Saturday, December 23, 2006

Ornaments again

These have turned into the best portable project. Everything I need fits in a couple baggies. Yesterday, while at my kids teen gathering at the local coffeehouse I stitched three of these. I made one while sitting at a doctors appointment and a few more watching tv with the family. The wool is wonderful to stitch through.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Creche and more ornaments

Following up several other blogsters that have been showing their creches, this is the creche I made with my daughter about 12 years ago when she was 4. We made it out of sculpy.

Here's a few mored felted ball ornaments.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Felted ball ornaments

These ornaments were made from felted balls that were leftover from last years felted ball ornaments. This year I cut out wool felt shapes and sewed them on with embroidery floss.


Yesterday we made wool felt needlecases for when we take our sewing on the go. This one is mine.

And this one is Nina's for the ultimate in goth crafting.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Raven King

Dick Blick was having a sale a couple weeks back with canvases half price. How could I pass up cute little 4" canvases for $2.50 each?

Unfortunately I forgot to gesso my canvas before I started painting, so there are little bumpies, it has been a long time since I have painted on canvas. I love the size of this. I am so used to painting 4-6 foot pieces of fabric that take a month to finish. Nice to have a finished product in a day.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Happy Saint Nicolas Day

The eastern European tradition is that on the evening of December 5th you put your shoes out for Saint Nicolas. In the morning on December 6th when you wake up your shoes will be filled with cookies.

Every year I make these delicious spice cookies for St Nicolas Day, this year my kids found themselves filled with the spirit of St. Nic and joined in. To make St. Nic I use a modified gingerbread man cookie cutter, I just bent the top of his head to make the pointed bishop hat and changed the shape of the legs to make his robe. I have several bent up paper clips to stamp the hat line and beard shape. We always make some hands with spirals and hearts on them too. These are great cookies for tea and if kept in a tin will take you through the holidays.

Saint Nicolas Cookies

Mix in order

1 C shortening
2 C white sugar
4 eggs
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
4 C flour
4 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cloves

turn out on floured board kneed in about 1 cup more flour or as much as you need until dough is no longer sticky and is easy to handle.

Put into plastic bag and refridgerate until chilled and stiff. When rolling out dough keep unused dough refridgerated. Roll dough thinly for small cutout cookies. 1/4 inch thickness for larger.

Bake on parchment paper at 350° until golden-brown.

Cute Booties

When I was on Kristen LaFlammes blog I saw she had made an adorable pair of booties for her sisters baby made from a pattern designed by Heather Bailey.

I made these with some of Ninas leftover polar fleece and wool felt for details. They are fun to stitch and decorate, Now I need to find some babies to give them to.

Heather has a wonderful blog and she is so generous to put the pattern up for free download. It looks like she is coming out with some great patterns in the near future. I want the pattern for her apron. I havn't wanted to make anything close to a garment in ten years, when her pattern comes out I might break down and do it.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Grandnephews x-mas sweater

This is the sweater I just finished for my sister Deb's grandbaby.

I saw the sweater on Wee Wonderfuls blog and thought it was the cutest little kids sweater. The pattern is from Miss Beas Rainy day by Rowan a cute little book that I ended up ordering from Amazon UK, did you know you can do that? There's an Amazon Japan too! Ooh the possibilities... The yarn is cotton worsted from Knitpicks.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Arts & Crafts Day is coming

Mark your calendars November 30th is Arts & Crafts Day. The homeschooling daughter of a friend has created this holiday. I think it is one we should all observe, these are her intentions:

I made up arts and crafts day so more people would do crafts. Arts and crafts day is a day that you are supposed to do all the arts and crafts you can do in one day. Then you think of which craft you should give which person. The next time you see that person you give it too the person you thought of. Arts and crafts day is on November the 30. Good craft ideas for arts and craft day.

1 Draw a picture of your friend
2 Use a shoe box to make a doll house
3 Collage
4 sock monkeys
Etc… please spread the word by blogs by phone or by mouth

Saturday, November 18, 2006


What is it about rules that make us want to break them. Rules can be very limiting or totally inspiring. The new rule in the International Quilt Festival World of Beauty contest is “no sharps” meaning nothing sharp on a quilt, due to barbed wire being on a quilt a year ago. And as many of you know our group quilt Fauna, done before the rule change, was rejected from this show because it had copper wire on it. You can see the gorgeous panel that caused the problems here.

I guess it must be my natural rebellious nature that when some one says something is not allowed, especially when it comes to making art -specifically quilt related- I want to do it. My head has been spinning with ideas of more ways to incorporate metal with quilting. I think about the potentially great quilts that would not be eligible because of this rule, and I want to make them, as an example of what they will be missing.

I understand the reasons for this rule: insurance, special handling during judging and hanging, but unfortunately it is also limiting to the possibilities of new and different art. Without changing ideas, techniques and imagery, it all begins to look the same, it looses its energy and is no longer exciting. It becomes just another quilt show.

You probably won't be seeing this in Houston.

This is an 8" square of copper screen with painted Lutradur stitched to it. The embossed metal house has open doors to reveal a 2" x 3" painting that is machine quilted.

It can also stand up on a flat surface.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Finally finished the Agave. This and four other quilts will be going to a gallery show in Austin, TX for the month of December.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Craft fair bummer

Unfortunately we had a terrible rainstorm the night of the craft fair and no one came. All the kids had worked so hard, their table displays looked great. There were some sales made none the less, so the kids weren't too unhappy.

Here is Ty's origami raindeer and more of Nina's monsters.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Homeschool Teen Craft Fair

This week I have been helping my kids do the last minute preparations for the teen craft fair this friday. They have been in high production mode and want to make some cash!

Ty is selling Origami ornaments. Primarily these sonobe modules and also oragami raindeer.

Nina has created a line of stuffed monster dolls in polar fleece and soft velvety fur.

These are the next few in progress.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Off to Houston friday

I'm going to the International Quilt Festival for the weekend. To see the show but mostly to hang out with my textile art group gal pals from Texas. I am so proud of Kathy York from Austin who won first place large art with her wonderful quilt Little Cities.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Hallows Eve • Dia De Los Muertos

Today is The Celtic New Year, the day when the veil between the spirit world and our world is thin enough to allow visitation by our departed loved ones. My altar is set for my dear friend Onnolee who passed this spring with a few of her personal items that I am blessed to have in my shrine. As well as a pomegranite, symbolic fruit of Persephone, dear to Onnolee and a glass of real good scotch. Something I know she would enjoy. There is also a place for our dog Binky with a bone for her.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

an experiment

I am going to start a new quilt soon. While I am working out the design I have been trying to figure out what techniques to use to make it. I want a dark probably black background on this next quilt,so I debated if I should paint the background or dye it or paint on dark fabric. After making Primordial Sea I was not sure I wanted to do that again. So this is my experiment to see what would happen if I painted white fabric with textile paints and then dyed it. I thought two things might happen. One- the paint might not hold up to the abuse of dyeing and washing out in HOT water, or two- the cloth behind the painted areas would also take the dye and make the image dark.

This fish went through dye and washout twice and I am pretty impressed with how well the paint held up. I do not like how the image itself became dark from the dye taking to the back of the painted area though. The metallic paints do reflect light and at some angles looks good, others it looks dark. The other problem with this method is that occassionally a drop of paint may fall on the background (below tail) and cause all sorts of grief. So this will not be the method I use. When the background was a lighter shade, it did look really good. So this method would work if you wanted a light to medium colored background.

I also tried painting with opaque paints on black cloth but the coverage was not that good, it looked dull. So I will be painting this next quilt completely on white cloth. But first I need to try to finish this agave which is not thrilling me at all. I just want it done.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Yippee, Woo Hoo!!!!!!

Oh my god, I totally forgot to look at the website for Pacific International Quilt Festival today. A friend just emailed me to tell me congratulations for winning FIRST PLACE Innovative for Primordial Sea!


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