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Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's finished...with exception of label.  Yes, it's a weird piece but the tree was just boring to me so I cut the holes, attached one circle back into the hold with embroidery thread and backed the other two holes with the Radiance fabric I dyed in Florida.

I could have changed my white balance setting on my camera to show the colors more true but it is what it is!  I spent some time yesterday 'unsewing' the quilting I had along the outside edge.  I just didn't like it and opted to do something else.  I'm glad I took the old stitching out.  I'm pleased with the entire piece and for now I won't put a sleeve on it.  I'm planning on using it as a table mat for the dining least that's what my room mate thought it should be used for!  He likes this one too...hmmmmm.  He's getting mellow in his 'old age'!

Another piece I'm working on based, again!, on Linda/Laura Kemshall's Design Matters TV is this!

Linda did a video on 'piecing backgrounds' a week or so ago.  Yesterday and today I took some of my scrap pieces and started to put them together!  I've been wanting to work in purple and green for awhile so this is perfect to use up some of those fabrics. 

It looks a little strange now and still might in the future...but I'll be adding some FMQ then some fabric paint or stamping.  Haven't totally decided yet.  It might sit on my wall until I've played with some ideas on paper and in my head! 

Bob's not golfing today and giving his cold a rest.  It's overcast and a little cool today with temps only in the low 60's.  Kalee and I did walk but it was cold!  So I think the rest of the afternoon will be sitting and stitching!  I love days like that...perhaps a movie on Netflix is called for as well!! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

They're back!

My late blooming  Amaryllis!   

We were a tad  later getting back from Florida this spring and with my 'spring cleaning' I forgot to plant my amaryllis plants.  This time last year both plants had two or more blossoms on them.  This is the first to bloom!  Isn't it beautiful!  I was afraid they might not come back but they did, although this plant has a really, really short stalk on it.  Interesting. The other plant, which is a beautiful deep orange is just getting its first bud and has about a 6-8" stalk. 
This is the same plant above last year!  I think I may have to fertilize my plants!  The color this year is pale compared to last year.  I'm afraid I didn't even think about fertilizing!!
Even with the pale color, I love my Amaryllis I'm anxious to see what color the other plant will have this year! 
I started the finishing touches on my other 'tree' piece.  I cut holes in three areas (you can see the wood table showing through the holes).
Then I attached one of the circle pieces to the lower cut out circle so some of the open space still shows through.  I'm now looking through my stash for some painted fusible web to place behind the other cut out areas.  It might work or might not.  I also started some FMQ on the edges but I don't like it so...perfect day to sit out on the deck and 'unsew' as they say!!

Kalee and I did some weeding and cutting back on plants this a.m., cleaned out the frig and now I get to go play in my art room!!  Beautiful day air open!  My kind of weather!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Finished Stenciled Discharge

Here's my finished stenciled discharge piece based on Linda Kemshall's video from a few weeks ago.  I just wish my photography abilities were better!  I know this piece is straight and even but it really looks cockeyed here! 
Anyway, you'll get the 'jest' of the piece.  It was black fabric that i discharged with robin egg blue DeColorant as well as using my Clorox gel bleach pen! 
I happened to have a batik piece of fabric that matched the Clorox discharge areas so I used that to create the circle/square pieces and the binding.  It's hard to see but I did bead around the center circle to adhere it down onto the background.

The piece was finished off with some hand stitching and free motion quilting.  I tried to keep with the theme of circles and squares in the FMQ.  I mentioned in my last post about this piece how much I really like the Lana thread by Madeira.  It's so nice to stitch with and I like the effect.  I used to be a Perle cotton gal but I think I'm now a Madeira gal!
Just a detail shot above.  I also started a patchwork background based on another video Linda did.  AND I've cut holes in my other tree piece I showed a few weeks ago!!!  What fun!!!  I finished the outline qulting on that piece and now just need to decide how to finish off the 'holes' in the piece!  I'm still beading a bracelet for my Florida friend on the loom as well.  Just doing what I can, when I can! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Slice Project 2012

Yippee!  It's all put together thanks to Tommy's hard work!  You can see the process she went through to put together our slice project for this year on her blog post here.  There were 10 of us who participated and each had to reproduce a 9"x35" panel based on a photo Tommy sent each of us.  We had no idea what the finished scene was but I think it turned out great!  Tommy has submitted the entry form onto IQA for the Houston show this fall.  We're all keeping our fingers crossed that we get juried in.  Tommy also did a post on each piece side by side that you can see here

This is my quilt on the left and the picture I received on the right.
 Just a close up of my bush and the grass area.  I did post on using the tailor tack foot to make the bush a few weeks ago.  I used bugle beads for the door handles (go figure...beads...I know!).
 For my sign, I played with it in word then inserted a picture from the actual Celtic web site then transferred onto fabric.  Yep, that's a bead for the light!
I wanted some grass so I used the Turkey Stitch, which I found on Mary Corbet's web site.  Mary shares so many different stitches and information.  She sends out daily updates and I just don't know how she does it!! 
So that was our Slice Project for 2012!   It was a lot of fun and so amazing to see all the 'slices' together!! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mid Week WIP's

Before I talk about my progress on some art work....I have to congratulate our grandson, Ian, for winning 1st place in the Art Show!  He won in the pencil drawing category!!!  Check out this drawing!!  Is he amazing or what!!!  We are very proud of him, so congrats, Ian!!!  Way to go!!!!

Maybe I should have him do some drawings then I'll transfer onto fabric!  Now that's an idea!!!!

Here's the progress on the tree stencil I posted abut last week.  I did get the squares at the bottom hand stitched so I'm making progress!  I'm using Madeira Lana embroidery thread for the hand stitching the blue areas.   Linda Kemshall mentions using the Lana thread  in several of her video's, so while in Florida, I did send away for some.  So glad I had the right blue to use on this piece.  I did send away for more colors as the thread was a good price on the Sewphisticated Stitcher web site.  Hopefully, I have enough colors to use on this project and on my other 'tree' I'm working on.  I'll show the progress on that piece later this week.   

The rest of the pics are detail shots.  I haven't decided how to finish the FMQ on this piece but I'm sure it will come to me...soon I hope!  Off to play now! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Week Away so Grandma can play!

Yep, grandma was playing but not with art!  Early Sat. I headed down to spend the weekend with Amber and Nick, while their mom and dad are on a well deserved vacation to Mexico!  It's time they both need for sure to get away from work and have some together time.  This is their annual anniversary (22 years!) to get away and they were lucky enough to head to a resort in Cancun.  Darrin has sent pics and the resort looks amazing...but now about our weekend!
 Kids and I took off to Lake Orion for the Basset Hound Picnic fundraiser.  Bob's daughter, Diane, and her hubby are active volunteers in the basset rescue and in fact donated all the food for the Sit/Stay Cafe!  Diane was shocked as she didn't know I was heading down their way!  She and Donald were doing the grilling (in the hot sun!) but the burgers and 'dogs' smelled great!! 
Kids enjoyed seeing all the bassets running all over in their hats and vests!  The dog park is enclosed so dogs could run free and just have a ball.  Lots of vendors and one of the best ones I found was Doggy Deli!  These treats are made with 100% natural meats! or preservatives, which is what we have to feed Kalee now (she's a vegan, which is another story!).   I did buy four different treats and will purchase more when these run out.  They do smell good enough to eat...and if you go to their web page, I think someone did try them when they were on TV here in Michigan last March!!
 I took this pic to show my son the great dane!  He was huge but a sweetie.  Kinda funny to see him amongst the bassets!
This is just one area of the dog park with the vendors.  It was quite warm out but a perfect day for the rescue.  Lots of people and I hope they brought in $$'s to support their cause.  Diane and Don have two rescue bassets and just love them.  No, we didn't take Kalee...she stayed home in the air conditioning!  Pampered pet, you know!

So after the rescue picnic we headed back to Oxford as they were having a festival downtown.  Nice that it was close to the kids house as well.  Kids loving all the amusement rides.  Here are Amber and Nick on one ride...grandma was trying to find shade as much as I could...three hours is a long time to cheer them on!
 They both rode this Ferris wheel which is 100 feet high!! 
 This ride never got started...although they kept everyone until they finally decided it wasn't working!
 Who doesn't love the bumper cars!  Plus, you have to look cool in your sun glasses! You are the man, Nick!
 Amber being chased by Nick
 I couldn't believe Amber went on this ride!  It was as high as the Ferris wheel!  I think you can hear Amber saying "Hi, grandma"!
 This ride starts at the bottom and works its way up and down!
 Amber and her friend...thank goodness for the friend for her to ride with!
That pretty much took care of our Saturday with the exception we did head over to Cook's diary around 7:30 to get fresh ice cream.  Cook's Diary in Ortonville has the BEST ice cream!!!  I haven't been in there about two years so it was a big treat for me!
Sunday we did homework then Uncle Jeff came over and took the kids to play Putt Putt!  Wasn't that nice of him!  I ended up cleaning then doing some laundry, took my shower and got cleaned up by the time they got home.  Then we watched a movie before it was time to head over to Aunties and Uncle Jeff's for a fantastic dinner!!!  Grilled shrimp, tenderloin, corn on the cob, tomato salad, asparagus (Jeff's famous recipe!) and a strawberry/rhubarb dessert!  YUM!!!  Kids got off to school on Monday without a hitch and I'll go back down on Wed. to pick up from school, do some homework then perhaps meet up with Uncle Jeff for dinner.  Kids are staying with their aunt and uncle until their mom and dad come home on Sat. 
So that's been keeping me busy and off from reading my blogs!!  I feel like I don't know what's going on or what folks are working on.  I peek every now and then but I'm so behind!!  Hopefully, I'll get caught up this week. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Family time but no pics!

What a wonderful Mother's Day I had!  My daughter and grand daughter cooked a fantastic breakfast for all of us!  Talk about a meal!  I felt like we were at a restaurant having the breakfast buffet.  And guess who took her camera but forgot to take pictures!! What a nice morning it was with all the kids...AND check out what I got from them!

Is this cool or what!  I get to take a 3 hour glass blowing workshop!!  This is the same place we all went to a few weekends ago to watch them create beautiful glass.  I'm really excited about that!!! 

And I also got one of David Hilty's glass's an oil decanter.  Just beautiful!  I've already washed it and fill it with my EVOO!  Rachel Rey would be proud! 

Of course, I love the cards my kids always get's a contest between them to see who can make 'mum' cry reading their cards.  It actually was a tie this year! 

I am so lucky to have such a wonderful family!  And life!  We do take for granted what we have but I'm thankful for our kids and their health and happiness! 

My son and DIL leave for a well deserved week vacation this Sat.  Darrin has been working seven days a week for months and I can see it in his eyes he is getting worn down.  I hope he gets to relax and enjoy time with his beautiful wife.   Auntie Dawn, Uncle Jeff and I will be handling 'babysitting' duty while kids are away.  Auntie has it all under control as far as who, what, when and where! I'll just be there for the weekend through Monday a.m. and back on my Wed. time slot.  Uncle Jeff and I will take kids to dinner for 35cent pasta that night!  I always enjoy time with Jeff as do the kids. 
So now I'm off to fiber meeting.  There are only three of us able to meet today so we're going to meet for early lunch.  You know I'm always up for food!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stencil Discharge Time

I mentioned that I was playing with discharge/decolorant the other day so wanted to share my progress so far!  I'm a huge fan of Design Matters TV by Linda/Laura Kemshall and a week ago Linda was doing a demo using decolorant to discharge with.  I did buy some this past winter while in Florida and used this product with my thermo fax screen (you can see the post here).  I was happy with the results so I was anxious to use Linda's freezer paper stencil and the discharge paint. 
I started off with a purple hand dyed piece of fabric and ironed the freezer paper stencil, painted with the discharge paint and  this was my piece below after the discharge paint dried and the piece was heated. 
My decolorant is robin egg blue and to be honest it looks more like the piece was painted rather than discharged.  So I redid the stencil making it a tad larger than the one above. 

I did go a little nuts with my brush and kept thinking that it was just going to look like a painted black piece.  So, I ironed the stencil back on my fabric,  grabbed my Clorox bleach pen and squeezed out some of the solution, brushed it on some of the square areas and even put some on top of the decolorant!  

And here's my piece all sandwiched and quilting started!  I'm going to do a lot of hand stitching on this piece (I did FMQ around the tree or flame or whatever my stencil turned out to be!). 

This is a detail on some of the stitching.  I did fuse the circle and the square pieces then hand stitched on the squares.  I'm going to bead around the lone circle and most likely continue with lots of stab stitches. 

The Kemshall mother/daughter team are amazing and certainly get your creative juices flowing when you watch them work or look at their quilts.  I'm still working on my other 'tree' but with the rain today, this project was great for just sitting and hand stitching!!  Tomorrow is breakfast with all the kids to celebrate Mother's Day!  Hope all you mom's out there have a great day!!! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Did you say hail?

Yes, it is May 9th and yes, this is hail on our deck!  It's been raining off and on most of the afternoon and when I came home from the kids house @ six this is what was on the deck!!  And everywhere else! 

I did get our patio furniture moved out onto the deck this a.m. and swept out the garage!  Then played with some DeColourant again...more on that later this week. 
As far as projects I'm working know I can't just "work" on one!  I like having projects in different phases...guess I get bored easily? 

Some of  you may recognize the tree design.  It's by Carol Bryer Fallert.  My friend, Carol T. and I took a class by Carol several, several years ago in Houston at the IQA festival and of course we purchased several of her patterns.   I actually did a satin stitch around the appliqued tree!  I'm not a fan of satin stitch but I do admire folks who do this stitch.  Pat Holly is one who uses that stitch and her work is spectacular!  It's just not for boy, was I surprised when I found this piece in with my brown fabrics and to see that I actually satin stitched around each limb!  I only have four or five UFO's because they bug me until they're finished.  I feel like it's homework hanging over my head.  Anyway, I forgot all about this I took it out, added the shibori circles which already had fusible on them and sandwiched the piece and starting to quilt around those little limbs!  Don't ask why about the circles...I just didn't like the tree as a stand alone.  Looks a little scary now so maybe I'll finish it and hang up at Halloween!  Who knows.

This next picture is a whole cloth that I sandwiched to do some FMQ'ing on.  It's the piece of Radiance fabric that I dyed in Florida this winter.  You can't imagine the beautiful sheen to this piece.  I'm hoping to make a table runner or cut up for smaller quiltlets.  I'm anxious to start quilting on it but haven't had time to concentrate on a design yet.   At least it's ready when I am!

 And this is the progress on the other b/w beaded bracelet I'm now making for another friend in Florida.  I made a b/w one like this for Jan before we left.  This one is coming along and it's nice to have something to pick up and bead when I have a few minutes or I'm bored with sewing!! 
Well, off to get some coffee and to settle in to watch Survivor!!!  One of my favorite shows!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Layer 1 - I think!

I've been anxious to play with the Wood Icing I purchased in Florida and finally did so this weekend.  I've followed the work of Mary Beth Shaw and even purchased her book, Flavor For Mixed Media, about two years ago!  But its been sitting on my work table just waiting for a play day!  So I played yesterday! 
This is wood icing, which is quite like modeling I don't use modeling paste but I think this is similar!  It dries pretty quick ,so make sure to clean up your utensils without delay.
I started out with a canvas board, which I didn't prep...just used as is. 
Next, I spread some of the wood icing over several different stencils.  Actually, the ones I used I had purchased quite a few years ago from Mary on her Stencil Girl web site. 

The circles I made using some cut outs from a junk store!  go figure!  My friends know I don't throw anything out!!  And I'll buy junk as well!  
So here is the canvas all covered with the Wood Icing product.  I did let it dry over night and this a.m. I got out the acrylic paints. 

So this is my first layer painted!  I have more layers and painting to do on this.  No, I don't know what I'm going to do with the piece when it's finished.  At this point in my life, it's more about playing and doing things I want to do rather than what I have to do.  So, if I just want to play and not have a reason for why or what I'm playing be it!  I'm just having fun!! 
Tomorrow I hope to upload some pics of two pieces I sandwiched and started some quilting on (one of them at least!).  It's an old, small quilt top that I've had for quite sometime...more on that later.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A productive weekend!

So before I get into the weekend and my outings and have to check out these two recipes.  I was killing time before I had to leave on Sat. to meet up with the kids so I watched FoodNetwork.  Trisha Yearwood was grilling chicken, which wasn't that exciting but when it came to dessert I was all ears and eyes!  I made this cake yesterday when I got home and it's delicious!!!  It's called Key Lime Cake and yum, yum, yum!!!  The next recipe was from the Barefoot Contessa called Cornmeal Fried Onion Rings.  I made these tonight along with steak (yes, I ate beef!).  Maybe I need to watch more TV!

Or not...then I wouldn't get as much done, right!  So I met up with Dawn, Kris and grand kids for lunch, then off we went to the open studio at Pine Lake Glassworks in Oxford.  Actually, the studio is just a mile or two from the kids houses!  David Hilty is the owner and glass maker extraordinaire!  His work is amazing as is the work of his apprentice,Stan Kuznicki (Christina Sirakos wasn't able to make the open studio).  The following pics are of David creating a vase.  The colors were amazing as was the design itself.  

This Amber being shown one of the furnaces they have the clear glass in.  This is what they layer on top of the colored glass. 
I'm sure my daughter has some better photos as she's also the photographer in the family, besides being an art quilter herself!
More of their work from the studio.  You have to go to Pine Lakes Glassworks web site to see the beautiful vases, oil bottles, etc. they make!  They are stunning and beautiful, as well as unique!
Two years ago I got each of the girls something from their studio for Christmas gifts.  In the fall, they're going to have a 'blow your own ornament' that I'm going to take the grand kids to.  Won't that be cool!

Here is one of the items I worked on this's a tease...can you figure out what it is???
More on this and some other projects I started tomorrow!!