Archive for August, 2009

Pole Barn

August 29, 2009

Lots has been going on here.  We recently contracted with Duane Feor to build a pole barn on our property.  Our driveway has been filled with all sorts of heavy machinery, lots of cute hunky workers, and much progress has been made.

The first day the site  was cleared:

cleared site b
Then the first load of lumber was delivered:

Lumber b

My husband planted those evergreen trees 30 years ago.  They have really grown.  The lilies were added about 4 years ago and he has planted several varieties so we have gorgeous blooms from early spring through August. 

Gunner visited too – our contractor’s dog:


It was hot when he was here, so I put out a couple of bowls of water for her.  Yes, Gunner is a female.  Ask Duane why he called her Gunner.  I think she looks more like a Daisy Mae. 

The next day the Bobcat driver arrived with a humongous drill.  His leg is in the picture so you can judge for yourself how big that drill is:

posthole drill b

Most of the post holes were dug by the drill, but 2 holes had to be dug by hand.  We considered ourselves lucky so many were able to be done by machine.  Our area has some big rocks. 

The following day the first level posts were cemented in the holes:

walls up partially, dirt floor b

More pole barn pictures will be posted tomorrow.  I can’t get over how much work got done in one week.

On the creative side, it’s also been a productive week.  Knitting was started on a vintage hand knit baby kimono sweater.  I’m not sure it will be long enough, but it’s been a long time since I’ve knit anything baby sized.  This is a really old pattern and had no stitch gauge or measurements.  It called for fingering weight yarn, and I’m using it, but who knows what was commonly called fingering weight yarn in 1907?

My Pfaff sewing machine was updated so it now has all the new stitches, a new thread guide, and the updating party was a lot of fun.  It was great seeing everyone.

And last, but not least, I’m making a new purse – the La Rue Messenger/Toe/Clutch pattern from Hot Patterns.  For some reaon, I’m making mistake after mistake.  It took me 2 hours to sew one 12″ zipper.  From using the wrong foot, to not threading the bobbin properly, to sewing it to the wrong side of the lining, etc…  I could go on and on. 

The pattern is perfectly fine.  All the flubs and trips to the frog pond (for rippit, rippit, rippit sessions) are totally my fault.  There have been so many mistakes, I’m a bit leery of working on it today, but that is exactly what I plan on doing after I upload this blog entry.  Wish me luck!!!  I need it.  I think I have a bad infestation of the dreaded sewing sleeths.  I need them to begone!!!



Ogden Art Group Meeting – August 2009

August 21, 2009

Yesterday was our small art group meeting and did we ever have fun.  Show and tell was good – as always.

Margaret showed a marbled visor she made:

Margaret marbled visor
We all thought it turned out really well.
Karen took the same felted fish class that some of the RAFA members took.  Here’s a picture of her fish:

Karen's felted fish
Pat is making a beautiful wall hanging.  No pictures of that as she will be entering it in a juried show, and doesn’t want to jeopardize her chance of it getting accepted by having pictures of it on the internet.  Trust me, it’s wonderful.  She does have a knack for creating the most gorgeous painted fabric. 

Then some of us worked on the first exercise in Katie Pasquini Masopust’s new book Design Explorations for the Creative Quilter – Exploring Shapes.  Here are the results:

Shape Exercise
All of them were very different.  This was a successful exercise in my eyes.  I like it when everyone’s sketch is very different from what was in the book, and from each other.  I finished mine up last night while I was watching Project Runway.  Yippee, Yahoo!!!  Do I ever love that show.  Thank-you Lifetime for finally airing the show. 

I won’t be painting and making my drawing into an art piece, but there are bits and pieces of it that I like.  It will be saved in my inspiration box.  It’s full of photos, sketches, pulled out magazine ads, old calendars – you name it.  It’s filled with anything and everything that captured my attention and I want to revisit some day. 

Some have been saved because I like the composition, or the colors, or just because something about it made me want to keep it.  I hope you all have an inspiration box of your own.  I revisit mine frequently – especially now that I don’t have to move a gazillion items to get into it. 


Little Visitor

August 16, 2009

 Lookie what I found in my front yard:

Fawn Visitor
This little deer has been visiting daily, and I finally got a picture.   It has created a pathway through the lilac bushes and walks up to the house to snack on the flowers by the living room windows.   I wish it would develop an appetite for something besides my flowers though.  There are plenty of veggies for it to enjoy in the backyard. 

It’s oppressively hot and humid this weekend.  A good time to stay inside and work on a project.  I purchased a couple of new sewing patterns and will hopefully start a purse today.  My fabric collection came to the rescue and the purse will be made from left over material from a project made last year – the cushions for my daughter’s basement. 

I throw very few fabric scraps out, and there was a lot of leftover fabric from this project.  My daughter had given me 2 love seat covers to use, and I had to cut into both of them to cover the 2 cushions last year.  There is probably enough leftover fabric here for quite a few more projects.

Don’t you love it when you have just the fabric you need for a project in the house?  But who am I kidding?  I have enough fabric to last a couple of lifetimes.  Now don’t laugh, but I purposely built a fabric collection while my husband was still working.  I figured after he retired, our discretionary income would be curtailed.  Well, he retired way before he wanted, and we’re living on a budget for the first time in our lives.  No complaints from me.  It’s great having him home.  After 36 years, I still get butterflies in my stomach when I see him walk into a room.  Heck, he still thinks I’m petite.   Ah, love really is blind.  😉

Happily, I can sew to my heart’s content from my fabric collection.  Comfort quilts – made for local non-profit organizations, art quilts, clothing for myself, etc… you name it, I’ve got the fabric for it, and it’s all paid for, washed and ready to be used. 

Now onto the purse.  Pictures soon to come – I hope. 


A Fun Day

August 13, 2009

Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday – Happy Birthday dear heart – and we celebrated by going out on the new boat she and her husband recently purchased.  The weather was perfect.  My husband and I picked up my Dad – 90 years young – for a fun day on the water.  Of course, the new puppy came along too.  He’s still nameless, but he’s a born sailor.  He explored the boat, found a comfy spot, and settled down for a snooze. 

As we left the very muddy river – the dam was opened that morning and it stirred up a lot of silt – and entered Lake Ontario,  we passed the Wild Hearts catamaran:


It’s a party boat that can be rented out. 

Then on past the light beacon at the end of the Lake Ontario pier:

beacon light 

Seems like the grafitti artists did their thing on the nice white surface.  I guess they couldn’t resist it.

Then we hit Lake Ontario and my son-in-law opened her up.  Oh boy, was it ever fun.  I do so love being in a boat with the sun shining, the wind in my face, and the spray from the boat hitting the water falling on me.  See the beautiful design from the boat wake:

boat wake
That design will definitely be in a future textile piece.

And here’s a picture of my Dad up front:

Dad on boat

 Would you believe he’s wearing his RayBans sunglasses from WWII?  Yes, I said WWII.  My Dad served on an air craft carrier, and he and those sunglasses of his traveled the world. 

We thought sitting up front  would be the best place for him to see everything, but he laughingly said, as soon we picked up speed, all he saw was the sun in the sky. 

We went back to the dock and feasted on a wonderful meal my son-in-law and daughter made for us.  Next year, when my knee and foot are healed, I’ll be the cook again.  They were both good sports about doing all the work this year, and I felt like it was my birthday, not my daughter’s. 

This was a day to be stored in my memory bank.  We had such a good time – even if my 90 year young Dad could get in and out of the boat easier than I could.  😉


Beaded Ring and Thoughts to Ponder

August 11, 2009

With all my sofa time this spring and summer, I’ve been having a great time making beaded rings.  Here’s a picture of the newest one:

blue and gold ring
These take very little time to make and I’m enjoying experimenting with colors and different bead finishes.  The matte beads are really appealing but the high gloss ones sparkle.  The matte ring I made looks great with white knit slacks, yet this shiny one does too. 

I’ve learned an awful lot about using beads and how the background fabric affects the color.  No more do I select my beads from the container alone.  Now they are spread out on the fabric so I can see how they will appear.  

Bead selection for a project has changed more than once because of that, and I’ve learned to pull out colors I don’t think will work.  I’ve read all this information in books over the years, so I knew this intellectually, but this summer’s hands-on exercises were invaluable. 

Yes, I cherish the books I purchase.  I read them, I’m inspired by them, but nothing replaces actual work experience.  There is something to be said for taking on an apprentice to learn a skill.  Those guilds we read about in our history books served a purpose –  passing on knowledge, experience and technique – keeping their crafts alive and flourishing.   Are our modern day workshops taking the place of those historic guilds?  Our internet classes? 

Leaving you a few thoughts to ponder and of course, some hugs…

New Puppy

August 10, 2009

There is a new addition to my family.  My daughter and her husband welcomed a new puppy into their home.  Of course, the minute I saw him I had to pick him up and begin cuddling him:

 me and the new puppy

Is that not an adorable puppy?  He’s a Samoyed, 12 weeks old, and can you believe even his eyelashes are white?   He’s a vocal little guy and very shy.  It was really hard for me to hand him back to her.  I gave him a few kisses, he gave me a few back, and is happily settling into his new home. 


August’s RAFA Meeting

August 8, 2009

What a great time I had at the monthly Rochester Area Fiber Artist’s meeting Thursday.  It’s the first meeting I’ve been able to attend since April.  My dear husband drove me and picked me up after it, and it was the best present he could have given me.

Show and tell was fabulous as lots of the members had been to Quilting By The Lake, and brought pieces started in classes, plus showed lots of samples from technique classes.  I’m so glad I already own a glue gun because the pieces that came out of one of the technique classes were intriguing.  Everything from napkins to paper towels, coffee filters, tyvek, plastic wrap, felt, brown paper,  and a multitude of other surfaces were being painted and melted to create gorgeous dimensional and ethereal looking bits and pieces.

First up is a picture of a beautifully embroidered piece of art made in Syria:

Syrian emb

To really appreciate it, I cropped and enlarged a small section of it also.  And don’t forget, if you double click on the picture it will enlarge for you.

Syrian emb close up

The embroidery is magnificent – straight stitch, couching, color choices, design – everything about this piece resonated with my soul.  Seeing it, made my day.

Caris showed a couple of works in progress.  The first one is her fabric version of a street scene she photographed inVenice.  I wish I could show you the original photograph next to the fiber piece because it really evokes the lighting of the photography perfectly.  Keep in mind, this is a work in progress.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to share a picture with all of you when it is completed.

CAris Venice street scene
Caris is also working on a scientific quilt for her son.  There are all sorts of symbols and images from the scientific world.  As that was my poorest subject in school, the minute she said what each image represents, it went in one ear and out the other.  LOL  She will be adding a DNA helix – I remembered that!!! – and this also is a work in progress:

Caris DNA quilt
Elaine made a felted fish, and doesn’t it look terrific?  There are beads underneath the fins so the fins will be 3 dimensional.  I’m not sure the photograph does it justice, but it was really well done.

felted fish

Donna took some classes from Rayna Gilman.  She experimented with screen work and used Elmer’s School glue as a resist on some pieces.  It’s especially interesting how she experimented to see how the glue would gradually dissolve to create lighter and lighter images.  Donna thinks outside the box, and tries things that would never occur to most people.  This idea was really great and is another project added to my “To-Try” list. 

Donna from Rayna's class glue resist

And here’s another piece that Donna created:

Donna from Raynas class

There were lots more pieces shown, but I have to get permission from the artists before I post anymore to the blog. 

I dearly wish I could show a photo I took of new quilt made for Genessee Valley Quilt Club, Inc to raffle, but it’s under wraps till the big unveiling on their website.  Then I’ll be able to link to that photo.  Trust me – it’s drop dead gorgeous – a black background with vibrant appliqued and pieced blocks.  It is drama personified.  I hope I win it.  It’s cetainly not for lack of buying tickets, that’s for sure. 


Retail Therapy IV – the Finale

August 6, 2009

All good things must come to an end, and these are the last items I purchased from last week’s shopping spree:

KNK buttonhole twist backorder colors

I never thought I’d get anymore of the silk buttonhole twist thread I ordered way back in March, but lo and behold, a lot of my backordered colors were shipped to me.  Oh happy days!!!   This picture will enlarge if you click on it, and I’ll make the same offer I did way back in March.  So if anybody is interested, please email me.

The colors going in numerical order and from the upper left down each vertical row:

7 Dusty Pink,  10 Geranium, 12 Baby Pink, 34 Baby Blue

104 Light Blue, 114 Powder Green, 115 Pale Blue Green, 117 Periwinkle Blue

119 Light Khaki, 132 Elm Green, 135 Maroon, 140 Baby Pink

141 Eggshell, 156 Leaf Green, 157 Light Olive Green, 158 Golden Yellow

160 Light Yellow Green, 179 Rust, 188 Antique Rose, 192 Pale Lavender


Retail Therapy III

August 2, 2009

More goodies to share with you from my recent shopping splurge:

Inspirations 58Inspirations 62
These are 2 issues of Inspirations magazine from Australia #58 is on the left  and 62 on the right.  They are filled with abolutely gorgeous embroidery patterns and wonderful close up photos of the work, and how to accomplish some of the stitches.  I heard about this magazine on the yahoo crazyquiltinternation group, and decided to see what the magazine was like.  Here is a picture of one of the embroideries from issue # 58:

floral from Inspiration 58
Gorgeous, true???  Will I ever stitch something like this?  Who knows.  I’ve learned to eliminate the word never from my vocabulary.  All things are possible. 


Faces DYB

August 1, 2009

Today is a bittersweet day for me.  It’s my mother’s birthday, and she passed away almost 3 years ago.  I was up late last night so before I fell asleep, I sang Happy Birthday to her at 1:30 am this morning and teared up a bit, but know she’s at peace. 

I was up at 1:30 sewing the crazy quilt blocks for the Faces DYB round robin on the yahoo crazyquiltinternational group, and am happy to say that I made the deadline.  See:

blocks with surgical boot
The blocks are jewel tone colors with a white block center in 3 and a black center in the other 3.  They will be embellished and returned to me ready to be placed in a wearable art jacket.  There are 2 different size faces on those blocks and I like the bigger ones the best.  What do you all think?  None are sewn on yet, but the big ones were sent with the blocks and are on their way to Maine.

These blocks will be placed on the jacket with the black center blocks on the light side and the vice versa for the white center blocks.  I’m hoping to play off the black/white concept using an Art Nouveau styling.  Wish me luck, because right now it’s all in the developmental stage.  Everyone has a unique embroidery style, and the blocks will let me know how they want to be used when they come back home – all dressed up. 

That might sound funny to some, but I have no idea what colors, type of embroidery, techniques, etc…. will be used on these blocks.  They might play well together, they might not.  I’ll be happy with whatever the talented ladies in this group create.  Each and every one of them is an embroidery artist.

Oh, did you catch the nifty surgical boot on my left foot.  Isn’t it oh so gorgeous with the white sock?  And how about the black shoe on my other foot?  It’s the only shoe I own that is remotely close in height to the surgical boot.  It’s quite the look, isn’t it?  Think I’ll start a new fashion trend?   LOL