April 2011

i have figured it out – the real purpose of ‘old age’.  it is purely for entertainment – our own and those around us!  i mean, why in the heck to i buy those “hidden object” games??  i spend a good part of every day looking for things!  many of which were in my hand not 5 minutes before!  and crossword puzzles??  hah!   if i could just remember that word (i wanted to say) . ok, probably won’t make a nice interlocking pattern. we’ll just do a ‘fill in the blanks’ kind of game.  and then there’s the “spelling bee’s” i subject myself to every time i type.  ok, yes, i do cheat and use that handy tool. ^_^

oh, and the best one – a form of ‘treasure hunt’, i guess.  only in the current game you must first guess what the heck you are looking for – as in – “why did i come in here??”  a bit trickier, me thinks. ^_^  once you’ve solved that riddle, you often then move right on to “hidden object”. ^_^

since i have heard that laughter is the best medicine – i’d say i have plenty of opportunities to participate in that activity as long as i keep my sense of humor and take myself lightly!!   ^_^  keep smilin!

peace, love and beauty    http://www.artfullyappliquecom

posting the nearly finished turtle – not sure i’ll have time to do it once it’s truly finished and published.  i did not expect to be at this point – put in some dedicated time yesterday and today.  only problem is – that means having the tv on most all day.  ick.  why, you ask??  well, if i don’t, i won’t remember to look up and away every now and then.  and soon, i’m about cross eyed!  and i need to do everything i can to preserve these eyes.  now, am sooo glad all those adults kept telling me not to ‘read in the dark’, etc. ^_^  yes, i do wear specs now – but at least i can still (with them) still see well enough to do what i love!  oh, and don’t let me forget to mention that bright light i have shining down directly on my work in hand!!

so, here he is.  before i met that live turtle in his tank, i’m not sure i would have ended up with ‘water’ as the ‘overlay’.    all my past direct experiences with turtles were with what, i guess, is called a ‘box turtle’ – so i was actually visualizing something more akin to grass!  this little guy definitely looks more like the one in my friends’ tank!  this pattern should be available at the show this weekend – in benecia.

   i often do the overlays this way – makes the stitching go much faster.  that is, i have already turned and pinned it all the way around.  guess you would call in ‘pin turning’. ^_^  i don’t  press – just pin with the pins perpendicular to the turned edge.  that way, i just remove the pin when i get to it.

and now, i must get ready to head out – had a call to go to the office where i sometimes lend a hand.  also, there are a few items needed from the store.  never did get up to get to the garage/van work.  sure hope it is to be clear again tomorrow!  guess i’d best check and if not – will have to load the van when i get back.

peace, love & beauty   http://www.artfullyapplique.com

i said i wasn’t going to do this, but if i don’t post this picture, then i’ll just be writing about the weather or something.  speaking of that – seems to be raining everywhere these days.  i don’t mind, keeps the grass green just a little longer.  am hoping for the predicted sunshine tomorrow tho – want to do at least the ‘garage’ work without getting wet and cold.  must reorganize tubs and see if there are kits to cut that i haven’t remembered.  cutting kits is what i have been doing instead of working on the turtle.  which means – not looking too promising for it to be finished for this weekend.  then again – who knows.

so, here it is – in process.  this one, like the dragonfly, i would not recommend for a beginner.   those feet are a little challenging.  not awful – once again, batik or other tightly woven fabric a must.  they are larger now than in the very first drawing.  and i had to restart cause the first fabric i chose did not work!!!  i may tweak them just a tad more in the final drawing – not sure.  the shell ‘holes’ are much easier and seem to be going fairly fast – when i sit down and actually sew!

  my friend julie warned that the fabric under the shells might be too subtle, when i told her about it.  i am happy with it, but some might prefer more contrast.

and now it’s time to go up to ‘big house’ for tonight’s games – hockey playoffs and a reds’ game.  sure hope they snap out of their slump soon!!

peace, love & beauty   http://www.artfullyapplique.com

no, not my design – not yet.  i’m just posting a picture of my friends tammy and mike’s turtle.  he’s a ‘rescue’ turtle and while he may still look kinda ‘small’ – was told he has about tripled in size since first brought home in august!  i stayed at their home while doing the show in concord and got to witness the transfer to his new huge tank – one mike built and that should be sufficient to last the turtle’s lifetime – well, at least size-wise.  i swear they said he could live 70 years!  good grief.  i wanted to check, to make sure the pattern i had drawn on the shell was close to correct – and it is.  however, doing it in reverse applique will have it truly be ‘in reverse’ to how it really is.  that is, the divisions on the real shell are lower than the sections – and the reverse will be true in my design.  i guess that’s ok, given it’s ‘reverse’ applique. ^_^  in fact, it is double reverse.  ahh – you will just have to wait to see.  am about to begin that shell, soon as i finish this.  having second thoughts about the fabric – we shall see.  so, here he is – and you’d be surprised how entertaining it is to watch him – he’s seldom still, swimming and ‘exploring’ or just going up for air, almost constantly.

          and here he is back in his tank.

and now i’d best be doing some real work here – also must begin cutting some things for kits for show this coming weekend.  will once again be staying with mike and tammy and enjoy watching this little guy.  yes, he does have a name, and i forget what it is.  as i recall, i think it’s an acronym that applies to the waste treatment plant where he was rescued.  i’ll ask again. oh, show is in Benicia, in the clocktower building.

peace, love & beauty   http://www.artfullyapplique.com

for several years now, i have been proclaiming that i would like to do more commissioned work.  it has now been a long time since any came my way.  but now – i have one, and it’s a very nice one.  a woman who saw my work at the auburn show and has decided she would like a wallhanging over her bed.  we have gotten as far as which designs she wants – 5 of the flowers in the nearly nouveau series.  today i have spent some time seeing if can fit those 5 blocks within the size she wants.  a bit of a challenge, as it turns out.  mostly because she wants the black eyed susan in the middle and that one is larger than the others.  i have come close to what she said – am hoping there’s at least a little ‘wiggle room’.  don’t have any pictures to share here, yet.  i will be able to do that now that i have a new (wireless!!) printer/scanner (that actually works!!).  hmm, maybe i will wait to post this till i have something??  ok, did that – and here are the first two (really) rough layouts.  some imagination required here! ^_^  couldn’t find exactly right color markers, etc.

i don’t really know which one she will choose.  i think the square setting works better for the overall size/shape she was thinking.  however, i know she really liked the s.f. wallhanging, and those are set on point.  she’s not a quilter, so only choosing from the ‘look’ she likes.

peace, love & beauty    http://www.artfullyapplique.com

don’t have any business related stuff to share today – like pictures of new things.  while i did make some progress on the new turtle design, not ready to post pictures.  the biggest part of my day was devoted to fulfilling tasks required in order for the attorney to actually file the bankruptcy.  had to do an online counseling course/program.  i spent a lot of time afterwards being in judgement about that – how stupid and useless it all was.  and some equally negative thoughts about the ‘real’ people i had interacted with.  this morning i decided to see what might show up if i moved out of judgement and into ‘looking for the hidden gem’.  i have come to believe in that – the ‘teaching’ that no matter how (negative) things may appear, there is always some ‘hidden’ good, something of benefit, if you just look ‘aright’.  i won’t bore you with my (personal) amazing insights from that – will just say – when the opportunity to do that arises, take advantage of it!!  be frustrated, upset, pissed off, angry, unhappy, sad or whatever and then just stop and ‘change your mind’ and let it all go.  then open you ears and mind and heart to what the real message might be. ^_^  trust in that bigger purpose.  if nothing else, you’ll probably feel better. ^_^

and if you need a smile on this rainy day (at least here) – check this out.  yes, looks like an angel, but can you see that little bit of ‘devil’ in those eyes?  ok, just mean mischief – nothing really ‘bad’!! ^_^

peace, love & beauty   http://www.artfullyapplique.com

it is fascinating to look at the stats and wonder how anyone finds this blog.  makes me wonder where it shows up such that anyone can click on it.  yes, i am a little naive/ignorant about this whole blog thing.  it’s ok, have enough other stuff i need to learn more about! ^_^  so, i’ll just write and post some pictures and hope someone enjoys looking at them.

today i thought i’d show some of the other things i’m working on – the pins i began making a year or so ago.  i sold most of what i had while at the shows up north, so time to make some more.  was feeling a little apprehensive about it as it’s something i’ve mostly taught myself and was feeling like i would have to teach myself all over again.  the other day i was putting away the beads i had purchased while at the show in auburn and in the process of ‘playing’ with beads – found the perfect accent beads to add to the pin i had started ages ago.  found them in the ones i had purchased in wa at that show.  that was a pretty healthy purchase, for me – so now feel ‘justified’ in having spent about $100!  i set the beads on the pin and let it be for a couple of days.  when i decided it was time to just ‘do it’ – i was able to complete that one with relative ease.  yea!  it has an unusual cab and it’s also a ‘weird’ color – unless you are a fan of limey/chartreuse green (as my sister is).

the background fabric (that won’t show once it’s an official pin) is not so ‘limey’.  there’s also some turquoise in the glass cab – so used some blues/turquoise beads as well.  i’m happy with how it turned out.  sure hope there is someone out there who just loves that color. ^_^

yesterday i put collars around the cabs i had picked from those waiting to be transformed.  i had also bought some of those from my friend harlin who was also a vendor at the auburn show.  i think they were mostly ‘orphins’ for him, but  they will work nicely for me. ^_^  so here is how a pin looks in the very first stage of creation.  there are 5 – tried to get them all in one shot – couldn’t get flash to go off and then decided to split into two groups.

the little blue one on the left has actually been waiting since when i began the green one!

the one at the bottom is a natural, polished stone – one i brought with me from ohio.  have a bunch of those!  in fact – have another pin ‘done’ and waiting for a ‘pin’ – and maybe some fringe??  we shall see how that one ends up.

and now i need to get back to work here.  i can’t wait to see how many people find this one. ^_^

peace, love & beauty    http://www.artfullyapplique.com

not much, can’t even hear or see it – just looking at drops on the wire fence and a little dripping from my roof.  while only clouds from here to horizon, looking a tad lighter over there at least.

managed to keep myself working at least most of the time yesterday.  i’m working on a new design for the ‘in a word’ series, a turtle.  have to admit his little legs/feet are a slight challenge.  not awful, just a little.  and the space between them and the body is very narrow!  i will have to add a note, perhaps even on the pattern? – you have to trim away the seam allowance from the body in order to make space for the leg’s seam allowance!  once you do that, it’s ok.  it’s amazing how much you can cram into such a narrow space.  did the same thing in the “peace” design – the lotus blossom.

i also started a couple more pins – finished one collar and began a second.  have 2 more cabs glued down and ready.  oh, and one i did ages ago.  lots of choices when i get ready to do the really ‘creative’ part. ^_^

and here’s a picture of the little 4 block mini wallhanging that i used that 4th mum for.  someday i will add a border.  for now, it takes up less wall space this way.  and wall space is becoming a problem in a standard 10 x 10 booth.  i’m willing to go the extra $$ for a 10 x 15, when available – but paying for a double booth is still a challenge for me.  i operate on a very slim margin most of the time!  i really do like to eat. ^_^  ok, and then there’s the wine – and the whipping cream for my coffee.  ^_^

  so there you have it – perfect size to add a touch of color and fun.  there are kits for all of them- the ones i do that don’t include a background.  however, they are not available on the page – you would have to send me an email to get them.

and now it’s time to get to work here.  my plan is to actually de-hair the place today.  every now and then even i can’t handle it and must pull out the vacuum.  at some point, i need to purchase a vac that’s made for that purpose.  problem is, they are usually so big!  the amount of carpet than can be cleaned with a vac is sooo small!  and then there’s the ‘where to store it’ issue!  my little vacs fit nicely under my bed!  is a puzzlement.

peace, love & beauty   http://www.artfullyapplique.com

in keeping with my new commitment to post something most every day – thought i’d showoff the 2 new mini designs.  i have finally also added them to the webpage.  i tell everyone that it’s all available on the page – decided it might be good to make that true! ^_^

one of these was designed so i could create a small wallhanging – like i did with the 3 ginko designs – but i wanted it to have 4 blocks.  went back to the crest book – actually using a new one my friend ruth gave me – and searched for another suitable version of the chrysanthemum (mum). this one is very easy, – a good one (alone) for beginners.

the second one is another iris – can’t seem to stop doing those!  this is the 5th mini iris!  and it’s done like the very first one – using an overlay that allows the finished block to be larger than the normal 6″ mini.  perfect for a small accent pillow.  at some point, i will put the 3 together that are done this way – then again, may need a 4th? ^_^

  so, there you have it – tomorrow i will post the picture of the little 4-block wallhanging that includes that one on the left.

i have also begun the beading again – i sold nearly all the pins at the shows up north – very exciting!! ^_^  i have one ready for a back and one that i started to put the back on and then realized i had forgotten to attach the actual pin first!  i do that prior to attaching so i can sew thru the plastic backing and make the pin secure!  i have finally removed all those beads and stitches and it’s been waiting a long time to be completed.  soon??? ^_^

peace, love and beauty   http://www.artfullyapplique.com

i really have no idea how long it’s been since i did this – not worth looking up!  i have now made a new commitment to do this on a regular basis again.  can i promise every day?  only when i am in town and not at a show, sleeping in the van with no wifi! ^_^

speaking of all that, i did purchase a new. little ‘netbook’ to carry with me.  this big old laptop is huge and weighs a lot.  the new one fits inside my suitcase – which doesn’t usually have much in the way of clothes in it as my show uniforms are always on hangers.  much better for space – especially when on long trip and i must sleep in there along with all the ‘stuff’ – not to mention sophie dog!  every saved inch of space counts!

i have some pictures of new designs to post – but today, i’m going to post a picture of a quilt i didn’t do.  it was done by a ‘customer’ – using my designs and the kits i was selling for them at that time.  in fact, i did a special kit for #13 for her – to balance the colors overall.  she did a really wonderful job and i am thrilled to have the pictures!  i think you will enjoy this one as well. ^_^

didn’t she do a fabulous job?!  and i think that’s my favorite way to do them – rather than the traditional blocks format.

so, the good news is – i’m still here.  and we are still in our home.  life is good, all is well.  this year seems to be going well.  i have had some trunk shows and classes – those always help.  and i have traveled many a mile – did a 2000 mile trek in march, to portland and washington.  yes, it did rain.  a lot.  also drove thru a blizzard on the way home – not fun.  still, had lovely visit with fellow vendors/friends and made it home safely and with some change in my pocket. ^_^  even got to visit with grandson, in portland.

ok, will save some chatter for tomorrow.

peace, love & beauty      http://www.artfullyapplique.com