Monday, March 30, 2009

Zen Chick!

Isn't he cute? Maybe I will use this for my April Journal quilt?? That's is an idea I will file.

These were some of the knots I learned to draw. I just searched and can't find the site that had many booklet type instructions for Henna, Celtic and other topics that could provide inspiration for a repetitive technique. If & when I find it again I will post it. I followed the directions for drawing the Celtic knots and it was SIMPLE. My daughter was telling a friend of hers about Zentangle after she saw her doodling up her OWN design today.

Knit up a few more inches of my LEMONGRASS sweater tonight at knitting group. It is looking good!

GOOD READ.....Dennis Lehane's The Given Day. Most books are good and reading them before bed is the norm. Some books are BETTER than good. This book is one of those. I love when a book comes along that you can't wait to get back to, the ones you take with you just in case you get a few minutes to flip a page. Worth your time.

Today I Learned:

  1. How to make a ZIPPER flower. A woman at knitting gave us a little lesson using an old metal zipper. Cute. I will post a pic when I get out the glue gun & old zipper I picked up at Sally Ann's a while ago
  2. Clifford, one of my CHERISHED cats, has a skin tag. At the END of his fluffy body! It was causing troubles back there. The VET took care of it today. He was not happy.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

March Journal Page

This is my March Journal Page. I am not entirely happy with it. It needs something else...the orange/red color is a good contrast, but it appears to just be plopped onto the background. SPRING doesn't show up enough either. HHMMMM..I will think of what could be done to improve this little piece. Any idea's?

I used another piece of my challenge quilt on this CUFF. Somerset Studio's Belle Armoire magazine is running a challenge right now calling for them by June 15. I do plan to send it in for consideration! A cuff can be worn on the wrist or ankle. Mine would be worn on the wrist. Not my wrist however! I am just not that rockin'!

This is a mini quilt I made for a Kathy in CA. I didn't get the measurements before I mailed it Friday but approximately 18"x 10". It looks wonky in the picture but it was straight & square! I drafted the little house pattern for paper piecing. If you look closely you can see where I hand stitched in center of each neighborhood" and on binding. I also did pebble-y free motion quiting on border. I will get one from her next week, so I will post it then.

A little Zentangle-ing. I like the gridded layout. I like the separate & DIFFERENT doodles in each chunky block. I especially like 2nd from right in the middle row...a CROWN & swirls. Every time I look at these I think how cool they would look as free motion quilting.

I have 2 CQ RR blocks to stitch on. One is the mermaid block swap. Carolyn is an artist, a painter, and her block is beautiful! She included some lessons on depth of field so I hope I successfully employ those directives!

I have less than 4 weeks before I travel to Manchester N.H. for the annual HGTV retreat. There are 70 ladies from all over the states and even 1 from IRELAND! I have to use the provided FQ to make something for the challenge. I am not inspired by the novelty cow themed fabric. I plan to make little baby booties from a SIMPLICITY pattern. I will have to use a felted lining to give them structure.

I also have to make a T-shirt that will be my NAME TAG. It should reflect your state in some way. Many idea's. I want to reconstruct it first...even if it's just to feminize the fit. I thought of adding fabric to sleeves & bottom; cutting to make into cardigan style; printing a map image of my town in NYS. I will probably wait til a week before to make both of them!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Older and feelin' it!

I was born 48 years ago, 1 hour and 36 minutes short of St. Patrick's Day...which would have been pretty COOL since my Dad was direct from Ireland, the old Sod! They called him "The Lad" at work. He had a beautiful brogue.

I would have posted yesterday but it seems that non-rechargeable batteries really don't recharge! I inadvertently tried charging the batts that came with my camera! (my brain is also 48 now which doesn't seem promising already!)

First, I have been knitting a bit...on that great Lemongrass sweater. I LOVE this pattern. Very EASY! I felt motivated after seeing my sister's friend, NANCY, wearing hers when we all met for my birthday lunch. I have knitting group tonight so I am on a roll to complete this before the hot weather.

I just want to point out my VINTAGE sofa! It hasn't lasted very long since my huge greyhound, DEAN, owns it, but it would be a great piece reupholstered. It is slightly curved and has a smaller profile for my 15"x14" living room.

I also finished my Fiber Art for A Cause Collage Mania 2009 piece yesterday. I am a born procrastinator. I committed to doing one again this year after last years auction. I have had months to do this. I DO work better with a deadline though. Here it is. I actually deconstructed my guild challenge that I wasn't very thrilled with. I used silver metallic Free-Motion quilting on leather-look vinyl.

My friend Nicki sent me a TREASURE trove of goodies to help ease the reality of another passing year!! How apropos, since she was the one that got so many of us into we are all CRAZY for it! She made that gorgeous POSTCARD for me and on the right is a delicious assortment of her hand-dyed lace. Check out her blog because she sells them and other neat stuff! THANKS Nick! It truly brightened my day!

Today I Learned:

  1. To not recharge non-rechargeable batteries!
  2. My kitchen will be painted in Ralph Lauren Antique Bone after seeing this restful room. I love the subtle contrast between white and the bone shade.
  3. I went all the way to the library to meet with my knitting crew and.................yup, no knitting tonight!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bubbled Tyvek & painted birds

SO I used the Dye-Na-Flow to paint the birds. I was anxious to see how the glue resist line looked. The picture is of it drying on the line outside (and YES that is SUN in WNY)! I will heat set it tomorrow and wash out the glue. After sandwiching with batting I plan to add hand stitching in some hand dyed cotton floss I made. Thinking of tiny hearts in each bird and a pink RIBBON in the beaks? This piece will be dedicated to my mom who had breast cancer. She battled for 6 years with a colon cancer diagnosis in that span also. One of them metastasized to her lungs. She died 11-02 an age 61.

I wanted to try this since I had a used TYVEK envelope. So for this one I painted on Dye-Na-Flow.....

and this one I painted in Lumiere, a metallic green...the color is not true in this picture. I tried to get by heating with a blow go. I broke out the paint stripper HEAT GUN and that did it. I found out you must heat from the back to get the bubbles to form raising up on the front of the piece. I will do this again with a larger un-seamed piece of Tyvek. I experimented on the back of an envelope which has a seam running down it....that is too thick to BUBBLE up.

This is just a piece of black fabric I sprayed with a CLOROX cleaner in a spray bottle. I would do this again on a larger piece of fabric, maybe from farther away to leave more sprayage spots. I really like how it leaves different shades of discharge.

TODAY I learned:
  1. My 11 year old nephew IAN plans to be a professional hockey player when he grows up....and he will be making 60 billion dollars!
  2. Melissa, 26 yr old daughter, who is getting married in October 2011, may change her color scheme to Chocolate & Pink instead of Sabres blue & gold. I would love that!
  3. I want to re-read LORD of the FLIES. I remember it being a pivotal reading experience in high school. A real SOCIAL commentary. I want to read it with a "mature" mentality but try to recognize how I thought of it all then.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gel Glue Resist

Busy, busy week. Plenty of stress to go around...but even in seeming chaos I am thinking of my next project, all my current projects and ways to improve or change old ones. It is what makes me tick, just an idea that I can expand on makes a moment better. I read Quilting Arts magazine and am inspired every time I page through an issue. Elaine, from my Art Girlz group made a beautiful resist of tulips. Today I did the 1st step to this. Using the washable blue gel glue I made my resist.
I hope to paint it using Dye-Na-Flow fabric paints sometime tomorrow. I am thinking of using this as part of my fiber art collage for Fiber Art for a Cause. I only have 2 more weeks to get it done and submitted for the online auction. I made the piece below last year for it...didn't know what I was doing really. If you page through last years entry's you will find that my emailed image is the most challenged! But I was happy to have finished it and even happier to know it lives in Lincoln, Nebraska now.

I can see the possibilities in this process. It is kind of BATIK-Y. In the magazine article she used a fabric marker to color in the resist lines which gives it an entirely different look...and I liked it! I would like to find some type of SQUEEZE bottle with a tiny hole to expel the glue in a thinner line. Not sure where to look....thought maybe cake decorating supplies would have something suitable?? I also was thinking what could be added to the glue to make it thicker, less runny. I would like to be able to write WORDS using this process and thinner would be better...unless I worked on a pretty big piece, which is INTRIGUING!

Today I learned:

  1. The glue resist thing!
  2. My friend Sandy had her daughter Lauren shave her head...she is going through aggressive chemo for ovarian cancer. (see my first post)
  3. I have very thoughtful friends. Terry sent a bag...early b-day gift. It was full of books, mag, fabric and little sketch book....all things carefully chosen. She often leaves little goodie bags for me from her THRIFTING expeditions. Whenever I see one I get that flutter for what's inside!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sharing a CQ Swap Block

This is a block I received from Mary last year in a "Favorite" things block swap. Each participant provided info for the general outcome of their block. I requested SHABBY chic colors and suggested some motifs that would be interesting, hence that excellent DRAGONFLY!! Mary DELIVERED big time! She called herself a newbie. WHAT??!! I would not say that. It is awesome and every stitch she put into this shows much care and consideration. I LOVE this piece. I plan to put it into a shadowbox frame and hang it in the kitchen. It will make a great partner piece to the valance I have circulating from SEA to shining SEA right now. Literally! I made a valance for my kitchen for a current CQ RR and in 2 months I will be able to share that. I am getting anxious to WELCOME it home!

TODAY I learned:
  1. Giving up CARBS is hard. My body LOVES them, CRAVES them and NEEDS them!!
  2. Terrell Owens is coming to the Buffalo Bills. I learned of this, but I don't care. I don't watch football. I DO know that he is a character and trouble follows him. Great. Just what they need. It's not troubling enough just to be the BILLS.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Seaweed slumber.

Here is a little something I added to my mermaid block before she gets mailed to Nicki this week. I used the Crochet Chain Stitch from Judith Baker Montano's book FLORAL STITCHES
I love how it came out. I used 3 different threads. It love how it looks like SEAWEED.

**I did have a quite lengthy post, with pics, all set to go. An error occurred and I lost the 45 minutes I spent writing it! I will have to figure out if it was something I did or a BLOGGER issue. Of course I need to know the difference!! I will try again tomorrow night**

I learned TODAY:
  1. How to do that crochet chain stitch. Very cool stitch and I will use it again.

Little stitchin' & a new floor

With the help of Jody
I found my "lost" lengthy post from last night! So I need to add to what I learned TODAY:

  1. How to find a lost post in edited DRAFT status!

~~~ Sweet SEAWEED Dreams~~~

I did manage to do a little stitching on my mermaid block this weekend. This is the Crochet Chain Stitch from Judith Baker Montano's book FLORAL STITCHES.

This is a great book for any crazy quilting enthusiast. Any of Montano's books are an inspiration. This copy is from my library but I will have to search for a deal online to make it my OWN soon.

It is so cool. You begin by making a stitch, then you use a crochet hook to make a chain with the thread of choice (I used a silky variegated, a gold thread and a chartreuse thread) When you finish the chain you tack it down where it looks best. There is alot of PLAY with this stitch and I love how it looks like the mermaid in sleeping on a bed of SEAWEED. I will definitely use this stitch again.

This is the week I have to mail my block off to begin this ROUND ROBIN and I am excited to see what I learn from this group of very talented woman. I love doing these RR's...seeing the works of other stitchers is a true LEARNING experience.

These next 2 pictures are a little of my bits I have added to Jackie's block on a current CQ RR.

Jackie's CRAZY quilt is beautiful. She pieced a BUTTERFLY and all the work done on it so far is awesome. I WISH I could post her block here, but ALAS, I cannot! It would spoil the surprise if she were to see it.

Here is the reason I didn't have much time to create...

This weekend my daughters fiance & his brother installed the laminate wood floor they are standing on!! I love it....ALOT. It makes my little kitchen COZY. I painted all the trim so they can install & finish up this week. Now I MUST paint the kitchen, a job that has been on my TO-DO list for way over a year. I am changing the RED to a more calming very light TAUPE and repainting the cupboards a crisper, shiny white. There is nothing more gratifying for me than to make my house a HOME. I thank Cory & J.P. for helping me do that.

Even CLIFFORD loves it!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

CQ stitching

This is part of a petal to my crazy quilted flower piece I posted about a little bit ago. BLOOM. I am desperate for Spring & Blooms this year. The older I get ( and soon to be OLDER still!) the more I see the wisdom of living in a warmer climate. I think more about it every year......

BLOOM was couched down using red floss and pink floss to couch. I love couching. You can couch anything that can be tacked down. I like using wider silk ribbon and letting the ribbon billow out between each couching stitch. Any cool yarn looks great too. I wrote CRAZY on a block in a swap a while back that I really liked. Apropos!

The organza ribbon just above bloom was folded randomly and stitched down on each fold using a seed bead. It gives some dimension to the block. The organza ribbon is just the cheap stuff Joanne Fabrics sells on a roll.

This is a BEAUTIFUL piece of hand marbled fabric I bought on ebay. I love the colors in it and will wait for inspiration to use it in just the right project. Any ideas?

A couple of months ago one of the girls in my Art Girlz art quilt group brought some special marbled fabrics that a friend had made and given to us with the stipulation we actually DO something with them. The friend is in a larger fiber arts group and she was interested in what we would come up with, how we would use them. I am sorry to report I have FAILED to come up with a finished piece! I even took the 2 fabrics to Office Max to have color copies made of them so I could audition IDEAS before cutting into the the material. I got as far as cutting them into 1" SQUARES. I was thinking of a mosaic tile idea using them and some painted used dryer sheets I prepared to coordinate with the marbled fabrics. I know there is a good idea in there somewhere....I'm just not there yet! BUT you will be the first to know when it BLOOMS!

Today I learned:

  1. Paul Harvey died Sunday. I have not been reading the newspaper for a few months and I missed this til today. I remember listening to him in high school, laying out in the yard in the summer. I also listened to him in my work truck at noon for years. He had GOOD news.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Weekend update..

I am committing to an online journal art quilt endeavor. I decided to begin right away and this is my February piece. I got the image of heart with wings by searching Google Images. I don't know what it is about HEART with WINGS, but it really appeals to me. We could probably analyse that one...I would be INTRIGUED to unveil its meaning!

The lyrics are by Patti Scialfa, Bruce Springsteen's wife and backup singer. (She has 3 CD's of her own) The first time I heard "Loves Glory" on the RUMBLE DOLL CD I loved it. The meaning behind the lyrics, especially this verse, struck a chord in me.

Oh my tender dreams...I gave them such fragile wings and sent them up to
Heaven....But Heaven was just too high and I watched them falter against the sky

So I took both the image & lyrics printed on fabric and used them in my JOURNAL quilt. A little hand stitching & a little more free motion quilting and done~ I am satisfied for the most part....the part I am not happy with is the puffy bits....I know now I should FUSED them down. BUT that is part of the process....learning I mean!

I also got out the DYNAFLOW paint dyes and spiffed up this old crochet doily I picked up at SALLY ANN'S. I love these pieces, knowing all the work someone put into them and I like to repurpose them for Crazy Quilting. The top picture is the "front" and the bottom is the "back". I like both sides! I plan to cut them into smaller FLOWER units and embellish with beads or silk ribbon. Check out my friend NickiLee's blog to see her repertoire of beautiful dyed lace.

I met my best oldest friend PAM (and by oldest I don't mean my OLDEST friend as in 99 pushing 100,...but as in I have known her for 41 years...we were 7 when we moved next door to each other...literally a single driveway separating our bedroom windows) & her very interesting (and by INTERESTING I mean intelligient & humorous with an edge, but not an angst edge) 16 year old daughter Hannah to see TAKEN. We didn't like it. Besides being unbelievable, literally, it was a real STRUGGLE to watch once manly Liam Neeson sporting a dyed-too-dark coif. and hair dye should NEVER mix! So we have agreed that next time we meet we stick to CHICK FLICKS~

Today I learned:

  1. I AM improving at my free motion quilting!
  2. That invisible thread is like a temperamental teenager.
  3. With the help of Jody I can now post a link with a HIGHLIGHT
  4. Learned about Veronica Guerin. A reporter in 90's DUBLIN. Good movie. Sad story.