Saturday, February 29, 2020

Leap Day

Molly is so disappointed that she doesn't get her hummingbird menu that she says that we are skipping leap day. "Put a bird on it" is a 365 day challenge after all.

If you look closely, you might see a parrot in there. Or not. But I am finally getting some quilting done, so I'll take that for a win.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Dohn't Play with the Lovebird

A love bird made from Play Doh. And yes, I had to prop him on a cat toy to help him stand up. I feel somewhat bad that I didn't make a pair of lovebirds, but I thought that would be pressing my luck. Instead he'll have to be a third wheel to the pair of lego lovebirds.

Meanwhile, Molly is working out a schedule for the Hummingbird Month (coming this March). I reviewed her suggestions and rejected them because it was a meal plan, not a "put a bird on it" plan.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Peeping Parrot

And yes, as part of my research activities today, I looked up how to char a peep. It is supposedly like creme brûlée, but I don't have the equipment. If you would like an expanding mass that turns into goo, use the microwave. So I kept it simple, and plenty stupid.

Meanwhile, the bird for March will be the hummingbird. Molly had come for a snuggle, but when she saw the hummingbird on the screen, she took some time out to paw at it. Molly is planning on a performance art piece where I let a hummingbird into the house and video tape the drama that unfolds.

Back in Virginia, I didn't have to keep the hummingbird feeder filled all year, but there were so many hummingbirds I was filling several feeders everyday. Oh, and Virginia hummingbirds don't wear pink.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Lego Cockatoo

Just in case you were wondering what a lego cockatoo might look like. (No parrot or lovebird was injured/deconstructed in the making of this cockatoo.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Washer parrot

I was worried that washer parrot might be too much like jelly bean parrot, but it came out quite different. The jelly beans felt more like coloring and the washers seemed more like drawing with hexies. Plus, I just kind of wing it...

Monday, February 24, 2020

Lego Love Birds

Two lego love birds. We did borrow the lego parrot's perch, but otherwise I did not have to deconstruct the parrot to make the love birds...although he does look dead lying on his back without his perch.

And I may have quilt content soon. I have been cutting up the scraps I bought at the estate sale to make spools. In particular, I'm working towards about 800 different light value prints.

Also, Molly says that she runs to me when I call Buddy in a happy voice because it means that her robot servant is malfunctioning. She knows that I haven't developed machine intelligence or artificial intelligence or any intelligence whatsoever. And she knows that Buddy would not be able to plant malware. So she comes running to understand how I am malfunctioning and figure out how to stop me.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Duct Tape Parrot

Here is a parrot made from duct tape, or should I say covered in duct tape. Inside, its a trash parrot, distantly related to a trash panda.

And in cat news, Molly has a new name. Buddy! Yes, I now have two Buddies. I called Buddy and he came running to me, and I was so astonished and happy, I showered him with praise and adoration. And now when I call Buddy, Molly comes running too.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Jelly Bean Parrot

Meet Jelly Bean Parrot. And if anyone likes jelly beans, I would be willing to send them to you. Of course, they are a tad man-handled. Oh yeah, and Buddy helped, where Buddy helping is when he rolls around on top of whatever you're doing.

Putting the parrots together has become a bit of a challenge, because my cats now consider it play time. I was going to work with perler beads recently but had to stop because both cats came running when they heard me open the tub. It's almost as if they've been told all their life how adorable they are and can't even comprehend so much shrieking...and not by the parrot.

And I've shaken the spiderwebs off the spiderweb quilt top and am actually layering it.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Lego Parrot

I bought a box of legos to make a penguin and couldn't pull it off. I bought a "Classic" box thinking I was just getting bricks, but there were so many colors and weird pieces that I couldn't put a penguin together. Happily, a parrot uses lots of different colors so I enough bricks to make a full parrot. And just to show how much of a novice I am...I was watching the show Lego Master and learned that I built it in an odd direction, sideways versus upwards.

Molly, of course, was a natural. Unlike my parrot, she can make a lego fly.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

To Do List

Spring is coming and the to do list is getting longer.  Let's cross at least one thing off that list!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Monday, February 17, 2020

Stash the stash and an origami parrot

I may have a problem. If you paid any attention to Star Trek, you might have heard of the Borg, an entity that absorbs all life forms into itself for which "resistance is futile." I think my stash is trying to assimilate all other stashes. And I don't have the will to stop it.

More often than I care to admit, quilters about my age are passing away or going into assisted living. And with these events come the quilters' estate sale...that is, the dispersal of the stash.

Today I grabbed the scrap bin.

On Saturday, with the help of my sister, we claimed these within the first 15 minutes of the sale. No one was hurt.

I also found some vintage Kaffe fabric, some fabrics designed by Mary Ellen Hopkins, a couple of batiks, and a favorite black fabric that I was running out of (excellent for animal eyes etc.).

And today I was not feeling the whole parrot thing. And from the looks of it, the origami parrot is not feeling it either. He's not happy that I made his head too small and I put an extra kink in his tail. I think I am suffering from a fabric hangover and the parrot, a kitten and a cat are suffering the consequences.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Postage stamp Parrot

Here is the postage stamp parrot. Also known as pixelated parrot. I probably confused the image a bit around the peak by including the dark colored feathers that the blue macaw has under the chin. On most of the other parrots I have left this detail out and just used yellow. Happily, the dot for the eye is taking a lot of the focus, so that's a plus. It's probably worth the time to fiddle with the image in photoshop to try other alternatives for the beak and under the chin.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Hexie Parrot

Here is a hexie flower made from various parrot fabrics. The parrot in the 10 o'clock position is less obvious as part of Tula Pink's design. I also confused the issue by accidentally setting it one step too far clockwise.

Molly says if you turn your head just so, the one parrot makes sense, but none of the others do.

Meanwhile, I had a comment about the fabric that serves as the background of the fused appliqué lovebirds. It's designed by Martha Negley for Rowan and its called Oak Leaves. I found a fat quarter currently available on Etsy, but its part of a bundle of Negley's fabric so that might be a very steep price to pay. Also the same fabric in a turquoise color way is available. However, because the comment/request was made as "no reply," this is as far as my response can go.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Sock Drawer Revisited

Some days get so hectic and out of control, the only thing that feels right is to organize the sock drawer. And Molly would like to alert anyone watching that no, we did not switch to chicken month. This is a sock-cock-atoo, not a sock-cock-a-doodle-doo.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Parrot Cat Toy

Here is a parrot cat toy. And no, this was not inspired by Buddy's design aesthetic.

As I was clearing out the shelves of fabric, I found Molly's flamingo toy. She greeted this toy with much disdain when I gave it to her. She treated the parrot with distain too, so at least she's consistent.

Molly prefers the white felt that I used to make the parrot face.

Buddy prefers to photobomb Molly but make it look like she is photobombing him.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Fabric move

When I lived in Virginia, there was a fair amount of discussion about weather which made sense because your life might depend on it. And after some weather events there were discussions along the lines of "What was that?" And you learned the fine distinctions between tornados, microbursts, and derechos. Here in Portland, people talk about the weather constantly...especially in winter when they complain about the rain.

So yes, I am having to move my fabric to protect it from "the rain." I have been having trouble with fabric fading because "the rain" shines in from the front window and beats down on it. Plus my neighbor had some trees trimmed, and now I have "rain" shining in from the east in the morning making the fabric fade, I mean, wet. Rather than having everything draped with sheets, (I mean tarps), I am rearranging the sewing room.

You may have thought that there was less quilt related content because of the "Put a Bird On It" daily challenge and my recent obsession with parrots, but I assure you that that is the furthest thing from my mind.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Perler Love Birds

Okay, so the day got away from me. We had a quilt guild meeting last night, and my sister found a skein of yarn the color of a parrot. So today's assignment was to transform it into a parrot some how. But given time constraints, I went for the ready fallback...perler beads...a combination of fast, yet soothingly tedious. And now I am seeing the potential for a new pieced pattern that might have more potential for interesting secondary patterns than the one I showed yesterday.

Molly has offered to take the skein of yarn and turn it into a parrot that has been mangled by a cat to the point that it looks like a mangled skein of yarn.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Wood Chip Parrot

Here is wood chip parrot. This uses a package of wood bits in the shapes of circles, tear drops and ovals.

My wood chip parrot is no match for Buddy's majestic parrot, especially now that he's added the feather flourish. At least I think that's what he intended when he left the feathers for me in his food dish.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Lovely Parrot

Here is a felted love bird. And I should give some credit to Miwa Utsunomiya and her book Cute Birds to Make with Needle Felting. She lives with parrots so she has live models handy. You can see the book and some examples from the book here. (No affiliate, just a handy way for you to see the book).

I don't really know any proper felting techniques and I wasn't following the instructions closely so that is why mine looks like a molten lump of love bird instead of something light, delightful and impossibly cute. Also, since my bird has a high probability of being a cat toy, I use felt for the eyes, and used brown felt to fashion a bird stand that might be mistaken as feet given the right angle.

And I realize that not everyone lives with cats, so one might be unaware that the cat, not staff, determines what is a cat toy.  You can present an item that says CAT TOY! LOADS OF FUN FOR YOUR FELINE FRIEND! on the package only to get a complete look of distain. Or you can have a cat that grabs bags of roving and runs away with them. You could give a stern lecture on abdominal blockage or say "NOT A TOY" but I always end up in a game of barter where I pay the kidnapper's ransom.

And now that we have shifted our focus to lovebirds, here is a reminder of a fused picture I made back in 2011 or so.

And this is the pieced version.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Pipey Parrot

This is a parrot that I embroidered on the back of a work shirt back in the 70s. The head part is all french knots. Maybe mildly unhinged. In any case, this does not count as a daily challenge parrot because I made it long ago. It is merely serving as a buffer before I present Pipey Parrot, a disappointing mess that shows that working with pipe cleaners is not as simple as I thought it would be.

Maybe it would be impressive if I had been blindfolded at the time.

And here is Buddy's parrot. He explained that I need to provide more abstraction to make up for my poor hand/eye coordination. My version of the parrot amplifies that I was unable to get sufficient detail and must therefore be a bad artist. His version of the parrot amplifies the brilliance of the cat and the limitations of the viewer who has to be told that the fur balls depict a parrot.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Felted Parrot

A felted parrot. In theory, the felted parrot might have wire feet, but in reality we know this is a kitten toy and wire doesn't play well with kittens.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Pieced Parrot

It's a pieced parrot. This version doesn't have the full ring because I was just trying to work out the parrot. I do like the beak, but it's a bit messy to sew. This is a large block and its sewn using a .5 inch grid...that is, the eye is made from a one inch square to finish at half inch.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Parrot Pattern

Here's the first version of a pieced parrot pattern. I do see a second version in the future, however, because the feet are not working. I was trying to avoid excess fussy piecing, but it looks like the parrot has a peg leg, and that's for a pirate, not the parrot. And in theory, the extra lines you see are more "circles" that will have their own parrots in a half-drop style layout that will have the long tail descending between rings.

And excuse me for not wishing everyone a happy cat criminal day yesterday. I didn't know there was a special day either until Buddy snarled two of my skeins of embroidery thread. I covered the embroidery thread parrot, but apparently that made the crime more exciting. And then this morning, there was a ripped up plastic bag, and four new fur balls laid out in a row next to the bed. I assume Molly was the crimey cat who pulled the toys and the bag out of the hiding place in the closet.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Embroidery Thread Parrot

Here is a parrot made from embroidery thread...but not embroidered. What did I learn from this? First, Buddy thinks embroidery thread is a wonderful cat toy. Molly agrees with Buddy. Second, embroidery thread parrots are very difficult to make due to marauding kittens.

Second, I learned that the reason you often see parrots with shortened tails is because of marauding kittens.

We'll call this a closeup of the parrot, but the truth is that it no longer has a tail...

Monday, February 3, 2020

Thread parrot

Today I made a sketch of a blue macaw. This is when I learned that Macaw tails are long. Very long. You would definitely have a modern quilt with a lot of empty space if you tried to capture the full length of the parrot. The tail is longer than the bird itself.

I traced the drawing to muslin with a vanishing blue marker. I squiggled in some lines to indicate feathers. I outlined the design with thread on the muslin and some scrap batting. Next I need to dampen the design to see if the vanishing marker vanishes. I am showing you the "before" picture so I don't have to show you a soggy parrot. Also, this means I may be able to show you "blue smeary parrot" for tomorrow.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Perler Cockatoo

Here's a Perler cockatoo. This daily challenge was my first time trying perler beads and I do enjoy them a lot. Molly likes them a lot too but in a different way. I put the beads on the spikes and Molly likes to wack them and make them fly off the spikes.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

IKEA parrot

Meet IKEA parrot. Okay, he's not actually from IKEA, but conceptually its the same thing. A bit of instruction, quite a bit of doing, undoing, redoing and then a sense of relief when you don't find any extraneous bits left over.

Heading into parrot month, I realize I need to get a couple of iconic resemblances of a parrot figured out that I can then use to feed into pixelated and sculptured versions. Some things I am working out in my head...what to do about the head. Well, with a Macaw-type parrot, you are better off with a side view of the head, not straight on. And the side view for the body is good, but then the perching part is a bit odd. Having the parrot perch in a circle will definitely look better than a suspended stick.

And then Molly wanted lap I reached for this parrot puzzle that I thought I could use on a stressed out day when I was running out of time...but is it really a good start for day one?

Meanwhile, Buddy is taking the name "Frolic" quite literally and has spread pieces of the quilt all the way out into the kitchen. I don't know if this reflects artistic differences with Bonnie Hunter or just that Buddy was hungry. In any case, I am going to encase the quilt parts in a plastic box and rename it "Agree to Disagree, Let's Snack" and move on.