Nellie"s Needles

Friday, July 31, 2009

Indian Paintbrush in the Rockies

There were quite a few patches of wildflowers tucked among the boulders on our trek around Bear Lake this morning high in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
I took a number of photos of the Indian Paint Brush flower.
There were a few Bluebell flowers growing along side them.
My favorite was this lone blossom growing from a crack in a huge rock.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More Mountain Wild Flowers

Who can resist taking photos of these beautiful flowers wherever they grow? In a clump on the side of a road ...
Off the trail among the boulders ...
In a small clearing off the road ...
In the patch of wild growth beyond the grassy area behind our cabin ...
Under a grove of Aspen trees in the national park ...

Mountain Wild Flowers

There has been, and is, quite a bit of rain here in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. All that rain mixed with a bit of sunshine has produced lots of wild flowers in the meadows...
and along the streams...
as well as on the mountains.
Over the next few days more flower pictures will be posted. I'm snapping a lot of photos as reference for how the flowers in the background visually appear as compared to those right at my feet.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Voodoo Dolls and a Spirit Doll

Over the July 4th weekend one of my grandsons announced he had a sewing project. He has designed and sewn enough that he knew what to do when I gave him a sheet of paper. He drew an outline of what he had in mind which became his pattern. I got out the drawer of fabrics put together especially for my grandchildren to create from. He chose his fabric and got busy cutting and sewing while I continued quilting one of the Prairie Flower panels.
When his brother came up from the beach he too wanted to make a voodoo doll. They play a computer game that involves these plus magical staffs. Earlier that day they had each found bleached sticks on the beach and decorated them with feathers, and braided beach grass.
Walla! Here are their completed voodoo dolls.
This seems to be a good post to include a photo of one the spirit dolls that is part of our SMQ Thursday Bee round robin.
After adding my touches I couldn't resist posing her on a Prairie Flower panel. My contributions are her breasts made from silk leaves (yo yo style) and small silk flowers encased between the two layers of her organza skirt. I couched the bottom edges of those two layers together with an angora yarn then made a belt with angora streamers and beads. Of course, I really had no time to be doing this, but I needed to play!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Flowers in the Prairie

Greetings from the Rocky Mountains! It's hard to comprehend that it's been 4 weeks since I've posted. These flowers and our family life at the cottage, plus getting ready for this trip has taken up a LOT of time.

I had figured to be further along before we left Michigan for 3 weeks in Colorado. However, I'm pleased to have completed the detail layer of lots of flowers for the bottom row.
Here are photos of the five panels in the bottom row. Besides the violets tucked among the stems and undergrowth across the base of all five, White Blue-eyed grass flowers are "growing" at the 8-10" height across them, too.

Below are 3 photos of the first panel in the bottom row.
The first one is of the "underpainting". The second has more materials plus the flowers and leaves laid into position. The third one has a layer of tulle netting added and is quilted with many different threads and the centers of the flowers have been added. Some of the flowers are under the netting while others are sewn on the surface so they're 3-D.

To determine which flowers and their placement I made a tissue overlay drawing. This is a plan I'm following loosely as I create each panel. It gives a visual clue of how the life-sized flowers (and which ones) in the foreground will "grow" up through the rows above that have flowers receding into the distance.
All the flowers in this installation are chosen from a list the gardeners from the hospital had sent. I researched all of them on the internet and printed out descriptions with photos for each one. They're in a reference notebook I've put together for this project.
Above are the materials I use to make the Cone Flowers. Most are made with two layers of petals ... one is layered under the netting for the back side of the flower, the other gets sewn to the top for that 3-D effect.
I've spent a number of evenings in front of the TV disassembling commercial silk florals to fill this box with petals that I cut, reshape and sometimes glue back together to make the flowers for this piece.
All the leaves were stripped off the plastic veining of the above silk florals. They too, get cut up and reshaped to represent the leaves of the flowers in this piece.
Bits of Elvis cut from a collar of a silk blouse given to me by my friend, Helen, are hidden in three of these panels. I know there's a blue piece with musical notes somewhere, but I've camouflaged it so well I can't find it. Do you see the words in this one?
Can you spot the hand playing a ukulele?
When it came time to take these close-up photos I had a difficult time finding Elvis, even though I had an idea where to look. I'm glad he's not obvious to casual observation ... only to those in the know, or those who are ultra-observant.
My husband, the big Elvis fan, couldn't see him in that photo without my pointing to him.

Now I need to put that project out of mind and BE on vacation ... to enjoy the real flowers in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains.
However, I cannot help but to study perspective in every patch I see.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

More Birds Here and There

Over at Timber Hill Threads two quilters are having fun making "Nellie Birds".
A motherly looking bird posted on a group site, Abuela Creativa