A blog about my interests, which include crazy quilting and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Library windfall

I requested a bunch of books from our local inter-branch library loans and most of them came today. The picture shows just the ones I got pertaining to knitting and crocheting. I also have three or four about collage which I didn't take a picture of. I'm gonna have fun!! A couple of the books I had considered buying for my own library but hesitated to do so until I could look at them. At least doing it this way means I don't have to make a rushed trip to the bookstore to look at them and endure the silent complaining of my DH...who loves to read, but hates bookstores and libraries (go figure).

If you haven't figured it out by now....I like books!!!!!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Work in Progress, atc's and inchies




Two pictures to share today. One is of the smoke technique I am doing for one of the swaps I'm in. It's a technique only swap, so it should be really fun to see what I receive back. All sorts of new things to learn!

The other picture is of the goodies I received at the CQTeers meeting on Wednesday. We did an inchie swap and also some atcs. The atc that's pretty much in the middle of the picture shows what Sue is doing to display the inchies she receives. I think this is a super idea. I saw another idea on one of the groups where somebody is decoupaging them to the top of a storage box, which would be a thought too. Otherwise they're so small they are bound to get lost!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

This is absolutely great!

No pictures today folks, but I have stumbled across something I think is just great and can't wait to take part in. Some of you may already know about this, but it's the first time I've run across it. There is a web site ( www.bookcrossing.com ) which is fascinating and well worth a visit if you in any way like books. The premise is that you register at the site and then you leave a book (or books) somewhere 'in the wild' (such as a coffee shop). Inside the book you place information about the web site and request that the finder of the book go there and report having found it, and hopefully where they have re-released it. You receive updates from the site as to where the book has travelled to. It's all free too. I think it's a great way to encourage reading and how much fun it will be to see where your books go.


I was quite surprised to see that there are several members from here and that there are some books out there travelling around. I'm hoping I can find a couple of them and also intend to do some releasing of my own. My friend Kym likes to go geo-caching which is somewhat similar, but this is more up my alley. I encourage you to check out the site and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

MAD CAT, MAD CAT!!!!!!!


I really wish I could have a video of this so you could see. This is Cosmo after he had gone through a session of madly spinning around and around on the top of his scratching post. You know how little kids wobble around after they've spun in circles for awhile? Well, you haven't lived til you've seen a cat staggering and trying to keep his balance on the top of this post! Wish you could see it!
Had a great day today with the CQTeer group trading inchies and just generally having a grand 'ol show n share of things we've been working on. And...hic....eating chocolate...ohhhhhh....hic. How four grown women can pig out on so much chocolate is totally gross. We had: chocolate easter eggs, chocolate in a chocolate bar format, chocolate cake (with chocolate icing), Lindor chocolates AND to top it all off THE most decadent, positively orgasmic chocolate dessert you have ever seen or been privileged enough to taste (TWO pieces each). Groan....hic......BUT WE LOVED EVERY BITE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Playing with dolls


Just for a change of pace, I thought I'd make a doll. I hadn't realized how long it's been since I made one, so this has been a fun project. I hope you can see more detail if you click on the picture.
The pattern is by Judi Wellnitz from Alaska, who has a wonderful blog at www.artdolls.info and also is one of the 'guiding lights' from http://askthecrafter.blogspot.com . Thanks Judi for a fun pattern!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Felting (again)


At the risk of boring my readership, I just had to do one more post about felting the clogs. This time I wanted to show just how much they change when they're felted. The one in front of the picture is just off the knitting needles and the one behind shows just how much it changes in size after being through the washing machine. Magic, isn't it!
Now I'm off to try to burn the house down....

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Felting...part 4


Success! I put them through another cycle in the washing machine and I'm much more pleased with the end result.
Specs: Fibre Trends Felted Clogs pattern, Paton's Classic Wool Merino (3 balls...had 106" leftover when done..whew). Felted twice in a front loading washing machine with hot water, soap, and on the heavy cycle.
I'm making more!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Felting 1, 2, 3




Well, folks, here is part two of the felting saga. The smaller picture is a re-post of the first clog in its original knitted form, before felting. The larger picture shows the current result. Clog on the left has been run through the washer once and looks not too bad, considering. Clog on the right however, looks sick. Tired. Frumpish. Hmm. You don't suppose frogging something three times might have something to do with it? Do you suppose the wool might just be worn out (which would explain it looking tired I should think). Hmm.
The next question is...do I throw them through the washer again? I'm happy with the length of them, but they are both too wide and would be very sloppy on the feet I think. Should I or shouldn't I? Decisions, decisions. Stay tuned for part 4 in this ongoing saga....

Thursday, March 22, 2007

TASK Homework Weeks 11 and 12




Sorry to be posting two weeks together, but I just didn't get my homework done for week 11 in time.
Week 11 is the Up and Down Buttonhole, which is a stitch I hadn't run into until now. I can see it has a lot of great possibilities, particularly for interesting seam treatments.
Week 12 is couching, which I love anyway. It's hard to sketch ideas for it though! Hopefully you can get the general idea from what I have here. Can't wait to play catch up and see what everyone else did with last week!
Thank you as always to Sharon for her wonderful guidance! www.inaminuteago.com/blog

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My apologies....

I must apologize to my regular readership for being absent for almost a week. I must admit I have absolutely nothing to show for it, other than a rotten cold. We had #2 son and his fiance home for the weekend, which was lovely and then I managed to come down with a head cold on Monday. First cold I've had in over two years and do you know what? - I could quite cheerfully wait another two years! I have done nothing other than read and wish I had stock in facial tissue companies. I hope to go back to your regularly scheduled mumbling in the next couple of days. In the meantime, mumble amongst yourselves.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Interesting concept

One of the blogs I read quite faithfully is http://kerismith.com/blog Keri is an artist and writer and never fails to make me stop and think. Tonight I see that she has a new book coming out later in the year called 'Wreck This Journal' and she has started a site at http://www.wreckthisjournal.com This site is well worth a visit if you have ever wanted to create or are creating an art journal. Many of us (myself being a prime one) are deathly afraid of doing a journal. We're afraid someone might see it - or we're afraid to 'wreck' what is a perfectly nice book by putting what we perceive to be our paltry efforts inside. We want to be able to create the same types of journals we are seeing on the internet and in books and just know that we'll never be good enough to even come close. We need to give up that mindset and let loose and not be afraid. This site (and I'm sure the upcoming book) will be a tremendous aid towards getting rid of that fear.

Now, to just practice what I'm preaching!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

ATCs

These are atcs I have nearly completed for a swap I'm in with one of my groups. The theme is 'Stitches In Time' .

I used the scrunchie technique only with mulberry paper this time, which I then dry-brushed with gold metallics. Then I tore around the images and 'antiqued' them around the edges with Distress Ink from Ranger. A cheap tape measure fell to the cutting wheel and ended up glued to the top. All in all, I'm pretty pleased with them. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Frustration and experimentation


I had great plans to be able to show you the felted clogs today, but.... the powers that be aren't with me today. Somehow I managed to put the second sole on inside out (don't ask, because I have no clue how I did it) and so have had to frog it and start over. It had to have been a pure accident that the first clog ended up right because I'm quite sure it wasn't my knitterly prowess that did it!
So. A slight change of plans and a rather crappy scan later, you can see my first efforts to use one of my scrunchie backgrounds for an atc. I don't know why the scanner doesn't seem to like taking pictures of anything with dimension or sparkly. Weird. I drybrushed gold and copper acrylic paint over the scrunched paper and then added a torn image of the girl. Then I thought I'd experiment with rubber stamping on sea glass, which unfortunately doesn't show well on the scan. To finish it off I added three heart-shaped brads. I'm pleased with it, but really wish the picture showed better for you.
Another technique I experimented with last night was talked about on one of my groups. It's another form of packing tape transfer. To begin, you ink a rubber stamp and then place clear packing tape sticky side down onto the ink. Press carefully and then lift the tape and place on a piece of cardstock. You can use wide masking tape too, which gives a very muted effect. All rather fun to play with. You can use this technique to create transperancies over top of other techniques too.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A finished UFO!

Finally finished another of my UFO's. I showed you the beginning of it a couple of weeks ago and now here is the end result. I kept it fairly simple because I wanted the wedding invitation and the fabrics from the bridal party dresses to be the focal point. The seams were just done in cretan stitch and then I added pearl seed beads for highlights. It still needed something, so I added the buttons and tassels on the bottom corners. Now it's headed off in the mail as a surprise for the young couple. Hope they like it!

One UFO down, two hundred and ninety three left to go....

Saturday, March 10, 2007

More scrunchies!

Ok, I think I'm in like with this technique. Finally, a use for those wonderful pictures in old National Geographic magazines (you know the ones you hang onto because they are too good to throw out, but absolutely nobody wants them and you can't think of a use either??). Well. I found a use.

These are now cut up into atc size and now I will experiment with maybe some metallic paints - perhaps drybrushed on top. The trouble now is that I don't want to ruin them - they're nice as they are!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Scrunchy paper technique


I have been following with interest the development of a new technique on one of my groups, called Scrunchies. I thought I should give it a try. Of course I don't have the correct supplies, but I used what I have and I'm pretty pleased with the results.
Sherre (www.sherresartmusings.blogspot.com) originated the idea. She ran a piece of cardstock through a Zyron machine first and then scrunched up colourful magazine pictures, which she then brayered onto her sticky cardstock. She then highlighted the results with various inks.
Being that I have neither a Zyron machine or a brayer, I thought I'd try the same process only using good old-fashioned mactac as the base. As you can see, it seems to have worked. The only problem that I can see is a possible difficulty in adhering the now-plasticized back to cardstock for use in atc's or whatever I choose. That I will have to experiment with! I also haven't added any highlights to these because I'm pretty pleased with them the way they are.
Tell me what you think!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A fool and their money...

...are soon parted. Yep, I parted with some money after I made the mistake of going to Michaels today. I went in for two things...the watercolor paper and the three balls of Patons yarn (for some more clogs). Well. Ummmm. It seems several other things managed to leap into my basket as I walked by! Two balls of Lion Suede (which squeeks when you work with it...rather disconcerting) which will turn into a really cute pair of 'Ughh Boot's in baby size. Card stock was on sale and one can never have too much, right?

Rubber stamps were on sale and I don't have one that has watch faces in my collection and I simply can't get by another day without one. Sea glass you say? What on earth would that leap into my basket for?? Good question, which I can't answer right now - only because I can't remember why I wanted it!! I only know I spent a lot of time the LAST time I was at Michaels looking for it and I know it was for something I wanted to do quite badly. Too bad my memory is faulty. I guess I should be grateful (??!!) that I remembered I even wanted it in the first place...

As for the pad of papers...well....ummmm.....would you believe it got into my cart without any help from me? You don't? Well, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

TAST - Week 10

This week Sharon has really challenged me! I have never used a 'Barred Chain' or 'Alternating Barred Chain' stitch. I had to look up on her stitch dictionary to find out even how to do it! I also looked through all my (extensive) library of books for instructions and found...nada!!

Once I found out how to execute the stitch I had to then come up with ideas for its use. My creative juices just didn't seem to want to come up with much. I'm pretty pleased with my tree though and will certainly use it on a CQ block very soon. I rather like the circle too, but can't take credit for the basic form since it was one Sharon used as an example for us. I tinkered with it though, and added a few extra details onto the ends of the 'bars'.

Anyone wanting to know how to do pretty much any embroidery stitch out there can visit Sharon's site: www.inaminuteago.com and look for her stitch dictionary. It's a wonderful resource!!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Hugeness in knitting

Well, I've jumped on the bandwagon and have started knitting felted clogs. This is my first one and, as you can see from the 12" ruler, it is huge!! I am dying to felt it, but have to wait until I get the mate done because I think they might not come out the same if I don't do them together. It's the Fibre Trends Felted Clogs pattern, using Patons Classic Wool.

I am learning with this exercise that I should never say I'll never do something, because it's inevitable that within a matter of a couple of months I'll be doing the very thing I swore I wouldn't. Formerly I scoffed loudly at felting perfectly good wool yarn. Why would one want to 'waste' their time knitting something grossly oversize, only to shrink it - on purpose! Why would I ever waste wool that way? Yep...famous last words coming up to bite me in the butt (again).

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Book Review!

Today I'm doing another book review, simply because all I've been doing today is knit on another pair of socks in the exact colourway as the ones I just finished. Boring reading for you! So...I have a new book and decided to tell you a bit about it.

Some of my regular readers may know that I am a crazy quilt book junkie - well, actually, pretty much any craft book junkie. I have an entire bookshelf devoted to crazy quilting alone. Did I need another book on the subject? Of course 'need' doesn't enter into it - 'want' is the key word!

I am rather glad I got this book, mostly because of the general overview of using beads in embroidery. There are a number of interesting projects including a covered cannister, a really eye-catching woven ribbon sachet (which would be a great use for leftover 'bits' of ribbons in your stash), a cell phone pouch, and a great idea for a journal cover. One of the techniques is to use your rubber stamps to place and image on fabric and then bead it. The book touches on silk ribbon embroidery too.

If you're interested the specs are: "Beaded Crazy Quilting" by Cindy Gorder. Published by: Krause Publications, c2005, ISBN-13:978-0-87349-892-0

Friday, March 02, 2007

A smallish rant, and a good thing

Obviously I have no pictures today. I'm still working on my 'wedding' CQ and it is just more of the same, so it's not all that exciting to look at over and over again.

I promised a rant, and here it is...a friend forwarded a very upsetting email to me today. It showed a number of fashion models who are absolutely nothing but bones with a little skin stretched over top. What, I ask you, can be attractive about that? Why must the fashion industry be so hell bent on convincing the normal world that this is desirable? Do they have no sense of responsibility - both to the models themselves and the general population who are brainwashed into thinking this is a desirable way to be? How many models must suffer massive health problems and, most likely, ultimate death before this stops?

I know there is a certain faction out there who will say that the models do it to themselves. Maybe so, but if that is the only way the fashion industry will hire them, what else can they do?

Now for the good thing. Firstly, I am in no way advocating that you should buy these products...I have no affiliation with the company in any way. Have you seen the new advertising campaign for the Dove Pro-Age products? If you haven't, they show beautiful (many nude...but VERY tasteful!) women of 'certain age', with grey hair, lumps, and bumps, and wrinkles. Their slogan is 'beauty has no age limit'. It's too bad the fashion industry as a whole wouldn't take a page from THAT book!

I return you to your regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

TAST Week 9

This week the challenge stitch for TAST is the cross stitch, which is a very versatile stitch. I could have come up with a lot more ideas, but thought I'd better stop with these! Last week I had someone ask me if they might use my ideas. Of course, and I'm very flattered that anyone would want to! I would imagine a number of these have already been done by someone, so I certainly don't have exclusive rights or anything!

Anyone who is interesting in learning more about the weekly challenge for 2007 may visit SharonB's blog at: http://inaminuteago.com/blog/index.php/take-a-stitch-tuesday-challenge/