My Favorite Books

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Busy Life!

This weekend we actually finished the deck!!!  I had to touch up some white spindles as well as a few strokes of beige stain (where I over lapped my white!  Oops!).  But my part is done...done...done!!!  Bob did find a piece or edge of wood that is rotten so he's repairing that.  But, did I mention, WE'RE DONE!!!!  Now to start raking leaves!!!

Monday was hair dye day (for me!) and Tuesday I helped for almost 3 hours putting books in order for our local library book sale this coming Saturday!

 Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:00 am   until 5:00 pm

Yes, I wore my wrist braces but I should have put on my back brace too!  Thank goodness Bob took me out to dinner!  My back was killing me.  I think I unloaded over 20 boxes!  I filled up four 4'x6' tables with different categories of books...Medical, History, Diet, non fiction, travel, etc.  I'll go back on Thursday to help finish up.  I won't be working the sale on Saturday, which is just as well, as I'd spend more $$'s on books that I won't get a chance to read!

 On another note....My daughter was in Singapore last month and one of the assistants was so sweet and kind to Dawn.  She made sure Dawn had lunch or dinner and always had water for her throughout the day or anything else she might need!

This sweet lady  made a necklace for Amber and me!  This is my necklace and I think it's  beautiful.  I will certainly wear it and think of her when I do.

I made a fiber card  for this lovely lady.  I had this fabric I stamped and stenciled when I was in Florida last winter.  The leaf is one of my hand carved stamps, which I use often!  The fabric is Kaufman's Radiance which dyes beautifully but is very thin as it's a combo of silk..but it's great for fiber cards.  I don't use it often in my quilts because it is so light weight. But it does dye beautifully and makes a nice fiber card because of the pellon backing to support it!

This is the back of the card with a note to Sally.  Yep, I hid her address!  HA  I have  it in an envelope to mail tomorrow.  I usually just mail my fiber cards as it but I was afraid it might not make it all the way to Singapore!  The longest fiber card trip was to Australia!  And it did arrive in one piece!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Back to knitting?

Last week, being lax in reading my emails, I didn't know that Craftsy was having a free 24 hour viewing of their online classes.  Thanks to Julia, from The Hexie Blog, who sent out a FB post about the free classes, I found out around 10 p.m. that night.  Thanks, Julia!!!

I hopped right over to Craftsy at 10 p.m. and started to look at a few classes.  Several years ago I took a knitting online class by Sally Melville on Craftsy which I thought was great!  So I thought I'd check out some other knitting classes...I haven't been knitting because of my wrists but thought I'd just see what was out there...just killing time, right!  And what did I find!  A Portuguese Knitting class by Andrea Wong!   I had never heard of Portuguese knitting before but so glad I checked it out!  WOW!
Andrea Wong

I've always wanted to learn Continental knitting but never did.  Portuguese knitting is wonderful and so much better than traditional or Continental knitting!!! There is NO stress on the fingers or wrists!
If you look at the picture of Andrea, you'll see the yarn is on a 'pin' on her shoulder...that's part of the key to this method.  The pins look like this...

Can you believe that!  It's a whole new concept, at least to me, on holding your yarn and stitching.  It's all done with a 'flick' of your left thumb!   It's so easy to purl and even knit!  Who knew!

I went online to our local library and ordered her DVD, which was very similar to the class but not as much detail mainly because it was older.  So Wednesday I sat and grabbed some Peaches and Cream yarn from my stash and started to learn Portuguese knitting while creating a dishcloth!!!

I am so impressed I went out to Andrea's web site and ordered her book and a pin!  I've made my own pin  up but it's nothing I would have anyone  see me wearing!  HA  I won't even take a picture of it!  But it got me through the DVD and knitting!

 I like having a DVD but I also like books and I am going to assume her book has good diagrams just based on how she teaches online and in DVD's.

So if you're like me and love to knit but can't because of arthritis or other wrist issues  check out some you tubes Andrea has  (this is a short youtube she did) or go to and check out her class.  Give it a try and I think you'll be surprised.

Now I'm going to get Sally Melville's book out again and make another sweater/vest!!  It is winter, right!  Oh yea...I do have some art/quilt projects that are coming due but can always use a project to do some hand work at night while watching the boob tube!  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Getting close to completion!

Geezzz We are hoping that we're getting closer to completing this major deck project!  Bob finished putting on the 1st coat on the right side of the deck floor (he has put 2 coats on the other half  (left) side already!).  Seems like it's a never ending project....

I had fiber meeting on Monday and when I got home I prepped the area for Bob to do his thing on Tuesday.  I should have the edge areas on that same area painted with the 2nd coat of paint so Bob can finish it up this weekend.  On my schedule for today!

Bob can't get the paint roller under the spindle area so I go along the edge and paint out around 4-6 inches.

I do have to go back and touch up all of the white spindles.  I did get a little sloppy with the brown stain but it will be easy to touch up.  I want to repaint our spindles on the front porch as well.  They seem to hold up but are due to be refreshed.  I think I've only painted them twice since we had the house built in '96!

I also hope to go see the horror movie 'IT' or the thriller 'Mother' with my DIL this weekend!  Guess we'll see how that works out!  I love horror movies...but realistic horror there such a thing??

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tommy's block exchange for 2017!

Yep, another year we each volunteered to create a 12"x12" quilt block to exchange with others.  There were four (including myself) in my group this year.  Here are the blocks I've received this year!  I love each one of them and now with Tommy giving us the idea to hang them up, my sewing area is covered!   You can see some of my 12"x12" blocks hung here.   Thanks for the idea, Tommy!

In the order I received them:

 Tommy's arrived first!
Tommy's style for her work.  This was machine appliqued and machine quilted.

Followed by MaryAnn VanSoest
Check out MaryAnn's web site.  This block was screen printed gold leaf and machine stitched.

Then Carol Phillips from California
Carol pieced and fused both commercial and had dyed fabric then machine quilted.
Sorry for the crooked pic, Carol!!!  It's actually a perfect square!!!

And the block I made for each of the ladies!
You can see how I made each one here on my blog.

I love getting these quilts in the mail and enjoy holding and looking closely at each block!  This is an easy exchange to do and if you keep your group small very doable.  Tommy also gives us over six months or more to complete.  Something to think about for those smaller satellite quilting groups.

Hope we get to do this again next year...maybe I'll start hanging in our bathroom(s) next!  Now there's an idea Tommy!

Friday, September 8, 2017


When I posted the finished Mr. Blue, I included a time lapse animation from semi start to finish.  Beth (from Quilter Beth's Blog) ask how I did the animation.  I thought it might be fun to share this easy technique with my readers!

First off, I use Google Photo's to store all the photo's from my phone (Samsung), so that's the application I use to store, print, blog or create animations with.  (There may be other apps that you can download but this just works for me best.)  With that said, you can create your animation either on your phone or your laptop/desktop using Google Photo's.

1) Head off to Google and click on 'google apps' upper right corner.

2)    Click on the 'Photo's' icon (3rd from the bottom on my screen).

3)   You should now see all the photos that you are on your phone.  Once on this page click on 'CREATE' on the right side.

4) Next click on 'Animation'

5)  Now you select the pictures you want in your animation.  Clicking on the picture will highlight a check mark in blue.
 Keep in mind to scroll to the 'oldest' photo first, if you're creating a file of a project/technique from start to finish.

6) Once you've selected all the photo's you want, click on 'CREATE' again!
7)  You see this on your screen.

8)  And there you are!!  Quick and easy!

I honestly wasn't sure I could include animations in a blog post but the app creates a 'gif' file which can be included in posts!  Who knew!  Hope you give it a go and create your own animation!  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

May I Introduce Mr. Blue!

Yep!  He's finished!  Now I just need to decide where or what to do with him!  I'm just figuring out what I'm doing with my beaded leaf!  HA  Mr. Blue weighs 3.5 oz. and is 7" high and 7 3/4" wide.  My leaf weighs a little over 5.5 oz. and is 10.5" high and 12" wide.

I started Mr. Blue, March of 2016, so that's not all bad and I didn't do any beading on him for several months because of my wrists!

Not sure if this animation is able to be seen but hope so!

This was the free coloring page I found that inspired me to create a squirrel

...and the reason for 'blue' was to create a quilt for our traveling exhibit here in Michigan.  We were each creating an art quilt based on the work of George Rodrique who always painted the Blue Dog.  Since I figure everyone would do a blue dog I thought I'd do a blue squirrel!     If you are interested in how I started Mr. Blue or my leaf, you can read my article in Quilting Arts Magazine, issue Oct/Nov 2015.

After I finished the beading, I removed the paper backing around the area (very carefully!). I did cut one thread holding some beads so I just sewed back through the beads to secure.  I said you have to do this part "very carefully" and don't watch football while you cutting!  Dang Michigan!  If you look close at this picture you will see some of the white area.

I used some Jacquard fabric paint, Indigo Blue, and painted all along the edge to cover the white pellon/printed piece.  This works so can also use a marker pen but I like to use fabric paint if I can find the right color.

I had a helper while covering up the white areas!!!

And now no white shows so he's all ready to be attached to a quilt or canvas or just sit and stare at me for a year or two!  but he's done!  He will have some black beads for whiskers on the side of his face when he's attached.  I'll actually bead those down first then attach Mr. Blue. what should I bead next!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Time does pass but not the memories.

November 3, 1999 - September 2, 2011
This was one of Amber's overnight visits so we dressed Mandy up in a nightgown!

So hard to believe it's been six years since we lost our girl, Mandy!  She was a sweetheart...another rescue we adopted when she was about 18 months old.  Mandy went with me every Wednesday to watch Amber and Nick.  We had to leave early Wednesday mornings and it was the only time she would jump out of the bed when I got up.  Any other day, she would lay in bed if I got up first, but not on Wednesday!   We'll never forget.  This is a post I did last year.  What a doll!

Friday, September 1, 2017

A Little B & B!

First off....I'm working on the background for my "B"eaded leaf!  Needed to rest my wrist for a day or two from actual beading or making hex's!  It's a little awkward free motion quilting with my splint on but it workable!  I found this picture of my leaf when I first started to bead it!  This is all due to my bud, Susan, in Florida.  She found this huge leaf on the golf course, gave it (the actual leaf) to me, I copied it and the rest of the story is beading!  HA  Thanks Susan!  What's my next project??

I think this background will work well with the leaf.  Actually, the green is brighter and the brown is a darker brown with gold flecks. It was a piece that was sun printed a few years ago.

 I started off free motion quilting some leaves then started to echo around the leaves. It's been awhile since I've done free motion but it did feel good to be at the machine again.

I want to have this quilting finished by the 2nd Monday in September so I can take it with me to our fiber meeting.  I want to get the opinion of my friends on placement for the leaf.  The quilted background will be wrapped around canvas then I'll stitch the leaf onto both.
This piece is about 30" x 18"

So the second "B" is for BOOKS!  I do  listen to books on my IPod the majority of time but I also read at night in bed while Bob watches the news, car or war shows.  Works for me!  A few books that I've really enjoyed lately are:

The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman - Olive was a teenager when captured by the Indians while her family was traveling west.  She was eventually traded to the Mohave tribe where they raised her as their own.  What a fascinating read!  If any of you have watched Hell on Wheels, you will recognize Olive as having that same tattoo on her face as the Eva character in the series.

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter - Historical novel about Ida Lewis who saved over a dozen lives while being keeper of the light on an island in Newport Harbour.  Really an interesting read as she was one tough lady!

Bring Her Home - This is by David Bell, one of my favorite mystery authors.  I've read all his books and this is his current one.  Really good  that I'm going to go and read some of it as soon as I publish this post!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Beading Tip!

I did a lecture/trunk show in January of 2016  for the Fiber Art Bee group in Gainesville, Florida.  The guild members were so nice and made up a bag of blue beads for me!  I think the bag weighed about 8 lbs!  All different size, shapes and shades of blue.

Well, the majority of those beads are on Mr. you can see my dilemma if I run out!!  Yikes!  I had mentioned this in a previous blog my concern of not having enough beads.

Well, I received a note, or should I say tip, from Margaret Ball.

"Stitch your remaining beads randomly over the area left to cover. Keep doing this until you run out of beads. Now, if you have to add beads of a slightly different color, the look will be "natural variation" rather than "funny-looking bit right there."

What a great tip!!!!  I can certainly see where this would work!!!!  Thanks, Margaret!!!!

For those who read my blog, you know I use Margaret's book, Embeadery, often...and I mean often.  Margaret's book actually got me started doing bead embroidery.

And yes, those are tabs on the right/middle of the book for some of Margaret's techniques that I reference!  It's the only bead book I take to Florida!

Margaret is also a writer of historical/romance/etc. novels!!!  Who knew...well, I did only because I've followed her blog for several years.  So check out what Margaret is doing or writing about!!!   She's quite witty in her blog writing so I know you'll enjoy reading her posts.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Friends and Football!

Busy week last week and I'm sure this week will be pretty much the same!  After painting the deck  last Thursday and Bob finishing installing the last of the top boards, we had a late lunch/early dinner then off to Nick's first freshman football game.  It was a really good game! And I love the new scoreboard at the high school!  What fun!

 Wow..those kid were good!  They ended up winning 28-0.   Nick is a center/2nd string this year and only got in a few plays but they got a touch down!  Woohoo!  This is different for Nick since he's always played both offense and defense these past few years.  But it's a good learning experience for him and I know he'll do just fine.  He's a hard worker and if he keeps working it will pay off.  I'll still go to the games as long as 1. it's not raining!  2. the game is within 20 miles!  HA

Friday, I met up with my bud, Alice and the daughter of my friend, Patty, who passed away a few years ago.  Lisa met Alice and I at Honcho's Restaurant and we had a really good meal.  I brought along some old pics of Lisa's mom as well as of Alice and I.  It was nice to look at them and try to remember we were young at one time!!!  This was Patty years ago.  She was an airline stewardess as well as a model.  She was a beauty!

Lisa and Alice

After lunch, we headed to Lisa's beautiful home for some home made blueberry pie she made! was so good...and Lisa also made a chocolate sheet cake!  Well, double yum!!!!

We talked about recipes and of course FaceBook that seems to have one recipe after another!   We did have a nice afternoon and talked a lot about Patty, Lisa's mom.  She would be so proud of the wife, mother and woman Lisa is today.  We're going to try and meet up again before we head to Florida or at least when we get back.

It was such a nice afternoon....but then it's always nice to be with friends and family.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Busy Work

It's been a busy week and the weekend will be taken up with painting the deck!  Bob only has a few boards left to replace!

Woohoo!  I finished all the white spindles last weekend so now we can start on the beige deck painting.  Floor will be last, of course, but at least I can start scrapping and get the painting finished on the upper boards.  We're suppose to have below 80 or 90 degree weather, which will be good.  We're always painting when it's 80 or 90 degrees out!  I've said for years that it's too hot to paint in that temperature.  We'll see if painting in the 70's works better!

With rainy days this week, I have been sewing.....

I took a piece of stamped fabric I did last winter and free motion quilted the piece.  I cut out sections about 6"x8" so I can use for fabric cards.

Evenings are filled up with working on my hex pieces! I'm wearing my splint while sewing these paper pieces, which I think is helping my wrist when I sew.  There are 123 pieces here! Doesn't look like that much but it is!  I've got a ways to go since I want to do the entire piece of fabric in hex's...mainly because I don't know what I'm going to do or how many pieces I'll need.

And good old Mr. Blue is coming along!!!  His feet are all beaded and now I just hope I have enough beads left for the remainder of his body!!!  Yikes!!!

I'm also trying to decide how to quilt a background piece for my beaded leaf.  Once quilted, I'll be wrapping around a canvas.  I'll take to my fiber meeting next month for input from the ladies.

So that's my week so far!!!