Monday, December 24, 2018


Happy Holidays to you all....I know I've told this story before but it's one of my favorite childhood stories and I love walking down memory lane. My mom was a collector of pretty things, especially figurines (remember when they were so popular), plates and ceramics. She fell in love with these plates but apparently they were too expensive. I was totally on a mission to buy her these for Christmas; as a small child, I had no idea about prices.....
 I eyed them for weeks, saved my allowance which I think was 25 cents a week at the time and finally convinced my dad to take me to the my mom, we said...only going out for ice cream. I stood in line with the biggest plate...that was to be from ME....and when it came my turn, I carefully counted out $1.00...mostly in pennies...
 My dad who was standing behind me, winked at the girl and quietly slipped her the rest of the money.
 You can't imagine how thrilled I was on Christmas morning when I surprised my mom with this big plate...What makes this story so endearing is that it was MANY....many years before I learned the a grown woman with a home and these plates hanging on the wall. I laughed so hard at my innocence.
You know when they say..."If your house was on fire and you had to grab one thing and get out..." it would be these plates...too many memories attached to them.
 On another note, we love to decorate and also have always loved the Nutcracker Suite which we've seen numerous times....My husband being a woodworker made wooden cutouts years ago...when the kids were small. They've survived the outside elements and we put them outside every year.

I'm wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a healthy, happy New Year - hopefully one that's filled with peace.......Hug the people you love and maybe even some you don't so much and have a Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

And then Came the Storm

We had all kinds of predictions for the latest storm...anywhere from 8" to 24.....So I knew when I went to my daughters the friday before, I would probably not be coming home on Monday as planned. Atlanta would be easy to get out of but Asheville impossible to get into.
So my hubby took some's always so pretty if you don't have to go anywhere.
Here are the raised beds in our veggie garden....
and the side of our house.

We did get lots of snow but the roads cleared up fairly quickly...but our driveway...another story....On the left I'm standing at the bottom looking up to my house and on the right looking down at the road. The red circle is where our car is was a week before everything was clear again....Ugh

Friday, December 21, 2018

Shop til you Drop

To continue on with my crazy month, my daughter and I always have a "shop til you drop" weekend ...mainly for Christmas presents. We hit every store in Atlanta, have wonderful lunches and very long days. This year it started on a friday and I was to come in early-ish to see my daughter's school. She has changed schools 3 times within the same district due to job changes. She is now an instructional coach - a position she has aspired to since day 1. She is also in the same school as her daughter, my granddaughter, Audrey. School was just about letting out and my 6 year old Audrey wanted to give me a tour.
How impowering for her to parade me around the school, in and out of classrooms, the nurse's and principals office. Of course we had to do it several is the after school program call Animal Crackers.
This I found the library is a TV featuring a live presentation of an eagles nest; a family of eagles, coming and going.  Someone set up a recorder next to the nest and it runs round the clock. It was absolutely amazing to be that close to such a beautiful bird. It is presented by Berry College in Georgia. You can google it and watch it on your computer; is there anything more wonderful for children to see on TV than this.
That night we returned to school (another one in the district) which hosts an annual holiday boutique. Every classroom featured 3 or 4 different artists; they all had work for sale...It was great fun. There was even an Olympic Gold medalist from Canada who won her medal in ice skating. It's funny how  life can take so many twists and turns.....her hands were always cold so she took up knitting to make outerwear. That led her to start a business making hats, scarfs and gloves.

The next day it was on to Lenox Mall in Atlanta and also one of the prettiest. We really did shop like crazy but got so much done.

Sunday it was on to Ponce Market Place - such an interesting complex. One of the stores has the back all set up with leather pelts, machines and cutters for making leather items.
I was supposed to go home on Monday but the storm prevented that from happening. I could get out of Atlanta but not into Asheville...soooo I had to stay another day. My daughter took a personal day and yes we shopped some more. Target this time which is always fun, something for everyone. We got Icee's but realized there were no drink holders on the our very tired and silly brains took over and used the seatbelt to hold our drinks in place. It was a wonderful 3 days with my sweet girl and we really did get a lot done also.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Fiber Junkies and Cool Ideas

We had our annual Fiber Junkies party a while back...I've been running back and forth to Atlanta and been so busy, I've not done anything blog related....but this is my journal and I do love a record of the wonderful times in my life...
Gen hosted our party ...first thing I noticed was her beautiful table, especially the tablecloth which her grandmother crocheted. I have the same one although not in as good a shape as this beauty. Our grandmothers were a part of a generation that did a lot of handwork and we are lucky to reap the benefits. I remember seeing the crochet hook and thread used and it was so fine, I don't know how they did something this amazing.
Mary showed us a new baby quilt for a nephew. I love the size of the "fussy cut" centers, you can really see the pattern. A baby will love this and all the beautiful, bright colors.
Mary also made this piece starting with an ice-dyed piece she created.

Some other wonderful show and tells came from Denny who is not only a wonderful technician but incredibly prolific. She was especially pleased with her new top made with African fabrics. The blocks were so interesting, especially loved the one dealing with the cotton fields. What a great interpretation.
And this is the lovely and also such a great way to use up small pieces of fabric.
Susan showed us her newest table runner which was so pretty and loved the "pop" colors.

And now onto the best part - our gift exchange. We do a white elephant but a nice "elephant"'s great fun and think we all go home very happy. Mary made her hand felted candle holders on right and Gen got a huge box of Sharpies. She loves working with markers and paper so this was right up her alley.
Kate who claims to always have cold hands was lucky to get a pair of Gen's handmade fingerless gloves. We've all been lucky to get one of Gen's hand knitted treasures over the years. She has been knitting forever and is our "master knitter".

We never know what we're going to get but it seemed to work out that the perfect gift was matched with the right here's mine. First of all, Denny is a master at creating fabric. This beautiful piece of silk noil (top left) would have been enough but inside was Rayna Gillman's newest book. I'm a big fan of Rayna...both of her work and her personally so this was a thrill to get.
And here is the coolest idea (as mentioned in the title)....Denny used an inexpensive tape measure...don't spend a lot of money on it; she cut it a tad bit shorter than the length of the casing and slid it inside. No matter where you open it along the edge, it folds out (as a tape measure will do) and then springs back into shape. I was fascinated by this idea and the perfect way to close a bag...
Well, you've seen all of us over the years in group pictures; we've had members come and go for various and unforeseen reasons....but this group of gals here have been together a long time. They are the best in every way...talent, sharing, fun...and great hugs...(and an added plus, they all like wine)...Gen is bottom left, our mentor and whom we all say we want to be like when we grow up!....Denny on the right is always researching new ideas and ways to do things...She keeps us motivated with her great ideas.

Sandra on the left was a guest at our meeting this time and the sister of Susan on right....don't they look like twins?....Susan is our newest member and does incredible work.

Mary - bottom left, is our resident type A personality...always one step ahead of us and keeping us on task....Kate on right is a beautiful colorist and inspires us with her lovely work. And Val in the lovely blue much talent who has inspired us so much over the years. Although she cannot attend our meetings, she is always in our thoughts as we are in hers....miss you Val.

So yes I realize I'm missing as I was the picture taker...and what I will say about myself is that I'm just happy to be part of such a nice group of girlfriends who inspire me and make me laugh.


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Shave Cream Anyone?

 Our Fiber Junkies group met a couple of weeks ago for a fun day of shave cream playing. My hands felt so clean and smelt so good at the end of the day...but more on that later. We begin our day with Show and Tell....our very prolific and accomplished Denny has been sewing round the clock. The following quilts are all her quilt tops, each one more beautiful than the one before.

  I think she said she does it all by machine and her skills are spot on.

  This is perhaps the most subtle in coloring but I've always loved monochromatic and especially when done in blue. They are all my fave but this one maybe a tad more.

And I love this one with the amazing and very unique border.
  Gen has been working a lot with pen and ink, coloring motifs for her wonderful journals.

So onto our technique for the day - playing with shave cream - To start, use ordinary shave cream....when I did this years ago I was told to use Colgate...I have no idea why but the generic above left seemed to work fine. You'll also need a large, shallow tray. You can see Denny has filled her tray almost to the top and is spreading it around. This part feels really good and gushy...really makes you feel like a kid again.
 Someone brought shave cream with gel which didn't work well but good to find that out.
 You'll also need textile paint or a craft paint and textile medium to add to to. There is no batching, although probably good to let it set a while. I brought Createx air brush colors which I use for marbling and have good success. Dye-na-Flow or Jacquard paints work well also. Gen's big box of paints she received for Christmas one year is enviable.

Paints were dropped on the can see the thinner ones tended to expand a little more.
  Using various kinds of stylus's, patterns were created on top.

Sue's husband Wally who is so handy (and built all the shelving units in her huge studio) made one of these for each of us...They were great and created the kind of patterning you see on the right.
 Susan created this lovely piece using a stencil.

Here is Denny doing her usual experimenting, always opening up doors for new ways to do things. Some more stenciled pieces featured.

These have become Denny's trademark, cutting out silhouettes in magazines to use as a mask or printing tool. I think they are so unique and so Denny.
 So our clever Gen brought some Lumiere paint which is my favorite - very thick and metallic with great results.

and painted 
globs of paint on a piece of glass (left), took another piece of glass to lay on top to create the veining (right) and then printed it off by laying
 a piece of paper (Gen likes printed papers for more interest) on top OR
 a piece of fabric...both great results!
  A productive day...
and our 2 sweet doggies who loved being with us and guarding our work.
 So the results....I couldn't get to washing them out for busy stuff so just got to it. For me, some work and some do not. I think because the fabric is laying on paint which is laying on shave cream, there is not as much permeation of the paint into fabric. The sheers seem to be more successful which makes sense - sheers will absorb faster as they are thinner and don't require as much paint. But subtle is okay too, makes a nice backdrop or filler...
So would I do this again...maybe....a little more experimenting might be in the cards.