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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just a quick post tonight...I'm on #2 son's computer in the city where we came for supper and will be spending the night.

I want to wish you all a very happy new year and all good things to come for you and those you hold most dear.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sites...for sore eyes?

Hi folks
Today I don't have a picture to show, but will give you a few sites you might like to check out instead....

- http://www.stitchesquiltshop.com (Canadian!)
- http://www.ccartwright.com (Thanks Arlee for the heads up on this one - lots of beads and sparkly bits...yummy)
- www.needlenthread.com
- http://znestore.com
- http://www.berlinembroidery.com (also Canadian)
- http://genealogybycindy.blogspot.com (for those who are interested in family trees)
- http://www.artsanddesigns.com/glossary (has a good stitch dictionery)
- http://quiltville.com (look for scrap quilt patterns)
- http://handembroiderygroup.blogspot.com
- http://simpleknits.blogspot.com/2008/03/500-patterns-to-knit-with-1-285-yards.html (this was found via Lime&Violet - all kinds of knitting pattern links using small amounts of yarn)
- http://stampington.com/html/the_studio.html


Have fun!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cyclone or woMAN made??

But, but... I want to CREATE, not clean!!!!!!!!!!





Please note, there are only three pictures here. You REALLY don't want to see the rest of it!!!
Christmas at this house was wonderful. We were surprised when both of our sons were able to come home. We were told that #1 son had to work (which isn't unexpected when you're a chef) so were totally floored when he walked in the door. Family, friends, and good food. What more could anyone want?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

This will be my last post until after the 'big day' (unless something really exciting happens that I can't wait to talk about). I thought maybe I would tell you about our Christmas celebration, which isn't all that exciting I suppose, but it IS tradition at our house!
Christmas Eve the gifts are placed under the tree (it only waits that long because we have animals who LOVE climbing in and around the presents). My dad (who lives with us) one year made the mistake of putting several cards containing varying amounts of money under the tree on Christmas Eve and we were totally mystified as to why we found half of a $20 bill in the middle of the floor when we arrived home. Obviously one of the dogs decided he prefered larger denominations!! Can't say as I blame him!
Christmas morning we have breakfast (which is something we've only been able to do in the last few years since the kids got old enough) and then open gifts. Most of our Christmas dinner has been prepared in advance - even the turkey is cooked and just needs to be reheated - sure cuts down on the mess in our small kitchen!
We have a fairly lazy afternoon when we chow down on some of the chocolate in our stockings, drink coffee, and scratch our lottery tickets to see if any of us were lucky enough to win. Mid-afternoon our friends arrive, as does Jack's brother.
Our meal consists of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed turnip, potatoes (done the day before with sour cream & cream cheese...yum), carrots, tea biscuits, and our friends bring a wonderful red cabbage. Dessert is the cake I posted the recipe for a couple of days ago and our friends also bring a chocolate cake.
There, that pretty much tells you about our day. Now I will simply sign off with this......
Merry Christmas to you and those you hold most dear. May it be all you dream of and, most of all, happy.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Look what came in the mail!

Sorry about the awful picture again...I promise I will figure out that new photo program and if not, I'm going back to the old one. Just look at the beauty that came in the mail for me today from my friend Marie ( http://sredeluxe.blogspot.com ). Be sure to click on the picture so it 'shows' better. She makes the most intricate and wonderful things from beads and this is one of them. It fits over a Christmas ball and looks so glittery and festive. I wouldn't begin to have the patience to tackle anything like this! Thank you SO much Marie!!!!! I love it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Laughter is the best medicine

I have long been a follower of a blog written by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka The Yarn Harlot) wherein she talks about knitting and the foibles of her life. She has the ability to make me laugh insanely and today's post on her blog is hysterical. Check it out at http://www.yarnharlot.ca and look for her Dec. 18th post entitled 'Fallen and Can't Get Up'.

Sorry, no pictures today. Just use your imagination to picture me, hobbling about with a hand to my back, and Jack, not-so-quietly hacking up a lung. Carry on.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Crock, Crockette, and Stupidity

Let it never be said that this family suffers from an over-abundance of brilliance. Last week Jack came down with a cold and then proceeded to blow snow out of six driveways...in the pouring rain. Of course he got soaked - to the skin. He (being of the dimmer light bulb sort) was trying to time it so that the snow would have stopped and before the rain started. Of course that wasn't the case. So....now he has bronchitis and has taken up permanent residence in his easy chair, unable to move without a horrible cough...which in turn seems to have cracked at least one of his ribs. Nice.

So...last night it snowed....again, leaving a nice few inches of the dratted fluffy stuff in our driveway. He's in no fit state to deal with it, so out I went. This was the dim light bulb moment for me. You guessed it...shovel and I connected (despite my best efforts to the contrary) with a piece of ice and did in my back (which is tricky anyway). So now there's TWO of us parked in our respective chairs. Yep...there's a huge amount of brilliance running rampant around here!!

Picture today is of another of the recycled denim totes I make, which someone will be getting for Christmas this year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Done, Done and Done!!!

Yee haw! I have finished making the last present! What a relief.
The picture is what I made using a great idea my friend Sue showed us at the last CQTeers meeting. These are SO simple and fun to make. The 'base' is just a cheap L-shaped picture frame from the dollar store (these happen to be made of metal and have glass where the picture is supposed to go, but you can get the acrylic ones too). Turn it so that it is lying down and forms a perfect 'rest' to write on. Insert pretty paper inside (instead of a picture) and then I used double-sided carpet tape to stick a pad of Post-It notes onto the front. I personalized them with the recipients name and also did a co-ordinated pen (took the pen apart carefully, stuck double-sided tape onto the refill, covered with same paper as I used in the frame). Easy, cheap, and makes a great little giftie. Thanks Sue for the idea!!

Now it's time to start wrapping all the creations!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Now I'm making garbage bags??????

Yep, you know you've lost what's left of your mind when you start making garbage bags!! However, in my defense...this is for putting in the car. For some reason manufacturers don't seem to think we create garbage while in the automobile, and then they wonder why people just roll down the window and toss it out?? DUH!!! The bag solves the problem and therefore I think it's a good idea (even tho' the friend I'm giving this to might just think I'm looney). The strap simply slips over the headrest and hangs on the back of your seat. Line it with a plastic bag (which is held in place by 4 bulldog clips, which I'm including with the gift) and you're good to go. Best of all, it's washable.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cake?

Today was spent working on another secret project so there are no pictures again and I don't really have anything to mumble about, so...you're getting a recipe!

My mother used to make one of those Christmas 'puddings' with the super-sweet sauce and I hated it. Too sweet!! She finally decided I had a point and found this recipe which has been our 'pudding' ever since.

CHRISTMAS 'PUDDING' CAKE
1 cup margarine
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon each of: baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup sour cream
1 cup chopped peeled apple
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Cream margarine, sugar and orange rind until fluffy. Beat eggs into mixture, one at a time. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine sour cream, apple, raisins, cranberries & nuts. Add flour mixture to sour cream mixture. Mix alternately with wet ingredients until creamed. Bake in a greased and floured Bundt (or tube) pan at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Let cool. Wrap in foil and freeze until day before Christmas. Allow to thaw. On Christmas day we simply pop the whole thing (in the foil) into the oven to reheat (not sure of the exact timing on that!). Serve with 'dip'.....
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons white flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
4 tablespoons margarine

Combine dry ingredients in top of double boiler. Add 2 cups of water (gradually) & margarine. Place some water in bottom of double boiler and simmer 'dip' over heated water. I usually thicken it a bit with some cornstarch & cold water mixed together. No amounts for that, just depends on your personal choice.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oh yeah. And THIS picture is recognizable?

First, I must apologize for not being able to spell (thanks Paula for letting me know!)... in yesterday's post I directed you to check out Chrysti's site and then promptly misspelled the addy (DUH). So... http://chrysti.wordpress.com is a better one to try!! I will edit the previous post to reflect it too. Maybe I should give you three guesses to figure out what this picture is? Because I know we all have enough on our minds at this time of year, I'll fess up....it's a fleece throw I put together in less than two hours this afternoon. So easy...two layers of fleece. I cut a 4" square out of each corner and then stitched a 4" hem all around it (cut the selvedge edges off first). Then I made myself a little template with marks 1" apart and used that as a guide to cut the edge up to the stitch line. To finish I took the top & bottom layer of each 1" strip and tied a simple knot. Finished! Too simple for words!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mumblings....

....AGAIN?....don't I mumble ALL the time?? I can hear y'all grumbling about my mumbling again.

However, to be fair, you ought to check this out. Chrysti of 'Art By Chrysti' ( http://chrysti.wordpress.com/ ) is doing 29 days of giveaways and there's already been some pretty nice stuff. All you have to do is answer her question(s) of the day to be entered. Reading the answers she is getting is great fun! NOTE: I just checked the link to Chrysti and it seems to go directly to wordpress. If it doesn't work for you try typing the addy in, or barring that Google 'Art By Chrysti' and you can find it that way.

And....I want to announce that FredaB has a new blog and it would be nice if we all welcomed her to blogland (she's incredibly talented). So.... http://sewwhatsnew-fredab.blogspot.com/ is the place to go.

Also...I have written down that http://twistcollective.com/ is a place worth visiting. Can't for the life of me remember why, but obviously I must have liked it! UPDATED: it's a knitting site ith a free on-line magazine.

Anybody looking for scrap quilt patterns might want to check out http://quiltville.com/ and see what they have.

Today I finished two top-secret projects, one of which will be heading out in the mail tomorrow. Of course, being the ninny I am, I forgot to take a picture before I boxed it up. The other is a present for one of my kids and, because they read my blog occasionally, I don't dare show it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Merry Christmas (to meeeee)!

Look what arrived in the mail! I've heard a great deal of 'talk' about 'Living the Creative Life' and, because Amazon had a free shipping deal, I ordered it for my collection. So far I've only had a quick look but it seems pretty good. The other book is absolutely fantasticly chuck full of eye candy by some of the most amazing quilt artists. Over four hundred pages of inspiration. I originally borrowed it from our local library but it's one I HAD to have for my very own. So...I thought I'd treat myself to something special. Specs are as follows:
- 'Living The Creative Life' by Rice Freeman-Zachery, published by North Light Books, c2007, ISBN# 978-1-58180-994-7
- 'Masters Art Quilts' by Martha Sielman, published by Lark Books, c2008, ISBN-13:978 1-60059-107-5

Monday, December 08, 2008

Another project done

A few people will be receiving these this Christmas. They were fun to make while I was sitting in front of the tv at night. The pattern came from http://crochetroo.blogspot.com.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Rotten picture!!

It's a bad time of year to get a new program for the computer because I have absolutely no time to fiddle with the settings, so...this picture is too dark!
It's the 'Noriko Handbag' which is a free download from http://www.lazygirldesigns.com/. The fabric is a beautiful dark (obviously) peacock feather print. It was an easy make and took less than two hours from start to finish.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

These blobs are aprons?

Why yes, yes they are. How does one take a picture of aprons and have them look like aprons? And no, before you get any ideas, I'm not about to do any modeling!! Anyhoo...two more presents done. Today was more or less a lost cause when it comes to creating anything. I spent a lot of the day volunteering at a gift wrapping booth in the mall. Is it a sign of the times that we only had five gifts to wrap in the four hours we were there?

The only thing I can honestly say I got done today was to tea dye a doily. Oh, wow...SO very stimulating!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I'm here...despite evidence to the contrary

I will figure this new photo program out, I will figure this new photo program out, I will.... ...but for now you will have to put up with the quality and that they're not cropped. The fact that it takes me over twenty minutes to get a picture from the camera to the blog is effort enough! Technology is a wonder, IF you can push the right buttons (and then manage to remember what it was you pushed to get the result you want).

Monday we had one of our 'sanity' days and skipped town. Actually we were shopping for a new coffee and end table set for our living room and did a little Christmas shopping too. This year I'm determined to shop locally as much as we can but there are some things that just aren't available here. We even went so far as to have a date night too and went to see 'Twilight'. Not bad - although I do have to admit that the target audience is definitely the younger crowd. I liked the books so had to see the movie to see how well it was done.

Yesterday was a sew day with my friends which I always look forward to. Not much sewing got done but we sure did have fun.

Over the weekend I worked on the coaster set you see in the picture above. It's a Christmas present for someone we give a little token to. I saw the idea on the 'About A Bit of Everything' blog. Pretty simple to make...a rubber stamp, StazOn ink, sealer, and some cheap ceramic tiles (45 cents each!!). They're baked in the oven for a few minutes to help set the ink. I'm putting peel and stick felt on the back. Tied up with some rafia and they should be a great little gift.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Darned if I know!!

Pictures! We have pictures!! Eureka. There's only one small teeny little problem....I have no clue what I did to get them here. Needless to say the odds of me remembering what I did are slim to none. What combination of "what if - I pushed button q, p, and w - or maybe it was button %,# and & - or maybe it was z,g, and h" am I supposed to retain in my memory banks for future use? Sigh. Technology!

Anyhoo...yesterday's picture (altho blurry and terrible in colour) was this year's ornament. Twenty-seven of them, to be exact. Today's picture is fabric which is about to be turned into a couple of aprons. I love the poppies!!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

I give up (at least for today)

Dear Readers:

I have a picture to show - I know I have a picture to show. I could see it. I even figured out (more or less) how to edit it. I figured out how to save it. BUT NOW I CAN'T FIND THE CURSED THING so I can load it on here!!!!!!!!!

I want my old program back.....waaahhhhh!!!!

Signed:
Hopelessly confused (and MAD at computers)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sigh...poor quality pictures!

I know there HAS to be a way to edit pictures in this new program but I'm darned if I can find the magic buttons to push...so....I'm sorry about the colour on these.... Above are the new atc's I received in our swap today...the top two are by Irene and the bottom two are by Sue. The 'thing' on the right is what mine were made from. Hopefully if you embiggen the picture it will show better???). Anyhoo...our theme was 'weaving'. Irene painted fabric and cut strips to weave her atc and Sue used curling ribbon to make the Christmas ornament on the left. My weaving was done using a piece of plastic onion bag mesh woven with two colours of wool which I then felted in the washing machine. Unfortanately it felted too well and I only had this little bit left to make an atc for me!! Not to worry though, because it was the technique I wanted to try. Irene is doing the workshop on the web being run by Maggie Grey and the atc on the upper left is one of the techniques from that. I WISH the picture was clearer because the colouring and texture are marvelous!!

Fun day...fun friends...and altogether too much chocolate. Perfect day!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Experimenting....

Our #2 son was home on the weekend and nicely uploaded a new program for use with my camera. It's another learning curve!! Today's picture is a total experiment and shows my favourite Christmas ornaments (and a picture of my 'babies' who are now 25 & 23 and a WHOLE lot taller than they were here!!). This nativity scene was one I bought from Avon when I was a salesperson for them. It's white procelain and I love it. I don't have all the pieces that were available but I do have the main ones.
The lampshade is one I made several years ago when I took a workshop.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

TIF block for November - progress report

I have a little bit done on the block for this month but have had a couple of days of very little time spent in the studio. (Picture is clickable).

The seam on the upper right and the seam below the girl are both taken from Pam Kellogg's 'Elegant Crazy Quilt Seam Treatments' e-book. The seam to the right of the girl and the seam on the lower right are both from Joan Waldman's 'Quilt Savvy' book. The beaded motif in the middle is from a pattern SharonB posted on her new blog ( http://www.pintangle.com/journal ). I added the beads. To the right of the girl is a backstitch spider web from the 'A-Z Book of Embroidery Stitches 2'. The seam on the lower left is also from the A-Z book (fern stitch). I didn't like what it looked like so I whipped the centre with some heavier thread and added the beads. The safety pins are marking areas where I want to add either buttons or something else that will be done at the end. I'm forgetful and just know I would cover the areas up and not think of the goodies I have planned to put there! Oh yes! - the tatting on the right was a present from my friend Marie.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

'Project' finished!

Here you go - a picture of the 'project' I've been working on. Unfortunately my computer is balking (again) and not letting me crop pictures so....I apologize for all the 'stuff' cluttering up the surrounding area. The people this santa is going to are Toronto Maple Leaf fans; they own a boat; and have a chocolate lab. I don't think in this picture you can see the boat, but there is one behind the deer on the right side of the picture. The Maple Leaf is the tree topper and there's another on the back of his cape. Purple was also requested. Did you notice that his coat is crazy quilted? (photos are clickable). This is a closer look at the toy basket he's carrying.
I had fun making him and now it's on to making more Christmas presents!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another snow picture

I spent the entire day working hard on 'the project' I showed you the beginning of a couple of days ago and I hope I will be able to unveil it tomorrow. It's the last commision I have to complete before Christmas. Then I'll be getting busy working on the rest of the presents I have yet to create.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Winter!

This is the sight that greeted us when we got up yesterday morning and is still there this afternoon. The sun is shining so I was able to get a few pictures. These two trees are at the back of our property (along with several others). I don't like winter, but I can appreciate its beauty!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's official!

Sharon Boggon has moved her site and the new address is: http://www.pintangle.com/journal

I've updated my sidebar address to reflect the change too. It sounds like Sharon has some fun goodies planned for her new site so be sure to visit!!

Carry on with your weekend.....

Friday, November 14, 2008

There's just no end to what I'll do

Just what do you suppose this block of wood is going to become? Actually, I spent the day finishing up the last corpse I have to work on and it will be headed out in the mail on Monday. Of course I can't show you a picture until the big reveal!

So....back to the question at hand. What do you suppose I'll be doing with this? Stay tuned......

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mumblings (again?)

Today was one of 'THOSE' days where nothing got done other than a lot of running about. So.....

1. Doreen of http://doreeng.blogspot.com has posted pictures of her embroidered bears and they are sooooo cute! You need to go & have a look.

2. Sharon Boggon has given us the heads up that she will be changing over her blog to another address ( http://www.pintangle.com ) and will let us know when the switch is complete. I'll let you know as soon as I hear.

3. I noted an announcement about the winter issue being 'up' on http://twistcollective.com. Because I didn't know what Twist Collective was about, I had a quick look and it's about knitting. Looks like there's some patterns there too. You might want to have a look.

4. Allison Aller is again doing something absolutely phenomenal and is showing pictures of her process on her blog. She is amazing! http://alliesinstitches.blogspot.com

There, I guess that's enough mumbling for today! Hope to have some work to show tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A hug...of bears

I finished the bears today and they are already in their new home. These little guys are 15" tall and come from a pattern by Hemer House Designs - pattern name is 'Tiffany'. I like the lambs wool one the best...there's just something about her personality.

Now for a bit of trivia...do you know what a group of teddy bears is called? The title of this post will tell you!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

LEST WE FORGET

IN FLANDERS FIELDS

In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead, short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hand we throw
The Torch; Be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, tho poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.


On the 11th month, the11th day at the 11th hour, we remember....

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hack, cough...aaaa choooo....pffft

Yep, I'm working with fur again and it's all over everything. I am determined I'm finishing these bears this week. One is awaiting her bow and is too shy to to have her picture taken without it. This one is lambs wool, which isn't a whole lot of fun to work with either. For some reason unknown my pointer finger (luckily it isn't my 'rude' one!) has decided to undergo another peel and is quite tender. I suppose I shouldn't even be attempting to sew, but I have too much to do and the finger will have to take the punishment. Of course there's a teeny amount of ouching and gosh darns going around too when I happen to forget and try to use it to push the needle through something!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Knitting content? On THIS blog???

Wow, even I'm impressed because knitting isn't something I often get to mention on here. Today was grocery shopping day (yuck) so nothing got done in the studio. However, the mailbox had this book in it when I got home. There are some really nice patterns in it and I must admit there are three I especially like...the cover picture is 'Komon' and is one of the three. The patterns all look very simple to make because they are mainly constructed with squares and rectangles of knitting. The second pattern I'm in like with is called 'Dogi' and is shown below. This is a very practical vest and I love that it's knitted side to side. This colourway isn't 'moi', but I sure would like to make it in denim-y tones.
This is the pattern that made me buy the book, but it's the one I will be least likely to make (somehow I envision this one being a lifeswork for my speed of knitting). The pattern is called 'Water & Sky'. I love it though!

Specs on the book: 'Knit Kimono' by Vicki Square, published by Interweave Press, ISBN# 13:978-1-931499-89-7
Further on the knit theme, here are a couple of sites I have stumbled upon that you might find interesting:
www.PlanetPurl.com where you can find all sorts of links to free knitting patterns
www.dodgecreations.com is a Canadian site for knitting supplies, yarns, etc.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fibre Art show

Yesterday we spent the afternoon exploring the wonderful 'Oshawa Fibre Art Show' which is being held at the Centennial Retirement Residence in Oshawa. What a treat for our eyes!! It was all very inspirational and I came home just itching to create something (anything). We weren't allowed to take photos, but if you want to see representations of the works we saw, go to: http://fibreartstudios.com and peek in all the galleries. A few of the pieces in the on-line galleries were actually at the show.

Each artist has a different area of expertise and so there was a lot of variety in techniques. Three large rooms filled with pictures, wall hangings and dolls...wonderful dolls. Many of the pieces were for sale. There was also an area where you could purchase small works of art by the artists and I came home with a wonderful fibre art postcard entitled 'Northern Lights' by Anne Marie Desaulniers (who unfortunately doesn't have a blog...yet). I love it!

Anyway, if you want your eye candy for the day, please check out the FibreArtStudios website!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Mumblings (and dolls)

Paula and Doreen have both published very interesting comments concerning the current abundance of memes and awards floating around the blog world and their feelings on the subject. Being that I have nothing of interest to post today, I thought I'd put my two cents worth into the discussion....

First, I have never been tagged for a meme or given a blog award - which I am most happy about. I have lived in trepidation that it would ever happen because I really didn't know what I would do about it. I have never been a chain letter participant and, truthfully, I feel memes are much the same. I am also troubled by the numbers of forwarded items I receive in emails which, although quite often interesting and beautiful, are a thinly veiled threat to 'pass them on, or else'. Having said that, there are a few that I feel are worth sharing and I will do so, but with the provision that the recipient not feel obliged to send it on OR to return it to me, thusly cluttering up my inbox even more. (What's with that anyway? Why would I want to have something returned to me that I've already read??).

I understand that it would be flattering to be given an award, but I tend to wonder exactly how much meaning there is in it. Are people passing them around just to keep up with the Joneses and because they feel they should? Do they truly, in their hearts, believe the person they're 'awarding' actually deserves said award? To me, if someone likes what I've done or said, a comment on my blog means far more. It's far more personal.

There endeth my rant.

****************************************************************

Now, on another subject - I found this site last night and am blown away by the dolls. Go take a look at: http://www.enchanteddoll.com

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Orts or a bird nest??

Recently I was given a margarine tub crammed full of orts..... The lady who gave them to me was rather mystefied as to why on earth I would even want them but is quite willing to save them for me. After Christmas (when time is a little more available) I plan to play around with them and make some useable fabric for backgrounds in art pieces. At least that's what I hope will happen!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Journals and TIF

Here are three more journal covers I finished on the weekend. These are so much fun to make and don't require a whole lot of investment of time. I'm really up-to-date on my November TIF challenge piece because I actually did put it together on November 1st!! I think this block will nicely balance the other lighter toned block from earlier in the year. I'm getting really excited to actually start putting the quilt together!!


Friday, October 31, 2008

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

I really don't know why I'm having such trouble uploading a Halloween picture but it isn't happening. So....can you pretend to see a picture of a nicely carved, but scary looking pumpkin and a cute little witch at the top of this post? I didn't think so...well, neither can I. Proves neither one of us has a good imagination!

Today was *supposed* to be mostly for sewing - instead I spent over two hours balancing the chequebook and then another hour paying bills. Somehow that wasn't quite what I had in mind!!

Anyhoo...don't let the wee ghoulies spook you too much tonight...have a happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Journal covers

Here are three journal covers I just finished making from recycled denim and some scraps of fabrics I have in my stash. These are fun to do and I was able to pick up the books at our local dollar store so it makes them really cheap to create.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fun day!

Today it was my turn to have our monthly CQTeers meeting and below are some of the fun things we tested out. The first picture is of our atc exchange. The theme this month was 'artists choice'. I did the top two, Sue did the middle row, and Irene's are in the bottom row. This picture is showing a technique that Irene taught. I can't for the life of me remember the name of the commercial product we were using (duh). Anyhow...it's painted on fabric and then a photocopied image is pressed into it with a brayer. After a short wait we peeled the paper off and were left with the image in the cloth. In theory. Mine seemed to want to hold onto the paper and the only way the image would stay was to leave a thin layer of the paper. We aren't sure why it happened that way, but nevertheless I really like the effect. I like how the image 'lost it'd sharp edges'. I think this would be fun to take further. Perhaps painting...or tea dye??
I came up with the following three techniques, which met with varying degrees of success. This one is dripping alcohol inks onto shiny card stock and then spraying it with rubbing alcohol. The bottom pieces are done on the card stock and the middle and top pieces were experimenting on gold and silver paper. The gold won, I think. I'd like to try this again, only with the salt shaker handy to see what effect might come from sprinkling a bit on and waiting for it to dry.

This technique was interesting, but I'm not too sure of the results. We tried using a heat gun to 'glue' fusible webbing onto card stock and then topped it with embossing powder and more heat. Technically the fusible web 'should' have stuck to the card...but....it was much happier either blowing away OR melting into a blob. The bottom (red) is the webbing. On the green card stock, the left part is the webbing, the middle is an ironed-on piece of HeatnBond, and on the right I stuck the HeatnBond on and hit it with the glue gun. Ended up liking the HeatnBond/glue gun/embossing powder the best.



Finally, we went back to our childhood and played with crayons! We used cheap metal graters from the dollar store and grated our crayons onto watercolour paper. A second sheet of waterc. paper was placed on top and then we ironed it until the crayon melted. It's a good idea to sandwich the papers between a couple of pieces of parchment paper to protect your iron. I think the next step will be to perhaps use some watercolour paints over top.


We had a fine day - lots of fun - lots of chocolate. Ahhh....perfect.....




Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fluffing about

First, I want to let you know that the newest edition of CQMagOnline is up and is well worth a look-see! Check it out at http://CQMagOnline.com


It's also nice to see that Pam Kellogg is back after a holiday from blogging. You can see what she's up to at: http://kittyandmedesigns.blogspot.com
Today's picture is why I'm fluffing about. This is a fur coat in the throes of being deconstructed and being made over into a teddy bear. I love making bears, but I do not like the fact that all the 'fluff' from the fur gets into absolutely everything and hangs around for weeks lurking in unexpected places. I've learned the hard way that, once you have the pieces cut out, to take them outside and give them a good shake. Just make sure you're not standing downwind!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Christmas already?

Just have a peek at some of the wonders I received in the mail from Joyce (my Christmas swap partner)!! We decided that we really HAD to do our swap early because neither of us wanted to wait. This is what greeted me when I first opened the box.... Absolutely beautiful pieces of Oriental fabrics....
Feathers and glow in the dark stars, Halloween ghosties and sequin waste, sparkly fabric and lovely blue/green/yellow fabric, and a pretty little bag...... OH...almost forgot...two linen napkins too!!....

There were lots of beads and bits of pretty coloured lining fabrics (and another gorgeous piece of Oriental fabric that got overlooked in the above pic)....


And laces, and ribbons, and marvelous trims....



I don't think Joyce could have stuffed one more thing into that box!! I love it all, and already have some ideas of a few things to create with my goodies. Thank you soooo much Joyce!! A huge thank you too to Donna for organizing this fun swap!




Friday, October 24, 2008

Mail Art

Arlee very kindly shared her jpg pictures of the mail art envelope so I am able to share them here. The first picture is of the back..... Second picture is of the front. My 'part' was the blue area with the dolphin & the sun. I wish I could have travelled through the postal system with it to see the reactions!!

A couple of people have been curious about the book I got at the CreativFestival and I neglected to give the details on it. If you're interested: 'Waverly Honor - A Workbook of Embroidery Design' by Martha Anne Hart and Hester Neblett ISBN#0-929339-02-9 Publisher is Embroidery Research Press Inc. It was copyrighted in 1989 so hopefully it is still available. The address shown in the book for the publisher is: Embroidery Research Press Inc., 10800 Alpharetta Highway, Suite 200 G-4, Roswell, GA 30076 USA

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rerun....

To those who have 'read me' from the beginning, my apologies for rerunning this doll - however, I've been asked to post her again, so here she is. I can't post a picture of what I've been working on the past couple of days because we're sworn to secrecy until the final Exquisite Corpse is revealed. I just got this one in the mail and have it ready to go right back out again. Inspiration struck the second I opened the envelope and I knew exactly what I wanted to do and it came together quickly. I really, really wish I could show it to you!!

OH...before I forget, check out the mail art piece I worked on that Arlee has posted on her blog (scroll down) http://arleebarr.squarespace.com/designjournal The next one arrived today and I'm looking forward to playing with it. (my 'part' on the envie you see on Arlee's blog is the area with the dolphins)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mumblings...sort of

I forgot to make any mention of the needlework show,so....the pictures show the book I bought while I was there. 240 pages just like the ones in the second picture. There is inspiration galore! I also picked up a few issues of Fibre Trend magazine and a small package of floche thread from DMC.
The show itself was good - knitting was big, of course. I was happy to see that silk scarves were nowhere to be seen (unlike the last time I was there when it seemed every second booth had them). Beads were very much in evidence but I managed to steer clear of them (which, given my magpie tendencies, was hard!). The Canadian Doll Artists Assoc. booth was somewhat disappointing...many of the artists I 'knew' from other years didn't seem to have dolls on display. There were a lot of wonderful 'sane' quilts (like an idiot, I forgot to take the camera). I was happy to see a small display of mixed media too. I eyed an embellishing machine but didn't buy. Maybe someday. All in all, a fun day for me (not so sure, however, about DH!!).
Yesterday you will have noticed that I didn't post - we were back in the city again (taking my SIL to a medical appointment) and we had to drive in a snow storm! Yuck - snow is a BAD 4-letter word in my vocabulary at the best of times. The ground was pretty much white this morning when we got up and there's still a lot around despite it being a sunny day. I've had enough and am quite ready for spring, thank you very much.
I stumbled on this site and thought you might like to check it out: http://novasblossoms.blogspot.com/
Anyone who is interested in what SharonB is proposing for the challenge in 2009, check out her blog at http://sharonb.wordpress.com/
Oh...shhhh...I'm getting a subscription to 'A Needle Pulling Thread' for Christmas from DH...he got it at the needlework show. Shhhhh.....


Monday, October 20, 2008

October TIF....Done!




I finished the October Take It Further challenge piece today. Click on it to make it larger if you would like to see the details.
Sharon also mentioned studio pictures, so...at the risk of boring those who have seen it before...here's part of mine. I oughtta be ashamed but, truthfully, I'm not! This is creativity for me.