Sunday, February 28, 2010

Olympic Tubing

O.k. there really is no such thing as Olympic tubing.  We have been enjoying watching the Olympics on t.v. But that is not the kind of tubing I mean. 

Anna was inspired by the Olympics and wanted to go ice skating.  I deferred that one to Frank (as he is probably the better ice skater).  Since we can go ice skating any time, he suggested we go tubing instead.  So we made a reservation (because you have to) and took ourselves and one of Anna's friends up to the ski area Saturday night.  We haven't done any skiing this year, so this was our first time up. 
 Frank with tubes and ski area in the background.
 They're ready to ride!

We did a couple of runs together (holding onto each others' tubes) and then let Anna and her friend go on their own.  The really nice thing about it is that you don't have to walk back up the hill.  The tube has a leash that you attach to a cable that pulls you up the hill.

The guys at the top tell you when to go and give you a pull to start down the hill.  You can ask them to spin you or not.  Frank and I wanted to spin and they told us how to do the "helicopter".  You face each other and hold onto the other person's feet/legs.  This keeps you more compact to spin faster.  The guy that started us off nearly threw himself down the hill trying to get us to spin as fast as possible.  Very fun! Although I thought I might pull Frank's boots off.

After about an hour and a half, Frank was done.  But I wanted to do a few more runs by myself.  I asked the guy to spin me.  He spun me so fast, my hat flew off.  By the time I got to the bottom, my stomach was just a little bit queasy.  (It's kind of like those spinning teacups at the amusement parks).

A fun time was had by all and I think I deserve the gold medal for most spins completed.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I am currently doing some quilting on a piece and am always fascinated with the color of the threads and how different they look on different colors.  Below is a close-up of some of the quilting I'm doing with a variegated blue-green thread on top of an orange-y rust color.

Since the thread color and the background fabric color are somewhat complimentary, the stitching really vibrates and "pops". 

I used the same thread in the bobbin and have a white fabric as a backing.  Below you can see how much different the thread looks on the white background.

Monday, February 22, 2010

On the Needles

Here are some pictures of what I have been knitting lately.  The above picture is a scarf using the same pattern I used to make a Christmas gift for a friend.  I really like how that one looked, so I started another one for myself.  Yes, right now this is actually something for me.

On a different set of needles (because I always have to have more than one thing going on at a time!) is another scarf, also for me.  I was in one of our local yarn shops, Fuzz, and saw an example of a scarf they had knitted.  I commented on it and the store owner said it was an easy pattern and she could show me how to do it.  I thought it had two yarns but it was only one yarn. 

On President's day I went to the shop with some needles and she showed me how to do this.  The example they made was in a brown color which made it look kind of vintage.  But they were out of that color.  I picked this color because it looks spring-like.

What should be on the needles are these two colors below.

These are the colors chosen for the Idaho Winter Special Olympics this year.  Last year the World Special Olympics were in Boise and they ask people to knit scarves for the athletes.  They received so many from all over the place, they also gave them out to the fans to show support.  Every kid in Anna's elementary school received one.

When they announced it in the paper two weekends ago, I thought I could make one, now that I know how to knit and it would be kind of a payback.  A few days later I went to the store to get the specific colors, Red Cherry and Grey Heather.  I had no problem finding the red, but all the stores I went to were out of the grey.  I called around and nobody had it.  JoAnn's said their store in Nampa had some, but I did not want to drive a half an hour each way to get it.  Anna said I could order it on the internet, but I did not want to pay shipping. 

Today while I was out, I stopped at one of the Boise JoAnn's and found they had restocked the grey.  Now, I need to get to work because they want the scarves delivered by March 9th.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blog Update

Did you notice anything different about my blog?  There are some new tabs at the top of the page.  These are new pages we can add to Blogger.  Now I have a page to put all my larger works together, still in process of getting them up.  Just click on the tab to go to that page.  I am also planning to add an "About Me" page soon.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Jane's Garden

Jane's Garden, 33-1/2"x20-3/4"
hand dyed fabrics,
fused applique and machine quilted
©2010 Lisa Flowers Ross

I finished this piece a couple of weeks ago and haven't gotten around to showing it here yet. This piece is a bit unusual for me. First, it has no straight lines (not counting the quilting). Second, it has pink and purple in it. Thirdly, that background quilting is different. I titled it Jane's Garden, not because of my neighbor named Jane (sorry, neighbor) but for Jane Sassaman. I have her book and was looking at some of the techniques she described and which I used in this quilt. Below is a detail of some of the stitching.

And this was the thumbnail sketch that the quilt came from. It is literally thumbnail sized as you can see the dime next to it. It was a little difficult to scale it up so much, but it worked out.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Hope everyone has a good day and some chocolate! Below is my little attempt at setting a Valentine table. Some flowers, a little bit of red, some gifts - it's all good! Anna made the pie (above) for us.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I think I have mentioned before that I could be a professional student if it was a paid position. I like taking classes, especially learning new art techniques. However, I realized that so many different ways to do things can be overwhelming and I just need to focus on doing my own work. And I have been.

But I still like to take classes. So, I am currently enrolled in two online classes and a community education class. The online classes are Freezer Paper, Paint, Oh My! with Melanie Testa and Mark Making with Hand Dyed Embroidery Threads with Melanie Testa.

I have Melanie's book Inspired to Quilt and have been wanting to try a few of the techniques although I never got around to it. So I thought the classes would get me going. Below are some of the threads I have dyed for the Mark Making class. They are actually a little bit lighter in person.

I thought I had taken a picture of my freezer paper cut-outs but cannot locate it.

The community education class I am taking is Microsoft Excel beginner and I'm also doing the intermediate class. I think I remember using Excel or something similar in college for accounting class, but it has been a long time. I want to create spreadsheets for my art expenses/sales/etc. But I'm sure I can use it for other things as well. Last night we created calendars. It is much more fun to just play with a program than try to learn it as you are doing something important. Less pressure, I guess.

That's what is keeping me busy these days. Of course, I am still doing my artwork. I have one piece I am working on that has lots of stitching. It is almost done but I need to go get some more thread today.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bid On

I have been a bit busy with two online classes and a community education class (more about those another day) but managed to get over to Flying M this week to look at all the artwork for auction.

I love this painted guitar. I don't know how to play the guitar, so I didn't bid on it.

Here is just part of one wall. They really squeeze them in.

There are also some three dimensional items in niches. Anna's cat is number 22. The bid was already up to $28 for it.

I think bidding closes on the 13th. That's when you need to be there if you really want something, because people will be waiting for the last minute, seconds, to make sure they get a piece. I bid on a pretty necklace, but since I won't be there for the last day, I'm sure I will not have the high bid.

There is also an exhibition at the Visual Arts Collective in conjunction with the auction. More pieces are there. I think they are for sale and a percentage of the sale goes to the Aids organization. I haven't been there yet to check it out.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Dress

Anna with her friend, Katarina

Throughout the school year, Anna's junior high has held about four dances so far. Friday night was the latest and was called "formal" at first and then changed to "semi-formal".

I don't recall having dances when I was in middle school. I think "formal" for junior high is a little too much. We don't need the kids to grow up any faster than they already are. But as you can see from the picture above, Anna still went in a fancy dress.

There is a story behind that dress. Months ago, we were just shopping for school clothes at Penney's and Anna saw that dress. You know why she liked it, don't you? The leopard print. She said that they would be having a formal dance sometime and she wanted to try it on. I wasn't really interested in getting her a dress, especially one with spaghetti straps and for the price it was. But eventually I said I would let her just try it on, hoping that it would not fit well. Well, she tried it on and she looked so adorable, what else could I do but get it for her?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day Trip: Winter Carnival

I has been years since we have been to McCall's Winter Carnival. Anna doesn't remember going. So we headed north today to check it out. Now I remember why we haven't been there in years - many people in a small town. This was the second weekend and it was crowded. Although someone said it was even more so last weekend.

For those who don't know, the Winter Carnival is an event with different activities. The main attraction being the building of snow sculptures around town. Being the second weekend of the event, the sculptures were looking a little worn and melted. But we could still make out what they were.

People out on the lake.

Anna and Frank out on the lake.

Where the Wild Things Are sculpture.

Lisa and Anna kayaking in one of the sculptures.

Whale sculpture

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Valentine Collages

Last year I made a series of "Valentine" collages, one of which was donated to the auction for aids. I have put the remaining pieces in my Etsy shop. If you would like to see them you can click on Lisa's Etsy shop in the sidebar. Below is one of them.

Heart Compass, Mind Soul
found papers, colored pencil, pen
2009 Lisa Flowers Ross