Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Polka Dots and Stripes!

The place mats are FINALLY done! Whew! A set of 8 lovely place mats for my dear Mother in Law. I just hopes she finds them as wonderfully fun as I do.
Place Mats
The polka dot place mats got a small black and white gingham check for the backs.
Polka Dot Place Mat
The striped ones got a plain black Kona cotton back.
Stripes Place Mat
I used a bit of interfacing inside to give them some weight, but they are still flat enough that a glass will not tip. I like how they turned out and may make myself some after the holidays.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

WIP Sunday: A Very Productive Day Indeed!

Happy Sunday to you all. The holiday is coming to an end and the left overs are almost gone. Time to get back into the work week too. (boooooo)
I had a very productive day today! I woke up early and was in a creative type of mood. I worked on a fairy painting I plan to give as a gift. Here is a little sneak peek. She's far from finished.
WIP Fairy
I'm hoping to take the new e course Tam is offering over on her ning site. It is magical, mythical, makings! Fairies, unicorns, and goddesses, oh my! This fairy is a little experiment to keep me warmed up for the class.

I also managed to cut and sew blocks for those gifts for my friends! I may be spoiling the gifts as I think at least one of them read the blog, but they better just forget what they see if they know what's good for them! I'm making five. I managed to get everything cut for all of them and one sewn together. It isn't finished yet as it needs some embellishing.
WIP Notebook Holders
I also finished reading a book today!
Whew! I'm beat! Off to think of cooking super.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Look What Arrived Here!

Today is a magical sort of day. I'm not expecting anything important in the mail at the moment so I was mightily surprised when I returned from a bit of black Friday shopping to see the flag up on my mail box. I hadn't put anything in there, so what could it be? A box full of wonderful jammed into my mailbox from none other than the fantastically magical Knickertwist!
I will admit I shed a few tears at the thoughtfulness that was in this little box. It just warms my heart to know that people think of others in this way! What was in this box of wonderful you ask?
Knicker had mentioned she was going to send me a wee fairy abode, but I didn't ever in my wildest imagination think it would be captured under glass!
Fairy Home In A Dome
I also found some other wee goodies. Two tiny canvases for me to paint, that green bit with buttons is a scrappy little journal for me to fill with wishful doodles, a beautiful victorian cabinet card of a lovely pup, and a gorgeous fairy journal for my curiosity cubby!
Super Surprise Package
Here is a close up of one of my fave pages in the fairy book. A lovely little illustration done in a carefree hand.
Fairy Journal
Certainly last, but not least is someone who came along for the ride. Why it is Baron Von Kringlemas! One of Knicker's fabulous elves!
Baron Von Kringlemas
I can tell you that he will be included in many Yuletide celebrations to come. I think the Baron will create a tradition of his own when we have a wee one in the house.
I don't know how to thank Knickertwist enough for her generous heart and lovely surprise. I'm totally touched! Thanks Knicker for making my day bright and my heart smile.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving! It is that time of year again, when just thinking about Christmas stresses me out and hoping for a peaceful holiday is the best I can do. I thought I'd put that aside today and work on being thankful for all of the wonderful things in my life. I try to pick something each day, and think of it right before sleep, that I'm thankful for. Most days it is small things, like making it through work, getting a good hug, a wonderful conversation, ect. Today it is time to think of big picture things I'm thankful for.

My adorable Hubby!
#2 My Furry Monster!

#3 My amazingly loving family. (Which I sadly have no actual group photos of.)

#4 My super supportive friends. (Again no decent pics, but you know who you are!)

#5 Creativity and the ability to express myself.
Love Art

#6 My home.

#7 The chance to reach out and help others.

#8 My wonderful bloggy, Craftster, and Flickr friends!

The art center I get to stay active in!
James Memorial Art Center

#10 Living each day to the fullest and knowing that tomorrow will be just as wonderful!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My New Stocking!

I received my new stocking in the mail today from Meg. It is so fantastic! My childhood stocking is slowly disintegrating so this is the perfect time to tuck it away for safe keeping and put up my new super cute stocking! I'm even more excited to decorate than ever!
My New Stocking!
I'm glad I had something to cheer me up when I got home from work. I'm starting to come down with a cold and it is really bumming me out!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

WIP Sunday: Please Let It End!

The kitchen remodel is really starting to feel never ending. I know I'll be so happy when it is done, but I'm hating the waiting part! Our last cupboard is still roaming around the country on a big truck with no definite date it will arrive. It is holding up the entire process! The hubby managed to start the floor prep in the dining room. The floor will only take a couple evenings to complete. I'm going to go buy paint next weekend and get that done and out of the way! I really want my house back! It needs a good cleaning and then I can start decorating for the holidays. The cleaning will take a week or more since I haven't been able to clean properly since we started to tear up the kitchen. So much dust and furniture everywhere!
Here is an in progress shot of the kitchen. That is our dining room table shoved in there filled with boxes of food that can't be put away with out the pantry that is on a world tour. See the gaping space on the right by the door way? That is where the pantry goes!
Kitchen WIP
After boring you to death with my kitchen woes I'll show you what is up next on the gift list. I have 3 wonderful friends that I get together to have coffee and quilt with on a regular basis. I bought this fabric to make them each something for Christmas. I can't say what I'm making as I think at least one of them reads this blog!
Coffee Gals Fabric
Oh, and the peacock quilt is off to the quilters hopefully tomorrow!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Angelic Finish

I am done with the last weeks assignment in the Art, Heart, and Healing course over on ning. I'm so sad to see it end. Luckily Tam is going to keep the group open and post additional lessons every few months and also invite guest teachers to post free lessons! I know I'll stay active on the ning site and I hope to get to take another of Tam's courses in the new year.
This weeks assignment was an invitation angel. Inviting needs to be met. I picked a rather simple need. The need for peace. It means so many things to me. Peaceful time alone, peaceful time with family, inner peace, and peace of mind. They are all basic things that everyone needs. The pictures don't do the angel justice as the lighting is terrible, but I couldn't wait for sunshine
to share!
Be At peace
I'm so happy with my face shading I must share a close up of her face. I'm still struggling with the eyes sometimes, but I'm so happy with this angel.
Angel Face Close Up
I used a lot of different mediums on this piece, but the most fun was the texture paste. I didn't have access to buy any at the time so I made my own. I dumped a bunch of baking soda into some gesso and ta da! It looks wonderful and is keeping well for future projects.
Angel Wing Texture
I'm undecided if I'm going to keep this angel or pass her on to someone for a gift. I have a feeling I'll be venturing out into fairies soon! Tam's course has inspired me and given me a whole new confidence in drawing faces and getting the shading right too. Tam's generous heart is the most inspiring thing of the whole course. Her wonderful spirit, patience, and gentle advice are priceless.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Little House

I jumped at the chance to get to do more stained glass at the art center this week. We did a project where each person made two sun catchers. One is to be left at the art center to decorate the newly renovated art class room space, and the other to take home and enjoy. I didn't get a picture of the one I made to leave at the art center, but I will snap one when the art room is finished and they are all hung in the windows. My Mom, Aunt, and Uncle did the project with me so my family will be well represented in the windows of the art center!
This is the little abstract house I made to take home. It will live in the kitchen window when the kitchen is finished.
Little House Sun Catcher
The idea was to make something from abstract pieces of glass. A good way to use up odd shaped pieces. I just was feeling a bit more literal than abstract and the pieces for this little house were just laying out in front of me. Here is a shot of it in my front window. Sadly, there isn't much sun here today, but you can see the colors and the textures of the glass.
Little House in the Window
I can't wait to put it up in the kitchen window and see it on a nice bright day!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

WIP Sunday: Moving Along!

I really am making some progress with the Holiday gifts! I'm really feeling good about how things are going. Yes, I have a lot more things on the list, but things are coming together swimmingly.
First off, the peacock quilt top is done! Yay! Just need to press it out one last time, measure, and put my backing together. Then it is off to the long arm quilter for quilting! Then back to me for the dreaded binding. This quilt is pretty large, for a double bed, but so pretty! I think I'll have it quilted in a feather pattern. I couldn't get a decent pic as it is pretty dreary out and I don't have a place big enough to spread this out right now!

Peacock Quilt Top
I'm also working on a special pillowcase for a special family member. My Great Aunt has a son that is handicapped and he loves the Steelers so I thought a pillowcase would be a fun gift for him. I'll have a bit of fabric left over of each color so I'm trying to think of some other little thing I can make up for him.

WIP Pillowcase
The place mats still aren't finished! I swear I will get the backs on them before next weekend! LOL The other giant WIP I have is still our kitchen remodel. Turns out the pantry we had to re order because of the companies mess up is now riding around the country in a semi. They loaded it first instead of last so it gets a trip around the country before it can get brought to my house!It won't be delivered until the day after Thanksgiving. We put away as much of our kitchen as we could today so at least things are in the cabinets we have! The Hubby took the week off this week to start on the floor! I'm so excited! We'll have it done before Christmas so I guess that is all that matters. I'll do a WIP pic of the kitchen next week!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Empathy Monster!

I just finished the final stage of week 3's assignment for the art, heart, and healing course I'm taking over on ning, with Willowing (Tam).
The goal was to make an empathy monster. Someone to tell things too and he'll never judge or nay say. I rarely make things for myself so this was a nice project. It was hard to let go of the perfection complex and just make something silly and funky. I started judging how he looked and then realized that was what I was supposed to be learning from the project! No judging or making myself feel bad! So here he is in all his imperfect glory.
Empathy Monster
In the end I'm very pleased with him and I realize he doesn't need to be perfect. He is mine and I'm not perfect either.
A little close up of his cutesy face. I really like his mouth zipped open, but forgot to take a pic of him that way.

Empathy Monster Close Up
He doesn't have a name yet, so I'm open to suggestions. Does anyone hear him yelling a name?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Another Altered Board Book Spread

Week 3's assignments for the Art, Heart, and Healing class are so fun! I just finished another spread in my altered board book. This spread is all about celebration.
I celebrate: family, my soul mate, creating art, learning new things, quiet me time, amazing supportive friends, furry monster, making a difference, my inner ninja pirate.
Some silly and some very important things.
Celebration Altered Board Book Spread
A close up of the left side of the page where I'm celebrating my soul mate.
Celebrating My Soul Mate
Here is a close up of the right side where I'm celebrating my furry monster.

Celebrating My Furry Monster
I loved doing this spread the most I think. Letting the good things come out really feels nice. Next up I get to make an empathy monster! Sewing! My favorite!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Week 3 Assignment Part 1

I started the Art, Heart, and Healing week 3 assignment today. I managed to get through the first part. I finished the cover of my altered board book.
I'm calling the book "soul search".
Soul Search
A close up of the quote tag I made. I found the quote by Henry Ellis online and really thought it went with the theme of this book.
Quote Tag

Step 2 of week 3's assignment is to do another spread in my book! How fun!

Monday, November 8, 2010


I joined in the modern stocking swap on flickr awhile back and decided to go with something fun and non traditional. I drew out my own stocking pattern and got to work.
I used vintage chenille, two different Amy Butler fat quarters, vintage pom pom trim, and rick rack. I love how it turned out and was sad to see it sent away.
Modern Stocking Swap
Here is a close up of the strip pieced heel portion. I used the rick rack over the seam on heel and toe. The stocking is also fully lined in a white muslin. It is about 17 inches long and has a 7 inch top opening. Great for filling full of holiday cheer!

Stocking Close Up

Sunday, November 7, 2010

WIP Sunday: Peacock Quilt

Remember those strips of fabric I showed a while back on a WIP Sunday? Well they are starting to take form as a quilt! I sewed strip sets together and sub cut them down. It is a Chinese coin quilt loosely based on a very vague pattern I found online. In between each of these rows of "coins" will be a 2 inch sashing. the entire quilt will then have a 4 inch boarder around the whole thing. I'm loving how the blues and green are coming together. The back of the quilt will be some fabulous peacock fabric. I'm going to have it professionally quilted. I hope she can do some feather type quilting to it in some variegated thread!
I also got to take the two hour trip to the craft store yesterday and I got the interfacing I need to finish up the polka dot and stripe place mats!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Buckeye Beauty Quilt

My very first quilt is done! I've posted about it a few times as it has been a LONG work in progress, but last night I finished hand sewing the last 12 inches of binding. Whew!
It is an overdue gift to my Mom. (Mother's Day and Birthday)
I'm so proud to have finished it! Mom already loves it.
Buckeye Beauty
Here is a peek of the back. It has a strip of the cream colored fabric running through a matching green with cream polka dot. You can also see the quilting well in this pic. I had it professionally done by a local long arm quilter. I love the leaf pattern she helped me choose.

Buckeye Beauty Quilting
The binding was probably the most time consuming part of the entire quilt! I'm a very slow hand stitcher. I'm super proud that I did it all and I love the way the stripe binds the quilt.
Buckeye Beauty Binding
I can't believe I made it! On to the next one! What an addicting, but time consuming hobby!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Week 2's Assignment

I have to share the second part of week two's assignment for the class I'm taking over on ning. I shared the first spread in my altered board book about me and this is my second spread in that book. We were supposed to choose a childhood trauma. I was bullied in school much like many other children. Something that stands out to me is when I wasn't allowed to jump rope with the other girls. I was a tomboy so playing with the boys didn't bother me, but sometimes because of it the girls wouldn't let me play. Don't get me wrong I did get to jump rope at times, but I was always disappointed when I wasn't allowed to join in. Just seemed like something I could put on to the page. If you'd like to see it larger you can visit my flickr page.

Altered Board Book Spread 2

A close up of the the rope turner and me jumping. I used book pages in the background and my new water soluble crayons.

Whimsy Girls Close Up
Here is a close up of the other rope turner.
Whimsy Girl Close Up
It was a fun spread to do and I'm feeling much better about my people drawing abilities. The whimsy style is so fun to play with.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A little Haunting A Bit Late

I taught a wonderful class at the art center for Halloween. I found the cutest chipboard houses available from a wonderful seller on Etsy and couldn't resist ordering some for the kids to put together and decorate. Here is the Etsy seller: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RetiredLetsDoLunch
The shop is so full of fun chipboard stuff to make pretty! They even did a bulk order for me to save money since I was doing the class on a tight budget at the local art center. Wonderful seller and everyone should check her out.
This is my house that I made as an example for the kids to see. They turned out so fun! I wish I would have gotten some pics of the kids finished pieces, but sadly I forgot my camera!
Here is the front of my haunted house. I made mine pretty fancy with the scalloped cut pieces and such. Most kids just went for simple. I also used ink to grunge mine up a bit. I couldn't resist.
Haunted House Front
Here is a side shot. I have to show this from all angles because I'm just so happy with how it turned out. Check out that little gable!
Haunted House Side
Here is a back yard shot complete with a trio of gravestones! Spooky!
Haunted House Back
Each artist in the class also got a battery operated tea light to add that spook factor. You can peek at my flickr for a pic of my house all lit up.
All of the wonderful papers were also purchased on Etsy from some of my favorite paper sellers. Everyone should browse these shops for some wonderful selections of papers at great prices.