Workshop Monday

Val and Myra came over today for a small quilt portrait workshop...it involved cutting, and fusing and sewing...and the results were great! I'm so proud of their results!!
I'm holding the one I made a few years ago (the one with the glasses - the impetus for the workshop) and the half-done one I started to show them a couple of different techniques...
It was a great day for me! All I had to do was explain the concept of the portrait, sit around and make suggestions and share tips I picked up in other workshops...after the last few days, it was a real vacation!


And back into the closet...

but not far...I had all of that lovely wall space and it seemed a shame to waste it, so went upstairs and made three more "pin" holders...
I had already made one for all of the Halloween jewelry
(skulls and spiders and witches, oh my...).
Now it's all nice and neat and I can enjoy looking at them...of course, it's all costume jewelry (purchased mostly on sale) - even the stuff Dave has bought over the years and some of the ones that used to belong to my Mom - but it's fun...and I really like seeing them!
and the necklaces and bracelets are in the cool jewelry chest Dave bought for me umpty years ago.
and all of the dog's stuff has been washed and put back in the closet (she sleeps in there a lot) and yet more stuff has been taken to the garage for the Salvation Army trip next week.
and all of the laundry has been done (thanks, Dave!)...
Whew! Better watch out...the house is going to be clean and neat if we aren't careful!


Out of the closet...

Literally - yes sir, yes sir, three bags full...
all headed for the Salvation Army.
Even Dave got into it today - here he is vacuuming..
he's a dreamboat...not many guys will do that for their sweathearts!
But it was all worth it, even if it took all day. Everything in here fits and there's room to walk all the way to the shelves!
Tomorrow: the rest of the bedroom...


'Tis the Season - part deux

Dave came home early, so I was able to get the kitchen cabinets done without having to stand on a chair! How can one couple have so many extra glasses and mugs?
Here's the top cabinets...so nice and neat! The bottom cabinets look good too (as in all the containers have lids and the few trays we have are nicely stacked), but I decided not to stand on my head just to get a picture - next time you come over, I'll be happy to show them off!
Now it's movie time - I wonder what I can clean out tomorrow?

'Tis the season...

for cleaning...I enjoy cleaning out the house between Christmas and New Years. It means that when the New Year starts, everything in the closet fits and everything on the shelves is stuff we want to look at. So this morning, the living room got the treatment. Everything has been dusted and the furniture has been cleaned and polished. Also did a little rearranging and thinning out. I think it looks nice... Next up...the kitchen.


Nothing serious today...

Today is not a serious day….I know this because I am wearing two different colored shoes:
one is blue, the other is black. And it's impossible to hide them since they are Crocs…
as a friend of mine says: "It sets the tone…" Another friend in accounting called to ask if I realized, on a certain check request, that I was arguing with the computer? (I was sent an automatic system email regarding the form and my reply began "If you will read the description more carefully…."). - oh well…Momma always said I'd argue with a post…


My Bucket List...

A movie came out recently called The Bucket List and, if I understand the premise, it's about a couple of guys who have a list of things they would like to do before they "kick the bucket"...
I have a bucket list, too, but it's not that kind of list...it involves real buckets...
Other than working on my family's genealogy, I've also been making pincusions - using bottle caps for the bases - the ones in the picture were made with a small water bottle cap, the cap from the 5-gal Ozarka bottle, a small tin usually used for wedding favors, and the cap from a bottle of something non-toxic from the lab (note - the largest one is only 3" tall). The "cupcake" was given to my friend Karen for her 40th birthday. Since this picture, I've made 7 more pincusions, with dozens in the project bucket. Yes - the project bucket. I really should say buckets (the orange ones usually used for mopping, etc.) - I "kit" up small projects in ziplock bags and toss them in a bucket and then grab a bag when I have time to work on something (watching tv, traveling, lunchtime at work, etc.) - this is very convenient because I don't lose part of the project and it becomes very portable and the buckets are a great way to store them - at the moment I have two buckets worth of the pincushion "kits" (a friend of mine was able to send me a lot of specimen tins in several sizes and the lids and the bottoms can both be used and everyone around here is bringing me bottle lids (poor Dave does ask before throwing practically anything away now...if I don't use stuff, my artsy friends do!). I also have dolls and other projects in the buckets. Small stuff, but fun to work on.
So my "bucket list" is a little more practical - if I had the other kind of list, I don't think there would be much on it - I've been very lucky to do most of the things I've wanted to do in my life...
Now...if I can only figure out how to get more hours in a day.....


Serenity Chicken

I'd like to introduce you to Serenity Chicken - it comes from a photo I took of Connie's pet chicken, Biddy. Serenity, of course, because I used up more of the black & white material such as used in the Serenity Series…she's 9.5"x12"…and I don't think she's too bad…and yes, the real Biddy does look like she's smiling! I have four more chickens cut out from other kinds of material, so the rest of the Biddy Series will all be different, but still the same pattern - I'm also using some of the materials I hand-dyed at Connie's house for the backgrounds…that is only appropriate since Biddy assisted us all in the process…. Working in this series has already taught me five things: ►when working from your photograph, be aware of making too many small pattern pieces; look for ways to incorporate that piece into a larger one ►before adding the backing and the binding, be sure that all of the pattern parts are on the background and you have finished stitching everything down (it's really difficult to add it after the backing and binding is on…especially if it's a body part….no, really. trust me…) ►using a Sharpie marker is okay to mark out your pattern pieces onto the fabric before cutting out (especially if you are sewing on top of any markings not cut off) - but be sure there is something under the fabric besides your ironing board cover or you will have, in my case, chicken feet drawn all over the cover… ►let go of reality; it's just an interpretation of a chicken, so it's okay if some of the smaller pieces didn't get put on… ►always have enough pre-wound bobbins to finish the piece so there is no stopping to wind one… So - on to the next chicken!


Cher's Snow

My friend Cher moved back to Indiana and sent me this photo recently; I miss seeing her and talking to her (of course, in this day and age of cell phones with umpty minutes and email etc. there is really no longer a good excuse...BUT....I digress....) - the photo shows why I like Texas. We don't get that snowy stuff very often....I remember thinking last winter, when it was snowing and I was walking to my car a zillion miles away, "Dang snow..." and then I stopped - right in the middle of the path - and thought "when did walking in the snow get to be NOT fun????" - so while I don't expect to get as much snow as Cher will eventually see (they do indeed have WINTER there...) - I hereby promise myself to re-discover the joy in it. Now...if I can only get Dave to see the same joy while he has to drive in it....



Time flies, doesn't it? So...
Saturday (11/1) - in Houston, still at the International Quilt Show - I saw some incredible art and met a lot of fun people...
Alex Anderson (former host of Simply Quilts and now co-host of The Quilt Show) is someone I had met before - but while I was admiring some of her quilts in the show, I met her parents! and they are sooo sweet. I told her Mom, that "she must be very proud of Alex for being such a success" and she replied, "I'm not just proud...I'm in awe. I can't stitch a lick!"
Amazingly enough - I also met the Queen...you just never know who you'll see at a quilt show!
I also got to have a new picture made with Ricky Timms (the other co-host of The Quilt Show) - the one from last year was kind of blurry - his quilts are astounding works of art and he's a great musician as well. I have an entire stash of his hand-dyed material.
We also all went out to dinner and had a great time!
On Thursday morning, I drove down to New Braunfels for the Department's retreat and, while there took one of my favorite photos. Will have more pictures later (lots to sort through).


More Houston

But no pictures today - sorry - I forgot to put the card back into the camera, so the few pictures I took today are on the camera's internal memory and my USB cord is at the house...so the pictures of my perfectly mitered corner on a small piece will have to wait.... It is a very interesting experience participating in an event along with 55,000 other people - and some of the classes and teachers are so inspiring. Today I took "Finishing Techniques" with Philipa Naylor - someone who has won many awards and is an extremely entertaining speaker - she was very charming (maybe because she's British) but she also was very personable and shared her experiences - both in quilting and in her life. I really enjoyed it. Here's to tomorrow...another fun-filled day!

Houston...What day is this?

Getting tired!! Today was basket-making day (see pictures below for the various stages) and then we went to the fashion show - some of those pictures came out, but I'll have to put them in my scrapbook pdf since I don't think I'm allowed to put them on the internet in a blog. Am having a good time and I'm learning a lot...but I miss my husband and my dog and my bed...tomorrow is finishing techniques for quilts, so we'll see what I learn there!


Houston-Day 3

Today was Fabric Postcards! I had a wonderful class and really learned a lot. It was also waayyyy cool that I was able to sew all day at the new Huskvarna Viking Diamond Design machine (read that as the $9,000 HVDD machine....on sale here at the show for only $7,000). It was really a fierce machine...did everything but make coffee for me and that may be an attachment I just wasn't made aware of!!
I think my postcards came out really well and I really look forward to finishing a couple that need more embellishments and making many more.


Houston-Day 2

Today I spent the day in a Ginny Eckley class and I had a great time...we spent the morning dying silk material and then spent the afternoon silkscreening, printing, and painting on the material we made that morning...here I am with several of my pieces...I thinkt they came out terrific and I definitely learned new techniques... Tomorrow I spend the day making postcard-sized quilted pieces and smaller ones the size of business cards. I think that is going to be a lot of fun too. I'm so glad I did this!!


Houston Workshops -Day 1

Today, Michelle & Lu and & came down to Houston in my van to take a week's worth of workshops and what a fabulous day it has been! The drive down was easy and uneventful and (best of all) took less than a tank of gas. We all three took the first workshop together..Painting and Uses of Lutradur...a substance that acts like fabric and paper and looks like dryer sheets!...what fun...here is a couple of samples of my painted sheets, as well as the result of transfering images using gel medium...pretty cool. after that workshop, Michelle and Lu went off to dinner with friends...I grabbed a quick bite and headed for my next workshop, Journal Binding...where I was able to use some of my painted Lutradur sheets as signatures...so now I'm off to bed so we can get up at 6:30 and get ready to go to even more workshops....fun fun fun! More tomorrow!....