Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Farewell, Tom

Thomas James Wolford
27 July 1964 - 27 May 2015
 
Tom, who worked out pages and pages and pages of the number pi since he was around age 18, using at the most a simple calculator.
 
Who visited every county in the continental United States
and every town in most of New England before he became to ill to travel.

Who played at least 2 games of Scrabble every evening with my Mom.
 
Who beat the statistics and lived around 25 years with 1 transplanted kidney.
...Including side-effects of skin cancer and latterly lung problems.
 
Who was Tom as only Tom could be; and not many people understood him.
But, he was my brother and I will miss him.

What will I do with the Christmas Cracker Jokes I was saving to take to him this summer?

Perhaps use them for jokes in his funeral as he has requested.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

A few more reds in the garden

On Sunday a group of us from church went for a walk at California Country Park in Wokingham. Yesterday then, was a recovery day. Come to think of it, so is today!

Anyway a few more reds in the garden.

New leaves on the Mahonia plant in the front garden.

Some Astilbe flowers coming

Rose shoots


slightly purple leaves of one of our Acers which we hope will do better in the new position.

And the Acer by the back gate.
So lovely to look out the back door and see it against the fence.

We have another in the front garden, but it has been overtaken by some of the other plants there. So it needs a new chance at life.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

And the bead keeps going on...17-23 May

Week 21 May 2015

As I said last week, pinks and purples for May, but some of the pinks are more in the peach side of pink.

no.137


no.138


no.139


no.140


no.141


no.142


no.143

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Something on Saturday

In the garden - I have taken some photos of a variety of reds happening in the garden.
Aquilegia (Granny’s bonnets, columbines)
I really like the contrast with the red and white. Brightening up even rainy days!

Wikipedia says:
The genus name Aquilegia is derived from the Latin word for eagle (aquila), because the shape of the flower petals, which are said to resemble an eagle's claw. The common name "columbine" comes from the Latin for "dove", due to the resemblance of the inverted flower to five doves clustered together.
In the back garden...
I love the dark red in the leaves of the plant in front.

Buds and open flowers.

I love the bits that poke backwards! Like leggings for fairies.
In the photo above, you can see some still at the curling open stage.

Wikipedia also says:
the five points that stick out further than the petals are the calix (challis)

Last year we had some purple/blue ones in the front, but I haven't seen them yet. Instead, we have these.
At the moment, lost amongst the green. I had to get up close for these photos. But I am glad I did!
Not as dusty and sad as they looked from a height. Just a bit more subtle than the red and white ones.

I am starting a work which I will be feeling my way through, so may not be ready to post it til I am happy that what I have in my head might actually be working! I will post a few more of the reds I notice in my garden over the next week.

Friday, 22 May 2015

New Ramshackle - 5 "Ramshackle Hillage"

The Name for the new piece is "Ramshackle Hillage". No, that isn't a typo.
I wanted to have it say something about this village that is spread over the hills.
So, 'Hillage'. Why not.

It took me about 18 photos on random settings to come up with one that worked. The camera often will focus on a particular house - recognising it as a face? - and leave others unfocussed. In particular this time it didn't really like the house over to the right side. So, I tricked it by turning it sideways to do the photo! HA!

Anyway, it is off in the post. And I have made sure it went International Signed and Tracked this time. So, someone will have to take note that it has arrived. (Although to be fair, it is going to be collected by a different person.)

As for thoughts besides the making up which I have talked about the past few days. This fabric with the suns might work better for a larger piece because the scale of the motifs with the houses would be a better balance. Still, this has managed to work in the end because of the high contrast of the back fabric with the front fabric. I think that for me, if I can get the pattern to be secondary - seeing the houses first - then it has worked. But I like the mood the fabric pattern gives to the piece. I wanted a cheerfulness without being very obvious.

What do you think?

Thursday, 21 May 2015

New Ramshackle - 4

So, with the hard to puncture back fabric - polyester crepe de chine...and the easily shredable front fabric...and add to that the cotton wadding and the cotton backing... I had issues with the quilting.
A thin needle (the size I had for microfiber) meant I was shredding the thread when it was trying to go through all that and at a free machine quilting (slow) speed.
A thicker embroidery needle meant I was shredding the front fabric in the narrow places.
-and altogether the tensions were all over!

SO, I dug out these needles. Titanium coated topstitch needles.

At some point I was convinced by the vendor - who 'Does Know Their Stuff' - that these were best for everything. However, the price made me 'save' them. They have worked in this situation of random fabric types and thicknesses. I might have preferred a slightly smaller size, but at that time they only did 90/14. Recently I heard they now have 80/12. Good to know.
No, I am not going to use them for everything. But when I need them, I have them.

And the stitched result.
No obvious tragedies!

And now I am doing the binding. NOT in polyester crepe de chine, I hasten to add! Yikes!
I hadn't a full 12 x 12 in square of blue cotton, but I had some strips of blue cotton. Not precisely the colour of the polyester crepe de chine, but since the sun fabric hasn't just the one colour of blue, it will work fine.
And then to the post.
I have decided on a name...reveal tomorrow.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

New Ramshackle -3

Other fabric problems...
The top fabric was one I picked up at the Festival of Quilts when I was trying to decide on a replacement for the fabric I used in the very first pieces. (I could no longer obtain any of it.)
However, though it feels firm, I think it is mostly the fabric finish. In reality, it is a pretty loose weave compared to most of the fabrics I have been using.

So, that means a bit of difficulty with the cutting out, especially on the little houses.
This one lost the side of the door because there were not enough threads between the door and the other cut.

So, digging through some of the scraps, I came up with replacement ideas. (The middle one is the one that came away.)

And voila! Good as new.


So, I decided to avoid cutting windows on the thinnest houses.

But they didn't fit in with the rest. The windows help with the 'character'. The eyes, if you will.

So, I tried out some markers on scraps and then drew in windows!
Sorry for the blur, But really, that is drawn, not cut!

It worked well enough to go to some of the other windows and give them a bit more definition where the loose weave had distorted with the cutting.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

New Ramshackle - 2

So, this was the back fabric I thought I would use. It went very well with the centre of the sun circles.
However, the sun circles were too strong to use this for a back fabric. Not enough contrast to see the lines of the houses.

Here is the fabric I am using now.

Compare the difference from yesterday.

Yes, I would have chosen that colour to start with if I had it in cotton. However, this is a polyester crepe de chine - or microfibre. It will probably cause problems with the sewing, but it is the right colour.

Monday, 18 May 2015

New Ramshackle -1

I started a new Ramshackle for the SAQA Benefit Auction. I might just get it there if I can post it before the end of the week.
At this point the jury is out for a name. I drew the design a couple months ago at the Offcuts meeting, but then other things got in the way. I am also not convinced on the fabric choice. So, something might be done about that.

*********
But I am pacing. I re-read the papers and realised it is doing standing for just long enough before you get to too much. Then sitting for just long enough before you get to too much. Then (for me at this point) sitting in a different chair position or walking round the kitchen doing things for the few minutes it take to make a cup of tea, etc. I am still working out how long is long enough. But the theory (proven theory) is that when you aren't pushing on to the over-do point, then you will eventually increase the amount you can do.

So, we will see. Especially as this time it is still a bit of 'having done way too much the past few weeks' (months?), there is need for some recouping time/energy, too.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

And the bead keeps going on...10-16 May

Week 20 May 2015

When you have a full week - full of other life things - these daily beaded projects keep me from feeling unproductive. There are drawbacks from being an overachiever!

May started out being pink, but I decided it was purple and pink because I haven't got enough purple beads to do a whole month. (Well, in keeping with each one being different.)

no.130


no.131


no.132


no.133


no.134


no.135


no.136

Sunday, 10 May 2015

And the bead keeps going on...1-9 May

Week 19 May 2015

no.121


no.122


no.123


no.124


no.125


no.126


no.127


no.128


no.129