Sunday, April 17, 2016

projects from the studio -- and more!

we're still trying to find "normal" here

work continues at my mother's house, but we are nearing the end -- the movers come on Wednesday and Thursday, the remaining items to be donated should be picked up on Friday, and then the house can be listed for sale

it's been a long haul

I've been working on a baby quilt and a toy to go with it for my grand daughter's baby (he's due in June)

I finished up the little cartoon-ish giraffe toy this week, and I'm making real progress on the quilt blocks

and here is why this piece is still hanging on the design wall

the left hand side is the "before" picture, the right hand side is the "after" picture -- just another little "tweek" to the nose

and yes, the background is "done" -- but not -- those really dark strips there just shout "look at me!", which is NOT what I had in mind, so those are coming out and being replaced with something more subtle

I've started a new piece of jewelry

I had done a piece with 3 pieces of amethyst in matrix before, but those were all ovals -- these pear shaped ones are pretty interesting

this is moving right along

progress being made on this piece too

most of the center has been quilted

Gypsy is growing fast

already she looks much more like a dog and less like just a ball of fur

at her vet visit this week she weighed in at 14.7 pounds

we're still working on all the puppy "issues"
she does make us laugh

Sunday, April 10, 2016

of new puppies and grandsons and making art at odd moments

aside from working at cleaning out my mother's house, life has had some other adventures the last two weeks

one of the good things about living so close to my daughter's family is that I sometimes get called on to step in as day care for a day

on Wednesday of this week he arrived bright and early and we spent the day together

one of the projects for the day was playing with a new set of stamps that includes trucks and buses and earth movers

of course stamp pads are their own special hazard -- both of us had inky hands by the end of the project,

and I told his parents he would need a bath for sure

my son in law's comment to my daughter -- "this won't get her fired for watching him" -- I'm really glad to hear that!!

she's growing!

in just two weeks she looks less like a ball of fur and much more like a little dog

yesterday we had our first puppy obedience class where she got to wrestle with a 5 month old German Shepard mix puppy and had a grand time while mom learned new tips for helping her learn to be a good dog

at the beginning of the class she had begun to respond when we called her name, by the end she was doing it really well

this week she has her first vet visit where we'll hear about any issues we should watch her for and we'll talk about spaying

the giraffes have been stamped!

this project threw me a curve -- when I went to my paint stash when I was ready to start on this I discovered that I didn't have a single bottle of blue paint

I guess this is just not my normal color palette!

a trip to the local craft store fixed that in short order and now I'm ready to start thinking about how I'll set these together

this is the center block of the wedding ring quilt I made for my daughter and son in law for their wedding

I learned a good lesson here -- the light blue letters were originally hand embroidered satin stitch -- which had begun to wear out

she brought me the quilt for repairs and I covered that embroidery with needle turned appliqued letters

and while I was examining it for other issues, I notice that the batik of the original dark blue here had begun to disintegrate in places -- weird!  so that piece has been redone too

this quilt has gone back to her house now

another piece of bead work completed last night

I had picked up these resin mother and child pieces somewhere and decided to put them in a bracelet

I like the way this came out

the picture on the left was where I left this piece a week ago, thinking I was ready to move on to the background

uh, not so much

I like the changes I made in the right hand picture much better

NOW I'm ready for the background

finished one sleeve of the sweater I'm knitting for my daughter

I made it a bit wider than the pattern calls for so it will be more comfortable to wear over something else

after all, she will want to wear this to work, and since she has just been promoted to the position of Risk Manager for an entire school district here in northern Colorado, she needs to look sharp!  (and as a mom, I'm SO PROUD of her!!!)

the quilting has begun on this piece

I visited in my local quilt store and picked up several spools of  variegated King Tut thread to do this with and find I'm really liking this thread

I had used Sulky for most of the past pieces, but I like the "no fuzz" factor on this even better

the next couple of weeks promise to be as busy as the last couple have been --- I hope to get as much done!

Saturday, April 09, 2016

thoughts on how humor is keeping me out of trouble

part of the reason this blog has been neglected of late is that we're busy emptying out my parents house

they have lived in this house for almost 60 years

my dad is now in assisted living, my mother is living with my sister, and the bank wants it's money for the reverse mortgage they took out a few years ago so they could stay in their house and never move

ha!  this fell into the category of making God laugh by telling Him your plans

so, a week ago my sister and I met with movers and a real estate agent to figure out what we were looking out for making this happen --- basically we have until the end of April to have the house on the market, and it's worth doing to get them what they should clear

but I seriously was DONE doing this whole move thing a year ago when I masterminded getting my own household moved from one end of the state to the other

so why is it I'm needing humor to survive this?

and at the risk of sounding over dramatic, this post probably should have started "I'm Bev and my mother is a hoarder"

this is a picture I took in the basement after my daughter and I had spent an hour and a half bundling up trash in one stack (6 bags full) and "donate-ables" in another -- this picture was important because at this point we could actually see the floor 

and at this point my daughter will never be allowed in the house again because she had such a severe allergy attack that it required steroid eye drops to control

when the movers and the real estate agent were with us we told them there were not just dust bunnies, but there were free roaming herds of dust bison

this is a picture of the scat evidence  

see -- a little humor here!

this pile of 64 boxes are all books (and this isn't all of them)

these were originally stacked in one place in the basement, but my sister and I moved them all on Thursday so that I can have an appliance recycling company come and remove a freezer and 2 refrigerators from the space behind where they were

the big, 30 yard dumpster arrived this week

it's a good thing

I think it would have taken us at least another year to empty stuff if all we could do was fill up the trash cans available at their house plus the loads I've carried home to my house and my daughter's

this is our reward for half an hour's work with the dumpster in place

this is a storage shed next to the garage that we totally cleared out

we counted it as room #1 in the cleaning process

we have 8 more to go

I hope we survive it

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Big news at our house!

Last year on March 25 we said goodbye to our big black lab

Yesterday, a year and a day later we said hello to the new dog in our lives

This is Gypsy

She is a lab cross puppy whose mama was rescued in Galveston, TX and she was 8 weeks old on March 25

she has amazingly blue eyes

my daughter and son in law were our stork assistants, taking us across the Denver area (in the snow!) to pick her up from the foster family that had her, her mama and her 4 siblings in their care, which meant I got to hold her on the way home


and when we got her home, she had a very busy afternoon, helping load the dishwasher, shoveling snow on the back deck and playing with Mr Cute
yes indeed, life will be a lot more exciting with this little girl around

earlier in the week there was progress on projects

these three bracelets are made of little glass beads worked over memory wire -- a different technique than I usually do

and I have now started this bracelet which is bead embroidery around three resin cameos -- more like my usual thing

this piece is ready to be sandwiched and quilted -- YEAH!

and this piece is moving toward finished as well

the sweater I'm knitting for my daughter is moving right along too --- this picture is actually from about the middle of the week and I have actually started working the first sleeve now

on Wednesday we had about a foot of snow, it snowed some yesterday and we are supposed to get some more snow on this Wednesday ---- in between it's sunny and clear --- got to love spring time in the Rockies!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

not the way I intended to spend the week

when I posted here last I had great plans to finish up several projects, move some things around in the house and maybe do some outdoor work

instead I spent many, many days in my recliner with a fever, aching, coughing and was finally told by my doctor that I had "community acquired pneumonia" and put on antibiotics

I'm just today starting to feel like "myself" again

this is the piece I had hoped to have finished this week

I did work on it a little, and I will get back there in the next couple of days

the stamps for the new giraffes are all cut and ready to mount on the backings -- real progress!

and since fiddling with a pencil on graph paper is something I can do in my recliner, the preliminary plan for how I will create the quilt top is done too

the parched ground is growing on this piece

I had to order some additional fabric so that all of the patches of dry dirt would be the same --- I had purchased the first piece a couple of years ago, so I wasn't sure if I could find any more of it, but the "old interwebs" came through and the additional piece is on its way to me

and I spent some more time fiddling with these pictures

part one of the jewelry project is complete

and after several bouts of stitch it/pick it on the second part, it is moving right along

the sweater is progressing too

and this is a restoration piece direct from the wood workshop of the DH

I remember this table from my childhood, and when we were moving stuff out of my mother's house, I asked if I could have it

I brought it home and it has been nicely restored and looks awesome!

nice to share his work too

Friday, March 04, 2016

keeping secrets

I can keep a secret

I work on Christmas projects all year long and keep a file of pictures that I write about all at once after Christmas presents are all distributed

for the past few months I've been working on a project that is not a Christmas project, but because I wasn't sure about my ability to carry off the technique or the response of the intended recipient, I decided to stay under the radar with it

that project is now to the half way point, and I've decided it's time to come out of the closet

this is the piece

for the last week or so I've been working on this every day, having decided there is no point putting it off -- it's time to get it done!

beside that, I need to get it off the design wall so I can put some other pieces up there

it's been a big week

for the past month I've been using the "pay as you go" system at the local recreation center to do water aerobics a couple times a week

on March 1 Medicare kicked in for me (love that I won't actually be 65 until the end of the month, but I can start using my benefits on the first!)

with Medicare my Kaiser insurance pays for me to have Silver Sneakers, which means my health insurance includes allowing me to go to the gym to stay healthy

for the first time in my life I'm a card carrying gym member -- talk about teaching an old dog new tricks!

along with the trips to the pool (which is supposed to help my knee), I'm still fiddling with my diet in an attempt to control the issues of keeping sugars and fats down

I admit I hate this part -- I do not like having to say "no, I can't eat that" especially when I'm still working out what "that" is

my attempt at making this less difficult is to play with the food

this was a recent "art salad"

for the first time since the 2nd of January I've begun to work on a piece of beading

frankly, I'm more than a little frustrated with doing these pieces and listing them on Etsy and never selling any of them -- since that is the main reason I make them

this month, however, one of the groups I belong to on Etsy announced a challenge that has a them that interests me, and since I had everything I need already, I'm going to try out an idea that I'm not even sure will work

it's a beginning

nice progress being made on the sweater I'm making for my daughter -- there are 208 stitches in each row, and I can do 4 rows in a hour, which is my self-imposed required time to work on this each evening in front of the TV -- moving right along

I'm still working on this piece too

(this is not a newer picture than the last post -- it's big so it's hard to photograph without putting it up on the design wall -- which right now has something else on it!)

it's coming along too

and while I'm working on the first water piece that deals with the dust bowl, I'm also thinking about a second piece that will involve these three images

the brain is busy -- need to work faster to make these pieces "real"