Sunday, May 23, 2010

Book RR Pages Finished

NURTURE page for Denise's book in the RR I am part of. The birds are the "peel" or "skin" I made with Gel Medium and a black & white photocopy. Layers of the gel are brushed on the image, letting each one dry between applications. I waited 3 days (to be sure all the layers were completely dry) then used water and a cloth to rub the paper!
I used the gel medium to adhere the peel to the fabric. The "nurture" definition is from an old dictionary...I put a few layers of gel over that too...made it more "cloth-y".
NEST/NESTLE is page 1. Denise's theme is nature inspired. Nest & nurture reference the mother in each of the participants.....and all mothers for that matter!
I loved working on these pages. A little mix of many things....thread painting, hand stitching, image transfer and coffee staining gauze (medical bandage from a CPR class!).

Handyman has been busy this week! Kitchen ceiling covered in wood, new halogen lights up, bathroom floor has nostalgic 1" hexagon tiles waiting for grout. Light gray. My studio is ready for MY hard work now. I need to sand the drywalled seam, prime walls and paint. Area rugs need cleaning....then all my cool stuff can be gathered round! The pleasure I get from improving my abode is priceless.

My son had asked me 1 1/2 yrs ago (really? ugh) to make him a quilt from all his football jersey's from age 7 to now, age 21. I prepped them months ago. This morning I got them out and put the puzzle together. I got his approval on the less than traditional assembly! I love how it is looking, so is he, which is all that matters.
I still have to add St John Fisher College football shirts. Not sure if it will need a border, but if I decide it does, I want it to be striped and mitered. The overall effect is so graphic. Cool.

I need to...
  1. Finish edges on ?teen pieces for my little art quilt groups show in July/August. Be sure it will be artist's choice on what constitutes finished!
  2. Fill out application for possible participant in GVQC's Project Iron Quilter at their quilt show at R.I.T. next June. 15-20 people will be chosen to make a quilt in 3 hours while attendees watch. I have chosen the 3 pieces that are representative of me to be included in the application. (photos only).
  3. Prototype a fabric flowers/feathers/rhinestones bouquet for Melissa's wedding. So glad she is on board with unique!
  4. Paint, paint & paint....
  5. Gift for next Homemade Holiday. Don't know who I have yet. Not sure what next holiday is either. I have time.
  6. Thread painting class lessons from Shirley on group. I have some catching up to do.
I am sure there are more obligations that elude me right now!

I have learned:
  1. Love the pools of light halogen light fixtures shed. Kitchen ambiance much improved.
  2. N.C.I.S. theme song available as a ringtone. I want it.
  3. Allentown Art Festival in 3 weeks!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spring ATC's

"Hydrangeas" is what I call this little Spring themed ATC for the HEN swap. I mailed it to Lynn in MN Tuesday. I loved working on this! I used recycled wool (skirt from Sally Ann's for 1.99) that I dyed with DynaFlow dye. It is a gorgeous shade of blue. The flower heads were stitched on fabric with variegated crochet thread, which must be a size but I don't know what it is! I used silk ribbon to make the leaves on the base, then trimmed the french knot hydrangeas and stiiched onto the base over the ribbon. Two dragonfly buttons finish the scene.
This is the adorable ATC I got today from Lynn! I love it! It is cross-stitched and little sequins and beads finish it off. Love love love this! Thank you Lynn! It celebrates spring.

Weekend is almost here. It has been a long week. Busy days. One more busy day.

Quilt guild on Saturday. Always a good time. We will learn a few secrets that quilt show judges look for when we welcome Linda Hunter. then I plan to stay and sew with some friends after. That sleeve on our raffle quilt won't sew itself! Which reminds me, if anyone is interested in tickets, they are $1 each. Let me know if you are interested!

Denise's Book RR pages are just waiting for me to finish them. I will be setting aside time for them soon. I need to do my "nurture" side.
I am watching Fiona chase her tail and am finding it very entertaining~!

I have learned:
  1. My contractor is back! My antiquated old house presented problems when he installed my light in my studio yesterday......but now I have light!
  2. Kitchen ceiling will be covered with tongue and groove wood tomorrow, covering the water damage from the roof leak. Yay! 
  3. American Idol.....Lee. My choice.
  4. We have a new boss...bigger than the boss that thinks he is the "boss". Hoping goodness prevails. 
  5. Shutter Island. The book. Starting tonight.
  6. President Obama was in Buffalo today. Duff's for chicken wings.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day 1988

When Melissa was moving out she came across this picture of me and her (and Michael in gestation!) on Mother's Day 1988. She was 5 1/2 years old. I was 27. Time does pass quickly. I am a mother first, before all other things. Life twists & turns. My love for them never changes. It is constant, 24/7/365 and the occasional 366!  Happy Mother's Day to me and you! (a day late since my cable/internet was compromised by the 60 MPH wind storm this past weekend.)

I spent a few hours stitching my gift for the Homemade Holiday Swap on HGTV. This one is Summer/4th of July, either theme. I chose summer since it is so vast. I didn't want to work with red, white & blue. I have Linda this round. I have met her at 2 retreats and she looks sweet and demure, but, whoa, she is funny and quirky! I can't show what I made yet (after June 1st I can post a pic) but can tell you I tried something was fun and I love how it turned out! I am confident she will appreciate it.

I also worked on an ATC for the HEN swap. I did take a picture but it is blurry so I will have to get a better one. It is hyrangeas made with french knots. I must mail it tomorrow.

The contractor is still MIA. I am very disappointed. It takes me so long to mull things over (sometimes years!) before I act. I finally found a handyman ad, called and got the quote and hired I will have to start over.

I have learned:
  1. I special ordered the ONE cat food Fiona will eat. Whiskas Choice Cuts with Tuna in Sauce. Picked it up, got it home, open up the box and it is Beef in Gravy. uh oh. I have to give it to her since that's all there is. The little vixen ate it! 
  2. Just Breathe. Pearl Jam.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My "Loser" CQ Purse!

My entry in CQI's annual CQ purse contest! I  LOVE it and will use it for sure. After signing up to participate in this contest,  I realized I really didn't have enough time (working takes up entirely too much time in my creative process!) to do anything intricate so on to plan B. I removed all the silks from one of those treasured sampler books from my friend Ann's niece, Pinky, and designed a CQ done-my-way purse. I stitched all the squares & rectangles to a foundation first with a centerpiece area. My dilemma was how to get the stamp image (heart & wings were separate clear acrylic unmounted stamps I got in a set at Michaels, don't recall the maker) onto the fabric without using any visible marking utensil.
So I stamped it onto tracing paper, pinned to fabric and machine stitched, in matching thread for invisibility, all lines so I had the entire heart and wing design "transferred" and ready for my machine thread painting. I know, not very traditional, but oh-so-me!
The back side was another opportunity for free motion pebbling, one of my favorite things to do on my machine.

And a peek at the inside! A beautiful shade of blue recycled from a $2 silk blouse from Sally Ann's! Notice the velvet ribbon binding around the top that idea! Already did it again on "Kyra" in my previous post.
Well it came as no surprise I didn't fare well in the competition! The top 3 winners were spectacular and time consuming extravaganza's!(I know 2 of the 3 have no 40 hour diversions to contend with any longer.....yes, I am envious!) Apparently they aren't on the QI website yet so I will post that link when they are. They need to be seen. Awesome, talented woman and they are CQ Queens worthy of our adoration!

My friend Nicki won 3rd place. Her Mermaid bag is adorable and I know how many hours she put into it. I just checked her blog and she has posted lots of close-up pics. Do have a look!

Kathy's was voted 1st place. A very intricate depiction o "The  Queen's Garden". It is also posted on her blog.  Take a look at her bag and you will see she is having a give away to celebrate opening her online shop.

I am hand stitching hydrangea's with french knots for an ATC swap I am doing on HEN Embroidery Network A Spring theme.We will see how it turns out by Sunday since I must mail it on Monday!

I have my plan for finishing up Denise's books pages. Just need a block of time to get in the mode. Hoping for Saturday. This is undeniably my favorite collaborative project, ever.

My guild friend Vinny has invited me to view her sewing/craft room tonight! Her house is also a 1 1/2 story and I can get some idea's for my dream space......

Which brings me to my contractor conundrum. I haven't heard from him for 2 weeks. I did say I was flexible on time since he seems to have overbooked himself. BUT I am so anxious. I want my studio. I want it bad. Ugh. "Patience is a virtue" as Aunt Molly used to say. Patience is over rated. But instilled in these Irish bones!
I will give it a few more days.

I have learned:
  1. My 27 year old daughter, Melissa, has officially finished grad school!!! She has her Masters in Special Ed. I am VERY proud of her accomplishment. It is a big deal. First in both my family and her fathers family.Good hard work.
  2. My 21 year old son, Michael, has officially finished his junior year of college with a 3.75 GPA. Good hard work.
  3. Our brains are 80% water.
  4. I won a blog give away of RED embellishments from Vivika DeNegre. Check out her blog. She does wonderful work. Thanks!