Friday, October 31, 2008

no tricks, just treats!

Here we are, headed for bed

This will be the last set of clothes for the bunnies

I'll be moving on to working on the backgrounds today, which should be interesting

and I'll admit there is already another "paper craft" cooking in the back of my head that will involve 54 different images -- a project for next Christmas already!!


Last night I put the last stitch in the quilt top!!

I'm thrilled, having finished the top 4 whole days ahead of my goal of having it done by election day

Today I'll be preparing the backing so this evening I can pin the back, batting and top together between trick or treaters (it's actually a good activity to be periodically interrupted so my back doesn't get so tired)

So the quilting will probably begin tomorrow -- I still need to make my marking templates too

I hope all of your door knockers are a real treat tonight!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Muuuuuuch better

finally back to what resembles normal here at the "masion de lunes"

and a lot more got done yesterday

the bunny paperdolls are progressing

these are the "back to school" outfits all colored

I have the pjs drawn and hope to get those colored today

then it's on to the backgrounds

and these are the beaded medallions (with all of their lovely threads still attached which will be needed to string this whole thing together)

this picture was taken before I started working on this project yesterday, and I did 3 more of them after that

my idea right now is to make the necklace center basically as these are laid out then more up each side to complete the necklace

So far no two of these are alike (on purpose!), and I think I have enough of the seed beads to continue that entire theme through the whole necklace

as often happens, while I was working on this I had an idea for another piece that will use some of that Rocky Mountain Beach Glass that I was talking about a while back

I'm going to try to get the stuff pulled out for that idea today to make sure I have everything I need for it before I get too excited about it

Since I'm so close to having the quilt top finished, we decided to go yesterday and try to find something to use for the back

this was the fabric that was the final decision

I love this stuff -- it reminds me of crackle finished paint

and I got the winter green quilting thread to do the quilting which I've decided will be something that looks like bird's wings over the entire surface, beginning at the top left corner

each quilt I've made I've quilted in a different pattern and technique -- I don't know if I'm just getting better at it or if I'm making better choices about these projects, but each quilt has seemed easier than the last -- maybe it's a bit of both

So, we're off and runnin' !

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

nothing to see here

not any pictures either

I have been working on things, just not very quickly as I'm still in "recover" mode from whatever the bug was that made me feel so lousy the last couple of days -- at least this morning I feel quite a bit better

yesterday we had to make a trip to the grocery store and after that brief outing, I was wiped out -- spent 2 hours napping in the chair -- and I'm not a napper!

today I'm hoping to get some things done -- more purple medallions (a plan for the layout of that necklace is beginning to form), attaching the last strip of appliqued blocks to the parrot quilt, knitting on the Christmas projects, coloring the newest paperdoll designs

we'll see how that all comes out

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

not all that great, thanks

he whispered to me that his name is Charlie

I'm glad he told me, because when I was working on him I was calling him "lumpy", which he obviously didn't like

ah well

Yesterday we made the 45 minute drive to the place that hopefully can repair my sewing machine

My Viking Designer I has been out of commission (unless you need to just sew a straight seam -- or prop a door open) for a while now -- the "touch screen" that controls all of the stitches and functions was not responding -- no amount of sweet talk, resetting or swearing were of use, and I had decided that I was just going to have to live without it until I could save up what it would cost to have it repaired (and figured that would happen next summer -- maybe)

My darling brother-in-law, however, would like me to embroider some shirts for him (a job that will take about 2 or 3 hours once the machine is working), and doesn't trust anyone else for the job, so he volunteered to pay for the repair

I'm once again humbled by his generosity (and my sister's too)

So now begins the impatient waiting for the shop to call and tell me about the machine (why is it that I had been resigned to being without the machine for another 6 or 8 months before it went to the shop, and now I want it back RIGHT NOW?!)

When we got back from our trip to the shop I was just not feeling that great, so aside from one more purple bead medallion and what knitting I did in the car, I just didn't get anything done yesterday (there was even some laundry that didn't get folded until this morning, and it hasn't been put away yet)

this morning I'm still feeling under the weather -- sort of like I was in the way of a large truck that went speeding by

I will be moving slowly today

Monday, October 27, 2008

the nameless

I finished him yesterday

he's wearing a hand knit wool hat and (a first for me) mittens

After I did his face, I thought the feet needed something too, so the foot pads are needlefelted too (not the toe pads though, too small to be able to hold them down and use the needle on them without danger of bleeding on him!)

he has his very own black plaid travel sack

I'm waiting now for him to tell me who he is so I can get him listed on the Etsy shop

And speaking of Etsy, I did put some stuff out there yesterday. This was my first try at setting up "departments" in my store, and it worked pretty well. More stuff to be added soon

Yesterday's experiment with the purple bead project was a success. I have finished 3 of the medallions for the necklace, and I'm hoping to get about 3 a day done until I get it finished

This morning I received a confirmation on one of the two school shows I had applied for. Details on that will follow soon too.

time to go get to the laundry!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

the oddities of life

One more page of paperdoll costumes colored

this one could be titled "evil bunnies" -- the Halloween costumes were fun

So now it's on to school outfits, then maybe Christmas ones and pjs

These arrived in the mail on Friday

2 dozen plastic squeakers -- 1 dozen small ones, 1 dozen larger ones

the larger ones are intented to be used first to repair some dog toys that belong to our dog and our grand dog, both of whom seem to just love that sound (someone should explain to me why a big lab thinks that "squeek, squeek, squeek" is so attractive)

every year at Christmas I make the dogs some new toys too, which is why I ordered the economy priced pack of each size

I'm even considering putting some on my Etsy store

I went into Michaels yesterday just to look around (I was hoping to find a copy of Belle Amoire or one of the other Stampington publications -- had no luck there)

I did find these however!

The bottom one is a nice stamp that says "Thank you" which I intend to use on the bottom of my receipts (I'll stamp up the whole book shortly), so it goes to each customer

The other boxes are different alphabets -- and each box of 30 stamps (26 letters plus some symbols) measures less than 2 inches by 2 inches -- these babies are SMALL

No doubt the DH and I will be discussing who gets to use which one for what in the future!

The best part? Oh yes, all of these were in the "goodie basket" (as my mom calls it) of things that had been marked down -- they cost $1.00 each!

These were also in the marked down bins

these will be used to create a Christmas sock, and the rest used for afghan squares for charity

I love it when I can get some nice yarn for a cheap price!

and this is why I'll be knitting another Christmas Sock

this is my new grand dog -- now I have 2 grand dogs (and a grand bird)

Tonks is her name (all you Harry Potter fans should know where that came from!) -- cute is her game!

I haven't actually met her in person yet, as my daughter just got her on Friday, but I'm looking forward to it!

While I was in Michaels I also got some new double strand clasps with the idea of using them for the necklace I want to put together with those floral looking medallions. I was all set to work on them -- had my delicas, had my color coordinated beading thread -- when I discovered that the holes in the purple glass beads are so big that the delicas just slide right inside them --- BOOOOO!

I've been thinking about it, though, and I think I can still do the medallions, it will just take a few more beads -- when I do that first round I'll just string up enough more beads to let them run through the center. I'll be trying that today.

time to go play!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

half a dozen or so

the DH has given me another "project"

This is a very nice, gently worn Levi jacket, circa 1970s that he no longer wears

It has a nice sort of tapered shape (which, he says, is the problem, it doesn't fit him well anymore)

So now there are two "recycle" pieces on the back burner -- the one that "speaks" to me first will get done first -- a theme is required before I start in on these things

two pair of earrings complete!

the purple ones have a snowflake obsidian bead in the center

the black ones are all glass

I'll be moving on to the purple necklace of these medallions next -- haven't figured out how to put that all together or how to put a clasp on it yet, but I can think about that as I work on the medallions

Here is my second version of the Mason Dixon Knitting sunflower wash rag

only one row of petals on this one, but I did a 2 color diagonal stripe for the center

I like it!

Now on to the idea of making this into a hotpad!!

Yesterday afternoon I took some time to play with the newly acquired materials for doing needle felting

Ta Da!

My first piece of work

yellow apple

this really was a lot easier than I thought it would be to do

So, you're thinking "why am I seeing another one of those "lab animals"?"

Well, one of the main reasons I wanted to play with the needle felting, was to see what I could use it for on bears and other critters

this is the before picture

and this is the after

can you belief this is the same bear!!!!!?????

I can suddenly see a lot of possibilities for doing things that I haven't been able to figure out how to do in other ways

(and this was definately one of those "Did I do that?" moments as well)

can't wait to try some more stuff!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

paper works and bead works

in perhaps a more traditional kind of bunny costumes, here are the latest

Easter Bunnies!

of course these will be surrounded with baskets and eggs and little stuffed critters on a Spring background

finished the drawings of the next costumes too -- the halloween costumes -- cute too -- but I haven't done the coloring on those yet

Perhaps today!

finished these yesterday

also did some medallions with a black bead center and some AB finish gray beads

very vintage looking

should get those onto their earwires today

then it's on to the last pair of earrings I'm planning to do before I try out the necklace

movin' right along on these!

Last night I finally finished the first of the free flying birds on the quilt, and started on the second one. My goal is to be ready to start quilting this by election day (that will give me something to work on while I'm watching the returns!)

other beading and knitting projects are moving right along too

time to get busy

Thursday, October 23, 2008

being on a roll

finished up another pair of these cool earrings!

I also found that I had enought purple glass beads of the right size to do a necklace with these medallions -- that should be fun!

For the last few months I've been trying to figure out how to make some curtains to help cut down the cold that comes off a sliding patio door in the winter

The door is on the north side of the house and during the winter, when the wind is blowing, it just feels cold

I had just about decided that we were just going to have to live with it when my daughter told me about the sales going on as Linens and Things is going out of business.

While it is never a good thing for a company to just disappear, I was thrilled at being able to get some really nice, heavy, lined drapes for that door at a price I could afford (and a lot less expensively than I can make them) We were even able to get a sturdy rod for them at an amazingly low price.

Guess we'll be installing hardware soon!

Yesterday was our monthly shopping trip day -- so not much besides the earrings got done, but I'm hoping to get more finished today

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bunnies at the beach?

I know, it sounds nuts

afterall, there's no evidence that bunnies like to swim (that I know of)

and if they did they obviously would not wear swim suits

in spite of all that, the bunny paperdolls will

So we have swim trunks and a tank top for the boy and a suit with a little hip ruffle for the girl

meantime now I'm "researching" pictures to do the background drawings from for this one -- sand buckets and shovels, swim fins, floatie rings, star fish

kind of fun!

Work on the bird quilt continues -- one more bird's tail is now complete, so the next work is to attach the free flying birds to the strips around the center block

The knitting projects are coming along (10 inches done on the very complex cabled vest!) and I did some more beading on some other things too

Today, being our payday, we will make our monthly trip to Costco -- need things like cheese and eggs and vitamins

time to roll!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

another project complete

I know, we're out of summer and almost into winter, but the sunflowers just won't leave me alone

I finished these up yesterday

the bead in the center is an 8mm citrine, all encircled with delicas (in 3 different colors)

to attach the ear wires I used a little french wire to protect the threads

Not bad

So now I've started a pair that have a lapis bead in the middle

and I'm thinking about ways to use these little "medallions" in a necklace or a bracelet

So what do you think?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

having just fallen off the pumpkin wagon

no, it's not my first time to ever have grown food

When we lived in California we had the most AWESOME raised bed garden known on the planet (ok, we had a really great one limited only by the size of the yard), out of which we would eat fresh tomatoes all summer and put up as many as 60 quarts for the winter months

and we had zucchini, and green beans and peppers

but I have never grown pumpkin before, and the dern thing continues to fascinate me!

We picked this little gem (ok, it's our version of the Great Pumpkin at almost 12 pounds), back on the 10th (a little more than a week ago), and it still had a lot of green on it.

Just check out the awsome patterning it has now! Amazing stuff this growing of food

Yesterday was my quilt group meeting, and as we do at each meeting, we had "drag and brag" (aka show and tell) where we each spread our current project out for examination

This is the first time I've had all of the bird blocks laid out together since I finished the major applique part

There at the bottom are the three blocks that are all set into the stripping. The center block is in the middle there with the 2 birds that will be free flying and then the other blocks

I must say it's pretty amazing to look at this and realize this is my hand work

Definately one of those "did I do that?" moments

I was also pleased to take pictures of the quilts that everyone else brought to group, and will be sending the picures on to everyone on the group's email list next week

On the way home I spottd this bumper sticker on the back of a van

Got to love the creative ways folks support research for breast cancer!

Today we're going off to visit with our daughter and attend the Loveland Opera Theatre's opening Gala (at which she will sing)

time to get packin'

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another finished piece

This is the necklace I've been working on all week

The entire piece is made of 3 mm copper beads, size 11 and size 15 turquoise colored seed beads.

I love the look of this one -- like a heavy, embellished cord

The necklace is 18 inches long, so it rests nicely along the base of the neck, and it is about 1/2 inch in diameter

I may do some other things with this technique now that I've figured it out!

How about silver beads with a bright color around them

or some 3 mm colored glass with gray beads

I'm also thinking this technique would make a really nice bracelet, so I may see if I have enough beads to do that (trying not to have to go buy anything for it)

This morning I'm off to my quilt group to share what I've been working on and otherwise hob nob with my fellow wizards -- should be fun. I made a lentil and rice salad to take with me, which I plan to share on the kitchen website sometime in the next few days (I'll let you know when to go take a peek!)

time to roll!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

just a quickie

consider for a moment the idea of bunnies in snowsuits --

ok, they must be snow bunnies!!

let us say I may be having WAY too much fun doing these paperdolls

visualize these little costumes on a background of snowflakes with little pictures of sleds and snowmen and all that around them --- I'm workin' on it!!

aside from that, nothin' to show for yesterday's work on things -- but there are things being done

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Good things in threes

Lookie what the mail man brought me yesterday!!

I love getting packages (ok, so who DOESN'T), but usually they don't come in bunches like this

It was like a little mini Christmas celebration

True to their word, the Denise folks did indeed put that replacement needle right into the mail!

I'm so impressed

Now I can work the vest back onto the Denise needles -- nice to not have the "kinks" in the cable that I have right now with the Boye set

Behind door #2!

Remember a couple of weeks or so ago I talked about learning to needle felt?

Well, here are my first supplies

There is a thick foam pad (you do the needle poking into that NOT your fingers -- hopefully anyway), a set of needles (each one carefully protected in a plastic sleeve, these babies are SHARP!) and an assortment of wool roving for making of animals--hopefully

Since this is basically a sculpting thing I'm thinking the DH will actually be much better at it than I will, but I'm willing to give it a try

Pictures and comments to follow

the final goodie was a lovely fat envelope from Monica over at Girl Gone Thread Wild.

Last week I was one of the winners of a giveaway she did, and this is what I won.

What a great bundle of goodies! That's one of Monica's outstanding pincushions!! (the DH says "it sort of looks like a space ship") Truly folks, this has some of the most fascinating fabrics in it -- including one that looks like tape measures -- way cool! And that nifty little "nob" on top to stick needles in is awesome.

Thanks Monica!!

I didn't spend all day ogling the goodies from the mail man.

I put together this new banner for my Etsy shop.

This morning I installed it, and I've just finished updating all of my shop policies and my bio -- including putting a picture of myself out there (thanks to my daughter taking the picture!)

Next step -- actually listing things for sale! And since I have a bunch of stuff that's ready, I have no excuse for not doing that -- soon, I promise

Over at Mason Dixon Knitting they have a free sunflower dishrag pattern posted on the right side bar.

I printed it off right after they posted it and last night I finished my first one -- my version of course.

The original pattern calls for only one row of petals, but it just didn't look "finished", so I added a second, inside row. TA DA!

And right after I finished this one, I started a new one, but I'm doing the center diagonally striped --

hey, I'm from the school of "A pattern is just a SUGGESTION" don't ya know

And yesterday's trip to the grocery store resulted in two packs of REAL dye -- one dark brown and one black -- and can you believe what the price of this stuff has gone up to!! YIKES -- you're looking at over $6.00 here -- good grief --

At any rate, I'll be making that trip to the dye pan again -- bring on the dish pan and the salt and the rubber gloves and the HOT water!

Progress being made on the necklace I'm working on, and more pieces were added to the bird quilt last night. Both of these items are in the "slogging along" stage --that point at which they are being worked on first in the work rotation and then I get to reward myself by working on a project that is a more fun stage.

And the animal I was stitching on is now on the table for the DH to put joints in -- WHOOT!!

ok, so I guess I've babbled on long enough for this morning -- off to the studio to get some stuff done!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Coco and Goldie

these are the colored versions of the bunnies

That's Coco (the boy) on the left and Goldie (the girl) is on the right

the DH, who raised rabbits for years says the easiest way to tell the boy bunnies from the girls is in the shape of the face -- the male face is broader --

okay, for paperdolls this may not be important, but why not be correct

Along with playing with the colored pencils yesterday, I did start setting together the quilt. This is a somewhat slow process as I'm trimming each of the appliqued blocks as I go along, and doing the additional applique of the round blocks, the free flying birds and the parts of the blocks that extend into the stripping. I'm mid-way through applique of the first round block right now.

I have been working on a new piece of jewelry too -- it looks like a fat tube and is made of 3 mm copper beads and turquoise colored seed beads in size 11 and 15 -- the technique is pretty easy (once you get it), and I think this will be a really nice piece. It's about 1/2 done right now.

The giraffe is in his box. This is an example of why one should never throw a box away -- the box from the printer I had BEFORE the current one was a perfect fit. I'm just waiting to get an address confirmation from his owner before I mail him off.

guess it's time to go work on stuff!

Monday, October 13, 2008

odds and ends from a busy Sunday

yesterday was one of those days that I was busy all day, but I really have nothing to show for it!

for one thing, I can't believe how long it took me to work up this banner for the Etsy Store remodel -- and I'm still not really happy with it, it just doesn't have that "collage-y" look I was going for, and I'm about to decide that I don't yet have the graphic software chops to do this with technology -- bring on the scissors and glue

I finished repairing the giraffe, so today I'll be packing him up and preparing to mail him off to his owner. I'm pretty happy with the repairs, and I'm pretty sure she will be too.

For the first time since I bought the new and wonderfully large cutting mat, I actually put it to good use yesterday. Since all of the applique blocks are done, it was time to cut the stripping for the quilt, and for cutting strips there's nothing so wonderful as a roller cutter and a large mat. Today I will begin setting it all together -- WHOOO HOOO!!

This, as you may recall, is the State Fair award winning remade shirt.

and this shirt arrived in the studio yesterday direct from the DH who has declared it too short to stay tucked into the jeans

this one has been "gently worn", so what I do with it can be totally a matter of whatever inspiration strikes me -- will there be beading? painting? applique? felting?

possibly all of the above, but it doesn't have top priority right now as I'm trying to finish up all of the Christmas projects and get new inventory ready for upcoming shows.

While I have not yet received the confirming paperwork, one of the shows I had applied to has cashed my check, so I'm guessing that means we're in it. So, I now have a Nov 8 deadline for these new jewelry pieces.

so for today there will be laundry and quilt work and jewelry and more work on sewing the new animal I'm making and some work at the drawing board on paperdolls -- just a usual day!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

must be the squirrel influence

For some reason yesterday things in the studio just seemed to click and things got done!
new earrings!

the centers of these are 18mm Swarovski Crystal Rivoli -- this is a new goodie available from Fire Mountain Gems in a number of colors

I did beaded netting around them and added the silver french hooks

not bad, and they worked up really quickly (about an hour for the pair)


with lightening speed!

this is the replacement voice box for the Steiff giraffe I'm repairing

couldn't believe it when I opened the mail box and there it was!

So now I can finish him up and try to find a box to pack him in (that will probably be the hardest part!)

The last and biggest block for the parrot quilt is now complete

I finished this about 9 last night and took the picture right away so I could post it this morning

So now I will be working on cutting the stripping and setting the whole thing together

It's getting pretty exciting

And while I'm working on that I need to start thinking about what sort of pattern I will quilt into it (no, I am NOT going around each of those little feathers again!)

the new and improved bunny drawing

aw, much better

so now I need to decide just how big the paperdolls will be and start working on backgrounds and costumes

mmmmm -- chocolate bunny, easter bunny, snow bunny, beach bunny, evil bunny -- yup, lots of possibilities for costumes!

I did spend time working on a new banner for my Etsy store, some pencil sketches and now I need to work on doing the photo collage in the computer program to create it

time to get back to that