Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Some Days Are Like This

...  the little dots in the water are fishing boats from our village harbour and beyond, lobstering in the Bay of Fundy ... high tide ... photo from my studio window..

I am grateful.

Gwen Buchanan at Desideratum Art and Jewelry in St. Martins, New Brunswick, Canada

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Cat # 7 and a New Pair of Embellishments

Earrings from the Desideratum Art Jewelry "Embellishments"  series.

Sketch of fluffy cat from my sketchbook ... pen, ink, watercolour washes, approx. 6" x 8"

A few interestings things about Cat's Eyes:
 A cat's eye is about 6 times more sensitive to light than our own.  They cannot literally see in the dark but they can see when it is too dark for us to see.  Their eye has a pupil that can open wide to let in all available light, including starlight and they have a special light reflecting layer behind the retina, that works as an image intensifier for night vision.  But it takes time, up to an hour, for a cat's eye to adjust completely from daylight to nightlight... it can worry a cat that is suddenly put out of a well lit home at night...  an outside light helps their eyes adjust. 

The lens of a cat's eye has a fixed focal length, like a camera... objects between 6' and 20' are the clearest... anything closer than 30" is probably blurred. It is thought, their peripheral field of view is better than right straight ahead.

A special feature of cat vision is the way the smallest flicker of movement catches their attention and they see these tiny movements best in low light conditions and hardly at all in bright light.
Colour does not seem to be very important to cats.
  Sterling Silver and Copper with a mix of mauve and blue-green glass and african turquoise, semi-precious stones.

 Segments are linked together with jump rings, so there is lots of movement.

One of a Kind... not to be reproduced.. although I can make a somewhat similar pair with different coloured stones at an individuals request... and it will be One of a Kind too..

  4" from top of earwire to bottom of earring.

 If interested in ordering, they are identified as Embellishent D #1.
Price $50.

...created by me at Desideratum Art and Jewelry studio, St. Martins, New Brunswick

*oh I just have to add this cool and unusual sunrise spread across the Bay of Fundy from yesterday morning ... of course it was way more amazing in real life... quite a perk after the gray days we had.  Cheers All!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Finishing the Wild Goose Chase Quilt - The Binding

Part 3:  Done!!  I am happy to report that I finished the Wild Goose Chase Quilt on Oct.8, 2014 but I have just finally had a chance to post about it now... 
I was busy working on a number of Christmas orders for our Art Jewelry from lovely shops and customers.  Thank you All...  very much appreciated!

  I really enjoyed making this Quilt. By the time I was done, it was like an old friend. After all, we spent a lot of time together.
For anyone who would like to see the beginning phases of making this, here are the links to the first two posts on it..
... and Here are a few pics of the steps in finishing it.
  This was the day I put the last quilting stitches in.

 The clamps and end frames are off.

 Time to unroll it and take the basting stitches out of the cloth along the long side frames.

 Ready to unroll and reveal everything that was all wound around them for the last few months.
The backing just happened to be larger than the front so now that needs to be trimmed to size... and saved of course. 
I'm sure it will find its way into another quilt one day.

 I'm using red for the binding, so I laid it out and measured 2'' strips and cut them out.

  The strips were all sewn together into one very long strip with a bias seam... then trimmed to about 1/4".
.. this keeps the bulk to a minimum and the binding smooth.
...the seams were pressed open... then the entire length of about 30 feet was folded in half width-wise and pressed.

 I used the 1977 Kenmore Convertible Freearm sewing machine (the one I used to make the shirts for Max) to do the stitching around the border of the quilt. 
It was quite a bit to manuever the whole quilt but I was only going around the edge so it wasn't too bad.

 I lined the binding up with the edges of the quilt fabric layers and used about a 3/8" seam and stitched through everything.

 ...extra binding was left at the corners to allow for mitering the corner.

... had no problems with the stitching... all went smoothly.

I worked late in the studio to finish this step before I went to bed. I wanted to be ready for a fresh start in the morning.

And what a morning it was when I awoke to this dramatic sunrise out over the Bay... 
What Beauty!  I love these sunrises!!!
*that lump on the horizon is the Isle of Haute about 24 miles away*

...then a while later the sky turned to this delicate combination.  Still so beautiful... but so different... in such a short period of time.
It is the "getting up early" reward.

After that exquisite distraction, back to business... It will be finished today.
... here I am trimming the edges again, to get ready to fold over the doubled layer of binding. The doubled layer makes a much longer lasting binding and easier and faster to hem too, as there is no raw edge to turn in.

 I folded the binding over to the back and used a blind hemstitch to work the edge.

 All Done.

Here it is displayed on an antique double bed given to Max by our friends, Mary and George, when they moved.  I like the way they look together. 
Hope Max enjoys it for a long time.

Recently I was tagged by my friend Janice at Dancing with Sunflowers  to do a post on What I am working on and How do I create ... generally What is your creative process. Well since I am a very casual person, not formal at all,  I just go with the flow. I like to envision one art form translated into other mediums and try to understand and figure out how to accomplish it. I like the challenge of creating something from scratch.. and I do love functionality.  But being so informal I will use this post as my answer. Please visit my friend Janice, a very accomplished artist and needleworker and much more.

All for now from the Desideratum Art Studio up on the bluff in St. Martins, NB.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Fog Comes Creeping

"The fog comes on little cat feet.
It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches
and then moves on."
Published 1916 by Carl Sandburg... 1878-1967... American Writer, winner of 3 Pulitzer Prizes

... click each pic to enlarge... much nicer...

...taken in the early morning from my studio window...
Gwen Buchanan at Desideratum Art and Jewelry in St. Martins, New Brunswick, Canada

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

When Max Was A Zombie... or The Zombie Halloween Make-Up Recipe

!!!!!   Here's to a  Halloween you won't forget  !!!!!


Zombie Halloween Make-Up Recipe
Below are the secret ingredients found in everybody's home, to turn your normally pleasant looking child into a Zombie... 
Are you ready for it...  are you sure.  Are you willing to take the chance to let a  nasty looking half-human thing stagger off down the street and scare the neighbours... will IT come back... We all have to take chances sometimes.
OK then, if you are brave...  here's the goo recipe.
* common white glue and torn toilet paper... layered and left to dry on their face ... be inventive with it... it takes a while to dry... it can be easily manipulated to form gaps to make scars and deformities... also rice crispies and cornflakes can be inserted and covered with bits of the toilet paper/glue for more facial imperfections... 

* when it's dry, blend and dab some liquid makeup on the glue/tissue covered face to bring it to skin color...
And the Blood
*the Blood is homemade too... it is a combination of icing sugar, corn syrup, red food coloring & a small amount of cocoa powder... play around with the proportions till you get the consistency you like...  you might want to practice a few days before Halloween to get it right...  makes great blood... tastes good too... it dries and stays on all night...  and drips like thick blood...  ouie gooie.. 

Have Fun!

Compliments of Gwen Buchanan and my son Maximillian Ackerson (back when he was 14)
Desideratum Art Studio, St. Martins, New Brunswick, Canada

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Pen and Ink Drawings of Heads and Faces

  Inspired by Leonardo



 Even though I really, really Love sewing,  quilting,  jewelry making, house building,  dog tending, homestead planning and all else...
... it feels very nice to just sit at my desk every now and then and just play with ink and paper...

... and then I read this  quote by Walt Stanchfield,
“We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get them out the better.”
Funny..   well for better or for worse, I had fun doing them.

Crosshatching and line drawings in my sketchbook, a few hands and feet thrown in for good measure, crow quill dip pen, India Ink, and Acrylic Artist Ink.

by Gwen Buchanan at Desideratum Art and Jewelry Studio, New Brunswick, Canada

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Early Fall Morning on the Bluff in St. Martins, NB

Natures layers of texture and soft color

We let the surrounding field grow this year for a change and now it has turned golden... it makes a beautiful contrast against the treeline.


The Mountain Ash along the driveway and the surrounding hedgerow borders,
 are laden with berries...We have always tried to encourage native plants and shrubs that feed the birds and wildlife...  and I love how the color brightens everything up.... soon the birds will find them. The Robins and Cedar Waxwings love them.

As I was wandering around in the warmth and calmness of the morning, taking pictures, Church bells began ringing. 
 It was Sunday... It was pretty special. 
I can see 3 Church steeples from up here, this is the closest one down on Main St.

 ...there are even a few bright red berries on the Holly bush this year.

Love these 3 Sisters...  They are Spruce Trees.
....might be almost time to carefully prune a couple of the trees in front of them so the view is better exposed.
 Blueberries and cranberries, in season, grow just below them to the right on the sandstone bluff... intermixed with low growing juniper.

If it seems I am obsessed with the view of Quaco Head jutting out into the bay... I am. 
In all weather conditions it is the highlight of my view... It never disappoints... 
 it shows what is happening with the mighty tides.... coming in, heading out, high tide, low tide..
 and the way the light changes on its surface as it moves from east to west.

I love the way the morning sun highlights the eastern exposure of the houses in the distance.

It feels cozy here in the hidden firepit when a fire is snap, crackle and popping.

White Flocks at the corner of the greenhouse.
The children's camp tucked into the trees.

My oldest son, Zachary, found this old iron anchor along a riverbank back where we used to live in Springfield, NB, about 45 miles inland.

 The Virginia Creeper changed from green to crimson without me even noticing.. 
How time sneaks up on a person.

The natural world  is taking a well deserved rest... a new season has settled in

 ... a lovely place to have our coffee and tea this morning. Fresh air, beautiful view and birds flitting back and forth, church bells ringing...
 we sat in wondrous contemplation...

The Rosa Rugosa is still treating us with blooms scattered here and there. such a hardy shrub... rarely needs tending.

 Fall has arrived and its only just begun.

Our Home and 9 Acre Property is For Sale ... it has delighted and entertained us every single day that we have been here... it has come that time in our life to downsize...
We hope a new family discovers this special place and enjoys it as much as we have.

Photographs taken by me, Gwen Buchanan, early Sunday morning, Sept. 28, 2014,
from up on the Big Red Rock, St. Martins, New Brunswick.
Desideratum Art Studio.