Sunday, October 01, 2006

Saw the Fall tour of Rent Last night!

And, it was so good. If you're not familiar with the musical Rent, you might want to check out this link

I had not planned to go, but got a call from friends at the last minute with and extra ticket - How could I pass that up?

Declan Bennett, who played Roger, was AMAZING. He is an awesome singer/actor. I swear there were moments during the show where I literally forgot where I was - as I was so immersed in the performances. Another stand out, in my opinion, was Krystal Brown who played Mimi. They were both amazing, as was Tracy McDowell as Maureen. The entire cast was great, but those 3 were probably my favorites.

Well, it's back to work (oh, the joy) tomorrow. So, I guess, I should get to bed and get some rest tonight! :-)

Friday, September 29, 2006

The pictures I promised, several posts back!

Front of Altered Book (closed):

Altered Book (open):

Several of the pages inside Altered book:

Pieced top for wallhanging:

I can't post pictures :(

Well - I intended to post pictures with my last post, but Blogger has other ideas and isn't letting me post anything - weird.

Anyway - I'll try to post pictures at another time!! :-)

Altered book - fabric cover and the beginnings of a wall hanging

So - I have been wanting to do an altered book for a while - finally, within the last few months, I started one (still isn't finished, but it is started). I thought of collaging the outside cover, but decided - instead - to do a fabric cover. This book has no particular rhyme or reason (i.e. there is no theme) - just a hodge podge of things that I wanted to include. It is so fun to do these altered books - much more so that scrapbooking (which I also enjoy). I thought that I'd blog a few pictures of my not yet finished altered book. The cover was done with hand dyed fabrics and one print fabric. I didn't dye the multi colored fabric, but I did dye the black fabric. The pictures, unfortunately, are not that great - but, I think that you'll get the idea of the book anyway. I've taken pictures of the outside with the book open and closed, as well as a few shots of some of the altering inside the book.

Now, the wallhanging - you may remember from my last blog that I mentioned that I was working on a wall hanging. This is that wallhanging - notice any similarities between this wall hanging and the fabric book cover? lol Obviously, I'm loving these fabrics and the combinations of these fabrics. So far, for the wall hanging, all I've done is piece it (and I'm not certain if I'm done with that or if I want to add an additional border... thoughts? comments? suggestions? lol). As I have mentioned before, I'm a horrible quilter (pure lack of experience), so I'm always looking at the pieced top (or whatever - not sure if you'd call it a top when it is a small wall hanging - would you? I guess you would - anyway, I digress.....) for a LONG while before I do any quilting - I'm always worried that I'm going to screw it up!

Well - aside from any 'crafty' endeavors, I may be changing jobs. I like my current job okay - but, I don't feel like I'm 'going' anywhere there - know what I mean? Sadly, I feel 'trapped' in my current position because I do a great job in that position (so, it makes business sense to keep me there). I have the opportunity to go to work for the woman who has been such a mentor to me over my professional life. She was the first person that hired me out of college and the happiest days of my professional life were spent working for her. I'm looking at a pay increase, regaining years of service with this company, flexibility within my job, professional growth - and most importantly - working with the woman that I admire most in my chosen field. I can't imagine WHY I won't go. I'm still thinking about it all ..... but, my heart (as if you should use your heart to make a decision such as this) is telling me to that I should totally change jobs. It's just so hard to think of leaving my friends and co-workers at my current job. Ahhhh, the things to think about! I took today off from work just to have some 'me' time that I could devote to doing some projects and THINKING! I'm sure that I'll make the right decision - It's just difficult!

Monday, September 04, 2006

It's a mad, mad world (at least in my world).

I've been away for so long that I'm sure you've all forgotten about me..... lol. I swear, summers are wonderful - but, oh so busy! Between maintaining a normal full time job, carting kids to and fro, planning summer vacations, etc. - I think that I'll be recovering until Christmas.

We had a glorious summer, however - so I will commence the complaining. I have no right to complain. It's been a very nice summer. In some ways, I'm sad that it is over - but, in other ways, I am ready for the fall.

Due to the busy summer - I've had very little time to do any real creating. I hope that I'll pick back up with some of it soon, though. :(

Actually, I've been working on a wall hanging tonight - just piecing the top, really. But, at least it is SOMETHING! I'm looking forward to working on it more - I think that it will be a few days before I have time to devote to it.

In addition to the wall hanging that I've been working on, I've also been working on an altered book - I love doing it. I've been meaning to work on one for a while, but had not taken the plunge (aside from picking up some books at the thrift store... lol). I've really been enjoying it. I've also made a pseudo-plaque to display a favorite picture of me and my oldest daughter. This is what it looks like. I think that it turned out pretty cute. I made it from foam core, which I decorated (painted and stamped). I then cut glass to the size of the picture, wrapped it in copper tape (picture and glass) an attached it to the 'tile.' I think it turned out cute.

Well, that is all I have for now - but, for anyone who might still be looking at my blog (probably no one... lol), I wanted to let you know that I'm still alive and well (if not well rested.....).


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I'm still alive, I promise! ;-)

I have gotten several e-mails asking did I fall off the face of the earth (given how long it has been since my last blog). I assure you, my feet are still firmly planted on the earth. ;-)

I've been busy, busy, busy - with a sick Grandmother and with getting school finished for my daughter.

My Grandmother has a heart condition. Sadly, at her age, surgery is not advisable - so medication is the only option. Fortunately, my Grandmother is one spunky lady and has a lot of fight in her!! I still say that she is likely to outlive me! It's been a long week, but a wonderful week. Long because of the hours spend at her bedside in the hospital - but, wonderful in that I had that opportunity with her. I know that I'm blessed with every minute that I have with her - even if it is in a hospital! Luckily, she was able to leave the hospital today. I know she is happy to be home!

Sarah is finishing K-5 next week. Only the rest of this week and 2 half days next week. Then, it is summer time for her! As is normally the case at the end of the school year - much is going on to keep us all busy! I went with Sarah today on a field trip to a local farm. It was a blast. My baby milked a goat! What a hoot! :) She has another field trip on Friday for being in the 100 book club at school (one must read at least 100 books during the school year to be in the club - she read around 200). She gets to go to Chuck-E-Cheese. Not my idea of fun, but to a 5 year old, I guess it is close to nirvana.

I did get to attend my quilting class on the 5th and I had a blast. It was wonderful to have such a great teacher. Two things came out of my class - 1) I can free motion quilt half way decent, I just need to practice (yes, many of you have told me the same!) and 2) I want a new sewing machine! I think that I'm far more likely to get the practice at free motion quilting than I am to get a new machine anytime soon. But, in the even that my numbers come up in the lottery drawing tonight - what do you recommend? lol There were tons of Berninas in the class, all of which ran like a dream! I'll be 'test driving' many a model before I put down my $$, I'm sure. Plus, I still need to convince my hubby that I NEED a new machine. Currently there are 4 machines in my sewing room (but, to be fair - one is my daughter's and one is a serger (and, while I recognize the difference between my serger and my sewing machines, I'm not sure that my husband does).

With all that has been going on lately around here, I've not had much time to create anything. I did, however, make 'monsters' for my daughters (and, at their request, for my husband and mother in law). I'll try to post a picture of the monsters in my next blog. I'm too lazy and tired to look for the camera right now.

Speaking of tired ....... til next time..........

Monday, May 01, 2006

Blogger is getting on my nerves!!!!!!

I had a long blog, ready to post and Blogger just went crazy on me....... I doubt that I'll remember what all I had written. I doubt that it was that important anyway, but still... it's annoying.. Let me TRY to remember.....

I had included a comment about a good friend of mine who lost her Dad this week. It's just breaking my heart to see her hurting so. I know, from losing my own Dad, that there is nothing that I can do to make her 'feel' better. I just hope to have her know that I'm there if she needs me!

I also included my current disdain for corporate America. I've come to the conclusion that I'm not cut out for corporate America. Not that I'm in any position to do anything about it financially. I mean, we've come to rely on the money that I make - so I can't just NOT make it. I'm not sure why I am not cut out for it. It's either a) I'm too much of a non-conformist, b) I'm too stubborn or c) a combination of both a and b. I'm thinking that (c) is the likely scenario. I want to be able be ME. Not some person who has to dress a certain way, act a certain way - basically, be something that I'm not. But, alas, as long as I wish to draw my pay check (and the mortgage company, oddly enough, insists that I continue along that path) - corporate America and all of it's restrictions/rules/idiotic rules and regulations is my current cross to bear. Oh well... not since whining over it. After all, I'll need to get to bed pretty soon, so I can be ready to go to a job that I don't want to in the morning.

And, for the fun stuff ... I haven't really felt much like making anything the last week. I did, however, make a fabric postcard. I intend to send this one to my friend. I hope that the bright colors of the hand dyed fabric will at least make her smile, if only for a moment. I hope that she'll like it.

Oh ... the best part ... I'm going to be taking a machine quilting class - FINALLY! I'm really looking forward to it. I am taking Friday off, in order to attend the class. I can't wait. I did get Harriet Hargrave's book (Heirloom Machine Quilting) that DebH and Deb recommended. It's a great read. I can't wait until I can actually put some of it to use. I hope that the information that I'm getting from the book, will be a great compliment to the class that I'm taking. I'm really excited about the class.

Hopefully, I'll find some time this week to do something creative. I have no idea what. All I've done, other than the small postcard, is sketch ... I guess I've just been lazy. Maybe I'll have more energy (and inspiration) this week... Surely, this week will be a good week, right?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sarah has 'goo' and Mama has a brand new bag...

Well - it took us a few days, but we finally got around to making the 'goo' or 'slime' today. Sarah had a blast. It actually worked out better that she and I make it today after school (before her baby sister got home), as it was quite a mess. I can imagine that it would have been an even bigger mess with a three year old's hands in it. We did, however, save it in a jar - so that we can let Hannah play with it at some point. I think that Sarah thought that it was the 'coolest' stuff she'd ever seen. She wasn't happy when I finally told her that we had to go inside and she couldn't play with it any longer. I mean, honestly, we had to eat... ;-)

Sarah had her fun - and I had mine. I decided, on a whim - as I'm prone to do, that I wanted to make myself a simple little bag. So, I had some batik fabric that I love (it has the cutest little butterflies all over it) - and I decided to use it to make the bag. I used some of the fabric that I dyed for the lining. Luckily, I had some cotton batting already cut nearly to size, so I didn't have to open a new bag of batting (which I found on sale for 50% off at Hobby Lobby last week - YAY. I like to use the Hobb's Heirloom Premium cotton batting - at 50% off, I stocked up for a bit!!). It's nothing fancy, but since it's all that I've made in the last week, I thought that I'd share it.

Actually, my bag isn't all that I made in the last week. I forgot. I made a pendant/pin (haven't quite decided which it will be). It was an experiment. I painted (two colors of Lumiere paint) Timetex, zapped it with my heat gun (not sure if that is a good idea or not - it makes a nice effect, but it is kind of stinky) and then beaded it - and lined the back with felt. It's cute. I think that I'm going to add both a bale on the back and a pin back, so I can use it as either a pin or pendant - I think that I have some of those combination backs somewhere.

I really need to spend some time doing some spring cleaning ... how am I going to motivate myself? Any ideas on how to do that would be GREATLY appreciated (both by me and my husband). Oh well, tomorrow is another day .... as they say ....

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Dye-Na-Flow quilted project...

Okay - so I wanted the try the Dye-Na-Flow that I bought, but I didn't really know what I wanted to do with it. I decided to wet a smallish piece of fabric and just 'drop' the paint/dye onto the fabric, creating a sort of tie-dyed effect. I was pleased with how it turned out.

Then I had to decide WHAT to do with that piece of fabric. I had been wanting, for some time now, to make a case for my Dell DJ (which they no longer make, by the way - but, I love mine!). I'm guessing that they quit making it because it couldn't really compete with the iPod - I do love my DJ though! Hope nothing happens to it, since I know can't replace it.

Now - back to the real sharing .... I thought that since I had a smaller piece of fabric, maybe this was my opportunity to make a carrying case for my DJ. I decided to keep it simple and just do a bit of quilting and close it off using a simple button and a string to wrap around the button. The case is a bit larger than the DJ itself, as I like to carry my ear buds with it, so I needed the extra room. This is what I came up with. I think that it came out pretty well - it is at least fun.

I'm thinking of attending an art show on Saturday. It is called Artisphere and is held in Greenville, SC. I spoke with one of the coordinators and she indicated that there would be some fiber artists displaying their work there, so I think that I'll try to make it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Dye-Na-Flow, slime and UFOs

Today, while purchasing a gallon of glue (more on that later), I bought the Dye-Na-Flow Exciter set. I just knew that I had to have them .... and now that I do, I'm wondering how the heck I'm supposed to use them? It's times like this that I hate that I'm a 'lone' fabric 'artist' (not that I see myself as an artist, mind you -but, what else can I call myself? I don't really like fabric 'crafter' ... whatever - moving on....) - meaning that I have no one locally with whom to discuss fabric creations/techniques/ideas with. All that being said - and I know you know what is coming next - I need YOUR help! Tell me how YOU use Dye-Na-Flow!

Now - on to the glue. Sarah, my 5 1/2 year old, has this 'project' book that she's been reading and she has found several 'recipes' that she wants to make. Wait until you hear the yummy concoctions that we'll be preparing this weekend. We'll start with colored silly putty! And, for good measure, we'll make slime. Yes, slime! Doesn't it sound exciting? Actually, I think it will be lots of fun! I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would ever have occasion to purchase and entire gallon of glue. I guess we will be set for a while for glue! Luckily, with two girls that love making things - I'm sure we'll use it!

I also bought a few more dyes today. Hopefully, I'll find some time to dye some more fabrics this weekend, as well. I have 6 yards of fabric waiting to be dyed. I am not dyeing nearly the volume as some people, but I'm just starting. Tommy has given me some wonderful tips - I hope to use some of them this weekend.

I still have two quilts to do the quilting on. I need to work on that this weekend as well. Actually, I have 3 - I have a crazy quilt that I did some time ago, featuring a picture of my daughter. I'll have to take a picture of it and post it sometime.

It's sad, really, that I have so many unfinished projects. Certainly, I am not the only one, right? Please tell me that you, too, have MANY unfinished projects!! It might be easier to complete projects if I didn't stay on here reading so many blogs! I have a few that I simply MUST read each day, lest my day feel incomplete! Speaking of ... I have a couple more to go before bedtime!

Monday, April 17, 2006

School lunches and a tribute to my 10 year anniversary

Today was a good day. :-)

The best part of the day was that I took off at lunchtime to go to the primary school to have lunch with my daughter, Sarah. It always takes me back to my childhood when I have lunch with her. I mean, how often do you - as an adult - eat off of 'trays', sit at long tables on tiny seats and drink chocolate milk from a carton? Well, for me, it is now several times a month. I like to go and have lunch with her when I can (which, is only on Mondays - as the rest of the week I work an hour away - luckily, I work from home on Mondays). Sometimes, I even eat breakfast at her school with her - in fact, I will be doing that on Thursday. We'll be having pancake pups. I'm sure you're wondering to yourself what a pancake pup is ... well, it is a sausage wrapped with a pancake on a stick (think corndog - only with sausage and pancakes). You don't see stuff like that on Food Network ..... ;-) It should be fun, though! I know it means a lot to her when I'm able to go - so I want to go as often as I can!

And, the tribute to my 10 year anniversary part ... My 10 year anniversary was last November. To celebrate, Michael - my husband, took me back to the same bed and breakfast where we honeymooned. We've been there several times since we married - it is our intent to stay in every room they have before it is all said and done. But, I digress.... back to the tribute. While we were there, we went to a quilt shop and I bought some wonderful black and white fabric, as well as some funky red fabric. I decided yesterday to combine that with some of the black hand-dyed fabric that I did, to create a small wall sized quilt. The quilt, because I used fabrics from that trip (mostly), is meant to commemorate our 10 year anniversary. All I have left to do is to decide if I'm going to block the quilt and attach a sleeve. I may not block it and just be 'okay' with the slight non-squareness. That is a discussion that I'll save to have with myself on another day ;-)

Tomorrow should make for an interesting day at work. I get to take a CPR class all morning. I'm happy to be taking the class (and on my company's dime), but I know that I'll be swamped in the afternoon - having been away all morning. Guess I better get the Venti Mocha from Starbuck's tomorrow - I'm going to need the extra energy! I really need to learn to go to bed prior to 12:30 am!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Face The Music and Easter egg hunt

I have finished my first all fused piece! It's small - only 13X13, but it's nice. I like it. It is supposed to be a face (not a 'perfect' face, but a somewhat 'fluid' face). The fluidity of the face reminded me of music - hence the title Face The Music. It's all fused and I used Melody's 'escape hatch' method for the center piece. Then there is some beading to accentuate certain parts of the piece. With the exception of the background (which is a plum velvet commercial fabric), the other fabrics are fabrics that I dyed myself.

I think that it turned out pretty well. I think that I'll hang it up in my sewing room. I love the colors, so I hope to be inspired by it as I am in there!

Here is the detail of the center (main) piece.

On another note, today we had an Easter egg hunt at church. My girls had a great time! This is a picture of them from the egg hunt today. As you can see, even before we found any eggs, Sarah (my oldest) had already stained her t-shirt. Luckily, it all came out.

Speaking of stains, I have one that I can't get rid of on one of Hannah's (my baby) shirts. Since it was stained at school, I have no idea what the stain is - but, so far, I haven't had any luck. I think that I've treated it no fewer than 12 times - still no luck. I bought some stuff today that I hope will work.

I guess I better go 'confer' with the Easter bunny to see what might be left for my kiddos tonight ;-)

Friday, April 14, 2006

A quilt from days gone by....

I was cleaning up my daughter's room and I found this quilt. It is a quilt that I made some time ago for her. I thought that I'd share it here. I still love the colors and the simplicity of this quilt. My applique work left something to be desired, but I remember being very excited when I finished this quilt... and finding it today, I have to say that - while I *hope* that I've gotten better (who knows, I sure don't) - I'm still quite proud! ;-)

What Flower Am I ..... hmmmmm........ well......

You Are A Lily

You are a nurturer and all around natural therapist.
People see you as their rock. And they are able to depend on you.
You are a soothing influence. You can make people feel better with a few words.
Your caring has more of an impact than even you realize.

New hand dyed fabrics and new quilt

I did a few more hand dyes today. I needed some dark colors (i.e. black, dark plum, and navy). I like how they turned out, though it seems that it is much more (at least at my inexperienced hand) difficult to get consistent coverage with a darker color. I will try a few things differently next time.

The reason that I needed a dark fabric is because I had an idea for a small wall hanging (It's 16X16), and in my 'mind' the background would be a dark color.

This is the fused top. I haven't done anything else with it - maybe I'll get a chance to work on the quilting this weekend (though, I'm still recovering from my disappointments with my other quilt, which - by the way - I haven't done anything else with).

I haven't gotten any suggestions from you guys about some 'educational' media with regard to machine quilting. But, I'm still interested - so, if you know of something - let me know! :)

I'm not sure what we'll be up to tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to a day off. My girls have already mentioned that they want to make 'something' tomorrow. I think that I might pull my other sewing machine out and help Sarah make a simple skirt. I know that she is only 5 1/2, but she already LOVES to sew. I think that she just loves to create. Should be fun!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I need suggestions......

Okay - I sat down and started my quilting and while it isn't TERRIBLE, it certainly isn't great! I really need to take a machine quilting class - but, in lieu of that - does anyone have any suggestions for books on machine quilting or DVDs or anything like that? Hopefully, at some point I can get to a class - but, so far I haven't found one that fits my schedule.

Obviously, I realize that the more I practice, the better I'll get at it. It's driving me crazy. I really WANT to be good at it - honestly, I do..... lol. Maybe I should be at the sewing machine practicing, rather than on here asking for advice?? lol. But, I admit, I'm a book junky - so I'd love to buy a book on machine quilting - so, the phone lines are open now - let me know YOUR suggestions..... ;-)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I cleaned my sewing room.....

surely that is a good sign?? I suppose it is really more accurate to say that I 'straightened up' my sewing room. Honestly, I could barely get in there. It was a mess. That's what happens, I guess, when you work out of two rooms - one ends up looking like a landfill? Wait, that doesn't totally make sense, given that both of my rooms look (well, looked - now the sewing room isn't so bad - I even vacuumed up all the thread!) so terrible.

I went in there to quilt my wall hanging, but decided that it was far too messy in there to be very creative! Only problem, now, is that I'm too tired to quilt. But, now it looks so pretty that I want to do something in there ..... Therein lies the conundrum, I suppose. At least I have room in there, now, to put the quilt on the sewing table, without it being on top of something else! ;-)

Why, you may ask, do I have a blender on my sewing table? Well, it is because I also use that table to make handmade papers. Not that I've made any in a while, but where else would that blender be - but, in the way of my sewing? Certainly, that makes sense - right?

As you can see - my sewing area is quite small. This is why I use two rooms. My cutting table and ironing surface (as well as much of my fabrics) are in my bonus room - just a few steps away from my sewing room. It makes it very convenient (not as convenient as if it were all in the same room - but, at least it isn't too far) - though, I do tend to drag bits of thread and fabric down the hall as I go from room to room. I do, for small pressing, have a small table top ironing surface that I use in my sewing room.

I've thought many times about moving it all into the bonus room, with the intent to use the smaller room for my scrapbooking (which I currently do in my bonus room), but then I'm reminded of why I put my sewing machines in the smaller room in the first place - two curious little girls - and that room has a door that I can lock! ;-) And, when I come to that realization - I leave it all as it is.

I'm currently only using my embroidery machine, but I have another sewing machine that I actually prefer. I'm thinking of dragging it out - and taking my embroidery machine in to get it serviced. For normal sewing, I really love my basic machine. Maybe if I kept the embroidery machine, my regular machine and my serger all OUT - it would inspire me to keep that room tidy? Nah, I doubt it.

I feel my courage coming on...

I've basted my quilt... yay! Baby steps .... ya know? I've got lots of ideas of HOW to quilt it - I guess we'll see how well I can implement them.

I do appreciate all of the encouraging e-mails that you guys have sent and I think that has helped me decide to 'just do it'.

I've never had a 'class' on quilting - everything I know (which, might actually fit in a thimble... even though I've 'done' a few quilts) I've just kind of 'taught' myself. I'm sure that nothing I do is the way it is supposed to be done (much like my knitting... lol), but it works for me, I guess. I'll never be a great quilter - nor will I ever win any awards - but, I am (usually) happy with what I do (even if it does take me FOREVER to do it - out of fear of screwing it up). I don't know what I'm scared of - it's not life and death. It's just fabric - but, oh, how I LOVE fabric!! I can't stand to think that I've messed it all up. If I'm doing something really small - I don't mind - but, if it is bigger than say 15X15, I freak out. God help me if I ever decide to do an actual bed quilt (well, I've done a twin sized - but, it was more utilitarian than anything)! I'll literally go insane.

Back to work for me .... just needed a momentary diversion! :-)

Spring Break...

Well - today was the first day of spring break for my daughter, Sarah. I'm fortunate enough to work from home on Mondays, so she was able to stay home with me today. It makes for some ... ummmm..... interesting conference calls, having her here - but, it makes for a FABULOUS day overall. I wish that I could be home with my girls everyday! It's the days that I am home with them (today it was just Sarah - as Hannah did have school) that I realize how much I miss being home.

I had a very interesting (Sarah thought) and clever (I thought) way to keep her busy while I was doing my work today. I had a bunch of seed beads that had gotten mixed up - so, I gave them to her and had her sort them by color. She enjoyed it AND I got my beads sorted - win/win! ;-)

Speaking of beads, I took out one of my bead boxes today and I realized how much I LOVE (yes, LOVE) color. The beads are so beautiful in the box. Maybe I'm just ready for the colors of summer? Whatever it is, I was so inspired by the colors of the beads, that I took out my camera and took a picture.

Both Sarah's outfit (I had nothing to do with it, I swear - I let my girls choose their own clothes - regardless of how mismatched they are. I figure it is their way to be themselves!) today and the bead box have me yearning to make something COLORFUL. I think that first things first, I'm going to make Sarah and Hannah (my other daughter) skirts - but, after that..... what? I have no idea. But, I'm looking forward to finding out.

It will be back to the office tomorrow.... that's always a drag, but at least I'm off on Friday. We're having a big FAMILY day (we'll all be home) and I can't wait. I think that Sarah, Hannah and I will probably do something 'crafty' and maybe we'll all (my husband included) make popcorn and watch movies. It's going to be fun....... can't wait!!!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Fabric Postcard

Well - I didn't find TOO much time this weekend, but I refused to go to bed without doing SOMETHING. So, I decided to make a fabric postcard. I love the summery colors of this postcard. I'm trying to decide who I'm going to mail it to. I have such a problem parting with them, so I have to decide quickly and get it into the mail (it's not like I need to keep more STUFF around here).

This is my postcard:

Hopefully, I'll find some productive time this week - I doubt it with tax day looming and also with getting ready for Easter - but, who knows!


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Looks like summer is here.....

... At least by looking at the latest hand dyed fabric that I did. I am in LOVE with these colors. Normally, I prefer darker/richer colors - but, perhaps because it is getting warm here, these colors are talking to me. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them, but I wanted to experiment with these colors.

I particularly love the green! It's beautiful. I'm not sure that the pictures do the fabric justice, but they really are quite lovely.

Here is the picture:

In other news, or rather - there is no news.... lol - I still haven't quilted the wall hanging that I did with the last batch of hand dyes. I'm still working myself up to it. And, additionally, trying to find the time to do it.

I've got some ATCs that I need to work on. They are for swaps that are required this month - and I haven't even started (well, I've kind of started, but only barely).

Hopefully, I'll have something NEW to post about this weekend. Well, I guess I've posted something new with the fabric - but, I dyed it sometime last week - and am only now able to post about it. Hopefully, I'll work on something this weekend that I can post about.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Today's 'creation'

Okay - so, I'm still waiting to find the confidence to quilt my newly pieced quilt top. We'll see how that goes. Thanks to all who sent me 'inspiring' and 'encouraging' comments! They are much appreciated!

So, while I am waiting to be confident enough to do the quilting - I wanted to make something for a shadow box, so that I could take it in to my office and have it there. You know - something other than gray walls to look at! And, I also wanted to use the fabrics that I dyed in this piece. I wanted it to be chaotic (because my life at work is chaotic), but also controlled (hence, the framing). At least THAT chaos I can control - goodness knows I can't control any of the chaos at work.

So - this is the result. I love it - It deviates from my sketch somewhat, but not in a bad way. Where it is different, I think it is better. :-)

In addition to creating the fabric piece that is framed, I also stamped and painted the mat to coordinate (I think) perfectly! I love it. Perhaps no one else will like it, but I - personally - love it! You can't tell from the picture, really, but the center 'piece' is mounted dimensionally - such that it stands away from the background. It's obvious in person, but difficult to show in a picture. It certainly adds additional depth that I couldn't have gotten by just matting it in a normal frame.

Anyway - I'm supposed to be working from home today - so I should actually go do some work ;-)

It grew.....

Well - I slept on it and finally decided how to finish the quilt top piecing. I decided to add some additional borders. I really loved the purple fabric, so I wanted to include more of it. I think that it turned out nicely! The top now measures approximately 26" X 28". I like it... BUT, I'm scared to quilt it. I enjoy creating the tops of quilts, but I loathe quilting. I WANT to quilt, I WANT to quilt well - but, I'm not very good at it, so I worry that I'm going to screw up a quilt top that I love. So, I'll probably sit here and look at this top for a week before I decide to go for it. Realistically, I know that unless I practice it, I'll never be good at quilting - and, maybe I'm not as bad at it as I think I am - who knows. But, to be honest - it scares the crap out of me. There, I said it - I'm afraid of quilting..... So, shoot me! LOL

Anyway - here is the finished top:

I bought some more fabric dyes today. I can't find that many colors locally - but, I'm happy that I can at least find the Procion MX Dyes locally, so I won't complain too much. I found a fuschia and a green that I'm very excited to try. Hopefully, they will turn out the way I want them to.

With the first batch that I did, I used the microwave version of dyeing, using Melody's instructions. I think that this time, I'm going to skip the microwave and allow the colors to 'sit' longer before rinsing and washing them out. We'll see how that turns out.

I'm thinking that I might make myself a nice summer-y purse using some of the hand dyed fabrics that I did. Normally, not the type of purse that I would use - but, I think I might give it a try. We'll see ..... I'm due a new purse! ;-)

Today was a lazy day - I worked on the quilt top this morning before Church. I rarely do anything before Church, but for some reason (I guess the time change), I felt like doing something this morning. It was fun - it was nice to get something done that early. Usually, I only get anything creative done in the evenings. After Church, the family went out to eat - as always that was nice and also a challenge (I mean, really, isn't going out to eat with a 5 y/o and an 3 y/o ALWAYS a challenge??). We had a good time and it put me in town, so I was able to pick up a few more dyes ... Now to find the time dye more fabric.

Well - Grey's Anatomy is coming on - so, I have to go see what is going on with McDreamy! ;-)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Using my hand dyed fabrics

So, I started a piece today using the fabrics that I dyed earlier in the day. It is to be a small wall hanging. I'm not sure where to go now...... so, I'm stopping for the night. I'll decide what else (if anything) to do to it tomorrow - in the way of embellishments, etc. I know that a lot of people come up with a 'plan' before they create. I do sometimes, but not always. Sometimes, I just start sewing, stamping, or whatever ...... and go from there. Today was one of those times. I hope that, at the end of my reckless abandon with my fabrics, I'm happy with what I come up with! So far - so good :-) It (currently - who knows what tomorrow holds.... lol) measures around 17"X16".

Anyway - here is a picture of my 'work in progress' - using the fabrics that I dyed! I'd love to hear your comments!

My first attempt at dyeing fabric....

Okay - I've been SO inspired by the many wonderfully talented ladies who hand dye their own fabric. I decided that I wanted to try it myself. Now, I'm relatively pleased with my first attempt and I have certainly taken away some lessons from it.

First of all, I decided to use Melody's microwave way of dyeing fabric. Seemed easy enough. I used the general idea of how to do it and basically just 'winged' it with regard to the amount of soda ash and dye powders I deposited in the 'bucket'. I used more soda ash with some and less with others - obviously, with varied results (not a bad thing, however - I like the contrast). I'm definitely looking forward to experimenting more.

So, anyway - here are my results - I used 4 colors of dye (orange, purple, turquoise and cobalt blue) - all of my favorite colors. The only color that I wish that I had, but didn't is something pink.

The fabric on top is what I did with the TINY bit of turquoise and purple dye I had left over. It's not very vibrant, but I like it! The others are obvious, as to which dyes I used. You will notice, however, that I did put a TINY bit of purple in with my turquoise dye, so there is a little bit of purple on the turquoise piece (this happened by accident - I actually 'splashed' a bit of purple onto the turquoise fabric - and decided to add a little more.... lol).

It was a nice experiment. Now, I have to decide what to do with the fabric. ........ hmmmmmm

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Another Art Doll

I made another art doll. I, again, used a face made from polymer clay using a push mold. I wish that I liked my drawings of faces enough to use them - but, not yet. But, I will ONE DAY ...... I'm determined, that way..... lol.

I love the colors in this doll - you may notice that I used the same fabrics that I used for my postcard swap that I posted earlier. These were some 'scraps' (not that I like to think that I have 'scraps' so much as small pieces of fabric, that I'm sure I'll use sometime) that were left from that project.

I decided to rip fabric and use it for the hair. My husband said that he thinks it makes it look like a sunflower. I guess it does in some ways. Anyway ..... here is the picture!!

Here is a closeup o f the face/hair....

I don't know why I decided to not put arms on her, but to me - I don't think she is supposed to have arms..... lol. Weird, I guess - but, I had actually MADE arms for her, but couldn't bring myself to put them on her. Anyway..... just sharing!

My First Art Doll!!

Well - I'm finally posting my first art doll (I finished it on Monday, but am only NOW able to get into - don't know if it was just me or what - finally, after I cleared my cache files, I was able to get in - weird)l.

Now, back to my doll....... It's nothing spectacular, but I'm very proud of it. I wasn't sure where to start, other than having been inspired by others - both online and in magazines, so I JUST STARTED! lol. I sketched a pattern, found the fabrics and embellishments and did it. I'm not very good at drawing faces, so I used a sculpey push mold (it's actually a sun face, but you can't really tell a lot from the picture) that I had made months back, with no idea what I would use it for. Then just made yarn hair and various beads to make the arms. All in all - I think it turned out pretty good!!

Now, I can't wait to make another one!!! :)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Newest ATCs and I want my babies back!

I really need to start doing something other than ATCs, I suppose. But, I want to share something and all I've done recently are ATCs, so that is what I'm sharing. These are just some random ATCs that I've done - I might trade them later, who knows.

Anyway - here are the ATCs that I made:

Now - our weekend. Well, my baby (and, really she isn't a baby that much anymore ... sniffsniff), turned 3 of Friday. I took the day off from work, in order to spend the day with her. We baked her birthday cake (so much fun) together and stuffed goodie bags for her party on Saturday (after going shopping together, after we took her sister to school). We had a great day! Then, after we picked Sarah (her sister) up from school, we came home and played some more. Then when Daddy got home, we got pizza and had our family party. She was thrilled with all of her presents. It was a great birthday.

On saturday, we had her birthday party with her little friends from school. It's so cute to see so many little 3 year olds running around like they are big girls and boys. Hannah said that she had a great birthday party, so I'm sure she did. We had it at the YMCA 'fun zone' area. It was a blast.

Needless to say, by Sunday, I was ready for a NAP. So, after we all went to lunch after Church, I came home and crashed. Finally, a bit of a rest......

Now, I'm the mother of 2 big girls! :( Where does the time go???? Hannah has taken to telling me, now, that she isn't a baby anymore! I want my babies back!!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Finished some fabric postcards for a swap

I'm in a 'collaged' postcard swap - not necessarily (in fact, likely mine will be the only ones) fabric postcards, but 'collaged' postcards. I finished mine early (they weren't required until the end of April) and have shipped them off. I'm not normally one to finish ANYTHING early, so I'm quite pleased with myself. I mailed them off today, along with several ATCs that are due the end of March - I'm not sure what has gotten into me .... Truly, I'm normally not an EARLY person! Maybe it is b/c I'm busy making party favors for someone for a party, planning my daughter's birthday party and WANTING desperately to make a doll like this one, from Brooke's blog!! Maybe I'm trying to clear to way to being able to do that!!! :)

Anyway - I thought that I'd share the other ATCs that I did (for the purple challenge) and the postcards (I'm REALLY liking the fabrics that I chose for these postcards - I'm thinking of making a wallhanging at some point, using these same fabrics!)! Enjoy! :)


Purple Swap ATCs

Well, I think that I will head to bed. I'm taking a stupid class at work this week, and they insist on starting it at 8am (don't they know that people have to take their kids to school???). I barely have time to stop at Starbuck's on my way in - TRAGEDY, as I enjoy chatting with Amy who makes my coffee!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

More ATCs

I didn't want the last post to be TOO lengthy, so I thought that I'd share a few more ATCs in an additional posting!

New ATCs :-)

Well, I've been away for a bit. Life has been...... life! Which is to say - BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! :)

But, I have taken some time to participate in some ATC swaps. I thought that I'd post some pictures of the most recent ATCs that I have made. Even my little girls made ATCs the other day (actually, so did my husband) - this is how I kept them occupied while I cooked dinner..... lol. I'll have to, at another time, scan their ATCs to share as well. I must say that they did QUITE well! They (my girls) just love all things ART!

Anyway, here are some of the ATCs that I've recently made. I still have to finish some for a PURPLE swap. I also need to finish 6 fabric postcards for a 'swap'. Guess, I really DON'T need that sleep, right? lol

Here are the ATCs .....

These first ones are some that I did for a monochromatic ORANGE swap. Who knew that it would take me THAT LONG to put all those little beads on? Oh, well - at least it gave me ample opportunity to watch Clean House and Flip That House, while I sat there beading. I was PLANNING to do similar ones for the purple swap, but I don't know, now - it takes SO LONG. I know some ladies that can bead up a storm - in no time flat - I'm NOT one of those ladies! ;-)

The next ATCs are ones that I have recently done for individual one:one swaps. For the most part, there was no THEME - just do whatever we wanted to do. The only one that had a 'theme' was the seasons one - we were to do three, depicting various seasons.... These are the ones that I did:

The rest of these are the 'no thememed' ones that I did for other one:one swaps. I did a variety of styles - a lot of stamping, though (can you tell that I finally found all of my rubber stamping stuff?? lol)