Monday, June 19, 2017

A Busy 10 Days

The past 10 days have been packed with activities and traveling about the area. 
First off I attended the Second Saturday Spinners. This is a study group within PFAG. I purchased a uniquely embellished drop spindle from Madelaine and she got me started on the process. At first my yarn was pretty interesting, to say the least. It's a thick 'n thin art yarn, right?
On Wednesday I went to Orangeburg for the final night of VBS. George was taking some photos. I decided to 'tend to my spinning project. Within the short time I had, I got a bit better. I'm pleased with my progress. 
On Monday I worked on using up some of the strips I've cut. I have a plan, but I'm not sure it will come together the way I want it to. So far this is where it is. And that one lone strip to the left is the only one left of my 1&1/2" strips! The green is a large piece I use as a backdrop for some of my pictures. 
I also worked on getting 5 kid sized quilts done for a family in another town. Just wanted those kids to know somebody cares. 
Tuesday was George's Birthday. We went to Palmetto Flats, here in Summerville, on Monday night. Had a delicious meal. And wouldn't you just know it, Tuesday morning we went to Sunshine Bistro for breakfast. It's fun being retired, and not worrying about enjoying life too much!

On Thursday, I went into People, Places, and Quilts.  We had a rug hooking get together. And we'll be there again this week. When you enjoy things you just like to be busy doing them. My hooks came in this week, along with some other supplies so I should be ready for our next time together. 
That evening we had a meeting of the Low Country Fiber Arts Guild. This is a new group that's meeting in Summerville. Lots of great people and creative ideas. Prior to this meeting I had a brainstorming session with Pam. She and I are diligently putting together a special presentation for 2018. I'll share more info as we get things wrapped up. It's all very exciting. 

On Saturday the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild met at the Fabulon Studio on Wappoo Road. It was our Charity Stitch day. It's always so interesting to hear about everyone's activities that bring them a sense of helping others. I shared the 'ripping and rolling' of bandages for developing countries. Other organizations/activities included Homeless Veterns issues, Knitted Knockers, and Locks of Love. 

Today has found me posting to the PFAG blog, doing my laundry, lunch at the clubhouse, hanging curtains on my screen porch, and I even have invested some time cleaning up my inbox,, funny how it gets junked up. And obviously I'm writing this blog post as well as remaking beds, folding undies, etc etc ! 

It's close to 3:30 and I hope to get the rugs washed before going to my sewing room and investing more thought into that 1&1/2" strip quilt. I have 2", 2&1/2", and some even larger strips yet to make use of. If I get any significant progress made before I publish this post, I'll add a picture. 

Until the next time,
Let's Create Today!

Friday, June 9, 2017

June 1-10 Accomplishments & 4,000,000 stitches

A third of the way through June and I've been busy. Photo collages with info below each. 
I've been trying several techniques for salvaging those old vinyl covered 3-ring binders. I'm not fond of the vinyl, but let's face it, they're a lot cheaper than a Kraft finish one. Not to mention easier to find! So, I started out by grabbing two very old ones. I gessoed one, then tried using CitraSolve and a page out of a National Geographic on one cover. The other cover I applied some texture medium through a stencil to the gessoed area. That side also got a coat of grey chalk paint and a sprinkling of glitter. I was less than happy with either side. So, today, I trimmed that vinyl off and worked with Heat 'n Bond Ultra. That's the stuff that says right on the package to NOT try to sew thru it! I used it to adhere decorator cloth to the outside and a piece of cotton (complete with pocket) to the inside. If you try this, remember that you will have 3 separate pieces once the vinyl is removed. Allow a smidge of space between the covers and the ring portion to make closing your new binder possible. Yes, even though I don't like vinyl, I did apply iron on vinyl to my pocket area. This is an adventure/experiment. I'm quite pleased with my results, but there are a few things I will do differently on the next one. Which will be the one that has a napkin applied to one side and a piece of silk fusion to the other. I used ModPodge on that one. I wanted to know if it would peel off, like sunburnt skin, once it was dry. It doesn't.  But, I'm not thrilled with the outcome on that one either. So, another creative experiment coming soon,,,

I wanted you to be able to see each of the three embroidered pieces in this row I received from a friend. We've been doing a row swap for 18 months. There were 18 of us at the start, most have stayed. We tried to make it easy by letting people send a strip of fabric, if life got in the way. I had challenges early on, so I sent out a few rows, hand dyed or painted fabrics, or Spoonflower printed pieces. Everyone seemed to be ok with how I needed to handle my rows. Actual size of a row was to be 6 1/2" X 36 1/2". One of the people trading said she thought she might make a bog coat from hers, so there were a few variations done with that knowledge. Each month we had one row to make for a designated person. I'm short a few rows and I know that people are still trying to catch up. I haven't decided yet just how I will use all of mine. I'll post a picture of all of them once I get started. 

Some of my grandkids are into scrap booking, so I've gone thru my stash to share. I found a 12" square scrapbook with 24 page holders for Myriah and used some vinyl iron on to mount her embroidered name to the spine. Then there's her little brother. Well, Junior isn't so little. He turned 7 back in February. The family is very artsy-craftsy so I figured I'd send a smaller one along for him. His is 8" square, with 10 page holders. I trimmed scrapbook paper to fit inside each of those page protectors for both kids. They'll be able to get crafting just as soon as they get the box opened. 

I quilted up 2 more quilts for The Ducks. They are making these for a local facility. I'm glad I can be of help. I did not run out of bobbin thread on the last quilt. What a blessing to get to the end, and find that small amount still on the bobbin. I've now gone over 4,000,000 lifetime stitches on my longarm machine. It's fun to keep track of how many stitches each quilt takes. It also helps me know which designs are time and thread intensive. I don't quilt for $$ any more, but I still keep track of it like a business. Old habits die hard, but then, I'm not trying to kill this one anyhow. 

My friend Pam made Fred (that little 'owl head' that's peeking out of G's pocket). She has this lovely spinning wheel for sale. I know better than add another piece of equipment (and hobby), but if I was in the market for one, this is a beauty! I was messing around on the backside of my tablecloth the other day. I used ordinary colored pencils and fabric medium to check out another creative adventure ive been thinking about. So far, yes, it will. However, I haven't heat set or laundered it. I'll keep you posted on how things turn out after those 2 steps are done. And last, but I hope not least,,,.  G is going to be taking photographs of the church family in Orangeburg for the 2017 directory. I was his model. He needed to have a 'live body' for adjusting the settings on the camera as well as the soft boxes (that's these contraptions that have flashes go off inside but you don't get any flash in your eyes). The photo of me was the one my friends and family agreed they liked the best. It was the one when I smiled at G, cuz he said we were just about finished. I was getting a bit bored with the whole thing. If only one of my grandkids had been here. They would have been posing for hours for him. I just wanted to get back to my crafting,, and that's where I'm heading now. 

Have a blessed day and create something uniquely yours! 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Review

May was a month of adventures.
A day at Folly Beach gave me some interesting images for future art projects. 
Got this picture in of Myriah finding the first 4 leaf clover, and the first 5 leafer, of the season. Isn't she adorable? She has a very inquisitive mind and can drive people half crazy with questions, but I love that about her. 
Had the house power washed and gave Mr. Richard a little something extra. He has been an admirer of my hand dyed cloth pieces ever since I met him. So, while he cleaned, I mounted this small piece onto stretcher bars for his office. He said that in the landscape orientation it looked like water in a pool. He preferred the portrait orientation as it brought out the feeling of trees by the waters edge. Cool,,,
I finished a Kumihimo key chain that was started at last month's meeting of the Palmeeto Fiber Arts Guild. Thanks Kathy for helping us learn the technique. The hubster and I filled 2 bags and a box with clothing that we took to our local Goodwill store. I received another quilt from the 'Ducks' to be longarm quilted and finished it off quickly. I do enjoy quilting things with a lot of colors and varied fabric patterns. The last image below is of our screen porch. We had it repainted after the cleaning. 
I had a super fun day at Pam's house, with her and Bev. Pam lead us in an adventure with felting wool roving over a vinyl circle, both sides each got several layers. We then mashed it, rolled it, and beat the ever lovin' out of it. A lot of excitement happened, as we cut a hole in one side, pulled that vinyl disc out, and started the felting of the inside. What a terrific day we had. 
And because I had so much fun, I just had to try something further a few days later. I'll just say that I have a long way to go to be 'good' at this but,, I'm already enjoying it immensely. Thanks Pam. 
I've been working on 4 small quilt tops. Third image is an improv piece that I have been using up the bits and pieces from the other three, 36x48 is the size I want all of them to finish at. No quilting until I can be ready with all 4 to go on the longarm at once. These will be for charity situations so I usually just do a very basic edge to edge design to get them done. I don't hand stitch the binding, it would slow down the other areas that I enjoy so much more. 
Pam came over for a day of ice dyeing 
and these were her pieces. 
I enjoyed those color combos of Pam's so much that I decided to take her green/blue/yellow grouping and try some pieces for myself. I did add Amber to the mix she used on hers. Did almost the same patterning, but they always come out unique one of a kind pieces. I love the serendipity of it. 
I've been working on preparing books, boxes, and vinyl 3-ring binders for some upcoming projects. 
Trying to see what techniques work and which ones aren't going to make the cut. CitraSolve probably not, it dissolved some of my gesso! Modeling paste, although I like texture, another probably not, as it'll tend to get worn off. The lower two images are of the vinyl binder that I applied ModPodge to. I was concerned that it may just peel off like a sunburn. I was pleasantly surprised this morning to find that I'd have to work at getting it off. Yeah, this will work. Then I used more as the glue and top coat for a piece of my silk fusion and the top layer of a napkin. I used this technique on the shells a month ago. However, this time I didn't tear my napkins into small pieces and it's pretty obvious by the wrinkles. I may go back in and add more memorabilia to disguise those lines, but maybe I'll do a dry brush effect over them with a soft taupe, or maybe,,,,   I bet you can come up with a few options also. Leave them in the comment section and we'll see where it goes. 
This post would not be complete with out some special acknowledgements. First image is off a beautiful wooden ring holder and box, turned by Bob from Orangeburg. It is sitting in front of the 2 dragonfly canvases Heather painted for me. I am so blessed with creative family and friends. Then there are 12 envelopes filled with fabric 'candy' that will go out to the far corners of the world. I did this as a blessing to a new friend. The owl fabric was found on my way to one of my guild meetings. I'm not sure exactly what it's final use will be, but there is at least one grandchild that has her eye on it. 
And the last image. It was a gift from my husband. I've wanted to take 'real' art lessons since I was in 8th grade. That's over 50 years ago! I want to be able to draw what I see and be able to recognize it 2 days later, lol. There are 36 lectures, with assignments. I'll be sharing my progress during the year. 
May was a fun filled month. 
June is on the horizon and I'm giving a little thought to posting the intention list again. I'm sure some of them are pretty obvious: drawing, finishing those charity quilts, making 4 more charity quilts with a bit more masculine feel to them, journal covers from old books, more silk fusion, another felted wool item. Oh my, this list is only the tip of the iceberg! Well, it's June tomorrow, I say, "let's melt an iceberg"!
Have a creative day, Luann. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

April Review

May 8th, already? April passed with the speed of lightning for me. I'm counting on May to regroup and get back into my 'creativeness'. I enjoyed many days in April with family and friends. Here are some of the highlights.
I used some paste papers to cover a composition book, a gift for a friend. 

Processed through some of the exercises in the Creative Strength Training course I'm taking online with Jane Dunnewold and her daughter Zenna.  I used Pics Art, a free app, to do the manipulations. 

Started pulling the rows together that I have received, from around the world. We had 18 participants exchanging 6 1/2" by 36" rows, or pieces of fabric if they opted for the alternative. 

Myriah and family added chickens and ducks to the farm. 

Call and Response Challenge 2017 bags were prepared and handed out at the PFAG meeting. I have several yet to be given out. We had a great time last year doing it.  This year's bags have only one item the same in all of them, last year they were identical. The finished pieces will be revealed in the fall. If you want more info on how this works, let me know. Or, if you want to be included and get one of the goody bags, I can mail it out. Send me a message if you are interested. 

The Charleston Modern Quilt Guild requested all members to make a 12", finished size, black and white block. I call my block, Hexed Half Hexies. I was gone on meeting day so I'll get it turned in this month. I don't know what they'll be making with them, but I'm sure it'll be interesting. 

We returned to the Midwest for some time with family and friends. Miss Hannah ended up with Strep, and a week or so later lost a tooth. She is such a trooper, was sad that their time with us was cut short, but I'm glad no one else came down with it. And modern medicine took care of it quickly. 
We always enjoy spending time with everyone.
Swans on the side of the road in the UP of Michigan. 
Gifts are made and exchanged. We had a great time decorating shells. I was too busy to get any snapshots. Heather is quite the artist, and she knows I love dragonflys and damselflys. Yes, there is a distinct difference between the two. 
Wendy has been a special person in my life for about 18 years, love her as though she was born to me. 
And the youngsters made us some special gifts too. 

Snow in Michigan and beautiful weather in Berea, Kentucky. I enjoy looking at snow, but prefer to leave the shoveling to others. 
Columbus, Indiana is a city we stop in for a cup of coffee. We then capture a few interesting images before continuing on our way. 

After returning home we enjoyed a few hours at the beach and checking out the flowers in our yard. 
Myriah and her Dad went to the Daddy -Daughter Dance. 
And I just finished wrapping this piece onto the stretcher bars for Richard, the man that power washes my house. He has been a fan of my work ever since I met him, 3+ years ago. 

Not sure which direction he will hang it, but that's the beauty of the piece. And my walls are painted China Doll, a beige that just stays in the background unless I'm taking pictures,,,

Well, I'm off to get the bedding into the dryer and make some lunch. I'm not posting the intentions for May, as they are mostly related to 'cleaning and decluttering'. Oh, no, I just got another phone call from someone that's downsizing. Unlike last May and June, this lady assures me she does NOT have 30 plus boxes for me to find homes for. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

March Review

This month certainly went by fast. I'm in a cogitation mode this month. I've spent time reflecting and just letting the creative portion of my brain relax. I realized that I haven't been up to my usual activities. I spent a little time looking at what's been getting my attention. These are the 'happenings' for March. 

Rec'd some sewing room supplies from Craftsy. 
Made some paste papers. These were part of an online course I'm taking, Creative Strength Training with Jane Dunnewold and daughter Zenna. 
I was trying to get the label off this bottle by using water from my coffee maker. Not the best idea. 
I visited Magnolia Plantation and Gardens before the freezing temps we had for a few days. 
We spent some time in Columbia, SC visiting the Riverbanks Zoo, Botanical Gardens, and walked along the Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park. 

I received a lovely Hydrangea from my neighbor, a new iPad (with pencil and keyboard), and a driveway greeting card for my birthday.  I put that camel picture in just for Myriah to enjoy!

I literally tore up 4 sheets, and rolled them into bandages for missions. 127 were made this time. 

I'm accomplishing my tasks for Basic Crazy Quilting Course #2 with Kathy Shaw. I pulled together some color groupings, did some color seeds work, and then pulled the final pieces for my crazy quilt block. I'm thru task #7 and my next step is to choose some trims and laces. That is a bit difficult for me, but I'll get it done before I run out of time. 
I decided to capture those paste papers onto fabric. I'll be using the paper or the fabric on the composition books I sanded and painted with gesso. I also got my shells out of the bleach bath, rinsed, and once dry they will be ready to have a coat of mineral oil rubbed into them. I want to take some of these on vacation to have the grandkids mod podge napkins onto them. 
I also volunteered to do the long arm quilting of this beautiful quilt that the Ducks made. My stitches are indistinguishable on that paisley print that they gave me for the backing. 90,638 stitches on this one. 
I've also gotten the PFAG workshop budget, trifold brochure, and acknowledgement letter done. 
I wish that all of you lived close enough to come to this. We would have a such a wonderful time together. But, alas, we are all over this big world of ours. Maybe, someday,,,

The hubby got the sink cutout from my new granite counters put onto an heirloom of mine. 

We have spent time with family and friends. The Summerville Orchestra's presentation called March Madness was superb, as usual. We have a new conductor, young and full of energy! He's a delight to be around even if you see him at Coastal Coffee Roasters having a cup of,,,
St. Paul's Tearoom offered some great food again this year. My friends, Pam and Marie, went with me and we did a little shopping in the boutique area after enjoying our lunch. I couldn't resist another piece for my 'Beach house'. I may add a few more shells, sand dollars and starfish. 

I signed on for an Internediate Crazy Quilting Course, also with Kathy Shaw. This one, #105, deals with silk ribbon work. We'll be getting some printable designs to work with. I can trace onto pastel toned cloth or print with these sheets. This is the product I used for capturing the paste paper images onto cloth.

That's about it for this month. I have today and tomorrow before it's over.  
So, Let's Create TODAY!

On a personal note: 
I've been losing a little each week as I check in with my Weight Watchers group in Ladson, SC. I've only had one week that I had a minimal gain, but it was cold and I wore heavier clothes to stay warm. I learned my lesson, dress in layers! LOL