rather likes zooming in to capture abstract effects.

Of course, if the water were calm, you would get a mirror image. The interest and excitement comes with how turbulent the surface of the water is. The more ripples, the more great imagery, the more I was put in mind of lightning bolts.

There was more than ship masts to photograph. This walkway caught my eye as giving an interesting reflection.

One could snap a dozen pictures of the same reflection and each would be slightly different as the moving water changes the reflection. Enjoy my indulgence, a few of the dozens of photos I took that afternoon. Any photo may be viewed larger by clicking on it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Travel Part of R & R

I seem to have rediscovered my love of traveling by car. My journey to visit friends for some R & R took me over roads I haven't been on for probably 20 years. I was hustling to beat the onslaught of winter as my route included one major pass. I'd forgotten this spectacular mountain range along the way - first snows firmly in place.

Another leg of the trip took me into high dessert. I've always been in awe of this bridge with its lovely arches. To understand just how large it is, look closely at the size of the cars crossing it.

This view took my breath away, the valley spread out before me, windmills in the distance, so ethereal.

This one equally awe-inspiring, the mighty Columbia River at Vantage.

And above this viewpoint, Wild Horses Monument, caught with plane flying over it, as if the horses were chasing it.

Windmills everywhere these days, looming large.

And then I was traversing the great expanse between mountain ranges, prairie and desert that make up eastern Washington. It occurred to me that I don't dread this particular bit of flatness like I did crossing South Dakota. Similar landscapes but for some reason, I find this stretch full of interest. I'd stopped to see if I could capture the streaky blues of the sky and found myself zeroing in on a lone farm off in the distance.

I also wanted to capture some of the spectacular cloud formations - one of the things I do love about these wide-open spaces.

Rays filtering through clouds have special meaning for me. I captured several different displays of that.

Off to the east, a row of white fluffy clouds crowded the horizon - that was where I was headed.

I chased these all the way to Spokane, just far enough behind to avoid getting caught in their drenching...

..just near enough to catch their rainbow.