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!

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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.

Well.

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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:  http://odaca.org/

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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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!

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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

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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:

Dolls

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

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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!!!!!

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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:

Dare-410-MagicDare411-When-I-Grow-UpDare-403-joyDare407-cantlearnthis

Scrap Girls:

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

OScraps:

Challenge-1---shareChallenge-2---key-to-my-heartOstash-Emmasunflowers

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?

Saturday, May 2, 2015

April Recap

Almost a month since me last post . . . now where did that month go?!?  Well, I have been busy, so how about a little summary?

Art Journal Emporium

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but I subscribe to Tangie Baxter’s AJ Emporium and we have a lot of activities geared to inspiring creativity.  Plus, it’s a lot of fun!  Check out the box in the right column if you think you might like to join, too.

One of the activities I take part in is a monthly Artist Trading Card (ATC) swap.  Here is what I received in April:

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The Daily Art Dose

I decided to do lettering practice for April – here are some of my favorites:

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Emporium Book Club

Yet another activity is the Book Club.  This month, our book was “Art Journal Courage: Mixed Media Techniques” by Dina Wakley.  Check out some of the things I created with the help of this book!

Book-Club-altered-photoBook-Club-doodleBook-Club-eagle

Digital Scrapbook

Since I’ve “discovered” the joys of Photoshop Elements, I’ve used a lot of family photos to create layouts suitable for memory keeping.  One way I keep focused is by joining on-line challenges.  The challenges mean I’m not doing things in any kind of order, but that works for me just fine!

EasyRidermulti-designer---irisTwo-of-a-kindG19-EmmaB1-GrandpaO4-family

Quilting

In spite of how it may look with all that, I DO have time for a bit of quilt making – just a bit!  These blocks took most of the month, but they are mostly done.

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And there are three rows ready to be stitched together:

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This is just a sampling.  Whew – makes me tired to look at it all together!  I’m ready for May, though.  Bring it!