Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fall is coming....

I feel like this week was a bit shorter than most

after having the family gathering last Saturday, we spent most of Sunday afternoon with our daughter and son-in-law and Mr. Cute (I cooked dinner at their house -- testing out a new shrimp dish that was a big hit!)

and on Monday morning, bright and early, I had two teeth pulled -- ICK! -- so Monday was a big waste

projects this week began with utilitarian sewing

Mr Cute has moved out of the smaller bedroom in the house into one that has more space for his things

the new room has two windows, so grandma was pressed into service to create new curtains (made out of some lovely light gray corduroy donated to the cause by my sister -- YEAH!) and some car themed valances


and yes, this is an actual bed quilt in process here in the art studio

more accurately, it's being worked on in the evenings while I'm watching TV since I'm hand piecing all these little "Y" seams

I need to do about 10 more rows of hexies to make it long enough --- (hear the chanting:  I think I can, I think I can)

this piece, however, is totally a test

and I think I'm going to like the results

because I've done so much work on the big piece, I wanted to test out the next step without danger of ruining it

the point here is that the figures should be "ghost like"

so which one is more ghost like?  the colored ones or the ones that are just line drawings?

still thinking about it
work on the bead project continues too

ready to do the backing then on to creating the necklace that (hopefully!) will look like pumpkin vines

there has been some work going on in the garage workshop too

these metal garden tools originally were bought for my daughter and were painted green

Mr Cute's favorite color is orange

guess where these tools are going next!

and then there is this picture

we made a trip to the hardware store this week and as we were leaving a very nice guy was going in with Thor on his shoulder

we stopped to admire and talk, and Thor's "dad" obligingly took a picture of Thor sitting on my shoulder --- pretty bird!

on one of my walks to the mail box this week I picked up these along the way

I have no idea where in the neighborhood the maple tree is -- but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to spot it soon!

yes, fall is coming

Sunday, August 23, 2015

work continues

this piece was for a challenge in one of my bead groups to create something that was black and white and one other color

this came together really quickly -- sometimes these pieces pop into my head and have no issues at all in the making, and this one was one of those

voting on this challenge doesn't start until the 9th of September (talk about being done WAY ahead of a deadline!!)

since that piece went together so quickly, I'm now back to working on the pumpkin leaves -- moving along!

the stitching continues on the shed doors

I'm pretty pleased with the way these two came out

there are seven more of these to be stitched

I've been fiddling with painting on silk organza for another piece I'm working on -- not entirely sure how I feel about this yet

this week I had my first real gathering in my new house --- had all of my side of the family that lives in the general area here for a "Summer Gathering" --- can I say once again how much I love my new kitchen area!  

we had 10 people around the table with out any problem

and I had spent most of Friday doing food prep -- making pumpkin pie, scratch chocolate cake, Watergate salad, two different pasta salads and had plenty of room to make it all happen

all this and an awesome studio space coming together

so happy to be in this new house!!!!!

Monday, August 17, 2015

if all the world's a stage, I want better lighting!

On Saturday I took a day off from working in the house and the studio and made a trip to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival to see the only exhibit there will be of every piece in the 2015 Hoffman Challenge

First let me say that it has been my privilege to have pieces hang in this exhibit for five of the past six years

and second, that this will probably be my last year to participate

it is a story of diverging paths -- they are going in a more traditional direction while I am headed toward something much more out of the box!

I had already made that decision pretty much, but when I saw how these pieces were treated this year, it sealed the deal

Here is where I get on my soap box:

the lighting on this show is terrible -- but it always has been, and that's part of the down side of holding a show in a Fair Grounds building

but the real annoyance was how badly creased many of the pieces were -- including the award winners!  the quilts had obviously been FOLDED into a box as tightly as they would fit for the shipping because they had deep creases in them

when I ship my pieces I try to make sure there will not be any creases -- it detracts from the work

I was very disappointed by that, and frankly I don't care to share my work with an organization that treats it with so little respect

Ok, stepping off my soap box now!

but while I'm talking about quilts -- this piece is coming right along now -- I've been adding shadows at the bases of the trees -- hand stitching on pieces of tulle that have been cut in reverse of the trees they are meant to shadow

I have a couple more days of that work to do then it will be time to work on the next step of this piece

bead work continues too

this pumpkin pin is all finished and ready for the show I'll be doing in September

I started this piece for an on line challenge this week -- also moving right along

and this is part of another piece designed for that September show

one of the most important things that got installed in the studio this past week was the stereo system

I know there are a lot of MP3 player approaches to this including radio type stations, but like with things in my art, I want to control what it is I listen too -- and I have a lot of CDs, cassette tapes and even record albums

there was a minor crisis earlier in the week when I could not locate the cables to hook it up, but by the end of yesterday I was in business -- back to putting other things away to the sounds of Andrew Lloyd Webber tunes (the 5 CD selection that I found first in the one box of CDs that has been unpacked

this week I hope to get a lot more done down there!

Sunday, August 09, 2015


last week I was talking about being afraid to ruin the big piece I'm working on right now

after some further thought I made some changes by fusing some additional fabric to them
in each of these pairs of pictures the "before" is on the left side and the "after" is on the right

I'm much happier with how these look now

and happier with the overall look of the piece

I still have a lot more to do here -- like adding some stitching to hold down that fused fabric, and adding all of the shadows for each of those trees, but I'm much happier with it now

this piece of jewelry got finished just in time for the challenge I wanted to enter it in

(the public voting for that challenge is going on now, so if you are interested in voting, you can go here: to do so)

originally I was going to use these two pieces as part of the necklace, but in the end I could not work out the connections, so I made them into a pair of earrings that go quite nicely with that necklace

all of these pieces are in my Etsy store now

the stitching of the pumpkin shape is all done!

I'll be making this in to a pin to be featured at the September Art Walk show -- can't believe fall is that close, but it is!

we have now progressed to the more interesting portion of the move in --- the organization of the studio!

all of the beads have been organized into the plastic boxes and arranged on the shelving -- it is SOOOO much easier to pull things out and put them away in this configuration!

right now the boxes are "labeled" with hand written pieces of paper that is stuck inside each box, but my daughter might be willing to use her Cricut to make me some more attractive labeling -- Cool!

I've started sorting the fabrics and putting them in the shelves of the glass front cases -- nothing like organizing your "crayons" to put new design ideas in your head!

as I've gone through the boxes I have I already have another stack of stuff that is going to be donated to my local quilt guild for charity quilts --- I kind of knew that would happen

we're getting to the home stretch --- I'm ready now for the last big push of moving furniture and boxes into the studio rooms so I can finish setting up shop --- still a lot to do, but a whole lot closer!

Sunday, August 02, 2015

success, completion and fighting fear

From the Jewelry Studio:
it's finished!

this piece actually came together exactly the way I saw it in my head -- yeah!

it has been entered in its intended challenge, but even more important, it has a promised buyer

it doesn't get much better than that!

the rework on this piece is finished too

it originally had two small magnetic clasps, but it did not meet the "wear ability" test -- those clasps did not stay closed if you did anything but walk around holding your hand out for folks to admire the bracelet --- nope, that won't do!

so I took the back off, stitched on one of my new style toggle and loop clasps and put the back on again with a 3 bead edge instead of the 2 bead edge it had originally

much better!

so I have returned to trying to create a "chain" for this piece

attempts to create a flat beaded piece just won't work on this one since the piece itself is so dimensional, so I have decided to create 3 tubes of beads on each side and braid them together

something I've not tried before -- so what's new!?

so far, so good, but here I am again against a deadline -- I have 3 days to make this work to be able to get it into the challenge it is intended for


A bit about moving in:
last weekend I had some help moving some furniture into my newly finished (by the contractors) studio

these two pieces of furniture have been repurposed from their former lives in other rooms of another house

this week we got them fastened to the wall behind them (tall, narrow pieces are at risk of being pulled forward -- not a good idea!), I scrubbed them with Murphy's Oil soap, cleaned all the glass and installed contact paper on the painted shelves (when I washed those the paint crocked off -- not a good thing!)

the very bottom shelf of each of these will be filled with art books, and I plan to fill the other shelves with my fabric -- it will be good to have that where I can see the color but it is safely behind glass to be kept clean

Taking a little break:
we invited our daughter, son in law and grandson to come and have dinner with us last night, and since my son in law was working yesterday, my daughter and Mr Cute came earlier in the day to spend some time

while Mr Cute was having quiet time, I gave my daughter a sewing lesson

she brought some flannel and made her very first pair of pj pants for Mr Cute

this is the face of a successful sewing lesson completed!!

and Mr Cute gave them the seal of approval by putting them on right away and spending the rest of the evening in them -- fun

Dealing with artistic fear:

I worked on this piece a little bit this week

I've done a lot of stitching on the bigger trees

True confession time:  while I am still committed to this piece, I am not happy with the way those trees look

it's time to "Be Brave" and risk ruining it

for the last two days I've been thinking that what I need to do is either a lot more fusing of more varieties of colored fabrics over parts of those trunks or to paint them

or there is option three which would entail many, many, MANY more hours of stitching

I'm leaning toward the fusing of more fabric -- mainly because I know I can do that in small steps -- and I'm really afraid of the paint thing because .... well, I just am (and I know that may be in the end how  I put the snow on them)

no wonder so much work has been done on beading this week -- I'm trying to deal with the "Fear Factor" on this piece!

like I said -- time to Be Brave!