What do you do when you have a day?

I got to answer that question yesterday… paint was my answer. Specifically, paint the living room, and then the studio, and then the inside of the front door.

This came as a surprise to Steve. I hadn’t talked about painting and he can’t read my mind. I’ve wanted to change colors for a couple of years, I just never had time. These are older pictures that show the green walls in the living room and yellow walls in the studio.

My sofa is dark gray now, two chairs are covered in black and gray fabric, plus Mom’s black leather chair. And there is a lovely gray area rug that anchors it all. The green was not doing it for me.

So on Saturday I got some paint chips and on Sunday we painted. Steve helped a lot! I did the cutting in, he manned the roller.

The yellow in the studio didn’t look good with gray, we had time, so we painted there too.

Each room got 2 coats. We had to move the furniture and then put it back. Both rooms, all done, in 6 1/2 hours! I’ll have to get a good picture of the studio to share, but I’m too pooped to go take one right now :-).

This morning I painted the inside of the front door the same shade of gray, but in a semi-gloss. The walls on either side of the door are white, but you can see the gray on the header wall that is at the edge of the living room, looking toward the front door.

The color is Polar Star by Valspar. It’s a gray that changes with the light. Sometimes it’s a little blue, other times a little violet. It’s not dark, but in shadow gets darker. We are very happy and I don’t have to think about new paint for a few years.

Show and tell…

Mary Grogan made a hoodie for her 3-year-old grandchild who loves unicorns. This may be the cutest thing I have ever seen!

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Mary wrote:

I adapted your Magical Unicorn pattern to fit on the back of the hoodie. She and her parents totally love it. I thought you might like to see it. Lots of my friends want me to make a unicorn for them on a shirt!

Thanks for your wonderful patterns and ideas!

Mary, you just made everyone smile—including me! You did a great job and I thank you so much for sharing the pictures with us all :-).

 

Crochet Art, made just for me!

Sarah Meyers is an artist (and young mother of 3) who makes all sorts of things, including crocheted mandalas. She made one for Lorna and I loved it so much that I commissioned one for myself! FYI: she is willing to more commissions—if you are interested you can email me (becky.pieceocake@gmail.com) and I will give her your email address.

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I chose acrylic yarn because I expect to wash and dry it in the dryer. I chose a color palette and OK’d the yarn choices and it’s a kick to see how well it turned out! It’s colorful in a way that is so different from the quilts I make. It is going to be wonderful to cuddle with when the weather turns cooler.

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It’s really tactile, and 3-dimensional…

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Again, if you are interested in commissioning a crochet mandala, email me (becky.pieceocake@gmail.com) and I will give Sarah your email address.

Wooly news from Linda and her stitch group!

Linda decided she wanted to do 48 of the blocks from the Applique Delights book in wool. She thought her stitch group would have a lot of fun doing them together. The girls met and loved the idea!

For those of you who haven’t seen this book, Applique Delights has 100 different block designs that range from classic to whimsical. The patterns are 5″ x 5″, but you can enlarge them to any size—there is a handy chart in the book. The original book is out of print but you can get it as an ebook or as a print-on-demand book. AND these blocks are great in wool!

Each stitch group member selected the blocks she wanted to do. Linda provided the background fabric and she put her wool fabrics out for them to choose from. The finished blocks are wonderful! And Linda says that as new blocks go up on her design wall, she is thrilled to see how great they look together.

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Everyone has personalized their blocks with embroidery and embellishments. They are having a whole lot of fun sharing ideas. Linda sent me this picture of some of stitch group with their finished block. More to come as the blocks are done.

Linda says that if you have a stitch group, you might consider doing his kind of project because it is so much fun! Happy stitching, from Linda and me :-).

Finding inspiration…

I’ve shared many photos of our trip to Spain, but I haven’t said much about how what I saw is working its way into my head design-wise. I was definitely inspired by the color, freedom, and spontaneity evident in Antonin Gaudi’s work. The color and playfulness, combined with a deep understanding of form and function, will stay with me.

But there is more to Spain than the work of Antonin Gaudí. I paid particular attention to the colors of the buildings in all of the cities and villages that we visited.

 

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The colors are generally warm, and tend to be light to medium in value. The overall palette is loaded with beige-neutrals, warm grays, pale yellow to gold, peach, salmon, and pale greens…

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If you are like me, you have stopped noticing what you see every day in your own home town. It’s so much fun to look around and see something new everywhere you look!

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Even the back side of a block of basic apartment buildings is interesting to look at.

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White walls and buildings were less common, but they sparkle when you find them.

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Strong, dark colors were rarer and stood out from the crowd. There are probably lots of deeply colored buildings, I just didn’t find them.

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Gaudí’s mosaics are the most famous, but they are not the only mosaics to be found. These columns can be found in the Palau de la Música Catalana designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

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I saw more white walls in the coastal villages. And a lot more blue… blue doors, blue trim, blue water.

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As I think about and remember the places we visited on this trip, I see these colors in my head. I’ve begun drawing my next quilt and I know that at least some of this warm and lovely color palette will be in it.

Park Güell

Antonin Gaudí also designed Park Güell, Palau Güell, and Casa Mila in Barcelona. Park Güell was high on my list of places to visit.

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There are so many whimsical shapes covered with mosaics!!!

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I didn’t love the lion’s head (below), but it’s the only thing I didn’t love.

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There are two levels to the park. The part with the undulating bench is on top, in the sun.

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The bench marks the perimeter of the space. I especially liked seeing the transitions between different tile colors and styles on the bench. And I liked that the drainage holes were well designed and obviously work.

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The plain circles that crop up like dots are really fun!

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You can see the more formal garden in the background in the photos above and below.

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The views of Barcelona were lovely.

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A colonnade holds up the ‘top’ of the park. It is massive, and the columns angle to provide maximum support.

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Stone and tile… everywhere you look! And beautiful ironwork…

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The non-formal part of the park is more organic. Rock work, no tile.

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The whole park feels happy and very alive!

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It was hot summer so the flowers were not as plentiful as they would be in the spring but those that were there, were lovely.

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We arrived at the park early and missed a lot of the crowds and heat. If you go, do that :-).

 

Show and Tell…

It’s time to break up the vacation posts with a quilt! This is Jackie Hillman’s Whimsical Quilt Garden — isn’t it lovely!

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It’s a quilt you could stand in front of and savor for a long time. So many cute details!

FYI: If this is a pattern you want, order it soon. The pattern is going out of print and I still have some in stock. Once those are gone, it will only be available as a digital ebook.

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Thank you, Jackie, for sharing your quilt with us!

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