Friday, September 27, 2013

Painting Skies and Cape Breton Flora

Since I still can't hand stitch although my finger is improving, I decided to paint some skies so I can work on more machine stitched mini/postcard pieces.

  I'll cut each square horizontally for 2 skies
The middle sunset one is my most favourite.   I used setasilk colours on three of them, tsukeniko inks on another three, and another three were done with derwent inktense blocks.  Unfortunately I was not very scientific and I can't remember which were which.  The inks gave the strongest colours so I think the orange sunset and stormy sky piece was done with them.  I believe the palest three were the setasilk colours.   And the remainder were inktense.   I got the results I wanted from each more or less.  They are painted on satin and were difficult to photograph - If I used a flash it bounced off the satin.  These photos don't show some of the subtle effects of the colours mixing together.  I tried a bit of editing to capture the true colours.

This one is not quite so bright.  I want to use it in a mainly green landscape.

I used a flash with this one

I like the effects in this one.  I can see rainbows.

Think stormy skies

One of my favourites

this one looks a little 'dirty' in the photo

I can't wait to use them in mini landscapes.   I started three last night before painting these skies.   I'll machine stitch them soon.

I have been so busy this week I hardly had time to look at my Cape Breton photos so I relaxed for a bit this morning and took a look.   Here are some photos of flora along the trail.  If you look closely you might see a bit of fauna as well.

On last night's news they showed a fellow who found a very large mushroom - Here's what  I saw on Red Island Trail - at first I thought it was a wasp nest or a buoy hanging in a tree but I think it is a giant fungus.  I couldn't get close enough to examine it but it stuck out from the tree and appeared to have a large stem attaching it to the tree.  

I feel another mushroom quilt in the making

So many varieties

This beauty looked like a large scallop shell

Mmmm...more stitchery
This grouse was 3 feet away from us but she didn't think we could see her.   Eventually she flew up almost taking out a hiker.  The resulting photo was just a blur of bird and human.

The trees at Fishing Cove were laden with cones
 This post is linked up to Off the Wall Friday    Take a look at what other bloggers are up to this week.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hiking the Highlands 2013

I have just returned from the annual Hike the Highlands festival in Cape Breton, NS.   We had fabulous weather for most of the ten days - except for this....

Money Point on a cold foggy rainy morning

By that afternoon we were hiking barefoot on Cabot Landing beach

The highlight of our hiking was a sunset hike on the Skyline trail.   We hiked into Skyline and waited....

View of highway from the top of Skyline

Up on the Boardwalk

Waiting for the Sunset

Behind us the moon was rising

It was a  Wow!! moment

Sunset on one side of us - Moonrise on the other - what could be better than that

Shadows from the Setting Sun

This is really how it looked - honestly

 On the way out we encountered several moose - cow and bulls - who were not too happy to see us there at that time of night.   It was too dark for me to photograph them but they were majestic.

I hurt my dominant hand before my vacation so I am unable to do any hand stitching (and not much else) for maybe a month - very frustrating!   Hopefully I can do some machine work.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Focus on Colours - Black and White Embroidery, Turquoise Challenge, Multi-Coloured Minis

I've made progress on my black stitched embroidery.  Just a few more stitches then I will add a few watercolour accents like I did on my raccoon piece.

I was notified that I have been accepted into the annual Glebe Craft and Artisan Fair in November so I am busy making some smaller items for sale since I have already completed several medium and larger sized items this year.  Besides my bookmarks and ribbon embroidered minis, I am working on some 4 x 6 landscapes that can either be used as postcards or framed with or without a mat.

Since I loved laying down strips and machine stitching the two swamp pieces, I used that method on some of the minis.   Some of the skies are hand painted and the satin ones were dyed with ranger transfer dyes (which are no longer sold I believe).  They are mostly stitched with straight and zigzag stitch with some free motion on the florals.    They are really relaxing to do (I can't believe I said that given my sewing machine anxiety:) 

And finally, 'Turquoise'.    I loved finishing the landscape part of it but adding the border is not fun for me.   The finished piece is part of a challenge so it needs to be 12 x 12".   Emulating the 'elephant head' in the landscape I made two stamps, one with trunk-like swirls which I repeated on a piece of darker fabric and the second is an elephant head.   How and where to use them is still a work in progress.

 Do I run the strips along the horizontal above and below to add to the panorama?  Then add some elephants on the outer border?   Maybe too distracting.

 Do I add a narrow strip of darker fabric to frame the landscape then use ghostly images of the elephants on the larger border?  Maybe.....Question is 'how much is too much?'
 Perhaps the stamped darker pieces would look less distracting around the edge of the stretched canvas??

What a process finishing is!!   I put it aside to perculate for awhile and went outside to visit the fall flowers, even a few grapes that the critters haven't yet seen.  

 This fall flowering bush with an unpleasant odour (name??)  was buzzing with bees, a few wasps and even several house flies.

It was tricky trying to get close without getting stung by a wasp but it's great to know that some bees are still surviving.      If they go, we are in real trouble.....

This post is linked to WIP Wednesdays over at the Needle and Thread Network.  Take a look at what some Canadian fibre artists are doing this week.