Wednesday, March 30, 2011

more feathers

even with the bandaged finger (which is now in just a big bandaid -- hurrah!) I managed to get the next group of feathers finished yesterday

so now it's on to the third group of feathers -- looking good

and the next section of the afghan is done

65% finished

moving right along

yesterday's visit to the surgeon for the DH was good -- the doctor is pleased with his progress -- he gets to do another month of the flexibility and range of motion exercises before he goes on to strength therapy -- he needs to go slowly so he doesn't hurt it again, but it is getting better

time to get to work

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

healing slowly

worked on projects again yesterday

did some stitching on the feathers of the hat on the Hoffman piece

and a couple of rows on the afghan project (which is about as many as I ever do in a day)

and a couple of rows on the shawl I'm knitting (which is 982 stitches)

and finished this afghan square

looking good

this morning I'm doing the laundry

to be followed by a trip to the surgeon for the DH to have his shoulder evaluated -- and maybe be told he can start physical therapy, which would be real progress

onward -- laundry to fold, meals to cook

Monday, March 28, 2011

caution - graphic content

as in a photo of "the cut" -- or more appropriately, the "slice"

the blade literally sliced a layer off

because the wound is not actually on the end of my finger I was able to actually do some things yesterday after it was re-bandaged

I discovered that I can hold a needle and do some sewing on the feather embellishment but I haven't tried to fiddle with the beads yet

and I was able to do two rows on the afghan and three rows on the knitting project

I was really surprised and pleased

maybe today I'll be able to do even more

Sunday, March 27, 2011

too soon?

here we thought it was spring --


woke up this morning and this was what it looked like -- not to mention that it is very foggy

wow ---

picked up this cute fabric yesterday on the sale table

I want to make my grandson a bucket hat, and my original plan was to cut a rubber stamp and create some original fabric for it

except right now I'm a little hampered by having already been way too close to a sharp object, so cutting a rubber stamp (which would need really good hand control) and doing the stamping (which would require using some pressure) are just not in the picture right now

I think I can handle scissors and the sewing machine however -- need to pre-wash it first though

meantime, yesterday was a very looooonnnng day - I don't do well just sitting still, and since I am very right handed, having my index finger in a bandage is not conducive to my being able to do much of anything

I hope when I unwrap it this morning I'll be able to downsize the bandage and maybe figure out something I can actually do

(and I'm trying not to think about the idea that it might have needed stitches -- having no insurance makes me walk on the edge of panic every time I'm in a situation that I might get hurt)

positive thoughts here folks

Saturday, March 26, 2011


beware of sharp kitchen tools

yesterday, while my sister was here I was trying to get the new slicer set up to use for making coleslaw

and got a little too close to that razor sharp blade

this was the "put pressure on it to control the bleeding" bandage -- several layers of gauze and some tight tape

and yes, the darker areas on the gauze in the photo is where it bled through

before my sister left, she helped me re-bandage it -- more gauze, an aluminum protective sleeve and some "horse tape" and I'm planning to just leave it alone until tomorrow morning

I had some light weight disposable gloves on hand that I use when I'm doing painting or dye work, and I cut a finger off of one to put a waterproof cover over the bandage

not good timing -- between the DH and I we have two left hands, which doesn't make for very coordinated doing of anything

and I'm not real good at just sitting, so I'll be trying to figure out something I can work on while this heals

now days its not only the mail man that brings the bad news -- when I opened my email this morning I got the notification that the pieces I had entered in a gallery show later in the year didn't make the cut


oh well (and now I really need to get those forms made up so I can keep track to which pieces have been entered were)

heading off to nurse my wounds

Friday, March 25, 2011

signs of spring

this garden is sprouting new grass and flowers every day

(yesterday the DH said he saw a weed -- uh, no)

this, however, is the first sign of spring coming in my flower bed

the beginning of daffodils pushing their little heads up through the thick layer of dry leaves and pine needles

guess its time to rake those up and see what else is coming up under there

(and this would be the place where we might also see actual weeds!)

animal hand bag number 2 is finished!

its bigger and has more pockets inside and I got all of my stuff into it

its not big enough for me to haul a whole lot of extra stuff, but it will serve for everyday use

today my sister is coming to visit for a while, so who knows what kind of trouble we'll get into

time to get into the kitchen and get some stuff done!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

not much to see here

just this afghan square completed for Close Knit Hugs

yesterday was whirl wind of activity

our monthly paycheck arrived and we headed off to do our Costco run

followed by a run to the grocery store

then home again (and try to fit all those groceries in my little refrigerator!)

after that a conversation with my daughter (I do love those after work chats!!), and a quick supper before heading out the door to an artist meeting

this was my first time with this group -- it is a small group, but what a kick in the pants -- WOW -- the energy in the room as we talked about the art we are working on and the challenges we are dealing with was truly amazing

I'm sorry I hadn't found them sooner -- but perhaps before now I wasn't really ready for them either

can't wait to go to next month's meeting

in the absence of new pictures of my grandson, I'll share a snap I took of my dog last night just before bedtime

she's laying on the end of the couch (just ask her, it is HER couch) with one of her favorite squeaky toys in a hug (the duck's nose resting on top of her nose)


she had a tough evening keeping an eye on the DH while I was away after all

so today I need to do some cleaning then hopefully get some work done in the studio -- onward!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

and I'm tickled

the first group of feathers on the hat is complete

pictures show hat with the feather placement and a close up of the rows and rows of stitching that make up the feathers

the idea to stitch all those fine lines of the feather worked a lot better than I imagined it would

so now there are two more on the big hat to do and some to do on the smaller hat

it will take a while, but I really like the look

more grass and flowers sprung up yesterday

somehow it seems sort of appropriate that I'm working on this piece here in the first days of spring --

the grass is growing on the bead work -- the grass is greening up in my yard

yup, it's spring

new fabric being created for the bag project -- again

all of the stripe stitching is complete and I got the animals on one side of the fabric all stitched on

I found some additional stampings, so each side will have 5 animals instead of just 4 as the first bag did

looking good!

I'm not sure how much will get done on projects today -- since it is payday we'll be making our monthly shopping trips and I have a meeting to attend this evening

we'll see how it all works out

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

slogging along

on the grass and the flowers

but it's coming along quite nicely thank you!

and I've almost finished up one of the feather groups on the Hoffman piece -- and as soon as I finish it, I'll take a picture to show you

you'll notice a new picture over there in the side bar of items available in my Etsy store -- I started a new (and bigger) bag for myself yesterday, so I'm offering this very nice, just too small for me, bag for sale there
another section of the afghan complete

60% --- WHOOT!

time to get moving -- projects are calling!

Monday, March 21, 2011

anyone need a hand bag?

I finished this up yesterday -- basically that just meant stitching the cord that holds the wood beads to the top edge

I had been working on this for a while, and I really like the way it came out

except for one thing

it isn't really big enough for all the "stuff" I routinely carry -- even after I downsized all the medicine bottles and tossed out the 2009 calendar and half a year's worth of expired coupons

there isn't room for my sunglasses and my pocket shopping bag and my little pack of Kleenex -- not to mention my camera, my cell phone and whatever other things I might need to carry on any given day

I know, I just lug around too much stuff

but I'm pretty sure I'll be headed back to the drawing board on this project and expanding the pattern and making new fabric and, and ---

which means that this bag will probably end up in my Etsy shop

this little bag, however, is perfect

it was just the right size to put my lip gloss and my pocket knife and the little containers of medication that I always carry

and on this one (at least in this photo) you can see the color stitching that I did on the fabric before I cut it

more progress being made on the rock garden

the grass and flowers are spreading across the piece like moss

looking good

and yesterday I finished up one of the feathers on the Hoffman piece (I really do need to remember to take a picture of that!)

today, being Monday, I'm doing laundry, but I'm hoping to get a lot of work done on several of the ongoing projects

time to get to it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

world's cutest little boy knitwear model

my daughter emailed me this photo of my grandson wearing the watch cap that I knit for him a couple of weeks ago

isn't he just the cutest kid ever

(and that is a pretty classy looking hat!)

heh -- yeah

since we are now getting into warmer weather (it is the first day of spring and I'm using some positive thought here), I'll be ordering up the needed yarn for the Christmas knitting as soon as we get our monthly paycheck -- the deal with hand knits as Christmas gifts is that I need to get them started by April 1! and since I have added a couple of people to the "must give them hand knits" list, I should point out that I've actually been working on Christmas knits since mid-January
after doing a "search and organize" mission to locate the airbrush ink that I need to put the background "leaves" on this piece I spread it all out on the table, all ready to start doing the bubble wrap stamping

only to be brought up by the short hairs when I realized that the branches were all stitched down, but they were still just white -- I hadn't added the markings that they need to look like branches! ACK!!

so here we have (from left to right): 1) tree trunks marked but branches unmarked (and that's one of the two Copic markers laying there next to the far left trunk); 2) dark markings on the branches; and 3) the branches all finished

so NOW I can do the stamping with the bubble wrap to create those background leaves -- maybe today, but soon for sure

Saturday, March 19, 2011

the garden is growing

work continues on the bead work piece

this is definitely one of those "did I do that" moments

it just looks so amazing!

and I have to say that I am getting faster at the process as well, which is good

and the ever changing look of the new flowers being added and the spaces between the stones being filled up is enough to keep me chugging along

I went to an applique group meeting yesterday -- spent a couple of hours with a nice group of local ladies, got quite a bit of work done on the Hoffman piece while I sat and chatted with them (and got caught up on all the local guild gossip!)

one of the things I planned to do while I was at the meeting was pick up the fabric for the back of the Hoffman piece -- but they had run out of the one I had originally picked out to use

when I got home I talked with the DH about it and we decided to take a look at what fabric they did have that would work, so back to the store we went

I got what I needed (pictures of that later) and found this AMAZING roll of fat quarters

these are Northcott fabrics, and this roll of 14 fabrics is called Stonehenge

the prints are wonderful -- they look like granite and marble and lapis and -- well you get the idea

given that I'm making a lot of landscape pieces now days and I had a coupon for the store and I have a birthday coming up, the DH said "buy it" -- so happy birthday to me -- a bit early!

and yes, I know it's weird, most of the ladies from the group would never take their "significant others" into a quilt store because they'd be told "don't buy that" -- me, I can walk in and even though I'd like to have something, I have the discipline to walk back out without buying -- take the DH in with me though and all is lost!

I'll be using these to work on finishing some PITs (project in transition) which is what I have at my house instead of UFOs

another section of the afghan is complete!

this project is now at 57% -- moving right along

today's projects include a trip to the hardware store (we're shopping for a tiller that I can handle so we can garden this year even though the DH is still recovering from his surgery)

and I need to spend some time cleaning out a "Pit" of mess in my "studio" to find the air brush inks that I bought to do the painting on the Trees project

time to get to it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

glass grass

the beading of the garden has begun

(and I'd like to mention here that it was a whole new learning experience to get these pictures!)

each blade of grass is either a bugle bead or a size 11 seed bead with a size 15 seed bead on top

and it takes a while to do just this much of the surface -- bring the needle up through the backing, pick up the bugle, pick up the size 15, go back down through the bugle, go back through the backing


the flowers have a size 6 seed bead under them that puts them at a level between the long grass (bugles) and the short grass (size 11 beads) -- bring needle up through the backing, pick up size 6 bead, pick up flower bead, pick up size 11 bead, go back through flower, go back through size 6 bead, go back through the backing



and so far just this little area has been finished (about 1 square inch) -- like I said, this will take a while

we are now at 54% complete on this project

and that last 16 row pattern section took a while

the next section is only 6 rows, but it is 7 different colors

that should be interesting

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

this is a test

when I started talking about adding some additional embellishment to the "feathers" on the hat, the DH suggested I should do a test run first

after some mumbling, I decided he was probably right about that, so I pulled out some of the scrap pieces and worked up this little sample

I like it!

so now it's on to the actual quilt top and adding many, many rows of stitching to all those "feather shafts"

and the colors show up pretty well over that patterned fabric which was something I wasn't so sure about

when my friend from California was here she was telling me about organizing her bias binding scraps

like me, she cuts her own bias and she always cuts more than the project requires -- under the theory that it's better to have left overs than to run out with only 3 inches of a quilt left to bind (GRRRRR!)

I admit, I had a gallon zip top bag full of assorted bias scraps (and that's probably not even all of them, because until now I had no system whatsoever for them)

each piece of bias has been pressed then rolled around a TP tube and pinned

neat - very neat!
the handbag and its lining are all cut

and out of the scrap at the top curve I had big enough pieces to make a smaller bag to tuck inside to keep little things from getting lost

time to take all these pieces to the sewing machine and get them stitched together

and I'm still considering using some more of those wood beads my mother gave me for the strap

lots of projects slowly coming together!

Monday, March 14, 2011

bezel me this

at last

all of the bezels on the flower garden necklace are complete

it took a while, but now each stone is neatly encircled with several layers of size 11 beads, topped with one layer of size 15s

so now it's time to start adding the "garden"

I have an assortment of green beads in different shades of green and different sizes and shapes that will be stitched in an upright position like little plants -- blades of grass and flower stalks

I had done a bracelet once using the technique, and I'm hoping it will work as well to execute this design idea

yesterday afternoon I finished attaching the animal prints to the fabric for the hand bag, so I'm hoping to get the pieces all cut out today and maybe do some stitching

after some consideration (ok, and watching My Fair Lady on TV again yesterday afternoon), I have decided that the "feathers" on the hat need to be embellished a bit

or at lease some of them do

I'll be using some thread to stitch "feather-y" texture, using the gold strips as the centers of the feather

(I know, not a real clear description -- I'll show you some pictures as it goes!)

I'll be using the same purples and greens that I've been using to do all of the other stitching on this

now that the mittnz project goal has been met, I'm back to knitting afghan squares

seems like there is always a natural disaster happening somewhere so that these are needed

I wonder if Japan is the next destination

time to get to those loads of laundry

Sunday, March 13, 2011

and the stitch goes on

lots and lots of stitches actually

I stitched rows and rows of color into the texture of the fabric, and it did two things -- it gives a subtle hint of color to the fabric and it makes the fabric feel a lot more substantial

I have these critter blocks pinned down to the fabric now -- the plan is to stitch around each critter on the machine with one of the colors I used for the stripe stitching

making fabric takes time!
I have decided that this has as much stuff on it as it needs

(although I am considering doing some thread painting to make some of those gold "plumes" look more feather-like)

I had originally thought about putting a pin cushion of hat pins on the far right hand side at the bottom, and using floral wire for the shafts of the pins, but I have decided not to do that

for one thing, if this actually makes the cut for at least being in the traveling show, that wire might well be an issue for someone else packing and unpacking at numerous venues

I'm concerned too that the wires might somehow come loose from their assigned places and do damage to the rest of the quilt

and the bottom line is that I just don't think it needs that extra item taking attention away from the real point -- the hats!

all of which means that now I have to decide how I'm going to quilt this thing (at least I've already decided what I'll be using for the back, sleeve and label, I just haven't purchased it yet)
no, it's not paint by number

not exactly

this is the fabric backing for the Hawaii piece I've been working on -- its a sort of fabric map that shows me where each piece is supposed to go

I have a piece of freezer paper that is a mirror image of this all ready to be cut up and ironed on to the back of the fabrics that will be each of these pieces

for now this is the piece I'll be working on while I'm thinking about the quilting pattern for the hats

progress is being made on the bead work piece I'm doing -- only 6 more bezels to go -- and they're the smaller ones -- looking good

projects are humming along