Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Here's what we were doing last night:

And here's how my project turned out:

Tonight we'll be having our usual family dinner at my mom's house, but the menu will be a little different. I'm fixing a big pot of ground brains with rat kidneys (also known as chili with beans) and our drink choices will be even more odd:

The labels are from a package I bought at a dollar store. The fine print on Ye Olde Spider Venom says, "This is a novelty label. Although it's probably not spider venom, Morbid Industries cannot guarantee the safety of the container contents. Please drink responsibly." I can guarantee that when I attached the label to the bottle, it contained lemonade, but I didn't watch it last night, so who knows what may have happened. The brown bottles contain root beer, and the green one ("Zombie Virus, exquisitely crafted from the world's finest brains") is Fresca.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My block is home!

This is my block from the RR! I love all the things the ladies did on it. Thank you to Lisa B. in Arizona, Linda B. in Nova Scotia, Pam in Cornwall, UK, and Sherry in Washington. Now I hope to make it into a wall hanging, pocket-like thing to hold Christmas cards as they arrive.

The last RR block....for this RR anyway!

This block belongs to Linda B. in Nova Scotia. It got out of order after taking a long leisurely journey across the Atlantic Ocean, but I think it's almost back up to speed. I got it in the mail on 10-28 and have done my work on it quickly, but well, I think, and it goes to Lisa today for finishing touches.
I did the herringbone based stitch under the fan, using some perle cotton that I dyed myself in variegated pink, blue, and purple.

And I did the lace motif and feather stitch vine, both also dyed by me. I hope I left enough room for Lisa to work some magic too!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Round robin block; Christmas in Arizona

This block belongs to Lisa in Arizona. We are both members of a Fabulous First Timers RR on Crazy Quilting International. Out of the 5 ladies in our group, 3 of us chose a Christmasy theme for our blocks. Lisa uses soft greens and winter whites to decorate her home at Christmas, and this block will be the centerpiece of a tryptic CQ wall hanging. She asked for wildlife and natural motifs as opposed to Santas and reindeer. So that's what I gave her! I added the moon, leaves, and snowy owl button in the center patch, as well as the seam treatments around him. I also added the tiny squirrel button under Pam's beautiful tree (he's wondering if those little red beads are edible), and the cardinal in the pine bough in the left lower corner. As always, if you click on the pic, it will enlarge so you can see detail better.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The page 56 challenge

I was reading Jane's blog and she had this challenge. Here's how it works:
1.Grab the nearest book; not the book you like best or the most interesting or the most impressive, just the one nearest to where you are now.
2.Find page 56.
3.Find the 5th sentence on the page.
4.Copy sentence #5 and the next few sentences that follow into your blog.

Here's how that went for me:

There was something strange happening to her, something completely unexpected, something tremendously exciting. She had thought herself immune to these feelings, and now she found she was wrong.

I haven't started reading this book yet. My daughter brought it home to me because it has a quotation on the front by another author I enjoy, Diana Gabaldon. The bit I took out from page 56 sounds like this might be a romance novel. It doesn't look like a 'bodice ripper' by the cover, but then, you know what they say...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Yellow color study round robin

I thought I'd better post a CQ related photo, as 3 of the last 4 posts have been a bit off topic. This block belongs to Pam C. in NSW, Australia. I'm not sure you can relate unless you've done an international RR, but having in my hands a block that originated on the other side of the world is just mind-bogglingly wonderful to me. And getting to put my own work on it is incredible! My yellow block will also eventually be in Australia and get worked on by Pam, so that just doubles the boggle!

I'm the second to get to work on this block, and I took over the upper left corner, adding a seamline of wheat ears done in a yellow variegated perle cotton that I hand-dyed myself (when I say "hand-dyed" I mean that quite literally; you can always tell when I've been playing in the dye, as my fingers get dyed too). The interspersing leaves are plastic attachments that I bought in Denver. I also added the applique kitty (a purchased applique that has been waiting patiently in my button box to find a home on a block), the beaded sun (beads I added to one of those spare buttons that came with a sweater I've long forgotten and no longer own), and the seam down the left side, which is a leafy design that is also done in hand-dyed perle cotton in shades of yellow and yellow-green.

Yesterday was the first cold day of the fall, and we hadn't turned our heater on yet, so I made a fire in the fireplace. Jaxon LOVES a fire in the fireplace. As soon as I open the glass doors, he's right there beside me watching everything I do as if he's trying to memorize the steps so he can do it himself someday. Once the fire is going, he'll stand in front of it for a few minutes soaking it in, then he'll flop down and have a nap. I think in this picture, though, he is practicing some type of doggie yoga. Let's see, you cross your right hind leg over your right front and hold and breathe......

Friday, October 10, 2008

Socks of a different color

While I was on the CQ retreat, one of the stores we visited was Berry Patch in Niwot, Colorado (I think I mentioned it in a previous retreat post, but I didn't take any pictures there). One of the things I bought there was a package of socks for my daughter Trystan's birthday. She had to wear a uniform during her last year of Catholic school, and since then she's favored "wild-ass" undies and socks.

I think I found the wildest socks ever. The company that makes them is Little Miss Matched, which you can find here. You buy them in a package of 3, not a pair, and none of the 3 match. They might be color-coordinated, like the examples I've pictured, but they don't match. These are the ones I ordered for myself.. If you look closely, you'll see that the leaf prints on one sock are oak leaf shaped, while the other is a maple leaf.

And these are the ones Michaela chose:

I'm not affiliated with littlemissmatched, I just love a fun idea when I see it! But I will tell you that if you visit their website and sign up for email from them (they don't send email often, so don't worry), they will give you one free pair, I mean package, of socks with your first order.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Has this ever happened to you?

We went out to eat Chinese food at a buffet last night, and instead of a dessert item, I chose to eat a barbecued spare rib. The sauce on it was so sticky that I immediately had it stuck to the back of my front teeth, which was uncomfortable, but at least no one else knew it was there. After another bite, I had it stuck to the front of both of my front teeth, too. Nice red sauce (very un-sauce-like sauce!) adhering tenaciously to my top front teeth, so I couldn't speak or smile without revealing it. Much lip and tongue maneuvering didn't dislodge it; this stuff was STICKY!!!
I thought about scratching it off with my fingernails, but my 13 year old daughter was sitting right beside me and I do like to set a good example of etiquette for her. My husband and 23 year old daughter were across from me, and behind them, a wall, so I felt I could surreptitiously and in a very lady-like manner, wipe the sauce away with my paper napkin. Bad idea. The napkin stuck firmly to the sauce, and being paper, tore off and stayed there, leaving me with paper "fangs" and a very strange look on my face (according to 23 year old daughter, who laughed in a very unladylike fashion).
Then husband begins laughing and soon I'm afraid they are both going to fall on the floor. So much for etiquette....fingernails to the rescue! But how to get them to stop laughing??? I guess I should just be glad they didn't have the camera or video recorder they were wishing for.
Please someone, tell me this has happened to you....

Monday, October 6, 2008

Odds and ends....

Here are a few things I've been doing lately. First is a yellow color study round robin. This block belongs to Laura R. I was the first to work on it, so all embroidery and embellishments are done by me.

Next is a sane quilt that I made for a wedding present for our niece, Sarah and her husband Don. The center panel is something I bought from Equilter, one of my favorite online stores.

These two hearts are some I made for Chains of Hearts, and they've already been claimed by Susie W. in UK and Maretta O. in Victoria, Australia.

I joined an ornament swap and have already sent out my two ornaments (more than a month early; yay me!). These are not stuffed with fiberfill. They actually have CQing stash goodies inside, and are stitched shut so they won't fall out. The recipients will get to snip the threads to see what CQ Santa has brought them.

And lastly we have a second block for the breast cancer quilt that Leslie E. is making. I'd already done a block for it, but after she gave me more wedding fabrics in the squishies she gave out at retreat, I just had to do one more.

Now I've got to get busy with things for the craft sale on December 2nd.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

And now for something completely different.....

This is the spider who is currently residing outside our front door. It is a hump backed orb weaver, and she is about the size of a dime. She's been making a new web every evening for about 2 weeks in order to take advantage of the moths flying around our porch light. We've actually caught moths and tossed them into the web a few times, not that she needs any help.

Last night, she had a visitor. A small spider (well, in comparison to her) approached her very cautiously across the web. When he got within reaching distance, he stretched his front legs out and touched her front legs lightly. She didn't attack him, so he continued petting her for awhile. I got some slightly out of focus pictures, but it looked like spider foreplay might last a very long time, so I went inside. When my husband came home later, he said he didn't see the smaller spider, so I honestly don't know how the romance ended. Most likey the male either went away unsatisfied, or he was successful and then eaten. This morning she's back to her usual daytime spot, on the dry stalk of a day lily.

Are you wondering how this relates to a blog about CQing? Antique CQs often had webs and sometimes spiders embroidered on them, probably for good luck. Spiders are the fiber artists of the animal kingdom, so it seems completely appropriate to me.