Saturday, August 30, 2008

Do One Thing Every Day

I found this chart during a trip in Indiana. It was an obscure needlework shop found by accident while heading to a hobby shop. (Obviously this was a trip where either I went and was bored, or stayed behind, alone, and bored.) I ran in, while a car full of men and Natalie waited. I found this in the bargain bin and aside from the whimsical cat, I was drawn to the statement, "Do One Thing Every Day That Makes You Happy." I put it in the "do real soon" bin and set about finding the specialty threads. The whole time I worked on this it made me smile and reminded me of what I'm really all about. I am a creative person. I am an artist. I need art to survive or I am miserable. Literally. If life gets in the way and I can't work on something, I am miserable, even venturing into the witch (with a b) arena.

In my former life I was creative through writing, not because I didn't like art but because I didn't think I was very good at. So, I became a spin doctor if you will. Someone who made the mundane sound exciting, someone who took the bad and made it sound quite refreshing, someone who took a person of questionable character and made him sound like a lovable, ever-so-lucky, down-to-earth everyone will love him kind of guy. I also wrote poetry, still do actually, but not in the same proliferation. It filled a hole in me that I didn't know was there. Until I found quilting.

Now, this little piece is something I can see everyday and remind me of what I am and want to be. I have morphed so to speak in the last few months. I'm venturing out and doing things I'm afraid of and even thinking long term. I feel empowered because every day I do one thing that makes me happy.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Doll

I've finally got caught up on my guild responsibilities and have had a little fun (with rust). But I wanted to show a work in progress. She is my next doll. She hasn't told me her name yet.

She is the from Patti Culea's first book, Creative Cloth Doll Making (as was my first doll -- see May 25, 2008 entry). I only showed her head, as to not ruin the surprise. She needs a little more makeup and I have to finish her hair. The next two photos are of her skirt. The beadwork and ribbon embroidery mimic the design on the fabric I'm using for her pashmina. It was originally going to be a jacket but I'm so proud of her outfit that I hate to cover it up. I'm hoping to have her finished for my next doll club meeting on Sept. 11, so stay tuned for the unveiling.


Rust Dyeing

Several artists on the Quiltart list and my friend Susan have done rust dyeing with some really great results. So I asked Jason to find me rusty things in the garage. He graciously accepted this task without asking too many questions. With the first piece, I wrapped the vinegar soaked fabric around very large washers and placed it in a plastic bag.
The second piece I shoved in a large jar and put smaller objects in it. I pushed the fabric and rusty items around with a spoon handle and sealed the jar. I let them both sit for about 24 hours.
I was very happy with my results and wanted to see what would happen if I overdyed. Now not wanting to mix up Procion I used some diluted Jacquard Dye-na-flow on the pink one (this, of course, is Natalie's favorite because it is pink).
The second one I used diluted Tsukineiko ink and it's a little more subtle. Since this one had more prominent rusted images I wasn't really concerned about the color.

I haven't decided what I'm doing with them yet but it should a lot of fun deciding.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Cuddle Quilt, Natalie and Butterflies

I'm in finish mode right now. This is a Cuddle Quilt for Charlotte Guild that I can't remember when I started, I loaded it on the longarm in the spring, Mom got tired of looking at it and quilted it for me, I bought the binding fabric a while ago and I finally got around to finishing it. It's terrible what happens when you are less then enthused about a project. That happened with some other guild items that I'm also finishing. Anyway, I'm also working on a doll. She's coming along quite nicely. I keep a list of UFO's (unfinished objects) and when it makes me cringe is when I guess I get to finishing.

I can't believe the summer is coming to an end but I am ready for school to start again. Natalie has grown so much and is 3 going on 13. She really enjoyed the pool and playing outside. She is excited about school though. Her teacher made a home visit and it's all she could talk about.

And I've gotten some really great photos in the garden. It is amazing what Mother nature has brought us this summer.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

First (completed) Art Quilt

First let me say that the idea for this piece struck me in the spring. I sketched and wrote details in a journal (before I took the online class) and when I found the right background fabric in May I started it. I used Shiva paintstick to rub a circular design on the background. I then hand appliqued the circles. The project then came to a stand still. I didn't know where to go next. I had bought the dragonfly button for this but could not decide if I wanted to use it or not.
Well, I did. But then it was a while until I finished it because there was just something I wasn't happy with. The three embellished circles were not in the original sketch and that may be what threw me off. I'd appreciate any comments and/or criticism.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bead Embroidered Cuff Bracelet

This is a close-up shot of the bracelet. I enrolled in an on-line class on Joggles to make this bracelet. Now unlike the Studio Journals class, this one was more follow the directions provided (which were very good) and make the bracelet without any teacher interaction. I've really been enjoying beading. I've used it to accent, as well as to stand on it's own.
Now, I did mess up the measurements but it all worked out okay. It is supposed to close with snaps but like I said, I messed up, so hook-n-eye it is. It is also supposed to be beaded all the way around. Chalk it up to impatience but also, I know how I am and I didn't want to take the risk of what would happen to the beads on the bottom. I only had one casualty while finishing it and glue-willing, it will hold.
Now I know I talk about my cats too much, but Harley really is a good sport. I was trying to tempt the fat two-some into some sort of activity but Natalie thought it looked better as a scarf. I swear she is going to try to dress him one of these days and depending on his mood he just might let her.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

More Critters

This morning we found this beautiful specimen on the side of the house. It is a luna moth (info courtesy of Incomparison of the site photos and my moth, he is missing his tail wings. We had one on the house several weeks ago and I would say it is the same one but the site also says they don't live very long, so it must be another.
This little critter got stuck in the garage. It's a hummingbird.

This happens several times during the summer. I don't know if they are attracted to the white walls or the shade. We hear a simultaneous squeaking and buzzing noise, and there is a tiny bird struggling to get out by only going up. They respond nicely to the broom and off they go.
I must add that this past weekend Cathy, Susan and I went to the quilt show in Asheville. It was wonderful as always and we had a really good time. We made quite a day of it, 13 1/2 hours from start to finish.
And Monday we made a trip to Carowinds. Hard to believe the summer is almost over. We're planning our last trip this Monday before the pool closes on the 17th. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Petal Purse

Let me start by saying I know I need another bag like I need a hole in my head but oh, well. So every now and then, I get overwhelmed with projects. I don't how to finish something or I'm not happy with it and then I get stagnant. So I turn to something functional that I can finish quickly and have that feeling of satisfaction. Sometimes it's cross stitch or a small piece and other times it's a bag. This is my friend Susan's Petal Purse pattern.
It's a nice big bag that I'm taking to the Asheville Quilt Show tomorrow. It has plenty of room for my stuff and anything I may buy. And I've made the strap just long enough to wear messenger style.
The highlight of the piece is it's beaded button. I love making these!! This bag also gave me a chance to practice freestyle machine quilting so it was an added benefit.