My Favorite Books

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Kris!

Happy Birthday, Kris!!! Yesterday was my day with grand kids and they wanted to surprise 'mom' with dinner and cake. We invited Auntie Dawn and Uncle Jeff too (but grandpa was out golfing so he missed out!).
The kids were SO excited about the day. We took off early to get to the grocery store to pick up some items then off to Hallmark store. Darrin had left $$'s for the kids to shop as Amber had it set in her mind on what she wanted to get Kris. It was a special necklace you fill with charms that she saw around Mother's Day and it was the only gift she wanted to get her mom.

Nick found a beautiful butterfly clock (he also got a butterfly balloon, see a pattern here?) he picked out. It was very pretty with inlayed Mother of Pearl. He thought mom could take to her work office.

Here are kids working hard in the kitchen! We really did have fun! Nick learned how to remove the shells from garlic and how to chop safely with one hand - grandma doesn't want two hands on the cutting board!! He made the garlic bread and was quite proud of that.

Amber found out her mom's favorite cake is coconut so that's what she wanted to make.

Nick working hard on making garlic butter for the bread.

He was so careful in melting the garlic butter.

The kids even made up signs they hung on the mail box and in the garage wishing happy birthday to their mom. They were SO excited about every part of the day and couldn't wait for their mom to get home and see their efforts and taste their food!

Amber also made the meat for stuffed shells. We had a lb. of chopped sirloin but we did make over 40+ shells and ran out. What to do next? Well, Amber and I improvised and made stuffed cheese shells! And guess what? They were really good! Amber decided she liked them better than the meat! Who knew!

The only real upset was the cake. It did stick to the pan and kinda crumbled but it tasted great! Really was good! I brought some fresh picked strawberries so Amber and I cut them up and we all ended up putting them on top of the cake.

All in all the dinner turned out good and it was nice to sit with all the kids even though Uncle Jeff was telling how to get rid of chipmunks! Bad Uncle Jeff!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Together again - RIP NoName

Yesterday wasn't the most pleasant of days for me. I lost my little NoName bird. I took both Grace and NoName in for their 'manicures' but for some reason he passed on when they finished. Dr. Reese called me into an examining room, which I knew was strange but I thought perhaps they found an issue with one of the birds. I still wasn't worried because they both ate and appeared healthy, other than NoName's sudden beak growth since winter. I've had to have his beak trimed four times since Jan. Everyone was very kind and Dr. Reese continue to hold NoName and pet his head. We just don't know if it was a clot, heart attack or what. Could even be why his beak growth was so rapid. NoName did have a good life and now he'll be with his mate, Cheap, who is on the right in the picture above.
NoName was a Bourke Parakeet and the mate of Cheap, who passed away at age 20 herself! Bob gave me NoName for Valentine's Day in 1992 and he's been to Florida every winter for the past few years with Gracie. I wrapped him in some soft batting and buried him in the front garden area.
Bourke's are a beautiful little bird with blue and pink feathers and just the sweetest little birds. If taken care of, these little birds can live quite a long time, which I can attest to. RIP NoName......

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cuff is finished!

I finished my cuff bracelet yesterday! I'm really happy with it and can't wait to start on another one! Or something else. My loom looks so lonely with nothing on it!
You can see my 'smiley face' mistake on the right inside corner but I think it looks kinda cute!
I sat out on the deck yesterday and felt like I was putting the binding on a quilt when I removed the warp threads and attached my clasp. It is time consuming but very relaxing to finish.

I used one of the six e-patterns I purchased from Suzanne Cooper. She has some great designs and I'll make another one using another of her patterns for my 3rd project. Check out her web site for using a variety of beading techniques. Lots to choose from!

Busy week with just about each of us going to 'day spa' starting with Mandy and birds today! Weather has been just wonderful, not too hot or not too cool for a Michigan summer! Life is good!

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's all about me!

I was going to post pics from our fiber meeting last night but...I finished my cardinal before going to the meeting so today it's all about me!

So here's my April BJP which is approximately 9" x 11". It seems to be taking me more time to bead these birds so I behind on producing a monthly BJP. But....I'm kinda over the 'target date thing' so I'm just taking my time and enjoying the process vs being all stressed out about meeting a target date.

These are just a few of the closeup detail of my little bird.

Before I start my next bird or butterfly (I'm going to do six of each), I'm going to start attaching my first BJP bird onto canvas, as this is how I want to display them. I do have to finish 'the twins' first and then I'll start working on my process for attaching the birds.

Bob is still feeling great!!! No pain...can't figure it out! But we're thankful for him feeling so good and golfing! He does have some back issues and we'll get the MRI report mid July but he's also doing his back exercises each morning, which seems to be helping his leg/hip pain. Hmmmmmmm

Good day to do some art work, beading, whatever...misty rain but suppose to clear up with temps in the high 60's!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Painted Pot

So what's up with the picture of a bowl of cereal and peaches? Well, our sweet grand daughter surprised me, while shopping yesterday, with two peaches and pieces of Lindt candy grandpa and I love so much! What a sweetheart! I kept wanting to pay for them but she wouldn't let me and it was because she was surprising me with the peaches. They are really good, sweet and juicy! Thank you little one!!! How thoughtful!

Yesterday the kids and I went to the Painted Pot to paint ceramics. We did this two years ago and it's always a fun day. Amber is painting a pig bank and she did a great job.

The butterfly is mine...what a challenge. I didn't want
The butterfly is mine and what a challenge! I used left over paints because I didn't want to waste them.
Nick did a football and a great job on it too!
He also did a peace sign which is below.

Here he was searching for something

Amber's finished pig! She's so cute!

and check out the stamped flower she put on it too!

Nick's peace sign
Amber cleaning up for us! She could work there!

Our finished pieces! Kids will pick them up after work on day next week or we'll take another trip to Rochester.

All in all we had a great day! And grandma got a bike!! My DIL's mom and dad dropped off two brand new bikes they don't use any more. I rode the old style Huffy and it was great!! It felt so good to be back in the saddle again!

I'm going to buy the Huffy and pick up a helmet tomorrow. Lookout world! Bike riding grandma is at it again!!

We have our fiber meeting tonight so hope to have some nice show and tell to post about tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meet the twins!

So before you get to meet the 'Twins'! Wanted to show the progress on my cuff I'm beading on the loom! Yes, I just love saying "beading on the loom"!, it has such a nice ring to it!!

I'm at the half way mark and really love beading on the loom. Yes, I've had to rip some rows out now and then but heck that's all part of the process. There are two mistakes I made on it but you know's for me and only I will know it! Hmmmm Wait!! Now that I put that to print everyone will know it!! But that's one is perfect and I'm sure far from to introduce the twins speaking of not being perfect!

Here are the Twins! I starting working on my quilt for the Michigan Quilt Artist Invitational traveling exhibit a few weeks ago. The theme is Art of the Kitchen so I decided to do a Betty Boop. I posted on how I wasn't happy with some of the weaving and the fact my yellow pencil marks were not coming out of the piece.

So I redid Betty and this is the newest one here to the right.
I couldn't see throwing the first Betty out since I had so much of it finished, so I figured i would just finish it and keep for myself. If I hang it far enough away no one can see the yellow marks, it should be fine!

Both of these pieces are larger than I need for the 20" x 24" finished size.

I quilted on the woven edges using red thread (hard to see unless you click on pic) yesterday and finished that part on both. Next I need to quilt around Betty and on the piece in other areas.

I'm happy with Betty and think it's a fun piece, which is what I was after.

If you would like to take a peak at another quilt Mary received for the exhibit, check out our SAQA Michigan blog . The quilt is by Laurie Ceesay who does fantastic portrait pieces and her Art of the Kitchen is wonderful!!

So off to work on my cardinal and watch the Tigers! Although, they are out in California and don't start until 10 p.m.!! I'm sure there's some other dumb shows on so I can still bead. Wed. is day with grand kids and I might get to ride a bike! More on that later!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Busy Days - Not Really

The past few days have been a blurr..I did go to the Genesee Start Quilters guild meeting on Friday a.m. then off to do errands and lunch. Sat. my friend, Mary and I went to the Flint Market (pics follow) but I also started on my 2nd loom piece!
Here's what I got done on Sat. afternoon sitting out on the deck just relaxing and listening to my Ipod (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book). This is a cuff pattern and I'm loving it so far!
Here's my little loom all set up to work. I have it on a piece of plywood hubby cut for me a few years ago so it's quite portable.

I really like this pattern by Suzanne Cooper that I purchased last week. It's part of a set of five E-patterns Suzanne has.

Not sure where or how I happened upon her web site but I've had it bookmarked for quite sometime and I do receive her newsletter. Besides her beading, Suzanne has a Bichon too! So stop by and check out some of her work and her patterns. I also bought her 'Really, Really Round Flat Peyote' pattern set. But that's for another project down the road! And yes, I have started the branch on my Cardinal but...

Saturday, Mary and I left early for the Flint Farmer's Market. I haven't been to it in years and years and was really impressed with how it's grown. Vendors, veggies, fruit, cheese, meats, name it and they had it!

This is a mural at the front of the market area that was created by Guy Adamec and you can read more about it here.

Just one of the vendors

So after going to market and beading we just sat and watched the golf Open and actually went to bed early. Good thing because I was up from 12:15 a.m. until after 3:30 a.m. SICK!! UGH!! Sunday consisted of getting Bob off to a Father's Day golf outing at 6:45a.m. then back to bed until 8; called Darrin and Jeff and back to bed (with Mandy, of course). Bob got home around 3:30 and said he was hungry...hungry?? What's that about?? My hope for him was to take a nap which took place quickly so I had a reprieve...fortunately I always have leftovers in the freezer so he had salad and spaghetti. I did make some chicken soup but only drank the broth (Grace ate the veggies).

So today I'v been working on my Art of the Kitchen piece trying to get the quilting finished. At least I'm almost back to normal and feel like eating's a good way to lose weight! Have to look at the positive side of being sick! Yes, my glass is half full at all times! Speaking of which, I'm off to get some more water!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Just showing some works in progress..the first one isn't mine. This is a piece my friend Carol T. is working on. Carol does quite a bit of drawing with watercolor on paper and she also paints quite a few of her art quilts. This is a piece she's drawing on fabric with pencils and I think it's turning out really good! I was really impressed with how it's coming out and she's actually inspired me to try doing some flowers on fabric. I have the book 'The Botanical Palette' and I'm going to trace some flowers to play with. Carol draws all of her pieces and does a really good job...I can trace really good so that's what I'll stick with!

The next 'WIP' is my bracelet I started on my loom! Yippee!! I did finish it with the exception of the clasp. I'm really pleased with how my first attempt at bead loom work!! I really love working on the loom with the beads and I'm anxious to get started on my next piece. I want to make a cuff so I'm looking at some different designs or I might even make up my own pattern again.

Beautiful weather again today with some rain early this a.m. Cool breeze and a nice day to bead outside as well! Temps suppose to be in the 80's by next week so I'm sure kids will be doing lots of swimming!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm bead weaving!

Before I talk about my 'bead weaving' (I'm SO excited!) here's the bird almost finished! I have to add the branch and he'll be finished. It's good or should I say bad TV time in the late spring/summer so a gal needs lots of hand work! Butterfly's are next in my mind so I'll have to get started but..... if you follow my 'life' here on my blog, I've posted about Erin Simonetti's beautiful bead loom work on her blog and how impressed and inspired I am by her work! I've been doing quite a bit of reading online and watching YouTubes regarding bead on a loom and really wanted to try this method of beading.
So check out what I found this past Sat. at the Beadifferent bead shop in Oxford! A bead loom!!!! I am SO excited! The loom measures 9 1/2" x 14" with a working area of 8" (in case I want to make an arm band!). The loom was made by the husband of someone who taught beading on a loom several years ago at the shop and he did a great job. The bead store only had this one left and had to go in their downstairs storage area to find it! I am really so pleased with this loom as it's VERY stable and adjustable as well so I can lay it flat or work on a slant, as I have it in the pics. Can you see the start of my little bracelet in the pic above?

And here's my work in progress! I actually made up my own design too! How cool is that! OK, so I impress myself sometimes! I only have 11 warp threads and I'm using # 11 Delica's so the bracelet is only about 1/2" wide. But it's my first attempt!!! Erin has some wonderful tips on her blog about adding an edge on your work while it's still on the loom. That will be my next step!

So here's my little bracelet almost finished!I've ordered several beading on a loom books from our library and two are in so I'll pick those up today. Erin is also working on a book and I'll certainly be first in line to buy her book!! If you haven't checked out Erin's work, do check out her blog and web site! it's worth the trip!

We're off for Bob's MRI on his back today but not until late this afternoon. That's good so I'll have time to review some of Erin's tips on adding an edge on beadwork. Temps have been wonderful in the mid 70's! My kind of weather so I can even sit outside and bead!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Big Top!

Yep, yesterday we were under the Big Top! Chrysler employees and their families got to spend a fun filled day at the Auburn Hills headquarters and we were part of the 40,000+ who were there! Yes, over 40,000! Dawn started her new job as manager in the Learning/Development area with Chrysler this past spring, hence, Darrin, Kris, Amber, Nick and I were able to enjoy all the events yesterday. Dawn was a volunteer in the a.m. so we met up with her around 11:45. We headed up to the cafeteria where they fed everyone free! We had our choice of hamburgs, hot dogs, veggies bean burger (it was really good!) and chicken tenders! Even on the grounds there was free pop, Gatorade, water and ice cream..oh, also snow cones, cotton candy, Carmel galore!!

You can't see very well the hanging on the building but it's Chrysler's new logo: IMPORTED FROM DETROIT, which i just love!!!

So here are some of our photos as we enjoyed a great day of fun, laughs, some disappointments (Nick missed the motor cross bike demos - but I did find 3 videos on line and sent to the kids to show him!). It was so much fun being with the kids and I just loved seeing some of the unique areas where they build, test and design the cars! I'd never have an opportunity to do this so I took advantage of seeing everything I could. Bob would have really enjoyed these areas as well but he just couldn't have walked. We WALKED all day!! through the entire complex!! I was pooped when I got home and a little sore as well! But it was well worth it!!

You have to check out the video I'm posting at the bottom. It was a 'clown' who was a hoot and quite talented. check it out!