Thursday, July 30, 2009

Surviving the Runway 60's style "The Movie"

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For those of you who have never made it to International Quilt Festival, here's your chance to see what you are missing Saturday night in Make it University, and for those of you who have, enjoy and see you in Houston!

Part 1 Feeling groovy


Part 2 I got you babe


Part 3 The Winners!


Thanks Nina for being a great videographer!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Surviving the Runway 60's style

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The 1st place winner of 50 spools of Aurifil thread.
2nd place winner, Pokey, 3rd place and 1st.

The Runners up.
Jamie and Leslie, dig those groovy pom poms man.
The Make it University Mod Squad.
Jamie Fingal, me, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Pokey, Melly Mells Testa, Jane LaFazio.

Tomorrow I will post some video of Surviving the Runway. Now I am doing massive catch up from being away for almost 2 weeks.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

International Quilt Festival Long Beach

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What an awesome show! On Friday, I drove to Long beach and was amazed by the crowds at the show, both friday and saturday morning they opened the doors 15 minutes early. The vendor aisles were crowded with eager shoppers, there was definitely a more optimistic feeling here than I felt last Spring at the Chicago show.

Here are a few of the people who were doing open studios friday:
Beryl Taylor
Jane LaFazio
Leslie Tucker Jenison
Jamie Fingal
Melanie Testa and Pokey Bolton co-taught a workshop using stencils with various kinds of media.
In the afternoon I taught my fanciful felted fruits workshop.After my workshop I went to the SAQA/Art Quilt reception for wine and cheese and hang with my peeps. It is so wonderful to reconnect with long time friends at festival. After the reception ended we were in need of some real food and an ever growing group of fellow art quilt enthusiasts 15 of us in all (many of them from Temecula) went out to dinner.
Photo provided by Carol Niles, thanks Carol!

Here's Melly and Pokey.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Day in the Fabric District Followed by Pupusas

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Today we drove to downtown Los Angeles to go to the fabric district, block after block filled with stores of fabrics, willing to wheel and deal.

There were fabrics of all kinds and shops filled floor to ceiling with notions and dressmakers forms.




One shop was filled with fake fur, much to Nina's delight who has been buying extra long fur on the internet for much higher prices to make wigs for her ball jointed dolls. I think she is going to need to start a business to use all the lovely fur she bought. Look at that pink and white one!

Look at all these designer cotton prints for $5 a yard!
We finished the day by stopping at another of our favorite restaurants, El Buen Gusto, for El Salvadoran pupusas, pickled spicy cabbage, refried beans, fried plantains and cream, yummmm...

Make It University apron 60's style

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To follow along with the theme of Surviving the Runway ’60s Style: The Ultimate Creative Challenge with Cloth Paper Scissors, several of us Make it University artists decided to make aprons to wear while working Open Studios and teaching our workshops. So if you see this mellow yellow apron you will know its me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Custom Mino HD Videocamera

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I recently bought a tiny HD video camera from Flip Video on Amazon. The really cool part about this besides the pocket size of the camera was that I could custom design it by uploading an image of my quilt. I also bought a nice little hard case that can clip onto a belt loop.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Los Angeles...

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Isn't one of the best parts about traveling the food? Eating all those favorites you have been missing while away. We started out on friday having Zankou chicken, our favorite fast food; Middle-Eastern spit roasted chicken with hummus, tomatoes, pita bread, garlic sauce and bright pink pickled turnips, YUMMM! This is the restaurant we miss most since we moved to Chicago, it's healthy fast food!

Our next great meal was Armenian marinated grilled beef, chicken, eggplant, whole tomatoes, peppers, rice and lahvash.

Today we headed to another old favorite, SeƱior Fish where we had ceviche tostadas, carnitas and chicken tacos washed down with large cold horchatas.

I am really enjoying being away from home because there are always too many things to do and I never really relax.
This morning I thoroughly enjoyed having a cup of tea, in a cup that I made years ago and had forgotten about, reading a good book on my Kindle (Olive Kitteridge) while sitting on my mother in laws patio. This is my view from the sofa

and this is what I listen too.
video
Believe it or not, these are standard pet shop gold fish that are usually sold 2 for a dollar. My kids won these 3 fish at a carnival in little glass bowls about 5 years ago. Since they have had plenty of space to swim around in they have grown to be about 10 inches long.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Make it University Samples

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I modified the design of the Metal Magic project somewhat for the workshop in Long Beach, making the kits with a piece of white cotton fabric (on right) for making the image transfer. I thought some people may prefer that look to the canvas, but I am bringing squares of canvas for people to use instead if they like that better. I also have reduced the size of the grungeboard, I like the proportion of that backing better than the larger version done in the previous workshop. If you are going to IQF Long Beach stop by MIU and say hi.

Felted Fruits Workshop is Friday at 4:30pm
Open Studios at 10:15 Saturday morning
Metal Magic 4pm Saturday
followed by the not to be missed Surviving the Runway

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Power of the Internet!

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I have resolution to my problem with Earthlink! An employee from Earthlink saw my Twitter post and contacted me on Monday. He told me that it seemed like I had a valid problem and forwarded my info onto their Executive Escalations group and asked for my contact info. I got a call the next day and we discussed my issue. He saw nothing in my file showing a cancellation of our phone line in Los Angeles in 2005, so he said he would do some investigating and get back to me. I am happy to say I had a message on my phone today stating that everything has checked out and I will be getting reimbursed for $1900! YAY!!!!! That will really help pay some bills this month.

The kids and I are off to Los Angeles tomorrow to visit family and friends and then next weekend, I will drive down to Long Beach for Quilt Festival.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Garfield Conservatory

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On Saturday, I took my son to his origami society meeting at Garfield Conservatory here in Chicago and decided to take a walk around the botanical gardens and green houses.










Many of the plants look like things you typically see in yards and gardens in California, so even though there were many pretty plants there were not that many that looked particularly exotic to me, except for in the Fern room.

It was so humid, warm and incredibly green. I love curled fern fronds, the spiral form is just so beautiful.


I love these, doesn't it look like there are little stitches on each side of the veins?
The coy pond was beautiful with a waterfall and Dale Chihuly lily pads.




I tried to get a good picture of the large coy who kept sucking gulps of air, but the reflection from the greenhouse skylights kept obliterating the fish in most of my photos.


These palm tree stems were so vibrantly orange.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

One month until Copper book retreat!

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If you are like me you have been feeling that low grade stress building for months. I know I could really use a little creative get away. Want to spend a weekend in the woodlands of Wisconsin making copper and canvas mixed media books with me? The weekend of August 8-9, I will be sharing my process for making these books at Whispering Woodlands in Verona, WI, just outside of Madison.

Besides having a fun, relaxing weekend doing collage (or bricolage), painting, working with fabric transfers and learning to emboss and color copper metal, you will also get a Creative Metal Tool kit courtesy of Walnut Hollow.

So come spend the weekend sharing stories, laughs, ideas and nurture your creative spirit, I would love to see you there.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Earthlink Users BEWARE!

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We had Earthlink for 2 years when we lived in Los Angeles, I canceled service in November 2005 when I found that we needed to use Comcast for internet here. In March 2006 I recieved a bill that we owed $123, I told them I had canceled our service and they said they didn't have a record of that. Giving the benefit of the doubt that maybe I had overlooked that in all the craziness of the move paid them with my debit card and cancelled the service. I just took a close look at my bank statement yesterday and saw a chage for $39.95 from Earthlink using the debit card. They had attached my debit card to an account that was closed and have been charging me for 3 1/2 years!

I called Earthlink and they said they had no record of cancelling service and they could not return my money unless I had a confirmation number. Infuriated I hung up thinking I had written the number in a notebook I couldn't find. Later I went and checked our files, pulled out the folder for Earthlink and found that I had written the confimation number on the bill that had come in 2006 and I also saw a second confirmation number on notes from when we had moved in 2005.

I called Earthlink back, which of course took 20 minutes on hold with a direct line to India. I gave them the confirmation number from 2006 and then 2005 and of course neither one were in their system! I would need to fax my documents to some Earthlink phone number. Since it was my handwritten notes, I couldn't imagine they would give that any validity it seemed like just another tactic to stall things. When I talked to the supervisor he told me that I needed to have taken action with in 30 days of cancellation to get my money back!

So what good is a confirmation number when the company does not honor it? They have literally been stealing money for 3 1/2 years by attaching a card number to an account on the day that I had cancelled service the second time. My only guarantee of stopping them now is to change my card number.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Knitting Lace

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As the summer warms up, I have set aside my cable sweater project and pulled out some lace weight yarn to knit. I have 3 skeins of Knitpicks Shadow in Jewels that has been sitting in one of my yarn baskets. Things have been pretty stressful and I decided I needed something that would be very relaxing and simple to knit. So I consulted one of my favorite reference books; A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

I came across Ostrich Plumes, a variation on feather and fan, which is a very easy lace pattern, and thought that would be just the right amount of interesting design and easy to memorize pattern.
Being a visual person, I prefer working from charts than reading patterns, so I made a chart from the written directions on this chart generator. Seeing the pattern graphically helps me remember the pattern so much better.Before starting my shawl, I knit and blocked three samples to see what size needles I wanted to use for my lace pattern. These three samples in reality are different sizes, the blue one being the smallest ( 6" x 7"), it was knit on size 5 needles and makes a nice solid pattern. The second sample was knit from the same yarn (but in a different color) with two strands of yarn on size 8 needles. It finished just a little taller and about an inch wider than the first swatch, it was heavier weight and had lost the nice drape that my first sample had. The last sample was knit single strand on size 8 needles, after blocking it was 7" x 9", it has nice drape but the design felt a little too open, loosing some of the pattern definition.
I settled on size 7 needles with 2 and a half repeats of the pattern from the book. I figure I will just keep knitting until I run out of yarn or until it reaches 60 or 70 inches.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Chicago Origami Society

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A couple months ago a film crew showed up at the Origami Society Meeting my son Ty goes to. The film makers work for the city and usually film Mayor Daley's activities, but since they were on a hiatus from the Mayor they were working on a few personal projects, including this one. It was so funny to see Ty with his long hair again, he cut it really short a couple days after this was filmed. I think this will be aired on a local cable access show too, for the month of July.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Stringing beads

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I have accumulated quite a few beads from various quilt and bead shows over the years. Often they sit in bins for a long time before I get around to using them. I think it is challenging to string beads well, the individual beads are so beautiful, but it can be tricky to combine them together in a pleasing way. I am in such awe of people who do it well.

This morning I wanted to string a necklace with a pendant I unearthed as I cleaned off my table this week. It has been sitting on my table for at least a year.


As I've gotten older I have begun wearing red, a color I never felt comfortable in when I was younger and more introverted. Maybe red is a color that demands some confidence and life experience, lol.I haven't had any red jewelry, until now.

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