Monday, May 12, 2014

busy girl, happy girl, grateful girl

the past few days ended up being busy days.   i thought i had an extra week until mother's day.    not a good thing to discover when you are making you mom, sister.....and yourself a mother's day gift on a much larger scale than you have ever done before.  

april 23rd through the 25th i went out of town with my mom and sister to the quilt show in paducah, kentucky.   on the way home we stopped in a small town, germantown, to visit the tiny cemetery where 2 of my mom's ancestors, august tunze who was born in 1826 and died in 1906, and his son who died at the age of 8.    the headstones were mostly over a hundred years old and were deteriorated, and had deteriorated so much over the last couple of years since my mom's last visit, we were not able to locate august's son's headstone.

thankfully 'tunze' was boldy carved at the bottom of august's headstone, so we were able to do a rubbing for each of us.

we did a rubbing of the entire headstone.   the top part we did separate from the bottom.

i decided that i would solder the rubbing we did of the bottom of the headstone that has 'tunze' on it, since it is my mom's maiden name, as a mother's day gift for each of us...and also as a way for each of us to save a memory from our trip.

i needed to cut glass that was 17" long and my glass cutting table is not set up to cut glass that size, so it was a challenge.  i have also never had to tape and solder anything near this size either.   i really wanted to just give up after the first piece of glass i cut was a mess....but i decided failure was not an option, and giving up would mean failure.

i backed the glass with copper flashing.   the copper flashing is cheaper than going to an art supply store and buys pieces of copper.  the flashing has a not-so-sticky-sticky-backing to it.   nail polish remover would not unsticky it, so i figured i could remove the sticky and give the copper a nice patina all at once by taking the torch to it.   

during the soldering process.....the piece had to hang off the end of my soldering table at times so i could reach the middle section to solder.   a couple of times beads of molten hot solder bounced off my thigh.   ouch.

the next steps were to patina the solder, rub off some patina off the raised areas to give it a nice aged look, and then add polish to clean it up.

the chain was added and done.   i was able to get all three done and have plenty of time to make homemade cheese crackers, sugar cookies, gooey butter cake, and yeast rolls.  

i was so very grateful the meniere's beast was behaving, but the rocks in my ears have been out of whack, which causes positional vertigo and that can be scary while holding a hot soldering iron in your hand.   i have never had vertigo attacks from the positional vertigo this intense before, and i am so very grateful that these attacks last no longer than a couple of minutes.    

kind of felt like i conquered another mountain with this project.  

i managed to do all of this without even so much as a broken finger nail....then while putting foil on a cookie sheet i nearly cut my finger off....ok...not totally off...2 hours later it was still bleeding.   

during the week i also got myself back in the habit of making art as soon as inspiration hits and not saving a tab on the computer to do later or jotting down notes and a sketch.   

inspiration hit and i did this

i love all things science related.   i love the look of old museum mounts.   someday i am going to have a cabinet of curiosities.   i just need that bigger house first so i have room.   

when a combination of stress and menopausal pms hit hard....a bit of zentangling was in order to calm the nerves and get my mind centered again.

i am also getting ready to assemble some bits to make what i am thinking will be called the birds and the bees.....i emptied and cleaned a chicken egg and one of my african grey's, jilly, eggs.

felt someone, or something staring at me as i was getting dressed after my shower.....found we have a peeping tom....or peeping squirrel!

saturday night my hubby came home with these for me for mother's day.   they are so beautiful.   i am trying to decide if i am going to hang them to dry in a day or so, or make beads from them.   i have been wanting to give that a try for years and just recently came across the recipe again.

yesterday we went to my sister's home for mother's day.   i rarely drink alcohol.   i figured i had done enough of that in my younger days.    i had my first mimosa.   i am hooked.   now i know why my daughter was able to down 6 of these last week at a wedding reception.  

i have been saving bottles to make a bottle tree.   i want to save blue and green bottles.   up until yesterday i had a whopping 2 bottles.   green....from my olive oil.    now i know how i am going to get some of the blue bottles.....the muscato used for the mimosas.   i am thinking once a month we can play mother's day and have a mimosa or two.

my mom brought over files she has from doing research on our ancestory.   my aunt had started doing this years before she passed away.   it was so exciting to learn about who and where we came from.
we found out we might be related to people down the street from us we have known for almost 20 years.  small world, huh?  i can not wait to learn more.  

we had lots of cranky, and scary looking,  people in our family tree....this guy looked like he would have been an awesome grandpa type guy.

i am getting ready to start a big and exciting project that i will tell you about next post.    the hubby just got home, so i gotta run....and i need to start on my big project.    

have a beautiful day.....lots of love to you.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

a post with no name.....

i know, i know....i have been gone for a long time.    we had some really really rough months there during the winter and i just could not find the umph to put on the happy face and stop by to visit.

last  month i woke up all gung-ho to blog and went through my photos, like over a thousand of them, and could not figure out where to start.   so today, i decided to just start with the last 24 hours and work in the other 5 months a bit at a time.....or not at all.  i am happy to be back....little squeeeees!

standing outside yesterday, as the sun hit my face, the birds were chirping and singing,  and i was surrounded by trees and plants...and even weeds, that had all come back to life and were green  again,  made me happy, and if all of these living bits of nature could survive their wintery hell, then it renewed my hope that our family will survive, thrive and someday, hopefully soon, be in our 'spring'.  

there is a meme/e-card thingy that says you either see a weed, or a wish.  i have always seen a wish.....

so yesterday, i walked through a field of newly born wishes and collected them.....

today, i collected more.......

....and i put them one of these very old, uber huge, ball jars.   i was a lucky girl and came across a few of these many years ago at a garage sale for a couple of bucks a piece.   i had to pick my jaw up off the floor when i found out how much these sold for at antique malls.    don't let that dandelion fool you in to thinking the jar is small.....we just grow some huge dandelions, and my youngest just mowed 2 days ago.....

i plan on making a tag to tie around the neck of the wishes, take one as needed.   maybe?   not sure yet.

i have been playing with all things rusty for the last couple of months....i have tons of rusted fabric photos to play show and tell with, but i can't find the photos at the moment, but as soon as i do i will share.

yesterday i was sorting through my recently rusted stash of fabric to begin stitching in the style of Jude Hill and Junko Oki.... i love, love, love their style...anyway the piece i wanted to use was only rusted, i had not tea dyed it, and i thought it looked too orangey in some areas...where the rust had not left an imprint, but had dyed the fabric.   so i put the rusted fabric in a tea dye bath for about an hour, and because it was a good hunk of fabric....i had to wad it up when i put it in the container that held the ferrous sulfate solution.    i think, because this is the first time this has happened, it happened because i  had to wad the fabric up tightly that i ended up with this!!!!!.....big squeeeees.....

i ended up with a marble-y effect!    i am trying to duplicate what i did yesterday, but there are different types of fabric i am using, so we will see what happens.   fingers crossed.

i need to back up.    i have found out a ton of stuff, purely by accident over these last couple of months.  i feel like a mad scientist......but in that crazy artist kinda of way.  so it is all good.       if you tea dye a piece of fabric, preferably 100% cotton, then you rinse it a bit and put it in a ferrous sulfate fellow anemics will know what this is.....iron pills diluted in water.    i used about 8 pills of the cheapy cheap stuff.    you will end up with varying shades of greys and blacks.    the fabric looks very aged...and i love the colors.     the color is permanent.  

if you tea dye a piece of fabric, and then put it in contact with a rusty object you will end up with iron tannate.    this will also give you a black or grey tint to your fabric, but i found that it was not always permanent.   i think it has to do with whether or not  you wash and dry the fabric in between the two steps.    it will also keep your rusty things from being able to rust for days, or weeks.   this did not make me squeeeee at all.

i have been very impatiently waiting all day to run outside to check the other pieces of fabric to see if i got the same marble-y effect.    i do not know if the sun light plays a part in any of this....but i did let the fabric sit in the sun all day yesterday.   again, fingers crossed.  

i also stitched up this scarf last week, i think it was last week.   there was a lot of work in making this.  and i love it, and i can not wait until i can do bigger pieces or more stitching on a piece.......i did not want to booger this one up with too much.

these two photos, above and below, are the most accurate as far as color.

this piece of fabric was accordion folded and stitched, shibori style.   next it was put in a tea dye bath overnight.   the next day it sat outside all day until it dried.   to color rose to the top of the fabric, which gives the design or pattern.    next i washed the fabric and then removed the stitching, and dipped the ends of  the fabric in a ferrous sulfate solution .  washed and dried again.    then i hand stitched.

then next few pics have a yellowy tint to them, but that is the result of crummy lighting.   the lines you see are where the dye came to the top of the folded fabric and was darker.  

you know those tangled bits of  the threads you end up with when an edge is not finished and is all ravley?  i have been saving them.   i just knew i would use them.   you know how when the ends of your jeans get all tattered and you have this wadded mess of threads....i knew i could give a new piece of fabric an aged look by stitching the chunks in an artful way.   the next day on pinterest i found someone had beat me to it!

i placed a piece of patterned fabric underneath the chunky wad of threads and pulled them and moved them until i liked how it all looked and then began to hand stitch.    the intention is to make the section of fabric look frayed and worn.  

i did the same thing here on the other side of the scarf as well.  

on this side of the scarf i added a long strip of the rosey fabric.  i love how it becomes wavey and squished and wrinkly as you stitch.    the stitching is suppose to show, it is part of the style.

now, the weather decides to go from winter to summer, so i guess i will have to wait a few months to get to use it.    i love the aged-worn-torn-mended-loved look it has.    it must be an acquired taste....when i posted a photo to facebook, all i heard were crickets chirping.   it did better on instagram.    i moped for a minute or so at the end of the day....amazing how feeling rejected at 49 can make you feel like that picked last for the team 5 year old all over again!

yesterday i threw several different types of fabric in what was left of some pink dye.  love how different bits turn out different shades.

got the fabric all washed and dried.   love the rainbow of pinks i now have.   i fell in love with a pink draw string bag stitched by Junko Oki.....that is what fueled this need to dye!

while on pinterest i came across a weird fabric stitch.   i started to open yet another tab....something i do for stuff to do now...but later now, not now now.    right now....i have about 50 tabs open...49 if you don't count the one i am using to write on my blog.   so, we will say only 49!    anyway...i decided that instead of adding another tab for something quick and easy i would just doodle it and be done.

i have a ton of zentangles to play show-n- tell with, and i have taught myself to draw!    big squeeeeees!
i am trying to figure out a way to make links from my blog for the different types of art i have been making.   the hubby has been driving me crazy to put my art dolls on.  i want to share my zentangles.  if it weren't for others sharing, i would have never learned....or ended up in the oodles of doodles zentangle book!    we all learn from and get inspiration from each other.  

so, nothing fancy, but i like the look.  

i think that is about all for today.   i have a ton of stuff i want to get done for mother's day....and i have a new exciting project that i am beginning to work on that i will explain in my next post.

see you soon.....nighty night.