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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Working away...but not for long...

I've made pretty good headway on these two pieces....

But I am planning on taking a few days off from hand work.  Left wrist is quite bad, so until next time....Just call me 'gimpy'!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Switching Gears!

You know I get bored working on one project...hence, the fill in with the wine cozies!  So this week I started on some hand embroidery for the Solar Fast prints I did this winter.  This is one of the pieces I'm starting to embroider, you can see the rest of the Solar Fast pieces here.

This is my progress so far. 

 The color of the piece is more like the 1st picture.  I took this one in the dark!  The piece is backed with some batting so I'll have to think about how/where I'm adding borders to the piece.  I want it a tad larger.  Hmmmmm  I might resort to the QAYG method by Marianne.  I love her method and think it will or should! work for what I want to do.  Who knows!

My wrists have been killing me lately so the hand embroidery is a good switch from beading.  I started to wear a brace while I bead or embroider, which is helping.  I've also found it helps just to wear the brace while I'm doing laundry or working around the house.  You just have to remember not to wash your hands while it's on!  UGH...doesn't feel so good as it's drying!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Yep, it's that time again!  This is from my bud, Susan!  

I used to get my kids (the 'big' ones!) baskets up until we started to have grand kids...but now with us in Florida I don't even get the grand kids anything!  Well, I do mail them a card!  Woo hoo!  I'll make up for it when we get home and have our 'grandma' days in the summer!

Amber and Nick are both playing Lacrosse...and Amber made Varsity!  She is so excited and they had their first school game this week.  They didn't win but my son said they played really hard and did a good job.  That's what counts and it's great experience for both of the kids.  I should be able to attend both Amber and Nick's games when we get back as they're scheduled through May!

Hope everyone enjoys their chocolate!  We eat chocolate every day so it's no big deal for us!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Wine Glass Koozie Pattern

So today I was a good person and took step by step pics on how to make the wine koozie (I spelled it cozie! on my post!).  You can see I made four more today!

Just for fun I thought I'd see if I could find the pattern on the Internet...well, who knew!  Yep, it's there...except it's called 'wine glass Kozzie' if you're interested, here is a tutorial already for you!

It's from Pokey Bolton (yep, the same QA founder!).  Thanks to her for writing all the detail for this one!  The link is here!

I'm giving these to my friend to share with her daughter.  So now I get to pick out some more fabric to keep on making these little beauties!


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Squirrel Time!

The little guy is coming along...slowly but surely!  It's so hard to bead at night here for some reason!

 It could be the two dogs that want to sit on my lap or beside me at night!  Hmmmmmmm  Last night was the first night I was able to bead while watching TV!  Kalee did lay beside me and Gigi just laid on the couch...until it was mom time!

Back to the wine cozies I posted about on Monday....I am so hooked on these buggers (and it's all your fault, Sally!).  I think they are the cutest items to make and have! So what did I do yesterday...I had Bob drop me off at the fabric store while we were running errands...why, you ask!  Well, to get some fabric to make more cozies, of course!

Actually, I needed some border fabric for my leaf pieces I want to hand stitch.

I'm only going to use the dark black batik and the bottom fabric for the cozies.  Which, by the way, I'll be doing a step by step post on how to make those.  It's really quite easy but some have inquired.

 The other 3 are for the border fabrics.   So I best get off this computer and get to work, right!

Monday, March 21, 2016

What is it!?

It's a wine cozy!

A friend gave me a little wine cozy her friend made her and she thought I could figure out the pattern from hers.  Sally thought I'd like to make some too!   I forgot to take a picture of hers but they all look the same.

Well, I didn't need another project but I thought I would at least see how the bugger was made so that I could make one when we got home.

Once I turned hers inside out and saw it was easy to do I couldn't wait!  I made one within 20 min. yesterday!  I didn't have a lot of scrap fabric to use but isn't it clever!   Now I want to get some fabric and make lots of these!  Nice house warming or hostess gift!

I started off creating a circle template from an old cereal box (sometimes we revert to our past traditions don't we!).  I had to turn Sally's cozy inside out and I figured out it was only 5 circles!!

  And you only sewed once around!!  So quick and so cute.   This was the back....

And here you go!  all I need is to fill  up the glass with wine!  Which I think I'll do now!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Cowgirls for a day!

OK, so maybe we weren't cowgirls but hey we did go "down on the farm" today!  Seven of us headed out Tuesday morning for our horse drawn wagon tour.    We are only 7 miles from the Horse Country Carriage Tours of Ocala, which was so convenient!
You can see by the pictures it was a beautiful day.  Our wagon master was Kimie!  I've read so many good reviews about Kimie and the tour and she didn't disappoint us!

Duke & Doc carried us for an hour around the farms.  

 A little hard to see the ladies...but starting on the left is Peggy, Marilyn, Marcia,  poking her head out  is Eleanor!, Jan, me and Marilyn K.

Our wagon traveled on 464 with cars passing us left and right!  But Duke and Doc remained so calm, as did Kimie...just a very relaxing ride!  And so much information from Kimie!  She provided us with so much history on horses, farms and even a little gossip!  She's quite witty and a charming wagon master!

Check out this tree!!!

I know it looks like a lot of trees...but it was so beautiful!!!

Of course, after the tour, we headed out to lunch and ended up at Ocala National's restaurant, Savannah's.   Here is a better pic of the ladies:
(l to r) Eleanor, me, Marilyn K., Jan, Marilyn L., Marcia and Peggy

 Food, conversation and of course a glass of wine for all but both Marilyn's!  Marilyn (our driver) had a Dirty Martini and our bud Marilyn had a Bloody Mary!  Oh yea, the food was great too!  Jan and I split a Mexi burger and fries (both really good!).  Three ladies each had a different salad that were huge and looked delicious.  Both Marilyn's had grilled turkey and one was a patty melt.

It was so nice being with these ladies today!  Some of us knew each other and some never had met!  But we now know each other and I think we are one lucky group of ladies!

Audition time

I don't bring much fabric with me to Florida anymore...just too much to stuff in the car with all of our other belongings and toys for the four months.  I did a post on the Solar Fast prints I've done while here to create leaves for another upcoming project (you can see that post here).  I plan on doing lots of hand embroidery and/or beading on those leaves but I want to add some borders or patchwork.  So, it's audition time using the fabric I have with me!  Which isn't much.  The stripe fabric I bought when Susan and 2 others took a trip to Trenton quilt shop.    

I'm not sure if these will work or not...just playing around and anxious to have another hand project to work on.  I get bored working just with beads so I like to have a machine or other hand embroidery project to keep me busy!

And while having a show and tell with buds here in Florida, I showed this piece I did using thickened dyes (post here).  As I was showing it, I said "I think I'll use this for the background to put my Blue Squirrel on! "  The fabric just seemed to fit!  Well, I may change my mind but for the time being...this will be Blue Squirrel's new home!

 I think the squirrel will look good on this background!  I'll machine quilt it first then attached the little guy after all the beading is finished.  The picture above shows the true colors better than this pic but you get the idea.

Today (Tuesday) there are seven of us taking a horse drawn carriage tour of a horse farm!  The tour is an hour long then we'll be off for a lunch!  Hope to have some good pics to show later this week!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Blue Squirrel Progress

I am making progress BUT...there's always a "but" isn't there! To make for a shorter post (those who know me know that I could drag out this explanation!)....the beads I am using for outlining and shadowing are #10 seed beads, which are larger than the #11 seed beads I have for the rest of my squirrel!

So what does all this mean!  Hopefully, it doesn't mean I have to start over and I can fudge smaller beads to fill in. fault I didn't check.  I did go to the bead store yesterday to purchase some #10 beads but all they had were Delica's, which are more uniform. And I picked up some #15's as well...heck, if I'm going to mix bead sizes, might as well go all the way!    Who knows...he might end up having more texture than expected!  You never know do you!!  I am removing those beads under his chin and replacing with smaller seed beads!   So I better get busy on this little guy!!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Another night at the Freezer!

I  forget to post earlier this week our Freezer night out!  Monday afternoon we picked up Hamill's and LaPlante's and headed over to the Miller's for a night of shrimp at the Freezer!  This isn't a place to eat for everyone but it is my hubby's favorite, as it is for the rest of the gang!  We had a fun night as usual...which you can see below!

This is the back of Larry's shirt!  A Valentine gift from his beautiful wife to him.  Seemed to fit the night except there were no margarita's involved in this dinner!

Patricia is trying to tell everyone to behave!  They don't really listen!

Bob has a picture of Jan doing what Patrick is doing now...only she was more lady like using only 1 pitcher!

This is a hard group to keep control of!

Bob looks like he just got caught at doing something bad!  Probably was!

And of course, the main reason I like to go!  Blizzard's at Dairy Queen!!!  Yes, I can be bought for chocolate (only dark) and Blizzards!

Another great night of good food and good company...and we also ended up at Harry's with J and L Tuesday!  No eating out on Wed. but back at it on Thursday with the gang!  Now I'm off to do my 7 minute exercise which needs to be 171 minutes at the very least!  Whew!  Retirement in Florida is a lot of work!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

More layering!

First, here is another shibori piece I dyed over the weekend.  I'm happy with to use it in a project!
Well, what else do you do when you have 'ugly' or not so great results from dyeing or printing fabrics!  You redo them somehow!  That's what I did yesterday with some buds here in Florida.  These are all scrap pieces with exception of the blue mono printed.  That is a full yard of fabric I dyed several years ago.

After - stamping


After - mono printing

These next pieces were some of my Solar Fast failures - only because I forgot and left them out in the sun after I removed the transparency!!  Once you rinse them the dye image/print is set...big oops but a great opportunity to 'fix' the failures! All of these were stamped.

This was an old mono print I had done a few years ago so I just stamped with metallic paint. I know I can use all of these pieces somewhere in my upcoming projects!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Solar Fast Process

Back in 2014, I was a guest blogger on And Then We Set It On Fire.  I've had more than once person ask me about the process on the leaves I posted this past week using Solar Fast.  I'm copying the blog post I did for using Solar Fast.  Hope this explains (or bores you totally!) on how I created my leaves and other prints!   Any questions, just give me a shout!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sun Printing with SolarFast

Robbie here with my turn at sharing another product/technique for sun printing!  Fortunately, our weather here in Michigan was been sunny enough for me to continue my ‘play time’  in the sun with SolarFast (SF)!  SolarFast is a relatively new sunlight developed dye product byJacquard that I first tried last August.  
For this  post, I’m going to show you how to sunprint using negatives that you've printed from your ink jet printer.  This is one of the advantages of SolarFast…the ability to create photographs on fabric or other natural substrate.  In addition, there is no change to the hand of your fabric, heat setting isn't required, no mixing (dye comes straight out of the bottle!) and you clean up with water!  

First off we need to find a photo to print in black and white!!  Even if your photo is in color, you can change the settings on your printer or in a photo editing program to black/white.  The end result is you need a photo with high contrast, in black and white, which you'll print out on transparency film.  
Last summer, I used the image above to print out on SolarFast Transparency film, which I purchased fromJacquard.   I think any transparency film would work - as long as it's for use in ink jet printers.   

At the time, all I saw in my image was black and white, and for the most part this image worked well enough for my 'first' time printing.   

So let's get started on the process!   And along the way I will add 'tips' in red but you can also go to the Jacquard web site for more tips and tricks.  

The process is simple.....I used a piece of foam board to work on as it's easier to carry the board outside..  You do not want to paint your fabric outside!!!  Remember this product reacts in the sun!!  Work inside!
 I started with white cotton sateen (prewashed & dried) and simply painted a layer of  purple SF using an inexpensive paint brush (you could also use foam brush).  
You want your fabric just wet enough to cover the area you want printed but not soaking wet.  It's recommended you blot with a paper towel. 
** TIP - If the fabric is TOO wet during exposure, condensation may form underneath the negative, which can interfere with development. 
**Tip - I use a hard brayer to roll across my negative  - just helps to adhere to the paint before laying glass on top.  You want your film to be flush on the painted area of your fabric.  
**TIP - Make sure the ink/printed side of your transparency is facing up!  This is two fold...your negative will last for multiple prints and you won't smear ink onto your fabric. Ask me how I know this!

Next step is to lay your negative on  the painted area then lay a piece of glass on top to hold the negative in place.
**Tip - Make sure your glass is not too thin!  It will potentially crack with the heat of the sun!!  
Now carry your piece out into the sun (this is where working on foam board comes in handy).   Exposure time is anywhere from 10 to 30 min.  It's better to overexpose your piece, but you can always 'peek' by lifting the glass, then lift up an edge on the film.  If the color isn't intense enough, just carefully lay the corner and glass back on to your fabric and go have a glass of wine while waiting!  No more peeking now!  

Once you are happy with peeking and seeing your print develop, bring your print inside with the negative and glass still on top!  Keep your fabric out of the sun until you can wash out the undeveloped dye.  You can purchase a SF Wash but I just used Dawn detergent (blue).  Any undeveloped dye that remains on your fabric could continue to develop, thus you would lose your pattern/design if it's in the sun.  
And this was my  result.  As you can see the leaves printed but the veins weren't defined as much as I would have liked.  But I was happy for my first print.  
**Tip:  Make sure you paint your fabric inside!  Remember SF is activated by the sun!!  And bring your printed piece inside before you remove the glass!!!  Otherwise, you  may lose your entire print!  

So, this time around, I took that same negative but I outlined the veins using a permanent marker.   You could  draw a picture on transparency film or alter a 'negative' once it was printed on the film, as I did with the addition of veins.  Also you can use paint to create or add to a negative (you'll see this in a later post in an example I did with stencils).  

The leaves certainly look better with the the black marker, which added the contrast they needed.  

Instead of using white fabric for this new print, I wanted to show how you can use a color background.   This is a hand dyed cotton fabric.

I painted black SF within an area that would be covered with the transparency film (which is 8 1/2 x 11"),the leaf negative was placed on top of the painted area then a piece of glass was placed on top and then outside for 15 min.  The time for developing your print is dependent on the time of day, intensity of the sun, etc.  

I think this print turned out so much better with the addition of the veins.  

Well, I couldn't stop with just one negative so I looked on the Internet for more black and white photo's.

This picture, in black and white, seemed like a perfect candidate.  I found it on the site here.  

I also adjusted some of the contrast but since I'm not a photo expert, I will leave that part of editing photos for you to research on your own!  Just remember you need high contrast!

White cotton sateen, painted and ready for the negative and glass.

I used Sepia SF for this finished print, which, I think, is a great color.  

I really liked the clock negative so for my last piece I masked off an area the 'negative' would fit into, then painted black SF within that area.

I kept the masking tape on through the entire sun printing process.

This print turned out quite nice and the edges are crisp with the masking.  It does appear blue more than black but I think this is due to exposure time.
I  read on the Jacquard website that black and blue SF will become bluer or blacker after washing.  Also black will require longer exposure time.  

So I hope you found this type of sun printing interesting enough to come back tomorrow for some other ways of using SolarFast and the sun!