Saturday, January 31, 2015

Testing, 1, 2, 3........

my daughter needs a new quilt for her queen size bed

for several months I've been fiddling with ideas and colors and I recently bought the fabric to construct this piece

but before I cut into that fabric, I want to be sure of the pattern

so I took the original pattern and made up a sample from some other fabric that I had on hand -- and it creates a block that is almost 10 inches -- and I just think that is too big

there will be some additional testing

working on some new beading this week has been kind of fun

the "dividing lines" in this heart design are pieces of crystal "chain" that creates that little "sparkle" and the center section is all beaded in a texture technique

 this little texture trick takes a lot longer than just covering the surface of the piece, but it creates such an amazing mix of color and shape that it is worth doing





another of the shed door pieces has been worked on this week -- a bit of InkTense pencil here and there and now this one is ready to be stitched

and working on another piece

so far this one looks like what I hoped it would -- now I have to figure out how to do the sky -- hope it works the way I think it will

while I was knitting slipper socks for my daughter, the DH told me he'd like to have a pair -- so apparently, my sock knitting isn't over yet

I mailed the pair to my daughter, and as soon as they arrived at her house and she put them on, Mr Cute went running for the pair I made for him and put them right on -- I was right, he just had never seen a pair and wasn't sure about the whole thing -- and now I hear the his daddy wants to know where HIS pair is --- hmmmm, considering the fact that I had not previously made a pair of socks that I was happy with, I guess it was all about having the right pattern

the waiting on the house showings continues -- things are slow and I'm really tired of waiting -- testing my word for the year -- persevere

Saturday, January 24, 2015

and so we wait.....

waiting is not my strong suit

in fact, I'm really bad at it -- I fidget, I pace, I grumble

and since we are now in week six of the waiting, the natives are getting restless - so to speak

so I'm trying to get back to working on some art projects that don't make too big of a mess

a little bit of beading here

I finished this bracelet yesterday -- I just need to take some good photos so I can list it in my Etsy store

I made these slipper socks for my grandson for Christmas

but kids are funny, and sometimes a four year old doesn't want to have anything to do with something that is different from anything they are familiar with

so I decided it might help if he saw his mama wearing a pair

I intended to make these all of the red yarn, only to discover after I got the first cuff and heel done that I didn't have enough of that yarn, but I had another skein of the same yarn in another color

ok, it's a design opportunity --- and that whole striped sock thing seems appropriate here!

I finished sewing the non-slip gripper stuff on the bottom of them last night and I'll be sending them off on Monday

and then there is this project -- actually this is one of 12 that need to be finished in the shed door series, and yesterday I decided to pull them out along with the InkTense pencils and do some shading and highlighting

the pictures are the before and after yesterday's art session

this piece is now ready for the thread painting

the fabric is here! 

these three pieces of fabric are what I plan to make into a brand new quilt for my daughter and son-in-law's bed

they are all heading into the washer today

let the piecing begin!


Monday, January 19, 2015

back to projects

we're just hanging out now, waiting for the right person to walk through the house and decide it is where they want to live

I've been working on taxes and spending more than the usual amount of time mopping the floors and vacuuming the carpets, but there has been time to work on new things

after working on this piece off and on since last summer, I finally finished it last week

it is listed in my Etsy store if you'd like to see more pictures, and you can get there from the link at the top right hand side of my blog

once the necklace was finished, I decided to do a bracelet in the same color palette -- after all those beads are already out!

this piece is coming along nicely -- the copper pieces are things that I found in a box of miscellaneous junk when I cleaned out my studio -- most of the stuff in the box went in the trash or got given away, but these cool, vintage pieces of stamped copper seemed to be something I could put to use

looking good!

this is the quilted piece I'm working on right now -- I hope to have it finished in time to enter it in Sacred Threads -- the deadline is March 9 --

so far it is going really well, so I'm feeling hopeful that I will make that deadline

and a little bit of knitting too

I started out to make my daughter a pair of slipper socks, and was merrily knitting along with the red yarn until I realized I didn't have another skein of that yarn to finish both socks

hum, DESIGN OPPORTUNITY!

I did had a skein of the same yarn in another color, so these will be coordinated, colorful, and unique

and I'm already more than half finished with this pair because I decided to "catch up" with the second color before I finished the first sock

never a dull moment!



Monday, January 12, 2015

a little catch up post

can't believe it is already nearly the middle of January!

seems like January seemed to just be a continuation of December's challenges

I have been working on some things however

this piece I had created for my daughter and son in law, for instance
at Thanksgiving I had added a halo over the head of the dog that represented the dog that is no longer with them










in the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, they acquired a new dog

being big supporters of adopting animals from the humane society, we're not real sure what exactly this small dog's heritage is, but he sure is cute

so the piece came home with me for the addition of the new dog



and I made some other changes to the piece as well

changing out the very "Christmas" themed band of red and green wreaths and trees and reindeer that was the inside border for a pale blue with snowflakes that will mean the piece is now a "winter" theme that she can display until spring if she wants to

this was one of the first pieces of "wall art" I did, and I consider it to be a primitive, but it does have a certain charm

so now I'm working on a piece that I hope to finish in time to enter it in a show titled "Sacred Threads"

the deadline is March 9 and I'm not entirely sure how part of this is going to be constructed, but I'm going to try to get it done

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday on it while I was icing my back -- seems like little aches and pains are just going to be something I must deal with

looks like I'll be working on it quite a bit today too --- we woke up to the winter wonderland this morning, and we're just not going out in this weather!



Saturday, January 03, 2015

The word for 2015

The word for 2014 was Reach. (If you'd like to read the entire post about it, you can go HERE)

Apparently, it was a pretty appropriate word -- I spent a lot of the year Reaching beyond my grasp!

I didn't think of it as anything but an artistic challenge when I picked it, but life has a way of turning things upside down, and certainly 2014 presented other challenges as well.

Despite health challenges of my own and others in my family and finally making the decision to put on the big push and put our home on the market, I did do a lot of artistic things too:  completing 8 art quilts and having 13 more in some stage of progress; completing 13 pieces of beaded jewelry. 

Its time to look forward into 2015.

And it seems that the word this time should be Persevere --- I learned in 2014 that no matter how difficult other things feel, I need to make art -- it's what keeps me sane --- I will continue to Persevere!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

moving from one kind of challenge to another

it seems strange not to have a house project to do

this week we focused on some other things -- like wrapping all of the Christmas presents and stashing them somewhere that people walking through the house can't see them!

before all the heavy house projects, the DH was working on restoring the antique dining room chairs

he had gotten all of the wood work done, and then the project stalled because the house took over

this week we worked on the next step -- originally (as in over 100 years ago!) these chairs had a caned seat, but over the years they had had several renovations, so the fact that there was cane at the bottom of all that was a surprise to us!

because of those changes, we decided not to try to re-cane them, but to recover the seat with a plain black leather pad

but first some prep work must be done -- this week we've put the support strapping on all six of them

next step is some padding -- maybe this week!

I've gotten to do some work on art again!

this piece had come to a complete stop, but this week I've gotten back to work on this, and the fringing is coming right along

and the hand work on the 13th and final piece in the shed door series is done!

amazing

for the past six months or so I have just felt "off" -- first with one thing, then another, but overwhelming feeling like I just had no energy

early this week I had an appointment with my doctor where we talked about all of the issues at length

she did blood work, an EKG, referred me for a stress test and a sleep study (those latter two will be done in the next few weeks)

the blood work, however, resulted in a diagnosis of type II diabetes and a prescription for a medication to help with that issue

so begins a whole new challenge -- never a dull moment!!


Friday, December 12, 2014

and now the waiting begins

the sign went up yesterday morning

we are officially for sale

the kitchen redo looks really good -- now I just have to keep it looking this tidy


the basement has been rearranged -- the "office" section at one end -- complete with the old computer which serves as a jukebox so I can have music while I work down there

my sewing machines are set up at the other end of the room

and the ironing board is all set up too

this morning it felt really odd to get up and not have some big in the house project to do

yesterday afternoon I cut out some things that are Christmas sewing and last night I actually finished a Christmas knitting object

it feels good to get back to doing creative things --- hope I can get the Christmas stuff all done quickly so I can get back to some of the art projects --- but also hoping we'll be able to seriously look for a new house soon

today we'll be doing some Christmas shopping too

something that feels normal!