Friday, October 2, 2015

Bi-Monthly Report

Shall we try for a Quarterly Report next time?  Semi-annual?  Heck, let’s just jump right to Annual!  Or . . . maybe not.  I don’t really want to lose all my readers – all three of you that are left, anyway!

I’m going to skip the excuses (there are many) and get right to showing what I’ve done recently – of which there are many as well!



This was a kit from the local quilt shop.  I’ve had it for awhile, but it went together pretty fast once I decided to work on it.


This is from a pattern called “Take Five On-point”.  The package says you take 5 minutes to choose 5 fabrics and in 5 hours you’ll have a finished top.  Well, it took more like 10 hours, but that included coffee breaks and gossip time, so I’m thinking that’s about right!


This table runner was a quick project after a friend showed us how to layout charm squares for a simple runner.  I wanted something for Fall and I happen to have this charm pack from a Shop Hop – who knows when!  For awhile I was buying charm packs a lot, until I realized I didn’t know what to do with them!  I’m getting more ideas now.

Art Journal Emporium:

August was pretty busy, but things slowed down in September somewhat.  At least in my Art journal!  Here’s a couple of exercises from Pam Carricker’s “Creating Art at the Speed of Life”

book club lesson15

book club lesson16

Digital Scrapping:



Dolls & Other Things:



A couple of projects from my doll club’s August and September meetings.  Top picture is my box “totem”.  We collaged and embellished boxes or square cubes with symbolism that had a personal meaning.  I made mine so there are three storage compartments.  You know – for secrets.  Ha!

The bottom picture is two cone dolls.  These are literally cardboard cones that I’ve collaged onto.  We had a selection of clay faces to choose from, and multiple face molds.  I used several of the molds and I have a couple more cones, so I can do more dolls.  These are too much fun!

That’s about it.  Two months gone by in a rush – but fun projects got done anyway!

Want to see what I’m working on next?


It involves this fabric.  The fuchsia flowers match the trim in my sewing room.  Sarge was sooo nice to paint it since he really dislikes fuchsia! 

Now to get back to sewing and scrapping!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Not-Monthly Report

It’s past time for an update on my crafty doings, so here is what I’ve been up to in July into August.


I have another finish! 


This was a Block of the Month from Julia Wood at The Hexie Blog last year.  I actually had all the blocks finished shortly after the New Year.  And it didn’t take me very long to put them together.  But then I decided to add the tiny hexie flowers at the block intersections, and that took longer.  A LOT longer!  I’m not sure why – when I decided to get busy and just finish it already!, it was done in one afternoon.  Isn’t that the way it goes sometimes?

Speaking of Blocks of the Month, this is the one I am doing this year.



This one is called Seasonal Silhouettes by Edyta Sitar, and my local quilt shop is providing the kits.  I am actually up-to-date on this one since it started in April.  Hopefully it won’t take me eight months to finish it after the twelfth block is done!

Art Journal Emporium


One of this month’s projects was a Glue Book.  This is just one of the pages I did.  Basically, it involves gathering pictures and papers together and glueing them down in a pleasing collage.  Not as focused as a regular collage because there is really no “message”, but not totally random either.  I have a small box that bits and pieces from other projects get tossed into.  For the Glue Book, I grabbed a few of them at random and then layered, tore, punched, and generally played until I liked what I had.  There will probably be more of these pages in my next – ahem – monthly review.

Digital Scrapping

Yeah, this is what takes most of my time.  A perfect match-up of my artistic side and my nerdy-ness!  Anyway, here is just a sampling:

B20-happy-babychallenge3-bob margaretchallenge6-summerDare414--RushmoreG21-Collins-womenI23-veggies-thumbnailshakespeareWeekend-door

There you have it – July in a few words and pictures.  Not so many pictures, actually.  I need to take them more often.  I’m pretty sure I did more than make a couple of quilts and play in PhotoShop.

On the other hand, maybe that IS all I did last month!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Done is Better than Perfect

I thought I’d jump in here and show you that I have actually been doing some sewing.  And I have a finished quilt top to show for it!


You know how bloggers show a picture and say that it looks crooked because of the camera angle?  Well, this quilt looks wonky because it is!!  It will present a real challenge for “quilting out the bumps” as they say.  But that particular headache is for another day, because this one was its own headache!

I inherited a set of 9-degree wedge rulers, and decided to give them a try.  I figured it would be a great way to use up scraps if I sewed long strips and cut the wedges from there.  I played around in Electric Quilt and came up with this layout and thought it would look pretty good.



For my first try using these rulers, I probably should have used a solid fabric instead of strips.  But you know what they say about hindsight.  So, it turns out that with all the seams and such, each wedge was not quite exactly a 9 degree angle.  So when it came time to sew the curved seams in each block, there was some fudging to do.  A. Lot. of. Fudging!  In fact, I wound up stitching a gathering line at the inside circle edge to help made everything fit.  It’s kind of fun to try to smooth this top out – you get one circle flat, then the others all bump up.  Kind of like Whack-A-Mole!

And I don’t want to talk about the border!  Just . . . no.

I was really disgusted with this project and swore I would never use those rulers again.  But, now that it’s been hanging on my wall for a couple of days, I kind of like it.  So, maybe I’ll try another project with those rulers after all.

Just not anytime soon!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Day With Dolls

This week I attended ODACA Day in Kansas City.  ODACA – in case you’ve never heard of it – stands for Original Doll Artist Council of America.  It is a group of doll artists (obviously) and some “patrons” who promote original one-of-a-kind doll artists.  There are some amazing artists in this group!  You can find more information on their website:

molly val betty at table

Four of us from my local doll club drove over for the luncheon.  We figured this is the closest the conference will ever be and who knows when they will be back in this part of the world, so we might as well grab the opportunity.  I was pleased to see several doll artists I know from past workshops and/or conferences. 

brenda viewing tent

Our after-lunch speaker was Brenda Gehl who had a circus-themed story she told us, along with props – some in progress.  I am very interested in seeing how the work evolves as she finishes the stage settings and dolls.


The theme for the day was Under the Big Top.  I came home loaded with goodies!  I’m still wondering when I will wake up from a dream.


This is the little table favor I got.  He’s about 3 inches tall.  Each table host did their own thing with the favors and my table did a Chinese exchange type of game, where you have a choice to keep the gift you have or take someone else’s.  We had fun and I think everyone was happy with what they ended up with.

souvenir doll group

Everyone received a souvenir doll.  There were five different poses, all hand crafted by doll artist Barbara Schoenoff.  I got the one on upper left and I love her!  They are all wonderful, but if I had to choose, I think that is the one I would have picked.  Good thing, huh?

some raffle prizesw

There were a number of raffle items and I did my part to help ODACA’s treasury by purchasing tickets.  I always buy tickets at these kind of events, figuring it is pretty much a donation because I almost never win anything!


There were two items I was particularly interested in (although not the only two – everything was yummy!).  Imagine my surprise when I was the winner - twice!  The beautiful mermaid is from Mimi Winer and the t-shirt from Christine Shively-Benjamin.  Mermaids and Alice in Wonderland are two of my favorite fantasy themes!

But wait – there’s more!


The table centerpieces were made by one of my favorite artists – Ute Vasina.  She showed some of her progress making these on her blog and when I saw this little one, I WANTED her!  But I knew it wouldn’t happen and it wasn’t until they stumbled over my last name that I realized I was a winner – again!  This is by far the best of all!

So much for never winning anything!  I hope my traveling mates don’t hate me too much.  I hope they enjoyed themselves in spite of me!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Just A Quick Visit


I just wanted to pop in and show you what I’ve been up to this week.  This is my entry for the Hoffman Challenge.  Tomorrow she gets shipped off and not a moment too soon!

Every year, I tell myself I’ll get started on the challenge early.  I buy the fabric as soon as I can find it – I start looking in November.  I now have several of my own figure patterns so the basics can be ready by the time the fabric arrives.  And I usually have some ideas floating around in my head, so there’s no reason I can’t get my piece done early.  Sigh.

But, once again, this year I am sliding in just barely under the deadline!  Happens every year!  Double sigh.

Maybe if I say that next year I plan to wait until the very last minute and work like a demon to get my doll finished and shipped.  Maybe I’ll even plan to send it Overnight Express!

I think it’s called reverse psychology.  What do you think?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Summary Review for May –er- June?

For weeks now I have been thinking of showing what I’ve been up to.  May was an exciting month, but somehow yet another month has passed by!  Sheesh!  What is the matter with me that I can’t seem to post anything?  Well, some of it is that the photos are all on the laptop downstairs, while most everything else is upstairs.  But, let’s get real here.  It’s a LAPTOP!!  Can you say portable?

Never mind.  Let’s see what I’ve been doing for two months:


The big news here is that I attended another workshop with Deb Wood.  Our theme this time was Night Circus.


This is my girl, Domino.  I am really pleased with how she came out.  We learned some new techniques and I feel much more confident working in the clay.  Not that there isn’t more to learn!  It will just take practice (lots of practice!)

For now, I’ve gone back to cloth for the Hoffman ChallengeDSC00462DSC00463

Yes, I know – her head and arms need to be attached.  Sometimes it is easier to construct a dress on the body without arms getting in the way.  Depending on what kind of sleeves I want to do, I’ll put sleeves and arms on together.  And jewelry and embellishments are easier without the head.  I know what I want the dress to look like – sort of.  Since the deadline is in two weeks (Yikes!), I will need to finalize the plan pretty quickly now.

Art Journal Emporium

One of the Emporium activities was to work through Diana Trout’s book, “Journal Spilling: Mixed Media Techniques for Free Expression.”  It’s always fun to explore new techniques.  Some of my journal pages:

Book Club-wishes 750X900Book-Club-my-criticBook-Club-stitching-and-blowing-inkMay-collagedream-birdLoyalty-hear-your-truth

Digital Scrapping

I must admit, this is where a lot of my time has been going.  I have a LOT of photos to go through, both my own and my family’s.  The challenges put up by the various digital scrapbooking sites have been really great as incentive. 

If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, though, you know I tend to go overboard on my projects now and then!  OK – more than now and then . . . like ‘almost always’!!

So, Sweet Shoppe Designs has a monthly challenge called Bingo.  As the name implies, there is a Bingo card each month with prompts of all kinds.  A single row ‘bingo’ gets you a percent off coupon, a pattern (like X or square) gets a bigger discount, and black out is worth an even bigger discount.

For June, I decided I was going to get a blackout.  Who knows what I was thinking?  That’s 24 separate layouts and quite a bit more time than I would normally put into any one project.  In fact, every spare moment went to this effort.  And you know what?

I did it!!!!!


It may never happen again, but now I can say I’ve done it.  And I can go back to a reasonable rate of scrapping all these photos.

So here are some of the others I did in May and June.  I’ll put the name of the site the prompt came from.  Each layout uses papers and elements from that site’s designers.

The Digi Dares:


Scrap Girls:

5-18-Monday challenge5-21-Thursday-challenge5-28-school-daysTue-NL-Sandals



That’s just a sample, really.  I could bend your ear and burn out your eyeballs with less successful layouts and boring excuses, but to what purpose?   If I were to post more often, I could share more of these, huh?

There has been some quilting happening, too.  Unfortunately, I haven’t taken photos yet.  There are two finishes so I should have something to show you in my next post.  Oh, and some fabric painting!  Wait until you see what that looks like!! 

But let’s not wait two months, okay?