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Thursday, August 30, 2012

By works!

Who knew!    Back in 2009, I took an online lino class from Dijanne Cevaal that I just loved (in fact, I think she is having another online class starting up soon). can see some of my stamps and fabrics I printed here.  Recently, Laura Kemshall had a video in the DesignMatters TV on block printing.  I had to try it and it works!!!  My previous stamps didn't create a continuous flow of my designs...they just printed the stamp on and on, which was fine but...

This is the paper pattern I made up using Laura's technique.  You have to sign up to Design MattersTV to see how Laura came up with the method (or you may be smart enough to already know this - I'm not!). I didn't take a picture of my original drawing...this is after you manipulate it.
This is my stamp....and....

And here it is printed on paper.  My stamp was 5" square and the paper was 10" square. 

It's not the most exciting of stamps but I have hex's on the brain right now (again, blame it on Design Matters TV!) so thought I'd put some hex's on my stamp. 

Now I have to think of some really cool stamp to make for printing on fabric!! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Way to go boys!!

Don't the grand kids just make you so proud!  Ian and Nick had a great start to the 2012 season!

This is Ian at the BNL Fall Invitational last week!  Ian did a fantastic job and to quote from the newspaper article "Mitchell junior Ian Payne led the Bluejackets to a fourth-place team finish with a 14th-place effort in 18:40".  He also finished 1st in his school division!  Way to go Ian!!!!  We always look forward to hearing about Ian's races.  He loves to run and even has his dad running with him, from time to time when he practices! 

Yea for Nick's team this past Saturday!  Those kids did/do a great job!!  That's a pretty big field to get touchdowns on when you're only 8 or 9 years old!!  A long way to go for sure but they do it!!
 Yep, there is a player from the other team under Nick (#80)!!  He plays both offense and defense and I'm sure he sleeps well after his games! 

We are so proud of all the grand kids whether it's sports, school or just being darn good kids!  Says something for their upbringing.  All the kids are great parents and wonderful aunts and uncles!  Auntie Dawn got a pass to be on the field this past week so she was able to get some great shots for the team and family!  And Uncle Jeff held the umbrella so grandma wouldn't get sun burned!  How lucky am I!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Busy fingers!

It was a busy week last week and weekend but at least I've been able to relax and do some hand work!  This was the start of my hexagon stack!

I started to calculate exactly how many more hexagons I  may need...but that's hard to do when I don't even know what I'm making with them! 

I counted up how many hexagons I have, sorted them by value/color doesn't look like it but there are over 110+ hexagons in this pile.
Hmmmm....appears 22 hex's give me 3" x 8/9" do the math!

So it was back to my scrap box to cut more hexagons to paper piece.  I also made a cardboard hexagon template so it is easier to cut the fabric hexagons. 

And, yes, I'm saving the scrap triangles pieces!  I'm not sure why but you just never know!!

I've also been doing some stab stitching on my patchwork piece!  It's easier to work on the hexagons at night because I use the board with all my supplies on it.  I can lift it quickly when 'puppy' wants to play!   So, after dinner, Kalee and I go sit out on the deck and then I stitch on the patchwork piece.

I'm stitching inside the circles with threads of different colors.  This is very relaxing to sit outside at night, listen to my book on my Ipod and work on this piece, but it's hard on the fingers!  I might have to get back to beading my butterfly for a few days to rest my fingers.  Now I know why they call it 'stab stitching'!

So that's my busy work for the week!  

Tomorrow I'm going to 'brag' on the grandson's!  Both Ian and Nick are our athletes of the week!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Long lost friend!

OK, so my friend, Alice,  wasn't really lost!  She and her hubby have lived in Connecticut for the past several years but have now moved back to Michigan!  We finally met up yesterday for lunch...a 3 hour lunch!  It was SO good to see Alice again and catch up on her life now!  Alice was also a friend of Patty, who passed away 3 years ago this past July, and we would hang out together back in the day!  We didn't get to reminisce about the 'good old days' and our fun times with Patty but I'm sure our next luncheon will be talking about those old times.   Especially now that we are caught up on family and our current lives. 
I'm going to gather up the pictures I have of the three of us enjoying life way back when, for us to look at when we meet up again!  I know it will be fun to look back at those times with Patty and all the fun we had!  Nothing like the good old days!!!  Although, 'these days' ain't so bad either, are they Alice!!! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Nick's 1st game of the season!

 What fun on Sunday to see Nick play his first football game (in pads!).  I was shocked at how tough these kids were!!  Nick played almost the entire time, both on defense and offense!  He gave it his all and made everyone proud of him. 
The end of a long game!  Job well done, Nick!!!  

 Nick is #80 and some of these you have to look close for his number but he's there!  Auntie Dawn took these pictures from the stands!  They are great pictures!!  But I love this one of Nick talking to another player!  I just wonder what the discussion was about!  It's almost like big brother talking to little brother!  Nick wouldn't like me to say it but it's adorable!   I think it would make a great ad!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

More GeoCaching!

Yep, this past Wed. was another GeoCaching day!  I printed out two maps, one for Amber and one for Nick.  The geocache we were looking for actually were hidden downtown Oxford.  So each of them had to give grandma directions to the site for us to look for the treasure!  Kids are learning but don't even know it! 
This was our beautiful Amber giving grandma directions to the first cache!  Which, we couldn't find...this turned out to be a grandma error!  When I was getting the map set up to print, I must have dragged the 'end point' without realizing it.  We weren't on the right trail!  But now we guess where we're going this Wed.! 
On to our 2nd cache with Nick giving grandma directions and YIPPEE we found it!  I know it doesn't look like much but when you've been hunting for something for two weeks, we settled for a medicine bottle wrapped in duct tape! 
This is the log we had to sign!  Very small but lots of signatures on it!!  Hard to write on!  We did put in a ring we made from Shrinky Dink for the next person.  You don't have to leave a trinket but we thought we would!
So off to the bead store and lunch, then to our 3rd cache for the day!  We headed to Seymour Lake Park where an "easy, children's cache" was hidden.  Well, guess who couldn't find the "easy, children's cache"!  You guessed it!  Grandma!  So, we thought we'll just look up the map/coordinates when we get home and head to the 1st Geocache we tried to find last week.  We just knew where it was! 

We even dragged Kalee with us this was an easy walk on the Polly Ann Trail and since we just "knew" where the cache was we thought she'd enjoy the ride. 
Well, we never found it either!  I guess one cache out of four was good!! 

 So after a mini blizzard treat and water for Kalee, we headed home to look up the caches on the computer (again!).
NOW, we really know where they are!!!  So this Wed. we're heading out again!!  I just know we'll find them.  How hard can it be!

Friday, August 17, 2012

More hand work for the time being...

I had to stop working on my butterfly because I didn't have any size 15 seed beads.  The two butterflies are too small to use 11's...good excuse to head to bead shop.  On Wed., inbetween geocaching, the kids and I did pick up some orange 15 beads.  They like helping me pick out colors.
More on our geocaching experience in another post!

Here's what I'm hand stitching.  These are 1 inch hexagons from, of course!, Laura Kemshall.  Laura showed a really cool pillow wrap made with hexagons.  Not sure that's what I'll use these for but they are fun to make and portable...which means I can lay them on my board and pick up quickly when puppy wants to play!
That's my board above!  I just reached into my scrap box and found this piece of fabric by Mickey Lawler! 
I bought this piece back in 2001 when my friend, Carol, and I went to the IQA show in Houston for the first time!  We did have a ball and made it an annual trip for a few years.  Funny how we stopped buying fabric after we got into dyeing and painting our own.  I did take a class from Mickey at QSDS several years ago.  It was 3 or 4 days and I painted lots of fabric.  Still have some of those pieces so I hope I have something to match to my hexagons!

Today is hair appointment for Kalee and grocery shopping for mom (me!).  Also, Bob and I both got new cars yesterday so that's behind us now and we don't have to worry about coming back early in April to turn in my car.  GM has some great deals right now on 2012 models and we're both delighted with our new purchases and the reduced payment each month!  Temp only to be in the low 70's which is my kind of weather so I best be out in it!  And drive my new car!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

So sad it's over!

Let's face it...there are a lot of silly, dumb, ridiculous TV shows on right now.  (OK, I do admit to liking some of those dumb, silly, ridiculous show! - Housewives of XX and Flipping Out have me hooked!)  But the Longmire series on A&E is or was the best!  The season is over with hoo!!!  Bob and I got hooked on the 1st episode, I don't even know how we found it, but we haven't missed one show.  Of course we Tivo it so we can watch commercial free.
Now we have to wait until the 2nd season.  If you haven't seen this show, check it out.  I know they'll have reruns.  The acting is very good and most of the stories take place outside!  The show is based on books written by Craig Johnson who is a mystery writer.  I actually have  ordered some of his books from our library.  The setting takes place out west, but in modern times, which is right up our alley.  Speaking of west....

The next series we've been looking forward to is Hell on Wheels. Another really good series that is on AMC.  This one takes place in post civil war time frame.   This is the 2nd season but they have reruns of the 1st on as well.  Bob and I both like series that are realistic and both of these, set in their respective time frames, are very real.  

So that's my TV review for the year, most likely...unless I start with Housewives....

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday project

Once again, one of my favorite blogs showed a project that I just had to make!  How about this for a head start on Christmas!  It's my book page Christmas Wreath! 

Eva Maria Keiser had a post on making a door wreath from antique or old books.  I just happened to have tons of old books that I play with from time to time, so Sunday afternoon I made this wreath!  Because I thought I'd just play with making the cones to see how this wreath actually went together...some of my cones are uneven.  Reason being is, I had some pages from old books already torn out that I used in addition to another book that had some shiny pages with color on them...different sizes but, regardless, I'm happy with how it turned out.  I just stuck the pine cones in the middle but I'll hot glue some small ball ornaments in the middle. 

I think I'll make Dawn and Kris each one for the holidays.  I would be too hard to mail one to Mary Jo in Indiana so I think I'll send her the link.  She does have a new job and might not have time to make one but I know she would enjoy it.  Perhaps, when she comes to Michigan she could make one with her sisters!

If you aren't signed up to follow Eva Maria's blog, you have visit her site and I know you'll sign up!   She has so many interesting video's and posts that you'll totally enjoy!   You just don't want to miss what she posts. Thanks again, Eva Maria!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

2nd Tila cuff finished

Finished my 2nd Tila cuff yesterday!  I only had one bronze clasp so I elected to put it on this one first.  Now I need to head to bead store on Wed. to pick up another bronze one for my 1st Tila cuff! 

I hate to admit it but I did watch/listen to a movie while beading.  The movie was Brides Maids and I have to say it was a hoot!  Now, parts of it were a little on the R rating, but I like Kristin Wiig from Saturday Night Live.  She did a great job as well as Melissa McCarthy.  She was SO funny and I can see why she won for Best Supporting Actress.  I'm not big on comedy's and prefer mystery or action movies but this was fun to kill an hour or so with.  

Sun is out today but I'm not going to market.  I have so many veggies and fruit in the frig that I have to use up.  So it's in my sewing room to bead or start work on the Peter Max design for our Master's Exhibit.  I might just get the design ready and work on this one in Florida.  Who knows...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What do you look like from the back?

OK, I don't really want to know what I look like from the back...but Mary Stori, a wonderful quilter/beader/author/teacher/blog mate!, and I have had an email or two discussing what quilts look like on the back.  This really did get me thinking more about my work from the back!
My Georgia on My Mind, reverse applique piece had tons and I mean tons of hand stitching on it.  Because of that, I did chose to fuse a piece of fabric on to the back to cover up the stitching.  Was it that bad?  I don't know!  I honestly didn't think much about it...I just covered it up!  If it were machine quilting, I wouldn't have done that.  But as I said in discussion I had with Mary, I don't enter shows (other than my group exhibits I participate in) so would I have covered it up for a show?  I thought I'd look at my current stitching project and some past ones!
 The picture above is my current hand stitching project.  Looks decent from the front...not perfect...but decent.  After all, this is for me!  And if I give it to someone it won't be a quilter!  They would critique it too much!  I give my quilts to friends or family who don't sew!  There's a method to my madness! 
Oh, back to the back!  So here's a picture of the back of my work.   Not perfect...would it pass inspection if in a show??  Most likely not...especially, if a judge needed some reason to award a prize and had to find some factor to eliminate one.  Makes sense to me. 

This is a shibori piece I did a few years ago with machine quilting, beads and stab stitch.  And here's the back.

Not too bad but you sure can see uneven stitches...but that's the charm of hand work, right! 

And my current project...the butterfly.  I do fuse onto the back of my beading pieces unless they are being mounted on canvas.  There's just way too many threads and I think they do look messy.  

Here's my red black butterfly from the front...

And from the back!  A tad busy, right!!!  Maybe I should be more conscious of my hand work.  I try to be careful and maintain good workmanship but I'm far from being perfect that's for sure.  So what does all this the heck out of me!!  Just don't look at the back of my work!!  If I give you one of my quilts, just smile and talk about it behind my back!

So what do you look like from the back?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Some WIP's!

I've started another Tila bracelet.  This one is more on the matt side and hopefully, will be more "casual"...although, I'm not sure how beads with crystals can be casual!  I had started this one using a thread that I weave on the loom with called 'SoNo' but I didn't like the looseness of the beads.  So, I started over again using Fireline which I prefer. 

I was going to bead my bracelet this afternoon but decided to start on my next beaded butterfly in fabric.  I chose a Ruddy Daggerwing below.  I think the colors will be a nice compliment to my previous butterfly's (purple one here and red/black here).

I went through my wonderful Dover Butterfly coloring book and found the Ruddy Daggerwing on one of the pages.  Actually, there are two smaller butterflies sitting on a limb.  Here's the drawing on fabric, which is hard to see!  I free motion quilted after I drew in my butterflies with orange have to have really good eyesight to see them in this picture!  Heck, I'm having a hard time seeing the butterflies to even bead!
But I did mange to outline one of the butterfly's with a dark chocolate brown 15 seed bead.  Kate Boyan a wonderful beader from Alaska suggested to me awhile ago to first outline with beads the areas I'll be beading.  It was and is a great tip so I do this every time now.  If you haven't been to Kate's blog, plz do so.  Her work is outstanding and you will be so amazed at her workmanship. 

I'm still working on and off on hand stitching my patchwork piece, which I'll talk about tomorrow.  We had rain today and some more expected over the weekend.  We do need the rain, that's for sure!  Even so,  I did run some errands this a.m. and met my friend Mary for coffee and lunch.  Still back home early enough to do some work.  Now to see if Kalee will be a sweet girl tonight so mom can bead some more!!  Wishful thinking I'm sure! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Geocaching w/grandma!

OK, so I never was a good tracker or good on direction...but I'll give it a try.   If you don't know what Geocaching is check out their web site here.  Basically, it's a treasure hunting game!  There are containers or caches hidden all over the world!!  Hard to believe but it's true!  My friend, Carol T., told me about this a year or so ago.  So yesterday the grand kids and I took off early in the a.m.  There was a cache about 2 miles from their house so bikes were in order!
Two hours later, a winded grandma finally gave in and said "let's head home".  Between the GPS and my phone GPS, we were taken to different spots.  Each one said we were in the right area but no cache could be found.  We did roam the woods even!  Actually, I found it a lot of fun with the exception of riding about 5 or 6 miles!  I was winded and pooped!  Kids held up much better of course!  

This is another picture of a cache hidden!  Cool isn't it!  I have two more places to head to next Wed., which are rated as easy, easy...and we're going to go back to the cache we couldn't find yesterday.  I looked at the map and can see we were in the right area but on the right side of the road and the cache was on the left!  DUH!  I said...I'm not good at map reading!  But I did find our way back home so guess that's a good thing!

Rain today...hubby not golfing so good day for laundry and sewing.  No, not Bob doing that!  ME!  I've got 3 loads of laundry finished already!  Now off to do some sewing or maybe beading.  Meeting up with friends later...have a good day!  And look into Geocaching!!!  Even to do with a spouse would be fun!

Monday, August 6, 2012

the good and the bad

Well, this good news this weekend was I did accomplish quite a bit of hand stitching on my patchwork piece. I want to get all the circles outlined then I'll go back and do more stab stitching within the circles.  At least that's my plan!  Who knows...I might end up just free motion quilting instead.

The bad news was I did hand stitching because I was a couch potato due to stomach problems...the old gall bladder at it again!  I sat most of the time with the heating pad on the old tummy...yesterday I did most of the stitching.   My surgery will be in Sept. sometime or before once we find out what our little girl will need.  Kalee's knee is still popping in and out at times.  Doesn't seem to hurt her (no yelping) or impede her chasing Cody around the house (you have to ck out her blog video).  She goes to the vet this afternoon to reck and get his opinion.

I belong to our local Friends of the Library and at noon we're moving boxes and boxes of donated books into storage for our upcoming book sale in Sept.  The library needs the space for another event into the end of this month so we need to move all of the boxes into the storage room.  Shouldn't take long although we old ladies don't work that fast, now do we!
Beautiful day right the high 50's @ 6:30 a.m. but up to 70's @ 10:30.  Nice to have the windows open to sleep with for a change.  Fall anyone??