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Thursday, 3 September 2015

Glimpses of the Grandchildren's Journals

Due to the fact that I am trying very hard to get my art quilt finished before the end of September, not much other art is getting done. I do have one project that has to be kept up to date. That is the journals I am keeping for my grandchildren. In their journals I commemorate the highlights of their lives and write comments and encouragements from my perspective.

Today, I thought I would share some of the pages from their journals with you.

Here is also a glimpse of my progress on the art quilt.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Creativity: Only for the Privileged Few?

I grew up thinking that only certain people had the gift of creativity. These days I have been rethinking this. I believe that humans are created in the image of God. This does not mean we look like God but we have been given His image. God blessed us and and charged us to fill the earth, subdue it and rule the other earthly creatures. He made us worthy of honour and respect and he made us righteous and holy. I also believe part of that image is our creativity. We do not create like God created, out of nothing, but we have been given the ability to be creative. Not just some, but all of us.

Well, you say, I can't draw a stick figure! Creativity comes in many different forms. The fine arts are one form of creativity but there is creativity in music, theater, dance, literature, photography. Those are the obvious ones, however, a teacher can be creative in the way she teaches a lesson. A seamstress can be creative in the way she sews an outfit. A dad can be creative in the way he deals with his children. A gardener can garden creatively.

So, you there, who can't draw a stick figure, think about other ways in which you are creative. The catch-phrase these days is "think outside the box". That really means, "be creative", "do it a different way". When have you "thought outside the box"?

If you observe children playing, most of their activity is creative. They build things with blocks, lego, popcicle sticks, build sand castles, play forts. They love to colour and paint and they don't worry about staying in the lines or even if their paint turns brown from mixing too many colours. Children don't worry if their creativity is good enough, they are so proud of what they've accomplished. We were all like that once.

But then we grew into adults and started to worry about what other people thought. Maybe our creativity was criticized or we were told we couldn't make a living being creative. So we left our creativity in an old shoe box on the top shelf of a cupboard somewhere. So sad.

But all is not lost! More and more people are developing their creativity again as can be seen in the new phenomenon of Pinterest. People are creating and sharing their creations with the world.

We are all creative and God expects us to use our creativity to glorify Him, not keep it in a shoe box.
What are you going to create next?!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Family Vacation Inspired Sketches

This week I have been vacationing at the beach with my kids, their spouses and all my grandchildren. We have been blessed with fantastic weather and wonderful accommodations! When you spend that much time in close quarters with family members, you never know if it will work out but we have all had such a wonderful time together and everyone has been very gracious to each other. I have thoroughly enjoyed the adult company and the innocent, unconditional love my grand children have for me. Even though I enjoyed it all immensely, I still needed my quiet times each day and was able to get that as I took time to sketch. The sketches are rough and not very accurate but they record our time here together and when I look at them in the future, they'll bring fond memories back to my mind.

 The expressive line that you see in some of the drawings are the contributions of my three oldest grand children.

This is a small 10 X 25 cm painting of the sunset one night at the beach. I left it for the owner of the place we stayed as a thanks for sharing his beach house with us for this week.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Neighbourhood Walk Sketches

I continue to do my neighbourhood walks taking along my sketchbook. The walks are not happening very regularly but when I get out, I always discover something beautiful. Last week on my walk I found myself outside my old high school. It hasn't changed much since I was there but one thing that has changed is that they've planted a huge garden on what used to be lawn near the front of the school. There must be a course they are teaching now that includes gardening.

I walked through the garden and noticed so many wonderful plants and fruit trees but what made me come over to look closer were the Sunflowers. I try every year to grow Sunflowers but the squirrels or birds always dig up my seeds. Sunflowers always put me in a good mood and give me a sunny disposition. I have painted and sketched them often in the past and I added them to my sketchbook that day.
The garden is a wonderful addition to the neighbourhood and while I walked through it some other people also came to look. There must be someone looking after it during the summer because everything looked really healthy and there were no weeds in the beds. There were apple trees hung with apples almost ready to pick. I also saw a huge thorn plant that was allowed to grow until it flowered. The flowers were very pretty for such a nuisance plant!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Piecing Has Begun!

I have been working feverishly to try to get my design done for the landscape quilt I am working on and I have finally finished everything but the water. I am not quite sure how I am going to handle the water so I will leave that section alone until I have the rocks, trees and sky pieced together. That way I will be able to see the fabric colours in order to decide what colours I need to use in the water for the reflections.

As I was designing the quilt top, I realized I was putting more detail into this quilt than I usually do which means lots of tiny pieces. I hope I don't run out of one of the fabrics before I'm finished. I am excited to see it coming together.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Inspiration Found on French River Canoe Trip

This past weekend nine women and myself went on our annual Women's Canoe Trip. This year we headed up to the French River, Ontario. The scenery in this part of Ontario is also very inspiring. Clear, blue and green lakes and rivers, great variety of trees and multi-coloured rocks are everywhere. Of course, I brought along my sketch book and paint and was able to do a couple of sketches when we had finished paddling and had time to relax. I also took along my camera to capture inspiration for future art. As I am still using photographs from past trips, I know I will also produce some wonderful art from these photos.

One of the photos I took on our trip. Taking a much needed break
from paddling several hours into the wind.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Starting the Rock Reflection Art Quilt

We are almost through July which means September will soon be here. It is time for me to start planning out my next Landscape Quilt which I told you last week is a large rock with pine trees growing on it and in the lake water in front it casts its reflection. It is a very plain and common scene in Ontario's North so I plan to make it interesting with the colours of fabric I choose. Those of us who have had the pleasure of spending vacation time up north, know that the rocks can be full of different colours if you pay attention. I see pinks and peaches, purples and greens, blues and grays. Rocks are not totally gray and black. The rock will be set off by all the variations of green found in the trees and shrubs that surround it. Since reflections are darker than the real object, the water will have all those variations but in a slightly darker tone. I will further create interest in the way I position the main seams of the quilt so as to lead the viewer's eyes to the focal point.

This is the first part of the design; the marking out of the major seams.

Here, I've started planning the more intricate parts of the pattern and assigning colours.

I also thought you'd like to see the cards I made with the dyed teabags I blogged about a few weeks ago. You can see how wonderfully transparent they are. The bottom card was made on a vintage linen napkin that I found at an antique show. It has a really nice detail of embroidered flowers that adds to the card. The words on the cards are free motion stitched with my sewing machine. I also embellished them with a few beads.