Monday,Monday

Ideas and inspiration for my daily art pieces can come at any time of the day. (Sometimes, inspiration doesn’t come at all.)This morning, at about 4:30 am, I started thinking about the trips my Meemaw friends and I have taken to the beach. We have gone birding at South Padre Island. We have also taken numerous trips to Rockport, Texas. Our last trip to Rockport was this past March. The fun times we had there were my inspiration for Today’s Art.
I pencil sketched a picture of us walking on the beach. Then, I traced the drawing onto white fabric that was backed with firm interfacing and muslin. I pulled fabric scraps to make our clothing. I then thread sketched around the figures in order to be able to cut them out as individual appliques. I used different embroidery linen fabric to make a beach collage. White tulle was placed over white burlap to add texture and form waves touching the sand. The appliques were glued in place and then thread sketched.
After a bit of online exercising, I watched a few movies. This totally mellowed me out. That’s when I decided to make a Mellow Monday selfie. I followed the same process listed above in the making of this quilt square.
I hope everyone had a Mellow Monday.
We are expecting rain this week.
Although the thought of not being able to go out is bothersome, we definitely could use the rain.
Maybe Tuesday would be a good day to dance in the rain.
Who knows?
I hope everyone is well.
Stay safe.

Friday…Finally!

Another week down.
Following the social distancing guidelines, I “met” with the Meemaws this week. We met in the parking lot of the elementary school where we all worked. It just so happened that the teachers were outside, giving out work packets to parents who drove by. Not every home has the wifi or technology for the online classes. Our district did issue lap tops to families in need, but there are still many children who do not have the access. I was so proud of the teachers. They stood outside all morning, greeting parents and  handing out packages and encouragement. We said our hellos from a distance and expressed our appreciation for all they do. Our plan is to drop off some goodie bags for the teachers next week.

Our Meemaw Socially Distant Fiesta was a huge success. Our Zoom chats have been fun, but there is nothing like seeing each other in person again. We each had our masks and watched our distance. Since it was Poem in Your Pocket Day, we each read a poem. We situated ourselves around the oak tree at the far end of the parking lot…opposite and distant from where the teacher/parent drive through was taking place. Comanche Lookout Park is right in front of the school. My students and I used to take many learning excursions to this park. On this particular morning, my friends and I saw the cutest brown rabbit running in and out of the bushes. That cute little bunny was the subject of my  art project for the day. I tried new stitches, and made up some of my own, in embroidering this piece.

Another project I made to end this week was a pentagon fabric ball. I saw a tutorial by Rob Appell and thought it would be cute for my youngest grandson. I used the remaining Dr. Seuss charm squares I had left in my bin.
In the video, I included a photo of a bird that has taken residence in one of the Meemaws birdhouses.

My son just sent me some sidewalk messaging that my granddaughter wrote. She wanted to help people by writing positive messages. My first reaction upon reading these messages was to cry. My heart goes out to all of the children whose lives have been so drastically changed. Then, I just felt so proud of my granddaughter. She left chalk on the sidewalk so people could write their own messages.
When I read her messages I couldn’t help but feel hope. I’m sharing my granddaughter’s messages of hope and positivity.

“I know we are going through hard times but we can and will get through this.”
“You can do whatever you put your mind to.”

I hope everyone is well.
Stay safe.

 

End of a Very Long April

The month of April is finally coming to an end.
May will be even longer…but, I will be positive.
Most of my Today’s Art projects are still a combination of embroidery, thread sketch, fabric collage, and water color pencil. I never know when or where I will find inspiration for the project.
The first slide in the video is a selfie of my younger years. I drew an outline of myself, then made the paper doll clothes. I added the background by using water color pencils.
The second slide is about my favorite source of inspiration… birds. I had some scraps of a fun red fabric that I thought would be perfect for birds.

My Meemaw friends and I used to attend Zumba Gold classes twice a week. I do so miss these fun workouts. These days, Zumba takes place in my living room, all by myself. I try to get my husband to Zumba with me, but he does a disappearing act whenever I start. The background for this piece is a quilt block I made a long time ago.

My Meemaw friends and I had big plans for the Fiesta celebration that takes place in San Antonio every April. Marti decided we should have our own social distancing Fiesta tomorrow in the parking lot of the library. We will not stay very long…and we will be wearing our masks. The city allows these brief drive by meetings. I thread sketched the Meemaws with Fiesta flowers in our hair and masks on our faces.We have been having Zoom chats every week, but it will be good to see them again.

Sometimes, inspiration comes from the craziest of sources. One morning, I was pulling a cinnamon roll out of the package, and I thought it would make a fun piece. I thread sketched and embroidered this piece.

Many times, the source of inspiration comes from my grandchildren. One of my grandson’s kindergarten assignments was to read the book, Hey, Little Ant by Phillip Moore. It is a thought provoking book where a child needs to make a decision about squishing the ant or not. The reading assignment was followed by a writing assignment. My grandson had to write a persuasive letter. He did a fabulous job of convincing me to NEVER SQUISH an ANT! Of course, I had to capture this moment in fabric. I am so proud of my grandson! I made a fabric thread sketch of an ant.

The next project came about while I was cleaning out my thread tail bag. As I pulled out the thread, I started to shape and play with the thread. I drew a shape of a bird on muslin. Then I shaped the thread to fit into the drawing. I covered it with black tulle and sewed it with my machine. I had fun with this one.

Each morning, I make it a point to tell myself the day and the date. These days are becoming so blurred and I do not want to be confused. When I realized it was Wednesday, I thought of the Hump Day commercial of the camel walking around the office asking if the people knew what day it was. I made a fabric camel.

Tomorrow is Poem in Your Pocket Day. When I was teaching, this was a very special and fun day for my students. We had been reading and writing poems during the previous weeks. Then on this special day, we would carry a copy of a favorite poem in our pockets that we crafted out of paper. We would randomly choose a partner and share a poem with our friend. This year, I made a fabric pocket. I wrote a poem about the Meemaws that I plan to read to them when we meet tomorrow.

I hope everyone is staying safe.

Another Week

My day began with communicating with my sons. We all related to Bill Murray in the Groundhog movie. I always feel better after I get in touch with my sons. They make me laugh.

The video for this week includes different types of projects. The first photo is that of a yellow rose. My younger sister had a birthday this week. My dad used to call my sister his Yellow Rose, so I made one out of fabric scraps. I had mailed her a rice bag tote and a set of magnetic Spanish words to write poetry. Our original plan was to meet in Gruene, Texas to have lunch by the river. Instead of having a scenic lunch with my sisters, I had a peanut butter sandwich in my sewing room. Not complaining…just missing my sisters.

The second photo in the video is that of a bookmark. My daughter-in-law sent me a photo of a bookmark that she made out of fabric. I liked the idea, so I made one for myself. I plan to make some more.

I follow kitschychic on Instagram. She creates very interesting and beautiful textile art. She posted a piece about a roll of fabric collage that she was making out of scraps. She plans to use these rolls to make fabric for other projects. In her post, she asked for ideas of how these fabric collage rolls could be used. The responses from different people were so creative. I decided to make my own fabric collage roll. I cut a 2.5″ X 36″ strip of muslin. Each day, I dump my bin of small scraps on the table. I glue the scraps onto the roll, and then plant myself in front of the television to watch old movies and stitch. This is such a great way to wind down at the end of these LONG days. I am almost finished with my first roll. My plan is to make more rolls. I do not know how I will use them yet, but there are so many possibilities.

The next photo in the video is that of a sparrow. I used the smallest of scraps to make a collage of a bird and cloud.

After the sparrow on the video, I have a photo of a thread sketch I made of my grandson. My son sent me a photo of another great father-son activity. He and his son made a shield out of wood, to go with the wooden sword they made last week. These two guys love to upcycle materials. They used wood from an old futon, and the remains of an old belt, to make the shield. My son’s message with the photo was #neverthrowanythingaway. I sent him a photo of all my tiny fabric scraps on the table and asked him if he was talking to me!

Today’s art project is next in the video. I was thinking of one of the last times I went up to take care of my grandson. It was such a fun time, just the two of us. On one of the days, I went to pick him up from school. I surprised him with a special treat. I had a juice pack and his favorite cookie. There is a Mexican restaurant by his house that has a bakery. My grandson loves the cookie with “bajillion” sprinkles. The name of the cookie is Polvorne con Chochitos (sprinkles). The smile on his face when he saw that cookie is such a happy memory for me. To make the cookie, I made a circle fabric sandwich. I placed the cookie fabric and the muslin right side together. The batting was at the bottom, behind the top fabric. I sewed around the edges. Then, I cut a slit in the muslin and turned the fabric inside out. The result was something that actually looked like a cookie. Then, I made french knots of different colors to make the sprinkles. I sewed the cookie onto a Mexican design fabric I had used to make a quilt.

The last photo in the video is artwork from my grandson. All week, his online reading assignments have been books illustrated with collages and mixed media. His assignment for today was to make his own paper collage. He cut and created a dinosaur drinking water. I was very impressed with his creativity.

My afternoon ended with a zoom session with my granddaughter. I was able to participate in one of her school assignments. She was to have and write a conversation with someone on a topic of choice. She chose to ask me about what I plan to do for my next project. It was so much fun to have her ask me questions. She was interested in knowing the details of what I planned to do next.

We are in for a rainy weekend.
I hope that you are doing well.

Hopeful

It was heartwarming to see the new found ways to celebrate special days. Neighborhood drive-arounds, virtual musical and church celebrations, and technological communications…all help to keep our spirits up and hopeful.
A few weeks ago, I sent an Easter package to my grandchildren in order to do my part in keeping things as normal as possible for them. I know their parents made it a special day for them.
My Meemaw friends and I shared photos of Easters past. It was so much fun seeing photos taken when we were children back in the ’50’s and ’60’s. We shared the stories that went along with the photos, and had some good laughs.
The photo of me from Easter, 1956, became the inspiration for my Today’s Art piece. I hadn’t planned on making an art piece on Easter Sunday, but it just happened. In the photo, I was wearing my Easter finery, with hat and a house-shaped straw purse. I loved the way my petticoat made my dress so fluffy and poofy. My gloves must have been in my purse. We always wore gloves to church.
I met with one of my sons  and DILs to give them the masks I had made. They were going to disperse them to family who live in their area. We kept our social distance, which was very difficult. But it was so good to see them. Later that day, they sent me a photo of them wearing the masks.  The fact that we are now wearing masks can be depressing, but I am viewing it as the positive action that it is. We are doing what we need to do, along with social distancing. Today’s Art is a thread sketch of the photo my son sent. It is the last thread sketch of mask wearing that I intend to make. I just wanted to capture the loving spirit of these two adorable people, who said they were “smiling” behind the masks. They give me hope.

Busy

It has been a busy two days. Some Texas mayors are requesting that masks be worn. Our mayor has taken great measures to protect the people in our area. Thank goodness for our local government’s scientific approach to handling this pandemic. The San Antonio mayor has been ahead of the situation from the onset. I wish I could have the same confidence in the other branches of government. Even our Texas grocery chain, HEB, was prepared for this. The Texas Monthly has a great article about the preparations.
On April 7, I spent some time looking at the pink moon. I took a photo with my camera. The next day, I made a fabric piece to commemorate this moment. Maybe this will be a repeat post about the pink moon. Sorry, if I am repeating myself. These past few weeks is so much like the Groundhog Day movie.
Yesterday I began making masks for my family and friends. I finished them today. It is a task that I am glad I could do, but not one that I particularly enjoyed. I do not have the patience for this type of task.
I am not a seamstress. Also, I was beginning to feel depressed with each one I made. To think that the world my grandchildren live in requires them to wear a mask if they go out. Even though they do not go out, the masks were made for emergency purposes.
Thanks to Tierney, who shared the pattern by Made Everyday. Since elastic is nowhere to be found, I used my stash of binding strips to make the ties.
After two days of working on masks, I got back to my Daily Art project. I thread sketched my eyes and neck. Then I did a fabric collage for my hair and face mask. The hand-stitching added some texture to the piece.
Now, I think I will indulge in a Movie Marathon.
Wishing all of you a blessed weekend.

Art

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.
Twyla Tharp

So true!
Creating a bit of art each day allows me to escape and feel free.
I hope all of you are being safe and doing well.
Thanks to all who offered suggestions for me to make something out of the Halloween fat quarters that I had in my stash. Mary, (Zippy Quilts) suggested a Turning Twenty quilt like the one she made for her grandson. Since I only had 9 fat quarters, I had to find a variation of the Turning Twenty quilt. I was able to find one that allowed me to have enough fabric to make three 9″ blocks out of each fat quarter. This will make a smaller quilt that could be used as a lap quilt. I plan to make the blocks and then see how I can build around what I have.
My box of daily art products is growing. On Monday, I made a fabric art piece using a scrap of owl fabric. I fussy cut the owl and used it as an applique. I cut and used scraps to make a moon and tree branch. Embroidery thread was used for stitching.
This morning, I saw a Ladder-backed woodpecker in our front tree. I was able to watch him for quite some time before he flew away. I referred to my bird book to help me draw a picture of the bird on paper. I then used the drawing as a pattern to cut the body out of muslin. Choosing from my scrap bin, I covered the bird body with different fabrics that I cut to shape. For the background, I had a fabric with clouds. Then, I built a tree from three brown scraps. Embroidery stitching added texture.
I am looking forward to tomorrow’s art project.
Reminder: Tonight is the Pink Moon…the largest full moon.

Do You Need a Laugh?

Today, I spent some time viewing a tutorial by Deborah Wirsu. She is a fantastic textile artist. Her tutorial on adding texture to a piece is outstanding. She provides excellent directions. I have tried some of her techniques but I definitely have a long learning journey ahead of me when it comes to this type of thread sketching.
As I was working at my computer desk, I reached over to a cup that was given to me by my youngest son…many years ago. I keep pens and pencils in this cup. It is a cup in shape of Michigan J. Frog…my FAVORITE cartoon. Of course, I had to find the cartoon on Youtube. And, yes, it still makes me laugh. A snorting, body-shaking, kind-of-laugh. Once, my sons and I were in line waiting to board an amusement ride at Six Flags. They had a television in the line area to entertain the people waiting in the long lines. I remember totally embarrassing my sons as I laughed at the Michigan J. Frog cartoon playing on the television monitor.
Naturally, today’s art had to be about Michigan J. Frog. I drew the frog on green fabric. Then I added a muslin backing, and glued and hand stitched the frog in place. Regular thread was used for securing the frog. Then, I cut the figure and pasted it onto a blue backing. I did some preliminary stitching with embroidery thread. If and when I make something with all of the today’s art pieces, I will add more embroidery or possibly thread sketching.
If you need a laugh, make sure to look up Michigan J. Frog on Youtube.

Bird Spirit

It has been a day of steady rain. At first, I thought the weather might make it harder to get through the day. But it turns out that the rain had a very calming effect.
Also, today was great because I got to communicate with my all three of my sons. My granddaughter and I had a great Zoom chat. We shared facts, jokes, and conversation. We did some fun word games together. My baby grandson made a visit on this chat, along with his parents. One of the best parts of this chat was the drawing activities. My granddaughter and I do different types of art activities each time we chat. Today, we decided to just each draw what we wanted as we talked. Then we shared. I was very impressed with my granddaughter’s piece. She drew a bird rising up into the sky. She entitled this piece, Bird Spirit. I asked if she could send me a photo of her drawing. I was so inspired by it and I wanted to try to create it with fabric. Since she drew it in pencil, I asked what colors she would want me to use. Teal is one of her favorite colors, and that is what she wanted for the bird. She asked for a green landscape and an orange and yellow sun. The background was supposed to be black on the top and getting lighter towards the sun. When I showed her my fabric piece, I thanked her for the inspiration. I also told her that it was my interpretation of her art, so it would not be exactly like hers. She responded by saying that it was almost exactly how she saw her drawing.
The art for today is very simple, but very special.

Thank You

Mariss, of Fabrications, posted the question I have been asking myself…Should I be writing about the fun I am having with fabric and thread during these sombre and scary times?”
Thank you, Mariss. I agree that writing nothing at all is not a good alternative. I believe we need to continue with our art and crafts in order to stay emotionally healthy during these times. Reading posts and viewing the work of others is something I look forward to doing each day. We need to take care of ourselves, in order to take care of others. Thanks to everyone who continues to post and share.

I am sharing Today’s Art for April 2 and 3. For April 2, I used scraps to make a fabric collage of a house. The text fabric had some words I thought fitting for these times: Home Sweet Home; Hello Life! ; Create. Making this piece was a form of a Gratitude prayer for me.
On April 2, I had Zoom time with my granddaughter. I recently read about the hacking problems with this online tool, so I do not know if I will be having other Zoom sessions. I will be talking to my sons about this. On our chats, we include drawing activities. This time, we also wrote an acrostic poem. When we draw, we take turns giving directions on drawing something. Sometimes, we start with the same basic shape and each draw something based around this shape. On this  particular day, she was wearing her owl robe. I could see her head bobbing up and down as she was drawing. I could not help but chuckle every time I saw her owl head. I pen sketched it and showed it to her. Then, today, I decided to thread sketch it and make a square. I wanted to capture this precious memory on fabric.
Last spring, my friends and I went on a bluebonnet outing. The bluebonnets in Texas are a beautiful site.  My second project for today was embroidering some bluebonnets.
I also spent some time working on my 1 1/2 inch square quilt. I cut more fabric, and completed one block.
Take care, everyone.