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sewing project details and explanations

these art the tie backs for my new curtains, on my ironing board.

I made the curtains out of the blue fabric and lined them with white but I didn’t sew the heading on the curtains yet because I want to get the rod hung first so I can be sure of the finished length. I tried to hang the rod myself and it isn’t working out. I tried to drill small holes in the places for my brackets and the dry wall chipped a little. No big deal, these are old apartments. I tried to avoid a previous hole that was patched.

I remember hanging curtain rods before but it’s been a long time. I remember using wall anchors and once had wall anchors that I could use and once I had some I couldn’t use. I guess I’ll have to call the office and ask if a maintenance guy can help me with the curtain rods. So the curtain job is on hold for now.

The tie backs and valance are reversible with blue on one side and peach on the other with cord top and bottom in another contrasting orange color.

This arty shot is the valance on my ironing board.

It’s 9 inches by 3 yards with a 3 inch rod pocket in the center and a 3 inch heading top and bottom. I figured approximately 2.5 or 3 to one on the fullness to come up with 3 yards. It gets hung on a 2.5 inch flat curtain rod with a 4 inch return to the wall so it will clear the curtains which have a 2 inch return. I had to order the rod. First I looked it up on amazon and it said 3 weeks for delivery! So I waited for the store here that makes custom window treatments to open and called them. They don’t have the rod in stock either. It should be here in a week. They call it a continental rod. The guy told me no one asks for them these days, which is a shame because this valance is so cute and you can fool around arranging it in different ways.

The fabric will gather on the rod but the cording won’t. Then you can arrange the line of cord at least 3 different ways that I know of. You could cork screw it around the rod, you could put it on the rod straight and then twist the bottom up to the top in waves all the way across, which would also show the contrasting lining, or you can put the valance on the rod straight and twist the top and bottom cords separately. I don’t know if you can visualize that, I’ll post pix as soon as I get it all hung.

If you want to sew this type of valance, it’s not difficult. One tip I can give is when sewing long strips of fabric together you can get a cumulative error that doesn’t show up till you’re all the way across. You might get an annoying twist because the layers don’t feed through at exactly the same rate. Unless you have a walking foot machine which I don’t.

The way to avoid the bias twist is to sew over your pins. I use T pins and don’t want to break needles because that’s hard on the machine. I sew up to the pin then walk the needle over the pin by turning the wheel by hand a few times. When you do that you make tiny tucks at the pins which take up the slack on the top piece of fabric. Can you see the tucks on my photo? It doesn’t matter if you have tucks on the valance since it’s gathered on the rod and it keeps it from going on the bias which might show up in the end or cause some twisting on the rod where you don’t want twisting.

This is another project that’s on hold for a week until the rod comes in. I’m excited to see it hung and play around with the valance. This will be a long week and it’s raining.

cypress knee sketch w. swamp pix

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You can find all of my cypress knee models in the photos below.

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This is my latest place to hang around sketching. Look how tiny the knees are in this picture. I could never see them well enough to draw them if I had to copy a photo. Maybe if I was a better photographer…

You can see the pollen on the water but it’s not swirling so nicely any more since it rained. A slight breeze is keeping the pollen moving and changing designs all the time.

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. This is the tree I drew last but it was cloudy that day. If you compare this photo to my sketch you’ll see I didn’t draw all of the sticks around the base of the tree.

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I think this tree is pretty because it has Spanish moss in the branches and another kind of moss is going up the trunk.

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This photo shows a knee I didn’t sketch and pollen clumping up at the water’s edge.

Next week I might go back to the botanical garden to draw. I’m missing some spring  flowers. The knees will be the same all year.

This spring I have a new attitude. Every day I feel so lucky. I’m so thankful for my good health and every day I’m glad I ain’t dead yet. I used to take it all for granted. Does that mean I’m getting old or is this the new “normal”?

It seems so ironic to me that I’ve lived like a hermit for years and finally got used to it. Now, I wish I could help the society that rejected me. I can’t hurt it because there’s no one around for me to infect even if I was an unknowing carrier of a deadly virus, but I’m sure I’m not. Society rejected me. We don’t need to go into all that.  That’s why I’m an artist. It’s ironic because once I took a personality test that said I’m an  extrovert and here I am reclusive. I don’t see myself as an introvert or an extrovert but dead center between the two. I like people, I’m just not trying to be with them. That’s working out for me now.

ok.  enough philosophizing, back to the important job of moving.

photos from the Ghost Ranch / trip debriefing

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The last few days of my drive were less exciting because of the trees on both sides of the road blocking the view.

I saw cops and robbers on my way back east and they all let me alone. I got tired of driving one night and took an exit only to find myself at a real dive of a motel, but didn’t want to get back on the road. I was lucky the whole trip with not getting bit by either dangerous animals or bugs, and not getting robbed by those scary guys staying at the same motel.

If you are afraid, a road trip isn’t for you, but if you need some excitement in your life it can be rewarding.IMG_2380

If it wasn’t for trucks there would be no traffic on rte. 40. The truckers let me alone too. I made a good choice buying the Taurus for this trip, as I feel the car was respected on the interstates, but I might trade it for a Ford pick up truck to do the next drive so I can go on the unpaved roads

Rte. 81 was so beautiful going through western VA yesterday in the mountains.

Nashville has TERRIBLE traffic and I was glad I took 440 instead of staying on 40 through it, because the cars kept moving fast even though it was very heavy traffic, and I saw total gridlock going west at 6:30 AM!

Now I’m home and I don’t have any food in the house, so, I’m back to doing  boring stuff like grocery shopping, picking up mail and doing wash, etc.

It’s hot and humid here at Virginia Beach. I had great weather for my drive and also at the Ghost Ranch, it only rained a little one day and it was cool and dry all week.

I accomplished my goal at the Ghost Ranch which was to complete 2 paintings in one week. And it was a great trip!

Now I’ll buy a whole pound of fresh NC steamed shrimp and eat it all myself to celebrate. I loved the west, but I’ll never move there because the seafood is probably all frozen. mmmm steamed shrimp.

 

2nd try sketching at Great Sand Dunes National Park

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The weather is great. I was there all day working on this sketch but I took a long break and walked with the camera to take pix for my blogging friends.

Yesterday I wasn’t happy with my sketch because it didn’t show the panoramic view I hoped to get. I was sitting on a small dune to do the sketch. Today I sat on a bench behind the visitor center which is about 1/2 mile back from the dune and I think it came out better. I worked on my charcoal sketch for hours first. I find it difficult to do a panoramic sketch. The sketch keeps getting bigger and bigger as I’m going which means it’s out of control.

At least this is showing the scale of the dunes better because of the trees. The dunes are 750 feet tall, the largest sand dunes in North America.IMG_2335

Some wild flowers, asters, I guess. IMG_2334

Rabbit brush. The plaque says cows don’t like to eat it. Someone used the area to graze cattle and now there’s a lot of this because they ate all the tastier plants. That was long ago.IMG_2331

yucca. They’re small for a yucca. I think that’s what it is though. If not, please tell me.IMG_2330

horse brushIMG_2329

fringed sage. It’s a very delicate plant. This is a close up.IMG_2337

The two main grasses are blue grama grass and Indian rice grass. Aren’t they soft and delicate looking? I don’t know what the reddish brown plants are.

I learned so much today about this unusual ecosystem in the park. It has so many layers and they all depend on each other.

Elevation : 8170 feet. San Louis Valley with Sangre De Christo mountains.

Tomorrow I’m off to Taos New Mexico, which isn’t too far from here.