Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Jane Ann - "But, been there, done that crap... I'll be damned if I'm going to waste what good time I have left stalking dust bunnies and vacuuming 4 times a week." I almost spewed diet Coke all over the computer screen... thanks for the laugh and all the other good things you said.
Jo - "he is also on first name terms with the vacuum (I don't even know its surname!)." Hee!!... a vacuum with a name... Hee!
Rian - "To not create would be like stopping breathing. Impossible." Oh, you are so right lady... so right!
Allison - "Sounds like yours is one of the great marriages" Well, it's pretty damn good I must say... it took a LONG time for us to train each other, though... ;0)
Seriously, thanks for understanding what I was trying to say... I read it through about 3 times last night and it seemed to make sense; however, I was rather afraid to read it over again this morning!! Amazingly enough it STILL made sense!
Oh... and boy, when Sharon mentions you on her blog, you really get lots more visitors!! WooHoo!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Well... I can address that a little bit... I think maybe others would have a more educated answer than I, but I'll speak from my experience. I can't say that I have always appreciated my artistic and creative talent. My husband always appeciated it more than I. He loved to show off the results of my artistic endeavors (still does) and it took me a long time to be comfortable with that. Actually, I'm still rather uncomfortable with it... something I really need to work on!
A few years ago my SIL referred to me as "Super Woman" and I was totally, and I mean totally, dumfounded. I have always thought of myself as barely getting by, as being only an "OK" mother and an adequate wife... and here is this woman, who keeps an immaculate house (something I can never, ever, claim) calling me "Super Woman." I thought about it long and hard and came to realize that it was because I did all these different things... I cooked supper every night, I gardened, we renovated the house and I was always "crafting" in one way or another... I was just plain driven to try, at the very least... to do it all, and creation was a big part of that. I absolutely had to create in one way or another and I was always searching to find a way to do that.
I would ignore the dishes and the laundry... leave the dust bunnies and animal hair to multiply under the couch... and I would create. I would create until the clutter and chores waiting to be done would make me want to implode and then I would have a small (well, think Mt. St. Helens here) meltdown and Glenn would calm me down and then we would do a thorough clean-up... and then the cycle would start all over again. I wouldn't recommend that route for everyone but it did work! It resulted in 3 pretty damn good sons, a husband who does most of the housecleaning (we share the laundry and I do the cooking), an enduring marriage of 32 years and someone who feels confident in tackling almost any creative challenge. Don't ask me how the hell it happened, but it did!
I guess where I'm going with all this blather is that both Glenn and I honored my talent simply by acknowledging it's existence, by (let's face it) indulging me, myself and I in my constant need to create, and growing through the whole rocky experience. I don't know if this answered your question, Jo, but know this... a creative person has to create just like they have to breathe. It is totally a part of what they are, how they think, and where they are going. Hang on and enjoy the ride!!
Oh, and by the way, Glenn hasn't totally suffered throughout this... he gets fresh, hot coffee in bed every morning of his life... a more than adequate trade-off in his eyes! :0)
Monday, November 27, 2006
For a long time, during the prime kidlet rearing years, I managed to squeeze in time to be creative, in one way or another. Sometimes it was fiber related, but many times my creativity was poured out into my cooking, gardening, decorating, home renovation and work. There wasn't time or space enough to give my muse the room it needed, so sometimes it would just show up and give me a nudge (or more likely, a kick in the butt). Then I would finally take the time to indulge the creative being inside me with weaving, needlepoint, cross-stitch, knitting, crocheting and stained glass. At least until the kitchen was overflowing with dishes and there were no clean clothes in the house!
I never took the time to become really proficient at any one craft and as I look back on it, I think it was because each thing I made had to have a reason for being made. Of all the beautiful items I made over the years, I have only a handful to show for it. Nearly all of them were made and then given away as gifts. That way, you see, I could justify the time and expense of my crafts... my art. I needed to be able to have a completed project so I went for the simple, albeit beautiful... then gave it away. Hmmmmm.... interesting what you find out when you stop and really think about it.
So, now I am at a stage in life where I can "indulge" myself and feed my creativity, set aside a room in the house as a workroom, build a stash up so I have what I need at my fingertips and make something purely for the sake of making something beautiful, and then... learn from it... explore it and keep it! What a concept! ;0)
So... in keeping with the 5 Ways to Nurture Creativity in Sharon's post... here are my five goals for upping the creativity quotient in myself.
1. Organize the workroom so it is easy to use.
2. Create each morning before leaving for work.
3. Continue thinking about my project during the day.
4. Utilize a visual journal (again!)
5. Take classes and join a guild to push the envelope.
There... 2007 - here I come!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
and here's a closer look at the little bit I got done today:
I'm still playing with it but I'll probably move on to Week 4 since Week 5 is only a few days away! I don't have enough printer paper to print out the entire lesson so I have to wait till tomorrow. I like to sit down and read thru the lesson at least twice before I dig in. I kind of have to pick and choose what portions I want to play with immediatly since there is so much information offered... I just don't have enough hours in the day to give the full lesson the attention it deserves. I hope to sit down and do a full blown study of each lesson sometime in the spring.
One can always hope!
Saturday, November 25, 2006
And then, because we had already finished off the pumpkin pie... and... well, see there was this third empty, lonely pie shell in the fridge and we decided that it needed to be a pumpkin pie, too. It was very good...
It'll be even better for breakfast with a tall, cold glass of milk.
Friday, November 24, 2006
I am using #3 perle cotton, #12 perle cotton, silk floss and novelty knitting yarn so far on this sampler.
Here is a closeup of my favorite portion so far.
On the current additions I have used cable chain stitch to do some of the swooping lines, french knots and long straight stitches also.
Since it's a long weekend I'll be able to get some more done and hopefully dig into Week 4's lesson.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wanna see how our Thanksgiving went?
At 4:00 pm... ya got your roast turkey, your homemade sage/bread stuffing, your mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and your Grammy's cranberry salad:
I made the pictures small cuz there's a few more coming... click to embiggen!
Here's the full table:
At 4:15 pm ya got this:
Hurray for dishwashers!!
And... of course, later ya got pumpkin pie!
Have a happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Long years ago, when I had 3 teen age boys, 6 dogs, 4 cats, a full-time job and a husband that worked way, way too many hours every week, I had a nick-name. My family called me "Queen B*tch of the Universe." For good reason, I might add!
I like this title better, thank you very much!
You are The Empress
Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.
The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.
The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I've been collecting the glass for awhile and lately have picked up a couple extra pieces. Some of it is vintage Viking glass. I want to add a round red piece on the left side of the credenza but haven't found just the right one yet.
The furniture is Danish Modern, probably from the sixties. There are a couple more views on my flickr page.
I love it!
Monday, November 20, 2006
Here is the panel:
And here it is in it's role of pulling the various pieces of the "entertainment center" together.
Hmmm... guess I should have picked up some the stuff off the credenza... oh, well!
Someday, when the prices of flat-panel LCD TV's come within striking range of our budget, we'll get a nice one to replace the current model and it will all fill out nicely. Until then, good enuff!!
Here is another piece of Mid-century fabric that is my favorite of the bunch.
I really, really... really... like this piece of fabric. It's framed but not hung. Plans are to hang it tomorrow after work and if it gets done, I'll put a piccie of it up.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I love the way it came out, but there isn't as much of a contrast as I would like with the fabric.
Here is another large double circle point:
On this one I used #3 perle cotton, using circular button hole stitch in the center, a running stitch around the outside and then lacing with another color of thread. I like the concept but the execution in this instance leaves a bit to be desired.
Then, I added lines from week 3:
This is some novelty knitting yarn couched down with perle cotton and then button hole stitches hugging the couched yarn. More pink button hole stitches are needed to finish it off, but this is where I got to tonight.
Hope to get more done tomorrow, see you then!
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Here it is full-size:
and here's a closeup:
We're going to put it up at the end of the hall by the bedrooms, it will fit perfectly there. It's a simple quilt but made with loving hands, so it is precious to us.
Tomorrow I hope to get started on the lesson for Week 3 in the Library of Personal Stitches class. We're trying like crazy to get the house FINALLY put together this weekend but, one way or another, I'll be putting my butt in that recliner and doing some serious stitching tomorrow!!
Friday, November 17, 2006
1. Yourself: freckled
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): understanding
3. Your hair: curly
4. Your mother: controlling
5. Your Father: stubborn
6. Your favorite Item: earrings
7. Your dream last night: confusing
8. Your favorite drink: Jack
9. Your dream car: classic
10. The room you are in: cluttered
11. Your Ex: none
12. Your fear: death
13. What you want to be in 10 years? retired
14. Who you hung out with last night? Glenn
15. What you're not? stupid
16. Muffins: poppyseed
17. One of your wish list items: money
18. Time: stretched
19. The last thing you did: ate
20. What you are wearing: jeans
21. Your favorite weather: rain
22. Your favorite book: long
23. The last thing you ate: popcorn
24. Your life: happy
25. Your mood: relaxed
26. Your best friend: Glenn
27. What are you thinking about right now? bed
28. Your car: red
29. What are you doing at the moment? vegging
30. Your summer: hot
31. Your relationship status: enduring
32. What is on your TV? history
33. What is the weather like? wonderful
34. When is the last time you laughed? tonight
OK... that's mine... who wants to be next?
Thursday, November 16, 2006
I laid out a line of points along a curve. They are in this picture, but are rather hard to see.
Anyway, I started with another of the large points... boy, I really like these double circles... they really have lots of opportunities for playing!
This is done using #3 perle cotton and I really like it!
Here is a whipped stitch done in a #12 perle cotton:
Then, I tried a vintage bead... it's an oval so it didn't work quite as well but I think it is OK and I got to play with this concept.
I used silk floss for it but it would definitely work much better using perle cotton. Like SharonB said, perle cotton is really the way to go on these kind of stitches. The floss just lays too flat.
I still have so much more to cover in this lesson and the lesson for Week 3 is already here! Gah! Hopefully I'll be able to catch up, but if not, I'll just work on it later! Now... I'm off to read this week's lesson.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
See you tomorrow, hopefully feeling a bit more like myself.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Luckily I haven't done much yet on the Aida!!
Monday, November 13, 2006
Being a textile freak I started watching for mid-century textiles at yard sales and on eBay and did some reading about them. Since we moved to Phoenix and decided to once again buy a mid-century home, I've been slowly gathering a small collection. The past few months, since we bought our 1950 brick ranch, have been filled with fitting all of our stuff into this house. Although this house isn't really a mid-century modern home, we are incorporating aspects of that style of decorating with some of the other pieces we have collected over the years. We found some Danish Modern dining room furniture from the fifties and now I have finally started to pull out my fabrics to do some decorating.
I'm not crazy about alot of the fabrics from that era, but some of them are VERY nice... at least in my eyes! This is a length of fabric off of eBay that someone made into curtains sometime during the fifties. It's not really a barkcloth, but I do think it is a cotton blend. Here's a closeup:
It's a cool off-white backround with green, taupe, brown, pink and coral figures.
Unfortunately, our couch is a warm off-white and they really don't match well. See?
It's all good, though, having an off-white couch in this house is an exercise in futility so I'll probably reupholster the couch to match the curtains.
Not that I've ever upholstered anything... :0)
Sunday, November 12, 2006
I had some 14 count Aida that I decided to play with on this lesson. I cut it in two pieces and then couldn't find my pen that dissolves when spritzed with water anywhere, sooooo... I just grabbed the chalk pencil and played with that.
As I made the curve across the piece of fabric, I just kept going until I got a curve I liked. Hopefully this mess will wash out... if not, lesson learned! I did finally manage to find the dissolving pen, oddly enuff, it was in my sewing basket... imagine that! Hee!
I took the same type of curve and laid it out on the other piece of Aida fabric, this time just with a few points, using the dissolving pen. Then I added a few of the double circles from the lesson along the curve and started stitching:
I only got one of the double circles done tonight, but it's a start!
All for now... thanks so much for the comments, especially on the Veteran's Day post... it means alot to me.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
I am a veteran of the US Navy. I joined in 1970 and was honorably discharged in 1976. I am what is called a Vietnam-era veteran. I didn't see combat like many of the guys did. Neither did Glenn, thankfully. He was also in the Navy, 1970-1979. During our time in the Navy we were stationed in many different places. I was stationed in Maryland and Virginia, met and married Glenn while serving in Puerto Rico, went to school in New Jersey and finally spent 3 years in Hawaii. I grew up alot during those years!
A few years later, I went to work at Fort Polk, Louisiana for the US Army. I worked there for nearly 10 years, 1989-1998, supporting the support system of the soldiers and their families. I worked there thru the first Gulf war and watched the bombing of Baghdad from the Colonel's office in the security building.
Now I work for a Department of Defense contractor that designs and makes the robots that search for IEDs in suspicious areas along the roadsides of Iraq and Afghanistan.
I tip my hat and raise a cheer for all those who have served, in all countries, in all wars, both overseas and at home. May you return safely to your family.
Friday, November 10, 2006
The border is Portuguese stitch in #3 Perle Cotton. Once I got the hang of it, I really like this stitch and it goes pretty quickly. It's a nice, beefy stitch that could carry quite a bit of impact on a Crazy Quilt block. I will probably add something under the date because that looks rather empty and I'm quite sure that some beads will brighten up this sampler before I'm done.
I've been thinking about lesson 2 off and on all day. Working with points should make an interesting sampler!
We did quite a bit of work tonight on the craft room. Glenn said he would help get it straightened out if he got at least one flat surface in the room to call his own. I thought it was pretty nervy of him to ask for a corner to play in but I finally gave in... LOL!
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Chloe, I did try to use combinations of stitches that echoed American Indian motifs that are probably very similar to Aztec motifs. The colors, including the linen, are colors that are associated with the American Southwest so it all kind of works together.
Elizabet, the very bottom line of stitches is simply three rows of alternating running stitch, but it all combines with the lines above to become Guilloche stitch.
Conni, Yes!!! '52 was a very good year! LOL! And thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes, it was so nice to see my in box fill up with all the comments!
I'm working on finishing the last bits of this sampler so I can move onto the next lesson. Hope to have something to show everyone tomorrow.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I have made more progress on my sampler for the Personal Library of Stitches class...
Threads used are #3 perle cotton, silk and cotton floss, and Caron Impressions (cotton, I think). The top stitch is another variation on Guilloche stitch... I like the size and heft of the stitch done this way; however, I think you would have to be careful where you used it as it might overwhelm other, more delicate stitches. It would make a great border though!
I'm going to do some more couching, and probably another variation on the Portuguese stitch, as I like the Portuguese stitch and want to do some more experimenting with it. The next lesson should be out tomorrow!!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Here I am with my Mom in 1953.
My Dad had a jingle he would say when I had a temper tantrum...
"There was a little girl,
who had a little curl,
right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good she was very, very good...
and when she was bad she was horrid."
Happy Birthday to me!
Monday, November 06, 2006
and the back...
It has a very cool closing...
and very nice finishing treatment wherein all the seams are covered in black seam binding...
Now... if I was a size... ummm 10, this would fit quite well; however, since I'm far from it (oh, so far from it) this will be a purse/handbag soon.
Pretty cool, huh? ;0)
Sunday, November 05, 2006
From top to bottom these are:
Top - Filled feather stitch done with 3 strands of silk floss and down the center are blue feather stitches done with 2 strands of silk floss and 1 strand of Kreinik metallic braid.
Middle - Two lines of running stitch in #3 perle cotton bracketing a line of Portuguese stitch, also in #3 perle cotton.
Bottom - Double laced herringbone stitch done with 3-ply silk floss laced with 1 strand of Caron Impressions and 1 strand of Kreinik metallic thread.
After spending some time working these stitches, I can really see where working samplers can significantly improve the quality and the quantity of stitches in my basket of tricks. I love the way the linen feels while I'm working it; however, I do believe that the next time I buy linen to use for samplers it won't be 28-count. I think I'll go for 18- or 20-count... these old eyes would thank me for that!
Saturday, November 04, 2006
This morning when I looked at it again it struck me that I was using the colors that have come to represent the Southwest on this sampler. The linen has sunset colors in it and the blues are the blues of the summer sky and the turquoise that is everywhere in Arizona. I like it! :0)
Sharonb asked to see what was on my hoop in the picture of my nest, so here it is:
It is the second block I started during the 100 Details in 100 Days marathon on
inaminuteago.com. I'll get it done eventually!
That's all for tonight... thanks for all the comments, ladies... it's nice to know someone is reading my meanderings!
Friday, November 03, 2006
I read thru the Personal Stitches class Week 1 lesson last night, but I'm still not exactly sure which size sampler I'm going to do. There are attractions to both the long size and the postcard size. I decided to just start with gathering together the thread, so this morning I rummaged around and managed to find some I wanted to use. I decided to start with the orangey linen and after looking at the color wheel
this is the group of colors I came up with.
Now, I have to say that this was done first thing this morning, so my perceptions may have been off. We'll see what it looks like in person tonight when I get home! ;0)
I'm using Soie d' Alger silk floss and metallic thread and braid from Kreinik, Waterlilies and Impressions threads from Caron, some DMC floss and some #3 Perle Cotton. I will probably add beads to this also, but I'll choose those tonight.
Talk at you tomorrow!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Last week, Allie of Works in Progress showed us all her favorite stitching spot and asked others to do the same, so I thought I would.
Here is my current favorite spot... my old chair in the living room, with my Ott Lite looming over the back... Glenn calls this my "nest." His chair is on the other side of the table to the right, and this is where we sit in the evenings. My hoop in it's stand is on the stool to the left, with my sewing basket underneath. On the arm of my chair is a very cool little setup that includes a pin cushion, a magnet, and a trash holder for bits of thread, etc. Currently the arm of the chair works for this; however, it may move back to the table if I keep bumping into it!
This chair has seen better days, it badly needs to have the leather cleaned and reconditioned, and the foot rest is cracked in the middle (as a result of my oldest son's temper, but we won't go there!) so it sags a bit but it is still the most comfy chair in the house. I have problems with my back and this chair is perfect for it and I just hope I can find another comfy one when we go looking for matching chairs sometime this winter.
There on the table you will see two small dishes, one full of beads. These are great for holding bead mixes, they fit very comfortably into my hand and the interior has a smooth, rounded bottom (well... that sounded a bit risque, didn't it?) that allows the needle to slide thru without hanging up on anything. Actually, they are avocado dishes but are absolutely perfect for this. They sit easily on the arm of the chair or the table and I love 'em! I have four of them but typically only use one or two at a time. The second one is there in case I need another color of bead mix.
I have to admit that I did straighten up a bit before I took the picture, my nest is usually not so tidy. Typically there is a pile of magazines and/or books to one side or the other of the chair, a day or two's worth of mail on the table and a heating pad hanging over the back of the chair to soothe my back. I think you probably get the picture! LOL!
All for now, talk to you tomorrow!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I certainly don't promise that every post will have CQ content, but there will be lots of textiles in one form or another. The plan is to post every morning while having my coffee, before I head out to work. We'll see how it goes!
Halloween was last night here in the States and we had a nice one. We had maybe 100 kids come by (and quite a few adults, too!), still had candy left over, and nobody showed up after 8:00pm! Lots of fairies and princesses, goblins, soldiers, convicts and all manner of other critters to bring smiles to our faces. It was fun!
I received my fabric today that I will be using in the Personal Stitches class. They are hand-dyed and I can't wait to get started...
The class starts tomorrow! WooHoo!