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Friday, March 31, 2017

Communication Reveal!

Today is the reveal for the 'Communication' theme challenge for the Art Quilts Around the World blog!  Actually, for some reason, this was an easy one for me.  I thought of my dogs immediately!  Animals do have their own way of communicating with us, don't they!  And do it the same way humans do....Verbal and Non-Verbal!

 Some closeups depicting Verbal Communication......

And Non Verbal Communication!

Of course I had to use a silhouette of a Bichon dog!

Thanks, Fran, for a fun challenge theme!  Head on over to the Art Quilts blog to see more quilts!  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Gracie - March 30, 2015

Hard to believe it's been two years since our Gracie passed.  I know it's hard for folks who have never had a bird but the bond between Gracie and I was deep. I purchased Grace in the early 80's - longer than Bob and I have been together!
You can read more about our  bond on my post from 2015 here.  She was special for sure.  And I honestly miss her to this day.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Squirrel and more food! What else is there!

I have to keep taking pics of Mr. Squirrel because I like to document my process for quilts and more so for my beading.  Some of my readers may remember my leaf (you can see that progress here).

I do enjoy looking back as to how or why I started a project (thanks to Susan for the leaf!).  It's no different for this little guy! I started it February 2016 and did work on it while in Florida that winter. But after we got back home there wasn't much activity.  I brought him with me this year hoping I would get time to work on it.

Looking back on the 'start' I guess I have made progress.  Mr. Blue (decided to give him a name!) is 7 1/2" tall and 8" wide!  Beth (Quilter Beth's Blog) asked if he was heavy...yes, he's getting there.  I have not weighed my leaf, which is quite heavy too!  I will weigh them both when I get home.  I have a kitchen scale that should work perfect.  Never thought of weighing them before!  Thanks for the question, Beth!
 I've added some lighter beads on his belly and will be add some for his face too.  He is kinda cute and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can keep his face features!!!

This past Monday we headed to the Freezer with our mates Jan, Larry, Karah and Howard...shrimp was good as can it be bad.  The place was packed when we arrived but we (really it was Jan!) asked  folks at a table if we could have dibs on their table when they finished!  I didn't get a picture but Jan.  She had on a blue cowboy hat and looked adorable so how could they refuse!  Worked out great!  You have to stand in line to order so we sat quickly while the guys stood in line!

And, as always, we had to stop at DQ!  Actually, that's the main reason I like to go to the freezer!  Another good meal!!  And experience!!  Gotta love Florida winters!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Playing with Alcohol Inks - 2

So here are some of my results.  I am showing the failures first!  Probably should wait until the end but heck, let's just get it out of the way! HA

Failure 1..bottom..
I used a heavy weight paper so my straw didn't move well and the ink just soaked into the paper!

Drops of ink are placed in a row (red/yellow/green/blue/purple for example) then use the side of a straw to move the inks creating a round shape.  Peggy's turned out great (see my post from yesterday)!!!

The top piece is just a bad choice of inks!  HA

Failure 2...spraying paper with alcohol then drops of ink on top.  Again, I was using a heavy weight paper and not the Yupo.

Failure 3...I was using Tyvek fabric/paper...colors awful and the paper just soaked the ink right up!

Now some success pieces!  At least I think so...These were my  Yupo paper covered with hand sanitize!   Then drops of alcohol inks dripped on top.

Both of these turned out quite nice.

Back to covering a sheet of paper with inks, although I was using the shiny side of freezer paper.   I used my  fingers to spread the inks!

 Next you squirt several lines of ink onto the paint then take wax paper that you have fan-folded and press the paper/folds into the ink; tilt the paper and squirt another color of ink under the waxed paper folds allowing the ink to drop down under the wax paper.

These are my favorites!

I kept the wax paper with the ink on them!  I know I can use them somehow/somewhere!!??
This piece was using saran wrap in place of wax paper.  Similar technique.  This is always a good technique to try.  Works really well with sun printing to give a crackle effect.  

This next piece was just placing inks on freezer paper (shiny side) and spraying with alcohol.  

Of course, you always have to save your 'rag' or drop cloth.  Peggy is curious as to what I'll use this for!  Actually so am I!  But hey, you never know!

What fun!!!  Next month some buds and I are going to play with alcohol inks on fabric!  Now that's going to be a fun one too!!!!  I know...I just have too much fun!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Alcohol Ink Play day #1

On Thursday, Peggy, who is  a wonderful watercolor/acrylic artist, and I played with alcohol inks on paper.     Interesting, last year we did a similar activity!  You can see those results here.  What a fun few hours both years but this year we used some of the techniques from the book 'Pigments of Your Imagination'!
The book is really quite good and gives  you so many techniques for you to start playing with inks!

I'm going to post  Peggy's results today then show mine in another post this week.  I haven't taken pictures of all my results yet.

First off, we covered an entire piece of Yupo paper with hand sanitizer!   Then we applied drops of alcohol inks on top.  The rest just happened!

Another technique was placing several drops of ink in a row on (plain) Yupo paper.  Next we used the side of a straw to move the inks creating a round shape.  Peggy's turned out great!!!  She makes cards as well as mounting her paintings to sell.  I think Peggy will be able to use her pieces in cards or mounting.   I love this piece!

We also did some mono printing....sprayed paper with alcohol then drops of ink on top; covered this piece with another piece of paper and gently rubbed.   Two prints!

This was Peggy's paper she placed on top.

Back to covering a sheet of paper with inks.  The book said to use a craft foam square but we used a paint brush and our fingers to spread the inks!  Next you squirt several lines of ink onto the paint then take wax paper that you have fan-folded and press the paper/folds into the ink; tilt the paper and squirt another color of ink under the waxed paper folds allowing the ink to drop down under the wax paper.

Peggy's wax paper is on the left and on the right she played with a brush to make a  flower design.

Her wax paper piece dry!  Cool isn't it!

Again, wax paper in the drying stage!  I love the colors Peggy used in this piece!

And look at this piece!  WOW!  It is my favorite and I know Peggy will have this in a frame and mounted!  She has a craft sale coming in the fall so these last two pieces won't last long!

Next post I'll show some of my pieces.  What a fun afternoon with Peggy!  Our next outing is a walking one!  We're going to the Sholom Park in Ocala!  This is a natural botanical garden and only a few miles from our community.  We have talked about going to this park for awhile now so I hope within the next few weeks we make it!  We may even talk our friend Sally into going with us!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

BBQ at it's best!

Tuesday  was another night of eating out...I know 'suprise'!  Anyway, we headed to Brick City  Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar, which is located in the downtown square in Ocala.  They don't have a website or the the Ocala restaurant listed yet (they are part of the MoJo group, so I've linked to their FaceBook page.

The food was delicious!!!!  We went with Jan and Larry and shared an appetizer of Kansas City Burnt Ends, which was SO good!!!

I had their brisket sandwich and collard greens....

and Bob had their Dry Rub Ribs that he said were also good.  And  I took off some of my brisket (there was so much on the bun) so we both have leftovers for another dinner this week!!

 We were all licking our fingers and enjoying their sauces!  The Chipotle BBQ sauce was spicy and very tasty as was their sweet BBQ sauce.  A combo of those two were delicious!

One of their main features are the 327 bottles of whiskey they have!  WHAT!  Who knew you needed that many different types of whiskey!  They also had a whiskey that sold for $600 a shot!  That is in the red box, top shelf on the right!   Enough said on that!

I know we'll be least I hope so!  I just need to keep my freezer and frig empty so we can continue to eat out!  HA

Today, I'm headed over to Peggy's, my painting bud, to play with alcohol inks on paper.  Our fiber group is doing this same project in April but on fabric.  It's going to be fun to see the difference between the different media.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Who knew trying to find the right 'blue' beads for a squirrel would be so difficult!  Last week I stopped at my favorite bead shop here in Ocala! and picked up some lighter shades of blue/grays for my squirrels chest/belly area.   See the arrows...I want those a different shade from his body...Of course, the beads were not the right color so on Sunday, my bud Sally and I headed off to the bead store.  I exchanged the beads for a few different colors...still not sure it's going to work...but in the meantime....

I decided to remove the beading from around the little guys head.  Kate, from Kate Boyan's Gallery, gave me a great suggestion a few years back to outline bead my piece before I start the 'real' beading.  This was and still is a good suggestion but for this little guy I want his 'fur' beads to be more fur like?  OK, I can't think of a good word for it but I think it will work out.   So I did some unbeading...a little like 'unsewing'!   And then I started beading his little whiskers and his eye.  I'm happy with the eye and add'l whiskers will be added after he's attached to a quilt.

I finished his back/tail area and started on his shoulder area. He's coming along!!!  Slow but sure!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Not a lot going on here...although, I'm never home so one of us is busy!  We've had some great meals this week!  I what else is new!  We've been having dinners at the new restaurant in our community.  Taco Tuesday, which was delicious!  Two tacos, chips and salsa and a Corunna beer for $6!  Yep!  Only $6!
The week before Bob and I had their 'Italian Night' which was lasagna w/small piece of garlic bread and a glass of wine!  Again all for $6!  It was so good...not a huge portion but perfect size!  Same with the Fish Fry Friday...$6 for piece of fried fish, french fries and a drink!  You can't beat that nor make a meal at home  for that price (along with the drink!  HA).

Wednesday we had a great meal with the gang at Dan Zano's in Ocala!  WOW!  What another great meal.  I had cheese pizza and a side salad which was GREAT!  Salad so fresh and pizza delicious.

 Others had spinach stuff shells and vegetable lasagna and they all said the dishes were wonderful.  We will go back...and the service was fantastic!  Robbie Jo waited on our table of 12 (along with the rest of the restaurant!!) and all our dishes came at the same time and they were all hot!  Just great service!  And food!

Last night we headed back to the cafe here in the community and Bob and I each had 'two sliders with fries' and they were, once again, really good!  I think they were $5.95 each but no drink included. We were  still quite happy!  Tonight I was a good wife and made dinner!  Woohoo!

I am busy working on my 'Communciation' theme quilt for our online challenge.  Due date is the 31st and I'm hoping to have my piece finished by this Sunday or Monday.  Of course the 'squirrel' is getting two beads added slowly but surely!  In fact, I picked up some grey/blue beads for his chest and belly area.  I think they'll look much better than the lighter beads I've tried using 3 or 4 times!  I'm getting tired of 'unsewing' all those beads!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Another 'point' of view!

So in my last post, I showed the collaborative quilt that I participated in.  Kay posted on Face Book another 'look' at our quilt.  I think it looks rather interesting this way too!  Always fun to look at your work in different ways isn't it!

It may not be easy to hang on point since Kay already put in the sleeve and had a board cut to fit.'s just another point of view!

And my squirrel is coming along....slowly...I know they are fast little buggers but I'm not!  HA

On Monday, my bud, Susan and I headed off to the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shop in Trenton!  We both really like this shop...they have over 7,000 bolts of fabric.  Yes, that is 7,000!  It's a great shop that is also organized so well!!!  And they have a restaurant in the front of the you can look at fabric, have lunch, then go back and purchase lots!!!

I bought four 1/2 yard pieces of fabric...this is usually the one quilt shop I visit each year!  I don't shop at quilt shops back home...just too many fabrics sitting and waiting for me to use in my own house!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Big Reveal - Finally!

Last winter, Kay (Quilts+Color) challenged three of us (she did ask first if we were up for it!) to collaborate on a project.  As Kay put it, "add our own personal touch" to one quarter of her iced dyed Mandala fabric.  Of course we all gasped at the thought Kay would cut up such a wonderful dyed piece of fabric! 
This was the Mandala piece Kay cut into four sections.  You can see in each corner a  white square which had on it a #.  We each drew a # and that was our square to enhance!  Seems to me each square was around 22".  Can't remember...but you get the jest!

Kay did a blog post last week, which you can see here, on the completed quilt.  But we thought it would be a good idea to also share some closeups of each piece, which I'm going to do on my reveal post!   

So, starting with the upper left corner #1, I present to you  Beth Sherman's square! 

Beth did a fantastic job creating movement with her flowers and the detail she added with the leaves and stitching were perfect!  Her flowers are 2D and she added beading in each center.  Beth also added free motion quilting to fill in the space.  Just perfect!

Next up is  #2 upper right and it belongs to me. I wanted the fabric to be the focal point so I tried to enhance it with adding hand stitching.  I use the opposite color of  thread in each section (red on green, green thread on get the picture!).  

Perle cotton was used for all stab stitching (not quilting stitch) and invisible thread to outline around the hand stitching.   

The bottom left #3 is by Nancy Halstead Burkhalter.   Just look at the depth Nancy got with her machine stitched flower!!!  She printed the flower on fabric then, once stitched, fused onto her  quilted background.  

The detail  and depth Nancy got was amazing!   This flower looks so real.  She quilted diagonal lines vs quilting which was perfect as to not take away from her flower.  
Also, as you look at each section, note the diagonal stitching we each did!  Interesting.

And last, but not least!, bottom right is Kay's section #4!

Once again, the detail to enhancing her Mandala fabric was awesome.  Kay added some floral pieces from a vintage table linen she had  iced dyed.    The colors were awesome and fit in with her iced dyed Mandala perfectly.
And notice the diagonal lines Kay painted on!  So interesting we each had those same directional lines!  Kay also painted fusible web to create her leaves.  I love the subtle look it gave her section.  Just wonderful!  

And yes, I will say it for you!  Some great minds think demonstrated with 3 of the ladies doing a floral theme!  Yes, I am the black sheep...but we say my section is the 'sun' shining down on the piece.  HA...OK, that's what I said!  

We finally had our  sections revealed at our last get-together in February, which was so much fun!   
 We all agreed on the name....I present to you!

Collaboration of
Beth Sherman
Robbie Payne
Nancy Halstead Burkhalter
Kay Sorensen
March 2017

Kay so graciously volunteered to put all of the sections together, backed it and added the facing.  She did a wonderful job!!!  And so glad she volunteered!  Not a job I would wanted to do!    Nancy volunteered to create our label using her embroidery machine!!  

This was really fun to work on and even though a tad intimidating...I would do it again with these talented woman!  Thanks again to Kay for allowing us the opportunity to collaborate on a project with her!! Hope you all enjoy and maybe you will even be inspired to work on a project with your fiber buds!