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, January 28, 2011

Oh oh - MESS!!!

More on the ongoing
quest to
downsize
the stash...

Some of you might know that I'm an organization book junkie - I read every one I can get my hands on (plus visit a number of blogs on organization too).  Now before you go and get all envious about how organized I must be because of all this reading, you have to understand that I haven't implemented much of what I've learned!

I did read a good hint awhile ago about putting your rubber stamps (unmounted) into a binder and decided that would be a good way to both keep track of them and also reduce the area they take up for storage.  At the CQTeers meeting on Wednesday I happened to mention this and Sue said she keeps hers in those plastic sheets the kids use for trading cards (or that we use for atc's).  She also suggested that using photo sleeves would be good for the larger stamps.  Brilliant!!


See?  It works!!

I happily stamped each one onto pieces of paper so I could find them easily and was thrilled with my prowess.     

UNTIL......

I tried to wash the stamp ink off my hands and realized that I'd grabbed the PERMANENT stamp pad and now my fingers are black and it WON'T come off, despite my best efforts (using all sorts of probably-hazardous-to-my-health potions).

oops       

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Two A's!!!...sort of

Today I have several announcements
of things you might like to know about.

1.  The newest edition of CQMagOnline is up and can be viewed HERE.  For those of you who don't know, this is an excellent (and free!) online magazine about crazy quilting edited by the very talented Rissa Peace Root.  

2.  My friend Karen Ruane is putting the finishing touches on a book!!!  I've been nagging her for ages to create one and now she has.  Can't wait to get my hands on a copy because I know it's going to be beautiful.  If you aren't familiar with her work, please go and look....HERE.....I guarantee you will be totally awed.

3.  Most of you will remember my taking a journal-making online class with Carole Brungar last year and how much fun I had and how happy I was with the end result.  Well, Carole has just announced that she will be running the class again!  If you haven't taken one of her classes, you should because I know you will enjoy it.  Have a look at her post HERE for the initial details and there will be more to come.

4.  Susan has a post on her blog today pointing towards a tutorial for the cutest wee  Sarubobo dolls done by Mai.  You have to see them (and possibly make one, or ten)... go HERE.

Now for the second 'A'....
ATC's!





Today we had our little CQTeers meeting and, because we didn't meet in December, it was Christmas too.  Irene has been experimenting with zentangles and created the two examples on the upper right.  Sue (our queen of paper) made the ones on the lower left.  I almost forgot about not having done any for Christmas and whipped up the imitation wrapped package on the lower right and also did the one on the upper left (using rub on transfers).  

Our meeting/program included two fun things today.  First we learned the basics of making zentangles from Irene and then Sue (our hostess) showed us how to make felted birds....




This photo shows the blue bird that Sue made for me and the white bird I made during the meeting.  So much fun, and very cute.  Irene made each of us a  little Santa ornament (see his zentangle body?).  On the lower left you can see my first effort at making a zentangle.  Needless to say I need LOTS more practice!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

on awards and passing it on

Over the weekend my friend Anne Marie (Artful Dreamer
presented me with an award!!

This award is bestowed on blogs that could use a boost in followers (ie. should have less than 300...300??  Who would ever DREAM I'd have 69 people reading my drivel, much less three HUNDRED!!).  Anyway, the deal is that I, in turn, should nominate 3-5 others that I feel are deserving of more recognition.

HMMMM......
let me see...

1.  One of my favourites is Suziqusthreadworks blog - she does the most **amazing** fiber work and you need to run right over there and have a look, being prepared to be blown away at her talent for colour.  Please hop on over HERE to see!!

2.  For all around generosity of spirit and kindness personified, I would have to say Freda Butler has my vote.  Her blog is a mixture of wonderful flea market finds (she is SO lucky with the hunt!) and crazy quilting.  Go visit her HERE!

3.  Anne of El Milagro has to be one of  the funnest people on the internet.  Her sense of humour is extraordinary, plus which she does some pretty fine art too.  She has also managed to gather some pretty great commentary on her blog and, I have to admit, they have me laughing - a lot.  Her work is totally different than anything else I've seen and I'm so glad I've 'met' her.  Go HERE to see what I mean!

4 &5. Connie Eyberg is definitely multi-talented and has two blogs I really enjoy.  She's a crazy quilter and also has a most interesting blog on organization and studio storage.  Go HERE for her art and HERE for her organization blog.

Thank you Anne Marie
for thinking of me!

Finally, I leave you with another quote for today - 
You can't waste time trying to get approval from the people who you assume hold your fate in their hands.
       - Anna Deavere Smith.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A new CQ book!

I haven't been doing anything creative the past couple of days, so again I have no pictures to show.

However,
I would like to point you to a new book
that's soon becoming available!!

Shawkl (Kathy) is currently taking orders for autographed copies of her new book and if you're interested in crazy quilting you should check it out.  I've followed her blog for awhile and have been awed by the number of seam treatments she has posted. Now she has compiled them into a book (and there looks to be all sorts of other goodies in there too)  and you can find out about it HERE.    My copy is on order already and I can't wait!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mumblings today

Sorry folks, no pictures for you today.  I spent most of the afternoon making something to go along with the latest in the art dolls for the collaboration but it's not quite finished and I don't want to show you until it is.

SO....

I shall mumble!!

- First of all - I must complain about the cold.  I don't like winter.  I don't like cold and it's darned cold out there.  Hibernation in my studio is all I want to do (and partake of a continuous stream of coffee and tea to warm me up).

- For those of you who are wondering (and you are?  Right?) I did finish the great paper shuffle of 2011...two very large bags of shredded paper, 3 bins of recycled paper, and a grand total of three empty file drawers!  

- I'm sure, too, that you will be SO interested to know that I actually cleaned out another big plastic tote today and got rid of 3/4's of it. 

 Obviously, I can't find anything
worth mumbling about,
so
how about some more sites to visit?


Another of my favourite blogs is NeedlenThread which is written by the very capable Mary Corbet.  She never fails to discuss things that I find of interest and she also has tons of information about stitching (including some great videos and free patterns).  Go HERE to check it out.

Nellie Durand is another person I love to visit - her work is varied and definitely her blog is fun to explore.  She has done some large fibre installations that truly are amazing.  Have a look HERE.

Jo of 'No Matter Where I Go I always Meet Myself There' is another incredibly talented needle artist, with an interest in crazy quilting and right now she's exploring zentangles.  HERE she is.

Lynda Monk doesn't post regularly but when she does, it's worth checking out!  Have a look at her work on Purple Missus HERE.  Be sure to look back through her archives!!

This one quite often has something of interest and regularly has giveaways.  Check out Recycled Crafts at Craft Gossip HERE.

And finally I leave you with this quote:  "To dream of the person you would like to be is a waste of the person that you are" (Unknown author).

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Completed heart and another announcement!

Here is my completed
crazy quilt heart!

It will be heading out in the
mail for swap the first of the
week.
Please click on the photo 
for more detail.
------------------------
Most of you will likely have noticed the new button I have on the left side of my blog which is pointing you to a brand new group of crazy quilters.  'Simply CQ' is hosted by Debbie of the Mosaic Magpie blog (note - another Magpie!!).  The group is new, but they hope to have lots going on and would love to have you join in the fun.  Just click on the 'Simply CQ' button on the left to be taken to the blog!

----------------------

Don't forget to give some consideration
to creating some quilt blocks for
donation to those affected by the
flooding in Australia.
Again, click on the button on the left
for more info!! 


Friday, January 14, 2011

More heart progress

I accomplished quite a bit on my heart today but tomorrow I plan to tear part of it out because I'm not happy with it.  See that section just above the spider web?  The silk ribbon I used is just too dark for the rest of the piece and needs to be lightened up.  So....I shall frog it and replace it with something I like better.
------------------------------

Before Christmas I began a series of posts highlighting some of the blogs I read regularly.  Here are some more for your viewing enjoyment...

- this one is mainly geared towards Canadians interested in help with their finances, but there are some great pointers here for pretty much anyone.  Gail has a tv show called 'Til Debt Do Us Part' too.  Go HERE

- this one quite often is my daily dose of laughter.  She tells about her family and all their antics - good and bad and always with humour.  Definitely a fun read HERE. at FiddleDeeDee.

- Sharon B is someone I've talked about here quite often.  She is one of the most generous people on the internet and if you are at all interested in stitching, she has one of the most comprehensive stitch dictionaries out there.  Some of you may remember my having taken part in her  TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesdays) challenge and also her colour challenge two or three years ago.  Visit her HERE.

- Christine is interested in sewing and collection period costumes and also does some pretty incredible stitching.  She blogs HERE at Lady Jane's Journal.

- Maggie Grey has a blog HERE and discusses a lot of mixed media and various forms of art.  She is the author of several books including 'From Image to Stitch'.

Have fun exploring and perhaps you'll find some blogs you'll want to have on your list of must reads!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

CQ heart progress AND an announcement!

I'll do the announcement first because this is big news!  My friend Pam Kellogg has opened 'Handmade Shabby Chic Boutique'  where she is offering some wonderful work...I'm a huge admirer of what she does, along with her Mom and her sister.  All three have their treasures on offer at the site and it's well worth a look.  You can see it HERE.  Please go and have a peek (and if you're so inclined, a purchase would be ever so nice too!).
----------------------------------------------
AND...
A reminder of the ongoing request for these easy
quilt blocks for disaster relief
in Australia.
Please consider making one or several!
(scroll down for further information)
---------------------------------------
Finally, here is the latest progress on my crazy quilt heart....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

One more block for Australia


One more block ready to send
to Australia for flood relief.

Further details are on the post below this one.
Please consider making a few and sending
them!

Unfortunately my stash of both lightweight quilt 'bat' and suitable cotton fabrics is very lacking, but  I think four blocks are certainly better than none.  They'll be heading for Australia tomorrow.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Quilt blocks for Australia

Many of you will have heard about the terrible floods that have hit Australia and of the many people who have lost everything.  Some kind individuals there have decided to create quilts to donate to these families so I've decided that I will further reduce my stash and try to make a few to send over.  The pattern is very simple (and great for using up 'stuff') and don't take long to make.

I've made three this afternoon...

These blocks finish at 10 1/2".  Further information (and the instructions, along with where to mail the blocks) can be found on Kaite's blog here.  Please think about joining in and helping if you can!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Two days in a row????

I know, what's this world coming to?  I'm talking about crazy quilting two days in a row??  Be still my beating 'heart' (hah, get it??).

Anyway....I'm taking part in a CQ heart swap later this month and thought I'd better be getting started on mine.  The size restriction is about 8 x 5", so this isn't too big.  I liked this little transfer so decided to built my piece using it as my inspiration.  Perhaps if you 'embiggen' the picture you'll be able to see the details a little better. 

Now it's on to stitching!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Crazy quilt content?

Who knew?
I know you're all getting bored reading about my ongoing paper turf-war, so I've decided to mention a couple of wonderful things that involve crazy quilting.
~~~~~~~~~~

First, there will soon be a new publication entirely devoted to crazy quilting!  This is the brain-child of Pat Winter who I know will do a phenomenal job of creating something we will love to read.  She announces it here.  I, for one, can't wait to get my hands on the first issue.  Way to go Pat!!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Secondly, if you like eye candy of the crazy quilt sort (and most of us do) you have to check out this post by Susan of 'Plays With Needles'.  She shows us some fantastic photos of Shirlee Fassells award winning quilt, which you can see here.  Be prepared to be blown away!!
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~ ~ ~

And just so you don't feel totally uninformed about my latest paper riddance - the drawers have been gone through, a pile has been made for a yard sale, an even larger pile has been recycled, and another pile is awaiting the ministrations of the shredder. 

Thursday, January 06, 2011

More evidence of progress

3 bundles,
each about 2" thick,
of assorted craft
patterns!!

These are destined for a massive yard sale in the spring.  I always find it amazing what people will buy and I'm pretty sure somebody will be more than willing to part with a couple of bucks for each bundle.  If they don't, THEN I'll put them in the recycle box!

Speaking of which, I've filled another recycle box with paper that's going out, out, out AND I have another big box of 'stuff' ready to go through the shredder before I send it out.  One more file drawer to go.....

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Buried?

Yes, I feel like I'm buried -
under stacks and stacks and stacks of paper!!!

I decided, in a moment of complete idiocy, that it was time to go through all my files of craft patterns, instructions, and 'stuff' and sort out same - hopefully managing to turf a great deal of my accumulation.  What a job!!  Not only am I sorting through it all, but I'm also trying to compact what I want to keep into less space and get it into some sort of system whereby I might stand a chance of actually finding something.  Tall order, I know.  

Two trips to Staples for new
MATCHING
3-ring binders
and now I have
this....
I know, it's an awful picture, but you can get the general idea of how my new organization looks.  I've even invested in new labels (far prettier than the ghastly pink ones I had previously).  If you're really curious, I think you can click on it to see the categories. 

Back to Staples tomorrow
for one more binder!!


Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Pays to ask questions!


I've been searching for a wrought-iron looking piece of 'art' to finish up the wall decoration in our renovated bathroom and have been to several thrift stores to no avail.  A local store (Giant Tiger) had this piece on their shelf a week or so ago at a price of $14.95, which was too expensive for a simple decorative element for a bathroom that is rarely used.  I refused to even consider it.

However, as time went on and my search was coming up empty, I began to rethink this one.  I doubted it would still be there because it was the only one they had and it was minus the box.  Well, it was still there and still minus the box AND the glass candle holders that went along with it.  On the off-chance that they might reduce the price I trundled it up to the check out and simply asked if there could be any kind of discount.  The supervisor was called and she disappeared (I thought to ask someone higher in the pecking order), but back she came bearing the candle holders and gave me the whole thing for $2!!!!!!!!  Yes, you read that right!  I was blown away.  Jack has nipped off the candle holder rings and I'm left with a perfect piece of 'art' for the wall...for the grand sum of two dollars!!  

Yeah!!

Monday, January 03, 2011

THE luckiest girl in the world right now??

IS ME!!!!!!!!!

Just look what was waiting for me
when we got home from getting
groceries today!!....


I know it's not a great picture, 
but it's very hard to get a decent shot of
such a gorgeous hand knitted
sweater!!

Here's a closeup...


And,
here I am modeling my
beautiful new sweater!
 
 
I know, it's very hard to see it in all it's wondrous glory, but hopefully you can get a good idea.  Some of you might remember that over a year ago I won the yarn to make a sweater and it's been languishing in my to-do box ever since waiting for me to muster courage to even begin a project I knew would take at least a couple of years for me to knit.  Enter my friend Ginette, who is a knitter extraordinaire, who offered to knit it for me, and then did so in mind-numbingly record time!!  I simply can't believe how fast she knits and how she is undaunted by the difficulty of any pattern (AND changes it to fit better too!!).  She is utterly amazing!!  THANK YOU GINETTE - you are one in a million, my friend!  

The pattern is the 'Lacy Vee Cardigan #405', by Cabin Fever  and the yarn is 'Linarte' by Lana Grossa.