Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays

I want to thank you all for joining me on my blog this past year and to wish you all the Happiest of Holidays and a healthy, happy New Year. I hope 2014 brings you lots of time for creating and just doing what you love to do.
 Molly is donning her Santa suit to wish you the same with perhaps not as much joy in her heart as myself.  (-:

Have a wonderful holiday season.

Friday, December 20, 2013

From the Woodpile

What can you do with lots of logs besides burn them?
 Our neighbors tree fell in their yard and offered the logs to us. They had already cut the logs but didn't think they would use them as they live most of the time in Florida.
 There were some great logs with wonderful, interesting bark.  I thought they might make some good candle-stands.
 I decided to incorporate some of them into a table centerpiece.  I started with a narrow piece of wood my husband donated to the cause.  I lightly sanded it.
 and had the choice of which barks to use; there were 2 very distinct barks.
 Using a band saw, my husband cut them into different heights, not really knowing how or where I would use them. He cut many more than I needed to give me lots of options.
 Some would go in the centerpiece - made from artificial silk greens.
 They were somewhat hidden but did the job of raising the candle up high enough...
 but I really loved the ones that stood on their own.
A few days later I saw something similar in one of the chain craft stores and here I thought I was being so clever! at least it didn't cost us anything, just a little time.
My little granddaughter is coming tomorrow and it will start to get crazy around here so I want to take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I am so happy and thankful to have you a part of my life.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fiber Junkies Holiday Party

Monday we had our Fiber Junkies Holiday party. There are only 6 of us in the group, kept small so we can play and try new things at each meeting. We started our meeting with some goodies of course and then onto Show and Tell.  Denny showed us a completed piece - the second one in a series she is doing regarding research she did years ago and the stories that resulted from it.
This is a Yin and Yang piece, each part filled with writings from interviews.
white on black and black on white.  It was very effective and interesting.
The back was all pieced and quite wonderful to see also.
Mary's leaf piece....if you check her blog you'll see her adventures with this piece over the last month or so. It's close to being finished and the fabric choices are spot on...especially the herringbone wool used in the leaves.
A break for lunch - the food was fabulous and the cake almost too pretty to cut, BUT we did and it was decadent and delicious!
We all decided to make little gifts for each other. Look at this amazing pile of presents.
and all wrapped so creatively - little hand made bags, sprigs of holly, fabric bags that were silk screened and the added bonus of a wonderful handmade present inside.
Our play days with dyeing and screenprinting are at Vals as she has a great outside space. She always prepares our working area with padding and cotton fabric on top to catch the drips.  She has been saving this beautiful cotton cloth for a special occasion and guess where it turned up. Val also silk screened images using her own imagery. It's a book cover for a composition book - remember them from grade school.  The first day of school was never complete unless you had one.
The fronts, backs and insides were all treated with Val's beautiful imagery
and when you're done with the book, it easily slips out to insert another one.
Mary made us "thread and beaded" rocks using flat rocks she had collected by streams and on hikes and also made the little gift bag to keep it in.
Kate made beaded Angels for each of us - each one different and special. Kate used beads on counted cross stitch paper to create these.
Gen made tags using blank tags from an office supply store.  Each one is painted, stamped and given a personality of it's own AND too nice to use.
Denny presented us with a copy of her book - "The Ladies" which is about a series of woman who are rethinking some bad decisions. It's very creative and you can see all the ladies on her website  . They came in a handmade dyed and screened fabric bags.
I made bookmarks for everyone out of hand marbled fabric but failed to take a picture of them.
We also planned our play days for next year. I'm happy to say we have a "full and fun" year ahead.
I feel so blessed to have such wonderful and creative friends. What a great day!

Friday, December 13, 2013

PTA Holiday Party

It's been a while since my last post - a crazy time of year and I thank you for hanging in there with me. We had our annual PTA holiday party yesterday at my house - this is one of the most fun events of the year.
We arrived at around 10"30 - plenty of coffee, tea, bubbly and lots of snick snacks before lunch. Heaven forbid we starve in the interim.
Lots of chances to visit and catch up.
And we just made it - 12 people (with 2 leaves in the table), a little squeezed but fun to be able to all sit together - no chance of missing anything being said.
Next was Show and Tell, not as much as usual as we're all getting ready for the holidays but we all loved seeing the latest from....
Connie who did this as a commission piece.
Connie often uses Rick Rack on her quilts and does it so effectively. I've always loved Rick Rack; it's so vintage but a very strong presence. Connie has the magic touch with it.
Lynne finished her beautiful piece with such lovely warm colors...and
she also showed us this piece done for a commission.  It's not yet quilted but look forward to seeing it finished.
Mary S showed us her latest and her never ending quest to use up her black and white fabrics. It's such an effective background.  I love the black and white polka dot leaf.
And Linda C showed us her foot with her HAND KNITTED SOCKS which super impresses me that anyone can make socks. Linda has just recently learned to knit and already tackling socks!
Our "White Elephant" gift exchange got off to a good start and was, as always great fun.  Gen picked Linda's package, this was one of Linda's first knitting projects. Remember the old Grannie caps....? Gen looks adorable and is such a good sport!
Janice is still wondering what it is in the package she opened....hmmmm.....
Dort got some wonderful large poinsettia head gear...
and books.
Well, we did have some "interesting" and funny gifts that we decided to share with our dear friend and PTA member - Georgia who was out of town and missed the party.
I think she'll be incredibly happy and impressed with our thoughtfulness.....  (-:
Can't wait to see how much she loves her new treasures.
Last thing on the agenda - a group picture to say hope you're having a wonderful holiday season!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Trading my fabric for....

a glue gun....for just a little while. I love looking through catalogs around the holidays to get ideas for new decorations. I do get a bit obsessive over holiday decorating, don't know why as it's up for such a short time but I love it just the same.
 I saw this in Pottery Barn - (a store I could live in) and thought I could make this pine cone tree myself, how hard could it be and ohhhh.....the money I would save.
So I bought the biggest styrofoam form I could find.
which I had to spray paint with brown so the white wouldn't show through.
I found these huge pine cones at a craft store. I thought I'll take them apart in a few minutes and then I'll be off and running. I'll have this done in no time at all.
First came the scissors - not strong enough, then the wire cutters - okay but not great,. I found this saw in hubbys workshop but that didn't work at all - last came the garden snips which seemed to do best of all but still not great.
It took lots of twisting to get the little pine pieces off.
and left with with a little flower like top.  I had to mark each row all around so they wouldn't wind up on a slant and use a glue gun to put each in place.
So...many, many hours later, I happily finished it. I kinda got into a rhythm once I separated the cones and I am happy with the way it turned out but I'm laughing out loud thinking of that silly Master Card commercial....                            
                                                    stryofoam - $8 with a coupon
                                                    pinecones - $ 9 for 3 of them
                                                    paint         - $5
                                                    large package of glue sticks  - 7
                                                    One pair of very sore hands

                                                    Having the "fun" of making it yourself....."priceless"....hmmmmmmmm I wonder...

Taking a short hiatus while my company is here....Have a wonderful Thanksgiving