Friday, March 13, 2020

Back on Earth

A week ago I was crowing about being selected for a short summer residence in Glacier National Park near Revelstoke, B.C.  I was "over the moon".

This week?  My feet have definitely landed back on solid ground! The SAQA conference in Toronto has been cancelled -- well, more like "replaced" (and creatively so!)  by a 'virtual' conference.  A mixed blessing, that, but still enough to keep me excited!

The exhibition in Prague in April -- where Season After Season was to be shared with a new audience -- has been cancelled.

The "Town Hall" meeting to be held in Red Deer tomorrow -- organized by the Anglican Diocese of Calgary for its central Alberta parishes -- has been converted to a Zoom session.  Yes, I'll be there...and look forward to it.

As for Art in the Park, planned for mid-July -- news of which had me soaring just a week ago --'s under discussion, and I'm told there'll be news in the next week to ten days.

The Lacombe Art Show & Sale?  It's scheduled for April 24-25...NOT.  
Just got a phone call...
Lemon?  The show is cancelled for this year, given Provincial regs re: large group gatherings.
Lemonade?  I will be the Featured Artist for 2021.  

As Maureen (organizer) said, "We'll just pretend this year never happened."  She's going to continue to write about the artists on Facebook; the "Under $100" Art Sale is still booked for the pre-Christmas season, and perhaps some of us artists will have her put our work up on exhibit in the local public a sneak peek for 2021...

People everywhere are being called on to make lemonade out of the lemons handed them by the novel coronavirus (I just recently learned that is one word).  And so they are.

I live in hope, so...
I choose to make lemonade.

I'm spending as much time as possible doing things to lift my spirits, to soothe my soul, to be a peace. This calls for making -- and that I am blessed to be able to do!

We've had snow storms two Saturdays in a row -- and a third bout of frigid air and snowfall began this morning (the snow is expected to ramp up this evening and over night) -- so in reality, I've been at this now for some time.

Here are the ingredients for my latest batch of "lemonade" 😉...

Two of the charm square "quiltlets" are now finished; the third one has part of it's binding attached; and the fourth has just been pinned and prepped for quilting -- more "big stitch" with #12 perle cotton.  The first three were blues, greens and browns.  This one is...not...

The photo doesn't do justice to that green border -- it's very acidic!  Lime, actually -- bright keeping with the citrus theme... 😉

I finished my "Millie" pullover, and really like how it turned out.  It's comfy and easy to wear, and even though it's an odd colour-way for me, it looks great with grey pants and purple accents...

Berocco 'Boboli Lace' - here's the yarn knit up
Colour-way: #4367 - "Gazebo"
(Who thinks up these yarn names anyway? 😕)

Millie - from Nice and Knit

I cast on my first sock of the pair for the Ravelry "Socks from Stash" March challenge.  The theme this month is "flowers" -- relating to either the pattern chosen or the name of the yarn used.  I found a lovely pastel yarn in my stash -- no label!! -- and chose what I think is the perfect pattern: Longing for Spring -- designed by Caoua Coffee, free on Ravelry.  It's a toe-up pattern that I've managed to convert to my preferred 'cuff down' method.  The photo below shows it in the early stages; I've now finished the heel and am making my way down the foot:

Last but not least -- in the knitting department, anyway -- I cast on the Bonjour/Hi cowl (or "shoulder warmer") designed by Espace Tricot (another free Ravelry pattern).  It's an experiment in yarns, as I am knitting two together: a fingering weight alpaca-wool blend, and a lace-weight wool-silk blend -- again in colours unusual for me, but the 'marl' created is beautiful.  I've enjoyed this simple knit so much that -- like the Millie -- I may make another if I find just the right yarn combo!

Berocco Ultra Alpaca Fine
in Colour #1284 - "Prune Mix"

JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18
in "Mahogany"

And the two together on the needles...with a bit too much light!

Lest you think all of this knitting etc. has kept me from new'd be wrong!  😉

This week I've essentially finished two pieces.  The first is the third in my "plant pot" series.  I took this photo of my Christmas Cactus -- which bloomed at Hallowe'en (2019) and now in Lent...

I wanted to get the hint of the outside through the blinds, and was fortunate to find a piece of poly-cotton I'd dyed a while back.  The blend of fibres meant, of course, that it didn't take the dye strongly.
For the blinds, I used pieces of a synthetic I'd been given several years ago.  It frays like crazy, so I pressed the edges under and stitched them down as I sewed them to the background fabric.

Then I added a wonderful striated dark brown batik, and a slice of grey "grunge" print for the counter-top, and auditioned a dark green for the pot:

It was time to "plant" the cactus -- using a different green print, one with a bit of black in the pattern.  You can see I've also added the "light" shining on the pot -- simply by using the same "pot" fabric, turned to the "wrong" side...

Now for the blossoms.  I'd dyed a chunk of fabric a few years back to use as the roses in Mackintosh's Garden, and was fortunate I still had some left!

Mackintosh's Garden: Hardy to Zone 3 (C) 2014

Hand-dyed fabric for flowers...'Green Pot'

The extra good news is that I didn't need to make much of a dent into this piece to cut what I needed.  Gradually I placed the blossoms and the stems:

I stitched them all down, free-motion, added a voila! Ready to attach to a 10" x 10" x 1/2" stretched canvas and take to the framer!

Green Pot (C) 2020

And still...there's more!

Concurrently with "Green Pot", I worked on a larger, 'soft' piece, inspired by "Morning", a poem by Mary Oliver, that is one of the poems in the wee book entitled The Great Cat, given me by my friend Peg for Christmas 2019.

I was captivated by these lines:

"...Milk in a blue bowl. The yellow linoleum.
The cat stretching her black body from the pillow..."

And so...this (click to enlarge):

Milk in a Blue Bowl: After Mary Oliver (C) 2020
14" W x 18" L
Commercial & hand-dyed cotton and
faux silk fabrics
Machine quilting

Cat - close up

Top close up

Bottom close up

Maureen's phone call interrupted this post...and has me rather teary...must be from squeezing all those lemons, determined to make lemonade!

The wind continues to blow, the wind chill is nasty, there's light snow in the air...I'll be pouring a cuppa and heading to the couch to watch some quilty podcasts and do all the hand stitching that's stacked up.  Meanwhile, I leave you with a link to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday...and a hug and a hope, Gentle Readers, that you are all safe, warm and well this weekend.


elle said...

I like lemonade!
It is gonna be an interesting year for sure.
Let's clink our glasses as we take time to smell the roses or in your case, cactus blooms!

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Lovely Green Pot!

Rebecca Grace said...

Your Millie pullover is gorgeous and I like your attitude about the lemons. Here's another quote for you: Life is always going to give us lemons, but that doesn't mean we have to suck on them! I think Max Lucado said that. ;-)

Kathie Briggs said...

Margaret, I am so sorry that so many of your anticipated events have been cancelled. I'm hoping that your artist in residence at Glacier will happen eventually. What a shame about the SAQA conference. I know Jenny Perry was really looking forward to it too. Love you Green Pot cactus. And I remember when you made Mackintosh's Garden. The sweater is very cool. May need to save it in my Ravelry favorites. Yes, I have become a knitter. My 2020 aspiration (I do aspirations rather than resolutions). I have finished a scarf for Bob & am just finishing a shawl from yarn I dyed myself.