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, February 24, 2010

ATC's and CQT's

Today we had our CQTeers meeting and exchanged our Christmas and Valentine's atcs. Sue very cleverly made us each a name tag atc (to remind each of us as to who we were, because we haven't seen each other for a couple of months). The three atc's above were made by Sue and she also made us each one of the really exquisite paper ornaments. Be sure to click on the photo so you can see the details! She missed our Christmas meeting, so was getting us caught up.
This month our theme was 'hearts' and you can see above what fun we had creating. The one on the upper left is by Kym; Sue did the two on the upper right; and mine were the bottom two. Irene chose to make us each an icicle doll (shown below) instead. In case you didn't notice the card on the upper right that Sue made is a heart carved in a tree with Jack & my initials. Cute idea!!
Sue also made each of us the pretty little chocolate holder you see in this picture. We had a fun show & share, lunch, and then Irene (the hostess) showed us how to make the fun fabric flowers you see on the lower left. We each had some great ideas of what we can use or make with these. I'm looking forward to making some more to try out some of the ideas!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Great mail day!

Look what arrived in the mail today! Pat Winter sent me the most lovely little package and, like a dummy, I was so excited about opening it that I forgot to take a picture! Anyway, the above picture is close. The lovely pieces of art were encased in a clear envelope with the Valentine piece as the closure. So pretty!

Below I have taken everything apart so you can see the treasures individually. The wee cupid is a little envie which held a packet of White Chocolate tea (can't WAIT to treat myself!). Attached to the pretty Valentine tag is the gorgeous brooch she made. I'll try to get a better photo of it tomorrow AFTER I remember to recharge the camera batteries.
Thank you so much Pat...it was such fun to get something nice on a snowy day!

Monday, February 22, 2010

for embroidery fans....

Here are a couple of interesting things you might want to check out!

1. Maureen Greeson of Maureens Vintage Acquisitions is kindly sharing 13 pages of vintage embroidery designs. With my passion for old embroidery books and designs, you know I was all over that and have downloaded a copy for my files. You can find it here. While you're there, be sure to check out the rest of Maureen's blog!

2. I have already mentioned this, but I want to make sure you didn't miss it. Sharon B of Pintangle is about to begin her Take-A-Stitch-Tuesday 2 (TAST 2) challenge. Each week she will feature an embroidery stitch and you are encouraged to experiment with it and then you may post what you've done. Sharon explains it much better than I can here. You can sign up to join in and keep track of what everyone else is doing. It's a great way to discover new blogs too! I took part in TAST 1 a couple of years ago and learned a tremendous amount. Sharon is a great teacher and, best of all, it's free!!

Sorry, no pictures today. Haven't had time to even LOOK at anything creative.

EDITED TO ADD: My friend Yvonne over at Inkspillers Attic is celebrating her 250th blog post with a fun giveaway! Go here to read all about it!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pirate map for Persia

Persia needed a pirate map to show where the buried treasure is (don't all pirates have buried treasure somewhere?).
I drew the map and stained the paper with a combination of tea/coffee & a few spritzes of Walnut Ink. It's lightly coloured with a bit of watercolour pencil which I then 'painted' with water. While it was still wet ( despite the danger of burning the house down!) I burned the edges and a few holes in the middle. Now it's having a coat of protectant and it will be ready to take exploring!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Queen of Hearts Swap Doll arrived!

When the mail arrived today, look what came! Sam made this for me for the Queen of Hearts doll swap in our Decidedly Different Dolls group. I am thrilled with her! She has a paper clay face and a wonderful beaded tassel AND she's sporting a little crystal heart too (hopefully you can see it if you click on the picture). Thank you Sam!!

Below is the doll I made for the swap. I crocheted the heart body and also crocheted some wire for her 'hair'. I had the face and shoe charms in my stash. Her arms and legs are beaded. Hope Leslie liked her!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Persia and her newest addition

Meet Persia, who is Em's doll. She is a renowned pirate and certainly looks the part! Please click on the picture so you can see the details. Hopefully you will notice that she has her very own beaded parrot and a treasure chest that is full of pirate booty. And her tri-corner hat! She has a peg leg, complete with notches carved in it representing her male conquests. She has a real knife belt with SHARP knives too!

When I knew that Persia was to be a pirate I happened across the perfect prop for her while I was in the local dollar store......

.....a pirate ship!!!! Granted, this particular ship didn't exactly look like this when I got it. It was full of bubble bath (which did NOT smell nice and got dumped down the drain in a hurry). It was black plastic with a little bit of blue on the base where the water is. Pretty uninspired actually, but I knew I could gussie it up to make it look better. After several coats of paint, stain and varnish, it does look better I think! I even found a perfect little Jolly Roger flag on the internet which fit exactly on the flag. Obviously meant to be!

Now to decide on what else I want to add! Hope you like the ship Em!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Great mail!!

Last week I received the oh-so-pretty and springlike bird in a nest from Pam of Kitty and Me Designs. Isn't it cute? Lots of glitter and sparkles on this sweetie (and y'all know how much magpies like their sparkly things!). Thank you Pam!!

Today's mail brought all these goodies from Arlee, who managed to find (I think) about the ONLY crazy quilting book I don't already own! I haven't had time to read it yet, but I will. There is a gorgeous denim jacket in there that I'm already drooling over and have added to my 'to-do' list. Methinks it might just jump over a few other things so it's closer to the top of the list! I've been wanting to start another CQ project but couldn't settle on what to make - I think this is it.

There's some wonderful bronze mesh, some bronze beads and a funky sun which is promptly going on my bulletin board to remind me that spring is coming...soon, I hope.

Thanks Arlee!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Knitting Olympics and a freebie!


First, I want to give you a heads up that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (and friends) are running the knitting olympics again this year. I took part four years ago and had a great time! The premise is that you cast on a project as the Olympic Flame is lit and finish it before the flame goes out. It's a personal challenge. You can find out more details and register here. I won't be taking part this year because I have too many other projects on the go, but I'll be cheering the rest of you on.

Now for the freebie. I have a copy of the 2009 Quilt calendar shown above which contains patterns for 13 different quilts. I hate to throw it out so if you would like it, leave a comment!

Edited to say...if you'd like to see what my Knitting Olympics project was in 2006, go here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Doll journal for Tabula Rosa!

Above is page one. I gave Tabula a colourful Peruvian dancing skirt and also made her a woven bag. For the journal page, I used a piece of ephemera I found in my stash (was it yours Amy??) and painted it to match the colours in the fabric of her skirt. A small remnant of skirt fabric was gathered and glued to the page, along with a polymer face I had lurking in my stash. I knitted a small bag using the same yarn as I used to weave the larger bag Tabula is carrying.
Page two was simply a picture of a parrot that is common to Peru, along with a red feather to add some texture to the page. There is also a 'real' parrot travelling along with Tabula.
Page three...is a small menu booklet that contains recipies for Pisco Sour (which is a drink from Peru); Arroz con Pollo (a chicken dish); and Leche Asada (a dessert). I used a loofah sponge and paint to stamp the background of the page.
Finally, this is a picture of Tabula posing in front of some of the mountains in Peru.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Beautiful eye candy!

No, there's no eye candy on this blog today, but I have several sites that have some pretty gorgeous and inspiring pieces for you to explore!

1. First, Susan Lenz has pictures on her blog from her art show. Please go and look because she does absolutely stunning work and deserves every accolade she gets for the pieces she has on display. Go here to see.

2. Another artist whose blog I enjoy is enjoying her first show too. Suzan Buckner does great paintings and her husband does great altered art. Check out pictures of their show here.

3. My friend Pam from Kitty and Me posted a link to where you can get all sorts of free (yes free!) images for use in your art. Go here.

4. Sharon Boggon of Pintangle has posted a free embroidery stitch guide for download. Check it out here.

5. Sharon has also announced that she will be running a second edition of TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday). A new embroidery stitch will be introduced each week and participants can practice the stitch and then go on to create their own versions. I took part in the original TAST and learned so much about embroidery so I highly recommend it. Sharon says the new edition will be focusing on entirely different stitches. She's a great teacher and, best of all, TAST is free! Go here (and scroll down) get further information.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Introducing....Ellyllon!!!

Here she is...sporting wonderful eyelashes and a beaded crown. Her name is Ellyllon (Elly for short). She is NOT a fierce dragon and is much more laid back in her approach to life. Please click on the pictures for more detail!

Once again, I want to thank Amy, the pattern designer, for giving me the opportunity to test this pattern for her. I have had a great deal of fun and am no longer afraid to try patterns that are marked as being 'advanced', for which I thank Amy.

To find out more about Amy and her designs, please visit her at her web site, her blog, or at her etsy site. Her pattern, called 'Draconis' will be available shortly and I will be sure to let you know when and where you can get it.

Friday, February 05, 2010

AND.....we have a dragon!!!

Here he is!! Sorry about the poor pictures but, of course, the camera batteries decided to die in the middle of his photo shoot. He still needs his decorations but you can see pretty much what he's going to look like here.
He's 36" long and about 10" tall and was such wonderful fun to make. Amy has created a great pattern! The pattern will be for sale very shortly and I'll be sure to let you know when and where you can get it. In the meantime, don't forget you can see more dragons here.

I'll be posting more photos once he gets his decorations, so stay tuned.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

He can see!

This picture really doesn't show the needle sculpting very well (choosing a less 'busy' fabric would have been better). Trust me, it's there. His eyes and nostrils are painted and now the next step is to attach his head to his body! I've had limited time today to work on him, so I'm pretty pleased to get this far along.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Houston, we have a head!

Success at last! 'Dragon' now will have a head, once I complete the needle sculpting and painting on his eyes. Amy and I managed to get on the same wavelength and it went together nicely. Thanks for your patience Amy!

I guess my job as a pattern tester is to be sure that the instructions are clear and that other people will be able to follow them without problems. Amy has classed the pattern as being 'advanced' and I don't consider myself in that class quite yet. Maybe someone who is truly advanced in their abilities wouldn't have stumbled over the head, but at least the new diagrams that Amy created to help me through and I'm sure will prove to be helpful to anyone, no matter their level of ability.

Check out Amy's latest creation on her blog here. Now I'm off to needle sculpt!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Life goes on

#2 son and his GF have a new kitten and Saturday we got to go and meet him. He's a Bengal/Oriental cross and has the wonderful leopard spots of the Bengals and the big ears and long skinny tail of the Orientals. He's going to be a VERY distinctive cat!
If you want to know more about the origins of the bengals and/or orientals...please Google them! They're pretty unique.

Monday, February 01, 2010

No pictures here, but.....

...there are lots to see at the sites I have for you today. I was out most of the day so haven't accomplished much other than recreating the pieces for the head for 'dragon', which doesn't make for very exciting viewing right now.

SO.....

Go here for some incredible art and be sure to scroll down to see some of the work Susan does. She is absolutely an amazing artist!

And, go here for some gorgeous crazy quilting!

And, last but not least, if you want to see the latest in the journeys of our art doll coolaberation, go here and be sure to scroll down to see them all!

Enjoy!