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.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Finally!!

Finally I can show you the square I did for Doreen ( http://doreeng.blogspot.com ). This was mailed to her April 23rd and arrived (via slow boat) today!! Never again will I mail something overseas via surface mail.

Doreen and I did an exchange whereby we each pieced the background and then sent it to the other to complete. I had lots of fun working with her colours and was able to include a few Canadian icons too.

As for the yard sale...it rained. It poured actually. So...I just finished coughing up the money for yet another ad in the paper and hopefully it will actually happen THIS Saturday. In the meantime, the table wanted for my workroom happened to be on sale so I pre-spent some garage sale earnings and got it. Now I can at least get a bit of work done this week!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Book page and Extreme Frustration

This is one of the promised pictures of the page I made to go in Irene's book. She went to Japan last year, and, because her theme is 'faces', I decided that a geisha would be perfect. I have appliqued the elements onto a backing. Her face is painted with white gesso. Her kimono is from a piece of 'play' I did using a Swiffer dustcloth (washed, of course!!) as a backing and then layered with bits of threads, silk ribbon bits, angelina fibres, and whatever else was floating around my studio. I think I threw some paint on there too, but can't remember exactly. The backside (which I forgot to photograph) has a Japanese quote and is made from strips of actual kimono fabric I had in my stash.

The frustration part of this post is because my studio is in SUCH a state of upheaval and I can't begin to work down here. We're having the garage sale tomorrow and my work table is out there holding 'junque'. The table itself is for sale too and will be replaced with a collapsible plastic one that will be so much easier to move around (the one I've been using is h-e-a-v-y). Just to complicate matters, one of my organizational containers chose to leap off the shelf and disgorge it's entire contents all over the floor (or what part of the floor that is visible at the moment!). What a mess!! Of course it's full of threads (many of them metallics and you know how they tangle up) and I've spent over an hour trying to put things back. I want this yard sale over with so I can have my studio back!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Corpses Arrived!!!


















I'm so excited with my mail today!! I received a parcel from Emmy which included Betty's Exquisite Corpse from Round 1 and mine all completed!! I could hardly wait to uncover each section, but I also wanted to take time to savour each and every part. A massive understatement would be to say I'm thrilled!
*IF* these pictures post in the order I want them to (always a challenge with me!!), the first one should be of the whole piece. I tried to take pictures outside in the sun but all the shiny bits reflected too much so I ended up using my studio lighting which obviously isn't the best either. Please click on each picture to see more detail!
My theme was 'Escape' and my colours were primarily black and purple, with whatever the artist wanted to add beyond that. The first picture you see should be of the bottom left corner which was done by Michelle. Lots and lots of wonderful texture and words and also one of her beautiful bottle caps. I wish everybody could touch this one!
The second picture is of the bottom right and is by Ginger. Again, lots of texture and wonderful machine stitching...be sure you notice the eyes peeping out from the corner. That has to be tricky to do using a machine!!
Third is middle left and is by Reta. What a great escape this would be- a lovely bathtub with a glass of wine and lots and lots of bubbles. Ahhh....heaven on earth!
Next is by Emmy (middle right) and has absolutely amazing texture too. I think she's done lots of burning of the different layers. Wish you could feel this one too!!
The upper left is by Betty and is the most amazingly detailed labrynth, complete with a silver wizard charm. How cool is that?! An incredible amount of hand stitching went into this.
Lastly, on the upper right is the part I did to begin it all. We were playing with an embellisher that my friend has and this was pretty much my test piece to see how the machine worked. The face was another test piece when we tried out angelina fibres with rubber stamps & an iron. She just seemed to 'fit' somehow. The actual 'Escape' bit was a lovely little piece of play I received from Irene and I just added the word.
I am so absolutely blown away by the talent in this group and by how much fun it has been to take part. It has stretched my creativity and also tried to teach me patience as I waited for the next one to arrive. I'm not sure about the patience part, but it's certainly been a blast.
Thank you so very, very much to Arlee (for arranging this whole thing and being such an excellent leader) and to Betty, Reta, Emmy, Michelle and Ginger. You are all spectacular!!










Monday, June 23, 2008

Beauty and the Beast




Isn't this an absolutely gorgeous oriental poppy? I think they are one of my favourite flowers.
As for the beast part of this post...see the two pictures of our garage? That's only a small portion of the junk we've hauled out of varying parts of our abode that we hope to get rid of in a massive yard sale on Saturday. Provided it doesn't rain, of course!! No matter what, none of it is returning into the house or the garage!!!!!!!! What doesn't sell will go to the thrift store; free to a good home on the side of the road; and/or the dump.
I've been pretty much through all the house, but will skim over it again for anything I might have overlooked. Jack is still going through the workshop, so he'll be adding a bunch more before the week is over.
At the moment I don't have a sewing table because it's out in the garage...for sale too. What I use is an old VERY heavy door that's on foldable legs, which serves the purpose but it's a beast if I want to move it. I'm hoping that there will be enough moulah in my pocket at the end of the sale so I can buy a nice heavy-duty plastic one that will be easier to move around.
Oh...and we have had an increase in our local wildlife in the neighbourhood...three baby skunks are now wandering around and making the dogs go wild. We have to be careful when we step out the back door that they aren't choosing that moment to do a parade-by. Fun!!


Friday, June 20, 2008

New project and faces


I can't show you (yet) what I spent much of today working on, but I did want to post a picture of the first two pages of Irene's fabric book round robin. Her theme is faces. The face on the left was done by her and Kym did the one on the right. I've finished mine, but it is one of the things I won't show until Irene has seen it.
The other picture is a knitting bag I am making for myself - mainly as a prototype. I'm trying to put the best of several commercial patterns together (along with a couple of additions of my own) and hope to come up with something that is functional. Again, I'm using some of my stash denim so I don't have to put out any money until I'm sure I have what I want. The whole thing just might be a total waste of time!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More links!

Sorry folks, no picture again today. This time I didn't get into my studio because we've been away all day.

So, instead, I will give you a few links you might like to check out....

- http://karenswhimsy.com there are lots of free public domain images on this one
- www.flickr.com/groups/hooplove/pool there are over 700 vintage embroidery patterns on here...faboulous resource
- www.BettyPillsbury.com lots of CQ eye candy here
- http://www.itsonlyribbon.blogspot.com Victoria Adams Brown has a new blog and I know it will be wonderful for anyone interested in embroidery (thanks Marie for the info about this one)
- http://crazyquilting.pbwiki.com/FrontPage on this site you can find lots of free lessons on crazy quilting, with what looks like many more to come.
- http://mosshill.blogs.com This is JoAnna Pierotti's site - mixed media. Love her work!
- http://mytransfers.blogspot.com More vintage embroidery transfers here
- http://www.orientalstampart1.com/techniques.html There is absolutely tons of information on techniques at this site. Lots of interesting reading.
- http://www.nzjo.blogspot.com Another CQ site.

Have fun!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Good mail today!


Good mail...poor scan! Camera battery is dead, of course. Click on the image to get more detail.
This is the 2009 Piecemakers Times and Seasons calendar/book that came today. I am really happy I ordered it. It's not only a beautiful coloured calendar, but also includes the patterns, stitches, and lots of hints to make the quilt shown here. Lots of drool-power in this one!
I got mine from Janet Stauffacher of www.vintagevogue.com, but you can also order it directly from Piecemakers at www.piecemakers.com

Monday, June 16, 2008

This is NOT laundry!

Today I had a little bit of time to play around with a technique and thought I'd try out using bleach and various things to cause resist. The paper on the top was a piece of black cardstock which I first covered with things like window screen, some punchinella, and a plastic mesh bag (the type that onions come in). I used a little spritz bottle of bleach to mist it. The paper turned out interesting, but wasn't quite what I expected. It will make a great background tho'.

The two papers on the right were done by dipping rubber stamps into bleach and stamping them on the paper (cardstock again). I like the effect on the black the best.

Finally, the paper on the left was a few different things I tried. The bugs on the left were another rubber stamp, as were the words. There is another piece of punchinella in the middle. The circles were just some varying sizes of container lids I dipped in the bleach and used as a stamp. On the right of the page I tore the edge of a piece of paper and used it as a mask. I then attempted to write using a bleach pen (the word 'play') and it blobbed, so I'm not sure I really like that method.

If you try this, make sure the area you are working on is well covered with plastic and it is preferable to work in a well-ventilated area.

Friday, June 13, 2008

June TIF Finished!!





For some reason these pictures have turned out dark and I couldn't seem to improve them. Oh well...click on them to enlarge to see the details.
Today I had a stitching marathon and finished my June Take It Further challenge piece. Yesterday Donna requested seeing all I have done to date, so here they are. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Got some sewing done!

Finally had a chance to sit down for a couple of hours this afternoon and stitch, so I actually have a picture to show today. It's not done, of course, but it's getting there.

Doreen made a comment the other day wondering why I had a safety pin in one of the areas, so thought I'd fess up as to why it's there (in case you are overwhelmed with curiosity!). These blocks are not only using the colours suggested by SharonB in her Take It Further challenge, but I'm also trying to blend them together somewhat by having some common 'ingredients' to each block - one seam that is a trim (either commercially made, tatted, or crocheted); a cigarette silk; and a grouping of buttons from my stash. I decide where I want to put my button cluster when I first begin the handwork and, because the buttons tend to grab onto threads and cause me much angst, I simply mark the area with a safety pin. Simple, but effective. I won't mention that it's also there to remind me to leave a spot for the buttons since my memory just ain't what it used to be!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Housecleaning

Sorry, no picture today. I did manage to do a little on my TIF piece, but not enough to bother taking a picture of for you to see.

Instead...I finally got around to going through seven cd's holding the 'CQ Newsletter' that Darsie Bruno put out around 2004 (when crazy quilting was pretty much starting its revival). I have printed off all the information I was interested in keeping...so.....anybody want the cds for your collection??? If so, leave a comment and let me know! If no-one is interested, they'll be going in our yard sale.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A little progress

Today I managed to make a little progress on my June TIF challenge piece. I also mailed out my new Exquisite Corpse piece, but you'll have to wait awhile to see that because we're sworn to secrecy until the challenge is complete. I'm excited about what I did for this one and really wish I could show you!!

I found another interesting site for crazy quilters you might like to check out if you aren't familiar with it already: http://crazyquiltinginternational.blogspot.com

Monday, June 09, 2008

Because I got nuttin'

Because I have nothing to show for the past few days, I thought I'd show you a picture of the porcelain doll my friend re-dressed and which will be used for an Alzheimer's fundraiser. The original doll was a bride that had seen better days. Elise stripped her and designed all new clothing and re-did her hair. Elise (in her mid 80's) loves to crochet and has great fun designing outfits for the second hand dolls I pick up for her at yard sales and such. This little lady has pantaloons, a bra and a beautiful slip underneath her dress. Heaven forbid a doll go out of her house 'nekked'!!

Elise is also the lady that keeps me well-stocked up with craft supplies. She can't pass by the dollar store without getting me something. Today she added to my beads, my stickers, and managed to get me some great tools too. One of the treasures is a little cutting mat that is great for paper projects and will be just perfect to carry with me. She is such a sweetheart and does so much for others.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot!

Last night we had a huge thunderstorm and rain and now it's turned hot, which in turn makes it feel like a steam bath outside. I refuse to complain though, because so many other areas of our world are going through such weather disasters.

Further on the 'hot' theme, I'm giving you another site today that I discovered through Allison Aller's post yesterday (Allison is doing something wonderful on her blog with flowers...go and see!... http://alliesinstitches.blogspot.com ). She gave a link to an absolutely awe-inspiring quilt that Debra Spincic has done. I was totally blown away when I saw it. Since I still can't seem to master the art of doing a proper cut&paste link (I know, I know, it's simple...for some people!), I will attempt this and hope it works: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pickingdaisy/sets/72157605443823293/ If that doesn't work for you, try looking at this: http://debraspincicdesignstudio.blogspot.com I am in total awe of this piece of work and I know you will be too. Enjoy!!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Frustration and sites

The title for this post disguises the fact that really - all I'm doing today is mumbling (and bitching).

The lack of picture today is due to the fact that I have spent the entire afternoon trying (in vain, I might add) to locate an address or phone number for the makers of our furnace. Such a place doesn't exist in Canada as far as I can see. I have unravelled the mysteries of using the 411 information number locator on the internet (so I guess it hasn't been a complete waste). Our furnace has being doing something 'odd' for months and we've had the service people here numerous times with nothing being resolved. We have finally reached the point where they quite obviously have no clue and really don't want to hear from us anymore. So...I'm trying to get help by going over their heads. I finally located 'a person' who has told me to phone 'another person' who in turn told me to call 'person #3'. The maddening part of all this (other than I wasted my afternoon) is that the furnace isn't even two years old yet. Arghhhhhhhh!!!!

Now, for the sites part of this post....
check out the pictures on this site: http://www.theiff.org/reef/reef2.html It's pretty amazing what people can crochet these days!

- this one came via Lime'nViolet's blog: http://www.alandart.co.uk Look under his products and see some of the great things he's done. I'm 'in like' with his Devilish Dragon...so cute and full of personality.

- http://eloomanator.eloomanation.com/?p=46 has a great tutorial on making 'yarn' from recycled tshirts.

Tonight I've been talked into going to see the movie 'Sex in The City'. Not sure about this, but at least it's good for a night out!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

'Cover-Up' Tutorial




I worked on my next piece for the Exquisite Corpse Challenge today and ran into something that I thought might help some of the others in the group, so thought I'd post a little tutorial on how I do it. Anyone who is familiar with varying forms of applique will already know how to do this. This is a good way to cover up irregularly shaped forms.
So...here goes.....
you will need: freezer paper; a scrap of opaque material slightly bigger than the area you wish to cover; some spray-on starch; a little plastic container; your iron (no steam); and either a q-tip or your finger.
Step 1 & 2: trace the exact shape you need to cover onto the paper side of the freezer paper (you will have to reverse the image in order for it to end up the right way when you are done). Cut out the shape slightly outside the drawn lines.
Step 3 & 4: Press the 'waxed' side of the freezer paper onto your scrap of fabric. Cut around the paper, leaving a good 1/4" outside. Clip any corners, and you will also have to clip a bit around any rounded pieces in order to help them ease in to fit.
Step 5 & 6: Spray some starch into your little container. Use the q-tip (or your trusty finger!) to moisten the seam allowances. Fold them over and press.
Step 7: At this point you can remove the freezer paper (I didn't, because I wanted it to help mask what was beneath). Place, freezer paper side down, over the area you wish to cover and simply hand-stitch around it to hold it in place.
Voila! Hope this might help someone. And, Corpses-peoples, this is NOT the shape I used so I'm not giving anything away.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

June TIF and orchid cactus flowers


I know that I've shown the orchid cactus flowers before but thought I'd show the two different ones I have. The pink one has outdone itself this year and had at least fifty blossoms, so far. It's the second time it has bloomed too, which is surprising. The red one is a little less prolific but no less pretty.
The other picture is of the beginning I made for the June Take It Further challenge. Check out SharonB's blog at http://sharonb.wordpress.com to find out more and to see where the inpiration for colours came from. Would you believe the kitchen sink?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Great things came in the mail!!


Look at what was in my mailbox today when I came home from grocery shopping!! My friend Donna from http://quiltpixie.blogspot.com sent me these and I'm so excited. She's been making these wonderful little villages which have fascinated me on her blog and I'm lucky enough to have one of my very own, along with the book on how to make them! She used a number of the 'bits of fabric' I had sent her awhile ago so it's extra-special.
I have the nicest internet friends...thank you Donna.