Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I used layered sheers, beads, silver cording...all hand stitched around a velvet heart, mounted on canvas that has blue tissue (dollar store gift tissue) and white tulle over the canvas, sprinkled with pretty glitter! I loved every step of this project and you can see this along with 57 other small works of art from 5 talented women at GoART!'s satellite gallery at Batavia Sr. Center on Bank Street. You can visit the show in July & August. If you are able, you won't be disappointed. I am impressed with us!

Getting things finished for this show was a bit of work for me. I am focused on process so product is not that important to me but it does feel good to be done with some things! My next focus is a crazy quilted piece for my quilt guild's show in October. I have much hand stitching to do but it is truly my favorite thing to do.

My friend (and fellow art quilt show exhibitor) Sharon, has had a few harrowing weeks which have culminated in her husband being hospitalized. Because she will be busy with doctor appointments and hospital visits she has had to give up her spot in a few classes. I will be her fill-in for Karen Miller's 2 day class next week to learn katazome, an old Japanese stenciling technique. I am intrigued by screen printing  and the many ways to achieve this look and this will give me my first adventure!

Sharon has asked me to gather some crazy quilting, hand stitching bits to keep her occupied and productive.  I hope it will provide some comfort to her in those hours so I am going to mindfully gather supplies and a base block for her.

Last Saturday Melissa &  I spent 10 hours in my comfy, road worthy Trailblazer traveling to Virginia for her best friend, Michelle's, baby shower Sunday....then we drove the 10 hours home. Midnight. Thunderstorms. Rain. Tired.

This weekend I need to weed. Yuck. Just enough to appear home owner conscious, which means only the front gardens. Maybe. If something more exciting calls to me...I am there!

I have learned:

  1. Melissa has cut the last apron string.....her own cell phone account!
  2. I will be needing Blackberry 101 lessons soon when I get her hand me down. How cool will it be to email anytime? Wow. Who'd of thought this possible while sitting under the dining room table on a phone connected to the wall in 1978? 
  3. Work of Art on Bravo is interesting. Sarah Jessica Parker is the producer. Artists given projects to complete in a frame of time and one gets eliminated each week. I just like any show that entertains me with creative competition.
  4. I work with people that think I made the word "conundrum" up. Hmm. Now that is a conundrum.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yep, this is rusty fabric! I rust dyed some pieces of white fabric on a large grate that at one point must have  covered a very large something or other. Now it it is serving a greater purpose! I just love it. I have quite a few pieces of rusty bits now. What a great little quilt I can make someday. Just look at the super close up of the rust. Gorgeousness! I highly recommend grabbing a little vinegar & water (1:2 ish)fabric, spray it, lay it on or place the rusty bits on it, cover it with plastic bag (keep wet if possible) and a few hours later reveal the wonderment!

Sunday, after a busy Saturday, Karyssa and Michael here all weekend....I picked up Jody's coffee CQ block, a small slew of threads and lace I knew would look great & sat on my little deck blissfully stitching for hours on it! I needed that. I really love hand work. It is my comfort zone. It is looking good Jody!!

Of course I should have been working on the unfinished pieces for the show at GoArt! I have til the 30th to finish but have to let the woman know by the 25th for the program. I have one piece in particular that is confounding me. Oh what to do next? I am not "seeing" it. If I don't get it done....maybe it can be displayed as a work in progress.

Melissa & I are going to Virginia this weekend to see her best friend Michelle who is expecting baby boy Evan/Ethan. I look forward to spending time with Genevieve, her first born, and Ella the adorable tiny chichi dog.

My FFT #10 (fabulous first timer) in the CQI yahoo group finally came back late last week. Alice, Colleen, Kerry & Jody all added spectacular stitching to my hand painted (DynaFlow fabric paints) recycled linen base block. Thank you all so much. Here are some close ups.
I do love a crazy quilt block that is just full of stuff. Encrusted is the CQ term.
I do believe my friend Melanie is going to be an addict soon! Right Mel?

It is dang hot right now...9:21 PM. I am sweating just sitting here. It has turned into a 3-shower day.

More and more I find myself happily ensconced in the silence of my house. Melissa has moved out, Michael is doing man work all week out of town and I am the lone soul, a constant inhabitant of these old walls. I like it. It is reward for all the busy years. A tribute to my 49 years to be able to enjoy where I am now in life. I am never lonely. I have never had issues with being alone. With that being said, I am not a loner either. I just like myself enough to not mind being with me so much! I here the birds singing in all the trees that surround me...I am listening, right now, to a frog that must be looking for love across the street...of course the traffic is a given since I live on Rt. 33. I have my 3 loyal cats and 1 Dean dog. ( I used to be able to say docile dog, but since the rabbit rampage I feel this is untrue). Life is good.

I have learned:

  1. NYS. Cigarette tax. Native Americans. Oh my. My favorite part was where they outline how the billions in increased revenue will go towards health care. What?
  2. DEC limits transportation of wood. I didn't know that. Seem valid.
  3. Karyssa makes the best ever homemade (including crust!) apple pie. It is prize winningly delicious. 
  4. I ordered one of these....Singer ER10 embellishing machine.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cloth Paper Scissors Flag

I spent a bit of time making a flag for the Cloth Paper Scissors call for them for their CREATE retreat in Chicago in August. The base is black wool felt. I made fabric paper the night before from the gold dotty tissue paper on gauze. I added some old dictionary pages to the fabric paper too to make it more interesting. "create" was stitched by machine to some fabric paper and in turn to the flag background. Some black & cream striped fabric was added and is a great accent on the entire flag. A requirement was to have holes in it for hanging. I love using metal grommets. SO easy and so cool! This will be hung at the retreat. It was pure fun making this thing!

I continue my quest to finish the few pieces I will show next month. I just hate this last is a monumental chore! If I could get at them early in the morning when I am full of energy to expend, that would be great. Coming home after work and trying to get to it is very difficult for me. I lose steam by evening! But I do have til the night of the 29th, can be sure I will be sewing the last stitch that night.

Reminder: Raffle tickets for our gorgeous guild quilt are $1 each. They are put together in books of 10, so I am appealing to my online friends.....! email me at for my address. Here is a pic to remind you how cozy it is~
This is the top before it was custom quilted by Penny McDowell. ( we need to get a good pic in daylight with the awesome quilting) We will be picking the winner at our quilt show in October.

I was craving a char-broiled hot dog today. Didn't get one. Maybe tomorrow.Summer food.

I rusted some more fabric bits today. I used a huge cover of some sort that showed up at work one day! It made awesome, spectacular really, rusty images. I will get pics and post soon. I think I am going to overdye them and use them all in a piece. I left two more pieces brewing overnight. Can't wait to see them in the morning!

I have learned:

  1. Chester has gained some weight! I love that old cat and am happy to see him looking so good.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Allentown Art Fest

That precious painting in lower left corner of pic is my don't-let-it-pass-you-regrettably-by purchase yesterday at the annual Allentown Art Festival. Melissa Masterangelo, the woman in the white shirt, is the artist. I love the quaintness of the birds on a clothesline. That blue is a favorite color of mine. I am very pleased to be the new owner!
Here are a few pics of some interesting vendors.
What looks like metal in this piece is actually metallic paint.
Many interesting jewelry vendors. I actually made another purchase for Melissa's wedding next year...a silver & Swarovski crystal pendant. No picture yet.
This guy's booth was incredible. I loved the whimsical black & white pots but the oil cans were amazing. These are made of clay. Not metal. Cool.
Here we are...Sandy, myself & Carol on what we all agree is our favorite day of the year!
Carol also made her annual foray into her friends' stained glass booth. These are her 2010 acquisitions. They are gorgeous.
A day at the Art Fest is not complete without experiencing the clarinet man....
and the bubble man on Allen St.
Lunch at Fiddle Heads Restaurant was a welcome respite from the warm sunny day pounding the pavement at one of Buffalo's best annual events!
It is indeed one of my favorite days with two of my favorite people.

I have learned:

  1. Melissa & Cory are the new caretakers of a bunny, as in rabbit. Free on Craigslist. I suggested they call him Chase!
  2. How to change a few things on my blog. It looks better than it did two days ago.
  3. I am intrigued by  Pandora charm bracelets.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Have No Idea What I Just Did...

Before I knew it my blog was changing with the press numerous buttons.Oh what have I done? No undo button to be found. I never noticed the DESIGN box on the sign in page, but today it blurbed open with template options. Hmmm I said to myself...I love change, let's see what we have here. This is what happens to a PC illiterate. I got lost in the land of irreversible title, post, date, link color, template, layout options!!! Oh my.
I don't love it....I was eyeballing Poet & Painter on But how do you import them? I want to change my header picture too. To what? I don't know. So many questions. Too many. My friend Thearica offered assistance with the whole shabang! I will train my ear to her very southern drawl and call her this weekend.
Allentown Art Festival tomorrow with Sandy & Carol. Hope to dodge the rain!
 One of the cool juried vendors from last year.
Time to walk the dog and read a few pages from the extremely heavy tome, Under the Dome, by Stephen King. Interesting characters.

I have learned:
  1. I should have waited for help instead of pecking around in blogger template options.
  2. It takes $480,000 to raise one child to 18. Is that all?
  3. I need to write an artist statement and bio for our little show at GoArt! in July & August.
  4. My niece Darcy (hey girl!) made varsity cheerleading team at St. Andrews for next year!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fantastic Fabric Painting Class....Early Results

What a great motivating day I had yesterday ! My guild held an an all day fabric painting workshop with Barb Murak. She was a very patient, informational teacher. We learned many new techniques to base further exploration on and I do plan to experiment further. This first pic is two layers of fabric painting....the first layer used wooden skewers and toothpicks under fabric while brushing across to make highlighted impression of paint. Second layer is obviously a large stamp. This one needs some dirtying up though. It's too clean for me.
This example has three layers...using string under fabric, cool gothic cross (actually like the ghost-y images best) and using onion netting ( stuff a bag of onions come in) I stenciled, brushing across fabric willy nilly. Love it. Now this is dirty. ( and by dirty I mean dirt-dirty)
Small rubber bands under fabric on piece on left. Crumpled foil underneath, and a large bunion pad glued on top of an empty vitamin bottle (for ease in handling) made the circle's. The top layer is rubbery shelf liner cut, glued and stapled to a wood block making it easier to stamp with. How cool is that!
We also learned ways to paint on wet (misted, not saturated) fabric. The left one used brown, mustard & yellow. The one on the right used a large X stamp and the onion packaging again. I will definitely be doing much more fabric painting. I have wanted to do this for a long time..this class will be the catalyst to further experimentation.

The last piece we worked on was a wet is Barb's samples of bouquets.
and another one of Barb's above.
Here is my attempt. I am not an artist but I am thinking thread painting will improve it!
I have my OBW on the design wall. I am having trouble coming up with suitable layout however. My repeat was 8" which means I end up with less blocks than a 12" or 24" repeat would yield. Since I have less blocks to work with there is not alot of options. This is what I am looking at right now. Hhhhmmmmmm.
As you can see each block is awesome. Each block is also pretty busy. Here is the original fabric. Thoughts? I really love this show One Block Wonder thing. I was eye balling another fabric today! It's actually in the same line.

I spent the better part of today trying to prepare the many unfinished art quilts I must have ready for our little groups show at our regional arts counsel in July & August. Is is truly evident finishing is not my forte! I got through 6 pieces and guess what......only 2 are actually labeled and sleeved! Some needed tweaking and that takes time. So my mission will be, over the next 3 weeks, to finish as many as possible and call it done.

Melissa & I are on another mission as well. To drop some weight. I left off at Weight Watchers in February-ish and gained 6 of the 15 lbs I had lost. NO NO. Not going to happen. My goal is that 6 plus 10 more. That pic I posted of all of us at our sewing gathering last week was the kick in the ass I needed to get back on track.

I have learned:
  1. Apparently I am allergic to pistachios. Sneezing, stuffy nose, scratchy throat, but I knew it was bad when my lips started tingling. 
  2. Shutter Island, the book. W-a-s-t-i-n-g my time. Start another book.
  3. Nancy Crow's exhibit at Schweinfurth Museum in Auburn NY,  now through August 15th.
  4. Chester, the old cat, is doing great on his overactive thyroid meds. Blood tests reveal no other issues. Glad. He's my favorite.
  5. Dean is killing me with his odorous gaseous blasts.....from the other room! Must walk him now.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bias Strip Sheer Scarf....Using Solvy

Finally I can post this cool bias strip, sheer fabric scarf I made for the current round in the Homemade Holiday Swap I am participating in this year on HGTV Message board. July 4th/Summer was the assignment and since I didn't want to work with red, white and blue I made a Summer gift! I used the instructions from Threads magazine's site.It is approximately 5" X 80".  I knew when I got Linda's name I could make this for her and she would actually wear it! Fun.
Here is my wonderful gift! Sheri made this wallhanging/lap quilt. She put an incredible amount of work into this and I am grateful. I have been very lucky in this exchange so far!
Martha, me, Tracy, Elaine, Sharon, Marilee and Melanie all gathered at Mt. Pleasant Quilt Shop Saturday to make One Block Wonders! Martha graciously agreed to show us the in's & out's. We learned the trick is in the lining up and pinning the 6 layers of fabric. Once the cutting is done the magic begins! I love mine! No pics of it yet since it isn't pinned up, but I was driven by the outcome of each set of triangles...wanting to see the design pattern created with each one. In the pic we were getting silly, but if you look closely we are all demoing a couple of our blocks.
Here are a few of Tracy's blocks quickly pinned up. She used a Kaffe Fassett fabric. Awesome!
This is Martha's using a Jane Sassaman fabric. Lively!

This is the entrance to the quilt shop. Gorgeous gardens.

Busy week and weekend. Ian & Darcy were here enjoying the "country". They love it here. We dined at Cory's parents house Sunday night where they coerced me to the trampoline! My older, thicker body does not handle the exuberant bouncing like it did at 15!
Apparently I was running a child labor camp! Ian mowed and Darcy hosed the whirlybirds off the driveway! I already got a text from Darcy last night asking if they can come back next weekend.

This Saturday I have an all day Fabric Painting workshop through my guild. Promises to be another great learning experience!

I have learned:
  1. I love many of the backgrounds for blogs on this Shabby and am thinking of beautifying mine. I don't know how though so I may be thinking on it for a while! I like the poet & painter but I see they add to the selection.
  2. Chester, my favorite old cat, has an over active thyroid causing his weight loss and ravenous appetite. I will give him a pill once a day and all better.
  3. So You Think You Can Dance started last Thursday! Love that show.
  4. I wish I had the pic that my son, Michael, took Saturday....of a very large snake coiled in the sun next to the deck while her baby was stretched out on the step. They have been here for years. Somehow it doesn't bother me. Now I know what Fiona is fixated on at the basement window! 
  5. Great episodes this season on Law & Order SVU and Criminal Intent. 
  6. Darcy downloaded the theme song from NCIS as my ringtone, from free. Cool!
  7. Dean (my greyhound) is a killer. Yep, a murderer. Walk on leash. Tug away briskly. I follow. Rabbit pinned. Gaping wound presumably caused by large paw. Pry Dean off poor defensless rabbit. Cry while delivering diatribe on murder to my once docile dog. Men ata-boy'ed him. Ugh.