Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Meet the Family Part One-Dexter

Occasionally I thought I would post pictures and a bit of information about members of my family. I'm going to start with the newest (and most fun) one first.

This, is Dexter, aka "Dex", aka"Pretty Boy", aka"Taz(mainian Devil"), and last but not least, "Bubby Puppy". His formal name is "Hammer Down Blue" Dexter. Not sure I fully understand how this is, but he is descended from the "Hammer" line of Blue Tic Coon Hounds.
Dexter came into our lives over Memorial Day weekend when he was 9 weeks old. My husband Steve and his brother Foster raised and hunted this breed of dog for many years, winning many trophies for their hunting skills.

Dexter likes playing fetch in the house, running like crazy down the hallway, stopping short and pouncing on his red squeaky toy. He's learning to "shake" and he'll be so good at it if he just quits falling over! He's a great help in the garden too. He loves to help me weed. I pull the weeds and he insists upon me placing them in his mouth so he can chew them to bits. Nope, those bad old weeds won't be getting by him anytime soon. He's so funny!

This is the first time in my life I've had a puppy. I never knew you could grow to love an animal as much as I love him.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Springtime in Paris Box

This is one of the projects I will be doing for my Omaha Crazy Quilt Retreat classes. This shows the original box I made last year. I've made a new sample for class as I'm not able to exactly duplicate all the embellishments for the kits. If I get a chance I will post the new block. I wasted so much time yesterday trying to get my scanner to work. According to my computer, I don't have a scanner! Funny, since I have an all-in-one printer scanner copier, and the printer works just fine.

I'm off again. Kits for 25 take a really long time to make.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Needle Tatting

A quick post today of some needle tatting I've done. I taught myself to needle tat after a disastrous class where I just couldn't get the hang of shuttle tatting. Nope, not even one successful stitch was made by these hands. Never say never though. I may get the hang of it someday!

To learn needle tatting I used a book and needle set from this site: http://www.hhtatting.com/index.html "Learn Needle Tatting Step-By-Step" by Barbara Foster. By following the step by step directions in the book, I had my first tatted motif in about 20 minutes.

Since that time, I've experimented with creating my own patterns. Both of the scans shown are my own designs, needle tatted with Carron Wildflowers threads.

More information can be found about needle tatting at this group: http://needletatting.proboards.com/index.cgi

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Needle Felting Part Two detail shots

A day late, but as promised here are some close ups of my needle felted piece.

Lower left: This area shows one of the flowers fashioned from a silk carrier rod. Wool roving was added for the flower center. Above and to the side of the flower, you can see a bit of the ribbon collage area. The ombre ribbon was scrunched and felted to the background, but it just would not stay felted until I added some yarns to it. The ribbon and yarn are embellished with various Czech flower, leaf and seed beads.

Upper left. This area is embellished with dyed curly wool locks. Intermixed with the locks are bits of Angelina fibers (love that sparkle!) The flowers are wool roving embellished with seed beads.

Upper right: A beaded dragonfly from seed and bugle beads with Czech dagger beads used for the wings. Below the dragonfly is some hand dyed rayon tape embellished with French knots and beads. Another embellished ribbon sits to the right of the dragonfly. This one is Hanna hand dyed bias silk with the addition of a decorative fuzzy yarn and various floral leaf and seed beads.
The entire piece was free motion machine quilted after the embellishment was almost complete. It's tricky trying to get around beads and the ribbons, but still doable.
I had originally intended to make this piece into a purse, but I'm not so sure the embellishments would stand up to the wear it would get. I'm so hard on things! I've also thought of turning it into a journal cover, but now I'm considering another idea. I am thinking of placing the piece as it is with raw edges on top of a quilted background and framing it. Whatever I end up doing, it will have to wait until after the Omaha retreat. Time is short!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Needle Felting Part One

Today I thought I'd share a full view of the piece I used in the header of my blog. This is a machine needle felted piece I made about a year ago in my favorite colors of green and pink. Inspiration for this piece came from the book "Needle-Felting Magic" by Margo Duke

I had such a good time making this piece! I used so many fun things that separate, looked like 'nothing', but when artfully combined, definitely turned into 'something'. It's what the title of my blog is all about.

The piece measures about 9 inches by 14 inches, and it was constructed much like a crazy quilt. I laid fabric pieces on a base of dense cotton batting, overlapping them a bit and then felted them in place. Fabrics I used consist of hand dyed silk, silk velvet, and cotton batiks. Silk throwster's waste was was felted over the bottom left and upper right corners. Silk carrier rods were fashioned into the dimensional flowers in the lower left and mid upper right areas.

Tomorrow I'll post some some more information about the embellishments and show detail shots of various areas. Just too tired tonight to continue.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lampwork bracelet

I started making my own jewelry about 10 years ago. I have a nickle allergy and I was tired of not being able to find pretty jewelry designs that were nickle free. Itchy, weepy hives are just not fun! I found I could wear sterling silver, and started making my own things. I make almost all of the jewelry I wear. Below is a bracelet I made a couple of years ago, inspired by bracelet designs I saw at a bead show in Des Moines, Iowa.

The pink and black lamp work beads are by an (unremembered-sorry!) eBay artist, and it is paired with sterling silver jump rings in two sizes. The clasp came from one of my favorite bead show sellers, Bokamo of Kansas City http://www.bokamodesigns.com/ Love their findings as well as their lamp work beads. Lol...I think they are always happy to see me come to their booth.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


In just a few short weeks I'll be in Omaha to teach at the Crazy Quilt Retreat http://www.crazyquilt.com/retreat.html I have two classes, the Springtime in Paris box, and the Fantasea Reef wall hanging. It means my time to blog is very limited so I'll be posting pictures of work from the past that I already have saved in my computer.

Today I'm showing off a couple of really fun crazy quilted ornaments I made last year. They are from a pattern I created a few years ago for the Eastern Polk County Quilt Guild. The originals were done in very traditional colors of green, gold and reds. I like these *much* better! They are definitely more me.

Fabrics I used include silks, new and recycled cottons, and sythetics. The upper left portion of the heart has a couple of my needle tatting expiraments that didn't work out as full motifs. I never toss out those failed motifs because so often they fit so well into small areas of my crazy quilt blocks.

On the stocking, there are some small pink star beads near the top. I picked these up from a vendor at the Omaha Retreat a few years ago. I'm not sure what they are made of-some type of clay perhaps? In any case, they are very delicate and break easily. An ornament was the perfect place to use them since it's not likely they will be bumped or touched. Other embellishements include seed and bugle beads, silk threads, vintage lace and various new trims.

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband Steve, pictured below with our grandchildren Emily and Andrew. Words can't express what great job I think you do with our boys. Happy day my love...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Time to get going!

I created this blog in order to share pictures of my work with family, friends and whoever happens to drop by. Probably about time I get going on that! I don't know why I've been dragging my feet so. Guess I have a bit of fear of writing since I don't do it much anymore. Bear with me as I get going...

Today I want to share a scan of a crazy quilt block I made for a memorial quilt for Dee, an online crazy quilting friend from the Netherlands. I had the pleasure of meeting Dee in person twice at the Crazy Quilting Retreat in Omaha, NE. Dee was a lovely lady and did beautiful work. Dee lost her battle with cancer after returning home from the Retreat last year.
Kate C., one of the members of the Quiltropolis list, put out a call to make blocks for a memorial. Kate sent us several pieces of fabric to set the color pallet. Enough blocks were made that there will actually be 2 quilts. We will get to see the finished quilts at this year's retreat which is July 9 through 12. We will miss you Dee....