18 August 2017


For no reason at all I thought I would share my love of color with you today.

These dishes were my mothers. She bought them at Dansk at great expense many, many years ago. I now have them and I was just putting them away after having a friend over for dinner last night. I happened to be glancing in the direction of a skein of Alpaca I bought recently for a cowl for winter and thought how lovely it would look on the plates.

Good enough to eat

The new island in place

I also wanted to show you how I accommodated my giant print table in the kitchen with the pieces of my island. I have a cabinet, a stand and a padded stool. They fit neatly between the horses with the table on top.

The table doesn't touch the tops of the island.

My helpers

16 August 2017

My final answer (I think??)

Here are the last two I am working on before the Maine Event in September. I will be doing some projects in preparation for the event and I will share those with you. Maybe next year you will come to Paradise (Searsport, Maine) and take advantage of 3 days of workshops on the beautiful coast of Maine with me and some amazing women.

The consensus was that this one was to have the foreground in a vertical position

This is one foreground no one has seen so far. I just like the colors and the look in general. What do you think and why?

Looking at it again I think the horizon looks "skimpy" Maybe some more grass and wheat instead of that band of purple with nothing on it. More thinking required for this one.

14 August 2017

No (Wo)man is an island

I have never wanted an island in my kitchen because I like the ability to set up my print table which is 4 X 8. It is so huge Judith and I can barely move around it. While working on the landscape series I set up one of my folding tables which is 30" X 66". I could move around in the kitchen, fold laundry on it, have it be a "stopping off spot" while preparing food and it wasn't in my way - much. I thought if I had an island 2' X 4 ' that would be perfect.

I started doing an internet search and found one a woman had made and the wood only cost her $31. I went to the lumber yard and got a quote. It was over $120. Now I was MAD. 

I am preparing for the Maine Event and was working in the Art Greenhouse when I spotted this old bottom of an IKEA hutch from so long ago, I can't even remember what house I had it in. Portland??

Any way it was kind of small ( 19' X 36" ) but the top look great and it had drawers. THEN I remembered I had an old stand I used in so many places throughout my life and I still hadn't painted the bottom. I do have another just like it that I had painted and I am using it next to my sewing machine. Any how...

I brought in both pieces and primed and painted the small stand. Next I sanded the tops with a 40 year old Makita random orbital sander when suddenly chucks of the pad started flying off. The rubber pad that holds the sandpaper had rotted over the years. I just kept going (after taking it outside) and it looked OK. Then I used some Minwax stain. You see, this is where I made a wrong turn. You can't poly it with water based poly over an oil stain. Needless to say the tops are a MESS, the sander is pretty much dead and a new Makita sander is $69. and a new pad is $49. I switched my search to just plain random orbital sanders and found a Black & Decker for $24. with almost all 5 starts (670 owner feedback). Now I am waiting til Wednesday when that bad boy gets here. Expect an amazing "island" like creation 19" X 48".

11 August 2017

I know, I know

I have been on a book cover binge and I know I have to stop. This is a last one for a while (I hope).

Yes, these are cut offs from Blueberry Fields

09 August 2017

100 Dresses project

About a year ago Judith found this project on a blog and we decided to give it a go. Of course I bit off more than I could chew and missed the deadline. Now I've gotten an email and there will be another installation in Boston so I have a chance to redeem myself.

I have finished my dress and will be posting it tomorrow.

07 August 2017

and there's more........

While I was making the book covers for yesterday's post, I decided to make a quick cover for this UGLY loose leaf binder. OMG, I LOVE it.

This was old fabric I really couldn't find a use for but there was just something about the orange and indigo that I loved.

It fits on my lap so nicely and doesn't slip off plus it's no longer ugly!!

Every year bugs eat my Lilly bloosoms except this year. Ordinarily I don't cut them but I wanted to enjoy these up close and smell their musky aroma. What a treat.

04 August 2017

Yes, another book cover

I have conservatively made about 30 of these. Everyone who sees one likes it so they get it. Yeah, I'm that easy of a touch (smile). I actually made these two for my friend for her birthday and she can pick which one she wants. I will go over the process for new comers to this blog but there is a detailed tutorial on how to make the Best EVER book covers here.

a snow dye from yesteryear

A LWI dye done for a workshop. I hardly used ANY of the over 28 half yards of fabrics I dyed

Quilt the top to a felt backing

Trim after measuring the book and after quilting (shrinkage). Please see Tutorial for details

The side that make up the pockets for the cover. Rolled hem  wrong side up.

Yes, I know it looks weird but raw (no hem) panel right side down OVER the side pockets

Another view

The book cover turned inside out and ironed



The second book cover front 

and back

                      How to get the book cover on a hardback book.

02 August 2017

Blueberry fields (Landscape #3)

It seems the followers on the blog were in agreement with my choice of horizon and foreground. I do like this combo. Now the assembly.

I trimmed around the edges of the fabric and pinned the top to the bottom

 and stitched

I pinned it to the backing following this tutorial here



01 August 2017

Book Winner

According the a number generated at Random.org, the name of the winner is "Growing Old Fast"

31 July 2017

New work on the Landscapes

I have a turquoise horizon that is on white cotton and fairly bright

and a foreground that has two colors that somewhat complement.

Ignore the strip at the top. The foreground has the purple and turquoise but that bright chartreuse is really jarring. I used a weak olive dye bath to knock back the foreground on the piece last Wednesday so I thought I'd try a weak blue (mixing blue) dye bath on this foreground and see what would happen. I may seem fearless but I knew if it was terrible I could just make another although I am almost out of the beige linen.

A chuckle here: I came in to the kitchen and was going to wash out this fabric but just in time I remembered I hadn't added soda ash water to the mix. Saved!! I only let it sit about 15 minutes because I didn't want it too dark.

On the ugly ironing board. This came out WAY better than I ever expected. I know you can't see it from this photo but there is some beautiful mottling from the LWI dyeing. And now another conundrum - which horizon , again!!

This is the turquoise horizon which I was thinking of using but wait. I just found another horizon that might work.

This is the lavender horizon VERY washed out by the light from an open door. It is a dark, rainy gloomy day but I did my best.

Another try

Notice that the orientation of the foreground is different with each horizon. The first is horizontal and the last vertical. Which do you think looks best and why?

28 July 2017

For my followers

Oh Yes, a new book. Leave a comment.

I don't know how "Improvisational" these are but it is a really nice book. 
Winner announced Aug 1st

26 July 2017

In the middle of everything

First, there is some riding lawn mower drama which is taking me to the John Deere dealer in Bangor for possibly a new mower.

Then last summer when I was visiting a wonderful gathering of my newly discovered family through DNA (I was adopted), I volunteered to "do something" with my cousin's grandmothers quilt squares. I though she was talking about her mother Violet, my closest relative but it was her Grandmother (NO relation to me). They were terrible and poorly done which is why (I'm guessing) she never finished the quilt.. I had NO idea what to do with them since they were so poorly sewn and then I watched the current episode of "The Quilt Show". The featured artist was a quilt maker, an appraiser of antique quilts and a curator of shows. I had NO interest in the show but watched a bit of it and believe it or not it was about what you could do with old quilt pieces. I got some great ideas and I will share them and the finished wall quilt when it is done.

Next up is "doing something" with this great piece I made that looks strangely empty. I will cut it out of the frame, add something (tree tops, other birds, something to help fill the vast emptiness) then reframe it MUCH smaller.

I also want to make a few more of these collages (in paper). I just love making them. Photos to follow.

Then the last thing I want to mention is my annual "Maine Event". It is filled this year but next year I think I will try for two separate weekend events. It is three day workshops. I am posting this years events so if you think you might be interested for next year, let me know. I also have room for people to stay here in my home on the Maine coast (Paradise).


24 July 2017

Next day

The fabric is dry and I used the same pouncey sponge to apply the same color thickened dye AFTER adding some mixing blue. Hopefully this will mask all the pink. **Note to self: No more pink or turquoise dots.

Ready to hang in the line to dry (yes, the thickened dye must dry)

More like it (on my ugly ironing table)

Laid out on the bed. Yes, I like to way the colors blend better

A mock up on the floor. This horizon was done on white cotton so it is bright.

But wait. I have another horizon in linen. It looks muted because both the horizon and foreground were done on beige linen. Hum?????  Which to pick??????

I'm listening (hand cupping ear). Please comment and tell me WHY as well.