My Favorite Books

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Beading Tip!

I did a lecture/trunk show in January of 2016  for the Fiber Art Bee group in Gainesville, Florida.  The guild members were so nice and made up a bag of blue beads for me!  I think the bag weighed about 8 lbs!  All different size, shapes and shades of blue.

Well, the majority of those beads are on Mr. you can see my dilemma if I run out!!  Yikes!  I had mentioned this in a previous blog my concern of not having enough beads.

Well, I received a note, or should I say tip, from Margaret Ball.

"Stitch your remaining beads randomly over the area left to cover. Keep doing this until you run out of beads. Now, if you have to add beads of a slightly different color, the look will be "natural variation" rather than "funny-looking bit right there."

What a great tip!!!!  I can certainly see where this would work!!!!  Thanks, Margaret!!!!

For those who read my blog, you know I use Margaret's book, Embeadery, often...and I mean often.  Margaret's book actually got me started doing bead embroidery.

And yes, those are tabs on the right/middle of the book for some of Margaret's techniques that I reference!  It's the only bead book I take to Florida!

Margaret is also a writer of historical/romance/etc. novels!!!  Who knew...well, I did only because I've followed her blog for several years.  So check out what Margaret is doing or writing about!!!   She's quite witty in her blog writing so I know you'll enjoy reading her posts.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Friends and Football!

Busy week last week and I'm sure this week will be pretty much the same!  After painting the deck  last Thursday and Bob finishing installing the last of the top boards, we had a late lunch/early dinner then off to Nick's first freshman football game.  It was a really good game! And I love the new scoreboard at the high school!  What fun!

 Wow..those kid were good!  They ended up winning 28-0.   Nick is a center/2nd string this year and only got in a few plays but they got a touch down!  Woohoo!  This is different for Nick since he's always played both offense and defense these past few years.  But it's a good learning experience for him and I know he'll do just fine.  He's a hard worker and if he keeps working it will pay off.  I'll still go to the games as long as 1. it's not raining!  2. the game is within 20 miles!  HA

Friday, I met up with my bud, Alice and the daughter of my friend, Patty, who passed away a few years ago.  Lisa met Alice and I at Honcho's Restaurant and we had a really good meal.  I brought along some old pics of Lisa's mom as well as of Alice and I.  It was nice to look at them and try to remember we were young at one time!!!  This was Patty years ago.  She was an airline stewardess as well as a model.  She was a beauty!

Lisa and Alice

After lunch, we headed to Lisa's beautiful home for some home made blueberry pie she made! was so good...and Lisa also made a chocolate sheet cake!  Well, double yum!!!!

We talked about recipes and of course FaceBook that seems to have one recipe after another!   We did have a nice afternoon and talked a lot about Patty, Lisa's mom.  She would be so proud of the wife, mother and woman Lisa is today.  We're going to try and meet up again before we head to Florida or at least when we get back.

It was such a nice afternoon....but then it's always nice to be with friends and family.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Busy Work

It's been a busy week and the weekend will be taken up with painting the deck!  Bob only has a few boards left to replace!

Woohoo!  I finished all the white spindles last weekend so now we can start on the beige deck painting.  Floor will be last, of course, but at least I can start scrapping and get the painting finished on the upper boards.  We're suppose to have below 80 or 90 degree weather, which will be good.  We're always painting when it's 80 or 90 degrees out!  I've said for years that it's too hot to paint in that temperature.  We'll see if painting in the 70's works better!

With rainy days this week, I have been sewing.....

I took a piece of stamped fabric I did last winter and free motion quilted the piece.  I cut out sections about 6"x8" so I can use for fabric cards.

Evenings are filled up with working on my hex pieces! I'm wearing my splint while sewing these paper pieces, which I think is helping my wrist when I sew.  There are 123 pieces here! Doesn't look like that much but it is!  I've got a ways to go since I want to do the entire piece of fabric in hex's...mainly because I don't know what I'm going to do or how many pieces I'll need.

And good old Mr. Blue is coming along!!!  His feet are all beaded and now I just hope I have enough beads left for the remainder of his body!!!  Yikes!!!

I'm also trying to decide how to quilt a background piece for my beaded leaf.  Once quilted, I'll be wrapping around a canvas.  I'll take to my fiber meeting next month for input from the ladies.

So that's my week so far!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

A little revamping

First off, one of my BFF's, Mary, just got out of the hospital after a mini vacation!

OK, not really a vaca...she had a stint put in her heart!  Whew!  But she's doing well and went home from the hospital on Tuesday.  Mary is a very talented art quilter and I've posted her work on my blog before.
I decided that my buds would take care of each other in this order:  I'll take care of Mary, Carol will take care of me and Lois Ann will take care of Carol!  Because Lois Ann is the youngest, she's on her own...I'm sure she'll have lot of folks to take care of her. Mary is home now so Carol and I will take her lunch and/or groceries this week.  Just to keep bugging her!

Back to revamping....after looking at Tommy's blog where she's been posting  hanging her 12"x12" squares, I got inspired to do something similar.  Check out her 'hanging around' post here.  This is what I ended up doing!!!  I had some loose 12" x 12" squares so tacked them around the top of the wall.

And the way my sewing room entrance sits (it's at an angle) I can see some of the squares/quilts as I sit in our living room!  I am really happy with how the squares hung using Tommy's suggestion of sewing needles!  I have a small container that I keep old needles in and just used them!  You can't even see them from a distance!

I've started to keep the 12"x12" squares I've made, or been in exchanges with others, in a binder book.  I sew D rings on the edges so I can put on the ring. This works well but I like having the squares hung up!  At least you can see them daily and appreciate them.  The book idea is nice to take with me to show others or for inspiration so I can look at more closely!  HA

I also cleaned out some of the containers in the closet. Bob put in shelves for me when we had the house built in '96.  Makes it so much easier to store lots of stuff!  HA

Rain this week so painting the deck will have to wait until the weekend.  So guess I'll just have to suffer and play in my sewing room!!!  Poor me!!!  NOT!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Another 12"x12" exchange

Tommy once again asked if we wanted to participate in a 12"x12" finished block exchange.  Of course, I said yes!  I do enjoy these exchanges.  You can make each block the same or different for your group.  I only needed to make three to give away and one for myself.  Back in June, I  showed a stenciled tree block, which was my sample block and the one I'll keep for this exchange.  You can see that post here.

These are the three that I've mailed on to the other ladies in my group.

I started off with a tree stencil using fabric paint on black fabric.

Next, I cut circles out of ultra suede and fused to the bottom of the block.  I sandwiched the piece and then added some machine embroidery around each suede square.  I also hand stitched black Perle cotton around the inside of the circle.

I  free motion quilted in between the three suede squares and  added a ring of black beads around the center circle.

  I wanted to add some stab/hand stitching so I picked up some 20 wt crochet thread (my friend Susan uses this thread for hand quilting!) in a shocking pink.

I  free motion quilted the entire tree to give some stability to the block before I did the stab stitching.

I fused a backing to the piece and added a label.  A black binding was added then I finished the piece by using the same 20 wt crochet thread for the buttonhole stitching around the top edge on one side.

These were fun to make and gave me some hand work to do while watching TV at night!  I'm looking forward to receiving my blocks from the ladies.  I have Tommy's block she sent last week but I'll hold off until I receive all blocks and show at once.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Another Hex Project

Seriously?  Yes, another hex project...I love hex's (as my readers know!) and with football season upon us it's the best project to have on hand while watching football!  Which I love!!

I bought this fabric this past winter in Florida on an outing with my bud, Susan!  I thought it was so pretty with the movement of the color.  

So what else to do with this but cut it up and sew it back together again!!  I also found some batik fabric that should match.  Not sure what I'm going to do but it will be the same technique I used for my horse hex pieces.

I started sewing some hex's this past weekend while watching the Lion's play...after I finished painting all the remaining spindles!  We're almost ready to start painting the deck once Bob finishes replacing some more boards.  I should be able to start painting the top deck at least!  Floor will be last, obviously!  

My own carpenter!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Acrylic Skin

Well, this post heading sounds weird I know...but....I was watching Laura Kemshall's video on making acrylic skin to use in her art work.  I thought I'd give it a go!

I won't explain the entire I've said before, you can join DesignMattersTV yourself to see their videos and learn from Laura and her mom, Linda.  It's not cheap for a year subscription but I don't get any monthly magazines so this is my 'luxury' art item.

This was a quilt I dye painted (based on Hollis Chatlain's technique) quite awhile ago!

I still had the tracing of her face that I made to see where I wanted the quilting to be for her face.

So this is what I used for my first 'skin'.  You trace onto your substrate and then....

Apply a medium, which creates the skin.  Yes, there are steps here but you'll have to watch the video!  I haven't done anything with this 'skin' yet!

Next I wrote some text and created the 'skin'

I had this hard canvas piece with some zentangles on it so figured I would apply the skin this, just for fun!
I cut out a small part of the lettering and applied to the canvas.  And this was the end result.  I did apply some yellow watercolor to this piece but haven't taken a picture of it yet.

So what else could I make with this technique!  Leaves of course!  I had some paper leaves I traced and made the 'skin'.

I had this small hard canvas piece I made back in 2010...think it was for a challenge in our CCC group.  It was a poem printed on a piece of silk organza then applied to the stencil painted canvas.

And finished piece with one of the leaf skins!

So, is this something I'll use in the future?  Not sure...I don't do paintings on canvas and the only have one sketchbook I keep of the stamps I make.  But it was fun and always good to keep ourselves trying new techniques!

Funny, but when I went to type in the label for this post, acrylic skin, it popped up!  Hmmmmmm  So I did a search on my blog and what do you know!  I played with a similar technique back in 2009!  You can read that post here.  No wonder I didn't remember!  2009!!!  I don't remember yesterday!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The birds are coming!

I'm working on another project and decided I wanted a bird in my piece.  A few years ago, I beaded a pattern, Western Tanager, by Helene Knott that was in the American Quilter, March 2011 magazine.  Here's the finished beaded piece.

In that article Helene had two other bird patterns, which I also beaded and they are all framed and hang in the house.  I like this first bird and thought I'd use that same pattern to create another bird but this time in fabric.

So here is what I'm playing around with!  I'm sure which ever bird I end up using, the remaining orphans  will find a home somewhere!!  At least I hope so!

First up is a discharge on black fabric using Jacquard Discharge Paste.  I think with addition of thread this might work.  That's a piece of freezer paper for his eye!

Bird 1 - Discharge
Second, I had a stencil piece of scrap fabric from another project.  It's actually leaf prints which didn't show up that well, hence, the piece became a scrap.  But I liked the faint leaf on one of the areas of the fabric and thought it look like a feather!

Bird a

Doesn't it look like feathers on his belly!  The colored areas are ultra suede.
Bird b

I changed two feather areas to be the same shade of suede on the bird on the right.

Third, I had a piece of rusted fabric that I traced the bird on.  My bud, Carol, suggested at our fiber meeting this week to use leather or suede, hence, why I using the suede. I do like the look but not sure I'd use it throughout the birds body or just in some areas.

Bird 3 a

Bird 3 b

I just changed the tail feather to a brown suede on this one (right).

So those are my birds.  I'm thinking I need to start my background fabric and that should help me decide which bird to go with.  Right now my background is browns/blues/turquoise.  At least that's what I'm thinking today!  But we know that can change in a heart beat!