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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Two for Tuesday

Two for Tuesday - actually Bob hasn't golfed since last Friday so it's 'two of us' today again. Actually we have his Dr. appointment for his pre-surgery exam. 'Mum' has to go to make sure everything is covered. We rec'd a half inch book of what to expect, do and don't do before hip replacement so lots of pages are highlighted already!
Yesterday I worked on a fiber post card, which I'll post later this week and then started back on my DIL's BD table runner. She's already seen the runner but I wasn't totally happy with the colors. This is a small area before I started working on it again yesterday.
Lots of circles and triangles but not enough contrast so I grabbed some green/black Isocord thread and did some more stitching on it. I liked the contrast the stitching added so I finished all the geometric designs last night.
And some more beading finished on my BJP. I did the rope stitch on the 'veins' and I'm not sure if I'll fill in or not. I will be filling in the bottom area I outlined with delica's. I'm getting bored with the green beads so I'm going to switch to blues.
We also had to purchase a new furnace! Yikes! I know, hard to think about 'heating' the house with our temps in the 90's. We knew furnance was 'going' this past spring and after taking it apart Bob found the problem. The repair was half what a new one would cost (ours is 15+ years old). So we 'fed the economy' this past week. The new furnace sure runs quiet even with the air now (we did have the company back out to reset for the air). Also had a letter from IRS that we made a mistake on our 2008 taxes! Yikes! They were right! We always use Turbo Tax but a tiny, tiny, tiny (ok, so it wasn't that tiny!) field was left blank which caused the error. So another check went in the mail yesterday! Guess we won't be going out to dinner after the Dr. appt today!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Additions to my stash!

Look at the wonderful fibers I received in the mail this weekend!! These were sent by Penny who writes the Art Journey blog. I had commented on the 'seaweed' fiber she and a friend shared in a purchase. Penny sent me an email asking if I'd like to have some of the seaweed fiber. Being the shy person I am, I said YES! And this nice lady sent me 3 different fibers to add to my stash! THANK YOU again, Penny!
Do make sure to check out Penny's art dolls and other art work on her blog. Funny, on one of her posts she wrote about 'all the doubts and will a piece be good enough'. I think you'll agree Penny doesn't need any doubts at all! Check out her latest bead journal project here. Her work is beautiful!

So to continue on my post heading of 'adding to my stash' our fiber meeting the other evening we did some rust dyeing. Here are some of my pieces that will be added to my fabric stash.
This piece is actually Tyvek fabric that I rusted. I wasn't sure if it would accept the rust or not but it did. The fabric is a lot softer than before using the vinegar/water so I'm curious as to how the piece will look after I paint it.

The colored piece is actually watercolor paper..again, this was test to see if different fibers would accept rust. Heck, I should know rust will 'rust' anything! How many times have we found rust on our appliances, clothes, etc.! But at least this was a controlled rust!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Another day of beading

This is my BJP for August. It's the design I showed on a previous post from a 17th century embroidery pattern. I first traced the pattern then colored in with my watercolor pencils and then quilted the background. So now it's beading time! I've just started beading the leaves. The circle imprint you see around the center is from my hoop. I use a hoop when I bead but the marks come out easily.

Someone asked what I do with my journal pieces..think I've answered this before in a post but I'm happy to explain. I keep all my journal pieces in a binder with plastic sleeves for each year. This way they are all in one 'book' format and I can go back and look at each year's work or show them to other artists if they are interested. Perhaps one day I'll put some in an exhibit because they do look nice on the wall too.

Today was beading of another nature! For Amber's BD, I gave her a 'bead class' at the bead shop near her house called, Beadifferent. This is another really nice store and so today was Amber's first bead class! She made a beaded memory necklace and earrings. Amber picked out her own beads and I think she did a great job selecting the colors!
Here are her finished beading pieces. We had some left over beads so I'll put together a bead box for her. I have several extra boxes Auntie gave me when she cleaned out her beading supplies.
Here she is working hard!
I think her workspace is very organized!
I think Amber was pleased with herself that she made something so nice! I certainly was impressed with what a nice job she did. Anna was the young lady who taught Amber and she did a great job. Anna was very professional and patient and represented Beadifferent extremely well! She's only 19 but a nice and talented young lady.
So that was our day today. I started out with my usual migraine both yesterday and today..ugh..but I did get to stop by and see Dawn after I dropped off Amber, which was nice but she was busy with working from home so as usual I felt like I shouldn't interrupt her work. She's always so busy either traveling for her job, working from home or just running errands to catch up for the time she's away from home. At least it was nice to see her for a few minutes. She's under so much stress right now they her job and the company she works for. But she'll make it..she's a strong young lady.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Grandkids Updates

So Kayla is back at Ball State as a sophmore this year! so hard to believe. She's keeping quite busy with clinicals since last Thursday with Field Hockey (she's in Sports Medicine) along with classes from 8 - 12 then to practice and treaements until 7! Busy, busy but she'll do great!

Ian started back to school over a week ago as well and had his first cross country meet. Ian is a freshman this year so he's now competing with the upper class. MJ sent me a nice article from the Bedford Times paper on Ian's race:
"Freshmen Ian Payne (43rd, 20:39) and Blake Daugherty (50th, 21:19) were close behind". (Blake is the young man who went on spring break with the kids. a nice young man too.) The article went on: "“The top four are all experienced runners from the last couple years, so we expected them to be up there,” said Jones. “But Ian and Blake are just freshmen and they both have a lot of potential and they’re going to be challenging some of those guys up there in the top four before the season’s over." How about that!! A really nice article. YOU GO IAN!! AND BLAKE! Give them all a run for their money!!

Yesterday was my last full day of babysitting for the summer. Kids are on vacation starting this coming week so I won't watch them until after school starts when I pick them up from school on Wed.
Nick for some reason got into coloring his Transformer coloring book yesterday. I think he ended up coloring at least 8 pages and really picked great colors and stayed in the lines! I wouldn't let him take the crayons into the living room and Nick didn't want to sit at the table so he colored on the floor. Later in the afternoon he did head up to the table to work along with Amber and me. We also played baseball in the afternoon and this kid can hit! I was afraid we'd hit a window or a neighbors window! Even Amber was hitting the ball! I amazed the kids by my pitching and by catching the ball using Nick's mitt! They didn't know this grandma can catch a ball!

I asked Amber if she wanted to paint grandma's nails and she was quite hesitate saying she didn't know how. I gave her some tips and let her have at it! she did a great job even on these arthritic fingers my nails looked pretty good! Nice job Amber!
Amber was going to make us banana pancakes for breakfast but we decided to head off to the bagel shop for some fresh bagels. They were yummy too! So Amber got out her American Girl Cookbook and she made banana bread! This is Amber playing Betty Crocker!

Grandma did KP duty while she did the mixing. She made the small loaves and gave one to me to take home for grandpa and me. I just had a bite and it was good!!
All in all we had a really nice day having lunch did get down to the 40's last night and so far it's another beautiful day here in Michigan. Nice breeze, low humidity..perfect weather for me. Tonight is my fiber meeting and we're going to prepare some fabric/papers/whatever for rust dyeing. We did this about two years ago and it was fun to see what you get with the rust. Only problem is my hubby is such a neat freak we don't have any rusted items around the house!! So I have to 'force' any rust I want! My friend Karen, who is showing us the technique tonight, is bringing some rusted items she's been saving. I know Mary said she has some as well.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Some updates on family and project

So the picture above is my design for my August BJP journal. I love the 17th century embroidery designs and used one for my May BJP (May Flowers). I printed out this design and then colored it in just using my Prismacolor pencils. I wanted to have a pattern for the colors because I know I'll get lost on where I want green and blue! I want to use only blues and greens..why, you ask? Haven't a clue! Just decided those are the colors I want to bead with.

So off I went to find a piece of fabric. As usual, my photography isn't up to par and the background color isn't really pink at all! It's yellow and orange! Anyway, you can see where
I've traced the pattern onto my background. I'll upload more pics on Thursday of my progress since these pictures were taken I've quilted the background and started to bead some of the leaves (2 of the small leaves are finished). It's turning out pretty good so far but we'll see how the blue beads will look!
So on to some family updates. I posted a few months ago about the book, Saving Cee Honeycutt, by Beth Hoffman that I enjoyed so much. The story reminded me of my childhood days of living and being raised by my great aunt Helen and her daughter, Tootie. My sister still lives in Pennsylvania (that's where we were raised) and a few weeks ago she invited Tootie over for a picnic...actually, from what I understand my sister was trying to fix Tootie up with her 'rich' neighbor! But that's probably another blog post! So back to Tootie...who was such an amazing woman to me as a on the farm, raising a family, taking us to horse shows and just teaching us everything!

Here is one of the most special people in my life! This is Tootie!!

She is a young 80 years old! but is slowing down now a days and only rides her horse 1-2 days a week and walks 2-3 days a week!! Yep, that's slowing down for her!

Is she a doll or what!! I only hope that I can be half the woman she is now! When you meet her, she'll make you think she's known you all your life! Tootie is the sweetest lady around and I feel as fortunate as Cee Cee that I was raised by two special woman.
I still remember going to the fairs and of course all the 'workers' at the fairs would 'hoot' and 'holler' at Tootie. She was a fox in her day and for 80 she is certainly a 'silver' fox! Thank you for all you did for me, Tootie!

Now onto another family member! I've had some inquires as to how 'Sybil' is doing! So I thought I'd post a few pictures of him (for those who don't read my blog often, you'll have to read back on my blog post in May). So here's our little guy! Although I'm afraid he isn't so little! He's getting fat! He's happy and still making bubble nests!

This is a front view! Check out that belly!! He loves his blood worms! yes, that is a ruler in the background. Sybil sits on my cutting table so he can watch me when I'm sewing and so he can watch my birds!
Babysitting tomorrow with grand kids...our last full day of the summer. Amber and I are going to our bead class on Friday so that will be fun. Weather here still warm but it's summer so I won't complain!

Monday, August 23, 2010

July BJP Finished!

Well, after a very interesting month of July (with Mandy's surgery and recuperation) I finally finished my July BJP!

This is the picture I used as my inspiration. I wanted to do some type of beading in a fireworks design. and I didn't want to do a red/white/blue piece just because...who knows I might rename this piece after a year or two!

This is my finished journal piece (8 1/2" x 11") entitled "Fireworks" (go figure!). This piece is quite heavy! I'll have to get out my kitchen scale and for fun see how many ounces it weighs. Any bets??

And a closeup of some of the beading. I used the good old 'feather stitch' along with #6, #8 and 11 beads and flat sequins for some of the feather stitch which I get from I find these type of sequins hard to find and I'm starting to run out of them! I see Joggles only has three colors left.
So now on to August and Sept.! I'm usually right on time with my projects but thank goodness I have a legitimate excuse! Wonder how long I can blame my being behind finishing projects on Mandy! Glad she can't read or talk!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Yep, it's going to be a 'lazy Sunday' for us. We were up late last night watching our beloved Lions as they played Colorado. They won but it doesn't matter much as it's preseason but they won! Did I mention that! The 1st string looked really good which we were excited about! Bob and I both just love football so we're looking forward to the games. While watching the game, I did get lots of beading done on my July BJP but I'll wait to post pics when it's finished, which hopefully will be early this week.

Our friends, Tony & Carol, from Florida are here in Michigan for the summer/fall enjoying time with their kids and grand kids. Tony and Bob are planning a golf day on Tues. and Carol and I are/were going to meet for a day of girl stuff. Carol called last night and she's in severe pain with a bad shoulder, which she hurt while exercising. Go figure, right! Good excuse for me not to exercise with weights. Carol's SIL has a Dr. appt. for her on Monday so hope she gets better soon!
If it doesn't rain today, I might meet Mary and head to the market. I love the fresh veggies and just the market atmosphere.
I found this YouTube from Pam Holland's blog and you have to watch it, but grab a tissue along with that cup of joe or glass of wine (too early??). It's so heartwarming!!! Enjoy! And hope we all have a Lazy Sunday today!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wed. with the kids

Wed. was a fun day with one of Amber's friends who had a sleep over. Only problem is her name is Amber also! Above picture is the girls getting ready to do their 'dance routine'. Really cute. I put a video at the bottom of this post. The 'singer' you hear in the background is actually Nick. He and I were playing a card game and when the music came on he was funny! but adorable!

Here is Nick explaining to me how to play this game. Geezzz It was some space battle game and I still don't know the name of it or how to play. Amber did say Nick was making up rules as he played but heck you couldn't prove it by me!
We had a busy day planned and started off going to the park. This is a great park (at least I think so!). Of course, Nick had to jump off the swing just to make me nervous and Amber kept swinging so high I thought she was going over the top..not really but it looked like it!
Nick was in the shot somewhere!

So after the park, we headed to the bead shop. For Amber's BD present, she and I are taking a bead class either this Friday or next Friday. We're waiting to hear back for sure on the date. Then we went to a new toy store downtown Oxford. Can't remember the name of it now but it was cute. Lots of different types of toys which seemed to be educational vs just 'toys'.
After lunch we went to another new boutique which the girls wanted to go to. Nice shop but we didn't buy anything. Off to the library for the Sky Lab show which was over an hour long! Girls said they were bored but I think enjoyed it..ok, maybe they didn't. Nick seemed more intrested in the lab and took a paper with him showing all the stars and planets. I'll have to call tonight to see if he went outside to find some of the planets. he was reading the names (he's only 6!) of the planets and pointing out where each one was! The show was similar to what we saw at Cranbrook last year and I think Nick had/has more of an interest in this.
So back home and grandma 'opened' the pool! This was a first and it was fun for kids and me. They are all great swimmers so I wasn't hesitate about being on 'life guard duty'.
Amber tried to hide from getting her picture taken but I knew she could only hold her breath for a little while. although, she and Nick swim the length of the pool under water holding their breath the entire time!!!
This is our little FISH! He loves the water and is a really good swimmer. hope he wants to join the swim team when he gets to high school.
Check out this dive!
and our trio (my Amber is hiding again!) but they did have fun.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Productive Day

So this is my SOTB piece..called 'Down Mexico Way with Gene Autry'.
These are pictures of the beading I did on the cactus I mentioned on a previous post. I finally took pics today. For each of the cactus, I laid a row of beads then took anywhere from 3-6 beads and laid across the row. You can probably see beading better by clicking on pics.
This was a fun piece to work on...lots of hand stitching but fun to do. I'm still working on my BJP for July but don't have any updated pictures.
Today I finished the touch up on the deck. Bob painted the floors on the deck the last two weekends. It actually wasn't bad since this year he/we got smart and he used a long handle with a roller on it! Wow! What a difference! No more painful knees! Although, I did have some pain today doing the touch up in the corners. it only took me about two hours to finish all the touch ups so that wasn't bad at all.
We also had some rust from the sprinkler system on our white (plastic) fence which I removed today. Mr. Clean eraser works great on everything! I did use some Clorox spray in addition to the eraser so it was a good combo.
Wed. is babysitting day with grand kids which I do look forward to. We're going to play some more 'minute to win it games' and go to the library for a program called, Star Lab. It's a portable, inflatable Mylar StarLab which sounds to be be interesting. So nice to take advantage of these programs. Kids have seen clowns, magic shows, jugglers and now a Star Lab..and it's all FREE! Grandma likes that too!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back at it!

OK, over the past year and a half, I've been pretty good about blogging. But the last month or so it's been hit and miss. I know most of you don't care but I do..since I started this blog as a way to journal my year, I really want to keep my 'blogging' up to date!
Hopefully, with Mandy progressing well (still can't walk on wood floors or jump up or down) I've been creating art work! Yes, I really have been working!
This is my 2nd South of the Border (20" x 24") art quilt. It's a record album cover from Gene Autry's album of the same name. I did and am doing primarily hand stitching although we decided to call this 'free form embroidery'. Doesn't that sound artsy!
Here's another closeup of the stitching. I used stem stitch on the lettering; stab stitching on the background and some decorative stitching on some other areas.
See the cactus beside Gene's head and at the bottom? Well, I'm adding some beading stitching which are turning out really good. Even hubby said they look like cactus. I'll post those pics in a day or two.
I also (finally) started my July BJP project. It's going to be called 'Fireworks'..I know, go figure, right! I started my beading of the circles which are representing fireworks in the sky but it hit me I needed to free motion quilt the background first.
Hard to see but i did some free motion quilting on the background and then started on some beading. The other areas will be purples and then I think I put aside some reds or pinks...
Here's a closeup of the 'first circle' of fireworks. Well, they are going to look like fireworks to me!
Today we photographed 58 quilts for our MQAI traveling exhibit. Some really cool quilts in this exhibit but then it is always a great exhibit because of the diversity of the artists.
So, see I have been working on my art! And it feels good to be 'back at it'! And I'll be back posting now as well!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I know I should only have Jeff's picture alone but I just love this picture of Jeff and my daughter! These two have the bests smiles when they're together and I think this picture shows their smiles and love!
So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JEFF!!! Hope you have a great day!! We love you guy!!! NOW will you change your recording on your answering machine?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

One Down, One to Go!

Finished my art quilt for the MQAI exhibit. It's called 'Imitating Amate - Bark Painting'. Bark Painting is one of the many Folk Arts of the Latin American Culture. From what I've read it was quite popular up until the 50's then disappeared. Bark painting came back in the late 60's and there are lots of artists doing this form of art work especially in Mexico. They also call it Amate bark paper. So interesting!
I was given permission to use a painting by Tomas Ramirez/Mexican Folk Art web site for my inspiration. I love the colors in his paintings. After I had a pencil sketch on my Tyvek fabric (I purchase from Joggles), I painted the Tyvek with fabric paints (Jacquard, Setacolor, whatever I had handy!).
After I free motion quilted the Tyvek and background, I used both my soldering iron and my household iron to burn away areas of the Tyvek. Scary but it's the most fun I have! This is my 6th piece using this technique. Actually 7 counting the 'sample' piece I did (not sure what I'll do with it!).
I just realized, as I was hunting for photo's, that I've not taken any of my 2nd South of the Border piece for our exhibit. I thought I had posted about it before but I can't find pictures of it. hmmmm It's a Gene Autry album cover.
I'm too lazy to get up and take a pic so I'll do that tomorrow or Tues. It's primarily all stab stitching so it's been taking some time to finish. It will also have beading on it, just the edges and a small amount inside the quilt.

And check out this little guy Bob spotted on a leaf yesterday. Actually, there was another one SMALLER than this guy! You have to envision this leaf is only about an inch or two long! I've never seen any frog this small! Maybe it's a good luck frog! I hear there are some good luck frogs!