Thursday, May 31

A Fun Swap

I've joined a fun swap on Quilt With Us. It's a fall swap so I have a little bit of time. I love fall so this is perfect for me. We are creating a 12" x 12" art quilt using a 5" section of fabric from our swap partner. Mine came last week and it's beautiful. The quilt needs to portray fall, but also needs a poem or some such to go along with it. That is all figured out. My sketch is done and now all I have to do is create the pattern. I'll do that on the computer of course. The the fun begins with fabric selections - including my beautiful fabric from my swap partner. I just can't wait to start on this. That's great cause my quilting has all but come to a stand still over the last few months. Short of taking some free motion classes my machine is very lonely. I am ashamed to say I've still not cut out the baby quilt that I'd hoped the top would be half done by now. Work outside the home has picked up which is good and bad. You want the money but then you have no time. 
I did have the day off yesterday thou and went to the zoo again. I've just fallen in love with it. We took in the Dino Treck yesterday which was so cool. They have these life size automated dinos. 


This scene had mixed reviews from some of the kids. 
There were a few ohhh cool and some kids just
stood close by mom wide eyed. 

This one was quite huge. I might have come to his knee. 
He would turn his head and roar as you walked by. 

And I can't go to the zoo with out stopping by and 
seeing my favorite animal there. 

Thursday, May 24

Not Enough Time to Play

Well this has been a week full of work - say that like Maynard - Wooorrrrkkkk - well yuck. No play time to speak of. So with the sewing machine siting alone and the workbench cluttered but nothing being produced I have a lull in my creativity. That's not to say I don't think about it thou. So some sketches have been done and some planning but no time to play. Remember what they say about all work and no play? Well it's true. I did get some experimenting done on Sunday thou with a new product for adding a patina to metal.
These are a Ranger product made just for the Vintaj metals. 
I have to say they are wonderful and work great!
Super fast drying and don't need a top coat or sealant. 
The glaze can be added to metals that you don't want to age 
or change color. I've got a test ring in copper that I've sealed
the inside and will wear it every day to see if it continues to 
not turn my finger green as copper will. So far so good. 


This is a Vintaj piece (not finished yet) that I coated with 2 of the greens to 
add a patina and then sanded off the high spots (120 grit). 
I then went back in and added some yellow alcohol ink to the high spots. 
These alcohol inks do need to be sealed. They are not water proof. 

Look how great this little scarab turned out. Looks like
he's been aged naturally. Not new out of the package. 

I've done a good bit of testing with the colors and they hold up
to getting wet, rubbing on textured surface, and just general
abuse that happens to your jewelry in day to day wear. 
I will be getting more colors very soon. 




Sunday, May 20

Sewing For Others


A plan had been put in place months ago for an on-going service project. After some discussion, it was decided our guild would adopt two projects to support. We will be making and donating NICU smocks for preemies and Booby Bolsters, which are soft pillows used by breast cancer patients while receiving chemotherapy as well as for post-op comfort and support. Stefanie our guild president got some great donations from The Quilting Squares (one of our great local quilt shops) and from Kelle Boyd of Ann Kelle Designs. So we had a great assortment of minky, quilter flannels and cottons. 
We all brought some food of course and set up stations for each member to do different tasks. I was assigned to cutting but with a sore shoulder soon swapped out with a friend to do the pillow stuffing. A good mindless job. The little NICU smocks are so precious. Here is a slightly blurry photo of Leah of Burgundy Buttons holding one of the little smocks. 






My friend Edna often gets me hooked on things. We call it creating Monsters - cause once we get started on something we can't stop. I had slowed down on doing my zen doodles until Edna showed me these round Mandalas. I just had to try this. So here are my first 2.

My dear friend Janice (from high school) was in town this weekend and we had a really good visit on Friday. Her daughter is expecting her first and I am planning a cute baby quilt. I had forgotten I had some really cute Ann Kelle fabric that will be perfect. So now I just need the perfect solid to mix in with these happy prints. 
Here is a quilt I made with some of her cute fabrics. 

Isn't her monkey fabric the cutest!


Wednesday, May 16

Whew finally a day off. Well I'm planning on sitting myself down at my machine today and having a day of fun. Need to get a new quilt started. I have picked out the pattern - one I've already done once. I need to get that fabric cut and hopefully get to sewing in a short time. I have promised myself not to get distracted by other projects. I want a new table runner for our coffee table in the living room and I hope to get the top finished today and be ready to quilt it on Sunday. 


I did finish up a necklace the other day I wanted to share. I had been wanting to try making a leaf from copper and this is my first try. I foresee many more of these in different shapes and textures. 

Now to go cut some fabric - it will be in civil war prints. 

Friday, May 11

A Really Fun Day

Today my sister and I went to the Nashville Zoo, it was my first trip there and I really enjoyed myself. We walked for over 3 hours and enjoyed the beautiful settings and animals. I'd not been to a zoo since I was a kid and this was sure a lot different. Here are a few things I saw today. 







The weather was perfect and I can't wait to go back again. 


Wednesday, May 9

A Few New Designs

Yesterday I shipped off the last Hunger Games jewelry I had on Etsy so I had to get my act in gear and get some items photographed this morning and on the site. I've been a bit lax here lately about getting these little things done. So it's a pretty day and the sun is shinning and good for clicking away.

Mockingjay pin on an old pocket watch part

A little bit of Steam Punk


#2 in the Dragon Scale Series

Wow I actually left one watch working and didn't take it apart!

I also have very sad news. A beautiful woman has passed from our world to 
the next. She is happy now and no longer in pain. 
Donna Marcum was one of our very gifted instructors at JoAnn. 
She passed away this past Saturday after a long battle with cancer. 
Donna was a very talented person and did some of the most
beautiful smocking you have ever seen. It was heirloom quality. 
She also taught knitting and jewelry making. 
She always had a smile on her face and never did I hear her
complain a bit. 
She will be missed by anyone who knew her. 
Bless you Donna and your family. 

Thursday, May 3

Converting Traditional to Modern

I have after a lot of thinking decided to do what some will think is an evil thing. I am going to cut these old Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks and create a modern quilt. When I first purchased these beautiful blocks at an estate sale I had plans of assembling them in the traditional method - by hand. It would be beautiful of course, but it just wouldn't be me. So after a lot of thinking they will be trimmed into squares and pieced into a quilt. I've not drawn up the pattern yet but would like 2 different size blocks. 

 Yesterday I wanted to play around with some metal and created this bracelet. The small sections of aluminum were cut into odd shapes and only hammered on the edges. It gave them a somewhat arrowhead look which I liked. The center section has a cupped section of embossed copper holding a beautiful natural stone bead. The patina and texture of each section of the bracelet is different. I also used 3 different methods of cold connections for adding the embellishments. I will be teaching this in a class on June 30th. 


Have a creative day!