1/28/2015

3/5 Art Challenge

3/5 Art Challenge. I was nominated to participate in this challenge on Facebook by my friend  Lisa Boni  I'll be posting at least 3 pieces of art every day for five days! For those who do not belong to Facebook I'll post then here also. 

I chose to do this as I can share some of my other work. At one time I was the graphic artist for the city's library system.. It was a great job. I got to do everything including publications, posters, murals, displays and even constructing puppets. The chickens were for a city/county display for backyard chickens and Jennie's logo was a private commission for a nursery in BC. 

1/27/2015

Mystery tools identified.

Sally Grant asked me last fall if I'd help her identify something in a box of odds and ends that had been passed down in her family...   She had absolutely no idea what it was or what it was used for..  It took us a while to connect but I could tell her exactly what it was..


























It was a set of sterling silver ribbon bodkins.  And I could tell her how they were used and offered to find a approximate value for it.

She had no idea who the set had originally belonged to and could not even remember anyone in her entire family doing any sewing or handwork.




Even the original case is in fairly good shape considering that it is over 100 years old.














I did find this set on ebay for $383 and found two others not as ornate as Sally's in the $100-$200 range.  She is going to pass it along to her granddaughter and is delighted to have all the research to go with it..





AND...


in the process of looking for bodkins in antique sewing tools, I found a treasure for myself.  It is an antique measuring gauge with a sterling silver handle...and the price was barely more than buying a modern one... And it will be perfect for ribbon folding..  It does have an M monogramed on it which probably kept the price down but my middle name is Margaret.....and my mother's middle name is Margaret and my grandmother's name was Margaret.  And my granddaughter is Madison...  It  is about 100 years old also.....

1/26/2015

Round Robin Update

Spent the weekend finishing Rengin's RR block. Of course she has a folded ribbon seam and a button. The pansies are made from rayon seam binding which Susie and I dyed... Rengin requested we put our name on the block so I did my name on the left..... sideways hoping that it would look more like decoration than lettering. I got the teeny tiny buttons in LA and they come in 20+ colors. they have a website http://buttons4u.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc… I will get to town tomorrow to mail it...

And all my Diva RRs are home.  Don't they look great together.  It was a fine bunch of stitchers.
And Susan Jarosz still has all my wool RR blocks....

1/23/2015

Paisley problems and new plan!



I'm glad I have the whole year to play with paisleys because it may take it long to get it right.... I have plenty of reference for paisleys but it is the materials I use that I want to experiment with until I'm happy...and I especially had wanted to use beads...

First problem is that they were both too big and I lost the pickle shape.  I did them on felt  and they were borderline in size but once I attached them and added the edging they were too large for the block..

I did this one first.   Even though I said in a previous blog post that I was going to use 15s, I used 11s on this because I liked the colors... Bad decision.  They are just too bulky to get the effect I want...  And I used too many colors on this one..




I did this one second. It is also too large as I did it the same time as the other one. But  I did use 15s on this one and I like it better but the colors are too strong.  This would be perfect though for Rengin's block.  I do need to use a heavier thread for the outline stitch and maybe a stronger foundation... You can see on the paisley below that the chain stitch in heavier thread kept the beads in line.












New Plan:  So now I will start on the next pair.... starting with smaller shape, using 15s for beads and softer colors.  I made a trip to the bead store and got some pink 15s.  If they aren't to my  liking then I will try the next pair combining beads and stitching like I have done before (see left)...




1/22/2015

I went on a diet and my husband lost 16 lbs.

I had never had a problem with weight until I was almost 40... I was taken to the hospital in great pain and woke up finding that I had had a complete hysterectomy and for years after it was hormone hell and unwanted pounds.  And I'm not a disciplined person when it comes to dieting...the day to day counting of calories makes me depressed and doomed to failure.  Also I love to cook and   my husband loves to eat... But course he didn't need to lose much weight at all...  But now approaching 80 I needed to do something.












Then 18 months ago I was watching PBS and a program came on about an English doctor (Michael  Moseley) and his 5/2 Fast diet.  In essence you ate whatever you wanted for 5 days and fasted for 2 days.  Now I thought I could do that.  And it has worked wonderfully for me...except I fast 3 days some weeks instead of 2.  There is a lot of information on the internet about this diet and fasting in general.

I used to cook substantial meals 5 days a week and we had leftovers for a couple days.  Now I cook 2 days a week, we have leftovers 2 days, and on my fast days my husband has soup from the freezer with a salad and dessert.  All this time he has still had sweet rolls and jam with breakfast, dessert with lunch, dessert at dinner, snackies during the evening plus every night at bedtime he has a peanut butter sandwich, milk and more dessert.  In addition he always has large containers of chocolates from Costco.

Well he recently had his physical and over those 18 months he gradually lost 16 pounds and his doctor does not want him to lose any more..  Not sure how we're going to solve this problem... Over the same 18 months I lost almost 38 lbs. and actually feel good on fast days.  For me this has become a comfortable life style.  But since I know he is getting a healthy diet with lots of veggies and proteins, I think it's going to be his responsibility to find a way to stuff in more calories.  But I'm off to bake him more desserts today..

1/19/2015

More folded ribbons...

Susie just sent photos of these ribbons which we bought at the swap meet....  The top one is a 1/2"  grosgrain..  It was plain on one side and dotted on the other so it makes an interesting pattern.  The bottom one is an organza one with a satin edge.  This is a very interesting fold and I have a black ribbon edged with gold which I want to try this folding technique.  It lends itself to edged and multicolored ribbons which really shows off the pattern,
 
We wanted to try our hand at dyeing some of the ribbons we had on hand...  We started with grand hopes of brushing on the dyes and getting interesting patterns. Some of the ribbons were satin and dyed fairly well... so did the rayon seam binding.  But the polyester of course would not take the dyes and we needed to use the Tim Holtz alcohol inks...  Then we abandoned the whole idea of brushing on the color and just put the inks on a sheet of freezer paper and just smooshed a pile of ribbon around in it and liked the effect.  Susie forgot gloves at first and had the loveliest purple hands.  The whole operation was very uncontrolled and carefree but the results were great.  The rayon seam binding folds very well and I was able to get a 100 yd roll of HugSnug rayon seam binding on ebay for $9.50.
 
 
 


First two CQJP 2015 blocks


I'm well on my way now and my foray into making ribbon trims is a resounding success and see them as a long term asset to my CQ.  I have mixed feelings about the beaded paisley and will post about it and how I plan to tweak my paisley plan  Haven't made a dent in the lace...

Block One

Block Two:

Here are both together....

1/17/2015

Aids for making ribbon trims.....

The most useful items are the little alligator clips.  Don't get the ones with "teeth", get the one with tiny smooth "lips".... I got them at Radio Shack.. they were inexpensive and 10 in a package.   Ten will be plenty.  They made the folding so much neater.




Then Susie made plastic templates for the various sizes of the ribbons and they were useful for pleats and braiding the ribbons.













A small ruler of this type would be helpful also. 









On the last day we went to a small swap meet near Susie  and a jewelry booth had tools 2 for $5.  I bought this tiny wire clipper and a pair of Tim Holtz serrated scissors.  Everyone in Houston was raving about the serrated scissors but they were a ways down my list.  But for $2.50 I can cross them off my list.




O
 



1/15/2015

Ribbon trims are my newest love...

I took my ribbons and the one ribbon book I did have with me when I went to visit Susie Wolfe in California last week.  I had mentioned how pitiful the directions were and I knew she would prevail... And she not only thought the directions were poor, in some cases they were wrong...  But she was like a dog with a bone and one by one she figured them out and we both love them...

First what you don't need.... expensive ribbon or wide ribbon.  Cheap ribbons work especially well.  We started out with 5/8", 1/2, and 1/4" ribbon and the last day she was using 1/8" ribbons that were spectacular.  We were using mostly satin  and grosgrain ribbons medium weight.

All the ribbon books I ordered were here  when I got home and there is only one which I would recommend.. and I recommend it highly... The photos are plentiful and explanations stellar.  It is also readily available used for about $6.  It is "The Complete Photo Guide to Ribbon Crafts" by Elaine Schmidt.  It is a large book with lots of ribbon projects but the chapter on ribbon trims makes the book well worth the price..

We are just beginning to really explore all the possibilities so you will see me using lots of ribbon trims on my CQJP projects...  And I would have never worked through them without Susie's help. 

One bonus is the same technique looks different on both sides.  We dyed a lot of ribbon which we want to try and the last day we went to a swap meet and bought a lot of novelty ribbons to try.

1/06/2015

My paisley party plan



I plan to do them in pairs.  One more traditional and experiment with shapes and extensions.  I hope to use lots of my favorite beads  that haven't found a purpose.  You know the ones you love the minute you see them, buy them and then never find the perfect spot for them.  I have a LOT of those.






And the second to push the concept.   I do know   in some I want to incorporate free-form bead embroidery rather that just following the pickle shape... 
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And some creating bead/button flowers in the centers and filling in..  Need to gather up all my tiniest beads for this to work...Anxious to get started.






It's nice to know I have a whole year to play around with these.....  Let the paisley party begin...


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