Thursday, September 26, 2019

My Happy Place

 We had so much pleasure from the new perennial flower garden this year and it is still going strong... looks a bit unruly, but I like it like that... and so does the family of Sparrows, Chipmunks and other creatures that have decided to make it home... so fun to watch them scurry under the overgrown flowers, search for seeds, feed their babies, perch on the fence stakes, take baths, sing their songs... and it's in full view of our dining island in the kitchen... Love it 

Hope you enjoyed the flowers and nature near you this summer.... 
Cheerio and Happy Fall

Monday, September 16, 2019

Buried Treasure

 Discovered a rather interesting artifact when we were digging out an old tree stump at the edge of the barn...

  a worn and corroded axe head with the tree root growing right through axe-handle hole... so cool... axe head is 6" x 3 3/4" x 1 3/4"...

  think I'll keep it like this and hang it on the wall

kind of fair play, as I can only imagine how many trees that axe took down and then a tree took it back 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Blending Alpaca and Cotswold Wool

Heading into my little studio early this morning.
...One of my partner, John Ackerson's abstract paintings, done years ago, hanging on the door ~ Always loved that piece ~

Mixing teased proportions of 4 to 1, pale yellow Cotswold wool with brown Alpaca... 1st blended batt on right... will prob. give the batt, one more run thru the drum carder.
...everything's an experiment

several blended rolags

Spinning away on the Cotswold wool and the brown Alpaca on the Ashford Traditional wheel... quite a bit of grease remaining in the wool so it doesn't slide as easy as it would have if it had been scoured more... But with more lanolin left in the yarn it will be more water repellent for outerwear... spinning it a little thicker than I usually do so I have a variety of yarn weights on hand... it is tricky to get used to spinning thicker after you have spun fine for a while, but it's always good to give yourself a challenge.

 I have 6 bobbins filled with the 1 ply Alpaca and Cotswold... lots more to spin but I ran out of bobbins, so will have to 2 ply these first to empty the bobbins... so far I like it.

Beginning the plying of the alpaca and cotswold ... excited to see how it turns out. ...the little piece of art on the right is a print of a painting my partner did of me playing the piano

Plied the first 6 bobbins of alpaca/wool into 2 ply (upper right of the pic) and have spun up the remaining batts... The plied yarn mellows the colour nicely... I'm liking the blend so far.

 Finished with 18 skeins each over 2.4 oz. each. 

...... I used the washing machine to soak (no agitation) in hot water, Dawn and Ivory Snow for 30 min , spun out then repeated. Then another soak in hot water to rinse out the soap.

... As we finally received a warm day, I hung them out on the clothesline in the breeze to dry. It always surprises me how quickly wool dries! 

The grass has finally turned green and growing and the leaves are starting to leaf out on the trees

Finished drying in the kitchen spread out on a broom handle. The plied yarn mellows the colour nicely...

I'm liking the blend. ...Fun... and I miss working on the project.
** Spun on an Ashford Traditional on the middle ratio.
... the process took from May 7 till May 25.. while waiting for the weather to warm up 

Cheers All from Desideratum Art and Jewelry, Douglas, New Brunswick, Canada

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Back at the Jewelry Workbench

Back in familiar territory and switching out the tools of the trade😊 ... hanging out at the jewelry bench... dreaming up combinations of silver, copper, Czech glass, semi-precious stones and playful beads.
... nice to have the feel of the tools back in my hands ... will soon be posting the new designs on our FB Desideratum Art and Jewelry page... accessed on the right hand side of this post... or just send a message from the form on the right if you wish to order

 "Thoughts of Blue Sky" , Sterling Silver textured tops with lightly moving sky-blue teardrops of Czech glass...sterling earwires... 1 3/4" long top of earwire to bottom of drop... Handmade at our Desideratum studio. $30.

...if interested, please send us a message.. we accept E-transfer and ship next day. 
...It's feels pleasant to be back at the jewelry bench ... like hanging out with an old friend

...if interested, please send us a message.. we accept E-transfer and ship next day.
...note: I see the buds on the Lilac tree growing larger each day

Below...  "Lilacs and Cream", Amethyst nugget hugged by sterling silver beads with a beautiful Fresh Water Pearl drop below... Sterling earwires... 1 3/8" long, top of earwire to bottom of Pearl... Handmade at our Desideratum studio. $25. a pair 

"Sagittarius", a cheery Turquoise nugget with Silver beads highlighting a Copper and Silver fused Rose design... Love how they compliment each other... 1 7/8" from top of earwire to base of Rose. $30. a pair. 
...If interested. please send us a message, we ship ASAP and accept e-transfers... also send to the US and Overseas with payment by cheque. Shipping is minimal.
... background pottery by talented NB Potter Helen Stanley ❤️

"Burgundy"... Labradorite and deep red, handcut and faceted Garnet drop... 2 1/4"L. top of earwire to base of Garnet drop. $35. pair. 
...Folklore has it that garnet may bring peace, prosperity and good health to the wearer. ❤️ ...January birthstone

...If interested please send us a message. we ship throughout North America and Overseas. ... 
Cheers All    ...from Desideratum Art and Jewelry, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Making the Hourglass Quilt

Beginning the process... and bringing out fabrics to choose between for the darks and lights

some of the darks

on to the lights... I use the same triangle template to mark both lights and darks. 

 every light has been matched to a dark
...pictorial sequence follows...

 I love using the treadle sewing machine... she is a 1936 Singer and uses a class 15 bobbin .

2 lights and 2 darks combine to make a 5" block. if you were doing one for yourself, you can make them any size you want, depending on the design of the quilt you wish to create.

always pressing the seams to the dark side... pressing the seams at each stage of the process makes it very pleasant to work with the blocks and keeps everything lying flat.

arranging the blocks so there is always a dark touching a light

seamed several lengths of wild bright cotton print for the back, pinned it into the frames, added a layer of batting and then the top was smoothed over and pinned in place

after the blocks were sewn together I felt a dark colour border  all around the outside would frame it in nicely... now it's in the frames and a couple rolls have been done.  it's so pretty, if I do say so myself... the colours just danced in the sunshine

 this quilt is being tied with embroidery floss at each corner ... I make 2 passes thru the fabric and then make a double knot and trim the thread to 3/4"

 my funky quilt stands.. they come apart for easy storage

 almost done tying 

measured and cut out 4" wide fabric strips for the binding... then sewn together, seams pressed and the entire length pressed in half lengthwise

 sewing the binding all around the edge of the quilt. 

 after this I trimmed the excess fabric away and folded the binding to the back and hand hemmed it 

Hourglass Quilt   all Finished... soft, cozy, cheery and bright....  and I love it!!