Sonntag, 31. Juli 2016

Backlands Hike

For a Rainy Day

A few days ago I mentioned an outing that concluded with a hike in pretty Swiss scenery. Today being wet and dreary, it is nice to recall that day. We were driving home and saw a sign about a river gorge, so spontaneously stopped. A little way up the trail was this cascading waterfall.


And - wouldn't you know - bridges. sigh...

Rocks ground out these bowl shapes. There were numbers of them.

More bridges
Then  up the stream was a former mill.


...with a millstone you could try to turn. We read that it took three hours - with a much bigger stone than this - to grind 100 kilos of flour by water power, but they were using this mill until after the war, up to 1945.

After more upward climbing through forest, we came to a pond, farm fields looking across to Lichtenstein and its castle, and pleasant vistas.

A small dam....

....which made this pond.
Grazing land

In the niche between the trees, above the city at the foot of the mountains, is the Lichtenstein castle., that white spot you see in about the centre of the picture.
In the middle of this field we walked across was this water shed. It had a cistern inside to water cattle.

Quite laboriously. If you want your children to be busy and out of trouble you would give them this job, because it would take awhile.

Behold a river gorge. "Somebody" mentioned bridge in connection with the tree trunk across the gorge. I declined to believe it.
An example of highly sophisticated engineering technology.
A so-pretty path

EEEK! Until one gets to these. It was wobbly and had loose boards and was forever long.
Then we were out of the gorge and in civilisation with pretty flowers all over.

The walking path continued up the hill in the right side of the picture.
Behold, pretty flowers.

We had dinner in the countryside and got a colorful sunset on the way home.



Tomorrow is Switzerland's 925th birthday - Independence Day here. (The first time I came to visit Switzerland was it's 900th birthday.) Already fireworks are going off in anticipation. Maria picked a very nice hymn for our service today to complement the prayers offered for the country. See TLH 575 - everyone should learn and sing it regularly, in his own language.

Samstag, 30. Juli 2016

Baking Bread

First Thing in the Morning

Before heading out today, Daria and I worked on making bread, using the "historic" Grandma's Bread Recipe.
Our baker is on vacation, so we needed a bit. Daria wanted cinnamon rolls too, so she made them with grated apple and spices on the bottom of the pan, for a topping when they were turned after baking. 


Yes, they taste good. No, there are not many left.

Color and Paint

Yesterday, we wanted to try out some watercolor pencils. This resulted:


Blessings on your Sunday tomorrow.

Freitag, 29. Juli 2016

Painted Layers

Cover Boards

Yesterday I was working on cover boards for one of my class projects, and happened to start communicating with my sisters via electronics. I sent a picture of the painted fronts I had just done (see how technologically advanced I am now!), and got the response, "How did you do that?"

So for the backs, I took pictures of the same steps I had done to show them - and now you.

These were the outsides of the front and back covers, to that stage. When they were dry, I turned them over to paint the insides:
The process started with two colours of paint brushed on the MDF boards (like Masonite)....
.....then with burnt umber added, and let dry...
.....after which some white was applied with a card (like a credit card)....

.....scraping hard to cover the boards very thinly, and letting the under coat show through in areas...
.... after that dried (it helps to have a hot day and acrylics), I applied thin strokes of other colours....
... also applied with the plastic card, overlapping some places to blend....

.....when that was dry, I added stencilling through "sequin waste" with a brush for dot patterns....
.... thus....
.....when dry, stencil on a larger pattern with structure paste/modeling paste....

----using a palette knife. Remove stencil promptly (wash), and let all dry.

Afterward, add some thin acrylic color wash over stencilling.
(Sorry I could not turn these.) The front cover was then further embellished with the epoxy clay flowers and leaves I made earlier this week, and some brass stampings, from which I removed the gold look by firing in a torch. This still will get more work, so I will show you more when I have more.
And from Daria's hands -

A few more jewellery pieces added to her collection (with nice photography)

We went to a nearby Brockenhaus today for Daria to get a couple of things, and I ended up with these.  The one on the right is for table scraps.
More to come sometime on projects. Keep yours coming too.
Best wishes on your weekends.

Donnerstag, 28. Juli 2016

More Mixed Media

Here's a little more from my mixed media class.  The point of this class is to experiment and try out different techniques.

This page was my attempt at crayon resist.  I held a hair dryer in my left hand, and in my right I drew with crayon stumps from my kids' crayon box.  I keep the heat on where I was drawing to make paper warm and the crayon melty, so I got a really intense color.  The wax hardened really fast, so I had to keep it hot.  My finger tips got a little toasty.  After that I washed it all with watercolors.  I love the intensity of the indigo paint.

The instructor recommended trying out samples of "anaglyptic" wallpaper.  I had never heard of that, but it is a paintable, textured walpaper and comes in every design you could imagine and more.  I found a place online offering two free samples with free shipping.  When it came, I couldn't wait to try it out.  

I used a strip of it on the  bottom of this page and really love the texture and design of it. I also used a little more of my plaster of paris (mixed with gesso) and a stencil, and some nice textured scrapbook paper that tears really well.  I made drippy watercolor runs over the top of it all, and at first I regretted my color choice-- Brown Madder paint looks exactly like blood... dripping... eeek! So I added some Dioxazine Violet.  Still... what does that say about the creative process?  Metaphorical for something... maybe...

This last was another experiment in resist.  I drew some zentangle designs with black china marker (grease pencil) and accented with white china marker and silver sharpie.  Then I tried some acrylic glaze base scraped around and laid plastic wrap over it to make it dry with a crinkly texture.  It turned out very subtle-- I think I should get some gel medium, it would probably work better than the glaze base.  After that was dry I removed the plastic and washed watercolor over it all, then stamped circles with silver and white paint and a plastic cap.  I mixed up some more of my plaster of paris with black and silver paint and scraped that around the edges and laid in a few little silver beads in the corners.  At the very end, I sprayed on this shimmer mister, but I regret that part because the surface was not porous enough to absorb the spray and it just got all splattery and I think it dulled the whole page.  Oh well, that is the point of experimenting!   I feel like my scanner didn't pick up the color and texture of this one so well... it looks better in real life.  It was a really fun page to do.

Mittwoch, 27. Juli 2016

Creativity at the County Fair

It's county fair week here in Hood River, Oregon which means it's crazy time. Animals were bathed, shaved, loaded and hauled and boys have been running to meet all the demands of a 4-H showman. Tonight we watched the first of several shows- the dairy cattle. Peter won a blue ribbon and reserve champion in the confirmation class for his Jersey heifer, Annabelle.

I also mosied over to the textile building to see the quilt show. There were so many fantastic quilts in the display! Such stellar artistic and technical quilters we have here.

             These are wall hangings from the "Lime Challenge" by the quilt guild (I recently joined). 


                                                              Such beautiful appliqué work.



                                                               A sweet "sampler" quilt.

                                                                 So many perfect points!

                                        This quilt had such intricate patterns of machine quilting...

But my admiration diminished a bit when I learned that, indeed, the machine can be computer programmed to sew those patterns. It is not a "free motion" technique by the operator.

The majority of the quilts in this county fair show were machine quilted (which is typical for modern quilt  shows).

But, there were a number of lovely hand quilted quilts too. They deserve the highest admiration.

This spectacular quilt was hand appliquéd and hand quilted by a nice Lutheran lady I have known for many years. Long ago I visited her log home and saw her quilting room. She is a machine quilter also but her hand quilting abilities are masterful.

                                                Appliqué, embroidery and hand quilting.

                                      Just. Wow. (Notice those tiny yet perfect yellow circles!)

                                 What a clever and technically difficult use of quilting methods!


                              This is the group made quilt that is being raffled by the quilt guild.

                                     The center is this intricate design of appliquéd felt pieces.


What caught my eye on this quilt was the border- changing from light blues of bright daylight to the dark blues of night.

Oh, look! My humble quilt is among the master works. I entered it for fun to have it hang in a show before going to its final home.

I was not a bit surprised or disappointed that it got a third place white ribbon. That is because of my many non perfect points and corners. (I'm trying not to cringe at the idea of having local people closely examine them) 

I have many miles to go to make anything of the caliber of some of those quilts. There is always room to grow!