Monthly Archives: March 2014

Pileated Woodpecker

This large beautiful bird is a frequent visitor in Calabogie.

pileated woodpecker watercolour

Pileated Woodpecker – walercolour by Nancy Leigh-Smith


I did this watercolour from a photograph I took last summer.

Many trees in the area bear the marks of  their foraging.

damaged tree

Pileated woodpecker damaged tree

These photographs are of a tree that I can see from the window of my cottage.  A Pileated  Woodpecker visited this tree and one nearby  frequently  earlier this winter.

hole in tree

Hole in tree made by Pileated Woodpecker




Keeping Watch

I have finished my latest project.

fabric portrait

Keeping Watch

I  described in a previous post (here) how I prepared the pattern from an old photograph.

I dyed the pale green fabric using inks because I couldn’t find the fabric I was sure I had bought to use in this project. (I found the fabric a minute after I finished the piece.)

The hair and background were quilted using free motion embroidery.

Why My PHD is Not Finished

deer resting in woods

overnight guest

The crows were making a racket.  I noticed one in the woods and it lead me to the deer.  The deer stayed on the ground for quite awhile before getting up.

deer standing in woods

I’m up

I watched the deer until it finally walked away through the woods.

After lunch I went by the dining room window and something caught my eye.

Deer in backyard

Mother deer and youngster

young deer resting in the snow

Young deer resting

I’m sure these are the same two that walked through the snow in my yard a few weeks ago.  These two stayed until sometime between 6 and 6:30. They moved once, a little farther away but were still in view when I looked out at 6:00.  When I looked out at 6:30 they were gone.

However, they must have returned at some point because when I got up this morning, they were there, just getting up. I didn’t get a picture as they quickly moved off.




Project Half Done.

I have started my next fabric portrait.  I have chosen one of my Dad’s old slides’s to work from.

family photo

This is a picture of my mother, myself and my sister from a long time ago.

I cropped the photo and changed it to black and white.

cropped photo in B & W I used the posterize filter  and then played with the result in Photoshop Elements to adjust it.   My adjustments resulted in the following.


It has 4 value areas instead of the original 5.  (I hadn’t liked the result Photoshop gave me with the 4 values.)  It doesn’t look as child-like as the original photo, but that’s not what I’m looking for.

My next step was to use the find edges filter.

using the find edges filterI will print this then trace it (possibly making more adjustments) to produce my pattern.

When All Else Fails

…read the instructions.

I usually do read the instructions but I was impatient and thought I knew what I was doing.

I was making a fabric portrait from a sketch I had done on my iPad.  I had hand appliqued the first quilted face I did (here) and wanted do more.  For this one I was using iron on adhesive  and I couldn’t get it to stick.  After talking to some friends who had used  the product (HeatnBond) and reading the instructions I realized that I was using too hot an iron.  Everything went smoothly after I lowered the heat setting on my iron.

quilted face


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