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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy BD, Kris!

Today is our DIL's bd!  This picture was taken back on May 19, 1990 at their wedding.  Kris is still just as beautiful today! 
If I had a baby picture of her that would have been posted instead of the wedding picture! 

Hope you got to relax by the pool today!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What fun!

Kalee and I have been to 3 Rally classes...we are both having a ball!  One of the lady's little boy, Anthony, (he's only about 8!) took this video at class on Tuesday. He did a great job didn't he! We also went outside to run some obstacles (tunnels, water, jumps, etc.) but I forgot to ask him to video those!  Darn.  Kalee did great for her first time out on the course.  Obviously, neither she or I know the commands but at least she went through every obstacle!  I was so  proud of her!  and I didn't fall down either!  I will post two more videos from class on her blog today.
Rally class is just a perfect fit for us.  Its focus is on obedience and the bond with your dog and similar to some of the obstacles on an agility course.  It has given me a whole new perspective on working with our little dog, who will be a year old next month!!!  Hard to believe!  But...sad to say a day doesn't go by that I don't think our our Mandy Girl.  She will always remain in our hearts and it should be.
Hot one again this afternoon for GB test...ugh...I can go without food but this no liquid for 5 hours isn't so much fun!  I'm an 8 cup of coffee kind of gal!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What do you do on a warm summer day!

So what do you do on a warm summer day!  I played with making some more mandalas.  I had some dyes leftover from last week's dyeing attempt of mandalas so I wanted to keep trying my hand at this technique.  Each of these pieces range from 12-15" square...well sorta square!

Bob and I sat out most of yesterday afternoon on the deck, so it was a perfect time to tie up these pieces.  Today I mixed up some dyes and Kalee and I worked in my dye area!  Sitting out in the hot sun in a baggie sure does the trick! 

This piece above started out as white, then I added some yellow dye, then the mid range brilliant blue.   I finally got some definition showing my white lines that were tied!

This next piece was a fat quarter orange hand dyed I did several years ago...I just used the dark blue dye and let the orange come through.  
This too was the left over hand dyed orange piece and I used a mid blue and dark blue on it.
This was a white piece that I  used yellow and  Havana Brown.  I actually like this piece a lot.  I looks really nice in person.  In fact, they all look a lot brighter and nicer in person.  Isn't that always the way!  Well, we are quilters and dyers and not photographers, right!

For this next piece...This actually was one of my first attempts that turned out quite light with hardly any definition of my tied lines.  So I retied the piece and added black just so I could see more clearly where I'm not getting enough dye down into the folds.  This piece is really nice too.

This is what the piece above looked like before I redid the 'retie'!  Interesting, isn't it!  You can see where I didn't get enough dye in the folds the first time.
All in all I'm happy with my progress and see that I just need to keep stabbing away at putting more dye in the folds!  Even so, these pieces will make something nice up...just don't know what it will or could be!  Another lady commented on our lesson post asking what folks may be doing with their pieces.  Guess I need to start thinking about that....well, not yet...I'd rather keep playing with making them up.  It's a good way to use up some of my old hand dyes. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Some people!

So yesterday I'm at the meat market ready to check out when the lady who was ahead of me came back into the store shouting "someone just threw a kitten out of their car!!".  Well, my heart almost stopped...the cashier, other lady and myself ran outside and found the little one huddled in the rose bushes.  This isn't the kitten but sure looks like it!!!  Our kitten looked identical to this except she had two white front feet!  Adorable!

The cashier pulled the little kitten out of the bushes and had it walk and it appeared to be ok.  You could tell she was frightened and I don't think she's was over 5 or 6 weeks old. 
I told them to get a paper sack and I'd take her (I'm assuming here!) to the local shelter.  So off kitty and I went.  She just cried and cried inside the bag...just tore me I put my finger inside the bag while driving and kept rubbing on the inside of the bag.  She quieted down but as soon as I removed my finger she would cry some more!  Just broke my heart! 
Anyway, she is in the shelter and appeared to be ok.  I was still shaking and so mad as I talked with the attendant at the shelter.   I couldn't believe someone would throw a kitten out onto the street!  We're talking about a busy street!!  She said I would be surprised at what some people do...I'm sure they have horror stories, which I don't want to hear. 
I asked if they would keep her for adoption or euthanize her.  She said they have great success in kitten adoptions and as long as she was healthy she'd find a home.  They were going to check her over then feed her.  At least I slept well last night knowing this little fur bundle from God was safe and sound and would be taken care of.  Some people are just plain sick!  And I hope whoever did this had a horrible night and don't sleep for weeks thinking about what they did.  Karma!  It will come back to them!!!  And I hope it bites them in the butt!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A few more tries at Mandala dyeing

If you stare at it, you can see the lines!!
 I tied 3 more pieces today, after visit to dentist...another story...and dyed these up.  It's 89 degrees out (only 83 in Ocala, Fl. when we checked!) so the dye set quickly out in the sun.  I placed each piece in a baggie then inside a foil tray.  Each piece was REALLY hot when I took them out. 
I won't get to play with any the next day or two but hope to again.  I need to order some proper tools!  Then look out!
Keep staring! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Reptile Time!

This past weekend, I kept Nick overnight so that we could go to the Reptile presentation at our library!  It was so cool!  OK, it was really cool for this old lady!  Our library has some interesting programs this summer, as always.  I think I have more pics of the kids at the programs than I do actual family pics!  Go figure!

This is Pokey a tortoise!  I always wondered the difference between a tortoise and a I know!  Turtles live in or near water and this little guy is a land lover!  How cute is he!! 

Next up was the bearded dragon lizard!  This guy is familiar to us as Nick has a bearded dragon!  Her name is Spikey and I've blogged about her before.

I can't remember the girl's name who assisted our presenter...but she ended up holding the lizard for most of the program.  She couldn't get him off of her!  It was kinda cute actually.
 Adam is holding a corn snake!  My first snake ever that I touched!  Adam is from England and had the cutest accent.  He was full of information and you could tell him loved his job and the animals. 
The last pictures are of a boa constrictor snake, whose name I've forgot.  It was a female and she just shed her skin.  She was very shiny and just a beautiful animal! 
 They allowed the kids to have her rest on their neck!  Not me!  Just the kids!!  Whew!

All in all I had a good weekend visit with Nick.  Hope he did as well.  He was good as gold and he even had a 'friend' spend the night!  Cody, my neighbors dog, is Nick's favorite so we invited him for the weekend as well.  We took both dogs on walks, played, threw the ball 100 times to Cody! and just had a fun.  Next time is an overnight with just Amber.  Think I'll start this for my 'date night' time with the kids! 
Laundry today and then off to do some mandala tying and dyeing..then perhaps some beading on the loom bracelet.  Muggy day and overcast right now so good day to be in the air conditioning!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

First Mandala dyeing

Yippee!  It's not perfect but sure was fun to do!  Actually the purple on the edges and around the center are more brown in 'person'.  I wanted to add some brown but was afraid I'd overdo it!  So I gingerly placed the 'red/brown'.  Looks good in person.

I need to check out why my edges aren't as crisp as I think they should be...geezz, I pull that darn dental floss so hard that it digs into my fingers!  But I still think the patterns turned out find.  Each of these are small pieces, around 12-15" square. 

I love the online class from Shibori Girl and if you're interested in any form of shibori or indigo dyeing you should check out her website for future classes. 

So here are some other pieces that I dyed this afternoon.  I also put pics at the end of this post, of the fabrics tied with dye on them.

This one looks like more like the 'ink blot' test you take!  Although, I'm still not sure what I see it in...I think there's a bat with his mouth open on the right side, middle!  And he has teeth! 
This is the 'ink blot' test tied and dyed. 

This is the 2nd picture before I opened it up.

Starting to unfold the piece!  That's the most fun I've had dyeing in a long time!  Couldn't wait to see what I ended up with!! 

So now to check on the posts for our class and get some tips on what/how/why!  But I'm lovin the class and the instruction by Richard and Glennis!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

First off...I met up with my friend Carol T. to head over to the Flint Art Fair yesterday.  A beautiful day and just an amazing array of artists.  
But the one artist that intrigued us both and blew me away was Alina Eydel!  This young lady, I believe she's in her early 20's, is one of the most talented multi media artists I've seen.  She first paints in acrylic her portraits/paintings then she glues and varnishes glass beads, Swarovsky crystals, pearls, coral turquoise and moth wings on top of the painting!!!  Just head over to her web site and click on her gallery work.  The painstaking effort of laying the small beads will just blow you away!  I read some articles when I googled her name and wasn't surprised to see some of her art work from when she was only 14!  

I finished our second lesson on tying the mandala.  I only tied 3 of the pieces so far and I'm waiting for our next lesson which is the dying process.  I think we might end up learning more than this one 'tie' so I might wait until the next lesson to determine if I'll tie anymore of this particular pattern.
 And one more item to show!  My friends know my love of when Linda & Laura Kemshall posted some of their items for sale, I did purchase this small pillow!  It was made by Linda and it looks better in person than in this picture!  
It's machine embroidery and FMQ with some fabric paint added, one of Linda's favorite techniques. 
So today is another hot, hot day so good day to stay inside and do cleaning and laundry.  I hope to get some sewing in today or beading, after my work.  Tomorrow is our Aussome fiber group meeting and I have lots of show and tell.  Looking for some ideas on how to quilt the edge of my Georgia piece...I'm sure the ladies will give me some good suggestions!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Look what I found!

Check it out!!  I forgot all about this canvas piece I started back in 1998!!   I really have quite a bit finished on it but a long way to go.   This next picture is what it should/will look like when completed...which it will be.  This is going to be my next 'to finish' project when I've completed my current projects.
I bought this pattern when Bob and I were on vacation in '98 in Arizona.  I just love the colors and the different patterns.  At the time, I was still working and not heavily into quilting, so it was a perfect project. did I find it!  Yesterday, before I went to get the grand kids from school, I decided to organize the closet in the sewing room.  Bob built shelves for me when we had the house built in '96 but I keep reorganizing to suit my current 'phase'!  So off I went to separate commercial fabrics from hand dyes. 
This was my table with just some of the fabrics on it.  I did separate yardage from fat quarters and also started a new bin for smaller scrap pieces and squares.  And used my wonderful label maker my daughter gave me for my BD one year!  I love my label maker!!!
And this is my finished closet.  Bob said it looked good but he doesn't remember how it looked before.  It actually was similar but now the commercial and hand dyes are in different areas which is nice(r)! 
So back to my canvas was WAY up on the top shelf actually hidden!!  I'm so glad I found it and remembered working on it!!!  I still have a long way to go on it but I think it will make a nice project to work on at night sitting out on the deck...or maybe take to Florida next winter. 
My next 'cleaning' will be to reorganize my tables and other storage areas I have.  Gives you such a good feeling to complete projects like this!  So thanks to Kay over at Quilts+Color blog!  Her studio is wonderful and she's been reorganizing.  I think subconsciously I got the bug from seeing her reorganizing! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Book Review Time!

Every once in awhile I read a book that I just can't put down!  Well, at least I can't put it down at night reading in bed!  I won't sit during the day and read...too many things to do at that time...but....I actually sat outside Monday night and Tuesday night to finish this book!!  The Weight of Silence is a great read!!  My friend, Mary, recommended it as was the latest read in the book club Mary belongs to.  Mary listened to it and from what she said each character was read by different readers, which would make it even more interesting.  I elected to  read the book as it wasn't available in digital format.

 I also like Brain Freeman's books and his latest is quite good.  I can't remember his last book but it was just so/so..this one kept my interest as a 'who done it' kind of read.

And James Grippando is another of my favorite writers.  I've read everyone of his books now.  I'm a big mystery fan as well as biographies.   I'm listening to Guilty Wives by James Patterson which is a good one to listen to.  I read some of the reviews on this book which weren't that great...but reviews are all subjective, right...just like shows/judges. 
So those of some of my fav books...don't you just love our libraries!!!!  I always support our local library and belong to Friends of the Library.  So go get a good book to read...encourage your kids and grand kids too.  It's a "good thing"!  Hmmm catchy phrase...wonder if it will catch on?

Monday, June 4, 2012

FMQ June Challenge

This month's FMQ challenge from SewCalGal is a tutorial by Cindy Needham.  Cindy's work is beautiful!!  She works a lot in quilting old linens and hankies...check out her gallery and the whole cloth pieces and miniatures she has created.
I had this piece of Radiance I dyed in Florida this winter and it's been basted and just waiting for some FMQ!  Cindy is showing us how to create free form designs so here's my piece so far.  I'm hooked on these feathers...I never could do them but now it's getting easier...just proof FMQ practice does work!

In the picture above, you can see where I'm trying my hand at filling in 1" squares with a cathedral type design.  I've only done the horizontal so far (depending on which way your turn the piece!). 

I haven't done any of the 'old stippling' in ages so that was fun to fill in spots.  Not sure how I'll fill in other areas but it's a good practice piece.  It's not's a good yard in length.

And here are some of my folded shibori pieces from the Mandala online class.  These are small pieces and I'm itching to get started on our next lesson, which is stitching. 
Well, off to walk little one, then get cleaned up to meet my friend for lunch.  Beautiful day rain...perfect for walking!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Indigo Mandala Online Class

I am pretty excited right now!  I follow Vyonne on her blog, FibreHeart and saw some of her Indigo mandala pieces she's done.  Vyonne mentioned she was signing up for Mandala online class from Shibori Girl.  So I went to the web site and checked out the class. 
Just looking at this picture  was enough to get me excited so I signed up!!  So glad I did. 

We were given our first lesson today (class started June 1st) and the video's and written explanation(s) are wonderful! I took my laptop into my sewing room and just played the video over and over.  It was like having an instructor beside me.  So far I think the class will be worth while for sure. I'll be using fiber reactive dyes rather than the indigo dye.

My love of shibori is first the design or patterns you can create...but it's also the hand work that I love so much.  These two pieces I did back in September of '09.  They are using stencils from Jane Callender that I purchased back then. 

  I've never used my shibori fabrics but I'm thinking I just might want to after this class...that is if my pieces turn out half as good as the one above in the class description!  I'd settle for anything close to that! 

So off I go to fold more pieces!  I have two small 12" x 12" squares ready for our next lesson, which is stitching.  I'm going to cut one larger piece just because!