Wednesday, June 27, 2012

30 Minute Zippered Pouch

Unfortunately the process photos in this post were lost to computer gremlins.  I have been able to restore the final images.  Sorry!
As you will know if you've been following my blog, I found it necessary last week to go shopping for a new car (see why here).  This was also an opportunity to completely empty out the old car, reorganize my 'stuff' an decide what I really need it the new vehicle.  Something that is probably good to do once every 7 or 8 years! LOL.  I had a few small things that I wanted in the glove box (flashlight, spare batteries, note pad, etc.) so I decided to make a little zippered pouch to keep them in.

  I started with a piece of this pre-quilted scrap I had.  I thought it would be perfect because it gave me batting and a backing (which ended up being the lining of the bag) and it was free because someone had given it to me.
Next I grabbed my stash of little batik scraps.  I keep them in one of those zippered plastic pouches that bed sheets come in these days.  It's a great size and I can see through it so it's perfect!  
I just randomly started layering the scraps on the pre-quited backing, using a zig-zag raw edge applique method to secure them.  I used whatever strange shape I had and I think it added to the fun of the final result.
I wanted to add some more interest, so I cut some circles and squares than started adding them, again just using the zig-zag stitch.

Then I added some extra stitching lines on a few of the shapes, using a straight stitch to make spirals, etc. inside the shapes.

I stitched the zipper to one end, flipped it around and stitched the other side of the zipper to the other end, and then folded it, right sides together, and used my serger to stitch the side seams (remember to OPEN THE ZIPPER for this part).  I also serged across the corners to give it a bit of dimension and then I turned it right side out and it was done!  All that in 30 minutes!

Here's the finished pouch, showing both sides.  A great way to make something from nothing (or little seemingly useless scraps).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beautiful Milkweed Buds

I've discovered that looking at the world through a photographer's eyes has me noticing things I have never really seen before.  For example, I had never noticed how beautiful milkweed blossoms are.  Before they actually open, they have the most wonderful cluster of buds and then when they do open, each individual blossom on the cluster is quite amazing.  
I had also never noticed the incredible colour, including the burgundy vein that runs through the leaves.
And so, the first digitally altered photo for today is the milkweed blossom.  I followed a tutorial that Kim gave us in Beyond Layers to add the text band with gradient colour. I used a variation on a well known quote to remind you to, "take time to smell the roses" or as I said above, notice things you might be overlooking.  I played with a variety of filters and textures to create a painterly effect on this one.

These photos are being linked to Photo Show OffTexture TuesdaySweet Shot TuesdayOur World TuesdayThis or That ThursdaysPhoto Art FridayShoot, Edit, SubmitFabulous Friday,Flower Art Friday and Photo Friday Link Party.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Faith is...

While travelling with our 5th wheel trailer last week one of the windows was broken.  I loved the pattern created by the safety glass so I had to snap a couple of photos.  I've used one here as a layer over this image that Kim challenged us with in Beyond Layers.  
I thought this inspirational quote by Helen Keller finished it off well.  Hope you're having a good start to your week.

Photos Of My Week

 This beautiful image of the sunset behind a barn in Northern Indiana, complete with the wonderful vapour trails of jets, is the image that I keep coming back to as I work through the stresses of the last few days.  It was taken while my husband and I were camping on a mini vacation last week.

These next two images were taken within a couple of hours of our return home.  Fortunately we saw our son before we saw what remains of my Escape.  Thank goodness he will be fine and there was no one in the passenger seat when he was hit.  The thoughts of what might have been still cause my knees to shake!
These photos are being linked to Photo Show OffTexture TuesdaySweet Shot TuesdayOur World TuesdayThis or That ThursdaysPhoto Art FridayShoot, Edit, SubmitFabulous Friday, Flower Art Friday and Photo Friday Link Party.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Quilt Gardens

Computer Gremlins reeked havoc and stole these photos.  I have tried, but I can not restore them.  Sorry!
Quilts are a big part of Amish heritage, and in this area of Indiana, they have created wonderful quilt gardens to showcase some traditional quilt blocks.   

By each garden, you will find a sign similar to the one shown here in which they show which flowers have been planted for each of the different coloured areas in the block.

At this time of year, the plants are still rather new, but I imagine as the season progresses the flowers fill out and the quilt block gardens become even more beautiful.

These next three photos are not terribly good quality because they were taken on my iPhone and they are of photos in a tourist flyer.
The gardens are located in many of the towns in this part of northern Indiana, around Elkhart, Goshen, Topeka, Middlebury, etc.

Tomorrow, while out on our explorations, we hope to see another couple of these gardens.  If so, I will share pictures of them here.

Until then, let this inspire your gardening creativity!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"In The Doghouse!"

Photos missing thanks to computer gremlins.  Sorry...

Okay, here's the story...

The other day we decided to leave Casey alone in the 5th wheel for a couple of hours while we were out.  Well, it turns out that she has developed some separation anxiety issues and while we were gone she decided to get out and look for us.  As you can see from the photo, she ripped the screen and then bit (yes I said bit, not scratched) her way through the fibreglass door and into the styrofoam insulation.  When we got back, there were bits of fibreglass, pink bloodstained styrofoam and a very relieved dog waiting for us when we opened the door.

 Naturally, at first we were not too happy, but we realize it is human error.  Casey will be 12 years old tomorrow and she has been crate trained, but we forgot to bring her crate with us.  At home, when ever she is unsettled by something she goes into her crate and she feels safe and secure.

As you can see, we were able to buy a bit of fibreglass, some screws and some screening and the problem is fixed.  It's not perfect, but then again what is in life?
Fibreglass sheet, screws and screening=$8.00
A new dog crate=$69.00
Piece of mind for Casey and us=PRICELESS!

As soon as I set up the crate and put her stinky old bed inside, Casey got in, lay down and snoozed for 2 hours.  Everybody's happy! :~)

And the added bonus is that now we done have to lug a crate back and forth to the cottage.  We can leave one at home and one up at the lake.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Bill and I have taken a little road trip just to have a change of scenery and do a bit of camping to enjoy some quiet.  We brought the dog with us (maybe not the best choice-I'll blog about that when we're not so annoyed at what she did) and left the cat home with our son.

Yesterday we went poking in a wonderful antique barn and I took a few photos.  I love all of the wonderful things you find in these places!

coffee grinder

How creepy is this doll?  It would scare any little girl I know. LOL

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ted Talks and Pollination

I don't usually put up links for Youtube, but a friend shared this one with me and I just had to pass it on.  It is an absolutely incredible short video about pollination, insects, birds, etc. that includes stunning photography.  It truly showcases the beauty of nature!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Paper Wasp

This evening I found this wasp building a nest on the branch of a flowering shrub along my neighbourhood dog walking route.  I had actually stopped to take some pictures of the beautiful blossoms when the movement of the wasp caught my attention.  I love how the nest looks like it grew there!

I decided to use a gradient map adjustment to change the photo to black and white and then use a layer mask to remove the black and white adjustment from the wasp itself.  I bumped up the hue/saturation to give the wasp a little more of a colour pop and then I added the quote about anger.  I tried adding a texture, but with the natural texture in the wooden fence and the wasp nest I decided to leave well enough alone.

This photo is being linked to Texture TuesdaySweet Shot TuesdayOur World TuesdayThis or That ThursdaysPhoto Art FridayShoot, Edit, Submit, Fabulous Friday and Photo Friday Link Party.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Digitally Altered & Stitched

Two weeks ago I did a post about a photo I took and processed three ways (you can see it here).  I really liked the third version, so I printed it onto this woven fabric (you can read about that here), and then I started to add stitch and beads.  The colours are off in this first shot because of the light and time of night when I took it, but it shows the beginnings of the stitching and beading.  I let the print lead me and just kept adding to it until it felt like it didn't need anything more. 

 I used some DMC floss and some hand-dyed threads for both the embroidery stitches and the hand wrapped cords that I made.  I decided to create some more dimensionality by attaching the cording in such a way that it lifted up off of the surface.
It looks a lot different than the photo, but it was a fun little piece to work on.

Friday, June 1, 2012


This week's final inspirational word from Kim, in Beyond Layers, is 'FOCUS'.  I took this photo on the weekend.  It's a beautiful flowering bush, but unfortunately I have no idea what it is called.  If any of you know, please do tell.  I chose not to do any editing on this shot because I loved it just the way it was.  I simply applied it to a background so I could put the quote underneath it.  Thanks for visiting!

Update:  Thanks to Sue Andrus, this beautiful bush has been identified as the Lacecap Hydrangea Bush.