Tuesday, January 31, 2012

fixed, changed, completed

a busy day all around

here we have the panel that I picked out and re-quilted

on the left side the old way

on the right side the new way

and here are the three panels that are all finished

I'm really happy that I decided to pick out that middle panel and change it

I'm much happier with it now

I went to the local quilting store yesterday

of course the fabric that I had in my stash is no longer available

the nice clerk let me pull out practically every bolt of fabric that they had in the color family I was looking for

after a lot of playing around with different things (and even briefly considering using something in the green family), this fabric is what I settled on

so now I can start working on the real thing

just as soon as I get a couple of other things finished

I was able to get the thread I needed to do the quilting on the dinosaur quilt, so the quilting on that has begun

work on the Egyptian piece continues

this is looking pretty good

these 3 pieces of malachite arrived yesterday

I'm working on a design for another bracelet and maybe a necklace too, and I got these for very reasonable prices

I finished the second front panel for the sweater

now it's on to the sleeves (which I'm going to change because after all this I'm really not interested in knitting them in endless rows of plain single color

there are plenty of color charts to use instead

Monday, January 30, 2012

new projects

once I got to sit down and do some beading, this came together pretty quickly

the "eye ball" is a glass piece that I got in a trade with another artist from Springfield, MO, a few years ago, and have just now figured out how to use it

(actually there were two of those, so I'll be making a second piece on this theme at some point)

I have 10 of these already put together to be part of the necklace for this, but I'll need to make some smaller ones, so there is a lot to do on this necklace beside just the "eye"

started on the dinosaur toy that will go along with the dinosaur quilt

this is the top of the head

interesting pattern

I do like the green/brown colorway, however -- and this yarn does make interesting patterns as you knit


and I've nearly finished re-quilting the spring panel in the four seasons piece -- almost back to where I was when I decided to tip toe through the lily pads with the frogs and "rip it" out --- yippee!

somehow in the last 12 hours I've done something that my back did not like (I was fine when I went to sleep!) so my planned activities for the day (laundry, a trip to the local fabric store, picking up some groceries) will be slower and more painful than usual --- GRRRRR! one more of those reasons I want to be nearer to my daughter so I could actual get some help when I need it

Sunday, January 29, 2012

morning glory

what a glorious sunrise this morning!

(and it is so amazing what the new camera captures!)

just had to share

the quilt top for the baby quilt is finished

it came out really well

and I already have the backing (bought it on sale a couple of weeks ago), so probably this afternoon I'll put the sandwich together and get it ready to quilt

which I won't start until I can go to the local quilt store and get some thread that will go with this fabric (the front, that is) -- I went through my "stash" and I just don't have anything that works -- I'll be looking for a purple/green/brown blendable

I'm real pleased with how this top came out

and the verdict is

terra cotta

so when I make that trip for the thread, I'll be looking for a piece of fabric that will work since the only piece I have is part of a fat quarter, which is just not enough to do what I need

this is already feeling like one of those "did I do that" moments

I hope it still feels like that when I get it finished

last night I started working on a piece of jewelry -- that I had actually done some work on about a year ago and then set aside because I needed "parts" to be able to finish it -- pictures soon, I promise


Saturday, January 28, 2012

no more blind dinosaurs!

the center block is complete

today there will be trimming and the stitching of the quilt top

and maybe even the pinning of the "sandwich" so the quilting can begin

sooooo cool!

time spent with the colored pencils yesterday

this was the result of the fiddling

I think this is what I'm going to do -- although I'm still thinking about a sort of orange-y terra cotta color behind them

my plan for the next step is to take some photo copies of the actual fabric and do a cut and paste sample with paper

this project has been a whole new approach to creating a quilt -- a much more "painterly" approach -- sketching, changing, more sketching

I'm hoping this refining at the front end will mean fewer problems as the piece goes together

the final package arrived!

there are two of these great vintage glass pieces -- each one is about an inch tall

my plan is to use these to create a bracelet for a challenge on using filigree

as I was going through the boxes of beads I found that some of the vintage beads that my mother had given me are exactly the same color as this, so I'll be using them in this project along with some other ones

now that this is here I'll be finishing up that bead order from Fire Mountain

and I really need to spend some time writing the bills for February, and working on the taxes (BLEAH!)

better get busy

Friday, January 27, 2012

2 steps forward, 1 step back

last night I finished the quilting of the summer panel

and now I'm in the process of taking out the quilting in the spring panel

the problem here is that after I did the winter panel and the summer panel by creating a swirly pattern that accented the clouds in the sky portion of the picture, the quilting in the spring panel, which doesn't do that just looks -- well, wrong

so I'm very carefully picking out the quilting in the sky portion and will re-quilt it using that same cloud accenting swirly pattern

yes, it will add some time to the project, but it will improve it and even more important, I will be happier with the piece -- otherwise my eye would always be drawn to that panel and I'd be unhappy with it

I've been working on the drawings for the Hoffman piece

I like the colors of the vases (and those will be some of the Hoffman coordinate fabrics), and the roses in the purpley-pink and the pinky-purple will be cut right out of the challenge fabric

but I'm still struggling with the background

do I want 3 different colors there?

or would a dark wall with a light colored table cloth be better?

and then there is the question of "where is the light"?

and where should the shadows be?

I'll be spending some time looking at images of classic still life paintings to work on learning more to do this

meantime, the framing of the center dinosaur is going really well -- I hope to have that finished today

and I spent a lot of time yesterday afternoon playing with beads -- and determined that I will be making a small order to Fire Mountain Gems for some wider clasps and some beads that will go with those spring/leaf green and chartreuse cameos as well as that carved floral piece -- both of which are colors that I haven't worked with before so I just don't have anything in the stash that works

I'm still waiting for one more order to arrive, so I'll probably wait to make that bead order until I can see if I need anything to go with it

lots of fun stuff happening in the studio!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

drawing revisions

just a small tweek -- now the 3 vases are at 3 different levels so it sort of flows

now it's on to doing something so it doesn't look like these vases are just floating in air

which is why I've printed out a sheet of these that I can play with

oh yeah, and I moved the flowers in the vase on the left a little closer to the rim of the vase

I think I'm going to move the two taller vases so they are a bit closer together too -- perhaps touching there behind the front one

then there will be the discussion of what colors these are all going to be

yesterday afternoon I finished putting the face on the dinosaur and started working on the framing around him -- hopefully this afternoon I'll get that finished

I want to spend some time putting together some "kits" for the new jewelry pieces so I can figure out if I need to order anything (other than the clasp I know I'll need for the cameo bracelet) and so I can just get started working on something!

got to go pick up a prescription and an ink cartridge for my printer first

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

valentines and dinosaurs

just a "sneak peek"

I've been working on Valentines

which of course involves glitter (soooooo much glitter)

got them all finished yesterday afternoon -- all ready to be addressed and mailed!

it's a blind dinosaur

yesterday I got the other two legs and the head stitched on, so now I have only the eyes and the frame

which means that by the end of the week I should be stitching the blocks together and moving this to the "ready to be quilted" stage


so cute

and I've located some yarn in my stash to knit the dinosaur toy -- it's a variegated green --- PERFECT!

more work being done on the design for the Hoffman challenge

and here is where I've used one of the features on my new camera to do some of the work for me

I free form cut the three vases out of plain paper, and the roses were traced directly off of the challenge fabric

laid it all out on a big sheet of paper on the table and did some other drawing -- like adding the stems on the roses -- then took pictures of it with the new camera in "sketch" mode

I'll be printing out a sheet of this so I can do some additional sketching to work out background details

once I finish doing that I'll be able to print a full size pattern too

I do love being able to use my technology to help with my art!

another of the packages of goodies I had ordered arrived yesterday

I plan to make these little green cameos (they're about an inch tall) into a bracelet -- four separate links strung together with beads

I'll probably have to order a clasp for this, so I'll be perusing the Fire Mountain catalog

this morning we're heading off to Costco for our monthly run -- time to get moving!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

finished, progress and new "toys"

finished this up last night

the third of the hot pads I've been making for my daughter by working on them while I'm talking on the phone


this ball of yarn is almost gone now, so I need to go to the stash and pull out some more cotton

and the first front of the sweater I'm knitting is finished too

I started the other front last night

moving right along

oh look, it's a headless dinosaur!

this is the center block of the baby quilt, and it's moving right along

needs legs and a head

I found the fabric I'm using for the dinosaur in my stash and I really like the way it looks for this


I've been working on some ideas for some new pieces of jewelry, so the other day I made some purchases on Etsy for some pieces to use in them

the Egyptian charm is for a piece I've been working on that has lapis blue glass beads with gold beads --- I plan to use this charm at the center of the piece

the mermaid is for a piece I've been planning that will also use a slice of a chambered nautilus

the ivory colored carved block was something that I saw in the Etsy store when I found the other two pieces and it just shouted "take me too" -- I'm thinking about a bracelet for this piece

nothing like new materials to kick up the creative juices!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Experimenting and more dog watching

you may recall that I said I had an idea about the fronds for the redwood tree

I ironed a fusible interfacing to the back of the fabric then just cut out the shape and stitched it down to the background with one row of stitching down the center

the interfacing makes the fabric stiffer so it has more shape and the edges don't fray as much as just raw fabric does

I think this technique is a winner

now I can't wait to get the baby quilt done so I can get back to this one! (goal #1 for 2012 -- get those trees finished!!)

the nurse dog is keeping the pillow and the blanket warm for the DH

she is the strangest dog -- her predecessor hated to have anything thrown over her head -- this one will let you bury her in blankets or pillows and just lays there

(she also lets Mr Cute crawl all over her without fussing about it)

it's Monday -- laundry to do -- and a lot of project balls in the air to keep juggling

time to get to it!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


the bracelet is complete

now I have almost a whole month before the deadline for the competition I'll be entering this in -- hmmm, that's almost as frustrating as working right up to the last minute!

never mind, I have other things to work on

like this quilt, for instance

finished the last corner block, so now it's on to the bigger center block

I'll be pulling out all the fabrics and getting that started this afternoon

and I think I finally have a usable idea for this year's Hoffman challenge

last night I drew this little sketch on a piece of scrap paper

so now I'll start working on some more full size drawings to see if this is something I can actually do

we'll see

the big black dog that lives here has been on "nurse duty" since I brought the DH home from the hospital

she keeps a close eye on what he's up to

last night she decided under the end of his recliner with part of his blanket over her head was a good place to "watch" him from

uh, right

time to go get breakfast together

Saturday, January 21, 2012

another finished panel and some gratuitous cuteness


the sky in the winter panel took what seemed like forever to get quilted -- mostly because there were all those little areas that had me taking two or three stitches then turning the panel over and over again

I'm pleased with the way it looks, and having two of the four panels quilted gives me an idea how the finished piece will look

I did just a little bit of work in the summer panel last night -- I think that panel will go a bit quicker than the winter one did -- we'll see

I did get the rest of the dinosaur except for his eyes appliqued yesterday, so hopefully today that corner block will be completed

and I started doing the beading around the bracelet to finish it too

last night my daughter emailed me this picture she took with her phone when they were at dinner somewhere with Mr Cute

mmmmmm, I love getting these pictures of him doing those normal things of every day living that I'm not right there for

and he's just so cute!

13 months old now, walking every where -- and look at that blond hair! (it's actually sort of strawberry blond) such a beautiful child

yesterday the DH had his first appointment with his doctor after his surgery -- he's doing very well -- they gave him one exercise he's supposed to do 3 times a day and he goes back in four weeks -- the beginning of rehabbing!

Friday, January 20, 2012

progress report

got all of the beading done on the face of the bracelet yesterday afternoon -- then coated the back of it with fray check so the threads will stay put

today I'll need to go through the box of leather and upholstery fabrics to find a lining so I can start on the finishing work

a couple of days ago I ordered some new cabochons to start on a new design -- I'm hoping those arrive soon
progress being made on the dinosaur quilt blocks

this is the final corner block, so I've also spent some time drawing up the patterns for the big center block

and it's about time to head to the yarn stash box and find something to make the knit dinosaur toy that will go along with the quilt

this morning the DH has his first doctor's appointment following his surgery

time to get moving

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

slog, slog, slog

2/3 of the beading is finished

I'll be cruising through the bead box to select the colors for the 3 section today sometime

and the 4th corner dinosaur block is taking shape

last night while I was in that fugue state between awake and asleep I had an idea about doing redwood leaves (yup, that project is still in the works!) -- I'll be trying that out on some scrap fabric first

time to get to the grocery store

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

slogging along

beading progressing on the bracelet -- for a while I was afraid I wouldn't have enough to the gold bugles to finish the section, but not that I've done this much of it I'm pretty sure there will be

I'm pleased with how this is going

and over the weekend I had an idea for another bracelet, but it will require the purchasing of some materials, so that one will wait a while

meantime I'm still working on the quilting of the winter panel of the four seasons panel and the applique of the fourth corner of the dinosaur quilt and working on the knitting projects too, just not enough of anything to take a picture of

accomplished getting the laundry done yesterday -- a small step toward normal again!

Monday, January 16, 2012

new camera tricks

this little guy was on the front lawn this morning when I went out to get the paper

he just sat there and looked at me while I walked out to the end of the driveway, picked up the paper and walked back to the house

so I decided to grab the new camera and see what I could get

ok, I'm even more impressed with the camera after this --- so cool!

over the weekend I sold a charm bracelet from my Etsy store

the purchaser told me it was a gift for her daughter, so yesterday afternoon I adjusted it to the right length for her

and I'm happy to do it

(I'd almost forgotten I'd made these, and I still like them -- hope her daughter does!)

progress being made on the beaded bracelet

looking good

today we're going to try to get back into something that resembles the usual routine -- laundry!

(oh yes, I got that phone call from the doctor's office this morning that it was ok for the DH to get back on his medications -- I'm still annoyed and thinking seriously about making a formal complaint about the way that whole issue was handled)