Friday, April 10, 2015

Measure Twice, Cut Once

I am a slow learner.
I've heard the 'measure twice, cut once' mantra all of my life -
particularly from my mother
when she was teaching me to sew my clothes
when I was in the fifth grade.
So, it's been going on for a while now.

I was happily working away on my
12 x 12" Art Beyond the Surface challenge piece
for this month.
It measured well beyond 12 x 12,
but when I applied the pillowcase backing,
and then snipped the corners,
it measured only 11-1/2 x 11-1/2".
I had forgotten my math.
If I hadn't clipped the corners,
I could easily have ripped out the seams
and ended with a cute little 12 x 12.

Here's the too small piece

I still had more stitching to add to it,
but thought it was time to back it.
Oh well........
For some reason,
I wasn't even upset with myself.
I was in the rhythm, or flow, or whatever,
and I was listening to a great book
(more about that later).
I turned around to the cutting table in my sewing room,
spied the ginkgo fabric shown in the top image,
and decided that it was a far more attractive piece in the first place.
So, I was off....
but this time measuring about 15 times before cutting!

The book:
I am in love with Ann Patchett's writing.
I first read "Patron Saint of Liars",
her first novel,
about a month ago.
What a terrific book!
I am now listening to
"This is the Story of a Happy Marriage",
and it is fantastic.
I can't stop listening.
My knitting requires all of my attention right now,
so I cannot listen and knit,
so sewing is a wonderful way to listen.
Patchett reads the book,
and she is an excellent reader.
It is available on Audible, if you decide to give a listen.

Thanks for stopping by.

Peace to you and yours........

ad remember: measure twice, cut once!

Monday, April 06, 2015

It's That Time again.....

This beautiful Wisteria caught my eye as we walked Bosco
in Midtown on Saturday morning.
Wisteria will now forever remind me of Cas Holmes 
and her visit here - smile.
Has it really been a year?

I've been keeping busy with a lot of knitting.
has me captivated.
I've completed both sleeves now,
and thought that venturing onto the back would be a piece of cake....
not so!
It takes every single bit of concentration that my weee brain has to offer....
and I still manage to mess up 
and leave a 'trademark error' behind.
Now that Easter has passed, I'm knitting bunnies
for Maggie and Charlie.

.....go figure!

I ordered this gorgeous skein from Purl Soho last week

My intent is to knit their Traveling Cable Hand Warmers.
Aren't they delicious?
The yarn is even better:
to feel it is to love it!

And then along came a nice little email from Quince & Co
chatting about their new Spring Kestrel colors.
I had to order the color card and the new colors

I love knitting with their linen yarns,
so I'm sure I'll be placing an order soon.

I've got just a week left until the ABTS 12 x 12" reveal
of shapes.
I spent a wonderful couple of hours
monoprinting on my Gelli Print Plate.
If you saw my last post
you know that I'm focusing on my beloved Rio Star Grapefruit.
Here are a few images
captured during my printing session

I'm looking forward to a play day tomorrow:
hopefully something magical will occur.

Well, that's it for now.

Thanks for stopping by.

Peace to you and yours.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Texas Ruby Reds Rio Stars

As you may recall,
I am in love with the Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit.

We enjoy one almost every morning
with our breakfast.
The season is rapidly coming to a close,
so I am savoring our last few.
They are the sweetest and juiciest right about now.

The upcoming Art Beyond the Surface challenge involves
So, I am using my beloved grapefruit.

Carving stamps is one of my favorite pastimes.
I find it extremely meditative and relaxing.

I'll keep you posted on how this all turns out.

Thanks for stopping by.

Peace to you and yours.

Please note, it came to my attention last night while discussing Texas Grapefruit with Deanna, that I was misstating my favorite brand - they are indeed Rio Stars.  I apologize to the entire great state of Texas and to the grapefruit growers in particular for my error.  I do love my Rio Stars!

Monday, March 02, 2015

Lining Up

My buddies and I from
decided to stimulate our creative spirit by doing periodic challenges.
There are only three parameters:
the piece must measure 12 x 12",
be completed during the six weeks between our meetings,
and must follow the theme we have chosen.
Our first challenge involves working with
the line.
I was happy with the topic,
as it coincided nicely with work 
that I had wanted to explore on my own.
My personal challenge is to produce a Lenten piece,
which allows me quiet, contemplative time
during this 40 day period.
Below is a sneak peek of my piece:

The big reveal of the ABTS challenge is tomorrow,
so be sure to check out our FB page
to see other group members' pieces,
and the rest of my 12" square.

I'm pleased to share with you my latest finished piece,
"Painted Buckeye".
I finally got it backed, quilted, and faced.
It measures 35 x 35",
and it taught me a tremendous amount.

I'm finishing up my Photoshop Essentials class with the Pixeladies,
which has been fantastic.
The classwork over the past couple of weeks 
has been quite time-consuming for me,
 and I am struggling right now with a couple of last assignments.
That said, both Deb and Kris are great about helping:
they are just a click away online.
I hope to get a lot learned and digested this afternoon.
I see that their next session doesn't begin until June,
so I'm really glad I took the class when I did.
I highly recommend it.

I'm knitting away in the evenings
and have almost finished my lovely 
9" more on the sleeves, and it'll be ready to sew up!
The yarn is a delight to work with,
and the pattern is a breeze.

I'll close with a picture of our duck, Whitey.

You may remember her from last summer,
when she first introduced herself to us,
and she was indeed all white.
Whitey molted early last Fall, 
becoming a lovely taupe tan mix of feathers, 
and for a while would have nothing to do with us.
Well, she is back and hungry as ever.
She greets us in the morning by pecking on our sliding glass doors,
and she proceeds to do this many more times throughout the day.
Now she has decided that our bird bath is a perfect place
to perch and watch us as we move about inside the house.
Never a dull moment around here!

Thanks for popping in

Peace to you and yours

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Surface Design Sampler Class with Lyric Kinard

I had a delightful break from our icy cold weather yesterday
with a Surface Design Class from Lyric Kinard.
Lyric lists this class as a Surface Design Sample Platter,
much as you might find on a restaurant menu.
It was fast-paced, in order that we cover many techniques
during the 6 hour class period.
I learned a tremendous amount,
and found her to be not only a fantastic teacher,
but also a delightful lady with a marvelous sense of humor.
It's no wonder she has won Teacher of the Year.

(a poor photo of Lyric, but you can see her marvelous teaching method -
everyone could see as she taught!)

We first carved stamps.
I've been carving stamps for eons,
but was amazed to learn some fantastic tips,
and put them to good use.

Next we made snowflakes from freezer paper
and painted them onto fabric.

We also used printed with Thermofax screens

and made CitraSolve prints.

I'd never been very successful with this technique,
so that alone was worth the price of admission.

Lyric concluded with a nice long session on beading.
I'd not taken a beading class before
so my technique was self-taught.
It was very helpful to learn from a pro.
Maybe someday I can  produce something like this:

In the meantime, I've been doing my fair share of knitting,
and ordering yarn.
Here's a new (to me) Crazy Zauberball,
which I plan to knit into a shawl.
More about that when it gets on my needles.

And of course, more sock yarn.....
just in case my supply ever runs low.

There's nothing quite like slipping on a pair of
 my handknit socks on these cold winter days.

My Pixeladies online Photoshop Elements class
continues to move along.
I am learning so very, very much!
I turned this snow-dyed piece 

into this:

and added a few little captions to a family photo

Our ice storm was not very pleasant.
We lost power for about 24 hours,
which wasn't bad considering many of our friends
 were without for 48 to 72.
We were greeted with this sight on our patio
when we got up Tuesday morning:

fortunately we only lost one chair and table on our patio - 
it could have been our roof!

Stay safe and warm.....
and thanks for stopping by!

Peace to you and yours.

Friday, February 06, 2015

I'm Pixelated

I've been having a terrific time in my Photoshop Elements class
with the Pixeladies.
We finished Essentials I a week ago,
and are now in break before II begins.
I've been using Elements for years,
but was only self-taught, 
and not well at that, so this has been eye opening for me!
I highly recommend the class.

Here are a few of my favorite homework pieces

This past week we've had four houseguests:
our daughter, son-in-law, and two grand cherubs.
They are in the midst of moving from a town about 45 minutes north of us,
to the Atlanta suburbs, 
which depending upon traffic can be either an hour or maybe even two,
south of us.
It is a great move for them,
and we are really thrilled.
Here are our two cherubs hamming it up:

They love, love, love to paint and draw.
Yesterday was a gorgeous day,
so we took the easel outside
and they had a ball dabbling with colors.

I haven't had much time to knit, or sew, for that matter.
But it's been precious time with those two!
Here's how my Garter Rib Pullover back is shaping up:

I had thought that I was done with one sleeve of 
but I've learned that I cannot always count to four successfully,
so I will be ripping back several rows to rectify my decreases.
It's really ok - I'm a process knitter,
not a project knitter,
so simply having needles and yarn in my hands is a delight.

Thanks so much for stopping by.
......and of course, I love to read your comments.

Peace to you and yours.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Oh, it's been sooooo long!

I had vowed that I would blog more frequently in 2015,
and I've gotten off to a bad start.
As some of you may know, we had our dear Barker
euthanized on January 5th.
He was 13 years old,
his health went into a downward spiral very rapidly
while we were at the beach,
and he slipped away peacefully in my arms.
Bosco, our 3-year old standard,
misses his big brother a LOT,
(not that we don't!), but we are confident that he will do better in time.

I've been keeping myself occupied (when 'others' have not!)
with a bit of fiber catch-up.
I had started making knitting project bags for members of my knitting group
way back in September.
You may recall that they gifted me with a 
lovely knitted afghan about a year ago when I was sick.
So, I wanted to thank them, and the project bags were the best way I knew how to do so.
I'm using only my hand-dyes,
and it's been fun!
Here I am sewing away on one bag:

(note the cute pin cushion made for me by my cousin Eva)

In listening to the Knitmore Girls Podcast,
Jasmin mentioned that they are using light colored fabric to line their bags -
the better to see the yarn inside!
I hadn't thought about that,
but it does make sense.
So I dusted off my hand-carved 'ball of yarn stamp',

inked up my brayer, 

and away we went, stamping lining fabric!

Here are a few of the finished bags:

I still have a several more to make,
but it's fun.

And I'm knitting, knitting, knitting!
We had a cold snap here a few weeks ago,
so I got this hat done just in time!

I'm also knitting two sweaters.
and the other is 
Both are great fun, and keep me alert!

And one last thing:
I am taking a fantastic Photoshop Elements class
with the Pixeladies!
What a fabulous class and format.
Those girls sure do know how to teach!

I hope you are well
and that your 2015 has started off nicely!
Thanks for stopping by,
and I hope to be back sooner
with some actual surface design work to share!