Watercolor LUV!!

Sewing….has taken a back burner. I absolutely love the process, and I still take time to pull my machine out occasionally. But, because house renovations are taking a bit of time, space and location is an issue. To satisfy my creative needs, I have started art journaling. This past August is when I created my first entry. Most of the time, everyday, I find time to doodle, to art, to create something in one of my journals. Yes…I have several. When I first began to journal, I watched endless YouTube videos and thought, “what in the world do they have so many journals for?” Now I am one of those. Haha. The smell of a new notebook, of a leather cover…yum! The feel of the paper, the sound of the crinkle some of them make when add watercolor to it…makes me happy. I tried adding acrylic to some of the pages, and I love it, but…the space I needed to break out the acrylics made it inconvenient. So…I tried watercolors. Holy moly, am I addicted to watercolors?! At first, it was just convenient. A travel palette with a water brush and a journal, or two (or three), made it uber easy for me to use in the recliner or at my desk at work. The more I play with them, the more I learn and the more excited about them I become. Mixing colors and working with a limited palette is one thing I am playing with now. And…painting whimsy characters and faces!! I am just addicted I tell ya! My family should be loosing weight now, cause I sure ain’t cooking as much! LOL

Here are a couple of my whimsy girls. These are in a cheap grid notebook (Miguel Rius-you can get for $9.95 at Barnes and Noble) that handles the watercolor pretty well. Part of the techniques and ideas used in these were learned from an online class I took under the instruction of Danielle Donaldson, whose work I absolutely adore. She is a wonderful instructor and I HIGHLY recommend her courses. If only I could take one of her “in person” classes!!

 

This one is of my mom at her birthday dinner this past November. ❤️ If you squint your eyes, or stand back to look at it, you can see her better. 😉

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One last one…this was a favorite of mine from December. Almost trashing this one several times, I pushed through my frustrations. It came out ok I think. 😉

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None of my work is perfect, or where I want it to be. BUT….I absolutely love the process. I love learning, discovering, and having those ah-hah moments. Until our house is finished, who knows when that will be, I will continue to art. I am positive I will fall deeper in love with watercolors and need an even bigger space by then. Sewing, I still love it! Will make time for it soon, and guess what???…..Shhhh! I have a secret!! The only hint I can give you is the word “Spring.” More info coming soon…..

Until next time,

Pam  xo

Buh Bye October!!

October was a doozie for me to say the least. I think I may have sewn one day last month on a project I have to finish this month. Other than that, Pearl stayed covered. At one time, I thought we may have to take Pearl from her resting place, pack her up and head for higher grounds. The last week of September, my town was soaked by 10 inches of rain. On Saturday, the 8th of October, hurricane Matthew came through and dumped another 15 inches!! Once the rain finally slowed up that evening, my hubby and oldest son, in very light weight attire, rushed to get some gasoline. Little did they know, the water would rise so fast. They were not able to find any open pathways into our home, and had to sleep in the office of our store. That was a huge inconvenience, but….no complaints here. Many people not far from us lost everything, some lost their lives. We were fortunate to say the least.

The surgery that I mentioned in my last post..yep, that happened. My youngest son went through sinus surgery. It took the surgeon twice as long as expected. As any mom can imagine, I was a wreck. Any who…he is fine and loves the fact that he can now breath and smell again. Allergy testing will begin for him soon.

The end of the month approached, and I looked forward to November. On the 28th, as we were getting ready to close our store, we heard a motorcycle engine rev up (as if he had clutched in) and then boom! The most horrific sound that we are too familiar with. A car pulled out in front of a 25 year old motorcyclist. My hubby and I rushed to him, as I called 911. People were already standing around him, wondering what to do..should we move him? We certainly didn’t want to hurt him anymore than he already was. The dispatcher directed us on what to do. Long story short, the young man didn’t make it. The sights, the smells, the sounds…it all haunts me. We discovered he was an only child which makes my hear ache even more so.

One word that sums up October for me would be “think.” Life is too short. The song by Meghan Trainor, “Like I’m Gonna Loose You,” is stuck on repeat. This painting came from these thoughts…

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If all of these negative events cause me to think…think before I speak…think before I act…think of how my actions and/or words will impact others…maybe something good came from October after all. Now…to put those positive thoughts into actions….

Much love ❤

Pam

Creating Much Lately?

I can’t believe two months have zoomed by since my last post!! Time stands still for no one and flies by! Prepping for another year of homeschooling, running our business, and remodeling parts of our home have really zapped my time. On top of it all, both of my sons have had doctors appointments lately and surgery was mentioned for each. Minor surgeries, but still heartbreaking and stressful for a mom. 🙁

Creating something everyday is my goal, it is my therapy. With my alarm set for 6:30, (unless the snooze is smacked) before everyone else is forced out of bed, I put coffee on to brew, and get out my sketchbooks/journals. Sewing, takes a back seat because it is such a chore to set up. Once our renovation’s are complete, I will have a permanent studio where I can sew, quilt, paint, and create my eyeballs out!! So…until I make time to sew…I will share my other creative projects with you. The two following photos were created following an online class that I am taking called Lifebook 2016. The one on the left is acrylics on canvas. My altered art journal was used for the watercolor painting on the right.

While watching a youtube video recently, a book was mentioned that I had to look into. Surprisingly, my local library happened to have it. After checking it out twice, I had to purchase a copy for myself.

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This book is fabulous! I cannot recommend it enough. If you want to learn to draw, to silence the left analytical side of your brain, this book if for you!! The methods taught in this book allowed me to create like I never thought possible. It makes me want more!! Here is one of the projects I worked on from this book. It is perfectly imperfect, and I love learning and growing.

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My passion is art. Whether it is with paint, ink, acrylics, fabric or thread, it makes my heart leap with joy. Discovering art journaling has enabled me to play without pressure from myself. It isn’t easy…but I am trying really hard to play, to have fun, to just BE!!

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A few art journals I have started. 

I hope you all have a great creative week!

xo

Pam

My First Longarm Experience

Hi guys!! I am so excited. So many emotions ran through me this past weekend. First of all a tech guy came out and serviced my longarm machine. I learned so much from him. If any of you live in NC, or surrounding states, and own a Gammill, Jerry from Threads Run Through It Quilt Shop in VA, will be of great assistance. I can’t thank the owner, Lori, enough for all her help over the phone. My experience with them surpassed my expectations.

Now for the fun stuff…I quilted my very first quilt on my longarm!!! After prepping my machine, and making sure I had some bobbins wound, I turned it on. I pulled the bobbin thread to the top…..and put my hands on the bars….and just stood there. 😳 So nervous, scared, anxious, and excited at the same time.  My very first t-shirt/onesie quilt was under the needle. That added to the stress level. I stood there for what felt like minutes, but I’m sure it was for seconds. Maybe not? lol I pressed the button on the right of my machine. There was no turning back now. HOLY COW!!! It sewed like a champ. That first row loosened my nerves up a bit. It was a total learning experience. I decided to do a meandering pattern, because it seemed the easiest. And guess what?! I had zero, ZERO thread breaks. When approaching thicker seams, I probably held my breath, and she plowed right through with now hesitation!

This is a photo of the quilt loaded. I am missing one canvas to pin the top to, so I floated the top. And…totally ignore the room its in. Our house is in the middle of a remodel, and that is…well, another blog story. lolIMG_6298

The next photo is of the quilt on the frame as I was sewing.

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And…the back. I used grey and navy fabric on the back.

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It was a learning experience that caused much more stress than I ever expected. To sew through someone else’s baby clothes, knowing there is no replacement, was the worst for me. I am my own worst critic and couldn’t bare the thought of totally screwing up someone else’s memories. BUT…it’s all good. I made it. I loved it. One phrase I heard from an art teacher this week that struck a cord with me, and one that I am going to try to live by is, “It may not be perfect, but perfect is no fun anyway.”

Here is a photo of the finished (63″ x 45″) quilt:IMG_6306

My next project will be to quilt this quilt top I made (blogged about in a previous post) a while back.

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I was waiting to quilt it on the longarm. Now I am puzzled as to how it needs to be quilted. If you guys have any ideas, throw them my way. Keep in mind, I am a newbie. Plus all the colors on this quilt have patterns in them. 😉

Hope you all have a fabulous week.

xoxo

Pam

Onesie/T-Shirt Quilt and Procrastination

 

Oh, the onesie quilt. Just a warning, this may be a sour puss blog. As much as I LOVE sewing/creating, the onesie quilt…Let me just say, I have procrastinated more on this project than any project ever. The fear of ruining or disappointing the owner of this quilt has caused so much stress and procrastination. Do you guys have projects that you just dread?  I began cutting and prepping all of the onesie’s and t-shirts in mid May. Piecing this quilt was finally finished in mid June.

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I first sewed the rows together and then sewed sashing strips between each.

Here is the finished quilt top:

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It came out much better than I thought. The owner loved the photo I sent to her. Now the dreaded quilting. I promise y’all I usually am not such a sour puss towards sewing. That is my zen, my therapy, but I may need therapy when this one is done! lol With quilt sandwiches mounted on my long arm, I have been determined to quilt this one on it. I decided on a meandering pattern, so I could wander around on this thing and avoid any thick seams. Haha! Here is a practice photo of a scrap piece:

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And what do ya know?! As soon as I loaded the onesie quilt, the thread keeps breaking!! I have rethreaded, used a different thread, checked the bobbin, changed the needle, played with the tension (eek!), and I have no clue what to do. I surely do not want to take this thing off, rip the basting stitches out, cry, and quilt it on my domestic machine. So…it will stay on the machine for a bit until I figure this one out. While I keep having my pity party, I will enjoy my other creative outlet, my art journaling. Here are some pics of my recent play time. 😉

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Hope you all have a fabulous week!

xo Pam

Let’s Make a Throw Pillow Sham

Hi guys!! Did you participate in our blog hop last week? I enjoyed reading others’ blogs and appreciate all of you who read and commented on my blog. Any who…school is out!! Yay!! We will have a short summer because we plan on schooling year round….so I have been playing and enjoying my zen time. Get ready for some photos! I am a visual learner. 😉 Yesterday I made this beauty:

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Front⬆️                    Back⬇️

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Someone on a Facebook page commented on the dog ears, and I truly don’t mind my perfectly imperfect pillow sham. If I stuff it with a denser pillow, it will fill it out much nicer I believe. Using the quilt as you go method by Maureen Cracknell made this so much fun. Here are some photos of my progress:

I decided on these lovely fabrics by Amy Butler. Trimming all of the pieces to 2 1/2 inches, I then cut and prepped my batting.

Starting from the drawn line, I sewed them using 1/4 inch seam allowance, and pressing after each new piece was sewn. See the pins?? Yes I did. 😉 Using pins with the layer of batting beneath the fabric, alone with my walking foot, made everything stay in place nicely. Above is a photo of the first finished block before trimming.

After trimming the finished blocks, I sewed them together and pressed the seams as flat as possible. I didn’t pin at the points as usual, and guess what? All that prep work paid off. See the next photo below. 😉

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The finished pillow top. You will also see color variations in my photos due to photos being taken inside and this one was taken outside. It really does make a difference. The backing, photo below shows two pieces overlapping each other as they will be placed on the back. Both pieces were binded to finish the edges.

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Onto the dreaded binding. I think you either love or hate binding. While hate is a strong word, it is my most dreaded part of the process.

The two photos to the right are where I tried my first go at hand stitching binding. The top photo was a whip stitch. I wasn’t pleased with how it looked and changed it to a ladder stitch. Hat’s off to all you guys who love hand stitching! Guess I am a more speedy gal and don’t have the patience for it. lol All in all, I was tickled pink with how it turned out. I will look for a denser pillow to fill it as I am sure it will look much nicer.

Someone this past week wanted an update on my mixed media piece that I shared last week. I did finish it this week, and it looks much different. The colors on the original (see last blog post) just were not me. I named it Tater Tater! My mom said it looks like potatoes and you will see why. Haha! That’s is what is so wonderful about art. Everyone sees something different. Do you see tater’s too? (Just to let you know I was thinking river rocks when I painted the circular shapes.)

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There is one more artsy piece I will share with you this week. I took a piece of junk mail and made this fly away girl. She’s my favorite of my girls so far. 😉 You can tell I have enjoyed all of my family sleeping in since school has been out.

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I hope you all have a fabulous week!! I am off to catch up on my co bloggers’ blog hop!

xo

Pam

2016 New Quilters Blog Hop

Welcome everyone to my blog! My name is Pam and this is the first time I have ever participated in a blog hop….so hold on! First of all, many thanks to Yvonne @QuiltingJetgirl, Cheryl @MeadowMistDesigns, and Stephanie @LateNightQuilter for hosting this blog hop. I am already learning so much. 😉

My blog is really new…as in March 31, 2016 new. Am I the newbie of newbies? My purpose for blogging is to meet new people with like interests, to share things I have learned, and to archive my work.

A Little Background

The earliest memories of sewing I have are of my maternal grandmother. I can remember the sound of the crunch her scissors would make as she cut through her fabric laying across her dining room table. She would quickly get to a stopping point, and put everything away. I was always curious, always wanted to see more, but I totally understand why she would put things away. My paternal grandmother had a Singer treadle sewing machine. I never witnessed her using it, but it sure pinched my fingers a time or two when I would play with it to see how fast I could make it go. Until this past August, that was it. That was all I knew about sewing. After my flame and passion for art was reignited this past year, I wanted to learn how to use a new medium…fabric and thread! Taking an intro to sewing class taught me several things, how to use my machine, and there is a reason I am a hermit. Learning in a classroom setting is not for me. I do better at home with my computer (pause and rewind are my favorite!), books, and hands on. The three projects I made in that class are by far my worst creations so far. Not because the instruction or material was not good, but because my attention span and focus abilities is like Dory on Nemo.

Blogging Tips

Now that’s funny. Sorry, but I am of no help here. I still have issues with codes, buttons…

Facts About Me

  • I homeschool my two boys (13 & 15 yrs old).
  • My hubby and I own a small retail business….rerouting….a small retail business owns my hubby and I.
  • We own a pitbull (sweetest girl ever) and a chihuahua (her name is Gabby, but we sometimes call her Gabzilla).
  • I love to cook (and eat too!)
  • I have never been on a plane. 😳
  • When I don’t have the time to sew, I love to draw, paint, or doodle. Calligraphy has been on my to learn list. Man I am all over the place! Told you I was Dory-ish. lol
  • My hubby and I both own Harley-Davidson motorcycles. I am a motorcycle momma too! (It’s much more fun to drive than to ride.) lol
  • I love learning!

 

Found some time to play (learn) this week on my new to me long arm machine. 

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A mixed media art piece I started on this week. Not sure where it is going yet. 🙂

Quilting Tips

The better you prep, the better the quilt. I always use two or three rulers to square up my fabric. It could just be that I am also OCD, but..it works for me. Also, don’t be afraid of the walking foot. It can be your best friend. And last but not least, glue basting rocks! (Unless you like to press seams open.) Ha!

All in all, I am one busy wife & momma. Schooling in the mornings, then off to the store I go to do paperwork, orders, blah, blah, home to cook, clean, etc. Finding time to create anything can be a challenge, but one I have started making time for. My house is messier than it has ever been, and I am trying to be ok with that.

Thank you all for taking time to read my blog. I hope it isn’t too difficult to read ’cause I write and type as I speak, with a southern accent y’all! Please show some love to the other bloggers’ pages in my group this week:

Nicole @Handwrought Quilts

Karen @Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

Mary @Briarystitches