December 31, 2006

A Quick Journal Cover

Something new for something old...My worn journal/sketchbook was looking pretty rough so I decided to make a new cover for it. This is the result. I didn't want to make this one highly embellished as it is the journal that I throw in the car, make quick notes in and sometimes fall asleep writing in it. I just glued the paper on, did some stamping, distressing and a bit of stitching. Sometimes you have to do something simple to jumpstart your creativity.

We had a most wonderful Christmas with our children and our granddogs. They drove here all the way from Ohio. They gave us a most wonderful Christmas gift...a gift certificate to our favorite ocean front resort on Ocean Isle Beach, NC. I will post later all the pictures of our new grand dog, Barley...he is adorable...and our ever adorable grand dog, Betty Boop.

Santa was so very nice to me. I even got my favorite paper dolls...The Lennon Sisters!! My favorite since I was 5 years old!

I'm hope all of you have a wonderful and Happy New Year!

December 21, 2006

Christmas Delights

Merry Christmas Week! Below is a table runner I made from a Pat Sloan pattern. (I forgot the name) It looks perfect on my table. The berries are yo-yo's.

This is an ornament made from the Basic Grey Fruitcake line. I don't have a hangar on it yet, but I'm getting there. I love this paper.

This is a hooked rug star pocket I made last year. It is hanging on my grandfather's clock. I am going to try making some hooked rug book bindings...another New Year resolution!

I can't believe it is December 21st already! We are having Christmas this year in Virginia with our kids. They will travel from Ohio on Saturday. We are very excited to have them here. Yesterday, I spent all afternoon baking cinnamon rolls. I can truly say I have lost my touch for baking. They were not the best I've ever made. I am debating about tossing them out. This is not the best week. I woke up this morning to find out that one of my brothers is having heart surgery tomorrow. On top of all that, my hair dryer broke! Well, the still wet hair made me slow down a bit to update my blog while it air dries. Frizzy, frizzy! Surely it's fashionable somewhere!

A Few of My Favorite Things

Small things make me happy...shipping tags are one of them. I love them because you can make neat things with them like tag books, accordian books and tags like the one below.

These are lots of fun to make. I hope after the holidays are over, I can diminish my abundant supply of blank tags to an abundant supply of highly embellished tags. Tags are fun to stamp, stitch, glue, paint, dye and punch. About any type of medium can be applied and they just keep on smiling...

December 15, 2006

Wool Star

Ok, I am posting twice this morning because I have been bad about not posting. The first picture is of a wool star I made yesterday at G-Street Fabrics Quilt Club. It was fun to make. First, we cut the star shape from felted wool, then chose embellishments to design any way we wanted. This is my design result. G-Street provided all the supplies. There was a table full of buttons, ribbons and sequins. Most people chose to put shiny gold on theirs but I love the vintage look. After embellishing one side, just sew the edges together with a buttonhole stitch, leaving a bit open to stuff and finish sewing. The whole process took about an hour to make. You can see it hanging on my hutch in the dining room. Fun! We mailed packages last night...good thing the post office stays open until 9 PM. Today, I have to finish up my Christmas/New Year cards and get them in the mail. Then there is baking and more sewing to do.

Taylor's New Collar

This is Taylor wearing her new collar. She thinks the tree skirt is for her and "mouse". She now has six mice, each one with varying faces...some have eyes still and some do not. This is a new one that she is letting live a bit longer. She had her check up at the vet yesterday and was pronounced "beautiful". Of course she already knows that. She is a princess. To make this sewing related, the tree skirt is a yard of fleece that I folded and cut in a circle, hemmed the edge (though you wouldn't have to) and quick as a wink, it is done! Now I can applique anything on it and it's washable. But who needs applique on a tree skirt when you have an adorable cat to adorn it?

December 6, 2006

Fabric Book Fun

"A Walk In The Woods" is a fabric book that I made using lots of embellishments and quilting. It includes photos that I took while taking a walk in the metro park in Columbus, OH. I love nature and it was a fun way to preserve the memories. I used angelina fibers, charms, buttons, ribbons and yarn, beads and rubber stamping on batik. Below are the inside pages of the book.

November 30, 2006

Traci's Table Decorations (My Talented Daughter)

The first picture is of my daughter's table set for Thanksgiving dinner in Columbus, OH. Traci and Mike hosted our family get together this year. We had a wonderful family time. I just had to take pictures of her table decorations. She is so very creative and innovative. I loved the way she tied ribbons around the twig branches and then ribbons around the dinner napkins. (I hope the pictures will enlarge if you click on them so you can see the details). Even Betty had a matching ribbon on her collar. (Betty Boop is our Boston Terrier granddog). They bought their first home and it was an occasion to use their wedding china and crystal. The last picture is of my beautiful daughter, Traci, and me sitting on our steps here in Virginia when she came to visit us in September.

I have been creating since I returned from our Thanksgiving visit. I've made several ATC's and experimented with some package tape transfers. My daughter keeps encouraging me to make some things to sell at shops. I just have to get up the courage. Actually, I just bought a new book that I am reading: Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser (I got mine from It is a great book about how writing down your goals is the first step to achieving them. If your goals are visual (written down) your brain starts seeing ways to achieve them...sort of like getting a new red car and suddenly you see so many red cars just like weren't thinking of red cars before you got yours. Well, this is my synopsis of what I have read so far.

My husband and I just read together a great book: The Camel Club by David Baldacci. It is an on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of novel. We read to each other in the car during a long trip. When we got back to Virginia, we stayed up late reading the ending as it was so intriguing.

We stayed with our son, Matt, who lives in our house in Columbus. He has it decorated so nice, it looks far better than when we lived in it. He is a great host. He bought us vegetarian food and all sorts of treats to try. I'm sorry to say, the pictures I took did not turn out well or I would post them on the blog. I will have to take some others. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving, 2006.

November 17, 2006

Art Quilt Done!

Today, I finished machine quilting this quilt and sewed on the binding. I decided such a bright quilt needed black/white binding for a contrast. I may still add some embellishments to it. I usually can't resist a bead or two or twenty. I used YLI machine quilting thread, varigated, and I must say it is not my favorite. I had trouble with it all the way through from tension to breakage. Maybe my lovable Juki TL98E just doesn't like the thread. But it is finished and hanging back on the bulletin board.

November 16, 2006

Quilt To Be and views of DC...

This is a picture of a quilt I made at NQA in a Melody Johnson workshop. Actually, it is a quilt-to-be as in "not quilted" yet. It is all fused using her hand dyed fabrics. Today, I will work on completing this. It has been hanging on my bulletin board for a long time. You know how you get use to things and don't "see" them after a while? When I moved, I took it off and just hung it again on my bulletin board. I have recently rediscovered it and now it will be quilted.

This weekend, we took the metro to DC for a day trip. We saw the most amazing exhibit at the Freer/Sackler galleries of the Smithsonian. It is called "In the Beginning: Bibles Before the year 1000". It was so awesome to see the ancient manuscripts! We even got to see one of the Dead Sea Scrolls! Some of the manuscripts were so ornately written, with lots of embellished lettering and drawings with gold that we were overwhelmed when we saw them. You just have to see it to believe it. Some were just bits and pieces of papyrus, parchment and some on wood. Here is the link to the exhibit: In The Beginning and if you are in the DC area, it is well worth the visit. Just seeing the artwork created by the scribes gave me ideas for my journaling pages. My brain was whirling.

Being Veteran's Day, we also went to see some of the memorials.

This is me squinting with the sun in my eyes and standing in front of the reflecting pool.

This is a picture of Vern getting an up close view of....

The Washington Monument

A nice view from the mall area.

Another nice view from one end of the reflecting pool

The Korean War Memorial

Although it was crowded, we enjoyed the day. It is always nice to see the Veterans among the crowd of people. Thanks to all the men and women and their families who sacrifice for our freedom.

November 9, 2006

A Quilty type of Day

"Lake Ouachita"
This is a picture of one of my journal quilts. It is the lake where we would go on family picnics as a child. I miss making these journal quilts.

Today, I went to G-street fabrics for quilt club. It is always nice to see the creations of others. The manager from the Falls Church store showed us his quilts and they were very inspiring as he is an art quilter, also. I also found some fabric by Loni Rossi that I really, really love! ( My friend, Susan, would love it, too!) I do miss my job at the quilt shop in Ohio. I have been having quilt shop withdrawals. So, today, I treated myself to some fabric. (Yes, it is quite a shock when you have to pay full price for it). This area in Virginia has some nice quilt shops which I will eventually find, I'm sure. It's just so hard to NOT get lost when I try to find my way around here. As most of you know, I am not very good at directions.

As I was wandering through my Photshop photos, I found some more pictures of a few of my Journal quilts. I can't think of the name of this one at the moment but it is one in a series that I designed. The three circles represent the trinity. The bit of gold at the top is the sun, the aqua is the sky, purple for mountains, pink for flowers and people, the green is the earth and blue for the sea.
So, hopefully tomorrow, I will do some real-time quilting!

November 8, 2006

Projects To Be

This is a picture of the shipping tags I painted last night. I mixed just a smidge of watercolor (from a tube) with white and mixed a bit of water to make it pastel. When I achieved a shade I liked, I used a wide brush and painted both sides. Then I hung them up to dry. I really like how they turned out and may make more. I think my favorites are the blue/green ones. They sort of took on a vintage look. Some of the tags were stamped with waterproof ink before I painted them and some after they were dry. I plan to make a tag book, maybe an ocean theme or whatever hits me at the moment.

Do you know what this is? No, it's not fabric, it's new paper! I just got it today at Scrapbooks Plus, a local scrapbooking shop. So, stay tuned to see what I create with this! Did you know you can stitch paper on your machine? I think I'm sounding like a mad scientist!

My good friend, Susan, phoned today. She may come down to visit me and we can play with fabric and paper stuff. (between shopping, that is!) She is so talented! You should see her creations. She is the one that really got me started on paper creations.

Oh, and before I end today's blog and get back to that is a sweet picture of Taylor. You can't see it, but there are birds out in the grass that she discovered and her tail is swishing and she is chirping with hopes that she will be able to catch them. Cute! Did I say that her tummy is golden, just like a real tiger in the jungle...and all of my friends and family know how much I loved Sammy the tiger.

November 7, 2006

Blogger problems this morning

This is just a test to see if Blogger will publish my blog correctly. It is slow and didn't publish my last post.

Voting, Quilts, a Cat and ATC's

This is a cute picture of Taylor lying on the back of the sofa, on a quilt, of course! She loves quilts and doesn't prefer one over the other. She would just as well lay on an all white whole cloth, hand quilted one or this homespun fabric, machine made one...What ever Taylor wants.

This is where I would prefer to be this the beach, Ocean Isle Beach, NC is preferable, actually...but alas, here I am in Virginia.

This morning, before daylight, we voted in the mid-term elections! It always feel good to do my part. Of course I won't tell you how I voted, but I think tonight's news will be interesting to say the least. In Ohio, we had the punch ballots (you know, the hanging chads). Here in VA, we just used a marking pen and filled in the ovals and then a machine scans it. Ok, I will admit that this post is soon to get boring so I will change the subject.

Our sweet cat, Taylor, is getting very comfortable with her new home now. If she hears us turn over in the bed at 3 am, then it's time to throw mouse! And of course I do! She always has one in reserve somewhere. She has taken over my Horn sewing chair in my studio as a daytime bed. She sleeps or gazes at the leaves blowing around outside. Of course that is the reason I haven't been sewing lately. Taylor has claimed my chair. Mouse has to sleep on the floor. Taylor is so much fun!

I went to Houston to Quilt Market last week with a group of my friends. It was so much fun! The quilts were amazing!! Quilt Market is so huge, so many vendors! I got to meet Pat Sloan (we shop at the same Target!), Amy Butler and Patricia Bolton. They are so nice! I did get inspired to come home and make quilts! I got some wonderful hand dyed wools and new books.

My scanner pooped out this week and doesn't like my computer or I think it's my computer being snobby to an old relic of an HP. So, I have to take pictures of my artwork outdoors where the light is good.

These are 4 new ATC's that I have completed. I like using new techniques. I have some more to take pictures of but it's too cold outside this morning.

October 25, 2006

New Journal Cover

This is the new book cover I created for an online workshop I am taking. The class is "You Think You Know Me?" by Shimelle. It is all about making a journal that explores 10 different emotions. I am (of course) a bit behind, but Shimelle also tells us to work in our own time frame. I just happened to find this Basic Grey paper at the scrapbook store. I used cardboard as the base and glued the paper onto the front and back. I stamped on it with some neat stamps and embellished with things I had on hand. In the upper right hand corner are my initials. The binding is stick binding. The size of my journal is 6" x 8". Now I can't wait to get started with the inside pages. I am going to Quilt Market this weekend with my friends so I may have to wait to start the pages until I return on Monday. It's a fun class! Classes like this always jumpstart my creativity. I think I have been collecting embellishments, paints, etc. for a long time just waiting for that special project. But, today I realized that collections of such things are only passed on, unopened and unused, so I should use them to create beautiful things that I will enjoy today!

October 23, 2006

Taylor Helps in the Studio

Here are the ATCs (altered trading cards) we made today:

This is Taylor. She is lying on the floor in my studio waiting for me to throw her mouse. She does like to give her opinion now and then on what I create. Today we decided to make some ATCs (altered trading cards). Taylor is a big fan of Quilting Arts magazine. If you want to make some ATC's, go to the Quilting Arts blog . Patricia Bolton has great instructions (March 2006) for making some beautiful ATCs on the blog. So, I thought I would give it a try. The ones I made today are made with cardstock as the base and I used glue instead of Wonder-Under. Usually, I make ATC's with fabrics but not this time. I even got to use my Dr. Ph Martin watercolors! Careful not to squeeze the dropper too hard!...don't ask. It only takes a tiny drop of the Dr. Ph Martins to go a long way! But, not a problem, I always wanted purple spots on my cutting mat.

This is the tool that I use to audition where I want to cut. I got it at a workshop I took at European Papers in Columbus, OH.

I think this one is my favorite. It still needs some ribbon or yarn. What I love about these is that each one is different.

October 19, 2006

Dragonfly ATC

ATC's are 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

This is a picture of one of the little ATCs (altered trading card) I recently made for a swap. You can't see in the photo, but the dragonfly has a tiny bit of embossing powder on it. The gold is mulberry paper and the background is overstamped. Making ATCs can be addictive but fun. It also allows you to try out new techniques using just a tiny bit of supplies. Tomorrow, I am making the trek to a craft store to check out their supplies.

October 18, 2006

Taylor Cat

This is Taylor. Isn't she adorable? She loves to play with her mice and loves to sleep on quilts. Isn't that really what quilts are for? Here she is sitting on a stool near the computer reading my blog. She loves to read over my shoulder...only she understands all the tech computer terms because she was raised by computer wizards. She just informed me I need to re-boot my computer because it is running too slow.
Here she is playing with her mice. As you can see, one of them is quite dead. She loves the crocheted one the most because it keeps coming back to life.

Taylor goes to Washington

We have Taylor now. She is so sweet! This morning I am sitting at the computer and she comes over and starts "talking" to me. I look down and she has her tiny mouse. She wanted me to play the "throw mouse up the stairs and she will retrieve it" game. So I did. I stand at the bottom of the stairs and throw her mouse up the stairs and she fetches it and brings it right back to me for another throw. We do this until something else captures her attention. Right now she is sitting next to me with her "now dead mouse". Funny how the mouse keeps coming back to life. I tried taking pictures of her but she moves so fast I don't have many. She is so much fun! She has really settled in well and acts like she has always lived here. More later on Taylor Cat.

October 11, 2006

Lots of Stuff

Wow, I realize I haven't posted in a while. Our daughter was visiting this week and we were busy most of the time. We had a great time. We went shopping, to the movies, out to eat and one day we went to The Waterford Fair in Waterford, VA. It is so awesome! It is a historical town built by the Quakers. Most of the homes were built in the 1700's. We got to tour 6 of the homes. I love seeing and hearing how they lived during that time. The craft fair was so upscale! Lots of artisans there. This is the website for the town. It was raining cats and dogs that day and good thing we drove the SUV. We parked in a farmers field and mud was the main ingredient! We actually slid down the hill. But we had a great time! In fact, Vern and I went the next day after we dropped Traci off at the airport. He enjoyed it, too. We got to see 5 different homes. He especially enjoyed the map maker's maps.
The movie Traci and I saw on Thursday was "The Guardian". What a great movie! But it's one of those when you think "this is the end, wow, how great!" it keeps going and I didn't like the ending.
This is the weekend we are picking up Taylor. I bought her new toys. One is a mouse that rattles, crinkles and has such a cute face. I see that it has catnip in it, too. I am making her some new toys that are stuffed with batting and have long yarn on the ends....they are fish! I hope she likes them. I have to introduce her to the color "pink" as she is use to living with two guys. The only pink she sees is when one of their girlfriends visits. Tomorrow, I am going to look for a nice cat carrier for her...hopefully it will be pink, too. Ok, enough talking tonight. Tomorrow, I will try to post pictures of the new ribbons I just bought at G-Street fabrics.

October 2, 2006

Taylor's quilt

This is the new fabric I just bought at the Sewing & Quilt Expo in Chantilly, VA. (click on image to read the cute cat words) It is for a new quilt that I am making Taylor! Taylor is a very sweet, adorable cat. We get to adopt her two weeks. She currently lives with my son and his roommate. They are both moving and won't be able to take her so we are happy to have the privilege to do so. (Of course they can always come visit her) She really loves quilts and she will have her choice of many at our house. We are anxious to see her again. She loves to be held like a baby and chases paper balls and carries little stuffed mice around. She will have lots of room here to play and will be cuddled all the time. She is loved and will continue to be loved at our house. Whatever she wants....I already have two new stuffed mice waiting for her. I will try to get a picture of her soon and post it here.

September 27, 2006

My New Studio

Here are a few images of my studio. In this picture, you can see some of my two bulletin boards. This is my cutting table and cabinets where I store all my paper crafts. I carved some stamps using corks. I will have to post pictures of that later. When I get the other end of the room unpacked, I will take pictures of that, too.
This is another view of my studio. The door on the right leads to a large closet which is "stuffed" with the overflow. The door on the left leads to the garage. (click on the images to enlarge)
This is a view of my studio when you walk in the door. My sewing machines are ready to start stitching, but I haven't stitched a thing since the move. I need to get busy on that!

This is a view of my computer area in my studio. I need to hang some artwork over the computer and tidy up a few endless wires, but it has a nice view of the patio outside. It is nice to sit here with the door open and feel the breeze.

September 12, 2006

Dragonfly quilt

(click on images to enlarge)

Here is a picture of my dragonfly quilt. It is a little quiltlet 10" square. Working on a small quilt allows you to use different techniques and experiment. This one has been in a few shows and I think will retire itself to home.

(Detail image)

I couched the yarn for the vines using invisible thread and a zig zag stitch on the machine. The background is a wonderful batik I bought at Patchwork Dreams. The dragonfly wings are fused Wonder Under and machine stitched. I beaded the dragonfly body.