Cynthia St. Charles Store

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Original Wallpaper and Carpet

As we continue working our way through the home renovation, it has been interesting to discover small fragments of the original decorating!

No doubt, it was the height of fashion back in 1978, when this house was built. A color scheme of orange and green shows up everywhere. Apparently most everything in the house was apple green - from the living room carpets to the bathroom fixtures.
However, the master bedroom / bath appears to have been primarily orange. Above is a swatch of carpet we found beneath the gray carpet we pulled up in order to install hardwood flooring in the master bedroom.

When we took down the vanity mirror - we were surprised to discover this vibrant foil wallpaper. Wow!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Granite Kitchen Backsplash

The kitchen backsplash and tile floor are finally all finished. There are still little things undone in the kitchen - such as replacing the trim around the cabinets and the toe kick. But our installer has finished his part, anyway.

We are going to be installing under cabinet lighting, and when that is installed - I will be able to get a picture that really shows the backsplash nicely. It looks terribly dark here, but when I used the flash all I got was reflection. The granite we used is called Baltic Brown and comes from Finland. The countertops are 1 1/2" slabs, but the backsplash is made of 1/2 tiles in Baltic Brown and Black granite. The grout color we used in the tile on the floor as well as the backsplash is called Mocha, which is also the color of the Elkay eGranite sink.

Our installer was Owen Joki from Rock Solid in Billings.
He does very good work and is super reasonable and a very pleasant person to work with. He had a lot of good ideas and was able to execute them well.

We replaced the cabinet door pulls with oil rubbed bronze, and we love the kitchen faucet by Delta. The water filter faucet is by Kingston Brass. Both faucets are in the oil rubbed bronze finish. All our appliances are black.

I look forward to getting the window valance back in place. It is made of rust dyed cotton. However, we are still installing hardwood flooring in the bedrooms, and so I am not decorating until we are done creating dust!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

All Alone and Blue juried into Sacred Threads 2011

I am pretty sure I have never posted this quilt on my blog before, either.
I am showing this one today because it has been juried into the Sacred Threads 2011 Show in Washington, DC. Both of my entries were accepted!

This piece was inspired by the unique style of artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. His use of color and line influenced the development of this image depicting the loneliness and isolation engulfing a person in the depths of depression. A plasticized wrapping material called Tyvek® was painted with pigments, cut into shapes and placed on top of the fabric sandwich of black cotton, and polyester batting. After details were stitched by machine with bright polyester and cotton thread, the Tyvek® was melted slightly with an iron to create texture and depth.

Previously exhibited at the Plains Art Museum Exhibit: Fiber for Thought October 25, 2007 – January 13, 2008

The size of this piece is 36 x 36 ½”

I made this in 2004, and I still really love it. It usually hangs in the hallway so I can see it daily (although all the artwork is in storage while we renovate our home).

Seeing it today, I realize I really do need to try another piece or two in this style.

P.S. Even though it is essentially about depression - I do not suffer from depression, rather - I spent many years of my career working with individuals struggling with depressive symptoms, among other things. I am very aware of the impact of this disease.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Greener Pastures Accepted into Sacred Threads Show

Even though I created this piece back in 2007, I don't think it has ever been shown on this blog. I am showing it now because it has just been juried into the Sacred Threads 2011 show in Washington DC. Hand dyed fabric is fused, then screen printed with the cows followed by machine and hand stitching.
In 2006, my parents moved from their ranch of 50 years to another ranch in Central Montana. I helped them move and made a lot of trips back and forth. This image represents the scenery along the drive from their old place to the new one. The highway travels along the Big Snowy Mountains, and it is ranch country. There are always cattle grazing in the pastures along the way.
I photographed the cows and converted my photo into a Thermofax screen for printing.
I call this piece, "Greener Pastures" to reflect the hope of a better life in the new location.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New York City - Travel Log Tuesday

I LOVE visiting New York City! These views are from the Empire State Building.It is such an exciting place!

Central Park

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mail Art Project - Week Thirty

Hand dyed and block printed cottons, pieced and machine quilted.

Today's quote:
"Having completed most of the book of life,
I can tell you that the answers are not in the back"
-Robert Brault-

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Daltile Terra Antica Rosso - In Progress

Here are some pictures of the tile as it is being installed. It took 3 days to get it all in place. Then a fourth day for the grout.

I am pleased with the way the tile pulls together the color of the cabinets, the countertop, and the hardwood in the adjoining areas.

Of course, we had to pull out the dishwasher and refrigerator. These were parked in the living room and I set up a mini-kitchen on the dining room table. We were not to walk on the tiles for 12 hours after they were installed. Even though we used paper plates, there were still a lot of dishes to drag down the hall to the utility sink - especially the day of Breckin's birthday party!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tile Pile

Joe and I worked a couple of days (mostly Joe, really) removing the old vinyl flooring. It came up easy, except for the seams, which were really well fused to the plywood. The tile installer wanted all the adhesive removed down to the bare plywood, and there was a thin film that stayed when the vinyl was pulled up.

We tried a lot of different strategies to remove the old brittle adhesive stuck to the plywood, but the best by far was just using the belt sander. Talk about your nasty toxic dust! This was one of the most difficult parts for me yet, as the heat of the belt sander seemed to reactivate the adhesive and the dust was filling up the house, making my asthma act up. I just hid out in the basement until the dust settled and we showered and cleaned each day after he finished. Yuck!

Owen delivered the tile and stacked it up at one end of the room. We chose Daltile Terra Atica in the 12 x 12" tiles. Rosso colorway. This is a solid body tile, meaning the color runs all the way through the tile rather than just being printed on the surface. We looked at a lot of tiles and I was very particular. I was really turned off by tiles that looked like a photograph. Especially the ones with bad pixilation and we saw a remarkable number of those. Seriously - it is pretty amazing what is out there on the market!

Joe and I had been looking all over town and I had been looking online when we met Owen, our installer. He told us to go to the Daltile Showroom in west Billings, and they had the Terra Atica installed on the showroom floor. It looked really great with the granite we had in mind, so it was a pretty easy decision.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Alliances Finalist!

I am thrilled to learn that my entry to the Alliances Contest of the American Alliance for Quilts is in the top Four run-off.

Members of the American Alliance for Quilts can vote through Monday for their favorite. The Grand prize is a Handi Quilter Machine. I have lusted for one of these machines for years!
Wish me luck! The winner will be announced this coming Wednesday, April 27 at the American Quilter's Society Quilt Show in Paducah.

(and if you are a member of the American Alliance for Quilts, I would appreciate your vote!)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kitchen sink

Here is my Elkay eGranite kitchen sink in Mocha. It is a composite of 80% ground up quartz and epoxy. It is a 10" deep, 33" wide single basin sink and the sink base is 33" wide. It is to be an undercounter installation, but the sink actually did not quite fit so the installer had to use a router on the cabinet base to make room for the sink along the sides - sandwiched between the granite countertop and the cabinet base.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Disassembling the Kitchen

I took these pictures over a month ago when we started taking the kitchen apart for the installation of the new countertops and flooring. It has been dragging on for over a month and still not done yet, but today we moved the kitchen table back into the kitchen.

This really has always been a very nice spacious kitchen. My only complaints were the countertops that were scratched and stained and the vinyl flooring that was very worn out and dull. I couldn't even shine it up with floor wax!

The layout of the kitchen is great - very workable and the cabinets were custom built with solid oak doors and lots of nice custom features such as rollout shelves, vertical storage, etc. . The finish on the cabinets is showing signs of wear, but we will deal with that sometime down the road.

I took these pictures the day our installer arrived with part of the countertops. On this day, he would be installing the slab on the island and also the one with the kitchen sink.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cloverleaf Lakes - Travel Log Tuesday

Cloverleaf Lakes are located deep in the Beartooth Wilderness. There is no trail to the lakes, really because they are so high - they are essentially surrounded by granite. We approached the lakes off trail from the Martin Lake Trail. Here is the view from above the lakes, we climbed down a rock scramble to get there.

Here is the outlet from Cloverleaf Lakes. We followed this stream back down past a few isolated lakes and through a narrow canyon to reach Martin Lake.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mail Art Project - Week Twenty Nine

This week's Mail Art.

I have a few images of my process for this group.
The fabric is gelatin plate printed with leaves.
This fabric was actually printed several times to create the depth and texture you see below:
In case you don't recognize the leaves - here is a detail image.

The fabric already has fusible web on the back of it, so all I need to do is cut out the bunny shape and fuse it in place on a strip of black background.
I free motion quilted some leaves with green thread on it, and then I cut out the postcards sized 4 x 6"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Toy Story Birthday Cake

Grandson Breckin's 2nd Birthday!
He is fond of all the Toy Story Characters.
I thought it would be fun to try decorating his birthday cake in a Toy Story theme. Browsing the toy shelves at Target, I found a package of Dive Sticks on Clearance. I thought these would look cute standing on the cake, however when I opened the package, I found the characters were made of soft plastic and they do not stand up on their own. While washing them, I noticed small holes in the bottom of each figure. I discovered these are the perfect size for a wooden skewer.

I broke the skewers to the correct length - long enough to penetrate the full depth of the cake.
I frosted the cake with white buttercream icing and piped on edges using Wilton leaf green coloring.
Breckin and his parents loved his Toy Story Birthday cake!

Breckin is not eating refined sugars, gluten, or eggs yet, so I made him a special sugar, egg and gluten free applesauce muffin. It was decorated with Mr. Potatohead facial features. This was Breckin's special birthday cake. Party guests were invited to make decorate their own muffins with the Mr. Potatohead features, and the kids who attended were thrilled with the opportunity to play!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Home Dec - My Pillows

I decided to go with 18" square pillows for my Family Room. The walls in that room were painted a dark sage green, so I painted and screen printed fabric to coordinate.
The valance in that room (has not been put back up, since we are still making a lot of sawdust in our home improvement projects) is made of rust dyed fabric, so I wanted to use rust dyed fabric on the pillows.

I chose some of the red hand dyed as an accent color. The sofas are a chocolate brown leather.

I really do not love these at this point and I am not sure why. I did not block print any of the fabrics, as I usually do for pillows - and I wonder if that is the problem.
I do realize they will be much improved by quilting and also by cropping. I think they may need a piping or binding on the edge.

I tried to think about what will look nice on the brown sofa - and I do think they will pop - and I also anticipate that they will come to life when they are in the room with the valance up, etc.

For now I am setting them aside until we get more home improvement stuff done. (at least to the point of hanging the valance)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Canine Bound and Chicken Scratched

I've been able to finish up on the Canine.
I did decide it should be hand stitched on the ears, nose, and legs.

Bound with hand dyed green.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Seeing Red on the Design Wall

Progressing along on the red printed piece, I have cut all my printed fabrics into strips (above), which I plan to stitch together in pairs. I want to use my red hand dyed fabric as the border, so for audition purposes, I have just pinned it to the wall as a background, and placed my sewn strips on it as I go (below).

I also block printed some commercial black fabric with some of my favorite background blocks using red, rust, and beige paint. I like the uneven edges - the way the strips do not line up at the top and botton and I think I want to work with that. I am undecided about how to actually do the lining up - not sure whether it is better to keep the centers somewhat adjacent to each other - or to stagger them for more visual interest. ..... I've arranged them both ways and like them both ways.

Working along these lines, I went ahead and added red fabrics to the ends of each strip (above). I have inserted a few more of the dark accent strips here and there, too.

I am not yet ready to sew it together. I think I need to work on the arrangement a bit more first, but I am happy with the progress, as well as the size - which is BIG - probably 8' wide!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Las Conchas Beach - Travel Log Tuesday

Mexico beach pictures. . . .

Low tide, big waves. The volcanic rock is exposed at low tide.
We watched people pulling octopi from their hiding places beneath the rocks during low tide.
Apparently these are a favorite delicacy.

We stayed in a condo that my sister has a time share in. It is right on the beach. So fun!