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Sunday, June 30, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KRIS!!!



HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KRIS!  I know you'd rather be in Mexico with Darrin and kids...but hope you have a great day!!!

Love ya!

Fun day of beading, food and (most important!) friends!

I had so much fun yesterday!  My buddy, Joan, and I took a Kumihimo class at Beadin' Mon!    And as it turned out, two of my buddies from years ago also took the class!  Here we are after class enjoying, yes!, a margarita and Mexican dinner.  Joan was kind enough to take our picture!

From left to right,  you know who!, Christine (ck out her blog, Brewed Adornments!  You will be amazed at her work!!) and my bud, Sue (I used to work with Sue when we were with EDS!). Sue and Christine were also quilters  and we belonged/started a group called, The Postal Quilters....no, we didn't shoot anyone!  We were all in different states (on and off), and each year or so we would have a round robin.  We had to to mail our quilt rows/whatever to each other.  Hence, the name "postal quilters"..clever, right!  OK, we thought so!

Anyway, I'll have to post some of our quilts we did as a group!  I forgot to bring my photo album for us to look back on but hope to meet up with the two of them again SOON and I'll make sure to bring it then!

So back to our class....Patty Ahlstrom was our instructor and we also had the pleasure of Mary (don't know her last name!) to guide us!  Joan ended up finishing her bracelet first!!!  She even started another one but the yarn she cut was too small so she's going to make a key fob!

I'm having a tad bit of problem getting pics to go where I want so this  post may be a tad confusing!  I wanted to make a 3 wrap bracelet so I had to make my piece the size of a necklace.  It worked out perfectly!  Plus, I can wear as a necklace or bracelet!  Two for one!  You know how I love my TWO FOR ONE's!   Oh, I used my Suede yarn instead of the regular braid used for Kuihimo.
Joan getting instruction from Patty
Joan's bracelet closure w/charm
Joan's bracelet - it's really for her grand daughter.
Some of our supplies
Another bracelet one of the ladies made
Christine's - her closure was SO cool!  I didn't get a shot of it! Darn
This is my large piece
I wanted a 3 wrap bracelet





Sue's red/white/blue (rt) and another one she made at home!  

All in all it was a great day.  The four of us had dinner at one of the local Mexican restaurants...yes, I also ate Mexican with my buddy, Alice, on Friday...what can I say...I love Mexican and margarita's so a gal has to do what a gal has to do!  I'll suffer for my friends!!

This last picture (of food!) is from the lunch with Alice...and yes, that is a glass of margarita's you see...but it was tiny!!!  Really tiny!!
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!







Thursday, June 27, 2013

Beading or quilting??? What's a girl to do!

Before I get into my current hand work project...it's Kris' BD this weekend...so kids and I went purchased this plant to put at the end of their driveway.  Kris loves her flowers and plants.
This used to be a brick stand that held their mail box...but last summer it was gently 'loved' by Amber's tutor...she felt really bad about backing into it and demolishing it but I think it's a perfect spot for a plant!  You can see the mailbox Darrin installed last summer...


Looks nice...I also made Kris a bracelet which is below.

I couldn't finish it off until I was sure of the size and the closure Kris wanted.  The kids said silver and that's what Kris wants.  So I'm going to add a few more rows then add the silver closure.  
Feels strange to give someone a present and take it back right away!  This pattern is from Sand Fiber  , artist, Carol Dean Sharpe.  Kris' cuff pattern is  called the Log Cabin Braid Peyote Cuff.   I lover Carol's cuff patterns...so much so, I'm starting one for myself!   This one is called Dramatic Abstract Peyote cuff
Carol has a promotion that if you purchase two patterns, you'll get a third at equal or lesser value.  Her patterns are quite easy to read either by way of a graph or a word chart.  Very easy to follow!!!  
So off to do some beading then to puppy class tonight.  Kalee and I are trying to work on preparing to take the Good Canine Citizen testing.  We need this in order to take the testing for therapy dog (TDI).  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

More Play Time!

After playing with the transfer prints....you can see some of my strips here...I  made some of them into bookmarks for the kids and I...



Anyway, I watched another video on the Gelli Arts web site on mono printing using molding paste.  Well, again, I didn't have any molding paste so I used the next best thing I had...which was Wood Icing!   I bought this product two years ago in Florida...can't remember what I used it for but I did...guess I need to research on my own blog!

Here are two of the printing canvas pieces I made.


I used  stencils I purchased from Mary Beth Shaw's website, Stencil Girl Products.  I love these stencils and use them a lot.
















Of course this is my most favorite one!!  Aren't the wheels/circles great!!!


















The background fabric is from my Dr. Seuss quilt (which I'll be posting the finished piece tomorrow with Zachary finally at home!).

I used some metallic gold and black fabric paint for this print.








This one was printed with just a blue fabric paint.  Love the circles!













This was printed using the first stencil...didn't get much definition but I loved the colors in this one.  Again, I used some gold, black and blue!  Had to use up the paint that was left.














I loved the blue on the black cotton sateen so I cut some fat quarters and got out my DeColorant/blue.   Using my wonderful themrofax screens made by Sally, from Sally's Stuff (we did a trade - I made her a cuff bracelet and she made me the screens!).
Anyway, here's my fabric!  I love this fabric too...I think I'm in a black and blue mood!!!

Love these colors together!  Now to figure out what I'll use them for!!  I'm sure something is calling!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Catching up on projects


My hosta plants are huge again this year.  It always amazes me how big they get!  I planted these 17 years ago when Bob and I first built our house.

There are several more of these and they sit down below our deck in the back yard.  I always enjoy sitting out back in the rocker and looking at these beautiful, full plants.

Because it's been a 'hairy' week or two, I don't remember exactly when I played with a technique I first saw on Judi's blog, Approachable Art, using the Gelli plate.  What fun!!!  Now to be honest, I don't own a Gelli plate so to improvise I just used a piece of glass (8"x10").  It actually worked!!!  You'll have to go to Judi's blog and then check out the video produced by the Gelli Arts folks here.
My glass painted - wax paper used for open areas


















Now you can see where the wax paper was at.











This was my glass all painted and stamped.  I haven't taken pics of the removal process....is your interest peaked yet?  You are using packing tape to remove the paint!

It's really fun to do...in fact, Nick saw all my pieces of tape and said "grandma, that's really cool"...hmmmmm  Maybe this is something we can do on Wed.!

Anyway, I'll take pictures of the pieces I finished and what I ended up doing with them!  Until then...enjoy the weekend...very warm and muggy here in Michigan! Almost like being in Florida during the summer!  Not my kind of weather...so I just stay inside, lots!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Whew! What a week!



Gracie almost looks as frazzled as I've felt this week!  Whew!  Tuesday started out with getting Amber and Nick for an overnighter & a surprise field trip for Wed.!  

We gave Gracie a bath to kill some time and the kids love seeing her wet!    Kids were so much fun to have around and were really a big help cleaning up after dinner (Nick cleaned off the entire table and helped me gather and take out the trash).  Amber is always the 'cook' and as usual did a great job.  Of course, we played lots of card game...Monopoly being the best one and Wig Out!  


We love this game!!!  Quick game to play and doesn't go on and on like the Monopoly board game!  Makes a great stocking stuffer too!   So back to our night of cooking hot dogs on the grill for dinner...along with other favorite kids foods!  More game playing then even grandpa got in the act with he and Nick playing a Jeopardy like game on grandpa's phone.   Nick even solved a phrase before I had a turn!  
Onto Wed. the kids kept bugging me as to where we were going.  So finally we took off around noon too our destination!  Which was Go-Kart racing!  Kids were really excited and surprised!  First, I let it slip that we were going to the library!  That didn't thrill them at all!  I thought it was kinda funny!  But that's my sense of humor!


It was just as much fun watching them race around the track as it was for the kids!  They loved it!!!  So much so, that they drove 3 different times!!  The track is really nice with lots of curves!  Amber loved those curves!!!  I think she might be the next Dana Kilpatrick!  Sure was fun but over quickly!!!  Then it was a stop for an ice cream cone then home. 

That's when I noticed Kalee didn't seem quite right.  I called the vet and made an appt. for her after I met Darrin to drop off kids.  Talk about nerve wracking!  Kalee never had any symptom other than pain in her belly...no fever, diarrhea, etc.  I was a nervous wreck...she was so sick..just laying, no food, water...she did get dehydrated so they gave her a water injection.  Long story short, we went back to vets again on Thursday with me just a stressful dog owner!  Kalee didn't have as much pain at all (no cries when vet palpated her belly) so that was a good sign.  She didn't perk up until around 6:00 p.m. Thursday night!  She finally ate chicken and rice and her tail was up!!!  
She is all better now...eating, drinking and playing with Cody, who is with us for two weeks.  
I'll be posting pics on Kalee's blog and daily reports for Cody's mom and dad!  You can check those out too if you are interested on her blog.  
Today I met up with my friend, Mary, for coffee and breakfast @ Panera's!  Did some grocery shopping then on to home with dogs!  I hope to be in for the next few days!  I'm ready to stay at home!  

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Just a knitting review! Who knew!

Oh, yes...I am so multi talented!  I also do book reviews!  Actually, I have done several book reviews on my blog (here & here & here - just to name a few!) so guess this isn't that far fetched...except, this is the first I've done on knitting!
Cielo Shell

I was sent a link for an Ebook that featured three easy patterns for lace  knitting and asked to review the patterns.  So I  downloaded the patterns and read through each of them this weekend.  The patterns are from the Love of Knitting magazine and you too! can download them for free, just go to the web site here.   I wasn't aware of the Love of Knitting magazine, even though I've purchased a few knitting magazines (& subscriptions!) in my lifetime.  Yea, right...just a few!
Just looking at their web site had me at "hello"!  There are some really interesting categories from 'free knitting patterns' to a really nice 'yarn guide'.  The yarn guide shows different yarns, along with a picture of the yarn knitted up...which is something I really like.  Appears this is something that's in their magazine as well.  Of course, they've peaked my interest so I just might have to check out the magazine!!
But I digress.....I love this shell pattern above..it doesn't appear that difficult  and  if you're just beginning to venture from your basic knit 1- purl 1 patterns, this would be perfect to attempt.  I would add sleeves on it just because I don't like sleeveless but that's just me...ok, I'm an old lady with bat wings!  And I do like the  cowl collar.  Really cute!  I might keep this pattern for the fall (appears it's the only time I usually knit).
Espalier Wrap



The next pattern is a wrap, which is quite pretty but....it has a charts for the pattern(s).  I don't do well reading charts but if you do, this is really a pretty shawl...so I guess you could say it's for more advanced knitters??  Or at least for folks who can read charts.  I know...I know...I read charts for my loom beading....my peyote patterns...I've just never done any knitting from a chart.  Gee...wonder if they have a 'reading chart'  tutorial on the Love of Knitting website!  I might have to check that out!  Or maybe suggest it???



Lace Linen Trim

Now this 3rd pattern I thought was clever...and if you're a novice knitter, it would be a perfect way to attempt some lace knitting!  It's only 15 stitches on the widest row so not a lot of stitches to keep track of for a beginner!  When finished you can attach to a pillowcase of other linen.  I'm not sure how well it would wash up!  Maybe it's for decorative use and not for pillow fights or every day use!  Heck, you could add to a sweat shirt, as long as you don't sweat alot and have to wash it every time you wear it!  Again, what a great way to practice lace work...very easy pattern to follow.  You could even knit a length up to cover a ring pillow for a wedding gift...I'm sure there are several uses if you made up a strip or two! 
So if any of these interest you, just download the patterns (here)...and do stop by the web site to take a peak at what the magazine offers as well as offers on their web site.  I'm off to look up 'how to read a knitted chart pattern'!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Painting Day for Joan!


My friend, Joan, is a wonderful watercolor artist...I've been wanting her to paint on fabric for quite sometime and today she came over for a play day!

I don't think I got a picture of Joan, other than her hands!  This is Joan (or her hands!) working away!!  The flower Joan painted was done free hand!!!  Geezzz...even my stick men don't look like stick men...I can imagine painting a flower free hand!!
She did wet the fabric first then started painting..hence, the grayish areas that appear on the flower petals.  We are working on a black foam pad which added to the grayish look.


Keep in mind, Joan painted this using fabric and acrylic paints!  Looks like watercolor doesn't it!
A tree drawn freehand!
And check this out!!!  Isn't it beautiful!  I printed out a picture of a flower on fabric just so Joan could get used to using some of the different paints.  She  switched between fabric and acrylic as well as adding textile medium and/or water and aloe!

I think Joan did a wonderful job on the shading!!!!   She's going to finish off the smaller flowers trying some of her watercolor paints at home along with some textile medium.  I love how she blended the colors.  I think this piece would look really nice on a canvas bag.  It's only 8 1/2" x 11" so it would fit nicely on the front of a bag.   I would love to come up with a design for Joan to paint and I would quilt!  I think it would be a very nice partnership!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

12x12 finished!


 I sent off my finished 12x12 squares to the five ladies in our online challenge.  As of today, they each should have rec'd theirs, at least that's what the Post Office reported!

So here are some pictures of my process for creating the 12"x12" pieces.  I didn't take pictures of each of the six finished squares because they are all so similar you wouldn't really notice changes...although, I did use pink beads on some of the circles.
If you click here, you'll see a previous post I did on creating the mono printed fabric.   The multi colored green was quite ugly but with the mono printing it really did turn out so much better!  The purple/pinkish fabric was also enhanced by the mono printing.  I used black fabric paint and black acrylic paints (whatever was on hand) along with textile medium.  It left a really soft feel on the fabric.
I also added a double fold black strip between the two fabrics.
pieces sewn together and ready for quilting.

 
After quilting, I fused silk Dupioni  squares and a hand dyed cotton velveteen (circles) 




















I used black thread for buttonhole stitch on the applique pieces.  Circles were then beaded using a spiral stitch.  (See first picture in this post).







So this is the finished square...it really is square!!!  Might have something to do with the pin in the top!  Oh well...you get the idea.

And if you notice the 'line' across the top on the right side...this was my practice/first piece I did...and of course, I cut the fabric too short so I had to add a strip...no biggie for me and as my friend said "I wouldn't have noticed it...why did you tell me.  Now all I see is the strip."  Kinda funny.

All other squares are square and no strips added!  Hope each lady likes their square!!!  It was a fun challenge!  Can't wait to post squares I get back...I did receive one already but I'm not sure if I posted on it!!!!

This was my square from Tommy (The Material Girl!) that I rec'd!!  Tommy did post on her blog the process she used for creating our squares.  You can head on over and see her process here!  



Sunday, June 9, 2013

Zachary is looking for his home!

Hi!  I'm Zachary and I'm getting ready to head to my new home!   Or I should say, I'm looking for my new home!!
















This has been my home for waayyyyy too long!









So where do you think my new home should be??  I'm kinda liking #1 or #3.....
Home #1

Home #2

Home #3