Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another Clean-up Day

We carried the planters from the deck in the tractor's bucket to the desired disposal spot in the garden.

After pulling the existing plants for the mulch pile, the soil is prepared for distribution.

We put the potting soil from the flower boxes around the perennial herb garden. Here Marcia works on adding more to the sage and the planting spots for next year's parsley.

Suki, the inspector, was present to insure the project was completed to her satisfaction. She had climbed to the top of the pergola and here searches for a path to descend from her perch some 10 feet above ground. Somehow she manages to go both up and down without assistance. It's no wonder she returns from her adventures with scratches and fur filled with seeds and stickers. She is an amazing acrobat!

The oval gardens near the horse barn are cleaned and readied for next year's planting of straw flowers and other varieties of flowers for drying. The green sprouts visable are the beginning signs of the larkspur started for spring and summer.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day

We often have deer who join the horses in the fenced pasture. This group stayed for at least 30 minutes this morning before moving on. As this is hunting season, they tend to keep on the move as they try to elude the guns.

We continue to process the sweet pepper crop. Here chopped peppers are sorted by color to include in various recipes and are packaged for the freezer. We finally did have a killing frost that ended our particularly long growing season this year. Global warming or climate cycles?

Our first dusting of snow appeared today. Each season brings its visual charms and early winter is no exception. We just finished our mulch application to all the plantings around the front and back of the house. This dark layer adds nicely to the contrast with greenery and snow. We are fortunate to live in a latitude that presents such variety in color as the calendar rolls along.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sewing Day

Barb Seils joined Marcia in the studio for a full day of sewing. Both have committed to making interpretive quilts for the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery's show and sale, Magnificent Inspiration. The task is to make small quilts that are inspired by works that are in the MAG's permanent collection.

Barb has signed up to make two pieces. This is the beginning of her Sunset piece based on a painting by Monet.

Marcia is working on the design wall, selecting shapes and colors for her piece inspired by O'Keeffe's "Jawbone and Fungus."

This is the sunset view of the western sky from the studio -- which also supplies inspiration for wonderful colors for quilts.
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Friday, November 16, 2007

RAFA Opening Night

"Common Thread," the exhibit organized by the members of RAFA, had its official opening and reception Friday night at the Arts and Cultural Council in Rochester.

A beautifully decorated table was filled with lots of tasty munchies.

Nancy Hicks created this portrait titled "Grandmother's Buttons."

"Study in Blue #2" by Barb Seils.

"Earth Textures III" by Jeanne Beck.
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

RAFA Exhibit

The first exhibit of work by members of the Rochester Area Fiber Artists opened on November 14 at the Arts and Cultural Council in Rochester.

The large piece is Marcia's "Night & Day", which friend Pat Pauly thinks should be titled "Acorns."
On the left is Linda Bachman's "Crossroads to Heaven" and on the right is Caris Burton's "Out To Play With My Friends."

"Yellowstone Angel Terrace" by Beth Brandkamp. This piece was inspired by a photo Beth took while visiting Yellowstone National Park this summer.

Pat Pauly's "Wind, Water II" , with its wonderful leaves.

Anne Fischer's "Reynard's Choice." Anne did a lot of the detail on this piece, including the fox, with her wonderful threadpainting.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Visit to Schweinfurth

Here are some very nice pictures from the visit that my friend, Beth Brandkamp, and I made to the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, NY.

We thought we were going to take pictures of the quilts in their Quilts=Art=Quilts exhibit.... But, major disappointment, photography is no longer allowed!! And, there's no catalog available...

I was happy to see the wonderful work of friends whose pieces were in the show, but won't be sending them pictures of their pieces hanging in the show.

It was a pretty sunny day for the drive, and Beth and I managed to improve our disposition with a little fabric shopping on the way home!

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Monday, November 12, 2007

New Blacktop

As you property owners know, there is no end to needed improvements. We are always considering upgrades in all areas. We decided to blacktop a gravel driveway which leads from the road to our new studio and our two barns.

After cleaning and leveling the surface, a load of stone is delivered. The area being treated was a low spot that needed drainage dug before the stone was applied.

The stone is crushed and treated with a vibrating roller. Although small in size, the machine weighs over one ton and delivers further pressure with a rapid downward pulse. The blacktop is applied at the roadside in the background.

The blacktop (asphalt) is applied by machine. The spreader also includes a compactor, and the workers use tampers to firm up the edges. The roller finishes up this process with further pressure applications. We only covered the first part of the driveway and will continue the paving next year.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tree Removal

A large spruce tree in our front yard was leaning precipitously toward the road. We decided to cut it down before it fell during a winter storm and either damaged the horse fence or caused traffic problems.

The faithful old tractor picked up the pieces of the trunk with the limbs attached. We had to move three twelve-foot sections in separate bucket chainings.

We moved the pieces down the road and along our driveway to the burn pile several hundred yards onto our property. As you can see, we didn't have much clearance under the wires.

Bill and Bob Elmer, our long-time helpers, did the sawing and here are raking up the last of the remains of the tree and loading them into the bucket. They also cut the stump at ground level and added this to the disposal load.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Embellishments Class

Priscilla Kibbee was back at the studio today to teach her Embellishments class. Nine of us from the RAFA (Rochester Area Fiber Artists) Group came with fabric and sewing machines to learn several techniques from Priscilla.

We started the day making Seminole strips and embellishing them with gold metallic thread.

Priscilla demonstrated using pleater boards to create mock seminole strips and mock prairie points, as well as adding strips to pleated fabric to make new patterns.

This is the back of Priscilla's coat that she made and wore at the Houston International Quilt Show. It's batik fabric that has been scrunched, quilted, and embellished with ribbons and cording.

The cuffs of the coat are embellished with yarns and ribbons that have been wound on a hairpin lace loom. We all got to try the techinque -- lot of fun!
We also made "mystery fabric" by cutting 2" squares, sewing them to a foundation, cutting them into strips and reasembling/resewing them. We cut into the piece and resewed it at least 3 times or until we had a pattern we liked.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Back from the Barn

Barb Seils and I had a wonderful week at Nancy Crow's Timberframe Barn in Ohio ( for her Lines, Circles and Curves class.

Here are a few of the "sketches" (quick compositions) I did from the first assignment to study line and shape.

Our next assignment was to create a composition using Line, and I decided to work on a "spare" structure. I didn't take this design any further, but I think it has possibilities.

Next we practiced cutting and sewing curves and circles, and I accomplished a totally set-in circle --- which I then cut through with more lines.

Our last composition was to start with four "bulls eyes" that would create a finished piece 80 inches by 80 inches. I decided to rearrange the parts of the circles and slash through them. I think this is an interesting start, and there's more slashing to come.

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