Monday, January 31, 2011

valentine project

yesterday I decided that even though there are a lot of projects that should be worked on I just needed to work on something fun that I could actually FINISH in one sitting

a couple of hours later I had created all the valentines I plan (right now) to do -- and it was FUN

(ok, it would have been more fun if my daughter had been here to play too, but I know she's working on her's at her house)

some more work got done on the Desert Dreams piece -- there are now three tubes complete -- and after I did some graphics searching yesterday, I'll be working on some sketches for how I want to do the center piece

I still haven't decided if I will be gluing the stone down and doing bead embroidery around it or if I'll put the stone in a net and create 3 dimensional off loom woven beading around it --

this morning my entire routine is in total disarray -- a major winter blast of cold air is on its way (the HIGH temperature tomorrow is forecast to be -3 degrees!) -- so when we got up at about 7, we took off to the grocery store to pick up what we need (milk, dog food, etc.) until about Thursday, then filled the gas tank in the van and headed home to "hole up" -- about half an hour after we got back, the snow began -- we're not supposed to get much snow, but oh, the cold!

I'm glad to be able to just hang out in the family room (where the extra space heater is) and work on projects

maybe I'll even get something finished!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

totally tubular

tubular beading that is!

the fat one at the top is the one I finished the other day, the bottom skinny one I did yesterday afternoon

one of the ideas that is floating around in my head to "frame" the stone for this piece involves creating 3 dimensional cactus around the edges, so I'll be looking at some pictures of cactus for a while to try and figure out what technique I want to use

yesterday I went back to the hat project

in this picture I had pinned the flowers, leaves and vines to the hat

and there running up from the vine swirl you can see what it is that has put this project on hold for now

that sort of blue gray line is not just the picture -- it is actually in the hat -- after many, many loads of felting, one of the pairs of blue jeans that I use to add friction to the felting loads decided to fade again -- grrrrr

so now I need to actually dye the completed hat to even up the color before I stitch the flowers to it

looks like I'll be making an order to Dharma Trading, and if I'm ordering stuff for this hat I might as well order stuff for a couple of other projects I'm thinking about doing

and the valentine's are coming -- spent some time printing some very cool graphics on card stock so I can get these finished this week

yup, I'm back to juggling several projects!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

working -- slowly

the current big "get 'er done" project is the 2010 tax filing, so I've been working on schedules, forms, etc., so when the rest of the tax documents arrive I can get these finished

no, it's not that we'll have some big refund coming -- we don't get those -- but we don't have to pay, which makes me happy too, but I just want these to be finished and off my list!

this is the first of the beading tubes for Desert Dreams

this is a netted tube -- made up of size 11 and size 15 seed beads and 3 mm copper beads

so now it's on to the next tube

(and I'm still thinking about how to "frame" the big piece of desert picture jasper that will be the "focal bead")

for a couple of days I've been trying to decide if the approach I had taken on the Hoffman piece was going to work

I know that the way I want to do the stitching of these little pieces through the tulle on top will work, but I'm just not happy with the way these look -- the edges aren't completely straight and there is significant fraying going on

the last piece I had done that involved little pieces like this I did a combination of fusing and hand applique on, and it came out really well

so I've decided that is the right approach for this project too

yesterday I started drawing the patterns for the pieces on the back of the Wonder Under (being careful to make sure they are drawn on BACKWARDS so when they are fused to the fabric and it is cut the finished pieces will be right side up)

I think this will look a lot better

Thursday, January 27, 2011

more mittnz finished

this makes the fourth pair

I have to say I'm getting bored doing all one color, so the next couple of pair will be more interesting

no pictures yet, but I'm stitching along on the Hoffman challenge

this morning my daughter sent me a link to the obituary of an artist friend in Nevada City, CA. Back in the hey days of artist teddy bears, he was part of a trio that produced on of the neatest Teddy Bear shows ever. If you'd like to learn more about Charles, here is the link to the article

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

old project, new project

now that the outside of the hand bag is basically finished, I needed to start doing something for the lining

this will be a pocket on the inside so I have a place to put my business card holder where I can quickly get my hands on the cards (the DH calls me "the fastest business card in the west" for my ability to get those into the hands of someone who asks very quickly!)

while I was cutting the fabric for this, I went ahead and cut out the entire lining as well as the closure flap (and installed the magnetic clasp) and the straps

moving along nicely!
this is the beginning of a new project that is currently titled "Desert Dreams"

my plan is to enter it in the Fire Mountain Gems competition for seed beads

which means it must be finished, photographed and the entry postmarked by March 1

and at this point I'm not entirely sure what the whole design will look like, but I've decided to just jump in and see what happens

unlike my usual approach, where I create the focal piece first, this time I'm beginning with the "chain" while the focal piece continues to form in my head -- interesting

today I hope to get over to my local Costco and get some shopping done

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

projects return!

you may recall that I was working on creating a red wool hand bag back before all the craziness began

I've been working on it again in the last couple of days and have now finished the outside of the bag itself

next step is the handles (straps? I like to be able to sling my bag over my shoulder) and the "flap" for the closure

and of course there is the lining and whatever pockets/dividers I decide to put in there

I do like the way this is going so far

stitching has begun on my piece for the Hoffman challenge this year

because I'm using several different techniques for this piece (and because the design keeps "morphing") it's been hard to decide when I was actually ready to start sewing on it

yesterday just seemed like the right time

so here is the beginning -- such as it is

the Christmas afghan is 10% complete

I've never done this kind of crocheting before, and it's really fascinating to see the color (and geometric) pattern appear as each row is complete

yesterday we made the first post surgery trip to the doctor for the DH -- he was given 2 stretching exercises to do (30 reps, 3 times a day) -- and he's to stay in the sling other than that or bathing -- it will be a long, slow recovery, but hopefully much more successful than the other side was!

tax time is upon us -- several hours spent yesterday creating reports of inventory, etc., for the business schedules -- all of which made me realize I need to get back to work -- putting stuff on Etsy and eBay soon would be a good idea to get us started for this year --

just add that to my list of stuff I need to do

Sunday, January 23, 2011

the light house

I finished it last night

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

and it's probably a good thing that I don't have any of the water color pencils in the house (my friend took hers back to California when she went home yesterday)

I might decide to just play with those some more instead of working on some projects that have deadlines!

the drawings for the next step on the Hoffman are almost finished, so I'll be working on that some today

this is the beginning of the crocheted afghan

looks like zebra stripes

and I've been working on a beading project in my head

yup, starting to return to normal!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Long overdue update

Wow - I can't believe it's actually been more than a week since I was out here to post

and it's been a very hectic week at that!

last weekend we were at my daughter's house with my friend from California

while we were there, we did some playing with pastels, a medium that I have not played with before

these two pieces were my attempts -- the pumpkins along the fence was my second try, and I'm much happier with it than with the first one

it was fun, but I think I'll be sticking to my fiber mediums

on Wednesday, the DH had the surgery to repair his shoulder

the surgery was much more extensive than had been anticipated, and took longer

with that extra time and between taking care of the "patient" I have finished up the quilting on the lighthouse water color piece that I started a couple of weeks ago

I've now trimmed it square and cut the binding, so I hope to have it finished in the next day or two

this was a really fun project, and I hope to do some more things with the water color pencils -- as soon as I get a chance to get some of my own

these are the mittnz 2011 knitting so far

three lovely pair -- two size XS and one size S

last night I started working on the first planned Christmas present for 2011 -- it's a crocheted afghan -- I know crocheting something this big will take me quite a while to complete because crocheting bothers my wrist, so I'm allowing a lot of time to do it

and it is that lovely time of year when I have to do taxes --- pffffftt! --- I have already finished up all of the required sales tax returns already though, so I've got a good start made --


Friday, January 14, 2011

play day number two

we spent a lot of yesterday working on the fabric pictures we started the day before

since the fabric was dry again, we decided to use regular colored pencils and Copic markers to create more of a depth of color and to add details

after we had finished that part, we took a stroll through my fabric stash and found the fabrics we used as the borders around each piece (think of this as the mat around the picture)

we've already started quilting, adding even more color with colored thread

this is what I did with my piece

and this is what my friend did


so last night I did my trunk show for the quilt guild, which turned out pretty well

today I'm heading off to pick up my check and my unsold items from the boutique I was in from November 1 to December 31 -- I have no idea how much either of those will be, but I'm hoping I did well

time to get rolling

Thursday, January 13, 2011

report on the play day

yesterday we decided we were going to experiment with water color pencils on fabric

we had a lot of fun playing with the pencils -- applying the color to the dry fabric then using a brush with plain water to get the color to "flow" then going back over the wet piece with the colored pencils some more

this picture is what I ended up with at the end of the day

and this is my friend's work

ok, I'm feeling a bit inadequate

but the point of this exercise was for me to learn from her and to have fun with the materials

which I did

so today we're going to try regular colored pencils on fabric and see what we get

oh, and tonight I'm giving my trunk show to my local guild -- hope I don't sound like a babbling idiot!
mitten number one of 22

this one is a very small mitten

and I'm already half way up the mate for it

looking good!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm still here

having company changes my whole schedule, but I am working on things

like this, for instance

finished it up last night -- the last of the knitting that had been started in 2010

so now it's on to new projects

and I've started working on my Hoffman challenge for 2011

and doing a lot of cooking

there will be things to show off later!

Monday, January 10, 2011

tracks in the snow

its not a real clear picture -- the light was not great and the snow is that soft stuff that skiers love, so the tracks are a little fuzzy

but they are definitely bunny tracks -- a sure sign that the little cotton tail that I've seen around has been across the yard


actually this morning the word is COLD

we had snow all day yesterday, and its very cold this morning

good day to stay inside and work on projects!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Art in Public Places

the DH had his pre-surgery appointment with his doctor yesterday afternoon

every time we've been in there (after the first visit) I've intended to take along my camera to get pictures of some of the art work on the walls of the larger public areas in the building

yesterday I finally remembered to take the camera

these three pieces are ceramics

and these two (along with one additional similar one) are metal

when I initially saw these the first impression was that they were fiber

which they are not, but the impression still lingers

after all the running around that we had to do yesterday, I didn't get a lot of work done in the studio

I did manage to get all of the previous day's ironed fabric folded and sorted and ready to go into the bins -- and I'm now wondering if they will even fit

and there are these

all hand beaded leaves that I wanted to have available should someone at the trunk show want to buy one for use on one of their own projects

the beading had been done for a long time, but I still hadn't done the touch up of the edge threads that I do on them so the mechanics of their building dissolves into the background when you look at them

finally got that done yesterday

and got some work done on the patterns for the trunk show, so we're moving right along with that project

even worked on the color map for the Hawaii piece

so today we get to go and pick up a friend who is coming in from California

partly to see us (and I hope to get in some art projects!)

and partly to see our new grandson

heh, like who wouldn't travel half way across the country to see such a cute kid!

so of course, while in the car, there will be knitting, and I've decided it's time to start on the 2011 mittnz blitz now -- after all, there are 22 mittnz to be knit!

Friday, January 07, 2011

pretty foxy

this morning as I was "tweeking" my pictures to write this morning's post, my dog suddenly started barking in her "I'm the very big dog" voice

I could hear my husband get out of his chair, and then he was yelling "come quick"

so I'm running up the basement stairs from where my computer is, thinking something bad happened

there in my back yard was a red fox! and he hadn't told me to bring the camera, which was down with the computer at that moment, so this is a "stock" photo, not one that I took

as we watched, the fox went up into the little group of trees in the yard and up and over the fence into the field behind

just as I was starting to turn around to go back down stairs, a second fox ran across the back yard and went up and over the fence too

WOW, oh WOW!!

and no wonder our dog was going nuts
so after all that excitement, the little post I was going to do about other things seems a bit -- tame

but here it is

I finished the last of the leaf blocks yesterday, and now I'm ready to work on making up the patterns for my trunk show


I spent over an hour yesterday afternoon ironing all of the fabrics that I had washed -- they are all laying in a big pile flat on the table just now, so later today or tomorrow I'll be folding them and sorting them to go into the bins

today has been designated the run around day -- trips to have eye glasses repaired, a doctor's appointment, pick up a repaired item, office supply store for ink cartridges, groceries -- so I can finish up with the cleaning and arranging tomorrow morning

hopefully some studio work in between

Thursday, January 06, 2011

first finished project for 2011

yes, I know, I started this one in 2010, but not everything gets neatly finished up in the same year it is begun

and I have another leaf panel to finish (hopefully today) that was begun last year

meantime, yesterday I washed all the new fabrics that were either given to me or I acquired while I was away and have a whole basket full to iron today -- the DH says it looks like someone melted a box of crayons in there -- heh! given my love of color, that's a great comparison -- I always liked crayons, and had a lot of fun doing "stained glass" by grating up pieces of old ones between two pieces of wax paper and ironing them to melt the whole thing together

today I need to get some cleaning done -- my friend from California is coming in on Saturday

and I'm slowly slogging my way through sorting out all the stuff that came home with us


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Sparrow Hawk Sighting!

on Sunday afternoon my daughter saying "what's that big fluffy bird on the fence?" brought this beautiful creature to our attention

since their house is in a largely rural area, there are still wide open spaces for birds of prey to hunt in these birds are still seen there

the close up is a little blurry because my little digital camera was purchased with the need for taking of really good pictures close up, so those distances are a bit fuzzy

and the patterning on the wings when he'd had enough of sitting out there on the corner of the fence? AWESOME!!

more Christmas revealing!!

my son-in-law painted this and gave it to us for Christmas

I really love it

he's a very talented guy

I'll be hanging this in my gallery of original art

we got home yesterday afternoon, so I'm finally able to download pictures from my camera (the old cable for it went belly up while we were away, and I've been limping along ever since)

this is the state of the sweater I've been knitting for the DH

all of the pieces on the needle together and working the decreasing in each row to create the yoke now

there is a lot of stuff that I need to work on today -- laundry, cleaning, organizing-- its amazing how things pile up when you're away for almost 3 weeks!

into the fray!!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Still working on 2010 projects -- and what "Santa" brought me

I finished up the quilting on this piece, so now I'm in the binding process on both this one and the red maple leaf that I finished quilting last week.

the fabric I brought with me for binding this one works great, so I started with it -- the maple leaf, heh, not so much

but I'll be out and about today, so I may be able to pick up something that will work to do that one

I need to get these finished so I can get back to working on finishing up the patterns for all of these so they will be available at my trunk show on the 13th

this is the fabric stash that Santa brought me

both the DH and my sister gave me fabric -- feeding my color habit!

when I was a kid I loved that whole "new box of crayons" thing, and this is better still!

and a lot of these will be useful for some pieces I'm already working on

yesterday the design we've been working on for the Hoffman Challenge 2011 got a "rework" -- before too long I'll actually start working on that piece (of course there are some additional coordinates from the collection and another spool of thread or two that are needed first)

and I spent a lot of time yesterday working on the stuff for my trunk show

today there will be laundry and errands and probably some work on projects!