Monday, April 30, 2012

Birds in the Mist

reworking a piece that has been laying around for a while is not my favorite thing, but sometimes the results are well worth the hassle

this piece for example

I had originally made this piece as a necklace back in 2007, but it just sat in the display --- somehow no one else could see this as wearable art

so I pulled it all apart and it sat in my rework bin

and sat

and SAT

until recently, when I decided I was going to start putting my framed pieces into my Etsy store --- no one can even consider purchasing something they don't see!

over the past week I redid the frame, and got the bead work mounted in it

it's available in my Etsy store if you want to take a look

meantime, I thought I was done with the quilting on my Hoffman challenge --- but it turns out that not even highly aggressive pressing was going to fix the cupping issue -- in some areas I had simply pulled the thread too tight --- so last night I spent some time "un-quilting" --  {sigh!}  at least I'm not right up to the deadline on this

time to do laundry

Sunday, April 29, 2012

and finished again!!


last night I put in the last stitch

and now it is listed in my Etsy store (you can use the link there on the right side of my blog if you want to go take a look and more pictures and the complete description)

yesterday I cut the blocks that will be the beginning of the next quilt I'm creating, as well as preparing the paper patterns so I can start doing the applique --- cool!

projects just keep chugging along

Saturday, April 28, 2012

finished, finished, finished, finished

today is one week from the setting of the posts, and the fence is finished!

we put up the last panel yesterday -- and may I say, just in time, because this morning it is COLD -- back down in the 40s, so not the kind of weather that I want to be out working on a fence in

now that this is done, we can till up the garden area and start cleaning up all the scrap lumber mess from the removal of the old fence
time at the sewing machine yesterday afternoon was well spent

 this is the charity quilt top for this month love the color --- no two blocks of this were alike, so setting them together was a lot of fun

and the bead embroidery on this project is finished

I dug through the box of leather and found a nice silvery gray piece that will be the back of this

there at the right hand side are the pieces for the toggle clasp, just waiting for me to put the whole thing together

I'm pretty excited about having this finished, and can't wait to get started on the next piece which involves malachite pieces and some antique seed beads that arrived with the mail yesterday
one more afghan square completed too

I really like this color combo -- too bad both of these yarns are almost gone, there won't be enough to make another one like this

for the next week or so I'll be working on another wool sweater to go along with the hats -- since I have the wool yarn, it seems like a good idea to work it up into items that can be used

today I need to go pick up a printer cartridge and some elastic --- more projects in the works!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

a whole riot of color

I like color (as if that wasn't obvious!)

this piece of bead work is almost finished, and part of the fun has been in choosing the colors and creating the patterns to use with the bead combos

I hope to get this finished and ready for backing today

then there are these

in the past few days I've managed to stitch up 20 of these blocks that will go into a charity quilt top

yesterday afternoon I pressed all of them, but they still need to be trimmed to square before I set them together
during my shopping excursion to pick up dog food, I found some jelly rolls of fabric marked down

this was the only one that was colors that I thought would work for charity quilts -- I try to keep them bright and cheerful

so I'll be cutting these up and making another quilt top

more fence progress!

all of one panel put up and part of another, which leaves us with just a couple more days of work to get this all finished up

can't wait to be finished -- there are a lot more projects to do after that

Thursday, April 26, 2012


heh, well not exactly, but we did tear out the final panel that needs to be replaced after we had done the shopping and the other required errands yesterday afternoon

today we plan to put up the fence boards over that hole there on the left hand side

by the time we get done with these three panels we will have replaced two of the three sides of the back yard fencing -- and part of the one we're working on now will have been done twice -- I'll be happy to be finished!

even with the errands and the shopping and the fencing I did get some other work done

more beading on this for instance

it's nearly done, and I'm getting pretty excited to have this finished so I can get on to the next piece

I've also been stitching on a charity quilt top which I have about a third finished --- and I'm ready to cut out the blocks of the next quilt that I want to get started on

time to get to it

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

more progress

another panel of the fence has been installed!

we are now down to three to put up -- and one (that one on the right side) to take down

after this panel was installed, we figured out how many more fence boards we needed and made a trip to the hardware store

I'm really glad we had purchased almost all of the slats we needed last fall when the price was only 97 cents for each one -- yesterday we had to pay $1.48 each --- almost double -- OUCH!

 time at the sewing machine went well

this skirt for my daughter is all finished except for the hem -- which I need to pin up and stitch when I see her next

yeah!  another project off the "to do" list!!
progress being made on this piece of bead embroidery too

this morning I pulled out some more yellow beads to add in

I'm really happy with how this piece is looking, and it's coming together really quickly

I also started planning the layout of a new malachite bracelet that will be similar but different from any of the stone bracelets I've done

phone time is crochet time

yesterday I finished another hot pad

this one has the last bits of the navy yarn, the off white yarn and the variegated yarn that has the bright blue in it

and of course I started another one -- that probably won't get finished until I get to the store for some more cotton yarn

 finished another afghan square too

today we have things to do outside the house, so probably no fencing today -- we'll see

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


no, I'm not talking about sword play

just more 2x4s and some fence boards and some screws

there at the far left of the picture you can see the new fence panel peeking out from around the tree

and all of the bottom 2x4s are installed

we still have one panel to tear out, but we have decided to wait until we get those two sections to the left of the standing panel finished to tear out the last one
after the fencing, and the trip to the store and doing the laundry I did some work at the sewing machine (I'm making a skirt for my daughter) 

and I added some more beads to this piece -- now  there is yellow and white gingham along with pink and green stripes -- cool

I'm testing a new backing  material on this piece, and I'm not entirely sure I like it -- it seems to shift more than the stabilizer I have used in the past, and it has to be basted to the batting because it is too open to use fabric glue -- I think this stuff may get relegated to use on art quilts instead of beading

speaking of art quits, last night I finished the quilting of the vases and flowers on my Hoffman challenge, so now all I have left to quilt is the table cloth --- I'm getting pretty excited to have this piece finished --- after all, I have several more pieces waiting in the wings!

today there will be more fencing (En Garde!) and some paperwork (it's time to pay the bills again) and then hopefully I'll get the skirt finished and do some other studio work

Monday, April 23, 2012

progress on old things, starting new ones

some more work got done on the fence yesterday afternoon

the top 2x4s all got measured and cut and put in

today we'll get all the bottom ones in, and maybe some slats up --
I did do some work on beading yesterday too 
since I've still got some pieces coming for the necklace I've been working on, I decided that I would start a new bracelet  

 this is Tribute to Gees Bend Quilters #3 -- this one is being made with some more of the beads my mother gave me -- and I'm doing this a bit narrower than the last two were 

 I'm trying a new thing with this one -- trying to replicate the look of different fabrics with the beads -- like the yellow and white "gingham" there on the bottom right corner -- pretty cool! 

a while back I did some beading of some birds that I want to put into a frame
in the last couple of days I actually started working on the frame -- used the Copic markers to carry the color of the beading out over the surface of the frame

now that this part is done its time to spray it with a sealer

and I finished the first of the wool sweaters that I plan to send along with those wool hats

I really like the way this came out, and it was pretty easy

the sable/natural/navy color mix looks nice

I'll be making some more of these

today's plans include laundry, more fencing, a trip to the grocery store and then hopefully some work at the sewing machine

time to get to it

Sunday, April 22, 2012

an update

on Thursday I took some time away from ongoing projects here at home and spent the morning with a group of fellow quilters

this year they had decided to do a "sampler" quilt of 12.5 inch blocks

this month's block was the school house -- and it was fun to pull out fabrics from the stash that looked like brick and wood and green slate tiles to create this block -- and because I piece by hand I didn't get this finished during our meeting, but I did finish it last night

and having successfully negotiated through this one (remember, I don't piece much, most of my work is applique), I'm now ready to have a go at one of the three blocks they completed since January

I'll probably start with the easiest one
a little bit of time spent on the beading yesterday and now there are two more of the tiles for the necklace finished

this piece may not get much work done on it for a few days now because I've ordered some more things to be used on it and I don't want to do too much more before those arrive

but I have some other things to work on --- like some more bracelets --- because I sold another one (small happy dance here!) and it's interesting that everything I've sold out of my Etsy store has been a bracelet -- hmmmm

no chance of ideas for those running short any time soon, I've got lots of ideas for new bracelets!
yesterday morning the new fence posts got set

a task that even when we could do it ourselves would have taken the better part of an entire day was finished in less than 2 hours -- holes dug, posts set in concrete and trimmed to a level height

sometimes it's just worth it to have someone do a job that they really know how to do and are strong enough to do easily

and if we have any more around the house jobs, we will actually request this young man

so now it's up to us to put up the rest of the fence, but we're pretty experienced at that by now -- it just won't be up overnight!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

not studio work

this is the current view from my back door

yesterday we spent a little over an hour removing the fence panel that was in the hole on the right hand side of the picture

we have now removed everything that needs to come down before the new fence posts go up

the panel that is still standing at the far right in this picture, as well as the panel just beyond the left side of the picture will also be redone, but we don't have to put in new posts there, so we've left those alone for now

today we plan to go after the needed 2x4s so they can sit and "season" in the garage for a few days before we cut them to install, then on Friday we'll go after the cement and the posts

the result of all this outdoor activity is that I don't really have anything I can show you that was studio work --

I've just cut out a skirt for my daughter, the back of the current sweater knitting is complete and part of another tile for the necklace has been done

we'll see what I can manage today

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

brass and rust?

I finished one more of the tiles for the piece of jewelry I'm working on

and by lying the six finished tiles side by side I'm starting to get a feel for what the finished piece will look like

this is so different than most of what I've worked on that it's pretty exciting to see it developing

yesterday morning the utility company, the cable TV company and the phone company came and marked orange spots in my back yard -- on Saturday morning someone will be here to set the fence posts for us -- which means that between now and then, there are more panels of fence to be torn out, and a trip to the hardware store made to get 4x4s and cement and screws

some of the tearing out will happen today -- we're doing it a little at a time so neither of us gets hurt

which means I might get some work done in the studio later!

Monday, April 16, 2012

progress on the bead work

finished another one of the tiles for the currently being worked on bead embroidery

the biggest challenge was how to attach the brass filigree piece somewhere other than in the middle (that part was easy -- a bronze crystal bead with a size 15 seed bead on top)

I settled on using loops of size 15 seed beads over some of the loops in the brass, so the filigree sits on top of the bead embroidery

the beading work has been started on the other tile that is this size, and I plan to make it look pretty much like this one

a while ago I lengthened this necklace -- or the original version of this necklace -- for my daughter

wouldn't you know it, shortly after that the original (and very old) material that the center was strung on broke

so here is the new version -- all restrung on a nylon covered steel cable, and a new heart shaped toggle clasp added in place of the holder hook and loop style


the fabrics I ordered for the next lap quilt have all arrived, so sometime in the near future I'll be cutting the blocks that will be the top in preparation for doing the applique

but first there is laundry to do and some errands to run today

Saturday, April 14, 2012

the shopping trip

on Thursday evening I heard about a big mark down of cotton fabrics going on at my local fabric store

my plan was to pick up some colorful fabric that I can use in charity quilt tops for the guild

and I'm happy to report that I was successful in doing that -- 8 half yard pieces that can be combined with other fabrics I have on hand should increase the color palette of those quilts for a while

I did find some other nice things as well

like these two fabrics that I got a yard each of with the plan of turning them into sun hats for "the boys" later in the summer

these are bright and colorful and just speak "sun hat" to me

the plan for these fabrics is to use them in my Out of Africa series

I like the colors and patterns of each of them, and they are quite different from most of the pieces I already had on hand

and then there are the wolves

I love the almost sepia tone colors of this piece

and my son in law is a big fan of wolves

the bird quilt I made him a few years ago is starting to wear out, so I'm beginning to think about making him something new

this might be part of that

time to get busy

Friday, April 13, 2012

progress, finished and new beginnings

these are the next "tiles" for the necklace I'm beading on right now

yesterday you saw the one there on the right hand side (the one with the oval focal bead) and now the second one is finished -- with a round focal bead

onward to the next pair of "tiles" -- 4 down and 13 to go!

last night I had a quilt guild meeting

one of our long time members (at this point I don't use the "old member" phrase -- most of us are old!) gave a great program about her work

after a couple of months of rather meager options on the "Put and Take" table, last night's haul was great

lots of fabrics to use in the building of charity quilt tops

I also found out from one of the other guild members that my local fabric store is putting a lot of cotton fabrics on a drastic mark down, so I'll be going this afternoon to take a look for items that I can use in future projects

as always, when I go to guild meetings, I took along my knitting

finished another afghan square (proving once again that I can knit these practically in the dark -- part of the program involved a slide show with the room lights off!)

today's activities will involve cutting up more of the removed fencing for the trash pick up, mailing a "squishy" to my grandson, the aforementioned trip to the LFS, and hopefully some work in the studio


Thursday, April 12, 2012

beading and stitching

got one more of the 17 pieces of the newest jewelry project

the oval at the top is a flat oval glass bead that I had only one of, and until this piece had no idea what I would ever use it for


this project will be using a lot of those sorts of pieces

when I was at my daughter's house the end of March, she asked me if I could make her a case for her camera that would protect it but not take up a lot of space

since I still had some of that quilted fabric I created for her Cricut, this was a pretty easy project

the top has an opening so the strap on the camera can slip through, and I used a "one of" button from my button box for the clasp along with a small stretchy loop -- TA DA!!

we filled up the trash can with broken fence boards yesterday -- the pick up is today, so tomorrow we'll be putting in some more -- it rained last night, so cutting the wet fence boards with the electric saw seems like a bad idea --

tonight I'll be going to hob knob with other wizards -- aka quilt guild meeting -- so I need to whip up a batch of lemon bars to take with me

time to get to it

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

yup, still here

we've been spending time out in the yard every day -- tearing down the parts of the fence that we're going to rebuild

two panels are totally down and we've prepped the other panel that will come out (we're trying to keep enough fence up that we can keep the dog in the yard while this is going on!)

today we hope to get a lot of that old fence wood cut up and hauled out to the trash can since tomorrow is pick up day
even so, I have been working on some things in the studio

this new bead embroidered piece of jewelry, for instance

(this is the piece all those brass pieces I was talking about last week are for)

these two pieces are the very back sections where the clasp will go when the necklace is all finished

this piece will take a while -- there are 17 bead embroidered pieces, and these two are the smallest ones

and this is hot pad number 3 for the Christmas box -- the front and the back

slowly but surely!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

boys don't wear Easter bonnets

but my grandson and his friend will have their heads protected from the sun with these two little beauties

finished these up yesterday afternoon

both of them are bright "kid" colors, which was a lot of fun to work with

I'll be shipping these off soon
the fringing has begun

sometimes the fringing takes longer than anything else on one of these

each of the "fringes" is branched, and the bottom tips are alternating pieces of coral and little silver porpoise charms

I hope to get this finished today

I started a new knitting project last night

after whipping up the dozen "hatz", I decided to use some of my wool yarn stash to create a sweater to go along in the box of hatz to send to Cheyenne River

the ribbing for the bottom of the sweater is all finished --

looking good

Saturday, April 07, 2012

not much to see here

just this one little afghan square, which I knit a lot of while I was sitting in the dentist's office yesterday morning

the hats that I'm working on for my grandson and his friend are almost finished -- there are actually a lot of steps to those -- and they look really nice -- pictures of those tomorrow

the bead work piece is going well too -- yesterday I finished the "chain" and attached the medallion, so today I'll begin the fringing

quilting on the Hoffman challenge piece is going well -- one vase, 3 flowers and one corner of the background are finished, and so far I'm pretty pleased with how that's going too

last week I ordered some fabrics to start on the next quilt, and wouldn't you know it, most of it's back ordered! so for now I'm working on the patterns and waiting (something I don't do all that well)

these items arrived this week

I ordered them a couple of weeks ago to put into a necklace I'm working on

as soon as I finish the bead work I'm doing right now I'll be able to move right on to that piece

oh, and that whole dentist thing? heh, right -- even with insurance (which is costing us plenty every month) there will still be a big out of pocket expense to have any work done (and why is it that no matter what some stuff is just NOT covered by the insurance!?) -- so once again there will need to be "saving up" before anything gets done

time to get to work