Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Grand Chickie

In hoor of daughter Curly's new additions (our grandchicks) and her birthday, I made a stuffed chicken from a Georgia Bonesteel pattern. The picture above are her (Chickie's, not Ms. Bonesteel's) legs. The instructions said to use yellow fabric and I happened to have corn (yellow, right?) fabric in my stash so - viola! - legs.

The comb and wattle (that hangy thingy under the beak for chicken virgins) called for red fabric. Again my stash had lovely red onion fabric which served the purpose well. The eyes called for buttons which I would have liked in red but my button stash is in very sad shape and the only two matching buttons an appropriate size I could find were brown (so she's a brown eyed girl!) but I sewed them on with red thread.

The beak needed to be yellow so I used more corny fabric (pun intended). The fabric for the body and wings, as you can see, has chickens on it.

Hubby contributed the egg (Formerly containing silly putty) full of $20 bills folded into 'pillow money'' size (a term I heard from a Marine during the Vietnam conflict at the Hollywood USO). Chickie turned out pretty nifty, was fairly easy to make - she only took about three hours and used totally about a fat quarter of fabric. She is about 9" tall. She is on her way to Montana and a happy town rancher's life!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Birdie's new coif

Here is Birdie's new do! It is pretty cute if I do say so myself. She traveled with me and #2 daughter to So Cal this evening. We stopped for dinner at guess where!

I came down to visit Mom and take her to the aforementioned baby shower. Pregnant pictures will follow soon.

So I am comfortably ensconced in #2s guest room - big comfy bed all to myself (no dog, cat, books, magazines, computer or sewing machine case to share with), lots of pillows, quiet and I can't sleep!

While making the baby quilt - a fairly mindless activity - I thought up four new quilt ideas! I know, that is not allowed this year as my New Year resolution was to finish all UFOs! Well, the baby quilt broke that rule without much fuss. I didn't resolve not to think of new quilts! So, because I can't sleep, I got out my purse sketchbook and pink pen and drew pictures of them and made notes to remind me what I want to do and what I need to know to do them. I even brought my 1000 Quilt Blocks book with me for research purposes!

I'm not buying fabric, cutting or sewing so I am being true to my resolution. Geez - it is only the end of March and I'm ready to go for something new. Maybe working on my very oldest UFO will feel new and satisfy my craving for different!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Birdie the lego woman goes hairless!

Poor Birdie was having a bad hair day and the icing on the cake was when her hair flew out the window of my truck! We were parked at *$s so I jumped out and looked all over for her long, lovely, thick, wavy, unstable hair. But, alas, it was nowhere to be found! So now what? Do I rename her "Chemo Lady"? "Smoothie Lady", "Billiard Ball Head Lady" "Slick" or what?

The problem was solved today, inadvertently, by the grandchild! GC's bedroom is FULLLLLL of legos. So many legos that playing with them would be overwhelming. In fact must be overwhelming because they aren't played with! So I rifled through them to find suitable headcovering for Birdie. I really loved the purple spiky one on a special punk lego that was in a special place on a bookshelf. But since it wasn't thrown in one of the giant bins of legos I figured it would be missed if I absconded with it. Then I looked for Hermione's hair (from the Harry Potter lego set) but couldn't find that one. Come to find out, it too, is in a special place and would be missed.

Kids are amazing, especially my GC. Every toy ever received is logged in the brain and missed immediately! Even if it has not been touched for years. What's up with that?

In pawing through another giant bin I came across a great pirate captain tricorn hat. Unfortunately there was only one of them...the purple-punk-hermione conundrum again! But there were several run-of-the-mill pirates with red bandanas that would work just fine. So Birdie can still be Birdie and looks quite chic in her new red bandana!

Tried to add that image and failed! Look for Birdie in the next post....

Friday, March 26, 2010

Baby Quilt

I managed to finish the baby quilt for the shower I am going to on Saturday! Stayed home all day Wednesday and worked on it from 7:30 in the morning until 8 o'clock at night. I barely stopped to eat! Wednesday was the very last chance I had to work on it and as usual a hard deadline put me in overdrive. My procrastination gene worked once again.

I'm very happy with the way it turned out. This is the fourth raggedy quilt I've made and the best I think. I bound this one and it makes it look so much better. I also did bias binding, a first for me! The bias binding was much easier than I thought it would be. The most fun part of this quilt was quilting the individual squares. putting it together was a drag. I always vow, when I've finished a raggedy quilt, that I will never make another one but After enough time passes (about two years) I have forgotten that vow and plunge in. I told my daughters I never want to make another so hopefully they will remind me if I forget!

Monday, March 22, 2010

More playing with new supplies

I've title this ATC "Itinerant Musician" . I got the idea for it from my watercolor a day calendar which Santa gave me for Christmas. My intent was to paint the daily lesson, every day. But the paper is too light to hold much water and I find I really like to do my own thing. So I occasionally pull the calendar out and set it to the correct date. In doing that this time I came across a painting like the one above, I think it was by Matisse, but now I can't find it in the calendar pages so I'm not sure. Anyway, my ATC is a knockoff of somebody elses painting.

But that isn't the point I want to make here! The other day when SBD and I were out and about she bought me a set of gouache paints and this is the first time I've used them. I found a clean palette which closes that is perfect for gouache and I was home alone so had the peace and quiete to work and 'Itinerant" is the result. I love the vibrant colors. I diluted the paint more than I had intended so it is like watercolor, well, it is watercolor - but opaque. Next time I intend to use it thicker so it is more like oil paint. Check back to see what happens!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Playing with new supplies!

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I got some new ink called 'Smooch". I've used it again here. I drew out this ATC in pencil then use India Ink and Smooch over the pencil. It is just freeform dots, arcs and lines. I am happy with the movement in the piece. And I like looking at it trying to pull out meaning from it. What do you think it means?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Double Wedding Ring in process

I laid out some of the arcs for the double wedding ring quilt I'm making just to show you how yummy they are! The only rule I had when I was putting them together was that the fist patch needed to be green. I had lots of greens so that was pretty easy. I thought I would add the patches in dark - light -dark - light but that pretty much went by the wayside as I progressed and scraps became more scarce!

I' really pleased with the job I did on them. So far, while trimming the paper off the pieces I have only found three that need to be fixed. One isn't finished - still need one more patch, and the other two have a patch each which are too small. The offending patches are the same fabric and I know what I was doing. My friend brought me some fabric last year from Australia and I was being conservative in its use. It turned out that I was penny-wise and pound foolish because now I have to cut two more pieces so I am ending up using twice as much! Use something else, you say? No, I want that fabric in the quilt. Hopefully I have learned a lesson! that makes it a good day, right?!!:)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Milk and cupcakes

I went over to Jazzy Crafts in Castro Valley the other day and looked around. Last time I was there I picked up some metallic rub-on which is lots of fun to use. I used it for the frosting on this cupcake and to enhance the cupcake paper. This time when I was ther I saw a bottle that looked like nail polish but it is metallic ink. The applicator is really neat. It is just like the one for my (seldom used) eyeliner. I got a bottle in an acid green color and I used it for the table top above. The stuff is called "Smooch". Try it, it is a lot of fun!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Drawing with my sewing machine

I mentioned the other day that I am making a quilt for my cousin's granddaughter who should be born soon. Yesterday I received the baby shower invitation and it has the new baby's name on it -Sequoia Grace. Quite an elegant name for a tiny baby! Grace was my cousin's name so I am pleased the parents decided to make that the babe's middle name.

the quilt I am making is a 'raggedy' quilt. I am quilting each patch as I go. When I starated it I was very inspired and started out making hearts to show the love behind the quilt.

Then I got a little more creative and made some stars. Those were pretty easy sooooo...

I tried a flower. It is a little wonky but can still be identified as a flower!

My next one is the man in the moon. Am not as happy with this one but I am pretty critical of my work so am leaving it in in the hopes that others will be a little more lenient with me!

I started a spiral but it turned into a snail!

Then Roxy, my dog, barked and she landed on a square, too!

I did a bicycle, some x's, a cat, a duck and some others but I'm on dial-up so it takes too long to upload.

Anyway, I am having fun with this project and it is moving along quickly. I am pretty sure I will have it done by the shower, a week from Saturday.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Newest grandkids

Our youngest daughter, Curly (not her real name but a description) recently became a chicken mom! I think all these lovelies are so sweet! Raising chickens in the suburbs seems to be the latest rage. If we were allowed to have livestock we, too, would have chickens. For now we have to just enjoy the new grands! Too bad they live in Whitefish, Montana.

My quilting buddy in Oakland has backyard chickens. too. She has Aracunas, a breed which lays already decorated eggs for Easter! They are speckled greeny-blue and all different.

When I was a kid my dad raised backyard chickens, too. They ate all our vegetable garbage and they laid jumbo brown eggs. My favorite eggs are still jumbo browns. The chickens were Rhode Island Reds and were about two and a half feet tall.

So is this trend towards backyard chickens one which reflects the state of our poor economy or a return to the earth movement? Is it a search for healthy, organic, antibiotic free eggs?

It is probably all of the above. Regardless of the reasons for the trend, I see an opportunity for a sewing project! Curly's birthday is the end of this month. In addition to the monetary gift we always give her, she is getting patchwork chickens!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rainy Day Coffee

Another rainy day, sitting at the coffee house in Berkeley, waiting for my Santa Barbara daughter to meet me so we can go scrapbook store shopping. Took BART to Berkeley and am really glad that I did. The rain is so bad that traffic looked ghastly from the train.

The scrap booking store is on 4th Street in Berkeley. The area has really undergone a change since I was last there (admittedly several years ago). There are lovely restaurants, great shops and revamped landscaping. The scrap booking store graciously stayed open a few minutes longer than usual (possibly seeing a large purchase looming!) and allowed SBD (Santa Barbara Daughter) to shop for lots of stuff for her paper addiction. After that we walked down the street and wandered into a toy store the likes of which are hardly ever seen any more. All kinds of goodies - marbles, kaleidoscopes, stick horses, block castles, mood rings and on and on and on. It was really fun to browse through both floors.

We toodled back up University in Smartypants (SBDs Smart Car convertible). As we passed Utrecht Art Supplies I mentioned the large rolls of watercolor paper available there. Smartypants pulled a U-turn, we found parking and went on another paper binge! SBD also purchased some gouache for me - which I haven't started using yet.

I plan to use the gouache on some ATCs. It handles similarly to oil paints when used full strength I have read and I am looking forward to that. Can't decide if I am going to use watercolor paper or get canvas paper. Any ideas out there in blogdom?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Khaloesque ATC

Recently I read a book review about a stash of new Freida Khalo art someone had found. After reading the review and comparing the art in that article with another book of Khalo's art I doubt (as did the reviewer) that this is really her art. Regardless, reading the article and thinking about Khalo I was inspired to draw the rather grotesque ATC above! The title is "Frieda as Amputated legs". I used my new prismacolor pens for this drawing and still really enjoy them. Last time I was at Aaron Brothers the pens were on sale so I got two more. Unfortunately, I didn't see that there were different sizes and one of the pens was super ultra fine - I don't like it as much as the medium ones I got. Oh well!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Double wedding ring in progress

Well, I'm quilting again! A few days of sunshine got me off my duff and working on this double wedding ring I started about a year and a half ago. I took the pattern off the internet - a free pattern provided by McCalls Quilting. I was laying it out here to see if I had enough foundation pieced arcs to do a full sized quilt.

It turns out that I needed seven more arcs to equal the 98 needed for the full quilt. In the next day and a half I made those seven and completed all the rest of the patches on the other arcs. I wasn't too impressed with the way they looked until I started trimming the paper down to the actual patch. Now they look like something I can be proud of . I used mostly scraps (some pieces were cut off new fat quarters because I thoughtlessly gave away my bin of scraps in a cleaning frenzy! Amazing how disparate pieces and colors come together to make a pleasing piece.

The second quilt I'm working on is a joyful one. My late, favorite girl cousin's daughter called last month and told me that she and her husband are pregnant! So, out the window went my resolve not to start any new quilts until all my UFOs are finished! I only have until the end of this month so it will be a quickie and it is almost half done. No pictures because I don't want Christina and Dan to see it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Creative Promt - Pear & quilty comments

I just finished reading artquiltmakers blog posts for March. One of her creative prompts is "Pear". I dug up this ATC (#2 in the series) because it has a pear in it. Should have checked to see if I had posted it already but didn't, oh well. When people look at it they alway ask what the writing says. The reason I write as I did on this is so it can't be read! I don't even remember what it says!

I like the movement and the 'story' in this card. It is a happy little piece.

Have been lax in making ATCs this week. Am working on a quilt project that has my attention. It is a full size double wedding ring! I did 60 of the 98 arcs for the rings in a day and a half. I am foundation peicing it so it is relatively easy. I realized that I am going through a traditional pattern phase of my quilting. The last one I made was a pineapple pattern and the one before a Grandmother's Flower Garden (which was HUGE!). After finishing each one I swore I wasn't going to do another traditional quilt but I keep doing them!? What is that about?

Today I checked Terri Thayer's (she was a guest at artquiltmaker's birthday party) mystery novel out of the library. Before the first chapter is a Flying Geese quilt block. Crazy woman that I am I had a great desire to put them in the quilt I am making for the step-grandchild! That is another traditional block........I guess I'm not done with traditional quilts.

Anyway, the double wedding ring presents a quilting challenge because I am so short of space. My daughter suggested that I try Georgia Bonesteel's "Quilt as You Go" technique. That sounds like just the ticket!

I didn't think much of the arcs as I was making them but now that I am trimming them they look pretty good. I've only found three that I have to fix - was too stingy with the fabric and it doesn't cover the seam lines :( - oh well! Haven't downloaded pictures of the DWR in process yet. Will soon so you can see it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Newest ATCs

Here are some of my most recent ATCs. I've posted them together because I am so behind in my blogging!

The bubbles is a happy little card, not much to make it stand out. After I had colored all the bubbles using a mini case of color pencils I carry in my purse I finished a few of them with prismacolor wax markers. Then I took a silver prismacolor pencil and covered the whole thing. The bubbles that I used prismacolors on turned dark when covered with the silver pencil! That was a surprise. I worked them over with an eraser and got a little of the darkness off but it didn't erase totally. Next time I want silver I am going to use the metallic rub-ons. By the way, I have only seen the metallic rub-ons at Jazzy Crafts in Castro Valley.

The very modern art one is also a favorite. I used markers, an old set that I have had forever (or at least 15 years) I really like the vibrant colors and how easy it is to make straight lines!

My sweet puppy (she's actually five years old but we still call her a puppy) was curled up in my lap one evening and I made her the subject of "Let Lying Gods Sleep". Media-wise this ATC was a lot of fun to make. I started out with pencil and something called metallic rub-ons and smushed them together for her body. Left the paper to show through for her white spots and rubbed with tissue the pencil on her head. Used color pencil for the background and rubbed the whole thing with silver metallic rub-ons. The text is ink. I think this is one of my favorite ATCs so far this year.

The sunshine one was done on the first sunny day in what felt like MONTHS! I even was bold enough to use another medium - oil pastels. They are fun to use because they can be manipulated with pencil erasers, tissues, cotton swabs (do you see how I am carefully avoiding trade names?!) fingers, knives and about anything else one can come up with. I didn't use terp or alcohol or nail polish remover but those make interesting effects, too. Use lots of ventilation, no flame and some caution using those liquids. This ATC makes me happy to look at and reminds me that the '...Sun will come out tomorrow...' (actually, it is supposed to rain :( !).

These four ATCs go together, I realized as I was writing this because I used different mediums and techniques. Now I need to get on-line and find that gallery, call them and see if it is possible to have and ATC show. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Birdie at the races

We had a wonderful day last week - dear friends invited us to lunch at the Turf Club at Golder Gate Fields. The day was beautiful - clear and sunny - we could see four bridges and SF and Marin. It was cold but the Turf Club is inside so that didn't matter.

I love the horses and usually bet on the color of the horse! I had spoken earlier to my Mom who goes the the races at Santa Anita with her Senior Center. She said she bets on the jockeys - picking ones who are good but haven't won recently. I couldn't tell who had won recently so I picked the second best in the first race and won! The next race had a beautiful dapple gray mare and I just had to bet on her - she was too beautiful to not get my vote of confidence. I think she is still running.........

Didn't like those results so went back to my jockey formula. Ended up winning something in every race! Ended the day a few bucks ahead. Was so pleased with myself that Saturday I bought a lotto ticket. Really should check to see if I have won the $14 million. I could get wifi for my computer and maybe even get a TV!

Monday, March 8, 2010

There are no birds in those trees!

My new friend, Birdwatcher Woman (Birdie for short) and I went to In 'N Out for dinner after Creativity Day. Birdie and her sister, Walkie Talkie Woman (WalkTalk for short) were party favors at Artquiltmakers birthday party. WalkTalk is permanently fixed to my wonky altered mirror but Birdie travels with me in my purse. I have been encourage to post the women on my facebook account (I'm Peggy Carroll on facebook - don't ask!) but as I am on dial-up (now fixed hurrah!) facebook isn't an option unless I am at my daughter's or in the office. I'll be working in the office stedily come April so perhaps more facebook is in my future!

Anyway, hope you have enjoyed meeting Birdie. Look forward to her future adventures!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Creativity Day

Sincere apologies for not posting in such a long time. Between the rain and the squirrels my phone line has been acting strangely and sometimes not working at all. When I go online (yes, I'm still on dial-up!) the phone cuts out and throws me off-line. Very frustrating. Today I am visiting my eldest child and using the grandchild's computer. I have to work fast because the child will be homesoon and gravitate immediately to the machine! My daughter, artquiltmaker, had her birthday party at A Work of Heart in San Jose. We made altered mirrors. Everyone but yours truly followed directions and made lovely pieces. I just couldn't bring myself to do the orderly, neat, mirror! So, above you see the wonky altered mirror that I made. It is hanging in my bedroom where I can see it when I wake up and I just love how happy I feel when I see it! To see the 'correct' way to make an altered mirror see artquiltmaker's blog.

For a couple of hours of relaxation and fun get a group together and go play at A Work of Heart!