Tuesday, November 26, 2013

production marches on!

this is all finished

I used one of the fonts on my sewing machine to embroider the "Chef" on the head band

can't wait to get a picture of Mr Cute wearing this!

got this finished too

using fabric that was given to me (thanks sis!) I was able to make a pillow cover for a neck pillow

the original pattern called for a zipper around the outside edge, but that was such a pain that I reworked the pattern and created an overlapping opening on the back side that I hope will make it a lot easier to put on and take off

assembly of the dinosaur parts continues

I'm thinking I'll be able to start attaching all of these parts soon!

the gray skies seem to finally be gone

I shot this photo outside the front door this morning  -- its a good thing/bad thing

the good thing -- that blue sky, and this might be good inspiration for an art quilt

the bad thing -- that gutter must be full of leaves and pine needles because the ice is running right over the top and down the front edge -- which means as soon as everything melts off the roof, I need to pull out the ladder and clean out that gutter -- let's not create an issue with the roof!

Monday, November 25, 2013

crank up the production

heh, well, like I said, it's full steam ahead into Christmas projects

time at the sewing machine brought the completion of two crafting aprons for Mr Cute -- one for him and one for a friend to wear when crafting projects are done at Mr Cute's house

these look adorable from the front as they are a colorful fabric, and they really will keep the clothing underneath clean too because the inner lining is made from a piece of a flannel backed vinyl tablecloth that had already proved its wash-ability -- the flannel part is the back of the aprons and the printed vinyl is just beneath the surface of that bright print

these came out really well

and that pillow case took all of about 10 minutes from the cutting to completion -- I'm thinking this needs to go to Mr Cute to be put on his pillow right after Thanksgiving since it has those little snow men on it

it doesn't look like much here, but it is --- every year for the past 5 or 6 I've created a lap quilt for someone in the family

this one is this year's -- and I'll get you a better picture on Christmas day when the tall recipient can hold it up for me 

this one is all kinds of firsts, and on the whole, I'm really pleased with it

dinosaur "arms" with "hands" and claws --- this is a complex project, but its moving right along

today I'm doing laundry and working on projects -- time to get to that

Sunday, November 24, 2013

some finished, some in progress

the bead work I've been messing with for about a month is finally finished

in ways it is a continuation of what the prior piece was -- more fiddling with creating 3D shapes with seed beads and the added dimension of "framing" some bigger beads with those shapes

the necklace has even more variety of shapes and materials

both of these pieces are now out on my Etsy store (link there at the top right of my blog)

so now its full speed ahead with Christmas projects

yesterday afternoon I cut out several items that now need to be stitched together and last night I worked some more on this project -- certainly he is an interesting dinosaur!

I'm in the final stretch of stitching down the binding on the quilt that is a Christmas gift, and the other knitting project for Christmas is moving right along too

the winter storm that was supposed to blow in and blow out in about 24 hours has been hanging over us since Thursday -- this morning all of the trees look like they've been flocked at the Christmas tree lot as the fog and the cold combine to coat everything in frost

the dog went out and snow plowed in the yard -- and carried in a blob of snow on her nose -- it looks like that gray in her muzzle has moved up over her nose!

we're hoping this cold and gray moves on soon

Monday, November 18, 2013

Keep calm and knit on

the pile of dinosaur parts continues to grow -- spikes for the back, the "beak" and the eye balls are done now

the first of the Christmas cards --- I'm still considering the addition of some glitter -- either white on the trees or some red decoration on the top edge of the sled -- or both

I still have 49 of these to put together

time to get moving -- I have an appointment with the doctor to discuss an approach to the ongoing knee pain

Sunday, November 17, 2013

update on projects

I've been able to return to working on just about everything -- you can still see the spots where the needle went in and out of my finger, but it is nearly healed

I've been working on the "chain" for the blue necklace -- it's coming along

since this piece has been a "happening" instead of my usually more planned project, it has meant a lot of making it up as I go along -- it's looking good

knitting on the dinosaur parts is coming along -- pieces for both the front and back feet are finished and now I'm working on the many triangular spike parts

the quilting on the Christmas gift quilt is moving along, as is the knitting of the other Christmas project -- looking good

hoping to actually get to some of the art quilt work sometime this week -- we'll see

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

getting back to normal

my finger has recovered enough that I was able to work on this bead work again yesterday

I have connected the three strands of pieces, now I need to figure out how much needs to be added at the ends of each one to create the back edge to the clasp

more parts of the dinosaur are finished --- all four legs have been knit now it's on to the feet, tail and the spikes

I've started another knitting project that I won't be able to show you until after Christmas since the person it's for reads my blog!

I'm making progress on my Christmas card project

my daughter used her Cricut machine to cut out the dogs and the sleds for me

I'm in the process of painting the sled runners with a silver gel and adding eye, nose and muzzle details on the dogs

they are coming along

and an actual finished project

and this one is for me!

this pattern was pretty easy to knit --- I like it!

I'm back to sewing on the big lap quilt too -- I'm about a third of the way through the quilting

time to get to it

Monday, November 11, 2013

Before and After

Back in September I took this piece to a meeting where it was critiqued by someone that has a lot more art education than I do

I made this piece during 2012 as a response to a challenge to make a piece of art based on the word FOUR

I was pretty sure it was finished -- it had even been in a showcase exhibit at a quilt show in Denver

but I wanted to hear what someone else thought

and this is what it looks like now

making the change was not real difficult, but I think it makes a big difference

I was pretty nervous about having something critiqued, but it was done in such a positive, constructive and supportive way that I came away really excited about the experience and now I've even joined an online critique group to continue asking for assistance with future pieces

(and yes, I did actually do a little hand stitching on this to finish it up last night, so the hand is recovering nicely, thanks)

the DH attended a wood working demo on Saturday afternoon, and while he was learning all about using his router, I sat and worked on knitting more parts for the dinosaur

that bright orange piece is the tummy gusset, then then gray head and the spotted back leg

this is moving right along

some more paper crafts got finished too --- this is the front of the invitations for a gathering that I did on Saturday morning

we've been doing the clean up of the leaves now that the cold weather and the wind have taken almost all of them off the trees

when I went to the shed in the back yard to get out the leaf blower, this is what I saw

evidence once again that there is ample material for making art all around if you are paying attention

I think this will be another piece in the "Slice of Life" series

today there is a bit more outdoor work to do and the usual Monday laundry -- time to get to that

Saturday, November 09, 2013

what one can do with a bandaged finger

the hand is recovering -- it may be a few more days before I can hold a sewing needle to do bead work or hand stitching, but I discovered yesterday that there were a few things I can do

like stamping the trees onto the card stock for the Christmas cards

I did all 50 cards yesterday afternoon -- yippee!!  step one of that project is done

and I can knit!! 

so now the body of the dinosaur toy is all finished and I've finished the tummy section up to where the decreasing begins

this is a good thing since this at least is progress on Christmas projects!

and I worked on this some more

I have eight more rows to do that go from the front edge of the sweater over the shoulder and down to the back edge then I'll be doing the last sleeve 

rolling along here too

doing what I can.......

Friday, November 08, 2013

some good stuff, some bad stuff

I've been working on this year's Christmas cards

 from a drawing 

to a hand cut rubber stamp

to the way the stamp will look as the background of each card

I like how this is looking

and there is this drawing that I did recently

but the question, as with all abstract pieces is "which side up?"

I hope to make this into a quilted triptych, have not decided how big yet

I should have stayed with the paper crafting and stayed away from the sewing machine and I could have spent six hours at home instead of sitting the the waiting room of the emergency room waiting for what amounted to about 10 minutes of care

and before you ask why "why not your doctor's office" I'll tell you that I called there first but they didn't have anyone available to see me and I was told to go to the ER

I won't be doing any stitching for a few days, as the wound needs to heal from where they removed the sewing machine needle from my finger

talk about feeling majorly stupid


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

making design decisions

number 1
number 2
number 3

now that the pieces are ready I have to decide how to put them all together

and of course how this actually works out will depend on how the string up goes

which one do you like?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Elphie and the divining rod

I took this picture (and several other angles) on Saturday in our side yard

it's a little hard to see, but what inspired the picture taking was the stick she had picked up and had between her front paws -- it looks like a diving rod!

what I did not notice until I opened the picture on my computer screen later is the awesome shadow pattern across the picture

this will be going into my file to turn into another art quilt

meantime, work on sorting, packing and moving stuff continues -- I'm struggling with not having any time to work on art projects as my sewing just now is focused on getting Christmas projects done, and there has not been any extra time to do art between those things -- feeling pretty cranky about that mostly because I can't see the end of it right now

trying to deal with what appears to be the new normal of pain level now that cold weather and storm fronts are rolling through is not doing anything to improve my state of mind either

just trying to soldier on

Sunday, November 03, 2013

some more progress

these are going much quicker with each one I make (now if I could just sit down to work on this project at a time of the day that I don't nod off into a nap!)

I have 3 more of these to do then I'll be trying out the combinations to put this piece together

I love this little guy

this was my first attempt at piecing a background, fusing something on top then doing detail stitching over that

the stitching really brings out the details

now it's on to the quilting!

dinosaur spots!

the knitting is rolling along

spent a lot of time the last few days working on sorting, packing, trashing and rearranging -- made enough trips up and down the basement stairs that my knee is bothering me again (NUTS!)

hoping for a little working and a little art time today as soon as all the week's paperwork is done