Sunday, December 30, 2012

NYC Christmas

THE Christmas Tree. Rockefeller Center. This is the back side (but who would know?) because to see it from the front, one would have to be willing to wait and wait and wait with a hoards, of people who MUST see THE tree from, obviously, the front.

Still being quite the gimp on this left foot, we were limited to how much walking I could do. We took many taxi's, including Mr. Black Sedan Man that charged us $25 for a 10 minute cab ride. Time out for lunch in a little Italian cafe in the Village, Thai for dinner and wine break in Manhattan...good time with my best friend, Pam and her daughter Sarah!

Union Square was a treasure trove of desirable material goods. I bought a scarf in this booth. Sarah bought a different one here.
Adornable baubles.
Sarah got this cute wool hat!
I love this pic of this building with the fire escapes and the steam rising...
Our subway station came out at the new trade centers. Stopping and taking in the location, thinking of 9/11, was eerie. Sarah's apartment across the river, looks right out on them.
At night they are lit up like this.

Sarah is home now, trying to figure out how she can realize her dream of living and working in the City.

Missed Michael much over the holidays, but he is doing very well. They had planned competitive activities on Christmas day and a nice meal, including sparkling juice as a substandard stand-in for the real thing. He is the 3rd from right, second row, the handsome soldier with the sunglasses on.

Got to talk to him that morning. Jenn is in town, so we have been spending a lot of time together. Brings us that much closer to him coming home!

I am working on my Ice Crystals piece. Hand stitching next.
Also made my Whisper Quilt for the Fiberista's challenge.
Figuring out my guilds literary challenge due in January.
Starting a Row Robin on HGTV message board, so need to make 12" blocks to mail out by end of the month.

I have learned:

  1. Les Miserables is excellent movie. Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway were award worthy intense. 
  2. Once soundtrack. Great.
  3. Bella. Nice, teary little movie.
  4. Going to try baking soda and water mash to scrub my 51 year old breakout face. Why? Do. I. Still. Get. Zits?
  5. All time high on the scale this morning. You know what that means? Yep, The old cliche resolution will be called into play. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Melissa is Engaged! and 30 Today!

My oldest turned 30 today. Wow. Time does fly. I took Melissa and Dave to the traditional pick-your-restaurant birthday celebration at Fat Bob's in Buffalo. It's a favorite of hers. While Melissa was making her second trip to the ladies room (she is 9 weeks pregnant, thus the bladder deal) Dave told me what was up. He was so nervous, so sweet. The third time Melissa got up to go to the ladies room, again, He grabbed her hand, got down on one knee and asked her to Marry Him! After dropping the ring, he slid it on her finger. It is so stone. It is beautiful! I am feeling blessed that my son and daughter are happy and starting families of their own, just like it is supposed to be.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Stocking for Me!

I ran a Secret Santa Stocking Swap with guild again this year. Mary Lu really wanted to participate but knew she wouldn't be at the meeting since her and her husband are sailing for six months. Her worry was that the person she got would be disappointed they didn't get a stocking in December, so I gave her me. I didn't care when I received a stocking. As it happened, she mailed it out a couple weeks ago. I opened mine along with everyone else and look what I got!! It is perfectly me! I am in love with this stocking and I won't be hiding it away all year. The fabrics are from a shop in Grenada called Art Fabriks, The lining fabric she found in Puerto Rico. She pieced it in a crazy quilt fashion. I am sure she doesn't know that I am a Pisces, but the two fish add the special touch! Thank you ML!
I can't believe this is the only pic I took of the stocking I made for Bethany, but it is. I used my hand dyed fabrics from the class we took this past summer with Val Schultz. Beth was in the class too. The trim is vintage (yes, Lori, vintage, not old!) organza from a curtain, and notice I sliced the measuring tape to show 25 in front! The hexi piecing was a blast. Love the contemporary look, hopefully just right for a twenty something Bethany.
We welcomed Marija Vujcic to our meeting yesterday. She showed us how to make a poinsettia with fabric and use it for gift tag, to add to a table runner or use as decoration. Then Marija really wowed the crowd with her take on bargello the easy way.
She used a printed gradated color fabric for this one. I am hoping Martha or Elaine got pics of the other quilts since I was walking them around and didn't get pics! I will add link when we have posting.
This quilt is stunning. She uses the backgrounds for fused applique, then adds beautiful thread painting and quilting.
Check out Marija's blog...she has many projects and information worth perusing!

My dear friend Tracy J made a very precious gift for me...
Two years ago, at the silent auction at our quilt show, Tracy outbid me on a little embroidery of a cat on a pile of fabric I believe it was. I have not let her forget it! I will never mention it again. This is already displayed prominently by my entrance door. I LOVE this. A lot of work and apparently, wine, went into piecing those tiny pieces of the pillows.
And my dear friend and fellow union sister, Melanie, (we work for same company) made this little guy on her embroidery machine.
Such detail on him. Love.
When Terryn showed some of her jewelry pieces that she sells on Wild Nelly's World, I thought of Nicki and Colleen right away. Nicki dyes and sells her gorgeous laces on etsy. Colleen makes and sells jewelry in Nebraska. This piece was really wonderful. I could see it with a simple velvet jacket or dress. vintage buttons finish it off. Terryn is very talented. Check out her jewelry.

I have learned:

  1. A new and novel way to remember horizontal vs. vertical. Most of us, I think, use horizon for horizontal. My DIL, the artist, uses (warning, rated PG-13 at least) whorizontal, yes, whores lay down...and virginical, virgins stand up. Very interesting look into her psyche!
  2. Michael is reading on his time off. A lot. He is even reading novels. He started with a Bladacci. So I went to Sally Ann's and sent him Deville, Clancy and more Baldacci. I found a hardcover on the history of the Vietnam war that will be going in the mail tomorrow. All the guys share the books. Nice thing to send a soldier.
  3. I was gifted what appears to be 2 sets of quilting frames. They are wrapped in early 70's newspaper. The wood is a truly delicious mellowed color. Since not many people use these anymore, I am going to come up with a project for my home that will incorporate the special wood. Maybe a table? I will be looking on Pinterest for idea's.
  4. Check out Bustle & Sew for a sweet free pattern. I actually subscribe to her emag.
  5. I really, really, really want an iPad. I have been trying NOT to want one for so long too. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

On the Menu...My Nature Behind Bars

This is my quilt for an exhibit my friend's, Val and Julie, are curating. The theme of the show is Nature Behind Bars. My piece is called "On the Menu". I started with the bar codes. My bars. The cow is, of course the nature.

I found a bar code image online, had it enlarged to two different sizes at Office Max, then used Fluid Acrylic Medium to transfer the images to canvas. Fun and fast. Took a bit of time to get the paper pulp off the surface.
Found this awesome cow image online and had that enlarged. More than once. I went back three times to get it right! Here are my first and second tries. Cool, but way too small.

I traced the cow onto tracing paper and thread sketched it onto the bar code background. It needed to stand out, so I painted it red. Still needed definition, so I took a black oil pastel and smudged it around the cow. The red thin lines over the bar codes represent the laser that reads the codes. Adding zipper tape gave the piece an edge and brought the dimensions to the minimum 18" side!
I loved working on this and look forward to handing it over for show tomorrow.

There is a new junk store in town! It isn't even open yet, but I was alerted by a fellow junker that we could go in an peruse the goods.
I had to have this....

It is a precious small dresser, old mirror...fits perfectly in my bathroom with the hexagon tiles I had installed last year. I will be going back there soon! Love!
Sophia, Melissa's boyfriend Dave's daughter. I took this pic a while ago, played with it in and got to this. I love it. Printed it onto 8.5" x 11" fabric. Will be doing something cool with it.

Michael has mentioned a few times how much he misses Batavia, so today I spent a few hours about town today, taking pictures of points of interest for him. I printed them out at 2" x 3", four to 4" x 6" photo. At CVS I choose Collage. I love these little pics. I have 95 images ready to mail to him tomorrow.

My sister, Noni, or formally Noreen, turns 50 today! I welcome her to the club.
Here she is with Ian at Thanksgiving in Cincinnati, at our cousin, Tracey's. Ian looks forlorn...but I assure you he was not! He is a funny kid. I caught him off guard.

I have learned:

  1. Malimic. Darcy, following in my genetic predisposition to coin words to explain more specifically an idea, came up with this when she was trying to come up with malignant. 
  2. Last season of ER on DVD. Excellent. Liked how they brought a lot of old characters in and showed what some other characters were up to. ER has a special place for me. Watched for many years. It is so sad to see a show that grew along with you, end. 
  3. How to make a stocking this way. The only mistake I had to rectify was the tab. I put it between wrong layers.
  4. Check out these quilts. Modern quilts

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ice Crystals Progress

I am beginning the 1/2" hexi placements on the Ice Crystal piece. After a trip to Home Depot for 2 pieces of 2' x 8' insulation board, duct tape and some no pill fleece from Joanne Fabrics, I spent an hour making a design board. I needed it for this piece. I have to pin the hexagon's in place and see the whole composition from a distance. It is perfect. I am happy! Here is a phone picture of the lower left part of the quilt. I love how the hexi's are giving it dimension. I plan to sew the hexi's together by hand and sew them to the quilt by machine.
There is a new junk shop in town! They are not even open yet, but I was alerted by a kindred junker that I can go in and look around. I saw this primitive, little dresser...peeling paint and all, in a corner. Love at first sight. The little old mirror is covetable. It is at home in my little bathroom, with the hexagon tiles I had installed last year. Looking forward to what I might find next there!
At our last Little Art Quilt group meeting in November, Sharon led us on a Decolourant journey. I loved it. I used stencils from a book called Stencil Me In by Martha Le van. The sculls are in the book, along with many other cool stencils. The O's was an old brass stencil. The decolourant process is unpredictable and exciting! Initially the blue fabric revealed a light violet. The longer I ironed it, the lighter it got. I will definitely be doing more of this.
I was able to actually talk to Michael this morning! Just as I was sending him a FB message, he called. I am sure you can imagine how it makes me feel to talk to him. I keep X-ing the days down. I will get a pic of my Deployment project soon. Jenn has one going too.
This is a work of art! She will seal it and save it as permanent record. I love this so much. I am very anxious for June, when Michael will be back.
I decided to let the blog debacle go. Apparently Blogger has an issue with this. It should not have been so easy for me to remove the entire list. It will be a work in progress now.
I have a big day tomorrow and a nice big stress zit at my nostril to show for it. I am doing something I should have done a long time ago, but I am a very slow boil. I need to ruminate on things for a long time before I decide to act. I also have my annual mammogram. I am sure I mentioned at some point, my mother died from breast cancer. I do what I must.

I have learned:

  1. I am not done knitting. Thought I was. Gave a lot of yarn away. Good rhythmic therapy.
  2. Watching last season of ER. Loved that show. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Help Me Recover My Blog List!

I dumb-assedly, obviously mistakenly, removed my entire blog list. I cannot get it back now. If you recall any blogs from my sidebar or are the blogger from my sidebar, please let me know.
My friend Martha said this would ruin her day.....