Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Last Glad

a few years ago we planted a lot of daffodils and gladiolas around the rose bush right outside our front door

the last two years none of the glads have bloomed and only one or two of the daffodils had

I thought they were all dead

we've had a very early and heavy monsoon season here -- almost every day we've had a thunderstorm and some of them have been very heavy

I guess that's what this little gladiola was waiting for


finally finished!

I'll be adding this to my Etsy store and entering it in the competition soon

watch for the notice when the voting begins

and because I need to have something to do with my hands while I'm icing my back or my knees, I started something new!

this is a small piece, but I'm having fun playing with an assortment of beads doing a much easier bit of embroidery

the container for putting household items in arrives on Aug 22 -- time to get back to packing

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Source of the Problem

I've had my current sewing machine for a long time -- almost 15 years

Over the years I've run all kinds of thread through it -- just about every brand that's available -- or has been available clear back to grandma's day because I don't just throw a spool away because it's old

I've never had a problem with any of them

This week, between packing boxes and icing my knee and my back, I've been trying to make the DH a new pair of pants

I went through the drawers of thread and pulled out this spool that was the right color.  The (now missing) label on the end of the spool said "Dual Duty", so I figured there would be no problem

So we did the usual routine --- clean the feed dogs and the bobbin case, change the needle, wind a bobbin, thread the machine -- ready to sew -- or not

It sounded awful -- a machine that usually you can't hear running was making definite "clunk, clunk" sounds


Maybe it's a defective needle I thought, so I changed it again -- and re-threaded both the bobbin and the top thread

Nope -- still doing it -- stitch, clunk, stitch, clunk, stitch, clunk -- ggrrrr!

Walk away and think

The next day I decided that I would try a different spool of thread -- this spool is not the exact same color, but it will do

So again, clean, wind, thread -- and this time no clunk

Apparently that spool was labeled one thing but is actually something much thicker!  The label has been removed and I'm moving it into the tray that I keep the hand stitching threads in

Maybe now I can finish those pants!

I've been working on the chain for this piece -- it's moving along slowly

It looks good

time to get back to packing

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Living with chaos

the piles of boxes are growing

as my back has slowly gotten so I can do more, we're getting more boxes packed -- its a good thing

and yesterday we took a car load of kitchen and other household items off to donate

even though I don't put a high priority on having an immaculately clean house, the ongoing clutter, confusion and chaos does get to me

that's why I try to take some time every day to make some art

I'm working on this beaded piece

the surface design is all finished, and I've started on the bail and chain

it has taken a couple of days of fiddling to figure out the bail, but last night the little switch clicked "on" and I figured out a way to keep the look I wanted without having the piece try to twirl around backwards --- hurrah!

now it's on to the chain

the hand applique on this piece is now done

this one needs some paint and a lot of stitching to create the details and shadows

this one will be the next piece in the shed door series -- I put the pattern together this morning, and sometime later today I'll pick out fabrics and get started

this will be the next piece in the series

the pattern is ready, and later today I'll pull out the fabrics to get started

earlier in the week I cut out two skirts and a pair of pants to be stitched, but before I got them finished, we decided to pack all the dishes in the buffet and the china cabinet, so I've not gotten that done yet -- hopefully soon

Sunday, August 03, 2014

A better week

the week started off on a good note

this piece, titled Fiesta! has been accepted as part of the traveling show for the Hoffman Challenge 2014

back in June I thought I had this all finished, only to find when I started to fill out the paperwork to submit it that it was too big for the size limitations!!

I picked off the binding, cut it down and redid the binding and managed to get that all done in time to get it submitted between ER trips and other issues --- hurrah!

I'm pretty excited about this, the list of places this is traveling to is pretty extensive -- and I'm happy to say that now four out of five submissions to this annual challenge have made the cut to travel -- whoot! whoot!

meantime, this week I've worked on this piece some more -- it's still hard to really understand what is going on here, since there is still a lot of work to be done, but I can see progress

progress being made on this project too

in fact, this one is becoming one of those "did I do that?" pieces as the more I work on it the more amazed I am that it looks like what I originally saw in my head

I think this piece will be done in the next few days ---- and amazingly, I haven't yet begun thinking very hard about what the next piece will be --- maybe it's time

this may not look like much, but it does mark real progress in my back recovering

for about a week I hurt too much to sit at the sewing machine, which means the repair of these three bags, which should have taken 3 hours tops ended up being stretched over 2 weeks ---- grrrrrr

they do look pretty good though -- each one had the end pieces removed, new welting applied around the edge and the end piece replaced --- these things are over 20 years old, and now they should be good for another 10 years or more ----  it's all good

the packing continues -- the curio cabinets are empty, the tops of the china cabinets that held all the decorative pieces are almost empty, and yesterday I started packing books --- edging closer to the marketing of the house every day

time to get busy

Monday, July 28, 2014

some new work in progress

it's done

I finished it Saturday afternoon and listed it this morning on my Etsy store --- if you want to take a closer look, there is a link there at the top right side of this blog

I'm pretty pleased with how it came out!!

so I jumped right into this piece

it's been a while since I did a piece that could be described as "bead painting to wear"!

lots and lots of size 11 and size 15 glass beads

this is for a challenge that has a deadline in September --- I think I have enough time to get it done

started sewing on the next hasp piece

it doesn't look like much yet, but I'm pretty happy with the way the colors are working

the packing continues -- slowly

the label on this box is from the move my daughter made into her house a few years ago

we're packing boxes here

since this one is already labeled, I'll try to put the appropriate items in so it doesn't have to be re-labeled

see, there's a reason to hang on to some things!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

very slow progress

the fringing at the bottom of this piece is done -- yeah!

it's been a while since I did long fringe over the bottom edge of a piece, so I had forgotten how labor intensive it is

I really like the way this looks -- I used a small crystal bead at the tip of each strand and alternated a deep bronze and a teal green -- I like the way those little teal ones pick up and echo the teal in the center and at the top

the beads for the necklace part are all finished too, so now it's on to stringing it all together

this is a drawing for the next piece of bead embroidery

my plan is to do it so the trees are actually raised up from the surface

I'm not quite sure how to do that yet, but it will be interesting to try it

last night I finished the hand stitching on this piece -- another in the series

when I started on this one I wasn't sure how how I was going to create the big shadow area --- in the end I used two layers of black tulle -- and I'm pleased with the way that worked

this is the next drawing I'll be working from

all of the work that has been done this week has been handwork --- my back has not been willing to let me sit at the sewing machine for any long time to do any work

in fact, I've not been able to accomplish much of anything else --- certainly dealing with a log of frustration at not being able to get anything done --- oh, and as for having control of anything --- forget it

I'm really ready to be done with this issue!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Struggling along

I'm struggling along this week

over the weekend, I did something (no, I do not know what!) that hurt my back

which means at this point about all I can do is continue the gentle stretching exercises, the ice packs and rest --- I could take Tylenol, but for the back pain it pretty much does nothing, so why trash my liver with it?

it does not make me happy --- we have a lot to do yet in packing, painting, etc to get ready to market the house and I'm basically worthless on that account --- not a good thing

while sitting in my recliner with the ice pack I have been working on this piece

I'm working on the fringing at the bottom --- it had been a while since I fringed something and I had forgotten how time consuming it is

and I got it this far and decided that I wanted all of the fringe to look like it was the same length at the bottom, so I took out a lot of it and started over

definitely time consuming!

as usually happens, working on one project in the "slogging along" stage means I'm already thinking about future pieces

I did this drawing yesterday --- it will need a lot of materials that I don't have on hand, so it will need to wait a while

I'm also thinking about another piece that will be something very out of the ordinary for my pieces --- I don't even have a rough sketch on paper for that one yet

meantime, the work on the next lock/hasp piece is progressing too

today we need to run some errands ---- time to get to that