Sunday, January 04, 2015

Happy New Year

We had a quiet but beautiful Christmas this year. We enjoyed every moment together.

Yesterday, Jan. 3rd, we went to the memorial for my dear friend Carol Wight Jones. She fought a good fight, & never stopped smiling. The last day I got to spend with her, I had bronchitis, & didn't dare get close, but I walked behind her carrying her oxygen, & pushing her wheelchair, while the physical therapist helped her walk. She was such a trooper, & she carried on for as long as she could stand, but when home to Heaven on Dec. 20th. Her dear husband Carl, her family & friends, & her sisters by heart, the Calendar Girls will miss her more than we can ever say.

We have promised Carl we will finish her quilts in progress, & help him sort through her things, doing a garage sale for him in the spring.

Today January 4th, is Warren & my 25th wedding anniversary. We got married in a small ceremony, at East Anchorage United Methodist Church in 1990. The only people who knew were our parents, & the few people who were there, & the florist. Later I told my children. Now we are confessing to the world.
We had a bigger wedding on July 4th that years, exactly 6 months later, & that's the anniversary date that most remember. We've been celebrating both, all these years. Twice the fun!

Yesterday, after Carol's memorial service, we went downtown to the Captain Cook Hotel. We had a lovely corner room on the 14th floor.

This was our view of Mount Foraker & Mount McKinley.

& our view of Mount Susitna-Sleeping Lady.

We walked over to Orso's or a lovely dinner.

When we got back to our room the moon was coming up over the Chugach Range.

Shooting through the double pane window made it look like we had 2 moons.

It's the Wolf Moon this month. The natives called it that because it's the time of year the wolves howl because of hunger.

The city glowed as the sun was setting.

In the morning I opened the curtains, just in time to catch the tail end of the Northern Lights dancing across the sky. They lasted for about 5 minutes, then they were finished. 

I wished I had gotten out of bed sooner!

The moon setting over the inlet was spectacular.



Sunrise is long & slow this time of year. The sky in the east was light for more than 2 hours, but the sun hadn't made it above the mountain yet, when we got home around 1010.



We had a great breakfast at the hotel before heading home. It was a smoked salmon omelette that we will go back again for. I liked the view of the Mariner's compass on the wall from the Cubby where we ate.

Outside, by our car standing in 10 degrees, Mary looked beautiful.

When we got home, I added 2 new chickens to my kitchen. They are from my friend Rachel Korshin. She bought them in Mexico, & I thought they were perfect with the table runner that I got as a gift at the Quilt Guild this year. Looks like I'm ready for Cinco de Mayo!

Broccoli was funny when we got home. He ran & played & made us feel welcome.
I feel very blessed.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Christmas Stockings

The past couple weekends I've worked on stockings for the newest grandbabies, Maeve,



 Jocelynn, 

& Daddy of Jocelynn, Michael. All will be shipped with Xmas packages soon (I hope).
Yesterday my DH, Warren & I took a lamp-work bead class together. My back has been hurting for no particular reason since Thursday afternoon, but I'd paid for the class, & by golly I was gonna do it! We left a little early, but it was fun, & I learned what I needed to learn to get my own lamp-working at home going. I've ordered a couple of thing to get going, & hope to have it up & running by next weekend! I needed, glasses, gloves, & another section for my kiln. I also want to try some Precious metal clay work too (eventually). One step at a time.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Painting Flowers on Fabric

My Calendar Girls quilt group chooses a different theme each year for our calendar. The challenge for our next year is "Flowers". I started looking through my old photos & found some inspiration in my Barcelona trip album. In Barcelona, we walked down the Las Rambles several times. There were painters, & artists, & flower stalls. It was like an outdoor market every day. I also loved the textures of the stones & old buildings.

I decided to do flowers on fabric, by painting them with my Dynaflow paints.



I also did little fantasy thread flowers on Solvy (wash-away stabilizer).

I made a back ground quilt, using my own hand-dyed & hand painted fabrics. I layered sheer silk (which I painted), & silk strips that I dyed.

I scattered the thread flowers across the surface & quilted.

The flowers that I painted, I also layered them on wash-away stabilizer, (Solvy Heavy)
thread painted then cut out & washed them. I dissolved the stabilizer enough to make it invisible, but left enough in the fabric to make it dry stiff. I shaped the flowers while still wet, then let them dry, so they have dimension.

I also made leaves, the same way. I decided I didn't want to use the blue flowers, & the others, made me think of Nasturtiums, so I made leaves like Nasturtium leaves.


I also used wire, beads, &  floral tape to make some buds.



Here is the almost finished quilt. I will be beading the centers with glass beads, that I intend to make myself. I've taken a Lamp-working class in the past (several years ago), & I have everything I need to get started, but feel like I need a refresher, so Ive signed up for a class in 2 weeks.

Here is one of the leftover blue flowers, made into a pin/card for a friend's birthday. I used a few seed beads in the center, & sewed a pin to the back.


Sunday, October 05, 2014

A question for you all- plus: Eco-Dye - & a Peek Into My Studio

1st a Question for quilters/fiber artists/Mixed media artists: (I posted this on Facebook too)
If you saw a quilt with Redwork (or Black thread) embroidery, that has been embellished with a few beads & buttons, would you call it "Mixed Media"?
This has been bugging me for a while.


Last weekend I took advantage of the nice weather & last of my summer plants to try some Eco Printing on silk. Note I said "Try" & "Eco Printing" , but it turned out more like dye.
I did 4 pieces, the above were flowers I had planted. Below is Elderberry,

The next is Geranium.

&  this last is Devils Club. (Which I had to wear gloves & handel with care.)

I had soaked the silk in a vinegar solution, then rolled them & steamed them all in a pot for about 2 hours.

Left to set in a plastic bag for 5 days, this is how they turned out below, left to right, Devils Club, Elderberry, Poke-flower & greens, & the square is Geranium.

The geranium was the most succeful, but even that wasn't great. Oh well, I can always over-dye & paint them!

Next is a Comfort quilt that I've had for at least 2 years now. Barbara Clinton pieced the top, & I quilted it last weekend. I had a mishap while quilting it. Having arms a bit short to reach acrossed my longarm frame, I have to stretch a bit to advance the rollers on the far side of the frame. I lost my balance (just call me grace), & I accidentally rolled the top roller nearest me with my body. It tore the quilt top where it was stitched already, just a little 1/8 inch tear in the top left corner where the bright green pinwheel now resides. I made 3 pinwheels & scattered them across the top, to cover the 1 little rip. Thank goodness this was only a comfort quilt. I learn something new with every quilt I do, this one was a lesson in coordination! I actually think the pinwheels improved the top, so I'm ok with them.


 I also did a little rust dying on cotton. Here are the 2 pieces below.


& this weekend I made a crafty mess, doing 5 Quards.
Here are 4 of the 5. Can't post the 5th until after Tuesday.

After I got the Quards all done, I cleaned up my mess, putting the studio back in order for the next mess!
I think the Synthroid I was put on 2 months ago is working! I have way more energy!


& I put all of my summer clothes in storage & winter clothes out. It's been spitting snow off & on today.
Nothing big yet, but the mountains are all white, & it's only a matter of time before we have a yard full!

Happy autumn to all!!!