Saturday, November 30, 2013

Life After the Holiday

First of all, I must say that I had a delightful Thanksgiving holiday at my Mother's house. My brother and some of his family were there.  My aunt and uncle and their youngest daughter were there along with my niece and her two girls. Oh yes, my nephew showed up late but he was there too.
Early on some of us played "Heads Up!" since my niece had it on her iPhone. That was a lot of fun.  We did several categories. If you haven't seen this game ask around to folks you know that have an iPhone or an iPod Touch.  You can laugh a LOT.

The food was delicious.  I contributed a corn casserole and a custard pie. There was a LOT of food there. Almost everyone brought something. I ate a lot!  It was mmmm  mmmm good.

Black Friday was a day of rest and relaxation for me.  I do NOT participate in the crazy shopping. I just don't want to be in that kind of crowd.

Today I decided to use some fabrics that I won on a blog (A Legacy of Stitches).  I actually won some poinsettia fabric AND she shared part of a departed friend's stash.  I am having a great time with these fabrics.  I am adding in some of my stash as needed, but these two blocks came from that stash.
 I used a stack and cut method for making these.  It is really easy. I didn't worry about corners matching either. It was just fun- cut and sew.

I also realized that I never showed you the scarf I wove during my recent sale.  So here is the finished product.
I think it is prettier in person.  It is a nice long length - about 7 feet - and has a twisted fringe.  As I was weaving this at the show several people showed interest.  One of them took a card (apparently) and sent me a message.  She is interested in a class on weaving.  This tells me that my thoughts of teaching weaving when I retire is a good idea.  I will probably also teach some quilting classes as I have had one shop owner ask if I teach quilting.

Right now, I am going back to make more stack and cut blocks.  I hope you have a great weekend. d

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

What are you Thankful for?

Today is a day to remember the things for which we are thankful.  I have learned to be thankful for many things.
Today it is very cold for November in Alabama.  When I got up this morning it was 23 degrees Fahrenheit.  Brrr - that is colder than it gets in January most years.  I am thankful that I have heat and a warm place to stay. I am thankful for warm clothing.  I am thankful for the COLD as it reminds me to enjoy the hot HOT days of an Alabama summer.

Sometimes it is hard to be thankful for things. I am thankful for adversity because it helps me to learn to overcome problems and find solutions. But for most of my life I was NOT thankful for adversity.

I am thankful for my health.  But the times of sickness also bring lessons in overcoming and in compassion. Yes, I can be thankful that I have been sick, but I am now well.  Being thankful when I am sick requires greater faith, but it is possible.

Try to find something to be thankful for when bad things happen to you. Yes it is difficult, but it will change your view of life.
Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate Thanksgiving. (I do, if you were wondering.)
And Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate Hanukkah.  I am thankful for my friends from that Hebrew tradition also. Shalom!

Now for a "commercial" Craftsy is having a black Friday sale that has already started. If you have been considering a class, now is the time to take it. All classes are $19.99 or less. (and some of them are regularly $49.99 each)

Black Friday Sales at Craftsy!

Craftsy Yarn and Fabric sale up to 80% off from 11/27-12/2!

Craftsy has brilliant savings on the craft supplies you want!  With up to 80% off yarn and 65% off fabric, get the best prices of the year while you can.

Craftsy Class Sale up to 66% off from 11/29-12/2!

Craftsy has brilliant savings for a limited time only! All their online classes are on sale for $19.99 or less. With classes priced up to 66% off, now is a great time to get the classes you've been eyeing all year! Craftsy classes also make a great gift, so do some holiday shopping for the crafter in your life.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Off the Face of the Earth?

I suppose some of you think I  have fallen off the face of the earth.  No, I haven't.  I have been on a simple hiatus because of the show/sale and some other things I had going on.  My cold is finally better. I am not going to let this cold wave of weather moving through doesn't cause me to relapse. I am staying nice and warm and out of the weather as much as possible.

The sale went well.  Although sales were down this year, I did make some good connections and will most likely get some commission work from it. (happy happy!)

Here are some pictures of my booth.

This is the basic booth shot. The doll is still with me. 
 I think my great niece may get it for Christmas

This shot shows my wall hanging 
 and the painting in the window. 

The woven scarves were a good seller.  Only two of these came home. 
The quilted journals sold also, but the quilted brag books didn't. 

As I said overall was  a good day.  I also took my small loom with me and wove most of a scarf while I was there.  Lots of people asked questions about the weaving.  It made me realize that I could teach weaving and probably have a nice little class of folks who want to learn how to weave. 

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Days go by

I am sure some of you have noticed that I haven't posted in several days.  I have been pretty busy AND I have been recuperating from that ugly cold.  I have a case of bronchitis and some allergy issues hanging on too.
I intended to take pictures of the packing and setup for the show. I was happy to just get it done. I hope to get a picture of my booth today.

Meanwhile,  here are a couple of the paintings I will have in the booth for sale today.

Title: Herewith

Title:  Forbidden Crossing

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Have you ever wondered.....

I am still fighting this cold but I am getting better.  Below is some sponsored info about Craftsy.  Now before you run away, I have to tell you:  I found this really interesting.  It helps me to understand why the classes are so good.  I am a real fan even if I didn't make a dime off of my love of these classes.  But since I am such a fan,  I was thrilled to become an affiliate for Craftsy.

Have you ever wondered what goes into the filming of a Craftsy class?  I have.  So I was happy to read about it.

What is Craftsy?

Craftsy is a worldwide craft community offering online classes. It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. With over two million members and counting, Craftsy has something for just about everyone, in categories ranging from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.

Craftsy Logo
Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Craftsy Class
Before filming even begins, hours and hours are spent determining what content will be covered in each class, and how to best teach specific techniques to the camera. Instructors work with an instructional designer to create an in-depth outline of each lesson, and decide how to best prepare props or “step-outs” that show what your project should like at different steps. Instead of a scripted class, instructors follow their outlines on camera to create an authentic and engaging teaching experience.

Most Craftsy classes are filmed in one of five Craftsy studios in Denver, CO, assuring that every part of the production process goes off without a hitch. They fly in instructors from all over the world to spend several days filming, then spend several weeks turning hours of footage into a two to three hour class experience that has been watched, rewatched, and reviewed by industry experts. The final result is an HD-quality video that takes you in-depth into specific topics in any given craft category- from cooking and fine art to sewing and knitting.

 What IS the Craftsy experience?
Craftsy classes are designed to have all the benefits of an in-person class, with none of the drawbacks. Available online and on-demand, you always have world-class instructors at the tip of your fingers. You can retake the class as many times as you want, and the 30-second repeat feature allows you to watch the same section over and over again until you get every technique just right.

Watching a Craftsy class is like having a first-row seat with some of the best instructors in the world. Even better, classes have a 100% money-back guarantee.

Try online learning today with a free mini-class from Craftsy! Choose from 23 Free Craftsy Classes ranging from drawing and painting to sewing and quilting, from knitting to cake decorating and more.

And so you know,  I clicked the link and found a free DRAWING class on the human figure. I know I will enjoy and learn something new from that one.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A little of this and that

I have a rotten cold.  However it is more annoying than the put you in the bed kind.
I have been playing last night and this morning .

First I had this doll that I made months ago.  I was tired of seeing her draped across the back of the chair naked.  So last night I made her a very simple pillowcase dress.

I suppose it is okay, but I want to put something nicer on her.  I also need to make some shoes for her feet. 

This morning I decided to sew out an embroidery design from a collection I got from Anita Goodesign for the Machine Embroidery Blog Hop last year.   This is a sashiko design from the Asian Quilt package.  But I wasn't going to just sew it out.  I have been taking/watching a class Thread Art with Lola Jenkins on Craftsy .  I haven't really been participating, but I did watch about half of the class.  This was a while back, so I had to do some review.  Lola paints her thread art with colored pencils.  I just love watching her style of teaching. I especially love her motto "there are no mistakes." 

So after sewing out the design, with a dark purple thread,  I grabbed my box of 24 Crayola colored pencils and started.  As I went along I got more and more excited.  When I got to this point I took a picture. 

Looking at the picture, I realized that I need to do a bit more blending.  However, it already looks good -at least to me.  Once it is all to my liking, I will use some fabric medium and a brush to make the design permanent.
Have you ever painted or colored on your fabric designs?  I found this a wonderful blend of art work and machine embroidery.  I am sure I will do this with some free motion work too.  It is pretty addictive.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Flash Sale

Hi I wanted to be sure I told you about the sale that is going on at Craftsy.  I know I will be going to check these out.  This is a great time to get supplies for the last minute handmade presents for the upcoming holiday season.

Flash Sale!

Craftsy is having a flash sale this Friday & Saturday on Yarn and Fabric products at up to 80% off! You can check out each sale here:

Craftsy yarn sale! Save up to 80% on yarn for 48 hours, November 15 & 16.

Craftsy fabric sale! Save up to 65% on fabric for 48 hours, November 15 & 16.

The sale only lasts 48 hours and products will sell out fast, head over to Craftsy today and check some items off your crafting wish list!

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Oooh Shiny!!!

The date of my show/sale is fast approaching. November 23rd will be the day of the sale and I hope to have a nice inventory to sell.   This year I will be adding my handwoven scarves to the line up along with the quilts and art and everything else.

Last night, I put a warp on the loom and got it ready for weaving. The yarn I am using for a warp thread is a thinner black with a shiny or glittery thread spun in with it.  Then for the weft, I am using the grey that I used on the previous scarf.  It has a shiny white thread that is spun into it.

The type loom I have is a rigid heddle loom.  On a rigid heddle loom, the cloth that is woven winds onto a beam at the front of the loom. This is called the cloth beam, of course.  When I got the warp put on last night, I wove a 6 to 8 inch section to see if I liked the results.  I did like it.

So this evening after work, visiting a friend in the hospital and going by to check on Mom, (whew!) I sat and wove for a bit.
Here is a picture of the cloth on the cloth beam.
I do believe that I got a great start on it.
Now here is a picture of the scarf on the loom.
You can see a slight "pulled in" area in the right selvedge.  I am hoping that will look fine when I take it off the loom and wet finish it.

And here is a picture taken at an angle with flash.  I think you can see what I see.
Oooh...shiny.  I hope you can see the shimmery shine that this scarf has. It reflects light beautifully.  On the left side of the picture you can see a little bit on yarn still on the wooden shuttle. Even that has a lovely shine.  
I do believe that this will be a very dressy scarf.   I am looking forward to finishing it. I will definitely twist the fringe on this one and maybe even add a few beads for added embellishment.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Finished Scarf

Yesterday afternoon I finished weaving the scarf I have been making.  Last night I started taking it off the loom.  I got the ends tied off and removed. With scarves you can just tied off rather than hemstitching them.
This morning I trimmed the fringe and decided that I would twist the fringe.
Then it occurred to me to ask my readers a question.

Do you think it looks better with just loose yarn fringe or with twisted fringe?

Here is the entire scarf:
The part at the top of the picture is not twisted, but the bottom end is twisted.

Here is a close up of twisted and non twisted:
Do you think the twisted fringe adds a more finished look?

And here is a close up of the Leno Lace, although it doesn't show as nicely in the picture as it looks in person.
The color did not come out as true as I would like.  The grey is a nice neutral grey and not as blue as it appears in these pictures. I "borrowed" this picture from a seller of the yarn.  It is much more true to color although this picture (on my monitor) has a slight brown cast.
The red is the same as in the red and black scarf, I made earlier.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Quilted Until there is no more room to quilt

Yesterday I showed the little art quilt that I pulled out to work on. I did lots of dense quilting on it.  In fact, as the title says, I quilted it until there is no more room to quilt on it. I can't tell you how many bobbins I went through, but it was a lot.
So here are pictures of the quilting.
The picture of the entire quilt really doesn't show the quilting well.  I am debating adding some embellishments though. 

 This picture and the one below show up the pebble quilting nicely. I hope you can see the texture in the flame shapes. I tried to match the color to the fabric so it doesn't show well in a picture. In person the shiny threads really pop. All of the quilting thread is two-color twist thread and is polyester.  That adds a lot of pop to the quilting.
I should tell you that this quilt was inspired by another quilt  by Pat Merkle.  I watched this quilt from the beginning as she worked on it and posted pictures on her blog. The flame shapes intrigued me.  So I asked permission to do a derivative work, which she granted.  I had a dream where her quilt morphed into something more like this one with the circles floating above the flames. Thus, a quilt was born.

I hope you got some sewing or quilting done this weekend also.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Foolishly posted "hate speech" comments will be swiftly removed.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Saturday FMQ - -Big Sale Too (Photo Update)

I have pulled out this piece and have started quilting it.

Here are the circles quilted
I like the dense quilting on the two larger circles best. I may go back into the smaller circle and add some more lines and obliterate the spiral.

Did you know that Craftsy is having a Flash Sale this weekend?  If you have any classes you are wishing for today would be a great day to get them at a bargain price! Just click the image below.

Craftsy Gallery
More Photos!

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Foolishly posted "hate speech" comments will be swiftly removed.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Book Finished, Loom Started, Free Classes

First of all, I finished the book  that I started Tuesday night.  I finished it Wednesday night - it was one of those you have a hard time putting down. The ending was a real surprise with some twists and turns along the way.  In case you missed that post, it was Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson.

After finishing the book, I decided to put a warp on the loom and get a new project started.  I found an interesting yarn that is what I call a zigzag yarn. It is grey with a white thread running through it which adds a nice texture.  I didn't think it would be a good warp thread so I saved it for the weft. For the warp I used a simply grey and added a few stripes of dark red for a color splash. Then I started weaving.
The red looks a little darker than in this picture.  I wanted to try a lace pattern called Leno in the weaving. So I did a  header of 20 straight plain weaves.  Then I did two rows of the Leno.
Here is a close up of the Leno section.
You can get a hint of the white running through the weft thread in this picture. What you can't tell, is that the white is a shiny thread and really adds a sparkle to the work. (I think the white is either rayon or nylon.)

I also want to tell you about two new FREE classes on Craftsy.
1.  Gail Kessler is teaching  "Piece, Patch, Quilt: Basic Quiltmaking Skills"  Even though I know the basics (at least I think I do)  I will be taking this class just as a great refresher.
2. Kirk Tuck is teaching "Professional Family Portraits"  I think this is a great class for all bloggers and anyone who is planning to take a Christmas card picture (hint hint)  I am also thinking we will learn some things that will carry over to making our blog pictures better.  Yes, I am signing up for this one also.

I love the classes on Craftsy and FREE is a price that can't be beat.  So, what are you waiting for?

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Foolishly posted "hate speech" comments will be swiftly removed.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

A Little FMQ and a confession

Hi dear readers.  I have been doing a lot of "this and that" lately.  For example, tonight I tried a recipe that is totally other for me.  I have cooked butternut squash before, but I have always always baked it just cut in half and seeded.  However, I saw a recipe in a diabetic cookbook for butternut squash fries. The picture was tempting to say the least.  
The  finished product wasn't that much like fries, probably because I didn't turn them "often" as instructed.  Ha. I didn't turn them at all.   Still, they are delicious.  I put some in a container to take for lunch tomorrow and then I ate the rest.  Yes I will repeat this!

The only sewing/crafty thing I have done in the last couple of days is this:

I free motion quilted this block. I didn't really plan the quilting at all but just sat down and sewed.  I think I like the back best. The quilting shows up better and has a lovely abstract texture grouping.

So what else have I been doing?  You may know that I am a serious book addict.  I have been reading a lot.  I think it is triggered by the change in the weather.  I love to curl up and read when it gets cooler.  Right now, I am reading  Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson.  I have read at least a couple of her other books and I always enjoy them.  Now, forgive me while I get back to the story....

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Binding on, Label on -ready for.....

I finally added the binding to my free-motion quilted strip quilt. I got the basic idea for this simple quilt from First Steps to Free Motion Quilting by Christina Cameli of A Few Scraps blog. This is a great quilt to add to your list of fast to make quilts.  The strips also give you nice areas to practice your quilting.

As you can see, I put a label on this quilt - and I put it for a reason.  This will be a quilt that I am donating to the Quilt Angels project.  You can see part of the label, I put my name and the state on it. In red, I added: 'Remember that you are loved."    I made this label by simply putting fusible web on the back of some muslin. Then I wrote the words with Pigma pens. I sewed the label into the binding on two sides. The other two sides are pinked but then I added some extra quilting around it because I like everything to be sewn down. Why? If the quilt is put in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet, it can loosen the fusible web.

Are you participating in the Quilt Angels project? If so, I would like a little update from you.  I have heard from three people recently, and I do appreciate the update. Please feel free to email me. Or leave a comment on any post and I will get email you.

If you would like to donate a quilt for the project, please email me or leave a comment. If I don't email you in return, you may be a no reply blogger. So the picture below is my email address:
This is a picture to deter spammers.
Here are the basics on what is requested:

The quilts should be at least 45 by 60, but a little bigger would be better. These can be bed quilts if you have one already made that you would like to donate. 
Fabric should be gender neutral as the shelter houses both boys and girls and the ratio changes.  However, any quilt that meets the size recommendation will be gladly accepted.  As these are teens, bright colors will probably be best, but some teens do like neutrals.  As for pattern, your choice, I don't mind if it is simple.  Please insure that these are sturdy as I am sure they will get lots of use and washing.  Binding by machine is fine -and faster!   We do ask that you put a label on the quilt. It doesn't have to have your full name but your first name and state make it special to the recipient. I have seen the amazement in young eyes that someone from __whatever state__ cared enough to make and send a quilt!  At that moment in that life, you are an angel. 
 The "get it to us" deadline is December 12th.  Once you tell me that you are ready to send, I will send you the address information.

I will gladly answer questions on the project.  You can see past posts on the project by going to the Quilt Angels page on my blog.  There are some sponsored prizes that anyone donating a quilt is eligible to win.

I leave you with a song which is sung by the songwriter, Becky Hobbs.  I do believe that there are angels among us.

I hope your weekend is blessed.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.