Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Pin It Weekly #296

EDIT 11/14/2019: I am oh, so sorry that I did not post this photo and link to Preeti's bird quilt. How could I? I'm sorry Preeti. Truly. It hangs out in the studio where Milly can kiss it when she comes in. She loves them. 

Welcome back to the birds! Sunday's Quilt Inspiration was so very popular that I decided to go with it, one more time. The reason for only one time is that tomorrow I go to Houston to Quilt Festival. 


I'll have photos to share later so I'll just show you a few more bird pins in the meantime. Check out the cuteness in these fabric, paper, sculptural and mixed media birds.

New Free of Charge color pencil drawing Tips  Put in writing painting will be single, for example it provides a solo hued, however with several brightness values. Wh #Charge #color #drawing #Free #pencil #TipsBird Ornaments fabric stuffed body and fabric covered poster board wing

Bird wall quilt

Quilt block idea.  Applique the triangles and petals, embroider the beaks, tails, and stems.

Plum age

Blue Bird on a Poppy 8 X 10 custom matted print -

All Dressed Up  Reproduced from my original colored pencil drawing, this print comes sandwiched between a professionally hand-cut white mat and archival foam board. It is signed on the mat, sealed in a biodegradable plastic sleeve, and ready for the standard 8 X 10 frame of your choice.  Ships viaBlue Bird sur une impression personnalisée emmêlé de coquelicot 8 X 10

Fabric Bird

Bug Art B024 Four Blue Birds greetings cardMaking a Spring Bird Souvenir on Your Own -

Bird 1 bird toys embroidered bird mothers day gift bird | Etsy

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: Fantastic Birds

EDIT 11/14/2019: I am oh, so sorry that I did not post this photo and link to Preeti's bird quilt. How could I? I'm sorry Preeti. Truly. It hangs out in the studio where Milly can kiss it when she comes in. She loves them. 

The word fantastic here takes on the meaning of fantasy. Birds that artists like to invent. Here are a few examples from the art world.
Bird of Paradise by peregyr

Big tropical bird ,  #Big #bird #TropicalArtStation - Dead birds, Patrycja Wójcik

Fantasy Artwork

Heart Strings & Raven Wings: Fine Art Bird Print

So how does one turn fantasy into a quilt? Well, quite easily I'm not entirely sure this first one is a quilt. It's a sewn art piece (I assume) that may have quilted segments. It's on the Bernina website.
 Ausstellung Russische Quilts Textile Fantasies of Vladimir Telnykh: Kursk Nightingale


bird quilt

Vintage Bird Wall Art from Debbie Mumm—Quick Weekend Quilts!Bird quilt

modern bird flower quilt

Art quilt  Mamacjt by kaitlincute!

Two Turtle Doves. So cute!

Sweet and whimsical.

Have a great week everyone. I hope to see you in Houston on Thursday and Friday for International Quilt Festival. Email me at and let's try to meet in person. That would be fantastic!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

A fire, some flowers, and some shirts ~~ finishes

Meme's stepdad is a volunteer fireman. Her mom decided that they would be a family of firefighters for Halloween. Meme, however, can't seem to say fire-anything. When asked what she wants to be for Trick or Treat, she answer, "a fire-ah." So we made her a fire-ah costume. Her little brother is going to be a dalmatian. I haven't seen his costume yet. 

A little red tee shirt with yellow and sparkly silver striped ribbon and her very own badge. I attached the silver ribbon to the yellow using adhesive web then sewed them onto the shirt. The badge I planned to made from two pieces of yellow adhered using heavy duty web, but in the end I used a zigzag stitch to applique it on. The letter, for her name, is a ready-made sticky letter. All of it is Dusti's idea and design. She also made the requisite red tutu. I can't wait to see Miss Priss in her fire-ah costume.

Also this week I finished up the last of the flowers for All Saints' Day. These are for Richard's dad. I had to wait for him to pick up the cypress vase he made a couple of months ago.

I wasn't sure what Richard would want in the way of flowers, so I bought a variety of deep fall colors when I bought all the ones for my family. Turns out he really likes them. I suppose we'll put them out tomorrow when we go to mass. His brother cleaned the grave and his mom already delivered her flowers.

The other then I've worked on has really taken some time. We are going to Disney before Christmas and the kids want tee shirts. 

Well! That is going to be interesting. It's difficult to get 10 people to agree on one shirt. So I've taken things into hand and designed two that I can cut on the Silhouette. One Meggan and I found some on Pinterest (of course) and changed the idea to fit the Marcotte clan's needs. The designs are finished. Wish me luck getting them onto the shirts.

Finally, Richard and I have babysat till we're exhausted. Meme and Brother are sweet, fun little tykes, but they are heavy (literally) and high-maintenance. One is potty-training and the other is curious. He's now mobile, crawling on all fours, pulling up and digging in everything. Meme is a big help: I say Ryder, she yells no!
Somehow we're getting on, but it's getting more difficult not less so. Any suggestions? I really need help.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Louisiana's heat pays off and two stinkers

One of the wonderful advantages of living in Louisiana in the summer is that, if you don't mind watering, plants do really well. 

Extremely well. I have to regularly peel it off the door and bricks because it roots itself to everything. The older leaves are huge and the vines are easily five feet long, from where they touch the floor. I haven't figured out what I'll do with them in a few weeks when it becomes really cold.

Also on my back porch is this beautiful peace lily that Richard's mom gave me after his dad's funeral. It was in a basket, but that rotted and fell apart so we're down to the black nursery container. I've been considering re-potting it but I need a larger pot. There's probably one around here somewhere. 

Next to the peace lily are these three pots on what is perhaps the cheapest stand ever. I have to be careful when I move the pots so that the weight of one doesn't tip the whole thing over. It's crazy, I know. But they look great stacked up in that corner by the back door.

At the end of the parking area I have a couple of huge pots around a crepe myrtle tree. The tree just came up on its own and grew really quickly. It does not match the other white crepe myrtles on the other side of the drive, but anything that finds a place, plants itself and grows beautifully gets to stay right where it chooses.

So this plant is a pink bleeding heart. It's doing really well. It bloomed profusely in the spring when I bought it, got a bit exhausted during the heavy heat, but is picking up energy and put out a few blossoms.
 I'm trying again to build a succulents pot. It won't be completely filled by the first freeze, but I've gotten much closer than I did last year. I had labels on all of the plants but they've been lost, along with a couple of really unusual plants. 

 On each side of the very ugly front door to the studio I have these concrete planters with dalia, penta, verbena, and lantana. They are also coming back now that the heat is abating just a little. The one thing all of the plants have in common, besides being able to handle the heat, is that they all have some shade of reddish/orange. Last spring they looked great when everything was blooming.

And finally, these two ferns that Rich and I bought to place on the altar for his dad's funeral are hanging out on the ligustrum shrub, which is a really small tree. Occasionally we set them down on the ground to water them. They've lost lots of leaves and are beginning to look scraggly but I'm hopeful that they will recover before I have to bring them in.

Speaking of bringing them indoors, I've decided to put them on a table in the studio close to a window that gets morning sun. I want to bring them into the house but the babies are here too often and Ryder put everything in his mouth. I don't know if any of these are poisonous but I am not even considering taking a chance that he might eat one. 

Here are two of our three little stinkers. Ry on the left and Meme on the right. See that look on her face? That is her you've got "one shot at this picture" face. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Pin It Weekly #295 -- A Review of Doctor Zhivago

First, Doctor Zhivago is dead! Oh, spoiler alert. He really does die, finally. It's a great book. No, better than great--worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize in literature--but long and difficult. And I'm a good reader. Honestly I'm not bragging, I just am, having read well over 100 books (here's a list of the ones I remember). 

Despite being a good reader, I needed two full weeks to read the book of only 560 pages. Yes, I worked on it, but I did just as much reading looking up Russian terms, history, maps. All of it because I can't stand to read and not follow the story. A word I may figure out using context clues? Oh heck no! Even when I'm certain I've figured it out, I have to make sure. I'm a perfectionist reader. 

Travelling around Russia: Architectural Gems of Moscow | Places to see in Moscow, Russia | What to see in Moscow, RussiaTOP 15 PLACES TO VISIT IN MOSCOW - theStyleJungle - Lifestyle and Travel Blog

Russian language map-#language #map #Russian

Nomadic Kazakhs on the Steppe, 1911    Many Central Asiatic peoples, for example the Kirghiz, Kazakhs, and Uzbeks, lived nomadic lives on the steppes, valleys, and deserts, migrating seasonally from one place to another as opportunities for obtaining food, water, and shelter changed. Shown here is a young Kazakh family in colorful traditional dress moving across the Golodnaia (or 'Hungry') steppe in present-day Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

While these photos may not be specifically of places and people mentioned in the novel, they certainly do match the vision in my mind as I read. The beautiful steppes, the snow, the rivers, the architecture. All of it is described in minute detail.

Léon Tolstoï : Un sacrifice accompli par exigence d'honnêteté est la plus haute joie de l'esprit. Un sacrificio compiuto per esigenza di onestà è la più alta gioia dello spirito.

"Here is Tonia walking through a field in a blizzard with Sasha in her arms. She keeps wrapping him up in a blanket, her feet sinking into the deep snow. She can barely drag along, using all her strength, but the blizzard knocks her down, she stumbles and falls and gets up, too weak to stand on her feet, the wind buffeting her and the snow covering her up. Oh, but he is forgetting. She has two children with her, and she nurses the little one. Both her hands are busy, like the fugitives at Chilimka who broke down and went mad with grief and strain" (373).

Russian Steppes

Lena Yakutia, Russia - Lena Pillars - Lena River - Russia.

russian village

If Pasternak built a vision in my mind of snow, it would be these photos. I tend to read whole sections, looking up terms as I go and researching photos of the scenes when I get to the end of a section or chapter. I prefer to build my own images then sort of fact-check after. 

"It was bitter cold. The streets were covered with a thick, black, glassy layer of ice, like the bottom of beer bottles. It hurt her to breathe. The air was dense with gray sleet and it tickled and pricked her face like the gray frozen bristles of her fur cape. Her heart thumping, she walked through the deserted streets past the steaming doors of cheap teashops and restaurants. Faces as red as sausages and horses' and dogs' heads with beards of icicles emerged from the mist. A thick crust of ice and snow covered the windows, and the colored reflections of lighted Christmas trees and the shadows of merrymakers moved across their chalk-white opaque surfaces as on magic lantern screens; it was as though shows were being given for the benefit of pedestrians" (78). 

Altai Krai (2) - Things That will make you Visit Siberia in Winter - A World to Travel

One of the rabbit holes I kept falling into is the history hole. Knowing practically nothing about Russia means know nothing about its history. But the history is what explains the motives and backgrounds of Pasternak's characters. 

For example, I ran across the term bezpriornia, abandoned or orphaned children especially from the the World Wars, revolution or civil wars. I have spent well over an hour reading about homeless children in Russia, beginning with the turn of the 20th century and continuing to 2012, the most recent information available.

And so, even though I've finished reading the book, I'm still reading it. I'm reliving the story and fretting for the world. I remember the characters and despair over inhumane treatment. I see the beauty of place and imagine blood running through war, revolution, and government executions. But I would read it all again.

That's the problem with being a perfectionist reader. I can't let go of the people, the places, the events just because I've closed the cover.