quilts, treadle sewing machines, crochet, watercolor, dogs, & other fun stuff

Freezing, but Not Frozen

We’re having some very cold weather here—or at least it’s cold for this area!  Last night our low was 18°F, I think, or thereabouts, and we have more cold weather still to come (though not quite that low, thank goodness).  

It may not sound that extreme, but for coastal Alabama, it is!  Some places in our areas saw a few flurries, but most of us only got a little freezing rain yesterday morning.  We had icicles on the western side of our house.  They didn’t all melt before the temperatures dropped again, so some of them stuck around until this morning.  

There was also a coating of ice on all the leaves of the plants around the yard, and the sago palms had a dusting of ice collected along each “stem”.  I guess we’ll see if any plants decide not to come back after such brutal blizzard conditions.  

"Morning Glories" Quilt Progress

There’s not much progress to show, really… But I have put in some work on it, mainly in the form of printing out the papers I need, cutting them down to size, cutting (most of) the rest of the fabric I’ll need and kitting it up.  

Remember, I’m making mine smaller, because I just want this done.  (There’s that positive attitude!)

This morning I woke too early and put in a little time sewing.  The design wall is currently embarrassingly bare, but it won’t stay that way for long!

my very rough plan for color layout
kitting things up by block, in progress
pre-dawn stitchery

Watercolor Stuff

I don’t have much to share for this section, either.  I’ve done some color swatching for palettes I had yet to swatch (including some new, Christmas-gifts-to-myself paints)… I do see the value in those, now.  Mine don’t have that perfect gradient thing going, but they do serve as a handy map of the colors in each palette, eliminating guesswork when so many of the colors look the same in the pan.  

Another Christmas gift to myself was a book intended to inspire ideas when you’re struggling to get started.  It’s titled 365 Days of Art in Nature, by Lorna Scobie, but you’re not necessarily “supposed” to complete it in a year.  I definitely won’t, at this rate, because I think I’ve only done two or three of the pages so far.  I still think it might be helpful, though.  

Here’s one of the pages filled in…

(Some of the leaves come printed on the page; if you can see, the ones printed in green come in the book, and ones in black ink and watercolor are mine.)  

The texture of the paper is not ideal for watercolor, but I thought I might use it as a jumping-off point and take the idea to regular watercolor paper, if I find it interesting enough.  

This doodle is roughly based on a watercolor tutorial video YouTube decided to put in my feed, though now that I look at it again, there’s not a lot of similarity there, apart from the flower shapes. 

These aren’t my usual go-to colors.  I think I tend more toward greens and warm tones, but it’s good to try something different.  

More of the simple mushrooms, but in pink/purple this time…

I wanted to try out a new-to-me cheap 100% cotton paper.  I had two types: cold press (medium texture) and hot press (light texture/flat).  

For the smaller pad of cold press, I went to the old favorite “reverse coloring book autumn trees”:

I mean, it’s not a masterpiece, but I had fun.  

For the hot press paper (which I had in a larger pad), I started following another of Diane Antone’s tutorials, but after the first part, I kind of just went from memory and didn’t follow it directly.  

All these saturated, rainbow-bright colors on one page are also out of my comfort zone.  I think it looks like CandyLand or something, which isn’t a bad thing, but just isn’t my usual style.  

I don’t usually mind backruns, blooming, “cauliflowers”, whatever you want to call them, despite so many people apparently thinking they are a bad thing.  In fact, I sometimes like them and make them intentionally, but maybe this would’ve been better without so many in the sky. 

I don’t know… Maybe after watching a couple of fairly anti-cauliflower videos (not the two mentioned above!), I need to watch some palate-cleansing tutorials from less uptight watercolor painters!

The last two are just more of the same type of thing I’ve done before, because I wanted to paint but had no energy for anything too complicated or requiring planning or thought.  (Not that I usually put lots of thought or strategy into it, because I don’t.)

It’s just fun to play around with the colors and then go back and add ink. 

Seeing what happens without worrying, just letting go of control and expectations, is what makes it fun.  I think if I were trying too hard to make it “good”, I’d always be too intimidated to bother painting at all, and that would be a shame, because is is fun, if you stop stressing about it.  I’m choosing to embrace the wonky, the weird, and yes, even the ugly!

Recent Listening & Reading...

I’m currently reading Bitter Sun, by Beth Lewis.  So far, I’m unfortunately not enjoying it as much as her The Wolf Road, but there’s still time to change my mind.   

I’m still listening to The Paris Apartment, by Lucy Foley.  It took me a while to warm to it (too many shifting POVs, too many accents that blurred together), but I think it’s getting more interesting, now.

For music, here are a few current favorites:

“On the Nature of Daylight”, by Max Richter

“Time”, by Hans Zimmer
(Though to be honest, I barely remember anything about the movie this came from…)

“Stay”, by Chad Lawson
(Found through Amazon Music…)


I’m Michael (a female Michael, to remove any doubt).  I live on the Alabama Gulf Coast with my husband, Donald, and our crazy American Eskimo Dogs. 

I love to fill my spare time with various crafts and other hobbies, and this blog is where I share photos, record my progress, and ramble endlessly.

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