Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A long, sad story....with a happy ending!

This is the part of the September Stitch Shenanigans that we call the Chinese Auction. It works like this: each person brings a wrapped gift (in this case, a CQ related gift). Then each gets a number, and the person with #1 chooses a gift to open. Theresa was first and opened the gift I brought, a box with a CQed top.

She liked it, but would she end up with it?

Debbie went next and she could have stolen the box from Theresa or she could open a new present. She opened the CQed Santa that Leslie made.

I went third and opened a pretty, tall, sparkly blue package that contained one of Gerry K's wonderful pin cushions. I tried not to get too attached to it.

Of course it got stolen, so I got to open another gift, this time a CQ covered tin (made by Debbie) with goodies inside....

...and a box of flower fairy note cards. I tried not to get too attached to it.

Connie is looking to make a steal. I think she ended up with Gerry K's pin cushion, and since it had been stolen twice, it was now off limits.

Kerry stole Leslie's Santa from Debbie.

I lost the goodies from Debbie, so I opened another gift; a fancy box with handmade ribbon flowers from Theresa. I tried not to get too attached.

Ingrid stole the tin that Debbie made (and later gave me half the note cards, is she sweet or what?).

I lost the handmade ribbon flowers, and got to open yet ANOTHER gift. These are Czech glass buttons that came from the bead store we had shopped at earlier in the day. I had bought one of the dragonfly buttons for myself, but in a different color, so now I have two.

I am rather attached to them.....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fantasy Landscape Round Robin

This RR is taking place on CQ for Newbies. The first block I got to work on belongs to Lesa, who is also the lady who commissioned the little alien painting. Her block is titled Midnight in the Fairies' Garden and is done in lovely shades of green, blue, and purples.
She had the trunk and larger branches of the tree done and I happened to have a whole skein of a (7mm) hand-dyed ribbon called Carribean Evening that just screamed to be added to this block. So it became the leaves of the tree, done in ribbon stitches.
I also found some cute kitty buttons on clearance that I knew from experience could be painted, so I painted one to look like Lesa's kitty, Maddie (except Maddie is a pixi bob--short tailed cat). Maddie has just been granted her whimsical wish: to have a long fluffy tail for the evening. The fairy is shaking her finger at Maddie and Maddie promptly forgets why she wanted a tail in the first place when that wagging finger is so tempting. The fairy's wings are done in the same technique that I used for the donation block butterflies, but in this case, one wing is sewn down to the block while one is left up to flutter.
I also did the SRE leaves and flowers around the feet of the fairy and kitty, and the night-blooming vine growing up the tree trunk. Lesa isn't fond of spiders, but they're sort of my trademark, and surely a fairy garden would have at least one, so just above the kitty's head is a tiny web and an eavesdropping spider.
Lastly, I did three short embroidered seams in that same corner of the block.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My second painting commission and some ribbons

I got a second commission! Lesa, one of the listmoms from CQ for Newbies, asked if I could paint an alien. She sent me some thumbnails of her favorite alien faces and I tried my best to consolidate them into one image.

His skin is delightfully iridescent. Oldest daughter Rachel, who has long had a bug-a-boo about aliens, shuddered when she saw it (though grandson Corbin actually supervised and gave helpful suggestions during the painting process), so I think I nailed the creepy factor. But to me, he just looks inquisitive, not threatening. What do you think? Does he have a brain sucker or an anal probe in the other hand?

Then I tried painting some ribbons I got in a scrap pack at Hobby Lobby. They are short lenghts of wide ribbon, some satin, some grosgrain. I was afraid the grosgrain would be too bumpy to paint on, but it worked okay. I like the satin better. These could be used in a CQ or they may become bookmarks. I've signed up for a craft show in November and I could use some quick, small, and inexpensive items.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Being a highly observant person, I kept thinking there was something different about the last rolls of TP I bought. Now, I have been a Northern TP customer for probably 20 years, and they've made some changes in that time. When they started making their TP "quilted", I was all for that, except that the first TV commercials announcing the change showed the little Northern cartoon ladies sitting in a circle "quilting" with knitting needles. Northern TP company, I hope you fired your ad agency over that one.
But I'm wondering now how they might spin this change.

The roll on the right is one I bought very recently. The roll on the left is one from under the sink. It's probably been there 6 months or so, as we haven't run out lately and had to dive into the reserve stash. Do you notice anything different about the two rolls? And no, I always buy the same product; double rolls, 12 rolls that supposedly equal 24 "regular" size rolls. Now I'm wondering what is regular size.
In fairness to Northern, I measured the smaller rolls, and they are 4" across, which is exactly what the package says they should be, so there's no false advertising. I don't have any 6 month old packaging to compare the given size, but the older roll is obviously 1/2" wider, so I'm assuming they changed their packaging as well. I don't think they'll advertise this "improvement", but I can't help but wonder how they would spin it if they did:
"Hey, have you lost weight? We noticed, and we're celebrating with you by making narrower rolls of TP to fit your new smaller rear!" Or maybe, "The Northern family of personal hygiene products is doing its part to help the environment by making our TP rolls narrower, thereby getting more of your money for less of our product." Well, that probably wouldn't work...

Anyway, after shopping for some groceries yesterday, and promptly putting those groceries away several hours after I got home, I noticed this:

I thought I was buying honey in the cute little bear-shaped jug, but no, I grabbed the lesser-known raccoon honey. Should we eat it? Should we wash it before we eat it (like raccoons do their food)? And just where does raccoon honey come from? Do honey bees occasionally like to visit road kill, like some wasps do? That's just not a very appetizing thought....
[Actually, letting the honey sit tipped over on the countertop led to the raccoon appearance. I think tiny air bubbles floated slowly to what was the highest point in the container; the eye area. After having stood in the cupboard overnight, the raccoon honey is once again bear honey.]
[But I'm still ticked off about the TP.]

My finished summer block

Here's my summer swap block finished by JK in California. She added most of the elements on the left side, plus the tiny hummingbird charm near the morning glories, and the key to the garden on the black patch on the right. These partner swaps are so much fun! Love all the bugs and spider she added. The wings on the little bug on the green patch are done with angelina fibers, something about which I know almost nothing. She even added my initial to the lower left patch....or is it one of hers? Hmmmm.....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Antique CQ blocks

These are two of the antique blocks I've bought on Ebay in the past. This first one was incomplete when I got it. Actually, I could tell by the foundation that it had been complete at one time, but someone had taken it apart, or taken a couple of the patches out of it. I fell in love with the chubby little girl and her tricky cat, so I bought it and finished it. It measures about 14" square.

This block is smaller, about 11" square, and is made up of smaller patches. My plan for both of these blocks is to somehow use them to print note cards, either to sell at a craft show or at a quilt shop (if I can find one willing).

If the idea works, I might eventually do some note cards featuring prints of some of my own CQ work.