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.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Joy and Rupture


I know, the proper expression should be 'Joy and RAPTURE', however I nearly ruptured a gasket trying to shorten eight (count 'em...EIGHT!!) pairs of curtains today. The lump in the picture just shows a portion of them. My creativity knows no bounds at the moment...these had to be the ultimate in boredom. However, the sunroom gets way too hot and if we can cut down on some of the sun pouring in, it will be used more.

Oh yeah, and to add even more joy to my life, I also shortened a pair of jeans for DH! Yep, an absolutely PERFECT day (not!).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

More from yesterday

Here's the promised picture from yesterday. On the upper right you can see the cheap 'rubber' stamps I made (so simple...a block of wood, glue on a piece of that cheap craft foam you can get at the dollar store, let dry. The image is simply cut from another piece of the craft foam and glued on...cheap, cheerful, and they work great!).

On the upper left you can see the atc Irene made (utilizing a worn embroidered cloth) and the lovely little beeswax flower she made. The bottom row are the other atcs I received (left one from Sue, and the other two are from Kym). Of course I forgot to photograph the ones I made...duh!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Flowers - of a different sort!


Today we had our CQTeers meeting and had a fun time making a couple of projects. One was these roses made from coffee filters (instructions from Martha Stewart.com) . These were a learning curve for all of us because we had never made them before, so we have learned several things for any we might make in the future. They are coloured with watercolour paints which gives them such lovely shading. I will be making a few more of these so hope to perfect the how-to as I go along.

We did our usual exchange of atc's and also made our own (cheap!) rubber stamps, which I will have to show you tomorrow. Fun day with good friends!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Gardening Time!

These are round one of the plants DH is putting in our gardens. We have a fairly large property and a lot of it is either flower beds or the vegetable garden out back, so it takes quite a few plants to fill in the spaces. A number of our perennials winter-killed, so we have to replace those. Of course this doesn't include the seed packets that are also being planted.

The above picture is a close up of one of a pair of hanging plants I got to put into my urns at the front of the house.
The fuschia hangs beside the front door in a metal ring mounted there for the purpose. There's a honeysuckle vine that will be planted just outside the sunporch where we have the dog pen...hopefully it will give shade for the dogs and bring us a few hummingbirds. The red plastic 'bucket' is holding some veggies, including leeks and some peppers.

Today we went out and bought some more perennials (mostly iris') to fill in the empty spots. Trouble is, there are altogether too many nice looking plants available right now and only so much space and money!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Winnings from Jackie!!

Here, as promised, is a picture of what came from Jackie . It's not a good picture because, of course, my camera decided to need to be recharged at the wrong time. Hopefully clicking on it will show it better for you. The lovely beige paper in front is tea bag paper...also from Jackie. I can't wait to play with it to see what it will do!!

I already have a frame to put my picture in and it will enjoy a place of honour in my house where I will see it every day and remember how lucky I am to have internet friends like Jackie...thank you SO much!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Unbelieveable!!!!






Isn't this absolutely unbelievable? And it's not all of it!!!!

I received a box in the mail from Arlee and these three pictures just show a miniscule amount of the wonders that were inside! Click on the pictures to embiggen them so you can see the detail. See the green piece in the upper left of the top picture? It's a purse! See the orange piece of fabric below it? It's handpainted and oh so perfect for the cover of a journal. See the red bag beside it?...full of beads (mmmmm, sparklies). See the absolutely beautiful face? And the doll? And the cat (SO much more fun than the one I made!).

The other two pictures are of the art she included. There's postcards and some pieces of her metal work. I'm in total heaven here. AND.....AND.....this isn't even a dent in all the other goodies that were in the box!!!

Not only that, I received my winnings from Jackies draw today AND I found out I won this month's draw on Mary Corbetts site too!!!!!!!!! I will post a pic of what I received from Jackie tomorrow.

Thank you so very much to my internet friends! I'm a lucky, lucky girl!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Shoveling and Designing

Today pretty much the only creativity that happened was a whole lot of shoveling in my studio. The piles were teetering and threatening me bodily harm and, besides, I'd managed to lose a book I was looking for. It was time. Boring, boring, boring, but SO much better now.

After that I worked on my design for a ring bearer pillow I've been commissioned to make (which is what you see in the picture). I will embroider the initials of the bride and groom in the centre. The fans will be appliqued on after I piece them using various tones of white/ivory/cream and do some embroidery on them. I have some pretty bead trim to go along the outside edges of the fans.

The bride isn't a frou-frou type of person (according to her sister), so I want to do a minimum of over-the-top embroidery on this. Simple and elegant is what I'm going for. I have four tassels for the corners which I will tack on so that they can be removed after the wedding. I will also just tack on the ribbon to hold the rings in place. The whole thing is 9" square.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Garden beauty

I love this plant because the foliage is just as pretty as the flowers! Last night the weather report was calling for possible frost so Jack put a large plastic barrel over this plant because it was so close to blooming. This morning the sun was hitting the barrel and probably the heat inside helped the blooms to open.
I think it's some sort of peony, but don't know for sure. It's another 'inherited' plant in our friendship garden. Isn't it pretty?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

One of THOSE days

...where nothing gets done that I planned to do. ARGHHH!!! Why, oh why, when the Lord created the earth couldn't He have made days have more than 24 hours. Better yet, why did He create man with a need for sleep?

I've started typing 'THE DIARY' and am finding that my goal of one page a day is not so good. I know, I know, I had originally said 20 minutes a day, but that's just plain frustrating. I thought changing my so-called goal to typing one page would be do-able, which it was whilst I was typing from already typed pages! Now I'm on to transcribing from the original diary, which is huge and cumbersome and hard to read too. Sigh. I am refusing to cut back though, because I have a goal and want to get it published so that it's no longer hanging over my head as a huge 'to-do' project.

Another question (while I'm pondering life and its problems)...why does society expect us to have clean houses anyway? Better yet, why can't I win the lottery so I can afford to have someone clean for me? Oh, and while I'm at it, why not throw a cook in too? And a chauffeur so that I don't have to waste time doing mundane things like grocery shop and run errands? Someone to bring me coffee and bonbons while I spend my entire time creating?

Oh to live in a perfect world!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Art journal


This is the cover for the art journal I have been working on. The bottom picture is the outside front and the top picture shows the two inside covers.

The 'base' for the book was fun to do. First I saturated a piece of cotton fabric with a water/white glue mixture and wrung it out really well. I flattened it out somewhat and hung it to dry (I wanted to leave the wrinkles in as much as possible). Next I crumbled tissue paper really well and flattened it out (again leaving the wrinkles in). I attached the paper to the fabric layer with iron-on webbing (being careful to protect my iron with parchment paper). Then I painted over that with acrylic paints...first in green (and yellow for the front cover), then in a blue wash, and finally with a wash of gold. I let the green and blue dry thoroughly before adding the gold, which I blotted off to let the base colours show through. The pages inside are made of watercolour paper and will (I think) be just loose inside the book to make them easier to work on. All I have left is to come up with a method of closure and it's done!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not the smartest pickle in the jar

Yep, that's me I'm talkin' about. Sometimes my stupidity even exceeds my lowly expectations of myself and this one has to be the dumbest stunt I've pulled in a long time.

I was so excited about getting a copy of the 'Embroidered Flora and Fauna' book by Lesley Turpin-Delport. It's a beautiful book. I love it. I had requested it through inter-library loan and, before it came in, decided that I needed to get my own copy from Amazon.

So.....

the library came through first. I drooled through the book quickly, knowing that my very own was coming in a couple of days. Returned borrowed book to library.

OK, so far?

Well, my own copy came. Read a couple of pages and put it on my dresser to read later.

Still following me??

Well, being the unbright pickle I am, I put the book in the area where I always put the library books.

You guessed it....I 'returned' the book to the library. That, in itself, isn't necessarily a BAD thing...however I do donate quite a few books to the library for other people to enjoy, so they can't be blamed for assuming that was my intention, can they? There's no turning back now.

Darn it, I WANTED that book!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Spring is sprung!

These are just some of the tulips and daffodils we have in bloom at the moment. Just before supper tonight we had a huge hailstorm; hopefully it didn't damage them too much.

I have one and a half pages of 'the diary' typed up, which has taken forever. I'm a fairly fast typist, but I'm not so good with learning the ins and outs of a new computer program. Thank goodness for the 'Teach Yourself Visually' series of guide books!! I had to learn to make columns, what font to use, what size, how to number pages, and all sorts of interesting things hitherto unknown to me. It's going to be a HUGE project, but I have promised myself that I will type for 20 minutes per day and sooner or later it will be done. (For those who haven't been reading my blog for long, 'the diary' is a 30 year chronicle of my gr.gr.grandfather's life on his farm, beginning in 1869 and ending shortly before his death). Ultimately I will be having it published so everything I do now is with an eye towards that goal.

I have finally decided on the design I will be using for the ring bearer pillow commission, which is a step in the right direction. Picked up some lovely fabric today which I will use for the centre part. Hopefully it will take well to being embroidered on because I want to do the bride & grooms monograms on it. The four corners of the pillow will be fans, done in tones of cream, ivory and white. I also picked up some really pretty pearl trim for the edges of the fans. Yes, I'll post pictures as I go along!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

What in the WORLD is she up to now????



Look what's hanging outside on the line and causing the neighbours to wonder, yet again, what on earth I think I'm doing with my time. It's definitely not laundry, unless I've taken to wearing VERY odd underwear!! (Picture is clickable to enlarge)

I've been experimenting with discharge dyeing (using bleach) on denim with the eye towards using something like this on part of my long coat. I did a whole bunch of stitching in odd and wondrous ways and then plopped it in the weakened bleach solution (then rinsed in water, in vinegar/water, and again in water) for various times. I remembered having read somewhere that ten minutes might be about right. Well, it's not! Bleached almost ALL the blue out, which wasn't what I was aiming for. The three biggest pieces are my favourites...I simply wet them first, then used a clothespin to gather up a little pinch in the centre. Then I just 'twirled' the clothepeg and as it turned it gathered up the fabric. I held the whole thing together with an elastic band and it came out looking like a flower! That one has me excited, but I think it might just be too large for my application on the coat.

The 'stuff' that's further out on the clothesline (sorry, not underwear either) is some fabrics I dipped and scrunched around in a solution of white glue/water. Wrung them out real well and tried to leave the wrinkles in as much as possible. After they're dry, I'm going to iron them (leaving the wrinkles) and see if they might just become the base for my doll journal book.

I'm having a wonderful creative (and messy) day and I'm lovin' it!! Hope you are too!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Denim bag - finished

You would think I would get tired of making denim bags, wouldn't you? I really like this one, although I did change the original pattern somewhat. I replaced the pockets in the pattern with some recycled ones from a pair of jeans, and also changed the method of finishing the bag to something that was easier (at least for me). I don't have a particular use for this bag and, for the moment, it's going into the gift drawer.

The pattern was a free download from the internet (Quilted Garden Tote, a tutorial from Handmade by Alissa and Sew,Mama,Sew).

Friday, May 01, 2009

Denim...again?


I had a bit of time to do some stitching on the latest denim bag I'm working on. If you enlarge the picture, you can maybe see the machine stitching better. I used multi-coloured thread and just fiddled with some of the different stitches on my machine. Fun, easy, and it served to hold the batting in place (I'm using up an old piece of 'stuff' that looks like it's cotton fluff!). The flowers are commercial felt that I have hand stitched onto the denim using pearl cotton.

I will repeat the process on the other side and then add some outside pockets before I actually put it together. More stash reduction...gotta love it!!