My Favorite Books

Sunday, January 31, 2016

My Favorite Book challenge

The Art Quilts Around the World  online challenge is "your favorite book".  And this is my finished piece!  Steps in Time by Fred Astaire!
As soon as I heard the challenge, the 1st book that popped up in my mind was 'Steps in Time' the autobiography by Fred Astaire.  I read this book while in high school and it was the 1st biography/autobiography I ever read.  I can still remember it like it was yesterday!  Funny, how some books just make such an impression on you.  It was such a good read!

This is the original cover on the book, which I think was published in '58 or '59.  Our library has a copy which I checked out several years ago to read again!  The Amazon link to  purchase this book, either in print or Kindle, shows a different cover.  I think I saw where it was republished in the '80s.  I like the original cover!

My clock was printed on a piece of fabric then buttonhole stitched via machine after I quilted the background.  Of course,  I added beading for the hands of the clock and for the 'hour' segments.

For the footprints, I traced some little feet onto a piece of freezer paper (centering my clock) then carefully cut each foot out.  Once I quilted the background piece, I ironed the freezer paper down then painted/brushed black paint to create the feet.

I have to say I did enjoy working on this piece, mainly, because it brought back good memories for me.  I have always loved to read and up to that point in high school, I was only reading fiction.  To this day I enjoy reading bio's so much and 'Mr. Astaire' got me started!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A different form of art work!

At the FAB meeting last week, I was talking with one of the members, Terry Ashley.  She mentioned, very casually, that she does a different form of art photography.  OK, so we all know photographers and they are very creative and have a great eye to capture the right photograph.  Right?

Well, I asked for Terry's business card and proceeded to go to her web site.  And this was the first image I saw.

 I thought this piece was beautiful but then I got to reading about her technique and started to browse her galleries.  It's not your everyday photography for sure.  Terry creates fine art photography by using a micro image of a plant and combines it "with a more recognizable view of the plant subjects".  WHAT!  Yep!

I took this statement from Terry's gallery for this photograph:

The backlit May apple fruit is superimposed on a light micrograph of an epidermal peel from a May Apple flower. The four round shapes are pollen grains, a necessary prerequisite for the "apple."
And this next photograph:

The Beech bud was shot in the snow in early spring. Unlike most Botanical Chords, the background is not a micrograph, but a shot of beech leaves floating in a puddle.

Terry calls this technique/process "Botanical Chords" and I think they are beautiful pieces of art photography!  You can read about this process on her web site here.

I could sit and cut and paste all of her photographs but you need to visit Terry's site and just take in each piece and read what plant(s) or micro image she used for the backgrounds.

I am so impressed and inspired by Terry's work!!  I can see these pieces being turned in art quilts!  Maybe we need to collaborate on a piece!  That would be cool!

I asked Terry if I could do a blog post on her and she did give me approval...and I am so glad to be able to share her work with you!!    ENJOY!!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Beads, beads and more beads!

Talk about being in bead heaven!

  OMG!  I mentioned that the FAB group gifted me a very heavy bag of beads when I did my trunk show last week (you can read that post here).  It's been so busy up to this point, I've only stuck my hand in the bag to pull out beads here and there to drool over!

Well, I finally dumped the entire bag on the table so I could fondle each and every bead!  Just take a gander at all the wonderful beads...some that are handmade!!

Yes, they are all blue beads!  Nancy, who arranged for my talk (and who is my personal 'editor'!) let the FAB group know I was going to be working on a beaded project in 'blue'.  Wasn't that clever and so nice of her to relay this to the group.
So, they donated all these beads to me!!!

There are some perfect shades of blue for my Blue Dog project!

Check out the handmade/fiber beads!

And so many other beads that I can and will use in my work!

I can't thank the Fiber Arts Bee group for their generous gift of beads!!!

Thank you all!!!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Fiber Arts Bee Trunk Show

This past Thursday, I did a trunk show in Gainesville for the Fiber Arts Bee group.  What a great group they are!!  I had a great time sharing my art work with them and talking with individuals before and after my talk.

I took both these pictures when I first arrived thinking there would be around a dozen or so.  I'm not sure of the exact count but the tables were all filled (3 of them) and more chairs were brought in so the room was full.  I hope they enjoyed seeing my work and hearing about my experiences as well as failures in my pieces!  It's always fun to discuss your work and get input from+- other like artists.

This quilt was finished by Bonnie (sorry, don't know last name) and it's all hand appliqued and was outstanding!!

I'm not sure who took these pics while I was 'yaking' but nice to have them!

I could tell this is a talented and mixed group!  I saw some of their prayer flags as well as their journal pieces they are working on.  This appears to be a very productive fiber group and they are drawing in new members each meeting. I would definitely join this group if we lived here.  There's lots of inspiration to be gained by sharing your work and expertise with others!  So if you don't have a fiber group near you, start one!  Satellite groups from larger quilt groups are easy to start and you can limit membership or just let it grow and grow!  You won't be sorry you joined or started a fiber art group!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yep, it's my BD...doesn't mean as much as it did when  you were 10 or 12 does it!  I'm just happy to be around for another day!

This was my first BD card from my bud, Susan!  Isn't it great!  a quilt in the making??
I have had a great week so far!  I did a lecture/trunk show of my artwork to the Fiber Arts Bee group in Gainesville on Thursday.  What a great group of ladies!  I'll be posting pics in Sunday's blog post...some things are more important, you know!  Like my birthday!  HA
On Thursday, the 'gang' head to Yamato's for a Japanese dinner, which was great!

There were 12 of us and we were entertained by  Myra and she did a great job.  Very entertaining!

You have to look closely, but Myra layered onion rings and made a flaming cake, so to speak!  Really cool!  Food and performance were so much fun, then after that huge meal all 12 of us came back to the house for cake and ice cream!

When I say "cake", I do mean CAKE!  We are so lucky to have as a friend, Verna!  She is the best and always makes everyone a cake for their birthday!  Are we lucky or what!  Verna called me earlier in the week giving me a choice of four different cakes.  And of course, she had me at "chocolate and raspberries"!

How pretty is this cake!  And taste good!!  That's a understatement!  It was delicious with a layer of chocolate/raspberry filling in between layers of a delicious chocolate frosting!  I can't wait for dessert tonight!  I kept a huge chunk for Bob and I for dinner!  YUM...Verna, you are the best!!  Yes, the "girls" wanted to help Verna serve and mom blow out the candles!

And I got so many cute/funny cards!  And wonderful gifts!  When I arrived home from my lecture, I walked into a beautiful set table by Jan!  Aren't the flowers beautiful!

Jan also gave me some chocolate!  Do my friends know me!!
Kalee tried to open the box today but I wouldn't let her!  These are all for me!  Yes, they will be open by Sunday!  HA

In addition to receiving my first card by Susan, she also gifted me this cool design/coloring book!  I had never heard of Tula Pink but her designs are great!

This is eye candy for me and I've already got my eye on a few projects for beading!!!

In addition to being a great cook/baker, Verna is also a talented seamstress/embroiderer (yes, she teaches classes too!).  She made this jewelry travel bag!

And perfect for me in the coffee fabric!  I love it!!

I love scarves...infinity or not and Marilyn gave me this really cool scarf!  In fact, I've worn it already!  It's great with a checked design on one side and large patchwork design on the other!  It's so cool!!!

And last, but certainly not least, is this sign plate from Jan F.  I love the saying and for now it rests on my thread holder!  Jan also makes all her own cards, which I forgot to take a picture of!  It's so cute and clever.  She said she uses software from Hallmark!  That's such a great touch giving everyone a unique card!

It's been a great birthday week so far!  Tonight we're headed to Harry's for dinner with Karah, Howard, Sally and Dan!  We haven't been to Harry's yet this year (I know it's only January 16th!) and we are looking forward to their meal!!

I'm one lucky 'gal' for sure.  I guess getting to be one year older isn't so bad when you are surrounded by such great folks!  Thank you one and all for making me turn older not such a bad thing!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

It's only tuesday but feels like Friday!

Yep, it's only Tuesday (well, you'll be reading this on Wed.!) and I feel like I've put in a week of work already!
Yesterday I finished all the Valentine fiber cards!  WooHoo!  This is the earliest I've finished but I want to have in the mail on February 1st or maybe sooner.  You never know how long it will take for folks to receive them!  That's a whole blog post on the mail system here!

Today I made breakfast, went grocery shopping, took dogs to the dog park, stopped at vet's to pick up their food then home to wash the floor then bathed BOTH dogs!  They are brushed out pretty good but I'll go over them again tonight while watching TV.  That's when I usually brush them (yes, daily!).

Wednesday, my Q bud, Susan and I are taking off in the a.m. to head to the quilt and bead shop and of course, lunch!  I'm going to look for some fabric for the painted hex technique to try (again!).  This is Jill's technique (you can see my blog post here for detail).  And I need some black beads for my 'book' challenge quilt.  I'm going to drop my machine off for it's spa day too.  Hopefully, I'll have it back the last week of January as I'll need to put the binding or facing on the challenge quilt.  But inbetween time, I have hand work to do on it.

Wednesday evening it's 99 cent margarita night!  Like I need to tell you that!  We're going again with Karah, Howard, Sally and Dan.  Poor Sally is still in discomfort with her knee.  She had an injection but overdid it a few days ago.  It's ok, since she can still lift the 99 cent margarita glass (it's small!).  
Thursday is our dinner with the 'gang' and we're going to a Japanese Restaurant for dinner then back to our house for cake (being baked by our resident baker, Verna!) and ice cream.   I'll also be gone most of the day doing a trunk show in Gainesville for a fiber group.  Looking forward to that!  I'm all packed up for that part of my day!  Friday, I think I will veg!  Yea, right!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Making progress!

Yep, I'm making progress on my Valentine fiber cards!  Stack on the left are finished and I only have the cards on the right to stitch the edges.  Then all 35 will be done with one extra...just in case!

I hope to finish those up tomorrow, then finish any sewing I need to do on my 'favorite book' challenge piece.  I'm meeting up with Susan on Wed. and plan on dropping off my sewing machine for 'her' day at the spa!  We'll be headed to the quilt shop, then bead shop then for a nice lunch!  Should be a fun outing day! 
Overcast today but still nice weather or my kind of weather.  I did two loads of laundry, cleaned both baths, then got dinner ready to 'toss' in the oven later.  Did some sewing so I'm a happy camper!  Life is good!!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A fun Saturday night (again!)

So last night Bob and I joined Howard, Karah, Dan and Sally for another fun night at Blanca's!  And Bob and I had our first dance in almost 20 years!  We had a great dinner and conversation, then the music started.  What fun!! One lady was having fun all by herself dancing!  In fact, Gardner Spencer who does the singing and playing guitar, came out to the dining area (since the lady was dancing by our tables!) and started to play!   We had SO much fun!

This could turn into a weekly occurrence!  Plus, we enjoy the Stanfil's and Cole's company.  Sally just had an injection in her knee so she and Dan couldn't dance but Bob and I made up for it!  Hopefully, Sally will be up to dancing in another month or so!

I did get some sewing done today on my 'book' challenge piece.  The background is all quilted.  It's coming along and I hope to have it finished by next weekend.   And yes, those are little foot prints on the background!  Still not telling what the name of the book is!

This is a stencil I made of the footprints...and the clock is just a piece of paper...I'm sure no one will think of this book!  Fun working on this!!!

 Then it's back to finishing up my fiber Valentine cards.  I need to make 17 more.  I have the background fabric all screen printed as well as the postcard address labels are all finished.  Just need to cut them out and stitch together.  Which takes some time and I want to have those finished by February 1st to mail them!  You never know how long the mail will take to deliver!

Friday, January 8, 2016

A nice surprise!

Look what I received in the mail yesterday!  Isn't he the cutest little pin cushion!  I love his button eyes, which represent an owl so well!

So a huge THANKS goes out to Sherry at Createology blog!  I've shown other items she has gifted me in the past and I love and enjoy each one!  Sherry's blog isn't called 'Createology' for nothing as she is quite creative and very productive!  Thanks, again my friend!  He now has a spot next to my sewing machine here in Florida!  Hope he enjoys his time here!

And I have started on a few projects!  I've finished 18 fiber cards already (did I already mention that in a previous post??  hmmmmm)  Only 17 more to go!

And I've started on the Art Quilters Around the World challenge for our 'favorite book' theme!   I'm not saying what my book is.  But it is a book I first read in high school and for some reason has always been one that I remember the title and story!  This isn't always the case now a days!  I can never remember an author or a title of a book I read last month, let alone some of the story lines!

I was just playing around with some free motion quilting, testing out threads...this is just a scrap piece!

See I do other things than just eat out while in Florida!  Sometimes I'm productive!  Weather was beautiful the mid 60's and sunny.  Perfect dog walking day but that's another story!  Gigi is becoming the terror of the community!  Not a good thing!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Christmas lights!

I forgot to post pictures of the Christmas lights in downtown Ocala!  Bob and I have been coming to Florida for 12 years and never went to the town square to see the lights!  So on our way home New Years Eve we were going right by the town square and we did a loop around!  What a sight!
The pictures don't do it justice but I'm posting as a reminder of how much we enjoyed the lights!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Back to playing in my 'studio'! Or better known as the 2nd Bedroom!

Anyway, sewing studio or bedroom, it works for me here in Florida!  First off, I've started on my fiber Valentine cards for this year.  I need at least 35 but I'm thinking I may take a year off next year!  Maybe...

I actually totally finished 4 of them so I only have 31 more to go!  Woohoo!

I'm using some painted canvas that I screen printed with one of my zentangle designs I had made into a thermofax screen.  I ordered the screen through Lynn's web site and it came out great!  THANKS, Lynn!  I don't want to show the design until after my cards are sent out.

And my girls had to oversee!  This is Kalee making sure I do everything right!  Kalee likes to lay on the bed as she can watch me and also look out the window.

Gigi didn't really care.  She just wanted to look out the window!  Back home both dogs sit on my sewing table but I don't have a lot of space here in Florida so I only put her small mat on the table.  She was comfy!

I also started to play with another technique shared by Jill Buckley over at The Quilt Rat!  Jill is so generous with sharing her techniques and tips.  She has been 'doodling' before 'doodling' became Zentangle!  Jill's work and workmanship is wonderful, with a capital 'W'!  Jill is currently working on hex's, which ya all know are one of my favorite hand stitching techniques.  Well, in addition to making the hex's, she also has included painting her 'doodles' on each hex and then creates a pattern from them!  Talk about a cool technique!!  You have to check out her tutorials, #1 here and #2 here!  And while you're at it just keep looking at all of her posts for December on this technique....then look at all her other posts!  You'll be so inspired!

So, I've been wanting to try Jill's technique since I saw it in December and I finally got to play over the weekend!

Finally...only problem, I didn't have any white/light fabric other than my cotton sateen.   I couldn't trace cleanly on the sateen with either a Sharpie ultra fine pen (it ran) or a micro pen (it was faded looking).  I did use a gel blue pen but I really wanted a black outline.

The cotton sateen also was fraying, which I don't every remember that happening when I've painted or dyed it before.  This is cotton Sateen I purchase by the bolt from Kaufmann fabrics, so it's not a knock off sateen.

Because I didnt bring a lot of fabric with me this year, as I was planning on working on my Blue Dog piece and just creating our online challenge, but  I happen to have some black batik fabric so thought...why not try it!

I'm also using Setacolor Suede paint!  I purchased this paint last spring and haven't had a change to use it yet.  I also just happen to have the paint in white, so using my 'white' gel pen I got tracing and then I painted the black hex's. The batik seemed easier to work with but hard to see for tracing, since it has a slight pattern to it and my eyes are as good as they once were!
So until I pick up some other fabric,  I've put these pieces aside as I need to finish the Valentines and get started on this month's online challenge, which is 'your favorite book'...I have my idea,  now just need to get moving on it!  It's due January 31st!  Guess I don't need another project right this minute...but I really want to create something using Jill's doodle pattern she provided!  You have to see her finished piece.  You'll get hooked on hex's!!