Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thinking About Spring?

After only two cold days, bbbrrrrr............ I think I have become a wimp! We have been spoiled with good weather since that awful storm in October and now it is really becoming winter.

I started machine work on my Marsh Marigold yesterday and like how it is coming out. Of course, I actually planned this piece to be SMALLER, but my ideas and actuality don't seem to mesh! I find that a teeny bit frustrating as I have a few really small canvasses I want to fill. I think I just need to do a one flower type thing, time will tell.

I did myself a favor the other day and hid the Craisins (people here eat everything) in order to make some cranberry orange cookies, but can't seem to find where I put them! That figures.
The other day we were looking for a small electric heater we have and we both thought it was in the box. Looked there, but no heater. We can't seem to find it. I just wanted to record that for my next CRS Club meeting - LOL!

So, I end on the note that everything here is just fine and normal. Wishing you all a wonderful 2012!

AH HA! Found the Craisins ...............hiding in plain sight  :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Greetings and Salutations!

Happy Holidays to ALL those wonderful people I know and Love!

Now, on to this mornings fun/play time. I changed and arranged, cut more and discarded little pieces of colors and assembled them back into the Grackle. I added some ink lightener and I think I am happy with this guy now.

I just have to sew him down, add another reed and I'm off and running with the machine quilting.

After Christmas Day..............................

Friday, December 23, 2011

Food and the connected memories it brings

I just finished reading Melody Johnson's post about perogies and the memories it invoked. Got me to thinking about my childhood food favorites.

My Grandmother used to make Gorton or a meat (pork) spread. I loved that! I have made it as well, but it just wasn't Grammys, if you know what I mean? We also loved to get toast on the stove that my Aunt made for us. My older brother and I always wanted the piece with the white square in it. This is before they owned a toaster and had this great gas stove with a flat cook top and covers. Such was life with French Canadian Grandparents.

I grew up in a very diversified neighborhood of all different nationalities - which meant all kinds of small grocery stores selling the yummy specialties that I grew to love.
We had a small Polish market on the street behind us - best kielbasa and bubka, in front of us was Syrian - we used to get fresh pita bread and simsen (sp?) right out of the oven for .08 a large pita and .15 for simsen.  To the left was Canadian and to the right was a mix of all kinds of people. We used to go up to the Italian section of town on our bikes for pastries, lemon slush, olives and bread. That part of town provided a feast for a buck!  OI! What delights.

Today I will bake cookies and pecan pie for a family gathering tomorrow night. Yes, we will have other food, but I only bake pecan pie once a year, so.....

Christmas dinner, we will be having a Greek Lamb stew with Caesar salad. Should be good and of course.............leftovers, my favorite :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Starting another new one

This one is going to be a landscape type of a post I saw near home. I just found it interesting, so took a photo and now I like it enough to make it permanent and into art.

Before washing
Here's process photos of the background that I painted. This first photo has been done in stages. First I painted the sky and another bright green. I put salt on the green to see what happened. Then I washed it out by hand, pressed it and went on to put the darker green over the light green. I tipped the platter the piece was on so the paint would (hopefully) run down and make tree tops. Well it needed a little help (and I can't leave stuff alone) so I used a toothpick and made pointy tree tops.
After washing

Once that was dry, I then pressed it and thought about it. Then washed it in hot water in the washer.
I like the way that came out and it is what I wanted. Pretty successful all around. Now to cut out and applique the post and tree for the center. (all this stuff is done in the dead of the morning as we are renovating my son's bedroom too.)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tis the season

To be so busy that you just don't have a minute to do much, except keep up with family.

Happy Holidays!
Sunday is our 35th Wedding Anniversary! We will probably go out to eat (yah! I don't have to cook) and maybe see the exhibit at the Museum of Science - Pompeii.
Not very romantic, but I know I'll never get to Italy to see the real Pompeii, so why not take advantage of it?

I finished applique on my Marsh Marigolds and started another small wall art, this one will be a Purple Trillium. Just rounding out my wildflower collection.
So, I have a line up of:
-Marsh Marigolds
-Common Grackle
-Purple Trillium
-Post with a Tree (sounds boring, but I liked it and that's what really counts)
I need a couple more to make up the balance of my work for spring jury for the League.

Talked with a gallery owner about my work in his gallery after the holidays. Could be a good place to market my work. I hear it is a busy place, most of the year.
I dumped out my scrap bag to see what I have..................hhhmmmm, looks like lots of small scraps.

In my mind, I am planning to do some fabric printing and stuff like that after Christmas when the weather gets cold and nasty.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Grackle progress

In between home renovations, I actually get to enjoy something - (the other stuff is just work.) So I have been working on the grackle. I fed him a little and now he looks better, but not quite perfect (to my eye.) I have shreds of fabric in a pile and little pieces everywhere. My working space keeps getting smaller as I cut away! LOL!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday

photo used for subject
After many months, I think I'm back in the swing of working on my pieces. Today I have a mock-up of my Common Grackle. This little guy will be changed a bit as once I take photos of pieces, I can really step back (sort of) and see what doesn't look right to me.
mock up with swamp/marsh fabrics I dyed the other day
I realized this morning that I now have three pieces that I have in line waiting for me to work on and my working time has been limited. Got to fix that!

I found this piece the other day looking through some older pieces I have. It's one of the last pieces I made BA or before accident. As you can see, it is very geometric and I had started hand quilting it - there is even a little left over blood on it where I pricked my finger!

See what others are doing at

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dyeing on Black Friday

That title sounds morose. BUT, I got this idea to start another bird depiction and need some brown/tanish background fabric. So I decided to do a tiny bit of dyeing. Instead of getting all the usual stuff out, I just wet the fabric and sprinkled the dye colors on.I then added soda ash water on top of it and now it sits stewing. I'll probably rinse it out tonight or tomorrow and then, hopefully it will be the colors I imagined.

Thanksgiving- everything tasted fabulous and there were happy people that we all spent good times with. Can you ask for more? Nah.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Changing covers

Yesterday after doing WAY too much, I decided it was time to put on my new ironing board cover.

So I took it outside and stripped it down to the original padding, brushed the ugly thing off and then looked for a new sheet to replace the old padding. Couldn't find one as we use those - LOL! I found some ugly fabric instead and made a pad from that and then put the brand spanking new blue cover on. OOOO! So new looking!
Got his from a Fuller brush dealer at the Deerfield Fair in maybe October. It's been kicking around waiting for me to do this.
 Does this new cover mean I have turned over a new leaf?Changed my thoughts and values? No, it means I have a pretty mundane life and just changed my ironing board cover  :)

Holidays are fast approaching - nothing to do with ironing boards. I'm having company and as usual will be left alone to cook all of Wednesday and Thursday morning. Not complaining here, but a couple more burners and maybe some more pots would be helpful, not to mention new dishes. I'm having kitchen anxiety. It comes every year when I am at the peak of hating my kitchen (holiday season the most.) I've entered contests, checked on line a lot to see if one of those home improvement shows are coming my way, but nope not here. So I'll just cook on my dinky stove in my inadequate kitchen with ancient refrigerator and not enough pots. I'll get someone to crawl inside the cupboard to get the turkey pan  for me.  It's behind the frying pans, behind the soup pot, under the angel food cake pan I never use. (of course all this is in the dark, so you need a flashlight to get to it.)

A few members of the Merrimack Valley Artisans (me included) got to present our work to the Groton Women's Club this past week at their meeting. We had a good time and got our message across of how much we love to do our art. A Good time was had by all. So much for my normal part of life.  :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Gentian mock up

So I took the newly painted fabric and cut it up. What a surprise! I did a little bit of stamping on it, then cut, chopped and discarded lots of little pieces to create this pic of gentian.

The second pic is the approximate size it will be once appliqued. I think some french knots on the stamped branches would imitate the gentian in a small way - but not too many of them.
I will probably baste this today and this afternoon work on my marsh marigolds to get that down on the background. I am still working my thumb, but not too much as I don't want to strain it. Daily (sort of) exercise for the hand works I just have to do it daily - LOL!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fabric Painting

I wanted to start another wildflower picture? thing? There is a word for that, but I am not getting it right now.
Anyway, I decided to use a painted background. So I took out my stuff and painted this. It is covered with salt right now and drying. I suppose after I wash out the salt I will have to dry it again.

That's ok as I have to work on the trim in my bedroom. I just got sick and tired of the color and will be going to a nice Ivory instead of dark blue (that is very 80's) Do I watch too many home improvement shows? You bet! So once I get DH to agree on something there is no dust on me, as he could change his mind, but once I am going he just gets out of the way :)

Yesterday I went to the store and bought all kinds of supplies that either dried out or needed replacement. WOW! Prices went up in the last 20 years! LOL! It will look fine when it is done :)
Maybe I'll put the piece outside to dry with some leafy things on it. HHMMM, I like that idea.
Do you think the chipmunks will walk on it too? Could be interesting.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Life is always interesting - so is dyeing fabric :)

Life changes constantly from one thing to another. Dyeing fabric though is just as baffling some days. I tried two new colors yesterday and did the washout and ironing this morning. Three types of fabric, sort of. I used silk and crepe de chine and just plain old pfd cotton from ProChem. The colors are from ProChem too. I used Olive Drab # 7182 which came out nice on the cotton, but more bronze on the silks. The other color is Dark Green # 7207. This color came out with a blue cast to it. Not bad for making shadow leaves. With the type pf work I do, I need to have a large collection of greens and these are good to add to the bunch.

So, to help you out.....
The olive drab pieces are (from left to right) 1, 2, 6 & 8 the others are the dark green.

For anyone interested, I have let my fabrics batch overnight and they are SO much easier to wash out - doesn't take a ton of water.....I like this as we have a well.

Why are there too many things I want to do? That is my question for the day - ponder, ponder.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Back from the dark :)

We got power back four days after the storm started. I feel very fortunate as there are still people out there without. It was miserable for us and I just can imagine how hard it is for them too.
Something is not quite right about counting on such a fragile system. We go about our daily lives completely unaware of the electrical infrastructure we depend upon = clueless. Until our lights and power go out - then it makes you realize how dependent you really are.

I guess that if I had the get up and go (as I did in my young days) I would create my own power/solar supply. I would also garden, put up my veggies and fruits, store stuff away for the long winter. Put wood by and all that Hippie stuff. I do know how to do all these things (which makes not having electricity easier) but the body doesn't want to be tough anymore - just wants to exist happily, not work hard like that.

So I sit here with my electricity and my diatribe spouting all kinds of drivel - and it is fun and comfortable in my heated, electrical house. Every day I thank the powers that be (NOT the electric company) for how good this life is.  :)  Enough said.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Stuff!!!

Got my Gelli printing plate, now I just need to feel like doing something :) Still have that crappy cough and going to the dr tomorrow.I plan on printing the scarves I had at the show - I just ran out of time, as usual.

 Tonight is the Opening of the Exhibit and Facilities at the new League of NH Craftsmen's headquarters. We've been working up to this for a while and now the DAY is here. I will be there for a while, but not as long as I first thought. I'll leave when I start to feel numb.

So, back to talking about dyeing stuff. I am going to get some good clamps soon. I have been relying on cord and rubber bands, but would like something that will do a flatter fold.

While I was getting my plate from Pro Chem, I also got some fabric paint thinner medium, more Propasol and two new green dyes. My favorite green came out bronze last time I used it and poop to it!
I do see me starting some more silk vessels and experimenting with shapes. They look quite good with a flickering fake candle in them. One of the ways I enjoyed doing the scarf dyeing is to just sprinkle it on the soda soaked scarves - made a neat random "cosmos." That's the same way I do the vessels too.
I also need to make some more greens for backgrounds

I started some marsh marigolds during the show and am working on that while I sit around. Now that my hand works :) What a difference too!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Restaurant nightmare?

The other night (after my show) we went to a restaurant (Indian food) but I will not name it to be nice. Here's my story:

We walked in and waited to be seated - normal. Got to a booth, sat for two seconds and moved over to a table and chairs as the booth was too uncomfortable for us (old sore, tired bodies) :)

We ordered food and then both needed to wash our hands. I went into the ladies room and proceeded to wash. The sink sounded particularly loud and as I was getting paper towels to dry my hands, looked under the OPEN no cabinet sinks and the one I used was draining into a bucket. I was then glad I did not need to use the other facilities.
When I got back, my DH went to wash his. Now I watch an awful lot of Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares (probably too much) so you can guess what I started thinking. So DH returns and the waiter brings over our lassies (sp?) drinks.
I told him about my sink thing - he then told me the men's room didn't have any soap! (all the waiters are men) and his feet stuck to the floor. EEEWWW!

We forged on thinking that bathroom cleanliness wasn't on this places list. We sipped our drinks (ok, DH glupped his) and as the waiter was just about to serve us, I went to sip mine again and there was a bug in it! They gave me another one. These guys are losing points quickly, like a 4 on our scale of 1 - 10.

We asked for mildly spiced food and it probably was but I couldn't eat one of the dishes as it blistered my mouth and it did make my teeth very white though :)
All in all, we gave that restaurant a 2 and won't EVER go back. As I said before, I watch a lot of those nightmare shows :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

After the Show

Today is the day after the show when my brain relaxes and stops thinking so hard. I feel like mush! BUT......what a great show we had at our new venue! Lots of people and smiles all around. Setting up my new booth area from jewelry to hanging things was different and I am still working out the kinks.
I did find out that my textured walls were too textured to hold the command hooks and two pieces fell off! That was a surprise, but no casualties.
We did notice upon breakdown that it went much faster than expected. The large walls were heavy and a PITA as our truck is shorted than the walls, but I may just use one next year. The twigs were great for hanging and that "system" will probably be used again next year. I may change the color of the back wall to something lighter. Maybe more lights, a taller circular table for the vessels - they were super popular! Things to think about for the next show.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Merrimack Valley Artisans

I just wanted to post the lovely card/announcement of our upcoming show!

Come on over - it would be good to see you!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Check this out!

Sarah, my daughter, just finished this beauty!  The new owner is very happy too!

I have been fighting a cold the past few days and just want to take a nap, have someone cook for me and I was cold enough this morning to turn on the heat!

Got another bag on the sewing machine and one in the living room waiting to be finished and the show in 16 days! TONS of dying to do too.............Hurry up Carol !!!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Things are quiet but.....

I'm not just sitting around :) I have been working on my chenille bag and it is almost finished. But got sidetracked by working on my daughters costume for her belly dancing recital. (sorry about he red eye - forgot to fix that) She made the top part and cut out the belt, but I sewed it together and the gold cording and she added all the hanging danglly things. She looks pretty darn good too. It was a fun show and her improvement every time is evident.

Monday, September 26, 2011

After much contemplation this morning.....

I finished the latest bag Squares and Sticks. I made a magnetic flap to close it in the shape of one of the ....shapes  :)

Now on to the next one. Looks like maybe something bright.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Can't seem to settle down!

Since my surgery, I have come back making hand bags. Well, I also made a small cocktail type hat and wore that to the wedding in June.
My latest problem is that I want to DO EVERYTHING at once. I just got this fabulous millinery book and want to dive right in, but my other self (Gemini) says to finish up what you started and then go forward with the applique plan for my spring League jury, etc.

I think I have ADHD! I am now looking at my silk vessels as possible hats. I'm just not sure how to make them into hats yet. Once sewn all over, they are still catchy - like spider web feel - and snag easily. If I use stabilizer, they are a bit stiffer and don't snag, but do need to be shaped.

Any input from any friends would be appreciated. I think one of my friends understands how this do everything feels. I think 'm following in her footsteps. Yipes!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

No dyeing yet

I started to wrap, fold, spindle, mutilate silk scarves ala shibori, but my thumb gave out and I have to do this a bit slower than I want to. I got one tied, and one half tied with 7 more to go, but some will be folded as well, so that isn't hard to do.
The problem with dyeing is that there are SO MANY wonderful colors and so little fabric! I am going to do some ice dyeing with this batch too.

Back to finishing up the squares and sticks handbag..............  what a good girl  :P

Friday, September 23, 2011

Handbags and Hatboxes and Stiff Neck - Oh My!

Yesterday morning, stiff neck ignored (bad idea, by the way) I sent off my Bohemian Waxwing to NY for the exhibit. That is a milestone for me - never sent any of my work away except to the jewelry publisher - but that doesn't count. This is for a real genuine exhibit and I hope I sell it too!

I finished my hatbox I was working on for my red feather hat I had made for the wedding. Now it has a home.

I have also been working on another handbag which is my own design - I call it Squares and Sticks. It is in a fairly vibrant color scheme. I will do the next one in the orangy/greeny/browny colors of the squares and sticks - 'cause I like it. This bag is smaller than the others I have been making. I was getting the feeling that I had been making suitcases (LOL!) not really, but being a small person, I usually like smaller sized/scaled things, so here you have it.

I also have a black and tan/gold one, a multi-color one, another purple one, brown and teal and blue. I don't think I have enough time though.

Today I plan on getting out some silk scarves and dyeing them. We will see how the dye fairies think of me being so absent :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Latest Finished Bag

Here's a pic of the last one I did. I already have two more in construction stages. Show is coming to have stuff to sell. Why do I do this every year?

I am actually enjoying making these. Now that I have a bit of confidence in the how and why area of bag making, it is quite enjoyable.  :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Birds in Stitches - on line viewing

You can now see the accepted entries of the pieces in the exhibit, Birds in Stitches. I am pretty pleased to see that I am rubbing elbows with "famous" artists like Caryl Bryer Fallert and Wen Redmond.
It is something to "Crow" about eh?
My piece will be shipped to NY later this month. Right now I am floating on air :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Working on something old?

I have been out of the loop so long I just don't know what's "in" or "out." The good thing is that I know what I like :)
At the recent show in Manchester, I ran into a hand bag (yes, still doing those) that was called a chenielle bag. Being a touchy/feely kind of gal, I needed one, so bought the cutter and pattern. This one is purely experimental and that does sound good considering I just want one. LOL!

So after my post card label debacle yesterday which we won't revisit now that I am in a good mood, I decided to cut the fabrics for the main part of the bag. I am usually a neat and clean worker - sort of. This time I was cutting and throwing fabric scraps around! (I actually had fun) and put together the required five layers of fabric. Then I started sewing the layers together and am now half done the sewing. I should finish that later today.

I got my clips and rings in the mail for the handbags that I ordered. These are color coordinated and not sold in stores around here. I had to order from NY, but the colors are nice and next time I will get smaller clips - I think I could hold down a  German Shepard with these! LOL!!! I may not use them - I don't know. Ten minutes later..................I do know! I ordered some smaller ones :)

Today I get a certificate and pin for being a member of the DAR for 25 years! It sure does not feel like that long, but it is a nice acknowledgement.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sewing adventures - I'm on the "I need express"

My only show is coming up fast, so now I need to do all kinds of stuff for it. I have been making hand bags, but need more than four.............don't you think?
I need to do more scarves before there aren't any leaves and things left for printing. I need to test some coating stuff for my silk bowls. I need to go faster or get more hours in the day. I have also been mentally planning my booth layout - no jewelry this year - it's all at the galleries.

So what do I do amongst all this stuff? I get more fabric for an apron. My old one has pooped out and just isn't "right" anymore due to a large hole worn into it. I got some weird asparagus fabric and some loud binding fabric and will whip that up today in between learning how to make labels for the artist groups postcard mailing.

I also could have had a job at a not so local jewelry store - which is why I don't have one. It's just not close enough for the bother. I'm not big on traveling through snow and ice to get there so - I just don't need it. Why do I put myself through this every once and a while? I have no idea, but will probably continue to do this - maybe to prove to myself that I exist? (sort of like pinch me to see if I am alive)  :)

Next week I have a meeting with the Gallery Committee at the new LNHC headquarters to learn from "Dan the Man" how to assemble the new gallery walls we have to work with.
The new space is so nice - very modern and museum like. It will be a pleasure to be able to set up exhibits there.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


One of my bird pieces, 'Bohemian Waxwing," has been accepted into the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Exhibit, Birds in Stitches!

This piece was inspired by a photograph of this beautiful bird. It was hand appliqued, bird, branches and berries, hand embroidered, machine "thread painted" and machine quilted.

All in all it is a successful piece and I am quite proud of it.

Here's the shows announcement!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Nothing much

Waiting for the storm and nothing is moving out there! NOTHING - not a leaf is twitching, kind of creepy. Of course, my DH wants to go to the trail and clean the culverts.......guess who his non-volunteer buddy is? I get to stay at the top of this embankment (= huge drop off) and hang around while he goes into the culvert to clean out whatever is blocking it. On a normal day this is not too boring, today I would rather stay home.
I put away all my charming garden ornaments so they won't blow away or get broken. What a good girl.

Since last posting, I made a lightweight jacket. I have had this fabric for a while and just love it (rayon batik,) so thought I would take a break from hand bags.  

Today I am making another handbag in a teal/blue/green family. I am using one of the vintage trims I bought at the show as well as my potter friends buttons.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A New Red and Black Bag

Here's the latest! I finished it the other day but have been busy doing non-art things. So far all my bags are derived from patterns with my own twist. I plan on continuing this - the patterns are for the basic shape, but the artistic stuff is all me :) Doing this while my hand recovers and gets strength back - that is doing good, but not up to par yet.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Quilt show outing

A friend and I went to a World Quilt Show in Manchester yesterday - it runs for the next two days too!
Had a blast meeting up with friends for lunch, then on to the show and vendors. Spent all my money on things to make other things with. :)
Have piles of things all over my studio now. That should make the not so organized people in my life happy.............I'm not organized! But it is such a happy mess!
I have photos of some of the quilts from the show, but won't post them here as not to offend the makers in any way - copyright stuff and all. I do have favorites though and will send them onto those who want them.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Back to dyeing scarves

Today I decided it was TIME. So, I got out my stuff and did some painting on silk scarves, kind of. I did use the alginate and like how it works too. Nice thick dyes that you can do stuff with.
This one I will overdye with some idea right now what color, but suggestions are fine by me :)
I also did a sprinkle thing with dye powder.

What you see here are long skinny photos - that's the best I can do this morning. Being short doesn't help when you have something long and thin to photograph  :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

My day out

The weather broke and the humidity went away just in time for me to go the the League Fair. It was a great time seeing all my art friends and colleagues and enjoying the beautiful scenery too. The sculpture garden was a delight, as usual.

I went earring shopping - I know, I can make my own, but I wanted some that I couldn't make, like glass and polymer to add some blues and reds to my wardrobe. I ended up with three pair blue, one red and one turquoise and green. All nice, all artisan crafted - not Chinese!

There were many varieties of arts represented. Going with a shopping purpose was one of my best ideas, though. I didn't get distracted and wander aimlessly :)

If you have a chance to attend this, then DO. It is on until Sunday at Mt. Sunapee Resort, Newbury, NH.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

So Today.......It Is Almost Finshed

I have to sew on the handles  :)  That's it and this one is done.
I am pretty happy with the whole thing.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

And then...

Here's the front of the bag. I added a little more fabric paint where the ferns are - some were just too pale for my liking.

Friday, August 5, 2011

24 hours later

Now I did some quilting and highlighting of the printed ferns I did yesterday. Things are getting better.
Can't wait until the show and Pro Chem.........I need to see the fabric paint, maybe get a few.

I took off the freezer paper and I think you get the idea I am trying to convey?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Attempting to mono print some fern

Getting the right color to show up good on this green is harder than I thought it would be. BUT, just like painting for me, I need to just walk away and leave it alone.
It's drying right now and I will see how it worked out later.
Here is the front and back of the unconstructed bag, guts and all. The front has a piece of freezer paper over the store bought batik printed fabric.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tea is sticky

This is a known fact if you put sugar into it :) Well, I do and after several hours of having a nice time with the new hand bag I started, decided it was enough and it was time to go sit and relax for a while.
As I turned around at the sewing machine to get up - mug in hand - I seemed to have accidentally hit the top of the sewing machine and down came the mug 3/4 full!
I got soaked, my hand bag front got soaked, tea flew all over the place - BUT it didn't touch my new machine :)
Was I thrilled!!!!  As I stood there dripping, I was just so happy to have missed the machine that I hesitated a bit and then dashed for something to sop up the mess.
Of course this got my DH's attention and I then got more help cleaning up than I really wanted, but appreciated it anyway.
I cleaned me up last. Hand bag front was soaked, but I ran it under water immediately and it sits drying right now.
Just a typical day with me  :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Purple Clutch Bag

Here's the second bag I just finished. It has a silk flower too!

This one was interesting to make too. It will be at the Merrimack Valley Artisans display in Andover, MA and Chelmsford, MA  libraries from August through September along with a couple of other things I have.

Thread II

So to continue the thread discussion which I went off of.................. I took out all my spools with only a little thread on them and put them in a bag. I then put all my top stitch thread in the top drawer (how appropriate, eh?)

Larger spools in the second and smaller spools in the third. I then ran out of room to put any more, so I had to sneak the skinny spools in the back of the second and third drawer in a double row. I can see all the colors and reach in and get whatever one I want without digging and having a zillion thread ends all tangled. That was definitely a job for a neat freak. (I did not put them in color coordinated order - I will leave that for another day.)  :)

After that I worked on the purple bag again, ate lunch, applied for a job at Apple. That was answered within 10 minutes and now I have a phone interview coming up on Wednesday.

Why did I apply? Well we have been thinking about a lot of upcoming expenses and I occasionally do work to help out. The bulk of my time though, I spend on my art, which is a perfect place to be.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thread and how it reproduces?

I got a load of thread yesterday in the mail. NICE! I am very happy and just need to use it and test it to see the quality - or not quality that is to be determined. Actually it woulld be more like does it work of me or not?

One is Egyptian Cotton, one is Polyester and then I got a sample spool of Trilobal Polyester. Colors? I got blues and greens and imagined I got purples, but that was just my imagination.

Today I will be staying in again - too humid for me - and trying to finish up my second purple bag. I started this one a couple of weeks ago and kept putting it aside to do something more interesting :)   Like buy thread.

We have two fun things coming up in the next few weeks here. The League of NH Craftsmen's Fair at Sunapee, NH and the Mancuso Quilt Show in Manchester, NH. I plan on going to both.
Actually can't wait, but will have to as that is how time goes.

I have become addicted to two tv shows on BBC America. Top Gear and Chef Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares. Top Gear, BBC, is just interesting and funny (Top Gear America is just boring) I like that English humor rather than the old boy stuff.
Chef Ramsey.........well, there is a certain fascination with how some restaurants are run that interests me. Now, I try not to think about it when I eat out. AND, I do like cooking shows, so it sort of clicks. Better than watching Say Yes to the Dress.

I am still limited on what I can do with my hand. I started making some silk flower corsages. Those are fun, but tire my hand muscles out fast, so those are slow.

The call of the dye is in the air though.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Blue/Batik Bag

Front of finished bag.
I finished the blue bag - neede to go to the store yesterday and get some more thread. The Texture Magic needs to be sewn all over and this took a bit of thread.

I must be slow or something because it felt like it took forever to do this.

So, now it is done and steamed, assembled and finished. Next time I will do just smaller pieces of fabric with Texture Magic as this was a lot of work - too much for a lazy daisy like me.

Back of bag with different stitching pattern.
I like how it came out and will do another in the same shape, but with different things going on.

Next for color will be greens.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Here's the Purple Bag!

In reading all kinds of instructions and things about the Soft & Stable, they recommend using a walking foot!!!!!  I'm still waiting. The store said this upcoming week....hhmmm.

So anyway, here's a pic of the Purple Bag with Many Mistakes. It was a fight to the end! I did enjoy making it, but not taking off and putting on the closure and handle multiple times. I should PAY ATTENTION to what I am doing and not let my enthusiasm get in the way of doing it right.
The button (which is decorative) is a piece of Wampum.

Here's the bag in all it's glory. The next one will be better, I am sure.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Really Purple Bag With Many Mistakes

After many weeks of a lot of inactivity, I have finally returned to the sewing machine (hand sewing is still limited, but I can do that too.)
So I started a handbag of my own design, using purple fabrics I had and a fat quarter or two I picked up at the store.

Sewed the outside all together. Didn't like it - took it apart. Cut the support stuff out and then free motion stitched a story on the bag - very short, but words none the less. Sewed it together again with the support stuff so it doesn't flop around. Added the bottom.

It is sitting there right now waiting for me to finish attaching the bottom support stuff. Then I will cut out the lining, make the handle and add that, turn it all right side out and voila!
I will have: A Really Purple Bag With Many Mistakes! Yes, that is what I stitched on it.

I suppose I could have used a pattern, but I just plowed ahead like usual and I know I will like it when it is done. This is my test bag - to test the stiff stuff that is in the middle to see if I like it or not. So far.............I like it. It makes the bag stand up nicely. It's called Soft & Stable and it is a foam core lined material. It sews nicely and free motions great.

Next to try on another bag is Texture Magic - we'll see how that performs too.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mi Vida Loca

Yesterday, nice and early,  I was all efficient and got the post ready to go, the banking in my hot little hands and off to PT and errands I went.

Sounds normal, right? Did the bank and post office just fine. Got to PT only to find out I was there on the wrong day - typical me  :) So I went for a walk instead.

When I got home I thought I would play with my new walking foot. I had started a needle keeper before I went out, and thought it would be good to see how well the walking foot did it's job.
This one gave me a bit of a problem. After fiddling around with it for about 40 minutes I came to the conclusion that maybe it was the one-handed woman fault and not the foot - it just wouldn't go onto the machine.
So, off to the sewing store, and while I was in Nashua over to the gallery to deliver some jewelry.
Got to the store and asked for either lessons in what I am doing wrong or this foot just doesn't fit.
I am pleased to say that it wasn't me and the wrong foot had been ordered. Another replacement foot on order (they called Bernina to make sure of the serial number) and  a bobbin keeper later, I was on my way home and happy that it wasn't me.

We'll see what adventures await today because I have PT.........really :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Getting it all together

It has been a long road these past few weeks. I can do a very small amount of hand sewing, but can do machine sewing and am planning on making a handbag or two. I got some neat-o feet for my machine and am dying to try them.

It's also time to start dyeing scarves and fabric for my palette. I am finishing off my fascinator (hopefully today) and got a beautiful silk flower from Shibori Girl to wear on my dress for the wedding on the 9th.

I also bought some of her ribbon which I have been looking at for over a year. Took the plunge and will make some of my own flowers and add some to my work, as soon as I can do it :)

What a great way to fritter away the time.............writing things on the computer. I could be doing something else in the studio, so I go!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

More new pictures of the fascinator

A friend asked me to take some photos against a white background. She also asked what I did to make it.
I first did a massive amount of research. Then I found a place where they had a pattern for the base. From there I had some fabric, but no buckram, so ran off to the store to get supplies.

I made the base (with a lot of starting and stopping as the first part I made by hand and followed directions of hand sewing on the wire.) OUCH!

Left Side
Right Side
Once I had the base it was a matter of decorating it. Previously I found  a place that sold feathers and had ordered three types of shapes. I experimented with making a flower with wired ribbon and liked that, so kept it. The center of the flower is a silk flower thing I found at A. C. Moore. placed that on the hat base and did a lot of looking at it. I then tried feathers in different arrangements with the flower pinned to the base. Then spying several types of fascinators I liked, I used two sizes of ribbon to do ribbony loops and things. Those were attached by hand sewing again. The feathers were secured (hot glued) down to a small fabric base the same fabric used for the actual base so it would be hidden. I made a couple more little roses to hide attaching areas and now have those floating type of feathers to attach to the base too. (not done yet)
I found a headband I could wear and will cover that with black ribbon and attach the whole base to the headband so it will stay on my head - at east for the wedding. :)
Some are made with hair clips, but they don't stay in my hair, so I didn't do that way with this whole project.
I took about a week and a half to do this in spurts because of my hand, but I think this can be done quickly with two hands LOL!

(the back view looks a little limp, but it really isn't.
Thanks to my potter friend for the vase to make this one..........she doesn't know I use her pottery for all kinds of creative things. (guess she does now)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Fascinator - what I have been doing.....

So, I have a wedding to go to and one of my SIL proclaims that every woman in the family will wear a hat - like the royal wedding.

Hats are not my forte! I generally look a bit goofy in one. BUT I have been plugging away on this project all week. It is not easy making anything with one hand and a few fingers. I persevered though and when my PTherapist said I could take off the splint when I am at rest.............well, it's not that hard holding something lightly, right? I haven't had any problems yet and am VERY careful what I do with my hand.
Left Side
Right side
Here's the results of my week of work.

Any comments?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Still goofing around.....

I'm looking around my work room/studio this morning and for someone who can't do much, this place is a mess! Small piles of cut fabrics here, batting over there and  a pile of feathers to make a fascinator over there. We'll see how that goes, I need two hands to do something like that. Maybe hot gross! I prefer sewing, please, but may be forced into using hot glue.The wedding is two weeks away, maybe I will be able to handle a needle by then.

I have an appointment to have my work juried into a local gallery and will be going there today after PT.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Finally - some photos :)

So, they aren't exciting,'s my semi-permanent cast/brace. This can come off and I have had and will have this until I see the dr. next month. I am only supposed to take it off when I shower, wash my hands, etc.
Do I need this? YES, I do. I am progressing nicely though.

The second photo is of the postcard I was attempting to make. I will do some more sewing on this, but not sure where to go with it yet. The challenge is in the "can I use my machine with this cast on." Answer: not very well, but yes, I can use the sewing machine.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Busy, but not

It was birthday weekend. Mine and my youngest sons, topped off by Father's Day. I got many well wishes, cards and a neat hat or two. I also got three..........count them......three new feet for my new machine.

Yesterday, I attempted to do some machine sewing - making a fabric postcard or two. Discovered why we have thumbs. Thumbs are not only a good idea, but make it easy to hold stuff. I also discovered that my left hand does all the work. My right hand is pretty much along for the ride :)

That little piece of info sent me back to the doldrums. I eventually returned to try again - never give up! I did some more doodling with my machine and 3/4 of my hands. Doesn't look bad if you are 9!
BUT the main point was to check out the machine and HAVE FUN, so I did.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Having almost too much fun, almost :)

Day before yesterday I went to the local Bernina shop and picked up a new foot. This one is for cording, which I think would look splendid in some of my work. I am also thinking about ordering a walking foot, but they are pricy and it is becoming a toss up between that and a needle felting foot. OH, decisions, decisions!
Yesterday we went to the big city :)  looking for hats for the sun and a wedding I am going to next month. I got a very nice sun hat, but nothing for the wedding. Not sure what to do about that. I could make a Facinator.................

I am thinking about making up some postcards for the show in October. Small things sell better than large pricy things, and there isn't much I can do for hand work right now. Also thinking about trying to make a couple of some really cool buttons at Windsor Button Shop yesterday :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

First dye job of the year!

I have a couple of small pieces that I needed to be a nice dark bright yellow. So, I added just a teeny pinch of two other colors to it, thinking it would make this shade - WRONG! Instead I got a deep yellow orange, which is nice, but not what I wanted. Guess I have to do this again. :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Some progress is good

Yesterday I found out I can type with TWO hands. Much more efficient.

I've been looking for a good sun hat, as I have gone back to the garden. Ok, so it has been neglected for 5 - 7 years and it is a mess. My problem is where to start.
I have this huge patch of vinca growing in my garden by the side of the house and it is choaking out everything.............that's probably where I will start. I know people pay to put this in their yards, but it grows like a weed here and is very invasive.

Still trying to NOT think about having fun with fabrics................ as my new sewing machine sits over there getting lonely, I'm sure.
Working my way to being able to take photos (of anything)  :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Going through stuff

I am quickly finding out that I don't have much I can do. Yes, feeling sorry for myself too. BUT, I wondering if drawing would be therapeutic and will try it - I just need someone to get my drawing stuff out for me. :(   Later this morning.

I found out that the splint and I will be friends for a few months..............not weeks like I initially thought.
So far, I have been writing my stuff out with one hand and then erasing all the whining. I have always found that process to help me see how truly annoying I can be :)

Today is supposed to be super hot and humid - just yucky weather. I will go out later and water the new bushes we put in last week - it's got a soaker hose, so I don't have to move anything, just turn it on.
I have been working on my groups postcard mailing list for our show in the fall. I have been in minimal contact with artist friends - where is everyone?
Enough said.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Recovery is slow but steady

So, the other day I said I was trying to sew................well I did. I still seem to still need a thumb.
Ironing and holding the work down with my left hand - do I choose something large and, not me! I decide I need to make thin stems. Very hot iron, up close and personal, lots of ouches and aws, but got one side of each stem done. Then proceeded to baste and ran out of steam. (my steam, not the iron)

Yesterday I drove for the first time and went up to Concord, Headquarters specifically. I bought two sets of large displays aka: two hollow core doors with hinges that are painted. I plan on repainting them and using for my booth display in October. I will pick them up at the end of the month. I need to decide on a neutral color to go with my dark green booth walls and olive accents. I am still working on this (in my head) and would like to be ready by then.

Friday, June 3, 2011

In a new splint and looking forward :)

I got a new splint the other day and it is so much more comfortable..........made just for me  too! :)
Today I got an evaluation at PT and the therapist said I could use my fingers to sew. SO, guess what I am doing right now besides typing? YES, sewing and waiting for the iron to heat up.

I'm making Marsh Marigolds.............small but a good step forward.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Finally took pics

Well everyone, here's my hand/arm all bundled up in it's support. I will probably get a new one today, but these photos were painfull to take, so I'll see how it goes. That camera is heavy!
Off to my first PT this morning........ouch!