Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Wrap Up

Today, 12/30/17, finds me motivated and ready for 1/1/18. I have finished my 5 weeks with Kim and the Design Your Destiny 2018 workshop. I did this last December and it really helped with moving forward on several fronts. Here are my two 'journals' that I will use for the upcoming year. 
The one on the left was used for all of my writing during the DYD2018, a listing of all projects that have been started or are 'on my heart', and other lists that I want to keep together. I will start from the back and come forward with my Gratitude Journal. The one on the right is a 'one page a day' planner. I want to acknowledge that it is a PLANNER, not an inflexible list and schedule that would label me a failure if I don't get everything done that appears on any given day. It will help when the DYD for 2019 has us reviewing 2018.  Here is a recap of this year's happenings and what will go into the new year;

1/1/2017 * 37 UFOs. I finished 5.   1/1/2018 * 32 'old' UFOs and 18 'new' UFOs = 50 UFOs. This may sound like a lot, but many of them are close to completion or minimal in size. If I finish one a week these will be totally gone by the end of the year, and I will have several new UFOs on the list by that time. 

2017 Recap

69 quilts were quilted on the longarm. 14 quilts that have gone to friends (4) or Charity Projects (10). I did the quilting (supplied batting and backing for many) of 54 quilts that went to hurricane relief efforts (42-Houston and Florida) and Soldiers (12-Wisconsin).  I actually have one quilt on-hand at this moment. 

Rolled 275+ bandages for mission work. 

Dimensional Weaving & Embellishing Workshop - organized and facilitated this with Martina Celerin. I also learned about wet felting, unfinished turtle and bowl. 

Silk Fusion Workshops - I conducted 2 during the winter. This added several more UFOs to the list. 

Learned how to use a drop spindle for spinning yarn. UFO addition. 

Learned about Prodded Hooking, Primitive Rug Hooking, and Locker Hooking. More UFOs,,

6 dyeing days with scarves, clothing, and fabric experiments. None of these are considered UFOs. 

I invested time improving in mixed media, and watching several online courses of interest. Never can learn too much. I often find the influence of one area spilling over into another. There were several other areas that I made and gifted things from. They are in my journal and on my heart. 

On the home front: We finished the kitchen with countertops and a fan/light addition. The sink cutout portion of the granite was mounted on my Grandma's sewing machine base for the screen porch, where we put up new hardware of wires for curtain rods. George was kept busy with all of these activities as well as making games for the summer vacations (BeanBagToss and Connect 4), installing lights/fans in both upstairs bedrooms, and his most important job of all,,, making me happy by cooking my meals! I just love the fact that he enjoys cooking and at most I only need to suggest the meat. I do help with the cleanup and do laundry! LOL 

Best memories are of playing at the beach  and 'chintzing' shells with the grandkids. It's always that way for me. Time with loved ones make the Best List of Any Year. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

December - Monthly Review

I was blessed and was able to bless others during the month.
I finished this mug rug and it's been given to a sweet neighbor lady. 

We enjoyed hearing the Claflin University students perform at our Christmas Cantata at OLC, in Orangeburg, SC. The little church in Summerville got a new paint job this year. I love seeing the sunshine pouring through the window and the reflection on the wall. While we were at Whimsy Gift Shop in Santee we saw this wintery scene on a mantle display. Whimsy's inside Clark's Restaurant. 

Two of my grandsons helped with the work on intarsia ornaments. The family sells these online and at Arts & Crafts fairs. I was able to help out two of my friends with their Christmas gift giving projects by getting the two quilts onto my longarm machine and back to them quickly. 

I've started the mystery quilt project with Bonnie Hunter. On Ringo Lake, is a beautiful name for a quilt that will be made using some of my favorite colors. I fell a little behind after the first two clues, so at present, I'm collecting the information. In January I'll work on it and hopefully have a completed project by the end of February.  

We attended another 'tea party' at Baker's Pond and Garden Center where I was warned by their fire.  A few days later we were off to Sunrise Bistro and I found the 'duck omelette' to be amazingly delicious. It was a big step away from my norm to even try it, but I'm glad I did. 
I took a bunch of leftover pieces from other quilts, stitched them together in a 'whatever happens' method. It came out nicely. I then used a portion of left over jelly roll strips for the binding. The backing was made by seaming two pieces of Batik together. They had the same pattern just different color ways on each. I may end this year with having this as my only 2017 finished quilt left in my house! But there are still 3 days to get through before that's a reality, and God has His plan,,,,

During the month we visited Middleton Place and the camellias are blooming profusely. Earlier we went to Anderson, SC (George had a class). On the way up it started to rain, then got colder, turned to ice pellets, and eventually snowed! Obviously the roads were slick and lots of vehicles spun off when they hit a spot of ice. We moved slowly and after getting to our motel, we walked next door to a Cracker Barrel for supper. I spent the next day knitting on a project that I hope to finish for a January show 'n tell. By noon the snow had melted, sun was shining, and the few vehicles that had snow on them were usually in a dealership parking lot. 

When I took my 'faux' tree out of the attic this year I decided it was time to start the clearing and cleaning of the clutter that always accumulates. I took out about a dozen containers of various sizes. I sorted through 3 boot-sized boxes and tossed 75% of all the pictures and paper stuff that was in them. Some of it I have no idea who the people were or why I kept the 'notes' in the first place. I'm now down to a very small basket of memories of my kids' lives, and a few of my youth. I have a plan to make hard bound books and then toss the actual snapshots and papers. Something similar to my blog books I make yearly. I found an assortment of holiday tins and when a friend of mine mentioned that she was baking for her neighbors and would need to get to the store in hopes of finding tins,, well, you know what, she got these and they saved her the trip. I love it when God orchestrates things like that. I invested time with the Design Your Destiny for 2018, with Kim at Sublime Reflections. After finishing the 5 weeks of worksheets, I have a 'plan' for accomplishing several of those leftovers from prior years. 

During the attic clean out I realized that I've saved quite a few 'cloth' items. The only thing is, they've yellowed over the years. I ordered more Retro Clean and when it arrived I got started on taking the 'dingy' out of a large rough tote full of keepsakes. Some of these will be used in an online class I'm taking with Linda Matthews called Assemblage Dyeing. It starts January 15, 2018. 

This was one of the gifts I received. I will really enjoy this pen, in my favorite color, with the words 'Wonderful Grandma' on it, wrapped in owl paper, and a fox label on it. Life is wonderful! 

May God bless you with a peace filled finish to 2017 and May He fill your heart with His desires for you during 2018.  Love to you all, Luann. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Rear View Mirror Time

November was filled with lots of interesting events and activities.  I used my phone to take pictures so I wouldn't forget just what I'd been up to and in looking back over them, I was a busy bee, putting finishing touches on quite a few things.  The photo above was taken when we went for breakfast. Those birds remind me to take a little time to really look at what is going on around me. This is something that wearing my 'rose colored glasses' inhibits. I always think the best of everyone, until proven wrong. And even then, it's difficult for me to believe some people can be as nasty as they have been. But, without knowing it, they have blessed me! Yes, they have. God had me doing the perfect 'Bible Study' when things went sour and I not only have been able to accept that it 'did' happen, I'm OK with it. I've been taken to a spot where I can, and do, pray for them to be blessed with good things in their life. I don't ask God to change them to what I think would be good, He knows what's going on in all of our lives and exactly what we need at any given moment. And He knows how much I need to be changed, and that's the only person I can do anything with. God is good!

We attended a 'proper British Tea' early in November. Baker's Pond and Garden Center hosted this event along with Dorchester County Historical Society. It was fun and informative.  A speaker gave us a ton of info about our local tea culture. There's another one this month and if time permits we'll go. 
This little man is ready to walk to the bus stop on an early November morning! I think they were having single digit weather already! We have been in the 50s at night and complaining about the cold. Sure didn't take long for my body to adjust to a warmer climate. I now put on wool socks if it's in the 60s!
November 14th found this azalea getting ready to bloom. That's one of my favorite things about living in SC, flowers bloom year round. We also had our trees trimmed and it brought in so much additional light that it put an end to all that 'adjusting' to the time change. This year seemed to be very difficult for me until we had this done. I found myself sitting on the screen porch enjoying the fall colors. 
This kit came in mid month and I've gotten all the fusing of shapes done, embroidery floss found, and notions assembled. It is a strip of 6 panels that could be finished in several possible ways. I actually like them all hanging together. And I have a perfect narrow wall area that would be perfect for them. They are a winter decor item, so if I don't get it done and hanging until January it would still be good! LOL
I enjoyed every minute I stitched this Bee Happy quilt! And when I gifted it to Donna and Bob I knew it would be enjoyed for many moments to come. 
This was another one I gifted this month. Brian and Melinda will get to enjoy the Sand In My Shoes quiltat their home in Florida. I used that famous 'bubble meander' quilting design that I've grown so fond of. 
Boxes 5,6,&7 were sent off to Texas for hurricane relief. This brings our comfort quilt endeavor to a close. We sent over 80 pillow cases, and more than 60 quilts. All made possible through the love of ordinary people who cared enough to bless their fellow humans during a difficult time. I've been blessed to be a part of it. 
I decided to try ice dyeing some clothesline. I ended up with less than desirable results. This was due completely to my lack of patience! It was an experiment and I'll use the clothesline, just not in quite the way I had planned. 
The colors are not even this intense. They have a definite 'heathered' look to them. 
This was a precut group of fabrics from our church. I pieced the top and pressed it. They tie these quilts and use a much loftier batting than I have. So, even though it was hard for me to give it back without completing it with quilting and binding, I did return the 'flimsy' for finishing by the group. 
I'm doing Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery quilt project, On Ringo Lake. These are my fabric choices. 
Clue #1 is done. 
Is this nothing but chaos??? It's comprised of left over pieces from a 4-patch posy I did when I lived in Green Bay, WI. I've had this idea of somehow making something from all of this mess, but I just couldn't get past the busyness of it. I landed on another idea, added a jelly roll of chocolate colors, removed most of the 'blocks' and used my serger to move quickly before I would change my mind! It's hanging, all pressed and ready, in the longarm room. The backing has also been prepared and is with it. I plan to have it finished ASAP. 
We went to the Crèche Festival at the Mepkin Abbey. This was the only picture I took. I was mesmerized with just looking. Over 100 beautiful pieces were displayed. 
If this yarn looks familiar, it was a year ago I knit a sweater with it. The fit was 'off' and I'm finally trying something else. 
A friend stopped over to see how a longarm machine works. She brought these fat quarters. A very nice gesture, and I certainly appreciated it. 
This was my 'gathering' of December intentions. I plan to make some significant progress on clearing out a lot of old projects. 
This is my second year doing the Design Your Destiny with Kim over at Sublime Reflections. The first step is to review the past year. The good is always fun. The not-so-good brings about thoughts for improving. There are several projects that just never made it onto the 'to do today' list. As I look over them, some have lost my interest entirely. I'm ok with that, they'll get removed. I've also started keeping my lists from year to year to see what keeps being put on the projects list, but never gets any attention. I ask myself some questions about these: Do I really want this completed as a project, or is it the technique that I want to experience? Is this on my list because it was on a previous list and I think I have some 'super power' that means I can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear?  Is the 'timing' of this item past? Would someone else enjoy receiving this as a finished project, what about half finished, or what about 'as a kit' that they could finish how they would choose? Can I use the supplies for this project in a more current one? Usually this is where the Comfort Quilt Projects and Charity Quilting enter into the picture. That's a good thing, for everyone concerned. 

So in light of this, if anyone of you readers are interested in sewing together a clamshell quilt, I have lots of pieces cut from my hand dyed fabrics, left picture in group above. I used the Accuquilt large die for this, so they are accurate. I can't wrap my head around how to assemble them, and I'd be happy to pass them on. Let me know if you are interested. Or, if you know of a good YouTube video that'll inspire me to get a forward movement happening with them, share it PLEASE. 

I don't plan to post again until after Christmas, so I hope you have a blessed Christmas Day with loved ones. All the best to each of you, Luann

PS The Creative Journal ideas are coming together. I've been grabbing pieces from here and there and putting them into my box, binder, or onto the clipboard. Hope you are finding inspiration in your daily life too. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

October Sprouted Wings and Away It Went

Highlights of the month in pictures:
The above box (packed yesterday & shipped today) contained these 3,
And these 3,
And these 6.

This brings our total to 29 that have been completed and shipped out. We have about 2 dozen more to finish and get sent out. 

George snapped a couple of pictures of the peanut fields and cotton fields that are being harvested at this time. There's a field trip to a cotton gin mill coming up soon. 

The Dimensional Weaving Workshop with Martina Celerin was an experience I won't soon forget. This is the one I started planning way back in January. Two years ago when I accepted the nomination from a fiber art guild to do the job of programs, I had no idea what I was getting into. There wasn't any format given to me to follow and it was a 'learning as I go' experience! I learned that I'm not good at making every person happy, just most. I won't lament it any further, suffice it to say, I no longer belong to that group. However,,, the workshop and the instructor were terrific. Here's a glimpse of my piece, not done, but definitely 'in progress'. I also worked on a free standing turtle, but he needs legs and a tail before I can show him,, he's a bit shy! LOL

I also finished my journal cover. This was the locker hooking project that I took to Wisconsin on vacation. I also took the instruction book in case I needed it, as I was teaching myself this new technique.  I made this to fit composition books that have the black and white mottled covers. I can fit 3-4 inside. I might attach them to each other, OR use an old book (pages removed) as the base for attaching creative adventure pieces to. 
And the other side,

I spent a little time at our local fair, visiting with people coming through the Creative Arts building. I was sitting at the Cobblestone Quilters Guild table, and everyone was so friendly. I really enjoy my Quilt Guild.  
And when I got home I got busy with clean up,,,,

I've been cleaning, clearing, and sharing with others. After I make a backing and cut binding I decide if there is enough fabric to keep as is, or do I want to cut it into 2 1/2" strips, 5" or 10" blocks, or, or, well I'm sure you get the idea. I've been using my Accuquilt Go cutter to help with this. 

Two very large bags of fabric scraps and trimmings from the batting were given away this month. I also gave away a bag of selvedges. An overstuffed bag of yarns, threads, strings, etc. has gone to an after-school teacher at the Y. And, an extra machine found its way out the door to a person interested in machine felting. 

And YES, I am putting together some of the month's proposed projects for our Creative Adventure Journal. What this amounts to is:

We each have something that we love to do, and want to do, and sometimes find it hard to get around to DOING! I can't believe how many others are putting something like this out there for people to join in on.  I'm on the same page as a lot of them, but I'm not going to sell you anything. I'm just going to let you 'look over my shoulder' as I move through 2018. 

With that being said, if you want to play along start to think about what area you want to focus on for YOUR Creative Adventure. The journal could be a notebook where you keep your 'notes' about your focus area. Or it could be a picture album, no notes, just pictures of what you've been up to. Another idea is to use a 3-ring binder with page protectors to gather your info throughout the year, and then make a decision during 2019 how you want to keep it. I plan to start with the binder, collect things along the way, then as I feel comfortable with an idea, I can explore an option for keeping them. A box where you tuck 'items' inside would work nicely too. 

I already know that I want to:

Finish some 'half baked' sewing and quilting projects into fiber book pages.                                    

Explore making paper, book binding, carving stamps, and using mixed media in my projects. 

Work on wet felting, machine felting, and hand felting along with more dimensional weaving.  

Knit and crochet my beautiful yarns into useful gifts, and to enjoy spinning yarn on my drop spindle.  

Create 'something' with the volumes of buttons I have collected. 

I'd want to say that I have a husband that loves to cook, and he likes it when I don't get cranky about the clean up! So, my time in the kitchen is usually based around arts and crafts, not cooking. But, this year, I think I'd like to make cheeses (again), artisan breads (again), and artisan pizzas (not again!). Obviously, losing weight isn't a main focus for me this year,,,,

So, start thinking about your focus for 2018, and how you want to 'journal' , or not,,, 
I think journaling is such a personal thing that telling anyone they SHOULD is not my style. I hope you enjoy reading about my adventure, and that it entertains you. I actually have one very big disaster that I really MUST share early in the year. I can laugh now, but I wasn't laughing when it took place. 

And here's an image of the orchids my hubby brought me when I was having a sad moment recently. 
It's always nice to be treated, acts of kindness are never wasted, and remember that a word of encouragement can be more healing than medicine. 

My big intention for November is to finish out the Quilts for Houston project, and be especially thankful on this Thanksgiving Day!

May God Bless the Work of Your Hands. Luann

Saturday, September 2, 2017

September One Day At A Time

September 1,
I saw this piece at Artists & Craftsman Supply (981 King Street,Charleston). It's on the third floor of the repurposed church. If you're in the area, drop by. They do their best to help you find the perfect 'whatever' you might be looking for. There is a stair lift for anyone that can't maneuver steps, and entry is on ground level. Parking is a bit tricky, so if there is a convenient spot on the street, I'd grab it. 

I came home with a few 'ingredients' for testing out some of the ideas that are percolating for the 'YOUR CREATIVE YEAR' journal project. It will be a Follow Along that's coming in 2018. Plans are underway for this once a month project, idea, tutorial, prompt, etc etc etc. If you want to partake, the easiest way is to follow this blog. Enter your email in the FOLLOW ME bar at the top right side of this page. Then confirm by responding to the email you will receive from Blogger. You won't miss a post, and I'm not into posting every day so I won't be filling your inbox. 

September 2
Quilts for Houston is underway. Over 50 people have joined me since Wednesday evening at 8:30 when I put the first post up on Facebook about the idea. Quilt tops are already coming into be layered with backing and batting for the longarm machine. Once quilted together, they will go to volunteers for bindings to be attached. I'll be sending my Sand in My Shoes quilt to Houston. At present all sizes are accepted, but we're asking for 36"x48". This size will bring comfort to a child and the adult that holds the child! 
September 3 - a day to thank God for our blessings, and we have so many to be thankful for!

It's now September 30th, where did the last 27 days go???? Here's a quick over view with a few pictures from along the way. 

Saw this beautiful moth on the side of the gas station we stopped at on the way home from church. 
Betty dropped off the top, batting, and backing for a 'comfort quilt'. After I quilted it on the longarm she picked it up and attached the binding. It's on it's way to Florida along with the quilt from Ruth Ann. Here's RuthAnn dropping off her top and backing. She came with Kathy, who brought two fully completed quilts. 

And Melinda getting ready to take some down to Florida. Harvey and Irma were two miserable hurricanes that left lots of devastation in their path. We want folks to know that 'WE CARE'. 
Quilt tops, backings, and bindings are coming in on a regular basis. Sew Suite Studio on Trolley Road in Summerville, SC has been our drop off site. Some completely finished ones have been brought in also.  Nancy and Ginger have been helping out with attaching bindings, as well as making tops. We will continue to collect tops, etc, and finished quilts for finishing and distributing to others that have felt the impact first hand. We didn't determine a date as to when we will quit, perhaps we will just continue, as it seems like there is always a need somewhere. I'm trying to keep a list of those that have helped in any way, but some of the quilts have been turned in without a note of any kind. I will try to do a separate blog post about our project a little further down the road. I have 14 completed, 3 have been sent off already. 21 more are in que to be made into a quilt sandwich! I'll be accepting at least another 10 at the Cobblestone Quilters Guild meeting in October. 
I started a locker hooking project on September 11. I determined my needed size, trimmed the base material, then used Lumiere paint so it would stay interesting and attractive while I worked on it. Within 2 days on the road it was full of all the locker hooking portion, now just to finish it off. 
By this time we were well on our way to visit the grandkids in the Midwest. My brother in law, Barry, passed away on our first day of traveling. We were sad, but at peace with knowing he had a relationship with Jesus, and we have our hope in the Lord that we will be reunited with him in the future. Today was the Memorial Service, one brother lives in Florida and couldn't have gotten here for a week after Irma blew through his neighborhood. 
Our clean up consisted of a few branches and some debris. We were blessed. 
All 12 Soldier quilts were given to Cindy from the Evergreen Quilters Guild in Green Bay. I really like that flag fabric I bought for backing. 
And while we were in Green Bay we were able to see Jake as he was working on the Brown County CourtHouse project. And we grabbed some of our favorite foods at The Mustard Seed, on Limekiln Drive up in Suamico, WI. Chef Ken visited with us and it was a real treat to be brought up to date on his family. 

Then it was family time!!
Then off to Door County for a bit of 'us time'. 

And eating,,,,
Then back to Green Bay, and the NEW Zoo with another set of grandkids. 

And more eating,,,,

Then we traveled the rest of the way home, tired but content to have seen some of our children and a few friends. There is never enough time to see everyone we want to, and this time we needed some 'down time' to be ready for all of what had to take place this week after returning. 

The quilts are pouring in, my workshop for October is coming to it's time, and honestly, my house is not a very tidy place right now. Not to fret, a few minutes each day, in each area of messiness, and it'll be fine by,,, Christmas??? Probably a lot sooner than that, but I've got quilts to quilt, rugs to hook, and pictures to weave. No one is going to want a picture of my clean house, but something I create?, ah yes, that's my legacy! So, with that being said, 

Let's Create Today,,,,