Friday, May 17, 2013

What's My Name and Where Do I Live?

That's sort of how my week has been...steady and full...and a bit hard on my brain.  The simple reason? Lots to do, lots to learn, lots to work on, lots to finish...

After cleaning out my studio, I cleaned the "Messy Work" counter in my back room.  It's the place where I store my geraniums over the winter, and my seeds, and work on dye baths etc.  With the geraniums back out in their outdoor homes for the summer, it needed a good wipe-down and re-organization.  Pookie had been digging at the plants so the counter needed a good scrub, and my aging philodendron needed dealing with.  In the end, I cut it back, put 3 cuttings in water, and composted the rest.  I repotted another plant, put it in a hanger so the Pook-ster wouldn't dig it, et voila!  Isn't this nicer to look at and work with?

Once the counter top was spic and span, I covered it with a section from a retired plastic shower curtain.  Front and centre right now is my old cutting mat, back-side up, which is useful there if I'm using sharp implements.  On the left is my small collection of gardening books, brought out for the season, plus left-over seeds, and not-yet-planted seeds.  On the right (out of vision) is my container of clothespins, which I use in the summer when I get to dry clothes and fabric outside on my drying rack.  (Still trying to figure out where and how to mount a proper clothesline.)

Monday afternoon on the way back from my Usual Monday in Lacombe, I succumbed to the lure of P.J.'s Plantation (my local nursery) and bought my bedding-outs and a few new perennials for my flower beds:

With no frost in the forecast for the foreseeable future, I planted all but 3 perennials and 3 tomatoes.  These will be planted this weekend -- the "May Long" (aka Victoria Day Holiday Weekend), Canada's first official weekend of "summer".

In the studio I've been going back and forth between my two current projects: "Back to the Garden" for 15 x 15 , and a 24" square piece for SAQA Western Canada's next travelling show, The Burgess Shale Project.  Both are due by month-end or shortly thereafter.  The 'garden' theme has suited both in different ways.  I'm not sharing about the BSP right now...but will do so when it's been turned in for exhibit.  Then 'All Shall Be Revealed'!  :-)

However, "Back to the Garden" is taking shape, with stars and stardust being applied, thus:

I'm still playing around with photo programs on my new laptop, so I apologize for the quality of this one.  Here's a bit of detail from that upper left corner:

There are star sequins beaded on, and very tiny gold beads scattered throughout for the star-dust.  I have in mind to use hand-dyed silk to stitch tiny seed stitch on the lower portion, the "Garden" part.  And maybe some butterflies...we shall see if they pass the audition.  :-)  Not too sure how I'll edge it, but I think it's calling for a facing, don't you?

Wednesday and Thursday have been knitting days.  On the former, I had several hours to occupy while I waited for a friend at her ophthalmologist's office -- and managed to get half-way to the heel of the second sock in a Plain Vanilla pair for my elderly cousin D, whom I'll be visiting in June.  I'm using a 'manly' colour-way in navy, blue, and tan self-striping yarn -- 4 fadig Strato Color by Regia --  which has lived in my stash for some time now.  Yesterday I got the rest of the leg done, plus the first row of the the long quiet gap between mad flurries of customers in my first day on the job at The Crafty Lady.

I also learned how to enter new inventory (a new shipment of jewel-toned 'ruffle' yarn -- Red Heart's Metallic Sashay.  It's so delicious I might have to make one of these scarves after all.), to run the cash register, and to create price labels (for a shipment of wood and horn buttons and shawl pins, also yummy!).

My skills in making change while conversing with a customer have been refreshed (I worked in a bookshop in Calgary between 2005 and 2008) well as how to serve multiple customers on a tag-team basis.

And...I wound 4 of seven skeins of yarn on a ball-winder that needs to be mounted on a higher counter!  Lori, the manager, spelled me off for the other 3 skeins, plus 2 more for another customer later in the afternoon.

By 5:30 p.m. I was definitely ready for home!  It was fun, though, and I came away with a list of projects/techniques to work on:

  • An entrelac scarf that has languished since the class I took a couple of years ago; 
  • A worsted weight shawl in Berroco "Comfort" (worsted weight) from the 'on sale' yarns at the front of the shop; and 
  • An embroidery sampler from "Just Nan", barely begun...Heaven knows when, having been inspired by the fellow (yes fellow) who came in to get supplies for not one but two projects he wants to do from Just Cross-stitch  Magazine (which issue, I'm not sure; I saw only the inside of it, not the cover!)

The blessing of today is that it's rainy (at last) so I can curl up with my beading and knitting...sifting and sorting new experiences, new information, new ideas...again remembering...

We are stardust; 
we are golden -- 
and we've got to get ourselves
back to the Garden.

- Joni MItchell, "Woodstock"

Why don't you 'set a spell' and listen along while you catch up with some other artists?  I'm linking this -- for the first time in a few weeks -- to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.  :-)


elle said...

The May Long. Here is hoping the frost is done as it is still cold and now rainy, but that is pretty usual for Vicki's day! Have a good one!

Judy Warner said...

Hi Margaret,

I love Back to the Garden - did you dye the fabric? It is so different from your landscapes - like a different style of expression coming out. Looking forward to seeing the finished - I would definitely face. I have actually 'discovered' a non-mitered facing that, with some tweaking of on-line instructions, I am using for like sized projects. Let me know if you want me to dig up the link.

Linda A. Miller said...

What a week you have had! Great that you are sharing your skills at the Crafty Lady. I also love Back to the Garden...feels like spring awoke your creativity in a new way.