Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Terrible Twos - Furry Style

I'm a cat person, always have been. I can't imagine my life without cats. Our cat Molly turned 2 years old today: she was rescued by the Asheville Humane Society along with her 2 brothers. They were around 4 weeks old. The vet on board brought them home until they were old enough to adopt out. In honor of her second birthday, my blog is about her, her escapades and things she loves. She could care less, but I had great fun doing it. This is the first day we had her - a tiny little thing, and so fluffy! The humane society names all the animals; she was a "Bailey" but that didn't work for me, so Molly she became!
She wanted to impress us early on the "tiger" in her soul!
One of her favorite things is her big brother Scooter (foreground). She follows him everywhere and probably drives him crazy, not too different from little sisters and big brothers in the human world.
Another favorite thing is to see Scooter dressed up silly. He also could care less (can you tell?)
Some of Molly's favorite things - her "Cat Sitter" video which she loves to watch in her chair in front of the TV.
And trying to get inside the TV to get all the critters!
And sitting in my computer chair just when I need to sit there!
Rubber bands - loves them, especially the big fat "broccoli bunch" ones!
And white mice - the stuffed ones. We bought these years ago in a box that looked like cheese only filled with mice. The package is misleading. They don't disclose the fact that at the dark....when everyone is asleep.....they MULTIPLY! Yes I'm convinced this is true. I've thrown out so many along with those being sucked up in the vacumn and they just keep showing up - LOTS of them. I can't figure it out. When people come over, I tell them to be careful not to step on the mice. They seem startled until I explain they are "toy mice".
And lettuce, yes this is weird. From day 1, Molly has loved lettuce, attacks the bowl when I'm not looking!
And her birthday Tuna with candles! Yum!
My son made her a birthday hat - not a happy camper!
Well, "Fooey on Youey" as my nana used to say.
She's a sweet little girly girl cat that makes us laugh all the time. We love spoiling our cats, AKA our furry grandchildren. You take what you can get!
In my next life, I want to come back as a cat - right here in this home. I know I'll get lots of love and more important, lots of headrubs!
Thanks for joining me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Beading and the Bead Thief

I recently ordered an assortment of beads to try on the wedding gown; I was wanting white pearls and crystals. In looking through the catalog for "white" pearls, what a surprise - I thought white was white, but not so. There's parchment, Victorian, champagne, cream, off white etc and crystals - the same thing.  So being the obsessive person that I am, I had to order a strand of each to preview. I'm only going to do this once, so I want it to be the best choice. I ordered from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads - a lovely company. My order came wrapped in tissue and Packed with Love.
A great assortment of crystals...
and pearls. I can't wait to make samples.
I pinned the pearls in strands against the silk and lace and shared with some friends for input.
I then made samples for my daughter to see.
All were pretty but as I worked with each color and size I began to have favorites - very strong favorites. Below is the white pearl; yes...just white and the crystal is an aurora borealis in 2x which is twice the amount of coating and sparkle. It looks pink on the lace.
I chose 2 different sizes to preview - the 3mm and 4mm in both the crystal and pearl. I found the 3mm to be a really good size - not overpowering but still very obvious.
One of the crystals was "rosewater". I thought that sounded pretty and maybe just a hint of a pastel might be nice, but after sewing it down, I didn't care for it.
I worked with champagne and Victorian colored pearls. I liked the antique look but thought they were a little too dark.
The parchment pearls were nice - a little bit of an antique look but not too dark; they were one of my favorites.
The crystal AB is an aurora borealis without the extra coating. It gives a nice sparkle without being over powering.
In my mind, I decided on the white or parchment pearl and the aurora borealis crystal, both in 3mm. I was anxious to see what Jill wanted. It's her decision, but I hope - have my fingers crossed - she likes the ones I do. It's just more fun to work with your personal choices - AND she loved the same ones. She suggested a mix of the parchment and white pearls, having more white than parchment. I thought that was a great idea. So back to the catalog to order LOTS of pearls and crystals.
My cat Molly, not quite 2, loves to get into mischief especially when I'm around. She found the samples of pearls... hmmmmm, deciding on which ones to take.
Well, this one will do very nicely so I'll just grab it.
and bring it to my "scratchy" where I keep my treasures.
Whew! That was close - almost got caught!
What a collection I'm getting!
How nice of mommy to get these beads for me.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fiber Junkies

I'm part of a small fiber group - Fiber Junkies. Our meetings always include a lesson/demo/hands-on type of thing, sharing of work, and input from each other. It's a wonderfully productive and talented group. The "show and tell" is always inspiring. Mary S did this wonderful piece for her son and his wife. She used mostly batiks and a touch of red - love that red!
Mary also shared her latest beaded piece - amazing in person! And how lucky for us that this was our lesson for the meeting.
Mary stitched circles with her eyelet stitch to give some subtle texture to the background. Each set of threads were pulled to the back (hundreds) and tied off - a tedious job but it adds so much to the piece.
Carol S always has so much to share. She made this journal using a technique from the book - Alabama Studio Style. It's a very interesting and spontaneous look.

I perused the book very quickly and looks like it has lots of good information and visuals.
Carol also showed us another journal she made incorporating rusted fabrics - doilies, cottons, silks together for an antique look.

The insides are wonderful to see, things I wouldn't think of to use, such as old papers, receipts and calendars. Carol finds many of these treasures at antique stores. You can write in some of the blank areas or put a small piece of paper on the page to write on.
I love this next page - a trip back in time. I have tons of old magazines I've picked up at antique stores for the purpose of printing them on fabric - to then be cut apart and pieced together. Here's another great use for them.
Carol also showed us birds she painted. She mentioned that by incorporating a little bit of the background color into the bird (or vice versa) gives the finished piece a more cohesive look - good tip!
And more birds she painted
which she then scanned and printed on fabric.

Patsy brought one of her beautiful pieces - love the combination of colors. Patsy dyes all her fabric and her machine quilting is to die for!
Here's a detail of the quilting and beads Patsy added.
And of course, saving the best for last - our lesson for the day, beading. Mary taught us the basics and I was amazed how much there is to learn. It's not just a case of threading a needle and sewing on a bead. There's so much to consider like thread, needle, knot, type of bead - my mind was reeling. This was our basic sampler, but we hope to add more down the road. Mary is a wonderful, thorough and very organized teacher!
What a great day!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bodices, Boning and Dreams

Well yes, it's time for another dream report - this time my daughters and you guessed it - about the wedding gown, but that's for the end. I've been working on the bodice: it's been a difficult job. My daughter says it has to stand up like a suit of armor. The ladies at the House of Fabric in Asheville, gave me a sample to take home and study (below) and it proved to be helpful.
I have the outside layer of charmeuse underlined with silk organza...
followed by the layer of batiste and LOTS and LOTS of boning.
And then the lining - I couldn't figure out how to make it more structured. I think the charmeuse, even the heavier weight, tends to be soft - not one of the crisp silks.
So once again, I was off to House of Fabric to visit with my new best friend - Peggy. Peggy is the professional seamstress on board; she makes all the wedding gowns for customers. She is also very helpful and knowledgeable. I brought her the bodice and she did some handholding (I desperately needed) and told me the bodice was FINE - very, very fine. She said it needed a live body to give it the final amount of structure it needs. Makes sense, why didn't I think of that! She also suggested when using softer fabrics, to make another lining of flannel to insert between the outside and the boning layer. I'm anxious to try it, so now I'm off and running once again.
This project has been a roller coaster of emotions but - A Happy Camper I am once again - and now for the dream. My daughter being aware of the problems with the bodice had this crazy dream. The day of the wedding, walking down the aisle, she had to keep hiking up the dress as it kept falling down. She asked me to try and fix it between the ceremony and the reception! I think I said no in the dream - boooo - bad mama!