Friday, April 11, 2014

I'm hoping this is not an infringement on my B&B guest's privacy but she has been coming to us for many years now, attending the Ontario Alpaca Association show competition here at the Fairgrounds and she is here again today.  This picture, taken not long ago, of their country home in the Maritimes, in Canada, shows the three 'boys' they have trailered all the way from the east coast and then some.  They are beautiful.  M. has bred carefully and deliberately so, in her choice of the lines she's bred into when she began a number of years ago.  M and her husband have checked in and gone back to the show to rescue what might be left of these three...they were collapsing with laughter when they arrived.  Apparently the 'boys' had never seen so many alpacas before, living on a small country property, and they were busy showing off and humping each other.  M said it was nothing but an embarrassment as they stirred up other males and they were all making a ruckus in their pens as well.  Alpacas don't look big but believe me, when you flip one over on a grooming table you realize that they really are rather large animals.  And of course, I thought you'd enjoy looking at the snow.  They still have a great deal of snow at home.  Here, we are having our warmest day yet, likely into the 60's F. which should help melt some of the ice and snow on the property.  It's pretty tenacious where it's mounded up though.  What a winter.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Color in Nature

I truly love the fall colors best but am desperately wanting to see the green of Spring. Tomorrow it is supposed to reach 70 degrees here in Iowa and I am hopeful that will help things along. Rosey is right about needing the patience of a saint for this past winter. I am craving "normal" weather for the season.

I just finished a quilt which I am calling Snowballs in a Cold Snap. I am trying desperately to break the curse of winter. Though I just used blues and whites I can identify with Marion the pleasure of choosing the fabrics. I look at my stash with wonder of all the fabrics I have collected here an there and memories of the times and places of the gathering of it all.

I gathered with fellow quilters this evening and we shared what we were finishing up and answered each others questions then shared a lovely dessert. I always come away inspired to do more with my fabric. Good night. Laura

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Encaustic painting.

I had never heard of encaustic painting, until Rosey referred to it, sometime last year.  At the time I Googled for more information and got very enthusiastic about it. I even located an artist here in Canterbury. I loved the sound of the techniques involved and planned to follow it all up.. What happened ? I don't remember...just "life" I suppose, or a warning in my head which told me that I didn't need another messy hobby and that my walls were already covered with "things' !!  Anyway, thank you Rosey for posting the photos !

While some of you are still looking at ice and snow, here we are surrounded by colour.  The lawns and paddocks are a vivid green, following recent rain falls and the trees are changing colour. Not much colour in the garden but a few chrysanths are about to flower.

The friend who had the stroke, will be transferred today to a Rest Home/Hospital.  Her progress has been  minimal and they feel that they can't keep her in hospital any longer.  She can't go home as she needs two people to move her from chair to bed as she is still paralysed along the right side.  She can now swallow, which is great , but is still not able to form words.. She needs 24/7 care.   Two months ago, she left home for an operation, expecting to be home within four days...  How quickly life changes.

Another wet day here so I will be quilting when the basic housework is done ..I am enjoying working on a scrap quilt,I love handling all of the fabrics and making choices about what goes where !

Have a good day.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Rainy night in southern Ontario, Canada

I haven't posted in awhile so thought some colour might be nice on the board as outside, we still have either two feet of ice and snow or dirty brown patches of dead grass showing through.  The first dead grass to be uncovered is over the septic tank just off my studio.  I can say that we've had a brutal winter weather-wise and yet, it's been very pretty too.  However, the amount of snow piled up in parking lots in town look something like the iceberg in the top photo only they are all dark brown mud, not a speck of white showing.  It looks like dirt shored up in great piles over twenty feet high or more but it's all solid ice beneath and the brown is from the sand and salt applied to the surface of roads and parking lots.  Never have I seen anything like this in the 26 yrs. we've lived here.

And the painting...I barter a B&B room with an encaustic artist when she's teaching a workshop at the Alton Mill Art centre not far from here (she lives an hour away and it's easier coming here overnight) and I had a credit built up.  The artist's husband painted this, which spoke to me of colour and many things.  Encaustic painting is beeswax with oil pigments heated up and melted into the wax.  You apply the colours of wax to a board then when it's slightly drying, you take a blow torch, a hair dryer, sometimes a hot iron to move the paint around.  You can imprint photo transfers into the waxy paint before it dries by burnishing the images in reverse into the surface of the paint with the back of a spoon, continually going over and over the image until it's transferred to the painted surface.  It takes a lot of skill to do the painting such as above.

So, we have a wide swath of rain falling at the moment (8:49pm) and it's to continue well into tomorrow with possible mixed precipitation , which means, slippery sliding taking the dogs out to go potty.  The little red-tri Aussie (Stonehaven Bayshore's One Smart Cookie aka NutMeg or Megs) is a little princess.  She does not like stepping into mud puddles.  Can't blame her for that.  Not sure how she's going to be missing them tomorrow.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I have posted about quilting supplies I have for sale on the bulletin board page if anyone is interested.