My Favorite Books

Sunday, October 31, 2010

BJP for October

Yippee! I made it! October 31st and I'm finished with my BJP for October! I did some 'resewing' of some areas which took some time but I'm happy with the results. So here's a closeup of some areas.
The finished piece measures 8 1/2" x 11" and I used mainly 11 delica's and some 11 seed beads just for the stem and outline. This was my own design but fun to work on. No, I haven't named it's based on Van Gogh's sunflower...ok, I know I'm not a VanGogh's a sunflower or part of one to me! Now on to November!
Bob and Mandy are both doing great! It will be 4 weeks for Bob on Tues. and 4 months for Mandy on Wed.! So far so good for both of them! Bob's been putting and chipping out in the front yard as our weather has been just wonderful!! Sunny days just about every day!! The best fall we've had in Michigan in ages.
So now it's Halloween and time to give out candy! We've had as many as over 270 kids one year!! So I better get ready for the on slot of kids! Happy Halloween one and all!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

End of our week

Before I get into our week. Check out my Halloween pin I won from Tracey over at A Beadiful Mess! Tracey had a blog give-a-way and I won! I thought this pin was cute as could be from the picture on her web site but in person it's adorable!!! I'm also intriqued by the peyote pattern she did. Thank you Tracey!!! It's going to be on my coat until after Halloween!

Bob had his Dr. appt this week and he did walk into the office using his cane. He wanted to walk in without anything but by the time we got into the waiting room his hip was hurting pretty good. Chairs in Dr's. waiting rooms aren't the best. Dr. said Bob was doing great and he could putt and chip in another week or so. But the past few days Bob's been hurting a bit by mid afternoon. He isn't taking any Tylenol or Vicodin and I think he should at least take Tylenol in the a.m. He has taken Vicodin at night for the past two days which really helps him. He's also setting a timer to make sure he gets up every hour and walks around the house or else we go outside for a walk. He needs to keep moving and not sit in the chair all day. We still are SO pleased with his progress.

So I finished my leaves on my BJP for October and now I'm working on the middle area. I'm going to fill in with seed beads after I finish the spiral. I have to figure out why the color of my pictures aren't coming out when I upload them. Might have something to do with how I take the pictures. I've tried different settings but I'm still at a loss. Guess I need to ask the expert, my daughter! Photography is her 'thing' and I'm sure she could give me some pointers.

I'm also just about finished with my fiber group challenge which is creating a piece of art work based on a poem. I had fun with this one too but I can't post pics until after Nov. 13th. That's our Christmas party here at our house. It's always a nice time with lots of food, drink and show and tell. It's the one meeting time that we aren't working on any technique and just have time to sit and talk. I do look forward to this party plus, I get to put up my Christmas tree so that's done and behind me!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Looks good from a 747 but.....

Yep, above picture is or was my BJP I've been working on. Today, actually, last night I got thinking it just look messy. I wasn't happy with the beading/fish bone stitching so this afternoon, I took out ALL the beading I had done.

Here's why! Check out the far left leaf and how even it looks. Now look at the leaf next to it. UGH! Not very neat! Excuse the color of the pics..the first picture is more in line with the color of the fabric. Not good to take pictures at night.

This is lots better....I beaded these this afternoon and I'm happier with them now. Some of the rows I had an extra bead or didn't pull the thread tight enough, hence, you can see a few rows 'up' but I can fix those and I will.

Here's my piece with the new beading on it. I hated having to start over and rip out work, but it just was too messy. Now I can continue on!
Hubby is still doing wonderful. We've switched to doing lots of walking which has really helped him out. Tomorrow is Bob's two week post op checkup and we're hoping for good news and less restrictions.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What fun!

What fun I had yesterday and today! A few posts ago I showed a project (here and here) I was working on based on Laura Kemshall's English paper piecing video. I did finish my "Klee" pieced top but I've not quilted it yet for several reasons. I did however want to try Laura's 3rd part which is attaching your work to a gallery wrap canvas. I have two pieces that I've attached to canvas, both using a different technique but I love Laura's method. In all fairness to Laura & Linda Kemshall I'm not going to document the process other than show you two pics. If you want to see/learn, you'll have to go to their web site and sign up for the video's!
This was part of a leftover quilted piece I had from my Underwater Fantasy quilt panel. In fact, I used a piece of this for my Sept. BJP. I would test out different threads to use in my actual panel on this piece. Hence, some of the stitiching is kinda funky but a good piece to start with.
And here is my quilted piece painted and attached to the canvas. I took the picture against a white wall so the line you see around the piece is the gallery wrap canvas. I really like how this turned out and now I'm really excited to make some other pieces using this technique.

Yesterday when I wrote my 'book reviews' I forgot this book! And it's definitely one to read! I saw Casey Anderson a few weeks ago on GMA and ordered the book from our library. It's such a wonderful, interesting, funny and educational read! I love this book!! Of course being an animal lover, I'm drawn to stories about animals and this one certainly didn't let me down.

So, hubby is still doing great. He did get a little down yesterday but we figured out why. Bob has to do 6 different sets of exercises, 30 reps per leg 2-3 times a day! That's alot for sure and because he was having some discomfort with doing them he thought he'd break up the sets and do 3 then wait and do 3 more. Only problem, he would end up doing nothing but exercises ALL day long. That would be a downer for anyone, believe me!

So today we both (yep, this old body is doing them with him - I'll tell you why later) did the exercises all at one. Plus, I had Bob lie as flat as he could in his chair. At the hospital, they had him sitting up in a large lounging type chair doing PT. In looking at the booklet from the hospital, they have you lying in bed flat. I think Bob was pulling and stretching way too much. The exercises aren't thighs were killing me after the 3rd set so I can only image how they felt for Bob. We did finish all the sets/reps in a little over 40 min. But now he's done until dinner time. We also went for a LONG walk this a.m. before breakfast. We're going to try some stairs today too (he has gone up and down some stairs the other day without any problem).

So why am I doing exercises with Bob...well, for a few reasons..One, misery loves company so this way he'll have someone in misery along with him....two, I bought a bike for Florida! Actually, our friends (in Florida, Peggy & Sammy) found a bike for me w/helmet! It's a 10 speed Schwinn and really brand new! I'm really excited since I love riding bikes but figure the exercises will help my hips and knees so I can keep up with Peggy! Let's hope!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Something different

Ok, some for something different, I thought I'd post about some of my favorite books. I love to read and I do listen to books on tape/CD while in my sewing area, in the car and while cleaning house! My favorite textile book is The Painted Quilt. Of course, I'm one of the devoted fans of Linda and Laura Kemshall. I purchased their book The Painted Quilt several years ago and I reference it often. Sometimes just for inspiration and other times to refresh myself on a particular technique. I love this book and their 'thr3fold' journal. Thr3fold journals not 'inexpensive' (I don't like the word cheap - it sounds so cheap!) but it's defintely worth every penny to me.

Now onto fiction books that I think are great reads. Of course, Beth Hoffman's Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt is one of my all time favorites. This was such a good, easy read and did bring back memories of my childhood being raised by our Great Aunt Helen. At first, I felt so much empathy for Cee Cee and could actually feel her pain, fear and discomfort. But as the story progressed, I saw where I was fortunate, like Cee Cee, to be loved by family. Between my Aunt, cousins and my 'mum', my sister and I really ended up being somewhat normal! Right, Sis! You'll finish it in record time as it's an easy read and one you want to keep reading and not put down until you finish it.

I absolutely loved Sara Gruen's 1st book Water for Elephants. One recommendation I would have for Water for Elephants is to listen to it on tape. The story is read by an elderly gentleman and a younger man so you feel like you are being told a story by the characters in person. I've been waiting for Sara's 2nd book and I just finished it. Ape House is a story of a researcher, Isabel, who has taught Bonobos (apes) to sign and they have taught her that they can actually reason. The story line is good and held my interest primarily because of the Bonobos. Some of the interaction and dialog between Isabel and the apes was delightful. Of course some parts may offend folks who won't care for some of the sexual activity discussions but it's nature so that didn't bother me.

One of my favorite writers is James Patterson. Cross Country is another exciting novel but I have to tell you it's one of the most violet novels I think I've read/listened to in a long time. I kept thinking geezzzz is Alex Cross every going to get out of this country! I'm not sure of the research behind this novel but I can understand where some of this violence could hold true. I would like to know how or why Patterson wrote this but I'm too lazy to research that. I've just always enjoyed the Alex Cross books but next time I might check out the reviews first!

So that's my reviews! Actually, I'm just putting some of these books on my blog so I remember what I've read! I do have an Access database that I've tried to keep up but I keep forgetting to update it! No surprise there!
Our friends, Carol and Tony, from Florida are here in Michigan for the 6 months and stopped up to see Bob yesterday afternoon. It was good to see them again and I know Bob enjoyed having the company. Bob is doing fantastic!! He's walking with a cane (still uses the walker for stability on occasion) taking baby steps but doing SO good. It's just amazing he still has no pain! He does have some muscle burning in his good leg/thigh but it's from the exercises he's doing 3 times a day! He is building up muscle for sure and should be in great shape for Florida golf! Between our walking, exercises and eating, our days go by fast! We are such a regimented couple! Thank goodness we're both alike in that area! And he's staying awake at night to watch the boob tube! Go figure! Nice having the company but I'm sure Bob will be glad to get out next week and go to the Dr's. His appointment is on Wed. and I think the Dr. will be pleased with his progress. We sure are!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baby slept through the night! Almost!

Yep, Bob almost slept through the night. We only got up once after 3-4 hours of sleep. Whew..just like having a newborn and you're up every two hours. Although, we were both more tired this a.m. than other mornings..go figure, right!

Here's my Oct. BJP that I printed my design on. I did fuse on some edges just so I have some extra fabric to allow for quilting and to make sure it fits in my hoop while beading.
Quilting is finished and now the fun! Beading! But wait..I forgot about the hard part..deciding on what colors to use.

I did decide on the left but instead of the green I'm going to use a dark purple or eggplant..why, you ask..hmmm don't know..just getting tired of green. We'll see once the beading starts.

Here's the oatmeal resist pieces I started the other day. This technique was in the latest issue (OCT/NOV) of Quilting Arts magazine pg. 38 by Lisa Kerpoe. This is one of the pieces with the oatmeal drying on it. Kinda messy but worth a try.
One of the pieces with the dye/print paste applied. I used some leftover dye from dye camp so colors aren't great but I used up about 1/16! of the leftover dye! Geezzz Not sure what to do with the might hit the drain!
Here are the two pieces all rinsed out and ironed. Different...the pattern is interesting and I'm sure I can overdye and use somewhere. Not sure I'd use the oatmeal again. I'd prefer other resist methods (potato resin, etc.). You have to be careful of the oatmeal going down your drain if you aren't useing your garbage disposal!

Monday, October 11, 2010

And so the week begins

I did finish sewing together my Klee piece! I'm very happy with it and I only have to come up with some type of border as the finished size needs to be 16" x 20" and my piece is only 12" x 18" and that's with edges quite unfinished! They have to be evened out.

Here's what the back looked like after all the sewing. Once the basting stitched were removed, the paper just slipped out easily. I'm saving the pattern never know!

I just played with a design for my October BJP and printed the design on my commercial fabric that I dyed awhile back. It's bright orange and yellows but I think it will represent fall.

I'm going to try and get this piece quilted up so I can start beading tonight. I also played around with using oatmeal as a resist based on the Quilting Arts article in their latest issue (Oct/Nov). Lis Kerpoe wrote the article and my dye is now 'cooking'. I just used leftover dye from our dye camp so not sure about the strength but I'm sure I can use the fabric somewhere or over dye it if necessary. I'll post pics tomorrow of my progress/process.
Our week is starting out great so far. Bob's still doing so good and now is up to exercising three times a day. We're going to start going up and down the front outside steps multiple times to get him used to going up and down! He's quite capable of getting up from his chair and wandering around the house. I just have to make sure if I run to the grocery store that I take Mandy with me. There's no way he can open the door to let her out but that's ok. She enjoys getting out of the house. So that's it from the hospital/therapy ward! We're doing well and look forward to more progress each day!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Waking up is hard to do!

Our friends from Florida sent this link which is SO cute!!! Thanks, Larry! The lyrics alone are SO funny but the Dr's. can really sing!! Enjoy!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Beading, Bob and Basting!

I did get some beading finished during Bob's surgery and after while visiting with him in the hospital. At least I didn't just sit there! I can't sit still long unless I'm eating or drinking a margarita! I'm using Beth Murr's 'honeycomb' pattern that I purchased on her web site. I like Beth's patterns and she has great video's to help get you started on peyote beading. check out her web site for some of her great clay works in addition to her beading.

Beth's original pattern has a bumble bee in the center of it but I just liked the honeycomb pattern, so I modified it somewhat. I have to finish beading the tops but otherwise these are 99% finished!

No, this isn't Bob's hip! Isn't this cute! Bob got a certificate (photo below) stating he graduated from his physical therapy (actually a day early!).
Along with the certificate, you received either a hip pin or a knee pin. This really is identical to what Bob had put in! I think I'll keep this little one for my birds in case they need a hip replaced! That's about the size of their legs!!

Bob is doing FANTASTIC!!! He has zero pain about 90% of the time so he doesn't' even need to take pain meds more than once or twice a day! He's been doing his exercises faithfully and I bought him a tally finger counter so he can count his own reps (he's up to 35 reps now and has to get to 50). I called Amber last night and was telling her how many exercises/reps grandpa had to do and she multiplied it out - as of yesterday he was up to 360 but today he's up to 420! I'm really proud of how much effort he's putting forth but we also see the results which after less than a week he's way ahead of schedule. He uses the walker but he'll stand on his own to change his shirt or just standing outside after his walk. Just amazing! We think his Dr. (Bruce Lawrence) is the best!!

Now about basting...Laura Kemshall had a video on English paper piecing but not using the technique for contemporary designs but for abstract designs. Before Bob's surgery I had my drawing all marked up and ready to pick out color and fabrics!
Laura recommended you play with colored markers on a copy of your pattern to help decide which fabrics/values you want. I did MANY more than the two below! Just because I had a hard time deciding which color to start with. My drawing above is based on some of Paul Klee's designs so I'm going to finish this for our Inspired by the Master's exhibit. I don't expect to get any of the quilting or hand stitching finished on this before we get to Florida but at least I'll have the top finished.

Yesterday, after Bob got home from the hospital, I started in selecting the colors and fabrics based on the bottom (I think!) drawing I colored in (well, close to it anyway!). I chose a silk duponi fabric for the yellow/orange piece and the rest are just commercial fabrics I had in my stash. I basted all the pieces yesterday in the afternoon and at night. Now I'm ready to sew them together. I do remember making my first quilt using the English paper piecing technique for one of the squares, Grandmother's flower garden!

So off to watch the Michigan/Michigan State game! Tomorrow the Lions are on and I'll either bead or finish this piece (I hope!!!). There are some tricks to follow based on Laura's knowledge she shared so I hope my curved pieces they fit together!!
Thanks again to all our family and friends for the great thoughts and prayers for Bob! They certainly worked!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baby's 1st Steps!

Here's my baby's 1st steps today! Bob is still doing great! He walked (with walker, of course) several times today and we had PT twice. Everyone said he's doing wonderful and way ahead of where he should be. Tonight will be the 'tell' they thought he might be hurting a bit due to how much progress he did today.
So here are Baby's 1st steps today after less than 24 hours after surgery!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Where did he go???

He's not here....

Nor is he here...

There he is!!!! The pictures above are the waiting room after every one else left except me! I was still hunting for my hubby!
Bob's doing great after his hip replacement! Surgery took a little longer than they told me so I started getting REALLY nervous after the 3rd hour! Dr. said he did GREAT! In fact, Bob is only on oral meds to control the pain (no morphine!) and he told the nurse on a scale of 1 - 10 his pain was a ZERO! I know tomorrow he'll have some discomfort with physical therapy and getting up in the chair, etc. But I'm so glad he's comfortable now! he just called me to say he's still feeling great! In fact, while I was there he ate an entire meal! I forgot to tell the nurses that Bob will eat whatever you put in front of him! and he did!! He even drank a container of milk! he never drinks milk except in cereal. It was rather funny. So my BFF is doing well and thanks to all those who helped with the prayers and good thoughts! Keep them up so he does well in his therapy and can come home early!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Out of order...

Long story short..if you want to see some more slices we did, check out my blog post here. I published blog posts out of order...hmmmm

Sunday, October 3, 2010

September BJP Finished

No, this isn't my finished BJP for September. This was my inspiration for my BJP. This quilt (14 1/2" x 36") was a panel I did as part of a group quilt our Aussome fiber group made in 2008 (we were actually juried into the IQA show in Houston! You can see our panel quilt here). I needed to get my BJP for September done so I'm back on schedule (blame it on the dog!) so......

Here is my September BJP called The Reef, I know, go figure! I can't think of anything else to call it and what's in a name anyway!
I had my turtle left over from making my underwater fantasy panel so thought I'd put him to good use now. To make my turtle, you can read the process here. Isn't he sweet looking! I love animals and this guy always had a soft spot with me. Hence, I hung on to him for the past two years!
Some of the beading...
And yes, I used different colored beads for the binding on the bottom vs the sides and top. Figured there's always junk on the ocean floor anyway! OK, truth was I only a few of the light blue beads left so had to dig for something else. So, that's my BJP finished and now to get my October piece ready so I can bead while hubby is recouping!

Hungry for another slice or two??

In my last post on 'SLICES', I mentioned that the small fiber group I belong to, Aussome Fiber Group, also had a challenge back in 2006 to each create a SLICE. Here are our finished pieces from that challenge. I also included Carol's and my piece again this time with our original photo's.

The photo we worked from is first, then followed by the finished quilt. The photo's were either 'sliced' down the middle or at an angle and both photo and quilt each measure 8 1/2" x 11". The name of the person who worked on the slice is shown at the bottom of each picture. Hope you enjoy seeing our SLICEs of art work!

Carol and LoisAnn ended up doing two from their picture.

You can also check out Ellen Lindner's fractured quilts here as well as other artists work she has posted (scroll to bottom of the page to see other slices).