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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Busy hands

Yep...keeping those old fingers on the move by doing some hand stitching.  It's one of the big golf tournaments so Bob's been recording them (starting around 5:00 a.m. for about 6 hours or more!), then he watches the match when he gets home from golf.  SOOOOO  That means I sit either outside on the deck or come inside and watch Netflix (House of Cards) on our tablet w/ear phones.   Works for me!!

This is a piece of my hand dyed/stamped fabric that I'm experimenting with.  I'll be adding beads (go figure!) in a mandala pattern in one of the cirles but I want to get most of the hand stitching finished first.  I did machine stitch some of the black points just to secure the piece while I stitch (yes, I still use a hoop to do my hand stitching).

When I get bored with one color, I go back to my leaf background piece I'm trying to finish before fall!

The wavy look on the right is due to the piece hanging up on my design board but on top of some other pieces with pins!  Looks strange but it's really nice and straight!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!

This is a closeup of some of the stitching.  I've been trying to keep  leafy or straight stitches in this piece.  The black leaves do show up well so I might put some more of those in one of the other plain red areas.

So that's it for today...yesterday was the quilt guild meeting that I attend when we're back home.  It's always nice to see some of the wonderful women in this group.  They were my inspiration when I first joined back in '99 and several of them played a huge role in teaching me so much about quilting.

After I went to farmer's market this a.m.  I picked up a book at our library that I'm anxious to read.  It's called Playing With Color by Richard Mehl.  Looked interesting...hope it is!  Always good to learn more about color, right!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Art Quilt Exhibition - What a Stitch!

On Wednesday afternoon, Carol, Mary and I attended the opening for the 'What a Stitch!' exhibit at the Saginaw Art Museum.
 We each had three quilts juried into the show and there was also a lecture by Janna Gezin on being a Art Quilter that Carol & Mary wanted to attend....which, to be honest, I don't do this 'so called work' for a living or because I want to be an 'artist'.  I just do it because it's fun...keeps me busy and something to do.  Others may be inspired to teach, lecture, write books, etc. but to be honest, I'll just go to the lectures, attend the classes if I desire and buy the books!  I'm not a professional by any means and don't inspire to be with that said...onto the exhibit!

I had to take a picture of the gardens at the Museum...they were just beautiful.  I could see sitting outside sewing or reading and just feeling so peaceful.  Just a beautiful setting!    Mary is from the Saginaw area and said she had a school picture taken at these same gardens!  How cool is that!

Once the lecture was over, we headed to the little reception area and guess what!  Neither Carol nor I had a glass of wine...we did have some cheese, crackers and Carol had a 'sweet' thing...but no wine.  I really wanted to head to the exhibit hall to see the quilts hung.  After the lecture, they handed out the awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and the first place award had me so intrigued I couldn't wait to see it!

This was a quilt by Deb Hyde and no, it didn't win the 1st place award!!  But another piece she did win with!  We couldn't take pics but her quilts were outstanding!  You have to check out her web site and look at the work she produces.  AMAZING!!!  Her technique is drawing onto fusible quilters grid then using one inch square fabrics, which are then sewn together.  Remember when we were doing the watercolor quilts?  Well, it's the same process but her drawings, use of color, etc. are amazing!!!  Deborah has been on he cover of Apr/May 2014 QA magazine.  If you go to this link, you'll get a better perspective of the detail in her work.

It's hard to see Deb's winning quilt in the flyer, but you'll get the idea.  The other two place winners were also very, very nice...but Deb's work is outstanding!!!

I have to say I was quite impressed with the museum overall...they have some interesting sculptures and paintings.  The museum used to be an old mansion so the building was really interesting.  They have just finished construction adding on additional rooms (e.g. lecture hall).  Quite nice....there is lots going on at the museum, so if you're in the area, you can check out the quilt exhibit (it runs until Sept. 6th) or check out the other upcoming exhibits.

Of course, it was food and wine time after the exhibit! we went to Harvey's Grill & Bar...and boy, was it every good!!  Now I'm not very excited about going out at night nor going far from home even during the day BUT my buds convinced me I should go and I'm glad I did.  It was a fun night and the  meal was worth the trip!  Mary had fish taco's that looked great (& she said tasted as good!), Carol had a Cuban sandwich, which she ate the whole thing! (not for's meat ya know!) and I had a buffalo chicken w/avocado wrap that was outstanding!

And I actually arrived home before dark!  Poor Carol still had 18 miles to go so she ended up home after dark!  So all in was a really nice time with my buds.  Now I get to stay home today...quilt guild meeting tomorrow then two day of staying home!!  Yippee!!!  I know...I'm getting old!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fishin' Time

Well, what else do you do on a cool, windy morning!  FISH!  At least that's what Nick and Amber wanted to do this past Tuesday!  Actually, it's fun watching the two of them fishing...although, I still feel bad for both the worm(s) and fish!  It is catch 'n release and so far no fish were killed in the making of these films or pictures!


Amber did catch one finally!  It was a biggee too!

Nick caught at least 5 or 6 fish...the hard part was trying to grab them to toss back in the water.  At least we fed quite a few fish on Tuesday (or should I say Amber did!).  At one point, Amber was just throwing the worms in the water!  Fine with me!  I'd rather feed the fish!!

Tomorrow's post will have pics from the opening the the Art Quilt exhibit that was at the Saginaw museum.  Very nice evening!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hex Horse Progress

Making progress!  I've finished sewing all the rows of my horse fabric.  I happy with the layout and will use oil pastels or pencils to color in areas that may need a 'touch' up or two once the overlay fabric is in place.
I have my paper overlay on top of the fabric in this picture.

And yep, I'll be adding some beading for the mane...

And beads for the tail...although, it's hard to see in this picture!

Now to decide on the background fabric.  As you saw in my previous post, I'm playing with stamping on fabric.  I want to have letters and/or words on the background but this horse is rather large (15"x13") and the piece can only be 16" x 20"...sooooooo   Not sure how much lettering I'll be able to use.  Ugo has letters/words in most of his work.

So off to look at some fabric for piecing the background!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Some new stuff!

Saturday was a pretty productive day for me...finished four loads of laundry, took Kalee on two walks, did her lessons (but only twice...bad mom!), made 23 stuffed jalapenos for dinner, finished sewing all the rows for my horse hex and printed some more fabrics (I did get a few pieces printed on Friday too).  So all in all...a good day!  Let's hope Sunday will be as productive!!  
Stamping done on Friday

More stamping from Friday

These were done on Saturday....I need some pieces for an upcoming projects and I think they'll be perfect.  Yep, one of those projects in my mind!!

I forgot to take a picture of the stamp I made from cardboard and a piece of stickie back the very first picture (on the right) at the top, you can see part of one of the cardboard's the lines you see stamped on the pieces.

I also finished sewing all the rows for my hex horse!  Now to decide on the background fabric...that may take me months!

We've still been having 80 degree weather but a cold front is coming in next week.  Will it bother me, nope!  But it will my room mate so I guess I'm hoping he can still golf...we need room mate to be happy!!  I have more printing to do!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Trying again

More 4-H fair pics...trying again!
  First off...this is a pretty large 'mug', right?  I'm not sure but I don't think it held coffee!!  Based on how slow the ride operator acted I'm wondering what 'brew' really was in this!!

He wasn't the most patient person either...but I'm sure it just wasn't his day!  Or drink!

  This was Nate in the 'market' barn for rabbits...don't know why I always get to tell the 'new' kids we bring to the fair about the 'market' tent.  I had to point out to the kids the 'roaster' or 'fryer' rabbits!  Geezzz

You should have heard them when we went through the steer market barn and chicken market (same deal - roasters or fryers!).
A very, very old tortoise!

Check out the blue eyes!!

My girl!!

I actually got this shot as the boys were flying by!!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Another year...another 4-H Fair!!

No sewing or art work today...this post is dedicated to the 4-H Fair!! I love the 4-H Fair and love taking the kids each year.  Amber's first fair was in 2002 (she wasn't quite 3) and Nick's 1st fair was in 2005 when he was almost 2!  The last few years the kids have been taking a friend with them, which makes it more fun for them (and for me!  I don't have to go on the rides now!).  We normally go on a Wed. but this year due to weather and an injury to Amber's foot we went on a Thursday.  The weather was perfect...mid 70's and a times we were hot from the sun and other times it was cool enough for a sweatshirt (sorry Gabby , we didn't have one!).  So here are our pics for another year.
Lunch time with Gabby and Amber - my pretty girls!!

Nick, Nate, Gabby and Amber

What handsome boys!

Feeding animals is always our 1st stop!

Lunch with the boys!

Yep, the circus was back!!  Boys and I attended
For some reason blogger won't let me upload pics from my camera...I'm going to resize using InfraView and see if that works tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Where does the time go

Bob was up quite early this a.m. to get lawn trash out by 7...Kalee and I didn't get up until's already 11 a.m. and I don't know where the time went!  I actually started to write down the time and what I've done within each hour!  Geeezzzz  More on that in a  later post!!

So I'm making progress sewing my hexes together!  I'm about half way with creating rows and actually have sewn rows together.  You can see the horse's head and some of the neck fabric is sewn together.

Next shows the pattern on top of the fabric.  So far so good. 

 If I get sometime today, I want to start looking at some fabric to piece together for the background or is it top ground!  HA...I'll be doing some type of printing with letters or words as this is a theme for Ugo's work  I wold like to have 'mustang' written somewhere but will have to see.

This piece is for the Inspired By....that our Aussome Fiber Group is doing.  Ugo Nespolo is the Italian artist one of the ladies in our group chose for an artist.  You can see the picture I'm using as my inspiration here.   If it doesn't work out, heck, I'll just keep the quilt and save it for another artist!  We'll see.....

Another beautiful day here in the neighborhood!  We did have rain on and off for the past two days but Bob got in 6 holes yesterday...OK, so he got wet but he was golfing, right!!  I'm still working Kalee's training sessions into my daily routine...yikes!!  3 sessions a day, only 5-15 min. but it does take time.  More so for me because I have to read the lessons several times to make sure I understand them.  I've resorted to making 4x6 index cards with the steps just so I remember when I go to do the lesson....oh to be young again and have a good memory!  HA

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Hex Horse Saga Starts

I mentioned in a previous post that I wasn't sure how to handle keeping tract of my horse hex pieces - creating my horse background fabric.  It hit me the other night that I needed to make a template using my hex printed sheet(s).  So I printed out about four sheets with the 1" hexes on them, taped together than  laid my horse pattern on top.

I traced my horse on top and thought it looked pretty good...but then...yep, always a "but then" moment isn't there!!

I thought the hexes looked too retraced turning the, there isn't much difference and I don't know what I expected...I wanted the hexes on the face a certain way so the body had to follow...anyway, here's my pattern..yea, looks confusing but the 'real' horse is in dark blue marker.  I can tell...

So next up I'll continue to make about 20 or more hexes, then I'll start to lay them on top of my paper pattern.  I'm thinking I may use a little spray adhesive on the paper template so the fabric hexes stay in place.  This way I can take row by row to sew the hexes together.

Whew!  I think I have a plan!!  Now to execute it!  

This week is the 4-H fair but our little girl scrapped her foot on Friday when Brody ran into her in the pool area.  Kris took Amber in to urgent care yesterday and her ankle was infected and swollen.  She's on antibiotic's and has to keep her foot up for 24-48 hours.  Poor's also suppose to rain on Tues. so we're looking at heading to the fair on Thursday.  We just need to make sure each of their friends can make it.  Keeping my fingers crossed...we've not missed a fair since Amber was 2 or 3 years old!!!  Hard to believe we've been going that many years (Amber will be 15 in August!).

Sunday, July 6, 2014

From this to this!!

I've finished  my beaded leaf!!!  WooHoo big time!!!  Thank goodness for my blog because I couldn't remember when I started on my leaf.  The first blog post I have is from February 10, 2014!  So from February to July, that's not all bad for beading a 12" x 12" leaf using #11 seed beads.

The colors are more true to what this detail picture looks like.  I'm happy to have finished it but also thinking of what to do next!  Only kidding!!

Next I have to finish hand stitching on the background piece; attach it to a canvas then I can attach the leaf to the background/canvas.  I have a ways to go but with the beading finished it will be my inspiration to work on hand, I only have my hex's to work on while watching TV at night...I like to change it up!

My bud Susan, found this leaf on the golf course and thought I could use it in my art work!  I don't think either of us thought of beading and I'm still not sure why I did but I did!

This was a photocopy that I taped together (remember it's 12" x 12") of the original leaf.

So here's the progression on my beaded leaf...thank again, Susan!!!!

I made another photocopy of the leaf but printed it in 'draft' setting, which gave me this golden colored leaf.

Since I didn't think I'd finish until the fall (which for the entire piece I may not!), the colors were perfect for a fall leaf.

Next I started to outline with beads the shape of the leaf.

And then the filling in....two or 3 beads at a time.   I am curious as to how many beads are in this piece.   I've seen on bead sites how many seed beads are in tube (e.g. 25 grams) and since I kept all the tubes I emptied, I should be able to get a good guesstimate of the number of beads used.  It won't be exact but I think pretty close.

So today I did some weeding, have country style ribs cooking (I know!  I can't believe I bought some meat especially pork! But I did!) and now to do some dog lessons with Kalee and then on to my horse hex project!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hex Horse Progress

I love creating my own fabric but at times there is a drawback...when you get a favorite piece but it's not big enough for a project and recreating it isn't possible.  So....

I'm trying to lay out the 3.4" hexes I've made so far for my 'horse' hex piece (I thought I was using a larger hex pattern...not!)...and the pieces you see on the 'butt' are the ones I screen printed several, several years ago.  I have about seven hexes left in that fabric to place but now I'm looking through my stash to fill in.  I will move the darker pieces further on the butt and legs...filling in with another piece of fabric I painted in a workshop with Phil Beaver back in 2003!  The color below really does match better than it looks here.  I'll put more yellows up further then fade to the browns below and my screen printed darker pieces.

It is a bit tedious but I love seeing how he's coming together.  Now to keep my hex placement when I go to pick up and sew together a hex piece of fabric!  I'll make sure to take a picture so I can see the placement but I'm sure there's another way I can 'tack' them on another drawing of the horse to see my rows.    Yikes! Always a challenge but keeps the old mind working.

We're off to the kids house this afternoon for a 4th of July BBQ...Darrin is smoking a brisket and my daughter and I are bringing some dishes.   I made my corn salsa, which is so good!  And  I also made a Lemon Blueberry Cake from Tommy over at Tommy Cooks. We all know she's a great artist -Tommy the Material Girl  but did you know she's cooks and bakes like a woman possessed!    Those who read her blog know this very well...if you don't know Tommy, it's worth the her blog(s), that is!

 It's a beautiful afternoon even on the cool side (71 degrees) but my kind of weather! Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Happy Birthday, Kalee!!

Hop on over to Kalee's's her Birthday today!!!  Can't believe she's 3 already!!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Good Day...Bad Day...

Well, let's start with the good news first...I only have a very small section left on my leaf!  Check it out!!!  I should be able to finish this section by the end of the long as Tigers are on TV!

Next, on another good note (the 'bad' is coming!)...I won a $10 gift voucher at Superior Thread from a Give-Away on Lily's Quilts!   How cool is that!!!  I love Superior Threads and especially the newsletter!  The voucher can be used to purchase the titanium-topstitch-needle or any other item.  I have heard about Titanium needles before so I think I will try them!  Cool, right!  So thanks Lynne!!  I know...her blog is called "Lily's" but you'll just have to go on over and read why her blog is call Lily's and not Lynne's!

Now for the bad news!!!

Kalee chewed/ate a plastic dental pick!  UGH!!!  Of course, because I was screaming like a Banshee monkey, she thought I was as I was trying to get her to "drop", "out", chase her, corner her...she kept munching (which I guess was good if she wasn't going to drop it!)...I only found 2 tiny, tiny pieces of the pick left!  Of course, I called the vet immediately...and they wanted to know what ingredients were in the pick.  Well, you would think this was a huge trade secret!  I couldn't find anything on the package or on the web as far as ingredients and neither could the vet tech.  So I called the company and found out there is a resin plastic called Polystyrene and Polyethylene and essential oils used to coat the plastic (vet was concerned about another ingredient, which wasn't in these)!  UGH...both the "P" words are used in food, cosmetics, medicine...just to name a few!!  I recently checked out a book from the library called 'Eat It to Beat It' which tells you which processed, fast food and restaurant meals are better or worse for you!  Who knew that the same ingredient used to make a Yoga mat are also in our food(s)!  Now I just hope Kalee' digestive system can handle the "P's"....Just what I need...more worry in my life!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bead Storage

One of my blog buds (who I've actually met up with in Florida!), Nancy, from Quilting Potpourri, left a comment the other day asking if I'd share sometime how I organize my beads and supplies. Figured I better do that before I forget!!

But before I talk about my  storage containers...I think everyone should have a Label Maker!!!  My daughter gave me one for my birthday several years ago and I love it!  It's well worth the investment or, beter yet,  give to your family for a gift suggestion.  As someone just mentioned (Kay!), Christmas Eve is only six months away!!!!  Anyway, here is how I organize my beads and supplies.

A few years back I purchased two Bead Tube Towers.   The tower contains 3 sections for you to store your seed beads in.  This is a a picture of what the 'tower' looks like...I swiped this picture from the Beadaholic web site.  See how nice it stands up!
You can set up the 'tower' if you are working on a project and want to see all your beads to pick from.

I only keep  #11 seed beads and #8 and #6 beads in these towers.

Each tower has its own case with handles so it's easy to carry if you're going to a class or just working on a project.

I really like the cases as they are easy to store in my bead cabinet (you'll see later in this post).  I just have a small cabinet for my beads supplies so I like to have supplies as compact as possible.

And these cases are nice for traveling back and forth to Florida!  They stash really well in the car!!

I tend to use #15 seed beads and #15 Delica beads more than #11 seed beads...they just seem to work better in the majority of my bead embroidery.  For that reason, I have my #15 beads stored in a container (here's where that label maker comes in handy!).  I mark the container and I even have my embroidery threads stored the same way.

I keep each colorway in small sandwich bags (the same goes for my embroidery threads).  I find this makes it a lot easier to see the beads when I'm looking for a particular color, plus, it's easy to keep them organized by just putting back in the bag(s).  I can just grab reds, purples, whatever color rather than digging through all the different containers.

This is what the baggies look like sitting inside the container.  It looks messy but it's very easy to see and  'grab' a bag of color!Again, these are only #15 seed and Delica's.

My embroidery threads are stored the same way...each color is in a separate sandwich bag.  But that's a whole other post, right!

Yep, here's my good old Label Maker in use!  My son gives me these wood boxes from the equipment they get at his job.  One box holds my beading wire(s) and the other box contains Tila beads, clasps, sequins, etc.

The box on the far right holds my beading threads.

Just a peak inside each box. Again, makes it easy to just grab and put back.  If I'm using wire, etc. I'll just put the entire box on my work table rather than take one item out.  Just makes it easy to 'put things' excuse...the box is right there.

I love these boxes, again, because they store so well in my cabinet.  I just don't have a large enough one to hold my Delica's or I'd put them in one of the boxes!  I have too many baggie!!

I mainly use Silamide beading thread which comes on spools, so this old thread container works perfectly.

And this is my shelf...looks messy but really it's very organized.  The bead tower bags are on the left and you can see my storage containers sit on the right....bead notes on the far right (all my art and bead books are in a different cabinet).  My bead loom sits on top.

And below are my boxes and the containers on top hold jewelry fasteners and charms.

Last but not least, based on a tip from another blog bud, Mary Stori, I use an old embroidery hoop to hold the beads I'm using for a project.   Mary was a guest blogger on And Then We Set It On Fire and gave this tip:
 "I used to place my bead mat on a shallow jelly roll pan, which acted as a lap board....but it got awfully cumbersome.  One day I came up with the idea of securing the bead mat in a small wood embroidery hoop.  PERFECT.....when the thread is long I can bring the needle to the hoop, when it's shorter...I can bring the hoop to the needle!"

If you missed Mary's guest posts on beading, just click here.   Mary has some great tips and pictures...and when you're done reading those posts, just take a another minute or two and head over to her blog, The Inside Stori!!

This is my hoop with the bead mat secured...I could cut some of  the excess may recoginze the beads in this picture!  These are what I'm using for my leaf project...which I did work on some more today!

So, I hope you got an insight as to my bead organization and if so, you can thank Nancy!  If you didn't and thought this was a boring post or you have some better ways to organize please share!!    Now off to bead!!