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Thursday, March 27, 2008
Yes, it is finally done. "The Vagrant Gypsy Life" is complete and, as soon as I finish this post, it's getting packaged up and ready to ship to the UK.

Bound and sleeve's ready to go. Whew.
posted by Teri Springer @ 12:02 PM   4 comments
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Down to the wire
Still plugging away. I realized today that no where in the paperwork for the show in the UK does it say what type of hanging device to put on the quilt. I emailed the orgainiser but haven't heard back. I am ready to put on the backing and facing and don't want to delay any longer as it IS going to FedEx tomorrow or it isn't going at all. So, a sleeve it is.

The entire quilt- just needs the backing and facing.

Dedication- and yes, it's serving another purpose too- we won't go into that.

Detail. I could have put in a LOT more but the image of the ship serves as it is and I didn't want to get too bogged down in details. If you know a lot about tall ships and barques in particular I am sure you can find a lot wrong; please don't bother to point the errors out. I wasn't going for photo-realism. Really.

Detail of the quilting in the water. Just wanted to emphasize the flow in the fabric.

Part of the poem and the image of a whale's tale (fluke)- refers back to the poem "to the gull's way and the whale's way..."

The poem in it's entirety.


And yes, the poem is difficult to read since the thread colour is very close to the colour of the sky. I did this intentionally. First, I wanted people to have to come close to read it and second, I didn't want the poem to be the focus of the piece; Laura and the Picton Castle are the focus. Did I succeed??
posted by Teri Springer @ 5:46 PM   2 comments
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Progress and What Happened to Spring??
Today is my eldest son's 24th birthday. He was born at 2:43 pm in Hastings, MI during, of all things, a spring blizzard. Go figure. I can remember calling the doctor at a little after midnight, 24 years ago to tell him my water had broken and I was having contractions about 4 minutes apart. He told me to have my husband drive me to hospital. I asked if he had looked outside was snowing horizontally and wouldn't he please do a home delivery (he lived less than a mile down the road). Nope, I had to stay home or go in.

We went in at 1am. The nurses were going to send us home because I was only slightly dilated. They called my doctor and he told them to keep me there- he didn't want me in labor in a ditch somewhere. Besides, it was a 30 minute drive in good weather and he was NOT going to deliver the baby at home.

Well, that "baby," who was 22" long and 7# 11oz at birth is now 6'4" and 280#. Ouch. He was supposed to go pheasant hunting today. Can you hunt pheasant in 12" of snow??

Yesterday when we first received warning that the weather guys might have a clue.

This morning. Ok, they were right this time. Wonderful......

Trying out thread colours for the poem on the quilt.....

At first I tried freehanding the writing but I was worried about size and placement so writing it out on tear-away was a necessity. Additionally, my natural handwriting is a hybrid of cursive and printing but, to make it easier to stitch (fewer stops and starts) I tried to make it all flow.

Finishing touches on the Picton Castle

Poem in place

Finished ship...still trying to figure out what to do about the distortion from the stitching. May have to resort to a couple of tricks Ellen Anne Eddy taught me. If I had been smart I would have done the ship on meltaway and then just edge stitched it down. Too late now.
posted by Teri Springer @ 12:24 PM   1 comments
Friday, March 21, 2008
Knee Deep
Well...not quite. But we have about 10" on the ground and it isn't showing any signs of letting up. Yup, nothing like a spring snow storm......YUCK.

posted by Teri Springer @ 10:21 PM   1 comments
NO! It's SNOWING. Crap. I knew we had a winter storm warning out but I was really hoping they were wrong. such luck. Glad I don't have to go anywhere except the PO and store (both within walking distance) and Joey is grounded because he is serving a 5 day sentence, er, suspension for getting into a fight at school. Double sigh.

Back to the quilt.

posted by Teri Springer @ 10:57 AM   0 comments
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Working Hard
Really. I am. Have been working away on the quilt to ship to the UK. I wanted to have it sent by Monday. Didn't happen. It WILL be sent by the 24th but now it's going to have to go expedited. Oh well. Life happens.

Anyway, here are a couple of "in progress" pics of the quilt just to prove I have not been slacking.

Back to stitching!

posted by Teri Springer @ 9:10 AM   2 comments
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
New Book Case!!`
Ok, so I missed a few days....the weekend was busy and so was Monday since my beautiful new bookcase was installed. Tuesday and this morning was spent cataloging and shelving books. Guess what? Could have used another 12-14" of height. Oh well, I have listed some books for sale on Amazon and put some others in a box to be donated to the library. And some will just have to stay in the sunroom, especially the weaving books since that's where the loom is.

Any's pics (I hope- Blogger has been stinky lately)!

What it used to look like when you walked into the living room from the front door. The old bookcase stuck out and took up a lot of walking space. The couch couldn't go any closer to the fireplace or there would be no room there and the rug would stick out from the back.

It also didn't help that the dog figured out (in less than a week) that, if he pulled on the railing the gate at the top of the stairs would pop open. Kind of defeated the reason I had the gate installed in the first place.

So, the railing was removed....

Here's Will, Larry and Mike (behind Larry) moving the new bookcase into position.

Will at one end

Mike at the other

And Larry on the stairs behind the case checking placement.

And here's the beautiful new bookcase (in a lovely, natural maple to match the rest of my cabinetry) with a few books on it. It's nearly full now....

So, I am off to run errands. Let's see Kaiser get by this!

posted by Teri Springer @ 12:43 PM   3 comments
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Something More Traditional
Since I can't show the piece I am making for the show in the UK I thought I would show you a piece I am making for my sister. She has a beautiful home in Chester, Nova Scotia (where I live in the summer) and it is very Victorian (tho it is a rather new home). So I am making the following for her. I didn't want to do the "predictable" layout so I tried something different.

This is the first arrangement I made. Nope, not working for me.

Yep, that's better....

Does anyone else who has Neocounter get excited by seeing where visitors to their blog come from?? I just love checking it, especially "recent cities." I hope at least some of these people enjoy the blog and will come back from time-to-time.....

And we have our tickets for Lake Tahoe at the end of the month. I am taking my son and two of his friends to Squaw Valley for 5 days of snowboarding. We will actually be there a week but there won't be much snowboarding the day we get there as we arrive in Reno at 3pm and probably won't get to the resort much before dinner time. And the day we leave our flight leaves at 8am so we will have to catch a really early shuttle to the airport....I figure 5 days is plenty. My son wasn't happy we were coming home on the last Friday of spring break but I think we are all going to need Saturday and Sunday to recover.....not to mention do laundry. Still, I am looking forward to the trip more than I thought I would. I will take some hand quilting with me and some knitting, a few books and I will make myself at home in the lodge or in front of the fireplace in our room. Maybe a dip in the heated pool....we are staying at the Resort at Squaw Creek where AQT (Art Quilt Tahoe) is held and it's a beautiful place. Thankfully the lodge is only at about 6500 feet because I get an instant altitude headache at 7000...... to do more data entry for 2007's taxes- yuck.
posted by Teri Springer @ 2:47 PM   1 comments
Thursday, March 06, 2008
I must be- I could have sworn I posted yesterday. What can I say? Swiss cheese for brains. I have been so tied up working on my entry for the show in the UK and trying to get caught up in Quickbooks so I can send my business accounts to my CPA (I hadn't entered anything since March- not gonna make that mistake again). So today, same stuff- working on the quilt and entering data, looking stuff up, etc.

I feel like I need to post something but all of my pictures are on my other computer. Sorry- I promise to post pictures tomorrow.

Back to watching my Penguins getting beat by the Panthers---blubbbth*&^^$&%$##$^$^* as Bill the Cat would say......

posted by Teri Springer @ 9:20 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Oh My- Two in One Day!
Yes, I am posting again. I was just finishing up quilting some small pieces that I started in an abstraction workshop with Sue Benner. Of the stack of photos I took with me I ended up using one from Race Week in Chester. We were to work quickly, use a limited palette of fabrics and simplify. In one piece Sue asked us to evoke a feeling or word. So, here are 3 pieces that are pretty much done. Two still need facings and all three need to be mounted on black foam core and then I will have them put in simple frames for my home in Chester. These pieces were "practice" for a larger piece I would like to do.


The three that are quilted. The little one was the last one I did; I am not sure how it ended up smaller than the rest. But, the feeling I was trying to evoke was "ominous."

This is the first one I did. I like it but, as Sue pointed out, it feels somewhat static.

Detail- white caps

Detail- wind; the sky fabric is a netting that I have no idea where I bought it or why but I'm glad I did.

The same idea but much more simplified and less static. Again, a really neat fabric that I purchased with no reason other than I liked it.


Again- the "ominous" one. I believe that sky fabric is one I got from Desi Vaughn. At first I thought it was one of mine, dyed with "Stormy Sky" but it is painted, not dyed and the metallic in it really makes me believe it's a Desi....

posted by Teri Springer @ 7:00 PM   2 comments
Christmas in March
At least, that's the way I feel when the mail arrives and there's lots of "stuff." Now, granted, I paid for that "stuff" but half the time I forget what I ordered so opening the packages really IS like Christmas. And, even when I remember what I ordered it is still exciting to see it in person and be able to hold it, play with it, etc. Ok, I need to get out more. Regardless, yesterday was one of those days.

First, Brenda from UPS arrived. She is Kaiser's buddy. He goes absolutely crazy when she drives up. I always know when the brown truck is in the neighborhood. She brought me part of the order I placed with Staples Friday....Quickbooks for PC (groan- because I need to get all my info typed in for the accountant), MS Office, a new wireless router so I can hook up my wireless printer in the other room (it uses cheaper ink than the HP B9180 so I will use it for documents and save the fancy HP for the good stuff), and a wireless laptop adapter. Of course, some of you may be wondering why all this stuff....well, it's to go with the very inexpensive Dell laptop I had to order that should be here today. Yes- HAD to. So I can do my accounts on a PC so my accountant can actually open them. Even tho Quickbooks says it works across operating platforms, it doesn't. At least WE (my accountant and I) can't get it to despite HOURS on the phone with tech support at Quickbooks and Apple. So, this computer will be dedicated JUST for business accounts.

Ok, now to the fun stuff:

Mail's here!!

Oh yes- the butter warmers I ordered. The 32 qt lobster pot, 12 qt corn steamer and shell fish tools are already here and waiting to go to Nova Scotia.

The 1916 printing of "Salt Water Ballads" by John Masefield. This is the book containing the poem "Sea Fever." I was incorrect tho- the book is not a 1st printing but the third. The book was originally published in 1913. Pretty good- 3 printings in 3 years. And I should have knowing I wasn't going to get a first edition for what I paid for this ($5). Still, it's in very good shape for it's age and it will be happy in it's new home in Nova Scotia.

More goodies- a shirt from "a Muse" as well as a lovely card and bookmark (which is now in the new book, sitting on my bedside table). And, BEST OF ALL- the new SAQA Journal!! The piece on the cover is spectacular. I took it with me into the bedroom when I went to lay down for a while (sore back- needed the heating pad). I read every single page (it is that good) up to the midpoint when the pain pill kicked in. I will read the rest of it today. Some really great articles.

If you are an art quilter and are not a member of SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Associates) you need to join. This is the first organization of it's type where I felt like I was not only getting my money's worth out of my dues but MORE than my money's worth!!! Go to SAQA!!!

Ok, off to wash out the sails and see how they look. I will try to post more later with the pics of the sails but....sonlet wants mom, AKA the Springer ATM to take him clothes shopping after school. And the Penguins play Tampa tonight at 7:30 and I am NOT gonna miss that! Pens are in 1st in their division and Evgeni Malkin is in a points duel with Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) for the scoring title....right now Sasha (Ovechkin) is up by 2 due to a hat trick (3 goals for you non-hockey fans) last night. So here's hoping Geno nets three tonight!


posted by Teri Springer @ 8:26 AM   0 comments
Monday, March 03, 2008
Woo Hooooo
Not only am I celebrating 4 years of blogging here but, according to my Neo-counter, I have now been visited by people from 100 countries!!!!!!

Thank you all. This really makes my day!!

Now, if my sails turn out and I can put my version of the Picton Castle together tomorrow and start the quilting I will really be in 7th Heaven!!!


posted by Teri Springer @ 1:12 PM   3 comments
On a Roll......
Yes I am. After the nice comment from Joshua in South America yesterday (I think he's in Brazil) I just have to keep it up!

I was sure that spring was never coming and I was really jealous when I received my emailed "muse" letter from Laura Cater-Woods who is not only a wonderful teacher but a great facilitator and creativity coach/cheerleader. She is in Montana and she showed photos of snow melting and the open water near her home and here it was cold and still snowing. Well, this morning I woke up to outdoor temps in the 40s (about 5C) and now it is almost 50. It is also grey and raining but at least it's warm.

And yesterday's work?? Well, I rinsed it out and washed in synthropol and here they are:

Not too bad. The pearl grey with blue wisteria is definitely my choice for most of the shadows. Now I need to trace my sails onto the piece of bamboo fabric that I pretreated with a soda ash soak and then paint on the shadows. Then, it needs to batch over night so, while waiting for that I will go back to working on the little abstracts I started in Sue Benner's class at AQT. Here is one of them:

Fair Wind in Mahone Bay sounds like a nice title.

Finally, my dog, Kaiser. I made him lay down on his "bed" in my studio....see how insulted he looks! You would think he would prefer this to laying on the hard floor but no- it's too far away (maybe 5.5 feet).

Off to my sails!!

posted by Teri Springer @ 11:01 AM   1 comments
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Three Days in a ROW!!!!
Yeah- don't go raising expectations too much. I finished my "experiments" for the day and have about an hour to blow before Pittsburgh faces off against Atlanta so, rather than do something really dumb, like laundry, I thought I would post again.

I have been trying to figure out how I want to add the shadows to the sails on the Picton Castle in my quilt. Now, if you read the Ragged Cloth Cafe (or, if you don't) you need to read June Underwood's essay on shadows. It never occurred to me that quilters don't put shadows in their quilts most of the time. I DO know quilters who do- using a variety of techniques including darker fabrics, dark tulle overlay (one of the techniques I am still considering), or paint/ink/dye. When I did my logo of the Dancing Loon I did put in a shadow using Tsukineko Ink. I may yet use that here but I am thinking, for at least the sails, I will use dye painting so I can put to work something else I learned at AQT, this time in Hollis Chatelaine's class. We have been discussing the finer points of sodium alginate as a dye/paint thickener so that made me think of this. The reason I can use dye on the sails is the white bamboo fabric I am using has been pre-scoured in preparation to be dyed. So- I decided to play a little this morning. Unfortunately I did not think far enough ahead to pre-treat the fabric I have cut out for the sails with soda ash (dye fixer) so, I did dip a small piece of the fabric in soda ash and let it dry. I also got out some white cotton that was scoured but not pre-treated with SA.

I was going to mix up a small amount of all of my blue dyes as well as a pearl grey and silk black. I use a plastic thing from an old refrigerator that eggs are supposed to be stored in. I never use those but they make good paint palettes; I have numbered each little well. Of course, there are only 12 of the little wells and I had 12 blue dyes so I only mixed up 10- I skipped Intense Blue and Bright Blue (both from ProChem). The ones I did mix were: lapis, azure, midnight, royal, cerulean, sapphire, ice blue, cobalt, navy and blue wisteria.

Interestingly, I had thought the blue wisteria would be a little too purple but, when I mixed a little of that with a little of the pearl grey I got a great shadow color. The fabrics are batching right now. I also presoaked another piece of the white bamboo fabric and it's hanging in my bathroom to dry. I have a sneaking suspicion I will end up wanting to use pretreated if for no other reason than the dye that was put on the fabric that was not pretreated bled when I painted the soda ash solution over it and I want more control than that. But, that piece of fabric will give me a general idea of what my blues (all but the two) look like. I was surprised by how dark and purply the Ice Blue was. I was expecting something bluer.....well, we will have to see what it looks like after it has been batched and then washed out.

A note to all you dyers or wanna be's who don't like wearing a this little experiment for me (I have done it and was floored). Go into your dye studio or wherever you do your dyeing. Put on your mask and gloves. Take out two very different colors of dye- say, Chinese Red and Bright Yellow. Standing at your work surface, open the first color and set the jar and the lid on the table. Then, pick them back up and put the lid back on the jar and put it aside. Now, repeat the process with the second jar. Ok, now....take a spray bottle of water and mist up in the air over it and let the mist settle onto the work surface. Now take a white paper towel and wipe the work surface off. Don't just wet the surface right where you set the jars but in about a 6' radius (that's right- 6 feet- not inches). Now, I'll bet you never open a jar of dye again without having on a mask and never bring an open drink of any kind into your studio again while you are mixing dye.......

Ok, PSA over- photos!!

My work area.....

My set up. Egg thingy I use for a paint palette. Note each well is numbered so I can keep track of what color is in each.

I have put print paste that I mixed up about an hour before hand into each of the little wells; I fill each about 1/3rd to 1/2 full. Then I add a MINISCULE amount of dye (about 1/16th to 1/8th teaspoon) to each, one at a time. I stir the dye into the paste with a bamboo skewer. Use a different spoon for each color. Oh, and a trick I learned from Hollis (that I forgot to do here) is to place a damp (not wet) towel under your work area as this will catch and hold dye powder that gets scattered. Oh, and I would normally premix the colors with the dye in individual plastic cups to prevent contamination and THEN put the colors in the wells but since I am mixing such a tiny amount and this is not for the actual work, I did this. Trust me, there is cross-contamination in each of the wells and that's with no breeze in here (door closed, heat ducts closed).

Here they are, all mixed. The cotton fabric is above, covered in plastic wrap.

Here is the scrap of bamboo I presoaked in soda ash and painted on. I had forgotten how much I like to do this.

Here are the two test pieces in the oven (set to warm, preheated, then turned off) wrapped in plastic wrap to batch. The top one is the cotton with the 12 dyes that had soda ash solution painted over them. The little one is a piece of the bamboo that was presoaked in soda ash, dried and then painted on. the image on the left side of this is the actual outline of one of the sails with the shadow painted on it in a mix of the blue wisteria and pearl grey.

I tossed this one in to show you that I really DID clean out the bottom drawer of my storage cabinet and have put stuff back in it in a neat and orderly fashion. I figure this will last until the first time I need a sheet of paper that is in one of the pads on or near the bottom.
posted by Teri Springer @ 1:50 PM   2 comments
About Me

Name: Teri Springer
Home: Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada
About Me: Studio Art Quilt Associates for the Atlantic Canada Region (New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island). Quote:Apples and Wine: Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough & smart enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree. Now Men... Men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the hell out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.
See my complete profile

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