Monday, August 31, 2009

L'Amour, l'amour . . .

That is one of the songs that Carmen sings in the opera bearing her name.  And here she is . . .


For those that read my question of a couple of weeks ago, you can see I went with the hair all down - and mildly tamed! 


Carmen is wearing two ruffled petticoats.  I really gave my ruffler attachment a workout with these!  Yes, I'm still loving that toy!! 


Carmen was made using Arley Berryhill's Le Femme pattern.  She is actually one of my UFOs, since I made her for a class I took from Arley several years ago (six?  seven?).  This pattern is one that my doll club chose to make this year and I decided now was the time to finally get busy and finish this doll! 


Now, Carmen and Aengus are off to the State Fair.  Wish them luck!  (Don't they make a pair?)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Back to School

That was the theme for my latest postcard swap.  Now, granted, it's been a few years since I was in school . . . but I remember how much I loved buying new supplies at the beginning of the year!  MMMM, the smell of brand new crayons!


Well, back to postcards.  I used my Bernina's programmed alphabets to stitch ABCs on a piece of fabric.



Then I practiced some free motion quilting.  Do these look like apples?  Even some of them???







Then I cut and fused some items from a school-themed print.  In fact they are from one of the Loralie fabrics . . .I'll save the ladies for another project.


and here are two finished postcards with a few cute buttons added and a zigzag stitch edging.  One of these is on it's way to my partner now.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thinking Out Loud . . . (deep thoughts)

I've been reading the latest issue of Artful Blogging.  (Actually it's the Summer issue; I see Autumn is out already!)  I like to get this magazine primarily for the eye candy, and I consider any inspiration or knowledge to be an extra bonus!  There's always plenty of eye candy!

This issue had something that started me thinking.  It wasn't particularly a new idea, but apparently I was ready to catch the ball this time.  You've seen this question lots of places, and probably been asked it yourself:

Why do you blog?  What do you get from it that makes it worth the time?

I usually have some easy answer - spoken glibly and quickly forgotten.  But, there have been some bloggers I follow who have decided to stop posting lately.  They have sound reasons and I am not going to try to second guess any of them.  But my mind seems to be worrying this puzzle a lot.  I spend quite a bit of time blogging, but I spend a lot more time reading others' blogs.

So I'm wondering, what is the attraction to the whole blog, Facebook, twitter deal?  I get the standard reasons about connection and all that.  What I'm looking for is a deeper, truer answer for why do I (me, myself) put my deepest thoughts out there - and look forward to seeing what others have posted?  Are we looking for meaningful responses?  Is it a form of reaching out?  If so, for what?  And should there be some kind of balance?  Should my time spent reading other blogs balance with the time and effort I spend on my own blog(s)?  And I don't even want to get into Commenting yet!

If you are still reading this far because you want to know the answer - well, I'm sorry.  I don't have one.  At least not yet.  I'm still forming the questions! 

I expect to be doing a bit of thinking off and on about this.  I may share with you as I travel this road.  For those of you who prefer to just see pretty pictures, I'll put the phrase Deep Thoughts in the titles so you can skip those posts!  And I promise lots of pictures on the next post!  Really!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday WOW - August 26

Ack!  I forgot to take a picture of the worktable today!  BUT . . . I did take several pictures of individual projects.  So I put together a photo collage for you.


As you can see, I worked on several things today!  Oh yeah.  That upper left corner isn't really a project, but I needed something to fill the space.  LOL!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's Beautiful!

And very bright.  LOL!  So much for the idea of a dark, dingy basement!


Just a few details to finish up and I will be back in business. 


Just as a reminder - this is before . . .


. . . and after.  I'm loving it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday WOW - August 19

I've got two versions of the worktable today . . .


This is at the beginning of the day,


And this is at the end (well, mid-afternoon).


Why, you ask?  Because I will be gone all day tomorrow, and Friday I am getting NEW FLOOR!!!!!  I am so ready to be rid of this ugly concrete.

In spite of Sarge's doubts, I plan to keep the new floor clean (it will be white).  The current floor is so grungy, you can't tell if it's been cleaned recently or not.  Where's the incentive in that?  And if a certain pug doesn't remember he has been house-trained, he will be using a prosthetic to pee!  I'm just sayin'.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fun with Altoids

. . . er, the tins they come in, that is.

This month at my doll club, we experimented with making things from Altoid tins.   There are really quite a few things you can do with these (and other) small tins - from useful to purely decorative.  There were many, many ideas being bounced around the table!

I did some pre-work on three tins before class.  I painted gesso on one (not shown), ground off all the paint on one (this can be done by hand-sanding but I used a grinder), and mod-podged papers on a third.


And here is what I ended up with!


I used wire to string beads and buttons for the arms and legs and to attach a flattened bottle cap along with doll-head bead as the head.  I had a piece of Tyvek and a footprint in paperclay which I used as embellishment on the lid. 


Inside, I mod-podged clip art of a vintage brandy advertisement.  I'm not sure what the message is here, but it's bound to be a good one!  LOL!


For the gessoed tin, I stamped a face on the lid.  The ink was not really permanent, so it smudged and ran a bit when I sealed it with mod-podge.  Actually makes it a bit more interesting, doesn't it?


On the inside is more "vintage" clip art and a stamped message.  The legs and hands - more clip art - were attached using wire and beads - and some cute little blue clothespins!  By the way, all of the clip art is from Alpha Stamps collage sheets.

Apparently two tins is my limit for one session - because the third one is very simple!


I glued some grunge board arrows on the top - and that's it!  Of course the paper mod-podge was already done.  I discovered that just one layer of paper can prevent the lid from closing properly.  For the next time, I will trim off the paper cover right at the lid line.  But this little box will be good to hold paperclips or something like that on the desk.

I provided several of the tins for the group to "play" with.  I've been collecting them for awhile  . . . and forgot to stop!  It was nice to clear some of them out!  But I've got more, never fear.

If you would like to see more samples of what can be done with these little gems, just put 'altered altoid tins' into your favorite search engine.  One of my favorites for eye candy is the Art-e-zine site.  Yummy stuff!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Another finish

A few projects are finally coming together.  Here is one that is finished.


This is the stack & whack pattern I posted about here.  I made this top as a Quilt of Valor project and hope to find a quilter for it this month.

This is the second quilt I've made for this project.  I posted a partial picture of the first one in one of my Goal Reviews, but I can't find where I've shown the whole quilt.  What's up with that?


Here is the first one in a zigzag pattern using a selection of reds, whites, and blues - mostly from my stash.   I found this pattern on Bee Square Blog when Crazy Mom Quilts was the guest blogger.  You can find the tutorial here.

These are both quilt tops and now I will find a quilter for them both.  They will probably come back to me for binding and then I will give them to my quilt guild as part of our annual charity project.  If you or your group would like to donate to Quilts of Valor, follow this link for lots of information.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday WOW - and a question


The worktable on August 12.  Aengus is in for a little repair work.  Looks like he has his mind on something else, doesn't it?  LOL!

Now . . . the question.  I need some helping making a decision here.  Carmen needs a new hairdo.  What do you think?

option1 Option 1

option2 Option 2

option3 Option 3

option4Option 4

option5  or Option 5

Well, option 5 looks like the Wild Woman choice.  I would clean it up some and make it look like a hairdo, for goodness sake!

It will be next week before I need to do her hair, so leave me a comment if you have an opinion.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Special Project

In the last goal review, I did really lousy.  Not much was done at all and now I will show you the reason!  (That's my story anyway!)

The first of this month (August) was the 25th Anniversary of the local cafe.  They've recently done some renovating and the place is looking really nice. 


If you have ever lived in a small town, you know that a business like this is the heart of town activities.  Plus the owner's Mom is one of my best friends.  I had to do something special.  And being me, it had to be fabric!


In this closer picture you can see that I used some perle cottom to make "steam" coming from the coffee cup.

The cafe is well-known for their home baked pies, and the cup and slice of pie have been part of their logo for a long time.  I used a fruit fabric for the pie and also as backing (scroll down).


This was my first try at "free-form" piecing and so the letters are probably a bit wilder than I wanted.  But at least you can read it!  I followed directions I found here - sort of.  Her letters come out much nicer and closer to the same size.  Maybe mine will get better the next time.


This cupcake fabric was perfect for letters and borders!  Especially since one of the cafe's colors is brown.  Oh, you can see the quilting in this shot, too!  My best attempt at stippling!  I think I'm getting the hang of some of this.

So now that it is hanging in the cafe, I can post pictures here.  I appreciate what R and her family do for the community and it was nice to give something back.

Back to working on Goals . . . and fun stuff to come!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Meet the Madame

I sent my Hoffman Challenge entry off in plenty of time last month.  Now that the winners have been announced (go here to see them), I will introduce the Madame.   I will have to wait a bit to find out if she is traveling this year.  More waiting - that's the hardest part!


Meet the Diva: Madame Rossingnol.  She has always loved singing and, tho perhaps a bit past prime, she continues to make concert appearances all over the country. 


P7100012 P7100018








I constructed her body around a coffee can that was wrapped in batting.  It gives her a - er - substantial standing!  I did a lot of experimenting to get her mouth open as if in full song.  In the end, I settled for this more prissy mouth.  So, not in full song but more like between breaths maybe.  Now, what do do with all those 'reject' heads?

I'm glad she is finished and I hope she gets to travel.  When they travel and then come home, it is like getting a new toy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday WOW - August 5

I can hardly believe it is already August!  But, since it is - and it is also Wednesday again - here is What's on the Worktable:


I spent the day at lqs' Stitching Therapy session.  Not many of us there today, but a lot of stitching got done (along with a lot of "gossip" you know).  I'm hoping to finish this piece up soon.  It's getting there.