Thursday, February 25, 2010

Six pics!

It's been a while since I posted, and I apologize for that. I know how frustrating it can be to visit a blog and not find anything new to see time after time. So to make up for lost time, here are 6 pictures for your enjoyment!

The first is a work in progress. It belongs to Beryl, and we are partners on CQ for Newbies, where we are doing the winter block of the season to season share. We each piece a block and embellish about half of it, then they get swapped out and we get to finish our partner's block while they finish ours, and then we get our own back again. It's a great way to get to see someone else's work up close without the huge time commitment of a round robin.
To this block I added the SRE poinsettia in the center, the seam above and to the left of it, the swirly beaded gimp trim (which I also dyed), the group of hot pink snowflakes on the green/white seam, and of course the tiny birds. I also added hot pink/fuschia beads here and there to tie it all together. But that green patch is staring at me, mocking me...what does it want?!? I don't know yet, but it doesn't have to be done and sent back until April 1st, so I have a little time.

Here's my completed Fantasy Landscape RR block, and I couldn't be more happy with it. I love the eyeball tree, the spaceship (which gets the award for "Best Use of Sequins"), the moon face, the plant life, and the aliens. Oh, the aliens! Four eyes and 6 tentacles! Who could ask for more than that? And if they lose an eyeball, they can just go pluck one off the eyeball tree!

I've been meaning to post for awhile about the pins I got for Christmas. Maybe I should clarify. I won some huge spider pins on Ebay, and when they arrived, I handed them to Paul and said, "Here, you're giving me these for Christmas." There are 4 of them, and oddly enough, I haven't found many occasions to wear them. Hmmm, go figure.....I did wear the red one on my black vest one day, just to go out shopping and doing errands, and NO ONE so much as mentioned it. I know some people are arachnophobic, but if you saw a huge, jeweled red spider on someone's shoulder, wouldn't you at least say, "That's some spider there." Or, "You've got a spider on your shoulder." Or, "Are you crazy or what???" So anyway, they won't get worn much, sadly, but I'm thinking I'll put them on my gold quilt. They can be pinned on there, and taken off to wear if an appropriate occasion does come up, like National Spider Pin Day or something like that. It could happen.

Here's the little wall quilt where I keep my pin collection. I have frogs and spiders on here, and a few odd things (like spiders and frogs aren't odd enough) like leaves and flowers.
You can click on the photo to get a close-up and see the other spiders (check out the red one!) and the frogs.

This is a bit of an antique quilt that I saw on Ebay. I just loved this spider and web. Someone really took their time with this, and must have studied a spider up close to get that detail. She even included a little something for Madame Spider to eat. My kinda gal!

We woke up to more snow this morning, just a skiff, really, but winter does seem reluctant to leave. However, spring is just as determined to come, as you can see by the tulips poking their brave little heads out of the leaf litter in the front flower bed. Come on Spring! You can do it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Round robin blocks

I'm in two round robins with CQI right now. The first is Flower Fairies III, and this is the block I worked on for Cathy L. The FF RR is a DYB, or do your block, which means each stitcher pieces 6- 6" blocks to go around to the group. When you receive a package of blocks, you get to choose which one you want to work on, and then you embellish the whole block. Out of Cathy's I had the choice of Rose, Iris, Wild Rose, Strawberry, Poppy, or Sweet Pea. I picked Strawberry and here's what I came up with:

The white strawberry blossoms are done in silk ribbon embroidery, with the strawberry fruits in perle cotton French knots. I dyed the lace piece and embellished it with beads and stitches. The gimp trim is also a home-dyed bit and it has beads worked into it too. The piece of crocheted doily is vintage, and makes the web of the red strawberry spider. Lastly I made the birds. They are done in bullion stitches and straight stitches with French knot heads. I'm not sure if I'm done with this block yet, but it's not due to move on yet anyway.

This my work on Cathy L's Bees, Butterflies, and Beetles block. Isn't it ironic that I ended up with both of her RR blocks at the same time? This RR is traditional; just one larger block to make the rounds. I embroidered the SRE rose bouquet at the top of the heart silkie, then used perle cotton to make the vines that trail down over the sides of it. The butterfly is done in 3D, using my stitch-and-turn method. Its body is boullion stitches and French knots, and the eyes are iridescent beads. The stitches that make up the body are what holds the butterfly on the block, so the wings lift up off the block. I'm not entirely sure I'm done with this block, either, and actually have a whole month before it needs to move on, so I'll keep it awhile and see if inspiration strikes again.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Debbie in Maine is having a give-away...

Just look at all this wonderful stuff! Go to her brand spankin' new blog here and find out how to enter the drawing!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bees, Butterflies, and Beetles RR

This is the RR for which I made the large white/cream cotton circle block. I have apparently been so eager for this RR to start that I dreamed one night that I was in a vegetable garden and saw many huge beetles. They were the size of salad plates, and beautifully shiny in yellow, orange, and red, with black spots. I even dreamed I picked one up because I was so curious about how heavy they might be.

The first block I got to work on is Diane's. I met Diane in Breckenridge last September and she is delightful! So glad we got into a RR together! I promised her I wouldn't add any huge red beetles, but she gave me permission to (I didn't think they'd look good, so I didn't do it). She did request that we avoid adding butterflies, as she has an aversion to them and moths.

I was the first to work on this block, and I just loved the colors and the central flower fairy patch. First I did the SRE rose spray and added the green twining vines with dusty rose beads. Then I did the seam to the right of that patch, using dark burgundy thread and aqua beads; not a combination I'd usually put together, but on this block it is so pretty. Then I attached the hand dyed lace motif and made the feather stitch vines coming out of it. I appliqued the shiny gold beetle, then added 10 (yes, count 'em, 10) tiny bees hovering around the flowers. I wouldn't mind continuing on this block, as the theme and colors really appealed to me, but I've got to leave room for 3 other stitchers!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tuesday Morning

We have a local Tuesday Morning store that's been in the same place for years. I went in a few times when they first opened, but never found much to recommend the place. I signed up for their sale fliers to be sent by mail, and have continued to get them all these years; they've spent a lot more money on paper, ink, and postage than I ever spent in the store! Until recently.

I found this package of natural shell buttons with their (very) small stash of beads. I think these could be painted, ala Gerry Krueger's cottage buttons. They are considerably bigger than the buttons we've used when Gerry teaches her button painting classes at the retreat, and therefore a bit heavier, but I think they could be really special.
The package included 6 of the butterfly shapes, 5 of the "donut" shapes, 4 each of the ovals and hearts, and an assortment of smaller hearts that are probably too small to paint on but could still be attached to a CQ, and all this for $6.99. Now if I can just drag the old paints out and get busy, we'll see what happens.