Friday, July 30, 2010

EW, yuck!

I spent yesterday morning playing with my Itty Bitty friendship group. We stitched, we talked, we compared notes.


Charlotte started raving about her Dyson vacuum cleaner. yeah, yeah, I've seen the commercials. I'm not interesting in their roller ball technology. whoop-de-do.

But then she caught my attention. "I'm vacuuming Irish Setter hair, and I haven't had an Irish Setter for 15 years! My ancient carpet now has pile, leaving footprints when I walk on it!"

No way. Seriously? My carpet is groddy. But I've got cats, and one of them has a penchant for puking. I refuse to get new carpet until my cat is gone. And I won't do him in just because I don't feel like cleaning up after him any more.

Then Wendy chimed in. "Really?!! I have one, and I thought my house was just that dirty!" Her vacuum sucks dirt from who-knows-where.

Well, on their say-so, I had to try it. It's an expensive proposition, since their "animal" edition is the top of the line.

I just vacuumed two days ago. My carpet never looks clean. I have an Oreck.

A few hours ago, I brought the Dyson into the house. I vacuumed one room. It's the living room, but it's not a terribly big room. Look what I pulled out of the carpet:

I know. It's totally disgusting. I should have taken a "before" picture, because look at the carpet!!!

I emptied the canister and ran the vacuum down the hall and did a brief run through of the Studio. (On Tuesday - or was it Monday? - I'd moved all the furniture and vacuumed thoroughly.) Yet when I ran the Dyson through the room, here's what it collected.

I don't think I've ever been so delighted to be so disgusted. yay!!! Out with the Oreck, this Dyson is here to stay!!

Going Traveling...

Well, the 2010 Hoffman traveling collection is listed online. Scanning, scanning, scanning...aha! There it is: Tahitian Tradition: Ti Fai Fai. whew! Made the cut.

Congratulations to my friends Kristin, Kay P. and Sharon, whose names are also on the list.

Sharon won first place in the Mixed division, no surprise there. :)

I'm sure I missed names, but congratulations go to everyone who successfully completed the challenge. It's never easy, and hopefully your resulting quilt is one that pleases you.

Now I should seriously consider working on my guild challenge. October will be here sooner than I think!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Splish, Splash

I've started adding some beads to my rafting quilt....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Postmark'd Art

About 6 weeks ago, I was invited to join a postcard exchange called Postmark'd Art. I'm not sure if I've blogged about it or not. I know I've been thinking about it a lot. I often read of block exchanges in others' blogs, and think, "Oh! I'd like to do that!" but I never have. Until now.

Using my daughter's birthday card as inspiration, I put together these four postcards. Here they are, before embellishment. Apparently Blogger is jealous, as it has seen fit to tip the picture. grr.

Here they are again, in their final state. I mailed the bulk of them yesterday. They each measure 4" x 6".

This little fishie is leftover from a Lone Star quilt that I made featuring goldfish... He has little beaded bubbles coming out of his mouth that you cannot see.

These little fishies are also blowing bead bubbles, hiding above some fun fringe-y stuff purchased from a yarn dealer. A dolphin jumps above sea level.

This card has some fishy romance, amid lots of bubbles and "sea weed."

And finally, Nemo's family is hiding in more fuzzy stuff. They must think there are sharks nearby. Silly fishies. It's only a sea horse!

All of these cards were mailed without envelopes. The names and addresses were printed on the back, and a stamp was pressed on for postage. I mailed one last week. Once I knew that it arrived at its destination, I mailed the other three. The cost to mail? Sixty-four cents. That's 44 cents for postage, plus a 20 cent fee for being non-machinable.

If you'd like a bigger picture, you can always click on it. It should give you a much larger view. Hope you enjoyed the show!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Some Souvenirs

Most of the people that I know, who shop at quilt shows, buy fabric. I may buy some here or there, but unless I have a specific project in mind, I'm not looking for fabric. I'm looking for other things. I'm looking for specialty items. I'm looking for...

Hey! I love this!! Lisa took me over to the table to get this. I stuck it on and wore it all day. I would have worn it to bed, but it would have gotten wrinkled. okay, so perhaps I exaggerate. But not by much. ;)

The one item I really wanted was "a boatload of beads." haha! Again, I exaggerate. I didn't come home with a boatload. I came home with a baggie.

I have a certain project in mind that could use sparkling trim. When I "rushed" past a booth featuring trim, I stopped when I saw $5/spool or 5/$20 sign. Each "spool" had a minimum of 5 yards. I stopped and poked around and selected five. Even if I don't use them, the cost was inviting enough to take the chance that I just might.

As I was rushing back and forth by the vendors (looking for the bead lady), I was drawn to the clothing. Funny, I should be shopping for my work, not for my wardrobe! This jacket jumped off the rack and practically onto my back. It's the right colors, and it's got iris. Need I say more?

I was actually going to leave this jacket on the rack, because I wanted the red kimono wrap. But it didn't fit. When I brought the iris over for purchase, she said, "Did you try the extra small?" hahahaha!! Of course I didn't try the XS, I'm not XS!! But guess what?!! I AM, at least for this garment.

And then, since I couldn't leave the show without a commemorative tshirt, I bought this.

I called my husband from the bus and thanked him for all of the new clothes. He likes the red kimono the best.

***Can anyone explain to me why I feel self-conscious asking someone else to take my picture for me but I have no problem taking a dozen pictures of myself? Does that mean I'm a self-indulgent ego-maniac? I know these would come out much better if someone else took them, but I get antsy when I give up the camera...Maybe it's a control thing...

Finally, here's something that looks good no matter who is behind the lens. It was dinner for our Sunday night College/Career Fellowship: Make-your-own sandwiches with croissants, roast beef, salami, pastrami, pickles, tomatoes, cheese, fresh watermelon, fresh-picked blueberries, homemade potato salad and Mother's Cookies. mmm good!

Last night's turnout was less than expected, so we get to have leftovers tonight. I'm so excited!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bus Trip!

On Friday morning, I got up at 4:40am. Why, oh why, would I do such a thing? Ahh, I was lured by promises of a day at the Long Beach Quilt Festival, that is why.

We'd already been on the bus for 45 minutes when we saw this...

That's right. We were up before Mr. Sun.

The bus ride itself was not a joy, and it had nothing to do with the people. Let's just say that what took a "mere" 9 hours of travel (to + from) the past two years took over 12 hours this year. That's a bite out of my day, and a Big Bite out of show time.

We did eventually arrive, and we did see things.

The first thing I saw (I was looking for the "Celebrate Spring" exhibit) was this couple taking a photo of my quilt. "Excuse me...may I take a photo of you taking a photo?" They laughed a lot but agreed. I didn't tell them I was going to post them online!! :)

I found my friend Lisa, who informed me that my Hoffman was also on display. Really? I had no idea!!

It turns out that I did not take many pictures at all. In fact, because of the "no photograph" signs on various exhibits, I only took pictures of one creation besides my own. It was this pineapple.

I even photographed its sign!! (Del, this is for you. I'm trying to be good about naming the quiltmaker!)

The things that caught my eye again and again and again were color, line, and texture. Texture seems to be the biggie right now with me. The quilts I wanted to touch (but didn't - I'm a good girl!) were the ones that had marvelous quilting or embellishments or fabric manipulation. I continue to be surprised by what I like. It is very different from what I actually do.

I mentioned Lisa, and for some reason this is the only picture I have of her.

At 3pm, she gave a lecture on Sacred Threads, a biennial quilt show which showcases quilts that are spiritual in nature. Lisa is the new Co-Chair of Sacred Threads, and her lecture shared some of the work from the 2009 show. Because I was going to be there, she asked me to bring some of my quilts along for a short "in the fabric" show and tell. I brought "The Light Shines in the Darkness," "Think Before You Speak," and "We Have Seen His Star: Wise Men Still Seek Him" to share the limelight. (The latter two quilts were part of the 2007 show.)

It was both humbling and heart-pounding to have 5 quilts displayed (albeit 3 were only for a brief period of time) at Long Beach. It is truly a dream come true, one that I have dreamed of for years.

The dream ended, and it was back on the bus for the 7 hour ride home - wild fire on the Grapevine, among other things - and I was home at 11:59. My coach is again a pumpkin, and reality has returned.

Charlie seems to have captured today perfectly - I'm very tired, I'm very hot, and I think I'll just put all feet in the air and play dead...

Sweet dreams, Charlie. Sometimes they do come true!!!

Tomorrow, I shall share pictures of my "wee" bit of shopping... :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Bit of Busy-ness

My Studio has been a disastrous mess for much too long. Things have piled up as I spent time on my Hoffman and ignored all else. I've been trying to restore some sort of order, but real progress has been slow. Most of the "progress" is due to moving the big things into another room.

I know. That's cheating. But my son got a job and moved to Santa Monica and I couldn't let that lovely space go to waste. :)

Here is the current status of my sewing surface. There's almost room to sew.

That rolled up quilt in the background is my whitewater rafting quilt. It's waiting for me to add beads before I call it Completely Finished.

I sewed together another quilt for Komforters for Kids, our guild philanthropic project. It will end up with a community service officer, to be given to a child in distress.

And finally, I put together some postcards for a Postmark'd Art exchange. I'm new to this sort of thing, and had a bit of a challenge trying to get the post office to actually accept one for mailing.

I've only mailed one of the cards, I'm waiting to hear if it arrives before I mail the others.

These cards measure 4" x 6", which is considerably smaller than the 5" x 7" quilted cards that are my usual MO. It's called moving out of my comfort zone. It's a challenge to pull together an idea in such a small space.

And I think that's it for now. My BOTV bookmarks are ready to pick up. Yes, it's time to remind everyone about our upcoming April 2011 show...Let the publicity begin!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Weekend Visit

I spent the week preparing a gift for our daughter for her birthday. I couldn't show it before now, in case she popped over to the blog for a visit.

Last week, I purchased this box from World Handcrafts, a quilt/handcraft shop in Reedley.

Originally, the interior looked like this:

I lined the top and the bottom with red velvet, and filled it with the Christmas ornaments I've collected for her over the years. I also added her stocking on top. In my mind, it is truly a treasure chest, full of memories.

I also made this birthday card for her...

Here is the birthday girl, with her husband...

The picture was taken just before we hopped in the car to go to San Francisco to see...

We also saw some Eggheads. What are they doing in San Francisco? I thought they lived on the UCDavis campus!

I know, I was in San Francisco. You can see everything there. But I have to say that the craziest, most head-scratching thing that I saw had to be the cactus fountain, two blocks from the bay.

Do people who live on the water REALLY dream about the desert? I always thought it was the other way around.

And there you go, that's our weekend in a nutshell.

P.S. Thank you so much, to all of you who have been so complimentary about my Hoffman. I am thrilled that it seems to be as well-received by you as it is loved by me. yay!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Almost Ready to Ship...

"Tahitian Tradition: Ti Fai Fai"
Suzanne Kistler 2010

My quilt is finished. It is blocked and square and labeled. All that is left is to put on a sleeve. The white "dots' around the binding are shells. The speckles on the turtles are beads. The starfish in the center is porcelain. The quilt is made entirely by hand, with the exception of attaching the binding. Hand appliqued, hand quilted, hand beaded.

If you click on the picture, it should enlarge a bit, but the photograph does not do it justice. I LOVE this quilt, and have to say that I am happier with it than I've been with a finished quilt in a long, long time. I'm not even sick of it, which says a lot!!!

Wish me luck, I'll be sending it off before the week's end...

Monday, July 12, 2010

How Do You Photograph


I've been busy beading. Two turtles down, two to go.

They really are pretty...

In person, they sparkle like crazy...

Okay, break's over. Time to attack Turtle #3. The clock is ticking, TICK TICK TICK!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hodge Podge

I should be putting the finishing touches on my Hoffman Challenge, but I'm not. Here it sits, waiting for me to give it the attention it needs and deserves.

It's lazy hot here, not so hot as elsewhere, but hot enough to want to stay indoors.

It's hot and dry enough to wash another quilt, which I did yesterday. Or was it the day before?

This morning I zipped out to a yard sale that proclaimed, "If we don't have it, you don't need it!" Well, how could I resist? I couldn't. I came home with this piece of pottery. The bottom says "Nautilus made in USA C 40 N 4." I have no idea what that means, but "made in USA" made me want to bring it home...So did the $1.50 price tag. It has a couple of incidental chips.

It works well in my pool bathroom where I've got a beach theme going.

I did the cross-stitched shells long ago (1984), before I became a serious quilter. The shadow box is filled with shells collected by my mother. The painting was done by a New Zealander who was a relative of my grandfather's. When he was in his 70's, he traveled to New Zealand to look for relatives who had immigrated there. He had come over here from Germany in 1929, they'd left around the same time, and headed south. Obviously he found them, and they gave him this painting as a remembrance. I love the colors, and dream of going to New Zealand myself some day.

Last week I picked up this embroidered cottage garden for $5. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but I know I wouldn't make it for $5. I hated to see it out there, abandoned and unloved.

I've been reading blog entries of people making charity quilts. I usually make a number for our guild during the year, but this year I've fallen far behind. Today I started cutting and sewing. The fabric is supplied by the guild. The resultant quilts are put into police cars and given to children who are picked up in distress.

I finished one quilt, it took much longer than I'd planned. oh well. At least it's done. I've got a few bundles of fabric left, and at least 2 or 3 quilts more to make. Once I finish my Hoffman, I'll kick it up a notch.

And there you go. I have no valid excuses for lack of posting, other than I haven't done much of anything worthy of note. Maybe next week? Hopefully sooner!!