Friday, January 29

Wonderful Evening

Last night I taught a class at my local Joann on poly clay buttons. I only had one person in the class and we had so much fun. It turned out my "student" knew as much about clay as I did. So we ended up sharing techniques with each other and just played with clay. The class is normally for folks who have never used clay before and 1/2 the class is beginner how to's. But we cut right to the chase and got into making some really pretty buttons, beads and jewelry components.

Here in the south we just panic when we hear the word SNOW. So yesterday the weather folks started the fear with talk of a big storm and I'm sure the local stores were packed with everyone picking up the all important shut in foods (bread & milk are the standards). I was expecting the ground to be covered in white when I got up, but alas there was none. But now 3 hours later it's snowing away. I got a call from the art director saying "no don't come in I'll e-mail you your work" and I of course said great. I really don't like driving in the snow and have a strong memory of getting trapped at work several years ago and didn't want a repeat of that.

I have clay to cure from last night and of course play time on the Sashiko is in the plans for today. Maybe a big pot of chili too. So just like when I was in high school snow days are a wonderful thing.

Tuesday, January 26

New Kid On The Block

Well after a long wait it's here. The Sashiko. It's out of the box and ready to play with. I got this machine on a special deal they had and got tons of free stuff with it. I'm so happy it's finally here. So I guess you know what I'll be doing tonight. I've got several small fabric sections with batting ready to play with and try out the stitching.

This is some of the free goodies I got with the machine. A beautiful box of Madera thread, a good selection of stencils, a chalk stamper, ruler, marking pen/pencil, light box and the Plexiglas side table. Nice tote came with it too.

In my excitement I put the Pfaff on the floor which my husband commented on he thought he'd never see that. I often call the Pfaff the queen. She is just resting thou. I did notice that from this photo she needs to be cleaned.

I was getting ready to watch the DVD that came with the machine, but was sad to find out it's only formatted for a PC. Huge mistake on Baby Lock's part if you ask me. I watched the DVD about my Pfaff on the Mac with no problems.

Well I have lots to play with and the evening will fly by I'm sure. More latter.

Monday, January 25

Best Phone Call Ever

And what was it? Well it was Sally Cheney's calling to say your Sashiko Machine is here! Oh joy. It seems like it has been ages since I put down that first payment. But after many months now it is here. Just can't wait to go get it. Will put together several small quilt sandwiches tonight to have ready for much playing when I get it home. I'm so excited. I'll post the new kid's photos tomorrow.

Monday, January 18

A Fun Day With New Adventures

Today I had a new adventure I've not done in many years, silkscreening. This has changed so much since I've last done this. Now you can get a small home unit to do silkscreening at home. It's called HUDO. My friend Stefanie is very talented and tries many different things with no fear so this was a natural for her. She called me to come over and be her helper. Her Hudo is brand new and she had never used it till today. It was fun. We printed about 40 aprons and as many tote bags.

After we had the screen burned and ready to go we stopped and Stefanie took me to lunch at a near by very sweet little restaurat called Barbara's. You would never know this was a restaurant from the outside. Their sign on the street is tiny and you can miss it in a blink. But the food was wonderful. It's southern home cooking and very yummy. So we had a great lunch and on our way back to her house we passed this little house that said Chocolate Shop?

I asked her about it and she said she had never been there. I said today is the day and swished into the parking lot. When we opened the door the smell of chocolate was everywhere and sent my senses into over drive. We got a small box to sample some of their selection. These are all hand made from the owner's daughter's recipes. This was the little selection we tried out.

Then back to work and after a little adjustment and getting used to the hudo machine, we were cranking out aprons and tote bags at a pretty good pace. We got all of them done and they were laying everywhere in Stefanie's dining room and even oozed into her living room. They pretty much air dry in a short time and then need to be heat set. From what Stef said white is the hardest color to print, but we had pretty good luck with it on the dark navy fabrics.
I'm wondering now how this would work on fabrics for fiber art. Maybe a nice hand dyed fabric and then print a design on it? hum...has many possibilities. We plan on doing this again when we're not in such a rush and can be a little more creative with it. She is already planning on a 3 color design for her next printing session. It was a fun day.

Saturday, January 16

Wii Had A Very Good Day

Celebrating Angel's birthday today was much fun as usual. We had lunch at her house and she made baked ziti which was wonderful, with a good salad and bread sticks. Oh she loved her apron I made her by the way. I also got her a cake, from our favorite bakery Sweet & Sassy which was just wonderful. I brought some of that home with me, well I brought some of the ziti home too. After eating we played with their wii. I'd never done this and it was a lot of fun. We bowled and played ping pong and shot archery. I did stink at the ping pong. My reaction time needs some work. But it was fun even when I shot one of my arrows into a mountain.

If you remember the Let them Eat Cake block I made for a swap here are the accessories that will go with that to it's new home. These little buttons are poly clay and are about an inch wide.

While I had the clay out I made a few more buttons and beads with the colors I had out. It always seems to be as easy to make 10 as 2. See the one on the lower left is a cup cake.

Sunday, January 10

Let Them Eat Cake

I just finished the block for the chocolate block swap. This is a 12 x 12 block. It was fun to make and I used several techniques. The added color was done with fabric markers, regular markers, and water color pencils. I really like the way the water color pencils work on fabric. You just have to watch how much water gets on the fabric and you might want to pre wash the fabric too. It's fun to experiment with. I'm not real happy with my cake slice. It's too stiff. Each little quilt is a learning experience thou and I'll know better next time.

So now on to the next quilt on my to do list. Hopefully I'll be getting that started next week. The sketch is done and I just need to make my pattern. Several parts of this next small quilt aren't too clear in my mind, but I normally figure that out while making the pattern. At least I hope so. It needs to be done by the end of Feb.

Friday, January 8

Think Chocolate

This is perfect sewing weather, just too cold to do anything that evolves going out of the house. I did venture out yesterday thou just as it was starting to snow and see the babies reaction to the weather. Our little female charged off into the yard and our male just looked for a few min. and it made me wonder what was going threw that little mind. My husband said not much.

I made my pattern for one of my swaps this morning. This one is for a wonderful on line group, Love Of Art Quilts on the Quilt With Us site. The theme is chocolate. Something that is dear to my heart. When possible I use photos to work up designs and this one was easy to do with my morning coffee and a paper cake.

Now with all the perspective clear I can use this to do a quick sketch.

Then I got into the fun part of cutting the fabrics and now have them in place and ready to start some sewing. Did a little painting on the coffee cup and fork. They needed some added depth. More will be added after I do some of the quilting.

But for today this is what I got done. I have beads selected and just need to select my thread. I just had to get my signature cup of coffee into this block. Oh it's 12" x 12". Getting time to come up with an answer for the age old question - What's for dinner?

Thursday, January 7

Getting Off The New Year With A Bang

I've got a lot on my cutting table needing attention. I've committed myself to 2 swaps and a contest entry all needing to be done by the end of Feb. Yikes what was I thinking. Before I can get started on those things tho I need to finish the top of a small quilt I've started. It's a D9P and is about 1/2 done. I got 2 of these pre cut packages of fabric at JoAnns for just $3 ea and even thou they aren't my style so much I felt I just needed to get them - just too cheep to pass up. So I figured they would make a good D9P and off I went. I'm trying to get several tops made so I'll have them ready when my Sashiko gets here. It seems Baby lock is way into back orders at the present time. So I wait, and wait... I did go by the store on Tuesday and found out there is only one more person in front of me in the line of people waiting for their machines so I shouldn't have too much longer to tap my little impatient foot.

Also while I was out getting my oil changed on Tuesday I took my sketchbook and worked up the designs for the swaps and contest entry. With JoAnn being across the street from the dealership I just slipped over there and selected my fabrics. This first group is for a small 12 x 12 quilt for the contest entry - more to come later on that.

These 2 yummy browns are for one of the swaps - the theme being Chocolate, something near and dear to my heart.

Living in the South you have an obligation when the weather man mentions SNOW and that is to rush to the store and buy the staples and then hold up in the house like it's the end of the world. So here I sit waiting for the huge 1"-2" we "may" get today. Normally it only snows about 1/2 of what they predict, but on the off chance they are right, no need going out. You never truly develop skills for driving in the snow here due to our lack of the beautiful white stuff. The last time we had a big snow thou I got trapped at work and vowed that would never happen again. I mean of all places to be stuck So today just to be on the safe side, at home I'll stay.