My Favorite Books

Monday, June 30, 2014

Good Day...Bad Day...

Well, let's start with the good news first...I only have a very small section left on my leaf!  Check it out!!!  I should be able to finish this section by the end of the long as Tigers are on TV!

Next, on another good note (the 'bad' is coming!)...I won a $10 gift voucher at Superior Thread from a Give-Away on Lily's Quilts!   How cool is that!!!  I love Superior Threads and especially the newsletter!  The voucher can be used to purchase the titanium-topstitch-needle or any other item.  I have heard about Titanium needles before so I think I will try them!  Cool, right!  So thanks Lynne!!  I know...her blog is called "Lily's" but you'll just have to go on over and read why her blog is call Lily's and not Lynne's!

Now for the bad news!!!

Kalee chewed/ate a plastic dental pick!  UGH!!!  Of course, because I was screaming like a Banshee monkey, she thought I was as I was trying to get her to "drop", "out", chase her, corner her...she kept munching (which I guess was good if she wasn't going to drop it!)...I only found 2 tiny, tiny pieces of the pick left!  Of course, I called the vet immediately...and they wanted to know what ingredients were in the pick.  Well, you would think this was a huge trade secret!  I couldn't find anything on the package or on the web as far as ingredients and neither could the vet tech.  So I called the company and found out there is a resin plastic called Polystyrene and Polyethylene and essential oils used to coat the plastic (vet was concerned about another ingredient, which wasn't in these)!  UGH...both the "P" words are used in food, cosmetics, medicine...just to name a few!!  I recently checked out a book from the library called 'Eat It to Beat It' which tells you which processed, fast food and restaurant meals are better or worse for you!  Who knew that the same ingredient used to make a Yoga mat are also in our food(s)!  Now I just hope Kalee' digestive system can handle the "P's"....Just what I need...more worry in my life!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bead Storage

One of my blog buds (who I've actually met up with in Florida!), Nancy, from Quilting Potpourri, left a comment the other day asking if I'd share sometime how I organize my beads and supplies. Figured I better do that before I forget!!

But before I talk about my  storage containers...I think everyone should have a Label Maker!!!  My daughter gave me one for my birthday several years ago and I love it!  It's well worth the investment or, beter yet,  give to your family for a gift suggestion.  As someone just mentioned (Kay!), Christmas Eve is only six months away!!!!  Anyway, here is how I organize my beads and supplies.

A few years back I purchased two Bead Tube Towers.   The tower contains 3 sections for you to store your seed beads in.  This is a a picture of what the 'tower' looks like...I swiped this picture from the Beadaholic web site.  See how nice it stands up!
You can set up the 'tower' if you are working on a project and want to see all your beads to pick from.

I only keep  #11 seed beads and #8 and #6 beads in these towers.

Each tower has its own case with handles so it's easy to carry if you're going to a class or just working on a project.

I really like the cases as they are easy to store in my bead cabinet (you'll see later in this post).  I just have a small cabinet for my beads supplies so I like to have supplies as compact as possible.

And these cases are nice for traveling back and forth to Florida!  They stash really well in the car!!

I tend to use #15 seed beads and #15 Delica beads more than #11 seed beads...they just seem to work better in the majority of my bead embroidery.  For that reason, I have my #15 beads stored in a container (here's where that label maker comes in handy!).  I mark the container and I even have my embroidery threads stored the same way.

I keep each colorway in small sandwich bags (the same goes for my embroidery threads).  I find this makes it a lot easier to see the beads when I'm looking for a particular color, plus, it's easy to keep them organized by just putting back in the bag(s).  I can just grab reds, purples, whatever color rather than digging through all the different containers.

This is what the baggies look like sitting inside the container.  It looks messy but it's very easy to see and  'grab' a bag of color!Again, these are only #15 seed and Delica's.

My embroidery threads are stored the same way...each color is in a separate sandwich bag.  But that's a whole other post, right!

Yep, here's my good old Label Maker in use!  My son gives me these wood boxes from the equipment they get at his job.  One box holds my beading wire(s) and the other box contains Tila beads, clasps, sequins, etc.

The box on the far right holds my beading threads.

Just a peak inside each box. Again, makes it easy to just grab and put back.  If I'm using wire, etc. I'll just put the entire box on my work table rather than take one item out.  Just makes it easy to 'put things' excuse...the box is right there.

I love these boxes, again, because they store so well in my cabinet.  I just don't have a large enough one to hold my Delica's or I'd put them in one of the boxes!  I have too many baggie!!

I mainly use Silamide beading thread which comes on spools, so this old thread container works perfectly.

And this is my shelf...looks messy but really it's very organized.  The bead tower bags are on the left and you can see my storage containers sit on the right....bead notes on the far right (all my art and bead books are in a different cabinet).  My bead loom sits on top.

And below are my boxes and the containers on top hold jewelry fasteners and charms.

Last but not least, based on a tip from another blog bud, Mary Stori, I use an old embroidery hoop to hold the beads I'm using for a project.   Mary was a guest blogger on And Then We Set It On Fire and gave this tip:
 "I used to place my bead mat on a shallow jelly roll pan, which acted as a lap board....but it got awfully cumbersome.  One day I came up with the idea of securing the bead mat in a small wood embroidery hoop.  PERFECT.....when the thread is long I can bring the needle to the hoop, when it's shorter...I can bring the hoop to the needle!"

If you missed Mary's guest posts on beading, just click here.   Mary has some great tips and pictures...and when you're done reading those posts, just take a another minute or two and head over to her blog, The Inside Stori!!

This is my hoop with the bead mat secured...I could cut some of  the excess may recoginze the beads in this picture!  These are what I'm using for my leaf project...which I did work on some more today!

So, I hope you got an insight as to my bead organization and if so, you can thank Nancy!  If you didn't and thought this was a boring post or you have some better ways to organize please share!!    Now off to bead!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Crayon Art

Last week my grandson, Nick, mentioned crayon art as an activity we could do when I spend my 'day' with them. to 'Google' I went where I saw lots of video's and images of crayon art.  You really need to watch the video's on crayon art (just go to YouTube and type in 'crayon art') to get an idea on supplies needed and process.
Fortunately, I had several canvas pieces (both flat and wrapped) as well as lots of crayons from when the kids were younger.  You also need some plastic/foam board, large clips, cardboard, glue gun, heat gun...those are the main supplies you'll need.  Just pay attention when watching the video''ll get the idea!

We started off looking up different ideas on the 'net'....

Kids hard at work thinking of a design. Nick wanted to put printed words on is art work so he went to the computer and typed out some saying(s) and printed them out.  He did a nice job too.

Amber wanted to write inside her design so she created a heart shape on the edge of her canvas.  When we melted the piece we turned the canvas upside down so we were melting the end of the crayons and not the point.

Now the fun began!!  Well, first we had a healthy lunch and some playing around with squirting chocolate syrup into Nick's mouth!  

Next, we taped plastic onto the wall and floor in the garage.  The crayons will splatter as you melt them, if you hold the heat gun too close...I did use large clips to hold the canvas onto foam board which gave us the ability to turn our work as we were melting. 
 This was Amber holding the foam can see her heart shape is upside down.  I forgot to take a picture after she painted the inside of the heart with purple watercolor paint.  She's going to use a fine point sharpie and write her saying inside the heart.

Nick's piece was melted both ways...again, just turning the board!  Really easy...

Amber's finished piece (she painted her heat purple and will write a saying inside)

Nick's finished piece!

And then we started on their 2nd pieces!!

This was Amber's 2nd piece...really cool!

And Nick's 2nd piece!

I think both kids did a great job!  And I had one of the best times with them working on these!    If you have grand kids (and age appropriate!), you need to do this craft with them.  Even little tykes could place their crayons where they want and sit and watch grandma melt the crayon!  Give it a go!  You'll enjoy the activity and the memory!

Monday, June 23, 2014

New project...old (ongoing) project!

Of course, you have to  keep your mind active which means I'm working on another project!   It's for our Master's Exhibit.  At least, I have in  my mind what I want to do...whether or not it happens is another story!  This could turn out to be a quilt I end up not finishing or cutting up for something else!  I will finish just might not be 'fit' for the exhibit!  But can always hang in my sewing room!

I posted last fall on UGO who is one of the artists our group selected for each of us to create an art quilt based on his work.  You can read the post here...this is the picture I'm using for my inspiration.

Now remember that picture is just my inspiration.....I am using a horse as the focal point...and this is a coloring page I had blown up to use.

And here he is with some of my hex's I've been making.  I'm making 1/2" hex's...I thought they were 3/4" but found a package of Mylar hexagons I bought in Florida this year.  They are huge!  And too big for this piece..hence, I'm using my paper 1/2" template(s) for the horse.

The finished piece will be 16" x 20" and the horse will fill up a majority of the piece.

So that's my thought right now!  Will it work...who knows!!  But it's worth a try, right!
And I have been working on my leaf...I'm getting really excited because it's getting close to the finish!  Really it is!!!

I now only have two little sections left to bead!!!
 I have three hand projects to work on now!!!  Hex's, leaf and the background piece for the leaf needs lots of hand embroidery.  Looks like lots of TV work doesn't it!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Well, geezzzz

I don't want to blame my memory loss on old age so let's just say because I'm SO busy I forget to link last week to my posts as guest blogger on And Then We Set it on Fire.  I was showing how to use SolarFast, which is a sun-developed dye by Jacquard.  It's really a cool as a recap, click on links below if you have any interest and check out the 'Fire' blog for earlier posts on sun printing.  The entire month of June are posts by guest bloggers and their experience with different sun printing techniques!  And it's free!!!

Other Media  (even using it on wood!)

So, whew!, I know this is a lot to digest, if you are so inclined...if not, have a great day and just remember this post in case you ever are interested in SolarFast or bookmark the FIRE blog for great tips and techniques throughout the year!

Friday, June 20, 2014


So what I have been doing all week!!!  I'm not sure!

This  is a picture of my next project...well, at least in my mind!!  I want to use this horse in my Ugo Nespolo piece.  Ugo is an Italian artist that was selected by one of our Aussome Study group members, LA.  He's one of the master's that we're creating an art quilt based on our interpretation.
My to use hand pieced hex's for his body...ok, I can see this in my mind!!!  Honest...not sure it will work out but heck...I'll give it a try!  I had this picture blown up to 16"x20"..

 I've finished another section and closing in on the next on my bead lea!  I know it might look the same to 'ya all' but it's getting there!!!  I have found that my foundation is getting a little 'weak'...I have to think of a different foundation for my next project...which I have in mind already!!

It's been nice enough this week to sit out on the deck and's so much easier to see in day light.  Even with my Ott light I still prefer natural light...but feel guilty just sitting outside during the day and, for the most part it's beading at night!

Tuesday I was with grand kids...making silly putty!!  Actually, they had more fun doing the 'making' of silly putty than playing with it....teens, you know!!  I'm sure the containers are still sitting in the frig and haven't been touched! But that's week we're going to do some crayon and canvas work!!  Nick's idea so I'll have to look this one up!!

Messy looking and kinda 'yucky'....but you just keep kneading the yuck and it does result in the picture below!

The recipe is really easy...just 1/2 cup of white glue mixed with 1/4 cup of liquid starch...add a few drops of food coloring and mix, mix, mix....Amber said they should have told us how long you have to mix this "stuff"!    At least it kept them busy for some of the afternoon!!

Today I attended the Genesee Star Quilters guild...I just enjoy these ladies so much!!  What a great group and it has sustained 30 years of membership!!!  We laughed a lot, had a great show & tell and had a nice lunch with four of my favorite ladies!  Actually, my blog bud, Mary Stori, did a workshop with this group years and years ago....I sent an email to Mary and asked if her ears were burning today!!  The ladies had great things to say about Mary...her work and her workshop!!  So if you have a chance to take a workshop or purchase one of Mary's it!!  I'm still trying to get her to do a workshop close to where we winter in Florida!

Tomorrow, my friend, Joan (the watercolor artist) and I are meeting in the a.m. to attend the Flint Art Fair!

The Art Fair is really a great show!  Not your crafty items by any means...I believe it's a juried art show and they always have unique artists.

A few years ago I was so impressed with one artist in particular.  Her name is Alina Eydel a mixed media artist who paints a picture in acrylic then glues glass beads, pearls, etc. on top of her painting!  Talk about wow!!  Her work is wonderful and if you head to her web site make sure to click on her work to see up close the beading she adds!!  I'm hoping she's there again this year.  We're also going to take the shuttle to the new Flint Farmer's Market...have lunch then head home to nap!

Should be a great weekend!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Unfinished Business

No, I don't have any more UFO's to show as unfinished business....first, last week was the end of school for the year for Nick and Amber.  I posted two weeks ago attending Amber's honor awards ceremony but last Monday I had our Fiber Study group at my house so I couldn't attend Nick's!  This is Nick in the dark shirt when he was giving his Texting and Driving presentation a few weeks back, that I did attend.
Because I want to have it documented on my blog (so grandma can remember years from now!)....this is what his mom/my DIL wrote:
"We attended Nick’s 5th grade honors ceremony/farewell celebration this afternoon– Nick also received silver honors for his (3) years of academics for honors in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. He too has reached a milestone and is moving on from Clear Lake Elementary to Oxford Middle School as a member of the graduating class of 2021! "   

Seems to me Kris also said he rec'd 3 different awards...I just don't remember what all they were!  I'm pretty sure one was for his 'Texting' presentation.  Bad Grandma!  Anyway, a shout out to Nick for all his hard work too!!!
And today starts my week being a guest blogger on And Then We Set It On Fire blog.  The entire month of June is devoted to guest bloggers posting on different ways to sun print.  I'm posting on using SolarFast (sun-developed dye)  for printing.  I've posted last August here on my own blog, about my first use of this product.   I had a ball playing with it all over again when we returned from Florida.  Check it out!  

And go back, if you haven't seen the other posts starting the first week in June, to see other products and techniques for sun printing.  In fact, grab a cup of coffee (or wine if it's 4 o'clock!) and check out older posts.  There's so much to read about and tips to pick up even if you've used a fiber or mixed media technique in the past.  Enjoy!  

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Whoa!  Did you see that UFO!! are going to!   No, for my non art/quilt friends, you are not going to see space ships in this post!  
To quote Janet Wickell from, "A UFO is an Unfinished Object - the remnants of those quilts we start to make but never seem to finish."

In my post yesterday, I mentioned that I didn't have many unfinished projects and I don't think I after Bob left for his Father's Day golf outing, I walked Kalee a mile, had breakfast, got dinner ready, went to farmer's market,  then started in cleaning my sewing room, which consisted of putting away some fabrics I had stashed in my 'working cabinet' don't know what a working cabinet is!  Well, it's where you stash everything you are working on so your sewing area stays nice and tidy!!  And folks think you are even more organized than you are!

Anyway, digressing again aren't I!!  As I was putting fabric away from two drawers (yes, two!) the 3rd drawer contained my UFO's!  So I thought I'd share them.  Actually, I am going to take them to our Fiber study group next month to get some feedback on what to do with them, if anything.  So here's my UFO's!   

Quite awhile ago I was actually teaching hand applique at our local quilt shop (which is now sadly closed) I was always putting together class samples.  For some reason I really liked this piece, so I kept it in my 'project' drawer and wanted to finish it...but it needs a lot of something!

The bottom leave are needle turn applique. And the last picture for this piece is machine applique...I wanted to show both types of applique (20"x27").

This next drawing was for an English paper piecing project I started in the fall of 2010.  You can see more of the process here.  Yes, I love hand work of any kind!

I used some silk dupioni in this piece and again, it has potential but I just don't know what for!  Perhaps I need to finish the entire piece!!  12" x 16"

This next drawing was for another hand applique sample.  It combines hand and reverse applique.  
 The panel on the right isn't attached, obviously...and is unfinished.  There really isn't a lot to finish on this piece (16"x21").

This next piece is more recent and was inspired by Linda Kemshall (Design MattersTV).  It's suppose to represent Kantha Embroidery.  This stitching is very relaxing and portable....19"x22".  A keeper for sure....

 Another one I know I'll finish...just don't know when!  But it doesn't matter does it!

This is a larger, unfinished applique piece!  46"x48"....I painted the fish based on Velda Newman's painting technique.  And of course I had to hand applique my 'little' fish, which aren't really little...the biggest one is over 40"!   The other two are only 22".  Really it just needs to be sandwiched and quilted.  Well, maybe some embellishment with seaweed????

 Back in 2004, I attended a class in Houston at IQA festival with Hollis Chatelain called 'Quilting Designs and Use of Threads.  We each had to bring a finished quilt top for discussion on how to finish it.  I honestly don't remember how she suggested I quilt this piece or even what threads to use!!  BUT....I did come back for a full page listing different tips and suggestions on quilting.  I still reference that sheet!!  Guess I'll have to get it back out if I ever finish this!!

Back in 2003-2004, in addition to hand applique I was teaching a class on making butterfly's out of ultra suede (another post in the future to show!) I used some of the suede to make the tail fin.  Don't ask about the green background...have no idea why I used it!!!  Unless these poor fish are living in yucky water!!!  I think it was just the largest piece of fabric  I had for the background!

And last but not least, my final UFO....this is a 23"x30" hand painted piece I was working on.  It's based on a drawing by Ernst Haeckel's Art Forms in Nature.   

I'm using any and all different paints in my paint stash...from fabric to can see where I started to paint the background blue...why was I doing this piece?  Haven't a clue other than I wanted to do a whole cloth piece....this may not get finished....but then again!!!!!

So that's all I have...I don't consider the projects I'm working on now being UFO's...I'm touching them daily!!  That would be my beaded piece and my red QAYG which will need more hand embroidery/stitching.  Those two pieces go they aren't UFOs unless they go in the UFO drawer!!  And there is lots of room in that drawer!  Current UFO's would enjoy more company!!