Monday, July 31, 2017

End of July

The past 10 days were spent being 'tourists' in our own area. Here is the 'crew' en route to Fort Sumter. 
And the girls enjoying the ocean breeze. 
And one must try She Crab soup. Then if you like it, you try to get some of everyone's!  
The big sister had her own bowl, it's a favorite of hers. 
Lots of time at the beach, but then an overcast day gave us the opportunity to show them the Angel Oak tree. It's a live oak, the Angel portion of its name comes from the Angel family that owned the property it has lived on for several hundreds of years. 
They were learning about taking good pictures. 
While they were here they chose fabrics and used the longarm quilting machine to make placemats and mug rugs. I just need to get the binding done before sending them off. 
It was sad to see them leave for home, but we're already planning our next time together. 

And I got busy and finished the bindings on these two quilts. 

My sewing room looked like this at the beginning of today. 

And like this at the end. 
They brought along 12 quilts for Evergreen Quilters Guild Soldier Quilt Project. I'm an 'away' member. I'll supply the batting and backing for these, quilt them up on the long arm machine, trim, and return them on my next visit. (Or ship them, if I get them done quickly). This is the stack. 

Well that wraps up another month, and several projects finished. 
Nice to have some things done, but I'll opt for time with loved ones any day. Luann 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July - Busy Month

I've been inspired, by Dawn's prodded flowers, to get moving on my Burlap Ribbon with this technique. And aren't those 'threads' of ribbon yarn and silk beautiful. They're waiting to become specialty cording. 
Found a wine I really like at my local Publix Store.  At the Sunrise Bistro in Summerville I had a treat for my breakfast. Banana Bread French Toast complete with a banana cream cheese drizzle, including some almond slivers and chocolate. Yummy! These were my ONLY finishes for the month! lol
I've been working on creating journal covers from cereal boxes. A bit of a learning curve, but absolutely having a blast with the process. 
The beginnings of a redo on an old suitcase. 

Here's a before, and the top as far as I've gotten with it. Another fun project. 
I moved on to taking an old book apart. After applying gesso I did some interesting color applications. An application of ModPodge created a very wood looking background. I then glued down the painted area of a canvas I printed from a water color I did several years ago. I like this piece a lot. And because I kept the entire book cover it can stand up on a shelf on its own!
This is a 'tribute, piece. Jackie passed away several years ago. I never met her but through a long string of events I was asked to help find homes for some of her possessions about a year ago. Most have gone on to be with other creative friends. There were a few pieces I just couldn't part with and I knew that someday I'd figure out how I wanted to exhibit them. I still have work to do around the outside edge, but I'm good with where I am. 
Here's the sewing room and my fabric closet as I start the cleaning process of my own things!
My art studio/dining room is looking a lot better since the cleaning bug hit! And the fabric dyeing closet got organized too. 
Lots of containers have come in and gone out over the past few months, as I continue to help others with their 'finding of new homes' for their crafty collections. 
Sewing room's cutting table was cleared at one point, then another trunk full was accepted! Most of this is off to new homes already. I'm getting much quicker at the process of sorting and gifting onward. 
I'll leave you with some snapshots of flowers from the past few weeks. That's one big benefit to living here, I can see flowers most every day of the year. The only downside is in this next photo. No, I wasn't driving, I was taking the pictures, George was driving. 

Having A/C and plenty of fans make it all good!! Hope summer is treating you nicely. I'm off for a vacation for the next 10+ days so I'll probably not post again until August. Can't believe how fast the summer months fly by. 
May God bless each of you as you go through your day. Luann

Friday, June 30, 2017

June 20-30 Review

It's hard to believe we are half way thru 2017 already! And the last 10 days have been busy ones. 
I've been learning how to do primitive rug hooking. I plan to add 3-D flowers to this burlap ribbon using the prodded hooking method I saw demonstrated by Dawn Hortman Shaw. She graciously accepted an invitation to do the demo, again,  at the July meeting of Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild. We have a small group that meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at People, Places, & Quilts. They're located on Richardson in Summerville. A great group of sharing people. I'm learning a lot from these folks. 
I got two sheets ripped and rolled into bandages for medical missions. I enjoy doing this. It's a great project for me when I'm at a 'bend in my road'. When I just can't get focused, I can always rip and roll. 
My good friend Pam and I went to an indigo Shibori dyeing adventure. Kristy Bishop was the instructor. She's a very knowledgeable woman. We had a great time, especially after arriving and finding several of our Low Country Fiber Arts Guild members were already there. A very pleasant surprise. 

cleaned up my sewing room's cutting table after piecing my 2 strip quilts, and making their backings. It looked so neat and tidy. But then, true to my nature, I helped a friend with her downsizing. This has been an ongoing job of mine. I don't take any payment for helping to find 'good' homes for those treasures that others need to have 'go away'. This time it was 5 large totes bags and 4 'larger than a shoe box' size plastic bins. First I sort thru everything, getting all like items together, then I do some serious 'think time'. I know people want their belongings to get new homes where they will be appreciated. This batch was from Linda T. and included some treasures that will stay with me. Only a few of the crafty items that I don't have plenty of already. Actually, I'm keeping the notions for making purses. If I don't get at them in a reasonable amount of time, I will give them to some other creatives on my list. For now it's mostly finding homes for zippers, elastic, ribbons, trims, patterns, etc etc etc. 
And even though the bindings aren't on these two quilts, I wanted to include them at this time. The one with blue/purple Over the Rainbow fabric is a crib size, made from predominantly 1&1/2" strips. The beige to brown with greens is what I made from a batch of 2&1/2" strips. The borders for both of them are obviously wider. And below the photo of each quilt is a snapshot of it's stitch totals. So, I'm now officially OVER 4&1/4 million stitches. I usually stitch about 12/inch. That totals very close to 6 miles, unless my math is off, in which case,, leave a comment. You never know, you just may get a thank you gift!  
Today we went in for haircuts. I just had to snap this one of George. It's as close to a 'hippy do' as he'll probably ever get! And he has made a board for beanbag toss. Wasn't it nice that he painted it my favorite color? He's such a sweetie,,,, or maybe he has a big order coming in from Amazon, hmm?! 
July is starting tomorrow. I intend to get the bindings on those two quilts this week. I will need to do more clean up in my sewing room. The pest control man was here today, and I always have to move an array of stuff to get to the attics. I haven't figured out what to put in front of those doors that would move easily and not be a mess in another area. Best idea is to not buy anything more until I have ??? used up. Good idea, but what constitutes the ??? , now that's a question if ever there was one. lol

We're looking forward to some vacation time with family, at the end of the month. We may even take a few days and go to the mountains. It all depends on just how hot and humid it gets. Until next time,
Let's Create Today-Luann

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.