Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Altered Book

The same group, plus a couple new talents, that created the fabric book pages, have embarked on our next endeavor! Thanks to Jody's suggestion, we are all excited about our altered books RR. I have always been intrigued by this, but needed this nudge. I actually took a class, a too short 2 hour class, at the library a few years ago.
This is what I started then. I covered the outside with black velvet and some images. I need to get it out and work on it!
Anyway, the name of my book is "vintage finds". I love all things aged and old. My page has a tarnished silver spoon, vintage tab off old index file, I sewed old crepe paper and gathered to pleat, Dean's license tag, punched picket fence edger from Martha Stewart collection (love this) from old book paper, scrapbook paper and paper from an issue of Somerset Studio. The pattern paper on back of cover is vintage as well.
I love the idea of a niche. Love shadowboxes. Something about a cozy cubby for treasures. After gluing about 40 pages together on the edges with Golden Soft Gel Medium. I cut the niche with an exacto knife.
Stamped "I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth" with those $1 alphabet stamps from Michaels.
I will be mailing this off to Jody near Chicago now. Fun begins!

Sunday, Melissa, Cory and I went on an urban adventure to Buffalo's east side. The old New York Central Train Terminal to be exact. I haven't been in that area in over 30 years. It is not a nice neighborhood. The Buffalo Police corroborated that with us after they drove the RR tracks looking for the occupants of the gray Trailblazer (mine) with the purse and phones inside.
I was taking pics of the two of them in the interesting, crumbled remains of once grand grounds. I remember being there as a young child with my grandmother and it was spectacular. Urban decay reality.
I did get some good shots though.
Cory and Melissa.
I love this shot.
After wandering too far, I did start to get nervous. There was evidence of a campfire on one of the old station pads, empty liquor bottles, lovers resembling destitution or prostitution.....I got that queasy, alarming sensation. Just after that the BPD showed up.
One former entrance. Such attention to detail. Pride in workmanship.
Pigeon's own this property.

While I sweat and chafe my way through this week, it is with the knowledge I have next week and a day off! I need time off. I have much to do. The wedding projects beckon me. The Podiatrist beckons also. Appointment to see how she can make my left heal feel better. Walking to compensate for the pain for the last 6 months has affected the knee and hip.

I have learned:

  1. Apparently the Buffalo Bills football team is the 10th toughest professional team to root for. It's not just football teams....it is every pro sport team. My son will agree with this. Hope reigns eternal. 
  2. French Onion Dip. Kind of retro taste sensation for me. As kids, chips and dip was a treat. Its been a recent craving.
  3. Facebook status update makes is official. Michael is "in a relationship" with Jen.
  4. Buffalo's Waterfront. When I worked downtown in the 80's, all that was there was a big old ship. Now there's a boardwalk and museum with cobblestone way and small bridge. Impressed.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Little Flower Quilt

Here is a pic of my little Flower challenge piece. After a week of deliberating judges the results were posted on HGTV message board last night. I was so anxious to see the interpretation of each participant of this picture....
Well, I was excited to see awesome-ness!
Thearica posted all the participants quilts on her blog. You have to check these out!
My friend Colleen made my favorite. I covet it! I know she won't mind me posting her quilt. I just LOVE it. If I were a judge, this would have been my 1st place choice.

I used the Susan Carlson, Serendipity Quilts book method I talked about a few times. Using watered down glue and scraps, in my case I used squares and rectangles, to make my green and purple background. I decided those garage doors had to go, but kept the iron fence element by stitching black lines. The limb is cut from a batik...the flowers are vintage chiffon scarves....the green silk leaves are from silk blouse...and a little thread painting.
Tulle lays over the background to soften it and make the limb appear in the foreground. I had fun being challenged by this. I was actually wondering why I signed on when the original picture didn't spark an idea. I am thinking it is Thearica's southern persuasion....and the prizes she so deftly procured! One of which I won. I   was honorable mention...which is like 4th place. I won a laser cut John Flynn quilt kit! I am pretty excited about this. I don't know if I will get a choice or if they will just mail one to me, but I will find out!

I have made my CQ block with the bits of fabrics included in Nicki's challenge packet. That spiral fabric was a bear to figure out how to use! That IS the challenge! I have begun stitching, so will see where it goes by the due date, 9-1-11.

The last week and a half has been one thing going wrong after another! My Trailblazer's manifold cracked to the tune of $409. My hot water tank needed a $169 repair. Yesterday after work my car was turned off, keys out of ignition but the blower inside for air was still blowing. Hmm. Can't be good, this. On down the road to my trusty mechanic....he pulls out some resistor behind the glove box...melted and wires exposed. Not good. I have no air and no blower until the part comes in. To the tune of ???

I have learned:

  1. How to relight my hot water tank. I was scared, but I wanted hot water, if only for a little while, more.
  2. Silver Lake is a hidden gem! I want to be there. 
  3. Rescue Me...final season, starts tonight. I know, but I like Denis Leary. 
  4. Independent Health made an automated call to me to remind me I am overdue for my colonoscopy. Oh joy.
  5. Melissa's wedding is 3 months from Friday! I have much much work to do!
  6. Apparently the new shovels we are stocking at work are "women's" shovels. So said old Jack-the-drain-tile installer today. Ha!
  7. Thearica will be loading my Nancy Crow quilt onto her longarm tomorrow! She is a spectacular machine quilter. I asked her to use retro atomic symbols and just let go! I can't wait to see what she does. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th and some Cool Piecing Up

Picnic in the Park in Batavia at Centennial Park. I love the small town-ness of this celebration. Melissa, Cory, Michael, and Cory's parents, Karen and Bob all walked the grounds, followed by a cookout at Karen and Bob's new house. Hot dogs wrapped with bacon, burgers, pasta salad, deviled eggs and pineapple upside down cake. Still full!

In between deviling eggs and cake making, I grabbed the pile of leftover hand dyed fabric from the Iron Quilter day. A woman from guild, Cheryl Doodie, showed me how to do this cool technique that gets you a 1/4" or even 1/8" strip of fabric in your piecing. I had my sample from a few years ago to remind me how to go about it. I started piecing strips and bits and a couple hours later had this...
Very improvisational. Very satisfying. I love it.
And because I just can't waste a shred of this fabric (I still have some left, and I will use it!) I did this....
A mini weaving inspired by my online "class" with Jude Hill on Spirit Cloth. The weave is done on a backing fabric and tacked in place. I have an idea for some stitching. Also very satisfying. It's all about the process for me!

If I were to choose a work of art at the Art Gallery in Rochester to interpret, I would choose this painting. A few years ago, RAFA, did a challenge just like that. I went to the exhibit and it was excellent. Pictures were allowed....sooo when 
I took last Friday off so Melissa and I could go there to  check out the Fiberworks exhibit, I was disheartened to find out no pictures allowed of this very interesting show. How else so you look back for inspiration? To me the exhibit is like a traveling magazine. Out of respect for the rules, I won't post the one pic I did take...but it was really inventive. This woman had taken discarded lottery tickets, but them in star shapes and with dental floss, sewed them to a man's suit. What you didn't see readily with my eye, my camera showed she had incorporated color/value and made an American flag image. 
Lunch at the Gate House Cafe in Village Gate. Nice day indeed.

I mentioned the Summertime CQ Challenge Nicki on HGTV message board is hosting. We got the bag of bits and have to use some of each fabric and lace in a block. I spent hours yesterday piecing it! Blue is not my favorite color. The blue fabric we got is a dense , 3-D, tricky bit. Using a third of this is THE challenge here! I managed. I actually counted how many swirls were in the piece, divided it by 3 and determined I had to use 15-17 of them in my block! Since this is a competition, I can't show pic of it til voting is over in September sometime. I have alot of stitching to do, but this is the fun, dress up stage. Many idea's brewing!

I have learned:
  1. My Trailblazer sounds like a race car. Muffler? Catalytic Converter? I won't find out til Wednesday. Meanwhile.....music....loud.
  2. Tomorrow is my 32nd anniversary of my start date at National Fuel. I was 18, two weeks out of high school when I took the bus to downtown Buffalo, in a borrowed flannel dress. to work summer help on the 8th floor in Materials Management. (yes, a flannel dress, in July. No one told me not to!) I am once again in Materials Management, but in the Operations end....different union, like a new job 15 years ago. 
  3. The Voice. Javier was my least favorite all along. 
  4. The Bernina Bernette 82e that I won at Iron Quilter is in the shop. After Melanie had a look-see and verified I wasn't inept, I called The Bobbin Case and dropped it off for a timing belt repair. Linda, the owner is a lovely woman in her 70's that opened the Bernina Machine shop almost 20 years ago! Since I am giving this machine to Melissa, in hopes that she learns to sew and stops asking me to do everything for her, she will pick it up and receive free lessons! What a great prize.
  5. Why have I never seen these fabrics before? Thanks to an article in a magazine, I found her website. Marcia Derse. Her third line of fabrics with Troy Fabrics. Wow. I want every one from all three lines!