Sunday, September 30, 2012

still painting

 I am still painting some of the photos I took while in Italy.
This was a garden gate at a villa we stopped at to have lunch.  It was the best food I ever ate.  and the grounds were lovely.

This was the view from my window in the small hotel we stayed at in Venice.  The building was crumbling but the flowers were blooming away.  It was beautiful color and patina.
While I was on the trip two ladies told us they were award winning painters, but never painted a stroke.  I thought it was rather odd, but they said they would paint when they got home.  I now suppose that is a valid argument.  I didn't paint anything after I got home until now and I have been mining my photos for subjects to paint.  I'm glad I painted while I was there on location, but I am having a ball painting from the photos here at home as well.
By the way, I have also been doing a bit of sewing.  I will share that when I return from a visit to Sara's.  I think you will like the project.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I have been taking a water color painting class at the local senior center on Thursday nights.
On Saturday I went into my "studio" to do some home work and started painting.  It was so much fun that I kept going and spent most of the next three days painting and listening to audio books.  Two books later this is what  I have done.  I painted from photos I had taken this past year.

 These were succulents in the gardens at the Huntington Library.  I think they turned out pretty good, they look like succulents and have dimension.  It was hard to get the color right.
 This was a little village in a crevice of the cliffs along the Amalfi coast of Italy.  The houses were built right into the rocks.  I couldn't deal with all those stairs.  There are no roads only the sea to go in and out.
 This was a rose in  my garden.  I love the decorative background.  It didn't start out that way, but sometimes I surprise myself when I experiment.
 Here is a tiny hamlet along the New River in Belize.  Beautiful water lilies and ram-shackled buildings plus a skinny yellow dog.
These pots were on the front steps of the hotel we stayed in in Sorrento, Italy.  I especially loved the shadow of the palm on the back wall.  I should probably do something else for awhile, but I am so excited about painting I might continue while I can.  So Fun!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Queen Size Quilt

I have finished a Queen Size Quilt.  The first quilt I did, many years ago, was just a large hot pad, now I have made progress in both size and proficiency.  I started this quilt this summer by quilting the variety of blocks then I put them together with the strips of color.  If I do it again I will make all the blocks the same size.  I liked using different fabrics, but the variety of sizes was a pain when it came to putting it together.   I had to make fill in strips and some strange angles.  Oh well, it is the learning that counts and now I know.  I like making smaller quilts better, because they are easier to handle and they get finished faster, but it is nice to have a bed size one done too.  My doodling (free motion quilting) really improved in the process.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

playing in the water

I have been taking a watercolor class just to pass the time while I wait for my knee replacement and this was the first project.  This is a different teacher than the previous classes I took, she likes realism.  I'm more into freedom , but I should learn something wherever I go.
What did I learn?  How to soften hard edges, how to bring back some of the white paper, how to pay close attention to the pattern of the wings.  (They are off here and there, but I tried)  I will keep you posted on any progress I make.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

opportunity knocks

Quilts Inc. (Houston) has asked me to submit some class suggestions for
Long Beach Quilt Show next summer.  In trying to figure out what to submit
I came across these hand painted satin roses.  So I worked for a few hours 
re-remembering (is that a real word?) how to do them and then speeding up
the process.  I used Jacquard Green Label silk dyes and set them while they
were still damp.  It worked!  I can easily teach painting the satin for the petals, and 
then making a rose in a 3 hour time period.  
Of course my old stand by "Microwave Dyeing" will also be submitted, plus "Scrappy
Cloth 1,2,3" and perhaps a couple of other things.  I really need to get some new
classes together for 3 hour blocks of time.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


 My grand daughter Ashley got married last week end.  She was a beautiful bride and he was a handsome groom.  We all had a great time at the party that evening.
 They will be finishing college at BYU Hawaii.  Nice!
My son David and his wife Diane (It get's confusing since we are both "Diane Ricks") the happy parents of the lovely bride.

Monday, September 3, 2012

What did I do all day?

It may not look like I did much, but I worked on the arrangement of the blocks and the colors to use for the connecting strips.  I even got most of the two side panels connected.  Very often the designing is the hardest part of the project.  What should be where?  It was nice to have a whole wall that I could pin it onto to see how the whole thing looks.  I am still short about 5 inches by 16.  Do I make another narrow block of doodling or fill in with colored strip?  I think I will sleep on it and make the decision in the morning.
Any suggestions?
It feels great to be working again.