Tuesday, November 18, 2008

October Bead Journal Project - Finished At Last

Here is my October Bead Journal Project - finished in November. Now you know what is next - start November. This year I am learning that a 5 inch square may have been overly ambitious, but I am committed. The size at least gives you a larger prospective to work with, but it also takes more time. However, I usually do my beading at night while watching TV with my husband and that makes it more enjoyable.
This project was obviously about fall - one of my favorite seasons. In Arkansas we have a wonderful display of fall leaves from one end of the state to the other. They sparkle as they show their last "hurrah" before winter.
I did not limit to just one bead size or shade. I threw a couple of different types in the same colorways on my surface and just started echo beading. It sparkles more than the picture tells.
I can't wait to start on November.
I am so glad I started this project - it is FUN!!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quilt Classes Can Be Fun!!

Yesterday I took a wonderful quilt class from Tom Russell. Above is the quilt that Tom made and that the class was all about. Tom taught us how to relax and string piece on freezer paper. The picture is of me holding up 2 of my blocks - I actually got 9 - 6 1/2 inch blocks done by lunch time using this method.
This is a picture of the flowers he also taught us to make from fabric we made by just sewing pieces of fabric together. Around the perimeter of the big circle we stitched jumbo rick rack to really make our flowers pop. My colors are from feedsack reprints because I wanted a really scrappy look. Others did some beautiful purples, greens, oranges, browns - there is no limit to what you can do by using this string piece method.
If you take even your smallest scraps of fabric and sew them together you can make wonderful pieces of fabric to cut other things out of the results. No waste - in the style of the Amish who use even the smallest pieces.
Tom is a good friend and is a wonderful and fun teacher. There were 18 to take the class and everyone went home satisfied and wanting to do more.
I have challenged myself to have fun and learn. So far the classes I have taken have not disappointed me in any way and have made me want to continue to do more and to keep up the quilting and mixed media.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Time with Grandson

This little fellow is my grandson Will. You know I told you I only have 2 grandchildren. Will and I are pretty tight and I count myself as one of his #1 people in his life. One of his favorite things is just coming over to Mawmaw's house and playing all day. Sleepovers are a good thing too.
This picture was taken at our favorite (well his favorite) place to eat - McDonalds!!!! We went yesterday after I helped out at MOPS at church. No I didn't go to church and help mop. MOPS is an organization to help out mothers of preschoolers. The mothers can drop their little ones off with a group of caregivers for 2 hours. They eat, talk, have a speaker on an important topic to them and a devotional. The important thing is they can relax for 2 hours and not worry about children.
Back to Will - we go to McDonalds because one of the few things he will eat is fries and chicken nuggets. Second he can play and run around inside and his Mom and I can talk and continue to get to know each other better. Megan is my daughter-in-law and we get along really well. We both love my son and my grandson and each other. It works out really well.
Yesterday I played my first game of air hockey - I got thoroughly trounced at 10 to 3. The reflexes may want to have fun, but the reality is they are really slow. Of course Will would not had as much fun if I had beaten him, so it works out well.
Any day spent with Will or Gianni is a good day. Yesterday was one of those days.
Remember - have fun!!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Special Times with Gianni

One of the things that I enjoy more than anything is spending time with my grandchildren. Recently in October Gianni's 1st grade class took a field trip to a place called the Family Farm. It is a wonderful place to go and see all the things that children love.
This is Gianni at their petting zoo. She captured a baby chick. At this place they tell you all about miniature and Shetland ponies, they have the little farm train pictured above. A real Indian tepee where the youngest daughter tells stories. You can ride a wooden merry-go-round that is twisted on a pole and then let go. They have a swing that they push up a hill and let go - it hits a barrier and bounces you up and down. The kids got to do a hayride and pick a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch. It is a wonderful fun place to take kids.

Yesterday Gianni and I went to see Madagascar 2 and had a wonderful time. She misses seeing me everyday now that she goes to a different school and I don't pick her up everyday. With her softball and other sports she stays really busy during the week. Gianni has a lot of sleepovers with friends on the weekend. We are super close, but we do miss each other now that she is growing up. It just makes our time together more precious, because she is precious to me and has been a total joy in my life since the minute she was born.

Next time I will tell you about my other grandchild Will and how much he means to me. You will be glad to know I only have 2 grandbabies. But this "blog" is really for me and you are invited to come along for the ride.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Houston Trip Over

I am combining my Friday and Saturday time in Houston to one post because I don't want my readers to fall asleep and be totally bored.

This bag is my Friday half-day class taught by Jenny Rayment from the U.K. She is funny, fast paced and totally organized. This was a whole day class that she taught us in 3 hours and almost everyone got the bag done, even me!! It is a small elegant tote bag and is so fun to make.

Friday afternoon it was my time to begin shopping. Now with all the vendors there you can spend a bundle - unless you get organized and pace yourself. My object was to look for those things I could not buy locally at home and I would have to pay shipping to get them to Arkansas. This is a picture of some of the wonderful beads, threads and other things to work on in the upcoming year. Angelina fibers, Angelina film, Lutradur, TAP, beads and some variegated threads. My friends Jim and Tom encouraged me to be creative and get "out of the box". Tom recommended Sharon Schamber products (http://www.sharonschambernetwork.com/)

to help me get free with my machine quilting and to make it easier. She should know what works with her Best of Show win at Houston. Pictures DO NOT give the quilt true justice.

I purposely made a picture of the bowl of beads - actually "bead soup" The artist who create these ideas are so generous in sharing their ideas. Quilting Arts magazine had a "Make -It University", which I did not attend, but during the day they would have different artist from their magazine demonstrating their articles or books. During the week
I had the opportunity to meet a few of them. One of these artist Frances Holliday Alford shared her love of "bead soup" with me. You can find her Christmas wreaths Quilting Arts Gifts magazine Holiday 2008-09. Thank you Frances for you assistance.

I hope you have had fun on this trip with me to Houston. Maybe you will get to go someday too. But if not there is so much out there to play with and even in your own back yard. That is where these artist sometimes got their start. So "have fun" - you know it is never too late.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Day Two at Houston

Day 2 at Houston I took a class. If you ever go to Houston Quilt Festival there is a class for every technique imaginable. You can bead, applique, paint, quilt, and best of all to me this year - mixed media. The class was an all day class hosted by Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine and the instructor was Lesley Riley of the magazine. It was a perfect opportunity to PLAY and have FUN!!! Use mixed media things in the right way and not have to buy everything that I wanted to try.
We painted on watercolor paper, fabric and Lutradur. Let me first of all say Lutradur is the bomb and paints so well. It adheres to Angelina fibers and can be burned and melted in a controled way. Just a plug for Lesley. She has book coming out in January, 2009 entitled "fabulous Fabric Art with Lutradur" A must have book to play and use this wonderful stuff in your art.

There were several other products I was introduced to that are so versatile and fun. TAP is a transfer artist paper that can run through your copy machine. You use a gel medium to transfer from the paper to fabric, Lutradur, watercolor paper,etc. The transfers come out in color or in black and white depending on how you printed them. The lady in dark green was transferred to cloth. The flowers are done with a molding paste, stencil and watercolor paper. Let them dry and then paint them. The little shapes are a combination of Kunin felt, chiffon, Lutradur Wonder Under together, burned, accented with gold and cut into shapes. I want to put a backing on this piece and do some beads.
Lesley told us something that I appreciated about gold - she said "it is only an accent, it should not be your main color". Another new item I used, that I had never used before and will use again is oil pastels. They give you controled color and can be blended with just a damp application of water. You can use them to color the TAP and then use the gel medium to transfer onto your base.
The picture at the very top of my page is all of the leftovers that I still can play with on another day.
Still more to come about my wonderful trip.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Going to Houston Day 1

Welcome to my view of The Houston International Quilt Festival exhibit hall. This is taken from the round windows on the 2nd floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center. Let me assure this is is just one section of the hall. It does not include all
of the vendors and shows none of the beautiful quilts on display.
The hall starts at Section A and goes through L or M - from the front door to the back of the hall.

Then you begin with aisle 100 through 1200. Each aisle is jam packed with vendors from antiques to embellishments. If you want it you can find it here.
This is one of those things you have to experience for yourself. I am sorry I cannot show you the quilts, but copyrights prevent me showing you the great pictures I took. The DAR had an exhibit on some of the earliest quilts ever made. There were traditional quilts, art quilts, mixed media quilts, miniature quilts, etc. You get the idea.
Going with my friends also made the trip memorable. I have not been since 2004 so it was almost like the first time I ever went - 1996 I think. Jim, Kelley and I flew from Little Rock to Houston together with Nancy and Ann. We stayed at the wonderful Hilton Americas that is attached to the convention center by a skybridge. Tom joined us later at the Hilton. When we arrived our rooms were not ready for occupancy - that seems to happen no matter when you get there or where you stay. We had the bellhop service watch our luggage and went to the hotel restaurant to eat supper. It began our time of talking, laughing and just having an all around good time. The show actually previews at 5,but it was close to 7 by the time we finally got to the show. It seemed as if the crowds were down this year, since it was easy to see the quilts and get up and down the vendor aisles. You just can't go from vendor to vendor or quilt to quilt with someone, so we would start out together and eventually part to go our own way at our own pace.
I will continue my story later. There is a lot more to show and tell.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I Have Been Tagged

Now this is not what I wanted for my first blog after coming back from Houston Quilt Festival, but I have been tagged. Carol and Sabine I am sorry that this is late, but I have been gone for 4 days.

To be tagged you tell 7 things about yourself and tag 7 others. So here goes - you know it is suppose to be fun.

1. I was born in St.Louis,Missouri at an early age. After 6 weeks my mother brought me to Little Rock, Arkansas.

2. My brothers and sisters are my cousins!!! Let me get this straight - my great uncle adopted me - well you figure it out.

3. At age 50 I found out I had a half brother - we met that year and have stayed in touch ever since. His adopted Daddy wrote about us in his book published this year.

4. My favorite color is blue, but lately I have been buying green and yellows to make bead soups.

5. I love to read and have (when I was younger) read an encyclopedia. Mom would buy one each week at the grocery store and I would read it during the week.

6. I was a quilter before I was a beader, but don't the two mix well. I also knit in the winter.

7. Because I enjoy being around people so much - I never get a lot done. If someone says let's go,I'm gone - I love to travel.

Well that is 7and I hope I never get tagged again because that is all I know.

Next I will be blogging about the Houston Quilt Show- all I can say is WOW!!!!!!!