Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

I couldn't resist decorating our cat, Nova in a halloween blingee style. I wish everyone a happy and safe halloween! We just got back from our trip to Vermont and Canada. I will update some new photos when I get caught up a bit.
Have a Frightfully wonderful halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tim Holtz Give Away!

If you are a Tim Holtz fan, you will simply have to check out this awesome Tim Holtz give away! Good luck to all who enter!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Corner

I had to share with you my halloween corner in my studio with a few of my FAVORITE things! The round box was from a Harry and David store that once had popcorn, candy and other goodies in it. The funky shoes and ceramic cat box I have picked up at yard sales. The other two cats, the black one is an Annalee while the other one hand made, both from my friend Norma Soulet! They just tickle me! Thanks Norma:) And lastly is a doll that I have made. There's something about the combinations of orange, green, purple and black that I love! I actually keep this display up year round!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Retreat

Fall is my favorite time of year! I love the colors and the crisp air. It's also a wonderful time to plan a retreat at the Sacred Heart Retreat house in Coolville, Ohio. Thirteen of us gals came together to enjoy the season. The weather was just perfect to even spend some time outside to work on our hand projects.

Here from Canfield Ohio, are (from left to right) Debbi, Monica and Gabriela working in the gazebo by the pond.

We even sat in benches beside the pond to work. Here is the youngest gal in the group, Gabriela's niece, Monica, working on a paper pieced tumbling block quilt. Sometimes we would get a cool spray of water with a breeze from the fountain in the water.

We got a warm glow from the reflection in the water and enjoyed the view of the trees from the bench below.
Debbi is doing some embroidery without a hoop.

Even the resident cat, Magic,
is enjoying a warm bed of leaves on the hillside.

Inside the retreat house, you could hear the humming of machines running. Here is Bonnie, working on a lovely pink and green quilt.

On the other side of the room, you would find several working on various projects. Lesa is in the foreground. Gloria is in the burgundy shirt, Thea in the white T and Sandy sitting on the sofa doing some hand sewing.

This glorious quilt is being worked on by Lesa.

Irene was working on a quilt she started at the retreat in July. Such lovely fabric combinations!

And she even finished!

In the evening, halloween goodie bags were given out and each contributed a gift to add in the bags. Thea was wearing her Dame Edna glasses and ready to hand out some apple fabric. Gretchen is sitting the the background.

A special goodie bag was given to Sandy that made her cry! She had started a memory quilt of her husband, but because of strokes, it was difficult for her to complete. I got it together and quilted it and while at the retreat, the gals took turns sewing stitches in the binding.

She had also bought some UFO blocks from the July retreat and I surprised her again by getting it together and had her name embroidered in the center of the quilt.
On Saturday we also watched others working on various techniques. Here is Suzan working on some felted ATC's while Sandy looks on.

I also had them work on a mini mystery project in which they eventually discovered that they were making owls! They worked in wool while my piece had been done in upholstry fabric and cotton.

As you remember from the last post, they got their charms and were added to their owls if they wished. You can find the tutorial on the owls here and here.

Here's Thea making a "specktacle" of herself wearing one of the owls. lol I had them get sticks for their owl to perch on.

I even loved the back of her T shirt!

I also had showed them how to make a tiny stuffed owl. I put mine on a pin cushion.

A retreat wouldn't be complete without snacks! Here's Bonnie and Irene. We also had wonderful meals, but unfortunately no photos as we were too busy stuffing our faces! lol

As the retreat wound down, we all had to clean up. This is Sherry the sweeper queen!

The hard part was saying goodbye as we all wanted to stay another day, week, month and year. lol Here is Gloria getting ready to go while Patches inspects the packages to see if there was any more spare chicken hidden in any of the bags.

We all took last min. pictures to have some memories. Bonnie took this one! Great going Bonnie! LOL
I guess she wanted some memories of all of the good food that contributed to our figures. LOL
O.K. trying again....... That's better Bonnie!
From left to right is Suzan, Gretchen, Debbi, Wanda, Monica, Gabriela and Thea. At this point some of the others had already left or were still upstairs packing.
Finally Patches sat in the driveway once again watching each car leave and awaiting for the next group to bring in chicken or other such morsels. An enjoyable time was had by all!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Re-purpose on purpose

I recycled some bottle caps to make into charms as an exchange at our retreat this next weekend. I chose a halloween theme insert with initials, so did one up for each gal. I love how they turned out! I got some great designs from Stacy on ETSY, if you would want to check them out. I think they are awesome and so is she! I plan to make some other styles for Christmas gifts with scrabble tiles and such. I shall make key chains, necklaces, zipper pulls and other things. She has a great sale going on right now too, so pick up several! As you can see in my earlier post with the vampire teeth charms, that I used a pourable glaze over it. I did that with these too, but I made the mistake of using a marker to outline the circle before I poured it. As it turned out, it blead! Guess I won't make that mistake again! Anyway I ended up redoing them and just put an acrylic dome covering over them that you can purchase at
Aunt Christys Certainly a lot easier to work with! They consequently, looked better in the long run!

Other new uses..... I had gotten this portable massager as a gift from AARP and it has sat on my desk. I had a magazine laying on top of it and Boa jumps up to sit on it, automatically turning it on! He didn't jump, so guess he must have really enjoyed it. lol

See how relaxing a massage can be!

Another item for a new use, you can see is my Q-Snap quilting frame. It makes a great cat hammock! Occasionally I get to use it covered with a white sheet and as a photo box for display items. That is, if and when I can get it away from a cat who sleeps about 20 hours a day!

So what do you do to recycle or repurpose items?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Going Batty!

Bat Cats, Bat Cats.....what you gonna do, what you gonna do when they come for

I couldn't resist messing around with a photo of Bisky. When cats yawn, I can't help but think of vampires and especially this time of year. lol So for fun, I made this bat for hubby to put on his wall at work. I also did a search to see what I came up with for vampire cats and this is what I found! They are just hilarious!

This last one is my daughter's cat. I shall have to make a Bat Cat for her too!

Now I have to tell you a funny thing that happened to me this morning. I am not an early morning person, so it is usually around 8:30 or 9:00 when I roll around. This morning was different. Well actually it started last night, as I kept hearing one of the cats and with as many as we have, I had no clue who to blame, but I went to bed. It wasn't cold out, so the cat could stay out for the night since I didn't see him or him come to me when I called. Finally at 7 AM I hear a ruckus in the bathroom. Hubby had gone to work already, so I thought he had shut Zack, our black and gray tabby in the room with me as he does sometimes to keep another cat at peace by separating them. So I get up, running around in my PJ's and discover it isn't him making any noise. He was staring at the floor where water lines are in the shower. (Mind you, our house still isn't fixed up yet from all of the water damage we had). Then I hear, thunk, thunk, thunk, and the noise is under the house. I peek through the holes where the shower and tub are and there is Jack, our one eyed gray and white tabby trying to figure out how to get in the house! We have a modular home and the contractors had been here the day before to put insulation in the underbelly of the house. Here they had sealed it up with poor old Jack in it!

So here I am equipt with scapal (paring knife) and flash light.

I felt like I was performing a C section as I slit the belly open to give birth to a full grown cat!

Only a cat mom could go through this. LOL Needless to say, Jack got a special breakfast for all of his trauma.

When the contractors come back to work on the floors and the walls now, I will have to count cats before I let them close it up!

I have had other batty things going on this past week. Here are Herky and Zack I caught napping in my batting scraps. I keep a scrap bin just for them and when it gets full of fur, I throw it out and they get a new nest every so often.

I had batting scraps left over from doing quilts this past week. Next time they will get some black batting. lol

I finished piecing this colorwash chain quilt for my SIL. This memory quilt of her husband has been one that she has wanted to have done for quite some time. I helped her start it, but because of her strokes, she has difficulty trying to complete things that tire her out. I plan to give it to her during the retreat next week and we will work on the binding. In the center is Sandy and David's wedding picture taken in 1985. In fact we got married the week after they did.

Her husband died from kidney cancer when he was 50 years old. We sure miss him!

At the last quilt retreat, Sandy bought some UFO blocks from another quilter. These are flannel. She didn't know what she would do with them (other than hand them to me and tell me to make something. LOL) But for $4.00 she couldn't simply pass them up! Well, there simply wasn't 9 to make it a nice piece, so I decided that If I made one in the center as a focus then it would work. I went online and got the background fabric from and after playing with it, I realized I had to find another green to accent everything. This time I found a color I liked at a store on Ebay. They only had a yard of it listed, so I had hoped it would be enough or try to cut corners somewhere else. I also had some natural colored flannel to make the quilt longer for her for a lap quilt. Then had a gal do an embroidery with her name on it.

I would have done applique with folk art flowers in the top and bottom areas, but I knew I didn't have time before next week with other things going on, so I simply quilted leaves.

I was also skimpy, but was able to border the extra UFO blocks to make them into pillow covers.

I had also given her a flannel panel that was in my stash that I didn't want. I should have known better as I would get that to quilt for her too! LOL I had enough of the reddish colored flannel and it looked rather folk artsy enough to work for it.

I have gone through bats and more batts this post! AND there is even more! During the month of October, I offer half off on batting with my machine quilting service! Details on machine quilting, you can find here at Enchanted Threads. Hurry before time runs out! Well, I must get back to quilting, so I am off..... to the Batt cave!