Sunday, July 30, 2006 pictures

of work on projects because I just didn't get enough of anything done to take new pictures!! But, this picture is one I took the other night. I'm making you all guess what and where it is (and if you guess right, I'll let you know!)

In fact, I can't really tell you what I got done yesterday besides taking photographs, writing descriptions and listing 14 items on Ebay....guess that counts as something! All part of the "clean it up" program we have going on here in the studio. So if you're looking for a computer game, a Playstation, a kid's t-shirt, 45 styrofoam doll forms or football helmets for 2 cabbage patch dolls, check out my ebay listings (seller ID: mamahattierose)

So here's my report on the progress of the items I've been working on:

Toucan: Both feet are painted, waiting for the 2 coats of sealer that I hope to get applied today. The side sections of the beak are stitched together, and I had started to attach them to the bottom gusset, but they didn't line up properly, so I picked them all out.....will try again today

Solar Power: worked another color around 6 of the 14 sun rays.....hope to get the other 8 done today so there will be something to show

Car Quilt: the grass section has been pieced together (I didn't have any fabric pieces big enough to cut the section all of a piece, but the stitching of the sections went well) and it has been pinned to the section above it. Need to stitch these two together then I can add the white "curb" strip (a hand made strip of bias tape) that will finish off the road segment

Cat Quilt: 11 blocks quilted, and part of the 12th one.....its coming

Up, Up and Away: After discussing it with KISA, more ideas were formed, and we actually have a beginning sketch of this idea....what fun!

Magazine Article: Did a first, very rough draft of the article that I want to submit first. Tried to work on it some more this morning, but for some reason I'm feeling very "brain dead" this morning

Its HOT....ok, not triple digit, drop dead hot, but warm enough that I slept without anything over me but the fan running full blast, so I wake up with every muscle in my body sore and stiff.....nuts! maybe that is contributing to the "brain deadness"

Today I need to get into the storage shed and fetch out Christmas bears (yes folks, I said CHRISTMAS!) as the editorial deadline to get some of them featured in a November/December issue of a magazine is August 9th and I need to take new pictures. I did take pictures of one of the small Santa's Helpers that I had out, but I want to submit KISAs cernit faced one.

Well, its off to get a second cup of coffee and try to get some work done.....

Saturday, July 29, 2006

2 can can better than 1 toucan can??

After several weeks of not being able to figure out how to proceed with the toucan design, I decided to try a couple of the techniques I have learned working on the new quilt designs (and what I'm learning watching Simply Quilts). This is the result....these pieces are the beginning of the side of the body of the toucan....the blue patches are where his eyes will be set. The feet are both done already, and are being painted, so this is finally starting to come together!!

Spent some time working on the solar piece....two colors worked on the "rays" all the way around. I still want to put sun rays that are free standing on this as well as the bead work on the background, so I'm still trying to figure out how to make them stand out and "twist" away from the surface.....

Each piece is a whole new learning experience, teaching myself new techniques to meet the need of each idea. This is a better way for me to learn new things....just sitting in a class and learning a technique with no real idea to use it for is pretty much a waste of time for me and a teacher.....hmmmm, might be why I could never get through college??

10 blocks of quilting now complete on the Cat Quilt, and progress on the Car Quilt too.

Meantime, the hot air balloon was up over the house again this morning.....thinking about making that piece in a shadow box with the ballons suspended from the top and swinging free.....sort of like the image of a balloon.....soaring free about the earth......and credit here to be given to my "mentor" in California for suggesting the idea during a conversation we had on the phone.

Need to spend some time on some writing projects now.....

Friday, July 28, 2006

to boldly go where no one has gone before......

yes, it seems that what began with the working title "Solar Power" is transforming itself into the solar system. Notice the 9 varied sized beads that have now been stitched to the background -- the trickiest one was small yellow jade bead and one lavendar glass disc (second from the top on the right side)....this one took the most thought of all to get the impression. Have started the rays of the sun, and the blue lines on the backing are the rough guidelines for the colors, this will begin around the sun and spread upward with yellows, then orange, then red, purple, blues to black at the farthest back edge......light decreasing as you move away from the sun. Like many of these big pieces seem to do now days, there's a story to be told. This will probably need another title by the time its finished....suggestions?

Question for the day: What do you do with 2 pair of 36 inch long green and white striped socks? Well, the plan is to turn them into an entry in "Queen Rutabaga's 2nd Annual Sock Monkey Contest" !! Thankfully the entries don't have to be monkeys (euwwwww!), but any animal of our choosing......I'm working on an idea that should be fun, and hopefully I'll have enough time to figure it out and get it finished by the deadline for the entries sometime in the fall.

I finally got the first set of road stripes done on the Car Quilt. The idea had begun that I would piece all of the little black and white pieces for that section, but it quickly became clear that the first method tried would not work. After fussing with the problem for a couple of days, the Knight in Shining Armor (hereafter refered to as KISA!) aka the DH, made a suggestion which I tried and it WORKED!!! Yeah KISA!!! So now we're ready to work on section 3 -- the grass "outfield", which means I get to go through the fabric stash for the right group of fabrics for that section.

Spent so much time on other projects last night that I didn't get a whole block quilted on the Cat Quilt, so I shall have to make "restitution" on that one today.

We received an invitation from Teddy Bear and Friends magazine to submit a picture for a special issue they will be doing in the Spring of 2007. Titled Teddy Bear Faces, it will have a picture of one of our bears and our contact information. This is the picture we submitted this morning.

Its nice to be working again!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

bracelet complete!

And here are the pictures. It looks pretty good. I have blanks to do 2 more, but I don't have any real plan in mind yet. I have an interesting piece of tigereye that has been cut in a heart shape that might work, but I have no idea what I would put around it yet.

I got this much of the beadwork done on the solar power piece (just the bezel around the sun face) and got stuck on where to go next. So its back to the drawing board to wait for new inspiration. This much looks ok tho'

Have finished quilting 9 blocks on the Cat Quilt, and worked some on the Car Quilt.

Not sure what I will be working on today

Sunday, July 23, 2006

and another one bites the dust......

The beading is complete on yet another piece!! The sealer got applied to the back last night, so its ready to be put together. Nice!!

Section 1 of the Car Quilt is all sewed together .... I'm proud of it as there are a lot of rolling curvy lines and all of them are smooth (a lot of pins and clipping employed to accomplish this feat!). Next step is to cut the fabric for Section 2.

There are now 5 blocks of the Cat Quilt all quilted....slogging along here....

Got wonderful inspiration for a new framed bead piece this morning.....3 hot air ballons were floating over the neighborhood. Like on another clear, still day, they were so close that I could hear the gas jets.....truly beautiful [just don't ask me to go up in one......(too many thoughts of "I can't come back, I don't know how it works!!)]

Of note this morning, 2 more items I had out for auction have sold, so I will be packing things up for mailing tomorrow.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

almost done......

The left hand side is complete! I'm pleased with the pattern creation....should be able to finish the other end today. This one has just moved right along.

Worked on the Car Quilt some yesterday. All of the mountains are done waiting for the sky next. I did cut up the rest of the "section maps" so its easier to store the pattern pieces.

The entire center strip of the Cat Quilt is quilted....1/3 of this one done!!

Spent some time yesterday working with DH to pick out some new cab stones to build designs around. Now its really clear that a bead order will have to be made sooner than later! But first I'm going to have to spend a couple of hours re-sorting the colors I already have to be sure I get every thing ordered that I need. Right now I sort the seed beads by color into shoe box size plastic containers, but it would really be nice to have some sort of system that would keep them tidy but allow me to see everything I have without opening 7 different boxes......suggestions anyone?

Well, time to get to it!

Friday, July 21, 2006

needing to bead faster.....

so I don't run out of beads before I'm done (???!!!!????) Okay, if you understand that, you are as nuts as I am....anyway, I'm still working along on the malachite piece and I'm seriously close to using up everything green I have in the delicas. Guess I will need to put in an order for some more as soon as I sell something else. I like the way this one is going, but its now to the point on each end that I need to put in some other design shape or it just ends up as stripes, which I don't like the look of.....I'll be trying that next.

After spending many hours working on the designing, drawing, enlarging, etc., I have actually begun the sewing process on the Car Quilt. I have decided that this is definately one that will continue to evolve as I work on it, so why not take the plunge? Anyway, I'm beginning at the top, Section 1 as it is labeled on the pieces. As soon as I had the basic design lines drawn out full size, I cut off that section and started figuring out which fabrics would become the sky and the mountains. The piece I have begun stitching on is the first mountain. The "snow" is appliqued down along the bottom edge and I have inserted a piece of very thin quilt batt behind it to give it "puff". the top edge, where all the pins are holding it smoothyly in place is where the "sky" piece gets sewed on. I'm making a lot of use of disappearing marker (which I usually hate because ... well, it disappears!), "spit pen" and pencil. Once again going where I've never gone before! But the challenge is GREAT!!

I finally got the basic shape of the Solar Power piece drawn on the backing and the polymer face glued on. I love the way the polymer came out....I tweeked the features after it came out of the mold, then after it was baked, I put on about half a dozen coats of gold glitter nail polish....I won't actually begin beading this until the malachite piece is done, but now I have the prep work all done and we're ready to start building "sun rays" (it took me about half an hour to get all of the tubes of beads sorted and weighed). Also, I can't start until I get the green beads out of the pallets! Soon tho'

Three and a half blocks down on the Cat really is coming along nicely. It RAINED last evening, so it was cool enough to work on it for an hour. Then this morning I did another half hour as I watched my quilt show. This really has been quite painless.

Well, its time to get busy!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Another piece complete, another one begun

The obsidian piece is done. This one went really fast, amazing! After I had completed the beading and had the back on, I decided it needed "something" so I added the star flowers. This one is on a velvet ribbon, but it could be worn on a heavy silver chain too.

And I have begun working on the malachite bracelet. This one will be smaller than the first one was, but I only have small bracelet blanks on hand right now.

Still thinking about the sun piece....."Solar Power" maybe.....its percolating in that "twilight zone" of my brain where a lot of designing is done (and then seems to spring full grown {from the head of Zeus, no doubt!})

I have completed quilting 2 of the quilt blocks and am well into the third....this really is going much faster than I imagined. I have been doing the quilting either very late at night, or very early in the morning....its too hot for any other time.

Design work continues on the next quilt.....currently I'm taping together the full size graph paper sheets so I can do the pattern. I'm beginning to think it will have to get taped to the wall at the foot of the basement stairs for me to actually work on the drawing since there is no table in the house big enough. We'll see.

Today's activities include some house and yard work, so I'm not sure how much of anything else I'll get done....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Here fishy, fishy.....

It is complete. On the whole, I'm quite pleased with the way it looks. Used the only 2 beads I made of the size 15s (and the only ones with any red on them) right at the center, it was the only place they seemed to fit. Anyway, now I just need to spend some time getting it loaded on my web site.

I thought I would only get a start on the snowflake obsidian piece, but all of the beading is done (I was really rolling last night!). I have applied the sealer to the back, so today I can cut the leather for the back and start putting it together.

The first block of the cat quilt is quilted, only 11 more to go on this one and 12 on the second one......looks good

time to get a move on!

Monday, July 17, 2006

being a gracious looser......

and saying "thank you" so much to those of you who took the time to vote for my entries in the URSA competition. The finalists for the awards (the winners of which will be announced in October at a show in KY) have been announced, and none of the pieces I entered were amoung them. On to other things!

I made a few more of the little beads for the fish piece, and now I'm in the middle of stringing up the whole piece....I think I am going to like this one!

Feeling a little at "loose ends" for which piece to start next. I have a drawing for a piece designed around an oval cab of snowflake obsidian that is just waiting to be beaded. It will be a departure from most of the things I do in that is it just black, white and interesting challenge. I also have the basis of the design and the materials to begin on a collar that has a big sun as the focal point.....maybe we'll work on two at once again

I have begun the quilting on one of the cat quilts.....ok, I'm definately NUTS! I did it late in the evening with the swampy blowing full blast over me, so maybe I'm not too crazy.....I am just using an outline of each piece to do the block quilting so that the picture will actually be in relief on the back. The DH drew me a cute little mouse template.....looks almost like a computer mouse with big ears....which will be quilted in the sills and frames around each block along with the word "MEOW" Its quite amazing to be working on Christmas gifts at this time of the year.

Haven't done much else in the studio, we took yesterday to transport some things to my daughter's new place. Its a cute little duplex, 2 bedrooms, nice hardwood and tile floors, new water heater, new dishwasher, washer/dryer, nice yard and the landlord pays the water bill....sweet deal! We took her a lot of kitchen stuff, a bookcase, a footlocker, a couple of fans.....

Its still HOT....woke up this morning with a "low grade" headache, just enough to make me feel like I can't think straight or do much serious work....ick....good thing stringing a necklace is pretty much idiot proof......

Off to do the laundry and try to get something else done

Saturday, July 15, 2006

work continues.....

have made some more beads.....the ones with the red on them (far right side) are made out of size 15 delicas, and while they don't look much different than the others, they were a bit more difficult to do. I also did some shorter ones (far left) that look like half of the others. I think it may be time to lay out all of these in a tray with the other things I have for the necklace and see how many more I need to make, maybe I'll get to that today

All of the pin basting is done on both of the cat quilts, so now I'm ready to start quilting those....I'm not sure how much of that I'll do until it cools off a bit [100 degree heat + quilt in lap = crazy!!]

Today I will also be packing up some boxes of stuff to take to my daughter tomorrow...each afternoon this week as she has been driving home from work she has called and added to the list of "do you have extra that I can have" items, and it is quite an eclectic group. We will be loading up fans, a lamp, her electric keyboard (must have music!!), a bookcase, bath mats, a footlocker full of pans, silverware, and linens and several boxes of other assorted household goods. We have also indulged ourselves with a little shopping this week, buying her some things that she hasn't specifically asked for, but that might be useful.

time to get busy

Friday, July 14, 2006

moving like molasses in January

ok, its HOT!! and I feel like I'm moving in slow motion.

Too hot last night to sleep upstairs. Then at a little after 5 am the equipment in the field behind us starting up.....I did get to watch the sun come up.....there is a lot of "ozone" in this heat, not good for the lungs, but makes a pretty sunrise

Have finished the backing on the fish, just need to do the touch up with the color markers on the little places where the backing shows....did a few more beads, hope to get more done today

At 6:30 am I watched Simply Quilts and started pin basting the first of the two cat quilts. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I have enough batting left over from a previous project to do both of these without buying anything else!! (well, I may have to buy a spool of thread, we'll see when it comes to that) Meantime, I did get the 9 mm grid drawn over the new design and the 1 inch graph paper printed out, so I can work on that too.

Figure its time to get busy now, before it gets too hot to do anything today....need to spend some time moving books from one bookcase to another so I can take a bookcase to my daughter on Sunday.......

off to the salt mines....................

Thursday, July 13, 2006

one fish done, beads begun

ok, its not exactly Dr Seuss, but it sounds good....and here is what they look like. I've put the sealer on the back of the fish so I can cut it away from the backing and start on the finishing. The beads were actually much easier that I thought they would be. Note that there are 2 pairs and a spare, because that is where I got too tired to see straight last night. More to be done today. I did find the gold crystals and some pearls to add in with the necklace, so its starting to get pretty exciting.....another piece close to finished!!

Progress is being made on the car quilt design. I have narrowed it down to which cars to use and created a 1/3 scale drawing of the background. Today I'll spend some time drawing a grid over the drawing so I can start enlarging. (Yeah, I know there are places one can have this kind of thing done, but I don't know where one is here, and they are usually pretty pricey, so I'm doing it the old fashioned way....) This is also one of those places where I'm enjoying the process, so I don't want to turn it over to someone else's machines

it's now off to work I go!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

progress on the fish.....

He's coming right along. Each row of scales is worked in brick stitch first, then attached through a row of beads on the base. It has a really nice feel to it, and I'm trying to vary the colors so it looks interesting. Still toying with the ideas for beads, thinking about a red and white "float" bead at the spot just above the lure he will be attached to, or maybe small fish shaped ones in the same colors as the scales....still not sure

Today I should be able to pin the two quilts so they will be ready for quilting...I got the backings stitched together (had to piece since I got the 97 cent a yard unbleached muslin for the backs and its only 36 inches wide)

Have also been working on the design for the car quilt....this one is taking a while since its so many design features and new techniques.

Today's work list includes a bit of shopping and some yard work (after a week of rain, we need to either mow or get some goats!!)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Trixie is on Ebay!

Yup, I decided to give it another try, so Trixie is out on ebay. My ebay ID is mamahattierose, if you want to take a look at the auction.

Meantime, work continues in the studio. I have finished 4 rows of "scales" on the fish, and I'm quite pleased with the way it looks. I'm hoping that I'll get quite a few more rows done today ..... I need to do 13 more to finish it. Then of course I should be thinking about the "chain". I'm thinking that using handmade beads of the same color as the fish would be good....maybe something fish shaped even at least in the front....have to work on that part still.

Time to get working!

Monday, July 10, 2006

something "fishy" about this one?

Well, the easy part of this one is done. The bezel around the sea jasper and the under beading for the fishy are stitched down. Now I have to create the layers of scales which will be the second layer on the fish body. I've been thinking about how to do the second layer for about 3 days, and I think I'm now ready to have a go at a technique that I think will work.

I have now finished putting on the pieces around the 2 cat quilts, so now its time to press and pin baste for the quilting. I think I'd like to quilt a small mouse outline in the sills and frames around the cats, but I haven't yet found a drawing that I think will work. If someone has an idea, email me a .jpg!

Today, being Monday, I'm doing laundry, so other projects will be completed (hopefully!) between loads.....

Friday, July 07, 2006

its complete!

I finished attaching the beading to the leather with the metal cuff inside last night. Each one of these gets better!! I'm real pleased.

I finished posting my story on Teddy Talk this morning. Now the plan is to put Trixie out on Ebay this weekend and see if we can find her a new home.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Another bracelet done!

TA DA!! Finished up the beadwork last night, and I really like the way this one looks ... it also seems like this one went much faster than the last one did ... maybe that's just me. Anyway, now I can do the finishing on this.

Guess this means I'll be starting on the fish next. I did find an attractive, small fish lure during one of my shopping trips (nothing like browsing around in the sporting goods area to find interesting materials to use for jewelry!).

I have been thinking about how I will re-work a piece I had done called "Birds in the Marsh". I really like the medallion -- its an oval, on the large size, but the "chain" I had on it just didn't work, so I tore it all apart and the medallion has just been sitting and waiting. I have seen some work by some other atrists where they have created big beads from seed beads to make up the necklaces, and its a pretty neat look. I'm thinking I may experiment with making some of my own. Actually, one of the pieces I made quite a while ago I had done that and it does look really nice because the beads in the "chain" and the medallion are all coordinated.....hmmmmmm, time to "play"!

I have started putting the side strips on the quilts, found a really nice dark plaid that coordinates with the brown tones really well. I have also started working on design ideas for the next!

Its official...Miss Trixie will be appearing on the pages of Teddy Talk. I will be loading up day one at the spa today. This should be fun.

Time to get busy!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

4th of July dud......

Well, I believe we have done our first AND last 4th of July show (unless we get into Cherry Creek someday and it actually falls on the 4th). It is our considered opinion that unless you are in a high end art show, people are coming for the food, the music and the fireworks on the 4th.

It was hot and humid, fortunately, we had received our new screen sides for the tent, so we did have the advantage of what ever breezes happened by.

Here are pictures of the DH, manning the booth....he's also wearing one of my smaller beaded pieces. We are still fiddling with the layout of the booth, and liked some of the changes and will make additional ones too.

So today we have to unpack the truck and go get some groceries. Oh yes, I must make the deposit of the check from the show.....all of one sale....{sigh} Just hope the person that said he would contact me about a special order for his wife will......

Monday, July 03, 2006

More work done.....

Working on this has been almost hypnotic....this is the first piece where I've used different colors of beads running in different directions....note the dark blue ones run mostly one way and the greens in another. And of course now that I've gotten it this far, I can't wait to finish it and start on the next piece!!

I have now finished sewing together all of the 3 block strips for the quilts. Next step is sewing the strips together....might get to that today....I will be doing that on the sewing machine.

Today we will be packing the truck for our show tomorrow. The show is is Louisville, CO, from 9 am to 3:30 pm. The park in Louisville is at the corner of Bella Vista Dr and S Roosevelt Ave., and we are booth number 82. Come by and say hi!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Zipping along....

The bead work is going MUCH faster on this just seems like more fun and so I'm spending more hours at one time working on it. Its going to be AWESOME!!

We went to the Cherry Creek Art Festival yesterday afternoon. We've done this every year we've been back in Colorado, so its become a sort of 4th of July tradition. This year, however, I went with a real purpose in mind -- or several.

First of all, I had just read an article about "Artist Statements" in a trade magazine and I'm thinking that I need to revise ours. (In fact, I think we should have 2 separate ones since the style and approach to jewelry that each of us takes is so different.) Anyway, I actually spent time reading those statements in the booths of jewlery artists to see how each of them had presented their work.

I wanted to have a real close look at the work of other jewelry artists. The one artist that is working with the same combination of mediums that I do had some truly amazing pieces. She's using size 15 delicas to create some amazing multi strand bracelets. Unfortunately, we got to her booth as she was having her lunch, and she didn't seem inclined to talk with us about her work. All in all, however, I'm not convinced that her overall work is any better than mine.

Having decided that this was a test case at getting response to my own work, I wore one of my pieces. I got a lot of compliments on it. We spent quite a bit of time talking with a glass artist (he runs the University program in Wisconsin for glass). He was talking about which is more important: technique or vision. His feeling (and he teaches this way) is that vision is more important, you can always go and learn whatever that technique is that you need to translate your vision. This whole conversation made me think of one of my most favorite movies:

Playing music is supposed to be fun. It's about heart, it's about feelings, moving people and something beautiful, and it's not about notes on a page. I can teach you notes on a page, I can't teach you that other stuff. Play me the sunset(Mr Holland's Opus)

So, I think I'll just keep "playing the sunset" and see where it goes.

As we always do on this traditional outing, we walked through Saks Fifth Avenue and Nieman Marcus to take a look at what art jewelry they had on display. In both stores I was invited to give them my business card to be refered to their buying group. Now that would be an awesome event!!

Well, since I spent so much time "playing" yesterday, I guess I better get busy!!