My Favorite Books

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Happy Birthday to a SWEET DIL!! We are so lucky to have you in our family!! Love, Mum!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Just one of those days....

It all started yesterday...I finished putting the binding on page 6 & 7 of my Art Diary (above is page 6 and below is page 7 which is actually the back of page 6 duh!). For some reason 18" was sticking in my mind for my art diary book but guess what! My book is 18" x 17.5"...don't ask! just is! So pages 6 & 7 will stick out! I'm not 'unbinding' and 'rebinding''s my book and it can be any way I want, right!
Anyway, this piece was the start of fish for June..this is the same fish I did for my BJP June piece and I was just playing with different colors.

For the back, I just masked off the fish then used a brayer to roll on some fabric paint.
So that was my first 'ugh' moment...then I was searching for the D rings that I use to attach my pages in my book. I know I have them SOMEWHERE because I bought extra. I have tore my sewing room apart looking for the buggers. I remember putting them somewhere thinking "that's a good place for them" but for the life of me I can't remember where they are!! I just don't want to spend the $3 to buy more when I have two sets (at least!)..ok, so I spent $4.99 on a margarita the other night at dinner..but that's different! That's a margarita!

On to my next adventure this a.m. I wanted to print out on fabric a photo in poster printing (which I do all the time!) but for some reason, my printer wouldn't keep the option when I'd print. hmmm What's up with that! So I tried my hubby's dice, fabric actually got stuck once so I quit that in a hurry. Ah, my printer downstairs always printed perfectly in poster printing so I'll go there. No dice! Fabric stuck in that one too. OK, one more printer left..the wireless we use in Florida, it always prints perfectly on fabric...well NOT TODAY!!! Geezzz I won't even tell you how many pieces of fabric I ruined (although, I'll do something with them - waste not want not!). So, I guess it's just not meant to be. I wanted to print on fabric and do some thread painting and I still might. I tried muslin and the bamboo cotton...I usually print on sateen or fabric that I've used digital ground on. Because I was going to thread paint I figured I'd just use something cheaper..
So to use the wireless printer I had to use my hubby's laptop. He's been complaining about not being able to upgrade to AVG's latest version so I tried to upgrade for I uninstalled that and reinstalled Norton 360...he usually doesn't like Norton because it's always running in the background (but it's a safety feature!) so we'll see if he notices it. I might be back to square one on that too.
So now I'm off to take Mandy for her vet check up and had something in my tooth while driving. So I grabbed one of my picks (of course every girl carries these, right!) and guess what! It gets stuck in my tooth! Now you'd think I would have learned a lesson because this happened to me one other time..but NO, I have to do it again. Here I am driving down the highway with this
pick hanging out of my mouth! I thought I was going to break my filling or tooth! I just didn't want to stick my finger in my tooth to remove whatever it was but geezz I ended up almost sticking my entire fist in my mouth breaking off the end of this! I finally got it out! Wonder if I could have rec'd a ticket for 'picking my teeth' while driving!
So I think I better quit for the day...maybe it's margarita time! It sure isn't time for anything else I want to do!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Who is peeping whom?

I saw this article in our local paper today and every time I read it I just crack's not that I think it's funny someone was 'peeping' (that's just plain sick!) but the description of the 'pervert' is just too funny.

This is a blip from the article:

The victim reported she was giving her cat medicine and noticed what she described as a "fleshy mass" moving on her deck. She screamed and ran into the living room. Her husband noticed something on the deck near the kitchen window. The husband then observed the backside of a completely naked man.

The suspect is described as a white male, heavyset with visible fat around his waist area, about 6 feet tall, having a hairy back and lower torso, shaved head with dark stubble showing. The suspect was naked.

Is it just me or did this couple get a really good look at this guy! So who was the 'peeper'!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Weekend underway

Last night was our CCC (Complex Cloth Club) fiber meeting. During our show and tell, one of our members showed a pillow advertisement. I did go to their web site just because I was curious as to who would pay $125 for one little cushion! I have to say they have some really nice, unique pillows. In fact, some of the pillows look like they'd make a nice quilt design! hmmmmm

We did have a really interesting and relaxing meeting! We always start off with show and tell which is quite nice and last night wasn't any different. Dye camp was two weeks ago so we had lots of hand dyed fabrics to look at. Some great designs and colors.
After our S&T, our technique for this month was a Water Color Play Day or Holistic Art Workshop, I'm not sure which title Marty wanted! (Each month one member presents a technique for us to try.) It turned out to be quite a relaxing technique. We were supplied (by Marty!) with herbal treats (I think it was cashew peanut butter, wheat bagels, dark chocolate and alkaline water) and then she showed us some breathing techniques and then we played with watercolors. I'm not into drawing at all or using my watercolors to actually paint something but Marty made us all feel quite relaxed (could it have been the oil we sniffed? Oh, I forgot to mention that didn't I!).

For our first exercise, we were just to paint on our paper anything! So I did! This was my first piece.

Our next exercise was to paint a 'shape'. I honestly couldn't think of a shape to paint! I was going to do a triangle but then decided not friend next to me started to do one so I didn't want her to think I was that lame that I was copying her! OK, I don't know what shape it is either..if you turn it, someone said it looked like a cucumber..maybe..but it was fun to do.

We were suppose to bring a piece of fruit, which I forgot, but my friend had a pear and an apple with her. The last exercise we were to use Sharpie's and draw (ugh...scary for me!) our fruit or draw an object. So i elected to draw the pear. You can see my small pear on the right which is outlined. It looked so sad by itself so I added the other two. They suggested I color the background..well, duh! I didn't think of that. See, I said i don't draw or color! Gosh, how bad am I! It's a wonder I can put fabric together to make my art quilts!
All in all we had a really, really nice evening..relaxing and exactly what Marty wanted us to have. She did a great job.

Today I've been struggling with creating a design for a gift I need to make. I literally worked ALL day and I think I've come up with what I want to do. I'm almost afraid to sleep on it because for the past four days, every time I wake up and start to work on it I change my mind! Maybe I'll think about my green pears instead and what color I want the background to be..that should keep me up tonight!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

WIP's in artwork and life

After finishing up my BJP for June, of course I had to have some beading project so I started to make a peyote tube for one of my (many!) empty bead containers! I thought these would make good needles cases. Beth Murr from Until We Bead Again has such wonderful tutorials as well as patterns to purchase on her web site (Beth is where I purchased my beautiful leaf pendant). I watched Beth's videos and learn something new each time. She was also kind enough to email me when I presented her with a question on the beginning of the tube. My old RA fingers were not cooperating with the tying of the bead circle to start.
So this was my start on my tube, which was beaded while watching our beloved Tigers baseball team. Of course!

I finished the tube last night and now I need to go to Beth's video's to see how to finish the bottom. Beth is so cool! She even has a video on how to replace a bead you put in the wrong place! Who knew!! This was beaded using #11 Delica's and is a good practice tube for me! I may or may not put a bottom on my tube only because it's doesn't have a smooth bottom like the wooden tubes you can get from Beth on her web site. Next month's budget!

And this is a sneak peak at my South of the Border piece for the MQAI exhibit I'm working on. It will have lots of hand stitching and some beading (duh!). I've had it sandwiched and started the stitching a few weeks ago but haven't worked on it lately. Time to get busy on several WIP's (works in progress) I have. I've been waiting to see if I could get permission to use a photo for another South of the Border piece. It's a great picture but no word yet and it's been over 4 weeks..guess no permission is coming...

I mentioned in an earlier post on the book I was reading, 'Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt'. I loved this book for so many reasons. Like Cee Cee, my sister and I went to live with our Great Aunt when I was 3 or 4. We did get to live with our mum when we became teenagers so we were fortunate to have that time with her. Reading Cee Cee's story brought back SO many memories, both good and bad. With each page I read, I became Cee Cee while she worked on and lived her 'life book'. What a good read! Check out Beth's web site and pick up a copy at your local book store or library (for us retiree's!).

Also, on Beth's blog, she had a post showing a video that changed her life. I can't tell you how many times I have watched this video now!!! I love hearing the gentle, calming voice of Brother David Steindl-Rast and actually listening to his words...he talks about 'today' being a gift to us....and our only "appropriate response to this gift is gratefulness". Our time here on earth is like a WIP (work in progress) isn't it. I hope you enjoy this video and thanks to Beth for sharing on her blog.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Fish Story

This was a coloring page that I 'doodled' and used for my June BJP inspiration.

Here's my June journal page (8 1/2" x 11") called A Fish Story.

Those who follow my blog may remember reading about 'Sybil' and how we came to 'own' him/her'..for those of you who don't know the story you can read about our adventure here: day 1 , day 2 and day 3 . It's only right that this BJP be called A Fish Story so that I always remember how we came to 'adopt' Sybil.
And for an update, Sybil is VERY happy he's building a bubble nest! Go figure! I guess when Beta's are happy and ready to breed they build a bubble nest where they'll put the eggs from the female. Hmmmmm He also will eat his blood worms off my finger! This fish is a hoot!

OK, so back to my's a closeup of the fish. Sybil is actually black and blue (and not from the cat) so my hubby asked why I didn't do this fish in those colors. I told him I had started on this fish way before Sybil came into our lives. I just did some free form beading on his face, attached a button for the eye (a first for me!) and used Delica's for the body and lower fin beading in the fish bone stitch (appropriate!) and bugles for the lines on the top fin.
This is my 'coral' which I beaded using a technique by Margaret Ball (I love her 'Embeadery' book). She actually posted how to bead the twisted ribbon stitch on her blog.
So that's my BJP for June and update on Sybil. Now onto finishing some other projects and planning July's BJP. And of course keeping an eye on Sybil - he's keeping an eye on me!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Banner Quilt

I had a comment from Lori (A Creative Kick) asking about the process I did for my banner picture using the metal. So I thought I'd post the full picture and explain some of what I think I did! Keep in mind I did this back in November of 2007 for a fiber guild challenge! I have to look at this piece to refresh my memory and no guarantees on that even! I don't remember what I had for dinner last night!
The picture above is the piece which measures 14" x 18" and it's attached to a piece of foam board using my version of a gallery wrap! The black you see on the sides is from the background where we took the picture and I'm too lazy to crop for you. You get the idea!

I had both the background and border shibori pieces in my 'stash' and I did reverse applique for the branches. For the metal leaves, I honestly don't remember which weight of metal foil I used. It was either Maid-o-Metal decorator foil (36 or 38 gauge) or the foil you can purchase from Michael's. I have lots of these metal rolls in my workroom so it's just a guess as to what I used. I'm thinking it was the Maid-o-Metal...
I had and still have this cool leaf pattern that I use I traced each leaf, scored some veins, cut each leaf out and just put some black, green, brown paints on top. Knowing me I would have just grabbed acrylic or even fabric paints..whatever I had on hand at the time. I wiped the paints off before they dried, I do remember that. Then I just stitched each leaf onto my quilted background. Again, whatever old needle I had I would use. I have two Bernina's and they each sew just great through anything! Trust me on this! Usually, I will look for a 80 or 90 old needle and use that on my metal. I only use Sharps when I do any quilting so that would be again what type I used.

You can't see it very well in these pictures but I also made a freezer paper stencil of the leaf and using my Shiva Paint stick in black, colored under some of the leaves to give a shadow. I think on the larger picture you can see some of the shadow on the upper left and right leaves (bottom of each leaf). I like that you can bend the metal leaves which is fun for this piece. It actually hangs in our living room.

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it! Speaking of story! Someone asked me about books I read...these are the ones I've just finished:
The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen - pretty good mystery
Look again by Lisa Scottoline - good mystery
Caught by Harlan Coben - good mystery
Still Alice [sound recording] Lisa Genova - I'm still listening to this one..about a woman @ 50 who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman - I'm reading this one and it's quite good!
Quite warm here in good old Michigan! Feels like August weather so the air is running lots. We didn't get the bad storms last night some areas did but we could use some rain.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bead Artists

Before I show some of my 'efforts' at art work, just let me show you some true BEAD ARTISTS! The first one is Beth Murr at Until We Bead Again. I'm happened upon Beth via some YouTubes she had on the peyote stitch. You know this is becoming one of my favorite stitches! Beth has been 'firing' (read her blog for stories on firing!) Raku Turtle Cabochons and a pendant and guess who bought the pendant!! Yep, I just rec'd it in the mail today!! I love it!!!! Thanks, Beth!!!!
You have to make sure to check out Beth's blog and web site as well as her tutorials if you are at all interested in beading. She does a great job - no talking but has the camera up close and works slow enough for you to see exactly what to do. Her beading is exquisite!! Just check out some of her beading patterns for sale.

The next bead artist you really need to check out is Kate Boyan at LivingBeadWork. Kate uses beads the same as a painter uses paints! Her work is also spectacular. I'm just amazed at the depth and detail of her work. Both Beth and Kate are true artists and I'm so inspired by their work. I know if you just take a quick stop by their sites you will be as well.

Geezz..I'm not even showing my beading today! But I am showing my KISS challenge. Dijanne presented a challenge to her blog readers to create a 20" x 20" art quilt using only two colors or fabric but as many colors of thread work - but - only using straight stitching, no machine embroidery stitching. This is my finished piece. I think I only showed some areas of it a few months ago. Dijanne is going to post our finished pieces soon. I can't wait to see what others have done.
I used a piece of snow dyed fabric my friend Mary gave me last year. I wanted to do straight stitching (which I'm not good at!) and then I did hand stitching on the circles and other areas.
Just another closeup.
And this is my shibori piece over dyed for the last time. The black dye I used does have a blue cast to it and over dyeing with the two blues added to that. I also used a cranberry dye in some areas. I'm pleased with this piece and hope to use it as a whole cloth and added hand stitching and of course beads!
Today was the memorial service for my friend Mary's son, Father Tony. They had well over 250 people in attendance at the church and the luncheon after. It was such a nice gathering of family and friends to be around Mary. So now life goes on for her and her family but they certainly have some wonderful memories and stories from those who knew Tony. I only wish I had met him but I feel like I know so much about him now.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just another busy week

Yes, it's been a busy week and probably one of my least productive weeks. Just a lot of running around and not staying 'to home'! That's why I love staying home...

Amber was in the "Willy Wonka Jr" production this past weekend along with the Super Singers from Clear Lake and Oxford elementary schools. Here's a picture of the performers (Amber is 3rd in from the right). Amber played the 'grandma' of Willy Wonka and got to speak all her lines while laying in bed! She did a great job and didn't miss a beat! Plus, I loved her night hat!
I've never watched the movie "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" but I was so impressed with these kids! I felt like I was watching a Broadway play! These kids did a fantastic job of acting and singing..and singing they did! The two girls who played Willy and Charlie were just phenomenal! They have acting or singing careers in the future! This is Amber taken after the play. Think she was glad all the practice sessions were over with!

Of course our 'boy' was getting a little antsy since this was the 2nd performance he'd seen. But he was still good! This was during intermission! I do have to give a big shout out to their music teacher, Peggy Mueller. She did a fantastic job leading these kids!! Well done, Ms. Mueller!!

Saturday was also dye camp for our Complex Cloth Club. Each year we have dye camp for a weekend so you can leave the mess at dye camp and not your house. This is the cabin and surrounding area where we can set up clothes lines and tables outside to paint or dye.

Talk about having your choice of dyes! I'm not sure what or how much dye was leftover since there only were six ladies dyeing fabrics. Nine of us prepared four different dyes in a particular color and some of us even prepared a few extra containers. This was just one area of dyes. I'll be seeing some of the ladies tomorrow and I'm curious to hear about their weekend.
I was only at dye camp from 8:30 until noon but I didn't dye anything. I just dropped off my dyes along with two others. Amber's play was @ 2 so I left to get dressed at my daughter's.
But I did do some dyeing at home since I had some dyes to mix up for dye camp. This was the shibori piece I had stitched.

And here it is after I painted some black dye on it. It's now downstairs 'cooking' with some blue and cranberry dyes I painted onto the white areas. I'll post pics later this week of the end result on this piece. This piece is only about 25" x 25"

This was a red piece that I had stitched..looks pink but it really is RED.

On this one I mixed up a Robin's Egg blue and a Brilliant Blue and painted the entire piece.

This is a closeup of an area. I'm actually pretty happy with the way this one turned out. It's roughly 22" x 36" so a nice size.

So now to finish up some computer work and get back to working on my BJP fish. I'm afraid I've been ripping out some more beads. I'm using some bugles for the fins but didn't like the colors, then thought I'd add some beads around the edges..didn't like that so out they came! Geezzzz Talk about non-productive! Ripping out beads or stitches certainly doesn't make you feel like you've accomplished much - guess that's because you haven't! I did make another peyote ring! I have a few more to go and at least that makes me feel like I'm doing something!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In Memory of Father "Tony"

Father "Tony"
July 1963/June 2010
This post is in memory of my friend's son, who passed away on Friday from a massive hart attack while jogging. Tony was an ordained Roman Catholic priest and Benedictine monk at Marmion Abbey monastery where he taught theology and physical education to the young men of Marmion Academy high school. My heart and prayers goes out to Mary, her family and friends who have shed so many tears on the loss of this young man.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wolves are traveling!

OK, I'm just a little excited! This is the picture of wolves my daughter took a few years ago at a wolf preserve in Indiana.
And this is the quilt I made last year for the MQAI Art of Nature traveling exhibit
I just found out via email yesterday afternoon that the 'wolves' were juried into the IMAGES 2010 Lowell Quilt Festival in July! I'm really excited and so pleased to have been juried in. This is a closeup of the leaves around the wolves. I just sandwiched a piece of hand dyed fabric then free motion quilted leaves; cut them out then sewed onto background.
I thread painted the wolves after printing out my daughter's photo onto fabric (poster printed 4 pages then sewed together). All thread painting was free motion quilted using lots and lots of threads! I really enjoyed making this piece for the exhibit and hope it gets at least decent comments from the judge! That's always a good thing to get a totally new perspective on your work.

Beautiful day here in the mid 70's with constant breeze. bob and I are sitting in our mama/papa bear chairs watching the Tigers! I'll get my beading out once I look at some blogs...I haven't read some of my regulars in a few days so I have to catch up on their work!

Monday, June 7, 2010


So I wonder if 'unbeading' is like 'unsewing' or 'reverse sewing'...either way that's what I did for hours yesterday! This is my JuneBJP and I thought I wanted the yellow in between the scales..but I didn't really like I 'unbeaded' and then I beaded the smaller fin and didn't like that so that also came undone!

I finally decided on the color of beads I wanted to use and ended up might have to click on the picture to see it does look a lot nicer in 'person'. The face will be beaded with just free form straight stitching.
I showed this piece I had quilted and painted about a week or two ago. This is the front and..
This is now the back of it! I made a mask of the fish then rolled paint on top of the stitching. I painted the fish on Sunday just using fabric paint. This piece will go in my Art Diary once I get the binding on it.
I'm still making the peyote rings! I showed my friend Mary my rings today and told her I'd make one for her. I really have to get to know my camera better! Colors just don't seem to work out. This ring is for Mary and the outside edge has one red bead and the inside is a coral. The picture looks all red! We're having our small fiber group meeting tomorrow so I'll finish sewing the ends together once I know it fits Mary (I'm bringing my beads in case I need to add or take beads away). I'll also make the other ladies one after I measure their fingers and let them pick the colorway they want.
And I made another one this afternoon for me! I have a small (four bead) in these same shades of blue but I wanted a wider one for myself. They are so much fun to make even though it's a little hard on the eyes to see the beads!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Where's baby's chair?

The first weekend we arrived home from Florida, we bought Bob a new recliner chair for our L.R. While in Florida, he sat in a similar chair which really helped his hip (lots better than sitting on the sofa). This was the best investment we made. Bob's hip is SO much better partly due to the chair keeping his body straight..the other part is he's not golfing five days a week. So here's Bob's 'papa bear' chair!
And guess what came today! Yep, 'Mama Bear's' chair! Mine was a special order because I wanted something other than 'beige'. Go figure! I know!! I'm a beige kind of gal...goes with everything...easy to change colors by adding pillows, etc. But this time I decided to 'live on the edge' and so I ordered 'sangria'! Actually, I had visions of a dirty beige chair in a year! The picture makes the chair look pinkish which it isn't! It's more of a burnt orange.
It was delivered this a.m. and it is SO comfortable!! I can't wait to sit and bead in it! Poor Mandy doesn't know where to sit now. We got rid of our 3 seater couch and only kept the two seater and another LazyBoy barrel chair we had. She does sit on Bob's lap in his recliner but she won't fit on my chair with me. Poor baby..guess we'll have to buy her a 'baby chair'.
Beading does take time so I don't have much to show for my work the past few days! Actually, there are a lot of Delica's (11's) in this fish and lots more to come. I'm working on the tail right now as I'm not sure how I want to do his face.
I have some ideas but I want to play with some beading stitches to figure out the pattern. It really is meditative to bead and I feel like I'm always accomplishing something - "idle hands are the devils works" is what my aunt always used to say. I never did know what she meant by that saying but it always made me feel like I had to keep busy so I guess it worked! And still does! Maybe that's why I can't sit still...geezzzz between that saying and the 'guilt' I have from being raised Catholic no wonder I'm the way I am!

I've also finished my shibori stitching on two pieces. The red piece I want to overdye with different shades of blues which should give me some nice shades of purple(s).

This white piece I'm going to use black in some areas and then some pastel shades in the resist areas. Our CCC fiber group has our annual dye camp next weekend so I'll dye these two pieces up then. I still have to pull all the stitches in both pieces but I'll do that later this week.

I'll only be at dye camp for a few hours as Amber has her school play that Sat. I'll leave dye camp and head over to Dawn's to get cleaned up and then we'll go to the play together. Should be a fun afternoon.
So we're just having a relaxing afternoon. I stitched the red piece while watching the move 'The Box' on my laptop from Netflex. Weird movie but I did watch the entire thing. I'm listening to two books on cd right now, The 19th Wife and Legal Limit. Legal Limit is pretty good. I finished reading Caught by Harlan Coban which was really good. I read at night before bed and I have another one I started which is Look Again by Lisa Scottoline. She writes a pretty good mystery which is what I like..mysteries and bio's. Well, off to start some dinner so I can sit in my new chair and bead! Ain't life grand!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Class Act!

What an exciting Tiger's game last night!! But a sad one as well. Armando Galarraga, actually pitched a 'no hitter' game but a BAD and I mean BAD call make it a one-hit shutout. But what a class act Galarraga was! He said the umpire probably felt worse than he did. How's that for class!! His team mates were more upset than he was. I just had to post about this as Bob and I are such big Tigers (& Lions!) fans. What a game!!!!

Ok, I'll go back to beading! No other art pics today!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Middle of the week

I finished this small piece (9" x 12") and might send it to Ami for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. June's auction is up and running on her site so take a look and bid on a quilt! I added some beading on a few leaves and of course on the edge. This was a piece of fabric I had stamped from one of my hand cut stamps (which was half the size of this piece - you can see the lines in the middle).
I showed my blue and white peyote ring I made the other day and yesterday I made two more! So quick to do up and I really like them. The middle one was #15 beads but not Delica's. It's not quite as uniform as the other two but still turned out good.
I'm also working on stitching this shibori piece which is about 20" x 24". I found a really interesting pen/ink drawing by Paul Klee that he did on paper so I enlarged it and traced on my fabric. I'm now stitching the lines and I'll dye it along with some other pieces at our dye camp the middle of this month.
Each year our fiber group (CCC) holds a two day dye camp. It's quite nice for those who don't dye fabrics or don't have an area at home to dye large quatities. I didn't go last year and this year I'll only be there part of the day on Sat. Amber's concert/play is @3 p.m. that Sat. so I'll take off early to go watch her. I'm not dyeing any quantity of fabric mainly because I'm trying to use up all the fabric(s) I have dyed in the past!
Today is heading to pick kids up from school this afternoon and spending grandma time with them! Weather is overcast and rain is expected later this afternoon. I should get some shibori stitching done before I go. I need to put my fish on the back burner until I get these pieces stitched.