Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ATCs for Embellish Stitch and Enrich Class Swap

Done with my embellisher machine for a swap in my Embellish Stitch and Enrich Class:

I painted fusible web and fused it to white felt. I added some soy silk and silk throwsters waste over top and embellished. I used some yarn I bought from Terri Stegmiller and made the hearts. Then I fused the felt to pelmet vilene with muslin on the back, cut into atcs and satin stitched the edges. I stamped the words on newsprint that I'd used under painting and fused them on with Misty Fuse.

Blue ones: I painted fusible web and fused it to white felt. I added some soy silk and silk throwsters waste over top and embellished. I added some snips of yarn, covered it with a light blue chiffon scarf, and embellished some more. Then I used my circle attachment for my Viking and stitched circles all over. Finally, I fused the felt to pelmet vilene with muslin on the back, cut into atcs and satin stitched the edges.

Red ones: I started with black felt, fused some Wonder Under onto it, then fused foil to the Wonder Under. After that, I added bits and pieces of yarn, soy silk, mulberry bark, and wool roving. I didn't have any chiffon scarves, so I put some tulle on top to help keep it all in place and then punched away. When I was done, I pulled the tulle off. l added more fibers on top. I used some yarn I bought from Terri Stegmiller and made the hearts. Then I fused the felt to pelmet vilene with muslin on the back, cut into atcs and satin stitched the edges. I stamped the words on a paper towel I had used when I painted some fabric paper and fused them on with Misty Fuse.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Fish

Click on picture to enlarge.

And here are two of our sunburst wag platies with a gold twin bar platy in between them.


Click on picture to enlarge.

It is REALLY hard to get a good picture of the aquarium! If I use the flash, there is reflection in the glass. If I don't use the flash, it's too dark - the shutter speed has to be so slow that the fish are blurry because they're always moving. So this picture isn't very good - but it was the best I could do. I cropped it to show a close up of some of our newer fish. Two of the angel fish are near the top (one in the center, the other over to the left) and the smaller fish that are somewhat schooled together on the right are the harlequin rasboras. You can also see one of the cherry barbs just to the right of the plants (just below the center), and near the bottom is the tail fin of the plecostomus (he is facing down on the back glass behind the heater - his favorite hiding place).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

New Fish

I was in Oklahoma City on Thursday, so my last stop was at PetSmart for fish. I bought 3 angel fish, 3 sunburst wag platies, and 4 harlequin rasboras. They're all alive so far! Last time I brought fish home, 2 of them didn't make it. One was my own fault - we really wanted an angel fish, and PetSmart only had 2. They were just staying near the top, not swimming around very much. I asked the clerk if they were healthy, and she said yes, angel fish just like to stay around the airflow. I knew better, but I bought one anyway. The fish didn't make it through the night. So this time, I looked them over very carefully. The clerk who waited on me this time was much more knowledgeable - and he picked out the ones that looked the healthiest for me. The other fish that didn't make it last time was a rasbora - it was the smallest one, and one of our gambusia nibbled on its tail. It only lasted a couple of days before it died. So this time I told the clerk I wanted the larger fish, with the idea they would be healthier. It seemed to work. We now have:

2 gold twinbar platies
3 sunburst wag platies
3 cherry barbs
1 red velvet swordtail
1 plecostomus (who has done a remarkable job cleaning up the algae in the tank)
2 green cory catfish
6 harlequin rasbora
3 angel fish
5 gambusia (we removed the one who nibbled on the rasbora)

It's looking so much better with all these fish. We've still got room for some more - just haven't decided for sure what else to add. But we're both enjoying having the aquarium - I'm really glad I talked DH into it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Journal for a Friend

I thought I had already posted these, but in looking for them, I couldn't find them, so I guess I never did post them.

When I took Sue Bleiweiss's journal making class, I started on a journal for an artist friend. He had told me that he had never used watercolor paper, and he pretty much just used whatever paper he could find. So I decided I wanted to make him a journal with nice papers in it. I ended up doing 3 signatures, each signature a different paper. I used a paper called Sheer Heaven for all 3 covers.

This signature has watercolor paper in it. I used color wash sprays for the color on the Sheer Heaven.

This signature has pastel paper in it. I used pan pastels for the color on the Sheer Heaven.

And this signature has drawing paper in it. I used bleeding art tissue for the color on the Sheer Heaven.

I don't think I took a picture of the cover, but it was very similar to the one I made my son; it just had a different button on the closure flap.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cat and Mice

I just finished this little quilt for Terri Stegmiller's Mixed Media Collage class. It was a LOT of fun to do. I actually drew the cat and mice myself - I didn't use a pattern! And I cut the squares freehand.

I hope to find some time this week to start on lesson 2, which is faux batik, but I'm trying very hard to finish up a quilt that I want to enter in the Oklahoma City Winter Quilt show. The deadline for entries is November 1 - the quilt doesn't have to be completely finished by then, but it does have to be close enough that I can get 2 good photographs of it. And that will be easier if I have it finished so that I can hang it up. I'm getting there - I'm actually pretty close. I'm doing more quilting in this quilt than I've probably done in quilts I've quilted in the past, but I'm quite happy with how it's turning out.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

One Sweet Blog Award

Look at what Fannie was kind enough to award to me! She awarded this to me on October 1st, I started a post about it, didn't finish the post, then I must have forgotten to come back and finish it! What a silly thing to do. I really appreciate the award, and I'm humbled by the fact that someone I admire so much gave me this award. Not only that, but then a few days ago, Fannie was kind enough to give me two more awards:

I have met some amazing people through the internet and blogs. I would like to pass these awards along to two talented artists whose blogs I read regularly: Sue Bleiweiss and Terri Stegmiller. Not only do I enjoy these ladies' blogs, but I have also taken several of their online classes, and both are excellent teachers. I highly recommend their classes, which you can see at Two Creative Studios.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

Set in France during World War II, this is actually two novellas. The first, Storm in June, tells of the evacuation of Paris when the Germans arrive. All classes of people flee. The second, Dolce, tells of the German occupation of one small village in France. This was intended to be a five-novel cycle, but the author, a Russian-born Jew, was arrested and shipped to Auschwitz in 1942, where she died a month later. I have read many books about World War II, but none (that I remember) set in France. I liked Dolce better than Storm in June, although both were very well written. I rate this book 4 out of 5.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Squares Paper Quilt

I just finished another paper quilt today - this one is from my last lesson in Terri Stegmiller's class, Paper Quilting Explorations. The top is all paper - no fabric at all. It has Peltex (a stiff interfacing) between the layers, and a fabric backing. The background is watercolor paper that I painted with watercolors. The squares are a variety of papers - watercolor paper, handmade papers (some commercial, some my own), old book pages, layers of tissue paper, brown lunch sack. I used a variety of coloring methods as well. I'm learning that my favorite papers usually are colored with some type of watercolor - liquid, spray, Twinkling H2O, or crayon. A few of the squares have acrylic paint or walnut ink, and all are edged with stamping ink. Then the squares are free-motion sewn to the background. I tied on the buttons with embroidery floss, and the binding is a brown paper lunch sack that I crumpled up, flattened out, then painted the high spots with Lumiere paints. I fused some Misty fuse onto the back, cut it into strips, fused it to the edges of the quilt, then stitched. It was a lot of fun to put together.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Second Paper Quilt

I just realized that I hadn't posted this yet. This paper quilt is 12" X 12" and is from the second lesson in Terri Stegmiller's class, Paper Quilting Explorations. I'm having a lot of fun with this class. In the first lesson, we colored our fabric-backed paper while it was still wet with the glue. For this lesson, we waited until it was dry to color it. Terri gave us several more suggestions for coloring techniques. I used Twinkling H2Os on the bird. For the background, I took one of the pieces I did from the first week and added to it, using sequin waste (also know as punchinella) as a stencil, paint bottle lid as a stamp, and edge of a credit card as a paintbrush. The words are computer printed on watercolor paper. The branch and beak are scrapbook papers, and the eye is painted on watercolor paper. The leaves are papers from the first lesson. The music notes are drawn directly onto the background. This was fun to do, especially the background - I really love adding more and more layers like this. I want to do a fish quilt too.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


I'm behind on my soul journal - 2 weeks behind. Maybe that's why Kathryn tagged me - to get back at me! LOL!!! Just kidding.

The rules are as follows:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

My six random things about myself:
1. My aunt taught me to knit when I was in grade school, and I knitted 2 sweaters for myself.
2. I learned to crochet shortly after that, and never really knitted again.
3. I learned counted cross stitch in my early twenties, and stitched more things than I can count. I always had my stitching with me - it kept my hands busy.
4. I learned to needlepoint in my thirties. Again, I didn't go anywhere without something to stitch.
5. After all those years of hand work, I developed tendinitis (or something) in my wrists, and had to give up all hand work.
6. That's when I learned to quilt - by machine. I do all of my piecing and all of my quilting by machine. I even put my binding on entirely by machine. The only handwork I do on a quilt is sewing on part of the hanging sleeve and part of the label - the parts that don't go into the binding seam.

The six people I'm tagging:

1. Elizabeth
2. Tracy
3. freebird
4. Jennifer
5. Fiona
6. Cheryl

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Cyber Fyber Random Trade

These are the ATCs that I am sending to artist Susan Lenz of Cyber Fyber for the Random International ATC Trade (which you can read about here). I've already posted pictures of the two on the left in earlier posts (here and here).

The one on the right has a funny story behind it. The postcard I did for day 3 of my blog giveaway used this technique, and I had the postcard signed and addressed and all ready to mail. For some reason that I don't remember, I had carried it into my sewing room and set it on my cutting table. I was cutting apart atcs (probably the set that includes the one on the left in the picture above), when one cut was more difficult than it should have been. I realized that the postcard was under the atcs. Well, I'm sure you can imagine how I felt! And I had cut the postcard in such a way that I couldn't even get an atc from it. I had to decide what to do about it since I didn't want to disappoint Jennifer, the winner of that postcard. So I made another one. And while I was doing it, I made a large enough piece of felt that I got not only the postcard, but 5 atcs from it.