Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Projects all over the house

It only took - what  - 3 years? but the little Christmas throw I started at a retreat is complete and keeping me warm as I type.  I love the fabrics;  wintery but not Christmas-cute, which isn't me.  I'm nothing if not NOT cute.  I'd done another one of these throws in mustard and a muted red Jane Austen fabrics and have it ready to warm guests.  I'll post a pic of it another time. 

The pillows were also done a few years ago and I bring them out every Christmas.  I just pop them over pillows already on the couches after a pressing. The Noel pillow pattern was taken from the pattern series called Christmas Memories, possibly by Blackbird Designs.  I know there were 4 small booklets of 3-4 patterns each, and all together you would be able to make a lovely quilt pattern, but I think the store I bought them from only had 2 or 3 of the 4, but I had to have them.  Such a shame I stumbled on them too late, but I love what I did with the patterns I had.

The Tree of Life mantle scarf is also an older project- you can probably tell by the fabric lines.  Robyn Pandolph fabrics, I think.  Such lovely fabrics.  For someone who hates precision piecing (because I'm lousy at points), I have to say I'm pleased with the way this turned out.  While I'm being pleased with myself, I attached all those slate tiles to the wall after "the crash".  Seriously - there were ugly 1/4 inch bricks attached to the wall that ....just....fell off one day.  So, rather than reglue the ugliness, I too the opportunity to modernize.  The whole house can fall down now and I guarantee the only thing standing together will be these tiles - there's that much glue on them.

Last but not least, a cross stitch I did over a decade ago from a project taken from a cross stitch magazine.  Shortly after completing this, I got the crazy idea that a Lavender and Lace Celtic Christmasr design would be a great idea.  The beautiful lady in the red dress lies wound on her stretcher frame, possibly for all time, only barely started.  I did do some of the little angel ornaments, so figured a big project would be possible. Clearly, I was fooling myself.  Please don't tell my friend Ray, from work, about my abysmal photography skills.  He'd cry.  He's an incredibly talented photographer.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

More projects moving along

 Citrus (the colours have dictated what I've been calling it) is now hanging up in my office at work.  It's a nice, bright contrast to the dreary days to come and takes the place of a lovely watercolour of a stone farmhouse in winter.  Just the sort of house I'd love to live in, but as I'll be seeing more than enough snow up close and personal, I could use some contrast.

It's quite different from other things I've made and I didn't even mind all the fussing with the binding.

I'd mentioned the Through the Trees quilt from Kate Conklin.  Here are the blocks in the process of being all sewn up.  They are in a pile now, all sewn, just waiting to become a quilt.


 ...and the latest new thing.  Still just material, fresh out of the package from Flare Fabrics, but oh, so pretty and graphic and interesting.    It came so quickly (free shipping in Canada!) and they responded to a couple of special requests I made, so I'm a very happy customer.  

I know, I can't take a rotary cutter to them until a) Through the Trees is a quilt and b)I've finished ANOTHER UFO.  And maybe um...put a label of some sort on Citrus.  I should be writing this in a very small font as I know I'm going to hear about it when a certain someone reads this.  And rightly so.  I'm not great about labels. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Abstract Expressionist quilt is done!

I'm very happy to say I have completed this quilt, hanging sleeve and all!  Feeback from my classmates felt really great, mostly because this was one talented group of women. 
I'm not happy because it's done, as I enjoyed every bit of making it.  I can highly recommend Dwayne Wanner's class as a wonderful source of inspiration.  I met some wonderful people and kick started myself back into sewing.  I'll get a better pic, but at least it shows it's done.

I thought I'd throw in a picture of the inspiration for my getting back on my quilting horse (how's that for mixed) after losing my quiting mojo...what?...3 or 3 1/2 years ago.  Can you blame a girl?  These pics of Dwayne's quilts were taken at the Halton Quilters' Guild show earlier this year.

Now that I'm back at it, I'm procrastinating as I type, on the quilting of a little Christmas throw I started....3+ years ago and over the weekend got all the blocks together for this lovely quilt, Through the Trees by the very talented Kate Conklin of Australia.  Normally, I don't use the same fabrics, but I saw the fabrics at Greenwood Quiltery before I saw the pattern and loved the whole thing together.  I'd post a pic of my blocks, but they're just...well, blocks, so far.  I'll get them together after doing that throw.  More machine quilting...Ugh!  I'm pretty lousy at it.

More inspiration came my way, however, in the form of Maggie Vanderweit at the One of a Kind Show on the weekend. (What a GREAT show!) I remember my guild hosted Maggie a few years ago when I was on the Programme Committee, so I had the chance to meet her and admired her work.  She was at the show, so we chatted for a bit and I remembered why I loved her work so much.  It has so many elements I relate to...and her machine quilting's fantastic!  I have her upcoming class schedule so I'll see if I can get up to her studio to take a class. We discussed how the only way to be an artist is to make art (I think I'm paraphrasing) but it's true, I go upstairs to quilt now.

I'd love your feedback on my first effort in a few years!  If it hadn't been for the great suggestions of classmates, it wouldn't have turned out nearly as nicely as it has.  I love when people are generous with specific ideas.  It can be a brave thing to give honest criticism.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sentimental Reasons Quilt Show presented by the Oakville Quilters Guild

At our guild meeting on Thursday, the co-chairs showed us the beautiful postcard created to promote the show.  If you'd like to follow the show information on the Guild's Facebook page, please hit Like, and don't forget to put the dates on your calendar.

I pushed myself to get my Artistic Expressionist quilt (see below for a pic of the work in progress) finished and was putting the final stitches on the hanging sleeve before showing the guild members.  I'll be entering it in the show.  I'll be back up to Greenwood Quiltery on Thursday for the final class get together and critique session with Dwayne Wanner. I'm really looking forward to seeing what my incredibly talented classmates did.  I'll see if any would object to my using the pics here on the blog. 

Monday, November 14, 2011


I'm pushing myself to have my Abstract Expressionist quilt bound for Show and Tell at the Oakville Quilters Guild meeting Thursday night.  As it's uneven all the way round (new for me), I'm not at all sure I'm doing the binding as well as I might, but as long as it holds together I'll count it as a success.  Above is a picture of it in progress during the second day of the workshop.  You can see how there are bits and pieces sticking out here and there.  I'm trying to maintain them. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Creating again

After a far-too-long absence, I've eased back into playing with fibres again, and it feels wonderful!  I started by knitting some socks and scarves and enrolled this fall in a fantastic Abstract Expressionist class at Greenwood Quiltery in Guelph with Dwayne Wanner.  I'm feeling great about the quilt I'm working on (sneak peek here).

Even more inspiring was two classes I taught at Quilters Dream in Burlington.  One was a Crazy Quilting class and the other was a fun Fabulous Fabric Christmas Cards workshop.  I'm so incredibly impressed by the creativity of the participants of both classes.  I gave the same instructions to everyone and yet, the results were so different, and all so lovely!   I am so lucky to have the chance to meet these talented people and to help them get a little bit freer with their skills.  I'll definitely be doing more teaching in the New Year - I have a call scheduled with Holly at Quilters Dream tomorrow to set up classes.  I hope they want me to teach Crazy Quilting again because it's one I enjoy for the incredible works the participants create.

I'll be updating my list of blogs I love and today added Quilton's Doings.  She's one of my favourite Oakville Quilters' Guild members.  She also scares me a bit, so I'd better get that darned quilt done for the show in May!

It's nice to be back.  Thank you so much for reading.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Painting Fusible Interfacing, then making Postcards

Not my idea by any means, but lots of fun. I took a length of fusible, some Adirondak Inks, sprayed them on here and there, then added water and moved the ink around. I followed up with a bit of paint here and there, and of course, some gold.
I'd no idea what I'd be doing with it when I painted it, but the answer turned up at retreat.
Stitch practice again, creating some postcards with it. It's so easy, it should be illegal.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I'd promised a finished pic of the collage I showed being made in stages in my January 3 post, Collage. It's about time I came through. I'm pleased with it.

Here are some details. I finally figured out how to take detail shots on our camera so I can get in nice and close and you can see the texture of the gel medium.

I got some great rusty texture, too, from some bits of copper I found on the garage floor.

...and just to show that I really did pay attention during Sharon Boggon's terrific Studio Journals class on, I've shown a bit of a journal I was playing with, along with a couple of canvases I painted. I actually used Setacolor fabric paint in Indigo, but I just love the transparent quality it worked. For what? I'll post when I figure that out, but I just know the colour worked.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A couple of inspiring blogs

I've done it again - whiled away time jumping here and there on blogs. I have some time this morning, so after this will head upstairs to do something useful with the ideas floating around in my head. As always, Sharron Boggon's Inaminuteago blog has me fired up. I don't think I can link directly to her September 1 post, but go take a look - thanks to her I've signed up for ColourLovers. Colour combinations are something that have always intimidated me. I've never thought I really have "it". The only thing to do, then, is to keep at it to improve.from a collage
Color by COLOURlovers">This one's great. I love the collage it came from.

I also took a look at Digital Gran; lots of lovely pics and ideas. I've saved it and will visit again to see what she's up to.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Easing back into teaching

I've done almost no teaching this year, as I'd thrown myself into classes to complete my professional designation. One way or another, it's all over October 4th when I write my first of two exams. I hadn't really gotten my head around teaching again, but when I stopped in at Quilter's Dream yesterday, Carol told me that a half dozen people had asked if they would run a Crazy Quilting class! I've given her a couple of days in October and November I'd be available to do it, so if you're interested, get in touch with them and let them know! I've suggested a two day workshop to really get people going on the wonderful embroidery stitches and embellishments you can do. Their #'s on the link, so I'd appreciate it if let them know if you're interested.

I get more out of every day as I spent the week catching up on Alyson's podcasts. A drive to visit friends in London was a big help, and I'm all caught up now. I ordered a copy of her book, "I'd Rather Be in the Studio" for a friend's daughter who just graduated with an art degree, and I'd encourage anyone looking to improve their art business to get Alyson's book.

I was at a beautiful wedding last weekend where I took lots of pictures of the bride (whom I've known since Kindergarten) and groom (who was in our grade 4 class!), but this is the one I'm posting - I thought this wall outside a great gallery called Artists Walk in Village Square in Burlington had great texture and I can see it incorporated into something arty in the future.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Too long away

I put most artistic pursuits away for most of this year to concentrate on work. I don't blog about work, but it's been a tough and busy year. I'm pursuing a professional designation which has also taken alot of study time. One month to go before I write my exam and my thoughts are turning back to art (anything to avoid studying!).

I've gotten great ideas from, Alyson B. Stanfield's terrific site and I'm starting now to get back on track. It was fantastic to see my piece, "Eggplant #1" at the Greenwood Gallery earlier this year in the Fusion group show, and I like the feeling so much I'll try to see if I can't do it again.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I'm very happy! The piece I submitted to the Greenwood Quiltery show (pic in my December 31st post) was accepted to the show. "Fusion", that starts March 4th! I'm really happy about it, as I've always loved the works that appear at the gallery.

I've also found a really cool website called Big Think, which is a website about ideas, dialogue and debate. Right now, there are 2,650 ideas on the site, according to the header. I think it's a site I could get lost in.

Alex got his braces off today, and his teeth look great! Almost $6,000 well spent. I have to tell myself that or I'll cry. I didn't realize he had the night off work, or I would have bought corn on the cob for him, because he loves it so much. I think I'll get some tomorrow as a treat (ha! corn as a treat!! I fugured by now an entire bar of McIntosh's Toffee would be gone, but I don't think he's had anything unusual to eat today).

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I took some pics of a collage I started a couple of days ago. I frequently make bases and then let them age for awhile as the plan for them grows. OK, usually there's no plan whatsoever, I admit it. How about: until the Muse strikes? She takes her time about it, and doesn't usually strike too hard. That must be the reason I'm generally unsatisfied with my results. Maybe I need to get a new Muse. Serendipity, for instance. She seemed fun. (If you didn't see Dogma, that just fell flat).
On to the Collage: I started with a 4 x 6 inch board I'd painted blue. I then decided I didn't like the blue just then, and wanted a greener colour. I didn't paint too heavily, so some of the blue would show through.

I then found out that crackle medium doesn't work too well on primed board and thin coats of paint.

After that, I gave it a spritz of Espresso Adirondak Ink to see what that would do.
I liked it, so I let it dry. Then, I applied Mod Podge very thickly. I've got to work on the order of things. If I'd applied it lightly, I would have smeared the Adirondak Ink. Maybe a spray medium in those cases first to hold the ink. Oh - important tip - don't knock over the Mod Podge container. That's where that thick coat came from. All over the darned thing!

I'd finally bought some Walnut Ink (why? because every time I read an article about ageing, it's there. Do I know how to deal with it yet? Heck, no! That can come later) so I used the dropper it came with to put dots of the ink onto the drying medium. I also found a bit of copper wire I pressed into a particularly thick glob of it, and did the same with some paper scraps sitting on the table.

My camera batteries are recharging, so you'll have to come back to see a picture of the dry collage base- shameless, I know.
Now, back to that CQ I was doing a couple of posts ago. I'm on to beads and buttons.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy 2008

A great start to the New Year. The predicted snowstorm wasn't bad here and my studio is getting marginally tidier every day. I bought a shoe organizer on sale this weekend, and have attached shipping labels by clothespins to each pocket. I'm going to put rubber stamps in it, I think, and will stamp each shipping tag with the stamps in their pockets.
I organized my postcards into a sample album for the store I'll be teaching at,
and am working on the Crazy Quilt square for the CQ class. It's coming along well, and I found the silk fibres I got at Greenwood Quiltery during the retreat - the colours are perfect for it. I'm using lots of varietgated threads, and I've figured out how to take a decent closeup with the camera finally. My garden pictures should be better next summer because of it.
Speaking of Greenwood, I promised myself by the end of today the pictures of Eggplant #1 would be in the Greenwood emailbox. That's going to be the next thing I do after this post. In the next couple of days, I'll post pictures I've been taking as I've been working on a collage. Because of the matte medium incident, however, it'll be drying for quite awhile before I can continue with it.
I've added the Fiber Art Traders link to the blog, too. I highly recommend joining if you want to learn great techniques and stretch yourself. If you do, let me know!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Taking the Plunge

I've been working on getting myself motivated to take decent pictures of my Eggplant #1
piece for about a month now. Taking the pictures means having taken a step toward commitment. I'm concerned I wont do it properly, or perfectly, but I need to just step up and do it. What's the big deal about taking some pictures? I'm planning on sending them to a gallery as an entry for a show in early 2008. This would be a first for me.
I've spent a good deal of today cleaning up - both physically and metaphorically. The clothes I've been carrying around in my car, along with some Alex had outgrown (had he even worn them?? They look new), are now in the Salvation Army depot by our house, the basement is vacuumed (now THAT's an achievement), the pictures are now taken, (55, edited down to 6) with thanks to Donna Funnell of my quilt guild for photography hints, and I've been finishing off some, but not all of the many things that need to get finished off.
Out to dinner tonight with a friend I've known since kindergarten and her significant other, who I've also known since public school.
Happy New Year to one and all!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Burning Troubles

Sounds like a good book title - some sort of murder mystery. Unfortunately, it's an issue I'm having when burning organza. I'm getting a dark goo line where I burn. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do?
You can see it around my tulip here. I'm using the Creative Textile tool, but had the same challenge with a regular soldering tool I'd picked up at Canadian Tire. It makes a kind of cool outline, but I don't always want that cool outline.

I'm excited that one of the ladies of the Fibre Art Traders group has taken me up on my Pay It Forward challenge (I'm thinking I've done it wrong, as I KNEW that I was the 8th, and not the 1st, 2nd or 3rd person to reply to the challenge, but I'm still happy to participate - I guess it's more about the giving, isn't it?).
I made progress last night on my soon-to-be-felted knit backpack while out having some wine at a friend's house. I think they thought I was a bit crazy when I told them I'd brought knitting. They're probably right.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Organizing and Playing

IKEA the week after Christmas is a silly idea...but, I now have more nice white boxes and magazine holders, and a few ideas for other storage.
I've been playing with new postcards so I'll have lots of samples for the class at Quilter's Dream.
I like to start with a 12 x 16 inch piece of Fast2Fuse, then fuse down lots of fabric scraps.

Once I've got a good start, I cut the postcards out, then I can add more embellishments to each card so they look different.
I don't worry about bits of white showing through after stitching. Sometimes bits of fabric might not hold, and will flip as I free motion stitch, or there might be a bit of space between scraps. That's where one of my favourite tools comes in:
Anyone who knows me, knows I can't use enough glitz in my work.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Here's the tree that is WAY too filled with ornaments. They have no idea just how encrusted I'd like it to be...Alex forgets I'm an embellisher. The tree's just the start.
I added some vintage ornaments from the Christie Antique Market adventure I had with Christine in the fall. I didn't take a close look at them until I was replacing the wire hangers on them with gold ribbon this month, and found that most are Polish, one is from Czechoslovakia, and one East Germany. Even saying EAST Germany gives me the chills.
This is my big wrapping day, and I have to cook Christmas dinner tonight. I'm panicked about the number of stocking stuffers I have-or don't have, so I'm sure I'll end up going out, despite my better judgement, but when have I paid attention to THAT when it comes to buying gifts?
I've made some marginal attempts to do some straightening in the studio, and will likely make real progress this week, since I've taken the week off work. I've more pictures to take of postcards, as well, so I'll post them later.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Collage

I did a project from start to finish tonight - it's a Christmas miracle!
I've got a dear friend at work who leaves for a great new job at the beginning of January, so I made a collage tonight in the hope that she'll remember our fun times together. I feel pretty brave making it, as she went to an art university and has a wonderful eye for art, but it's all part of me pushing myself.

I used a prestretched canvas, covered it in mod podge and pressed down a burgundy serviette onto it. I sprayed it with some butterscotch and espresso color washes, then tore some pictures of wine and grapes, along with some altered pages I'd already done, a stamp, part of a bill from a restaurant we used to go to and an Extra Dark Lindor wrapper (we work 6 minutes from a Lindt distribution centre with a store that has wicked discounts!)

To dull it, I mixed some butterscotch wash with some medium brown paint, diluted it with some cold tea in a cup I'd not finished and painted it on. A couple of stamps, another spritz of the espresso color wash, some paper beads I'd made and copper tape along the bottom (onto which I've dabbed the rest of the glass of wine I had while creating, to see if it has a similar effect to vinegar - I doubt it, but it might dull it a tad while it dries), a small tag thanking her for the memories, and it's done. Well, it's wetter than the ocean right now, but it should be nice and dry in the morning.
If I can remember where I put the camera, I'll post a picture of it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Aloo Gobi & Paying it Forward

I'm starting my day with some cooking - there's a snowstorm going on that's dotting our windows with snow and ice, so something warm is in order. Aloo Gobi sounds just right. It means potato cauliflower. Pretty simple sounding, incredibly simple to make, yet amazing taste! Many thanks to Nupur of One Hot Stove, whose recipe I'm using. The perfect dish, if you can believe it, for a Canadian snowstorm! Not heavy like a chili or stew, but wondeful, warm spices to combat the snow, and the colour! Beautiful in a bowl over basmati rice, which is steaming now.

Twice today I've read of a Pay it Forward blog challenge, and it sounds like such a lovely idea, I've decided to join in. The thing about my joining, is that it's highly unlikely that I'll have anyone to send to!

Linda Teddlie Minton's great blog, Fiber Reflections, had the following posted: To the first 3 people who leave a Comment of their intent to “pay it forward” in my Comment section and also a promise on their own blogs, I will send a handmade item of my choosing within the next 365 days.

Here are the rules lifted borrowed from Linda, who borrowed from Carla:

Pay it forward rules: I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a Comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange, and who make the same pledge on their own blogs . I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

5 Random things about me

I got tagged...sort of. Lisa Call got tagged, and tagged everyone who read her "5 Random Things About Me" post, so here I go:
1. I've not been to Europe yet. One of my favourite movie lines comes from "The Impostors", after Stanley Tucci gives an impassioned description of Paris. Lili Taylor says, "You know Paris very well. Have you been there?" Tucci replies, "Not physically". I feel like that.
2. Speaking of movies, I like some pretty strange ones. (see #1) I now own a movie I remembered watching on Channel 7 out of Buffalo one Sunday afternoon when I was a kid, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum".
3. I have a fondness for what I call my "Dead British People" shows and books. I love Agatha Christie mysteries, Brother Cadfael mysteries, Midsomer Murders, Rosemary and Thyme (of course! they're gardeners) and other, what I believe are referred to as "cozy" mysteries.
4. I don't think I'll ever have a "decorating style". My friends have definite, and excellent taste, and for all the magazines I have around this place, you'd think I'd have absorbed some sense of style, at least by osmosis, but, no. Do piles and piles of books everywhere count as a decorating style?
5. Few things make me happier than seeing students' confidence in their abilities grow during classes with me. I don't think I really "teach", so much as coach and mentor people through classes, and I find that incredibly rewarding. Watching the talented people I've taught develop their styles is one of the best things about teaching.

There, random, and wordy. Another random fact. If it can be said in 5 words, I'll manage 10. I'm going to do the same thing Lisa did - if you read this post, then please do the same - I'd love to see your post on your blog, or if you don't blog, put your random things either in the comments, or email them to me. If you're reading this, we likely have something in common already, and I'd love to hear from you.
There's to be a major storm this weekend, so I'll have to get things done today.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

When it rains...

I haven't headed back into my book. The challenge with posting is that I always start poking through other people's blogs (I have some stunningly creative artists listed on the left hand side - check them out!). It usually leads me into playing. I received the most wonderful gift to play with this week, from a friend who truly knows me! That she "gets me" makes the gift all the more special.
I knew something was coming, and this week, a big envelope appeared in my mailbox. Inside, a lovely card, and shimmery, shiny fabrics! Nothing better for me. It was so much fun looking not only at the fabrics, but their origins. This was no ordinary fabric - some pieces were sleeves, some vest fronts, others were harder to identify, but no less lovely.

I've been looking at them over and over, and I have a couple of ideas I think will do them justice. What a wonderful, Christmasy thing to do!

I'm Free!

This is Noel; a cherished gift.
Both classes are done now, so yesterday I started a book purely for pleasure! "This is My Country, What's Yours?" by Noah Richler (yes, Mordechai's son). No textbooks for another month, and only one course at that. It's been a tough slog since my last post, but I'm ready to tackle the future.

I'll be teaching a couple of classes in the New Year at Quilter's Dream - I didn't take on much as I still have that one course to get through - and I've got lots of ideas, especially for the postcards class. I had so much fun making them on retreat that I can't wait to play with a classful of creative people!

The house is now festive; I've sprinkled Christmas all over the place. I know I've been successful, since Alex is complaining that, "you can't move anywhere in the house without getting Christmased." Ah, success! I remember when he used to love it all. I decorated our stairs the way our quilt guild president does - rather than putting garland and lights around the top (and therefore potentially killing people going down the stairs at night, I hear), I strung the garland, lights, and balls from the base of the posts. It looks lovely, I think.
I made some sourdough baguettes and lentil soup for lunch - perfect for such a miserable day. Back to my tea and my book.

Monday, October 8, 2007


I've been knitting the soon-to-be-felted backpack all day (when not preparing a full turkey dinner). I looked online to see if I could find any tips on making a needlefelted pumpkin and came across a blog that had a great recipe for an apple crisp. Silly me, though; instead of apples, I used pears. Pears are much moister than apples. It ended like most of my adventures in baking.
It's not exactly a crisp, as much as a soft. My own fault though. I used to do the same thing that aniexma used to do - sprinkle the topping rather than pressing it, so the juices cook the topping. Her blog name is Madly Off in All Directions...I thought she must be a Canadian by the blog's name.
I still haven't found any tips on making a needlefelted pumpkin. I just don't know if you're supposed to work around a base or not. Back to searching....

Sunday, October 7, 2007

I bought MORE books!

You just wouldn't think it's possible for me to want to buy more books. My catalogue on Librarything right now stands at 318 books, and I'm nowhere near done cataloguing. So... what did I do yesterday? Found a $30 gift certificate from Chapters, and headed out to buy yet more books. To be fair, I spent most of it in the cheaper section, but I did get a cool book on felting called, not surprisingly, Felt It! by Maggie Pace of Pick Up Sticks. There's a cool little backpack I want to make, because sometimes I just don't want to carry around a purse. Plus - since I now have the embellishing machine, I want to use it on something I've made myself. I'm going to make an effort to talk more about new books/sites/blogs/techniques I come across, because there's a HUGE amount of great information on fibrearts out there!
I don't think I posted this picture of a coffee cozy I made for one of the co-op students at work. She's such a sweet girl, and is a Barrista at Starbuck's. She's shared with me some of the coffee she gets, and Starbuck's gets their money's worth from it - believe me!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Saturday at last

I lost a very long post, and now am ticked.
Hitting save didn't seem to work, and the claims that Blogger save drafts automatically just doesn't seem to be entirely accurate...I waxed poetic about this morning's thunderstorm, which seems to be more or less over. It was rain that was sorely needed here.

I've updated my classes, as I've firmed up a lecture and class with the Niagara Heritage Quilters' Guild for March. I didn't propose any classes to shops this season, as I knew I'd be too busy with the 2 night classes I'm taking. I'm very glad I backed off teaching a bit, but I really do miss it. I just love the interaction with participants, and I especially love what I learn from them! Perhaps in the spring I can get back to it in earnest.

I've added slideshows from Karen Harrison's and Susan Kraftcheck's webshots albums of the Rankin Quilt Show, organized by Val Champ to raise funds for their community Centre. I had Pomegranates and Lemons, along with Jane Asea in the show. I get to see Val on Friday as she drives to Shipshewana for a retreat with other Janiacs next weekend. Since my office is a stone's throw from the 401, I've enticed her with a Starbuck's visit and she'll return my quilts then. I was sad I wasn't able to get up to the show, but see the paragraph above for the reason...

I ordered some lovely fabrics from Hancock's of Paducah, and they arrived yesterday! They included a catalogue, which is much harder to ignore than web pages. With the Canadian dollar even higher than the USD right now, it's definitely a good deal. I did check around the LQSs I love before ordering the fabric I was looking for. I support my LQSs like I do any good candy store, but I admit I am very pleased with the quality, speed and prices at Hancock's.

Off to Chapters now, to see if the latest Quilter's Home is in. It's a great READ, which is why I buy it. I love Mark, and his magazine is a reflection of his humour.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

What's new

I haven't written in a bit or uploaded any new pictures. I'm just not a superblogger with talent like Jayne Bingler. She writes See Jayne Blog and I was idly googling her last name when looking at old family photos, as her grandparents were great friends of my grandparents. I was looking for someone it turned out was her aunt's cousin, who I thought was in a photo with my mom as little girls. I found out the little girl in the picture was her aunt. If I have this right, her great aunt was my mom's godmother. When I first ran across her blog, she lived in Amsterdam, but is now back in Toronto. I'd also met neighbours of hers in the last year...strange coincidences.
So...what have I been up to? I couldn't resist the temptation to buy a needlefelting machine and I'm having a blast with it! I got a Huskystar ER10 and sat down right away and started playing.
I had a scrap of batting and material cut off from Retreat Leaves (see below) and since I'd also gone to the cool knitting store, Spun, next to Sewing Machines Etc., where I bought my needlefelter. I got some great rovings in there. I'm so envious of wonderful knitters. I can knit, but it's not an art form with me.

I've also been playing with postcards again for a swap. I've been using them as a way to practice my machine quilting, which has never made me happy. I practiced on some really old navy blue silk I'd made a lovely jacket from in high school, then layered it with some scraps, some gold organza, then took a heat gun to it. Some of the organza melted away. I got lots of good comments on it at guild last week.
For another, I simply practiced stitches. I'll be darned if I can get the gorgeous, tight circles other quilters seem to manage.
I used expandable paint to do the cross and what I think of as Baroque wallpaper image.

I'm looking forward to the retreat at the end of October, as I'll be able to do 4 straight days of fabric art. Of course, seeing as I have two midterm exams the week after, I'll also have to do some heavy duty studying as well. Taking two courses in one term is silly, but I'll get through them and have done with it.
I'm putting together another one of those wacky nine patches Heather Black showed me - pictures to follow if I get the borders on. I've ordered a whack of material from Hancock's of Paducah to make throws for friends' little girls. I wonder if their brothers will get ticked....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A few garden pics

I've been taking pictures in the garden every month, so I know what to plant next year - and where not to plant things next year!
I'm pleased about how things are going in the garden.

I'm pleased with this basket, so will likely do something similar next year. The ones with the regular geraniums, ivy and lobelia just aren't anywhere nearly as nice as this ONE basket.
The watering system from Lee Valley Tools is great, and makes it so easy to take care of them. I gave them a shot of compost tea for the first time today, since I was emptying out the compost bin again today. I'll try to monitor them to see if it seems to make a difference.
I've been able to empty the compost bin 4-5 times already this summer - the rolling bin makes it quickly. I've been bringing home coffee grounds from work and adding them to my bin. I'm pretty sure they think I'm nuts at work, but I'm the one with free compost!

I got something done

I finally finished Retreat Leaves, which I'd started a few years ago during an annual retreat just south of Guelph.

We found the leaves behind the Greenwood Quiltery and I started a quilt using Vals' terrific hand dyed fabrics. It took forever to get up the courage to machine quilt it since it's not a great skill of mine. I'm pleased enough with it, and am glad it's finally done.

I've continued adding in books to LibraryThing. What a great site!