My Favorite Books

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What a nice surprise!!!

Look what I received in the mail today!!!  These are from my 'blog bud' Mary Stori!!!  For you who don't know about Mary (can't imagine that!) she is a well known and respected beader/quilter/artist/author.  I actually have a book or two of Mary's as she was one of the first beaders whose book I read!



Anyway, Mary gifted me beads...beads...beads...from one beader to another, you can never have enough beads!!!  Of course these will be used...in fact, I'm eyeing both of the blues for my squirrel beading project!!!















These gift tags are Mono printed Woolfelt  Mary made.  Aren't they beautiful and unique!  You can see Mary's post on making them here.  So clever!  And so much work!!  I am so thrilled but wish you could see and feel these tags in person!  I told Mary even on her blog the pictures don't do them justice!  They are wonderful!!!


And this is the case the gift tags came in!  Again, mono printed woolfelt!!!



What a wonderful surprise!!!!!  And check out the way she wrapped each gift!  With a measuring tape!  Now if that isn't clever!!!! But then, as I've told Mary before, she is my hero and I wouldn't expect any less creativity from her!  HA


Thanks again, my friend!!  So, so special!!!!  I may have to  keep the gift tags because they are so unique I won't want to part with any!  Actually, I may just use one for my grand daughter's upcoming Birthday!   And keep the rest!  HA

And look at another gift I received on Tuesday!  My neighbor, Lori, called and said "meet me in your garage, I have something for you."  So this is what she gave me!!!


Now for those who know me or have read my blog from time to time.....I have admitted drinking wine from a mug, especially when children are around!   A few years ago when I was spending six days with grand kids while their parents were on vaca....I had brought a bottle of wine with me and would have a drink at night with dinner....but I didn't want the kids to think grandma had a drinking problem, so I would fill my coffee mug with wine. while making dinner (which is what I do at home too!).   By the weekend, when time for me to head home, my grand daughter said "grandma, you didn't drink your wine so make sure you take it home".  Well, the bottle of wine was empty but with the amber color bottle she thought it was full!   I quickly placed the bottle (empty!) in my grandma bag without another word!
So the moral of the story is....you can drink wine from a mug and no one will know!  Thanks, Lori!!!  That was so sweet of you!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What's going on at our house?

It's been hot, hot, hot here in Michigan.....actually, for the past month!  It's Florida weather for sure!  And we do really need the rain.  Although, our tomato plant is thriving, as long as I remember to water it twice a day!







 This is a new baby....there are 2 other 'babies' too!  And there is another 14 tomatoes are getting ready to ripen....Woo Hoo













And this little guy was sitting next to the hummingbird feeder on our deck rail.  He was getting ready to jump into the 'moat' I have the feeder sitting in (keeps the ants out of the feeder).  So, I removed the feeder and refilled the 'moat' with fresh water and he jumped in the container!  Poor little guy was probably drying out from all the heat!  He stayed in the container for quite sometime!





I put the container on the floor of the deck, as I thought he might jump out and it's a long way down to the backyard.


I'm still wondering how he got up this high!  Our deck is about 12feet off the ground level!  Never know what might show up in your yard!




Thursday, July 21, 2016

Working away....

I did some more stitching on the 'modern quilt'....I'm happy with how the filling in the hex block is coming along.  It's a little hard twisting the quilt around the machine with my wrists but sewing a little at a time is getting the job done.  I think this block is pretty much complete...well,for the time being!  HA

And I've started back on my Blue Squirrel!!  Feels good to be beading again!!  Actually, just being productive again in my art work feels good!


Last weekend Bob suggested I look for some elastic to put on his pants so his shirt(s) don't pull out!  I couldn't find anything at Joann's so I looked online.  And, of course, I found a site that sold exactly what he was looking for!  I ordered the waistband gripper,  I believe on Sunday, and received our order on Wednesday!  I am very impressed with the Sewing Place!

Since I was just ordering a small amount of elastic, I thought I'd look at the rest of their web site and look what I found!


I've been trying to find a firm/foam brayer to use in my art work.  The foam rollers I have are really way too soft but I've been able to 'get by' these few years.  I looked at Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. and never could find the one I wanted!  Until this weekend on TheSewingPlace!  I am so happy with it!!!  I'm thinking of ordering another one just to have on hand!!  If you want a foam but firm brayer for printing/stencils/etc.  check it out on their web site here.  Plus, they certainly get the order(s) out quickly!!!  My gosh!
Graphic pic in this paragraph!  Well, not that graphic!!!

Wednesday was a busy day with getting Gigi to the vet's @ 8 for her dental cleaning.  Running back home then to run errands and picking up Gigi @3.  She did great...whew!  Always scary when the little ones are 'put out'!   See...clean teeth now!  Our vet takes pics before and after...I only took a pic after!  She wasn't that bad so she came though this procedure really well!
So that's my week, so far!!!  Besides the 90+ degree weather, its quite a nice summer, so far!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Grandma Time again!

The kids and I had a fun time this week!  Well, grandma did.....I think they did too!!!  First off we headed to Urban Air Trampoline park in Oxford.  Talk about exercise!  No, I didn't partake!  I just took pictures!!






I have to admit the facility is very clean, lots of different venues for the kids (dodge ball, foam pit, slam dunk, etc.).  I can see if you brought a 'buddy' with you vs your brother or sister, you could keep occupied for several hours.  The kids did good and we were there for over an hour.  They battled each other and worked together at dodge ball.  There was a tiny little thing that was REALLY aggressive!  She kept wanting Amber and Nick to play!  Talk about wicked!  WOW!

Anyway, after kids worked up a sweat (and you will work up a sweat!) we headed to lunch.  Then to set up an area in front of the kids house for Amber to practise parallel parking!  She's working up to taking her drivers test and needs the practise.  Who better to give her advice than her grandma!  I mean, I used to drive a horse trailer and backed that puppy in lots of places!  HA



Amber did great!  We had tons of fun doing this and plan on next week heading to the elementary school to practice other parking.
Having issues updating Amber's video!  UGH!!!
This one works!!  YEA!!!!
video



After that little event, we headed inside to play some games....we started off with Uno Spin...which is always fun!   Then our next favorite game is Monopoly Card game.  If you like Monopoly but don't like how long that board game can go on and on....go and buy this card game!  It is FAST and FUN!  I've even bought this game for gifts.  They sell it at WalMart and online (of course!).






My winning hand!  The only one!!

I honestly lost track of who won which games!  I only know with all the games we played I only won once!!   Seems to me Amber won at Uno Spin .....I always lose at that game!
And Nick was laughing quite a bit which means he wasn't losing at Monopoly!  In the end, I was laughing so hard my mascara was running down my face!  Just another memory and fun time with the kids!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ring! Riing!

Not, "ring, ring...hello"....but real rings...I've had to make some new beaded rings as the ones I made several years ago are starting to look a little faded.   The metallic bead coating does wear off after awhile.  And I do wear my beaded rings every time I go out.  Just a me thing!  So I made a few more this past week.

The one of the left (grey/white trim) is in the works.  I just started it last night.  The other two are finished.  These should hold me for awhile!

And I'm working on quilting the hex blocks on my 'modern quilt'.  I'm satisfied with how it's turning out.  So far...so good!!




Just an update on my 'wrists/hands'....went to my PCP on Friday....she's made an appointment with an orthopedic specialist for possible injections in the wrists.  I've started back on a stronger dose of Prednisone as well.  So let's see how this all works out!
Today is a painful day (again!) but I have noticed that if I take 2 Excedrin for Migraine that  the pain does  taper off !!  I read about the dosage and you can only take 2 pills in a 24 hour period.  HMMMMMMM  I took  just 1 this a.m. since I took 2 yesterday afternoon for the start of a migraine.....Just have to find the right combo for dealing with these issues as we get older, right!


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Focus on Fusing - Lesson 1

I started on Melody's, Focus on Fusing, class on Saturday.  This was our first lesson!!  Cutting out shapes and fusing onto backgrounds.

Of course I had fun cutting out shapes....my hard part was trying to decide color combo's..this isn't my strong suit!  Not sure what my strong suit is but I know what it isn't!  HA

So here are my sample backgrounds/fused shapes.  Melody is having us keep these in a notebook.  I'm sure at some point, we can use them in an art quilt...but for the time being it's just a lesson and samples.






I'm thinking I may need to put more 'shapes' on my backgrounds but this is a good start for me!

Our lessons will be posted every Friday, so that should give us all enough time to create our samples.  Depending on my week, I just might make up some more!!!






Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fusing? Who me??

Well, yep...I'm going to be a 'fuser'!  At least, I'm going to attempt to do some art quilt fusing!  Melody Johnson is offering to give her knowledge and experience as a master fuser to we bloggers!  Well, who wouldn't jump at the chance to gain some knowledge from this master!  So of course, I signed up!  I know...like I need another project at this time!!!

On Saturday I went through all my fabric stacks/containers to pull out as many different solids as I have (solids are Melody's suggestion).  This is the fabric  I gathered!









So next up Melody suggested we need light, medium, darks....well, as most of us quilters find, we don't have a lot of lights do we!  I've separated each color into lights, medium and darks the best I could!

Our lessons will start this coming Friday and she suggested 805 Wonder Under for fusing.  Of course all I had on hand was some Heat 'n Bond or Misty Fuse..so early Saturday, the 'girls' and I took off for Joann's!  It was only 64 degrees out, so with the sun roof open, I felt like I could leave the girls in the car while I purchased some webbing  Well, I had a 50% coupon so I bought a bolt!  I got 10 yards (@2.99 a yrd!) free!  Not a bad purchase!!!  I'll use it for sure so I'm happy and excited to get our first lesson!

Yea, I know...I don't really need something else to do but heck...you can't just sit and eat bon bons and watch the boob tube all day long!  Well, you can but who wants to!  Not me!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Gigi's Gottcha Day!

One year ago we 'adopted' this little girl! 

Look at that face!  How could we not adopt her!!

Gigi is a lover and have given us so many smiles!

She is picky about certain men and children....but she does surprise us at times...she made up quickly to our neighbors son, Bryce!  But wanted to go after Bryce's dad...after he patted Bryce on his shoulder!  I think she was just protecting him!!


She has given us some challenges but she is worth every little extra effort it has taken to make her part of our family!

So Happy Gottcha Day, Gigi!!!  We love you and are so happy you belong to us!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Natural Dyeing

Here are the results of my 'testing' some dying with wood.

First up is  the Bolivian Rose wood....

And the mordant results....the A=alum; A=Soda ash and the blank is just that!  No pre soaking...
They are actually a little more 'beige' than in the picture and I really don't see any difference using a mordant!  Hmmmmmm



Next is the Orange Wood...at least that's all it says on the container!

And results...these are really a pretty shade of yellow...very bright and again...not much difference!



This next piece is from Brazil Wood and it's so very delicate and very pretty!  It's a pale, almost pink shade.  I've used this wood before and created a table top for the couple who gave me the wood.  It's dyed on cotton sateen so has a nice sheen to it as well!



And "waste not, want not" grandma always said...so I mixed the orange and Rose wood together and poured into my container which is holding my eco flower/leaf print.

Of course, since I've had this piece sitting outside for some 'solar' heat we've had rain and cooler weather!  Go figure!  It's been in the high 80's to 90's for the past two weeks...but as soon as I decided to work with leaves/flowers wouldn't you know the weather would change!  I'm having a hard time not opening up the package!  But I'll be patient and wait for another day!  Maybe!!!!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Some playtime!

On Thursday, I decided to go collect some leaves and/or flowers and do some eco printing!  I'm not sure how this will turn out but this is the collection I placed on my fabric...yes, the fabric is wet after soaking in alum/water.

And here the package is all wrapped up! Just like Christmas, right!  I'm not planning on opening this up until Sunday...not sure how long I should allow to 'sit' but I decided the longer the better, right?  I know folks put these in a steamer but since I don't have a steamer I'm hoping the hot, humid Michigan weather will help cook it!  This piece is in a container filled with boiling water and will be 'resting' in the sun for the next few days.  I'm not adding any dye to the water. I can always overdye the piece.  Fingers crossed!

It's wrapped tight but not as tight as I would with shiboi.  Yes, I am winging this!  I  purchased some books on Eco printing that I've quickly looked at pages and pictures but just haven't taken the time to sit and read.  Something I wanted to do today outside but it's so dang hot and humid I resorted to staying inside and playing.  I feel guilty just sitting in the house reading but not when I sit outside!  Go figure!

I mentioned that I had some wood pieces given to me by a weaver and her hubby.  So the other day I put some wood pieces, can't remember names of them right now, in some boiling water and let sit.  After I rolled up my foliage piece, I mixed up some alum/water as well as soda ash/water....I'm dong my own test!   I have 3 pieces each in the jars with the wood dye.  I'm curious to see which piece picks up the most color from the dye.

I just may let these sit until the weekend as well.  I'll be gone most of Friday and I do have bindings to sew on my solar print pieces so that will keep me busy!

And I've had some good suggestions from my readers on the quilting of my modern quilt/hex piece, which I really appreciate!  I'm going to make another tracing using different size hex's and just quilt those in white thread as well as a few echo lines around the hex strips...I can see this in my head...now I just need to put it on paper!  Guess we'll see!!

Friday, July 8, 2016

2nd Book Review -The Art of Fashion Tangling




If you want to check out some of the pages, you can go to the link on Amazon… this will give you an idea of what you’ll see…but there’s more to the book than just these few pages! 

Quite a few of us have done “tangling” or “zentangles” on cards or even a pair of tennis shoes!  Well, some of us have!  

This book is quite interesting in it's providing the reader or ‘tangler’ a different approach - tangling on different garments and accessories!   Each artist section has a unique garment for you to ‘tangle’…there are bathing suits, hats even paper dolls! 
I like the format of the book, which gives you a ‘get started’ section.  So if you’ve never ‘tangled’, you can see how easy it is to do so!  And you can practise right in the book!  That’s one feature I like, having so many different patterns in one place and my practise tangles in one place!  Right now I have several books/papers with different tangles on them.  I’d much prefer to grab this book if I wanted to decorate a card or even tangle on an apron or a T-shirt!  Now there’s an idea! 

Of course, those who follow Jill Buckley, from the Quilt Rat, know of her wonderful tangles, in addition to her fantastic quilting!  Jill’s section (Chapter 4) is full of tips and steps for creating some great tangles!!  I love her Tangled Hat on page 90!  And her tip on “using broken instead of solid lines” is SO clever!  Her section on shoes and handbags are full of different patterns, as are each of her sections.  I think some of these patterns could be done on fabric with a needle and thread!!  And that's exactly what Jill did....she had some of her doodle designs "picked up" by Janome and digitized for their embroidery machine!  So if you don't have that embroidery machine, you can create your own design(s) using Jill's patterns and tips from the book!


I definitely think this book is worth the cost ($17-20).  You’ll be inspired to learn how to tangle or to learn some new tangles!!  And who knows…you might just end up creating some new fashion items to wear or make for friends!!  Christmas is right around the corner you know!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Quilting Designs

I finished quilting each of the non hex blocks and I'm happy with that part of this quilt.  Kinda hard to see the quilting, but if you really care, just click on it to enlarge.


Now comes the issue of quilting around the hex's.  I had a thought one night in bed but I'm thinking that particular thought may not work out afterall!  This was the thought....I traced out the hex's on tracing paper and started to 'draw' in my quilting lines.   This would work but it's going to be difficult to get an even pattern going around each of the 3 hex's....I just started to fill in with a pencil and I know I'll get lost for sure as I quilt it on the machine!


So today I started to play around with two more quilting ideas!  This is another one.....too much me thinks!


And the last one.......again, too  much...


I still can't decide, so I'm going to hold off working on this piece until after our fiber meeting this coming Monday!  I know the ladies will provide some good input on how to quilt around the hex's.....or if you have an idea, PLEASE leave me a comment!  All suggestions will be welcome!!