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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011!

Can you tell who is for Michigan and who is for Michigan State?

Nick looks like he was hunting for something...I'm sure he found it! Kids should have a decent night tonight weather wise. Not sure how many we'll have come through our sub. In 2006 we had 298 kids to give candy to! I decided I'm only buying enough candy for up to 200! In 2008, we only had 99 kids! Most years it's 180-200+...because we are in a rural area, they actually 'bus' the kids in to our subs. Which is fine, so the little ones can at least celebrate Halloween. I have enough candy for 200 this year...if any is leftover, Bob eats it or I'll give to my son to take to his work! I don't want it in the house!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wings are done!

Yippee....wings are all done and I have started on the body! I might get this beaded piece finished by Christmas!
I'm almost finished with the quilting on my daughter's topper too...just a few more hours to finish the echo quilting then the binding and yes, she might get her BD gift by Christmas as well!
Then I have another quilt to finish for Christmas so no playing until I get to Florida on other art projects that's for sure!

I did make another humbug bag for a friend as a BD gift. This is from a quilt I made several, several years ago that I cut apart. I did some faint foiling and some beading to jazz up the fabric some. I also made it a tad larger than my bag because I wasn't sure what all my friend might put in hers.

Detail on beading
The coolest part on this bag is how I inserted/sewed in the zipper! I happened upon a tutorial from Paula Storm on her blog on how to insert zippers in small bags. Of course the first time I tried it on this bag I used a metal zipper...yes, I had read that on her blog to not use metal but I forgot. So back to JoAnn's and I picked up a poly zipper and wow! So easy and doesn't the top look nice! You have to check out Paula's blog and the post on inserting the zipper. Very cool idea. THANKS, Paula!
So the start of another week begins! Busy as usual but I guess at our age that's a good thing! At least we're both only coughing every 30 minutes rather than every 5 minutes! Maybe we'll get our flu shots by Christmas too!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Black and white tangles finished

I finished this one I showed a few posts back. I just love working in black and white. I'm going to look for some gray paper to work on. I watched some zentangles done on the gray using white for shading and adding color. Next on my 'to do' list!
This was my 'yin/yang' version. Kalee and I have only had two walks today but did some more of the lessons for crate games. What a hoot! These are some training techniques by Susan Garratt, a trainer from Canada. My friend loaned me her DVD and I'm thinking I'm going to have to buy it. It's a really interesting method for preparing your dog for recall, agility and just playing games with them. Puppies have to be kept busy so this is perfect for Kalee. Especially with all the rain we've been having. Florida is sounding better each day!
Bob and I are still hacking away and blowing our nose. I can't believe how many boxes of Kleenex tissue we've gone through!!! Hopefully, tomorrow we'll both be feeling a bit better! Let's hope!

Monday, October 24, 2011

What would you do?

My son sent this to me. What a hoot!
What would you do?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Back to tangles

Weather has been rainy and or windy all week and in the 40's or 50's but feels like the 30's. Today it was windy and rainy and just miserable to be out and about...which I had to be.
Tomorrow is the same with running around but we're not suppose to have any rain. It sure would be nice to take Kalee outside without my raincoat and hood!
Before I show some of the zentangle pieces I've
been working on, here is half of my beaded butterfly completed! Well, almost half...a bottom wing and body left to do! Yippee!! I might get finished before 2012 after all!

Several weeks ago I took another Zentangle class at the Edge Gallery in Fenton. The class was learning to creating zentangle mandalas. We also learned several new Zentangle patterns (a few of the patterns pictures are below in this post). Since I can't do my beading while watching Kalee and TV, it's back to zentangles!

This is one of the mandalas we started on in class. I finished at home then added some color.

I did this one two nights ago. I love working in black and white and I'm looking forward to finishing this one.
At the class, we had to make snow flakes to trace onto our paper to then make a symmetrical 8 sided design. this was my funky snowflake.
Some of the patterns we learned in class that night.

And this is another one I did last night using my snowflake for a pattern. I'm still not sure if I'll add anything to the white areas or not.
So that's all so far. I work a few minutes on my daughters table topper at a time so not much more to show on that. Echo quilting will take some time. Most likely won't post any work until after the weekend. Just hope we see some sun while taking our daily five walks!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Yes, I am getting back into a routine, finally! Today was coloring the gray roots, so after taking Kalee on two walks early a.m. and mid morning off to hairdressers I went. That does eat up about 3 hours of my time so I didn't get back home until after 2.
For some reason, I was just tired, so I admit I just watched a DVD movie (Switched, I think was the name) and beaded some. Cute movie but of course after, I had to take Kalee on two walks, the last one was about 30 min. ago for her last walk of the day. kalee's doing great on the leash going for walks and her sit/stay and down/stay are doing well too.

Here's the progress on the bottom wing on my butterfly. I think it's coming along pretty good so far but I didn't get much beaded on it yesterday watching the Lions lose their game!! Talk about nerve racking! Geeezzzz I figured they were due to lose but it still was heartbreaking. There's always next week, right!
The veins are all quilted on Dawn's topper.

And I've now started to echo quilt around the leaves and stems. I think the echo quilting is better than trying to do some type of design or doodling. This picture is quite dark but you get the idea.
Tomorrow I have Dr. appt, then some ultra sound(s), Kalee's vet appt and quilt guild meeting. Busy week running all over every day, which I don't care for but I hope to squeeze in some sewing or beading in between all the running. Time management, right!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How sweet!

Bob and I are so fortunate to have the best kids! Look at what Kris (our DIL) stopped by to bring us, along with the grand kids!! Kris made butternut squash and roasted red pepper soup! They also brought a loaf of bread, some Jalapeno honey spread, cider and fresh donuts!! How how sweet was that!! It's nice to know we have great kids that will take care of us in our old age!! The soups will be so good for our colds! Funny, I was looking in the freezer this a.m. to see what I could make for dinner tonight and nothing looked good to me. Now I'm looking forward to dinner! Maybe we'll eat early during half time of Lion's game!!

It was really nice to see the kids too. Of course Kalee was SO excited. I know I was suppose to have her on a lease to meet kids but the they were all so excited. They each gave her a treat when she sat in front of them, which she did several times. We're all still learning.

I'm doing great on my project management and will post pics tomorrow of my progress!! Yesterday, I cleaned house, did some laundry, did Kalee's lessons and walks, cut back all five hosta plants filling an entire lawn/leaf bag, finished quilting the leaves on Dawn's topper and did some beading! I have to admit I slept REALLY good last night. I started quilting the background on Dawn's piece this a.m. and hope to do some beading on my butterfly while watching the Lions!! Score is 3-0 in favor of Lions! Let's hope that keep up!! And my project management keeps up as well!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Raising a baby!

Well, it's been a month since we lost our Mandy girl and our lives certainly have been turned upside down. Raising a puppy is like having a toddler in the house. I have a few friends who have small grand children and even one who has raised a grand child and great grand child. I forgot what those days were like. Our grand kids are now 8 through 20 so those toddler years have been erased from my memory!
Our kids don't understand why I need to devote so much time to raising Kalee. As my son said "it's only a puppy, mum". Yes, Kalee is just a puppy but I want her to be a good dog and not a monster puppy/dog. I also want her to be a therapy dog like Mandy was and to be that type of dog she needs good training. I feel it's worth the effort but it is time consuming.
I know the one good out of all of this is the exercise I'm getting! Walking Kalee at least 4-5 times a day gets the old joints moving as does climbing up and down the stairs to take her outside. That's the good side.
The off shoot is the time to devote to training her is certainly taking away from my family and artwork. I have to get into a new routine of working her and then working my old schedule back into our routine. So this week I'm going to try to start a new daily routine. My old routine was to get up, pick up house, decide dinner menu then start my art work or my outings. I now to add in her routine to my routine. Hmmmm I might have to take an online project management course! It's been 12 years since I've had to manage a project so guess I better get started on Project Kalee! OK, so Monday is dye root day, Tues. is Dr. appt, Wed. is puppy class...hmmmmm guess we'll start project management on Thursday!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Yep, that's all Bob and I have been doing this past week. Actually, Bob started with the cold first about a week ago, then he got worse over the weekend and ended up going to the Dr. on Monday. I started with the sore throat and our house now needs a total fumigation! I've already gone through 1/2 bottle of Clorox disinfectant! I can't really complain because this is the first cold I've had in 2 1/2 years! I've done so well at not getting sick but I think with losing Mandy and being sick that week, my immune system just went haywire again. Now I need to get back on track!
Monday I did go to our small fiber group and we had a nice visit, lunch and show and tell. Our group doesn't do projects at our meeting(s)'s more of a critique, sharing, discussing group which is nice. You only have to bring what you what to show you are working on.
I have been beading when Kalee is napping so the 2nd wing is now being worked on. I don't think I'll get much done until the weekend as my housework is behind schedule right now. I've been lazy just sitting with this cold or playing with Kalee and taking her for walks (which we do at least 4 times a day - sometimes more!).

I did finish putting all the leaves on Dawn's piece and now I'll start to FMQ the veins then quilt around each leaf. I can work on this with Kalee in her large pen in my sewing room. That way she's with me but not loose. I haven't felt up to working on it this week but as with the beading will get busy this weekend.

Hope my next posting will show more progress on my pieces! Until then...use sanitizer on your hands!!! Keep those cold germs away! They sure are nasty!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Interception! Wahoo!

Well, here's the next Lion's player! I went to Nick's flag football game yesterday. Really was a beautiful day out...actually, quite HOT! 81 degrees..isn't that August weather??

Anyway, Nick did quite good as did his team. I don't know the final score but Nick said they won. It is a hoot to watch those little kids play and they do play hard!

They even had cheer leaders!! Aren't they cute!!! The video is of Nick catching an interception...this was his 2nd in two weeks! Good eyes!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

One step at a time!

Working on my daughter's table get the leaves on, I've been tracing a semi leaf shape onto organza, then 'attempting' to stitch down when or if I can see my traced lines. Because the organza is so delicate, the tracing goes right through the fabric and really hard to see. I know some folks use freezer paper as a shape but I didn't want to be ironing on the organza.
So, instead I made a leaf template from some lightweight cardboard. Then I placed a a small piece of double sided tape to both sides (I do turn the leaf for different direction of a leaf).
I place the cardboard leaf on the top on a square of organza and then just stitch around it!

How simple is this! Geezzz I was able to eliminate one and sometimes two or three! tracings of the leaf onto the organza. Because the fabric is so sheer at times I couldn't even see the leaf shape once it was on my background fabric.
Here it is all stitched and my next step is to cut away the excess fabric around the stitching. Once I have all the leaves stitched down, I'll then FMQ the veins then FMQ the entire piece.
One step at a time! I'm sure someone else has already come up with this idea but for those who haven't seen the freezer paper used and/or you are working with more delicate fabric you don't want to iron...just grab some cardboard and stitch away!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Playing with Tyvek

I don't know how many blogs I follow but it's a lot! I tell my friends, I don't need to leave my house to get inspired. I can just look at all the artist blogs and the inspiration and free lessons are there just for me! I don't have to "leave the farm" as they say!
Anyway, two blogs I do follow are ...And Then We Set It On Fire and A Creative K. Karen Silver writes A Creative K and she's now a guest artist on Then We Set It On Fire. One of her current posts is working with Tyvek. You can read what she does with Tyvek envelopes here. I really enjoy working with Tyvek and started to look at the different pieces that I have done.
The piece on the left (11" x 15") is one of the first I did in May of 2007. I pretty much use the same process...first paint my design onto Tyvek material, stitch on background and burn, baby burn! I use both old Tyvek envelopes and I also like the Tyvek fabric, which you can purchase from online sources. It's much softer than the envelopes and accepts the paints just as nice. Either works...just depends on what I have on hand or the size of my project.
This is a piece I did for our Masters exhibit two years ago showing my interpretation of Hokusai's wave. (All of the following pieces are 20" x 24"). Again, I painted the 'wave', cut it out; FMQ'd onto background fabric and then took the iron and heat gun to it!! That is the scary part but what the heck! I never quite know what or how the piece will turn out but so far so good!
I did this piece to replicate painted tree bark which is a traditional Mexican method. This was for our MQAI/South of the Border exhibit. The colors are brighter in 'real time' but you get the idea. I did blog on working on this piece last year. I ended up making two of the painted pieces. The first piece I painted then cut the birds out but that didn't work out as well as I wanted. Because of the size of this piece I did use the Tyvek fabric.
Detail shots

This is another piece I did for our Masters exhibit. It was to depict my interpretation of the artwork from Mucha. He did primarily Art Nouveau artwork. I stitched all around the painted Tyvek and then cut away parts I didn't want (I learned my lesson from above piece).
Another detail pic
So that's my fun time I have working with Tyvek. Be sure to check out Karen's blog and check out And Then We Set It On Fire (read Karen's Tyvek article too). Good inspiration and you don't have to leave your chair! Works for me! Hope it works for you too!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


No, this isn't a piece I just finished! I made this small quilt hanging several years ago. I hand dyed some cotton velveteen fabric in orange and bubble gum pink. Reason I'm showing this now is I sent my blog friend Sally over at Sally's Stuff some of the orange velveteen fabric for a Travelers Blanket she is working on. I had mentioned to her I also had dyed some pink which I really liked. For this piece I ironed on painted fusible web, FMQ'd, then getting out the old glue gun, I made a swirly design sticking it to the fabric. The chopsticks are from my friend Tersa's wedding we attended. I used one set to hang the piece with and yep, glued the other set on the piece. So, this is the pink, Sally! You'll have to check out Sally's blog and see the work she's doing on the travelers blanket. Sally is coming to the states (she lives in Australia) for the IQA show in Houston and will bring her hand work with her. Sally has some pieces on exhibit at the IQA cool is that! She and I worked on a 'trade' this past month. I made her a loom beaded cuff (purple) and she's sending me my trade! I can't wait to see my thermofax screen and to post about it!!!

So here's some progress on my daughter's table topper for her living room. The piece will be finished off in a circle approximately 18" round. I was just placing some of the organza pieces to get a feel for color placement.
And here are some of the leaves stitched and cut down. I still have to go back and FMQ the veins and then quilt around the entire piece. It's coming but there's a lot of leaves and stitching left to do.
Kalee and I had our first puppy kindergarten class this past Wed. It was great and she's doing so well with her sit, sit/watch and even did a down (with some help). Today she did two great 'downs' so I'm quite happy with her progress. She's given Bob and I so much pleasure already. Of course she'll never take Mandy's place and we think of Mandy every day, but our hearts have enough room to allow Kalee to have her own special place there! She's sitting beside me as I type right now! My little companion!