My Favorite Books

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blogs are a great resouce!

I think blogs are great!! I love reading about what other artists are doing and I so enjoy getting comments and suggestions from other bloggers!

Jill Buckley is a wonderful artist whose blog, The Quilt Rat, I read regularly. Jill's workmanship is outstanding! And I enjoy seeing all the different techniques she tries and projects she completes.
I showed my latest BJP butterfly a few weeks ago and Jill sent me a comment on my butterfly and the painted leaves. Jill then followed up with a picture of a quilt where she outlined areas using a running stitch with quilting thread. I took Jill's suggestion and I love the look I'm getting with outlining my leaves. I did start out using one strand of embroidery thread but I didn't care for that so 'unsewing' occurred one evening! On Sunday, I tried to use some black Perle cotton but it was too dark so I tried some gray #8 Perle cotton and I'm quite happy with how the stitching looks! You can see the top leaves with the stitiching and the bottom with not stitching (except the outline quilting).

So on to another blog resource! Mary Corbet sends out daily updates from her Embroidery blog. Mary is another wonderful artist and her embroidery work is beautiful! Her blog is a wonderful resource for stitches, tips, name it and it's on Mary's blog. It's like having an online access to tons of books!
A few weeks ago Mary showed this little Needle Index book that is being sold by the Valley Quail Chapter in California. I ordered one for myself and another one that I gave a friend for her BD. This little book is so cool!
There are 11 or 12 pages of all different needles which give you the name, type of eye and what embroidery or best use for that needle would be. I think we all have our 'favorite' needle(s) but sometimes I forget which I want to use for what type of work. Now I can place on the batting sheet my needles! Or I can at least identify which needle I'm using! With shipping the cost is $10 but I think well worth it. If interested, you can email the Chapter at
We dropped off Kalee at the Vet's this a.m. for her 'female' surgery! She's also getting a few baby teeth pulled so the 'big dog' teeth can come in! Geezzzz always something isn't it!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A very nice Thanksgiving week!

It was a really nice Thanksgiving week for sure! Weather was beautiful so kids driving up from Indiana at least had decent weather. Although, it's raining today and Ron/family do have to drive home but at least it's not snow!
I was a bit preoccupied with cooking and taking video's of Ben and Kalee so I didn't get any pictures of Ian or Ron and MJ. This is Ian's school picture and boy is he tall! Ian is already 5' 10" and becoming quite the young man! He's a great kid and we always enjoy having the family around.
Below are pics of Kayla and her boyfriend, Nate. They are a really cute couple and nice young folks as well! This was the first time we got to meet Nate and we did enjoy the time with him as well.
Of course Kalee loved everyone! Go figure! I did post some video's on Kalee's blog that are a hoot of her and Ben (the kids dogs).
Today is catchup day of bills, cleaning and eating lots of leftovers, which isn't all that bad! Busy week, as usual, coming up and I hope to get some sewing done.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We certainly have so much to be thankful for daily and I try to thank the Big Guy above on a daily basis. So today we'll all be reminded to be thankful for what we have and even for what we don't have! My daughter is going to her SIL's for dinner today. We usually go to my son's on Thanksgiving but today we're staying home and I'm making a small dinner for Bob and I and our neighbors. Our neighbor had major surgery a week ago so we'll share our meal with her and her hubby. They are really good neighbors and take care of our house when we're gone. I told her it was 'meals on wheels' today! Kids are up from Indiana and they'll be coming over for a full Thanksgiving this weekend so I get to cook two dinners this week! Fine with us as we love leftovers!
So enjoy your Thanksgiving day with family and friends. We will be for sure.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

For a good cause...

I've been a follower of Karen Stiehl Osborn for sometime now. Karen is a mixed media artist as well as photographer and a rescue MOM for Hands, Hearts & Paws in NE. You have to check out some of her foster dogs on her blog. The pictures are enough to melt the coldest of hearts! Karen put a request on a recent blog post for fiber artists to create ATC's for Hands, Hearts & Paws to raise money for some of their costs this year. These are two that I made and sent off to Karen this afternoon. They are made of purple ultra suede; metal for the inner heart and I printed out a smaller size of the puppies from a coloring book. I then painted the black in some of the areas and finished the ATC's off. Karen will have some of the ATC's on her web site so make sure to sign up for her blog updates and perhaps even donate an ATC or purchase one! It's for such a good cause and Karen does so much already. I'm glad I could contribute just a little of my certainly can't touch what the volunteers for animal rescues do on a daily basis. Where would our furry friends be without these dedicated and caring people! Thanks, Karen for all that you do!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Complex Cloth Club Chrstmas Party

We had one of the smallest turn outs for our annual Christmas Party this year but we still had lots of food, fun and conversation! Back row starting from the left is: Karen, Carol, Mary, Marty; front row left is: Joyce, me and Elsie.

Here's Jocye knitting away even after drinking a margarita! And this is Karen modeling a felted scarf Mary made.

All in all we had a nice afternoon...well, with the exception of missing the wonderful soup that Mary made!! Seems Mary spilled the soup under her car seat shortly after she left her house!! I don't think any of us will be riding with her in the near future!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Awhile back I talked about the trade I was doing with one of my Internet blog friends, Sally, from Sally's Stuff! I made Sally a purple cuff I beaded on the loom and look what I got in the mail last week!! Three thermofax screens Sally made me!! I'm so excited to try these screens out! I sent Sally a jpg of a palm leaf and she ended up making me three different sizes of the leaf! How cool is that!!
THANK you so much, Sally!!!! Sally was in Houston for the big IQA festival but she's not updated her blog recently. I sure hope she made it back home to Australia! Be sure to check out her blog and her wonderful work!
I'm finishing up some laundry, baking cookies and set up for our fiber Christmas party here at the house tomorrow (Saturday). I always look forward to this time with the women...we just have some show and tell and LOTS of food! Everyone brings a dish to pass and each lady is a great cook. I made Russian tea cakes and my chocolate chip plantation creme cookies today. Tomorrow I'll make my corn salsa which is so good with chips! Another Foodnetwork magazine recipe! I just hope I don't gain back some of the weight I've lost!! Oh well...too bad if I do, right!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where has the week gone!

I can't believe it's Wednesday already! Where the week has gone I sure don't know! I was gone all day Monday and some in the p.m., same with Tuesday. Today was grocery shopping and meeting my friend at Panera's...a gal has to treat herself, right!
Came home and visited with my neighbor who just had surgery then to pick up house and do some of Kalee's training. Tonight is our last night at puppy class! Hope we graduate!!
So I played around with painting the backgrounds on my BJP pieces. Here's my current one with the leaves now painted.
My other pieces from this year are below.

And this is my current butterfly I'm working on. I like the painted backgrounds but I do have some more shading to do on the ones above. I want the outside of the leaves to be a shade darker. My friend, Carol, who does watercolor suggested using a black pen to outline but I didn't like the looks of it. It turned out looking as if I outlined with a black pen. I'll try a darker fabric paint or watercolor pencil.
So that's it for now. I hope to get Nick's pictures together to post on their flag football championship win from this past weekend sometime this week too! Until then I'm enjoying the sunshine and 44 degrees today!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What a wonderful weekend!

Yes, it's been a wonderful weekend!! Earlier this week, Amber and I talked about her spending the night this weekend because her brother had his flag football championship (which, by the way they won!!! I'll have more on that after my son sends out info!). Well, my daughter suggested that the three of us get together on Sat. and have lunch and run some errands! Sounded good to me as I don't get much time to spend with my daughter. So we met around 10ish on Sat. and our first stop was to Starbucks for our 'treat'. I asked where our next stop was and Amber was a little evasive but my daughter said we had to stop at Target as Dawn and Darrin purchase items to send to our troops in Afghanistan. She wanted to get a priority box filled and mailed, which made sense to me.
When we pulled into the Target parking lot I noticed Amber brought with her a book and her coffee. I asked why the book and she said "oh, I like to read when I shop." hmmm Well, little did I know we were walking not to Target but to the manicure/pedicure shop! My daughter was treating the three of us to a pedicures!!! My first and last pedicure was the treat of my daughter which was several years ago. What a great surprise! We all got to sit next to one another while enjoying our pedicures!! THANK YOU, Dawn!!! And Amber for keeping such a wonderful surprise!
These are Amber's crackle toe and white...really cute!! We're sitting with our feet under dryers. Who knew...dryers for the toenails! Well, it worked! Yes, these are flip flops Amber has on her feet and she even brought her old grandma a pair too!! Wasn't that sweet!
So off the three of us went to Target for Dawn to pick up supplies for the troops! Yes, we are still in our flip flops!
Then it was off to lunch!! Yum...the restaurant is called Pei Wei (which is owned by PF Chang's). It was SO good and yes, I brought home my leftovers and my daughter's as well! Pei Wei is like a fast food PF Chang's.

Then off to Tradder Joe's for some meats and other groceries, then back to Dawn's house, picked up my car and Amber and I took off to our house for the weekend! Oh, Dawn also gave us home made applesauce she canned this fall along with her home made roasted tomato sauce! Double yum!!
When we got home, Amber fried up some chicken sausage and we added some of Dawn's home made sauce, cooked wheat pasta and made a salad. Great dinner!
Of course we had to give Gracie a treat! Amber loves when Grace eats whipped cream so guess what I had to buy this week! Here's Grace enjoying her whipped cream!

We had a nice night then up early to have breakfast, play with Kalee and Amber helped me make Sweet and Sour meatballs (sound weird but they are really good!). Then we went downstairs to get out my Christmas decorations. Yes, my tree is up (Amber took the picture) with Amber's assistance and some decorating is also done for Christmas. I'm hosting our Complex Cloth fiber group Christmas party this coming Sat. so I like to have the tree up for them...and the kids are coming up from Indy for Thanksgiving so they can start to get in the spirit as well!
This is Kalee while Amber and I were decorating the tree...she still doesn't know about the tree nor is she allowed to roam in our family room downstairs yet!

Oh in between everything, Amber and I would be taking Kalee outside and also letting our neighbors dogs out (Miss Lori was having surgery). We also walked Kalee and Cody together which was good for Kalee. Later this afternoon, Amber was getting bored so we made molasses cookies! After our great dinner, I met Auntie around 5:30 this afternoon and she took Amber home with her to wait for the kids to return from the football game. Auntie lives just a street down from her brother so they don't have far to go. In fact, on Sat. Amber walked over to Aunties carrying her suitcase! The neighbors though she was running away from home!
I'm pooped now but I wouldn't have traded this weekend for anything!!!! Just a great time!!!! And one I'm going to remember for a long time....and if I forget, I have my blog to jar my memory!!
Thanks, Dawn and Amber once again!!!! I love you both so much!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finished Topper

I delivered Dawn's table topper to her on Tuesday this week. A little late for her birthday gift but it's better than not getting it until Christmas! Although, now that's it's finished I think she needs one for the spring/summer season! Maybe by her BD in 2012!
The piece is approximately 19" round. I used poly sheer fabric for the leaves and just echo quilted around the leaves.

Happy Belated Birthday, Dawn! LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Beaded butterfly - 1 down and more to do!

Here is my May BJP 2011 butterfly finished. Yes, I'm a tad behind but I will finish 12 pieces. It might take me to the end of 2012 but I will do them all. I'm enjoying this year's project even more than I did in 2010. But with so much going on this year it has put me behind.
This is the Kamehameha butterfly that lives in the Hawaiian islands. I did say he was finished but there is more to do on this piece and my other BJP's.

I will be attaching each beaded piece (8 1/2" x 11") to gallery wrapped canvas when they are all finished. I'm doing both birds and butterfly's.
But as I started my next butterfly, which is called the Colorado Hairstreak, I decided to try something different.
This is the Hairstreak butterfly that I traced out on my fabric then I quilted the butterfly and the background. I was looking at the beads I wanted to use but then I got an idea and out came my paints and...
This was my outcome! I used all different types of paints along with Aloe Vera gel. The Hairstreak butterfly is purple, black and orange so I may have to add some pink to the flower depending on my bead supply! I know the backgrounds appear different colors in each of these but the 1st picture is more true to the color than the picture below. You get the idea though, right!
I got so excited about the look of the paint on this piece that I pulled out my other five BJP's and started painting the leaves on each of them. Four are birds and I quilted each background very similar with leaves and circles. You can see my first bird and background piece here. I'll post pics tomorrow of my progress on painting them but so far I'm really happy with how they look.
And I delivered my daughter's table topper today while she was at work! Surprise, Dawn! You did get it before Christmas - a little late for her birthday but it could have been worse! Pics on that this week are also forthcoming!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Who Knew!

Well, golly! Who knew Betty would be popular!! I was so surprised to receive this in the mail the other day!
I made 'Betty' for the MQAI 2011 traveling exhibit this year. The theme was Art of the Kitchen. There were SO many really cool quilts in the exhibit and I certainly didn't think 'Betty' would be a favorite but I'm so happy she was!!

Of course I had to put some beading on Betty, right! Her earrings are also beaded...a gal has to have bling!
This was my first Viewer's Choice award quilt from the 2009, MQAI - Art of Nature exhibit. It's called 'Who's Watching Whom'. I free motion embroidered the wolves separately then attached to some of my hand dyed fabric. Quite a few of the laves are 3 dimensional. I really enjoyed working on both these pieces!
I did finish my daughter's topper and will post pictures. It turned out quite nice and actually looks VERY nice in our living room! I might have to make another one...I probably need to make a spring/summer one for Dawn too! But first it's onto finishing my butterfly and today I started on a quilt for a Christmas present. Hopefully, they'll get it on time!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Award time! Congrats, Ian!!!

Another great year for our grandson, Ian!!! This is pic of him receiving his awards the other evening. He got plaques for Most Valuable Runner, Team Captain, and Mental Attitude (this one is voted on by all the runners). How cool is that!!!!
Ian is just one of the nicest kids and really does love and excel at his sports. Plus, he's a great, all around kid! So congrats again, Ian!!!
We might not be able to see you often because of the distance but love seeing the man you are becoming!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Zentangle journal

I have a few, to say the least!, papers that I've done some tangles on. I thought I was pretty clever by putting them all in a plastic sleeve notebook so I could see them but thought I'd like to have something smaller so I could carry the book with me to tangle in. So....this was a piece of fabric I had leftover from doing one of the Inspired by the Master's quilts for our ongoing exhibit. You can see my original piece here.

So I used this leftover for the front and back of a journal that I put some of my tangle pieces in.
These were some of the papers I had. Each piece (8 1/2" x 11") were folded twice so the journal book is a nice size to throw in my purse or have laying on my end table where I sit at night.
This is the first page of a tangle. I actually wrote out my name to use as the guide for filling in with different tangles. Hard to the the letters ROBBIE but they are there!
Just a few of the pages...
The heart tangles are some of what I used last year to print on fabric for our Valentine fiber post card exchange.
And I just have to show our little one all dressed up for Halloween!!! She was a doll. I'll be updating her blog shortly with more pics and story.
And these were some of the kids who stopped by Halloween night! Isn't that the cutest outfit!! We gave out 199! piece of candy and finally shut out the light at 7:25 p.m. We had to dig into our 'stash' to put the extra 9 pieces in! Good part is Bob still has some treats left for himself!
Kalee is napping so I'm doing some computer work and should be able to finish the binding on Dawn's table topper! Geezzzz, you would think I have a baby here!