Friday, June 27, 2008

Everyday Pleasures #9

As I go about my everyday business, I cannot help but to stop, stand still and gaze in awe at my surroundings...
for often it seems, as if long ago, time also stopped and stood still.

A farmer and his team of mules, stopping for a rest as they plow the field.

Old red barn with a split rail fence.

Longhorn steer grazing by an old barn.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Work in Progress

No chance yet to delve into the new fabrics... I am practicing restraint until I finish up some previously started projects! Here are some close up shots of one of the quilts which I am currently working on. Lots of machine quilting on this one! (By the way, my camera was behaving very wacky-doodle-lee, and so the color is off on all of these pictures. The quilt is actually a rich dark brown and lovely deep aqua).

Quilting on the machine.

Front side of quilt showing some sections quilted, and some not yet done. (Click on the photo to see close up detail).

Back side of quilt showing the detail of the machine quilting.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Two Sides to Every Fabric Pile

Along with my purchase of those gorgerous new solid fabrics that I showed in my last post I also treated myself to some lovely striped prints that were designed by Kaffe Fassett. Below is a picture of them all grouped together, after being washed, ironed and folded...

And this is the back side... those colorful frayed threads were just to pretty to cut off!

I will be using these fabrics for some new art quilts as soon as I finish up my current works in progress, (which I hope to show soon!)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Beautiful Solids

I really have a passion for beautifully colored solid fabrics. Most of my quilts feature the wonderful fabrics and colors found in the Robert Kaufman Kona collection.

Yesterday I treated myself to 16 different colors from Robert Kaufman's Chambray collection. These new fabrics have a gorgeous quality to them!

Their beauty is due to how they are woven. Instead of one color used for both the warp and the weft, two different colors are used.

See how the warp and weft in this fabric are different colors? When woven together the colors blend to create this beautiful "Moth'" color!

Can you see how the this also gives the fabric a luminous iridescent look? Gorgeous!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Everyday Pleasures #8

Goodness gracious it's Friday already!
Old structures is what I am focusing the lens on for this weeks "Everyday Pleasures".
Hope you enjoy!

Nearby barn with an interesting roof and hex signs.

Little red barn shack, down by the railroad tracks

One of our old blue bird houses that Hubby built with the girls when they were little.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Polka Dot Delights

I first fell in love with polka dots when I was a little girl, sitting on my fathers lap, as he read to me Robert Lopshire's children's book Put Me in the Zoo.

I remember how the polka dots on that bear/dog like animal just popped off the page at me! I was completely captivated by those polka dots and all the magical things the critter could do with them. He could make them larger or smaller, change their color and float them in the sky... pure joy!

Well, my love affair with the delightful polka dot continues to this day. There simply is no other pattern on earth that comes as close to making me as happy as the polka dot does. Below are some great polka dot finds from Etsy.

This very sweet bud vase from Lazy Dog Pottery

These funky stoneware mugs and...

this oh so cute spice bowl and spoon.
Both from chARiTy elise

This gorgeous place setting and...

This lovely scalloped edge large serving bowl.
Both from jd wolfe pottery.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Crop Circles

Finally, some new work! Yay!

"Crop Circles" features machine appliqued circles on a machine quilted background. Each circle hosts a vintage button, and is surrounded by rows or hand embroidery.

"Crop Circles" measures 12 1/2" x 10" and like most of my other small embroidered mini art quilts, it is backed with a piece of fabric covered, heavy weight interfacing. Why do I do this? Well, there are several reasons... because mini art quilts are so small, they don't have the weight of larger art quilts, and often don't hang flat. Visually, this bothers me. Backing the quilt as I do fixes this problem. It gives the quilt stability, as a frame would, but also enables the quilt to retain it's soft quilt and tactile qualities. Backing the quilt also hides all of my embroidery stitching and allows me to attach a secure cord hanger to the back for easy hanging.

"Crop Circles" is currently available here in my Etsy shop!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Everyday Pleasures #7

A sincere Thank You! to everyone who wished me well! After taking it easy the last few days, (and sleeping a lot!) I am feeling almost like my old self. I am able to eat without pain now, (so goodbye to the five pounds I lost!) And I even did some sewing yesterday, (feels like ages!) Hopefully I will have some new work to post soon!

For this week's "Everyday Pleasure" post I focus on the sky. I have been having a love affair with the sky ever since I was a little girl contemplating Heaven. When I was three, my Grandfather died and I spent the next several years looking up at the clouds wondering which one he lived on. I still do, but now there are more of my loved ones there with him. The sky continually amazes me, connects me, humbles me. The following pictures were taken from my back yard. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Good News, Bad News

The good news is my flower quilt was one of the featured items in yesterday's "Best of the Week" Etsy Finds Yippee!!

You can view each day's Etsy Finds on the Storque, or you can subscribe, (which I do) and receive them via email each day!

The bad news is I am still having residual effects from the reaction to the awful antibiotics that I had been prescribed last week. I was starting to think it was my imagination, and kept trying to psych myself out of feeling like crap, but the abdominal cramping, nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite and extreme fatigue keep on hitting me. After doing some more research on my own, I find that I fit the classic symptoms of lingering "secondary" side effects one can get from taking this particular medicine. I just have to wait it out for now, until it leaves my system. (Did you know that a just a dose of over the counter pain medicine stays in your system for 10 days!? ) This has been a huge wake up call to me. From now on I promise to be a stronger advocate for myself, and diligently question, (and educate myself) on the need for any prescribed medicine, and dosage of said medicine. I have always liked my doctor, and actually still do, but any blind faith I had, has been replaced with healthy questioning.

Monday, June 9, 2008

American Visionary Art Museum

We had a great time on Saturday, celebrating our anniversary! We decided to spend the day in and around Baltimore's Inner Harbor area. One of the highlights was visiting the American Visionary Art Museum.

No picture taking is allowed inside the Museum, but there were plenty of fun things to photograph all around the surrounding outside of the museum, such as...

A giant bird and nest...

a giant whirligig...

a secret hideaway...

A blue giraffe...

Cute little birdies along the rim of a planter...

a beautiful decorated tree trunk...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Happy 22nd Anniversary!

Today I am forgoing my usual Friday installment of "Everyday Pleasures", so that I may instead wish my sweet Husband, of 22 years, a very Happy Anniversary! (It's officially tomorrow folks, but I wanted to post it today, as I fully intend to be feeling 100% better, so that we can go off and spend the day celebrating somewhere nice!) Here's to another Happy 22!

Our wedding day, June 7th, 1986...

We had a harpist and a flutist play at our reception...

22 years and 2 wonderful children later... Best friends...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Spell Check My Brain

This is a little art quilt I did. I thought it would be clever to take a remnant from an old kitchen dish towel that had once belonged to my mother, and machine doodle stitch the needed ingredients to make a chocolate chip cookie.

The problem is I am a horrible speller. I know this, and use, on a regular basis, my trusty Webster's Dictionary. It is the exact one that was given to me in the 4th grade and is now totally falling apart, but it has been with me for such a long time, I don't want to replace it.

However, there were no tricky words for this little project, so no need to worry about looking up the spelling of anything in a dictionary!

So have you noticed? I spelled "sugar" incorrectly! (And you know what, I always do!) Ugh!

By the way, I really do use an old fashioned SunBeam mixer! I actually have two, both from the 1930's, each belonging to one of my Grandmothers. Someday I will pass them on to my girls, so they can make there families chocolate chip cookies, too.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sneek Peeks

The newest issues of Somerset Studio's "Gallery" and "Sew Somerset" come out today, and I am super delighted to be included in both of these beautiful publications. For those of you who are only familiar with my current embroidered art quilts, you get to see another side of me, which would be my love of vintage materials and ephemera.

The Sew Somerset issue features my article on how I make my Vintage Bling Brooches, (pages 8 to 10).

A peek at my article:

The Gallery issues features my handmade art book, "Good Morning", (pages 129 to 131) in their "Special Book Section".

A little peek at a part of the book's cover:

A partial peek of a page from the book: