Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What a Girl Wants!

I couldn't resist making you gals drool!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mail Order Bride

Our household has been selected for couples. Three female and three male cats all indoors, besides my husband and I. Outdoors, we have 1 male and 1 female cat, however, we have had 1 muscovy duck for the past 3 years. He actually showed up and fell in love with our pond and hasn't wanted to leave since. He had belonged to the neighbor up the road and Ronnie had to move and said if he couldn't catch the duck, he was just going to shoot him! Well we grew very fond of this ugly species of bird and would even take the bullet for him. lol My husband named him Elmer, (since I wasn't quick enough to decide.) He has been happy go lucky, wags his tail like a dog and will even eat the cat food put out for the other cats, despite his own corn feed! He occasionally pecks at the cats as if to tell them, "my food!" He has chased many a dog that has entered our yard. In the summer, he beats it down to the pond when he sees a heron land, and carries on with this threatening ritual dance, hoping the Heron will leave. As soon as I pop the door open, it scares the heron off and Elmer gets credit for his maucho duck ritual. He's quite proud of him self, actually. We never told him anything different and would wait until we see him waddle as fast as he could across the yard to repeat the scene all over again. He loves protecting his territory and I am sure not many people can say that they have a guard duck!

Poor Elmer has been alone all of these years. I often thought he would leave the area especially when the pond would about dry up this past summer, but it was his home to him. He would stay underneath our back porch amongst the Ivy and felt pretty safe.

Last night I had a knock on the door. It's pretty unusual for us as most people call before they drop over, but to my surprise, it was our old neighbor that had moved and he was carrying a cat carrier and said he had a present for us. Well, that's one thing I really didn't need was another cat! He picked up the carrier to reveal he had a "mail order bride" for Elmer! What a surprise! So Ronnie takes the carrier over to the pond and lets the female out. 3 years was a long time and I wasn't so sure if they would get along. We would have to wait and see if she stayed or took off. Well, it didn't take long before Elmer was jumping her bones! Talk about one happy camper! It was almost dark at this point, so had to wait until morning after their honeymoon to see if it was a great evening. As I left, I was imagining them under a blanket of snow having a cigarette,with Elmer asking, "was it as good for you as it was for me?" When I got up this morning, I saw the happy couple on the porch next door at the retreat house, so I finished up my email and would walk over to serve them breakfast in bed! By the time I walked over there, neither one of them were in site!!! It had been snowing harder and I noticed duck tracks in the snow and followed it over to the neighbor's garage. (Don't they just quack you up?)

Ah ha!!! I caught the two love birds! He was taking her to see the sites and all of his favorite spots! Good thing the neighbor doesn't mind!

I talked to the newly weds a bit and told them I had a nice cracked corn dish prepared for them so out they came and followed me back. I couldn't but help but to share their newly wed pictures! lol

As you can see by this photo, the honey moon is over. Notice that she is getting the last word in? LOL (ironically muscovy's don't have a voice), but rest assured she is nagging him already.

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Year's Resolution...To Finish!

I have been trying to finish this quilt for a year. Somehow it always ended up on the back burner. The fabrics were a result of trading with my friend who passed away. We would buy a half yard of fabric and trade with the other. There would be much ooh's and aah's as we fondled them. ( I even hand dyed the pink and purple tones for one of the blocks you can see closer in the last photo.) Bev and I eventually ended up with a nice stash of jewel toned fabrics. This quilt is the memories of our happy times together. I honestly had different thoughts on how it would be finished. It actually was suppose to be longer and if you see that if it were set on it's side, you would see the Japanese lanterns, so the design changed as I liked this setting more. I had thoughts of an oriental applique of flowers on the borders at one point. I almost wished now that I had done at least some, but I am very happy with how it turned out. I also had kept it in consideration that perhaps it wouldn't be masculine if I added the flowers.

I used a blue gray thread to tone down and let the colors show through yet on the black, it would also show up the stitching. I had no clue what I was going to quilt when I put it on the machine, I just did a couple of sketches and decided to proceed and work on the border and figured that I would just wing it in the blocks with an all over pattern.

Even though it would have lent it self to an all over pattern, I just decided to treat each block separate with curls going one way and then other other. It didn't dawn on me until afterwards that these patterns actually formed hearts! It couldn't have been more appropriate with the love and admiration I had for my friend. Bev my dear, I wish you were here to enjoy it, Instead it will be given to your husband with much loving thoughts and rememberance of you!

Monday, January 5, 2009

FiberArtists Great and Small

I nearly forgot to mention the wonderful Cyber Fiber display from artists all over the world. There are many lovely post cards and ATC cards on display. You will find my ATC #43. You can view them here. Enjoy the show! Be sure to go vote for your favorite piece of eye candy:)

Worth a Mint!

Since we are doing an altered mints tin with fibers for a fiber art group, I decided to submit a tutoral on one that I have made. This particular mint tin stands so it gave me an idea to make a whimsical sitting art doll. Click her to enlarge and see her detail.

First you need to purchase a tin of mints. Empty them in a bowl and feast on them while you work:) Use an awl or a nail and punch a hole in the top for head placement and one on each side for the arms about 1 inch down. As you can see, I also punched holes for the legs, but later decided to sew them to the body so I didn't need them after all.

Next you will need to have a piece of fabric for the body. I machine quilted a piece on thin cotton batting and then cut down to the size to fit around the tin. Approx. 2 1/2 X 4 1/2. I finished the edges by satin stitching with a rayon thread all the way around. For the legs and arms, I used a double knit striped fabric. Make them the length that you wish. I seem to think that long whimsical legs are most fun. Mine are 15 " long. I cut the strips 1 1/2" wide and sewed 1/4 inch seam allowance and turned with a Fasttube tool. The arm fabric is 1 1/2 " X 5 1/2 inches long.

As you can see in this photo above, I sewed the legs right onto the body fabric and fited the body around the tin. Notice that I didn't cover the top edge where the lid comes down. You can either glue your fabric on or what I did was whip stitch the back enclosure. Then you can take wire to form the arms. I used about a 10 inch 20 gauge wire and formed a loop. Make a hole through the fabric and the prepunched hole. Twist and fan out. I also covered it with a piece of duct tape on the inside so that it would be smooth so I could later put something in the tin.

Next add the sleeves by rolling the edge 1/4 inch down and sew it to the body by hand. Don't worry if the sleeves are too long as you will be adding the hands later and can trim and fold the cuff as needed. I also used a little bit of Fun wire for the ankle and feet. If you wish make the whole leg more posible, you can fill in the length. Sew the legging toe closed. Add a bell or a piece of a feathered boa.

Form the hands with fimo clay in a hand mold or if you wish, make a mitten or you could even add beads for the hands. I looped a piece of wire and added it the the wrist and baked it for 275 degrees for 30 min. I then took the arm wire loop and bent it back like a hook and attached it to the loop of the hand.

Then I took and extra piece of Fun wire and wrapped around the wrist area to reinforce it for posing.

For the head, I used a wooden bead with a wide hole in it. I looped a piece of boa feathers with wire twists. I made a collar from wired ribbon.

I glued the ribbon down for the neck area and ran the wire from the head into the tin. More glue at the base of the head and twisted the under wire and again covered it with duct tape. You can now paint the face and add any embellishments you wish.
Put a special trinket in the tin to give to someone. After all, you ate all the mints!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

Father Time has told me it's about time I update my blog!
Before I get too far behind, I did promise to put up some photographs of things I did, Many were Christmas gifts and had to wait until they were opened, so as not to spoil the surprise. I finished a quilt for a customer that was to be a gift. I love bright colors and this pattern called Rotura gives it a neat ethnic feel. I have another quilt I finished up. As soon as I get the binding on, I shall photograph. OHHH did I tell you I got a new camera for Christmas? I am sure you can tell which photos were done with the new camera! I am so excited to have better color and detail!

I also made some ornaments and many opened to reveal a hiding place for something to tuck in. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the inside of square one after it was finished. I added two pieces of felt squares and sewed it along the diagonal and it would become not only an ornament but a needle case. I also added a pair of embroidery sissors on a beaded fob and some extra needles and beads for the recipient to use the ornament/case all year round. In the smaller pieces, I added some small bead packets.

I also made other types of small enclosures for gifts as well as business card holders that when you pull the string the card pops up as if by magic. This concept was by a dear friend that owns the Fiber Art Trader group, Norma Jean Brevik. I made up my own ideas for the cards. Some were fancy stitched, some were done with beads while others with tatting. While I take credit for the designs, my friend Peggy Crosby does the lovely tatting. I know how to crochet, but never have picked up the knack to tat.

I also got some wallets and purses made for gifts. This first one with the horses was for my aunt who lives in Montana and barrel races, so I felt this one was fitting for her:)

This one I made for my youngest sister. It's on the order of a chinese takeout box.

Don't you just love this center draw bag? It was a bugger to figure out, but I love it! I can hardly wait to make one for myself!

A wallet I designed. I photographed it earlier, but coloration wasn't as good so I am glad to try again with my new camera. This time you can see the back of it.