Friday, 29 April 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge, April

The theme for April has been “Branching out - out on a limb”. I still enjoy a little glue and scissors play, so I have made a couple of sketches.

The first one is a simple tree shape cut from junk mail with a little bird perching on a tiny little branch by itself instead of nesting in the safe tree crown. Yeah, I can feel it.

The other one, “Now, listen!” is a raw sketch based on this picture.
I fell in love with these two trees over Easter. Don’t they look like an old and wise one giving advice to a young one? They reminded me of my daughter and me, I can hear us through the branches; obviously I don’t have that much moss yet, but anyway. I would love to make a fiber art quilt based on the picture at some point.The sketch is made from a newspaper and a marker. Transferring the image into paper was not as easy as I thought though, but it will do for a first sketch.

Got to run; I have to drop grandson off at kindergarten, get the winter tyres off before the deadline on Monday and a little shopping to do. Wednesday night at the guild meeting I was informed that the guild, Rogaland Quiltelag, will be sponsoring the Make a Boob project with lots of embellishments and I get to pick and choose myself. Happy Friday to all of you.-)

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Stacks of coins

We don’t have many quilts on our walls at home (it’s cluttered enough already with fabrics and projects I guess), but there are a few adorning the pine walls of our cabin, like this Chinese coins quilt from 2001.

I pieced all the strips together in one direction which made the bars a bit askew. I could have straightened them, but I liked the little leaning towers. I tried quilting the bars in a paisley-ish pattern that I used to doodle back in school.
The scraps and the blue border and sashing are thrifted fabrics so there are not many quilting fabrics in the quilt, maybe 4-5. It’s strange; I remember each and every one of these fabrics and where I got them, but now I find fabric in my stash I swear I have never seen before. What can I say; hi, my name is Nina Lise and I’m a hoarder. Not fabric hoarder; just plain big old hoarder.

I used the quilt as a sample for a scrap workshop a few years ago and husband put it back on the wall. Looking at the pictures I see that the top of the quilt is a bit twisted so it doesn’t hang straight. I’ll have to fix it on our next visit ‘cause now it’s bugging me.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


We’ve spent Easter at our cabin with grandson. There is a long tradition of naming Norwegian cabins, and while I’m not sure people still do this, husband named ours Helgero (which translates directly to “Weekend peace and quiet”). I did not take any pictures of the cabin, but I’ve got something better – artwork.

I made this quilt for him 7 years ago.
It says "Welcome to Helgero" and is the first thing you see entering the house. I used one of husband’s own blueprints as a pattern and copied it line by line onto the quilt. I had to include his orange cement mixer (batcher?), a few sheep and a birch tree.

Our flag was finally up again after I did some repair work on it last year and spring was working its magic day by day, draping a sheer layer of bright green over the birches.
It was such a lovely break catching up with friends we hadn’t seen for a while and having family up for dinner, and of course, life never gets boring in the company for an almost 4 year old. We’ve been playing soccer and games, making-launching-and-looking-for boats, baking a cake and just having a lot of fun.

This was not so fun however; not fun at all really. Grandson fell over and got a cut in his cheek which had to be taped up at the ER. He was such a little hero and did not make any fuss whatsoever. I on the other had felt so bad that it happened on my watch, but at least it was properly taken care of by a doctor. The funny thing is that I brought a bag with fever reducing medication after our last drama up there and I don’t travel anywhere on holiday without a small first aid kit. Oh well; I couldn’t have done a proper job on his beautiful face even with all the appropriate remedies at hand.

Got to go, I have a pharmacy to raid for first aid stuff; more pictures of old(er) quilts at the cabin later. Have a lovely day!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Speed of light

I’ve got to say I’m quite enjoying husband’s sabbatical. Yesterday we took a road trip to my sister’s cabin a couple of hours drive up in the mountains. It was a rather grey morning, and I was mesmerized by the light. Most of these pictures were taken through the car window. Husband was testing out a new car, and you know what, I think the speed actually adds another dimension to the pictures. The clouds were draped ever so softly on the mountain tops and looked even better through drops of rain on the wind shield. The colours of Mother Nature are amazing right now. There are so many subtle shades of greys and browns and greens that will get buried in bright green soon. I would love to make a quilt with these tones. A little waterfall down the mountain side, with a few white spots of snow. The weather changed as we were driving home in the evening and gave us this amazing sky with a line from a plane and fabulous silhouettes against the sky And, talking about speed, I enjoyed my grandma time very much thank you.-) I’ll be taking a blogging break over Easter to spend time with the family, but I’ll be back on Tuesday 26th. Have a wonderful Easter!

Friday, 15 April 2011


Sometimes I have difficulties trying to explain to others (you know, non-crafters; read husband) how not doing any creative work makes me feel. I have tried comparing it to work (work work), like “I get very restless just like you do when not working”. Yeah, no results yet. Anyway; during our stay at Gran Canaria I was looking at lines and contrasts and textures and colours everywhere we went, bringing my camera and stopping every 10 steps or so to have a closer look, just to feed my inner creativity. I find trees fascinating and even more the trees that grow in other places, like the palms on the island. We don’t have too many of them way up here in the north, only small ones growing in pots indoors. There are just so many different lines and colours and jagged edges which would transfer wonderfully into quilts some day in the future (way into the future). From afar you’ll see this But if you look closer you’ll find these And theseAnd this And this And how about a Canarian Beauty And this colour combo Yeah, I hope to be back to my regular fabric fixes soon!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge, March

The theme for March was “Spilling over” and although I did not make it by the end of the month, I still wanted to complete the challenge.
The image of a head with little stuff spilling over (how I feel most days) popped into my head as soon as I saw the theme. I was not sure how I would create it though until this morning when I sat down for a little creative time with yesterday’s junk mail still on the table in front of me. For some reason I seem to find inspiration in the tons of advertisement junk that keeps filling our mailbox. It may not be that strange after all as they are made for the sole purpose to catch our attention and trigger our scenes. Wonderful colours and pictures and textures and it’s free; what’s not to love – from an artistic point of view anyway.
I’ve got to say I enjoy making these simple collages; a little paper, scissors, a glue stick and a marker and I’m ready to go. Got to clear my stuff away now; I’ll be off picking up grandson soon; I haven’t seen him in a week and a half and am definitely up for some puzzle and snuggle time.-)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Here comes the sun

I have just returned from a week of vacationing in one of my favourite corners of the world. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology I’ve been posting the last few posts from here: Yeah, the same hotel where we spent a couple of weeks last summer. As part of husband’s grand plan of a one month sabbatical between jobs (he's working right now as I write this...), we went to Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands for a week. It was our first alone vacation for almost 5 years, so about time I’d say even though grandson was quite shocked we would go without him.

The weather was lovely; mostly sunny with just the right temperature and just a little too much wind (which made our arrival a bit too exciting to my taste throwing the plane this way and that for what seemed like forever). I brought stuff for every eventuality and with a weather forecast between 19 and 32 degrees Celsius you need quite a few clothes. No sewing supplies though, the back is still healing.

The hotel is built like a Canarian village with each bungalow a little different from the next one.

You’ve got to love a place with solar panels on every roof, beautiful bars on the windows and where the maid keeps folding your towels into swans.

I spent big chucks of the days here with a book and my iPod; husband of course brought his best friend, his computer.

I got totally fascinated by trees and textures during the week, but more on that later; got to keep the washing machine fed, you know.