Saturday, November 23, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
I have never seen the show and probably wouldn't have taken notice when a local quilt shop announced Downton Abbey fabrics are in stock. However, my daughter likes the show, so it got my attention. I googled and learned this British period drama is set in the early1900s, and the styles of that era are classic, so I went to see the fabrics. They are lovely(!) and I bought 2 fat quarters (below) just because I like them. However, not only are there fabrics inspired by this show, but there is a whole line of additional items for *each* of the 4 main characters -- patterns for quilts, bags, and more may be coming. I came away loving my fat quarters but muttering something about "commercialization". THEN in my mailbox this morning was a promotion for a "Downton Abbey Quilt Retreat". Only $165.00 for 3 days at a hotel (overnight room not included) working with the special fabrics in 2 classes to make a quilt and a bag. Sewing with others is always fun (includes meals), but I'm still muttering "Bah, commercialization". However, to be fair, if the show wasn't a commercial success, none if these lovely fabrics would exist. Hmmm...I might start to watch the show.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I experimented with yarn tension while weaving the second piece on my new frame loom, and it ended up being woven too loose. However, it took much time and effort, so I wanted to do something with it. Then it came to me -- make a doll! Here is the result -- about 8" tall, vintage button eyes, and quite "owlish". I like it!
Monday, November 18, 2013
This is what I found when I decided to finish a cardboard loom weaving project today. I think my kitty already considers it finished, and hers! She bent the cardboard totally out of shape, and I have my new wooden loom anyhow. So, I guess she can keep it.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
I love glass and have it everywhere. The first photo is a piece from Belle Mead Hot Glass in NJ
The 2nd is a hand-blown Witch's Ball I bought in Salem, MA -- perfect!
I once thought I would learn stained glass. I bought supplies, set myself up with a place to work, and then discovered that using tools and good hand dexterity are important, neither my forte. So I just enjoy the work of others instead!
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
This flying Ghoulie comes with many haunting experiences! The head-top cotton boll (including seeds) just stuck when the green Wicked Witch of the West forced a crash landing in a cotton field. The pumpkin, leaf, snake, frog, and patch of mohair were also acquired in that rough landing. As if that wasn't enough, the pirate skeleton was already haunting the field, but my Ghoulie won out! There are glass seed beads, and the eyes are vintage buttons again -- the first things to be put on the stuffed Ghoulie. I always look forward to emptying my button jars to pick those out!
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Corn, corn, and more corn. I started calling it "Patchwork "Corn".
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
This is Ghoul #4, and he's proud of his ghostly heritage. His vintage button eyes and vintage corset ring (for his mouth) suit him just fine since he has been scaring folks for many decades. He's really old and has thinning hair. I don't know if he would scare me though. The happy ghosty friends on his body look pretty friendly. He has some glass seed beads of different colors because he likes to sparkle -- another non-scary thing. Two more Ghoulie Gallery additions coming, hopefully before Halloween.
Loom changes include steel rods that are thinner and that rest against the last yarn length on each side. Because the rods are thinner, they have more "give", so to keep them from curving inward as I weave, hooks were installed midway along both sides. Those two hooks also hold the last yarn length on each side. Additionally, the yarn is strung on every *other* 1/2" nail (instead of every nail). I hope these changes will provide more control over the straightness of the sides. Please note my smooth new hardwood shuttle. I found it on Etsy and really love it. Weaving is so much easier with no more cardboard!
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Things did not go perfectly with hand-weaving this first piece on my new oak frame loom. My vision of creating a table runner or tote was abandoned as I ran into issues with the uneven selvage sides. I tried a few corrections, but had little success. Since weaving this way is a slow process, I finally decided not to invest more time in this particular piece. However, I learned a lot along the way, and my loom has already been tweaked to give better results next time.
Monday, October 14, 2013
This may look like little progress since my first post on this project, but it represents hours of peaceful over/under-ing. The specks in the darker red yarn are tiny sequins, and I always like a little random bling. It's good that speed is not important with this activity, but part of me is thinking life is just so long!
Friday, October 11, 2013
In the spirit of Halloween, I just finished another creepy doll. In spite of the spider living on his head, his scary fangs, and creepy crawly ants all over his body, Ghoul #3 wants you to notice his big warm smile, his wide eyes, and the way he wears his heart on his sleeve. He is a lovable Ghoul! On a more practical note, I enjoy having a place to use my vintage buttons!
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
After the addition of 8 more nails and smaller rods, this is taking shape. I love the peaceful over/under process of weaving on a box loom. It keeps the activity simple, which is what I like for creating artistic pieces to enjoy on a wall or table. If weaving something like scarves is your priority, a speedier heddle loom is probably the one to try.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
This 14" x 18" loom is really done now and ready for me to start weaving. For those of you who wonder how this will work, look at this photo. Take notice of the row of nails top and bottom and the removable steel rods held on by metal eyes on the sides. When I put the "warp" yarn on the nails and start weaving, I'll post a couple more photos. I think you will really see the process then. A big thanks to my personal wood worker husband who has spent the last two days on finishing touches. This is not only functional, but it's also very pretty. He made it from pieces of left-over oak. I'm *SO* excited about this loom!
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Sunday, September 22, 2013
I made this 4" x 4" quilted fabric box for a new little baby girl's room. For now, it might hold Q-tips and cotton balls. Later it may be hair ribbons and other small treasures. Eventually, it could be a good place for teen jewelry. It's something she can grow with!
Thursday, September 19, 2013
We have four grown children ranging from age 27 to almost 50. Here is a photo of our youngest, and our only girl, being wed to her beloved fiancé. This ceremony was in the Buddhist tradition, performed by our second son, an ordained Zen Buddhist Priest. The Photographer was our first son who took 1,600 photos, many of which we have not yet seen because he is still working on them. Our third son is the Father of our amazing Grandchildren, and he was on the sidelines coaching our young ring-bearer and flower girl. Front row and center are my Husband and myself, trying not to literally burst with pride. It was a day beyond compare surrounded by Massachusetts Horticultural Society gardens under sunshine and beautiful clouds. We are so lucky, and giving thanks everyday is easy because life does not get any better!
I know this is a bit "off-topic"for my blog, which I devote mostly to creative pursuits. However, I wanted to share it with my blogging friends who have asked about the wedding, and the truth is, I made the ring pillow!
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
This box-woven piece with different components (see last post) finished up at 10" x 18". It was hard to block because fabric strips don't dry the same as wool yarn, but after a bit of pushing and tugging, then laying flat in the sun to dry, it turned out OK. It fits nicely on the wall under one of my favorite photos, and I can't wait to start another!
Saturday, September 14, 2013
I tried to make this more interesting than my first box weaving where I only used yarn. I added some lace, decorative edging, and torn fabric strips to this one. It's still in progress and looks off kilter, but wetting and blocking should square it up. I'll post a photo of it finished soon. I'm still having fun doing this, and the possibilities for what can be woven seem endless. Excited!
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Where I've been -- spending the weekend with our family in Massachusetts where our daughter was married to our new son-in-law, and that is one of our 3 sons officiating.This photo was taken by another son, the photographer, and yet another son is the father of our grandchildren, the ring bearer and flower girl. My three sons and their little sister, and now also a 4th son -- we are so lucky!!! I will share a couple more photos when they become available.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
I admired this polymer clay face on Marlene Brady's blog "It's All About Creating", and I wondered if she would sell it to me. But when I asked, she simply replied "Don't be silly" and sent it to me. Whatta friend! Marlene is an accomplished polymer clay, mixed media artist who also does amazing beadwork, and I follow her blog faithfully. When I see a face, it's always unique, and I LOVE faces! Marlene also painted the 6"x 6" canvas which is the perfect backdrop for this "tribal" face.
I had just hung my American Indian style weaving in my sewing room (see the post before this one), and hanging this mixed media piece above it is the finishing touch on my wall! Thank you, Marlene!
I don't know how to make a hot link on my iPad, but you can copy and paste it from here, or go down to Gene Black's comment where he has made it a hot link there. Thanks, Gene!
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
Like a kid, I've been playing with an empty box this afternoon. Following the tutorial on Gene Black's blog, I now have a "loom" that cost nothing, and I'm trying weaving with some left-over yarns. I've discovered weaving is meditative, thus addicting, and I like it! Does that mean there's an expensive weaving loom in my future? Maybe, but not anytime soon. I want to play with my empty box more before I decide. Think I'm just a big kid at heart. I'll post an update as I go. As almost always, I have no idea how this will look in the end!
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
Sunday, August 18, 2013
These two 10" squares of sandwiched fabric and batting (tiny quilts?) are on their way to becoming something else, but I wanted to post this step --- free-motion quilting! It's the first I've really tried this, and it was fun. I don't think I'd want to do an entire quilt though!
Saturday, August 17, 2013
This Vacation Bible School kids' craft was placed in the flower garden of a local bay church last summer. It's one of the few things Superstorm Sandy did not wash away in October. I think it's simply made of glass pieces set into cement. It's very colorful, and I always enjoy seeing it on my walks by this little church.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I finished this 4" wide, 2" high vessel today after knitting in-the-round, hot water felting, and hand beading. I used Paton's Classic Wool yarn (shown below) because I really liked the colors, but the end result is always different after felting. The beads are glass and the silver disc is sterling. Making these vessels is very addicting!