Tuesday, July 31, 2012

oh deer!

yesterday we had to run to the store for dog food and some other stuff between the laundry and the studio work

on the way back, as I turned into our residential area I noticed what I thought were two big dogs playing on a front yard

and then I did a double take

hey, those aren't dogs!

what I saw was a doe and THREE(!!) fawns playing in the front yard of a house --- let me tell you, they were stopping traffic as there were two cars that had pulled over on the other side of the street and the guy behind me was stopped too

oh wow

these babies don't look very old -- they were probably born in the last month -- the doe had some unusual "markings" on her fur that looked like she had been too close to black paint -- my guess is that she escaped the fire


here's the latest Christmas project

the beginning of a dinosaur toy for Mr Cute

it's coming along nicely

I wanted to make the chest a different color but I couldn't figure out how to do that from just reading the instructions that were written to crochet in the round and were not planned for that

when I return to this later I may actually write some notes and rip back a ways to actually make that work

the quilting is coming along

I finished the quilting in the light colored area behind the flowers

and I've started now working on the dark section

and this is going much faster than I thought it would when I decided to quilt it this way

the work on the Y'upik quilt top is actually moving along too -- I'm almost finished with the applique on the big center block -- once that is finished, it will be time to set it together and get it ready to quilt


since I'm having some issues with the orange piece,  I started work on a purple bracelet

 the center stone is an amethyst cab with the unusual feature of having been cut to include the quartz matrix that it grew in -- an unusual stone to find

the two side pieces are actually polished slabs of crystal amethyst

I think I'm going to like the way this looks

time go get moving -- need to make a run to the hardware store this morning before I can get into the studio

Monday, July 30, 2012

something new

I've been fiddling with this idea in my head for a while now, so yesterday I actually tried out some of the ideas

so far so good

when I get back to this I'll be cutting some flame shapes out of red organza and trying to figure out how to hold the whole thing together to do the stitching

a whole new challenge

I'm hoping by working on this piece I can start getting these images out of my head and into a finished piece

you may remember these items that I picked up last month

I'm going to work on creating something with these

and here is why I work on more than one thing at a time -- I got all the nets done around all those crystals and now I'm "stuck" on how to do anything more with them

that's why the purple stuff came out of the bin and the orange has been set aside for now

this morning I've got laundry to do and some errands to run before I can get back into the studio --- time to get busy

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The birds are back

the past couple of days after the hose runs I've noticed that there are about half a dozen juvenile robins hanging out, looking for worms

it occurred to me that I hadn't seen any of the usual robins, wrens, finches and woodpeckers since about the middle of June

then the brain actually kicked in and I realized why

there is a reason miners took a canary down into the coal mines

the birds are the first to be alarmed by bad air

the Waldo Canyon Fire created a whole lot of that

I'm really happy to hear the wood peckers squabbling again and to see the robins strutting around in the damp grass pulling up the worms

welcome home

Saturday, July 28, 2012

two steps forward, one step back

more experimenting with a way to "make marks" on the polyester organza continued yesterday

I found that I have one material in the studio that actually will create a mark on that fabric

it's the paint in the squeeze bottle that I first used to paint on t shirts

who knew?

I think I can work with this idea

today I hope to experiment with a different piece of this project

the cutting is finally finished on all of these ferns

this is the last major piece that needed to be done for the big trees piece

so now I need to take everything off of the table in the studio so I can lay out the quilt and arrange and pin these on to it and get it ready to iron these on

I've been thinking about making the quilt sandwich for this piece --- that will be interesting

remember this piece?

this was my entry this year for the Hoffman Challenge

yesterday they announced the winners and the traveling shows

it did not make the cut

I don't get it

we won't speak of it again

Friday, July 27, 2012

still seeing orange

finally got all of the crystals into their nets

and this is how they look laid out on the original sketch

recently there have been a number of articles in the bead magazines where beaders are using a cotton souch braid in with the beads to create pieces of jewelry

I'm contemplating the proper stitch to use for creating beaded souch braid -- peyote is too stiff and right angle weave is probably too flexible -- the research and experimentation continues

meantime, I'm working on the quilting of the fall piece -- that's moving right along

and I've been experimenting with some materials for another piece -- yesterday I discovered that you can't mark on polyester organza with either stamp pad ink or Copic markers ---- hmmmmmm --- but you can use a match at the edges to create a burnt curled edge --- more techniques to be tried soon

time to get to it

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

two more finished objects

a little more phone time and another hot pad is complete

the DH says this one looks like an Easter egg

this is number 11

rolling right along

the second charity quilt top in a week is now complete

I was pretty happy with the 20 blocks when I finished them on Monday afternoon, but I'm even more delighted with the look of the completed quilt top

it just has that "zing"

yesterday I got instructions for a different quilt block that I want to try for the next one

maybe later this week

 hand stitching time went well on this piece

I didn't think I'd get all of this stitched until later in the week, so I'm feeling pretty good about this

so the first thing on today's studio time is to get the sandwich made so I can start in on the quilting


and now it's on to the very smallest of the crystals

I got one of them done yesterday and wrote down the beading sequence so the rest of them should go faster

there are a dozen of these 12 mm size total

as soon as the netting part is done I can move on to the arranging and the creating of cording for the rest of the design -- that part is still sort of in flux, so it will be interesting to see where this all goes next

before I get to work on any of these things today there are some errands that need to be run

time to get to it

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

just a few projects in the studio

for instance, I'm cranking along on making another charity quilt top

yesterday I cut the strips and put the 20 quilt blocks together

even started putting the strips together to set the whole top

I'm hoping to have this little lovely done today -- it's been nice to work with blocks that don't include pink!

the cording is done round the outside edge of this piece

even got all of the edge clipped so that when I press it the cording will lay smooth

pressing and pinning required next, then attaching the oval to the outside edge that is waiting

looks like by the end of the week I'll be making up the quilt sandwich and starting into the quilting of this piece


five more done

I didn't get to these as early in the day as I hoped to after doing household chores, so I only got half of the next size (14 mm) crystals finished

this is the first size that I have the color crystals that are called "padparadscha"

it's that bright, clear orange one and is a color copied from a padparadscha sapphire which is actually a sort of cross between a yellow sapphire and a ruby (yes, a red sapphire is a ruby or you could say a ruby is a red sapphire)

and I have always loved this color in a natural stone, and I wish the Swarovski folks would do this in more sizes and shapes!

 finished the evening off by completing another project

this is a Christmas present for a friend

the ears were a problem -- the directions that were given made a pair of ears that looked more like misplaced bat wings --- way too large and just the wrong shape entirely for a cat!

the new and improved version that I created (and yes, I wrote it down as I made the first one so the second one would match!) are much better and have that gentle curve to them that looks just right

nice to have one more item finished!

lots of projects to do today  --  time to get to them

Monday, July 23, 2012

summer orange crystals

more work on the crystals

the original four are at the top of this photo, with the additional eight that I netted yesterday below them

half of the ones I did yesterday are a darker, more burnt orange color

I have 22 more of these to do in two more (smaller) sizes

it's moving right along

yesterday I  worked on the fall themed quilt and the center block of the Y'upik quilt I'm making

just chugging along working on projects

today I'm doing the usual Monday thing -- laundry

then back into the studio!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Finished - progress - beginning

and this piece is now out of the work list and into the "for sale" list

the pictures got taken and it is now available in my Etsy store

if you want to take a closer look, you can use the link there on the top right hand side of the blog

yesterday  I did the paperwork and sent off my entry of this piece in the competition that I created it for

there will be a "viewer's choice" voting for these pieces, so sometime after August 15 you'll be seeing this again with a link for the voting

the center panel is now ready to be attached to the outside edge of this piece

but first I'm attaching the two different colors of cording that will go around the oval as a kind of "framing"

I had originally thought I could do those two steps all at once, but that didn't work out so well, so I've returned to the two step process

yesterday I got about a quarter of the way around doing the attaching, and I'm hoping to get the rest of it done today

do you remember mercurochrome?

when I was a child it was the antiseptic of choice for treating skinned knees and other "boo boos"

the color is almost synonymous with summer in my memory

the beads I'm using for this newest piece of jewelry is that color -- sort of orange/pink and glowing

these are the first four crystals -- 18 mm in diameter -- all netted up and ready -- there are 30 more of these crystals (all of them smaller than these) left to be encircled before I can start putting the piece together

I'm loving working on this -- so far at least

Saturday, July 21, 2012

bead time

after some starts and stops, I finally got the edges on this piece finished

now it's on to figuring out a clasp

I have a picture in my head of what I'd like that clasp to look like, the question is if I can actually create something that looks like that and that will work

we'll see

I spent some time yesterday catching up on paperwork --- this week has seemed so chaotic with the jury duty and the heat making it necessary to do the outdoor work early in the day

today I hope to get some work done on projects

Friday, July 20, 2012

charity quilts and lion manes

time at the sewing machine yesterday afternoon

this quilt top is made from the little pieces and bits of fabrics that were left over from the last few charity quilts that I've made

it's pretty amazing how well all of the different jelly rolls and other pieces went together

and I set something of a personal record for putting a whole quilt top together

I'll be working on more charity quilt tops, but the next batch will be less pink as the fabrics I've most recently gotten are more in the navy blue and red colors

after I finished doing this piece at the sewing machine I did the fusing I needed to do on the next competition quilt I'm trying to get finished, and spent considerable time last night doing the stitching on that piece

today is the deadline for the Hoffman Challenge -- which means that some time soon we'll know who's quilts made the cut (I've got my fingers crossed!)

and the loop stitch mane stitch knitting is finally finished

this was probably the most difficult knitting stitch I've ever done

and it looks really cool

I still have to make the lion's ears, but I should be starting on putting this together

we need to make a quick trip to the grocery store, then I have a lot of paperwork to work on, so I'll be hanging out in front of the cooler doing that, then hopefully more work in the studio

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Christmas in July package from the craft fairy

my sister has contacts

the kind of contacts that call her whenever someone wants to reduce their  fabric or yarn or anything craft related stash

last week we had talked on the phone -- she had borrowed a pattern from me to make herself a tote bag and she wanted to mail it back to me

she said she'd send me some other goodies too

I was not prepared for the size (or the weight!) of this box ---

talk about goodies from the craft fairy!

that small box there with the pink foam lining is full of spools of thread -- apparently her sewing machine is very picky about just what kind of thread it will "consume" and these don't make the cut -- my machine is not so "selective", so she passed these on to me for embroidery projects --- YEAH!

there were many skeins of variegated yarn to be turned into afghan squares, a stack of Christmas themed fabrics, some other fabrics, a plastic needlepoint kit for a Christmas train, a pattern for a stitched house and some assorted cord and ribbon

and buried in the soft goodies there was a container of real maple syrup -- YUM!!

thanks sis!  there will be lots of good things made out of these goodies

as I write this at 10 am, we have already mowed the front lawn --- it is 83 degrees already, and we plan to stay in front of a cool fan for the rest of the day

I'm hoping to get some work done in the studio!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Actual finished work

well, at least the beading is completed

and the back has been all coated to hold everything in place

I've even already found the dark blue leather that I plan to use for the back of this, and I hope to get the actual finishing work complete in the next couple of days

the beading is done on this too

this is a sort of "quick and dirty" snapshot of the piece

today I need to work on getting some really quality pictures so you can actually SEE the bead detail on each of those firework bursts

and once I get that I can enter this in the competition that I made it for

I'm making real progress on the center block for the other competition piece that has the same deadline date -- will I manage to get it finished and in their hands by August 15?   I hope so

time spent hanging out in the jury room of the court house gave me time to create the rough sketch of a new piece of jewelry

and last night I was able to use my templates to make the more accurate sized drawing

as soon as I get the back on the bracelet I'll be starting on this piece that will require me to build a net frame around each of those circles so I can string them all together

this piece is for a competition too

I have completed my jury service -- it was, shall we say, an interesting experience -- I'm glad to be finished and hope not to get called for another 5 years (yes, I know, I could get called again next year according to the way the system works, but I can always hope!)

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

Sunday, July 15, 2012

not quite finished

the beading is moving along, but not quite finished

maybe today

because I have to go for jury duty tomorrow, I spent time yesterday doing laundry and a few other household things

hoping that the jury duty will be over quickly since I can't take much of anything with me into the court house -- no sharp metal objects which eliminates most of my art projects --

see ya on the other side

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Real progress in the studio

the bead work on this piece is over half finished

even more awesome every day

this is the progress on the autumn theme quilt piece

the next step in this process is to create the piece that is the center oval, and I'll be doing a combination of piecing and applique to do that

the plan is to do a narrow corded ridge around the outside of that oval, which means I need to cut some fabric on the bias and make that cording --- some work that can actually be done on the sewing machine

I hope to get that done today

 the quilting on the summer memories piece is finished

I need to measure and determine what the borders/binding need to look like

and I still plan to embellish each of those fireworks bursts with tiny seed beads

I had originally planned to quilt over each of those fireworks, but I find I like the "puff" of each one that has happened because I didn't quilt over them

the look of that piece of yellow organza over the top of this, especially in the dark sky section looks like the smoke that hangs in the air after a fire works display


there is still some knitting going on too

this is the tummy gusset for the lion I'm making

and it had some "issues" and required some ripping back in it's process, but now it's finished

now that I've gotten another skein of yarn for the side piece, I can go back and finish the second side

(couldn't believe I was actually able to get a second skein in the same dye lot!!)

making nice progress

and then there is this

as I mentioned last week, it seems like the more ideas I'm working on, the more spring into my head

this ideas is for a small wall hanging for Halloween

my local quilt guild does a fund raising auction each year and I'm going to try to create this to donate for that

(although I may also make more than one of these)

the background is a spider web pieced block, then the shoes, socks and hat will be appliqued -- sort of --- the plan is for the edges to "dangle" off the edges of the pieced section

I'm planning on using odds and ends of orange, purple, green and black fabrics for most of this


Friday, July 13, 2012

blue beading

the beading on this is moving right along  --- about 1/3 of the surface is finished

I like it more and more as I add each piece --- thinking of it as patchwork with beads!

finished another of the ongoing hot pad project

this is number 10

the last few days I hadn't been able to get anything done on these because the head set for my phone had died (these have been my "on the phone" project)

I got a new head set for my phone yesterday

back to getting work done!

last night was the meeting of the local quilt guild that I belong to --- we had our birthday party -- played games, ate birthday cake and talked about the serious business of helping to create quilts for the many households that were impacted by the Waldo Canyon Fire

I picked up this assortment of fabrics from the put and take table

my plan is to put these into the mix for the building of charity quilts

 I've started to work on drawings for the piece that's been forming in my head for the last two weeks

it's very rough and will have a lot of changes, modifications and adjustments

but it's a start at getting it out of my head and on to paper

I picked up some fabrics to "play" with to try some techniques that I want to use for this piece

we'll see how it goes

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Utilitarian sewing

while I most enjoy sewing where I'm creating some new and possibly complex project, there are other kinds of stitching that must get done from time to time

this project, for example

this orange athletic bag is actually older than my daughter as it was from a group the DH was a coach for before she was born -- she uses it to take her stuff to the gym

the zipper had started to come away from the fabric because the stitching was coming apart, and the white piping around the ends was originally a plastic that had hardened and cracked over the years of being used and washed

yesterday I took the ends out of the bag, restitched the zipper, made new cloth cording and reassembled the bag -- good as new

I'll be sending her a big squishy so she can have this for the gym again

and then there was this project

on the right hand side is what was left of a pillow case for one of the little round pillows the DH uses

that case was made a few years ago out of a piece of a flannel sheet that had developed other holes (grandma taught me not to waste!)

there on the left is the new case I made for the pillow yesterday --- I had picked up this fabric somewhere on a sale just because I liked the colors

it's a good sturdy cotton, so I'm hoping this case will last a while too

every now and then it's good to show one of my bead projects in its intended use

yesterday I added the orange barrette to my Etsy store, but here it is in my hair


I'm looking forward to making some more of these as little quick projects between larger things

sort of like the little scoop of sorbet between courses at a fancy many course gourmet meal

(obviously this one was orange/tangerine sorbet!)

yesterday afternoon I did the paperwork and set up two new bead projects

this is one of them, and you can see here that I've already started working on the beading

once again I'm using those recycled seed and bugle beads that my mother gave me to create another Tribute to Gees Bend bracelet

this one is all shades of blue with the occasional red-orange -- this is a blue jean quilt

the other project that has been all set up is the orange crystals --- I'll start working on that one soon

I'm within a day or two of having the quilting of the Summer Memories quilt finished, and the top for the Autumn challenge is moving right along too

tonight is my local quilt guild meeting --- we're celebrating our 25th birthday as a guild -- and we'll be talking about creating quilts for the many folks in our community that lost their homes in the Waldo Canyon Fire -- there is much to do

time to get to it

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Home again

for the past 10 days we haven't been at our house

we've been at our daughter's house looking after the pets and working on a few projects for them

like the railing on either side of the stairs off of their deck

we built this in two days --- in cooler weather we could have done it faster, but we decided to not over do it

one of the little projects I did in the house was to remove the cover from the couch and run it through the washer

down in the folds of the cover were some very interesting and random bits of everyday life -- a penny, a red skittle candy, a piece of cardboard from the top of a kleenex box, a soft baby rattle, an octopus block and a bird feather!

just before we went to to our daughter's the DH had his appointment with the surgeon that did his shoulder replacement

his doctor has now cleared him to lift what feels "comfortable"

that does not mean he can pick up 60 pound bags of concrete, but Mr Cute is definitely safe

 I love this picture of Mr Cute with his grandpa reading a good book

the trip home usually takes about 90 minutes -- yesterday because of heavy rains through Denver and some accidents on the highway it took us over 3 hours


 I did get two afghan squares like this finished

and this piece for the Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild's Third Bead Fest Fairy Tales Challenge is finally finished

and not a moment too soon -- the deadline is today

the piece is titled The Snow Queen

and I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone else did

this morning we have errands and shopping to do, I'm hoping to get back into a normal routine in the next couple of days