Monthly Archives: January 2012

Rain, Rain and More Rain

I ran out of thread and a trip to the store in such a soggy, dark, wet day did not appeal to me at all. Yesterday Sweet Hubs and I had been out and about and I got some amazing nature photos. So today I used the weather as an excuse to indulge in cropping and uploading a bunch of photos.  The new camera takes 10 megapixel photos, so I do crop and save them for web. It takes me longer than I ever think it will.

The walls in most of our house are a very warm French grey. My new camera loves taking photos anywhere, without a flash. However, the light was so low and the only available lighting in warm incandescent. The mum is pure white. So that gave me an excuse to play around with PhotoShop. I used the same photo and tried some color editing.

Chrysanthemum 1

The original with its very warm gold color cast has been cropped. It looks more orange here than it did on my camera. What’s up with that? Or did I accidentally save the wrong one. Must have. It’s still on my memory card, maybe I’ll check it out.

Chrysanthemum 2

In this one I tried to adjust the hue. I experimented with everything in the spectrum from hot pink to green and all the rainbows in between. The downside is the antique gold frame lost its depth and luster.

Chrysanthemum 3

Converting to blank and white presented a photo of nearly all mid-tone greys and the photo was flat. It took a lot of additional adjusting of shadows, highlights, light, contrast to bring out the depth ad contrasts of textures of the frame, wall, flower and mirror.

Chrysanthemum 4

A bit of overall lightening and then I removed the yellow of the chrysanthemum and replaced it with white.

Chrysanthemum 5

Number 5 is the closest to the actual colors, but took the longest and most tweaking and color correction of all. I think I may have used almost every possible option to tone down the color and keep the detail intact.

I normally do not like to make any kind of adjustments besides crop. But this was such a simple composition it seemed like a good image to experiment with.

Which one is your favorite? Or perhaps I should ask which one do you hate the least, after all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there is no accounting for taste, even my own. 😀

Shez

 

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Filed under Do It Yourself, Life's Contradictions, Photography, Sewing

The Quilt…Meets Disaster

Last Friday I got home from work a bit early and was happy that the work on the quilt was going well. All the pieces sewn together and ready to put the borders on it. Even from the back it was pretty, well sort of pretty if you happen to like to look a lots of seams with raw edges. I was just folding it up when

The Back of the Quilt

Sweet Hubs came in to see if I was about ready for bed. I was, but I was just about to take the quilt to see how it would look on the bed. We carried it into the guest room and we laid it out on the bed.

Oh, NOOOoooo-o-o-o.

The quilt is not long enough. It’s not quite long enough to be a blanket and I don’t want to hide it under a bedspread. I was discouraged. It was late. I was tired. Sweet Hubs looked at the room.

“That’s all the fabric, right?”

“Yes.”

“Can you fix it?” he wanted to know.

“I don’t know how, but I’ll think on it. Maybe I can take  it apart and add occasional white squares through out. That way I could come up with enough blocks to do another row. Then with the borders in place, it should work. It will be okay if the sheet folds over the top edge and the pillow in a matching pillow case shows. I can add a couple of pretty throw pillows and it look nice.”

As he helped me fold it back up he said, “Take it all apart? After all that work?” I nodded. “Only fabric is in the curtains, right?” We both stopped and looked at the curtains. “But they look so nice,” Sweet Hubs murmured.

I nodded and began to wonder if I could cut enough off the bottom of them to make eight additional squares. Then buy more white fabric to add a wide white piece at the bottom of each curtain. We headed off to bed with me “thinking on it.” And him saying, “You’ll come up with something. I know you.”

I had worked long and hard that evening. I was determined to finish it by Sunday. Goldilocks and Hans were coming Saturday afternoon to spend the night with us. It was going to be a short weekend with lots of housework to do.

Got my pajamas on and went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and I was greeted by

Overflowing Dirty Clothes Hamper

Laundry ala Mode. Add to my Saturday list five or six loads of laundry, that piled up because dirty clothes multiply when you aren’t looking. Why is it dirty clothes accumulate faster than rabbits? Or it was because we looked after grandkids the previous weekend also and that was actually two weeks worth of laundry.  At this point I was too tired and also discouraged, dejected and in despair. And still no quilt in sight.

The weekends of January are quickly coming to a close. I will leave you here. If there is a rest of the story, you will see it here on another odd day. If there is not I will buy a white coverlet and have a really pretty (and very time-consuming) throw. Either way you will get a post of before and after of the guest room.

Cheers!

Shez

PS The did floors get mopped, the bathrooms cleaned, the laundry was washed, dried, folded and put away and we had fun with Hans and Goldilocks. Plus lots of time watching and hoping for snow.

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Filed under Crafts, Decorating, Family, Humor, Life's Contradictions, Sewing

The Big Snow Storm

The grandkids Hans (11 y/o boy) and Goldilocks (5 y/o girl) were coming for most of the weekend. We were all excited because the weatherman had been promising-teasing-hinting-suggesting we would have snow. We were hoping-wishing-anxious-bouncing (off the walls) with anticipation. Every 10 minutes someone was checking out the window or checking the temperature.

By 9pm, Goldilocks had climbed into Granddad’s lap and was asleep. By 11:30 Hans was still checking the temp and out the window when he decided maybe we should all go to bed and hope the miracle happened during the night.

At 8am, two excited kids bounced into our room to let us know it was snowing. Yes, it was. You could count the flakes as the fell, tiny little things, one or two a second. They melted on contact.

We got dressed, ready and headed out to Denny’s for breakfast. It has become a Sunday morning ritual. Hans and Goldilocks look forward to going out for Pancake Puppies when they spend the night on Saturday. Still no snow. We came home where little flurries kept teasing us all day, but never enough to even cover the ground. Then about 2:30 the big flakes fell fast and furious and within 15 minutes we had a glorious covering of snow. The sun peaked out the snow was melting in less time than it had taken to accumulate.

Goldilocks was jumping and dancing, “Come on, Grams. We gotta go play in the snow.” We grabbed our shoes and jackets and headed out. To play. To build a snowman. With less than 1/8 inch of snow on the ground; in the places there was any snow.

Come On! We Have to Play!! We Can Build a Snowman!!!

We couldn’t take time to find gloves or the snow would be gone. With nothing more than our bare hands we began to build a snowman. We rolled a big ball for the body, a smaller one for the head and then added the accessories.

Goldilocks Adds the Finishing Touches

Goldilocks took the time to pose with her first snowman of 2012. She was most proud of how he looked. She wanted to add arms, but finding such tiny sticks was a challenge. So she decreed that we built a snow cat.

Goldilocks and Her Snowman


Last but not least, a portrait of Snowman #1 2012.

And there you have it. The miracle snowman. Do you know how hard it was to find enough snow to build a snowman? We think he turned out very cute!!

At dusk he was still sitting all alone on the grass, which by then was completely green with no snow in sight. He may last through the night because the temperature dipped below the freezing mark just before dark.

Hope you had a fun day, too!

Cheers,
Shez

PS QUILT DISASTER For those watching for an update on the quilt, it is spelled “disaster.” I even stayed up until 1:30 this morning…stay tuned…:(

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Filed under Do It Yourself, Family, Humor, Nature, Photography, The Great Outdoors

Making Sense of the Chaos

Gotta admit that after dinner tonight I couldn’t wait to work on the repurposed quilt project. I have seven rows of nine blocks each pieced together and top stitched. Then I looked at the time and realized there was no time left tonight for a blog. Well other than the photo in the 365Day Photo Project.

The time slipped by so quickly as the quilt began coming together. Kind of making sense of the chaos of many pieces of fabric. And yes, I’m having fun working on it. I love creating things.

It is like my current life of making sense of the chaos. One more thing on my “put-on- the-back-burner-for-mom  2010 ToDo list nearing check off. Though I miss mom, it is a good feeling to be getting my life back.

Maybe by this weekend it will be done. With luck so will the laundry. 😉

The End

Why this silly picture? Because it makes me smile and because it is the end.

G’Nite

Shez

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Filed under Crafts, Do It Yourself, Family, Life's Contradictions, Photography, Sewing

Waste Not, Want Not

Both of my grandmother’s had the same mantra. It was, “Waste not, want not.” They both had young families when the depression hit. Both of them were very frugal people. Certainly not cheap and always making special treats for us. But both of them had a knack for using, reusing, and remaking things. The good parts from a frayed dress became an apron, scraps of worn things were cut into pieces and hand stitched into quilts. Everything in the garden was eaten or canned. Fallen fruit was carefully scrubbed, the worms cut out and the good parts made into a pie or jam.

Today we call that repurposing. And I have been repurposing some old curtains into new curtains and a quilt for our guest room. The curtains really were not old, but they had not worked out in the room we had bought them for. They had a large, vertical, random stripe that was beautiful when viewed flat on the floor and the colors were perfect. Hung on the rod each window appeared to have a completely different stripe pattern, blue on one window, green on another and sage on yet another panel. It made a quite a statement, unfortunately the statement was, “We’re mismatched and ugly.”

After a couple of years, we hadn’t gotten used to them, in fact they just seemed to get worse. I took them down and made tailored valences instead. That was the right decision and looks great. But the waste not want not thing was bothering me. What to do?

The fabric showed some sun fading, but washed up so soft and the colors are so soothing with a fresh clean feel. I put them away to think about a positive way to use the fabric.

This winter when we finished the bathroom, it was time to do some updating to our one guest bedroom. It has knotty pine walls which have a certain charm but can made a room so dark. Hubby decided he was going to wash them and after an online search found the solution. He also thought that since our house has white woodwork throughout the rest of it, perhaps white doors and woodwork would be brighter and would match the existing white window sashes and trim.

Pine Room Walls Clean, Painting Finished

The colors of the old curtains would be perfect in that room. I turned the stripe horizontally and made curtains. Then looked at the scraps and was sure there was enough left over to make a comforter cover. Then I contemplated different layouts to figure what would look best. Instead of bordering a large piece I thought cutting squares and piecing them together alternating the direction of the stripes.

That was when it hit me that cutting the square into diagonal quarters would make it more fun. I played with some pieces, cut the first few wrong, discovered the error of my ways and came up with the most amazing quilt pieces. Very few of them are identical, I got all 63 blocks done, some needed addition scraps sewed in (if only I hadn’t cut the first few wrong). I worried about the faded pieces but in the end decided it was not new, it was repurposed and the faded pieces would only give it character.

Adding White Borders and Top Stitching

Sixty-three Blocks

Alternating the Color Blocks

Continue to Sort and Layout the Blocks

By next week-end I hope to have this finished. Rather than a typical quilt with batting and lots of “quilting” I bought a soft white fleece for the backing. It won’t need batting and it will be soft and snuggly. The kind of thing a kid loves to pull off the bed and cuddle up in. Easy to wash and dry and easy to finish with perhaps only the center of each block needing to be tacked to the fleece.

It was a busy weekend of putting Christmas decorations away, cleaning, organizing, and boxing things up to donate. A productive weekend, a good weekend. A very good weekend.

Hope your weekend was enjoyable as well.

Cheers,

Shez

 

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Filed under Crafts, Decorating, Do It Yourself, Photography, Random, Sewing

January 3, 2012 Caught Up!

Meet my new “Header” shape photo. 

Finally, todays blog arriving today. I have discovered that my header photo does not change and it does not necessarily relate to my odd day post. To solve this  dilemma I decided to choose one header per month or so and the first image you will see daily will be a little intro, or tease, or glimpse of what is to come.

This afternoon I was treated to a gorgeous sunset. Within a time frame of about a minute about 4:37pm I was lucky to capture these photos. If you love the awesome shows put on by nature, you will love these.  They are taken facing west-southwest. The sun is never over head this time of year when the nights are long and they days are short.

There is a boost in the color as the sun sinks lower.

The colors have not had any photo adjustments. It is just the way they looked.

The clouds whirl and dance, flashing their petticoats of pinks.

The Sky is Kicking Up the Colors

The pastel colors were directly west the sun is in our southern sky this time of year.

The colors flash behind the strong black silhouette of a bold tree.

Experimental photography, I deleted them except for this one, a simple case of if you have seen one you have seen them all.The darkness is overtaking the brilliance. In another 5 seconds the show is over.

 

Let me know what you think about our sunset. What kind of sunset did you have on January 3, 2012?

I wish you a great day tomorrow. Thank you for checking in. I love hearing from you. I even like it if you have a suggestion on how I can improve my blog, don’t hesitate to share your advise.

Cheers,

Shez

 

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Filed under Nature, Photography, The Great Outdoors, Uncategorized