Monday, June 30, 2008

Never Trust A Butterfly!

Benny, dear, I've just heard some disturbing news. Some of my friends did not come to the party at Vanessa's this weekend! You DID deliver all the invitations, didn't you?

What do you mean "Most" of them? Oh Benny Butterfly! What is that behind you?

Oh No! Undelivered invitations! My goodness, this is catastrophic! I'm simply appalled to think that someone did not get their invitation. They will think I forgot them!

What can I do, what can I do? I must ring Auntie right away to see if she has heard from anyone. They do confide in her, you know. Oh dear, oh dear.

Those butterflies! They are so easily distracted by a flashy flower! So . . . well . . . flighty!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Morning After

(Moan) ooh! I think I overdosed on cake yesterday! Or maybe the chocolate? Nah! No such thing!

Wasn't the party wonderful, though? Many thanks to Vanessa for a great event. Such fun.

By the way, all the pictures on my post yesterday were of dolls I have made. Some of them have gone to live in new homes, but they were able to "visit" and I'm so glad.

Now for a nap - and some Pepto Bismal!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Welcome to the Party!

Welcome, welcome. I'm so glad you could join us! Today is the big party and we are all ready to go! Do you have your party duds? Let's round up the troops and head over to Vanessa's. Okay?

You don't know how to get there? That's easy - just follow the signs!

We are headed for the Castle in the Woods. Look! There are some of the guests just arriving.

I know, it doesn't look very party-ready, does it? That's because everything is set up in the garden.

But we know we are in the right place. There's another sign!

And looks who else is here! Say hello to Mona, Zaida, and Penny. Don't you just lo-o-o-ve Zaida's earrings?

Some more guests. There's Agatha and Jolene. Audine has just come in from the seashore. And the Duchess has graced us with her presence. LOL! Looks like she has some new gossip for Azura. Let's join in!

Ah, I see. She is checking out the costumes. Well, we said that masquerade was optional, you know. And we have a few brave ones. I see Mitsuki with her kimono and fan. And The Snow Queen is always welcome. I don't know who the Batgirl is - after all, it IS a secret identity! Hmm. Looks like she's put on a few pounds. Maybe that is why she's hiding behind Fatima. Don't you just love Fatima's beaded belt?

Why don't you wander over to the refreshments table while I check on the entertainers. What's that? Why of course we will be having entertainment! Okay, let me tell you what's on the agenda.

Chester the Jester will open up the show. He has a lot of new material and is anxious to see what you think of it. He will also be the Master of Ceremonies, so give him a warm welcome. Then Fanny, the Funny Girl, will juggle for us. She does acrobatic, too! Also, we are so pleased to have Frannie and Zoe joining us. These two are the best of friends and so-o-o-o talented! Don't you just love elephants? And for the Grand Finale, the Glockenspiel Sisters will sing for us. They have a very wide repertoire and have promised to do some special requests. How about the Beer Barrel Polka?

There's so much to see and do, so let's get going. Next we'll head over to A Fanciful Twist and see the goodies Vanessa has prepared for us. She will direct us to the next venue. Oh! This is going to be such a great Party!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Party Preparations

Oh dear! Ever since I decided to join Vanessa's party this week, the dollings have been all atwitter! You've never seen such goings on. Well, maybe if you lived in a girls' dormitory . . . but of course, the dolls can be really silly, can't they?

So, our imaginary sorority house has been very busy. The good china had to be cleaned up. And the baubles and feather boas brought up from the cedar closet and aired.

And the GLITTER! It's getting on everything. You would not believe the ruckus over the box of feathers I got from Bev last week. I'm sure there's enough to go around, but everyone wants first pick. And I'm afraid they will all have been glittered if I don't watch closely.

There are so many things to do yet. Baking to be done!

Hair to braid!

And poor Dooley has been sewing his wee fingers to the bone!

Can't wait for Saturday!

Monday, June 23, 2008

June Project . . . In June!

I told you I was already working on the June Take It Further Challenge! And here it is, finished in record time. When the ideas start coming things start cooking. LOL!

By now you should know about the Take It Further stuff. This month's challenge was about "stash." You know, all that precious stuff we collect to use in our art and quilting. The stuff that will be perfect for the Great American Novel - er, Artwork - one of these days. Sharon stated that stashes often have a story to tell or they take on a story as they are used in a work of art.

I spent quite a bit of time thinking about my stash. I also asked some of my quilting and sewing friends about their stashes. Coincidentally, the topic came up in the Friends of Cloth Dolls group. Through these discussions I realized that quite often a person's stash tells a story about them. You can learn a lot of interesting things about someone by the words they use to describe their stash. I heard words like "wealth" and "abundance" which is not surprising. But I also heard Comfort, Joy, and Passion. On the flip side, I also heard Addiction, Compulsion, and Obsession. This is beginning to sound like the trailer for a scary movie! Which is when I knew what I was going to do.

I've been wanting to work with words for awhile now. So I started gathering the words that I was hearing - along with a pile of light colored ribbons. Some of the ribbon is translucent, which helped gell the design. I used my Bernina's alphabet stitching and stitched up a whole mess of ribbon! Then I laid them out on top of a piece of fusible webbing and wove in plain translucent ribbon and fused it all to a background. I then fused the letters on and added a border. I may do some quilting on it later, but then again it doesn't really need it. So maybe not.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Party Time?

Just a quick note this afternoon. I've been following all the party preparation over at A Fanciful Twist and it looks like So-o-o-o-o much fun! So I think I will gather up some of my girls and get ready to party on Saturday. Oooh! This could be such a fun week! Go see what Vanessa has been up to - and be sure to check in on Saturday!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Progress - May TIF

I did it! I completed the Take It Further challenge for May. The challenge for this month was "what do you call yourself and why?" in relation to your creative work. There was quite a bit of discussion throughout the month - and continuing into this month! Obviously this is a major question for a lot of fiber artists. I have already blogged about what I think here, so I won't repeat that. Today is the unveiling of the completed piece which I call "The Dollmaker". It is hand embroidered on Aida 22 and then framed with a cool Nancy's Notions scissor print.

While I was adding the frame/border I started thinking about the June challenge. I have been thinking off and on about my stash and releasing my Muse in Tuesday's blog started things working again. I started on June's piece as soon as I finished this one and it is coming along quite well. Here is a "teaser" photo.
There's more to come. Soon I hope!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Goals - Halfway

Time for another 6-week Goal Review. Well, this six weeks has been pretty bad as far as goals go. No progress on anything! OK, that’s not quite true (purty durn close, tho!). But it won’t take long to go over the details.

1. Take It Further – just finishing up May’s topic. Hey, I’ve been thinking about the June challenge and it’s possible – just possible – I could get something done in the next 12 days.
2. Stargaze Tome – Nada
3. Hatmaking class – Zilch
4. Using the books and tools – I did some blackwork on the May TIF. Not sure that counts though. Just a touch.
5. Doll making – Worse than nothing – I’m about to be late for the library project. Aargh!
6. Hoffman Challenge – Zero.
7. Goal review – Oh hey! This one is done! Woohoo!!

Well, they say that even failure should teach you something. So what have I learned – and just what the heck happened here?

Lessons Learned

I knew going in that these goals were overly ambitious. I did not prepare myself to get majorly sidetracked – or realize that sidetracking would mess with my head like it has. Get real, Liz. They’re just goals. You know, like the Pirate’s Code is more like guidelines? So, I have learned . . .

* I’m still pretty much a perfectionist. Even though I’m getting better, I need to work on letting go some more.
* A year is too long for some projects. New things come up and it is OK to set the old aside to explore something else for awhile. It’s OK to shift priorities.
* Life happens. You can’t change it and you can’t change how you feel about it. Just cope.
* Halfway is always a good time to take another look. Is it still important to you? Is it working? What needs to change?

What Happened?

At first I thought my Dad’s death caused a break in my art, but I realize that my creativity did not go on leave during this time. I’ve stayed busy and yet found enough time to create. Not as much as I may have liked, but enough to maintain sanity. Isn’t that what it’s all about? What really happened is that I set myself some rigid guidelines. Inside I knew the deadlines were self imposed and really didn't matter. I got caught up in the "oulda's" (woulda, coulda, shoulda) and I finally burned out.

What’s Next?

Time for a slight refit. I am dropping the once-a-month requirement on all but the Take It Further challenge. Goals 2, 3, and 4 will still be on the list, but if I don’t feel like making a hat this month – fine. Maybe I’ll make four next month. I still want to enter the Hoffman Challenge, but when this doll is ready to come out of my head, she will. I am going to stop nagging my Muse. She’s pretty contrary and it just doesn’t work! (sigh) She might cooperate which would be great. If not, oh well.

I really need to stop stressing myself out over this.

I didn't have any pictures to show today, so you get treated to some clip art. Oh yeah. Next review is - um - July 29, or thereabouts. Not rigid, see?

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I've been playing with postcards lately. There have been so many people doing fiber/fabric postcards that I had to join in. And to really join in, you have to SWAP!

The great thing about a swap - you see - is that someone else will send you their really, really beautiful work. The one on the left here is from Susan Lenz as part of the Cyber Fiber exchange. Cyber Fiber is an exhibit that is being planned for January 2009. You can read more about it all at the link above. Susan has made several hundred postcards and ATCs to trade with fiber artists all over the world. The ones she receives back will be part of the exhibit. Pretty cool, huh?

The other postcard I got was from Celia as part of a swap on the Postcards group at Stitchin' Fingers. Celia named this piece "Seashore" and it is great! I can hear the waves coming in and hear the seagulls squawking in the distance. Makes me nostalgic for a day at the shore.

Since I mentioned Stitchin' Fingers . . . have you noticed that green box on my sidebar? Nice color combination, don't you think? Lavendar and neon green - LOL! Well, that means I am a member of this community/social network/whatever. A growing group of people who are interested in textiles and sharing their work and experiences. It is powered by Ning - and that's about all I know about that! Back to SF - there are a number of sub-groups where you can focus on a particular textile art. The ones I belong to are Fabric Postcards, Fiber Books, Stash Bustin', Take It Further Challenge, and . . . Cloth Dolls! (What a surprise!) We are in the sign-up phase for a doll swap. I'll have something to post on that later.

If you are interested in any of the textile arts - and have not checked out Stitchin Fingers yet - click on that bright green box and see what all the noise is about. Go on! We're done here for now.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Shop Hop!

Yesterday I went on my first Shop Hop bus tour! Wow! Was that ever a tiring - but fun - day! My auntie went with me and we had a really good time together. We've talked about doing this tour for a couple of years, but our schedules only came together finally this year. The Kansas Prairie Shop Hop runs for four days and the bus trips usually run for two days - I would never last through two full days of this!

Well, if your goal is to build up fabric stash, then this is the way to do it. Er, not too good for stash-busting, though - unless you're our "tour guide." The shop who sponsored the bus provided lots of give-aways, but our guide brought some of her own what-was-I-thinking stuff and gave it away as well. Each piece had a story, of course, and most were funny so we laughed and laughed all day. Between shopping stops, that is!

Oh boy, did we shop! This is what my personal treasure trove looked like at the end of the day. I did start out with a few goals and managed to fulfill all but one. Not bad, huh? Please note the small pile of change in the photo. That is ALL the cash I made it home with. Even had to borrow a dollar for dinner. Oh dear! But, I got a lot of really neat stuff - and lots and lots of inspiration - for . . . well, uh, maybe I shouldn't say. Hubby reads my blog sometimes, you know!

Well, now I have sorted and pondered and stored most of the haul (and eaten some of the chocolate!) and it is time to get back on schedule with my creative goals. There are still some family obligations to finish up, but I have more time in the studio every day. That means I will actually get a chance to work on the Take It Further Challenge and Stargaze Tome and Hattie's headwear - and so on. I'm ready!