All posts by apryllx

What’s been done in the last 3 years

In 2014 I wrote a blogpost about some of the things I planned to do to my yard:

My side yard needs something. A couple of weeks ago my neighbor came over. He pulled down the vines growing on the fence, cut down saplings that had taken root, and mowed all the weeds. I need to get out there before the jungle returns. The plan is to hardscape the “lawn” areas, and add a few pots with herbs. I started chives, basil, and strawberries on my kitchen windowsill, and they are ready to re-pot.
Other outside projects waiting to be completed:
1. Power wash the front porch.
2. Add a touch of color to the front, something to brighten the area. Perhaps a begonia.
3. Do something about the mailbox, it is hanging funny.
4. Do something about the front gate, it is hanging funny, too.
5. Get rid of the lava rock path on the side yard and replace with stepping stones.
6. Decide whether to keep the dying mini-rose bush near the porch, or give it away. Perhaps my neighbor across the street could find a place for it. My front yard is too shady for it to flourish.

So, what was done?  And what wasn’t?

raised beds (2)

The side yard now is home to a raised vegetable garden that has yielded a few cherry tomatoes and radishes.  Considering it was planted with several easy to grow veggies, this harvest was sad.  It is now time to clean out the beds and put them to sleep for the winter.  Next spring we will reassess the space and probably change out what to grow.  Also started were a couple of small storage sheds.  The first, a 2′ x 6′ space along the side of the house is almost finished, only lacking front doors and a side panel.  The partial shed has been used this summer to shelter a very successful potted herb garden.  With mint (tons, in fact), two types of basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley, my herb garden grows very well, thank you.  These will be planted again, and more.  The side yard is in full shade at least 90% of the time, so veggies just might not love it here.

front of house

The front porch was never power washed, but it was scrubbed down well with bleachy soap, necessary because of the green mossy stuff trying to grow on the concrete, as seen in the above photo.  I did plant a begonia – four, to be exact.  They have grown like crazy.  Also, all the bushes growing in front of the house were taken out and replaced with large pots filled with  plants.  A new mailbox was a birthday gift from my sweetie James. Caladium bulbs were planted, not seen in the above picture.  They are now taking over the sidewalk.  The hinges on the gate have been tightened, allowing it to swing more freely.

Most of the lava rock and small stones have been removed from the path and redirected to a dry bed, allowing better drainage from back yard to front.  The dying rose didn’t make it to the neighbors house, it gave up before I could get to it.

In back a new fence has been erected.  It is board-on-board, very durable and well constructed.  The second storage shed is also lacking just a door, but it is already being used to store a few building materials.  A rain barrel was added for watering the plants.  I feel so good about this effort to conserve a precious resource.  The barrel was another gift from sweet James.

We talk about moving to a bigger place, and we talk about staying here and making this house work for us.  It is very small for two adults with tons of stuff.  980 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, 1 car garage (used as a laundry room and for storage).  Our HOA does not allow parking on the street, so with 2 vehicles occupying the drive, no place for visitors to park.  The association also limits how creative we can be with outside decorating.  It is understandable, no one wants to live next door to a red and purple house, unless you have a restored Victorian in San Francisco.  My little conservative neighborhood is less flamboyant.  But I would like more color, and perhaps something interesting in front of the house, like a kinetic sculpture.

We have a lot to consider.  Much still needs to be done.  Right now I am concentrating on a couple of art-ish projects.  In October I will host the Banders meeting and our project will be a mini-pocket album. The kits are complete, the mock-ups done and the prototype looks great.  In November I head to Atlanta for Create III, Anna Griffin’s retreat.  For that I have joined a 6″ x 6″ swap, making 40 similar pages to include a selfie and short bio.  All the elements are complete, but assembly is required.

Time has flown and I have rambled enough, trying to make up for the long time between posts.  Comment, if you will.  Good night for now, and sweet dreams.

 

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Circle Garden

I’ve begun a new series of works, all revolving around floral motifs.  The first in this “Garden Series” is Circle Garden.  In the next few blog posts, I will show a few pictures that show a little of the process involved.  I call these fabric collage, a form of painting with fabric, thread and embellishments.

Circle Garden 1CG4

CG22circle garden detail 2

These photos show my beginning process, from placement to embellishment.

Completed Circle Garden
Completed Circle Garden

DetailComposed mostly of silk fabrics up-cycled from blouses, ties and scarves found at local thrift stores and estate sales.  Shapes and colors are chosen, arranged, then fused to a background.  Hand embroidery and embellishing continue the process before the finished composition is mounted on a 12″ x 12″ x 1.5″ deep canvas.

This work was inspired by a similar Rex Ray design, an artist I greatly admire.  A group of 6 fiber artists rose to a challenge to each create a 12″ x 12″ work of fiber art with the common theme of CIRCLES.  This is my entry.

circle of friendsArtists from left to right, top to bottom:

Denise Spillane, Traci Hutton, Carolyn Skei, April Soncrant, Carol Regan, & Olga Brock

Our submission will be a part of the “Fiber Visions: Dallas Area Fiber Artists Brazos Gallery” exhibit at Richland Community College during the month of October.

FiberVisionsPostcardWe even made it on the postcard!  So excited!

I keep looking for my artistic voice.  Making fiber collage is leading me toward a good direction.  We’ll see how this develops.

The wheels in my mind keep on turnin’

There’s been more than a little bit of brainstorming going on lately.  Stuff I will share with you as we go along . . . but let’s just say, I’m planning on changing things up quite a lot!  It involves taking my business up a level.  Offer more, take some risks.

I’m currently making samples for a fabric flower making class.  Had to modify the design to make them no-sew friendly.  The prototypes were HUGE!  The measurements seemed all worked out, but instead ended up as ginormous blooms.  Still tweaking the process, but they are turning out rather attractive.

Fort Worth’s Main Street art festival was this past weekend.  The weather was perfect, 70’s and low 80’s, only a tiny bit of rain.  The artists all seemed to be pumped and very busy!  So many new ideas and inspiring works on display.  If you have a chance to go to a local art fair, go!  Surrounding yourself with beautiful artwork will invigorate your senses and activate the desire to create.

FYI – Traci Hutton will be at Eliza’s Art In The Yard, April 18.  You may just find some fabric twine or wire-worked art pieces there, so check it out.

So Busy

I’ve been crazy busy today, trying to make up lost time from this past weekend.  A bad cold laid me low for a few days, seriously cutting into painting time.  This coming Saturday and Sunday, March 7 and 8, I’ll be at Funky Finds!!!  Please come and visit my booth, #119, directly across from Mary’s Madness in booth #217.  I’ll be there from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.  Hope to see you there!

 

 

Late into the night

Sometimes, when my brain won’t shut down, I just have to make things.  I don’t always know where I’ll finish, but I do know that I enjoy the process.  So it is a quarter to 4:00 a.m. and the home fires are burning bright.  Things keep piling up and more ideas than time drift past.  Here is a peek, not finished projects, but a couple well on their way.

2015-02-06 03.19.55-12015-02-06 03.19.40-1

 

Above is a frame with a recess cut in the center, lined with scalloped muslin, and wire loops on the side.  The second image is of a heart with the piece it was cut from.  They will all show up again soon.  When I can think what else to do.

Below is the beginning of a quilt.  I started this in a class taught by Sue Benner (it looks nothing like her work, which is fantastic.)  It is far from finished, not even close.  The colors are more representative of my work.  Bright, full of pinks, purples, and oranges.

 

2015-02-06 03.20.22-1
11″ x 18″

Machine embroidery, beads and embellishments will further adorn this piece, currently comprised of tie silks and fancy dress fabrics.

This weekend I’ll celebrate three birthdays, two grandsons and a very dear friend.  It will be two crazy mixed up days and no time to sit quietly in my room and create.

 

Look out, the sewing machine has been plugged in!

First, I must give a shout out to Diana Pease, for the fabric and the desire to start sewing again. I made this cute apron with red, red heart pocket and jean waist band from a box of scraps picked up at Diana’s house yesterday. Thanks for the inspiration!

Re-used / recycled fabric
Re-used / recycled fabric and lace

I’ve been threatening to showcase some fabric creations and now that the machine is humming, watch out!

The Hearts Continue

The last few days have been quiet.  My love has the flu, so I am tip-toeing around, trying to work and be as noiseless as possible.  Here is what I’ve been able to do:

Confetti Jars
Confetti Jars with Heart Confetti

A couple of specially decorated spice jars filled with heart shaped confetti.  The confetti in the blue jar was punched from playing cards, the second one from sticker sheets.  These may never leave my shelves, as I can see so many uses for the cool shapes.

I found a stash of small old pimento jars and will be decorating them as well.

Tea Lights
Tea Lights

Found these great ceramic tea lights and fashioned the wire hangers/handles.  The irregular holders are very organic in design, and with their new handles, they are darling!  Again, I may have to keep a couple of these for myself.

I have been clearing off my desk top, making space for a sewing machine.  As soon as that is set up, plenty ‘o stitching will be goin’ on!  Join me here again tomorrow with the latest installment of the heart chronicles.

Another wire creation

Woke up this morning at 5:00 a.m.

Ideas swimming through my head.  One for a banner that I’ll have to dust off my sewing machine to finish.  Another for a display fixture I need to get pieces for.  I’ll take pics and show them both to you later.  For now, feast your eyes on this:

Straight Through The Heart
Straight Through The Heart

Lots of twisty wire, mat board, paper mache.

Now I will clean off my desk and set up the sewing machine, after a hot cup of coffee.  Thanks for looking!

p.s.  Notice the heart in the center?  It is from my day of paper mache making.  Watch for more of these hearts making their way into projects!