Monday, November 23, 2009

Odds and Ends

Playing catch-up, both with projects and blogging . . .

The shelves are repaired and refilled!


Notice the absence of books . . . those are now stored closer to the floor so that they next time they hurl themselves down they won’t have as far to fall.

Here’s some fabric I dyed last week using the “color parfait” method from Ann Johnston’s Color by Accident (can you believe all these pieces were dyed in the same bucket at the same time?):


And two new weekly 6x6” journal squares; the first one is for the week of Oct. 25-31. This was the week before I went back to work, and so this square reflects anxiety and a lot of other complex emotions I was feeling at the time, as well as feeling a little frantic to get my projects wrapped up while I still had time:


The next journal square is from last week, and is influenced by my efforts to find balance and peace of mind, stay calm and unruffled, and develop a routine, as well as to work mindfully and carefully (i.e., with care):


I finished adding the border to my latest quilt top tonight, and I started cleaning off my worktable in preparation for the next project. I ran across a stack of WIPs, so I’m going to try to work on some of those—and finish a crocheted Christmas afghan I’m working—before starting anything else.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I’ll be making my usual sweet potatoes, along with cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, and a marbled butterscotch bundt cake, then hauling it all over to my daughter’s house. It probably would have made more sense for her just to bring the turkey here, but she was excited about having us come to her place, so there you are.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shout Outs

I have to give some “Internet love” to two very special people: my awesome friend Marfa Stewart, who captured my holiday aspirations and realities perfectly in this blog post; and

Ruth over at Permutations in Fiber, who sent me the most amazing blog-giveaway-package ever. To celebrate her 200th blog post, she gave away a package of “wooly goodies,” and I won! Yesterday I stopped at the mailbox and was surprised to find a package; I had completely forgotten about winning, and I couldn’t remember ordering anything. I was shocked when I opened the box; Ruth had packed it full of beautiful wool, fibers, dyed and rusted cheesecloth, silk threads, cocoons, and rods, along with handmade cards, an ATC, and a felted and beaded wool pin!

Here are some pics:





Thank you, Ruth, you definitely made my day!

So, wonderful and faithful blog readers, please share the love with my friends Marfa and Ruth by visiting their blogs and letting them know how much they’re appreciated!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekly Journal Squares & A Quilt Top

A couple of new 6x6" weekly journal squares; the first is a catch-up from the week we were in Florida for vacation. I created a fish appliqué from hand-dyed fabric and metallic and rayon threads, then sewed it onto a background of commercial fabric enhanced with Dynaflow paints and FMQed with circles:


Next is this week’s journal square. Influences: trying to achieve balance between work and home activities, and my aspiration to remain calm and Zen-like regardless of what my back-to-work experience entailed; beautiful sunny and cool days, and that sense that this might be the final breath of fall before winter sets in (sure enough, the weather has now turned gray and overcast, and we have a cold front coming in); and most importantly, reconnecting with my long-time friend Karla, who years ago introduced me to ceramics (the cup-like vase is in honor of you, Karla!):


The flower is white-on-white fabric painted with Tsukineko inks and appliquéd onto the background; the vase is appliquéd over that. I added some free-motion zigzag stitching around the flower, to create the stem, and around the vase, then some FM straight-stitching on the vase. Then I used some fabric markers to add some varied colors to the vase.

I thought I was caught up with the weekly journal squares, but when I was looking at my log I realized I missed one a couple of weeks ago. I still have my notes from that week, so I'll have to catch up as soon as I have a chance.

The craft room “rebuilding” is going slowly; my formerly-clean worktable is now a wreck, since I had to have a place for most of what was on the shelves (except for the books, which I moved permanently to the bookcases in the living room):


My sweetie did a great job of removing the shelf brackets, repairing the sheet rock, and adding new texture:



and then painting (how awesome is it that we still had the original paint for this room, and that it was still GOOD after 8 years?):


Fortunately, my sewing room is still intact, so I’ve almost finished another quilt top. Once I add the borders, this one will be queen-sized, and will go on our bed:


I’m having a hard time getting the colors correct in the pics of this quilt top, so I’m including pics of the Amy Butler fabric I used:



Whew. I guess that’s enough blogging for now, especially since I justified sitting at the computer all this time by catching up on this week’s episode of “Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!” Now that it’s over, I’m off to find something else to do before my weekend is completely gone.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Hawthorne Threads is giving away a Firenze Bag Kit by Patricia Bravo, and a fat-quarter set to 2nd & 3rd place winners. Click here to enter, but do it before Nov. 15!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Remember a couple of months ago when I spent 3 days cleaning and organizing my craft room? It’s been a real pleasure being able to walk in and work whenever the mood struck, without having to clean up first. So this morning I got up extra early, intending to paint some fabric.

As a reminder, here’s a pic I took a couple of months ago:


See those two shelves above my work table? Here they are this morning:


Wait, where are they? OH! There they are! On the freaking floor!


When I walked in and saw this, the first thing my befuddled brain thought was, “I’ve been robbed!” Then I realized that, as valuable as all my “stuff” is, that’s probably not what happened.

Earthquake? I wondered; but no, it’s pretty rare to experience one of those here in Central Texas. I guess that the wall anchors just finally gave out after 5 years of holding up tons of books, equipment, and supplies.


Once I started digging through the mess, I realized that, fortunately, there were very few casualties; a plastic container holding my markers:


and the latch on a case:


And some debris (vermiculite from a crock pot that was sitting on the top shelf):


But all in all, it could have been much worse.

Needless to say, I didn’t get any fabric painted.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Weekly Journal Squares

Life is ok. I’m a little stressed with starting work again, but so far things are slow and I’m spending my time getting caught up on what’s happened during the last year and a half.

At home, I’m catching up on my weekly 6x6” journal squares. The first two were in process and just needed to be wrapped up; the final one is a reflection of this week’s feelings.

Weekly Journal Square #33 (October 4-10). Influences: shopping with mom for clothes for my vacation. The crazy-quilt class I’m taking. Feeling good, having more energy and less pain, but feeling too anxious and distracted to sleep well.


Weekly Journal Square #35 (October 18-24). Influences: Back from vacation. Everything is disorganized and the house is a mess. I want to create but I'm too tired. I'm happy that I made it through a week of vacation and still feel ok; it almost restores my faith that I will feel completely healthy one day.


Weekly Journal Square #37 (this week). Influences: Back to work after 17 months. Comfort in the ordered days, but anxiety and fear underneath. I’m determined to stay serene and calm, though.


I need to backtrack and create week 34’s square, when I was on vacation; it will feature parrotfish, which I’m now enamored with. I also need to finish last week’s square, and then I’ll be all caught up again.

I particularly appreciate these squares now that I’m back at work and my time will be much more limited, since they ensure that I create at least ONE thing every week!