Thursday, May 29, 2008

Great time but nice to be home

Heads up... there is nothing quilty about this post!
I spent a wonderful week in NY/NJ but it is nice to be able to sleep in my own bed. I did some fun shopping with my daughter and managed to find the elusive shoes that will fit my feet.. and on sale! I bought a gorgeous silk skirt for her shower at the end of June and a dress for the rehearsal dinner. Very productive. She got want she wanted as well as some office clothes for the summer. I now just need a swatch of my dress fabric so I can have the shoes dyed. I am afraid to do them myself. We also stuffed and stamped all the wedding invitations (they are gorgeous), and put labels on the "goody bags" that will be handed out. Things are progressing very smoothly but that is not surprising as my daughter is very organized ... unlike her mother.
I got caught up in the bead stores. My Aunt got me some beading tools for my birthday so of course I had to buy some beads to string up as well. I decided that I would try to restring some necklaces that have broken. I have a pearl necklace that belonged to my mother that I would like to give to my daughter. I am going to have to learn how to make knots. I also have an onyx and gold necklace that broke ages ago and I never got around to having that restrung. I am going to practice with that one before I tackle the pearls. Thankfully, I still have the findings for both of those because I forgot to buy findings for the other beads that I bought. I got some funky colored mother of pearl disks that I am going to sew on quilts and some lovely ceramic cube beads that I will play with. I inherited a ton of coral beads that have been sitting in a closet for ages that I may now bring out and do something with. I will need to get some findings for those. I should also probably invest in a DVD because I really have no clue what I am doing. For right now I am mostly relying on what I am finding online as well as some of the emails nice people have been sending me which also have wonderful links and instructions.

I still need to finish my SAQA piece but I hope to do that by the end of this weekend. It is coming along fine. I will get back to more dyeing next week. I am looking into setting up a paypal account but I will open a separate bank account for that first. Maybe I will get to that tomorrow. I am still a bit jet lagged from the 3 hour time difference.... the flight back was a pain. There was a 2 1/2 hour delay because all the NY area airports were shut down due to weather. I found out we were lucky... some planes were delayed 4 hours. I got home about 3:30 a.m equivalent NY time.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Quilts as Art

I have been spending a wonderful few days in NYC with my daughter, close friends and family. For a change we have been in a hotel in midtown across the street from several bead shops.... I was pretty good! The art work in the hotel we are in are all quilts that have been framed. There is nothing sophisticated about them but they are all charming. They are made out of cottons that look like they were probably dyed using natural dye and they are all hand stitched. I was able to take some photos... not very good ones but at least the idea is here. The hallways are narrow and the angles were not good. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rewarding day

We had an unusual nighttime visitor... a desert toad, on our back patio. He was kind of cute. Want to guess what toads do when they are scared half to death? Ned had some cleanup to do!

The tomato garden is coming along nicely. I have some yellow grape tomatoes which are actually returning from last summer on their own. I have never seen a tomato plant regrow itself. The first crop is in and they are delicious. I have also planted some Heirloom tomatoes but they are just flowering and a red sweet pepper. Hard in the desert to grow veggies without a lot of effort. Hopefully when I get back from NY next week my 12 rose bushes will start a 2nd bloom. I am sorry I did not take a picture as they were a riot of color. I had upwards of 50 blooms per bush.

Yesterday was dye day and this morning ironing day (yuck). I did another gradation run and some 3 color multi's. I had some dye left so I just tossed it onto a couple of yard pieces and I really love the results. My favorite is the red piece but that one was planned. I tried to get 2 black but one came out brownish and the other blue. Not bad, but not black.

I would like to get rid of some of these and the previous ones. I will have to figure out how to set up Paypal or something.

In the meantime, I got lucky and got a mileage ticket to NY for this long weekend. I am going wedding shoe shopping with my daughter and will attend to other related things. When I get back I need to finish my piece for SAQA and some of the other things I would like to do.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Phoenix Botanical Garden

I spent the morning at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens, a place I love to go but is almost an hour from me. The cacti are in bloom and the weather is gorgeous. Not much more you can ask for. Enjoy the slide show. I also will be adding fabrics to the slide show from yesterday... I added 2 more but probably will not do any more dyeing till Monday. Bridge calls this weekend. If you are having problems viewing the slideshow, I can make it smaller, just let me know.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It doesn't take much to make me happy.

My new washer arrived and I have started dyeing again, mostly yards and half yard pieces. I did a 2 color multi hued 6 piece set that I love and a 3 color parfait that is awesome. I did some solid pieces as well. I have 2 dogs, woof, that I can live without. One, I can probably overdye as it came out pretty blah. It is a very pale pink with very light green highlights. Not my style. The other is very pale apricot to peach that is pretty but too light for me. I may think about selling some of these. I have taken pretty good notes and can probably duplicate the colors if not the colorations and designs on almost all of these. Thanks to Deb Lacativa, I have a gorgeous red piece. She very generously shared her recipe. I still have lots of dye left and lots of fabric, but I ran out of steam. Ironing them is a bitch. I want a mangle!!! Enjoy the eye candy. You can see larger images if you click here.

Friday, May 9, 2008


I made a covered corded binding that got sewn to the back to finish this off. I forgot what a pain in the butt that is, but it is all done. This was a great learning experience. I am not sure what I am going to do with this, but at least now, I like it.

The plumber was here this morning and set me up with a new washing machine hook up in the garage. Machine arrives on Tuesday and then I will get back to dyeing without breaking my back. Chore for the weekend is putting back the sheetrock and taping it all up. Fun.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunflowers in Blue Greens

I am done! I am going to put a corded edge on this piece and call it quits. I added more stitching to it and a smattering of French knots. This seemed to be a lot of work for such a small piece, but I learned a lot in the journey and had some fun on the way. That is really all I ask for in the end. I want to thank everyone who left comments and those who emailed me. I appreciate you all taking the time to look and for the feedback.

Lizard Love

We live out in the desert and we have all sorts of critters, including several types of lizards. I was doing some work in my courtyard today and noticed a whole bunch of activity in the bedding area and saw more movement than usual. The lizards are pretty use to us and tend not to run off but I don't usually see them chasing each other around. For hours these 2 were following each other and chasing one another. I think it is mating season. They were good enough to pose for me.

The downside to living out where we do is the threat of fire in the summer. We had 2 wet winters and the brush and weeds have been going gangbusters. We have been working hard to clear the area around the house out. When we get dry lightening, I start bouncing off the walls. This is going to be a very bad season for fires.

I have some planting chores ahead of me. We bought a seedless grape vine and a climbing rose to go in the back along with my other 12 rose bushes. I had previously ordered a Brugmansia seedling and one of Iochroma.. they arrived yesterday and have to be potted in LARGE pots. I lost my marbles and bought some Basil plants. I love making Pesto but the plants seem to grow faster than I can make it. Does anyone know if you can freeze Basil leaves to make into Pesto later? I freeze the Pesto in portion sizes and can use it all winter.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I spent the morning gardening before it got too late. My roses are in wonderful bloom. I then tackled my study in blue green. I pulled out the Stewart Gill paints I have been staring at since Houston but never opened, and just played with the colors. I knew the effect I wanted but have never used the different types of paint that came in my set. I wound up using Colourise, Pearlise, Alchemy, and Metamica. What fun! Here is the result. I still need to fix the top right corner. I am going to add more stitching and make it more grass like and then add other bits of it in other places to balance it out. It will not get painted. This piece is starting to grow on me. It is 8.5" x 12". Not sure what I will do with it when I get it done. I will probably put a cord around the edge and bind to the back. I do not think a border will add to this but I will audition something when I get there.
Tomorrow is another day.

Thanks everyone who left comments and also wrote me privately. I appreciate you all.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Trying to make a silk purse from a sow's ear

I belong to a great group where it has been decided that we will have a challenge every month on some sort of Art skill. This month was balance.... I failed BUT, I decided to use it to practice my sorely lacking skills in quilting and I wanted to try my hand at fabric painting. I got as far as the quilting part. I also have an aversion to blue so I decided to work in blue-green.... as close to blue's as I have. I have hated this piece from the beginning and it will probably end up in the round file.
My drawing skills are on par with my quilting skills so all of this was done free hand. Next step is to paint.

Feel free to throw darts at it.