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Monday, December 31, 2007

Enough!

Last night I was in my sewing room (extra bedroom) trying to decide what I wanted to work on next. With the new year fast approaching, I decided it would be nice to finish up one of the many works in progress I have sitting around. After digging around, sitting, and thinking for about an hour on the the subject I decided enough is enough! There is so much disorganization, chaos, and clutter in this room I couldn't even find what I wanted to work with! So, a major clean up/clean out is in order. I took some before pictures - it may be a week before I am able to show after pictures. I am a woman on a mission!

My sewing table area



The floor to the rear of the sewing table


The cabinet that houses my fabric stash
There are two more shelves, just as disorganized as these!


I didn't even take a picture of the set of rolling drawers I have full of swap blocks, more fabric, and stuff! Stay tuned. :o)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Shaker Card

I am working on these shaker cards for a swap on Art We Mail. I experimented with a couple of techniques on these, the first - sewing circles using the decorative stitches on my machine. I learned about this technique here in their free projects section. The second technique was using the clear vinyl to make the "shaker" window. I put bits of yarn, sequins, and beads into this section then satin stitched all around. I made a few more with different stitches and different colors. All in all, I learned a bit and I think they turned out pretty well.

A good time was had by all!

Lola had a swell time "helping" us open presents. She walked around with this tissue paper for 30 minutes. LOL
A co-worker game me this cute little bulldog ornament. Makes for a cute display on my Christmas tablerunner.

My son wanted to take the family to a movie last night for Christmas. All I have to say is wow! This has to be the best musical film I have seen. I don't want to spoil it for anyone but I definitely give it 2 thumbs up.






Off now to sneak in a little sewing. Hopefully, something to show for it tomorrow.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Weekend Weary


Whew! What a busy weekend. Since I was ill last weekend I had to do almost all of my Christmas shopping this weekend. I made a huge dent in it yesterday but still had to go out for a few things today.


So, the gifts are wrapped. The spinach dip is made. The fixings for broccoli salad are in the fridge. I have to work until noon tomorrow but after that I am going to relax until Thursday. I have the ingredients to make a cranberry coffee cake tomorrow evening so my house can smell all Christmassy and I can settle back with a cup of coffee and a good book.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The fun continues

Doncha just love getting pretty things in the mail? I know I do. This little "quiltie" came from a swap on Fabric In Altered Art. Tammy made this one using lots of little trinkets. It has yo yo's, buttons, glitter paint, snowflakes, glittery holly, and a silk background.
This card is from Linda and is from the previously mentioned swap on the Quilting Passion Forum. I just love the little heart button and the dimensional paint.

So, are you about ready for Christmas? I had hoped to finish up my shopping this evening but it seems I have had a rebound of the cold/flu mess that knocked me flat last week. I took some Dayquil and sat on the sofa instead. Guess who will probably be shopping on Christmas Eve???

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Quite A Week

This has been a wonderful week for pretty things in the mail. Yesterday I received this lovely package from my dear friend Sheila in S.C. I was so surprised. The card is just beautiful with all the intricate embroidery, the coasters and bookmark in my favorite color, and the little name tag the perfect touch. Thank you so much Sheila! You made my week and I love you girl!


This postcard also arrived from a swap on Art We Mail. It was made by the very talented Lynn who is the administrator for our group. Lynn has recently been doing lots of machine embroidery on her cards and is making me wish for an embroidery machine. The pink ribbon is the perfect touch to these slippers doncha think? The quote is one I love and when I thanked her for the card I told her I love to dance and I don't care if anyone watches or not! I guess that sentiment comes with getting older and being comfortable with ones self. :o)

Go out and do something just for yourself today and do a little dance as if no one is watching!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Postcard Trade

I received this beautiful postcard in the mail this week from Debbi. Isn't it gorgeous?! Debbi posted a picture of these postcards she made for a swap and said she had an extra one if anyone else wanted to trade. So, I let her choose one of my postcards and we swapped. I think I got the best end of the deal as hers is truly a work of art. Stop by her blog sometime and just take a look at all the beautiful things she creates. Thanks for swapping with me Debbi!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Inspiring

The mail yesterday brought a plethora of pretty items from Anna. For the one year anniversary of her blog she had a giveaway of these gorgeous bags. She makes these with hand dyed silk carrier rods. I was lucky enough to leave a comment in time to win one of these. It is sooo pretty and perfect for carrying a cell phone, wallet, and keys.



She also sent along this pretty Christmas card she made. I think I will be displaying this one long after Christmas has come and gone. :o)









Then there is this lovely fabric that she dyed by using rusted items. She had a sort of challenge on her blog. She would give a piece (or two) to the first five people to leave a comment with the stipulation that you must make a little something from it for her and you could keep the rest. I have been intrigued with seeing rust-dyed fabric online for some time and really wanted to get my hands on some to see just what it was like in person. Well, I don't know about others but Anna's is wonderful. It has lots of pattern and even a bit of texture to it that you aren't able to see in the photos. She also sent some metal beads which she made as well. I already have an idea brewing for her and any leftovers of the fabric will make some neat postcards.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas is near


This week I received this lovely knitted Christmas tree ornament from Lynn. I met Lynn through the Quilting Passion Forum several years ago. She is a swap hostess there as well as a very talented quilter, knitter, and friend. :o)
Seeing this ornament reminds me that I don't have many days left until Christmas. I have been hit with some sort of virus/cold and have felt like YUK! for the past two days. I had planned to do some shopping today but that isn't going to happen.
Also in the mail this week were these two postcards from a swap on the Quilting Passion Forum. The holly on the top is from Lynn and the little church is from Kim.
Not only do I love making these fabric/fiber postcards, I adore receiveing them in the mail as well.
Off to take more Dayquil and curl up with a book now. Thanks to Deb I am almost finished with the 3rd book in the Outlander series. The 4th book is on the way through paperback swap online. If you are an avid reader, you should join this swap site. I have saved so much money in the past few months by swapping and have enjoyed some great reads in the process.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pretty Mail

Whew! It has been almost a week since I blogged. Life happened in a big way last week and I haven't had a minute to even think about blogging. (I did take time to escape and read my favorite blogs.)

Today I received this beautiful ornament in the mail from Kate. Kate started making these clay faces a few months ago and adding them to her postcards and inchies. I have been admiring them from afar since I first saw them. Well, lo and behold! She offered a giveaway on her blog and I was lucky enough to be the proud recipient of one of her Christmas ornaments. Isn't it delightful? The picture really doesn't do it justice as the face is accented with gold glittery paint and the edges are done in a copper color to match the face. I just love it! Thanks again Kate. :o)

And last week she also sent me this lovely Christmas card. I had hoped to make a postcard holder to display my Christmas postcards this year but once again, time ran away. Maybe in time for next year. In the meantime, I'll leave them scattered about the house so I can pick them up and enjoy them in some manner this year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Priceless


Artificial wreath from discount store - $2.99
Spool of ribbon - $2.63
Brass safety pins - free when I bought my sewing machine
Inchies made by swap buddies - PRICELESS
Isn't this a great way to display inchies? I tried wiring them on the wreath but that didn't work so well. I had a bunch of brass safety pins so I just ran a pin through the satin stich edgeing and pinned them to the wreath. It resides on my front door. :o)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

All You Need Is Love
















Conjuring the Beatles here. :o) I just couldn't get that song out of my head the entire time I was making these inchies!

The theme at Inching Artists this week is "Love". When I think of love I think of the unconditional love I receive from my pets. It doesn't matter if I forget to feed them, don't have time to play, or stay at work longer than expected. I am still greeted by a wiggly butt or purring meow that is just delighted to be in my presence. Where else can you get that kind of love?

I took a dive in my fabric stash (I have quite a few dog and cat prints) and came up with these two fabrics. I added some gold gel pen highlights, a heart brad, and a bit of funky yarn for edgeing.

Come on now and sing along with me - All you need is love, love. Love is all you need!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Christmas Puppies


Here are the postcards I made for a swap on the Quilting Passion Forum. I made a few extra to send to some of my puppy loving friends. I kept these relatively simple and let the fabric do most of the work for me. On some I added some scrapbooking trees, some received ribbon and/or rick rack trim, and one was treated with a beaded safety pin. :o) I used a "Man's Best Friend" and paw print stamp as the divider on the back.
If anyone would like to swap a Christmas postcard that is not already in the swap, I have two extras. Just leave a comment with a way to get in touch with you and we will work something out.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Glittery Goodness


The theme at Inching Artists this week is "All that glitters". I had some Angelina Fiber and was just waiting for the opportunity to try it out. I added the fiber to a piece of peltex, did some machine embroidery, added a couple of sequins and some beads and here you go - glittery goodness!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Coffee Anyone?



Whew! I managed to get both of the boys back to college today. I loved having them both at home for Thanksgiving. I made sure to stop at the grocery store and stock them up on those oh so nutritional items like Pop Tarts, Peanut Butter, and sodas. :o)

I stopped at a grocery store at the last minute to pick up some milk for the son who is at NC State and saw these bracelets near the checkout. I thought they were really neat. Now, I will not be wearing it as a bracelet. I saw it as some really cool beads to use on postcards! LOL I have already planned a postcard in browns and naturals with a cup of coffee and a few of these coffee bean beads scattered around. Amazing where you can find inspiration.

Oh, and if you sniff really close to it you can even smell the coffee.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Gifts


I have made my first Christmas gift. I had no desire whatsoever to go out in the pushing, pulling, mad rush that is the day after Thanksgiving. I stayed home and sewed instead!
This ensemble is for my sister-in-law who is a dedicated Carolina Panther's fan. (You have to be dedicated to keep pulling for them this season. You can count me in with her as well.) At the top is a checkbook holder, center - a pocket tissue holder, and bottom - a wallet.
The tissue holder is from a free pattern here. Very quick and easy. The checkbook and wallet are patterns from Lazy Girl Designs. The wallet is their Wonder Wallet. I have all of these in my purse and I just love them. Doncha think my sister-in-law will too?
What are you making for gifts this Christmas?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Music!

The theme this week at Saturday Postcard Madness is Music. I started with this picture of a metal sculpture my son did for his graduation project.

I did a little manipulating (okay a lot of manipulating) with my photo editing program and printed the picture onto fabric. A little stitching and a bead (the bead doesn't show so well in the photo but it is black faceted and really sparkles) and here you are - MUSIC!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pretty Mail


These pretties arrived in the mail today. They are from a Christmas Inchies swap with my Fabric in Altered Art group. They are so intricate and have lots of different techniques and embellishments. I plan to purchase a wreath and wire these onto it to hang on my door. :o)


This postcard is from Miriam in Ireland from an Anything Goes swap on Art We Mail. She calls it "Shadow of Blue" and I just think it is gorgeous. Lots of different blue fabrics, with fibers, embroidery, and couching.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Monotone Inchies


The theme at Inching Artists this week is "Monotone".

I chose two of my favorite colors to play with and selected buttons, beads, floss, and sequins in the same colors. This would be an easy theme with which to go crazy as there are many colors in the rainbow. :o)







The red didn't photograph as well as the purple. The background fabric has monotone hearts. I can see this little inchie reappearing in a Valentine card.


Can't wait to see what the next theme will be. I rather enjoy making these tiny things.


A Night at the Symphony

Dear Husband and I attended the Greenboro Symphony last night. What a delightful, relaxing evening. We had fantastic seats courtesy of one of my clients at work and the musicians were just fabulous. It is amazing at the level of talent one can find in their own backyard. :o)

On the way home we stopped off at Borders and I couldn't resist this magazine/book. Lots of pretty ideas here.
On another note, there is a new challenge blog in town. Saturday Postcard Madness will have a new challenge posted each Saturday. For those of you who love working in the 4x6 format as I do, this is sure to be a fun one. Head on over there and stretch your imagination and spark your creativity!
I am still working on my pieces for the Inching Artists challenge. Pictures later today. (I hope) And I am also working on something for the Saturday Postcard Madness challenge. Just not enough hours in the day!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like...

A Christmas Quiltie!

I completed this one for a swap on Fabric in Altered Art. It is 6" square. The little present was made by wrapping a piece of peltex and tying on the bow then sewing it to the quiltie so it is more dimensional. The fur on Santa's boots is eyelash yarn, details were added to the puppy using gel and pigma pens, then I added lots of beads for the snow and finally a paw print stamp in silver. I made a postcard using this same theme last year and I liked it so much I decided to use it for this exchange.

Next on the agenda: Giving some of these a try with my own little twist. Aren't they cute? This project was one of the features in the Nov/Dec issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Inchie Challenge


The theme at Inching Artists this week is Eye Spy. I could only come up with the one idea this week. In case you can't tell, it is supposed to be a magnifying glass. I used a picture of an eye, made the "glass" out of x-ray film (I get the duds from work, makes great template material), used gold dimensional paint for the frame and a bugle bead for the handle.
This was a tough one for me. I had a few other ideas but they would require much more than a one inch canvas. :o)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pay It Forward and more on housies

I had been thinking of having some sort of giveaway on my blog when I stumbled across a post on Jenclair's blog about a pay it forward exchange. I decided this will be even better than a giveaway as more of us can share and spread some art and goodwill throughout blogland.


Here are the details:
I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.


So, if you want to play along with me just leave a comment and say so. It will be fun deciding what to send to you. :o)


I was so surprised to come home from a yukky day at work to see this on the Inching Artists challenge blog today? Yep! I feel special, surprised, and honored that Linda put my little cottages on her blog. Really made a special ending to a not so special day. (Thanks Linda!) Oh, and check out the latest challenge - it is another fun one too.


So? Anyone want to PIF with me?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Come on over to my hous(ies)!

The theme this week at Inching Artists is "Housies". For some reason, these little inchies are like potato chips for me - I can never stop with just one.


I just love purple so I thought a purple background with little yellow houses would be fun.







I have had this brick fabric for quite some time just waiting for the right project to come along. It seemed perfect for the house theme.

A few beads for flowers, machine embroidered blades of grass, and a rick rack cardinal keeping watch from the roof.





And with Halloween just a few days past, a slightly spooky scene seemed in order. What kind of birds are those? Sparrows? Crows?
Vultures?! I have no idea, but I "needed" to add them. :o)


Now I think it is time to work on something a bit larger. After making the Christmas inchies and then these, I feel the need to work with a piece of fabric more than an inch in size. Postcard size perhaps?

Books and Music

Dear Husband and I decided to go out to dinner last night. Afterwards we stopped in Border's because I wanted to get this book that Deb had recommended on her blog a few weeks ago. What an excellent read! I only have about 20 pages left because I couldn't put the darn thing down. I don't usually buy hardcover books for this very reason - I spend $15-$20 on a book and have it read in a few hours. This one is worth it though #1 because it is a good book and #2 because this is a new author and she is from my state. Cool huh? It will definitely be a keeper on my bookshelf.

It was a bonus night because Aura3, a local band was playing in the cafe at Borders. They were delightful. I was able to peruse the latest copies of magazines I thought I might buy while being entertained at the same time. It was a very enjoyable, relaxing evening. Good food, good music, and a good book. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Christmas in November

Well, it is time to start thinking about it - isn't it? I mean, if you don't get started now....

I just finished edging these this morning. They are for a Christmas inchies swap on Fabric in Altered Art.

I started with red cotton lame for the background. Then, I couched a green craft cord, stitched down some gold rick rack trim, added some decorative stitches in white, then stitched on a glass bead. I edged them in various ways - some just a simple zig zag, some using eyelash yarns. On a few I added an eyelet and some ribbon. Can you tell I get bored easily with zig zagging??? I enjoyed making these although they are a bit fiddly. (Is too a word!) Here's a close up of a few if you want to have a better look.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Pretty Postal Art


I received a couple of pretties in the mail this week. Both are from swaps on Art We Mail.

The pretty flower on the left is from Bev for the birthday swap. The one on the right is from Lynn for the Autumn Splendor swap. Aren't they pretty? I also received the special issue of Quilting Arts Magazine - Quilting Arts Gifts. So many pretty things in there I would like to make.



<-----Gratuitous Kitty Photo. This is Glitter lying on my son's laundry bag. He (my son) came home from college for the weekend and I think Glitter decided if she slept on his laundry bag, he couldn't leave. She still misses him - walks the floor going into his bedroom, meowing and searching for him.

With the holidays coming, I am feeling bombarded with ideas of things I want to make. Christmas inchies, ornament swaps, little giftys for the family, a winter tablerunner, a winter wallhanging, and the list goes on. Why wasn't I inspired to make any of these during the summer when I didn't sew much at all???!!! Oh well. Off to the sewing room! :o)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Birthday Postcards


My Panthers are being embarrassed by the Colts so today I finished these two postcards.
I wanted to do a more masculine sort of birthday card with browns and blacks. I used the same railroad knitting yarn that I used in my "eyes" triptych, stamped happy birthday in gold and copper metallic, then added some beads and a decorative stud. These pictures are really dark but if you click on them you can see more detail.
Not my favorite for a birthday card but I think I achieved what I set out to do.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Autumn Jewels

And now, I present to you.......Autumn Jewels!!


Yes, it is finished. (Well except for a bit of hand stitching on the back.) I did learn a lot while making this little quilt. It measures 9"x12" without the beaded fringe. I think it does give you the impression that the topmost leaves are the farthest away and that is what this little quilt was about - perspective. I have already started on my next little quilt and it will have a winter theme. Oh, here's a close up if you want to see a bit more detail.

It has been raining almost all day. We do need it so badly. I even turned the heat on today as the temperature has dropped considerably as well.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's Raining!

Yipeee and yahooooooo! Finally, we have a measurable amount of rain here. You can almost hear the grass and trees sighing in relief. I never thought I would be so happy to see it rain. :o)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Quilted


I have finished the quilting on the leaves quilt. Next - adding embellishments. I think all I am going to do with this one is add some beads to the leaves and do a beaded fringe along the bottom. (You can click on the photo to see a larger picture)
I am still not happy with how bright the yellow is - it really jumps out at you, doesn't it? Ahhhh, but that is what this is all about, learning to work with color. So, lesson learned. I will enjoy having an autumn quilt to hang at any rate.
All the cities nearby are on mandatory water restrictions since we have had so little rain. We have a well and I am hoping it keeps on keeping on for us. Several people in the area have had their wells dry up. I am doing what I can to conserve, I hope everyone else does the same.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Quilt Show & Postcards


I attended the Quilting In The Piedmont Quilt Show in Greensboro yesterday. Lots of pretty quilts there. This is a small show but close by and I do love to check out the vendors. I managed to sneak in a few goodies to play with - some angelina fibers, a few batiks, and some foam painting tools to use with my paint stiks.




I finished up these postcards for an anything goes swap on Art We Mail. I thought it would be nice for everyone to find a "smile" in their mailbox.

We had a little much needed rain Friday. Just enough to wet the ground but we will take any moisture we can get right now.

Have a great Sunday!