Monday, July 28, 2014

What is going on?

Hi folks, after a week of fighting "the crud" and not being very creative, I am finally feeling better. Yesterday I was scheduled to sing a duet for church and I managed to be there and sing. I think it went well.

I don't know if you are aware but starting on August 2nd there is an online quilt show called "Pets on Quilts." It is being run by Lilypad Quilting.
There is a button on the left sidebar that will take you there.  OR you can click the picture above. If you have a quilt with an animal theme OR if you have a pet that will pose on your quilt - you can enter.  But if you don't have either, there are other ways to still win prizes. (go check it out.)  There are some wonderful sponsors.  I won't attempt to list them as I would surely miss one.  One of the prizes is a Velocity Steam Iron - I have one of these and I love it.  So be sure you enter.  One easy way to be registered for a prize is to be a PR angel.  All you have to do is add the button on your blog.

As you all know, I have been doing a lot of weaving.  One of the fun/crazy things I learned was how to make a hat from a piece of woven fabric. So here is a silly picture of me in a hat that I made. The ponytail/fringed part is supposed to go to the back. You know I don't always do the conventional thing -- hey, I can't help it - I am an artist.
Smilin' at ya. 

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Monday, July 21, 2014

A creative riff

Even though I am still "croupy"  I am seeing inspiration in many places. Wanda at Exuberant Color posted what she is working on with some leftovers.  I really liked the "What if" she showed.  So into Electric Quilt, and after drawing two blocks, I set up the layout and then played with the colors.

Probably my favorite.  I love the paths made by the two red fabrics

This one looks choppy to me

I see dragonflies (and now I see an oops in the layout - one
segment didn't get rotated) 

Change the background to white and this is a lovely Quilts of Valor quilt (Wanda said so!)

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Crud

Have you ever had "the crud" ?  I had great plans to do some quilt making this weekend. I was going to finish this piece.
It needs backing, quilting and binding.  But it hasn't happened.

  Friday morning I had a vaguely sore throat.  I assumed it was allergies as I had cut the grass the evening before. So I just carried on.  By evening it was a bit worse and I was slightly grumpy.  ( I should have realized it then.) Saturday morning I was BLAH!  I have THE CRUD!  As I am rarely sick, this is a real pain to me.  Sunday I have been sleeping frequently, and when  awake drinking lots of hot tea (Celestial Seasonings Peppermint for the head clearing effect.)  When you are sick it is very important to stay hydrated.
So folks, I am going to be all right, but for now I am back to tea and rest.  Hopefully I will have something new to show you in the next week.
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Happy Happy and Blessed

After attending the opening session of the Saori Conference, I really really wanted to take more classes.  I had discovered that you could have signed up for the Post Conference workshops only. But I was too late as all the arrangements for food and such had been final for a while - yes - it was after the cut-off time.   I really didn't know about the cut-off though. So I just emailed the conference organizer and asked if it was possible that I could come for the classes.
What a surprise!  She had a student who had to leave early and wouldn't be there for the Post Conference classes.  I had met this lovely lady while there earlier. She gifted me her classes.  When I found this out, I started looking for a hotel.
I found a hotel nearby and in my price range -although at the higher end of it. I was ready to book when I got a text on my cell phone. It seems the conference organizer asked a lady who lives in the local area if she had an open room I could stay in.   This is a lady who was taking a class and weaving a lovely scarf on the day I bought my loom.   She and her husband were an absolute delight!  I chatted with both of them on Sunday evening over supper. Then, of course I chatted with her during free times at the class and in between classes.  It was a delight.
I learned so many things that I can do on my loom.
We were also shown how to drape the woven fabric on a dress form to design clothing with minimal cutting of the woven fabric.  Masako, the lady who did the designing as we watched, is a genius in creative clothing design.
Here is a picture of Masako during the design process.
Masako smiled most of the time we were there.  She clearly is a joyfully creative person.  I know that the creative process brings much joy into my life. My wish is that you have the joy of creativity in your life also.

I will have more pictures from these classes as I have time to process them.

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Fun Trip

On Friday, I went to a weaving conference opening session.  This session was free and open to the public.  One of the most interesting parts was a fashion show of clothing and accessories made with Saori woven fabric.  Saori is both a company and a philosophy.  In the USA it is a registered trademark.   The philosophy speaks about making things by hand in a way that a machine can not make them.  Errors are not seen as flaws but as adding interest in the designs.  It also speaks to learning from each other: "we learn together as a group."  Even the beginner makes valid discoveries and shares them with the masters.

But what of this fashion show?  Do you want to see pictures? I have to say that this gave me so much inspiration for weaving - and for sewing also.
Here are a couple to tempt you - then you can follow the link to my Flickr album.

My Fashion Show Pictures on Flickr.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Rich Colors

A friend contacted me to make something for a present. I got excited.  I ordered the supplies and could hardly wait for them to arrive.
Then they arrived and I got started on the weaving.
I had a difficult time putting this down.  The colors are richer in person than they appear on the screen.
Last night, I got it off the loom.  It still needs to have the fringe twisted.  Then I will wet finish it.
Here are the photos I took this morning under overcast skies.

two photos combined to save space!
 This scarf is roughly six feet long as requested and made of mostly wool. There are some cotton fabric bits added in. There is also a bit of acrylic and a wool/acrylic blend yarn in there since I needed the extra colors.

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Saturday, July 05, 2014

Deck Garden

In five gallon buckets on the deck.
Play of light on the bean leaves and blossoms.


Looking out from my home on the deck

Ripening for a feast

In a luxurious yellow, blooms the squash plant. 

Peeking from behind the leaf

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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Oxalis and a Present

When I went out today, I saw the oxalis in my shade planter.  Wow! It has suddenly started to thrive in this heat.  I planted it for the foliage but the blooms are pretty also.

I love the richness of the deep purple with the the lighter purple accent.  The blooms are on delicate green sprigs that complement the purples nicely.  As the blooms are the palest pink it is hard to see the color in these pictures.

I have spent a bit of time weaving a present for someone who is having a birthday.  I never know what to give as a present so something handmade and useful is what I like to give.  This was not started to be an art piece, but something happened along the way.  Thanks to my muse and to the Spirit of all creativity it is very artistic.  I am grateful for any creativity that I am blessed with.

And of course a couple of close-ups

I enjoyed making this scarf - and I really enjoy looking at it.  I hope the recipient loves it too.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Do you think of Christmas in July?

Some kind soul asked if we would be doing the Quilt Angels project again this year.  I answered with a resounding yes.  The Quilt Angels project has been my Christmas project since 2011.  So right now I am thinking of Christmas in July.
For those of  you who don't know about the Quilt Angels,  let me give a brief overview.
Photo Courtesy of Dave Burks

Quilt Angels is a project that provides quilts to young people who are in the Ogden House shelter in Alabama. This shelter is a safe place for children ages 12-17 that are temporarily displaced from their families or are deemed a child in need of services, not "juvenile delinquents.”  Some of them have made poor choices due to the lack of parenting.  The youth participate in activities that will increase their knowledge of life skills. Some examples of life skills training they receive will include chores, cooking, budgeting, and other independent living skills. The children also volunteer and perform community services work while in the program and attend public schools to continue their educations. But one of the most important things is that they are given both love and appropriate discipline. They learn the boundaries and how to live within them.

So, we want them to know that love comes from everywhere.  And what better way to show love than with a warm snuggly quilt?  We ask for large lap quilt-- up to bed quilt size.  These young people leave the shelter with a visible sign of love - a quilt.   We deliver the quilts to the shelter usually the week before Christmas.

Each year I have been honored to do this has changed me. I have learned to be more accepting; to be more grateful; and to be more generous.  I realize that the life I change just could be the one that makes this world a better place.  That thought thrills my heart.

So, if you want to know more - there is a tab at the top of my blog; or you can click here.  The posts from the past years are linked on that page.

We are always happy to have sponsors for prize and will give you links in the posts and our undying gratitude.

So if you would love to donate a quilt - you have several months to work on it- you can let me know now or wait until the big kickoff in November.

Here is Ms. Jean, one of the house mothers, saying thanks.

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Welcome to July - June Wrap-up

Wow,  my first month of retirement is over.  It went by really fast.  Looking back, I can see why.  I started out by getting my new loom.  That was a full day trip - and a large expenditure, but so worth it!
I used the loom to weave fabric that I sewed into this shirt/vest.
I used the leftover fabric to make this infinity scarf.
Then I wove this scarf and found out that I need to know more about animal fiber yarn. Some of the alpaca yarn was too stretchy.
I sewed a table topper (which at this point is still a flimsy.) This was from a kit I was given.
I made a fabric box,
sewed out an embroidery bookmark,
And somewhere in amongst all that, I managed to make a priest stole for our interim pastor who had her last Sunday with us on June 20th.
Now for an update - She loves the stole.  She was all smiles and grins.  Several times she thanked me profusely.  Here is a photo of us just after it was given.

If you see the sign above her head, well it fits.  But honestly it was part of the decoration for "A Southern Celebration -and SendOff"  We had lots of Southern food and hilarious Southern sayings hanging from the ceiling of the parish hall.   My favorite was probably "Bless her little thumpin' gizzard" - I can imagine one of my aunts or great-aunts saying those very words.

I hope your June was glorious and that your July is also wonderful.
Peace Y'all!

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