Friday, August 28, 2009

Donation block

Here's the block that is with Kate Hollifield for her fundraiser for Africa. The butterfly is 3D, like the one on the Making Memories block. I do like the other butterfly better; it looks more realistic. That could just be because I see monarch butterflies occasionally, while this species is not common here.

Snake gourd and fall season swap block

This is Corbin posing with the "snake gourd". I think we must have gotten ahold of some "whale gourd" seeds instead of snake gourds. This is the only fruit growing on the vine, and it isn't very snake-like. I figure it's still got a month or so of growing time, so eventually we might hollow it out and make a canoe.

Here's my half worked fall block. It's not due for some time yet, but I wanted to have everything possible out of the way before the retreat in late September. I sent off the donation blocks for Making Memories and for Kate Hollifield's Tsunami for Africa project.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

ATV ride

Paul and I went on an ATV poker run yesterday in DeBeque, Co. We rode about 30 miles of dusty back roads and ATV trails. Our poker hands were never in any danger of being winners, but it was fun. Some views from the ride:

As we were driving back to GJ on I70, which in that spot runs along the Colorado River, it occurred to me that even though I've lived all my life within an hour's drive of it, I don't think I've ever stuck so much as a toe into the water. I mentioned this to Paul, and we decided we'd stop at Corn Lake State Park, which is within a few miles of our house. We walked part way around the lake and down to the bank of the river, and we both waded in up to our ankles. There were people floating by on rafts and inner tubes. I saw tiny fish in the shallow water and tried to catch some, but they're way too fast for me. Then I saw what I thought at first was a cricket, but it was a tiny baby toad. Walking back to the truck, we saw this beauty:

A blue heron. He's actually on the lake, and flew across it soon after I snapped this. We could tell by his body language that he wasn't too comfortable with us watching him, and we weren't as close as this picture appears; I used the zoom. They are over 3 feet tall, and really impressive when they fly, as their wing span is probably more than 3 feet. Their feathers are more blue as they fly. Click on the picture for a close up.

Friday, August 21, 2009

This is my block for the Fantasy Landscape RR on CQ4N. It is titled ALIEN WORLD and I purposely made it barren and lifeless so that the other stitchers can add other-worldly plants, animals, suns, moons, comet, or whatever.

This is my work on Cobi's block for Spiders 2 RR on CQI. I used some gimp trim to make a meandering trail across the ivory patch, then added some SRE roses and leaves. Last, I added the spiders; 3 sisters, spinning their webs in the same neighborhood. There's only one more block for me in this RR and I'll be sorry to see it end.

And this is JK's block from the Summer season swap on CQ4N. She pieced and embellished half of it, including the original drawing of the cutie in the center, and I finished it. The cutie is wondering how to spend her summer; to the beach? or to the mountains? Decisions, decisions....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Finished butterfly

Here's the finished butterfly/dragonfly block for Making Memories. It will be joined with other blocks and made into a quilt that I believe will be auctioned off to benefit breast cancer research. As always, you can click on the pic to get a close up.

We were asked not to use beads on these blocks, which I fudged on just a little, using 3 large beads for the butterfly's eyes and tongue/nose/thingie. The little roses are done in cast-on stitch, which is a fun 3D stitch, and the leaves are done in stacked fly stitches. This was a lot of fun to work on.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Yard sale rescue and painting on silk

I went to a local church yard sale on Friday and found a small pile of doilies. Most had condition problems, which is not a problem for me, as I cut them up to use bits of them in CQ. (NEVER THROW AWAY A TORN OR STAINED DOILY, READERS! SEND THEM TO ME!)
Here are two examples. The colorful one was apparently made by crocheting small motifs and stitching them together in spots with sewing thread, which is a lovely idea, but it didn't stay together too well. The white doily has some grey stains on it, but the unstained individual circles are wonderful, and just a nice size at 3.5". Even the stained ones aren't completely useless, as the unstained part can be peeking out of a corner, with the edges covered by fabric patches.

Here's part of what I kept after taking them apart. The red and blue bits were really tiny and I didn't try to save them. The outer white border will have to be used by tucking the fraying inner edge under a fabric patch, but it will work the same as a strip of lace. Hey, it's handmade and it gives a new life to another artist's thrown-away work; that's recycling at its best!

Just some more painted motifs I've been playing around with. The gate is inspired by my very own garden gate, which my grandfather built in probably 1953. It was white like this at one time, but now is a lovely weathered grey, warped and well-loved (much like myself).

These two were done on commission for a wonderfully generous friend from CQ for Newbies. She loved my painted chipmunk so much that she offered to buy it AND asked if I could also do some pansies and a swan for her. I hope she'll be as pleased with them as I am by the fact that she asked for them!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Spider and butterfly

Here's the best pic I've been able to get of the little spider and her web. If you click on the picture to get it bigger, then look just to the left of the big cluster of tomatoes, you'll see an orange spot. That's the spider, and right below her is the web. Keeping in mind that she's the size of a pinhead (the tomatoes are yellow pear tomatoes, about the size of grape tomatoes), her web is about 2" across, but as complete in every detail as her larger relative's 10" web.

On CQInternational, for the second year, we are donating blocks to be put together for the Making Memories organization to auction off to benefit breast cancer charities or research. Last year the guidelines were to use the bridal gown fabrics as the patches, and to embellish in mostly whites and creams, with small amounts of pastel green, pink, and metallic gold.
This year we are to use the bridal fabrics, but to embellish in jewel tones, with butterflies and dragonflies (and flowers/plants). This is part of my block for this year. The butterfly is done in 3D by cutting out two motifs from fabric, stitching them together right sides together, then turning right sides out. They then are stitched down to the block just along the body area, leaving the wings to move up and down. This looks incredibly realistic, in my opinion. When I pick up the block to work on it, the wings move and it almost looks like the butterfly is going to fly away!

Here the wings are pinned in the up position. They won't stay this way unless pinned, but this is how you see butterflies at rest.