Monday, December 31, 2012

goodbye to 2012

even though I'm back in the grasp of some sort of "bug", I can't just sit and watch TV (although I did nap a bit yesterday) 

so while I did rest yesterday, I also worked on some projects 

you may remember these two pieces from a while back 

these are for the Visioning Project I'm working on, and the point of this exercise was to see the difference in mood that color makes 

these pieces are the same except for the color 

Blueberry Boulders and Marmalade Mountains!

 now it's on to the next assignment

  something else that I can do in a semi awake state is knit afghan squares 

one more for that box 

we were going to go see Les Miserables today and then go out to eat, but both of us are feeling pretty lousy (a rare occasion when we're both sick at the same time), so we're postponing that to a day when we can actually enjoy ourselves (and not disturb everyone in the theatre with coughing!) 

hoping for a Happy New Year to you all!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

bad thing, good thing

the bad thing:

yesterday was one of those days

the quilt show that was hanging locally was supposed to be up through the middle of January, but our coordinator got a call, and we were asked to take it down just in case the party that is being hosted in the facility for New Year's Eve gets too rowdy

hmmm, well, I'm happy to have my art work out of the line of fire

by the time I got home from doing that, however, I was starting to have a sore throat

throat lozenges and cool drinks have not helped

so it appears that for the second time in a month I'm sick 

I am not pleased --- after all, I had avoided all of this sort of thing for a good long time

we'll see how this goes -- my son in law was sick while we were there for Christmas, and was diagnosed with strep, so if this doesn't get better soon I'll be calling the doctor's office again

the good thing:  in March I will be 62 

according to the Social Security website, you can apply for your benefits 90 days prior to your 62nd birthday

this morning I worked my way through the on line application

after 5 working days (on January 8) I can go to the website and check on the status of my application

if all goes well, I'll get my first check in April



Saturday, December 29, 2012

tick tock, tick tock

about an hour of continuous beading yesterday and I have now finished building the bezels around all of the pieces for the project I'm creating right now

the next step here is to start playing with various arrangements until I figure out which piece goes where

today I'll be helping taking down a quilt exhibit in a local facility --- I did not have the opportunity to see the exhibit during the time it was open, so it will be good to see all of the pieces as we take them off the wall

after that some time in the studio -- hopefully

time to get moving

Friday, December 28, 2012

the final Christmas reveal, and progress on new things

the annual Christmas sweater was a bigger surprise than usual for my daughter this year

in the past she has gotten to select several patterns and/or colors then I made the final decision which one to make

this year I made the decisions and created this lovely for her

and she loved it!  

fresh off of the embroidery program on my sewing machine

four large dish towels, suitable for drying glasses or covering a bowl full of dough to be raised

notice the cool daisies and the black and white check border

and this coordinating toaster cover -- which actually is version two of this object since my daughter's kitchen got a new toaster this year and the old one wouldn't fit

  this colorful apron was made for my sister 

rows of cute kitty print 

and she got a stack of color coordinated hot pads too 

 the final sewing project was this snappy sweat suit for Mr Cute --- he'll be all dressed to watch football with daddy  

Mr Cute got a cool train table for Christmas --- can you tell that he really likes it?  

he got a new trike too --- here he is on Christmas day with his daddy 

 it won't be long before he'll be ridding it all around the house!  

yesterday was a travel day for us, but we got home early enough that I did do some work on projects after we got everything out of the car 

two more pieces of this project have been bezeled 


the first block for the baby quilt I'm working on is complete  

and as always, more afghan squares got knit while I was away --- only need to finish one more to have the box full 

today we need to do some shopping, then hopefully some work in the studio

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Santa was here!

Pictures to follow ----

Have a wonderful Christmas one and all!!!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Being the S.O.G.

Silly Ol' Grandma that is 

it was my pleasure on Friday evening to watch Mr. Cute while his mommy and daddy went out for the evening for a little "adult" time 

here he is modeling the new flannel tractor hat while playing with his birthday present from us -- a Noah's Ark set that includes some of the cutest elephants, zebras and giraffes ever -- and because it is a "Little People" toy, all of the other animals he has from the zoo set and the farm set work with it to, so he has a rather impressive ark load of animals 

 it was a lot of fun for the SOG to play with him then read him books and tuck him into bed  

the sunrises this time of year can be spectacular --- Saturday's was one of those 

the weather man says we have a storm coming in this afternoon which means we may have the rare white Christmas here --- pretty amazing since it only happens 6% of the time here

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tick Tock

a lot of time spent in the studio yesterday, but no pictures to show for it as most of the time was either cleaning up from the last projects or organizing the materials for the next one

some time was spent on this project however, and I managed to get bezels around two more of the little odd objects that I'm planning to put in this piece

one of them is the brand "button" off the front of one of my small kitchen appliances (it fell off a few months ago and I just put it in with the jewelry making stuff), and the other one is a key off my laptop that got popped off a while back (there are some things that being a pack rat are good for!)

I have more pieces to encircle with beads -- another laptop key, three watch faces and some gears from the inside of some watches

it will be fun to work with all of these different pieces to create a cohesive piece

lots to do today -- time to get to it

Thursday, December 20, 2012

beginning a new piece

I've been thinking about this piece for about a month now, and yesterday I actually started working on it 

the rectangular watch face was in a package of miscellaneous watch parts that I got in the local craft store, but the round one is from an old watch that my mom gave me and the DH was able to get the back off of so I could remove all the little gears and the face

since I'm not really sure exactly what this piece will look like, I'm beginning with building bezels around some of the pieces I want to use 

these had holes in them that let me just stitch them down sort of like a button, making it easy for me to attach them to the backing and start right in with the bezel work 

 I have some other pieces that had to be glued down first, so I couldn't do beading around them yesterday, but I hope to be able to start on those today

yesterday it was cold, windy, snowy -- in short, perfect weather to bake 

 this stack of neatly wrapped breads is the result of the DH and I each creating some holiday bread 

 my mother asked me this year to made a batch of fruitcake using her recipe (you can see that recipe here

I hadn't made this for probably 20 years, and had forgotten just how much it makes, so there is plenty for her to have some and there's some for us too 

the DH's family didn't do fruitcake, but they did something called gum drop bread (recipe for that one is here

both of these recipes involve cutting up sticky stuff (either fruit or gum drops), chopping nuts and adding a very simple flour/sugar/egg batter, then a long slow baking process 

we managed to keep the kitchen and family room very comfortably warm for most of the day

and here we have the second set of mittens and hat for next year's box --- finished up last night 

now that I'm done baking (the DH has one more baking project to do today), I'll be spending some time working on quilts and that piece of jewelry today --- it should be fun!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tractor hat for winter

I guess I've made enough of these now that they almost make themselves 

soft flannel, and I used a fusible fleece inside the brim so it has some substance, but it is still soft 

all ready to go to Mr Cute!


after all those starts and stops this piece is now finished 

the deadline for the competition it will be entered in is not until January 5 


so now it's on to the next piece for a competition that has a January 31 deadline

one more afghan square 

the Close Knit Hugs group is sending afghans to the victims of super storm Sandy now, so sending off that box I have almost finished will be a good thing 

 today I hope to get the blocks for the baby quilt set up so I can start stitching them

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

a non-Christmas sewing project

it's nearly winter 

last year I made Mr Cute a sock hat, but he doesn't want to wear it 

but he will wear the cotton bucket hat I made him during the summer 

so his mama asked if I could make him a bucket hat out of something warmer like flannel 

yesterday I found this fabric --- oh look, "tactors"!! 

this has been in the washer and the dryer, and I should have no problem getting this made up for him pretty quickly 

glad to help out here!
and while I was looking at the fabrics, I found something that I can use as the background for this quilt 

which means I can start doing these blocks 

 I've been working on the quilting and finishing of the two mountain pieces for the visioning project

so it was time to start thinking about the next assignment and get some drawings done 

 this was the result 

I like this little houses on the hillside drawing, and I think it will be fun to create the pieces from it 

according to the weather man, we're supposed to get snow this evening into tomorrow, so we've decided to go do our grocery shopping today so we don't have to go out tomorrow

time to get moving

Monday, December 17, 2012

projects that can not be named

it was a busy weekend 

more sewing projects rolled off the sewing machine, made their way to the kitchen table and got put into boxes and wrapping paper 

and like the folks that will be receiving these items, those of you that read here will have to wait to see them (you know who you are!) 

except for a couple of small "sock gifts", I'm done shopping, sewing and wrapping for Christmas -- and judging from the bags full of wrapped gifts, it was a busy season preparing!

I spent some time working on this yesterday 

there have been several attempts to finish this piece that have been ripped out, but this version is a keeper 

it's not what I first envisioned, but I like the contrast of the sharp triangular pieces with the round center 

I hope to get this finished this afternoon and I have already started planning and collecting the materials for the next piece I'll be building

last night we watched some Christmas music specials on our local PBS station, and I finished another afghan square 

a quick review of the box that I'm filling with these  and there is enough room for six to eight more in there before I mail it off --- might get these in the mail before the end of December --- cool! 

also worked on mittens and hat set number 2 for the 2013 challenge --- am I getting too far ahead of myself here?

time to get moving on today's projects

Saturday, December 15, 2012

happy birthday Mr Cute

my grandson is two years old today

two years ago today we made the mad dash north to be there with our daughter and her husband when he was born

the past two years have FLOWN by

can't wait to see him for our Christmas celebration -- and give him a big hug next weekend


I've been fiddling with this for a couple of days 

originally I had thought about doing this entirely as bead embroidery, but after working on that idea for a while, I decided to try something different 

 I'll be working on that some later today  

finished another afghan square yesterday evening 

one more for that box  

I took this picture this morning before the clouds came back in and the pervasive gray took over

I don't usually talk about anything but my art and family here, but this morning I feel compelled to say this:   

hug your children 
lock up your guns
pray for peace in the hearts and minds of the troubled

Friday, December 14, 2012

I know how to blow things up

patterns with my computer software that is 

the DH has completed the drawings of the individual animals, so now it's up to me to translate them into the quilt

I've done several variations of this design layout (four of them since 2008)

this one will be interesting because it's animals I've not done much with before

yesterday I pulled each individual drawing into the software and printed out the patterns -- the four corners are 12 inch squares, and the center block is a 24 inch square --- I really love that I can do all of that with my computer instead of the way such things used to be done (do you remember drawing things square by square from small graph paper to bigger graph paper?)

as soon as I get the work table cleared off (I've got it piled up with presents that need to be wrapped), I'll be going through my fabric stash and pulling out fabric to start on this project

today I hope to get most of that wrapping finished!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

one more thing off the list

the Christmas pj stitching is finished! 

yesterday morning I finished these two pairs of pj pants for Mr Cute

there's one more for Mr Cute that also got finished, and another pair for an adult, but I'm not going to be able to show you those until after they are delivered since the recipient reads this!

 I still have a sweat suit to make for Mr Cute  -- I saved all the sewing for him until the last minute because I wanted to be sure I'm making a size he can wear for at least a couple of weeks

 yesterday afternoon I was in meetings planning for some future adventures with art quilts

while I was away the DH wrapped the presents that need to get shipped to California --- the shipping will happen either today or tomorrow

time to get busy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

a new bracelet in process

last spring, when I visited a quilt show in Denver, I bought this big button with the idea of putting it into a piece of jewelry 

since I have finished the mermaid piece and I can't yet order beads for another piece I want to do for a contest that ends in February, I decided to work on this piece for now 

 most of the bezel is complete -- this one is deeper than the normal ones to accommodate the thickness of the button 

 I think this one will be fun  

Ta Da! the drawings for the baby quilt are done -- the DH has been very busy at the drawing board!

 I've already started thinking about fabrics to use -- I hope to get this project kitted up in the next week so I can have it ready to work on over the holiday 

 (and this is where it's nice to have a fabric stash to draw out of!)  

another afghan square complete 

at this rate I'll have one more box full to mail off before the end of the year 

 today I'll be off in a meeting about a couple of quilt shows I'll be helping to stage in 2013 --- that should be an adventure!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

a head start on next year

the package of knitting that I did for the Cheyenne River Reservation went of to them the end of September

since all my Christmas knitting is finished, I've started on the projects for 2013

a pair of mittens and a matching hat

only 12 more sets to go!

meantime, in the sewing room, I'm working on a project that I won't be showing you until after Christmas since the intended recipient reads my blog!

I've started quilting on the two mountain pieces, started thinking about the next assignment for the visioning project, and the DH is working on drawings for the baby quilt

yup, I'm finally starting to feel more like myself -- after almost a week of antibiotics ---- YIPPEE!!


Monday, December 10, 2012

out on the edge of the fringe

the piece is complete! 

and this morning I listed it on my Etsy store 

after all the sewing and ripping in the end it ended up being a pretty simple design 

sometimes less is more  

a little time at the sewing machine and another Christmas present is all finished 

 these have a new (to me at least) material called InsulBrite in them that is a sort of batting with a reflective coating that helps make hot mats (and in this case, pot grabbers) more effective in protecting your hands 

and the fabric is perfect for the person they're going to  

another afghan square completed! 

 time to raid my basement yarn stash --- I've reached the bottom of my family room yarn for these  

someone my daughter works with (and I've actually met too) has a daughter that is having a baby in the spring 

so we've been asked to make another baby quilt! 

these are always fun 

the DH has been doing animal drawings --- these are the first three 

the plan is to use the moose in the center of the quilt and the other animals in the corners

he has a couple more to do then I can start creating the patterns 


today I'm trying to catch up on two week's worth of laundry since I was just too sick to do that last Monday --- this will take a while

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Let the Fringing Begin!

the "chain" has been attached and yesterday I started working on the fringe 

 most of the time when I do fringe I start at the left hand side and work my way across from there 

this time I started in the center because I wanted that center to be a certain length, so now I'm working from the center out 

fringing with a "soup" mix of beads is a little different from using beads that are all the same type because it is not based on a certain number of beads so much as the length of the beads that have been strung 

and I decided to do branched fringe on this because I like the full look of that 

 time at the sewing machine resulted in the second pair of pj pants 

 we have a family tradition of opening the Christmas pjs on Christmas Eve --- this pair will be the ones in the tissue paper for the SIL this year (and there will be a matching pair for Mr Cute!) 

 while I was sitting in my chair yesterday afternoon I whipped up these lovelies 

for certain members of the family, the gift card is the best present we can give them, but I hate to just put those in the envelope and send them off 

but I also couldn't see paying $3 to $5 each for the commercially available product for this purpose 

these took me less than an hour and very little in expense -- the Christmas print paper was already in my "stash", and the only other thing I needed was glue

 now I can get those gift cards in the mail! 

I also managed yesterday to get the two mountain quilt pieces pinned into their "sandwiches" so I can do the quilting --- Yippee!! 

 this morning we woke to the first real snow of the season --- and it's COLD --- a good day for not much outdoor activity --- and perhaps getting those Christmas cards ready to go in the mail

Saturday, December 08, 2012

what a difference a day makes

can not believe how much better I feel after 48 hours of antibiotics! 

 so much so that things actually got done yesterday 

 like the decorating of the Christmas tree

 last year we set this up where it could be seen from outside the living room window 

 the problem with that is, we don't really spend any time in that room 

so this year it's in the family room where we can enjoy it  

I worked on other things too yesterday 

like the "chain" for this piece 

 it's not attached yet, but I do like it 

I'll get to the attaching (and the fringing) soon  

and an actual finished project! 

the first of several pairs of pj bottoms that have been sitting on my sewing table for a week waiting for me to feel well enough to work on them  

and these two pieces 

these are the next assignment on the Visioning Project 

 this assignment was to use color to establish the "mood" of a piece

 I've started calling one of these "Marmalade Mountains"

the other piece doesn't really have a name yet 

and only the applique work is complete here --- still needs quilting and embellishing, but it feels good to have anything accomplished 

who knows what I'll get done today!