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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

27 degrees!

Yep, it was only 27 degrees @ 7:00 a.m. today! It's already up to 41 but 27!!!

I completed this piece last year for our Inspired by the Masters. It is based on my interpretation of the work from Helen Frankenthaler. I've been inspired by Judi's fringe work she posts about on her blog (check out the piece Judi just finished in her fringe series! Wow!). So between Judi and Ms. Frankenthaler I created this piece. You can see the process on my blog post from last Nov. here if you're interested.

Just a closeup of the beading.
So before I created the 20" x 24" piece above, I made a practice piece which is only 13.5" x 11.5. I've had this piece on my pegboard since last November so...

I picked up the piece, threw in some beads in my box and off to the hairdressers! After the dye was saturated on my lovely gray roots!, I sat myself, with coffee and beads, in a corner by the window and beaded. This was all I got done in 35 min. but better than a poke in the eye, as they say!
I have to quilt the background on my BJP before I can start the beading on that piece so this was the only hand work I could take with me.
I'm putting the binding on my KISS project today (due on Friday) and hope to get it on before I leave to pick up grand kids from school. I'll hand stitch binding while watching our Tigers tonight. That's my plan for today!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Finally, back to art work!

So before I start posting about what I finally got to work on yesterday...check out what I rec'd in the mail today! These are tatting shuttles that our most 'majestic' Queen of Purple sent me! The 'Queen' is from the Florida Warped Weavers group I belong to. Jan (aka Queen of Purple) happened to mention that she had a few of these 'hanging' around and of course I could see possibilities in my head as she was speaking! Well, she was kind enough to send them to me!! How cool are these! I see fish, I see stamping/rubbings, I see...I see...I see!! Can't wait to play with them!! THANKS, so much your Majesty!! I will forever be your humble servant!

Boy did it feel good yesterday to finally play in my sewing room! I don't know how some folks can exist with having some type of art or hobby or something to distract them from the normal, daily routine(s)! I've been feeling so disjointed not doing some type of art work!

My Friend, Lois Ann, who now resides in Italy, has been stranded here in the U.S. due to the volcano. Her plane was suppose to leave yesterday! LA was able to meet us at dinner and attend our fiber group meeting last Thursday and presented me with some wine from Italy. I love the wine but check out the box!!! These drawings are on the outside of the box. Way too cool to throw away so the box now resides in my sewing room!
And I couldn't just let the box sit there so I took some pictures of the individual drawings. As I was looking at them I thought they'd make a great fiber post card! So....

This is the picture that I printed out on to some fabric that I had already applied a coat of Digital ground medium (matt) from Golden. I did add some writing in photoshop at the bottom (don't have that picture yet) and printed the drawing on a 5" x 7" piece of fabric. I have it sandwiched with batting and I'll do some stitching around the eyes, etc. and mail as a fiber postcard. Actually, I ended up printing out two of them. I need one for a BD card and another one for a friend.

Since I was in the printing mood I thought I better get working on my May BJP which is 'May Flowers'..go figure...I know. I found this print of a 17th century-embroidered motif on the 'Textile Blog' and thought it would be perfect for my BJP. It appears to have some 'zentangle' or doodling in the flowers and leaves and seems to be perfect for beading!
Just a quick note on The Textile Blog..this is a great resource for a "daily insight into all aspects of printed, woven and knitted textiles, as well as carpet, rug, tapestry, quilting, embroidery, lace and basketry design". I took this direct from the profile on John Hopper who writes this blog. I love this site and have seen and learned so much by the daily posts. Check it out sometime you won't be disappointed and just might learn something new about something old!
I was afraid the motif might not be large enough with the quilting and beading so I took some purple fabric I had painted with Setacolor in Florida and cut not so straight pieces for a border. I didn't want the orange background to be square so you'll have to wait until the piece is finished to get a better picture of the picture in my mind! Now to start quilting it and then I can start beading!
I also did some more hand work on my KISS challenge while watching out Tigers baseball team on TV..ok, so I listened more than I watched but I did get lots of hand stitching done. The KISS challenge is by Dijanne Cevall and is due April 30th! Her requirements were you could only use one or two base colors in your fabric so I choose this purple then you could use any color thread either with machine or hand stitching but only using straight stitches.
I did all the straight lines with my machine and now I'm filling in circles with hand stab stitches..whew! Sure takes a lot of time and strength for the old hands..which are having some disagreements with me at night saying they want a break! UGH...but I do love hand work so we'll just keep plugging along!

Here's another closeup of some of the stitching. It will finish at 20" x 20" (another requirement) and I should have the stitching done by Friday! When I finish this post I'm going in to watch the news and stitch some more!
Another beautiful day today! Bob and I went car shopping as my lease is up next week. We have Bob's brother looking for our car (he's in the car business) and we're hoping he finds the one we want. We're looking at the Buick Enclave in Silver right now but we'll go with whatever he finds us. I just LOVE my Saturn Outlook and hate to give it up but we drove the Enclave and it rides even better. They are both really nice cars and GM did a good job on them both..just too bad the Saturn nameplate is gone!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April Date Night - just a family post

Here's a picture collage of date night last night!

Nick made his own pizza at the restaurant..which is a nice activity they have for kids!

Check out my 'little Easter Girl' Kris and the kids got me! Isn't she adorable! Kris was going to mail her to me in Fl. but figured we had too much stuff to bring home as it was! I'm going to keep her in my sewing room! Amber picked her out so I'll have to have Amber name her now!

We watched 'Dennis the Menace' movie w/popcorn. And grandma had a GREAT cupcake made by Amber! um..ok, I cheated and had a cookie too! I said I love to eat!

Above video is of Nick at dinner last night. Kids and I met up with Auntie Dawn and Uncle Jeff at Italian Gardens. They make the best sauce..sweet basil that's just great. Yes, I LOVE food and appreciate good food. Anyway, it was the first time I got to see Dawn, Jeff and even Kris (my DIL) since we got home a week ago.

I picked up the little ones and we went to the library (which is our weekly 'adventure') since we didn't get to go on Wed. this past week. Amber got three books and Nick got two + a DVD. We then picked up Auntie and met Uncle Jeff at the restaurant. All in all I had a great night with kids and got to share lots of stories with grandpa when I got home.

So today I'm actually starting on my BJP for May! And I did some hand work on my KISS project yesterday. Hoping to finish that up since it's due April 30th! We had rain last night and it's overcast today so a good day to stay in and do laundry and sew!

A big surprise we got to SKYPE with our friends, Peggy and Sammy in Florida! It was just like we were sitting in their living room chatting! Except, Peggy and I didn't have our glass of wine and the guys didn't have their bottle of beer!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bragging for a friend!

I talk quite a bit on my blog and to my friends about Susan's quilting. I just wanted to 'brag' a little for her on my blog! The two quilt pictures are from the Indiana Heritage Quilt show that was held this past March. Susan entered two quilts in the 'pieced wall quilt' category and won a 2nd place and Honorable Mention. Congrats, Susan!! Outstanding work!

This scrap quilt is based on Dominique Douat’s work in 1704 showing 256 ways to arrange 8 half-square triangles. The yellow diagonal row splits the coloration's into 2 mirror image sections, twice using each of 128 fabrics. Machine pieced, hand quilted

Thirteen Feathered Stars
This quilt is composed of thirteen different red and black feathered stars arranged in a heart-shaped setting on a tea-dyed, reverse appliqued background. It is hand quilted with flowing vines of heart-shaped feathers. The black and tan dragon tooth border is paper pieced and machine quilted

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Some beautiful beading - not mine!

OK, just a quick post! You have to check out this blog Christine's Beadworks. Long story but Christine was at one time a quilter and part of our little group called 'The Postal Quilters'..reason being because we were all in different cities and states and we would always do a round robin challenge each year sending our work via snail mail! I'll have to dig out some of my old pictures of the projects we did. They actually weren't all that bad and some ended up being quite unique.

But back to Christine! Wait until you see what this woman creates! It's so funny because I've been reading her blog but it never dawned on me who she was! Her profile picture was hard to see with her sun glasses on so I didn't recognize her. I happened to receive an email from one of the other ladies, Sue G., letting me know about the Flint Handmade Spring Sale which is coming up on May 1st and that Christine was one of the vendors. Well, you can imagine my surprise when I found out this is 'our' Christine! I've already put the event on my calendar and will definitely make the spring sale. I can't wait to meet up with Sue and see Christine and her beautiful work. So make sure to check out her blog and Etsy shop!

I have our fiber group tonight and I'm looking forward to seeing all the ladies I haven't seen in almost five months! Joetta is doing our technique this month called an "Ideas Journal" book. Should be fun and I'll have some pics to post tomorrow. ARTWORK finally!!! I'm going through withdrawal! Weather is beautiful and has been the past few days. Bob did mow on Tues. and lawn looks quite good for this time of the year. Should be in the 60's again today.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Still cleaning

Because I don't have anything to show other than the rooms I've cleaned, I thought I'd post one of my older pieces which I had on my flash drive. This is 'Aisha - She is Life' that I created for the MQAI exhibit (Africa was the theme) in 2004. I found a picture of a pattern which was about 1" x 2" in an embroidery/needlework catalog. Well, I didn't want the entire kit, so I just took the picture and enlarged it, traced onto my fabric and then painted the fabric (excluding the borders) with thickened dyes. Of course after quilting, I had to add beads, right! I also took a huge assortment of fibers and braided them to stitch down for her hair. You might see detail if you click on the picture.
Well, I'm still cleaning! Did lots of paperwork yesterday, ran to grocery store (again) and a visit to the Dr. So today, it's back to cleaning! I'm anxious to get started on my sewing room so I can locate my hand work! I do have the KISS challenge to finish by the end of this month! So I better get busy on my day!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Back home

We're home! We arrived on Friday around 12:30 and had our suitcases unpacked, clothes hung, laundry started, grocery shopping completed and Little Cesar's for dinner! We finally sat down around 6 and collapsed!
Our trip home was really a nice, easy one with beautiful weather the entire trip. We ended up taking US27 north from Chattanooga and got to see some nice country side before we jumped back on 75. One sight we couldn't believe was the one below! check out the HOUSE ontop of the tower! This is the CSX Railroad Bridge on the Chickamauga Lake in Tenn. Bob and I were fascinated by this house! I'm sure it's just like a lighthouse for boats except this is for trains! That's just a wild guess.
The picture doesn't really do it justice because it's scary looking just thinking about walking out one of the doors! i can't image being inside while there's a storm or strong wind going on!!

We did see some great country side and the different shades of green on the trees was quite a sight to see as well. Some trees were in full bloom while others were just budding out. A few red buds were still in bloom which just added to the beauty of the trip.
Our last meal out was one of the best Italian meals we have ever had! We ate at Cassano's in Piqua, Ohio. Talk about good!!! Salad and the best bread sticks were starters, then we had their special, which was sauteed red onion then fresh crushed tomato's and other spices which was then put ontop of spaghetti. We also ordered a side dish of meatballs which I thought Bob would enjoy. Well, guess what! This 'anti meat' person ate a whole meatball and I could have eaten more!! They were delicious! We had so much food left over we had to put it in our cooler to take home. Neither Bob or I could leave it! We actually ended up eating it for dinner last night and it was just as good as it was at the restaurant. Now we have another favorite place to stop on our way to and from Florida!
Today, Bob and I worked all day. I started in our master bedroom/bath scrubbing floors (yep, on hands and knees!); dusting, moving furniture...the old spring cleaning! Always seems like a good time to do spring cleaning when we get home from Florida. I did get all the wood floors cleaned along with all the wood baseboards oiled and washed all the rugs in each room. Of course the computer room and sewing room still need to be done but they will have to wait until tomorrow or Tues.
Bob and I just finished dinner after we had a margarita! I made Emeril's lemon/rosemary grilled chicken, baked potato and baked cauliflower. Dessert is chocolate cups recipe by Rachel Ray. These are SO good and I use skim milk and egg beaters so they aren't all that bad!
So now we're watching the Tigers and they're ahead by 2 runs! Yippee! Our weather here in Michigan is colder than they've had for a few weeks. Only 37 @ 7:30 this a.m. It did get up to 50 but the wind made it feel a lot colder. Good to be home but we'll sure miss our Florida friends and the sun shining every day! Hopefully, I'll get to doing some art work later this week.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ocala is not like Miami!

The first year we came to visit Carol & Tony in Ocala we were shocked! Bob and I both expected palm trees,old people, city life, etc. The only 'expected' that we saw were 'old' people but that's OK because now we are the old people too! Bob and I were just overwhelmed at the beauty here in Ocala's country side. Horses, cattle, pine trees, maple trees..just beautiful country.
I wanted friends and family to see what the country side looks like here in Ocala. So, Carol and I stopped today to take some pics. These two had to come over to the fence to say good bye!
This looked like a yearling but was still curious as to what the heck I was doing!
So this is some of the country side we see each day on some of our travels. Yes, there is city life but to get to the city 6 miles away you see countryside like this... and this....
and this.....

Yep, more of the same..isn't it beautiful! We stopped several times along the road to take these pictures.
Here here are two video's of the land around Ocala Palms area. We will miss our friends and just driving around enjoying life here in Ocala. Until next year.....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Last outtings until 2011!

Let's see..we ate dinner out Tues. thru Thursday saying good bye to some folks! Tues. was dinner with Peggy and Sammy (you'll see more of their artwork further down my post). We ate at a great Italian restaurant called Parvarati's! Garlic knots were to die for!!! A must 'go to again' next year!!
Wed. was our last dinner/margarita's at ElTorre's with Carol and Tony. This is our usual Wed. hangout..great food and 99 cent drinks! Can't beat it!
Thursday we had dinner with Larry, Jan, Marilyn and John at Stumpknockers! Another favorite restaurant of ours.
Jan was so sweet and made up this little vase with orchids and other greenery from her yard! I love it!!! Thank you Jan!
This is one of the views from outside of Stumpknockers. The restaurant sits on the river and you can take boat rides. personally, I'd just rather eat!
They have a little tiki bar and you can eat outside as well. They have the best deep fried shrimp and catfish. We only ate here twice this year which is so unusual! We normally get to Stumpknockers four times or more!!

It's always crowded inside and here we are just waiting for our food!!! This is Bob (back/left), Larry and Jan.

Marilyn, John and my hubby in the back (still!).

Friday, Carol, Peggy and I had our last girls day out for 2010! We headed out early to the farmer's market where we picked up some really good strawberries, grapefruit, green peppers, the largest carrots ever! and lots of other goodies!
Our next stop was to a granite yard to check out some pieces Peggy is looking at. Carol had her granite installed last month and Peggy has been trying to make a decision for the past year. She's narrowed it down to a few choices which are beautiful. After the granite yard, we headed off to a really cool art supply store call Red Swan. The place is huge and reminds me of Dick Blick's (which is a chain art supply store). Good thing we're heading home or I would have bought lots!! Carol & Peggy are coming out the door but you can't see them very well.
Of course we stopped for a great lunch and roamed around a used books store that was really nice! I even purchased a large print book for the ride home, The Cell, by Stephen King.
To end our day, Carol and I stopped at Peggy & Sammy's to see the latest art work from this talented couple. Peggy has a picture of an old boat sitting by the water that she's now painting. Peggy will have to send me a picture when she finishes so I can post. Here's the start of her painting.

This is Sammy's latest wood carving. Beautiful and I love the colors he painted! Such a talented couple aren't they!

And I have to show you the antique clock Sammy found! It's a Seth Thomas II from 1920's! It's an original and Sammy took the entire clock apart and cleaned each piece! Isn't it cool! Sammy has lots of clocks around and can get any clock working again!

Here's Sammy winding up the Seth Thomas piece.

So now we start packing clothes...actually, I've already got some clothes packed up that we won't be needing. You just do a little each day then packing isn't bad at all. Most of my art supplies are packed and today I'll put all my fabrics around our printer that we bring. Good way to protect the printer and pack my fabric!
I do have hand work but won't be posting any pictures for the next week or two. I did trace out a shibori design on some white fabric that I hope to start stitching on while on our drive home. We are also planning our side trip into Tenn. or Ky which we do each year. Just makes the drive home a little more interesting. You never know what you'll find when you venture off side roads! One time we had meat loaf with alphabet soup poured on top! that was a trip for sure!
Temp still in the high 70's/low 80's and breeze. perfect weather for all of us!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Here is the fish stamp fiber card I finished yesterday. I did end up using fabric paints to embellish and enhance the fish print. I really like the wood block stamps (fish and butterfly) and think they make cool fiber cards and even fabric. I made this fiber card for Pat, the lady who told me about the wood block stamps and dropped in the mail yesterday. Here is one of the fish prints that I overlaid with the fabric crayons (transfer). You can see it didn't transfer much of the color but it was a good experiment.
The butterfly crayon transfer came out a tad better. I'm also transferring onto darker fabric than just white so that could account for the faint coloring. I've transferred onto white fabric and that does seem to work better. I can see beading or stitching to enhance these so it's not a total waste of effort.
I think the stamps also be cool for rubbings with oil pastels but I have to wait until we get back to Michigan. I did get about 75% of my art supplies packed up yesterday. I put away my sewing machine and just kept organizing and packing up. I like to have everything organized so all I have to do it put items back on my shelves at home..makes it a lot easier packing and unpacking for sure!
Temps still in the 80's and just beautiful. I do have hand work that I've kept out to keep me busy and I started to read the 19th Wife which is pretty good. So until the next post, have a great day!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April BJP Finished

'April Showers Bring......' is finished! And lots of beads on this one!! All my monthly BJP pieces are 8 1/2" x 11". If you want to see more beaded work from members of this project you can check out one of the BJP blogs here.

The umbrella is beaded from my zentangle design using #11 seed beads.
Each raindrop is made up of 3 different beads: delicas, two different size bugles and finished off with a drop crystal bead! This part did get a little boring stitching..whew!!

For the handle I did a rope stitch where a line of beads is laid down in your pattern then 5 beads (I used #11 and #8 beads) are laid over your beaded row. The edges are finished off with #11 crystal seed beads.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Stamping Monday

Before I get into my Stamping Monday, I couldn't resist showing another picture of the azalea bush out front. It's packed full of flowers and is just beautiful!
Here's one of the two stamps I purchased after the weavers meeting. I couldn't wait to start playing with them.

First, I did rubbings using the fabric crayons (by Crayola). On the butterfly I did color in some of the areas after the rubbing.

I ended up cutting out each shape and then doing the transfer on fabric I that I had already stamped. This way I could lay the wings, fish body directly ontop of areas I had stamped. I don't have a pic of results here but the color was very faint. But I also had stamped on hand dyed fabric that were already in dark colors. I might try to transfer them today onto white to see if they come out better.

So then I started to stamp! I first tried my alcohol inks (Liquitex) but the result was quite light on the fabric (top left is alcohol ink stamping). I switched to my old favorite SetaColor which worked perfect and you can see the difference where the areas stamped are darker.
The butterflies turned out quite nice too. I think these would be fun to color in with fabric paint.
I had a piece of Friendly Felt leftover from my umbrella so I thought I'd stamp on it! Who knows..perhaps a BJP in the making!
Nothing is safe when I'm in the stamping mood...when the kids sent the flowers for Easter, they came wrapped in this really cool paper which feels like Lutradur and appears to be quite sturdy! So of course I kept the two pieces and stamped on one side! You never know when it might come to be in a piece of artwork!
This piece stamped really has more movement in the background color than the picture shows. After I stamped a white piece of fabric, I painted over it with SetaColor and scrunched it. It looks better in person.
Ditto with this piece.

So that was my stamping Monday! Weather was in the mid 80's and a slight breeze which was nice and perfect for painting outside. I did sandwich a piece of the butterfly fabric yesterday and I'll do some stitching on it today to make some fiber cards.
I'm putting the beads on the edge of my BJP for April! Yippee!! It's almost done and I hope to get it finished today and then get my design ready for May. That way I have some more hand work vs machine work since we are starting to get our mind set ready to head back home in about a week or so. That means packing up all my 'stuff'!!
We will miss our friends and all the food for sure! But it's always nice to get back to our own home! We are so thankful to Larry for allowing us to stay in his house. It certainly has made our winter so enjoyable and one to remember!