Thursday, October 25, 2018

I Like #89

Getting off to a late start today-  I had an all morning meeting and didn't get organized with my post ahead of time.  This has been a stressful week, but still some things to be glad about.

1.  I like my fall plants.  These are the same as last week only everything is a bit more colorful.  The dahlia is hanging in there,  it got a bit happier earlier in the week when the rain stopped for two days in a row, but of course now it's been raining again for two more days.  My Sam bush and tree are really colorful right now, and my mums are getting more and more blooms. 

2. I like reading new books!  I read these two this week, they're both short funny essays about quilting by Megan of the Bitchy Stitcher.  Definitely made me smile.  I'm also about halfway through the Distant Mirror which is about 14th century France and I'm awfully glad I don't live then/there.

3.  I like starting new projects.  I got going on my next big illuminated manuscript quilt this week.  This will be a long-term project but it feels good to be going.

4.  I like my pups!  They've been crazy this week-- Blue broke through the fence during the morning on Tuesday,  luckily someone in the neighborhood snagged him and called me at work.  Even more luckily, Bentley just stayed home snoozing on the sofa; he didn't care there was a giant hole in the fence.  So of course I spent yesterday evening fixing the fence in the rain.  And poor Bentley had another one of his intermittent seizure episodes in the middle of the night two nights ago which always causes lots of chaos, but he's fine now.

5.  I like fixing things inexpensively.  My dryer quit drying clothes and I was really worried that I'd need a new dryer, but I thought I'd go ahead and clean out the ductwork.  I had some issues in the attic and on the roof, but I did get the ductwork cleaned out for only the cost of a $20 brush from amazon, and now the dryer works!!  Also, there were twelve tons of lint.

Thanks to LeeAnna for keeping us positive!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

I Like #88

Welcome to another list of things to like.  This was a fairly quiet week, I spent the weekend mostly cleaning and cooking, but I did have some time for fun stuff on Sunday afternoon.

1.  I like the pups!!  Bentley thought there might be a morsel of cake left on may plate and thought he could sneakily crawl over the end table to snatch it.  I guess I should work with him on manners!  He and Blue are such sweeties.

2.  I made lots of good progress on my knitted socks this week.  I had people over for dinner and movie watching Saturday night and a couple of them sat on the couch snuggling with the dogs which left me free for knitting.  The feet are finished, I got the toes kichenered together last night and am working on the opening to start working up the leg.  Fun!

3.  Folks at work are getting in on the plant action and now we have a little mini-elevator lobby-conservatory.  I love seeing all the different plants.  We now even have basil and peppers.

4.  Fall is definitely here,  it's been super super rainy and everything is disgustingly soggy and muddy, but the last two days have been cool with no rain, so that's good.  My Sam bush is turning it's delightful fall red, and at the moment, the Bullet bush is still alive.  You can hardly see it there in the foreground, it's just a bunch of sticks, but there are green leaves right on the top.  Hopefully it will live through the winter.

5. And finally, nothing much is really blooming outside right now except my fall mums!  I'm so happy the have flowers, they've just started opening, so hopefully there will be more.  My dahlia is covered in buds but it's been so cool and super wet, I'm not sure they'll ever open.

Happy week to everyone and thanks to LeeAnna for linking us up!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

I Like #87

Welcome to another week of things to like!

1. It's been raining and raining and raining here, but that does mean fall temperatures have finally arrived (which I love).  Unfortunately, that means lots of muddy dog footprints in the house, and lots of outside activities in the rain, but I'll live.  The pups don't like going out in the rain, but lately they seem like they'd rather do that than miss their walk, so we've been persevering.  No walk in the rain pictures, but here's a snap of Blue who perked up when he heard something he thought might have been a treat.

2. My dahlia is still blooming!  I think it's about time to move my oustide summer houseplants inside, but the Dahlia is still going along well.  I hope it doesn't freeze too soon.  I saw this cool caterpillar on one of my dahlia flowers the other day, unfortunately, I think he was eating it.

3.  I love re-finding things I'd forgotten about.  In cleaning up my office the other day I came across this armadillo pin made my a New Mexico artist Barbara Hansford.  I have a long and storied history with armadillos and some years ago my mom gave me the pin, but I'd forgotten all about it.  I was so excited to find it, and it even matched my outfit that day.  I think unfortunately his ears and the tip of his tail have broken off somewhere along the way.

4.  I love bag making!  We are singing out of several different books in our church choir and my previous choir bag (a super cool sparkly gold lunchbox which was a gift from a dear friend) wasn't big enough to hold everything, so lat week I decided to make a bag for my music.  I incorporated a few details that were interesting or new to me, which was lots of fun.  I especially love the tubular handles and hardware.  Making a new bag is always a super fun puzzle for me

5.  I love music!  My friend and I went to the OKC Philharmonic this past Saturday and it was just glorious.  They played a Prokofiev Violin Concerto with which I wasn't familiar, but which was really remarkable.  The second half was Holst's the Planets which is one I know and was also wonderful.  There's something about hearing things live that is really moving.

6.  New on the blog this week I talked about my most recent quilt finish, the portrait of Bentley I started earlier this spring in a Susan Carlson workshop.  Check it out here, and the in process post here.  It was a really fun project. 

Thanks to Lee Anna for linking us up!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Bentley the Rainbow Dog: Finished

Earlier this week I talked about collaging my Bentley quilt and today I'm sharing the final piece!  I went with a double border of the two turquoise fabrics I'd bought, and I tried them in a bunch of orientations (polka dots inside? outside? inside on half?) and settled on this.  I really like the polka dot fabric it feels like a nice contrast to the tiled floor background.  I had to re-do part of his tail because the end of it was turquoise and it was getting lost in the border, but you'll never convince me there's too much pink.  I quilted it fairly simply since the colors are so vibrant and then bound it in my favorite bright orange armadillo print, some of which is included in his hind end.

Bentley the Rainbow Dog, c. Shannon Conley, 2018 38" x 41"
Bentley the Rainbow Dog, c. Shannon Conley, 2018 38" x 41", detail

I love his face and tongue, but I think my favorite section (mostly because I know how long it took to get it to look right) is his front paws.

Bentley the Rainbow Dog, c. Shannon Conley, 2018 38" x 41", detail

Bentley the Rainbow Dog, c. Shannon Conley, 2018 38" x 41", detail

Bentley the Rainbow Dog, c. Shannon Conley, 2018 38" x 41", detail

I had it pinned to the bottom of my design wall to keep it out of the way and thought I'd capture a quick picture of Bentley-for-real with Bentley-the-quilt.  But now it's hanging in my dining room where I can see it every day.

I love the way he turned out.  I'm not sure he's got a particular rainbow personality, (though it is a very snuggly bouncy lovey personality), but I certainly have a rainbow personality and it suits me very well.  I'm so glad it's finished!  Have any of you made pet quilts?  I've made a few different ones now and it's always fun.  I'd always rather be with dogs than without!

Monday, October 8, 2018

New Quilt: Bentley the Rainbow Dog!

Some of you may remember me mentioning that I took a collage art quilt class with Susan Carlson earlier this year.  I used her approach to make the quilt of Missy for Mike, but I haven't had a chance to share the quilt I actually started in the class until now.  I finally finished it, so many months later and figured that should be motivation to write about it!

I started with this picture of my precious Bentley, I love the tongue- it's really a great snapshot of him!  

You may know that Susan Carlson's quilts feature very bright saturated colors, lots of print and "busy" fabrics, and often non-realistic color schemes.  The bright, saturated, non-realistic colors definitely appeals to my design aesthetic, but I struggled think what colors I should do for him- blue and yellow?  Green and orange?  In the end I couldn't decide and no one should be surprised to know I picked "rainbow".  Basically his brown parts are bright rainbow and his white parts are light rainbow.   Her method starts with an outline drawing on muslin and then you start collaging in with small pieces of fabric.  The goal is to take advantage of your prints to give shading and shape whenever possible.  Here are a few shots of him in progress.

I got him all finished during the class and took him home in this condition.  Unfortunately, he stayed like that from march until I was home at my mom's over labor day when I finally had time to start thinking about the background.

I considered setting him in a field of green grass like the original picture but I worried that he'd blend in too much and that he'd look like he was floating.  Mom and I tossed quite a few ideas around, and one of her suggestions was a tiled floor background.  I could angle it so it would read as floor and if it was mostly grey and white, he wouldn't blend in too much.  I made a quick mockup in photoshop, and decided it would work.

I thought about piecing the background, but I wanted to maintain the rough-edged organic collage feeling throughout the whole piece, so after tracing the lines of the tile onto the background fabric, I just started collaging the background on.

I found these two slightly greyed out turquoise fabrics at my mom's quilt shop, and thought they'd work for the border.   I'll share the finished quilt on Friday, so check back then!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

I Like #86

Welcome to another week of likes.  I hope you are all having fall where you live and the hot season is finally wrapping up.  It's still been warm here (some days in the mid 80s) but we've had enough cool days to feel like the season is changing.

1.  I like hiking!  I got to go down to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge this weekend and do some lovely hiking.  The weather was cool and foggy so there were some very moody Heathliff-esque landscapes.  It was really lovely.  Lots of cool bugs and insects too.  And of course the wildlife refuge residents, bison and prairie dogs.  Fun!  While clambering through a boulder strewn valley I lost my phone down a giant crack between two boulders.  Luckily a kind young boy scout (with a long skinny arm) helped me retrieve it and I decided it was a good place to turn around.  Not a good trail for solo hiking.

2.  I like toads!  The toads have been around more lately, after having been rather fewer in number this summer than some previous ones.  I didn't get a very good picture, but I'm always glad to see them around.

3.  I like the texture and color in this fall circle garden at work.  It drives me bananas how often they re-landscape it (at least once every season), but I have to admit I love this combination of textures and colors.  

4.  No new pics of the pups this week, but they're going along as cute as can be.  I'll just share this comic-  I'm sure I've shared it before but every time I come across it it makes me happy.

Hope you're all having a good week!  Thanks to LeeAnna for linking us up.