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Thursday, August 29, 2013

First Tiffany piece finished

I finished my first Tiffany piece for the Inspired by the Master... exhibit.  It's funny because we've had so much humidity and fog even this picture looks cloudy!

Here are a few closeups...I added beading around the inside of the sun...had to put beads on my piece! 

And a closeup of the echo quilting.  I echoed the background as well using an orange thread to match vs contrast with the background.

I'm happy with how this piece turned out.  I haven't even made one cut on my 2nd Tiffany piece (the peacock I posted about here).  Might be a good project to take to Florida with me!

Monday, August 26, 2013

I'll stick to my day job...whatever that is!


Yep...going to stick to my day job - now I just need to figure out which that 'day job' is - fiber - beads - dye!  Anyway, the Watercolor Lettering class is really great...I am enjoying working in a new medium, watercolor....and I've learned some new tips from Val Webb that I know I can apply to my 'day job' of fiber and beads!  That's the whole point of a class, learn something new!

We have printouts and of course our samples so I put them all in a folder, which I sketched/colored...kinda hokey but at least I'll be able to find it!

Lesson 3 is on banners...we were suppose to find a word to color on our banner but I couldn't think of anything (go figure!) so I thought it was a good way to practice the alphabet...ok, part of it anyway!

Lesson 4 will be out today but I may not get to it until later this week.  Today I'm putting labels on some of my beaded pieces for our upcoming exhibit.  Our Inspired by the Masters quilts will be on exhibit at the Greater Flint Art Center the middle of Sept.  In addition to our Master quilts we'll each (there are six in our Aussome Study Group) have a place to hang additional work(s).  I have four of my beaded pieces framed and have a few more to add to the group...they are all 'flora and fauna' my backyard...ok, maybe someone else's backyard!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Solar Fast Results

I finished playing with Solar Fast are my results and opinion...inquiring minds want to know, right!! of the advantages of using Solar Fast for sun printing is you can use negatives to print with...but first you have to have the right negative printed!  You do need contrast, which I didn't with this negative...I won't show the results, other than you might like the bright orange, solid print I got!

Oh, I also tried using a negative (the 2nd negative below) and SetaColor paint...just got a solid color!

Obvious I used circles for this print!

I used some paper leaves for this print...

One of the first things you notice with Solar Fast is the ammonia have to get over this....or go back to SetaColor if you want sun prints.

My 2nd negative - lots more contrast

Because my first negative print didn't turn out, I looked for a picture (black and white) that had lots of contrast.  I used this picture a few years ago to make a quilt for Ami's AAQI quilt initiative (you can see my finished piece here).   I think it has enough contrast so I did print out...oh, I printed this on Jacquard's Solar Fast film...haven't tried this method using regular inkjet transparency film...guess that's my next test!

Here are my results...would I purchase Solar Fast in the future?.....yes...that is if I wanted to print out a picture onto fabric via sun printing.  This is a cool feature of this product.  Also, although I haven't tried this, you can print onto paper, fabric and I believe can read more about using the product on Jacquard's web site.

Fabric painted  & negative covered with glass, sitting in the sun!

First result - hint: make sure to dab paper towel to remove excess dye!

2nd attempt...I did remember to dab dye...not a bad print actually.  you can see some veins even!

Gotta have a little shibori, right!

I like it!

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Finally, I'm able to get back to doing some art work!  Yes, my watercolor lettering is somewhat art least for most in my online's not so much 'art' for's a struggle but I am enjoying it and learning a lot about water color and other drawing tips.  I need all the help I can get!!

Anyway, yesterday I started on my next challenge, A Road Less Traveled, for the Art Quilts Around The World  blog group.  This is all I can show until the reveal on Sept. 30th.  I've got a good start on it so I should make the deadline without any problem...let's hope!

In between time....I ordered some Solar Fast from Dharma last week and it arrived on Thursday.  Solar Fast is a dye you use for printing in the sun...yes, I know SetaColor and even MX dyes work well to sun print with but with this particular dye you can use negatives or transparency paper to print with.

 I've been waiting for this product to come in since Jacquard started posting about it on FB and on their web site!  I'm not going to give my opinion yet...I have one more test to try tomorrow so after that I'll post my results and opinion!  Until are some pics of what I did play with today!

Some of my supplies

One piece 'cooking'!

Another piece cooking!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Deck Work

OK, so no art work to show (again!) but some deck work...after all, this blog is for me!  So, boring as this may seem, I have to document what I do in a week's time!  It's for me in  my later least I'll be able to look back to see what I did during my retirement years...or if memory totally fails me, look at what I'll think is someone else's life!
Yesterday was a work day..WAIT!  Didn't I say I was retired!  Oh well...Bob power washed the deck several weeks ago and was only able to paint the deck floor this past weekend (well, half of it).  So on Sunday, I did the inside rails (beige) and yesterday I did the outside rails and spindles (white).

We moved all the patio furniture to the opposite side so looking forward to finishing that off (NOT!).  Bob still has to paint the rest of this floor and the lower level.

This is what I worked on yesterday.  I had to get the ladder to paint the outside rails.  I was glad my neighbor was home, in case I fell off the ladder!

You can see better in this pic...the five spindles on the right were painted and the ones on the left are unpainted...ok, so you have to look close but you will see where they need or needed to be painted.

So after about 2 1/2 hours of painting, I hauled the ladder back up the hill but thought about my track lighting in the kitchen.  So I hauled the ladder in the kitchen and cleaned those off...who knew grease could reach so high!!!
As I was hauling up the ladder, I also noticed this!!
WEEDS!!!  I don't walk around the north side of the house very often!  Not doubt, right!  The weeds were poor neighbor has to look at this!!!  So after cleaning up my paint supplies I took Kalee and out we went to pull weeds!

Yes, I was pooped but a nice shower and lunch gave me another 'kick'...OK, not really, I actually sat down with a cup of coffee and watched WhoDunIT I had taped!!  Loved that show!!  And my DIL guessed who the killer was...but my fav person won the quarter of a million dollars!
Today the carpet installers are here as I type this post.  We love the new carpeting...although I forgot to take a picture of the carpet they installed (with flaws).  Now we just have to put everything back in place and hopefully settle in!  Obviously, I've given myself the day off...gotta love retirement!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Idle hands? Not!

I certainly haven't been idle this week but not much accomplished in art work....unless you count my Watercolor Lettering class...I did finish a few practice pieces for our 2nd lesson.  I'm having a problem with perspective and proportion in my letters so I'm going back to lesson 1 to work on this part of lettering.
Attempt 1

Attempt 2

Really bad attempt 2!

Back to lesson 1!

I'll keep practicing...and I'm still enjoying Val's class.  She does explain and show in her video's great instructions...I'm just a slow learner!

Bob painted over half of the deck yesterday so today I'll start on the spindles and railing.  He'll paint the other half later this week.  New carpeting is suppose to be re-installed on Tues., Wed. is kids day - paddle boat time; Thursday lunch with my friend Joan and Friday a visit with another friend to do some fabric organizing.
My friend, Mary, had her hip replaced last Tues., headed to her daughter's on Friday but ended up back in ER yesterday due to swelling, which they think was caused by BP meds.  She is/was walking around more and said she felt better.  Here's hoping she keeps up the good work!!!  And no more visits to ER!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Goodbye to another friend....

It's always hard to say good-bye to our friends and it was difficult to say goodbye to another one of my friends today.
This is my 'old' horse buddy, Carol, who passed away earlier this week.  Carol was a great mom, grandma and friend.  She loved her kids and grand kids more than anyone.   And she was almost as much of  an animal lover as I am!
Carol and I met in the early 70's and became great pals.  Since we both had horses, kids and jobs it was only natural that we understood what each of us were going through at different times.  I have to say, Carol was always there to help me!  And to make me laugh or cry!  We did a lot of both while being buddies and I'm so thankful for the memories I have of her.

Death certainly makes me/us think, doesn't it.  Are we being the best mom, grandma or friend we can be?  Or are we just being selfish people more concerned about ourselves?  I try to think I'm being a better person at this stage of my life but am I really?  I have to say, Carol certainly did her best and always put her family and friends before herself!  She was always there any time I would call!  I mean anytime....I once had a foal born and the dam died 24 hours after foaling.  I was working at EDS at the time so who came to my rescue?  Yep, Carol...she worked nights at the GM plant in Lake Orion but would come over after work to make sure the foal was fed (via bottle) every 2-3 hours until I got home.  Then I'd take over with the 2-3 hour shift(s).  
Carol also got stuck holding a goat in the front cab of my truck!!  My vet recommended I get a goat to keep the foal company and to teach it to eat hay!   So off we went to buy a goat for the foal...I didn't think to bring the horse trailer so Carol held that goat the whole trip home!  We laughed so hard while that goat struggled on Carol's lap!  
I have many, many memories to make me smile and make me cry.  I only wish I could have had one more cup of coffee with her just to talk about our "good old days"....but we'll meet again sometime and we'll have lots to talk about.   Yep...that's what friends do........

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lesson 2

I did get to practice somewhat this a.m. on our 2nd lesson of Watercolor Lettering by Val Webb
I only had enough time to work on this practice piece before heading out for a hair cut.  Monday was our fiber meeting, tomorrow is day with grand kids and Thursday I have to go to the funeral home, as an old, old friend passed away suddenly early this morning.  Carol was a great pal back in the day when i raised horses.  She and I were single at the same time.  We hauled hay, stacked it, got feed by the ton, clean stalls and trained horses...all the while having a blast at it!  We did more laughing (&eating!) during the 'day'....she was quite the animal lover and never wanted to sell a horse or foal.  I do have fond memories of our time together.  I did notice something as I was looking up old pictures of Carol....she isn't in any but 3-4!  Why is that!

Well, she was the one always taking pictures of our group.  We had started a saddle club back in the mid to late 70's and met each weekend to trail ride or attend horse shows.  Carol was the 'keeper of the albums'...but because she took the pictures, she wasn't in any of them!  I do know how this the old fiber group I belonged to, I took all the pictures monthly and posted them on our yahoo page...same with our current small fiber group.  I take the pictures but there aren't any of me in them because I'm taking them....not sure if this is good or bad, but something to keep in mind for the future.

So that's my week this week...not sure how much I'll get done in my art work until the weekend.  I'm going to try to add some beads on my sun/moon piece...Tigers are on tonight so it's a good night to do some type of hand work. I've already taken Kalee on her walk so she should be resting and not wanting to play...guess we'll see!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Well, it's been a busy week...not so much with art work (more on that later in this post).  I did get some things accomplished...finished my cuff!  The pattern is Verdant Enchantment, a pattern by Sand Fibers/Carol Sharpe).   I love Carol's patterns and she has me hooked on the word charts!!!

I am very happy with how it turned out...although, I did remove about 10 rows from the beginning so the center was the 'X' pattern.  I like my cuffs tight and guess my wrist is small...and I just happen to have had a copper toggle!

I couldn't get a good picture of the cuff on my wrist so just pretend it's on a wrist!

I also played with another lesson, called 'pebbles' from this week's Watercolor Lettering class I'm taking online.  (If you're interested you can read about it here and see my first 'lettering I did'.)

So now to our week...and what a week it's been...started off with carpeting being delivered on Tues. for the living room...all was well and then when the carpet was unrolled...FLAWS...lots of FLAWS in the pattern...not good!  So...installers did their job and installed what they brought so we could at least get the LR back to semi normal (all the furniture was in the dining room).

They made a call to the carpet store to reorder...ok, that's fine..we can deal with that...but after a day and half of looking and walking on the carpet, Bob and I decided we didn't like it!!!  Well, now was the time to pick out something Thursday we headed off to the carpet store and re-ordered a whole different type of carpet.  Guess things happen for a reason, right!
Yes, it's a little inconvenient, but I think it turned out to be a good thing!  At least I hope we like the new carpet we ordered....oh yea, in between time our 65" TV in the LR broke...had repair man out...ordered  a part didn't work...had to reorder same part...finally got that installed on Wed. or Thursday..I honestly don't remember the day...and in between all that Bob bought another 65" TV for downstairs...he isn't happy with it...thinks it's not as clear as upstairs....SO, he is trying to determine if it's the TV, the cable wiring, the HDMI cable...yada, yada...personally, I think it looks ok...but I probably listen more to TV than watch it.  I'm usually doing beading or sewing or on the computer while shows are on.  I'm not a good judge of how a TV looks.

So that's been our's hoping this week is more productive!!!  Fiber meeting tomorrow with ladies, meeting another friend on Tues., Wed. is day with kids and who knows what else will keep me out of the sewing room the rest of the week!!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Just not enough to do!

OK, really!  Like I don't have enough to do...well, a gal has to do what a gal has to do...and so I signed up for a Watercolor (yes, WATERCOLOR) lettering class.  The online class is by Val Webb and you can read about it on the link here.  I was introduced to Val by my blog buddy, Susan.  Susan is quite the traveler and artist/photographer...a very multi talented lady who I met up with last year in Florida.  Anyway, Susan did take Val's lettering class awhile back.  I wanted to  take her class  last spring but due to traveling back home and packing up from Florida, it just wasn't possible.  I took one calligraphy class years and years ago but never became proficient at it, mainly due to having only one class session!  Wasn't the best class.  Val's class is drawn and decorating letters....not people!!  So I don't have to worry about not being able to draw.

So, here's my first lesson finished.  We're learning how to space letters and make them funky...that's my term, not Val's!  I've never worked with watercolor paints before...sure is different from acrylics and fabric paints but really was easy to work with.  Kinda like them!!  I won't get into 'painting/drawing figures' with watercolors but I do want to learn to do lettering.  I have several ideas for incorporating letters in my art quilts and fiber this is the perfect class.

We have another practice piece we can work on if we want, which I would like to do.  Not sure I'll get to it before Thursday or Friday.   But stay tuned!  You never know!

Today we're having new carpeting installed in the living room!  Yikes!  Had to move all the furniture and equipment for the TV out of the room last night.  The carpet installers are here now tearing out the old carpeting.  Feel like we're looking at the house when we had it built!  Sure brings back memories!!!  Now I just hope we like the carpet they install!!!  Scary!  I'm almost afraid to look when they bring in the new carpet!!!!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Decisions, decisions...

Seems we always have decisions to make, doesn't it's no surprise my current projects are giving me some options...but then I do love options!
 I finished hand stitching the center of my sun and started on the 'rays' can see the top 3 rays are also stitched.  I wanted to do some stitching on the purple area and I still may but I'll match the thread...and of course, I'm thinking of adding some beads around the center of the sun.

Guess I'll just go ahead and stitch some bead spirals and see how it looks.  Time consuming but I don't mind!
I've made great progress on my beaded cuff.  In fact, too's a perfect fit right now but....I have to decide if I want the 'X' area to be the center of my cuff or if I want the 'diamond' area to be the center!

I'll have to remove some of the beads from the left side and finish the 'X' on the right side!  Hmmmmmmmm

I like my cuffs on the tight side so I could actually leave as is and just slide it to either pattern I want in the middle...DECISIONS, decisions....but that's what keeps us on our toes isn't it! Or is it just busy work!

I have to say it was interesting to read the comments from my readers on 'scrubbing the floor on hands and knees' post .  Must be our generation...I still remember my great aunt (who raised me for my younger years) getting on her hands and knees, in a dress, no less!, scrubbing the floors.  Just the way we were raised.  And I don't think it's a bad thing at all.  Hard work is good for us and I do love being Suzie Homemaker.  Yes, I still make breakfast for Bob every morning and if he's home for lunch, I will make a sandwich for him or just cut up an apple.  Of course, I make dinner every night, unless hubby takes me out.  Some of my friends tease me or think these acts aren't necessary but for me it works!  All in the way we were raised and the environment we were raised in.

Another cool, beautiful day!  At least for me...Bob had to wear slacks rather than shorts for golf today but it's perfect for dog walking!  Which I have to do shortly!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


OK, so after I got back from grocery shopping, I scrubbed the dining room & kitchen wood floors and the master bath.  All on my hands and knees!  Yes, I'm old fashion and I like to get down and not just move a wet mop around...guess I'd rather move a wet rag around!  Oh well...makes me feel better...I only do this once a of the time I do just move that wet mop around the floors!

I also brushed Kalee and trimmed Cody's bottom and now I'm sitting and relaxing!  Figured I better get a blog post out there.  Yesterday, I worked most of the day quilting my sun/moon Tiffany piece.
I decided to just outline quilt the moon and the background.

For the sun, I plan on doing some stab stitching by hand.  I would like to add some beads and of course I have to decide how to stitch the rest of the moon pieces...purple and orange points.

The next pic shows some of the background stitching.  From a distance, you can't even tell there's any stitching there.  That's fine with me...I don't want to take away from the moon or sun.

So that's all from me!  A beautiful day again with all windows the fresh air!!!

Friday, August 2, 2013


You were a beautiful baby and

And you now a beautiful young lady!!  
Love ya...have a fun birthday!