Yellow Breasted Chat

San Antonio has many beautiful parks that are sanctuary for many species of birds.
One of my Meemaw friends is a Master Naturalist, who is well versed in identifying birds.
We frequently go in search for particular birds that may be in the area during a particular season.
Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy is one of the parks we visit.
The conservancy provides a list of birds that can be found in the park.
One of the birds listed, is a yellow breasted chat. I have never been fortunate to see one in the park, so I decided to paint one on fabric.

I used pastels to paint the bird on a beige, linen memo.
Fabric markers were also used to highlight areas.


After thread sketching the block, I pieced a frame and border.
The block is a 9″ square after adding the pieces.

These blocks that I am making are for practice and trying new things.
I am making a list of areas that show improvement and those requiring more practice.
At the Texas Quilt Museum, I saw a binder that contained blocks made by various quilters.
I am thinking of making my own quilt block binder.

 

Viva Fiesta! Block #16 Friday, April 20

Every April, San Antonio celebrates the heroes of the Alamo and the different cultures of our city.
Fiesta began in 1891 with the Battle of Flowers Parade.
The festivities have grown to include numerous events: the day parade, the Battle of Flowers; the night parade, Fiesta Flambeau; Night in Old San Antonio;carnivals, art, music, and food galore.
As a child, my family would pack an ice chest with drinks and chicken salad sandwiches. We would carry our own folding chairs and enjoy the festivities. My mom, usually very quiet and proper, would whistle, yell, sing, and march. Marching bands are my favorite, especially the band from my Alma Mater,
the University of Texas …they always open the Flambeau.
In my classroom, we would study the history of our city and cultures throughout the month of April.We decorated our room, and ourselves, with bright and festive colors. The children would make papel picado to hang from the hallway ceilings. Tissue flowers were strung up across the room.We made our own badges and hats to wear all month.
And of course, for the entire month, I wore my Mexican dresses, flowers in my hair, and cascarones or chili pepper earrings. Our school would have a Fiesta festival, and our first grade and kinder classes would have a parade in the hallways. I would have the University of Texas CD blasting the
Eyes of Texas/Texas Fight songs, as we marched our way through the school.
This year, Fiesta is extra special, since the city is celebrating its Tricentennial.
So, the block for Friday, April 20, is inspired by Fiesta.
I do not make it a habit of taking selfies, but one of my goals in thread sketching is to improve on sketching cartoon people images. So, I decided to try to thread sketch my Fiesta Self. For this block, I did not draw myself with pencil on the fabric. I just thread sketched…that is why you will see that the hand and arms are not the best. I did draw in the eyes with ink pen. In the image, I am making the “Hook’em Horns” sign, and I am holding a raspa, snow cone. At the Texas Quilt Museum, I had seen a quilt that had some designs cut-out in the  fabric. I do not know what this technique is called, so I’ll just say “cut-out”. I decided to try to use this technique and make the papel picado from scraps.

Friday, April 20
Viva Fiesta!
Background: White Kona painted with acrylic
Technique: Thread sketch, cut-out, free motion quilting, fabric painting with acrylics, pastels, and pencil

Friday, the 13th

It’s Friday, and I have yet been able to start piecing some of the blocks for my grandson’s quilt.
There are too many things going on, and I need to prioritize.
I am happy to have planned and designed more pieces for this quilt, so time was not wasted.

Tomorrow, I will be going to Gruene, Texas to celebrate my sister’s birthday.
There will be a fabric shopping trip included in the day’s activities, since I know there are at least two quilt shops in the area. I want a few more bright pieces to add to my grandson’s quilt.
A few weeks ago, I made three black and white baskets for my sister.

Then this morning, I completed a wall hanging.
I added more thread sketching in an attempt to add texture and shading.
My thread sketching control is still a bit wobbly, so there are some oopsies.

I am in the process of painting some rocks for my sister.

The larger snail stone is painted on both sides.
When I found the stone, I thought it had the perfect shape for a snail.


I hope that you have had a safe and productive Friday, the 13th.

So Much to Do!

Today has been spent playing catch-up, after being gone for three days.
My head is filled with ideas for quilt blocks and designs…but the projects are put on hold.
I am going to try to jot down some notes and sketches of some of these ideas.
I do not want to have a senior moment and forget.
I will be going to see my grandson tomorrow, and that is WAY more important.
In order to prepare for our day together, I have prepared some indoor and outdoor scavenger hunt activities. I am packing a box of paints and paint brushes, since we will be searching for a limb to paint for a walking stick. Last year, I had prepared a box of supplies for his Creative Box. I am planning to replenish his box.
I also painted two rocks for him.
One rock has a painting of a heart, because I always tell him that he makes my heart happy.
The other rock has a painting of a stegosaurus.

For the past few weeks, I have been going through my collectibles in order to see which ones I could live without.
Tierney (Tierney Creates ) had shared a quote about our space reflecting who we are now. I liked the quote and started clearing out stuff. I found that I like what I had done so far. I promised myself that I would stop buying little mementos and good luck charms in an attempt to improve and update my space.
Well, when I was in Shulenburg, we visited some shops.
There went my resolve not to buy any more lucky charms or mementos.

There was this metal bird that just sang my name…so I purchased it.
I named her Purl the Pretty Girl.
And of course, I had to have the ant.
I frequently get “antsy”; and this ant lets me know that it is okay to have ants in your pants.
In the classroom, whenever the kids or I had ants in our pants, we would stand up and shake the ants out  with our Ants in Our Pants dance.
The angel is called the Worry Angel. It is her job to take away your worries.
When I showed these charms to my sister, Emma, she gave me some great names for the ant and the angel.
The ant is called, Migas N. Pantalones.
Hormiga, is Spanish for ant.
Pantalones, is Spanish for pants.
Hence, Migas N. Pantalones is the perfect name.

The word, issues, in Spanish is pendientes.
My sister suggested that the worry/issue angel be named, Yanohay Pendientes…or Penny for short.
Ya no hay“, in English, is there are “no longer any”.

I did find time to make something for “The100DayProject”.
I originally wanted to paint or piece some fabric for this project, but I did not have enough time for that.
So, I did a simple thread sketched of Purl the Girl.
This is the first time I used an embroidery hoop for a frame.


I am looking forward to my day with my grandson tomorrow.
Then, I will probably come home and sleep for two days!

Block #13 Ode to Spring

The block for Friday, March 30, is a little bit late.
I had the design, but I was not able to work on it during the week.
The weather had been rainy, and rather stormy.
A very harsh late night thunderstorm was followed by a beautiful spring morning.
I awoke to birds chirping and enjoying the fresh weather.
This made me think of a quote by Robin Williams: Spring is Nature’s way of saying, “Let’s Party.”
So, I designed a fun block to represent spring.
Since I had been studying how to fabric paint, I decided to give painting a try.
I thread sketched the birds and flower.
Then I used pastels, colored pencils, and fabric markers to paint the fabric.

Block # 13~ Friday, March 30
Background: Painted fabric
Technique: Thread sketching, fabric painting, free motion
Batting: 100% cotton

I also wrote an Ode to Spring, since April is poetry month.
When I was teaching, my students and I wrote a poem every day in April.

Ode to Spring

Spring
Nature’s awakening
Such beauty!
Such bliss!
You energize the soul.
Airy, alive, abloom~
Freshen, frolic, and flourish~
Spring is life.
Spring is joy.

 

Block #10~Friday, March 9

Previously, I posted a video of a snail who was “moving mountains” at his own pace.
This little snail inspired me to thread sketch a snail.

Since my grandson loves snails, I was originally going to turn this sketch into a block for a quilt that is in progress. I had placed the snail in one of my containers for later use.
This week, I made my grandson a spring basket that I embellished with snail buttons.

As I sewed on the snail buttons, I was thinking of a special time I had with my grandson.
That day, we spent a lot of time outside, looking for snails.
He loved telling me all about snails as we were enjoying the site of snails in his yard.
So, I decided to commemorate this special moment in my quilt journal.
This Friday’s block is called Moving Mountains.

Block #10, Friday March 9
Moving Mountains
Background: Snow Kona fabric
Technique: Thread sketching, free motion
Batting: 100% cotton
Embellishment: I will add buttons for the eyes after the quilting is done.

Happy Birthday

Friday, March 2, marks the birthday of a man who wore many hats…author, cartoonist, poet, animator, artist, political satirist. There may be some controversy in Theodore Seuss Giesel’s past; and although I do not agree with one of his early political stances during WWII, I am not here to pass judgement. I believe that we can learn from mistakes in history. And I believe he did learn and have a change of heart.
The contribution Giesel made to promote reading, and the teaching of reading, still has it’s affects on children’s literature today.
Dr. Seuss came into my childhood home when my brother was born. I was 10. My mother joined a book club, and we received all Dr. Seuss books on a frequent basis. I used these books to read to my brother. Even as a child myself, I could see that it was a good tool for teaching reading. I got my brother reading, and this was a boy who could never sit still!
Hop on Pop was a favorite Seuss book that my three sons chose for their dad to read to them at night.They were reading at a very early age.
The curriculum I wrote for my students was literature based. I collected and purchased children’t literature to use for instruction. I had a very inviting classroom library. Dr. Seuss was a special selection in my class library for each grade level that I taught. I taught pre-K through fifth grade. The fifth graders learned how to interpret the author’s purpose and message when reading Dr. Seuss. My reluctant and emergent readers in the early grades learned the basics of word families and enjoyed the playful, musical, non-nonsensical words.
Every March, my students and I would participate in the Read Across America, which is celebrated on March 2 in honor of Theodore Seuss Geisel.
When I was thinking that I might retire, I had many discussions with my sons.
I quoted Dr. Seuss to my youngest son, to express how I felt about the possibility of retiring.
He made this poster and framed it for me:

I may not have a classroom anymore, but I still celebrate March 2.
One of my Meemaw friends shares a birthday with Dr. Seuss and we will be celebrating on Friday.
I always attempt to write a Seuss-Like poem for her, and I am working on one today. This is my first draft:

Shout it from the rooftops, the tree Brumbles, and Broars
Shout it out loud, ‘til your throats are all soar
Say it in email, snapchat, or twitter
Spread the word with rainbows, and Boohahs, and glitter
It’s Marti’s 65th revolution around the earth
Sing! Dance! Fill the world with mirth!
Fill it with PIE, we’re not watching our girth
Happy birthday, dear Meemaw
Happy birthday, sweet friend
We celebrate you from morning to day’s end!

As part of my celebration, I painted two Cat in the Hat rocks and I attempted to thread sketch the Cat.

At this time, I am still only sketching the outline with thread. On my bird thread sketching, I have practiced adding texture and shading with thread. On the Cat, I just did the outline and colored in the rest. I am not happy with the face, but it will have to do.


Thread Sketch plus fabric crayons and markers

Block #8: Friday, February 23

My Meemaw friends and I were a bit disappointed that our river cruise was cancelled due to inclement weather. We did not get to see any eagles, but we did have a very enjoyable time.
Before I left for the trip, I thread sketched an eagle for block #8. Today, I was able to add the backing and quilt the hexagon. I sort of messed up on the free motion and had to rip and redo. This journal is for recording my special thoughts, events, and experiences. So, I am including this mess-up as my learning experience.
This eagle represents the fun days I spent with my Meemaw friends.
20180223_233059322_iOS
Background: Kona Snow White
Technique: Thread sketching, fabric crayons and markers, free motion
Batting: 100% Cotton
Embellishments: None

Studio Closed

This morning, I went shopping for the last minute things I needed for our trip to Lake Buchanan for the Vanishing River Cruise.
My Meemaw friends and I leave tomorrow.
As I mentioned in a previous post, the forecast for the rest of the week is thunderstorms.
Our hopes for seeing eagles on this cruise are diminishing, but not totally gone.
Oh, well, we heard about the Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, Texas.
It has 16 flavors of pie. (Check out the cafe link and you will see the Texas-sized pies.)
We have not been to this cafe yet.
The cafe has a Pie Happy Hour.
As my friend said, “When it rains, let them eat pie”.
So, the trip will be worth while…eagles or no eagles.
As I was shopping, I saw many St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Spring items on display.
I started thinking of what I could make.
Then, I saw this package of colorful 2.5 inch strips.
I decided to go home and make a rainbow fabric rope bowl.
The package had 14 strips that were each 42 inches long; and 2.5 inches wide.
I made the base of the bowl about 5.5 inches wide.
I wanted to make a deeper bowl.

This bowl makes me smile.

Bottom
I want to buy some variegated thread before I make a second rainbow bowl.

I thought I could fill it with these lucky shamrock coins to celebrate the Irish side of the family.
Maybe, I can paint some shamrocks on stones.
Then, for Easter, this basket can be filled with eggs and springtime goodies.
Tierney, thanks again for introducing me to fabric rope bowls.
I am having so much fun making these bowls.
I also decided to try and thread sketch an eagle.
I will complete this hexagon block when I return. It will be this week’s entry in my fabric journal.

I viewed and studied different pictures of eagles.
Then, I very lightly drew the outside outline with a fabric pencil.
I decided to thread sketch in black thread and color with fabric crayons and markers.
I do not have enough pretty blue fabric to use for the backing, so I will purchase some when I return.
The studio is now officially closed for the week.
I will be taking hand crafts and paints for what we are now calling our Craft Retreat.
There is no room in my friend’s car to lug around a sewing machine.
Besides, we are still hoping that we get enough of a break in the weather to go on the cruise.

Postcards

It’s been a few days since I’ve worked in my studio.
I have been with my grandson, and visiting a friend.
When I returned, there were things I needed to do before I could start up again.
I also got a pneumonia shot that left me with a very sore and heavy arm.
It took two days to get the use of my arm back.

Today, I thread sketched two postcards.
One is for my grandson, to let him know I enjoyed our time together.
He has a new cat that he was very proud to introduce to me.
And, I couldn’t leave out his dog.
So, I drew both of them on his card.

I just booked a B&B in Georgetown, Texas for a few days during Spring Break.
My granddaughter and I will enjoy the sites of Georgetown.
So, I made her a postcard to let her know we have a date.
She loves unicorns.

Both of these cards are thread sketched and colored with fabric crayons and markers.
I ran out of Wonder-Under, so I will have to complete these tomorrow.

I am reading the book , Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland.
I sort of need a boost.
Thanks for recommending the book, Tierney.