Saturday, September 30, 2006

from deep in the heart of Texas.....

ok, I'm officially an old fart! We travelled today from our house to Dallas/Fort Worth (actually Irving) Texas for a bear show that is tomorrow.

First off, let me say that I can't make heads or tails of the way Texas marks have things that are called US highways, which I get (say highway 35), then there are the county roads, which I also get, but what do you make of something called F.M. 7029? and there doesn't seem to be any order (you know, small numbers to large numbers east to west or vice versa) to these either, they are just randomly assigned as far as I can tell.

Then there is the issue of highway exits....there are 7029 FMs, but when it comes to streets in a city, the exits aren't numbered so you can't even tell if you're headed the right way.

Needless to say, it was interesting.....from the time we hit Dallas until we found our motel was an hour.....not helped by the fact that the address of the hotel (according to google maps, mapquest and AAA) doesn't even exist! We finally got here by way of persistant cell phoning....I'd call the motel, tell him where we were and he'd give me a set of instructions, then I'd call him back and get another set....

I offically don't want to go anywhere without good google maps again....the AAA TripTik has too much information where you don't need it and not enough where you do!

The fun side of all this? I can report that the research continues, and the Texas racoons don't blow up on impact either......(those of you that have been reading this blog since early May know about this, my apologies to the rest of you!)

I can also report that I have one and 1/2 afghan blocks done on this trip so far and 1/4 of the border of the cat quilt that's progress!!

Time to go unwind a bit so I can sleep....we'll have to be up at 5:30 a.m. to go set up!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

the bears are all done!

Yes, we actually managed to finish all of those "on again, off again, on again" projects for this weekend's show, and today we will be packing up the tubs for the trip.

Here are the new "babies":

This is Peaches...

...note she has her little caterpiller friend with her

And this is the DH's second bear

cute little face I think.....

notice that she's going quite cross eyed trying to follow that butterfly!

and this is my very first open mouthed bear!

This is Bearry.....note she looks like she's been eating a lot of those berries!!

I have been busy on other projects too....have finished the edge work on 3 of the 4 stone pieces (still have to do the necklaces on those).

I'm now down to quilting the border of the Cat quilt, and I have done the prep work on 6 of the 12 cars for the car quilt.

Also started another afgan square (Christmas colors!) that is about 1/4 of the way finished.

Have spent several frustrated hours trying to figure out how to be able to access my client's accounting software from my computer and finally decided its not how the softwar is set up, its how the "network" is set up....and I may well be in over my head here as I know how to use the hardware, but not how to set it up!! We will probably have to spend some time on the phone with the software vendor to get this all figured out.....ARRGGGHHHH!! Meantime, hours and hours of input is waiting and I can't do much with it from here, so I will probably have to go spend some time in the shop as soon as we return from Texas.....NUTS!!

well, those tubs aren't going to pack themselves, so I better get to it!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Another square complete......

We had to make a trip to Denver for Costco shopping, so I was able to get another square finished.

Nice cables!

Anyway, it goes off to an assembler today.

Yesterday afternoon I finished another bear. I have 2 more to finish before we leave, but both of them are very close, so I should be able to get it done.

Pictures of those (hopefully) in the next couple of days.

Meantime I'm putting in lots of time creating a new photo flip album for the bear show....found a cute metal standup photo frame at the local discount place, and it has space inside for 50 photos. The front cover is a cute little teddy bear (it was meant for a baby's room or a grandma brag book), so it seems perfect to go on a teddy bear table! I got 20 photo pages done yesterday, but still have quite a few to print today.

Time to get to it!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Birds of 3, leave them be?

Such might be the appropriate caption for this mean looking bunch!

These are the first of the totally completed critters for our upcoming show.....our dodos have been a big hit at past shows, so we're hoping they do well in Dallas where folks have never seen our stuff.

I have 3 bears that I'm working on still, and all of them are now at the face, feet and accessorize stage, so we're doing pretty well.

I did get this 4th piece of stone done.

I'm doing this is a different style than the others (you know, I get bored doing the same thing....its a character flaw I guess).

The bigger beads at the bottom are all 4mm malachite.

Right now all 4 of the stone pieces are being glued to the backing so I can do the edges next.

And of course I've already started working on yet another piece that involves size 11 delicas, nylon cord and large wood beads.....the first attempt on that one was dubed a failure, so we have moved on to phase II....success to be determined

I have finished all of the background of the car quilt and last night started with the applique that goes over it.....this morning I printed out the base pictures that I need to convert into patterns for the rest of the is where I get really challenged being able to manage all those little curves and angles

I'm working on the last block of the cat quilt, then on to the borders!!

Have lots of other paperwork to get done too, so I need to get busy!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

under the catagory of "I can't do one thing at a time"

even tho' I spent most of yesterday afternoon madly stuffing animals, I did manage to also get another stone piece encircled with beads.

The center stone is unikite jasper (some collectors call it "spinach on a brick" because some pieces look like those two colors), and this is a very light, pretty piece.

To me some of the pink areas in the stone look like roses.

Unlike the two pieces of shell, I decided to make this one a bit more elaborate, so I have encircled it with a row of 4 mm unikite jasper beads too.....mmmmmmm, nice!

So, now I have only more stone piece to work on, and I actually started it last night too.....

I also worked on quilts and knitting yesterday, so on the whole I was pretty productive (oh yes, 4 loads of laundry!)

For those of you who know our little family, you might want to check out my other blog for an important announcement about next August!

time to get working

Monday, September 18, 2006

We're going to Dallas.....

yup, its official, we've been accepted in a Bear Show in Dallas, TX. So, I now have less than 2 full weeks to get all those critters done.

Poor things, they've been on again off again for a while here....first we were working gungho because we were gearing up for a show the second week end of October [yeah! work on critters ;^)]...then we were told the show was cancelled [boo! put critters on back burner :^( ] the show is the FIRST week end of October {ACK!! can I get all these critters done? =:^O }

So, I got 3 dodos stuffed yesterday, and did the head of the newest design....since I like the way the head turned out, I'll now finish stuffing the rest of it. There's one more waiting for joints too....


Saturday, September 16, 2006

rocks in our heads?

Well, maybe!

These are the pieces of stone that I got for projects at the Gem Show (the DH got quite a few of his own for projects too!) So, this is what these are (as they appear in rows from left to right):

Jasper, Jasper, Charolite (a Russian stone), Agate

Sea Jasper, Tiger Eye, Pink Quartz, Jasper

Ammonite (petrified chambered nautalus); Ocean Jasper; Primavera

Lapis; Goldstone; Labradorite; Goldstone

And these are:

Lapis; Tiger Eye; Jasper

And a lot of variations of Agate

Here's a picture of the latest afghan block that I have completed and its on its way to an assembler.

I've started the next one which is peach colored cables and is about 1/3 done.

We have been invited to apply for a show that would be a replacement for the one that was cancelled, so we're hoping that weekend will be taken care of.

off to work I go......

Friday, September 15, 2006

and our fame spreads?

A while back I sold some of my pieces to a local bead store.

Yesterday, when we were looking through a local ad, this ad was in there.

Note the pink heart piece and the red oval piece on the white display pieces. Yup, that's my work!

I hope it draws her some business so she needs to get more stuff from me.

We went to the Gem Show yesterday and bought WAY more stuff than I thought we would, but we found some great things. It will probably take us quite a bit of this morning to get it all recorded and labeled. Yummmmy, nothing quite like the feel of brand new stones to work with!!

Some of what I was looking for was not available at the show, so I will be putting in a couple of orders for glass beads -- after all I have all these new projects to work on!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

a shopping trip....

is what we'll be doing today.

The Gem Show is going on in Denver this weekend, and its my preference to go on Thursday or Friday when it is less crowded. So, today is our day.

These are alway interesting trips. We start off with a list of what we are looking for, but sometimes we find something totally unexpected. For most of my big pieces I like to actually handle the piece of stone before I buy it since I use such big pieces, and this is the best place for me to do that.

So, an adventure to find new inspiration today!

Got the first of the beading done around the blue shell now. It too looks really good!

One of the things I will be looking for at the Gem Show today is the beads I use for the core of the necklaces on these.

I started a new project last night too.....using some nylon cord and some 16mm and 20mm wood beads as the core of a looks pretty cool, and I sense a whole new set of items to be made!!

Time to get going

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


we were notified yesterday that the big show we had been gearing up for the first weekend in October has been cancelled by the promoters.

We are majorly bummed out, as this was the only show between now and next April that is a good venue for our animals and we were looking forward to getting some response to the new pieces we have been busy creating.


However, feeling that there must be some show out there that we can do before Oct 28, I fired off an email to another promoter to see if she has any open spaces in her shows. We'll see.

The initial beading on the pink shell piece is done. I'm now ready to put on the backing and do the chain.

I probably will go ahead and do all of this stage on the other 3 pieces before I move on to the next step tho'

time to get moving

Monday, September 11, 2006

Its finally done.....

It seemed like it was going to take forever to get the edge done all around it, but I finally got it done yesterday.

Here's a very nice close up that gives you a better view of the sun's face, and notice earth just above it on the left hand side. A lovely blue planet made of an 8mm lapis bead.

I confess that this doesn't look exactly like what I had originally seen in my mind, but I do like the way it came out.

Now this is the inside of the dark dodo I have been working on.....I didn't notice until I was "tweeking" the picture to format for blogging that I had forgotten to turn him right side to....oh well, all that will happen when I stuff him.

Yesterday afternooon I got 3 more animals cut out and pinned so I can do some of the work on the sewing machine. Since all three of them are light colors (one white dodo, one pink flamingo and one peach colored bear), I figure I can use the same light neutral thread and do a little production work to get these on the road.

The slash patches have been installed in the car quilt, and the bottom grass stitched in, now there is just the long strip of sand looking stuff to put at the very bottom. I should be able to do that while I'm whipping those animals together.

Monday is almost always laundry day at my house, so I'm 2 loads in to what looks like about 5....a bit more than usual, but I have this interesting laundry equation going on:

rainy weather + large labrador + light colored quilt on bed = extra laundry

time to get busy

Saturday, September 09, 2006

New work.....

True confessions time.....when I don't feel well I have a hard time concentrating on any one project.

Its probably nothing short of a miracle that I've gotten anything done the last two days, as I've had this yucky, achy, low grade fever thing going on.

Last night we slept in our recliners in the family room (I fell asleep about 9:30 and the DH just let me sleep.....Nice guy!! Anyway, this morning I feel somewhat better -- YEAH!

These are the 4 oval pieces that I hope to get finished before our first jewelry show in October (which is about the middle of the month) These pieces are (clockwise from the top left: blue puau, unikite jasper, pink puau and bulls eye malachite) The bead order arrived, so I now have the necessary beads to get these done.

Along with the beads came some findings for the DH to put some facetted stones in. He got 5 necklaces done!! Nice stuff, ruby and pink sapphire in gold fill settings, amethyst and ruby in sterling silver....very pretty.

I worked on both quilts some yesterday. The Cat quilt has 4 blocks and the border left to quilt, then the binding goes on.

The Car quilt is making me crazy. I have now decided that I should have started in the middle, not at the top! I spread it out on the bed and discovered that I will have to slash and insert pieces in several spots to get it to lay flat. NUTS!! (yes, its driving me there!!) All lessons learned to be put to work in the next one tho'. Once I get that slash & insert part done I still need to finish the highway strip at the bottom then add the grass and sand pieces at the bottom edge. I tried working on the highway last night, but its black and I was just too blurry last night...maybe today in the sunlight!

I didn't work on any animals yesterday either.

The beads around the Solar piece are half done. With luck this piece will be totally complete by Monday, then its on to the ovals.

One thing I can do when I'm semi coherent....KNIT! I have my latest Squares4Survivors block about half done.

Oh yes, the new van (we're calling her 'Streak' -- as in Silver Streak) now has cruise control so we can be safe driving her on the highway.....she moves so well that it would be way too easy to find ourselves going 90 in a 55 zone, which is a really BAD thing!!

So, now I'm going to try to actually accomplish something today.

Friday, September 08, 2006

another piece.....

And this is the underside that goes with the pieces from the past postings "What is it?"

It took 2 attempts to get this right, and now I'm having similar issues with the upper parts, but I'm sure it will all come together.

Have completed the lining in my daughter's coat....looks wonderful!!

Worked on the dodo birds yesterday, have the darkwing's body almost all stitched.

Had to take the new van over to get the cruise control installed this morning, so my schedule is really messed up!!

Time to get to work

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What is it part II.....

Ok,since no one was brave enough to venture a guess about the first What Is It picture, I'm posting this one as the progress made shot.

So, here's the question again.....What are they?

Have been working on a new lining for my daughter's winter coat (its been cool enough for a jacket in the early morning, so winter's coming). Its a very nice long black wool coat that had a very boring black lining in it, but as usual after two years of wear, the lining gets a little tattered, and she brings it home for relining. The new lining is much more interesting -- BRIGHT RED!! This morning I got the lining all stitched together, so this evening I will begin pinning and hand stitching it into the coat. This coat was very well made and of good material, so its worth the effort as it has at least 2 more years of wear in it.

Got the solar piece and its backing all cut out, so now I can do the edging and the clasp.

We made a supplies order over the weekend, so new beads should arrive soon for the new pieces I want to work on....I have two pieces of shell (one blue, one pink, both look like oil on water); a piece of unikite jasper (spinach on a brick!) and a really nice piece of bullseye malachite to do small pendants with. These usually work up in an evening, so I should be able to knock those out in a week (fully finished) once the supplies get here.

I laid out several more critters yesterday afternoon. Now I have 3 dodos, a flamingo and 2 bears in process besides the mystery project from the picture above.

Quilting is coming along too!

Time to get back to it!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Is it a planet?

And while the "scientests" are arguing over rather Pluto is a planet (or by one definition if even Earth is!), I have finished the beading on the Solar Power piece.

I think it looks pretty good.

Now its on to the backing, embellishing, etc.

Meantime, I'm working on animals since our next show is animals only.

So I have the following items in process:

1. Fern the Flamingo -- just begun, the legs have been shaped and the other materials gathered

2. Darcie the Dodo -- one is ready to be stuffed and finished, the other is waiting for me to lay out the pattern.

3. Darkwing Dodo -- this one is waiting for lay out too

4. New Open Mouth Bear -- all stitched, turned and jointed, waiting for me to stuff and finish

I'm also working on a contest entry for a contest titled "Things That Go Bump In The Night"

And today's requirement is to finish the paperdolls and get them mailed off to the magazine editor.

I probably need to get off the computer and get busy!