Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Eve 2013- AND an addition on 02 Jan 2014

We woke up this morning to fresh new snow, a glorious sight to see but I am sure that some people would disagree- especially those who still have no power on! To those folks, I apologize for my enthusiasm! Over night last Saturday and into Sunday morning we were hit by a fierce ice storm that has crippled much of Ontario and many places south of us as well. People are suffering badly from the cold , lack of phone and power. Right here in the Banana Belt , we mostly live a charmed life, especially at our house this time.


Yesterday, DH drove me north of here to shop for last minute groceries. All of our ice, or most of it, had melted , but the drive up there was stunning!!! The ice was still on the trees and even though the sun was still behind the clouds, the glittering coating of ice was a truly spectacular sight! I took WAAAYYY too many pictures, I did not have my boots on and I was cold and not on a solid footing so most are slightly out of focus, but you get the idea!





No captions required.
Inside at our house, all is frantic preparation for Christmas dinner tomorrow. I have been cooking and cleaning . Still more to do but I am getting there. I DO wish I could invite some of the lovely people who follow this blog to join us for turkey and all that good stuff. There will be plenty! I will certainly be thinking of you all and hoping that you are blessed with a wonderful Christmas , filled with love and joy. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas, I wish you and yours love, joy, peace and good health for this day and for the New Year. Thanks for following my ramblings. I appreciate your comments sooo much. God bless!
These folks all send their best

We could easily set a few more places!
This year's little tree

And a few old friends
Merry Christmas to all, and to all- a VERY good night!

And, as there was no posting over Christmas, for the folks who did not see this at the appropriate time, let me NOW wish you the happiest and most creative of New Years . VERY cold here today...-17c and a fine snow falling continuously. I have begun work on my little SAQA piece which I HOPE to post next week when there might be more to see. Check out a couple of posts ago, the little orange poppies. Happy New Year , dear e-friends. Take care and check out theneedleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com. They seem to be back in business now.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Lovely visit!


Clingman's Dome, TN 


We have just returned from a few days visiting our Dear Daughter and her Husband. Some of you know that they are expecting their first babe in the spring so we NEEDED to see that Little Mum To Be . She looks wonderful and she is calm, happy ,very excited and she is finally feeling great! While we were there, Clay, her husband, showed us his fledgling website where he is posting his photos. He is a very keen and VERY talented photographer and I would really like to share that website with you. I hope you will have a look and perhaps enjoy some beautiful work.

The website address is    claybarry.com

We are VERY excited about his work . I hope you will be too.


Just a little sample!
I realize that some of these pictures show very small on the screen. I THINK it has something to do with the resolution at which Clay posted them. Look at the website! That's the best way to see them. There is a gorgeous series of B&W pics of my Darling girl there too :-)

What have I been doing?? Well, I am getting into Christmas mode right now - at last, but here is the picture I will be working on next. I took it years ago. I am going to make it small- only 7" x10" to submit to SAQA for a travelling trunk show. Gotta have it submitted before 31 Jan  so I am doing some preliminary work now. BTW, the I Spy quilt was a big hit!



I am going to post this to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com. Drop by. There are always interesting posts to read there.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

I Spy---- the first real snow!!

The first appreciable snowfall 27 Nov 2013

And so it begins! 2013's snow season. I hope we get some great snow for pictures but not enough to interfere with travel in February or early March ;-) It certainly looks pretty this morning.

I have finished my "baby sewing" for now. I did a little I Spy quilt and offer a couple of pics of it for WIP Wednesday even though I FINISHED it last night- TUESDAY. It COULD be better . This is not my bag so much any more and I forget some of the tricks but , all in all, I like it and KNOW it will provide lots of cuddle and fun in years to come.
Here is the front
It is certainly bright and cheery!
Closeup of some of the fabrics used. What jolly fun!!!
And the back

I am going to post this to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com. I hope you enjoy all of the posts there this week. It is getting close to Christmas so it will be harder and harder to get things done to post . Enjoy the bounty this week!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Remembrance

This simple little piece called Red Poppies was made as a sample for a class I am just finishing up teaching. I LOVE poppies of all sorts and in all stages of development. I just got my sample back as the class is almost done now so I thought I would share it with you, as this is November and the time of the year when we make a point of remembering the many sacrifices of our armed forces in pursuit of peace. I don,t have much to say about the piece itself but thought it was fitting for a post for this week on the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com
Closeup

Another closeup

Lest We Forget

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Lowly and Minky and Hydrangea

Well, I am easing into Granny mode :-) I bought some Minky fabric and some flannelette and made three little blankets! Cute, eh? VERY cuddly too. They should keep the cool drafts away from a little person, even one who lives where it is warm and toasty lots of the time !
The one with the froggies is turquoise on the back side.
Not sure if you know Richard Scarry books but in his children's' stories, he has a little character called Lowly Worm. Lowly is MUCH beloved by my SIL and DD and they reckon that the Babe will love him too…so….I made a Lowly! Call me crazy , but this was fun. Have not made ANY sort of dolls in ages so I enjoyed this.

Here he is! Lowly Worm! LOVE him :-)
Just to show you that I HAVE done some serious work, here is the start of my hydrangea centres. They will get lots of stitching and some extra detail with pencil crayon.
These are only pinned in place. Stay tuned!
OK, I am posting this to WIP Wednesday on the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com. Enjoy the posts from this week. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A new product- well, to me!

I am still working on the Hydrangeas and I ran out of Steam a Seam II so tried to get some more!! Hah! I DID manage to get 6 m locally but , in the meantime, have learned that it will NOT be around for a while- or ever again- until they fix the paper situation??? Also in the meantime, I discovered EZ Steam II. Have YOU tried it? No idea how long it has been on the market but it is by Pellon and is supposed to be a replacement for SAS II. I was given a chunk to try - and LIKED it :-) It is a bit tough  to get the backing off the fabric once pressed but I find that if I cut a little graded bit with the fabric longer than the paper, I can squidge my thumbnail between paper and fabric and it peels off easily. It is VERY sticky so stays in place and can be moved around, though not quite so easily as SASII. It irons well and still leaves a nice soft hand to your work.

This is all as a result of my working with the veins on my Hydrangea yesterday. Normally, I do this whole process in reverse with the vein fabric underneath but I changes this time as I did not have enough of the  SAS, I did it with veins on top. SO, here is the result...
Two pics as I still cannot get the right white balance. 

The right colour is somewhere between these two.
The little yellow patches are the centres of each bloom but are only place markers right now. My next job is to create the centres- quite complex structures .


Neat, eh! I am going to post to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com This is definitely still a WIP!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

The dried hydrangeas

This is coming along, but slowly. Both DH and I are REALLY dragging- VERY tired and lacklustre . We have, however, persevered with our respective tasks and here is where I am "at" to date. These are only the ground colours . I am at the "stare at it and change things" stage. It IS fused down but I used Wonder Under so it IS moveable. The little gold centres are only temporary and just pinned in place. Without them, it does not make a lot of sense to the untrained eye, but its Mummy knows what she is looking at.



Here we are to date. The colours are not dead accurate but close.

Now it is time for veins, detailed centres and shadows and highlights. That will be a tedious, slow, picky job but well worth the time . I hope it works for me. I have been "out of it " all week so it has been a tough slog. When I feel that way though, I just think of "happy thoughts" ;-) and that perks me right up!!
Just to remind you. I chose not to use the bright green .
I hope you have all had a good weekend. Ours has been VERY quiet but we have an exciting week coming up so that will be a nice change. Cheerio, all!

Monday, 21 October 2013

As promised


Here is my next endeavour- my Aunty's glorious hydrangea! Are these not colours to die for!! Well, at least they were colours to START dyeing- for making this quilt:-)

I spent much of yesterday testing and recording colours, came up with a palette of colours and started dyeing. Here is where I am to date.
A few pieces for this quilt , including the test piece where I dropped my colours. It was intended as a throwaway, but LOOK at it!

The photo, the pattern and the fabrics so far.


Just a different view including the graduated piece. More on it later.
I have recently purchased a DVD and book by Ann Johnston, American Art Quilter and Dyer of note. VERY exciting and informative. Both are called "Color By Accident". In her DVD , Ann shows how to dye a solid piece of fabric with graduated colour(s) , either one colour from palest pastel through to a nice intense colour, or by blending one colour into another or others. VERY useful!! I used a pale Ecru enhanced by Golden Brown, fading out to a combo of Lilac, Wisteria and Violet. Sadly, I forgot to use the soda ash BEFORE adding the colour but , in a stroke of brilliance, I put soda ash into a spray bottle and SOAKED the piece before allowing it to dry flat on the table. The whole piece was wet, smoothed onto my dye table and then colour spread around by gloved hand. I have not pulled it out flat to show you but have folded it carefully so you can see the gradations of colour. The colours are very pastel so it is hard to photograph out full.





This is sort of a boring series of pictures but I have shown you both sides and both ends by folding and turning it all over. COOL, eh!
Now I will do another series , same kinds of colours but deeper values and another deeper graduated one more along the brown to violet line. It will be a fairly large piece, 24 inches along the short side, so it will take a fair bit of fabric in many colours and values. Most of the pieces here are fat quarters. The grad piece is about half a metre wide by the width of the fabric.

Tomorrow, I plan to post this to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com. It is only Monday now, so ... Maybe by then I will have more pieces to add.

And- I DO!! I have started a new batch, sort of mid value colours for this same project.
Here is a new graduated piece still lying wet on the table. I DID remember to use the soda ash FIRST!!

My table slopes a little, like a mortuary slab!! ....

...so... the dye runs and drips off the plastic cover into a basin full of old newspaper. This will stay here for a couple more hours before I rinse and dry it.
The remaining eight  fat quarters batching on the dryer.
OK, NOW when the time is right, I shall post to WIP Wednesday! Enjoy this week's posts.





Saturday, 19 October 2013

Sick:-(- but a very new adventure!!

My DH and I have been as sick as dogs for a couple of weeks now. I am not asking for sympathy as I know that the World and his Dog all have IT! I will say YUKKK! though! I think we have single handedly kept the facial tissue manufacturers in business. Ah, well! Could be LOTS worse. We SHALL survive .

The Dear Lord is looking out for us though. I have kept this under my hat for about as long as I can stand it but it is my GREAT pleasure, my GREAT and VERY UNEXPECTED pleasure to announce that, contrary to medical opinion , our Dear Daughter and her husband are expecting a babe next spring!!! The Lord DOES work in mysterious ways :-) We are all thrilled and especially as everything appears to be going splendidly. Healthy Daughter. Strong healthy Babe- a wee boy !! She has just passed the halfway mark so I have been brave and am announcing it publicly. A few of you knew before but now, you all know.

SOOO.... I recently came across a very nice pattern for a bag which I thought would be easy to adapt to a diaper bag. It is a pattern by Indygo Junction called Grids and Grommets and it uses huge, oversized grommets for the strap to pass through. I have made it up exactly as the pattern suggested and when we go south to visit in a month or so, we shall confer regarding the best size and placement for pocketses!! anyway, here it is- a rather sharp departure from what I normally do, but fun, quick and easy.

I shall take my colour cues from Herself in Tennessee!!

Just pinned closed to show you the look of the finished bag...

...and, Ta Da!! The Finished Bag. Grandpa says the baby should fit in there just fine! Goof!
I am finished that little project now and am about to do some pastel dyeing for my next venture-

My Aunty's gorgeous hydrangea. I will not use the green at the bottom . I will intensify a deep taupey purple and use that at the bottom right corner- I THINK!

So now, I will make a nice hot cup of tea and wallow a while longer in this plagued bug we have . Hope everyone else is hale and hardy?