My Favorite Books

Friday, July 31, 2009

Shot of the day: Troy Matteson's eagle on No. 2

We had a great day at the Buick Open...met up with friends, Joan and Jerry and had quite a few laughs, saw some great shots and MISSED a great shot! Troy Matteson's eagle on No. 2! Yep, one of the 'shot of the day' events we missed! We watched almost every shot and putt on the 12th and 2nd holes from 7:45 until 4 but when it came to this shot of the day we were looking at Jerry's 25 year old chairs! And they were not that interesting! OK, they were cute and so is Jerry but.....everyone in the crowd started cheering and we just looked at each other saying "what just happened?" Guess we weren't the only ones looking at Jerry and Joan's chairs...the fellows in the booth who take pics and stats actually came down and asked US what just happened! We all laughed so hard and this will certainly make this Buick Open a memorable one.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

LinoCut Online Class: Lesson 2 exercise 2

I did do something earlier this week! Geezzzz After kids left on Sunday, I got to work on my 2nd exercise of Lesson 2 in the online lino cut class. I forgot all about that until last night!

In this lesson, we are working on obtaining balance in our piece. I took a design from an Architecture drawing book and tweaked the tree a bit. This design really made me take my time and I think the balance of the branches works pretty good. Our next exercise is working on using lines to create movement. I won't get to work on that until the beginning of next week. Just too much going on this week and weekend.

The stamp I cut is only 3" x 5" but I think it will work quite well for a fiber postcard.
I mixed up some red, yellow and black paints and stamped on a hand dyed yellow piece of fabric.
Ditto here except changed direction of the stamping

I placed the stamp designs together to form this balanced's not really symmetrical but is suppose to look symmetrical!
I am so enjoying this class....guess I've said that many times before. Just wish didn't have all the projects or things to do so I could just play with what I'm learning for an entire week. Maybe after August I'll take a few days and devote just to stamp making! How cool would that be.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday and Tuesday Gone Already!

The week is half over already! And I don't have a lot to show for it, so I've put a picture (above) of a piece I did last August. Dawn actually created the center piece at QSDS (not sure of the year). It was stamped on black fabric with metallic paints. I removed threads from the edges to make it raveled then hand stitched the piece onto some tracing fabric I dyed. The tracing fabric is the same material you use to make dress patterns from. It's quite soft and took the dye very nicely.
Anyway, I'm working very hard on my wolves. I had to make some more fused leaves to lay on the background and I did get those fused on today along with stitching some of the stems and sewing on some of the dimensional leaves. Might be all that I do until the weekend.

Wednesday is baby sitting day and Thursday is Bob's and my annual golf outing. Yep, I'm getting on the golf course! Well, actually, sitting on the golf course. We go to the Buick Open every year leaving the house around 6:00 a.m.! I do get breakfast out which is nice and we stay all day! Although, Bob doesn't think we'll do that this year which is fine with me. We usually sit at the same hole all day long and we get to see the golfers tee off and putt. I do enjoy the day and it's our yearly 'golf time' together. This is as close to the golf course as Bob will allow me!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekend with the grand kis!

A busy weekend for grandma and grandpa (ok, so only for grandma!). I picked the kids up in a quick exchange at WoJo's parking lot on Sat. @ and I took off to the library in Davison to pick up some books and a DVD for each (grandma has to have some coffee time to rest..hence, they/we watch a DVD!). Then we went to the Festival of Flags in Davison. Actually, it was just amusement rides...I never did find the art fair or car show! Not good signs around for sure!

After the library we parked at the festival and kids ate in the back of my car. Kris packed them a lunch so that worked out very nicely. Kids got to pick five things to do at the 'fair'. Nick rode 3 rides and played two games; Amber rode two rides and played 3 games.

Here are the kids eating in the car. Not exciting but we have to journal our adventure from the start! This was one of Amber's ride...she didn't feel so hot after riding it..hence, she only wanted to ride two rides!
This was a ride they did together and they really liked it. Nick rode by himself once too. It started off flat then lifted up and went backwards. Cool ride but not for this grandma. This was Nick's other choice for a ride. He rode it all the way up the entire time. Nick on the ride by himself. He said the lady behind him kept "screaming like a girl"...hmmmm wonder where he heard that before! So after the festival and a quick stop at Kroger's we headed home. Kids did some painting and stamping then it was time to 'rest'. OK, rest for me! So downstairs we went and popped in video, Herbie the Car or something like that. Cody was visting for the day and the kids really enjoyed him. Here they are all resting! Nick switched seats and Cody followed. He shared his time between Amber and Nick. We did take Cody and Mandy for a walk as well. Poor Cody was pooped by the time he left Sat. night! He actually got tired of playing fetch with his ball! I've never seen that happen before! Next we decided (who decided??) to play dress up. Nick picked out a shirt of grandpa's along with a belt and pair of shoes..of course we had to add a moustache and beard! He looks more like a muscle man here! Cody is at Nick's side just waiting for him! He followed the kids around a lot! More like Hitler here! Geezzzz Of course, Amber was our beauty queen! Isn't she special! And our second outfit! She had lots of makeup on as well..but no beard! Whew! After bath time and treat, we all finally went to bed! Grandpa and I were in bed by 10 as well! In the morning the kids made breakfast. Nick made scrambled eggs (Egg beaters) and Amber made pancakes! They were being watched carefully on the stove and they did a good job! After breakfast, we went to the Farmer's Market. Amber didn't know it was outside! She thought we were going inside to shop. A little surprise for her! It did start to rain a little bit but kids used the umbrella. It didn't last long and we saw my friend Mary and her great, grand daughter Carmella at the market too! In fact, I had to bum $5 from Mary! I ran out of money and I wanted to get some granola. It was a Maple Cherry granola from the Bake shop & coffee house in Owosso, Michigan. Really good! We also tried 3 different types of honey and bought 'starthistle honey' by JodiBee Honey Farm in Clarkston, Mi. Also picked up some lemon honey creme that is delicious which is made by JodiBee as well!! Can't wait to try this on a bagel or on pound cake (which the young man suggested).

This is a video of Cody sitting with the kids watching TV...kinda cute! All in all we had a very nice weekend. I do enjoy being with the kids and they were really, really good! Hope Kris and Darrin had a nice weekend too.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Screen printing, leaves and approaching weekend

We did screen printing last night at our Complex Cloth fiber meeting. It was a lot of fun. This is the 2nd time one of our members, Joetta, taught us this technique. I've been lucky enough to retain some of what she taught us a few years ago and so last night I just tried to be an 'assistant' for those who had not tried screen printing before. I held screens, scrappers, washed utentils or just try and keep the area clean. I was probably more hinderence then help! This isn't an easy technique if you don't have a lot of space to work or are new at it. Or if you have an 'assistant' hoovering over you!

This is deconstructed screen printing which is really a fun process....takes a bit of work but then any type of dyeing, painting fabric takes work. This technique was developed by Kerr Grabowski. She does some wonderful work!! Joetta and Mary both took a workshop by Kerr a few years ago..lucky ladies!

Here are some of the pieces I screen printed last summer. I used some of my hand dyed fabric that just wasn't that great. Addition of the print really made the fabrics more interesting.

So back to the wolves....I made 24 more leaves for my wolf piece today. I now have 80+ leaves made for it! I just placed them all on the design board and I have a feeling I might just need a few more. I may cheat and make some more fused ones. I have 19 fused leaves already that will be used behind the textured leaves.

Here are some leaves I'm putting on the top right side of the wolves.

Here is a grouping of the leaves. You can see where I have to cover the wolves since they are supposed to be in the woods! I get it..just hope everyone else does! If you click on the pictures you should be able to see a larger version. If you're interested! Ignore the pins, ignore the stems...just look at the leaves. I used all my pins I had in my magnetic pin holder placing these buggers!

The little ones are coming for the weekend tomorrow so I won't get much sewing done! I'm going to take them to Davison for the Festival of Flags which is in its 40+ year! They have games, rides, art fair (OK, so that's why I'm going!) and other festivities for kids. Hope it's a nice weather day and not too hot for this old lady!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

No art work today

Babysitting today so no time for art. I did work on beading my shibori piece last night . I bought some Miyuki 15/0 seed beads. They're quite small but I think they'll give the piece a bit of 'shine' along the curves (which I hand stitched).
Went to RA Dr. yesterday...I need to decide what to do regarding treatment. Dr. wants me to start on a new drug called Methotrexate . Only problem this drug contains a "tiny amount of chemo" per Dr. They have to check your liver enzymes monthly to make sure no problems are hitting those organs.
I was on Prednisone along with two other RA drugs which only the Prednisone was working. Actually, Prednisone is a drug that impacts the immune system to block it from creating the inflammatory process that causes the pain in the joints. it only takes away the discomfort but it doesn't do anything to slow the process, which is what Methotrexate will do.
Geezzzz I need to spend some major time researching...just can't decide what to do right now. I'm only in the early stages of maybe I just need to suck it up and deal with it right now...only problem is it even hurts to 'suck it up'! Frustrating for sure..but I'm still in better shape then a lot of folks..need to count my onward and upward and get knowledgeable to make the right decision for me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lino Cut - monogram - sleeping dogs lie

We're starting Lesson 2 in our online Lino Cut class by Dijanne this week. For exercise 1 in this lesson, we were to make a monogram stamp. So off to designing I did...and ended up with this drawing for my monogram. Not too bad...
Then I started to cut my stamp...I remembered (per Dijanne's instructions!) to reverse the image...but when I cut I forgot I wanted the positive and not negative here was my first 'cut' which wasn't pretty.
Here it is stamped. Doesn't look that bad but not that good either! After cutting two more blocks (keeping the positive or was that keeping positive in mind!), I just couldn't get the detail cut correctly. Again, Dijanne to the rescue! Her tips and suggestions were just what I needed!
This is my stamp cut 'correctly' or as close to it that I could..actually, not sure but I added a squiggle at the bottom of my 'P'..hence, the prints look more like 'RR' rather then 'RP' for my initials!
Here's my monogram (3" x 3" block) stamped on a 10 or 12" square..can't remember the size. I like the look of the monogram print.
This one was printed on black fabric using a mixture of Trapsuutijes Paints and Jacquard metallic in a copper color.
Bob wanted to know if I was changing my name. Actually, when I get some time I'm going to re-cut another block being careful on my initial 'P'.
Mandy has had her buddy Cody spending the past few days with us. Here are the 'sleeping dogs'. They are so cute together. When I give them a treat, they both automatically sit at the same time. I laugh every time they get a treat. What sweethearts!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wovles in progress

Started working on the leaves for my Wolf piece. I cut out some leaf shapes on fused back fabric for background but wanted some leaves for dimension. I sandwiched backing, batting and some hand dyed fabric then started some free motion quilting outlining the leaves. After the small piece is totally filled with stitching, I cut out each leaf then used Setacolor paint to cover any of the batting that showed through on the sides. I may still insert some wire in the middle to allow the leaf to 'bend' more. Here's my leaves being stitched.
These are the fused leaves that will be ironed down once I decide the placement.
Here are lots of leaves...the pale green 'straight' pieces are just some yarn I used to get the feel of how the leaves should be placed. This isn't the layout I've ended up with but just some pics I took in the process.
Here's a closeup of some of the different leaves. The unstitched leaves are backed with fusible and will have veins stitched in them once they are ironed down. You can see my 'yarn' stems better there! Ha...gotta use what you have!
It was hard to sit for any long period of time yesterday so the process took longer then I wanted. Today (so FAR!) my hips and legs are moving better. Knees, shoulders and wrists are still painful but more tolerable then yesterday! Let's hope this keeps up. Sure don't like this 'getting' old feeling.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

She's BACK!

My BFF from Goodrich is back! Well, only for a few days! But I did get to see her! It's hard to see (I should have taken a video instead!) but Mandy is just running around the yard! She remembered Lynn and was just as happy to see her. Lynn and Pete used to live in the house behind Lynn's behind! Sure made it nice when you needed that cup of sugar or just a shoulder to lean on!
Here's my BFF! Lynn is the nicest kind, caring and just a genuine friend. Mandy wanted in the picture too!
Lynn was always there for me and I tried to do the same for her. Our time went by too fast today! Weather was nice enough so we sat outside eating our lunch and just catching up on her new life in Arizona! I miss you lots, my friend and so glad I got to see you again.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Bob took a day off from golfing yesterday so after doing some work around the house we met up with Susan and Harvey at one of our favorite restaurants, Pesto's! Susan and Harvey have their home in Florida but they spend the summer in Michigan at a cabin they have in Gregory, Michigan. It was really good to see our Florida friends again and we almost had them for overnight guests! Their car kept stalling out on the way up! Yikes! But we did get through with our wonderful meal and of course I/we (except Susan - she was good!) had dessert! Bob and I had Banana Foster and Harvey had ice cream peanut butter pie! So good.
If you're every in the Flint area Pesto's is a must stop (especially for their desserts! They had 17 on the menu last night!). Anyway, Harvey started the car up just fine after dinner and with our cell numbers in hand, they did make it home. Susan called us on the way and reported they had no problems so far! She also called us when they arrived home! Whew! I'm sure they were both nervous at dinner because they are over an hour from Flint! Not like they were right around the corner and at 7 at night not too many auto garages (do they still have those??) are open. I hope we get to visit again and next time I'd like to have them come to the house. We'll have to plan ahead's just hard to plan with my room mates golf schedule!
So today I'm anxiously awaiting my friend, Lynn, to visit!!! Lynn & Pete lived across the street from us and moved to Colorado last June! I miss Lynn so much (Pete too!) and think about her almost daily when I look out my front door. She's the sweetest, kindest lady and Pete always has a smile and a hello for you (plus, he makes the BEST molasses cookies!). I'm making chicken salad for lunch for Lynn and I.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Some art work

Yesterday was spent with the kids (my normal Wed.) and we did have a busy day. Next week we're going to the library (which we do every Wed.) to attend a presentation on Nature’s Color Palette, presented by the Lewis Wint Nature Center. Lynn, from the Nature Center, will show how nature uses color to disguise, surprise and more. I can't wait myself! I have a feeling I might be sitting through two sessions! Ginny (kids cousin who baby sits through the summer) is coming with us too. Look forward to some quiet day...RA is really getting bad again..Dr. appt next week so we'll see what's up. I'm ready for some witch craft or alternative meds!!!

So here's a piece of shibori I've been doing some hand work on. I dyed this piece several years ago at one of our fiber group member's home when we had a Indigo dye day. You can read a description of Indigo here or just google Indigo Dye. It's a very long process working with chemicals (lye for one!) then dipping fabric in the chemicals, hanging up then rediping and rehanging. The more you 'dip' the more intense your indigo fabric is. That's one of the reasons Indigo fabric or clothing is so expensive. Add shibori (mostly hand stitching) and you'll have an expensive piece to purchase.

So my piece was stitched then dyed. I did some free motion quilting then added some hand stitching. Beads are coming next. I'm pleased with the small piece (15" x 25") and I think it will make a nice piece of art work will finished.
Bob's not golfing today so we're going to run some errands. I'm hoping to get time to sew today once the body starts moving.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Friends and Art

Mandy has a new Therapy Dog friend. Her name is 'Shine' and she met with us yesterday to visit the patients at the Genesys Hospice. Isn't she SWEET! And she was really so sweet with the patients too. Shine's mom is Kay and we're so glad they met up with us. Shine's mom raises Whipets and two of them are Therapy Dogs.
The 'girls' were discussing the next visit they can make together! We're looking forwarding to having Shine and Kay meet up with us again!
This was Exercise 3 from the online Lino Cut class. We needed to make a smaller stamp that could be used in a repeat pattern. This was my first stamp/print I did.
Then I decided I'd make some spirals similar to what Dijanne showed us. Most of them turned out but you can see at the top left bottom right how one spiral is chubby! Bad cutting on my part...I still like the print but I wasn't pleased with the 'bad' spiral. So I sliced off that end...what the heck! It's my stamp!
Then I printed my two blocks on fabric. This was a good lesson in cutting circles or spirals. I did find if I turned my block as I was cutting the spiral it allowed me to cut them cleaner. I can't wait to get our next lesson!
I am working on another shibori piece and finished all of the hand thread work last night, of course, while watching the All Star game! I want to add some beading next. Hopefully, I'll get pictures taken and post later this week.
My neighbor who moved out west is back in town!! Yippee!!! And I get to see her in another day!! I can't wait!!! Off to baby more art work today.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What an excursion

Well, Dawn and Jeff left on for their Alaska cruise on Sunday but we got a phone call that (after plane delays) her new Dell laptop was stolen! Geezzzzz Poor kid..this has ruined the beginning of her trip. You can read more about her excursion on their blog here.

UPDATE!! Dawn emailed me that she had a message they 'may' have found her laptop. Stay tuned..let's hope!!!!

I'm off for 'root' dyeing, not roots! Then to therapy dog visit this afternoon. We're meeting up with a lady who raises Wippets who are registered therapy dogs. She hasn't visited our local Hospice center so we're meeting to introduce her to the facility. Here's just a picture from the web on what a Wippet looks like. I'll have to take my camera and see if she minds if I take a picture of her dog today.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Linocut Online Class

I started taking a Lino cut online class two weeks ago with a wonderful textile artist and instructor, Dijanne Cevaal. Dijanne is such a talented artist and I'm really glad I got into this class. In only two weeks I've learned so much about 'lino cutting'. Actually, "Lino cut" is a printmaking technique that you cut a design into a linoleum surface with a sharp knife or carving tool. The raised (uncarved) areas represent a reversal (mirror image) of the design to show printed. The linoleum sheet is inked with a roller (called a brayer), and then impressed onto paper or fabric. Dijanne was kind enough to recommend for those of us with arthritis to use a a softer cutting surface called Speedball (Speedy-Cut). I get mine at Michael's using my 50% coupon! No way could I carve into a linoleum matt! My friend, Mary, did take a class here in the Flint area and carved a piece of linoleum! I don't know how she did it but I think she said she wouldn't do it again!

So our first lesson was carving a background stamp and then printing on fabric. Here is my stamp and some pieces I stamped using it.
My background carving
Fabric printed using my block

More fabric (I actually printed 11 pieces!)
Our next exercise or lesson was carving a positive and negative shape. Here is my leaf carving.
Printing on top of my background stamped pieces.


And more....

Our next lesson is carving a stamp with a simple shape that will be used for printing a repeat print on a piece of fabric. I'll be carving that today and stamping as well. I did start playing with some practice leaves yesterday for my wolf piece and I should get some more practice leaves made today. Once that is done then it's pretty quick for me to make the 'real' thing! It just takes me awhile to decide how or what I want to do! Hmmmmm Must be a woman thing!