Monday, July 23, 2007

Thank you All

I wish I had time to write back to each one of you & all your kind comments, but I'm packing & getting ready to flay out early in the morning to see that new grand baby, & when I come home I'm bring the first grand daughter Darian home with me.
If I have any time & can use a computer at my DIL's parents house I'll keep you updated, otherwise, I'll be back Aug. 3rd! TTFN

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Life & Death & Harry Potter

I attended a funeral yesterday. It was a beautiful service & a glorious sunny day. My friend's husband, 57 years old, died too soon.
On the way home I stopped & bought a copy of the final episode of the adventures of Harry Potter, JKRowling's 7th book, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows. I don't think I've ever read 759 pages so fast, & yes a did sleep a bit. All I will say right now is there were times when I felt like I'd been hit with a stun spell, & the book made me both laugh & cry. I wish I could send my little "Homage to Hedwig" quilt to JKRowling herself, just to say thank you for the hours & hours of the best entertainment since I was just a little girl, & my Uncle johnny would hold me on his lap & tell me fanciful tales of witches & wizards.
I've tried to keep this comment spoiler free.
On the reality front, & somehow fitting, with my mind so full of life & death right now, my son finally posted pictures of the new grand baby!
Here's the new little family, Laura looks a bit exhausted here after 28 hours of labor.

Little Carys had a bit of a cone-head because of her large head & the long labor. The large head comes from my father's family, Wheelers have big heads. Mine was the largest girl's head in my graduating class. I know this because when measuring for caps & gowns, they did it alphabetically, & I was the last girl to be measured. The lady doing the measuring exclaimed that I had a fat head. A 1/4 inch larger than any other girl in my class.
I believe she has her mother's eyes though.
Isn't she a cutie?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

It's a Girl! Our new grandbaby is born

Well, this is a very early picture of Miss Carys Lynn Price, but today at 1608 EST, she was born in Frederick, MD. Her mother labored over 24 hours to deliver her weighing in at
8 lbs 2 1/4 oz. She is 20 3/4" tall, & her daddy says her head is shaped like a sausage. Apparently she inherited her Daddy's big head, that's why the labor took so long. I'll post some real pictures as soon as Brandon gets them sent to me. Next Tuesday I'll be flying out there to meet her in person.
I've been waiting nervously for her arrival, as Brandon had called me yesterday morning to let me know the water had broke. Now I can worry that the baby is running a fever. Think I'll go clean something.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Weeds are wild flowers in the garden of life.

This ATC came today from Jacqueline in the Netherlands. It's so much better in person than in a photo. Interesting layers & depth that just wont show here. I love it. Thank you Jacqueline!
This concludes today's fiber portion of my blog.
I looked out my studio window this morning, & a big red leaf called out to me. We've had a fairly wet summer so far, with very few really nice days, & today was BEAUTIFUL! So I took my camera & my Macro lens, & really stopped to enjoy the day, & its blessings.
The rhubarb had gone to seed unnoticed this summer.

Iceland Blue poppies have been blooming right along. They seem to be thriving on the neglect.

I few brave Forget-me-nots are still blooming.
& of course there are Dandelions a plenty.
It always amazes me how they turn to big puffs.
These Cats Paws do the same thing when they go to seed. I never knew we had them in the yard, until my DH didn't mow it.
The center on this one was almost purple in person.
I love Daisies.
The center fascinates me. What is it Fibonacci's Rule?

The Cowparsnip is huge. It towers way above my head.
The tightly packed blooms make me think of cauliflower.
This dead skeletal head from last summer, seems very Arachnidian to me.
Fireweed, my favorite is blooming by the hot tub.
It's such a happy color.
Look at it in close. Don't you just love those curls?
They say when the last blossom blooms at the top, the winter snow is only 6 weeks away.
Around the back corner of our garage still stands a remnant of days of old. I think it has charm, but am glad I don't have to use it.
This gnarled Birch shades the outhouse.
This shelf fungus grows on its base.
Bark is peeling, the contrast is sharp with the sun shining through the trees.
Old rusted chicken wire left over from the previous owner's chickens. I'm tempted to get out the tin snips, & try to use some for fabric dying. If I had 2 good arms I'd have done it already!
This Birch stands in the center island of our circle driveway. It's been beaten & abused by the elements, but still continues to live.
Our little cabin home, once had a well manicured yard, with lovely flowers & hanging baskets. It's taken a back seat to shoulder surgery, house repairs, & the deck project. I guess I can call this the "Before" picture. Maybe next summer we can take an after.
Our driveway looks more like a country 2-track.
Broc sat at the window, hollering at me the whole time I played out in the yard.
Hope you enjoyed my day as much as I did.
As far a a tutorial on fringe, I think Debra did one about a year ago.

Monday, July 16, 2007

New Purse

I made a much needed new purse for myself. My old one is in tatters from long use & abuse. It is reversible, & I've put clear pockets under the flap, so when I travel I can just flip up the flap, to show my ID.
It's all the microfiber fabric that is easy to clean, & feels like suede. It was a little challenging to free motion quilt, because the fabric doesn't want to slide very well.
The reverse side is a dark espresso brown color.
I couldn't find a strap that went with both sides, so I painted one to match. The fringe was fun to make. I bent an old wire hanger to wrap it with the yarns, then stitched a line on my machine, cut the bottom end of the fringe, & cut the wire to slide the top off. Worked like a charm.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My take on Harry Potter Order of the Pheonix, & more

It's been a little bit of an odd week for me. I've gotten nothing done in the studio. I did go to the opening of Harry Potter OOP (movie #5), Tuesday evening. I actually saw it at 630pm, & again at midnight, thanks to some free tickets from my friend Mindy for the 630 show. I actually went with her husband & my friend Judy from work, then went to the MN show with my DH & Mindy & her 2 girls. The movie is getting good reviews, & I think it was better acted & beautifully filmed, but having just re-read the book, I was disappointed in how much further it had strayed from the book than any of the previous films. I also felt it was missing a couple of key points that should have been included. #1-Prof. Umbridge was much nastier in the book, & had admitted to setting the Dementors on Harry & his cousin in the book, but it wasn't mentioned in the movie. All she really admitted was that she "hated children", in the film.
The 2nd part that was glossed over but could have been explained in just a couple of lines, was how Ron, Ginny & Hermoine could ride Thestrals when they couldn't see them. It made no sense to my DH, who hadn't read the book. The rest I could live with.
So my review's worth seeing, but not cannon! Read the books!
Thursday I managed to make it to Calendar Girls. Always a good time. We discussed up coming challenges.
This beautifully framed photo, & the cook book (I LOVE Susan Branch cookbooks, I thought I had them all, but this one is new to me),

& this pair of socks came in the mail from my sister. No explanation, just a surprise package.
It probably came from an impulse after we discussed how much we love Autumn, & how I miss the mix of Autumn colors that I grew up with in Michigan.
On a sadder note, my friend Pat, from work lost her husband to cancer this week. Judy & I went & spent the night with her last night. Her daughter stayed the 1st night. Cully was 58 years old, & she'd married him when she was 18. She feels quite lost right now.I feel so bad for her.
I saw my Dr. on Friday. I get to start physical therapy next Wednesday. I've not looked so forward to exercise in a long time.
This evening I was going to go to an Irish Dance event, & heading down the road I got turned around. Doing 40 mph, a man & his dog stepped out into the road in front of me, & a car was coming head-on in the other lane. I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting either him, his dog, or going head on into the next lane. There were kids on the bike path to the right, so that wasn't an option. When I got stopped I realized the reason he'd stepped into the road; there was a little girl (about 3 yrs) stepping into the road across the street, & was just missed by that oncoming car. I was so shook up I had to turn back & go home. It still makes me want to cry to think how close she came to being hit.

Oh, & BTW, my computer is now shielded & virus free.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Better Red Than Dead...

Yep, that's my motto.
One of the ladies at our guild wants blocks with something humorous about them, so I made this one for her. I made it with a challenge fabric from guild, that we were supposed to "do something " with. Killed 2 birds with one block!
I like the #12wgt Sulky cotton thread. It sews nicely, & has the look of floss about it. The purple flower is of course thread painted, which I will be writing an article about & explaining how to do it for Fiber & Stitch in February.

This is my e-book. I bought it because my laptop was getting slow from having so many pictures stored in it. The e-book holds up to 27,000 photos, so I dumped all my photos into it, & my computer is working much better now.
We finally got the computer component for our new desk. I still have the old computer on it, but hope to unload anything that I want to keep, on to disks, then I'll get rid of the old set up, & just keep the laptop.

The printer & tower fits inside.

This is a little ATC that I did today for a trade with Jacqueline.
This evening we went to a beer tasting dinner. Anyone who knows me well would think that was funny, since I don't drink beer. The other 3 people in my group drank my share. Food was wonderful, & I had 2 Americano coffees, plus water for my drinks. I think I could probably acquire a taste for beer if I really wanted to, but I have enough carbohydrate addictions (like chocolate, & cookies, cake, etc), that I just don't want to like beer too!
It was interesting having a meal this way, slowly over 3 hours, one course at a time, beer served between. We ate things I never would've ordered, like an oyster served with a creamy corn sauce, pork medallions, with a lovely sauce with beans & rice. Lamb, that didn't taste lamby. A sweet coconut creamy soup with ahi tuna, & a Heavenly dark chocolate creme brulee'. Yum!

The last word here...I just discovered out email account is being quarantined. We apparently have picked up a computer virus, or have "been compromised" somehow, so we can't send out emails but can still receive for the time being. I have to call tech support, but will have to do that
later. Maybe Wednesday.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Skinny on Naked Soap & an Album Cover

I bought an archival scrapbook for my DIL, to give her for her birthday this year.. (I don't think she looks at my blog). Anyhow, I decopaged the cover with fabric scraps from the baby quilt & diaper bag, & embellished with some dry leaves that I bought 2 years ago, with the intention of sewing them into a lamp shade that I never got to. Also included are some bits of my painted cheesecloth, & a bluejay feather I collected at least 10 years ago.
The torn photo is a copy I made of a picture of me kissing my daddy when I was about 3yrs old.

I also added some crytals for sparkles. Click on the photos to see details.
Ok, here's the skinny on the naked vs. clothed soap. We like to use handmade soaps. I usually choose them for their scent. They are a bit softer than hard milled soaps, but have fewer additives too, & seem to be better on our skin. I started wrapping my soaps in wool, after buying a bar dressed like this from KC Lowe. KC is a Nuno felt artist here in Anchorage. She explained that the soap lasted longer when wrapped this way, & the wool gives you a soft loofa scrubber & built in wash cloth at the same time. After using that first bar, my DH & I agreed, that we liked the way the wooly soap worked & felt (oh that's a pun), when we used it.
So here's how it works. Wool, & soap.
Wet the soap a bit first.
Start warpping it in layers of wool. some one way, then some the other.
After I have a few layers on, & it's completely covered, I like to use my felting needle on it, to anchor the outer layers, & keep it from gnarling up when being used.

Here's how it looks when I'm finished & ready to start washing with it.
Now as an added bonus, when the soap is all used up, I throw the wool in the washing maching, & I end up with a ball of well felted wool.

I have made pin cusions, using pieces of the wool as the center base, & I have cut them up & used bits for embellishment on things like ATCs & Postquards, & a decorative egg.
So that's what the soap is all about!