My Favorite Books

Friday, December 26, 2014

the stockings are hung....

Wait...that was a week ago!  The stockings, Christmas tree and decorations are all put away!!!  But this is what our room looked like earlier today!!
And if you are on FB, you will get a count of how many shirts, shorts and pants my hubby takes to Florida!  These pictures are of all his clothes being packed!
 Actually, we had the car all packed by 3 this afternoon!  I finished the back seat before dinner getting space saver bags in position for Kalee's crate and Gracie's carrier.
Of course Kalee is feeling neglected!  She is playing with her toy Nick and Amber got her for Christmas... After this she grabbed one of my shoes, which she doesn't usually do.  I did take her for a walk, since it was 47 and sunny out...more like a fall day vs the 26th of December!
So my next post should be from down south!!  We are hoping for light traffic tomorrow and hoping to get to the hotel on Sunday by 4:30 so we can watch the Lions beat the Packers!!  Sorry, Mary!!!!  I honestly don't expect the Lions to win but I will certainly cheer them on!!!
So until I feel a lot of sun on my face, I will close with good wishes for the new year and do enjoy the rest of your holiday!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT (at least until we get to Florida!)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Some art work to see over the holidays!

So if you're in the area (that's my area of the world!) and you're looking for some art inspiration check out these two exhibits!  I've blogged about my friend, Lois Ann, who is part of our monthly Aussome Study group.  In fact, I recently blogged about her & our group in this post here.  Well, LA is the feature artist by the Grand Blanc Art Council now through February.
Her art work is being displayed on the second floor of the Genesys Health Park.  This is a real treat to get to see Lois Ann's work as she is finally starting to show her work to the public!

Or if you in the Brighton area or are looking for a day trip, head out to the Brighton Library to see our Inspired by the Master's exhibit.  This exhibit will be shown until January 4th so you might want to head there first!  (Lois Ann's exhibit is up through the end of February.).    You'll see the artwork we've created based on Klimt, Hunderwasser, VanGogh and others.  In fact, this next picture is one of Lois Ann's pieces she did based on Van Gogh that is in the exhibit!

This is the last time this exhibit will be shown as it's time to retire it!  We're starting on a whole new exhibit based on other master artists and hope that exhibit will be ready to travel late spring or early summer.
I've packed, or should I say filled, some space saver bags but will finish up on Friday.  Not much more to do other than pack our clothes and the car on Friday.  We're usually finished by early afternoon.  I guess after 11 years we have this 'snow bird' thing down pat!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Weekend with the kids!

Friday afternoon I picked up Amber and Nick from school, off to their house to pick up their suitcases  then we headed to our house.  We had dinner then kids decorated some sugar cookies I
made for them.

They did a nice job although we had some discussion on whether to make glaze or cream cheese frosting.  "We" elected to just make buttercream frosting!

 Some serious work going on here!

Friday night we made home made Blizzards for dessert (after eating a few cookies!) which Grandpa, Aber and Nick thought were pretty good.  I passed!  Who knew!  Nick went to bead early and  Amber stayed up with grandpa and I watching 48 Hours or a show like that!

Yes, blizzards are messy to make!

Next morning, Amber, Nick and I took Kalee for a walk.  It was cold, 27 degrees, but sunny and not really that bad to walk.  So walk we did...well, 3 of us walked and one of us rode his Ripster!

I give Nick credit...he rode this 'thing' all the way around and then some!  He would ride back to us where we were walking and then go back up the street!  Love seeing him on this.

We also took care of our neighbors dogs Friday night and walked one of them on Saturday and fed and played with them all weekend!  Good for kids and dogs!  Kalee loves the kids and would jump all over them in the mornings!  So cute!

This was Kalee sitting on Amber's belly!  She really did enjoy it but you can't tell by the picture!  HA

So after our little walk on Saturday, Grandpa took us to CiCi's for pizza.  The kids have been wanting to go for their pizza buffet so, since CiCi's is one of grandpa's favorites we went!  And I have to admit it did taste pretty good!

You can see on their faces the pizza was good!!  After lunch, we headed off to Walmart for some light shopping and even with a packed lot, we got a parking spot right up front!   Next Amber and I headed to PetSmart while Grandpa and Nick went to MC Sports to look around.  Then we headed to Colony Market for Amber and I to pick up some bread and chicken.  A really nice afternoon, which was finished up with another dog walk!

Of course, Taco's are always on the menu when kids come to stay so that was our dinner.  Then we went downstairs to play pool!  I've never played before so it was fun and Grandma actually one a game!  Nick said he helped me win and really he gave me some good lessons (as did Grandpa!).

This is one of Amber's could a ball sit so close and not go in!  It wouldn't!  Didn't make her very happy but she did well!

I really enjoyed having the kids around.  I'm sure the kids think I'm fussy.."have to do our chores before we play"...that type of thing...and "have to feed our animals before we feed ourselves"...and "wash your hands before you help cook" but that's me!

I had so much fun learning to play pool too!!!  If you have a minute, check out Nick showing grandma how to play.  He was good at giving me tips.  And I ended up winning two games!  WooHoo!  Oh, check out Kalee walking around us while we played!  What a hoot!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Finished a gift!

Today I finished up a gift I've been working for Bob.  He doesn't read my I'm safe posting about it.  I  made a genealogy book for my sister and I 10 years ago.  Bob has done a lot of research over the past few years but keeps it on his computer in Family Tree.  That's fine but it's nice to have it in a book that you can look at from time to time or look up a date!  So, I've been going to the library using their access to try to fill in some more information in his family tree.  I was lucky enough to find some add'l information so this week I updated information in his tree and printed out charts and information to put in a book.
So, this is the only picture I took of Bob's book!!!  I forgot!  Back to my post from yesterday and the day before!  Anyway, this is the cover of the book I made for my sister and I.   This was our mother and father's  wedding photo.

I printed on white fabric a photo of my mom and dad then sewed it onto the background piece.   With the fabric, I then made a cover for the album.  I'll do the same for Bob but let him pick the picture he wants for his cover.    At least he now has some of his history down on paper.  We can fill in with photo's, more charts, etc. when we get home in the spring.

So, that's it for is Bob's BD too...we had dinner at Appleee's for our Long Island Iced Tea night!  Our last night out for dinner until we get to Florida!  I need to use up leftovers in the freezer!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I found it!

Whew!  I mentioned in my post yesterday (or the day before??) that I couldn't find one of the folder envelopes I made...I found it!!  In my computer room, in my file box!  WHAT?  WHY???  Geezzz  Guess I shouldn't even put that in might come back to haunt me!  Anyway, here's another one of my folder/envelopes.    This one I didn't decorate in Christmas wrapping.  It's an 'every' season type!

Right now it is storing some of my pieces of papers/etc. that I use when I make these. The open area in the picture above is where you would place the mailing address.

This is the back and if you very astitute! you will notice I glued items upside down!  Doesn't matter but this is what I referred to in my post about orientation/placement of your scraps.

Something else I did different on some of my envelopes.  I kept the file folder flap!  You can see the top of my return address in this picture.  Once I place items in this envelope, I would stitch across in a straight line leaving the flap as is.

Make sense?  Play with making these...they are fun.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Now I just hope I remember how lucky I am!

Yes, I am a lucky lady!!  Lucky to have friends close to where I live and lucky to have some great blog friends!  Such as, Sherry, from Createology!   Sherry is a multi talented lady who is always creating new and interesting items...mainly for her friends...and even for those blog friends she's never met!  I have been gifted several times by Sherry and treasure each and every one she has sent me (all the way from California!).  Anyway, look what she made and gifted me!!!

I love it!  And I can sure use this card holder/purse!  It's perfect to carry my library card, Panera card and other non credit cards!

You can see the different fabrics where you'll store your cards!  THANK YOU SO MUCH, SHERRY!!!!  I just love are one special lady and I'm so lucky to call you my Blog BFF!!

Now I hope I remember a year from now (maybe a week from now!) who gave this to me!  Yesterday I was cleaning up my room to pack and had one of my folder/envelopes that I was going to take a picture of to post today...well, I went downstairs to my workroom, carrying the folder/envelope and do you think I can find the bugger today!  I remember "putting it away" but I just don't remember where I put it!!!

I have looked high and low and it's driving me crazy.  I have been in my workroom 3 times looking for it!!

 I notice I'm doing this more and more lately.  I'm so good about putting things "back where they belong" but lately it seems I'm not always doing that and end up hunting for something.  I keep changing where I put something and then I can't remember my new place.
I will find that folder/envelope...someday!!!  UGH....anyway, here are shots of my sewing area with items all packed up and ready for the car and trip to Florida!

I looks like a lot but you don't know how much I have cut back...this all fits on the floor in the back seat area.

I'm never sure exactly what I'm going to work on and I don't want to have to buy something I already have!

All the items here sit on top of some of the boxes and bins above.  I use a lot of space saver bags for Bob's sweaters, pants and shorts so they go on the seat to raise Kalee and Grace's crates for them to see out the windows better!

Have to keep our animal kids happy too!

Friday I'm getting the kids to have for the weekend.  I have sugar cookie batter in frig so I'll bake those tonight then freeze them so kids can decorate cookies on Saturday.  Not sure what else we'll do but it will be nice to be around the kids for a day or two!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Winding down

Yep, I am winding down.  Today I shipped off my last snap bag!  I've shown my snap bags before on my blog so won't bore you with more pics. They are fun to make and more fun to give!!
Shipping the little buggers can be tricky....they're too small to put in a box..too big for a regular few years ago I saw on some one's blog how to make a large envelope from a file folder.  Sorry, don't remember who and I didn't see any pics on my blog....anyway, here is the process, in case you need an envelope for that special gift.  I've made several and they make up quickly!  And I think folks enjoy getting them in the mail!

First you cut a file folder to the size you want..which can be long and skinny or short and fat!

Then gather up those old Christmas cards and scraps of wrapping paper you were going to throw out but just knew you could use for something!

These are just a few of my scraps!!!

Next, cut up your cards and paper and start gluing to the folder, keeping in mind the orientation for the front and back!

I should have turned this picture...but you get the idea...this is the front.  I just leave an opening for the address.

This is the back of the envelope.   Once your glue is dry (I use scrapbooking glue) then you can stitch away!  I like to stitch around each piece of paper or card I've glued onto the folder.

When you are finished stitching, insert your gift and then stitch away again!  You only have three sides to stitch as the bottom is the fold...make sense?

I usually stitch one and half sides then put in my gift, then stitch the rest of the opening closed.

Now how does the recipient get into their package, you say?  Just unstitch the top or's called "unsewing"...yea, they have to work for it but.......

This is the back...the pic above is the front but I had to cover the address! All sewn up and actually already in the mail with the rest of them!!

Easy, right!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Production Line!

Well, things are finally slowing down now that all my gifts are wrapped and under the tree!!  WooHoo!!!  That stress is over with for another year.  It was Dec. 13, 2013 that I had all gifts wrapped and under the tree and this year I did it again!  Everything wrapped on Dec. 13, 2014!
So on to my next project, which was making Kalee booties!

These are some flannel type booties I made for Mandy several, several years ago.  Kalee wears them when she's had a bath and I want her feet to stay clean on our walks.

You can see the rubber pads I sewed on are started to wear out.  But, hey, they serve the purpose and are really great on the drive to Florida...especially, at gas stations and fast food parking lots!  You would be amazed at the dirt a dog can get on their feet!  Well, Kalee can't use hand sanitizer now can she!

So, I got out some of my Tyvek fabric (yep, the same fabric I paint and burn for my art quilts!) and started to drawn a pattern to make Tyvek booties!

This is my cardboard pattern and the pattern drawn out on the Tyvek fabric.  I purchased this fabric (actually 2 yards) a few years ago from  The fabric comes in 8 1/2 x 11" sheets, which is nice, but I buy the yardage which is 60" wide.

In the past, I've bought Nooby's booties for dogs either at Pet Smart or online.  They usually run $8-10 for two pairs.  Well, I think for my Tyvek fabric @ $9 a yard , I sure get a lot more than two sets of booties!

So this was my production line today!

And FYI....I do have a Teflon foot for my Bernina, which is a life saver for sewing on Tyvek and other 'stickie' fabric!

This is what the booties looks like sewn up, once it's turned inside out.

I ended up making 3 sets and took Kalee for her walk wearing them today!

The cloth booties I made (red ones in 1st pic) have Velcro to tighten when Kalee wears them.

The store bought Tyvek booties have elastic to wrap around them but I find they tend to stretch out easily.

So I thought, why not just rubber bands!  And the rubber bands from the veggies (e.g. asparagus!) work great!
You can see how much dirt Kalee would have had on her feet today if she didn't have on her 'mom's booties'!  And none of them fell off on our walk either!  Which does happen from time to time with the store bought just because of the elastic stretching out.

Now I can pack up my sewing machine and supplies!  This morning I took a few minutes to pack my paints/dyes/stencils and books!  Of course, Lynn K's book, Intentional Printing, was packed first!!  Since I'll be dropping my machine off the 1st day we arrive in Florida (see my issue here) and I'll have to be working on something so screen printing and playing is on the agenda!

I had better finish this post and get busy!  Lion's play @ 4 and I want to have sewing items all packed.  I am planning on Amber and Nick spending the night this Saturday so I want to have this packing all finished.  Should be a relaxing week for me, FINALLY!   How about you?  Stress getting to you or is wine helping?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Challenge Reivew for 2013-2014

You certainly can forget the work we've done...even in the past year or two!  Some of the members on our Art Quilters ARound the World blog have been posting pics of their challenge pieces.  So today I did the same.  If you haven't looked at some of the challenge pieces our group has mae, you are in for a treat.  There are so many unusual and unique pieces created by this group.  They are all so talented!
So back to me taking pics of my finished challenge pieces....the main problem is I ran out of room on my board and then I had to look at the blog to see all the quilts I've made, because I forgot!   Yea, it's back to how we forget things!!  

I joined this group January of 2013 and it's been a lot of fun meeting the challenge dates.  Our next challenge is 'Structures' which is due January 30th!  I have my background fabric now to work on the stitching!!

Here are 8 of my challenge pieces from January 2013 thru November 2014

Top row:  Song Title- Mar. 2014, Self Portrait- Jan. 2013, Art Nouveau- Jan. 2014, The 3 R's - recycle, reuse reduce- July 2014.
Bottom:  Flights of Fantasy- Nov. 2014, Carnival-Mar. 2013, Macro-Nov. 2013, Bollywood-May 2014!

And here are the other four that didn't fit!

Opposites Attract - July 2013

Out of Asia - May 2013

Mono - Sept. 2014

Road Less Traveled - Sept 2013

Kinda fun to look back at our work from time to time!!!

Now on to creating new work for the next year or two or three!  Le'ts hope!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Just another Wednesday...wait it's Thursday!

OK, so I don't know what day it is...just so busy of late.  Seems like I am running somewhere every single day!  Tomorrow (Friday) I am staying home - ALL DAY!  Yes, I am!  Saturday, Alice is coming over this way and we're going to an open house by the RE Zip-It lady! She has the coolest, most unique items made all with zippers!  I have two small gifts to pick up and know I'll find just the right gift I, it will be fun to be with my bud for the afternoon!

So, here's my next project.  It's a shrug and I picked out the yarn for it earlier this week:

I really like this pattern.  It's in the book by Sally Melville & her daughter, Caddy...actually, this pattern was written by Caddy.  I think it's perfect for those Florida nights!

I had emailed Sally and she sent me a link for one of her classes on 'Essential techniques every knitter should know'.  It's definitely an online class I am interested in and most likely will take.  It's on Craftsy, which I have taken classes through ins the past.  I just can't do anything until we get to Florida but I'll keep you posted on my progress and review the class for anyone interested!  Just have to wait until after the 1st of the year!  I think!

Here is the yarn I purchased for the shrug.  It's really a nice yarn and I think the brown will be perfect for the edging.  In Caddy's pattern she used charcoal and silver, which is very nice.  I wear so much brown/beige and spring colors so I hope I made the right choice.

I'm hoping to have my swatch made for checking my gauge then I can get started!  Should be a good project for the drive to Florida.

Also, Sally noted another book that might be of interest.  It's called 'ESSENTIAL TECHNIQUE EVERY KNITTER SHOULD KNOW'.  I've ordered this book through our library right now and will order a copy to buy after I've glanced through it.  I'd, again, prefer to wait until Florida and have the book shipped there!

I did some sewing the other day by quilting some fabric and then making two snap bags for gifts.

 So tomorrow is some catchup work and finishing wrapping all my Christmas gifts.  I mailed the kids in Indiana their 'box' today so now it's just wrap the rest and clean up the pool table, which now holds boxes, wrapping paper and ribbon!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Aussome Study Group -

Today was our last meeting of 2014 for our fiber study group.  It's so nice being part of a great group of women who I can call my friends as well as being inspired by them!  Here is pic from today:

Back row is my bud Carol T., who I have known since 2000!  We met at a quilting class and have been friends ever since!  We've traveled several times to Houston & Chicago to attend the IQA shows and were lucky enough to attend the year our group quilt was juried in!  Carol & I have had many laughs and made some good memories through the years.  I can aways turn to Carol if I need a shoulder or two!  Carol, besides being a wonderful quilter,  is currently working with watercolors and her drawings are fantastic!  I've asked her before if I could post on my blog one of her drawings so I know she won't mind me showing this one.  Pretty good isn't it!

Next up is my 'dog' bud, Chris!  Chris is a multi talented lady!  Currently, she trains and shows her dog(s) in agility and, as a side line, works for a major thread company, which involves attending the Quilt Market(s) several times a year.  Her quilts are shown in quilting magazines as promotions for the thread companies.    Kalee's first class as a puppy was taken with Chris as one of the trainers.  I also took one of Chris' first quilting classes when she taught at our local shop back in '98!  Her quilting is unbelievable!   In her spare time, she also machine quilts for others.   This is a quilt Chris did back in 2011 for our MQAI - Art of the Kitchen exhibit.

Starting now on the bottom row (left!) is my International bud, Lois Ann!  LA and her hubby lived in Italy for over 5 years but we are so glad she's back in our group!!!  LA is such a fun, bubbly young lady (I'm paying you back for the candy with that remark, LA!!!).  In addition, she can produce art work like no one!!!!  Her work is outstanding and we are always trying to encourage her to "get your work out there"!   This is a quilt from 2009 that LA did for the Inspired by the Masters Exhibit - Hokusai.  You'll recognize this famous painting by Hokusai but check out how LA created it in fabric!!

And last but not least is my bud, Mary!!!  Mary is one of the sweetest, caring women I know.  Besides being a great friend, she is also an awesome, mother, grand mother!!  She's always there for those who need her.  BUT the other great thing about Mary is her art work.  I've posted before here on an exhibit Mary did back in 2010.  You need to check out that blog post and see some of Mary's work that was inspired by Chihuly!  You can see the quilt hanging behind Mary that she did for that exhibit.  I don't have a copy on my laptop of this quilt and I'm too lazy to get up and copy from the desktop...but click on this pic or go to the post above to see more of Mary's Chihuly quilts.

And other than myself in the picture, wearing my latest project!, My L'Enveloppe cape/shawl/whatever!, these are my buds and I'm so, so lucky to have them as friends and in my life!!!  So thank you ladies!  Hope we have many more years together as friends and continue to inspire each other!!!