Fast on the heels of his triumph in sanding and painting the deck Ben moved on to tackle the upstairs balconies. After pressure washing, belt sanding, hand scraping and painting the first of the two balcony decks, Ben moved on to the posts and railing. That work takes much longer, but he has managed to transform about half of the pieces from this....
At the same time Paul and I worked on improving the look of the concrete pad that at one time held a hot tub. Paul pressure washed it and I painted it with two coats of Sherwin-Williams concrete stain. I love how it turned out. If I'd have realized how straightforward it is to paint concrete I would have done this last summer.
The good weather has meant lots of outside eating and drinking. Isn't this a pretty table? We were invited to our neighbors for drinks and brought along the sunflowers as a hostess gift. We were all tickled at how they fit the decor; very Martha Stewart, yes?
We've had a house guest for much of the week. That Handsome Dog Gus has been here was invited along to our neighbor's house to meet her little wire haired dachshund, Emilie.
Little Emilie was daunted by Gus's big size and spend most of the time sitting on Ben's lap, but she finally got brave enough to get down and take a closer look at Gus's Frisbee.
Jacquie Gering, one of the leaders of the Modern Quilt Guild, came to the Boulder quilt guild to speak and give a workshop. "Modern" quilts are characterized by "the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternative grid work." I really enjoyed hearing Jacquie and seeing her quilts in person. This one, called Homage, is a tribute to the work of artist Josef Albers and his studies of color.
And notice what Jacquie had on her Powerpoint screen; what great admonition.
I took Jacquie's workshop which was on lines in quilt designs, both in the making of the quilt and in the actual quilting. The top piece is, of course, Jacquie's sample for the workshop, and the bottom in what I made in the class.
I finished a small piece for my art quilt group which challenged its member to make something using fabric crayons, ink or paint. I used Pentel Pastel Dye Sticks to draw a flower which I then machine stitched, hand embroidered. I added some borders, some hand dyed ribbon, and an unattributed quote which I found somewhere on Pinterest. Sounds easy but it wasn't. I had one problem after another, either technical or design, and I had to just keep thinking "What can I do now to make me like this piece?" Since the whole object was to meet a challenge I kept at it and in the end I did like it!
And it's been gratifying to see the fruits of some of the gardening we did last year. Here, for instance, is a vine Ben planted last summer now growing vigorously up a trellis by our neighbor's shed in a little shade garden that Paul and I uncovered last year as we whacked back a lot of overgrown plants around our yard.
Fetcher has, of course, been outside living the high in the summer weather. We often find him napping under one of our trees after he's made the rounds of the neighborhood. But Spikey also loves the summer sun. When he's lucky he gets to spend an hour or so in the morning sun that streams through the studio window. The bright sun warms him up as he watches the world outside.