Thursday, September 29, 2011

back to slogging

I'm still slogging along through paper work and organization on the upcoming charity auction (9 days and counting down) --- awk!

I did spend some time yesterday working on the latest beading project, however

I have 3 of the bronze-y circles done and started in on the 4th one


work on the trees quilt is coming along nicely

as is the sweater front

pictures again soon -- I promise!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

more bounty from the garden

it's that time of the gardening season that we're putting something up almost every week

this week's endeavor was putting up whole tomatoes

they just get skinned and put into the jars -- and they are the basis of future soup or sauces this winter


after running around to pick up items for the charity auction yesterday afternoon, I actually had some time to work on this bead work project

this is coming out amazingly well


but nice

today is payday, so we're off to do our monthly Costco trip and other shopping --- hopefully time in the studio after that

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

more beads, more fabric

looking good

love the bronze-y beads -- they are Charlottes which have a cut surface that makes them have more "sparkle" than a standard glass seed bead does


I did the great "fabric dig" yesterday (and may I say it is much easier when the tubs are all organized!)

found most of what I need -- with one glaring exception -- no sky fabric

which means I can't really start on this project until after pay day --- BOOOOOOO!

oh well, I do still have art projects to work on

and the ever present charity auction paper work -- only 11 days to go!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

new challenges

one of the quilt groups I belong to has issued a challenge that I'm actually going to participate in

the theme is FOUR

anything that comes in sets of four qualifies, and we are not restricted to size, materials, etc., etc.

I've been thinking about doing a series of the four seasons for a while, and this seems like a perfect excuse to get me moving

not to mention that aside from the Out of Africa pieces that are on going and the huge Trees project, I'm not right in the middle of any pressing deadlines and I think I can manage these between now and March, 2012

so this drawing is the skeleton of the four pieces which will be 6 inches wide and 16 inches tall

depending on how this all goes I may put them all in a frame together -- or not -- we'll see how that goes

today I hope to pull out fabrics to get started
started the bead work on this piece yesterday afternoon

the bezels went really quickly and now I'm working my way across the surface with the next ring around each piece of stone

moving right along

today's activities includes laundry and back to work on the charity auction -- only 12 days to go!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

start lots of new things -- and Christmas project progress

as you may recall, yesterday I decided that I needed a day to play -- and then I promptly spent about 2 hours in the studio rearranging boxes and cleaning -- but it was creative time for the brain!
this will be the next bracelet

the stones have been glued down and it had to "cure" overnight before I start messing with it with beading

this is the piece that prompted our trip to the Gem show last weekend

and it's pretty amazing that I'm actually getting to this so close to getting the materials

and while I was sorting through the boxes, I discovered I had all of these pieces of Rocky Mountain Beach Glass just waiting to be put together into something

so I have this piece of jewelry to put together too

lots of building of bead nets to do for this one

it's good to have a couple of things going at once -- at least for me it is

while I was working on those two things I was also thinking about some new quilt pieces -- one of the email lists I am part of has issued a challenge titled "Four" -- I had already been thinking about doing a series of small pieces of the four seasons, so I may just do that for the challenge -- I'm still thinking about it

last night I got the right front of the Christmas sweater I'm making for Mr. Cute to the point where the stitches go on a "holder" (read, "piece of scrap yarn") to be used later for the hood

ta da!

so this afternoon I'll be casting on for the left front

the DH says "it looks so big", but I put it against the size 12 months sweatsuit that I used for the Halloween costume, and its just about the same size (a bit longer)

moving along nicely -- it took about 10 days from when I cast on, but there were several days that I didn't even touch it

and I know that the back and the sleeves will go much faster than the fronts because there are no cables on tiny size 2 needles involved there

nice -- very nice

one more afghan square complete!

this is almost always my "watching the 10 pm news" project -- meaning sometimes I knit a row and fall asleep with it in my hands -- so it takes a while

the box is getting full though -- I'll need to mail it off soon

I hope to spend some time working on those quilt designs later today -- after I write all the checks for the October bills (Bleah!)


Saturday, September 24, 2011

taking a break to play

finished the bracelet last night

and this morning I listed it on my Etsy store this morning (so if you'd like to see more details and pictures, you can use the link there on the right hand side of my blog)

I'm real happy with how this came out -- even though I ended up using tan leather inside the bracelet because I didn't have anything either orange or black

as I mentioned a couple of days ago I've been working pretty hard on the charity auction -- and I've now got enough stuff finished that I've decided to take the weekend off from working on it and just do some art work -- sort of a mini vacation!

and from the files of Mr Cute --

the DH says he has that "don't mess with the kid" look

my daughter said the caption should read "dad won't give me the remote"

he's definitely looking less like a baby and more like a little boy every day

adorable even when he's being stubborn

love it!

Friday, September 23, 2011

creating art to keep my sanity

this week I've been up to my eye balls in work on the upcoming Charity auction that I'm chairing --

piles of paperwork every where --

lists of materials and staging needs and to dos on every work surface in my "office" area --


I really will be happy when this is OVER!
I did take some time late yesterday afternoon to finish the bead work on the tiger bracelet and did the stitch sealing with the fray check

I hope to get into the bin and find either some leather or a piece of upholstery velvet to back this with today -- black would be good

I have another project that I want to get started on (actually I have two, but I only have the right materials on hand for one of them), and I'm hoping to find time between auction "stuff" to start on that this weekend


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Utilitarian sewing

sometimes what needs to be put together can't really be called art

but it is a useful object

earlier in the week my daughter asked me if I could make a fleece blanket for Mr Cute to have in car now that it's getting cooler

she has lots of really nice quilts and afghans for him, but I can understand her wanting to have something that she doesn't have to worry about getting somewhat abused by riding around in the car all the time

and instead of heading off to the fabric store right off, I headed to the fabric stash and pulled out the two big bags of fleece scrap -- these are pieces left over from making vests and scarfs and bathrobes and sleepers

ta da! the finished car blanket -- put together out of what was available in those bags

and this whole job made lots easier that it would have been because I pulled out the newly acquired walking foot to use while doing both the seams and the zig zag top stitching -- and all future fleece projects will be made using that foot -- it made the project a lot easier

and since I was on a roll with the walking foot, I decided to do this project too

when we go anywhere that we'll be staying overnight we take our pillows with us -- hey, we're senior citizens, we need our creature comforts!

for quite a while I've just been using a big plastic trash bag to put them in, but over the past few years that means I've used several

and when I went through a few of the tubs of fabric that I've been sorting and cleaning out, I discovered several pieces of corduroy -- a good sturdy fabric for making bags

so yesterday I stitched together a patchwork of pieces and created a bag that we can use over and over for those pillows -- including I can throw it into the washer as needed

another useful project complete -- more fabric out of the stash -- and more joy using the walking foot --- how DID I live without it?!

the tiger is almost finished

this afternoon I should get the last beading done


then tomorrow I can put the "sandwich" together and finish this piece up

which means I need to start thinking about what I will work on next

hmmmm, time to get to that list of project ideas!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


that's the tiger growling!

yesterday when I had about half of the beading finished all the way across the piece I was able to measure against the actual bracelet blank

as usual, there was a need to expand the length that I had drawn a bit (about half an inch), so you can see there on the left hand side where I've extended the tiger pattern a bit further

this is looking really neat -- and because I'm using a sort of mixed combo of beads both in the black and the orange, the bracelet will have a cool kind of sparkle too

definitely nice

I started another project yesterday, but no pictures yet -- maybe today

meantime I'm trudging along through the heaps of paper for the charity auction -- which is my next big deadline

time to get to it

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

finished monkey, and a new project

the Halloween costume is finished

the wings are made up of shiny satin back crepe fabric I had in my stash over a very heavy interfacing that gives them some body

all of the "accessories" are attached to the sweat suit in a way that they will be easy to remove after Halloween, so Mr Cute can get some additional wear out of it

can't wait to see the pictures of him in it!

this project is buzzing along

we're definitely more than half way now, and I really like the way it looks

should have the bead work done by the end of the week at this rate

yesterday the DH pulled this out of the storage shed and took it into the garage work shop

he took all of the hardware off and took the bottom apart so he can replace that water damaged wagon bottom

I even found a place on line where I could order replacement hub caps for the wheels (one was missing and the other three are real faded)

when he gets done it will look as good as new


time to get to work

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday afternoon play

you may remember a week or so ago I talked about this sweat suit that my daughter asked me to turn into a Halloween costume for Mr. Cute

I'd been thinking about it since then and yesterday afternoon I decided it was time to actually do something about it

so a little time with the iron

and the sewing machine

and a bit of hand sewing

it's a monkey!

now on to the wings

worked on the tiger beads too

this is about half done -- movin' along

today there is laundry to do and that front lawn needs to be mowed -- but time in the studio should materialize this afternoon

Sunday, September 18, 2011

the great slog along

as sometimes happens I'm working on a couple of projects because I need to get them finished, but my heart's not really in it -- I'm thinking about some new pieces instead!

this piece for instance

I really like how it's coming out, and I think the design is fun

I just want it to be DONE -- so I can start on something else

heh, like I said -- slogging along

I feel the same way about the quilt and the knitting I'm currently working on

and I'm now in the endless paperwork cycle of the annual Charity Auction that I'm chairing again this year -- writing up the bid sheets and creating the endless lists of what still needs to be done

last night as I watched the news I finished up this afghan square that I had started on Friday in the car

one more for the box

time for breakfast

Saturday, September 17, 2011

new material = new inspiration

Yesterday morning the DH and I decided to head off to Denver to visit the Gem show that is here this weekend. I had in mind a specific item that I was looking for to start a design that I've been fiddling with for a while
of course I also found a few other things while I was there

these pieces of glass, for instance

hand made by an artist from Washington

she and I talked for a while about bead work and sources of supplies

I already have a design idea forming that will use these three pieces in a necklace
then there were these pieces of jasper

for a while I've been thinking about creating another piece that has open work as well as beading around some stones

I love the colors in these pieces of jasper

and I have a couple more pieces of stone that are similar color that will go with these

these are what I went looking for

actually, not exactly these items, but I have a design that I want to do and I needed focal stones and accent pieces

the stones are very nice turquoise cabs and the two strings of beads are 3mm crystal bicones which will be perfect for the use I have in mind

nice when I can actually get what I went for!

I could have picked up a lot more goodies if I'd had the funds, but not this time
of course going to Denver means some time in the car

and on a Friday afternoon, quite a while in the car

got this afghan square finished and another one over half done

once we got home I did some more work on the projects already in process

the beading on the tiger bracelet is slowly moving along

and I have made some progress on the sweater I'm making for Mr Cute

those are size 2 needles -- and cables are not so easy on those as they are on a size 6 or 7!

as I was taking pictures of the projects I had been working on I noticed the dog

she's laying on the couch -- sound asleep

but she looks like a cartoon of a dog

crazy critter

time to get some breakfast and get busy working on stuff

Friday, September 16, 2011

tiger stripes and redwood trees

a new beaded bracelet is under way

since the orange beads were already out I decided to go ahead with the tiger theme

preparing the pattern took only a little while, so quite of bit of beading got done already

right now this is the only quilt that is actually in process

and after fiddling with several attempts at other ways to put the "leaves" on the redwood trees I did some thread painting last night

much like the feathers I did on a previous piece, this is all hand stitched

I think it's going to work

meantime I'm starting to think about returning to the Out of Africa series -- I'm pretty sure I'm not done with that yet -- perhaps a horn bill and a gorilla need to be added to the collection -- we'll see

Thursday, September 15, 2011

suddenly out of projects

a couple of hours spent yesterday afternoon on this piece and it is all done!

this piece took only a few days, and amazingly came out almost exactly as I envisioned it

the vine was added after all the pumpkin bead work was finished, and I used right angle weave with a piece of wire inside so it can be twisted line a vine

this was the first time I had used that technique and I can see some other good uses for it for some future projects

this is headed to the Etsy store

this piece is done now too

everything except the label that is

I can't put a label on it until I come up with a title for it

which just hasn't come to me yet

the working title (view from the screen door) doesn't really fit any more because I so changed the concept of the piece to finish it


well, it isn't going anywhere until November, so I have some time to think about a title and get that label on there

I finished the Christmas hoodie last night too -- yippee -- on to the little hoodie for Mr. Cute next on the sticks

I had been deliberately trying to tie up projects because I had applied to an exhibit where I would be creating a specific large piece -- this morning I received the notification that I did not get in to that, so I now have free reign to go in whatever direction feels right -- not to mention I have 3 pieces in a show in October and solo exhibits going on in November and December -- perhaps not having another external deadline is a good thing
the garden continues to provide inspiration

yesterday I discovered another onion flower

they remind me of the agapanthus that grew so well near where we lived in California

time to get moving

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

doing a very happy dance

what do these three quilts have in common (aside from being my work)?

they have ALL been accepted in the upcoming Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts Fabric Art Show

I did the application for this a few weeks ago and decided I was not going to talk about it anywhere because I just wasn't sure any of them would get in.

The email came this morning -- two days ahead of when I expected it -- and I'm thrilled -- I printed out the email so I could re-read it -- over, and over, and OVER!

cool, so cool

As we get a bit closer to the actual show I'll be posting more details so those of you that are in the area can come and take a look if you're interested

Finished the bead work yesterday

I really like how this looks

Today I hope to get the backing and the pin attached

then on to the next thing!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

finished things and starting new ones

quilting on this project is done

today I will be squaring up the edges and cutting the facing to do the edge finishing

then there will be the sleeve and the label

considering that the beginnings of this piece sat in a box for almost a year, finishing it was pretty easy once I figured out the problems

this is a piece that was donated to the charity auction I'm chairing that takes place in October

the piece is a cute little Halloween wall hanging, but the person that donated it didn't put on any way to hang it

yesterday I went through my stash, found some fabric that went with the back and put a sleeve on it

before the auction we'll get a rod and a wire added to it so we can actually hang it

one auction item done -- many, many to go

more beads added to the pumpkin pin

this has been fun, and I'm thinking about some tubular beading to be little curly tendrils on this after I get the pumpkin itself finished

meantime I'm thinking about the next animal print bracelet

I think it will be tiger -- the orange beads are already out!

Halloween isn't far away

when we visited with my daughter she asked if I would turn this sweat suit that she bought for Mr Cute into a Halloween costume

oh my -- it's de ja vue

I think every costume my daughter wore until she went away to college was the result of something that ran through my sewing machine

moving on to the next generation!

so watch this space -- I'll be transforming this into something interesting

the weather has cooled some (although yesterday it was near 80), so the ripening of the tomatoes has slowed down, but we still had a lot of them to put up yesterday

8 pints of tomatoes -- skinned and a little salt and lemon juice added -- then into the jars followed by more sounds of "pinging" lids

there are a lot more tomatoes out there, so we're not done with this process yet

today's plan includes mowing the lawn and folding the last of the laundry from yesterday before I get back into the studio to get some work done

time to get to that