Wednesday, November 25

Giving Thanks

Yesterday while out doing the pre Thanksgiving shopping I was thinking just what am I thankful for? I guess I was thinking a list would come to me of things that are important to me like family, friends and my health - the old stand by. Then I started thinking of the other things that make each day good and the list rolled threw my mind at rapid speed of the thousands of things I am thankful for.

The answer is just everything.

This past Sunday afternoon I taught a poly clay class at my local JoAnn's and we had such a good time. We made these tiny Santa's and Christmas Trees which will end up on top of a jar for candy or other such goodies of the season. Here is Monica (mom) and Kendall her daughter with their finished creations. They turned out great.

Here were the first ones I made while figuring out the formula for the amounts of clay for each part of the figure. Poor snowman has no arms...I'll fix you don't worry.

I found out yesterday just how much my trunk will hold. Normally it's no where this full after grocery shopping. But the holiday shopping and the standard stock up shopping hit on the same day. I'd been a bad mama and run out of milk bones and the babies were about to rebel. Had to get stuff for our Thanksgiving dinner at my lovely sister's house and also stuff to fix for hubby's dinner today at work. The kitchen had a lot going on last night, and will again tomorrow. I enjoy cooking most of the time and the Holidays is one I really enjoy.

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. Oh and I'm also very thankful for you dropping by my blog.

Saturday, November 21

A day for photos AND A give a way!

Mother Earth Necklace - with hand made beads

Today I spent the day taking photos of my jewelry and posting it on 1000 Markets. It always amazes me how long this can take. But the photos turned out nice and I opened a new section in my on line shop. To celebrate this new section in my shop I'll be giving away free hand made beads with each order. The beads will be custom made to your color/texture requests so it's a great deal. And to help get you started I'll be giving hand made beads and buttons away here on this blog also. So if you are interested in some free beads/buttons for your quilting or mixed media this is a good time to get some. Just post that you are interested and what colors you would like. If you like a theme then let me know that too. These buttons/beads are beautiful ways to add texture in a wall quilt or on your ATCs. They range in size from tiny to quarter size and come in different shapes too! What a great deal. Free is always good. The necklace at the bottom is free too with this give a way! So get some free beads & buttons - they are all unique.

Saturday, November 14

This Old House

No sewing today. Working on ridding our home of the wall to wall carpet. What a job that is. Tiny staples and little nails everywhere. The hard wood lurking under their is 77+ years old and not looking as nice as I'd hoped. But I guess I have to cut the old girl some slack. Not sure why I've had this sudden urge to work on this big of a project so near the holidays, but it's started now. Even went out and got a hand sander to work on the wood work too. You know when you have been looking at something for years and one day you just snap and have to fix it? Well I'm there. So old home of ours you get a holiday facelift. Now I'm mulling over a new paint color for the hall. That will be my first room to finish. This old house has big windows and lots of big wood work glad I enjoy painting. But I'm thinking tomorrow I may take part of the day off from this and do a bit of sewing. Have a 50's project planned for a Christmas present and really need to get it going. It's going to be fun.

Thursday, November 12

First attempt at Color Blocking Portrait

This isn't finished yet, but just wanted to show it in stages.
So far I'm happy. After I took this photo I added copper accents to her hair with a Cedar Canyon Paintstik. The photo I went from is below. The one thing I did forget to do was flip the image prior to printing the pattern, but it's no biggie on this one.
I learned how to do this from the Maria Elkins DVD, Making Faces.
This was just a test and I didn't put the time I should have into my fabric selection. Got these fat quarters when they were on sale for 79 cents. I'll take a little more time with the fabric selection next time. I didn't have much fraying thou even with the cheeper fabric. It was so interesting to see how this developed charter as I put the 4 fabrics together.

Tuesday, November 10

Getting A Few Things Finished - Finally

Sometimes when I start a project I don't see a clear ending. These projects just get set aside until it's clear to me how they need to be completed. Here are 3 of those projects. The little brown tapestry bag here started out fine till I discovered I didn't have enough fabric to make the handle match. I was just sure I had 2 of these remnants. I didn't think I wanted a different fabric for the handle so I set it aside. Later I remembered this leather "look" fabric I had and wondered if it would make a good handle. I think it worked out well.

This jean jacket embellishment started out with the fabric pinned to the jacket and hung out on the dress form for about a month. Then I decided I wanted to do the front part all by hand. Crazy me I hate hand work. But it just seemed it needed to be done that way. I make my patterns for cutting my fabric with tracing paper. I place it over the garment and draw the shape and then refine when cutting the pattern out. It works real well. Since I plan on making several of these jackets I just tuck the tracing paper pattern away and can use it again.

This close up shows the stitching I did in the light blue area that is a "stab" at sashiko stitching. I also added some bead work to her hair.

Now this little bag had been on hold for almost a year. I started it with good intentions and just lost my momentum. It's all hand done. The ribbon and fringe beads were sewn on bit by bit and the fabric on the back of the purse is one section. The sides were hand dyed to match the ribbon. I like the way it turned out. It did take a long time, but worth the effort.

Now that all these ghosts are finished I can move on to my next fun thing. I've also finished my swaps for this month and will get those in the mail today. The themes were Christmas which were so much fun to do. It's not like I've completed all my UFOs I still have a quilt with no binding lurking up in the play room. Closing in on the UFOs is an never ending process. I'm going to try to start 2010 with the grand plan of only working on 2 large projects at a time. We'll see how that works out...

Still awaiting the Baby Lock Sashiko machine. They are on back order. Sure hope it gets here by the Holidays - what a present that will be. Gee Baby Lock how could you think that machine wouldn't be popular?

Friday, November 6

No Sewing This Week

I've been very down in the dumps due to my dear friend Auggie, my little dog being sick. He's been in the baby hospital. The vet isn't sure why he's not getting better. It's hard to think of much else other than him being sad and away from home. I just want him well and back with us.

Sunday, November 1

Back From Our Trip To Gatlinburg

On Tuesday Paula and I headed out for Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg for 5 wonderful days of fun. Paula was there on business, and had to be in meetings for 2 and a half days. I went shopping while she was in her meetings and then after they were over we both hit the trail looking for good deals and of course quilt shops. From what I can see there are only 2 shops in the area. The one near Pigeon Forge which is in Sevierville, we'd both been to before and it's a really nice shop called The Cherry Pit. We found lots of very tempting fabrics and Paula got 2 patterns that are oh so cute. Can't wait to see them when she gets them completed. One was a beautiful Christmas Quilt which she is thinking she might do in blue's.

The other quilt shop we went to was on the Arts and Crafts Trail. This is an 8 mile loop just covered with small shops mostly run by the crafts persons to sell there arts & crafts. These small shops serve as their studio too. You can find pretty much anything alone this route. One of our first stops was at Apple Annie's, run by a husband & wife team it was wonderful little shop filled with home made potpourri, soaps and many hand sewn items. Paula got a beautiful pumpkin made from an old 30's quilt. The husband makes very nice frames and I got one complete with double matt. It will be perfect for a photo of my grand parents. There are 2 openings in the matt and the 2nd one will be for the invitation for their 60th wedding anniversary. The photo was of them cutting their cake. I can't wait to put it all together.

We continued on our way not knowing what we would find and just stumbled upon a quilt shop called Mountain Stitches. Susan the owner has a fantastic eye for combining fabrics and her bundles she's put together were eye candy. Must admit several have come home with me. We must have looked at every single item in her shop. I did get a new tool there that I will be using very soon. It's a CD by Bear Paw Productions called Triangulations. It's the no worry method for doing Half Square and Quarter Square blocks. It's a PDF file with printable (fits 8.5 x 11) patterns that you just sew over and then cut apart. Couldn't be any easier.

After all the shopping we were getting pretty hungry and had planned on having dinner at the Old Mill Restaurant. I was stunned with how big this place was. The portions we were served were huge too.

Old Mill Restaurant

Little Pigeon River

Fat Quarter Rack in the Mountain Stitches shop. Paula and I were thinking we need to try and make one of these. Just a wonderful idea and you would be able to see all your fabrics at one glance. Mine are now in bins and this would be so much better.

Well I have a good bit of fabric to put away. Of course I have to look at it all again before putting it away.

I also spent about 2 hours in the Scrap booking Super store in Pigeon Forge and got a lot of things for my mixed media. I also got a beautiful Jim Shore piece at the Christmas Shop there and already have it displayed in my secretary in the living room. It's beautiful. I just love his work.

Well much to do today. We're hooking up with my sister and her husband for his birthday at PF Changs to have dinner. Great food again tonight.

One sad note. I just got off the phone with Paula and she had put her 30's quilted pumpkin on a shelf and her dog got it and it's now it's in shreds. She was very sad. Bad dog! He was scolded and put outside.