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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Bird Has Landed!

Cactus Wren
This piece started out as part of the Art Quilters Around the World  March challenge - theme: In the Garden.   But I decided I could kill two birds at once!  I've posted on the AQAW blog and I'll also be mailing the quilt to Chris, member of our fiber group in Michigan, to include in her booth at the Spring Needlework Seminar at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in May.  I'm going to put four of my other bird/butterfly pieces in the exhibit as well.  Each of our fiber group are going to have some of our art work shown and for sale at the seminar.  This is a great opportunity to show how quilts are pieces of art and can be hung on the wall.  Chris has kindly offered to do all the work for us (packing, hanging, dismantling, etc. - as well as her hubby is helping!).   

This is a closeup of the piece.  I painted the background with Liquitex Inks , quilted the background, then using the Wash Away sheet again, painted the cactus, fused to my background, hand stitched the cactus, beaded the birds legs, attached the bird and added the pickers!  That's all there was to it!!

Back to the original theme - In the Garden.... I figure the desert is also a garden of sorts and I found this cactus wren on one of the free coloring pages on Google.  

I printed the coloring page of the bird onto a Wash-Away Applique sheet.  I like using this product since it's precut to fit in the printer and has fusible on the back, which I iron onto batting/fabric.  You can see that process on my blog here.  

It's always fun to 'paint with beads' and to see a piece actually finish..even with some unsewing!!  Someone suggested I bead a hummingbird...hmmmmmm  Might be a good idea...I do have a few other projects to start before another beaded piece...but you never know.  I do like having several projects started at once!  Type A, you know!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Gracie - RIP

Rest in peace my feathered friend!  I've had Gracie since the early 80's and she has traveled with us to Florida for the past 11 years!  I will miss her!!!!!

Gracie loved her whipped cream or ice cream!!!

And she loved to get her bath outside!

She would play with anything she could get her claws on!

And she loved Mandy!  This is outside while in Florida one year.  Gracie would throw food down to Mandy for her to eat!

And she traveled so well...she would sit in her crate at the hotel and talk up a storm!!

My heart is broken but I'm sure Gracie is playing with Mandy!

 No, it's "not just a bird"...they are our feathered friends......and I will miss her (and her mess!).....

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Another great meal!

OK, so maybe you thought you'd see some artwork today....nope...still working on the hex pieces so not much to post about there...and I'm putting sleeves and labels on my pieces that are, boring...but let's talk food (again!).
We had a great meal at a new location with the gang this past Thursday.  We headed to The Mojo Grill at Ocala National (at 4782 Northwet 80th Avenue - there are several locations) and the service was a good as the food!

We started off with chips and salsa and the margarita's were very good ($3 special that night - I know quite a bit more than we usually spend but....).
I had the buffalo chicken salad which was fantastic and huge!!  Hubby had their Cuban dinner with pulled pork, sweet plantains and beans, and said it was delicious.  I know everyone enjoyed their meals but I have to say the service was fantastic!  Jessica waited on us and we NEVER waited for anything!  And keep in mind, there were 12 of us!

I would go back for sure...and who knows maybe we will...there are just so many places to eat, so many things to do, that I don't know if we'll have enough time to meet up with everyone before we leave...which is just about 6 weeks away!  Yikes!  Time does fly when you are having fun doesn't it!

OK, so now I'm off to sewing room to finish those sleeves and labels...pretty soon I'll have some artwork on my blog!!!  But I'm sure more food pics will appear first!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Week almost over!

YIKES!  Where did the week go and what do I have to show!  Nothing!!  Well, maybe a big belly from eating out!!!  We were out for dinner on Monday and Tuesday, Marcia and I headed over to Cedar Key for the afternoon.  We had a great fish sandwich at Steamers Clam Bar and Grill right one the water. Fun to just walk around the afternoon and visit some of the art stores.  Interesting art and actually very, very good prices!  No, I didn't buy anything but I was tempted on more than one occasion.

Sad to say this is the only picture I took at Cedar Key.  It is a mural painted on one of the buildings.  I have to laugh, as the last time I was at Cedar Key was over 6 or 7 years ago.  It seems like time stood still and the town and stores are the same!  But it was still a fun day.

Last night we had another great meal, this time we ate at Carmine's!!  It was a fun night with two other couples.  Dan and Sally have just purchased a home here in Ocala Palms and are a fun couple to be with.  We were joined by Gary and Marcia (my tooting around bud) as well.  A lot of laughs and of course good food!

Tonight the 'gang' are meeting up at The MoJo Grill at Ocala National.  Some of the folks have been there before and some of us are newbies to this restaurant.  Should be another fun night but then it's cooking at home for a few days!!!!  And a lot more walking!!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Start of another busy week!

No walk for Kalee yet...we're have rain on and off today...not heavy but well needed.  It works out, because Bob took today off from golf so we're headed out later this afternoon to have some Freezer food!  Love that place!!!

I've finished my 'bird' but it won't post until the end of the month - it's part of the Art Quilts Around the World challenge....and will be doing double duty at the Sewing Seminar in May back in Michigan.

I am excited about starting some other projects that have been on the back burner....

I need quite a few more hexes for this piece....

And these will be part of a patchwork background with lots of hand stitching!

I'll be kept busy....something new for me!

Friday, March 20, 2015

The gangs all here!

Yep, here they from last night's dinner at Blanca's, the restaurant here in Ocala Palms...great food too!
Yes, that's my hubby smiling!

Jan and Larry

John and Marilyn

Patrick and Patricia

Harv and Susan

Ron and Verna

Jan and Mac - who are currently in Australia!!
They are all a great bunch of folks!   And so much fun to be with...speaking of fun....Tuesday Marcia, Peggy and I are headed off to Cedar Key for the day!  I haven't been there in several's just a neat little town with shops and food and a great place to walk around!  Weather should be perfect and Marcia and Peg are fun to be around...BUT...I do need to start staying home at some point and finish some projects!  I did some stitching and beading yesterday...making progress....
This is a picture from a few days ago...I've now finished the hand stitching on the cactus and have one foot beaded and started on the other foot.  Should be able to stitch the bird on and put the facing on Sunday!  Yes, I plan on staying home all day Sunday.  But Bob and I are taking off on Monday.....soooooooooo

Thursday, March 19, 2015

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

How time flies!!  Neither Bob nor I know what day it is...thank goodness for Larry and Jan coming over through the week!  At least we know it's either a Tuesday or Thursday!  Every day seems like the same.
I am making progress on two projects....a little hand stitching on this one.....

And laying out my hex's for the horse background.....

Thanks to Beth for getting me organized and her suggestion to make a 'design' board that I can move around...duh!!  Although, in all fairness, this is the largest hex piece I've first was only 11.5" x16.5"  called "Road Less Traveled" can see it here on my blog.
This piece needs to be 22" x 18".

Yep, I'm still making more hexes!

 I'll be playing around with the layout/fabrics but you get the idea!!

Tonight is dinner with the 'gang' here at our community restaurant!  We all enjoy Blanca's meals and they make a good margarita!  Go figure!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Belated St. Pat's Day!

We had a great St. Patrick's Day yesterday!!  Everyone decked out in our finest 'greeen' and my Q Bud, Susan, was dressed in green down to her toes!!

But the best part was enjoying every one's company!  Just a wonderful group we are so blessed to be included in!!  Thank you one and all!

Our host and hostess were Verna and Ron and, as always, they outdid themselves!

  Verna is a great cook and her attention to details is amazing.  Check out her fruit kabobs!  Aren't they adorable!  A rainbow and good for you!!!

And we each were given home made shortbread cookies to take home along with a St. Patrick's Day card written in calligraphy by Verna!!  OK, and we also got leftovers!!

Oh, earlier in the afternoon Jan went over to help Verna so I wanted to make sure they didn't drink all the margarita' I busted in too!  Actually, Verna only gave us a small shot glass to try the mix...just to make sure it was delicious!  Which it was!  Of course, Verna makes her own margarita mix!!

Larry still being Larry!

Marilyn and Jan

Bob, Patrick and Harvey...just some guy talk!

Yep, our host is always waving!  Or is/was he cheering for Kentucky!

Tonight it's out to dinner at Harry's with Marcia and her hubby, Gary...Bob and I have been hungry for a dinner at Harry's...yum...and yes, I will be cooking the rest of the week...well, after Thursday night, as that is our normal Thursday night meal with the 'gang'!  We'll be together twice this week!!  Woohoo!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Look what I won!

I am so excited!  Look what arrived in the mail this week!!!  WooHoo!!! I won this on Cheryl Sleboda's blog a few weeks ago and it's a really cool book!!  I know there are lots of books out there on printing on fabric but you have to see  some of  the items Julie prints with!  You can a few of the inside pages on Cheryl's blog post  here.

I 'found' Cheryl through Lynn's blog and started following her "technique of the week".  Cheryl is quite busy being a fiber artist and maintaining a blog, FaceBook page, DVD's, appearing on QATV and has her own video's which are on YouTube!   She is so much fun to watch and to learn from and has some unique ideas!  Thanks so much Cheryl!  Now to raid the frig so I can print on fabric!  You have to get/read the book to understand why you'll need to raid the frig!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bone Fish Grill

Well, another night of 14 hungry seniors!  Thursday night we had a great meal at Bone Fish Grill...I had the fish dinner, which was delicious and Bob had Bang Bang Shrimp and crab of the better meals we've had at Bone Fish and wine was only $3.25 a glass!  A girl has to be careful on spending $$'s on her wine you know!

Just such a fun night...and sorry to say I didn't get everyone's pic...Jan and Bob...sorry!  Next time I'll make them sit together so I get their pictures!
So for posterity sake, here are some pics from that night!

John, Patrick, Ron and Harvey hiding!

Larry and Jan (no, not his wife, Jan)

Mac and yes, it's Larry again!

Jan, Susan and Verna

Verna, Patricia and Marilyn

Patrick, Ron (yes, he waves alot!) Harvey...Mac hiding and Larry being Larry!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Horizontal or Vertical

I painted a cactus piece yesterday but now I'm not sure if I should have the piece vertical or horizontal?  Thoughts????  Size would be 16.5" x 11.5" or 11.5" x 16.5"....make sense!

The cactus will be fused down then I will  hand stitch the little bumps in the cactus.  After,  I can bead his legs, attach the bird body and fill in his eye!  

I appreciate any suggestions on placement!!  Thanks much!  Now to clean up my work space!!!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Finding his home!

So the bird might be finding his home soon!  I did get all but his feet and eye finished (they'll be put on when he's attached to quilted background).

And yes, I've cut him away from the stabilizer and any areas that showed any white I just used a Sharpie marker and colored around the outside of the bird.

Earlier in the week I  painted some sky fabric...I was a tad lazy and didn't want to do the who soda soak/wait for dye to react I grabbed a bottle of blue Liquitex Ink and diluted some with water.

Then I wet a fat quarter, actually 2 fat quarters!, and just squished (that's such a technical term so I hope you know what it means!) both pieces in a cup!  Once again I "squished" each piece and hung on pant hangers outside to dry.

You can see the sky fabric before it was quilted in the piece above and here.

Yesterday I quilted the background and I'm happy with how it turned out....especially since I haven't done any free motion quilting in months!

I'm not sure why it's showing a 'brownish' tint on the right hand's really white in those spaces!  Now it's back to that darn cactus.  Google here I come!