Monday, March 31, 2008

New bracelet!

I decided that it would be good to make some of these cuff bracelets that could be a little less expensive, and this is the first one.

Made up of a "cocktail" assortment of beads (the green assortment was called "appletini") in a very random pattern across the surface of the cuff.

this one has a brass cuff in the center so it is adjustable, and is just shy of 2 inches wide

I like the patterning -- doing it was sort of like doodling with beads -- and it didn't take a really long time to finish

Since there is also a package of "grapetini" in the bead box, I'll be doing another of these soon!

The quilting has commenced. I worked on it quite a while yesterday, and I'm quite pleased with the look of the quilting on both sides.

today will have the usual laundry chores and working on projects....time to get to it!

Friday, March 28, 2008


My finger tips are quite sore this morning

Here in this little quilt (48x60) I put 240 bent safety pins yesterday afternoon (that's what the little silvery specks on the picture are)

No, I didn't count them as I went, I used that wonderful skill of mathmatics to count how many rows (16) and how many pins per row (15) and there you have it!

So I guess the countdown for progress at this stage will be how many pins have been removed.

I did start quilting (in the center of course) last night, but I didn't do enough to remove even one pin


The beading work on the new cuff bracelet is complete and last night I applied the Fray Check on the back to keep the threads stable. This may not be a necessary step, but I feel better if I do it on these, so there you go

Today I will be able to cut the leather backing and start making the bracelet sandwich. This is an interesting challenge since the "jelly" in the sandwich is a very stiff brass cuff while the "bread" is a piece of leather on the bottom and the beadwork on the top.

So, while I was fiddling around with beads yesterday I pulled out some to make another of these cuff bracelets in purples and pinks and crystal -- this should be interesting too.

Oh yeah, those beads I made over the weekend will finally get strung into bracelets today (I think)

Well, time's awastin'......

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Seeing RED

Well this isn't what you expected from that title I'm sure -- or maybe it is!

This is a scan of part of the fabric for the dragon quilt back.

I brought it home on Tuesday, washed it, pressed it (and the front -- finally!) and spent HOURS!!! yesterday marking the pattern on the back for the quilting

Wait, WHAT? Yup, I said I marked the BACK, because that is where the quilting will be done from.

Unorthodox? Yup. The deal is that the front of the quilt tells its own story and the usual way to quilt it would be to follow the stitching lines with some "fill" in some of the larger areas.

But I have ANOTHER story to tell beside the one on the front, so I've decided to quilt it into the back.

The up side of this was that once I cut it to the proper size, I could just mark the back before I put the sandwich together, which was moderately less difficult than marking on one that has already been sandwiched.

And the plan here is to stitch with a light blue quilt thread on this red back so the stitching will stand out against the back (so you can "read the story" there) and will blend in to the front because so much of it is blue.

This one will have more "close work" quilting than I've ever done before -- the figures on the back include the scales on a dragon and the feathers on a phoenix and the stripes on a tiger -- it also includes a fill stitch that is an adapted Sashiko embrodery pattern --

So, there ya go, today I'll be putting the sandwich together and using a million (well, maybe 200) little bent safety pins to hold it together, then I actually get to start quilting!!

This picture is the more usual definition of "Seeing Red"

I had baked a cake that I had planned to decorate (I had in mind a page of sheet music with a spray of roses over it) for a family gathering we're holding on Saturday.

Unfortunately, the cake had ideas of its own. Thank goodness none of last summer's wedding cakes did this!! (We really, REALLY! need a new stove, but just now its simply not an option, so we're making do)

So, after much muttering, I've decided to turn it into a trifle -- nice cake, vanilla pudding, fresh berries, whipped cream -- yummy!

When I get it done I'll take pictures and let you know when I post the recipe on Hattie's Kitchen.

Those of you that are faithful long time readers might remember that a while back I was talking about redoing my web site and trying to do new graphics, etc., etc.

Well, after a period of "I have no idea what I'm doing on this", I have begun again, so maybe before too long I can post ya'll a note that says "go look at the new site"! Meantime, I'm spending some time there.....

guess its time to get to that quilt!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

dragons and beads

This is the original full size drawing

and this is the finished quilt top. You'll notice a few changes, especially along the right hand side where we thought more wave tops would be more interesting than the original drawing. I do like the way the water "spills" out into the border on that side too.

this is a "pre-pressing" photo as I once again had to "spritz" it is some places to take out the remaining blue pencil marks (those things are persistant, but such wonderful things that let me mark like crazy to get things to fit!

The drawings have been done and enlarged for the quilting pattern on the back. I still have to tape them together for the full sized version, but we're pretty much ready to go to get the "sandwich" put together

I'm excited! once I start quilting this one I get to start working on the patterns for the next project -- angels anyone?

Lookie! New beaded beads.....I've been having a grand time putting these together...the plan here is to have enough to make up some bracelets

I'm also going to be doing some to be made into some more earrings -- that doesn't require quite so many beads that match

Last night I finished the back of the sweater I'm working on, so now its on to the sleeves! Wow, progress at every turn -- how nice

time to get to it

Monday, March 24, 2008

Playing and progressing

ok, lots of stuff got done yesterday, not the least of which was spending some time just relaxing

The top of the current quilt is complete!! Last night I sprayed it with cold water to take all the blue marker out of it so I can press it today. The DH did some sketches for me, so now I can start in on marking up a full size pattern for the quilting.

I'm pretty excited about having the top done. It looks pretty good, especially considering all of the "alterations" that went on along the way.

And so, while he was working on the sketches for the back of the dragon, he did some sketches for the next project, so you see there's always something on the drawing board!

While I was sitting and watching several hours of PBS programs I did some new beaded beads in pinks and reds. I started one that is sort of lavendar, but I'm having some issues with the little seed beads "falling in" because the bigger beads have larger holes that the other ones I used. I'm working on a fix for that issue.

Meantime, I'm also working on the embroidered cuff bracelet, and thinking about a whole new "Bracelet Boutique" display.....

I promise to get out the camera and take some shots of things soon (like when I remember while its light!)

off to do laundry (a never ending chore if ever there was one!!!)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

I know, there's all this chit chat about the bunny (although my mother sent me a card with Peter CAT-intail on it!!), but here this morning the bunny must have been riding in Santa's sleigh (maybe that's what I heard on the roof)

Anyway, we know where Easter Eggs really come from! Easter Birds of course!!

This would be my version -- after all they must be really ornate birds to lay ornate eggs -- color comes later!!

Anyway, what ever your weather, have a great day!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Well, at least that's what this combo of beads looks like to me! One package were opaque white with a pearl finish, the other package was inside color orange with a clear glass outside. This is the latest in the series of badge lanyards I've been doing -- looking good.

Have I mentioned that I'm real tired of doing chains?

The last, oh -- dozen! -- projects have included a chain of some sort --- well, not really as there were beaded bead earrings and a bracelet in there --- but it seems that way right now

so, the next project is a cuff bracelet with a combination of size 15 chocolate seed beads and a bottle of multi sized appletini cocktail with swizzles all sort of "doodled" with bead embroidery over the surface of the bracelet -- at least there will be no chains involved here

Two sides of the border of the quilt have been attached, with one more easy one (as in just a straight seam all the way across) to do then I've saved the hard one for last -- it includes having to do some applique of some design features from the center of the quilt out into the border -- I'm actually looking forward to that

I finished the second front of the sweater last night, so now its on to the back! Wow, such progress!!

Meantime, an idea for a new set of paperdolls is growing, so there will be drawing of new figures and clothes soon......

off to get some breakfast then back to work!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring, finishing things and new starts

Ok, its officially Spring, its warmer today, but we're supposed to have snow (!!) tomorrow afternoon....such are the joys of living at over 6000 little daffodills are slowly getting taller, so someday before too long I'll get to see the flowers, which will be good

Yesterday I spent a "goodly" time working on attaching the border pieces on the quilt -- I got one side done and part of another, so we are on the home stretch. Just about the time I really need to go buy the backing we'll get paid so I can! Yeah!! Anyway, I'm still struggling with how am I going to mark the very complex picture I want to quilt onto the back so I can do the quilting. I'll be working on some of the designs for that today and thinking about it

Meantime, I'm starting to feel excited about the next project -- actually a 3 in 1 project, and some ideas for decorating one of those white shirts I got a while back are starting to percolate too

time to get moving! (moving away from the computer that is and on to working on a project!!)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

making rework less boring

Let me say right off that I'd rather start from scratch and do a new "whatever it is" than to rework/repair/redo

Consider it a character flaw -- (who knew?)

But every year after the show season, when we do the inventory, I pull out pieces that have been damaged or just "don't cut it" and decide if they will be scrapped or reworked.

At last years inventory, I scrapped a lot of things and put all the parts back into the raw materials.

This was one piece, however that I really still liked the medallion, but the "chain" had gotten damaged.

So, in the last few days, I actually got around to making a whole new "chain", and the resulting necklace is (at least in my opinion) even better than the first version was.

and oh yes, there is NO METAL in this piece!

So, that rework complete, I can go back to doing new things --

meantime, other projects in the studio are moving right along -- I'm down to border pieces on the quilt top, and have finished one entire front on the sweater I'm knitting --

moving along!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hair today ..... gone tomorrow

As promised, pictures of the great shave in!

Just before the shaving

My hair is all tied together in a hair band for the cutting of the length that will be donated.

the beginning shave

notice that the front of my hair is still pretty long here

because it had previously been cut in layers, the top was not as long as the back,

(but its all the same length now!)

The shave continues

this whole process actually took quite a while as my hair is very thick (and in some places really coarse -- my grandmother used to say I had "indian hair")

The deed is done!

yes, I'm squinting here like Mr. Magoo -- we were outside in the sunlight and I've got my glasses off which just adds to the effect!

You can really tell I have a deep widow's peak hairline (and 2 in the back!)

(The birds in my mother's neighborhood will have well lined nests as there were a lot more heads to follow mine -- my nephew, my brother-in-law, and my sister all got shaved too)

This is the hair that is going off to be donated.

And there is still time for you to do your part. Use this link to contribute.

Thanks for your support!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The labrador is right!


She's standing on the porch

Its snowing

she's sticking her tongue out

She's right! The weather sucks, but it could be worse---in 2003 we had so much snow on this day that they basically closed the whole town down for a couple of days!

Look at the cool webbing pattern made by the wet snow frozen to the blue spruce limbs

pretty neat

And this bird house looks pretty too -- the snow must have been blowing at just the right angle to make the little overhang out of the hole

So amid the snow I tried to think warm, spring-y thoughts ---

think lemon lime drinks with lots of ice

new badge lanyard is all complete and will go on the Etsy store shortly

and today there is the ever present laundry.......don't I look like the Irish washer woman?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Big Bird ... aka the red tail hawk in the yard

I can't believe I got this picture!

For one, it was taken with the little digital camera that I bought with the idea of taking pictures of little things close up (which I have not quite mastered yet), but I figured why not try it.

In all that yuk of snowy weather yesterday, I saw him swoop across the yard and land atop the big pine tree in the back corner of our neighbor's yard. (Swoop is the best word I can think of for the truly majestic grace of one of these wonderful creatures in flight -- amazing)

anyway, he sat there in the tree, swaying in the wind, looking this way and that long enough for me to shoot about a dozen pictures, and this one cropped up the best.

it was like he knew he was posing for the photos, turning his head first right then left......

then off he went, gliding off into the snow, giving me a great look at his beautiful red tail feathers (but I didn't get a picture of that --- unfortunately)

maybe the reason there have been so many birds created in the studio in the last few years is because I see a variety of different ones in my back yard

Friday, March 14, 2008

What the *#%@!?

excuse my french.....

its supposed to be SPRING next week.....

We were supposed to go to Denver today,

But we won't in this!

At 3:00 a.m., it was just cold

this arrived by 6:15

about 4 inches


Ok, it can stop already




Guess our little errand in Denver will wait until next week!

But, lookie!

I finished a necklace!

This one is a piece of boulder opal encircled with glass beads -- and the chain is all glass beads too -- absolutely NO METAL in this piece.

And the result of more beaded beads being put together is this lovely bracelet!

I'll be adding these to my Etsy shop tomorrow morning.

Time to get to work!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Quiz for the day

if you think this picture means I'll be whipping up a multi-flavored sugar high batch of drinks, think again!

This is the result of the local grocery having these little lovelies on sale for only 8 cents a piece (instead of the usual 29 cents --- 29 CENTS!? I can remember buying these for a nickle!!! I must be O L D)

anyway, I use these for dying fabric -- fur and other kinds -- and yarns

I was sorely disappointed that there was no blue raspberry, having found flavors that will make green and yellow and red and orange and pink....but you can't mix colors to get blue -- no, no, since it is a PRIMARY color, one must have blue to get blue

So, if anyone finds any blue koolaid anywhere, please, PLEASE! get me some and let me know what I owe you (I have PayPal, can pay you post haste!), and we can arrange for the shipping cost too.....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Got Chocolate?

Easter is right around the corner.

In fact, this is about as early as Easter is, since this year it is even before my birthday -- an occasion which is rare.

Anyway, remember the chocolate bunny? For years my daughter and I had a running joke about my getting her chocolate bunnies with really big ears because that was going to be the piece I got to eat.

Ah, those were the days!

So today's offering, freshly added to my Etsy shop are two Guilt Free Chocolate Bunnies -- these cuties are made out of satin with ribbon trim, perfect for a table setting or just for fun. (and really reasonably priced!)

Remember I said I was working on another project from "play day" that wasn't quite done?

Well, here it is.

Its a fob, folks.....

and this is what you do with one

Especially handy when you go off to your quilt group with tools in hand and you want to actually come home with the same ones you took with you

My sister had asked about this, so this one will be going off to her for a "test drive" -- I need to know if there is anything she thinks would improve it, and to make sure it actually stands up to some use

If all goes well, I'll consider making some of these to sell

and so, its time now to get moving......things to do, people to annoy!

Monday, March 10, 2008

see, I tried something new

just fiddling with some materials I had left on hand from another project and trying a new technique!

These are made up of adventurine beads and crystal beads and size 15 glass seed beads and were really fun to make after I figured it out (the first one took be about half an hour -- the second one took about 5 minutes)

Too bad I don't have any more of the adventurine, it would have made an AWESOME bracelet -- oh well, these made a great pair of earrings and they are available in my Etsy store if you're interested.

Meantime, I'm thinking about using the technique to create some other cool stuff

(oh yeah, the other play time project isn't quite done, hopefully by tomorrow!)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

winter, spring, winter, spring and daylight saving

Ok, we have sprung! (I don't have to LIKE it, just have to do it) Stayed up late last night watching a show about Pete Seeger and slept until 8:45 this morning --- it could be worse.

Here above 6000 feet Spring comes in little bits -- a lot of 2 steps forward and one step back

About every other day we've had a little "snow shower", but mostly its just been cold, then warm, then cold again (highs of 30 one day, 55 the next)

Last night we had a little "dusting" of snow.

It was so little and so dry that you could actually see each individual snow flake in the stack.

I tried to take a picture, but obviously I haven't figured out this part of the new camera yet, and it was melting away as I shot.

On my way back into the house, however, I looked down and saw this!

Oh joy, oh cart wheels (figurative only folks!), Spring is coming, Spring is coming!

So in celebration I'm taking the rest of the day off to play -- I'll share tomorrow!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Signs of spring and cute animal pictures....

Yesterday I saw the first magpie in the yard.

Prancing all about in his "tux", all dressed up for a season of annoying the dog (magpies being the one bird the lab will actually go out and chase!)

It made me think we may actually see spring here before a really long time -- I'm watching the pile of leaves over my daffodil bed -- watching for the little green leaves to poke through because I know those will be followed soon with lovely yellow flowers.

All that brought on this doodling....

And this clip from USA Today just made me laugh.

Looks to me like this little koala is saying "a spoon of sugar would help this medicine go down!"

I think I'm slowly recovering from my disappointment of not getting to go to California next month. At least I am working on projects again, just not bears yet, although I have been thinking again about seeking out new online venues to promote the bears.

Real progress is being made on the quilt. I have almost all of the background complete, which means very soon I will be ready to applique the dragon to it. This is a very big step toward the completion of the project. I'm actually beginning to "mind draw" the patterns for the quilting as well.

Oh yes, we are now back to the place where I insert the pockets on the sweater again -- at a more reasonable "pocket" level -- the DH, for whom the sweater is being knit suggested that the former placement would be ideal for someone to stuff the pockets with kleenex so the wearer looked more "endowed" -- that had me ROTFLMAO!

Today I will be working on the quilt and a necklace I just started and the sweater, but tomorrow I'm taking the day to experiment with some new beading techniques to see if I can use them in a couple of projects I have in mind

Friday, March 07, 2008

where in we make a trip to the frog pond

so I've been working on knitting this sweater

slogging merrily along, FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS!!, and then I ran into this snag

I had reached the magic number of 19 inches where I was supposed to start doing the decreasing for the neck and arm holes and stuff


there's something seriously wrong with this picture

now let's insert here that I am "tweeking" a sweater pattern that was originally designed for a woman, but even so, unless those pockets are intended to be breast supports, they are just NOT in the correct place

what's a pattern changer to do?

well, in this case, serious ripping

notice the lovely pink yarn that is run across the sweater (back at about 7.5 inches -- SOB!)

that is the place I ripped out to -- {sigh}

all is well, the sweater is back on the needles, the stitch count is all correct (a good thing!) and I'm redoing the pocket edges down where they really should be

ok, next time maybe I'll draw out the whole thing on graph paper before I begin

or not

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thank yous and reminders

Thanks so much to those of you who have already contributed to my "going bald"!

In case you missed that post, all of this long hair will be cut off and my head shaved in the next couple of weeks as a show of "solidarity" for kids with cancer.

In addition, because the hair is long enough it will be going to an organization that makes wigs for kids that have lost their hair.... YEAH!

If you'd like to support the cause with me, use this link to join me in this worthy cause.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Baby Steps Back

Just a brief note today.

In case you haven't noticed, the count down to the California show that was here has been removed because we will not be going.

This also explains why there have been no posts here for a few days as I have literally been in mourning about it.

So yesterday my sister called and we chatted for quite a long time. We talked about knitting (yes, the sweater I'm doing is moving right along), and quilting (I'm once again making design changes because the dragon still needed tweaking to all fit together) and stuff.

And I doodled this little piece.

So, we're taking baby steps.....