My Favorite Books

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Ian!

Today is Ian's Birthday! 15!! Yikes! So hard to believe. I don't have a picture of him alone from this year so had to crop from a picture when we met the kids in Florida this winter.

Ian had his last track meet on the 20th of this month and had his personal best run!! Congrats, Ian on another great year in Track and Happy Birthday! Kids are traveling back from Grand Rapids as I type this. They had to attend a graduation and ended up celebrating Ian's BD too.

check out the next picture and you'll see how tall Ian is!! He's on the left and his dad is on the right! Must be all the running he does!

I have been busy working on three different projects and of course playing!
Laura Kemshall showed how to make collagraph print designs and prints so I had to try it!

I didn't have any etching inks (but I have ordered some!) so I used my Trapsuutjies paints instead.
They actually worked out nicely which is a good way to use up these paints. My friend, Mary, and I ordered them two or more years ago and we did play with them. They really are nice to use in screen printing and general painting but I often forget to use them. Mary gave me some of hers since she wasn't using them so this was a good project to try them out on.

I uploaded my pictures backwards so.....this is my collagraph design printed on watercolor paper. It's suppose to be a Hosta leaf. Just pretend it looks like a Hosta leaf! I just printed it using my rolling pin since I didn't have a pasta machine! It still worked!
This is my collagraph plate design on cardboard made with masking tape and packing tape. I didn't take a picture before I put the paint on it otherwise you might see the tape(s) better. When I get my Etching inks I'll take pictures in progress which will be much better I'm sure. This was a very quick design and I didn't use small pieces of tape like Laura did but I will with my next design.
and I'm almost finished making a beaded bracelet for myself. I made one for a friend and wanted one for myself. I've been working on this while watching the Tigers on TV...I'm also working on my Cardinal and I'll show pics of it tomorrow.
And this is a sneak peak at my MQAI - Art of the Kitchen quilt. The exhibit is in Sept. and the quilts are due in July. I want to get this piece finished as it will be my last target date piece I have to do for 2011! Yippee!! Then I play and create when and what I want! I'll show the rest of the piece and the process once it's finished.
We're watching the weather (man) right now as storms are severe and even some hail is being predicted. It was in the high 80's today and yesterday and we actually had one day with no rain! We've even had the air on for the past two days! We'd prefer to have the windows open but it was so humid and hot you couldn't stand it. Feel like we're in Miami, Florida! Now I know why i don't go to Florida in the summer! I'm not a fan of the high temps at all. Fall is my favorite time of the year! Well, off to watch the Tigers if the cable doesn't go out!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Making progress on my BJP/Cardinal but I am jumping around a tad...just because I get bored with one area and this way it gives me a better idea on what shade/color of beads to use. I hope to get his eye on this afternoon.
Because I'm using so many different shades of reds on this piece, I'm now 'stuck' to beading in my sewing room. That's not bad as I'm now hooked on watching Court TV and the trial for Casey Anthony - so sad. Anyway, check out the SUN shining in the window on my cutting/beading table!! Yes, friends, that is sun! This was taken a few days ago because all we've had is rain! And more to come.

At least I can sew 'Georgia' while watching TV and I have made some progress on this piece. I'm really liking the colors and of course, my workmanship on this piece compared to the 1st one I started.

Tonight is our CCC fiber group meeting and we're meeting friends for dinner ahead of time. Bob hasn't golfed since last Thursday, which is good. I think resting the leg will do him good. Thank goodness he has his 65" TV to watch!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A little of this..a little of that

Check out my latest Amaryllis bloom(s)! You can barely see the one in the back of the picture but it's as breathtaking as this one but not as fully bloomed out (is that a term??).

I am so happy with my bulbs I bought in Ocala the past two years. I don't see where the vendor has a web site but he does have a yahoo group on growing Amaryllis plants. I am going to send a picture of my flowers only because he was concerned they may not make it back to Michigan. I put them in a sack and kept the bulbs refrigerated until I planted them.

This is another picture I took of my 1st blooms. I love the colors...a quilt in the making???

I am going to get back to beading my Cardinal for the BJP. I've been beading and working on other projects. One is for the MQAI, Art of the Kitchen, exhibit that's due in July. The exhibit opens in Sept. and I finally have my design and started working on it. I'll show it at some point in time! But for now, hand work will be my birds! I'm now considering doing six birds and six butterfly's. You know how bored I get working on the same thing! :)

This is a peyote bracelet I finished for a gift. I'll mail it out tomorrow and hope the recipient likes it. I do have a question for my beader friends. Why or what is the difference if you bead using odd count flat peyote or even count?? I did this bracelet using even count peyote and I can't see much difference in the edges compared to the Easter bracelet I made Amber using odd count?? I am proud of myself because I made this pattern up myself!!! Ouch! That's me patting myself on the back!

It's warm again today and humid. Clouds are rolling in and severe weather is due by late this afternoon. It's so sad for all the folks who have lost their homes and possessions due to tornado's! I just can't imagine the loss this people feel. My prayers are certainly with them.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It runs in the family

Yes, running does 'run' in the family! Amber belongs to a running group at school that meets twice a week called 'Girls on the Run'. This past weekend they participated in a 5K run and her mom and aunt joined her! How cool is that! Auntie is in the black and mom is on the right. Amber has the sunglasses on and her friend, also named Amber is in the front of the pack.
I think it's great that Amber was and is involved in this group at school and really cool that her mom and aunt participated in this race. From what they told me there were over 500 runners!

This is a piece that I finished in Florida but couldn't show a pic of it. You can read about the project here on Tommy F's. blog here. It was a fun project and I think the entire piece turned out great! check it out!!

No rain for two days!, but rain due in today. Go figure! It is good for the plants and since my hobbies are inside guess it doesn't matter, does it! I just don't like the humidity and I love having the windows open. So far we haven't needed the air on but I'm sure that will change soon. More beading today since I did my cleaning and laundry yesterday! Play day for me!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Product Review for Beaders

This is my newest tool for beading and I love it! It's called the Tacky Mat and it is just that. The mat is made of a sticky, rubber material that holds the beads in place and hold it, it does!
This next picture is being held up in the air while I took the picture! You can barely see the beads, but they are NOT falling off! There's no residue on the beads either! Great product!
I used the mat for over an hour or two yesterday working on the bracelet and didn't lose one bead. It does take a little while to get used to picking up the beads but I got into the swing of it after awhile. Even if the needle punctures the rubber it seems to heal itself. It's only 4" x 4" and sells for under $6. I ordered mine online via Hobby Lobby (w/free shipping!) and did see on their web site that the larger JoAnn's, Michael's and Hobby Lobby sell them.

Now to some stamping I did the other day. One of the Kemshall's/DMTV showed fabric printing using the heat mouldable foam. Our fiber group played with this foam several years ago and I still have some of the fabric and paper pieces I stamped but never used. Laura used a small medicine bottle and for those who know me I have several of these small bottles (OK, and several large, antique bottles!) so of course I had to play. This is the bottle I used, which is only about 3" high.
Laura had a great suggestion on using your iron rather than the heat gun (which we used before) to heat up the foam to prepare for stamping. I just put parchment paper on top of the foam then pressed the bottle onto the foam.
Then I starting to print. I just grabbed a small piece of hand dyed fabric and filled the entire piece. I did use white paint for the first print but I didn't like the look of it so I switched to a dark blue/purple paint. The pictures don't show the printing that well but the piece did turn out pretty cool!

Dr. called yesterday and will reck Bob on the 6th of June. He's not totally in agreement with the radiology report but between you and me I think the radiologist is correct and the prosthesis is loose. The Dr. is on vacation for two weeks so....Bob wouldn't go to another Dr. so we just don't have no choice but to wait. Until then Bob is to do what he normally does but not heavy, physical activity. Which means he'll still golf unless he can't walk.
I have my design for the MQAI exhibit that's due in July and dyed a piece of background fabric but then I had another idea last night so I want to play with that today. That's always the problem for me...I get TOO many ideas and want to do them all! Type 'A'...yep!

Friday, May 20, 2011


Well, the first news is Bob's hip replacement has loosened up at the distal (thigh) area!! Not good at all. He had a bone scan on Monday and Dr.'s office called yesterday with results. Of course, Bob was golfing! so I got the news first. They will call back today to tell us what/when/how they will correct this but it will require surgery again.

Yesterday I started a peyote bracelet for a gift and I'm making up my own pattern! Who knew! The bracelet is a little over one inch wide and I think will turn out quite nice.
I have to show pics of my Amaryllis plants I bought in Florida this year. I bought two more bulbs to add to the one I bought in 2010. There are five blooms on this plant already!! isn't it beautiful!

You can see the other blooms on the plant and the other plant on the right which is just starting to grow. My plant from 2010 is behind this pot and it is growing. I think the flower won't come up for another month but it is growing! I'm really excited about these bulbs making it back from the 2 1/2 day ride from Florida to Michigan.
I also played with stamping on fabric after watching the Kemshall's latest DMTV. I'll post pics of that tomorrow. Today we stay home waiting for call from the Dr.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Grandma Time

Well, my four days with the grand kids is over but I had a blast! Even Mandy had a good time but she did have to take her beauty naps. Maybe I should have done that! This post won't have any of my 'art work' in it but some of the kids! Honestly, I am only 64 but in the video at the end of this post I look like 90! Kids had fun face painting and we even got one of Nick's friends from the neighborhood involved (with is mom's permission!).

But check out the pattern in the pillow next to Mandy! That's some inspiration isn't it! Now on to the rest of our time together.

This was one of the projects Nick and I worked on. He bought a solar kit what you could make different toys from and he elected to make a boat. Of course the sun hasn't been out so no solar power..although, I'm sure the wires aren't attached properly so his dad will have to assist!

This was another 'calm' project Nick did building with his lego's and of course the 3 of us played Monopoly!
Now..on to the Face Painting! Amber got a face painting kit and we had a ball. This was Amber with her 1st face painting grandma did for her. We started off not being too daring! The picture in the bathroom is Amber seeing her face for the first time.

Nick wanted red, white and blue. Same here with Nick, seeing his face painted for the first time.

This was Amber's 2nd face painting of a butterfly I did on Sunday. Doesn't she look great! I love the colors on her. She kept the paint on so her mom and dad could see when they got home in the afternoon.

Nick and his friend wanted to reflect a football team. Nick wanted to be a Lion football player..I know it looks like a Tiger but I didn't know how to draw a lion! Close enough, right! His friend, Matthew, wanted to be a Viking football player and Nick did his face painting. Good job!
On Sunday, Matthew came back over and the kids talked about college football. So Matthew wanted to be a Michigan State player. Amber did a great job on him and then wrote on his arms too.
Nick want to be U of M (YEA!!) so I painted 'M' on his cheeks and filled in with yellow. How cute is that!! And he has his hair cut again which makes him look so great!!!
So now for some video's! I also feel in love with Spike, the bearded lizard Nick has!! Who knew!! He's a sweetheart!!! I loved feeding him so I had to take a video when Nick fed him.

And this next video will probably come back to haunt me at some point in my life but I think it's rather funny. I look like I'm 90 years old!!! Or maybe I just look that way but never see myself on video! While Amber was painting me, I was working on Nick's solar boat. Nick was the photographer and did a pretty good job even though he was laughing so hard he could hardly hold the camera still!

So I hope you all got a little chuckle from us! Now on to doing some art work of my own!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Time with grandma day 1

Well, day 1 has worked so far so good with the grand kids. At least no fish disasters! although, one of the cats keeps getting on top of the lizards cage. Thanks goodness for locks on tops of cages or I'd be taking home a lizard this week! I have to admit Spike, the lizard, is so cute! We hand fed him last night some meal worms and this a.m. fed him lettuce by hand! SOOOO cute!!! Who knew, right!

The picture of me above is after Amber did a makeup job on me last night. You have to check out the video below of the process!
Kids were good about getting their showers and to bed on time last night. Tonight we're going to have dinner with Auntie Dawn and Uncle Jeff. This has been a weekly ritual with the kids on Friday's which is really nice to keeping family together. After dinner, we're getting in our pj's and having movie night w/popcorn in a bowl. Something new out by Orville Redenbacher.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Start of April BJP

This is my April BJP journal quilt I started yesterday. Geez, it's been at least a month since I've done any free motion quilting so I had to spend some time 'practicing'! You can see my practice piece at the end of this bog.

This BJP will be a cardinal and I'm excited about working in different shades of reds, gray/blue and black! I sat this afternoon for awhile and did some outlining of the breast area, so at least I've started.

This is a line drawing I found on the web to use as my pattern. I've also printed out several different cardinals to see the shades of reds and the gray/blue..who knew they had blue/gray in their feathers! Well, at least the pics I printed out do!

And this is my practice piece I quilted. It seemed strange to do free motion quilting again! I was going to quilt some more backgrounds for my BJP but the old arthritis started up so that gave me an excuse to stop! I'll use this when totally filled with stitching for fiber cards.

I'm really excited about the next four days! I'll be with the grand kids while Darrin and Kris go away for their yearly anniversary get-a-way! The kids and I have so much fun and I'm really looking forward to being with them. Plus, I hope to get to see Dawn and Jeff while I'm there since they live the next street over from the kids! I most likely won't take my beading but will take 'Georgia' with me to sew. That project is so portable and will be good to work on while kids are sleeping or at school.

Bob will be golfing and keeping busy with baseball on TV and his Excel programs, while I'm gone. He loves to program different golf score programs, which are quite extensive! Amazes me what he can do in Excel. I'm an Access database girl myself!

Mandy is doing pretty good and still has to wear her collar if I'm not sitting beside her. She'll be coming with me to the kids so I can watch her closely.

Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their week and weekend. I know this grandma will be!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm a Chico's Girl!

OK, so we ALL know I don't look like this! But I still like the clothes from Chcio's! And guess what the kids got me for Mother's Day! A whole boatload of clothes from Chcio's! Wonder if they think 'mum' needs a new wardrobe! You think! And guess beige clothes in the bunch!!
It was so exciting to come home from a wonderful brunch Dawn and Amber cooked for all of us to celebrate Mother's Day! It's a wonder the clothes didn't fit me because I ate so much! Thanks, Kids!!!

Actually, I do have to return some of the tops for a different size but what fun to go to Chico's! My friend, Carol in Florida, and I would head to Chicio's as soon as we saw any sales along with our coupons! We had a great time and when she comes up to Michigan we're heading to the Chicio's Outlet store! I picked up a pair of white Capri's a few years ago for $8 at the Chico's Outlet store so you can find good bargains if you look hard enough!

Here is our Mandy girl! Actually she looks more pitiful than she really is. Yesterday she had to have four moles removed. One was on her cheek and it was so large they had to cut about a 2" incision.

She's doing really well but I can't have her scratch the incision on her cheek so she's back in her 'decorated' E collar. I'll be home the next two days then off to the kids so I can keep an eye on her. She came home yesterday hungry and running around, which was a first for her after surgery!

I made Mary Jo (DIL in Indiana) one of my beaded rings and she sent me this picture after her manicure! MJ loves pink so I made her a ring in Bubble Gum delica's. It's a little tight so I'm making another one for her in the silver.

My neighbor, Lori, became a grandma this past winter so for Mother's Day I made her and her new grand daughter, Annabella, a fabric picture book. Our kids and even grown kids have had these (I made MJ one when they lost their dog, Betsy a few years ago). I don't do the baby quilts anymore so this is in place of a quilt!

This is the cover

Inside pages

Back cover

Today, I'll work on doing some cleaning and then start quilting my bird journal for April. I found a line drawing of a cardinal so that will be my next journal bird. I am working on 'Georgia' when I'm not beading. Did you see Justin V. get his no hitter the other night!! How cool is that!! Made the game exciting for sure. Let's hope the Tiger's continue on their 'roll'...but nothing lasts does it!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

March BJP Bird

This is my March BJP 2011 beaded bird. Yes, I'm behind but that's ok. I'll finish all 12 at some point!! This is a Blackpoll Warbler and the bird design is from Helene Knott who creates some beautiful applique quilts. Check out here web site here.

This is just a closeup of some of the beading. Each of my journal pieces are around 9 1/2" x 12". Right now they are unfinished on the edges as I'm going to cut them down and attach each to gallery wrapped canvas. I'll paint branch's extending around the pieces on the canvas. At least that's my thought process now!

My January bird is here and February is here, in case you're interested in keeping up with this year's journals.

Sun is out today! Yippee! I'll be heading over to pick up some Parmesan pepper bread at our local market and Bob wants to run some errands as well. At least we won't be dodging rain as we go in and out of the car and stores! Tomorrow is breakfast at Dawn and Jeff's for Mother's Day (and it's their anniversary too!). Amber is spending the night with her aunt and uncle so she can help cook breakfast. Isn't that so sweet!! I'm looking forward to the food and time with all the kids.