Friday, August 31, 2012

newfo's for august . . .

When I first thought about what I might post for NewFO's for August, I drew a blank . . . then I remembered . . . I actually had quite a few new starts for August!

First I had the two wedding quilt scrap toppers that I've been playing with . . . 

Then I had the mini-rail topper . . . 

And how could I have forgotten my sweet little Mr. Owlie?!?

I also have a finish . . . 
Yup!!  I'm pleased to introduce Lemonade on the Rails!
I'm so in love with this piece!
I quilted it very simply, but with metallic gold thread.  Just to give it a little *bling*!  I can't wait to put this out!

Wondering about the name?  Especially since there's absolutely NO yellow anywhere in it?  Crazy, but *definitely* appropriate!  It's explained HERE.

Linking up to Cat Patches and her August NewFO linky party!!  Head over there and check out what other great projects were started this past month!!

And me?  I've already got a GREAT idea for a new project for September!!  I'm off to play in EQ and make it concrete ... or, errr ... cloth?!

Don't miss the once in a "blue moon" tonight!


felines and marines . . .

I so enjoy my days with grandbabies.  Yesterday, of course, was no exception!  And of course, I had the added benefit of some Leia time, on top of the Ellie time!

Leia is definitely a "I want to be where the people are" kind of cat.  When Joc was heading up the stairs, Leia was there (as a trip hazard) . . . 

When we were all sitting around the table, Leia was there . . . 

And when I pulled out my quilting to do a little handwork . . . 
(it's easier to see from the back ... just three more flowers and some leaves and the center is done!)
Leia was there . . .
Such a cat!

Of course, I'll be linking up with Feline Friday over at Sarah Did It!

Captured some special moments of Ellie enjoying her plum and banana at lunch time . . .
Such a serious, focused eater ... it's really WORK to get her to smile while she's eating!  And I want you to know, that even with just two little toothies, she ate every bit of that banana and mostly all of the plum half, too!!

Today should be fun ... we've got a Semper Fi archery shoot tournament up at the camp today, tomorrow and Sunday -- it's a Toy's for Tots benefit.  Oorah!!

Happy Friday!  


Thursday, August 30, 2012

dis 'n dat . . .

Lots of busy work yesterday.  Sadly, a darling friend's dad passed away yesterday morning.  She isn't just a sweet friend, she's also my pastor's wife . . . which meant their family wasn't at church last night and so Todd stepped in to teach in our mid-week service.  He did a fabulous job -- he's such a great teacher!  But I spent a good portion of the afternoon helping him prepare.

I did get my flosses picked -- I think -- for Mr. Owlie . . . 
Unlike the Crazy in Color piece, where the floss was supposed to match the color it was outlining, in Mr. Owlie, I want the flosses to accent it, as well as outline some of it.  
In essence, the floss will lend color and depth and dimension, instead of just being a border.

I also got most of part three of a StitchMAP challenge completed. 
It's a "magic needlecase".  I've got it on good authority that it's really a fun finish ... but since you don't get the next installment until you've posted a picture of the finished current installment, I don't know yet!!  The challenges of StitchMAP are a lot of fun ... and not as intensive as the classes, but still aimed at teaching; whether a skill or a process.  I have it on good authority that a redwork class will be offered soon!!  I'm telling you - this group is one of the best I've ever been involved with!

And you may have noticed a little piece of flannel above, here's a better shot:
Well, it's as good as it's going to get for now, anyway!

I probably won't get a whole lot of stitch work in today, since I'm off to Jocelyn's.  I get to play with my Ellie-belly-baby . . . 
I'd take her over Mr. Owlie any day!

Have a great day . . . college football season starts TODAY!! 


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

whooooo knows what i did yesterday . . .

Played with my little Owlie project yesterday.  But before I could, I realized I had to get myself some new crayons.  All I had were the jumbo crayons (hey -- I've got a toddler grandson!) ... and I might have chosen to give those a shot, but there's only EIGHT stinking colors in that box!  Forget that!  I need more color!  So I stopped by the store and went to the crayon aisle.  Guess what I found?
Look at that big ol' box of colors!  When did this happen?!  
Last thing I knew, the biggest box on the block only held sixty-four colors ... this one holds NINETY-SIX!  And some are metallic!  Crayon heaven!

But I digress.  I got my colors home and started playing around on Mr. Owlie.  A couple of things I learned in the process ... taping the fabric down was good, but I should have taped it to something I could move around a bit.  I should have pressed (and set) the micron marker marks before coloring.  And ... when you start coloring a drawing like this, start at the top and work to the bottom instead of the other way around.  Because otherwise you end up with color on the front of your white tank top.  Ooops!

It didn't take long ... look how fun!  You can't tell from the pictures, but I did find and use those metallic/glittery crayons.  Oh yes I did!  
Then I covered it with paper towels and me and my trusty Reliable iron pressed away!
You can see where the excess wax from the crayons is absorbed into the paper towel.  
You're done when no more wax melts off onto the towel.  The final product is a little lighter, but still pretty vibrant.  I like how his eyes kind of glow!
Next step ... stitching!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

a motley crew: owls, cupcakes, and swings . . .

What a happy day yesterday was!  I got backings prepped for several pieces and got my mini-fence rail piece sandwiched and ready for quilting.  I also decided on the drawing I wanted to try out the crayon art . . .
It's all traced and ready for me to color!  I was inspired by seeing Judy's (Gramma's Quilting Room) finished, stitched piece, which was gorgeous--you really should click over and take a look!  I've had this pattern for a while (haha, let's be honest -- I've had a LOT of stitchery patterns for a while), but seeing Judy's stitched out in color made me really fall in love with it!  I'm going to try a combination of crayon-coloring and then stitching in the details (similar to the faux applique, I guess) and see how it turns out!

I also made this happy find . . . 
A pretty little stand to hold my Kindle upright!  I love to use it as my recipe book -- it takes up less room of my [incredibly] precious counter top space.  Oftentimes, if I've got a written recipe or one I've found online, I'll convert it to a pdf and send it to my Kindle.  I also trimmed up a ziplock bag to slip over and protect my Kindle from any spills or drips (or flinging batter when my beater goes crazy)!

A couple of weeks ago I came across a marvelous Kindle freebie on Amazon, Cupcakes for Two.
It's not a freebie now, unless you're a Prime member, and just want to borrow it, but if you're an empty-nester or small family or living on your own, it's well-worth the $2.99 they're listing it for now!  [Edited to add:  if you're a Kindle owner and Prime member, you'll have to go through your Kindle to "borrow" the book from Amazon.  Thanks, Penny, for letting me know!]  We had Kim, James, and Sawyer coming over for dinner and I wanted to make some cupcakes ... and there's not point in making a box mix which leaves me with two dozen cupcakes for five people (which means five cupcakes get eaten and nineteen cupcakes get left for me to figure out what to do with).  And homemade is so much better (and better for you)!  These recipes are perfect for such situations and SOOOOOO easy!  And with normal ingredients, too! 
I doubled the German Chocolate cupcake recipe and made the milk chocolate frosting and ended up with six cupcakes. Just right. Joc had tried a recipe earlier in the month and said it was great, too. It's nice to be able to just make two cupcakes ... and have them be fresh and wholesome!

We had a little play time before dinner was ready. I need to brag on my darling hubby here. Not only did he bring home the fish last Friday, he also cleaned them, cooked 'em up for us for dinner last night, and cleaned the dishes afterward. What a guy! And his fish fillets are the best!

Anyway, while we waited for the fish to fry, Sawyer took us out to the playground where he hit the slide (with a little help from daddy) . . .
Enjoyed the swings . . .
Just look at that precious, happy face!
And pretty much just enjoyed the space and freedom to RUN!

After dinner (and a session of family frisbee up in the big meadow), we finally got to the cupcakes--much to Sawyer's (and consequently, my) delight . . .

I have Aunt Jocelyn to thank for this shot.  ;)
I think the cupcakes were a happy hit.


Monday, August 27, 2012

de-sign fence-line . . .

Got some productive sewing done this weekend ... yay!  I finished piecing the mini-rail fence I started Thursday night (hence my clever post title and rhyme).
I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  At first I was afraid that solid brown border was too much, but I had some binding inspiration and I think the brown was just what this piece needed to make the binding really pop!
The binding is SO fun and *totally* an accident.  Because trust me, that is NOT something I'd just decide to do.  No way!  Instead, it is a case of making lemonade, when life hands you lemons (or, more specifically, when you rotary cut a lemon).  I'll probably quilt it this week.

I also have all the blocks stitched up and trimmed to size for the two little leftover wedding quilt toppers I was doing . . .

I may or may not put those together this week.

I also wanted to share this little FQ beauty.  Because it *is* beautiful.  A batik with hints of purple, glitteries and snowflakes . . .

Can it get any better I ask you?!?  I bought two FQs of this at the shop in Annapolis.  I'd have gotten a whole yard (or two, or three) of this it had been on the bolt.  Alas, it wasn't.  And alas again, none of the FQs they had of it had the selvage!  Boo!

I've seen a lot of Carpenter Star blocks lately ... enough to know that I'd like to do one (or two) as toppers or doll quilts.  And I'd also *really* like to try my hand at the whole "coloring cloth with crayons" technique, too.  That fascinates me ... like the colorque did/does!  Only with the crayon method you don't have to go the textile medium route.  You just color and iron.  Hmmmmm.  We'll see what I manage to get into as the week goes by!

Linking up today with Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times.  Go check it out!  I *urge* you!

Oh ... and Happy Monday! 


Sunday, August 26, 2012

stash report #34 and a splash of color (theory) . . .

I managed to steer clear of additions to my stash again this week.  Yay for me!

Used/donated this week: 2 yards
Used/donated year-to-date: 26.75 yards
Purchased/added this week: 0 yards
Purchased/added year-to-date: 111.25 yards
Net used/donated for 2012: -84.5 yards

Not too bad, right?  I'm happy with it.  I'm linking up with Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times for the weekly stash reporting.

I wanted to go ahead and share a little bit about this Color Theory Class I've been taking.  I just completed lesson three.  It's real work!  I'm taking it through the StitchMAP Yahoo! group - the button for which is on my sidebar on the right.  According to their site:
StitchMAP is for individuals interested in having a Mentor to help them while learning new needlework techniques. Free mentoring is offered in needle arts such as Crazy Quilting, Hardanger, Silk Ribbon Embroidery, Surface Hand Embroidery, Tatting, Brazilian Embroidery, Needlepoint, Quilting, Blackwork, Cross Stitch, and other Counted Thread techniques.
And . . .
StitchMAP membership is open to those who are committed to learning new needlework techniques and to those who would like to help others by assuring they begin their journey into the world of stitchery with the proper tools, knowledge,and materials. A membership questionnaire is sent to new members and must be returned before full membership privileges are granted. 
They offer quite a number of classes, but the prerequisite for most of them is the Color Theory class. And since I want to take some other classes ... and because I've really wanted to take a course in color for quilting, anyway ... I jumped on the first opportunity!

Lesson one was all about the six basic colors ... the three primary colors (red, blue, yellow) and the three secondary colors (purple, green, orange) and the hues.  We were to collect samples and get our notebook started ... as well as talk about our favorite color(s) and share projects that had our favorite colors.  Here's a photo from lesson one:

Lesson two was an exercise in creating my own color wheel.  It was harder than I thought it would be!  As a bonus, we were to pick embroidery floss that matched each color on the wheel.  I didn't already have floss for every color, so I took a trip to JoAnn's and listed the DMC floss number for the match.

Lesson three was very detailed!  We learned about values, tones, gradations, and intensity.  We took our color samples and had to break them out according to the different terms.  Then we pulled out our color wheel and noted our favorite color and its complement (is it any surprise I picked purple?) ... and separate the wheel into warm and cool colors.  We also got to do a little stitching -- three flowers -- one in all warm colors, one in all cool colors, and one in a combination.  I hand drew a couple of quick flowers and got to stitching!
I'd originally gotten a 1-1/2 looseleaf notebook, but I think I may need to upgrade to at least a 3"!  I'm really learning a lot and it's a lot harder than I originally thought it would be!  But definitely worth the time and effort I'm putting into it -- and my personal mentor for this course is *very* knowledgeable and helpful.  

Waiting on Lesson four, now -- can't wait to get my hands on it!!

Happy Sunday!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

funny and fun . . .

I should have saved the photo of Ellie noshing on her foot for Cat Patches' Foto Finish "funny" entry today!  Instead, how about I'll share these two . . .
My normally favorite, beautiful bird is molting.  And when cardinals molt, they are FAR from attractive!  They look like something the cat dragged in, which is what I thought had happened, the first time I saw one in this state!  
Their jaunty little caps disappear, their plumage is funky, and they just look ... well, as someone put it ... like "miniature vultures". LOL!  Bless their little hearts.  And it's all of them, too; the immature males, the females and the [normally] jaunty males.  Even though my photos aren't the best (it's hard to make the darn birds be still!), they certainly are funny!  Hop on over to Cat Patches and check out what others found 'funny' this Saturday morning!

On a more serious note (seriously wonderful), this came in yesterday's mail . . .
Whoohoo!!  I knew *exactly* what it was, too!!  (In fact, I made a special trip to the post office in hopes it would be there!)
I'd won last week's giveaway at Tea With Friends - one of my all-time favorite tea blogs!  It was a super-duper collection of different teas.  I mean marvelous!

If you're a tea enthusiast and you've not ever checked out Angela's blog, you're missing out on a real treat.  From recipes to table settings to tea rooms to pretty little tea accouterments, Angela covers it.  And on Saturdays she has the most marvelous tea-related giveaways!   Definitely follower-worthy!

This morning I sipped on the Numi, coconut pu-erh.  With a little truvia and a little coconut milk, it was *marvelous*!


Friday, August 24, 2012

loaded . . .

With pictures, that is.  With so much going on over the past couple of days I've found I've taken loads of pics ... and since a picture's worth a thousand words (or so they say), I figure I can recap in pictures and leave the words  most some of the words out.  Makes scrolling a little faster, anyway!  I'll get to the Color Theory course, soon, I promise.  Just not today (and obviously not yesterday)!

Had a lovely visit with Ellie and Jocelyn on Wednesday.  
Such a sweet little face and smile.  Ellie just grows more darling each week!
And she grows more agile, too, evidently.  Get it, Ellie!  Nosh that foot!

I picked Sawyer up for a visit yesterday morning.  We finally figured out a good place for him to sit and eat.
The bench seats are too low (or the table is too high, one) to make dining comfortable for him. The wicker ottoman and little bench stool are just right, though!

I've been playing with a couple of different things . . . 
I so liked playing with leftover pieces of Joc's wedding quilt for Jane's doll swap quilt, that I played around with some for me, too.
Perhaps I need to finish Joc's quilt, first?  LOL!

And Janet, from Rogue Quilter, had posted a sweet little piece she'd done -- a mini-rail fence -- that just captivated me.
I already had 2-1/2 inch strips cut of some fabric that I ended up not using and so I cut it down some more and laid it out.  Yes.  This is a definite yes.

Inspiration comes from all sorts of places.  This is a poster hanging on the wall of my Sunday School classroom.
I think it would make a darling mini or topper.  Yes, that one's in the near future, too!

Last night we had a Ladies' Movie Night.  We watched The Women.  
Oh.My.Gosh.  It's a hilarious movie!!  It's an oldie -- and a black & white to boot -- but funny as all get out and pretty relevant for today's women, too.  And not a single man in the whole cast.  Fun, fun stuff.

Todd and his dad took off *very* early this morning to get in a little father-son fishing time.  So early that they were already on the lake when the sun finally made an appearance . . .
And what an appearance, right?  Just lovely -- the kind of loveliness that makes you aware of the goodness of God's good creation and handiwork!

And finally, what would a Friday be without a little feline in it?  Compliments of Leia (and her dresser, Jocelyn):
You may have noticed that this is what Ellie was wearing in her first picture.
I don't think Leia appreciates the hand-me-downs.
But it is good to know she's a size 6-9 months ... just in case.  Nice mane action there, Leia!

Linking up with Sarah Did It! and Feline Friday!  Y'all have a GREAT one -- I'm getting ready for our first Camp MACOBA wedding!!