Wednesday, October 31, 2012

new piece, finished piece

the bracelet is listed, so it was time to start a new piece

for the last year or so I've been collecting sea themed objects with the idea of making a piece of jewelry with the collected pieces

yesterday I started working on that piece by putting bezels around the two objects that will be the center piece of this necklace 
 this piece is finished! 

more than a full month before the deadline

still need to take the photos that I will use to do the entry, but I'm real happy to have it finished

quilting on the black birds has begun, and I hope to get the fabrics selected for the next piece

the DH has a doctor's appointment at 9 this morning --- time to get breakfast so we can get there on time

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

just a little progress

the piecing and applique are  all done on the blackbirds (and apologies for the poor picture)

I got the last of it done last night

so the plan for today on this piece is to press and make the sandwich so I can do the quilting on it  

since the black birds are getting close to being finished, I've been thinking about the piece for the next assignment

I did this sketch last night

the last assignment was supposed to be a "static" view, while this one is supposed to convey movement

does this work?

I'm thinking about some unusual color here too --- we'll see how that works out

yesterday I got the bear all cut out, and all of the quilting on the mug piece is done so I can get it bound


time to get to it again

Monday, October 29, 2012

resting and working

I was resting physically yesterday, but still working on some things

like quilting on this piece, for instance

the quilting of the beans is coming along nicely

other quilting projects are moving along too -- I have only two more birds to applique on the black bird piece, and I've nearly finished the quilting in one of the eight blocks on the Alaska quilt

this piece is done

and I really like the way it came out

I'm hoping to get this listed in my Etsy store today or tomorrow

usually at this time of the year I'm really having to ramp up the knitting time to get Christmas knitting projects completed

this year I started so early, that all of those are already done, so my knitting time for a while has been just making up more afghan squares

so in the last few days, I've finished two more of them

I'm going to be taking a look at the stash and the pattern stack and see if there isn't something else I can be working on too

today we need to run some errands, and I'm doing laundry, but I'm hoping to get some other projects done too -- last night I got the pattern for the bear I'm making drawn on the fusible interfacing so I can iron that on to the fabric and start the cutting

rolling along

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Project survived -- mostly

I'm recovering 

on Friday morning the work began 

first all of the furniture from the family room had to be moved out of the room --- chairs, lamps, couch, entertainment center, bookcase ---- everything to other parts of the house for the duration of the work

next step -- the carpet was cut into strips and we pulled it up, rolled it and tied it so it can be put into the trash can for haul away --- and the padding underneath pulled up, stuffed into big garbage bags and moved out to go into the trash --- as I was working on those two parts, my son in law was using a crow bar to pry up the tack strips that had held the carpet

then came the tedious step of either pulling up or pounding down all of the staples that had held the padding in place, followed by a good vacuuming of the entire floor

finally the installing of the new floor could begin

first we laid down the foam "underlayment" material, then we started in the corner, cutting and fitting as we went

the DH did the cutting while my son in law and I placed and tightened each piece and marked for any needed upcoming cuts --- meantime my daughter entertained Mr Cute (she took some adorable pictures of him trying out the tools he had seen his daddy using, which I'll show you when she emails them to me)

because of the age of the house and the previous owner's changes to the kitchen floor (which is the ceramic tile there at the bottom edge of the picture) we couldn't use the transition strip that we had on hand, so that edge between the tile and the flooring isn't finished yet, and we still have the quarter round trim at the baseboards and the trim around the hearth to do, but we were able to return the chairs, couch, lamps and TV stand to the room on Friday evening so we could all sit down for a well deserved rest

it looks a lot different -- cleaner, brighter

but like I said, I'm recovering ---  I don't usually spend a lot of time squatting, kneeling on bare wood and pressing pieces of wood into place, so the muscles in my legs and arms  are still sore, and I'm discovering I have little bruises in various places -- like the back of my hands

all that said, I'm please with our efforts -- there is a certain sense of accomplishment in getting such a big job so close to finished

so for the next day or so I'll be recovering and we'll be working on the finishing work --- and I'll actually do some art work too


Thursday, October 25, 2012

nothing to see here

at least there are no pictures today

but I was busy yesterday -- 

most of the beading is done on the bracelet -- I've started working on the ring and toggle that will be the clasp

quilting has begun on the mug piece

I've almost finished the piecing of the blackbird piece

quilting continues on the Alaska quilt

and I found the pattern for the teddy bear!!

but along with all that, yesterday I packed 3 boxes of records (yes, 33 rpm, vinyl, phonograph records!) because I need to move my stereo cabinet out of the family room so we can put down the new floor --- a fun afternoon, playing the Joan Baez record (Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around!) and taping up boxes

progress on these kinds of projects comes with some pain --- as in some sore muscles this morning

time to get moving --- I still have some things to do before our work crew gets here this afternoon --- need to finish making the area toddler proof before Mr Cute arrives!!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

progress and a commission for a new project

this is coming along nicely

the assortment of beads is creating an interesting texture on the surface of the piece

hopefully I'll have this all finished by the end of the weekend

another hot pad done

and last night I finished another Christmas project that I have been knitting on --- cool!

years ago I made many bears that went by the name "Adorabear" --- they are non-jointed, baby safe toys that I used robe velour to make

I made the last one a few years ago for the adult son of a dear friend from California

last night she called me and asked if I could make one for her newest great grand child

yup, now I just have to find that pattern again!!  

Monday, October 22, 2012

a different sort of accomplishment

this is my vacuum cleaner

for the last few weeks it's been getting overtime duty as I have been cleaning and painting a bedroom as well as preparing to replace the floor in the family room

earlier in the week, I had an issue with the filter -- the superfine dust I had been cleaning up had plugged it up and we ended up doing a combination of blowing it out with the air compressor (the DH took it out the side of the workshop and did that chore) and then I dipped it repeatedly in a dishpan of hot water ---- I can't get a new filter locally, but the one I ordered on line should be here by the end of the week

on Saturday we decided to prepare for after the new flooring by cleaning up the area rug we plan to put down in the center of the room after we're done laying the Pergo

the area rug had been rolled up and stored in the garage since we moved in 2001, so we were pretty sure it needed a good vacuuming

we spread a tarp on the patio and laid out the rug -- and discovered that at some point a mouse had chewed on the fringe on one end and had done a little bit of damaged to the rug on that corner

I cut the fringe off both ends of the rug (I never was overly fond of the stuff anyway) and began to vacuum -- only to have the tube that runs from the beater rod to the tank plug up

at the end of the day I ended up bringing the vacuum in where I could have the computer next to me and I could step through the instructions to remove parts and used a long hemostat to remove all the rug fuzz and dog hair --- but not the color dog hair I'm used to vacuuming up now days -- back in 2001 we had a yellow lab (sniff, while I love the big black lab, I still miss the yellow one!)

wow --- after all that I deserved to get to spend some time making art!

and this is the progress made on the bracelet

after each piece had a bezel worked around it, I trimmed them up and started attaching them to the backing that will be what I make the bracelet from

looking good!

 I've also worked on the mug project, and I started on the black birds yesterday afternoon

Today is the first day of early voting here in our state.  We're going today to do that.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

apparently not done yet

with this color scheme anyway

some of these pieces were left over from the chocolate cherry jewelry -- those ovals on the right hand side for instance

since I had already started bezeling those, and the tubes of beads are still out in the work tray, I've decided to go ahead and create one more bracelet

this one, however, will be very different from the other pieces as it will be irregular edged and made up of odds and ends of stones, shell and glass

a good exercise in free form work after the more formal work of the last pieces

under the category of "thanks, but no thanks"

yesterday's mail included the notification that this piece did not make the cut in the competition it was entered in

I need to take some new pictures of it so I can go ahead and list it in my Etsy store

and I think I won't be entering this particular competition again ---

attempt #2 at the mug

and I'm much happier with this one

brighter, more interesting

the fabric was left over from a charity quilt top I made earlier in the year (one more example of why I don't just toss those little oddments when a project is completed!)

should be ready to start stitching this down to the background this evening

yesterday's grackle converted to a line drawing

this is my plan for the next quilt in the Visioning Project

and hey, those are pretty recognizable bird shapes -- including that one that is not just a straight profile!

I'm hoping to start pulling out fabrics for this piece this afternoon

yesterday we had to make a run to Denver to pick up the scroll saw

the only place in our little village to have that kind of work done closed right after the Waldo Canyon fire this summer, leaving us with only the Denver location for this sort of repair --- it's sort of a pain in the butt

time in the van, however, does translate into charity knitting getting completed, which is a good thing

and on the way back we decided to go ahead and do some Christmas shopping that we usually do on the Monday after Thanksgiving when we're en route home from our daughter's house

pretty cool being a bit ahead of the game with that

time to get busy --- projects are waiting!

Friday, October 19, 2012

uh -- boring --

working on a mug to put with that bean printed fabric that came out so well

this was yesterday's first attempt, and it's

well --- boring!

just not in the same class as the background

I'll be making another attempt

this suite of jewelry is finally finished!!

I listed it in my Etsy store this morning -- more details are available there by using the link there at the upper right side of my blog

and then there is this guy

this is a grackle

they frequent our yard from time to time

the piece that I just finished for the Visioning Project was titled "Snow Bird"

the two pieces I'm working on designing now will feature a black bird --

hmm, this "series" seems to have just created itself without my thinking much about it!

I finished the Christmas project I was working on at the sewing machine yesterday --- on to the next one!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'll take a mug of that

in amid all of the other chaos yesterday (getting ready to give away a huge number of ceramic molds, and thinking momentarily that my vacuum had croaked - only to find it just needed a new filter) I finished the stamping of this piece of fabric

now that I have added the green beans and removed all of the freezer paper, this piece is ready for me to move on to the next step of the process

actually, it never fails to amaze me when something that I see in my head actually looks pretty much the same when I've done the work!

I used the pigment inks to do this with, which means the "hand" of the fabric is unchanged -- a good thing when you're planning to do a lot of stitching over the stamped area

hoping to get some work done on this later today

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Productive time in the studio

the last of the chocolate cherry suite of jewelry is finally finished

I'm really pleased with how all of these pieces came out

today I'll be setting up the photo studio and taking all of the pictures so I can get this entered in the competition

it will be a challenge to show all three pieces in only five pictures!

and yes, I've already started on the next piece of jewelry!

the stamping continues

I've done two layers now, and I hope to get the third layer done today

I really like the way this is coming together

when you look at the picture right now, it looks like the beans are stamped over each other because the first layer of stamping has the pieces of freezer paper over them

another hot pad complete!!

the Christmas sewing project is moving along nicely, and I've returned to quilting the lap quilt with the malamute in the center

yesterday I finished painting the bedroom I've been redoing --- there is a lot of trim work in that room -- I used almost an entire roll of Frog Tape getting it ready to paint --- today I can take the tape down and start putting that room back together -- yippee!!

time to get to work

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Snow Bird

The first of the Visioning Project pieces is complete

I like it

and I learn a lot about texture along the way -- which was the whole point

this is a small piece --- 12 inches square --- which means it fits neatly into one of the cool plastic containers they sell now days for the scrapbookers

nice, by the time I've finished I'll probably have a few of those containers full

if I get some time this afternoon, I'll be finishing the chocolate cherry  suite of jewelry --- yippee

but first there is the final painting in a bedroom to be done

Monday, October 15, 2012


I finished this lovely last night

it took almost exactly one month of my late evening scheduled knitting time

(and actually there were several evenings that I didn't get to it)

I think it's adorable --- and I love those metal tractor buttons

just hope Mr Cute likes it too

you may recall that I've been going through things in preparation for some painting and flooring

yesterday I found this piece that I did back in 2002

I'd been looking for this for a while because even though it had been declared "finished" back then, by my new approach it just isn't

so last night I picked out the stitching around the edges which meant the back is now off --- and there was no quilting involved in the piece originally -- which I think it needs

today I hope to get this ready to be quilted in the areas that are not covered with beads

the stamping has begun

I never did locate the roll of freezer paper I had, so I picked up another one at the grocery store so I can just get on with this project

today I will iron the freezer paper over the first stamps and stamp the next layer


of course there is laundry to do and a trip to the drug store, and some work in the house, but I hope to get back into the studio this afternoon

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Project That Can Not Be Named

I know --- it's blurry

not only is it blurry, it's only a little piece of the whole

so why am I showing you this?

because yesterday I finished "the project that can not be named"

the facing is all stitched and the rings have been attached

the deadline for this piece is not until the day before Thanksgiving, but I'm happy to say that it's all finished!

and I promise to show you the real thing after that --- and the rest of the pieces that go with it too

yesterday I signed up to go to the SAQA conference next spring

I'm really delighted that next year's conference is within easy driving distance (we used to do an art show in Albuquerque every spring, and Santa Fe is about an hour closer)

and I'm also thankful to my sister, who has once again been the "supporter of the artist", and sent me the money to register

excited already!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

chugging along

the two little glass pieces have now been attached

and now I've started working on the "chain" that will go around the neck

looking good!

yesterday afternoon I started working on another Christmas project that I can't show you until after Christmas!

and I'm nearly done with the facing on the "project which can not be named"

today's activities will include a trip to get our flu shots, pick up some groceries, mailing a package and a couple of other errands


Friday, October 12, 2012

in spite of there being a doctor's appointment and a trip for groceries and a guild meeting yesterday, there actually was a little time in the studio too

I hadn't originally planned to cut two stamps, but after I did the first one and tested it out, I decided I needed the "reverse" version too to make a pleasing background for this project

and cutting these fairly simple shapes didn't take very long to do

here is what the two look like when stamped

I did the cutting and glued the stamps to the plastic backing so it can set up before I use them to do the job I have in mind

meantime, I'm turning the house upside down trying to figure out what I did with the roll of freezer paper I have that I need for part of this project -- it makes me NUTS when I misplace something -- especially something that is obviously big enough that I ought to be able to find it --- GRRRRR!

and since I sat and waited in the doctor's office for almost 45 minutes (another giant waste of time!), I did get another afghan square finished

it will be number one in the next box to go out because I've already sealed up the box to mail the last batch

last night was the annual fund raising auction that our quilt guild does to raise funds for programs during the year

this bracelet was one of the pieces that I donated to the auction

and it was fun to watch the bidding -- I was happy to see it go to someone that liked it so well that she put it on as soon as the auctioneer handed it over to her


lots to do today -- time to get to it

Thursday, October 11, 2012

update on the chocolate cherry piece

the edging is done and the big piece of royal ruby glass has been "installed" there in the center with a bezel

I decided that a little transitional piece of additional glass on each side would be a good design feature

so now it's on to creating the "chain"

and I need to decide if this piece needs any kind of fringe

right now I'm thinking it doesn't

the quilting on the white piece has begun --- and I'm liking how it's going

today we again have appointments and errands, and this evening is a quilt guild meeting, so it's going to be a busy day

time to get to it

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

back to "normal"

or whatever looks like "normal" around here for now

I'm still working on paperwork from the auction, but that is winding down

 which means I'm back to working on some things in the studio --- Hurray!

this piece for instance

this is the first piece for my Visioning project, and it's now ready to be sandwiched and quilted

I'm pretty pleased with it

 I have just finished the quilting on the "project that can not be named"; and will be facing the edges in the next couple of days

remember the "mug shot"?

I decided that I wanted to use that "bean" background

is it coffee? cocoa?

either way, these two stamp pads used with some hand cut stamps should create that nicely

just need to get those stamps cut

of course the traveling meant more afghan squares got knit

these and all of the others I've been working on for a while will be going in the mail this week -- as well as all of those wool hats and the four wool sweaters


today I have some errands to run before I can get back into the studio -- guess it's time to get to them

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

where I've been

the auction that I've been coordinating is over

on Friday we did all of the packaging, then on Saturday we did the set up in the new space

there are still some odds and ends of paperwork to be completed, but  for the most part this project is done

now it's back to the art work --- especially the ones with deadlines!!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Wait --- I didn't order THAT!!

I woke up this morning to find SNOW on the top of the van

it didn't really stick much of anywhere else, but there it was -- clear evidence that summer is over and we will now start every commitment to travel with the words "weather permitting"

and I admit, I have a love/hate relationship with the weather --- I don't do well in very hot weather, but I don't like really cold weather either

picky, picky, picky

so today I'll be doing the packaging of the items for the charity auction --- time to get moving!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

doing my homework

this is the first official month of the Visioning Project which I will be working on for the next year

the point of this project is to set a goal in some segment of my work as an artist and to work toward it

this year I will be working on my design skills -- beginning with doing the exercises in a book titled Art + Quilt written by Lyric Kinard

for those of us that work with fiber, texture is a big part of the impact of our art

the first fiber assignment is to create a piece that is all white with as many different textures as possible

this involved my digging through all of the tubs of fabric that would not normally be used in quilts to find as many different pieces of white fabric as I could

and now the work has begun -- and yes, I'm taking a step into the abstract with this as well --- totally uncharted territory here, but that's part of the growing part of this too

of course in the meantime work on other things will continue

I started the edge work on the bead piece yesterday, and quilting on the "project which can not be named" is moving right along

last night as I was drifting off to sleep I think I solved my problem with the background print for the Mug Shot piece --- under the "DUH" factor, the key word here is "print" -- I'm going to be cutting a couple of rubber stamps of those over sized coffee beans and using a couple of pigment ink stamps to create that background --- should be fun!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

time for the next step

I finished the beading yesterday and spread the fray check over the back so it can dry

the next step is to trim the edges and put the backing on -- I'll be using some thin plastic to stabilize the piece then the back will be a soft brown suede like I used inside the bracelet

last night I finished knitting the sleeves and started the hood on the "tactor" sweater that I'm making for Mr. Cute

and I'm in the last quarter of the quilting on the "project which can not be named"

 moving right along

Monday, October 01, 2012

studio time

I've been working on this idea for a few days

 now that I have a drawing that I like, I've printed some sheets so I can play with the colored pencils and try some different color combos

 that will be fun

this piece is coming right along --

the top picture is the bead work

the second picture gives you an idea what it will look like when I get that final big red crystal installed


today I have laundry and errands and some other things to do before I can get back to the art

time to get to those