My Favorite Books

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Out of this World

Our latest challenge on Art Quilters Around the World was 'Out of this World'!  So here is my little piece of 'out of this world'!  Batik background which was filled with #11 Japanese seed beads.

 Moons were hand appliqued circles  and free motion quilting.

The center  'moon' is REALLY puffy!  It's filled with pillow stuffing so it 'puffs' out!  OK, this was a fun piece!!!  What can I say! Yep, that's my finger showing how puffy it is!  Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Disperse Dyeing (again!)

A few years ago I played around with disperse dyes (here and here) and the other day I headed to the dye room and painted three pages with the dyes.  I placed leaves on top of the wet dye(s) then scrunched plastic wrap on top and let sit for a few days to dry.
 Today I decided to clean up the fabric shelving in my sewing space and came across some poly in between the mess of 'stuff' all over my tables, out came the iron and I played!
And here are some of the results from transferring today!

For this piece I ironed the blue first then ironed on the orange.  I really like this one and it's the perfect background for my beaded leaf...with the exception it's too small!  Oh well...borders could always be added, right!

All the pieces look quite nice in person and show some of the pattern from the leaves and wrap.  I did eventually finish up the shelves in the sewing room and later this week I'll work on the drawers in both cabinets.  There is a lot of fabric and projects as well as some surprises I'm sure tucked away!  Remember I've been gone for four months!  Heaven only knows what I stashed in the drawers before we left for the winter!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Weekly Pattern Wednesday #2

This is my 2nd Weekly Pattern Wednesday, participating in Lynn's blog request.  This really is fun and I'm seeing quilting patterns so far in my work!!!  Make sure you head over to Lynn's blog and see the other Weekly Patterns being created!

These are really fun to make....just don't ask what I'm going to do with them!!!  That's the comment that got Lynn started on the weekly pattern post!  HA

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Getting back into the swing of things!

Before I get 'into' what I'm doing or have done....look what the sweet Sherry from Createology sent me!!!

And check out the paper it was wrapped in!  You just know this will find a spot in my 'playtime' somewhere!!!  Sherry is a doll, as well as talented and so creative.  And this 'gift' came at a great time!  I was a little down and it brightened my spirits!!!  So thank you again my friend!!

Well, most of the spring cleaning is now finished.  I completed my sewing room purge with the exception of my fabric shelves and some drawers on one of my tables.  Books have been sorted to give to our day guild and I'm ready to start on my projects now! Whew!!!

 I was able to do some free motion quilting on a painted piece I did a year or two ago.  In the process I also made some snap bags.  It feels good to be back sewing again.

 Now I have to put some labels and sleeves on some of my finished pieces for the Master's Exhibit.

Of course, it's also time to get started on some new work and finish up Hex Horse 2!!  But I'll still most likely 'play' with something else in between!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Grandma's Weekend Recap

Yea...well, you know I have to document my weekend with the kids...  So here's my top Ten List from the weekend!

10.  Love the reaction of a 15 yr old when we walk in the door from school and "she" gets to step on cat poo!
9.    Love the reaction of a 15 yr old when we walk in the door and the cats dumped their kibble food bin!  Yea, this was on another day!
8.    Making sure an 11 yr old does his daily 'poop' duty for cats and dog (which weighs 170lbs. - the dog that is)!
7.     Assist same 11 yr old to ensure the water is drained off the swimming pool cover - oh yea, this sounds easy but......
6.     Bonding with 170lb dog by feeding him between 5-6 a.m.!  I didn't know a dog that big would actually whine instead of barking!  What a whimp!
5.     Taking that same 170lb dog I'm bonding with  on a ride in the car, with his head out the window and scaring the daylights out of a couple when we pulled up next to them at DQ!  They had a good laugh!  I'm still vacuuming dog hair out of my car.
4.     Flying out of bed at 2:00 a.m. after a loud BANG!  What fun mopping up water from the floor where the cats dumped the 170 lb. dog's water dish!  This is a BIG water dish!
3.     Going to the movies to see Pitch Perfect 2  - I never heard of Pitch Perfect 1!
2.     Having to help the 15 & 11 year old take care of the neighbors she only weighs half what my 'bonded' dog weighs but guess who got poop duty that day!  And it wasn't the 15 or 11 yr old!  Gross!
1.     Having a 15 yr old drive me for the first time!!!  (Actually, she did quite well!)

The best part was just spending time with the grand if I didn't have to be the disciplinarian to do "chores" or "homework"  the time would be a lot more fun...we were busy every, eating out (hard to decide who was picking place to eat!), putt putt (grandma got a hole in one - but so did Nick!), movie, science experiments, craft projects, lots of poo and just talking!  

All in all...we made it through the weekend and no animals, children or grandma's being harmed.  WooHoo!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Weekly Pattern Wednesday!

I posted last week on Lynn's hosting a "weekly pattern Wednesday" and decided I will play!  So here's my first "pattern".

For those of you who follow my blog, you know I love to 'tangle or doodle' of course my "patterns" will most likely be composed of tangles.  I'm drawing the patterns on Manila Tags.

 I misspoke on my blog post last week and called them luggage tags.  Oops!
I can use these for bookmarks, gift tags...and who knows what else!  Plus, as I was drawing this one, I did start to think about a quilting pattern either for patchwork or just for free motion.  Hmmmmmmmmm  Think this 'weekly' drawing might be good for lots of reasons!

So jump on over to Lynn's blog to see who else is 'playing' and check out some interesting patterns.  Should be a fun day!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Grandma is home!

Well, it was a fast, busy and fun time with Amber and Nick this past weekend (Friday thru Monday)!  There is so much to post about but I have another commitment today and will post later this week our 'episodes' or 'adventures'!!  At least no animals were harmed this weekend!  If you want to kill a few minutes, check out my post from a few years ago!  Yikes!  This was in 2010 and a time I won't forget...neither have the kids...we did talk about it this weekend!

On another note, its Happy 25th Anniversary for Darrin and Kris!  Hard to believe it's been that long....they are relaxing and happy in Mexico to celebrate!
May 19, 1990

Mexico, May 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Can't beat your blog friends!

Isn't it just amazing the friendships we fellow 'bloggers' can develop!  You  never (well almost!) get to meet a fellow blogger in person .  You don't get to meet them for lunch or call them if you're stuck on a project or just need a little pick me up!
BUT....they always seem to pick up on those down days or when something unexpected happen in our lives.
As is the case with my Blogger Bud, Beth!!  Beth emailed me for my address saying she wanted to send me something, after I commented on how sad I was going into the room and seeing Gracie's empty cage....And this is what I received in the mail today!!!  It's the sweetest book......
 But you have to read this poem, Fly.  Beth said it reminded her of my Gracie...
Yes, this brought tears to my eyes but also a smile to know someone thought about another person to send them this gift!!  Thank you, Beth!!!  This was such a thoughtful thing to do and I certainly will reread this poem often...thinking of you when I do!
When you get a chance, head over to Beth's blog...she has lots of  interesting posts, cool work and a nice list of tutorials for you!  And she's a "hexie" girl as well!  Just check out her hex quilt!!  Now that's a full time job!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Time to play along!

OK, so I don't need another project do I....but I can't resist a 'play along'!

So.....for those of you not familiar with Lynn Krawczyk, first off, you're missing out so head over to her web site.  Second, Lynn is having a weekly Wednesday  'play along'!  No, you don't have to have a quilt finished each week!  Yea, 'whew' to that!  Actually, Lynn has been 'creating' a pattern a day for over a month.  What started off as a monthly project was so creative she decided to continue!  And now she's asking us to play along with her.

Here is the link to Lynn's blog post on details.  I thought I would recap from her post on "how it works":  
* Every week I’m going to draw a new pattern. Basically whatever strikes my fancy – circles, triangles, colors, black and white. Sky’s the limit! I invite you to do the same! If you don’t normally draw in a sketchbook and the idea doesn’t thrill you, create the pattern however you like most.
* Post your creation to your blog and then come back here and share your post with everyone following along can come visit you. (There will be a widget at the bottom of every Weekly Pattern Wednesday post starting next week on May 20. This is the invitation post so you get a full week to make your pattern.)
* Post to social media using the hashtag #weeklypatternwednesday so other people can come play along!
I decided I am going to play along but instead of a sketchbook, I'm going to use luggage tags.  They are small, you can use them for bookmarks and I can give them away!  Who knows...maybe I'll put them in a collage when finished or incorporate them in some art work.   
I'm always looking at new quilting patterns, making my own stamps, etc. and this might be another good way to audition a design!  So I'm in!!!  How about you??  Up for Lynn's  'play along'??

Monday, May 11, 2015

It still takes a family

Yes, it may take a village to raise a child but it all starts with family.  And we are so proud of this family!  Kayla graduated this past Saturday with her Master's from East Carolina University.
Nate, Kayla, Mom (Mary Jo) & Dad (Ron)

Ron (Bob's son) and Mary Jo (our DIL) are just great parents!  We are as proud of them a we are of Kayla and Ian (he's a freshman at Purdue this year).  Ron and MJ should be very proud of giving their kids the foundation to grown into the young woman and young man they are today.

 Kayla achieved her degree in Sports Medicine from Ball State U and has been attending East Carolina U for the past two years!  We are all so proud of her accomplishments, both academic and personal!

Next major event will be June 2016 when these two great 'kids' get married!

Again, congratulations Kayla!!!!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Such Talented Friends!

Before I left Florida, Peggy (my alcohol ink bud  OK, wine bud as well!), was working on creating a textured canvas piece for a friend.  I was curious as to the process, so of course, I did play for about 10 min. with gel medium and some paint!  OK, so here are my results!  Nothing spectacular but fun to do and I will pursue more.  After my 'secret' project and spring cleaning are finished that is!!

This was gel medium (about an 8" square) on foam board.  Good texture...that's a piece of string on the top left.

Then I mixed some acrylic paint with water and painted the other side of the foam board (after I used gel medium for marking, which I let dry first!).

So that was fun!  So next was Peggy 'playing'!!!

But Peggy really got into it!  And she didn't start out small...nope, her piece is 16" x 20" (at least).  She started off playing with gesso and gel medium.  I haven't worked with gesso much so I didn't think you would get the same texture or results needed but it worked!
Left side is gesso - right is gel medium

Peggy decided to use the gesso on canvas and this was her start using cheesecloth, circles, etc.  Pretty interesting, right!
Next up she laid string down to add more texture.

And then came the paint!

  Peggy decided the edges were too sharp so she did more blending and this is the final piece!  I think she did a great job!!!!

 Look at this detail and texture!  Isn't it great!!!!  I'm sure her friend will be really excited to get this piece.  She picked out the colors she wanted in the piece and I think Peggy did a wonderful job!

She certainly has inspired me to try something like this!  I think we could get in a lot of trouble if we lived closer!  I love Peggy's watercolor and acrylic pieces and in fact, she gave me one of her alcohol ink pieces!!!  So much talent and such a nice person to boot!
Today I worked on my 'secret project' ALL day!  Bob was off golfing so the house was quiet.  Tomorrow there is a flower sale where proceeds go to Outreach East.  We like to donate clothes, household items to this organization as they don't sell to folks who need..they give them away.  So I will pick up flowers tomorrow and feel like part of the $$'s will go to a good organization! Then to weed the front yard...then back to cleaning the inside and continue to do some purging.  Makes a gal feel good!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Productive day....just no artwork!

It's always busy when we return from Florida...beside spring cleaning inside there is always yard work to do outside.  Since I've been so busy cleaning inside I thought today I would work outside!  It was 80 degrees and actually right now still 82!  Just a beautiful, low humidity day so perfect for working outside.

Hostas are about 6" tall already...its like June in Michigan rather than May!

 Bob took off the patio door and screen from the walkout in my dye room to clean the rollers.  Then we brought out the upper deck furniture.  I raked leaves from the fall that never got picked up!  Two things Florida doesn't have a lot of are:  1) leaves (unless you have a Magnolia tree!) and potholes!

I filled two huge leaf bags with yard work, finished weeding out back and the side of the house and scrubbed downstairs rockers.  Now to still weed front yard and south side of the house.

Then we brought out the upper deck patio furniture.  I still have to clean the furniture off...we keep covered all through the seasons (we've had this set since we built in '96 and it does look like new).  A pain to cover and uncover all the time but well worth it.

I'll clean off the grill and storage box later this week.    At least we can sit out on the deck...well, Kalee and I will!  Usually when Bob gets the time to sit out after golf, it's too windy for him.  I enjoy having lunch on the deck....

and Kalee would prefer to be outside all day long!

Here she is sniffing to find worms or rabbit poo!  Yes, we get all different wildlife here.  Our backyard backs up to woods so the turkey, deer, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits and tons of birds are here year round!

Tomorrow I have computer work to do which will take most of the day.  Working on documenting a technique so I need quiet!!  Bob is golfing, which is perfect.  Saturday I am going to pick up some flowers at a sale in Davision for Outreach East.  This event will help Outreach East  with some of the proceeds being donated to them, which helps folks along the M15 corridor.  We usually donate our clothes to them as they give the clothes or food items to folks in need rather than selling the items.

Hope I get to post some artwork soon!!!!  Even though my hands and fingers and joints are pretty sore I still want to do some type of art!!!  Keeping my fingers crossed...well, maybe not as it hurts!  But I'm still hoping I get to do some sewing!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

We're Home!

Yep, we made it home around noon yesterday (Monday) after a pretty pleasant trip.  Not too much traffic and weather was decent, with just some rain a few hours before home.  Of course, we unloaded the car (totally!) then I headed to grocery store and meat market, home to cook dinner then we unpacked our suitcases/bags.  I forgot to take a picture before our bed was full of bags (space saver) and suitcases!

Nothing left in the dining room!

Same with living room...

The only room that was bad  was my sewing room!

I'll take another picture tomorrow but it's all clean now!  I finished putting everything away after dinner tonight. item that is still in the room!  So's empty...every time I walk in the room I expect Gracie to be there to say hello...she would always say "Hi Grace" when I would walk in the room!  Parrots are repeaters...and I would always say "hi grace" to her...I do miss her.

Tomorrow I'll take her cage apart and see if I can donate it to either a rescue organization or to someone who has birds.   The cage we had in Florida went to a good home.  A friend of Jan's was getting another parrot and needed a cage so that worked out for both of us.
Tonight we're relaxing watching the Tiger's play baseball....I'm hoping to start some art work Friday but who knows.
I still have my  spring cleaning to do...I  finished the master bath today...slowly working my way through the next, followed by the LR, bath, computer room, sewing room then on the the downstairs and family room, bathroom and then end up in my dye room!  Whew..maybe I'll finish in time for us to head back to Florida next winter!