My Favorite Books

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Look what's in our own house!

Last month I did a post  talking about the talent around us.  In that post I showcased one of our neighbors who is a talented artist (you can see that post here).  Well, for some reason, I didn't even think about the talented hubby I have!!!  Bob painted back in the '80's and we have several of those  paintings hung in our house (along with my art quilts..HA). 

I thought I would showcase some of his excellent work!  I've tried to encourage him to get back into painting with oils but he said it made him a nervous wreck.  He is quite the perfectionist so I can understand how it would make him crazy!  But who knows...maybe when his golfing days are over he'll actually get back into painting!  My fingers are crossed! 

Hope you enjoy Bob's paintings as much as I have over the years.

I've always loved this simple oil painting of an apple.  It hangs in our dining/kitchen area so I get to look at it daily.

I  recently hung this picture in our bedroom.  It was hung up for several weeks before Bob even realized it was in the room!   Another painting I enjoy daily.

This is one of my favorites...the depth and colors are beautiful.  It hangs in our master bath.  So another daily painting I get to enjoy!

A closeup of the mountains.  Aren't they beautiful.  Even the sky is so natural!

This one hangs over the fireplace in our family room. 

This one is now in our work room where I dye/paint and where Bob does all his "Mr. Fix It" projects!

I didn't take a very good picture of this snow scene.  Love his water and the reflection.

Another winter favorite winter scene.

A closeup of the trees and water.  Bob is a pretty talented guy, isn't he!!! 

I have asked Bob to help me when I've been quilting portraits, which I don't do often!  I'm just not good at it but he's helped me out to show me shadows and depth I need to quilt to get the thread work just right.  Guess I'll keep him around another 27 years!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Honest, I'm still here!

This is always a busy time for me (and others!  HA)....not a lot of art work being produced but I will find time to knit....

or hand sew hex's (what else!)...I have two projects in the works...I get bored working in one colorway!  HA

Not sure what I'll do with these hex's...but it will be fun to have for a project, right! 

and I  played with a quick bud, Carol, gave me the current/winter copy of Cloth-Paper Scissors magazine.  She thought I'd be interested in the article by Birgit Koopson on Resist Gel-Plate printing.  Birgit has written posts for the Geli Arts blog as well as her own blog/magazines/etc. 

This are Birgit's results.....

And mine...not so great but it was fun to try....

This was just a picture of landscape from a Nat Geo magazine

This was a picture of a Tiger from Nat can see some of his stripes on the right side and his whiskers!! 

Again, fun to try and who knows I might give it a go this winter and try printing on fabric.

This particular article was also on the Geli Art blog written by have to fast forward to get to the magazine transfer part but it's an interesting video. 

And I did bake for Thanksgiving dinner at my son's house, which was wonderful. Got to see and talk with Amber.  She was home for a few days from college.

I have finished a MAJOR project I've been working on over the summer/fall for a special Christmas gift...but I can't show it until after Christmas!  I am so happy with the results and can't wait to gift it!!!  So now it's time for decorations to be up, Christmas cards to mail, packing of my art supplies and time to shop for gifts!  I am behind with gifts this year but most will be getting gift buy what they want so hard to surprise them!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

My Next Hex Project? I think not!

Mary (from The Inside Stori) was kind enough to send me a link to this hex quilt created around 1845!  I'm a tad behind in reading my AQS newsletter so I'm so glad she did!  Here is a link to the article:  Antique English Quilt.

The AQS article said these are 1/4" hex piece!  1/4"!!!!  I was reading some of the comments from folks who saw this quilt in person and they agreed that the hex pieces were small.  One comment was "the hexies are not even as big as my index fingernail! ".

I would love to see this quilt in person.  I just can't imagine working that small and making 45,000 hex's!!!  Do check out the link to see more detail.  Thanks Mary for bringing it to my attention.  At least I know what I 'will not' be making in my lifetime!!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

She's back............

Who you wonder is back?  Well, it's Beth Murr from Until We Bead Again!!!!  I found Beth back in 2010!!!!  I don't remember how I found Beth's blog but I was hooked on her beaded needle cases and I ordered several of Beth's patterns.  I know Beth was going back to school around 2011  for her masters (she has  worked as a critical care nurse) and I think that's about the time her blog went silent!  

Well, Beth is back!!!!  And I am so happy!!!  I was covering wooden needle cases (which I ordered from Beth) and gave them to friends as gifts.  This was Beth's Carousel pattern for a short needle case.
This is the front
And the back 
I think this pattern was called HoneyBee.  I really thought it was cute and made quite a few of them for gifts.  Yes, I kept the Carousel one for myself!  

And for my grand daughter for Easter back in 2011, I made Beth's Little Bunnies Easter Peyote Bracelet!  Isn't it adorable!!!  Amber loved it! 

It took me awhile to 'teach' myself odd count peyote but after four hours, one margarita and Beth's video's I did it!   

  You have to  check out Beth's blog and web site for her tutorials if you are at all interested in beading. She does a great job - no talking on her video's but she has the camera up close and works slow enough for you to see exactly what to do.  Beth is so cool! She even has a video on how to replace a bead you put in the wrong place! Who knew!! 

With Christmas not too far off, Beth's patterns make up perfect unique gifts!  You can order the long or short wooden needle cases and patterns!   Beth is working on a new Woodland Creatures Beaded Needle case patterns, which includes a Blue Heron.   

Check out her blog and web site and get busy!!!  I just may have to get back making more beaded needle cases!  They can be addictive!  

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Mr. Blue is now home!!!

Mr. Blue weighs 3.5 oz. and is 7" high and 7 3/4" wide.  Here he is all beaded and ready for his new home on a quilted wrapped canvas!!!  

And before I forget...I have to thank the ladies from the Fiber Art Bee group from Gainesville, Florida.  A few years ago I did a trunk show for them.  The ladies put together a bag of blue beads for me to use in Mr. Blue!  The bag had to weigh over five lbs!  or more!!!  I used almost all of the seed beads that were in that thank you ladies!!!

And here he is, finally!!!  Hubby helped me attach the quilted background on to canvas...we are getting to be experts at this process!  HA  I'm quite happy with the results.  Some of the color on the pictures aren't very vivid.  This green is what the background really looks like!  HA

This is an animation of the beading process...I started Mr. Blue in March of 2016....

This shows the background before I added the  French Knots...

The French knots and embroidered stem just added so much more to the piece.


Once the quilted background was attached to a wrapped canvas (thanks to my hubby!) I sewed Mr. Blue on.  You can see the white pin heads holding 'him' in place.

Some closeups of the background stitching and knots

Color isn't so good here!

I recently did a blog post on how I start  my bead embroidery projects.  You can read that post here.  So now it's time to be thinking of the next beaded piece!  My bud, Susan, sent me a leaf she found on the golf course in Florida.  So that leaf is headed south to Florida for our winter and possible use as a photo for a bead project.  I think the colors will be great!  Just never know what I might end up beading!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

RIP Sammy

I received a phone call on this a.m. from our friend, Peggy...her husband, Sammy, passed away during the night.  I've posted before on Peggy and Sammy  and my heart breaks for Peg and her daughters.
Dinner out with Peg and Sammy 2017 at Pavarotti's.
 We met Sammy and Peggy through mutual friends, Tony and Carol back in 2003 on one of  our first winters in  Ocala. 
Sammy, Tony and Bob 
Since then, we would go to dinner with Peg and Sammy  throughout our winter south.   We would also always spend a night out to celebrate my birthday every January. 
My 2010 Birthday celebration back to the house for  cake with Mandy!  

  But this past winter, Sammy wasn't doing very well health-wise, so our times were limited to just visiting at their house.  Sammy would sit outside, enjoying the beautiful Florida weather and was always just so sweet to talk with.  As Bob has said  many times "Sammy knows a lot about everything!"  And that he did.   I'm glad Bob and I had a few more times to talk with him last winter and to have known him all these years.

Sammy would sell his carved birds and ducks along with Peggy selling her wonderful paintings.  They are both such talented folks!  

Artists in 2013 - Sammy was a good  worker bee for Peggy too!

Sammy was so talented...he carved beautiful birds and ducks.  You can see some more of his work here.

Sammy was working on this woodpecker in March of this year.

Bob and I were lucky enough to be given one of Sammy's hand carved birds a few years ago!  I love it and look at it daily as it sits in our dining area.

Sammy also loved working on clocks or anything mechanical.  This is an original antique clock Sammy found.  It's a Seth Thomas II from the 1920's.  Sammy took the entire clock apart and cleaned each piece!   

This is a beautiful clock and it's back in working order thanks to Sammy's talents!!!

Living in the Ocala Palms Community, Sammy was active for several years golfing, meeting and talking with folks and being the 'go to guy' for anything that needed to be repaired or fixed.  Sammy would never turn down a request to help others!

One such item that Sammy worked on was a windmill  on the community property that wasn't working.  Sammy just about rebuilt this windmill so it  now works!  

I took these pictures from the Ocala Palms web they aren't very clear.  But this is the windmill that Sammy repaired!!!!  

I know the community was so appreciative of the work Sammy did on this huge project.  And we will think of him when we see it moving!

I also remember one of the first years we rented in Florida, Sammy came running (literally!) up to our front door hunting for Bob.  I told Sammy that he was golfing....he said "you have to get a hold of him right now!  I found a great deal on a golf cart for him!", I called  the folks at the Pro Shop and asked them to find him on the course!  Well, Bob ended up calling Sammy about 10 minutes later and actually left the golf course (a first for Bob)!  He  headed over to pick up Sammy and purchased the golf cart!  Bob had that same golf cart until 2 years ago.  It was a great cart and almost problem free!  Bob always thanked Sammy for that and we would laugh because Sam didn't want Bob to miss out on a good deal but he knew Bob could miss a few rounds of golf and  it was worth it!

 Sammy was also a good cook...well, being Italian/Sicilian, you wouldn't expect him to not be, right!  Anyway, several years ago, Sammy loaned me a recipe book to look over (Sammy was also an avid reader!).  

I enjoyed the stories and recipes in this book so I ordered one for myself.  Sammy and I laughed because  mine was a newer version and the man who wrote it, a former Mafia crime family member turned FBI informant, actually had his picture on the back cover of my book!  Guess he doesn't think the 'Gambino family'  are looking for him anymore!  Or else he isn't 'around' anymore!

These are just two "Sammy" stories that pop up in my mind.  We will miss Sammy....but we'll remember him until we all meet again!  Rest in peace, my friend.........

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Painting With Beads

I was asked by a few folks  how I start a bead embroidery project.  I had an article in Quilting Arts magazine (October/November 2015) page 68, called  Painting with Beads.  If you have a copy, you'll see my step by step process.  And  if you have that copy, you can go have your breakfast, clean house, etc. and stop reading this post!  HA  Otherwise, please read on!

I like to find copyright free coloring pages on the internet for my subject (or I will  photocopy real leaves my friend, Susan, finds for me!)....there are so many birds, leaves, name it and you'll find it.  Just 'Google' Free _______ coloring pages.  This is how I started Mr. Blue.....I found this coloring page for a squirrel.  

Once I've saved the image, I print it onto either Pellon 808 Craft Fuse (cut to 8 1/2" x 11" to fit your printer) or  a Wash-Away Applique Sheet by C&T.    I like the applique sheets since they are already cut to 8 1/2" x 11" and ready for my printer.  Make sure you print on the non-fusible side!  

You can also print out a color picture (rather than a coloring page of your subject) on the Craft Fuse/Applique sheet.  That's what  I did  for my leaf project.  It helped me in selecting the different shades of beads.  

Once your printed image is dry, trim the printed image but keep at least 1-2" border.  Next, following each manufacturing instrutions, fuse onto a piece of Pellon 70 Peltrex Ultra Firm stabilizer that is cut larger than your trimed image.  Pellon 70  is a good stablilizer that holds up well (if you're slow at beading like I am!  ha) and is easy to sew/bead through.  I will either machine or hand base around the fused image to make sure it remains stable while beading.  

You can see how my squirrel was fused and machine basted (that's the blue outline) onto the Pellon 70.  Because 'he' was so large I didn't trim away any of the printout.  He fit the 8 1/2" x 11" sheet!  

I have also beaded direct onto a quilted background,  in place of the ultra firm stabilizer.  Those were smaller pieces like my butterfly 3"x5".  

Or a  bird(s) which was about 7" long but only 3" at the widest.  I also beaded using a hoop to keep the quilted background stable.  I prefer the stabilizer vs beading direct onto a quilted background...been there...done that!  You don't need a hoop!  

I'll do another post on finishing up your beaded piece in the future.  

 I've learned some tips on bead embroidery through the years!  Here are just two from folks you may or may not know!

Kate Boyan a wonderful beader from Alaska suggested to first outline your image with beads.  It was and is a great tip so I do this every time now.  If you haven't been to Kate's blog, plz do so.  Her beading will amaze you!!

You may see on my squirrel where I didn't outline all of 'him'...for example, around his tail area.   I wanted the beads to be fur like!  Make sense!

And from my Blog Bud, Mary Stori,  who suggested you secure a bead mat in a small wood embroidery hoop.  This tip made it so much easier to keep threads and beads from flying all over!  Mary is a master at beading in addition to her fabulous quilting.  

 My hubby added to Mary's tip by placing cut bead mat pieces in small jar lids and setting those inside the hoop!!!  

And now you're ready to start beading!  Easy! Hope this post helps you start your own 'Painting with Bead" project!  Any questions, please email me or comment and I will respond to you.  And if you do start or finish a piece, please let me know!  I would love to showcase your work!!