Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Scent of Old Roses

I finished this piece yesterday. It actually went together quite quickly when I just let my mind wander and allowed myself to be creative. Sometimes my brain tries to make rules for my creativity and then I get stuck.

The background fabric is something I painted and posted in an early entry. I added a photo that was a piece of clipart which I tinted sepia in my photo manipulation software and printed out on fabric. I fused it and the piece of fabric beneath it to the painted fabric. I added lace and sewed beads to the piece. It does have a piece of fusible batting between the piece and the backing.

I'm beginning to think about embellishing more small quilts for wall hangings. This piece is going to my mom.

Friday, March 28, 2008


When I met my DH in 2002, I had three cats. He assured me that while he was a "dog person," he could live with the Unholy Trinity, as the three spoiled brats were known. At least one of the cats, who has since passed away, wasn't very kind to Bob and gave him no reason to change his mind about preferring dogs to cats. And so it has been for the past 6 years.

Three weeks ago, we took in a friend's cat. The friend was going out of country for a month or so and needed a place to stash her 5 yr old red tabby female cat named "Kitty." Kitty has stayed with us before, but it still required an adjustment period to get the Gruesome Twosome (my remaining cats) used to having a guest.

Kitty stays in the spare room with Bob at night. She is used to sleeping with people, and the Twosome always sleeps in the bedroom with me. Kitty has her own food and own "facilities" in her room. During the day, she has the run of the house. The house is so large that the three feline inhabitants could easily avoide each other all day long. But, you know they don't.

Kitty has developed an attachment to Bob. She sits next to him on the couch and walks past me to hop on his lap when she wakes up from a nap and just wants to see what "her Bob" is up to. This 8lb. cat has stolen Bob's heart. Bob has teased me about rearranging my stitching or laptop to accomodate one of the cats that wants to be petted or to take a nap on my lap.

Well, tonight, Bob is BUSTED. Little Miss Kitty Princess-Thang, as she has been nicknamed, hopped on the couch next to Bob. He immediately shifted so she could sit next to him. When it appeared that she wanted to sit on his lap, he moved his laptop. Of course, she just walked over his lap. She was just passing through, but hadn't checked him out in 30 minutes or so. Not only has Miss Kitty developed an attachment to Bob, he's developed an attachment to her!

In case anyone doesn't believe are the pictures to prove it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hit the Jackpot!

Well, the jackpot for crafting anyway. We've been having problems with the APO mail system for some reason. So, today when the mail came in, I got a WHOLE bunch of fabric, beads and cross stitch stuff! I also got my Amazon orders for a couple of books and Seasons 9&10 of Stargate SG-1. I miss that show. Stargate Atlantis is a decent Sci-Fi show, but SG-1 was my favorite. Seasons 9&10 were pretty weak, but I have the rest of the series, so I thought I might as well get the last two seasons, too.

Back to arts and crafts! I painted fabric yesterday....again. This is what I came up with:

I painted my already painted fabric with Lumiere metallic paints in gold, copper and silver. Then I used Shiva Paintsticks to do a rubbing of a rubber stamp of roses and one that turned out to look like a cool circle. This piece feels kind of stiff, more like paper than fabric. I still have to iron the piece.

Another experiment: I painted fabric and then used an oil paintstick to rub a checked rubber stamp. Then I painted two other textured stamps with Lumiere paint and stamped as much a I could. This piece came out softer than the one above. Not sure why. Both are nice and very useable. Both need to be ironed

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I took 'em and now I'm gonna share 'em!

First up: My first bead embellished wall quilt

I used design ideas from the book Successful Scrap Quilts from Simple Rectangles . I have been in a black and white phase for a while. And I think I'm not quite done yet.
Close up pictures of beaded flowers:

These are really free-form flowers. I loved creating them with beads!

And I "tied" the quilt with clear, silver-lined triangular shaped seed beads.

And now, some experiments I've been cooking up:

First, some abstract pieces from tiny scraps and threads

The red piece will have things added to it. I may add it to a piece of fabric and embellish it. The black and white pieces will probably stand on their own with embellishments.

And, finally, my painting experiments:

I used a white on white fabric and painted with acrylic paint and water. After the fabric was dry, I used oil paintsticks for rubbings. I'll probably cut this apart and use pieces of it. I think I'll use smaller pieces of fabric and use my Lumiere paints.

This piece was painted with acrylic paint and water. I dried it hanging over the heating element in the bathroom, which left darker ridges in the fabrics. Rather intriguing....

Artistic Heaven!

I've been really lucky the past three days. I have spent the majority of my time on my artistic pursuits. Here in Bavaria, everything closes down for four days for Easter. All businesses, offices, etc were closed on Good Friday. Stores were open short days on Saturday and, of course, on Easter Sunday everything is shut up tight. No restaurants, no stores, nothing...except churches, of course. Yesterday was Saturday, so we went out shopping for milk, bread, etc anything we'd need until Tuesday. We're not even sure if stores will be open on Monday. Most businesses and government offices are closed, but we're not sure about stores. We do know that our favorite restaurant is open, so we're going there for dinner tomorrow night.

Anyway, on to my artistic pursuits: I finally finished and bound my first embellished quilt. It's black and white with beaded flowers on it. I am horrible about taking pictures of things, but tomorrow is going to be picture day, I promise! I also worked on another black and white quilt that I'm going to give to Bob. It's only going to be about 54x60 or so. Just enough to cover him up.

I also painted some fabric, which was very messy. Probably didn't have to be so messy, but I'm messy when I'm happily creating stuff. I painted some white on white and then used oil paintsticks to do rubbings with some of my patterned rubber stamps. I did a bunch of different rubbings just to test out the technique. I like it and think I will incorporate it into some wall quilts. I'll post pictures of that, too.

Finally, I just got done playing with another technique that I am really liking a lot. I got the idea from the book Stitch, Dissolve, Distort With Machine Embroidery . I've been keeping a lot of my tiny scraps, thread ends, strings, things too small to be used to construct a quilt. I sandwiched all these goodies between water soluble stablizer sheets and free motion machine stitched all around. Then I soaked the pieces in water and came out with very interesting freeform pieces that I can embellish further and use to decorate wall quilts or use for wall quilts themselves. It's definitely something I want to experiment with more. Right now, I'm using Aquafilm as the stablizer, but I'm going to experiment with some Solvy stablizers next time. I like Aquafilm, but it is a little goopy when I'm trying to wash it out of my pieces.

That's it for tonight. Gotta get my beauty sleep. Tomorrow I need to do my mountain of laundry, but otherwise the house is clean. That means more time for play time!

Pictures tomorrow!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Been Busy!

I have been a busy bee for the past week. I finished two black and white wall quilts. Well, one came out a bit larger than I usually make wall quilts, but I still think I'll put it on the wall. The second wall quilt is definitely perfect size for a wall hanging. I decided to embellish the second with beads. I made freeform flowers in the right hand lower corner and then "tied" the rest of the quilt with clear triangle -shaped beads. I don't think I'm done with it quite yet. The flowers in the right hand corder are colorful and make the rest of the quilt look empty. Soooooo, I think I'm going to rummage through my button collection and find a couple of red buttons to decorate the corners of the quilt where there are no flowers. And then again I might use size 11 seed beads to make some daisy like flowers (only red) in the upper left hand corner. I have the quilt spread out upstairs in my "studio" so I can look at it as I work on other things. What needs to be done with that quilt will come to me....eventually.

Today I spend a fair amount of time making jewelry. First, of course, I cleaned the bathroom and swept the stairs. After I finished those chores and a few others, I felt grand sitting upstairs stringing and making earrings. I was on a natural material kick and worked with turquiose, lapis lazuli, serpentine and various quartz. I have to admit I was never fond of bracelets made with elastic cording. However, after making a few for me to wear, I can see that they have a place in my jewelry wardrobe. Sometimes after I have worked with fabric for weeks and weeks, I need some time with my beads :) I really liked combining my beads with fabric. That's the best of both worlds :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Civil War Whirligig

Finally got a picture of my quilt made from Civil War reproduction fabric. It started out as a rail fence, but now I think that it looks like a whirligig pattern instead. I like the warm colors and the randomness of the fabrics.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

And Now for Something Completely Different....

I've decided to keep one blog...put all my stuff here. I'm just not multi-taskable enough to deal with more than one blog. So, in this post I will tell about our recent trip to....ROME! It was wonderful, but too short. Never having been there before, and having been places where I've stayed beyond the time it took to enjoy whatever was there, I decided to only give us about 2 days in Rome. Coulda spent a week...a month....a year.

It was cold, but at least on our first full day, it wasn't cold enough to keep us from stomping around the Colloseum and Palatine Hill. We were some of the first people to get out to Palatine Hill, where the ruins of the Roman Forum are as well as several temples dedicated to Roman gods. It was great to walk around such ancient fragments without hordes of people to trip over. We had the place to ourselves for an hour before the tour groups and school groups descended. From the Forum ruins you can walk upstairs to see Caesar's Forum. That was really interesting. Lots of columns remained and there was some active archeological activity going on. As you walk around Caesar's Forum, traffic whizzes by as present-day Romans go work or about their errands. And in the middle of it all are columns, statues and other remnants of "other" Romans who probably went about their business the same, only in different conveyances.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Another top finished!

In spite of a rather nasty cold, I managed to sew the last four rows on to what I thought would be a Civil War Rail Fence quilt. I used reproduction Civil War fabrics which I love for their muted colors. Looking at the top pieced, it looks more like a whirly gig pattern more than a fence! But, if I do say so myself, it's a nice quilt. I am looking forward to quilting it, although it is VERY BIG and will be a challenge to quilt on my regular sewing machine. But, I am up for the challenge and hope to have it finished by the end of the spring. For now, I am working on a black and white quilt based on the book Successful Scrap Quilts from Simple Rectangles. I like manipulating simple shapes to make interesting quilts. I don't know how big this black and white quilt will be. I think I have enough rectangles to make a large quilt or maybe several quilts. Maybe a wall quilt with red appliqued shapes, flowers or circles or stars.

Got a log cabin in mind for Bob's next quilt. It will use some more of the coffee related fabric I bought for his first quilt, but didn't use. I think I'll call it Bob's Coffee Log Cabin.

As soon as I figure out a way to take a picture, I'll post one here.