Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Secret Santa Arrived

Madame Butterfly - picture doesn't do it justice

Angel Cards w/Embossed Envelopes - picture doesn't do them justice as well
Tree Amulet made from silk fusion.... so awesome!!
I was so excited to get my package from Ang on Monday.... I swear this is true.... I know I heard angels singing the Hallelujah Chorus and the path to the mailbox was paved in gold. I slowly opened the mailbox and 10 lords came out leaping, butterflies on their heels... and there on a silk pillow was my box... I knew it would be worth the wait.

I quickly opened everything and ran to get my camera, when the new TV installer said, "Your internet is unhooked but someone will be out on Wed. afternoon to install it... WHAT???? Three days without the internet.... they might as well run off with my firstborn son.... it has been painful....

But on to happier things... Madame Butterfly is just beautiful. My bedroom is Asian with an emphasis on purple. I have the perfect spot to hang it there. The angel cards are far too beautiful to use and those I'm going to triple mat & frame to go in another perfect spot. And then there's the tree amulet... I have ALWAYS wanted one of those and I love that it's a tree!! And, yes, I have the perfect spot for it as well. It's as if Ang knew all the bare spots in my house that could use some good art. She also included another set of notecards.... some tiny seed beads.... a pkg. of ATC protectors and some yummy chocolate from Canada... THANKS Ang.... you were a perfect Secret Santa giver....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Secret Santa at IllustratedATC's

Now that my person has opened her present from me, I can post what I made. The wallhanging is made from patterns in the book, Spellbinding Quilts, by Maaike Bakker, using a paper piecing technique. It's embellished with various beads, sequins, cotton & metallic threads, and Swarovski crystals. I also made a 4-way ATC that makes a tree... Then a package with silk cocoons & rods, & other silk fibers. I'm still waiting for my present to arrive.... I have a suspicion it is tied up in customs somewhere.... This was such a fun thing to do.... everybody has been posting their presents as they arrive and it is fun to see people's art in larger sizes. Alot of awesome stuff! The most exciting thing, however, is Dana & I are going to do another trade of larger art so I can have some of her art... she creates the most awesome trees.... Links to her website: and Scroll down on her blog to see some of her trees... she has also designed a set of Tree Tarot Cards.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Actually Finished A Quilt Top

I just finished this. It is my favorite kind of quilt to make.... a lap quilt that is just right to cuddle in but still looks good on the couch. This might look like it takes a little bit of skill but it is only made from 6 1/2" squares and half-square triangles... it is 60 X 72.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fun Mail Day!

Mine - "Skull In Stitches" ............. From - Martha in Maryland
This trade was the November Match. The background for Martha's tree is from melted crayon. That is kinda her specialty.... you would never guess that's what it is looking at it.... but it is so vibrant and beautiful... I am starting to accumulate an interesting tree collection...

Mine - "Standing Vigil" " ........... "Aura" - From Randi in Nashville
Randi and I have traded before. I made this tree for the Tree swap but made another one for Randi when she wanted it... I know, I'm one of those awesome accomodating people...

Mine - "Pear Tree" traded for...
"Mists Of Dawn" from Kari (pear blossom gallery) in Oregon
This card is even more outstanding irl... I'm going to get a frame for it...

With her card Kari also sent me some fun "stuff" I got so excited over it all as it is all things suited perfectly for me from someone who doesn't "know" me... some awesome little peices of fabric, beads and other embellishments and all the detail of the tree & house are paper pieced on a 1 3/4" square.... amazing... and it is just flawlessly done...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Quilt Group Christmas Party

I just love my quilt group!! There are 30 of us and 18 made it to the party. I must say I was happy to pass on the Presidental duties to Judie... I have never liked being the one in charge of things.... or as Ken says it... I would much rather be in charge of the one who's in charge. I guess he doesn't like it when I can think of ways to do what he wants to do so much better. I guess he also thinks he's in charge.
Next year is starting out smashing... we all picked secret pals to give some kind of gift to each month at our luncheon. Jacque is also going to teach a series of applique classes which I'm really excited about. The collective creativity of our group is electric.... it would be best not to stand under any trees each Thurs. of the week.
We do a gift exchange and I just love my present. It is a holder with 36 different thread colors. It is handy to have when you are doing handwork.... instead of trying to gather all different, bigger spools of thread.... it's all right there ready to throw in a bag... and you're good to go. Kathie always makes hot pad holders which are just perfect for taking things out of the microwave and holding the hot dishes while you eat... watching TV. My dining table is for my many varied projects.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Free Motion Embroidery

I checked out this awesome book on free motion embroidery at the library this week. Not only are the images in it amazing... my sewing machine is made to do this kind of stuff.... I decided I better get some of my money's worth out of my toy that cost more than alot of used cars.
Can you believe this ocean scene is made from thread??

It also has ways of making different trees, which I really love doing so I've set aside some time every day to practice some of these techniques. So far the only thing I've really learned is that it takes ALOT of thread to make them. I could see my little shoebox of thread I inherited from mom rapidly disappearing. So not being one to deny myself much of anything I really want.... I called Melissa to see if she had any thread left from the store closing. She did.... so I took some of my carefully guarded quilt money and splurged on every color of thread she had. Now for the fun part... organizing it all and breathing in all that beautiful color...
The first atc I tried making was an underwater scene. It took me all day but it was alot of fun. I traded it to Julie, from Texas, for one of her dragons and she even worked a tree into it. I just love accomodating people.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rainbow Swap Done!

I finished up the final 6 cards to the rainbow swap. The hardest one for me to do was the indigo (Celtic Heart) It was difficult to show a design since the fabric was so dark. I ended up highlighting the heart with a white watercolor pencil.... it gave the darker shades of the fabric an almost bronzed look. Next I'm working on a series of trees... along with organizing my project room so I can get a new quilt in the works.... I've loved making the ATC's... they are quite addicting but I really miss the quilting.... I'm afraid I'll forget how and I won't progress the way I want to with them. Such delemias... have I mentioned how much I love my life?
"Purple Realm"

"Celtic Heart"


"Sparkle Clouds" I know I'm real original with the names.

"Yellow Vine"

"Rainbow Speak" Or I suppose it could be called "Rainbow Vomit"

Monday, November 1, 2010


This weekend was a frenzy of trading on IllustradedATC's. I'm not a big holiday person so it was a bit of a departure for me. I wasn't going to participate but then there was so much great art, I had to join in but only had time to make 3 cards. I'll know better next year, but I was very happy with my 3 trades and I met a few new people that we will do some trades down the road...

Mine - "Halloween Love" I added some tiny flowers on the grass and by the fence but forgot to take a picture of it. Traded for "A Perfect Stranger by Myrthe of the Netherlands.

"A Perfect Stranger"

Mine - "Touley's Owl" I knew she collected owls so I made this one just to see if she would ask me to trade. My experiment worked. :) She made me the Canadian Geese. They reminded me of the Geese that would fly overhead in Colorado, their songs trailing behind them. It always made me feel like all was well in the world.

"Anticipation of Spring"

Mine - "Hanging In There" traded to Margaret of Arizona. We have done a few trades before and it is always a treat to get one of her cards. All of her cards could be titled "Magic In The Air"

"Magic In The Air"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

More Great Art Received

"Horses In Green & Gold" from Elaine in New Zealand

"Cabotin" by Luci from Canada

"Grape Vine" by Myrthe from the Netherlands

"Goldy Locks" another one from Myrthe

"Cherry Blossoms" by Sabrina of Canada

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

California Here We Come

I started the gathering process of getting ready for our trip on Friday. It's the first time the entire family has been together in 2 years. Tyler and family will be here Thursday so we can make the drive together. (I have what I HOPE is a fun activity book for Mackenzie to keep herself amused.) But let's get to the good stuff. My favorite is the Recycle... Save the Earth bags for the kids. Inside are little presents they can do by themselves since we will get there late afternoon. Puzzles.... necklaces to make..... books..... painting on a wood picture..... and their extra special "Bedtime Story Quilts" since both Canyon & Mackenzie will be learning to read this year.

For later there are wooden picture frames to paint and embellish and I plan on taking some fab pictures to put in them..... t-shirts to decorate with puffy paint.... a wooden crocodile, dinosaur, & snake to paint and be a part of the grand finale..... the castle we will make out of popsicle sticks. That was Canyon's idea and he reminds me everytime I talk to him that I will be bringing the popsicle sticks. (the cardboard tubes on the end of the couch will make great towers) I've been perusing the internet for ideas and I'm sure we'll come up with something real fab!! (And I've toned it down this year) Let the good times roll....

We will have a mecca of books. My brother who is a 2nd grade teacher is trading me books for a "Betime Story Quilt" for his two grandsons. It will be just like Christmas.

Marshall gave me his t-shirts from some of the competitions he has been in and I put them together to make him a quilt. I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Rainbow Project

I joined a three-part rainbow swap. Each swap is a monochromatic piece in three different colors. By the time 6 months is up I'll have 9 cards in the colors of the rainbow. I really liked working with just one color....

"The Best Of the Garden"

"Two Orange Flowers"
(that's my original name, Brenda. It
took me hours to think of)

"A Rose Is A Rose"

I did this one where you are assigned a partner and then you make them a card based on their profile. We mutually decided to trade trees. She collects earth women so I "tried" to make her a tree in an earth woman's domain. I made it with batik fabric, wool fibers, linen thread, and then did some beading. These themed swaps are making my right brain muscles sore, but it is fun stretching their boundaries.