Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thinking 'bout the New Year

This isn't the best of pictures but you can still see all the details in this community project quilt. This quilt hangs at the Arvon Historical Society and was made to depict the local landmarks, the flora and the fauna.

Alot of fabric painting & ink drawing was done on this quilt & even a few of the local gentleman contributed blocks. This quilt is a true story quilt.

I saw this CQ stitch sheet somewhere in my travels on the web but I can't remember where. Has anyone seen this before or know of a source?

I've spent the last couple days perusing the blogs and Flicker sites of the TIF Challengers. It's been quite fun (& awe inspiring) seeing different mediums and ideas of all the creative minds out there. One site I really enjoyed was Vivians . Her nature photography and the work she creates is stunning! I will try to link to others posts as I find things. If you haven't done so, do use some kind of Blog Reader as Sharon suggested. The initial time spent setting it up is well worth it and it is great to have your favorite sites pop up when they get updated. You will definately spend less time surfing and more time creating. Which I admittedly have't done lately!

Christmas was peaceful. We watched movies, ate too much and took the dogs for a good walk. Santa brought me a Shakespeare "Ugly Stick" (icefishing pole), a weather book, Cold Dark Sky by Karl Bohnak and a very sweetly sentimented Christmas card with a lottery ticket inside. The drawing is scheduled, of all days, on my birthday. A new printer is in the works too, a combo Christmas/birthday gift. I have all kinds of ideas in my head for it!

The end of the year is always bittersweet for me, the old year closes and I start the new one being another year older. It's always a time for conscious change and improvement, not resolutions or swearing off, but a time for me to reflect and re-evaluate. What do I want to do in this New Year... how do I want to live... what can I do to be a better person... what have I done so far that just doesn't work anymore? The answers are so different than last years but then, so are some of the questions.

Till the next time...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Blessings To All !!!!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours !!!

May your fires burn bright and your hearts be filled with all the joy and promise of the Christmas season.... " For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a saviour which is Christ our Lord".

Here is wishing the best of everything for you and yours in the coming New Year !!!!

Sincerely, Jane

Oopps.... Back Side Only

I thought I had taken a pic of this completed but it wasn't in the camera. This is 1/2 of what was Roxys ornament before it got wrapped & given. The other side had a picture of her camp outlined in flowers and vines. I am working on 1 more ornament which will hang on our own tree.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

And while the sewing machine was out...

I had gotten this fabric pack several months back from Allison Aller and pulled it out today. Its a fun little packet with fabric, pattern, trims, buttons, floss, and stitch info. All in my favorite colors to boot. I had mentioned yesterday that I rarely used patterns so I decided to do this block with the pattern she supplied so I could compare the 2 ways of doing it. The technique for this pattern was more of a paper piece method than the flip and stitch I generally use.

Here is the pattern I traced onto the muslin. As in paper piecing, I had to put the fabric on the reverse side and sew on this side with the lines. Its alot harder than it would seem to be and if you aren't careful you can short yourself and become confused with the mirroring of the image. I got myself in a few jams along the way.

Here is the end result of the 8" finished block. The red triangle in the top left corner was a place I shorted myself in the blue/green square. Well in CQ, no problem. Again in the mirroring of the image I got turned around and put the red dragon brocade and the purple top corner opposite of how I wanted it which put the red next to the orange. It was very hard to get the dragon motif lined up when I couldn't see it from the other side. The line between these 2 pieces I have more straight than the angle the pattern called for too but I could hardly rip this out as it is very fine silk. I think it came out striking with the fabric Allie chose and I am sure that the embellishments she included will just set it off. I really wanted Allie to see that I finally did it instead of keeping it in a basket! My sister was the recipient of the other packet and it will be neat to see what she does with hers. (Thats a gauntlet threw out there, sis!)

I have a really bad habit of hoarding scraps. Not miniscule scraps but any 2-3" piece (which may be miniscule to some) will not see the trash. I have several baskets that I use and I am quite organized with it. But today the scraps left over from this block found themselves directly sewn up into a wonky block that can be squared up and used in another project. I already see some weird visions in this block. I tilt my head to the left and it looks like a tent, I tilt my head to the right, it looks like a birdhouse. Yeah, maybe I am losing it. LOL , but I'll bet you'll try to see what I see !!

I took the scraps from yesterdays blocks and sewed them up into some small oblong squares to have for more needlebooks when the mood strikes. But it looks like I have a few blocks on hand for awhile and I can put the dustcover on the sewing machine for a bit.

PS. The "song block" from a few posts back was not saying for me and definately not keeping me interested. It can sit for awhile.

Till the next time...

Monday, December 17, 2007

New Block and a Case of the Lazy's

I spent a considerable amount of time in this chair yesterday. Doing a few stitches on another ornament, watching football and reading a book about kayaking. It felt good to cozy up and do a bunch of nothing.

The week passed quick since I'd last posted and I did good sticking with the plan I made to get some "hot" spots around the house cleaned up and loose ends of life organized. I still have my list of things for the holidays yet but for the most part, done. I'm not that far out of touch that I am not doing anything. But we are not going to Detroit for Christmas and decided early on that a simple holiday with no commitments spent in our new house was what we both wanted. I will miss my family but at the same time I really need to experience this holiday in a different way; with new meanings, new traditions, and a new understanding of what Christmas is to me.

The only thing semi planned in most of my CQ blocks are the colors, not the pattern. I love to see the mood come out, the fabrics buddy up, and the subconscious story that the block tells. I sewed this "boxy" square today (it didn't feel boxy when I did it) using colors that to me looked like the winter woods, the northern lights and cold water. I felt the need to do a block indicative of whats around me right now and just maybe there are a few things I need to square up too. I'll pick threads tomorrow.

The class update is that I go for a back exam & textbook pickup on Wed. More good news is that MichiganWorks, part of the unemployment commission will be picking up the tab for my class and supplies because I qualify under the "displaced worker" act. This is turning into one of those things that was meant to be!

Speaking of cold water, here is the Huron River at Eriks Bridge, making its way towards the "Big Lake". We trekked a few of the roads today and enjoyed the heatwave, 27 degrees. The sky was a crystal robins egg blue and the snow shadows were all lavender.

Till the next time...

PS... Hi to Tophat & Cathy!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Remembering Grammas

This is one of the ornaments I'm making. This is a photo of my great- grandmother and my grandmother. My great grandma, Pearl (Mimi), was born in 1884; my grandma, Helen Ruth, was born in 1902. I was fortunate enough to know both of these grandmas and have many memories of both. Mimi lived in Mannington WV. She married my great-grandad who was a widow 20 years her senior, and took on his children as well as having 4 of her own. Both grannys have been gone for a long time now but I often wonder what they'd think of the times we are living in.

This is the backside. The photo half was done with Printed Treasures. (I wish I could do more image work but my printer is a dud for this.) I had to find a way to use the scraps leftover from my scrap project. What a redundant bit of recycling this is turning to be, scraps from scraps, but it is fun and fast. I am making round and triangular ones too. I am thinking to do the block stitching in this same manner on the quiltlet from a few posts ago. It may be a good way to finally use those Carole Samples templates. These are being talked about once again on a few lists and blogs and I have yet to get into mine.

I decided to commit myself to the Take It Further Challenge that Sharon B from a Minute Ago is kicking off for 2008. (see sidebar) I thought it would be a great way to keep focused and have a bit of structure with something. There are many forms of medium acceptable and that is very appealing.

It was a cold, dark, snowy day. We are heading towards the shortest day of the year and then we'll gain little bits back to the good weather once again. That's the positive thought that helps me deal with winter. But just when I think the sun can slip no further into the southern horizon, it does and will continue to do so till Dec 22.

Here is a one of the deer that we have affectionately named "Fatty". We estimate her to have been born last year. She is becoming tame to the point where we can go outside and she stays put. She is the first to feed and the last to go. The woods are quiet now and all the wildlife is settling into the snow season. We can account for all "our" deer and have even picked up a few hungry stragglers. We've not heard the wolves for a good 2 weeks. Hopefully they've went off to a different locale.

Till the next time...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

10 Peeves & Photo Check

I have only had a chance to work with some CQ ornaments on Sunday while we were watching the Lions get whooped. I usually take something with me to stitch while we are watching the game. The old guys think it is a hoot to see me stitching at the tavern.

I finally had an interview today (I am thinking lightening has a better chance to strike me) for the first time in the 3 months that I've been looking. I am holding my breath for the outcome and for the sake of "luck" I will not expound now. Just wish me luck, Please!!!!!!!

The following photo was on the news wire a couple weeks back. It is supposedly "Sasquatch". Actually it is me having hissys and burying my PC into the woods after trying to upload photos to Blogspot! I will hold on awhile longer but I am looking at alternatives.

My blog is not known for rants but this one is for my "peeves" !!!

1) Uploading pics to Blogspot (ya think?)
2) Companies that have computerized customer service, (ie..push 3 for English)
3) People who hold grudges
4) Tailgaters
5) Being skipped over at a restaurant for people who came in after
6) Paying more than $3 a gallon for gas
7) Stepping in water with my socks on
8) Webring participants that don't host a logo
9) Telephone solicitors
10) Running out of bobbin thread