Sunday, August 30, 2009

finished, begun and back to school

another afghan square complete!

this makes 14 in the current bunch

I'm thinking it's time to start looking for a box to stick these in and get them shipped off

I started another one too

In other knitting news, I'm now working on the hood for the sweater I'm making --- and it's looking good!

The other day I got a new dishrag pattern that I want to try out --- when I pulled out the bag of cotton yarn to start, I discovered that I was supposed to be working on another project -- oops! Guess I'll be doing that one soon too.

This drawing is the beginning of a new baby quilt.

Yesterday the DH got a note from his oldest daughter (my step-daughter) telling us that her oldest girl is having another baby in December

I made a quilt with lambs on it for the first baby (along with a knitted lamb toy), so I think I'll put the kitties on this one (we've been told that the baby is a girl)

I'll be spending some time going through the fabrics I have on hand to see if I can't do a lot of this without spending any money for anything

Other quilting news -- the quilting on the mystery Christmas quilt is moving right along and is about 2/3 finished (and I got the binding cut!)

In the fall we go back to school!

Over at Travelin Oma Marty is going to do a 12 week class right out here in the comfort of Blogland!

I signed up

I've got my bookbag packed, my pencils are sharpened, my notebook is full of fresh paper, my lunch is packed

Want to come along? It's going to be fun!

You can sign up too by using the link there and posting a comment on her post (be sure to tell her I sent you, so I can get extra credit!!)

Hope to see you in class!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

a guest blogger

Elphie here

mom walked away from the 'puter and left it on, so I'm writing on her blog

I think I'm still mad at mom --- she took me today to the Evil Vet

there was much prodding and poking

but I did get lots of doggie cookies and a new jingle for my collar (mom says it's my new rabies tag)

the vet says they can find out if the funny spot on my leg should come off by doing a needle biopsy (mom says that is a good thing because that is just an office visit thing)

guess mom will keep you updated


update from the wood workshop

the DH has been busy!

he's been cleaning in the garage, rearranging the stuff on the shelf, sorting tools, clearing the workbench

he discovered this piece

a friend of mine gave me this cutie many years ago, but in the moving and all, both of his antlers and one ear had been damaged (sorry folks, no "before" pictures here -- the DH just went to work on it before I knew what was happening!)

anyway, he removed the ears (which had been held on with what looked like pieces of coat hanger wire), did glue and dowel reattaching of the ears

then he drilled out the stubs of the old antlers and went out into our back yard to get new antlers off the tree out there

the next step is to get a new post for it, then I can reattach the bell that goes under the chin with some new ribbon

this one will get put in the little area right outside the front door when we do the Christmas decorating

and there is this project

this is designed to have fabric ears that are changed for each season or holiday

the bare wood piece had been sitting in the garage for a long time, and the last time our daughter came to visit she saw it and ask if she could have it

the piece has been sanded and stained

now I get to do many, many sets of ears to customize it

this should be a lot of fun!

yup, we're actually getting some things done

Thursday, August 27, 2009

a baker's dozen

charity afghan square knitting continues

this is number 13

I'm taking a little break from projects today to spend the day with my sister working on family history --- a whole project of it's own!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Elephants on parade

they are not pink however

the stamping is done, and yesterday I used sponges and brushes to paint shrubs and grasses all around the elephants

now I can use some markers to do more details before I start putting in stitched details

so far I'm pretty happy with the way it looks

this is the fabric that I will be using with the elephants

the dark green is a piece left over from the back of the quilt I made for my son-in-law last year

there is a teal and magenta batik and a gray moda

the gold and green fabric is a piece I created during the shaving cream experiments when I was in California the end of June

and this is the next step in the new quilting project

a colored version of the drawing

next step on this project is to draw the grid over the copy of the colored drawing so I can start creating patterns

painting and stitching will start soon!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Progress and an afghan square

got the second elephant stamped

so next I'll be using the sponges to create bushes around them, and then maybe a sky

I picked out the fabrics I'm going to use the create the borders and for the back and binding

(oops, forgot to take a picture of those --- maybe tomorrow)

lookin' good

and another afghan square complete

that makes an even dozen

Sunday, August 23, 2009

another finished project!


the last of the hand made beads are done, and I got it all strung up

I love the way the finished piece look

so now I'm working on making the beads for the zebra piece ---

moving right along

and the very first stamp on the elephant piece has been done

the little baby elephant

next step is to iron the freezer paper over the stamp so I can stamp the big elephant next to the baby

maybe today

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Carried Away"

Lookie, an actual finished project!

this project has been "in process" for a long, long time, but yesterday I finally finished it

the balloons are all brick stitched in size 11 delica seed beads and the bead band that goes all the way around the inside edge of the frame is done in peyote stitch size 11 seed beads

the backing of the frame has been replaced with a piece of clear plastic that is painted with a mountain scene so the light can come through

I'm pretty pleased with the way this looks, and amazed that I managed to "suspend" the balloons without having to drill into the wood frame

pretty cool!

I was thinking that I was not going to get to even start on this project, but then I reminded myself that it will not be just beads, but a mixed media piece, so any material would be fair game

you'll notice that the top and right hand side of the drawing has already been colored blue for the sky, which I did with the Copic markers

there at the top of the tray is the fabric that will be all of the glass portions, and the beads that I will use for the bricks and wood are also in the tray

oh yeah, the large rectangular panels at the top of the building itself were (or at least looked like) sheet steel --- I didn't really want to do that with glass beads, and going shopping for something was not an option, but the aluminum tray itself --- now that can be cut with kitchen sheers to the proper size and a "bezel" of beads created around each piece to create the look of the steel --- I hope

stay tuned for the experimenting!

meantime, I have almost finished the accent beads to go with the first Out of Africa piece, and I'm making headway on the floral handbag too

time to get to it!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

a new project -- maybe

since the bank building piece is now ready to be framed I decided to do the drawing for the piece I'd like to do next

next step is putting it on the stabilizer and picking out the materials

the plan is to use a piece of the shimmery fabric that I used on the last piece for the same look of glass in this piece --- there are windows at the top and the bottom of the building, including in the door

I discovered when I did the drawing and was looking closely at the pictures that this building was actually the Department of Health.

the next question is if I actually have enough materials on hand to even begin this piece --- that little shopping trip the other day may well be the last for a long time for art materials -- the onslaught of medical bills has begun, and it isn't pretty

finished another afghan square for charity -- that makes 11

also started another one, which is progressing nicely

started the button band on the sweater I'm knitting -- the original pattern was for a pullover which I'm attempting to turn into a hooded cardigan, so from here on I'm "wingin' it' -- so far so good

time to get to it

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

shopping trip and new project

the ongoing rubber stamping projects brought to my attention that it would be good to have a brayer to spread the paint on with instead of using a paint brush

so with a 40% coupon in hand we went off to the local Hobby Lobby and found this one

I'd forgotten that these were supposed to be soft --- the old one that I had (ok, I'd had it since I was in high school --- 40 years!) had gotten so dried out that it was really hard and didn't roll well

got three bottles of gray paint (3 different shades) so that I can work on the elephants

I got two yards of unbleached muslin to do the stamping on (and more after that)

while I was in the store I spotted this very cool upholstery fabric

I actually had been admiring this fabric for quite a while, but at $14.99 a yard I just couldn't bring myself to buy it even though we have a chair that is ready to be upholstered

evidently this fabric was not a hot seller however as they had moved it over onto the sale rack and marked it down to $2.00 a yard!

I got 4 yards, which should be enough to do the chair and a little ottoman (which the DH is planning to build) and maybe something left over to use for a pillow or handbags or other mixed media projects.

Waiting was a good thing

and here is the second drawing for the new quilt project

this quilted wall hanging will be about 3 feet wide and about 8 feet long for a very long narrow wall in our daughter's house

our plan right now is for this to be hand appliqued and painted and quilted --- it doesn't need to be as "sturdy" as a piece that would be on a bed, but it will occassionally need to be cleaned, and it should be able to stand up to that

looking forward to working on this one!

meantime, last night I finished the fronts of the sweater I've been working on -- today I will start on the bands down the front for the buttons

quilting on the Christmas project is moving right along too

yup, things are progressing!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Baby Elephant Walk?

can you hear the music?

now that I've typed that title, I can't get the song out of my head!

I got the stamp cut and mounted, so now I can think about how to use the two elephant stamps together

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Something from the wood shop

The DH has been busy in the wood shop!

He carried this in and put it on top of the bookcase that he had built me

Made out of sturdy oak and custom designed both to fit on top of the bookcase and to hold my family history book

A few moves back I had a library stand that I used for that purpose, but the spindle legs didn't survive to come to this house --- this piece is definately sturdy enough to stand up to a move and it is a beautiful match for the bookcase (and the bench)

check out the cute little elephant!

I've already started working on the rubber stamp

once I get that finished I'd be ready to start working on the next piece in the Out of Africa series

I have now finished 2 beads for the giraffe piece --- have 3 more to do --- and of course I'll have to do some for the zebras too --- this has turned into a really fun project

worked on the floral handbag project yesterday --- got all of it picked apart, cut the inner lining and started doing the stitching around the floral pattern to do the tramputo work -- I've decided to stuff the flower petals and do really close stitching over the leaves to give a variation in textures then use glass beads in the flower centers as accents

this is how quilting projects begin

on the left side are aspen trees

on the right side are redwood trees

just the beginning of a lot of playing with dyes and paints and fabrics

Saturday, August 15, 2009

another square

yesterday my State Fair entries got delivered

this was my first trip since my surgery, and I was pretty tired by the time we got home

got another whole afghan square done in the car though --- just need to weave in the ends

I've been trying to draw a baby elephant to put with the adult elephant in another "Out of Africa" piece ---- so far I'm not happy with any of the attempts ---- I'll try again later today

since I have decided to do a major rework on this piece I started taking it apart yesterday

the handle and the flap are off and the lining is out

I am going to take the seams out so that the whole piece lies flat to make it easier to do the embellishing I'm planning

I may also use some fabric markers to change the shading of some of the floral prints too

it's an adventure! and I'm pretty sure it will look better when I'm finished

moving along!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Ta Da!

finished up the binding and the loops for hanging

now it's on to beads and elephants

Thursday, August 13, 2009

hi ho off to the fair

and here they are in their glory all ready to go!

tomorrow I get to make my first trip farther than the grocery store

we're taking our entries down to the State Fair -- about 50 miles away

I'm being allowed to do this only under the condition that we stop about half way each direction so I can get out of the car and walk around

it will be good to get to do this as a break from being restricted to just around the house activities

the receiving date for the jewelry and the birdhouse and the bunny is actually tomorrow, the other things aren't actually due until next week, but the Fair coordinator has told me I can bring all of them tomorrow and they will put the other items in a safe place

one MORE complete

another afghan square all finished for the box to Close Knit Hugs

there is still quite a bit of this varigated yarn, so today I'll be making some smaller balls out of some one pound skeins of paler colors that I want to use with it next

since I'll actually be traveling a little way tomorrow, I want to have yarn all ready for working on squares in the car

I've been working on a sweater too, and it is moving right along --- the back and sleeves are done, and I'm getting really close to having the front done too --- then I get to figure out a hood --- this particular pattern didn't originally have a hood (in fact, it wasn't even originally a cardigan!)

this project, however has now been ripped back to a ball of yarn

somewhere along the way (a few rows back from where I actually discovered it) I dropped a stitch in the lace work

this project is a repeat of 10 rows, each right side row being a different combination of yarn overs and knitting 2 or 3 stitches together

after studying the problem carefully I decided that there was no way even if I could actually rip back only to the place that the dropped stitch had "raveled" to, that I'd be able to figure out what row to start with

so, I ripped it

I'm going to finish the aforementioned sweater before I start this again --- right now having 2 projects going that require close attention to which row is which is more than I can deal with

right now there is a large retirement complex being built in what was a big vacant field behind our house

this morning, as I was looking out my kitchen window, I spotted this pile of sand that is at the base of the retaining wall they have built over there

my best guess is that this form has been created through a combination of whatever they have removed with their shovels, the wind that whips around the building and the hail and rain we've had in the past few evenings

to me it looks like the head of a lion -- the ears, the mane, the eyes and cheeks --- in fact until I got to where I could see the bottom of the pile, I thought it was a concrete statue

weird (is this the building materials version of seeing animals in the clouds?)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

a new trick

at least a new trick to me!

you may recall that I took the binding off the zebra piece

but as always when you remove something that has been stitched together, there are these little thread "hang nails"
that stay behind

usually this means spending a lot of time picking them out one by one


yesterday I decided to try something different

so I took a strip of masking tape and stuck it (firmly) to the back of the fabric along the line where the stitching was

then I pulled the tape off

(think waxing your legs)

all those little threads stuck magically to the tape and came off

no more picking!

I'm delighted

after that I re-trimmed the edges to square the piece up and cut some additional bias binding

today I hope to get started on putting the new binding on

Yesterday I talked the DH into taking me on a little outing to one of the new library buildings in our area to take a look at some "quilts" that were on display there.

The library and the quilts weren't much to talk about, but while I was there I found a book titled "The Art of Landscape Quilting" which was definately worth the trip!

This book is full of techniques and ideas about creating landscape quilts, and while I still am not ready to go to that raw edge fused finish on things, there's no reason I can't apply the design ideas and painting techniques to my own totally stitched pieces

I worked on the balloon piece again yesterday --- I now have all of the balloons strung together and I'm ready to start trying to glue the beading into the frame --- maybe today

time to get to it

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

ready for framing

the beading work on the bank is all done

I'm pretty pleased with how it came out --- can't believe how much the beads actually look like the materials of the building

I'm not going to make the final decisions about framing until I get a couple more of these done since I want them to be displayed together (even though I'll be willing to sell them individually)

next step in this project will probably be one of the two stores that I want to do

meantime, today's beading project will be to cover wood beads with seed beads to go with the giraffe piece --- that should be fun

I finally got the elephant stamp cut --- the stamp is on the left here and the print is on the right

now I'm thinking about what I want to do the stamp on for the fiber piece --- what size, what color, and what else I want to do around it

I'm pretty pleased with how this came out --- it's still that "did I do that" feeling

and just when I though the zebras were getting close to being finished, I spent considerable time yesterday tearing off all of the binding because it didn't look "square" --- hopefully today I can figure out which way needs to be trimmed and get back on track to get it finished (a quarter of an inch doesn't look like much when you do an oversized quilt, but on a small piece, it shows)

I spent some time up in my garden yesterday, pulling weeds and thinning the beets and the carrots

there on the far left is the surprise I found when I was weeding around the squash plants --- a zucchini, just the right size for eating!

there are enough more carrots from the thinning to have another batch of glazed carrots, and I'll use the tinest ones (along with those tiny beets) in a salad

no, this isn't snow --- it's hail

we got hammered last night

I'm pretty sure that most of my garden is history


Sunday, August 09, 2009

just one more

afghan square done

planning on doing the next one with the same varigated yarn and a navy blue yarn with it --- variety makes these more interesting!

worked on the binding of the zebras yesterday

yesterday we had visitors, which was fun, but I admit I was pretty tired afterwards --- and I don't exactly feel like doing a whole lot today either ---- perhaps I'll work on the elephant stamp after breakfast

Saturday, August 08, 2009

rollin' along

more progress has been made on the bank --- the only thing left to do on this is the marble blocks around the triangular piece at the top (and the grout strips)

looks like this piece will be done by the end of next week --- which means I'll be thinking about matting and framing then

the binding has been attached to the zebra piece, needs the hanging loops to be stitched in as I finish the back edge of the binding then I'll be heading off to somewhere for a .25 inch dowel rod for the hanging rod ---

guess it's time to spend some time working on the beaded beads for the zebra and the giraffe pieces ---- and to cut the stamp for the elephant

the final leaf block has all been kitted up, so I may be working on that today -- we'll see

I'm going to have a houseful of people today --- my daughter and her husband are bringing the quilt I made for him so I can enter it in the State Fair (those entries go to the Fair next Friday), and my sister is bringing me a box of peaches --- this is a test for me --- usually I would be flying around the house cleaning, vaccuuming, mopping --- none of which am I allowed to do yet --- I did give the bathroom a "lick and a promise" cleaning and put down a clean bathmat --- that's it folks!

Friday, August 07, 2009

some more pieces complete

the quilting is done and the edges have all been trimmed up

the fabric for the binding has all been cut too, so I'll be starting on that part today

and it's time to go hunting for a dowel rod for supporting the top edge

finished up the second of the three leaf blocks too

this one even has a "hole" in the leaf

the next block is more complex -- a maple leaf (which has more cuts and points) and some maple seeds -- so the applique of that one will be a bit more complicated (which is why I saved it for last)

how about this elephant?

I did this drawing last night

I'm planning to cut a rubber stamp of this drawing to create another "Out of Africa" piece to go with the giraffe and the zebras

now and then I do something that when I look at it later the feeling can best be described as "did I do that?" --- this drawing is one of those

having fun with this project!!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

like I needed another project?

I've been working on redesigning my website to include ALL of the many things that I create (the idea of setting up a separate site for each of the many things we dabble in would have me spending all of my time writing web code and leave no time for creating)

anyway, yesterday I was looking over all of the bags I have to put on the website, I found this one (which I had forgotten about)

I love the fabric of this bag --- it's a heavy upholstery fabric with a large floral print --- it's a cream colored background with pink and peach colored flowers and green leaf accents.

Like I said, it's pretty, but it's just fabric, and it just begs for some sort of embellishing

I had originally done a little bit of bead embellishing, but it just isn't doing it for me

so, yesterday afternoon I went through my beads and pulled out beads in the right colors that are flowers and butterflies and found one ladybug bead too

I'll have to take the lining out of the bag so I can do the stitching, and I may put some batting between the two layers when I put it back together

anyway this should be a fun project

meantime, I have almost finished quilting the zebra piece and the second leaf block is ready for the embroidery work

it's amazing how much work I can get done while I'm just sitting in my chair!

oh yeah, I'm pretty sure the next "Out of Africa" piece will be an elephant --- I'm doing "mind drawings" already

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

movin' along

oh lookie!

finished all of the beading up the side of the bank (sorry about the poor photo quality --- I forgot to take the picture until after dark and the light bulbs make everything look sort of yellow)

even did one row of beads all the way across the top

before too long I'll be telling the DH that he needs to build the frame for this piece!

(look out red brick store building --- you're next!)

the zebras are all ready to be quilted!

this will take a while --- the plan is to stitch along each zebra stripe to give them even more "dimension"

so now I'm thinking about what animal to do for the next piece --- elephant? rhino? hippo? lion?(don't expect to see any monkeys --- I just don't like monkeys)

rubber stamp cutting coming soon!

yesterday I had a doctor's appointment, so I spent a bit of time working on another afghan square, which I finished up last night

the doctor says I can now go up and down the stairs twice a day --- yippee --- that will make things easier --- still no lifting, driving, vaccuuming, mowing ---

I did get permission to take the trip to deliver my stuff to the State Fair the end of next week as long as we stop half way each direction for me to get out of the car and walk around

so where will I go today with my two stair trips --- garden? laundry (I can't carry stuff down there but I could sort it into loads and get at least one started!) we'll see!