Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Happy New Year

Hi Everyone,
Hope you have all had a wonderful peace filled Christmas with your family and friends.
We had a quiet day, joined very good friends for midday Christmas Dinner and shared with their family in a special day. After Mum's passing last year it was lovely spending time with a family who still have parents with them.

Since finishing my Ginny Beyer 24" block have not been sure what I want to do next.
LE has come out again and I have stitched some more of final border 2 but I can't stay focused on it but 2016 is the year it will be finished.
I loved Terry Aske's recent blog on how to create portrait quilts and am now thinking about doing one of Grace but I haven't go very far. Have played with a photo, not quite how Terry describes but I love this version.

 Used a water paint effect with Photoscape and although Grace is a jet black dog this is giving me ideas for highlights and how to bring her to life in fabric,  Also love how our horrible textured 70/80's carpet has been given a new look, could be the ideal background fabric to look for.  LOL

DH and I don't buy each other presents at Christmas but I have been looking for ages for a metal ghecko for on our front deck, the week before Christmas I finally found one I still liked on my second viewing so home he came and luckily Steve likes him too so he is our Christmas present for the house.

My favourite colours at the moment he's waiting for a few extra layers of automotive clear coat before heading outside as all the open work is copper wire so while waiting I have another project idea that might be simpler than a portrait of Grace.

 Traced around our ghecko, drew in the eyes as best I could (you can see how they are hooded and bulge up) and added the other pattern lines and colour shading marks. 26" from nose to bend of tail and 20" across back toes so this might be a challenge after all. Have a couple of fabrics that might work plus this piece of  synthetic snake skin look fabric.

My thought is that if I cut a complete Ghecko from this fabric and then work on how to overlay the other fabrics and colours it may come together. There is a seamless blend in the paint effect so how can I acheive that?

To other things. El Nino this year has brought us continous hot sunny days. They take Whangarei temp's at the airport by the sea in a louvered box and are being recorded as high 20's but at home we know we have been getting low to mid 30's. By 5.30pm we can barely sit in our lounge as the sun moves round and streams in for the next three hours so a solution had to be found.

This sunsail has made a huge difference although we still need a fan in the lounge to move air around.
It is a little darker inside but we can take it down for winter when we do want the late sun to stream in. Metal extension brace at one end and a new post at the other to give us good head height on the deck plus the proper tension. The support timber will come off once the post concrete has fully hardened. Because of the post's position we will now add another fence out to the boundary fence to make it look like it belongs there and seperate our exta parking space from the front yard.
Since we replaced our front fence the area has become a haven for Blackbirds and Thrushes.

I added 2 stones to our birdbath as it was never used and suddenly, IT IS being used, I think it was to deep and slippery and not private enough. On the left Mum Blackbird is on the branch and Dad is feeding Baby on the ground. These are taken from our dining room so are not great photo's Today it was Mum Thrush and her 3 chicks playing here, one still with a couple of down feathers on her head.

This is now a two week blog so Happy New Year everyone, It has gone from sweltering yesterday to a subtropical low overnight bringing first wind and now steady rain with the forecast for thunderstorms and heavy downpours today and tomorrow. - Welcome 2016 -  at least a few days of not watering the garden!!!

This morning I cut a complete background Ghecko from my pattern and fused it to another fabric which I intend to cut away once my applique is complete.

The flash has lightened the body area but this fabric is great, if I didn't want to add colour I couldn't have asked for a more lifelike fabric. While I was looking for A3 pages to trace my pattern on I came across some mosaic patterns I had forgotten about so this is my answer for colour blending
I picked 8 fabrics to hopefully blend from red through yellow to dark green and set to work drawing mosaic pieces on the reverse of my pattern, numbering and then shading them. If it doesn't work for the tail then it won't work at all!!!!

I didn't expect 60 pieces just for the tail - this is going to be a project after all.
After a very wet New Years afternoon spent with friends I got down to the task on Saturday and this is the result.

Again the flash has changed my snakeskin fabric but am I very happy with how the tail has come together, now for the head.

Not even thinking about the eyes at this stage, only colouring my background.
Dropped off the red and orange and added a deeper green at the neck end.
Only 38 pieces this time

I think I am going to do the main body next and leave the legs till last starting with the two areas that are metal on the original and then mosiac over them to get a softer blend of the orange and red.

Wrong Option!!!!

The solid cololour looked better than my mosiac overlay but I felt it was just too solid so to a new plan, luckily my fabric peeled off without problem. I cut a new solid pattern and drew my mosiac on it as I wanted to keep the crisp outline.

3 Pieces in place and this is working out like the perfect jigsaw puzzle.

Cut a shape out, pin my pattern in place and I have the perfect template for positioning.

And here we are on Tuesday 5th Jan.

Love the body elements but that leg has taken ages but now  I think I need to move my gold to the front of the leg, LOL
Photo's are a great way to view from a distance and make alterations before it's to late!!!

Another couple of garden photo's before I link to Esther's first WOW for 2016.

Old Lady Jacaranda across the street from us has been beautiful this year, we get to enjoy all her glory
 and don't have to clean up her carpet of fallen flowers.

 Agapanthus now blooming right outside my sewing room window.
I wonder why I love blue and purple so much.

Potted Hydrangea by our front steps, will have to go in the garden after flowering as although healthy last year flowers were much deeper so needs more nutrients but this lovely pastel pink is gorgeous as is the orchid peeping through.

That's it everyone, thanks for taking the time to visit and I love to read your comments.
Now linking with Esther's WOW
Cheer's Jenny


  1. WOW Jenny what a great start to 2016 Your ghecko looks fantastic, what an exciting tutorial you have given us, what fun it was to keep seeing more as I scrolled down. If this is what you have done all ready for 2016 what more are you going to produce?????? Just love him Jenny I have one at my house entrance too. He's only coiled copper wire but i love him LOL. I'm looking forward to seeing Grace as an art piece now. Lovely to see photos of the birds and flowers in your garden. I do miss the Blackbirds and Thrushes. Hugs Glenda

  2. I love your gecko project, Jenny! What a wonderful idea.

  3. Hi Jenny, happy quilting new year to you too. What a great gecko you are making!

  4. Hi Jenny, happy quilting new year to you too. What a great gecko you are making!

  5. Love your Gecko! Thank you for sharing the process with us

  6. Your geckos are very cute -- the copper one for outside and the one you are making.

  7. What a piece of art, such wonderful applique, amazing.

  8. The gecko is ingenious! I was fascinated by your artistic process. Thank you so much for sharing!