Quiet or Frenzied

There doesn’t seem to be much choice in the level of activity surrounding the holiday season. It’s either crazy-crazy-run-run-run-get-it-done-hurry or it’s sit-relax-nap-do-it-later! I have totally been in the quiet mode and I’m loving it. Not much progress is being made in the art making department, but I always tell myself I’m thinking about it!

In fact, I took a picture of an inlaid design on a monument, because it seemed perfect for quilting!

For our trip, I wanted some hand work to take with me. I grabbed a piece of my dyed fabric, added just batting, threw a few lines of quilting on it and some beads and I was ready to go. As I said yesterday, I did not even pick up a needle over Christmas! But I’ve done a bit since then…

My idea was to make a waterfall, with lots and lots of colorful beads. My favorite way to work, so far, is to have a huge variety. That may change after I’m beading longer! Here are the beads…

I put on a few and realized that my piece needed more than a few quilting lines. I added a bit of yarn and ribbon to emphasize my waterfall idea, but it’s still very abstract. I’m trying to concentrate on adding a few stacks and some fringe. Trying to increase my beading repertoire!

Fringe-it’s in more than one place, but this is the clearest look at it.

Stacks–I should probably find a spot to do something more ‘regular’ but that doesn’t seem to fit with this piece so far.

This may not grow to fill the entire piece of fabric that I have here. Right now it needs lots more ‘water’ and I’m not sure it’s going to look a lot like a waterfall, except in my own mind…..and that’s all right with me. I am just enjoying the process right now. It’s a great way to use the quiet time I’ve been granted.

So far….

More water—more fall—more beading!!!

No Sew Christmas

The balcony was delightfully decorated!

My first Christmas this year was with my son and his wife in Alexandria, VA. I didn’t even pick up a needle…not one stitch was sewn, though I brought work. We did other things…

…like gourmet meals on a beautifully appointed table.

We did a little shopping and some touristing…

The White House was beautiful–and every picture I took was miserable!!! My picture taking in general was just awful, but maybe you can get a tiny idea from these at the National Christmas tree site.

At National Christmas tree site--huge Menorah with Washington Monument in background

All around the Christmas tree were railroad trains and villages, as well as trees representing each state.

I heard several people complaining that the tree was so small…a real disappointment. Must be they didn’t read that it was a live tree and it will be bigger eventually!

We had a wonderful visit, and we are looking forward to the second Christmas with the family members we were not with on Christmas day. It’s always great to prolong the pleasure of the holiday season!

Little Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my blog. I wish I had a calendar for each one of you. Alas, I only have one and the winner is….

Diana Bracy

I’ll get an email out to you but if you see this first and want to send me your snail mail addy, I’ll get the calendar out to you immediately so you can start using it.

This was fun. I’ll have to do it again soon. Thanks, everyone!

Amazing Day…

When my son married his wife, she was the first to admit that she didn’t really know how to cook.

Boy, have things changed!

She has turned into a gourmet chef! We teased her about wanting only kitchen related items for Christmas, but then we ate a few of her meals.

OMG!!! A lasagna to die for…chicken pot pie that’s the definition of comfort food…cinnamon rolls to fall in love with…desserts to dream about…she makes most everything from scratch now and loves it. I find that unimaginable since I hate to cook so much, but I can understand the passion for a hobby very well.

We cannot stay around her cooking for very many days…it’s truly like eating at a gourmet restaurant every day. Maybe you have a lot of self-control and can eat just two bites of something delicious, but I do not!!! Wow!

Hospitality and gourmet eating, family and fun…the love of Christmas…OH and presents, too! What a great Christmas day.

And we get to do it again next week when the other half of the family is back in town. But it won’t be gourmet meals unless I can get my daughter to do the cooking. How cool is it to hate to cook and to be surrounded by girls who love to cook! Wonderful for me!!!!

I can only hope that your Christmas day was as wonderful as mine. I have such an amazing family!

Quick Glitz…and a Quick Giveaway

Wanted something cute and quick for a little gift and remembered how easy these little wallets are.

Use bright and bold fabrics, add some glittery crystals and you have a fun little gift.

It takes me longer to decide which pieces of fabric to use than it does to make the thing!

Now–giveaway! I’m not part of a blog ring, giving something away to promote a new book or product. I’m just giving away an extra copy of the Quilt Art Engagement Calendar that I received after I had already purchased one. If you are interested, leave a comment and I will select a winner the day after Christmas. Just a little fun bonus for someone!

‘Tis the Season–of almost done!

Just when I think I’m getting lots of projects finished up, I ask for one more opinion! But it’s an opinion I value very highly…my daughter’s. She helps me in so many ways, with design ideas, with printing options, with wonderful critiques. When I know that something is not quite right, she can usually pinpoint the problem. She can also pinpoint a problem when I don’t realize it IS a problem.

My black/silver/red leafy scroll beaded project was done, but I didn’t totally love it. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t have a real name! Anyway, Deb looked at it for just a few minutes and figured out that it didn’t have a focal point, just background. AND she turned it 90° to make it horizontal rather than vertical. Immediate and immense improvement. Now all I have to do is find the proper flower-like elements to create a strong center of interest. She is so smart!! I love her critiques because she is almost always right.

I like it better this way. I just need some red or silver 'flowers' to finish it. (And maybe get out the bright lights when I take a picture!)

I also got my bright little leftover forest finished…maybe! I am tempted to add in some bling, but it does look kinda good with one bright tree surrounded by darkness. I’ll pass this one through Deb’s critique, too, but I also welcome critiques and suggestions from you. I don’t present a very sequential blog here, for my projects, but this is the way they get done. A bit here and a bit there…they get started and then sit and marinate for a while…sometimes they get ‘done’ too quickly and I have to add more…I try to always be open to new ideas and sometimes the perfect idea pops up for a piece long thought to have been done. We’ll see with this one!

Before quilting

After quilting

Detail of bright tree

Christmas shopping–almost done! AJ saw Santa yesterday, for the first time knowing to tell him what he would like for gifts. A combine–hello! We are not farmers…where did this come from? He does love him some tractors, though…and trucks, and fire engines and heavy duty construction equipment–anything with a motor! He is such a boy! So, a bit more shopping.

Christmas wrapping–almost done! A few things left, not even counting wrapping a combine. Wow! How many rolls of paper would THAT take?!

Christmas baking–almost done! I’ll probably swing by the bakery one more time before Christmas!

Hope you are getting things as ‘almost done’ as I am…

Scrolling Through…

Things seem to be getting finished here lately. Maybe it’s because all the Christmas stuff is done and I’ll always sew something rather than clean the house!

My scrolling leaves bead project was finished last night. I suppose I could add more beads–well, any project can always have more beads added–but I think this one has quite enough. Tell me what you think, though because I have lots more beads!

Here are some detail shots of some of the leaves.

I’m quite surprised at how a black background doesn’t really show up as black in these pics. I’m sure I could play with my camera settings, but that was really more effort than I wanted to exert today. It’s pretty lazy here right now.

And now on to the next project…at least on to finishing one that’s already been started. I do feel very productive right now. Must be that end of the year get everything finished syndrome. Or maybe I’m just procrastinating again. I still haven’t re-written that color talk and it needs to be done soon. I’m telling myself that procrastination is just one way to be sure that you never run out of projects to do!



Challenge and Yummmmmm…Potluck!

The Knot Even Quilter’s is the name of my wacky group…they were the wacky quilters in my house long before we adopted the “real” name and my husband doesn’t know who I mean if I don’t say “wacky”. Today we had our annual potluck get-together and it was so very good. We’ve been meeting during the mornings most of this year, so it was a brunch and if anyone left hungry it was only because they didn’t push the rest of us out of the way at the buffet table! Why does someone else’s cooking always look better than what you make yourself? All I know is that it tasted great and I ate too much!

We also brought in the results of our last challenge, which was 13 or so different pieces of fabric, all approximately 100 square inches, to be made into anything we wanted. Donna was so, so clever. She goes to Florida in the winter, so she made her piece into post cards, which we all got in the mail. She challenged us to put the piece back together. We had lots of fun working on that as everyone came in and added her piece.

The rest of the story in pictures…not everyone was there, I think I missed someone’s, a couple are way out of focus, but I think there is enough here for you to get a feeling of all the different projects we came up with.

We have such a fun time with our challenges. Our next meeting will plan our next challenge, as well as try to figure out what techniques we want to spend time on learning or perfecting next year. We always work on dyeing stuff at some point, and now we love screen printing, too. Good thing there is always something new coming up or we could spend all our time on just those two things! This may not be what traditional quilt bees were like, but all of us in this group are trying to expand our horizons, so it works for us. Can’t wait for the next meeting!

Fun and Beads

Had a little spare time yesterday that I could devote to beading again. I posted this picture on facebook for a little advice on which color beads to use. The choice was between red beads that didn’t match, even though the design areas were separate OR silver beads.

The unanimous verdict was for silver. So now I have things outlined and I’m ready to start with the fun and funky beading with the black and white beads.

As I looked at my outlined design, I remembered that my daughter had made a suggestion to ‘shadow’ some of the elements with the opposite colors. Got that started and I’m liking the look. It really integrates the beads used for the outlining. My daughter is a pretty smart designer–thanks!

Looks very plain without the integrated colors.

And just the first little bit of adding silver to the red parts makes it look better.

I have housework that needs doing. My sense of duty keeps nagging my feelings of guilt. My beading obsession is overpowering that cleaning urge. I think I need to start in on the fun beads, just because I have time and housecleaning will always be there. Yep—guilt needs to just quiet down, because I’m going to have some fun!

What Shall I Wear to the Ball?

This is a project I’m working on for another challenge. It’s not actually in the frame yet, but I’m really happy with it and wanted to get a good look at how it will finish up.

I rarely make anything to go in a frame, but I had this one (from a garage sale no less!) and it seemed like a perfect match.

A fun thing today instead of a ‘have-to’—–aaaaaaaaaah!