madhappycrafter

quilting, mosaicing, painting, and other adventures in making


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Stick Puppets with Kindergarteners

This is the stick puppet project we did in in 3rd quarter. I love kindergarteners – so fearless – and they enthusiastically jump right in and do art! Thought I’d feature some of their adorable puppets; they all did such a fantastic and individualistic job. (I did the assembling and attaching the sticks, and used fasteners to make their arms and legs moveable.)

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To make the puppet heads, we used a product called Sculpt-a-Mold; some kind of pulp with glue powder, I suppose. When you got it wet it became sticky and gooey and a mess to work with! But they did it. I made a few extra heads and that was a good thing, since we had new kids come into the school, plus I did several make-up classes for the kids absent for the part where we made the heads – so we had just enough heads for everyone – all 25 kids made finished puppets. I’m so proud of them; they always rise to any occasion and continually impress and amaze me.

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This is a test. This is only a test.

Ha ha – what if at the end of your life you receive this message – that your life was only a test? Is the test pass/fail? Can you flunk out of life? Get honors for a life well lived? Who gets to rate your life?

Well… this IS a test to see if I could post a durned photo on the “new improved” unfamiliar format! Test….Nope! Only worked on the “old” format. Anyone else have this problem with the new format, or a computer this old that can only do pictures on the old format?

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Anyway – this is a small wall hanging I made back in fall quilt camp; not a quilt exactly, but hey – I sewed something. Another craft project, another sugar skull. Sorry for the poor photo quality. I’m still afraid of Free Motion Quilting. Mostly I use a walking foot. Lately I just want to hand quilt or tie my quilts and avoid the issue altogether.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

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This year has put me – all of us on this planet – through so many changes so far… some personal changes, as well as global. Lots of losses – starting with the death of the iconic David Bowie, and some people I really liked and loved. Loss of the wildness around our quickly burgeoning, almost unrecognizable town. Lots of letting go, and lots more to come – and grateful for every day still alive on this beloved earth, despite it all.

I’ve been photographing various things that capture my attention, including the forests and wilder sights in or near town – soon to be lost to more greed-fueled development of Air B & Bs, condos for people’s 3rd and 4th homes, and “vacay” rentals, while the workers leave in droves – unaffordable to live here or buy food here or anything else – no rental housing for year round locals anymore. Buying “real estate” is now only for the rich. Houses sit empty most or all of the year. They are not homes; they are golden cash cows.

Almost all of the wildness is gone in and around town.  So much accelerated destruction and development. So while what little wildness left, however fleetingly, I am out trying to enjoy and appreciate the rich, complex, and interdependent worlds within worlds contained in forest and wetland ecosystems, watersheds and tidepools, even while knowing the inevitable what’s “coming soon” – and wondering how we can collectively stop the greed and pillage of nature, and get back to protecting and revering all life, wherever we are, and stop consuming until there is nothing left. You can’t put back mature forest ecosystems once they’re gone, while we’re still insisting that there is no climate change.

I have been so fortunate to live here when things were different. That only contributes to the sadness I now feel, almost unrelentingly. I don’t want to take antidepressants like everyone else I know seems to be doing – I feel that depression is a symptom of the times – to be lived through and learned from, individually AND collectively – since in the USA, at least, we seem collectively depressed – and I personally think the reason for this is free market capitalism and rampant consumerism and greed of the few top dogs trickling down to affect the many. Every day I pray for the awakening of myself and my species, and for the youth and children now and to come, that they may know the beauty of this earth, and do everything to preserve it, and care for it, and for each other.

Soon, I promise – this blog will focus on happier things again – crafting! – and some gardening. I can’t get any new photos to upload, but as soon as I can get help from support, I’ll be back with some pictures of some things I crafted in the last year or so.

 


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Summer Flowers and Fall Quilt Camp

Just finished up 4 days at the local Y camp with a bunch of quilting ladies! Didn’t get too much done but worked on my bed quilt, finished a small wall quilt and made some fun and silly things with my mentor/quilt buddy Maggie – a great quilter artist who’s a fun and fearless quilter (who makes her living at this.) Don’t have any pictures of any of it – did not bring my camera. But since I’m short on words these days, here are a few random pictures of a summer bouquet from the garden, and some flowers I planted for a store in town.

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Long absence from this blog

Well, I guess blogging is not really my thing. I was working a lot at gardening for pay and in my own garden all through this long HOT spring and summer. In mid-July I somehow hurt my dominant hand/wrist – I just woke up and things felt dislocated. I’d had to keep the hand wrapped for 6 weeks and have lost much summer income (and some clients) that I really needed. I hope to see a physiatrist before too long. Doctors were no help; I’m no closer to knowing what’s wrong with it (or how to treat it) than I was 6 weeks ago.

Well – onward! I hung two art shows in August at two local banks. Accidentally over-booked! Had to rob my storage unit and walls.  One of my older works has generated a potential buyer. He hasn’t come through yet, so I’m not counting on anything.

I made some new things too. Here is a picture of one of the new abstracts that i really like.

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birdhouse collaboration

I was part of a 3-way collaboration on a birdhouse for a bird festival we are having this weekend. The maker, Joe, hollowed out a cedar round to make the birdhouse. I was the painter, and Zachariah was the “roofer” – he did a two-tiered copper roof (which is just how i would have roofed it, but would have probably made it labor-intensive and arduous, using tiny shingles!) My painting on it is funky and amateurish, but still took a surprisingly long time. Oh well – at least it is whimsical. Too bad you can’t see the glitter in the photos.🙂 I like the collaboration process.

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I didn’t get a picture of the birdhouse with the roof on, but  it was fun doing something a bit creative in the midst of full-on gardening season and too many other “have to” projects getting in the way of art, as usual. There are going to be a lot of fun birdhouses on display this Saturday, but since I will be having my annual dahlia tuber sale the same day, I probably won’t attend the festivities.


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A Finish from 2014

I’m trying to revive this badly neglected blog. So many unfinished projects all over the place! While at quilt camp in January, I did a few finishes, a few starts, and had a lot of fun fooling around with some experiments, which I will post later. Some of those need finishing, too!

This is a rather subdued (for me) lap quilt that is finally finished to give to Domestic Violence. It’s made with orphan squares, then simple sashing and using scraps and pieces I had, but that are not “my” colors, and making it work.  Sorry about the pictures. Had no way to hold it up and we just had a big rain!

Compared to some of my first efforts I think my quilting and piecing are improving, despite the fact that I’ve yet to like anything by machine that I’ve quilted. This is still with the polyester batting that I was given. I think I will put the rest of the poly batting in a donation pile and move on to better batting  and see if it can make a difference!

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I tried wavy lines with the walking foot. I am usually happy with my piecing and then frustrated with my quilting. I always feel that I ruin it with the quilting. Despite the funkiness and not matching the lines, I think I am happier with my quilting on this one.

I’m still too scared of Free Motion Quilting to try it. Maybe I need to go to hand quilting or tying? Anyway – one more DONE!