Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's Done

This quilt is done. Another UFO finished. It is a quilt to be used. It has also been pieced for years and has been hiding in the closet. It is flannel and was a class I took at a local shop. I did not put batting in it since it is two layers of flannel and pretty big.

I started out trying to free motion quilt it. I did one tree and decided that that was not going to work. The seams are too bulky (the back is pieced with leftover flannel pieces) and it was not sliding around well. So I just stitched in the ditch and just enough to hold the front and back together. It is so large it fits on Anna's bed.

2008 is done as well. I'm not much in the reflective mood right now. Usually my review of the year seems to happen in the Christmas letter. It was a pretty good year (despite the economy). Tomorrow is a new day and a new year, a new slate to fill. See you next year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No More

The igloo is no more. We had a very warm day yesterday, around 55 degrees, and the snow is gone.

Christmas decorations are no more. Yesterday I managed to get everything down and boxed up again. This year I wanted to have everything put away before New Year's day so we could start the year anew.

2008 is almost no more, as well. How do you transition from one year to another? Right now is the time when I have the urge to finish old projects and get organized for the new year. But, as is apparent by the amount of projects in my closet, the urge to finish doesn't always translate into action. I am working on another UFO (unfinished object) and hope to finish it soon.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ready to Ride

We have finally received a good storm of snow, about 4-6 inches today. (I'm sure that is nothing compared to many areas around the country, but we are happy to have it.)

There is even enough to go sledding down the street. On the torpedo, we have sled racer #1: Lisa.

On the Glad-a-boggan, sled racers #2: Anna and Frank.

On your mark, get set, GO!

O.k. I couldn't take a picture while I was racing, could I? This is Frank on another run. Anna only went a couple of times because she didn't like having to walk back up the hill again. Instead, she threw snowballs at Frank and me as we went by!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays

I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing, safe holiday. We did. Frank and Anna managed to finish their igloo/snow fort on Christmas Eve. I think it is still holding up.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I Did It!

I finally finished this Christmas quilt, with hours to spare. This was a UFO (for those not in the know, that means unfinished object: you know, one of those projects you start and then it gets put in the closet and forgotten for years). It is not a gift for anyone but ourselves.

Several years (or more) ago, I did a block of the month type thing at one of the local quilt shops. We could do it in either batik or traditional fabrics. I chose the batik and had a brilliant(?) idea that every time I made a batik block, I would also make one with Christmas fabrics. In the end, I had nine sampler blocks. I kept all the fabric together so I could use it to finish the quilt.

I pulled it out and decided to make a couple more blocks and put white blocks in between. I wanted it big enough to use as a lap quilt. It's pretty scrappy and the quilting is very simple. But, best of all, it is done! (By the way, the batik one has been pieced for years but has yet to be quilted.)

Here it is hanging on the railing. Not the best decoration, but festive anyway.

While I was finishing up the binding on the quilt, Frank and Anna have been outside building a snow fort. That big storm we were expecting never came. It has been snowing a little for a few days, but some usually melts. We have enough on the ground with which to do something. So Frank built a box so they could make nice blocks for a snow fort. More pictures to come when they are finished.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Santa Quilt

It's safe to show you this now. These are some cross stitch Santas that my mother-in-law has been doing for years. While visiting one time, she brought them all and asked what she should do with them. Of course, I said make a wall quilt. So she left them for me to sew together.

I did not get it made for last Christmas but was determined to get it ready for this Christmas. I finished it over Thanksgiving this year and was trying to get it packed up and sent so quickly that I forgot to take a picture of the actual completed quilt. This is just a picture of it up on the design wall. I also added a red border around the green.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Yo yo Flowers

In a previous blog, I asked what I should do with the yoyo flowers I had made. Here I finally made something with some of them, a headband. What a beautiful model I had to pose for me.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Today was the last day of school for 2008. Anna was hoping to get enough snow last night to start the break one day early. Nope, we only got a little bit. They had a good time at school with caroling and class parties, anyway. It did snow some more later in the day and at one point it was snowing and the sun was shining. Very hard to get that in a photo.

We are expecting a very big storm around Sunday evening. I'm planning on a grocery run tomorrow to stock up before it hits. Fortunately, Anna won't have school and Frank won't be going to work next week. We can hunker down in the house if we have to.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Making

Anna and I stopped by Michael's yesterday to get a couple of things. I saw these really cute beads. I bought some and made myself some earrings today.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Still Making Stuff

I love making crafty stuff for the Christmas holiday. Several years ago, I bought a kit to make snowflake ornaments, like these above, with Anna. Then, I found the wire forms by themselves and bought a bunch, thinking I would make them with Anna's class.

This wire was very hard to turn the loop on the end so the beads didn't fall off. So I ended up using silver pipe cleaners twisted together for the kids. It worked better for the, then, third graders. But I had a bunch of these leftover.

My sister made her own versions this year, so I decided to dig these out and just make up the rest of them. I think I will take them to my yoga class and let everybody pick one (although I'm not sure there will be enough).

I'm not quite done with the holiday making yet. One more thing for giving and then I want to work on a Christmas quilt for myself that is a sampler of blocks I had done several years ago. I'd really like to at least get it pieced so I could drape it over my stair railing for decoration. I'd also like to make a Christmas wall hanging for myself. I've also had the pattern and collected fabric for several years now. Stay tuned, it might just happen!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Finally, We Have Snow!

It snowed some yesterday, but it was very light and much didn't accumulate. This morning we woke up to this.

And Anna was in her snow gear and out on the street with the sled at 6:30 a.m.! This is the same girl I practically have to drag out of bed in the morning on a school day. Yes, it was still dark out.

What was the response of her rational, logical parents? To get up, put on their snow clothes and go out with her. So much for sleeping in.

Notice Anna's new hat (very similar to the one she lost last year). It was part of her advent calendar gift. She had to follow the clues that were in the advent calendar to find her new hat. What an appropriate day for it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Receiving Rest

Today has been a busy day for me. It started off with a visit to the dentist to fix a cracked tooth (not my idea of fun). After that I continued to pull out the boxes with Christmas decorations. For some reason, the decorating is going very slowly this year. But going up and down the stairs many times to get/return boxes and find the right place for everything, I am just about done with the decorating.

Then it was back to school for a yearbook meeting with the kids. When that was done, it was running to the office supply store to get another memory card to replace one that has mysteriously gone missing from the school camera and then to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for muffins for tomorrow morning's choir party. After picking up Anna, it was more decorating, walking her friend back home, making dinner and making muffins.

After all that, it was time to sit down in the living room with the tree lights on, no noise, a magazine in the lap and enjoy reading an article. The article was about, in this season of giving, how are we about receiving. There were many ideas about our comfort and attitude about receiving. The article is in a wonderful magazine I subscribe to called Ode. And I realized I was open to receiving a little bit of rest at the end of a busy day.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Candy Canes

I made these candy canes today using this easy tutorial. They are cute, but they are a bit fuzzy. I'm not sure how I'm feeling about fuzzy candy canes. It's like someone licked them and set them on the carpet. Maybe I should borrow some Sculpey from my daughter and make some hard ones, or use beads, or glass would be cool (I don't do glass). What do you think of fuzzy candy canes?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

We Have Tree!

Frank and Anna went out to pick a tree yesterday. The fresh pine smell in the house is so wonderful.

Let the merry-making begin!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I've been nominated...

. . . for this Kreativ Blogger award by Beverly (see her blog here). I am grateful she thinks I deserve this award. I think I need to spruce up the blog and have more art content, but most of the time, those everyday things, that do not necessarily include creative endeavors, take over. I thank those of you that read this blog, even through some of the boring stuff.

The rules for this award are:

1. The winner may put the logo on her blog.
2. Put a link to the person you got the award from in your blog.
3. Nominate 5 blogs.
4. Put links to the blogs.
5. Leave a message for your nominees.

Here are my 5 nominees for the award (although some of them may already have done this)

Sara Lechner: I enjoy seeing her fantastic needle felting works, as well as others, on her blog(s). She really creates her own little worlds. She is in Austria.

Beate Knappe: I think she has already been nominated, but oh well. She has lovely photography and also needle felted projects. Although she lives in Germany and uses German in her blog, she also provides English translations.

Melody Johnson: Her blog always provides a blast of color from her quilts, house decor and garden and I am always amazed at how quickly productive she is.

Terry Grant: I love Terry's style of artwork and enjoy reading her thoughtful and well written posts.

Lisa Call: She inspires me so much with her dedication to her art and pursuing her goal to make it her day job. I also admire her organization skills.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


This Wednesday and last, I have been doing the art lesson for Anna's class. I wanted to do something with the Japanese art of folding paper. I searched the internet for different ideas. I found directions for this kusudama ball. The folding part was easy to understand and do, but after making this one, I knew I would not be doing it with the sixth graders. It took me several hours to do. You have to fold 60 petals.

So I continued my search and found a modular origami "ball" (the left one in the picture below) that only requires 6 units. I could not find good written instructions. Last week we folded one of the units all together with the class. It took too long and then they were a little confused and frustrated when they had to fold the other 5 units by themselves.

I had to come home and revamp the lesson. Once again, I found a different modular origami cube (on the right in the picture below) with 6 units and written instructions. Plus it was a little bit easier to fold. I put a string and beads on mine and glued on a couple of sequins. That worked better for the second half of the class. They could also choose to do the Christmas tree which is kirigami (folded and cut paper).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Busy Weekend

It's been hard to get to the computer this past week. My parents are still visiting. On the holidays Anna and Frank spent a lot of time on the computer (and yes, we still share one computer). We had a nice Thanksgiving day. The rest of the time we have been to the wineries, done some shopping (not on black Friday), worked on some puzzles and played some dominoes. I have also been working on making some gifts and getting presents boxed up and mailed. I still have some homework to finish for my online Mixed Media class and many other things to do. I think I need a glass of wine!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I am thankful we have a nice house with family, food and warmth to fill it. I hope you all have a wonderful, peaceful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sneak Peeks

I have been working at the museum all week. We are installing an exhibition of Jun Kaneko's works. He is a ceramicist that creates huge pieces. Some weigh 1300 pounds. It has definitely been an engineering feat to get those pieces in place (we still have one more to go). We also have some of his paintings and drawings.

I wanted to give you a sneak peek to show you how we were wrangling them into place. But the pictures I took are on my cell phone and I don't know how to download them to the computer. I don't think the phone came with a USB cable and the instruction manual is no help. If I ever figure it out, you will get to see them.

Below are some pieces I'm working on for the online class I am taking from Jane LaFazio called Mixed Media with Paper and Cloth. These are just starting out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What a Bunch of Hoopla!

After my workshop on Saturday, Anna and I went to a Hula-hoop making party. I had wanted to buy the stuff from Home Depot to make big hoops over the summer, but never got around to it. When I found out about the party, I figured that would be easier. They already had the hoops put together and we got to decorate our own.

You can see by my hoop below that they had a lot of colored tape choices. (I think I used about every color on mine.) Anna chose blue and orange camouflage tape and white for BSU colors. It took us quite a while to wrap it all and we didn't get to stay to learn some of the tricks because Anna's friend had invited her over to spend the night. It was a fun project and Anna is very excited.

By the way, it is easier for adults to do if you have a bigger hoop (that's why it's hard if you try to do the kid's size hoops).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Printmaking Workshop II

Last month I took a printmaking workshop at BSU on monotypes. This weekend I took another printmaking workshop, with the same teacher, on polyester plate lithography. It was all day yesterday and today.

I really had no idea what the process was. Yesterday I learned a lot and was a bit overwhelmed with all the possibilities of this technique. I also was getting quite frustrated as I could not get my prints to work. So the first day all I accomplished was this print below that is about 3" x 4" and I just traced some clipart.

I was hoping and determined that today would be better. After I came home from the class I looked through some photos on the computer and messed with them in photoshop. Then I printed a copy and took them to class today. You can xerox or laser print directly onto the polyester plate (it is a thin plastic-like sheet). I ended up with some better results.

The class also decided to do an exchange so we had to have at least 10 prints if we wanted to trade. Mine were not all of the same thing. I also printed this angel on fabric. It turned out pretty well and I will heat set it later.

The bowl was hand printed on Japanese paper. The rest were run through the press.

Monday, November 10, 2008


One day while I was at JoAnn's, I purchased the Clover Flower yo-yo maker. I had seen them and thought I could use it on my scraps while watching football. I started with my red fabric thinking that Christmas was ahead. I have about 30 of them now, and more scraps to go. I know I could make a garland with them. But I was wondering if any of you readers had any other suggestions of what I could do with these?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Freaky Friday

Anna did not have school yesterday and today. Today I was hoping on working on a secret project; maybe do some art dabbling, in hopes of having some art content for those of you interested in that. However, it was not to be.

We received a call this morning from Anna's friend's dad saying that they discovered her friend had head lice. Since Anna had spent Halloween night at her friend's house, they wanted us to know.

I've never encountered this problem before so I had to go online to figure out what I was suppose to be looking for. I found some pictures, examined Anna and determined she had the nits (I didn't see any adults, but apparently they are very hard to see). So off to the drugstore we went to get some treatment.

Then, we had to do some fine combing and treatment. I decided that I probably had it too (was wondering why my head was so itchy) and repeated the steps on myself (not so easy to do). After that, it was massive cleaning and removing bed linens. I've been working on it all day and still am not finished. I also had the great pleasure of having to call another friend of Anna's and tell her step-mom of the situation because Anna was over at their place yesterday.

Anna was very upset as all of her animals are now in quarantine for two weeks. This will be the first night, in probably ten years since she's had big cat, that she will not be sleeping with Big Cat. Big Cat is in a plastic bag in the freezer. (I read online that you can freeze stuff overnight and that will kill the lice. Quicker than the plastic bag method. Fortunately, Big Cat is really not that big. He fits in a gallon Ziploc bag.)

The timing is also a bummer for me because I have to work both days this weekend (a first for me at the art museum). That means I will probably have to do laundry and cleaning after I get home.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wool Bird

Halloween is over and I'm ready to move on. It seemed like it dragged out over a long period of time this year. Anyway, here is a little wool bird ornament I made from fabric from an old coat. The shape was from the new Quilting Arts Gifts guide. But, of course, I did it a bit different than they did.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


We had a fairly quiet Halloween night. I took Anna over to her friend's house early. She and Lauren were going to have dinner there, go trick-or-treating and then Anna was spending night. (Lauren lives in a flat part of town and the houses are closer together, so they can hit more houses).

Below is Anna and Lauren during school. They were both "Warrior" cats (it's a book series). We "umphed" Anna's cat scratches with some red felt sewn behind, as she didn't think they were noticeable before.

We did manage to get our pumpkins carved the night before Halloween. Anna tried to do a tiger with a little too much detail for the size and got frustrated. I think it still looks like a scary animal. Frank did the joker face from Batman. I did a super simplified version of Wall-E from the Disney movie.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Morning

Happy Halloween! It is only 8:10 a.m. but I have already had a great morning. We had to get up early as Anna has choir before school, which means she has to be there by 7:55 a.m. It takes us about 20 minutes to walk there. When we left this morning it was still dark. The weather was surprisingly warm at around 69 degrees. I think it will be one of those rare days when it starts out warm and gets cooler as the day goes on. It is very cloudy and windy. I think it is the cold front moving in.

Anna was very excited to be walking in the dark on Halloween day. As we went through the field, we couldn't tell if the dark shapes were bushes or deer (we had seen some on Wednesday morning). The dark plays tricks with your eyes.

As we walked along the streets, the wind was blowing lots of leaves off the trees. It was "snowing" leaves, or as Anna and I like to say, it was "leaf-ing". One leaf came down in front of us and Anna thought for a second it was a ghost. I thought it looked like a butterfly. The leaves were crunching under foot. We didn't have to hurry because it was a rare morning that we left very early. Anna was jibber-jabbering the whole way.

Returning home, it was slightly lighter and I saw that the dark shapes in the field were just bushes after all. I was slightly disappointed, but as I continued up the path, I did see one deer. It was a male with either 4 or 6 points. We usually see a group of females and, not often, males. He stared at me and I admired him. I continued on and he continued eating. Yes, it's been a lovely morning.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I'm not really sure I want to share this scary picture, but since it is Halloween time, I will. I have had a busy weekend. It was not very relaxing but I did manage to get quite a bit done. Friday night was the school Halloween dance, hence the reason I am dressed in Goth garb. For some reason, I'm the one that gets to go to these things with Anna and not Frank.

Anna had a Halloween party to go to on Saturday and they still have a class party and trick-or-treating yet.

I spent most of Saturday inside on the computer. I managed to download the dance pix for the yearbook, upload photos to Snapfish, get the yearbook meeting stuff ready and show the yearbook software to the other parent that is helping me this year and taking over next year. I also managed to get stuff prepared for the art lesson I'm doing this week.

Sunday I had to make myself go outside, even though there was plenty more things to do inside. I did do some laundry and then cleaned up under, around the wood pile and re-stacked the little bit of wood we do have. It's ready for some more. I also managed to put some of the deck furniture under cover. I didn't want to rake leaves yet as there are more to fall. But the other was enough to get me outside and enjoying the nice weather. Looks like we have a beautiful week ahead of us.