Monday, December 31, 2007

Crazy quilt horse saddle and Happy New Year's Eve.....

Here's the horse that Michaela got for Christmas. At 12 1/2 years old, I wasn't absolutely sure she'd like getting a stuffed toy, but I needn't have worried. She's a horse girl and probably always will be, and she loved it. I made the saddle and bridle for this horse, and it was way easier than the vests on the bears.

This is my New Year's Eve wish for you: May you rest easy, basking in the warm glow of your Christmas tree, with dear ones nearby. May the New Year bring you health, gladness, and fulfillment in your pursuits.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Christmas card and some presents!

This is our Christmas card this year. Every Christmas for the last 21 years, I've done an original drawing and had prints made to send as our Christmas greetings to family and friends. Some years have been wildlife drawings, or more religious drawings, and sometimes they're just plain silly, like the year I drew our likenesses as reflected in shiny Christmas ball ornaments. We call those "monkey balls" because they make everyone look a little ape-like. I even wrote a poem to go in the card that year, to explain about "monkey balls". This year I used the boys as models, or I should say I used photos of them. They don't sit still long enough to pose for a drawing. Unfortunately, I don't do well with likenesses in humans, so the little boys don't look a lot like themselves. The dog, however, you could pick out of a crowd. I really captured him, except he's a bit bigger than the drawing would lead you to believe. Anyway, I'm pleased to make this my first ever on-line Christmas greeting. If you're reading this, please know that I wish you a blessed Christmas season and a wonder-filled new year.

This is the third and final landscape cq piece I'll be doing for Christmas. It has a mother of pearl fish, and a school of fish that I made up, or as my grandson would say, I imaginated them. He thought (or hoped) they were piranhas, and when I explained that I'd made them up, he insisted that I make up a name for them,too. So they are "high-finned yellow-bellied sparkle fish". They were made with a small piece of sparkly fabric appliqued to the background (moire taffeta) and then embroidered with the black, yellow, and pink details. They really catch the light and seem to almost swim in place. The lace fan coral is made, oddly enough, from lace, and the sea weed is eyelash yarn. A lot of the buttons in the rock piles are mother of pearl, as are the coin shaped dangles. There are also some real tiny shells in there, and two tiny pewter charms. Can you find the sea horse? He's hiding in the seaweed on the right. There's very little embroidery in this piece; mostly applique and tacking or couching of the lace and yarn, and sewing on the buttons and beads. This one is a gift for my husband's brother and his wife.

This is for me!! It was made by Sharon Rowe. We both participated in the Victorian boot swap on the CQ4N list. I love the snowy white patches and all the colorful embroidery. I think she did an especially good job on the shape of the boot. And it came with 4 baggies full of threads, buttons and beads, fabric, and trims. I am in crazy quilt heaven this afternoon! Thank you, Sharon!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The owl's change of feathers and some hearts

A leopard may not be able to change his spots, but an owl can change his plumage. I very carefully gave the owl a wash of brown paint, then a dry brushing of black/brown. He's no longer a snowy owl and now feels much more comfortable in his summery world.

These are two hearts I received from Lesa, our CQ for Newbies list mom. I love them both. The snowman one is so appropriate for my snowy environment right now, and the pink flower fairies have me looking forward to spring!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Summer scene in CQ

This idea started out with one element; the lone tree. I had no idea what the tree might look like or what else would be included. The mountain to the left looks a little like Mount Garfield, a natural landmark to the north east of our town. As I worked on the tree, it started to resembled a cedar tree (in my mind, anyway), which we have a lot of up in the higher desert areas around us.

Here's a little silk ribbon embroidery rose bush.

And a snowy owl which I think will get a (very careful) wash of brown paint to make him a more suitable color for this area.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Season to season winter block finished...maybe

This is Mary's winter block that I got to finish embellishing. She requested only that it be reflective of winter, without holiday overtones, as she's making a seasonal wall hanging. These colors were fun and challenging to work with.

I did some embroidery and beading, and then thought maybe I was done, but it doesn't have to be back to Gerry (the hostess) until early January. So I put it away and worked on some other things. Then I found a button that is two white doves at my LQS. It just begged to become part of Mary's block, so I added a button cluster with the doves as the center-piece. It may not be done yet; since I have some time, I'll put it away again and see what happens.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Snowy landscape CQ

I tried doing a landscape in CQ, and this is what I've come up with. It's a mixture of velvet (snowy hills and dirt hills), moire' taffeta (pond), cottons (background), and satin (sun). The details are done in DMC perle cotton, size 8, and some of the Sassa Lynne threads that I bought from Susan, with tiny beads and a few buttons.

My next project is also a landscape, and both are intended for Christmas presents, but I really like them and may try to make more for possible sale.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Another craft show....

...has come and gone, and thankfully, this one was a little more profitable.

Lauri and I shared a table at this year's Mesa County Employee Association craft show. Last year was the first time they'd done it, and I did all right. This year, I think more people came prepared to actually shop, not just look, and Lauri and I both did alright.

Lauri's items are the purses (not the squarish totes), which she had in two sizes; a cell phone or MP3 player sized pouch, or the larger shoulder bags. She also made some really cute little denim pocket purses that did very well.

We'll never get rich doing this, but we had a good time, got some good feedback, and were able to sit and stitch for a few hours.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My block for Ing

This is the block I will be sending to Ing in California to work on. It is about 11" X 12". The theme for our little one on one round robin is flower fairies.

Ing's flower fairy heart

This is a heart pieced by Ing in California. We are doing a one on one round robin. I have just finished my block for her to work on, and will be sending it to her with her completed heart.
I did a silk ribbon embroidery daffodil on this heart, and the fairy's skirt is organza ribbon and beads.

A winter block to work on

This block belongs to Mary in New Orleans. We are trading blocks temporarily to work on each others, then send them back. She has requested that hers be winter themed only; no Christmas. It reminds me of sparkling snow, but I didn't photograph it very well. It is so much prettier in person.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Three more vested bears

These are 3 more bears for the upcoming craft show. I had so much fun doing the first two, and actually sold one of them, so I've tried a few more. This one is one of the $3 bears that you can buy at Hobby Lobby. It (and the following green one) are smaller than the first two I did, and I don't think I'd attempt to make a vest any smaller than this.

This is a bear that my sister gave me to work on. He's a dark green, and I thought his vest would look really nice in shades of purple with green, purple, and gold stitching.

The last bear is snowy white, and again, I thought he'd look great with shades of purple and pink. He's big enough to use the larger vest size like the first two bears I did. I'm really pleased with all of them, and hope they'll find good homes at the craft show.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My favorite boys

Trying to get a good shot of my 3 boys....

First Zack looked away.....

then Jaxon blinked....

success at last....except Zack has his pacifier in his mouth....oh well.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Elvis! Nancy's CYOT block

This block is for the Choose Your Own Theme round robin that I am just finishing up. There were only 5 of us in this round, but I've gotten to do some really fun blocks. First there was Lauri's romance novel theme, then Anne's Japanese, Flora's pineapples and palm trees, and now Nancy's Elvis. I was never a huge Elvis fan, (though I didn't dislike him) so I wasn't feeling very inspired at first. Nancy included with her focus fabric (which is the shiny, sparkly blue/green) some images printed on fabric of Elvis through his life. I chose one of him that might be an album cover (the larger one) and a smaller one also of just his face. There is just a bit of salmon pink in each of the images, so the main color scheme is from the blue/green, gold, and that soft salmon.

To the left of the smaller photo, I did a button trail that includes symbols of several of his gold and platinum hits. See if you can find them first, then check at the end of this post to see if you got them!

Zack and his grandpa were sharing a Kodak moment last night. Zack is probably wondering why grandpa's chin looks so different, and just had to have a feel of it.

Did you find:
A rose, for "Mama Liked the Roses"
A dog, for "Hound Dog"
A heart for "Heartbreak Hotel"
A teddy bear for "Teddy Bear"
A cross for all the gospel songs

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pouch purses

This is a really easy to make little envelope purse or pouch. I started by cutting a piece of muslin for the foundation of the cqed part, which is the front of the envelope and the flap. I cqed it, then chose a solid color fabric from the ones used in the cqing to be the back of the envelope. This shape I cut by folding over the flap of the cqed piece (as it would be when assembled and closed) and using that shape as a template.

I used both the cqed front and the solid back as templates to cut the lining fabric, which in this case is a subdued black print, with dragonflies to match the cq design. With right sides together, I sewed the cq front piece to the solid back piece, and the two lining pieces in the same way. Clip corners, trim seams, etc. Turn the cq part right side out and press.

Tuck the cq piece into the lining piece (which is still wrong side out), and pin the two pieces together around the raw edges. Tuck the strap into the sides of this seam, and an elastic loop at the top of the flap. Sew it most of the way around, leaving an opening to turn through on the straight seam at the top of the back piece/lining. Clip corners, trim seams, etc. Turn the pouch right side out, tucking lining inside. Machine stitch or whip stitch the opening.

Press again gently, and add a button to catch the elastic loop to hold the pouch closed.
Sorry I didn't actually have photos of each step. The pouches are all done for now, with no plans to do more in the near future. Questions? Just ask and I'll try to answer.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Michaela and Darah have been friends since about 2nd grade, and are now in the 7th grade. They managed to collect about 5 pounds of candy each last night.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A firefighter and his trusty dalmation

Corbin is a firefighter for Halloween tonight, and little Zack is the fire dog.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween is comin'

Michaela and I carved our pumpkins on Saturday. Hers has the sweetest smile, doesn't he? I had just talked to (middle daughter) Trystan on the phone and learned she was to attend a "Bat Ball" that evening, which is a fundraising event for the bat sanctuary in Albuquerque, NM. So my creation looks a little batty....even vampire batty, maybe.

I teach 3rd grade religious education on Wednesday evenings at our parish, and every year I teach the kids a little about Halloween. Beginning with the word Halloween, which is the current version of All Hallow's Eve, or the night before All Saints (Hallows)Day. Then I read them the Pumpkin Patch Parable (by Liz Curtis Higgs), explaining that a parable is a story with a deeper meaning, and ask what they think it means.

Many years ago, I got an email that said it very well. We are like pumpkins in God's garden. He picks us from the patch, takes us in and washes all the dirt off of us. Then He opens us up and scoops out the yucky stuff; greed, anger, etc. Next he gives us a new face and puts His light inside to shine out for all the world to see. It is my hope that whenever my students think of Halloween, they will also remember All Saints Day and that we are all pumpkins in God's garden.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Boxes for the craft show

These are some of the boxes I'm doing for the show. The dark grained wooden ones are some unfinished wood boxes that I have purchased at either Hobby Lobby or Michael's. Wood working is NOT my strong suit, so they are not what you'd call masterfully finished, but I did stain them and applied a varnish. The tiniest boxes, which I don't think are in the pictures, have a CQ piece that measures about 1 1/2" square on them. The smallest pictured ones are rectangular and the CQ piece is about 2 1/2" by 1 1/2".
The white boxes and the black one in a previous post were also purchased from Hobby Lobby, and were already finished. The white ones were startlingly white, so I gave them a gold wash to antique them and tone down the glare a little.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The brown bear gets his vest, too

I did this guy's vest in Christmas colors of reds, gold, green, and black. Black a Christmas color? In my world it is, just because it makes the other colors pop! The bear has an SRE poinsettia as well as a button cluster.

I really like the gold seam treatment on the left in the photo. It is from JB Montano's Elegant Stitches.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ta-da! One fancy bear!

Here's the bear in his vest. It has 17 different stitch combos on it, as well as two button clusters. I used some of the perle cotton that I dyed at Lauri's house a few weeks ago. The colors were perfect for this bear.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another craft show project

I found this odd colored teddy bear and thought he'd look awesome with a CQed vest. So I made a pattern and cut the foundations from muslin.

Then I pieced the muslin with fancy fabrics. The hardest part was choosing colors that I liked with this bear. Finally I settled on purples, pinks, and navy blue, with some gold lace overlaying some of the fabrics.

It's not all together yet, but I like the way it's coming so far. The bear is odd, don't you agree? He's sort of purply-pinky tie-dyed, but he's cute, and he might just be the best dressed bear at the fair. I also have a garden variety brown bear, but he may end up in camouflage overalls. We'll see.....