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.....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Season to season winter block

This is my half-done winter block. It doesn't need to go to Gerry until November 1st, but I have that craft show coming up and wanted to get it done in plenty of time. It is a mixture of cottons and fancies, including white velvet. I built the whole thing around that piece of slate blue moire taffeta in the center. When I saw it on the bolt it reminded me of an iced over pond. So here is a winter scene with snowy hills and some bare patches leading into a frosty woods. The time is sunrise or sunset (I honestly can't tell which), and a blue jay has found a perch in a winter stripped tree. The jay is a button I bought during the great button buy, and two of them on a card only cost 50 cents!
I used some of the Sassa Lynn threads to good advantage here and there on the crests of the snowy hills. One that I have is very pale pinks blending to blues and greys. It picks up just enough of the colors of the sunset (or sunrise) to look like reflections on snow. I also used quite a few white iridescent beads and silver lined clear beads.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Meme 4 things challenge

First of all, just a cool picture of clouds from out my back door.

Lauri tagged me for this challenge.

Name 4 jobs you've had: Motel maid (that's going back to high school days), gift shop clerk, bridal shop clerk (that's another thing Lauri and I have in common), and antique quilt restorer.

Name 4 movies you could watch over and over: Just four? Okay, all the Mummy movies, all the Indiana Jones movies, all the X-men movies, and..... Milo and Otis.

Name 4 TV shows you like: Firefly (okay, it's not on anymore, but I have the whole series on DVD), Chuck, The Big Bang Theory, CSI.

Name 4 places you've lived: I've never lived anywhere but here in my hometown, but I have lived in 4 (and only 4) different houses during my life. There was the house I grew up in, the little house Paul and I rented when we were first married, the tiny house we bought soon after, and the one we have now. I would happily stay in this house till I die!

Name 4 favorite foods: Mexican, Chinese, steak, chocolate (dark chocolate M&Ms)

Name 4 favorite colors: Faded denim blue, burgundy, black, dark blue.

Name 4 places you'd love to be now: Does in bed count? It's been a long day, and not nearly over yet...okay, how about Hawaii, Santa Fe, Disneyland, a fabric and craft store with $100 burning a hole in my pocket.

Name 4 names you couldn't or wouldn't use for your children: Anthony Paul is the name we had picked out for a boy during each pregnancy, all of which turned out to be girls. I also like the names Asher, Brianna, and Alexandria.

Okay, now I'm supposed to tag four more people. Let's just say, if you're reading this and haven't already done this challenge, consider yourself tagged!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Craft show products

This first is a box I bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby. I also have two white ones just like this. With a box with an inset area on the top, it is easy to make a cq piece to fit into it. I made quite a few boxes similar to this for a small craft show last year and did fairly well with them. This year Lauri and I are doing two craft shows. One is with Holy Family School, a very large and well attended show on Saturday, November 3rd. The second is the same one I did last year, held by Mesa County Employee's Association on Tuesday, December 4th at the old court house. It's an odd day, and a little late in the season, but we probably won't sell everything at HF, so it'll give us a second chance to sell some things. If you're in GJ, please come and see us at one or both shows!

I meant for these to post in the reverse order, but this is how they came out. The second photo is of the finished velvet boxes. They are pieced with fancy fabrics and embellished with buttons, beads and embroidery.

I bought these two boxes at Walmart in the after Christmas sales in January. They were supposed to be sewing boxes. They were empty, but had a strange felt and ribbon corset-like decoration on the top that was to be used as a pin cushion. I pulled those off, and that is why there is a nasty glue glob in the center of the top. I also pulled off a row of sequins around the edge of the top and covered that glue with braid trim.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Fall swap blocks

On CQ for Newbies, we are doing a Season to Season "swap", where we each piece a block, embellish half of it, and then send it to a partner to be finished. My partner is Judi in.....Washington, I think. After the block is completed, we will get our own back, so it's not a true swap, just a temporary one. This is Judi's block as I received it. She did some very clever little pumpkins using orange felt and floss. She also used a nice variety of textured and printed fabrics.

Here it is with my embellishment added. I used some lace motifs that I dyed at Lauri's house last week. The flowers in the motifs are a softly muted lavender. There wasn't much purple in Judi's block, so I hope she doesn't mind that I've added a bit. It is very soft and doesn't scream purple. The color reminds me of chrysanthemums. I gave each of those flowers a center of a single orange bead. Just had to find a way to put orange and purple together, didn't I? I also used a lace motif that Lauri gave me; the gold one in the upper right corner. It adds a nice balance to the gold leaves in the lower left corner.

And of course, that black center patch just begged for a spider web. The spider is made with two iridescent gold glass beads for the head and body, and perle cotton legs. The web is a Kreinik blending filament (by itself). This was a delightful way to spend a Sunday afternoon and evening, thanks for letting me work on it, Judi!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Hand dyed lace

These are some of the things I dyed at Lauri's house last week. I'm really having fun with the perle cotton size 8 that I've been dyeing in variegated tones. I also tried some braid trim that has a bit too much nylon in it to take the dye very deeply, but for a soft colored block, it does make an interesting trim.