Sunday, September 30, 2012

no Cinderella coach here

only pumpkins

and they are pretty muddy pumpkins at that

after the hail storm I went out with my pruning shears and cut them free of that bedraggled vine

they were ready to be picked actually -- I was just letting them stay out there hoping for some cool nights to sweeten them up, but since the leaves are totally destroyed, I decided it was time for them to come into the house

the smaller one will probably continue to turn orange -- that will be interesting to watch

some work on this piece got done again yesterday

this shot was taken without the big pear shaped glass piece sitting in the center

because I want the light to come through that piece from the back, I need to add it after the piece is all beaded and backed

the surface is slowly filling up, and so far I'm pleased with the way it's going

I've been trying to get my studio organized

yesterday I went through all of the bags and the SIX flats of bead "stuff" that has been accumulating as I finish a project and just go on to the next one instead of putting things away as well as the new stuff that has been ordered and not yet used

the table was covered with bottles of beads, plastic bags of stones, and assorted other bits and pieces

I now have only ONE flat full of project bags -- these are items that have either been pulled from inventory for repair or rework as well as some projects that have been planned and/or started but have stalled for some reason --- obviously I need to consider working out of this flat when I finish the current project!

meantime, I still have a lot of tubes of beads on the table that I'm sorting by color so I can actually get them back into the plastic containers they belong in

every now and then this is a necessary exercise and it actually can serve as inspiration to keep me working on things

this is part of my clearing the decks to get ready for The Visioning Project -- which officially begins tomorrow

I haven't yet finished a couple of things that were already in progress and are committed for other projects, but I feel pretty good about being ready to dive into this new work --- we'll see how that all goes

Friday, September 28, 2012

oh HAIL!

apparently our gardening season ended the same way it started

 with hail

yesterday afternoon we had tornado warnings, thunder and about an inch of hail

I'll be going out a little later today and stripping any usable tomatoes and peppers

and these three pumpkins  

this is what the blue spruce looked like from inside the house

and this picture taken about an hour later of the tracks the dog left in the hail on the patio

this morning there is still a pile of hail around the rose bush in the front yard and along the edge of the new brick work

very strange weather for almost October!

the work has begun on the necklace part of the Chocolate Cherry Jewelry Suite

this piece has some open spaces, and I'm trying a new technique to create those

hope it works the way I think it will

the body of the "tactor" sweater for Mr Cute is finished, and last night I started on the sleeves

time to get to work!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

more chocolate cherry goodness

like I said -- a pair of earrings for the chocolate cherry suite wouldn't take long

and here they are

simple, clean, elegant and FINISHED!!

now it's on to the necklace

and this is finished too -- okay, this is number 17 of these

are we done yet?

well that depends

I think I have enough of these for the Christmas giving I have planned -- but there is still a lot of the yarn here on hand (even though I appropriated some of it to make that cute little dino toy for Mr Cute)

and they are such great "keeping my hands busy" projects when I'm on the phone

we'll see

 I'm thinking about the background that will go behind that mug sketch from yesterday

the shapes of the coffee beans in this photo are interesting

I'm thinking of doing them really big as a kind of texture behind that mug

there will be some playing with layers of tracing paper here shortly

I spent most of yesterday afternoon working on stuff for the auction, and today, since we got paid yesterday, we have some shopping to do

time to get moving

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mug Shot

no, not THAT kind of mug shot

just a little sketch I did last night

thinking about doing a small piece (8x10) for a magazine challenge

this idea just popped into my head when I read the challenge

why not!

meantime, cleaning and organizing continues --- we hope to be able to put a new floor in our family room at the end of October, which means we need to take everything out of there, so it's a great excuse for donating stuff and just throwing stuff away


Tuesday, September 25, 2012


finished the rows of the sweater that make up the tractor

and now the rest of the sweater should just zoom along

I need to knit about another inch at the bottom edge, then do the ribbing  before it's on to the sleeves and the hood

a little bit of time yesterday was spent working on the next part of the chocolate cherry pieces

 both of these have been backed and the earring posts installed

next step is to put a net around the pear shaped ruby glass and string them together

should have that done in the next couple of days -- I hope

meantime, work on the charity auction project is progressing --- just a few more packages to put together, then create the catalog --- we're in the home stretch

time to get busy

Monday, September 24, 2012

chocolate cherry piece #1


and I do like the way this looks

now it's on to the next piece in this suite of jewelry

I'm thinking I'll do the earrings next because they'll go really quickly

the quilting has begun on the "project that can not be named" --- moving right along

time to get moving -- laundry is calling

Sunday, September 23, 2012

some outdoor work

the DH has been working on this project this week

this is the little shed that sits outside the garage that we use to store things like display equipment and our craft show tent

it is built almost entirely of recycled materials and every so often, we need to repaint it

so this summer we have been haunting the "color mistake" area of the hardware store, scooping up $5 gallons of grey paint so we could do this job before winter weather

 the DH still wants to get a small can of white to put a second coat of paint on the trim, but at least now the surface is protected


I finished the beading on the surface of this project yesterday afternoon

because I used the dark felt to stitch on I didn't have to go over the whole piece with the permanent marker and fill any areas that might show

I could get to like this idea!

later today hope to get this backed and finished -- because I'm already starting to think about the next piece in this suite of jewelry

yesterday afternoon's work on the "project that can not be named" went very well --- I hope to get it pressed and get the quilt sandwich made so the quilting can begin

and because I was letting the paint dry on that project, I spent my stitching time last night working on the lap quilt that I put together earlier in the summer --- it's now cool enough in the evenings that I don't mind having a quilt draped over my lap!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

soooooo close

the beading is almost done

so close that I'm nearly to the point where I shape it over the metal cuff and start putting in the little groups of beads at the edge

then I can cut out the shape


last night I finished the applique on the "Project that can not be named", which means today there will be experiments with paint --- and that the making of the sandwich for the quilting is very close -- YIPPEE

 the knitting is progressing nicely on the sweater

the cab of the tractor is slowly emerging as I knit each row

this has been a lot of fun (and I'm amazed that so far there has been no major ripping, given that I'm working from a chart that was originally designed to be knit from the bottom up and that this is usually the last project I work on in the evening before I go to sleep)

I'm still deep in the weeds of form preparation for the auction -- I'm hoping to get a lot of that done today

time to get to it

Friday, September 21, 2012

the tailor at work

when I was visiting my daughter she asked me if I could make her a pair of dress pants

she had not been able to find a pair that fit her at a price she could afford

so we made a trip to the fabric store and we did a test run with a cotton fabric (I used an old sheet) to make the adjustments

yesterday I finished the real thing

Ta Da!

I'm thinking I'll be making more of these in the future for her

and I'm considering using the master pattern to make a custom pair for myself --- but I have a couple of projects to finish first!

after some time on the auction work and some more time on cleaning out old "stuff" I got to work on this project some more

I really like the way this is coming together

work continues on the "project that can not be named" -- I've almost finished the sewing the last pieces down which means I'll be moving on to the painting next

today's work will include a trip to the grocery store and the pharmacy, then back to the auction work and the cleaning before I can get back into the studio

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

not Peter Piper

but there are pickled peppers!

since the chilis in our garden are about the only thing that did well this year, the DH decided to put up some of the jalapenos for future nacho making

the whole house smelled of vinegar and turmeric and hot peppers


 finished project for my daughter

the finishing work on this piece took a lot less time than the first one did

it's amazing what a difference having good thread makes!

so now the quilting projects shift to more time on the "project which can not be named", and quilting the lap quilt that is ready and waiting

and the trees!

progress on the bead work

slowly working my way around the center "flower"

looking good

this is moving right along nicely too

last night I split the sleeves from the body

and at the next knitting session I should get to where I can start knitting in the tractor


today -- more auction stuff, and more cleaning -- not exciting, but necessary

Monday, September 17, 2012


I feel like this is taking forever

I like how it's going, but because I'm working on the auction stuff, and on cleaning out things so we can put down new flooring in our family room

and. and. and

there's just always a million things happening

hope to get back to this later today

this is the first time I've done the first bezel on one piece of backing, then "stacked" it on another backing for more beading

that technique gives the whole thing a lot more dimension, and I can see lots of other places to put it to work

time to get moving -- I need to go have some forms printed for the auction

Sunday, September 16, 2012

witchy doin's


I had been using a spool of black thread that was ANCIENT to do the hand stitching of the binding when I started

and it was not going well

I decided that my time was worth something too, so I bought a new spool of black quilting thread and threw the rest of that old one away!

 (and I admit, that felt really liberating!!!)

the binding on the second one of these is now pinned and ready for stitching -- which I'm sure will take a lot less time

at last, something that is beginning to resemble what the finished piece will look like

yesterday I finished bezeling those pear shaped crystals, then got this all laid out

the original drawing included 4 more pieces of glass (2 more of those ovals and 2 more of the small rounds), but because I'm going to put this on a metal cuff blank, some minor adjustments were needed since these glass pieces don't "bend" and that metal cuff blank is curved where those would have been

 the more I work on this, the better I like it

I'm still chugging along on the charity auction --- getting very anxious to be done with it --- I have lots of other things I want to get on with!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

knitting for Mr Cute

I went to the fabric store yesterday because I needed some yellow fabric for "the project that can not be named"

and while I was in there I decided I might as well start looking for buttons for the sweater I started the night before

the plan is to knit a hooded cardigan with a tractor knit into the back

I figured I'd be searching for buttons that I could live with for it right up until I "settled" for something

but no, there on the rack were these lovelies!

they were pricey -- well, we just know that buttons ARE pricey -- but they are SO perfect

so what was anticipated as my biggest challenge for this project is already solved --- how cool is that?!

I'm working on the charity auction stuff --- not so much time in the studio --- but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Friday, September 14, 2012

a little shopping trip

one of the inconvenient things about living in our little village is that when a piece of equipment from the garage workshop needs to be repaired, we can't have it done here -- we have to make a trip to Denver
and yesterday we did that -- and then we made a little side trip to a bead show that was going on up there too

I didn't have a big list, since right now I'm in the midst of a big beading project, and I'm not really thinking about the next one yet but these items just seemed to need to come home with me ---

and that triangular chocolate colored druzy piece will probably end up in a piece that coordinates with the current project

not only did I pick up some items in the shopping, I picked up a couple of objects off the ground outside the building

a lot of the pictures I've seen of acorns show a distinctly shorter, rounder nut than these

and I'm especially intrigued by the little immature ones on the stems

of course time spent in the van to Denver and back means I'm knitting afghan squares --- and I'm not sure this one will even fit in that box I've been filling

 it may be the first in a new box

 usually I'd be showing you a picture like this no later than the first part of July

but this was an unusual summer (to put it mildly!) between the huge hail and the extreme heat, the garden just didn't do much but raise my water bill

these are the first two tomatoes of any size off this plant -- they are fated to be this morning's breakfast ---- probably the only fried green tomatoes we'll get for the entire effort

I'll be savoring them

lots of things to get done today --- time to get moving

Thursday, September 13, 2012

seeing red

still in the (boring) bezeling stage

the top three are more of those sugar topped pieces of glass

and the bottom three are taller pieces that I used a new technique to build the bezel around -- it's a little more open than working rows and rows of peyote stitching around the edge

this is the drawing of the suite of jewelry I plan to make with all those (and many more) red glass pieces

while I've been fiddling with the bezels, the DH has been sketching

pretty cool stuff, and now that there are drawings, I'm really impatient with the bezeling and want to get on with the real pieces



finished another one of these yesterday


the binding on the witches is moving along slowly -- it just takes time to hand stitch all around the edge

time in the studio yesterday also included cutting out the "real" material for the pants I'm making my daughter --- the "test" stitching went very well, so we're ready for this step --- sewing will begin soon

and work on the charity auction continues --- this is the part that is both frustrating and rewarding, and so far it's going pretty well

time to get to it!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

House work and studio work

first the house work --- not inside the house, but outside

since the DH had finished up the new landscaping with the stone work and the red mulch, we wanted to get the patches of grass replanted while there is time for it to take root before winter comes

for a couple of days he had been turning up the soil, adding fertilizer and preparing it for the seed

yesterday morning we put in the seed and covered it with another shallow layer of soil

turns out our timing was perfect --- this morning we have rain --- something we have not seen very much of this year

let's hope that means that seed will decide to grow!

at long last -- the finished sweater!

I've been knitting on this project for several months, and about a week ago I got to the stage that I couldn't go forward without going backward --- I didn't have enough of the pink

once again my sister was able to pull my backside out of the fire --- she had sent me the yarn in the first place, and she had more

the "squishy" envelope arrived on Monday, and I finished up the sweater last night


I'm still doing the (boring) prep work on a new piece of jewelry

these nine pieces of vintage ruby glass have been all bezeled

 most of these are smooth, dome top pieces -- except that one there at the top right hand side -- that is a "sugar top" piece --- sort of looks like sugar crystals on top

I have three more of the sugar top pieces to bezel, then its on to the oval and pear shaped red glass pieces

looking forward to finishing this part and getting on to the actual jewelry stitching!

yesterday was pretty productive in the studio too --- the first stitching of the bindings on the witch pieces is complete, the sleeves have been prepared, and I've started doing the hand work

and the "project that can not be named" is progressing quite well too

today's activities will include more work on the charity auction and some studio time

time for some breakfast -- and then to work!

Monday, September 10, 2012

a view into the garden

fall is coming

the pumpkins in my garden are starting to turn

I snapped this picture yesterday afternoon -- love the whole look --- the two fences (wood and wire) that surround it, the vines and the leaves and the pumpkin flowing along in contrast to the sharp straight lines of the boards and the mesh


a very short time at the sewing machine and I transformed what was a sleep sack for a newborn into a pair of pj pants for a toddler

the fabric was still in really good condition, so it seemed right to get some more use out of it

and since I was already in there I decided to go ahead and work on the witch pieces for a while

I'm pleased to say that the quilting on one of them is done

my machine and I had a meeting of the minds and I'm very pleased both with the process (I'm starting to "get" it!) and with the finished result

I hope to get the second one quilted in the next couple of days

the amethyst piece got listed in my Etsy store

and this is the beginning of the next piece --- a challenge titled Chocolate Cherry for one of my bead groups

for the first time one of my suggestions was chosen as the theme for the group, so I feel some responsibility to actually participate

these four pieces are vintage ruby glass and I've used a Delica bead called Dark Chocolate to build most of the bezel around each one


lots of things to do today -- laundry, pick up some groceries, some writing on another project, and a lot of organizing to prepare for the charity auction -- we're in the final month now, so activity on that picks up considerably between now and Oct 6

time to get to it

Sunday, September 09, 2012

another opening, another show

yesterday was the opening reception for this show
that I have two pieces of work hanging in

 located in the TACtile Arts Center of the Rocky Mountain Region, it is the first juried SAQA show that my work has been accepted to, and it was pretty exciting to be accepted

we also had a regional SAQA meeting in the same location yesterday, and it was pretty great to get to "hob nob" with other "art quilt wizards"

our trip back from Denver included my making my first ever 911 call on my cell phone -- as we went on to the highway there was a car ahead of us that was weaving across all five lanes of traffic, so I called to try to get police to get to him before he hit anyone --- a few miles down the road I got to call again as he had taken out two other cars and run head on into the retaining wall --- pretty sad

even after being gone most of the day, I still came home and worked on this piece


all finished

tomorrow I'll get it listed on my Etsy store

so now it's on to the Chocolate Cherry piece

Saturday, September 08, 2012

beads and webs

these things always look a lot messier before they look good

the work of creating the chain for this is almost finished

at this stage I've tied off the ends of the beaded tubes with surgeon's knots and dropped Fray Check on the knots

next step is to attach all the pieces together

and then it will be on to the fringing

I'm thinking that the the fringe will run along that edge that is the "sparkle" beads there at the bottom edge


the web stitching on one of these is finished, and the second one is almost done

and I think I'll be using the patch work that I was going to use as the front and rejected as the back

just need to finish the web stitching on the second one then the sandwiches can be put together

and I'm so happy with how well this work on the machine has gone that I'm thinking about machine quilting these too

WOW!  that is a total switch

we'll see how that all goes

Friday, September 07, 2012

Trick or Treat

while I was visiting with Mr Cute, his momma and I had a discussion about his Halloween costume

last year he was a Winged Monkey -- I turned a sweat suit into the costume by adding a tail to the pants, and wings and ears to the hooded sweat shirt

he was a cute winged monkey

this year his dad asked if we could make him a costume for a character from a game he plays

we used this little drawing we found as a guide for the sewing project

so off we went to the fabric store --- fleece makes good costume material -- it has the advantage of not raveling, so you don't have to hem the edges of things

the original plan was for me to create the tunic and the hat and my daughter was going to get the t-shirt and pants for him

but yesterday, while I was picking up some other stuff at the local store, I found a shirt and pants that were perfect!

I went through my upholstery fabric and found the perfect stuff to make the belt (I had "D" rings on hand)

the whole thing took less than two hours to put together --- and he'll have a shirt and pants to wear after that for every day use


while I was at the sewing machine, I started doing the freehand machine embroidery of the spider web on the first of the witch quilt tops  --- I haven't done much of that, and it feels a little "scary" to risk ruining all that hand work, but the only way to improve my skills is to do it!  and it's looking pretty good --- I hope to finish the first one today

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Back into the project groove

now that Mr Cute is old enough to have a little pillow in his bed, I thought it would be nice if he had some cute pillow cases made just for him

over the weekend I picked up fabric with his favorite things printed on them -- choo choos and tactors!

 it took no time at all to whip these up

 the "chain" for this piece is coming right along

it took me a while to figure out how to make the little "branches" that will attach to the medallion part, but I'm liking the look of it now that I've done that

and then there is this project

 now that both of the witches have been appliqued to the backgrounds, I'm ready to move to the next step

I recently got some really cool shimmery white thread, so I'm going to stitch a cobweb into the top left corner of each of these pieces

then it will be on to making the sandwich for each one and doing the quilting

 I really do like the way this is coming out

the other plan for today is to stitch up a Halloween costume for Mr Cute, and to start in on some other sewing projects that are awaiting my attention

time to get at that