Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Day for Everyone Giveaway!



Photo

It's my birthday and it's a giveaway for everyone! On top of that, I expect to pass 10,000 visitors to my blog today!/a>

I love the idea that One World-One Heart has about doing a giveaway, so I'm pleased to be participating in that wonderful event.


I'm giving away this lovely bouquet of Yo Yo flowers, handmade by me!

What you have to do:
-Take a look at my blog, and tell me what you think.
-Consider adding me to your blog roll or blog reader by adding my RSS feed!
-Leave me a comment with your thoughts on my blog on this post only. I must have a way to contact you back, so if you do not have a blog of your own, leave your email address.
-This is open to everyone, international comments welcome.
-One entry per person.

I will draw a random name at 6pm Central time USA on February 12th 2009, and the winner will be announced then!

Even if you don't win the bouquet, you can be a winner, as everyone who comments and leaves a way to be contacted will get a PDF of the instructions on how to make the Yo Yo flowers!

Thanks, and good luck (and welcome to my blog if you are new)!

EDIT: COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED. THANKS FOR ENTERING!

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Domestic Diva Kit from hell

I was in JoAnn's shopping with some Christmas money when I spied one of these kits... It's an apron kit which is one large "cheater style" fabric in which you cut all of the pieces out and sew together.
Mine is not the one pictured above, with the chicken, but it's similar. Mine has strawberries and a light yellow checkerboard, and the bottom ruffle is all red.

What a nightmare to put together. The directions are "okay" because I know how to sew, but if this was my first ever project, forget it. It's got ruffles, bias edges that need to be turned under, the apron strings are tubes that need to be turned.... I should have serged every edge and then turned them under, but again... GAH!!! I didn't put the pockets on because I was DONE, after about 4 hours. AND I KNOW HOW TO SEW! Geez! I'd stay away from this one...

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Good Fortune and Long Life

Both of these designs were made in my sketchbook next to one another...

The "Maneki Neko" or "beckoning cat" is very popular in Japanese culture. I could not resist making my own very cute, wide-eyed cat.


The owl, or fukurou, is a good luck symbol in Japan as well. The sounds of the Japanese word for owl also mean "no trouble" which means the owl is lucky. It also symbolizes old age, and owl themed gifts are often given when someone turns 60. I wish my owl was on a lighter background now, because you cannot see just how adorable he is.

Only one more week of Japanese culture weeklies to go.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

In a sort of Runic rhyme


I have long loved the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Today is his 200th birthday. When Mrs. Joan Krysinski first read "The Bells" to our English class, I was hooked. We also read "The Cask of Amontillado", which stuck with me.

In college, in my theatre days, the PAC Rats theatre company did some "Reader's Theater" of which I was chosen to be a director. The story that we acted out was a short story by Esther Friesner, called "Poe White Trash". It's basically a retelling of "The Cask of Amontillado" with other Poe references thrown in, set in hill-billy country. I remember having to choreograph a dance scene, and basically everyone was doing the Time Warp dance.

I lived in Baltimore for 11 years and never saw his grave. How did I not do that? Maybe on my next (warm weather) work trip back to B-more.

Anyway, so I'm taking part in a fiber postcard project in which we depict the theme of a "raven" for Poe's birthday. This is my interpretation. Kinda cute, for the "rat bird".

Oh, and should Mrs. K ever Google her name and find this? Thanks. For this and for all you have inspired in me. Were I to write that "Personal Hero" paper all over again today, it would be you.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

International Quilt Festival- Chicago 2009

I'm super excited about going to the big IQF show in Chicago this year! I usually take all the days off of work, plan out every minutia of my time there. I take lots and lots and LOTS of classes, at least one class every day of the show. I also spend inordinate amounts of money, usually bringing several hundred dollars of my saved "allowance" of our household budget. I may have friends coming to stay with me who plan to attend the show this year, and my quilt friends locally are all taking classes too.

But... (and you knew something was coming, right?)

I got the show catalog this year, and wow... what a downer. The classes are just not that exciting. I was hoping for a repeat of some of the classes I didn't take last year, no such luck. The dyeing classes, gone. The foiling and tyvek classes, gone. There is ONE class listing for Sunday, and it's one of the "samplers" in which you get to sample a demo from about 10-15 teachers. In fact, I have the Houston 2008 catalog on my desk, and putting the Chicago catalog next to it... it's downright anorexic.

Is this the state of the quilt show in Chicago? Were there not enough people last year? Every class I took was very full. I don't get it. I'm so disappointed that I didn't even fill out my class form online until this week, and I checked the Quilts.com website EVERY DAY until the class list was posted.

What will the show floor look like? Will it also be similarly reduced? Is it the economy?

I did eventually sign up for the Thermofax class and the Embellish it sampler class, but I really didn't have the same giddy feeling I did last year. I'm still looking forward to the show, and buying new supplies, and seeing the lovely quilts.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekly Quilt Series- A rabbit jumps over the moon


Where we westerners see a "man in the moon", the Japanese see a rabbit in the moon. The rabbit and moon together is a popular theme. My usagi (rabbit) is jumping into the moon for the night.

I absolutely love this background fabric by Lakehouse Designs. I wish I had more than the little fat quarter I have of it (or what is left of it). When I put the moon on the background, there was a design problem. You could see the flowers "through" the moon, and they were very distracting. I quilted over them quite a bit, and it still didn't "knock them back" (as Pokey Bolton says). So, even though the piece was quilted and bound, newly confident via Judy Coates Perez and my recent class with her, I dragged out the Setacolor black paint, and painted over the flowers. The "cool" thing was that Lakehouse outlined the flower with a thin shimmery rim and metallic gold, which the paint didn't really cover. In the end it was so much better for having "shadow flowers" inside the moon. I really like the new piece. This month's theme has been fun so far.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Two table runners!

Back in November, I finished up two table runners. The purplish one is for the kitchen island, as it had a Halloween themed one that needed to get packed away. My cats loved to sit on that one, so I needed a new one to replace it. I had a cute set of batik fabrics that would look good and hide stains, as it was going to inevitably going to get spilled on. In fact, the Thanksgiving day turkey dripped all over and after a wash and dry, It washed right out and you can't even tell!

This one is in my dining room, the one that will eventually get a "gears" wall hanging in it. When in Baltimore, my faorite shop is Seminole Sampler, in Catonsville. They sell these $3 bags of strips that are bolt end remnants. No strip is really wider than 3 inches, and can taper. For this table runner, i grabbed a few strips from the bag and just sewed them together. After quilting the strips in interesting free motion patterns and a funky cut, it looks pretty hip in situ in my dining room

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Part of my New Year 2009 Resolutions

One of my big New Year Resolutions is to be more eco-conscious. This year, my resolutions were a bit broad, with each having 3 specific goals. So, "Be more eco-conscious" has the following 3 goals for this year:
-Reduce the amount of plastic I bring home. This means plastic bags, plastic containers, etc., including food containers, which DH and I recently discussed. During the holidays, I gave almost all of the "gladware" I had away to my dad, and we recently bought some glass "refrigerator dishes" from Goodwill. On eBay these things go for over $20 each, mine were $3.99 each. And we recycled by not buying new!
-Recycle and repurpose. If you don't have to buy new, don't. We can also make a better effort to recycle anything that can be put in the recycling bin.
-Continue to "Use It Up". While I was able to buy shampoo and regular soap because I needed it, I am still not buying lotion or handcreme until I use up my stores.

Now, one of the coolest things I did to recycle came this weekend. I'm trying not to continue to buy boxes of tissues, because I go through a lot of them. So last month I decided to buy some hankies and use them instead. I had been eyeing some in a catalog for $30 for 12, but stopped by and antique store yesterday, and found some for $1.50 each. A quick wash and dry, and they are just as nice as the ones from the catalog. (Yes, I could make them also, but there's a whole time issue there...for now).

While at the Antique place, I spied an old treadle machine, cabinet and all, price tag $65. The machine appeared to have been electrified, so the treadle parts would not work anymore to power the machine. But, DH and I have been thinking about getting a table for our newly remodeled library for a lamp that I "freecycled" from dad's garage. $65 is not bad for a nice table, so off to the antique store I went today to purchase. Included in the deal was a second sewing machine "head", should we want to convert it back into a working treadle. Not many parts were in there, but the cabinet is in great shape, though refinished/restained by the previous owner. The second machine head is very cool, and will make a neat sewing room decoration for now. Take a look!


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Weekly Quilt Series- January 2009


It's time to show my first piece in my 2009 Weekly quilt series. This year, I changed the size, and I'm still going to do Monthly Themes. This month's is "Cute Japanese Culture".

This is a "nengajo", or a new years wish postcard, celebrating 2009 as the year of the cow (or ox). My cute cow was drawn on New Years Day in my sketch book, and then I blew it up to be the size needed for the quilt, which is 8 inches by 5 inches (the new series size). In Japan, nengajo are sent to the post office before New Years' Day specially marked as nengajo, and all delivered on New Year's exactly.

I picked the size because I could put two week's worth stacked into a plastic sleeve holder that holds regular sheets of paper.

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What I did on my Winter Break...

Picture heavy!
Our tree, with my gifts under it.
Bastet, doing what I did on vacation, lounging around.
One of my Art Quilt Workbook exercises, finally done.
The project from the workshop presented by Rosalie Dace, called "Close Up". This is some bacteria magnified a bazillion times.
My version of "close up" was Pomegranate seeds.
And the Cloth, Paper, Scissors article on making these snowmen was just too cute to pass up. The bottles are small plastic shampoo bottles from all of the hotels I went to and used up this year. I pulled these bottles out of the trash thinking they would be good for beads or pins, and found a better use for them. I recycled!
More to come! Lots of cool stuff coming up!

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Vote for your favorites (including mine)

I am a participant in Susan Lenz's CyberFyber ATC and Fabric postcard exhibition in South Carolina this month.

And though I would love to "feel the love" from my bloggy friends, there are really some talented artists on these pages you should take a look at, with neat links to all of our various blogs. Please vote for your favorites, and not just mine.
You can see my Postcard by taking a look here.
You can see my ATC by taking a look here.
Susan has done a great job putting these together, and I hope you enjoy!

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