Wednesday, September 30, 2009

another block finished

this is number 9 --- only 3 to go!

last night I finished the knitting of the mystery sweater --- now it's on to putting it together!

and I'm 1/4 of the way around the blind stitching of the binding on the mystery quilt

progress all around!

fall is definately here

these leaves were all on the front yard this morning when I went out to get the paper

tomorrow evening we are supposed to get a freeze and the mountains are supposed to get snow (which means we might too)

today it will be warm, so we'll be out painting the shed before we do anything else

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

finished, broken, progress

A finished project!

the little knitted kitty will go with the kitty quilt when I finish it and ship it off

there was a little trouble in the process of knitting this however --- notice the far left needle --- it just snapped!

so I now have a double pointed set of 3 --- hmmmmm --- not to worry, my sister says she may have some replacement parts on hand

remember the sweater I was taking apart?

here it is

along with the niddy noddy the DH made me out of scrap PVC pipe

next step is to tie these up into hanks for washing (this yarn was originally knit up back in the 1970s and I can't remember when it was last washed! --- ewwwwww!)

then I will be soaking it in a strong alum solution so the overdying will actually "stick"

and another afghan square is complete

in other project news:

the binding is all attached to the mystery quilt and I started turning it to the back last night

I have less than 20 rows left to knit on the mystery sweater

still have my final critique of the charity auction to write, but the data file has been sent to the person that will take over doing the tax receipt letters to the donors --- yippee

yesterday I was actually able to get a gallon of paint for the garden shed for only $5 --- someone didn't like the color gray it was, but it will work just fine for us --- I was thinking I would have to pay full price, so I'm really happy about this!

time to get workin'

Monday, September 28, 2009

A week survived!

Saturday evening was the charity auction that I served as coordinator/chair for.

Can't believe it's finally DONE!!

For the most part it went pretty well.

This week I'll be sorting out the paperwork, writing some thank yous and doing a final critique report. Then it's on to other projects!!

Just before we left last week I got the box from Fire Mountain Gems with the piece of jewelry in it that I had submitted.

I also got this nice certificate and a $10 gift certificate to be used for whatever I want from their catalog.

Not the result I really wanted, but it was an honor to be a finalist.

This year they are doing several different contests, so I may be submitting some other things.

The one thing I wish would happen when entering these contests is some kind of feedback on what I could have done better.

about the only creative project I finished in the last week was these two afghan squares

(unless you count all those gift baskets I made up for the auction, and the set up itself)

I did work on a few other things, but nothing is really finished

So today I'm doing laundry and we have shopping to do then we need to figure out what we're doing when this week --- there is still that pink shed to paint

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Still Pink -- and not liking it

Yup, its the same picture as yesterday

the shed is still pink, and will have to stay that way until after auction week

here's why

I was going to do this paint job last year at about this time

that was when I got my hands on those 2 cans of gray paint that had been mixed wrong and were marked down to $4 a can

but I couldn't just go out and paint because the panel of the fence behind the shed needed repair, and I couldn't repair the fence because the neighbor had his wood pile there (and in fact, that was what had damaged the fence)

and even though I asked him nicely, TWICE before the snows came, he never got around to moving the wood so I could repair the fence so I could paint the shed

so the paint sat --- and evidently, as we discovered this morning when we tried to use it -- it froze and could no longer be mixed into a usable consistancy

to say I am unhappy is an understatement

because now I'm going to have to pay full price for the paint to get this job done as it can't wait through another winter since we've already done all the prep work


working on projects indoors and out

another quilt block done for the kitties

8 done, 4 to go


2/3 of the binding sewn onto the big mystery quilt too

have I mentioned we're working on drawings and plans for the next one? (bet you're not surprised)

and outdoors, the primer coat is on the garden shed

yes folks, it's PINK!

ok, when I can get a $27 gallon of paint for $8, I'll take the color -- especially since it's just the primer

and I had never noticed until I started putting on the pink paint that the old color was actually sort of baby blue --

today we will paint this with the top color --- it's grey, a bit darker than the house (I think) that gallon of paint was one of those "miss-mixed" ones from the sale bin too

so, there will be plenty of work to do today then tomorrow I'll go back to really working on auction stuff --- one week to go

Friday, September 18, 2009

and now the waiting

before the rest of the work can be done on the charity auction

time to work on other things!

here is block 7 of the kitty quilt and the first of them that is a brown kitty

I'm on the downhill side of these now!

and I'm just over half way around attaching the binding to the mystery quilt project

you may remember that I was talking about taking apart a sweater I knit a very long time ago

I must have been brain dead when I started because I forgot to take a picture of the sweater before I started

this is a close up of the back of the sweater

look at those nice cables!

right now I have taken apart both sleeves and one side of the front

as I'm raveling (or unraveling!) it out, I'm rolling it into balls, then I'll use the niddy noddy (that the DH just built me out of scrap PVC pipe) to tie the yarn up in hanks

it needs to be washed, then soaked in alum, then over dyed --- I'm going to use coffee grounds --- I figure in a week or so I can collect enough of those to make a nice warm brown over the gold (all three shades of it!)

when all that is done I'm going to knit the DH a nice vest

meantime, the hood for the sweater I'm working on right now is three quarters done --- yeah, we're on the downhill side!!

and of course the are other items in que to get onto the sticks -- kitty toy, lace scarf, baby afghans and the ever present charity afghan squares

yesterday we did some yard work, and today I'm planning to get at least the primer on the garden shed


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Zebra Fence

no, I don't mean to keep zebras out -- or in

I mean it looks like a zebra --- stripes!

This hunk of fence got blown down last winter, then we had a summer of big construction equipment in the field behind us (where we were hoping they'd actually knock the fence down so they would replace it)

So, winter is coming again and the construction is mostly done, and we decided we better get this fixed

We reused as many of the old fence boards as we could, and alternated them with the new pieces we bought.

Viola! Instant zebra fence (well not instant, as it was a considerable amount of work, but even so)

Now it's on to painting the garden shed

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

forward progress

Much of my time this week and next will be taken up with work on a charity auction, but a little creative activity is required to keep me out of the funny farm!

And so we have block number 6 of the kitty quilt! This also means that half of the blocks are done (in just over 2 weeks!), and that the next 6 blocks will have brown kitties.

I also have now attached one quarter of the binding to the mystery project.

Another afghan square is complete too.

And I'm over half way through the hood for the sweater I'm knitting.

I've started ripping a sweater I made almost 40 years ago. I'm going to use the yarn to make a vest for the DH. But as I ripped, I realized that there must have been three different dye lots in that sweater -- or the yarn aged in different ways. This means there will be a small dye project before the next knitting happens.

This also means I need a niddy noddy, so I have asked the DH to create one for me out of some scrap PVC pipe we have hanging around in the garage. (More evidence of why one should be selective about the stuff one throws away!)

And today we hope to get the rest of the back fence repaired --- the DH and my son-in-law set the post on Sunday and yesterday the DH (with very minimal help from me) put in the 2x4 cross pieces. So now it's just the fence boards to put up --- yippeee! one step closer to being ready for winter. Then it's on to painting sheds.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ooooo -- pretty!

late yesterday afternoon I was working on a project, minding my own business and the doorbell rang

it was the floral delivery lady

I was sure she had the wrong address

but no, these were for me!

a "keep up the good work" reward from the head of the group that I'm doing the charity auction for

oh awesome!

(I literally could not remember the last time anyone had sent me flowers)


another block of the kitty quilt is complete

this one, in her lovely little kimono, is pretty cute

5 down, 7 to go

and the binding strips of the mystery project have now all been connected and I'm ready to start attaching it to the quilt --- yippee!!

one more afghan block complete --- you can tell that I ran out of one varigated yarn in the middle and started into another color


so it's cooler today, and sort of gray, but we'll be out working in the yard preparing for the setting of a fence post

Friday, September 11, 2009

don't they look like snowmen?

step one of the painting process is complete!

after the DH had made these all smooth and added the stands, I decided that a coat of gesso was just the thing to give these a really nice painting surface

so now I'm ready to draw lightly in pencil what I plan to paint

yesterday I finished "power blasting" the garden shed to prepare it for paint while the DH measured and cut the replacement trim pieces and painted the door of the other shed -- today we hope to get out to the back fence and figure out what we need to pick up at the hardware store to repair it

while I was out in the garden I discovered that there are about 8 of these little beauties out there as well as some pumpkins and 2 hubbard squash

and last night we had zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes out of the garden -- very tasty

this morning a cold front is blowing in -- it's only supposed to be in the 60s tomorrow --- needless to say we'll be watching the weather very carefully --- if it looks like we're going to get really cold nights I'll be out there with newspaper and blankets covering up my harvest!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

one more square

here's one more!

the real thrill of the day yesterday, however, was that I have now finished the quilting on the mystery Christmas project, so now I have only the binding left to do!


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

kitty blocks and other projects

and another block complete

this makes 4 --- last night the DH asked me if I was going to make all the kitties the same color, which has set me to thinking about that --- there may be a small modification in the design

today we go to the fair grounds to pick up our entries --- since there were several things that we entered that I never did find in the displays, I'm going armed with photographs just in case they've mixed up the ids somehow

I'm up to my eyeballs in work on the charity auctions that I'm involved with --- did a "conference call" with the group at the other end of the state last night to get some help with transporting.

time to get moving!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

colorfast test

the washing is complete

I was a bit surprised by how well things like ball point pen survived

some of the colored pencil did ok, some of it did not

and the water color that actually soaked into the fabric was good too

so now we have a good idea what is safe to use and what is not

this morning I've been doing some enlarging of the original drawing --- exciting stuff!

Monday, September 07, 2009

stuff complete, stuff begun

Another block of the kitty quilt complete --- this one is #3

only 9 more to do

and 3 of the 4 corners of the big mystery Christmas project are all quilted too --- only one more corner to go then it's on to the binding --- looking good

started working on the borders of the elephant piece yesterday too

finished another afghan square for charity (and have another one on the sticks already)

I'm nearly half way through the hood on the sweater I'm knitting --- it seems like the hood has taken forever to do, but I think it's just that I'm getting close to the end and I want it to be finished (so I can start the next project!)

before I start in on the actual pieces for the tree quilted piece, I want to make sure that whatever color medium I choose to use on it will actually stand up to at least an occasional washing

so I took a piece of the fabric that we will be using and did some test painting.

included on the test: acrylic craft paint with textile medium, oil pastels, ball point pens, colored pencils, sharpie markers, micron pens, copic markers, hi-liters and water colors

they're all dry now, and I heat set them with an iron, so next test is to run them through a load of laundry (cold water) so I can tell which ones are safe to use

the tree project is getting closer!

and then there is this project

a while back, the DH wanted some 1x4 wood for a project

when we went to our local lumber supplier, we decided to check the damaged wood bins and found 5 fence pickets -- just the right width and thickness

he cut the pieces he needed off the bottom which left the tops

I've been looking at these for a while, and over the weekend I asked him if he could sand them and fix it so they would stand up (he had some other scrap lumber that made that possible). He even filled the nail holes where he attached the support pieces --- so nice!

so now I'll be putting on a coat of gesso then painting these --- imagine them as a row of little kids in snow suits with a big fluffy pom pom on top of each one --- that's what I see anyway

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Zebras and elephants


found the cord and got this strung together

yippee!! another finished object

work progresses on the elephants piece

yesterday I put in the bead eyes on both elephants

the big elephant's tusks have had seed beads stitched over them

I decided that I wanted to somehow give them a 3D look, so I did tramputo work for the heads and trunks of both of them

and all along the bottom in among the "grasses" I stitched random colors and sizes of beads as pebbles

next step will be the borders around the piece

Friday, September 04, 2009

Block #2 complete

here is the second block of the baby quilt

2 down -- 10 to go

lots of hours yesterday on the auction project -- it is shaping up well however

today is the first day since July 16 that my printer and my scanner are actually attached to the same computer --- now that my doctor has released me and I can do stairs again I have my old setup back and can actually start doing the work I need to do for the tree quilting project --- WHOO HOOO!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

project nearly done

yesterday I finished the beads for the zebra piece

these came out really well --- one just black and white, 3 that are multi colored like the rest of the fabrics in the piece and one black and white zebra stripe with some random other colors thrown in (ok, technicolor zebras!)

the next block of the kitty quilt is coming along --- might get it done today

meantime I'm now spending a lot of time working on a project I'm doing for a non-profit group -- back in the spring I volunteered to serve as the auction coordinator for a silent auction for Loveland Opera Theatre -- each year they do a fundraiser where there is an evening concert and an auction of things that have been donated -- right now we're in the thick of organizational mode, putting together the packages of things that have been donated, doing paperwork for the program, etc., etc. The countdown is on -- only 23 days to go!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A day at the fair

We went to the State Fair yesterday to check out the entries

So here's the report

2 blue ribbons --- one for the quilt we made for our son-in-law and one for a piece of jewelry I did over the winter

and red ribbons --

one for the archangel wall hanging

one for the tigereye and gold necklace

there was one on the rabbit with the needlefelted tulips (but I didn't get a good picture)

a white ribbon for the glass, crystal and art clay piece

we're disappointed that the art clay piece that the DH entered didn't place --- part of the problem is the division it had to be entered in has such a broad description that it's hard to know just what it is that will actually fit

the giraffe did not place either --- I saw the other entries in that division, and I'm guessing he was just too different --- a usual issue with my pieces

my needlefelted bird also did not place --- and after walking through the Fine Arts building, I realize that all of my mixed media pieces should be entered in the Fine Arts division next year

Next week we make the trip down to pick up the pieces and the ribbons, and the prize checks will be mailed to us in early October.

since I spent some time riding yesterday, I finished another afghan square

work on the beads for the zebra piece is going really well --- 4 are complete, and the 5th one is about half done

last night I also did quite a lot of quilting on the Christmas project --- one entire corner is now complete, and a second corner is nearly finished -- YIPEE!!

today some work around the house (laundry, garden) then back to working on projects

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

progress on the new project

first block of the new baby quilt

I had all of the necessary materials on hand, so I could just start right in working on it --- a very good thing

we're going to the State Fair today --- I'll get to check out all of the stuff we entered and see all of the other entries too --- I won't be walking as much of the fair as I did last year, having just been released by my doctor yesterday, but I'll get to see the parts I most want to see

hopefully I'll have pictures with ribbons to post tomorrow