Thursday, December 31, 2009

Once in a blue moon!

The true definition of a Blue Moon is the second full moon in a month. Since the lunar cycle takes 29.5 days, this translates into an extra full moon in a month once every two and one half years. But it is really special when it occurs on New Year's Eve. That will happen this year. It is first time that has happened since 1990.

How cool is that! And once in a blue moon something extra ordinary happens.

It is about the time of the last blue moon that I began filing away magazine articles, class notes and teaching samples. Past time to clear the whole lot out.
This has to make a difference!
But it is kinda like buying underwear. Not something you show everybody but it sure does feel good! LOL These two bags have come out of the filing cabinet so it won't make much impact on the over all look. Not a great photo to end the year with but it'll be a good feeling to start the new year with.
Some was easy to part with. Some not. But as the commercial says, "You've come a long way, baby!". The lesson learned is that life moves on. Surely collecting, sorting, evaluating... releasing, is all part of the creative process. I have learned a lot. Again not necessarily visible but I'm believing it is going to make a difference.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

All means A L L

I've been kidding myself that I've been making great strides! I've just been skipping on the top layers. I've done some teaching and I've saved everything. It is neatly put away in binders, file cabinets, and pretty baskets. But a lot is so out dated. I think the sheer tonnage is what scares me. We are talking from the mid eighties. Thrifty is NOT my nature! It is a puzzle to me why I hoarded fabrics, magazine articles, rolls and rolls of photographs, and quilt show programs! The 'oh, dear I have a problem' showed up when I saved 1 inch triangles. I have 3 metre chunks of fabric stacked up, why....
Decision Time!
This is a promise! No more lamenting. Shovel it! I've edited some stuff. Now to square up the shoulders, bite the lower lip and push off! Make up the 'to finish ' list for January 2011 and then do the final shove!
If I can keep the wet stuff out of the playroom I think I have a set up that works pretty well.
I have 3 sewing machines. I have a 1260 Bernina that has been acting like a Christmas tree . Needs a new mother board apparently. I luv it. I miss it. It machine quilts well, just no room in the throat space. I need to fix it. I have a 1630 Bernina that was going to be my creative machine. It sews in 360 degrees with a 9 mm satin stitch. I haven't used it as it is meant to be used. I have a little old Bernina Minimatic I drag to workshops. Tired but pieces wonderfully. I covet a big quilting machine like the sit down HQ 16. Hello reality??? I'm going to sell the 1630, fix the 1260, and buy a Juki which is available in my price range and I can get in our big city.
Okay, that feels like a good start. Now where is the shovel....

Monday, December 28, 2009

Out with the old...

in with the new!
I have learned so much these last few months. Thanks BloggerLand!
This huge black binder has the creme de la creme of all the things I wanted to do. That was back in the late nineties. It even has some old fabric swatches for what I had in mind. I still find myself thinking I'd like to do them. But so much has changed; myself, in particular. I don't want to copy these. I can enjoy them in the binder, I suppose. But I am trying to eliminate a lot of these paper packaged promises. I might give them another year; but they should be what ifs... Not replicas. My new fabric choices reflect where I now am.
Blogging is really journaling. There is something powerful in putting my thoughts down on a written page. It clarifies. It also motivates and commits.
This time between the 25th and the 1st is an in between time. I'm going to use it to set the direction for a very productive 2010. I'm a dreamer, not a realist. But I'm also getting tired of that too true statement: "hope deferred maketh the heart sick." I'm a great believer in hope; but my heart needs wellness.
How do you plan for a healthy heart?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Peppermint Stars

This is a smaller version of a large bed quilt I made for my mum who wanted a red and white quilt. Making a two colour quilt in one block pattern is boring but this was what my mum wanted. I did mix it up a bit. It has my version of plaid quilting.

This is also a good example of negative space. It is interesting to listen to how people see the two spaces. Which one is the positive space, which one is the negative?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blessings of Blogging

I've noticed as I've blasted off into the blogging world that I'm not always clearing the tree line! So as I've once again bumped down to the ground and have begun to pick the leaves and branches out of my hair, I'm considering how to do things smarter, better, etc.
I had figured that my propensity to go off on tangents was not dealing with the procrastination issue. So I figured a strategy to keep me moving and hopefully finishing. Certain things on certain days. It works but I also have a short attention span so the to do list was growing and the bright ideas were languishing, not to mention the garden weeds. sheesh, I shoulda known better!
The structure is good but one day isn't enough to finish things or at least get them far enough along for a rest/rethink period.
So I'm gonna try a monthly plan. First week - quilting. Second week- gardening or garments. Third week- mixed media. Fourth week - home decorating. Fifth week- fun, fun or ...
I wish I had lists of accomplishments to show for 2009. But how do you list the "aha's, now I see". I've sorted, reorganized and rearranged. It has been physical but it has also very much been mental. To fix a problem, you have to define it. Well, the problem has been ME! So unravelling that particular thread nest, worktable jumble, and hazardous material spill has been very enlightening. There are still incident reports and government forms to be filled out! lol
Although the destination is what matters, the journey is going to need revisions as the terrain changes, the weather happens and the detours crop up.
So I think I'll check the flight plan, weather conditions, fuel gauge AND my parachute and rev up the engine once again! What if I head towards that break in the bushes right over there...

Friday, December 18, 2009


Gee, it does seem like my time hasn't been my own for a while. But I do feel like I've been getting things done. A lull would be nice though. I don't see one anytime soon, unfortunately.
I have cleared the leftover fabrics away. I thought a change of pace might be in order and started the fabric paper workbook. This looks very rough to me but I tore, spread and glued with great abandon. This looks like the pieces are too big but it is the premier layer and there is an element of "I'm not sure that I know what I'm doing". (ha, the truth is- I don't!) But I'm trying not to over think this as much more happens on top of all this. I am also beginning to wonder where my colour sense has gone. I seem to be stuck in black and white. But this needs to dry and then I'll have a better idea of what glues well and what doesn't. Then it'll be very much, What if...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Sheesh! This could become a series. This is the row of blocks that didn't pass for the backing. Then I gathered any left over strips. Now I have a baby quilt top and the backing is a gorgeous, Paisleys on Parade. Very funky tulips and hearts. If the new grandbaby is a girl, it'll be perfect. Then I gathered up the smaller sewn strips and went for a place mat/doll quilt. Quite fun but still some leftovers. How long do leftovers retain there flavour? 4 meals? Time to clean the fridge and restock the shelves.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


oooh! Now he wants to sit on Gram'elle's lap when there is any sewing to be done. He doesn't miss a thing and his hearing is excellent!. (notice the ears) Whoa, that seriously hampers production. Then there is all this fabric to be made to dance and skip! 8^)

I did get the backing done and in my hurrying I skewed one seam that needs fixing. That was a serious design project that has created more leftovers. I shall post pictures next thing.

But I'm starting to hit my stride. I 'really' like the back, not that it couldn't be improved but it is time to move on to the next step on this uphill climb to creative conquests. I'm using fabric, not saving it. I'm waiting while the 'what ifs' percolate and then making changes. I'm actually meeting deadlines. Now I need to whip the leftovers into a quick project for a future prezzie or donation. That gets things cleaned up, old fabric used up, and leaves room for better fabric options in the stash. The leftovers can be a distraction in themselves so while the umph is there I need to press to the conclusion and then with that step completed I can use the warm fuzzies to tackle the next step.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Forget backing

We now have another quilt happening, reversible! vbsigh The yellow was sliding off south and the finger was beckoning for something. Half my stash has been kerfuffulled and it is coming.
Oh, I also have a young assistant who likes to see all the strips waving and dancing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Whadda ya think?

I might have to do something else today while I consider my options! 8^)

What if....

The math doesn't work out??? Well, it is just a wonderful opportunity to be creative!!!

I completed the top of the quilt along. I have no clever tips for sewing all the blocks because I invariably mix something up. I also need the exercise so I pin them all up on the design wall. And bring them 2 at a time to the sewing machine. I bring the next pair and chain sew but the I don't have more than the two sets at the machine at one time. Not sure why I get myself turned around but I am very happy with the rhythm of the process. This works for me.
I wanted a creative happening on the back. I had the idea fabric and left over blocks and strips and this is the plan. I am seriously math challenged and the photo doesn't show the strip of yellow top that sticks out on one side. I rechecked my math and it is supposed to work out. And if it doesn't, well I'm thinking one of those dark strips will be wider or... I have those strips of yellow that Cheryl had us set aside. In fact I'm kinda liking the idea of adding those yellow strips anyway. Stay tuned for how it all turns out. I can't wait, myself! lol

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ticking along the edge

Art Quilt Monday was all about SHAPE. I'm sure I learn more than I teach. I was particularly challenged to learn more about the space around a shape; the negative space. I'll be studying more about that. But we looked at geometric shapes and organic shapes. I also see that the square or rectangle is the shape most quilters work on, the background. It is very overlooked just like the pages we turn are not seen as a shape. Squares and rectangles are the most common shape and are perceived as being familiar, safe, comforting; but their uniformity can also create a conservative or rigid effect. I don't want to be conservative or rigid. I'm somewhat mollified because I actually like the triangle shape which suggests action because of movement from corners pointing the way. They suggest growth or "reaching for the top". Circles suggest infinity,completion,softness, and security. They can focus attention because of the closure of the shape. But I hadn't thought about ellipses which aren't quite as predictable as circles. Heaven forbid I become predictable! LOL
So this little quilt, inspired by Amanda Jean's Ticker Tape Quilt was one of my examples on the shape demo. It also seemed a safe place to try frayed edges. The uniformity of the many squares and the few rectangles calmed me. The woven plaids gave me some control over the fraying. I couldn't believe I spent so much time pulling threads. Then when I saw all the 'good stuff' I was going to throw out I set them aside for... ??? Anyway, frayed edges ruffle my comfort zone edges. lol But this little quilt is very cute and got lots of smiles. I am going to be ruffling my edges some more!
I have also been thinking about the quilt along over at Naptime Quiter. Rail Fence blocks are not my favorite and this is sorta like that. Stacked or Chinese coins- I like. What if... I did some block turning but I think all those seams are not gonna be worth the hassle. So I'll stick with the plan for the front. I do need to get these sewn and off my design wall because I have to start back on the last few rows of my daughter's wedding quilt. Baby number 2 is arriving and I made a vow; no baby stuff til the wedding is done! LOL But she and the grandson#1 are staying over and we'll make those last colour choices so I can get on with my Joy In the New Year challenge.
So I am happily ticking along.

Back of the coop

Monday, December 7, 2009

Line Dancing

The art challenge for this month is all about line. Because we are building on the elements I wanted to stay in black and white and very simple. I luv the treble clef. So I did some googling and came up with the music sign and then some! I cut the fused shapes with an exacto knife. These challenges are letter page size. I did sew the music staff (?) I'm no musician, with two strands of rayon thread thru the batting but I did a few passes especially on the bottom lines. If I'd had some black cording I'd have couched it on. Then I added the backing which is grey music fabric and stitched a single line for the quilting. I fused the music signs. I decided not to do anything with the edges as these won't see much wear. I used an ivory rayon to free motion treble clefs all over the background. I'm very much liking the newer , thinner binding.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Quilting along!

I have not been idle. I'm okay with the front but I'm really excited about the back! I have the leftover blocks from the front. I must always remember to make extras because it gives more options. Then I made blocks from the leftover accent strips. yum!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

All but one!

I picked apart one seam because it was spoiling a perfect combo. I found one set that hadn't been finished and I have an extra strip set. But this will all add to the exquisiteness of the finished top. I've had a good week. I am liking a weekly plan but I also need to just work on one thing every once in a while. This week it has been quilting. The second machine binding was not as successful as the first. Pride and shortcuts will bring about less than perfect results. oh, dear! :( Carefulness means it only needs to be done once. I hope I only need to learn this lesson one time. :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Stripping along

I really do like piecing away randomly. Trying this fabric against that. Uglies happen but they make the others look even better. lol I almost always prefer to work on a smaller scale so I only cut a few strips 3" and I definitely have sliced some of the accents thinner. I am liking what I'm seeing. Do you see the wiggly limey Bali? I got it at the sale. It'll be full price when I go back but I am thinking that it is gonna be some useful fabric so I NEED more. Half done and the thread snippets are at least 3/4 of the way out the playroom and down the stairs! But, sew what!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The value of value

Well, I went ahead and cut the strips for the quilt along. I hope I haven't started a king size quilt. I started neatly, orderly and keeping track. And then...
I'm feeling like they'll work. I guess sewing them together will soon tell.
c.1300, from O.Fr. value "worth, value" (13c.), noun use of fem. pp. of valoir "be worth," from L. valere "be strong, be well, be of value" (valiant) 1)noun: relative darkness or lightness of a color 2)noun: the quality (positive or negative) that renders something desirable or valuable, 3)noun: a numerical quantity measured or assigned or computed 4)noun: an ideal accepted by some individual or group the amount (of money or goods or services) that is considered to be a fair equivalent for something else 5)noun: (music) the relative duration of a musical note Then there are the verbs.

Is this quilt going to be of value? Somebody will like it. Is the colour going to be 'well'? It isn't feeling sick yet. Is it a strong design? I'm hoping it isn't too strong. I'm aiming for a keepsake, a healthy combo of textures and colour with medium contrast. I'm hoping it is going to be worth it. I'm making a valiant effort to make it sing and hold the note.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blessed be the tie that BINDS

Well, it takes almost as long to make a designer back as it does to make a front! The table topper will be reversible. Where I want things to go and my math makes for mistakes. grrrr But I did get things to fit. Why is the way so clear on the last few steps???

BUT... I will be making up time because I tried the machine sewn bindingtutorial by Rita on Red Pepper Quilts. The directions and photos are excellent. I'm pleased. I don't mind hand sewing bindings but life is too short to obsess over place mats! I really liked the neat look of the smaller width. I ironed the binding down and didn't need pins. I only missed one corner. Again, thanks Rita! I'm delighted!

I get a star,

Well, maybe a check mark! I have finished the star blocks from Block Party. 15
I put together a 9 block table topper and a 6 block table runner. I see I should have given more consideration to the medium value of the background circles, but I'm pretty pleased as this is a deviation from my usual plain backgrounds. Value is something I struggle with for some reason. I fixate on one aspect of design and ignore the other. :( To keep rolling I need to come up with a whiz bang backing!

Friday, November 20, 2009

If at first...

I clicked on the previous photo and I kinda thought they improved. So I rearranged and re photoed (now is that a word, ah- two words?). hmmm??? Where is the napper when I need her? I don't want to wimp out on the new improved ME!


I did get some more fabric for the quilt along which is along the bottom. One is a limey yellow with a blue green swirl. The leaf print will be backing. Front is yellows with the accent a blue green selection. I'm not sure how this shows up. I was thinking I need to get rid of the ones that are different. But maybe they just stretch my comfort zone. I dunno......

Creating Time

The best laid plans, etc. Things have definitely not been going 'my way'! I need to grab my time allotment and wrestle it to my own satisfaction. How can I use my time creatively?
I did restore some order after the teaching samples, notes and dust settled.
All I have had time for was to reread the camera settings so uploads work better. Done!

WIP is back up. I like the green strip. Not sure about the floaty leaves. I will be putting some significant beads on the bottom, but the falling leaves is not too successful! Comments please!

I'm off again, jiggity jig! I'll be punching up the quilt along fabrics. I need some large prints, NOT florals! Next upload will be the Naptimer's quilt along.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Not even variable. A variant is differing in form or in details from the one named or considered.
I'm varianting. I needed to repurpose the dining and sitting rooms. The stove is sending out its warmth and that means shoving the chairs and table around. Tweaking! Not a hardship. I luv it. I shoulda been a window display person.
I cut all my fabric for the friendship star and they send out a variant. COOL! But I wouldn't have had enough background to do this very cute and wonky star. I'll only get 15 of the first set. I will be doing another though! Please see the link to Block Party in the helps. (I haven't figured out links in the message yet.)
Cheryl over at Naptime Quilter has finished her nap and is slaving over a hot iron. I shall shake off slumber myself and "get 'er done". I am up for the Quilt Along as planned. I have a plan and I do see a lack in my fabric stash but I think I'll go with what I have. I need to do the squint test and then post the photo for fabric choices.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Barking up the wrong tree

I spent most of yesterday reviving my thread painting skills. Yuk! I covered them with brown organza, did a bit more and voila! I was pleased that I did think outside of the box a bit but it seems a tad dark for a wall hanging. Kinda sombre.
The line workshop went well last night though. We are all looking for lines and the new challenges will be interesting to view. I'm not sure what my idea will be but heck, there is 30 days! 8{
I was anticipating a good day to work on my ufo's but everything went sideways early on. I did restore order to the playroom but the vacuum is still in the middle of the room. I barely got out to count the chickens before they scurried off under the trees.
Today was actually garment day and I do have an idea for a skirt but I don't think I can afford to sew something every week and still get other things done. I wore my jumper for show and tell and someone said I 'just' needed a nice necklace! (I'm working on it!)
I also have been trying to figure out the new camera and if all else fails... well, it seems the instruction book does have a remedy and I shall be trying it out for the next photo session. It also looks like the new light bulbs are effective. Now I need to decide if I shall grab the camera manual, the thread painting notes, the wire jewelry magazine or the mixed media workbook for my "now I lay me down to sleep" routine.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Sorry for the shadow but I'm in a hurry this morning. I did change the light bulbs to get a bluer light. Then I stuck my head in the way! drat!

These friendship star blocks are inspired by Block Party. (see Helps) I couldn't resist! I have enough background for 15 stars. That is the number of participants in Workshop In Progress. Kinda fitting. But I have also met some neat people thru blogging so this will be my Ode To Blogs quilt. And I am so enjoying the loose play plan and colour combo. Not sure how I'll arrange them when I'm done but... Who says you always need a plan. lol But I have to let the stars twinkle on the other side of the noon day sun while I gaze up at the tree line.

Today I am loading up my paint brush with thread. Browns for bark.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The forest for the trees!

I've got a jumble again. I couldn't resist trying some of those friendship stars over at Block Party. What an excitingly new fabric combo for me . And I did actually do it from my stash. Makes me smile! I'll post when I get a few more done.

Then I was out photographing tree trunks and branches. I need to get a lesson or two on my new camera and software and I need to read a good photography book. I must do some thread painting for this challenge. I thought I'd find a general shape and modify it to accomodate a focal point. I figure to add a moon somewhere behind that V. That has my sheers tumblimg over the fabric stars on the table.

Yesterday was butchering day. So I printed and tried a gluten-free gingerbread recipe that would give me something for the guys' coffee break. Wonder of wonders, it was a cake and not a slab! Even I was impressed. Smelled so good! Regular baking challenges me, never mind gluten free.

But hiding among my trees is a predator. 8>( One of my ducks and several chickens are missing. But we did hear the night dog doing his patrol on my side of the yard last night and early this morning. Good Boy, but time to move the feathered friends over to the main barn. We should have done it sooner.

I hope to get some time today to float wispy clouds over the moon so I can paint bark tomorrow!

In the meantime, bring on the friends and family!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Press to Entre

Time to move my art pages up on the to-do list. The first group challenge was a button. I want to think out of the box so I thought of a computer button. I tried printing it on and it was less than successful . So I touched it up with a gold gilding pen. Hind sight says that a puff paint would have worked better. I wanted to begin with no colour so the background is white. I fussy cut the flower shapes and fused them on. The bottom needed some weight so I added the dark ground. Then I machine quilted and bound it.
Now I just need to hit the entre button within me!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dressed for Success

The jumper succeeded beyond my wildest expectations. It actually fits! A little tweaking on the next couple as I have more of this suede fabric which you can tell from the tote bag. oops, the biggest pieces would be a rusty red and a green which aren't in this tote. Stay tuned!

The trip to Michael's yielded some jewelry making tools and some mixed media embellishments.

A trip thru the furniture store display in DD's home town reveals that aqua and chocolate seem to be what the best dressed homes are wearing. The blue greens are the colour I prefer in my home decor. This is NOT good as I saw so many accessories I really liked. It is DD that is looking, not her dear old mum, so I need to cool my plastic and get back into my bedroom which has only a teeny bit of aqua. (They also had lots of metal work which is a luv as well.) But I did find a nice pottery pitcher at her thrift shop with the blue greens.
I think the dust bunnies will be dressed warm enough to be swept outside and then I need to dress up a tree challenge. Well, maybe undress. I'm thinking bare branches and a focus on the trunk bark.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chickens don't do paths!

A path is a way especially designed for a particular use. I particularly like the meandering path thru the shade garden which is next to my coop. The chickens have a penned area but I do let them out. They dearly luv to scratch away and when all the dust settles, my carefully laid out path is obliterated. I finally penned them back up because the flower bed edges in the front yard were no longer clearly defined. The top dressing for the perennials was now top dressing the grass. I try not to encourage grass! I'm the one who has to cut it.

A path is also a course of conduct. I hope I've set the course that I'd like to travel for this winter. I think I've never felt quite so focused and it seems to be lasting. I'm a great list maker. I just write them, file them and forget them. This feels like good conduct. This feels different.

Now time off for good behavior (conduct). My path this morning leads to my DD and the grandson. I have a Michael's coupon burning a hole in my pocket and I want to show Josh's mum all the neat stuff for kids. I am also delivering the bulk of my florals and I have already dragged 3 pieces out of the bags! I'm as bad as the chooks!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fall Cleanup

Tuesday is my Garden day. The weather has been conducive to getting things ready for winter so I had put things to bed and turned toward my indoor playroom. The chickens and ducks will be making the move to their winter quarters any day now. My coop is not readily accessible when the snow drifts settle in.

Tuesday will also be Garment day. I so want to make myself some clothes that fit and say who I am. I had not enjoyed sewing clothes but I am no longer intimidated by sewing machines and patterns. SO! I did. I wanna have jumpers like Jane Sassaman. But I do have a waist and the hips are noticable so straight won't work and gathers, hmm, not too flattering. Sew! I took a bodice from a size 8. (must have been one of my girl's) and a slinky nightie pattern. I enlarged top, over lapped the skirt till I could line them up and redrew. I could finally use that curved ruler I had to have. I made a tissue pattern with 4 pieces. I made the bodice proto type from floral reject stash, did a bit of tweaking and by golly it'll work! but .... pride goeth before the fall. I ripped! If all else fails, read the directions. I had lined the bodice with a coordinating quilt fabric and couldn't turn the darn thing right side out! But, I think I have it figured for next time. It will be fast, easy and looks not too shabby! lol
I've also been doing a bit of fall cleaning on the blog. I need to figure where some of scanner/photo options are now hiding. I need to figure out links and I did some tweaking to the over all look. Things are falling into place!
100 posts and I definitely feel like blogging is helping me to be a better, more creative chick! My jumper is purple for heaven's sake!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'll drop ya a line!

The challenge for the line demo is to come up with quiltlets that feature lines. This is probably the most challenging because the next art demos will build on line. Text intrigues me because letters form words which form sentences which form lines. Did ya write lines in school? 8-O Cursive adds a whole other dimension to straight, stiff, letter shapes. So? What if you used text/script as a line?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Line forms to the ...

I have decided to commit to some ufo deadlines. It also seems that I underestimated how many I have lurking in out of the way places but the ones I've listed initially will do for a start.
I've begun working on line as a design element.
There isn't lots of info in my books but a line or two from each book and I'm getting a good sized paragraph. I can certainly see why artists work in a series. Ideas just seem to spark more ideas until you have a whole clothes line full of them.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

So far, so good!

I've definitely had a good week.
I started off teaching a basic thread and needle demo for our local quilt group, Common Threads and we have lots of new comers. My next demo is Thread Painting. I've agreed to tackle the once a month tutorial for the art quilting and that'll mean I'll be learning lots.
I decided florals are NOT me so I edited 2 big garbage bags out of my stash. Then I reorganized the fabrics. The main book cases are now pretty much tone on tones or blenders and are easily seen when the curtain is pulled aside. I have my focus FQ's and my medleys folded in drawers so I can see at a glance what is there and bigger chunks are tucked behind the doors of my utility closet. Passe ufo's will be going with the old florals. Gee, it feels SO GOOD.
It was also good to break open the polymer clay bead book and get rolling. I need to do the same with the mixed media challenge.
Jacquie, over at Tall Grass Studios has issued a challenge called Joy in the New Year. It is to see how many ufo's can been done before the New Year. I'm not sure I need another commitment but I did decide to at least itemize some of the things I have on my to-do list.
We are having a very lovely fall weekend and there are several jobs on that list. Fence posts for the new entrance gateway are going in as well as the clothes line posts. I really was beginning to despair. After a busy day we'll be ready for the Fall Supper at the local church. I hope they have pumpkin pie. My favorite!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Creativity 101

Several Thursday evenings a month I throw open the door of the Coop and Saucer Playroom for play! We tore open the wrappings on the Sculpey 30 colour sampler. We assembled the pasta machine, the new Bead Baking Rack and turned the pages of 'How to Make Polymer Clay Beads' by Linda Patterson. We now know all about the things we didn't know! lol Five beads; mind you big beads! And it seems we have only begun; there is sanding, painting and buffing. But begun, we have!

Whipping Along

This is my 2nd try at posting a better photo for the Workshop in Progress group. Please click on the button on the side for more info on the group and the participants. This is my first try at an 'art' wall hanging. I have these little quilted sandwiches to join together and I'll add some some more detail with thread. I made 3 fabric leaves in a complimentary colour. I want to do some embellishing with beads. I have no more of the black bali, nor of the fabric leaves. I doubt that my feelings are easily hurt so critique away. I do want to grow up to be a fibre artist! 8)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Eeeny, meeeny, miney, moe
Round, and round, and round we go!
Category: a collection of things sharing a common attribute
from M.Fr. cat├ęgorie, from L.L. categoria, from Gk. kategorein "to accuse, assert, predicate," from kata "down to," + agoreuein "to declaim (in the assembly)," from agora "public assembly." Original sense of "accuse" weakened to "assert, name" by the time Aristotle applied kategoria to his 10 classes of things that can be named.
Well, Aristotle is doing better than me. Even eliminating florals, I have WAY more than 10 classes of fabrics that can be named.
The idea of folding fat quarters( fq's) into old library index drawers has much merit. You can "let your fingers do the walking" rather than extending elbows to ward off avalanches. I spent the night gnashing my teeth about my lack of library furniture. The dawning of a good idea arrived about the same time as the sun! I have 2 IKEA chests under the cutting table that have drawers about the right depth. If I empty them I have lots of fq space. I can hardly imagine being able to actually see at a glance what my options are. Wooo! Now the category options. Woo hoo? hmm, where is all the stuff in the drawers gonna go? boo hoo!
Perhaps I should go to bed immediately and wait for the solution to that particular dilemma to dawn!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


With a sprinkling of snow this afternoon the weeds that are still in the gardens are not an issue.
But, boy, do I have lots of weeds in my fabric stash. I have come to terms with the fact that I don't like cabbage roses, cottage floribunda or colourful bouquets! I was feeling so good as I pulled out florals from my fabric stacks. I also pruned out some old ufo's that aren't appealing. I did some needed rearranging of fashion fabric scraps, trims, and sheers. Those are now accessible for mixed media. Then I needed to put the remaining fabrics back in the shelves. Good grief, the stuff expands when it is in contact with air.
I have 2 large garbage bags for folks who make charity quilts. It is good quilting fabric and I'm reconciled to the fact that I have handled it enough to justify the expense. Some people never even lick their stamps! 8^) The half dozen ufo's that remain are do-able. But I just couldn't face the 3 large applique quilts, one of which is extremely floral, that lurk in containers under my bed. I shall live to weed another day.
Last night I did a tutorial on needles and threads for the local quilt group. It was a good refresher for me as well. I have agreed to tackle the alternate night when we do art related quilts. The challenge was trees. I should do some thread painting for mine. The first topic will be The Element of Line. I'm sure no expert so I'll be doing some googling.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Raising the bar!

I have been having a great time checking out the happenings on the sites of the participating Workshop In Progress participants. What great inspiration! I seriously need to re-evaluate where I am and where I want to go. The quote today says. "Tradition is what you resort to when you don't have the time or money to do it right." Kurt Herbert Alder awk!!! I read that to say when you leave things to the last minute you have to go into default mode! I'm gonna be drawing a line in the sand on procrastination. (oops, my little timer says 10 minutes left for blogging!) lol
The good news is that I can begin now, today. The bad news is that my stash does not reflect where I want to be/go. All those blasted florals. The good news is that I do know what I don't want and I am zeroing in on 'my' look.
So here are my options for the spring look. Modern, simple, fresh. These Amy Butler's will get me there. The striped place mat is the theme colours for the upstairs. Basic beige is going. Top right is the upstairs hall wall quilt. That multicoloured circle theme fabric is our bedroom quilt but doesn't work for the quilt along. The middle aqua's are for a rectangular 'square in a square' quilt on the guest bed. The top left combo is the wall quilt for the entrance hall downstairs. The quilt along project will be to cover the cedar chest under it.
I'm suspecting that this spring decor is close to the real me as I find putting it together fun and easy. These will be my quilting focus for this winter and I also need to get some of those old projects finished because I'm sensing that that era needs to have the sound of a door closing.

Friday, October 30, 2009


It wasn't supposed to be a big deal. I knew where I wanted to go. A spring look that is fresh and modern. But...
For the Quilt Along I knew I wanted the peachy pink fabric with circles of rose, tourquoise, orange, green and purple. Using peachy pinks/oranges for the backgrounds and the contrast as a purple wasn't coming. I realized the main fabric has too much happening. So I went greens and tourquoise with the focal fabric as the accent and it was lovely but it dawned on me the quilt for the guest room is pretty much aqua/tourquoise. So I dug deeper and found some yellow/pink and dull greens. Now I was getting it. This works for our room. I had hit an Amy Butler sale this summer as I had wanted that look for my 50's guest room. It was a very good sale so I got several different pieces. The hall needs a wall hanging and there are some leftovers that will work.
I had repinned my WIP in a better spot for photos and discovered the new camera needs batteries. 8>[ So I'll post my colour options tomorrow and hope I can remember the combos.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quilt Along

Cheryl at Naptime Quilter is having a 6 week quilt along. It is a busy time and a bit of stress is hissssing at me. I do tend to start several new things when I'm feeling stretched. This adds to the stress no doubt but somehow it makes me feel better. ??? My rationalizing says I do need to do a spring quilt for our bedroom. I imagine the more challenging part in this project will be picking the fabrics but I always enjoy messing with my stash so that will definitely be relaxing. The original idea is shown in an old photo below. I shall mess about with fabric choices and post the many and then the edited few.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

B is for ...

bath robe blogger. I do tend to do some blogging before I change and start the physical aspect of my day.
But I have mostly been on a binge! I luv books. I rarely have time for fiction anymore but I discovered the Sword of Truth series and my eyes are now slightly crossed. I also like good substantial books and these are all quite lengthy. I'm waiting for the library to bring in the concluding book and then I'll be trying to stay on my diet of non fiction. A most interesting concept was introduced into this fantasy world of wizards and magic, good and evil. Rather than stay with the traditions and formulas of "it has always been this way", there was a move toward 'creative magic'. It was more like taking what is; adding, subtracting, combining, rearranging, and re purposing the old tried and true. It has actually been quite boggling to my old brain. I keep being drawn back to the phrase, especially in conjunction with 'What if...' and it is kinda neat!
I am seeing very bald trees. Leaves dropped quite quickly and things are kinda bleary. We even had a good dump of snow that actually formed some snow banks before Thanksgiving. The snow has since dispersed which is good as there are always a few more things that need doing before winter really sets in.
Bad girl! I am always stalling. (procrastinating) But I really am trying to get the playroom somewhat organized for the doing. So I am attempting to get my mixed media supplies handy. The budget took a hit from the 'puter but I have also been getting some good coupons for Michaels that I think actually justify the drives to the city. I've laid in some major kits and I also left The Artist's Emporium with a very hot, limp piece of plastic. So I've been sorting bottles, brushes, beads, baubles, and other beauties into bins and boxes. Some of what I have envisioned will be too wet for the sewing room so I spent another day in the basement reorganizing and banishing non essentials. Then when the 3 day blizzard hits I, myself, will be swirling around making mini blizzards in my bedroom slippers and jammies 'cause nobody comes calling when the roads are blown in! 8^)
So I'm beginning once again and by golly, with a bigger understanding that I need to be Doing. That means keeping the clutter at bay and leaving things set up for a good beginning each day.
Bye for now and I anticipate being back on a daily basis once again. Blessings from Elle

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Where the Heck was I ???

I can't believe it has been almost a month to the day! When my puter gets badly broken, it gets BADLY broken. I got 2 opinions and decided on the rebuild. I did say I'd just put a new phone modem in so that wasn't changed. Got it home and %~*+&*^# !!! A long holiday weekend, some gnashing of teeth and back to the shop. A $29 + tax modem, no labour, bless his heart and I'm good to go! Yipee, yahoo! But now I need to reacquaint with all the new things that were upgraded. Lost my addresses, but most else is here just a bit re figured. Ahh. Feels good to be back nibbling away at things with my mouse. Oooh, I have lots of things to catch up on!

Monday, September 28, 2009


Time to get tough. The soft doesn't work. All those nice S words! Shift, store, stack, shove over and slide . Need to bring on the hard C sounds. Keep Clutter Cleared before sliding under the smooth sheets and laying the stalled grey matter onto the soft pillow.

I have gotten a good morning routine and now I need to do the same for evenings. I look around for something to do, give up up on the various cluttered corners, grab an inspiring book and dream of 'what if...'

So my early morning musing has resulted in 'Set Yourself Up for Success'. This will take a stern talking to myself every evening. Clear up the clutter before ya hit the cushions!

The weather has reverted back to normal so we are now cool and wet. But the flowerbeds are relatively done. There is one shrub to be moved and a couple of divisions to go in their permanent spot. I think I can go back to the once a week plan again. But while I was outside the house got less attention and now needs a bit more than the regular 'pick me up'. The basement and the playroom are a jumble. The problem is the stuff that was awaiting dispersal was on the spare chairs and the chairs were needed for a big dinner and now the stacks have fallen over. So if I'd put them away permanently and when the piles were small.... Another S word. Stupid! Same scene only with stuff in the lower regions covering every flat surface. VBSigh Come on, elle; what if ya gave up sluffing (procrastination) and took up the challenge to conquer clutter creatively?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I struck gold in the end!

The new floor clock, about 4 1/2' high is a hit. I was gonna put it in my bedroom but it was just 'made' for the up hall. The bad news is that now I have options as there is one too many things in the hall. The good news is that I haven't painted any of them so I have new options. The piece is yellow/ gold with daffodils. No purples at all which was where I was headed with my paint. But yellows work, I just need to make sure the whole house doesn't become a Big advertisement for my favorite colour!

Grandson and I had to manhandle the 'buy as is' clock out of the store and into the trunk. He offered laughs and claps. I just hoped the trunk didn't shut on my 'hind end'. I gave that up as I needed another inch. So I reclined the front seat and the clock and grandson napped all the way home! Good old hubby, hardly missed a beat when he arrived up in the hall. lol

I made good progress on the flower beds. I should see the end of them soon. I have a bit of brighter yellow to rearrange by the opening to the back. Tricky as the hot colours are primarily in the more cottagey back yard, but that spot is also near the end of the pastel pink/yellow border and I need a link to the back.
There always seems to be an answer to my what if's!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Paying for things!

What a doofus I am! Only giving my flower beds 1 day a week meant I didn't get completely thru them for a month. I'm paying for that now.
I stopped work on a quilt (to garden) and I can't remember which thread nor the modus opperendi. I'm paying for that now.
I ordered some mixed media books/supplies. 8^) I'm paying for that now. lol I also have a supply list for the book study to accumulate but I actually have some 'egg money' set aside for that.
My friend and I are creating a whiz bang commemorative pillow for an 80th birthday. She was given the 'easy' assignment of making a quote on her computer and printing it on the fabric/freezer paper with her fancy printer. I've never done it but told her it is a common practice. Whew, faster than a speeding bullet it folded, scrunched and generally squashed the first two samples. What if... we put it onto larger paper so it got paper before it got fabric? oh dear, it grabbed it even faster, and smashed it up against the back. When she got a grip, it tore it away, finished the destruction, sent out a whine, and is registering damage! WE'll be paying for it! She had sent me an e-mail of the quote so I thought what if... And it went thru mine just fine. 8>0 I almost hated to tell her!
In spite of all my expenses, I am buying the cutest doll cupboard. I saw it on a visit to my daughter. YES! She said to think it over, don't be hasty, etc. I did, I have, I've actually thought of nothing else. What if it's gone? I am going back today. It'll perfectly finish off my bedroom.
I did get a few super tips for speeding up the internet that have made some difference. My area is 1x which means this great new express card is not so express in my particular corner of the world. vbsigh We are still searching for a computer tech and I hope there is enough left in the budget for his expertise!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I was actually thinking 'hodge podge' but this apparently is the better spelling. I seem to have wandered down the buffet line and heaped my plate with some of everything and I'm sitting down to look at it and going, "oh, my!".

A hotch potch is a dish of many mixed ingredients, esp. mutton broth with vegetables. Concerning law, it is a blending of properties for the purpose of securing equal division(especially of property of intestate parent); mixture, medley.

In my efforts to express my creativity I've made a lot of smoke. The stew might be burning, the compost smoldering and the chimney may actually be plugged! I need to bring some law down as I adjust my taste buds. 8^)

Time is running out to get the flower beds finished. I need to step up the pace a bit so I can leave the garden chilling while I stir the pot that's heating up inside. Any paint pots will be opened in the basement as the insects have been sticking to the paint when the rain wasn't washing it off. The change of weather has also got the bed covers flapping. The local quilt group is back in session with several new faces. We've agreed that the first meeting in the month will be basic and the second will gear to art expression with a monthly challenge. I'd already purposed to do 2 journal quilts a month so one I can just blend them together. Then I joined a book study and it starts Oct. 1st but I see there is some prep work. I'm still waiting for the 'just in time' postal delivery to come thru with my book! There is also an impromptu surprise party this weekend and I'm involved in the creative prezzie!

Oh, and a very young assistant will be keeping me company until his GrandFarmer is available. Hopefully they will work on fencing as our winter meat supply ( pigs) have broke out of their enclosure behind the barn and have come over to see what happens on my side of the fence. Good thing the gate was closed. They headed off to investigate the less decorative part of the farm and find where all the mutton heads off to. They are definitely happy pigs as evidenced by the skip in their step as they disappeared around the corner of the barn! lol

Anyway, my life is definitely a hodge podge. Hopefully it gives off a wonderful savour of creativity. oh, oh. Gotta go, something is smoking!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuned up!

I did take the darn tower in to a repair place and the diagnosis was to send it to the mortuary. $1400 would set me back up again with bigger, newer and faster. So I said thanks, but no thanks. I then had to go back and collect it. I am back in business but still no camera compatibility. We are looking for a new place to take it. I did some investigating and our telephone company, with whom we get our dial up, has some new technology to offer. It is a Kyocera ExpressCard. Sounds too good to be true. I shall send Dh down to read the fine print.
In the meantime, I'm yanking weeds like crazy and preparing for a very creative fall.