Friday, June 27, 2008

Xpandaprint Play

My DH bought these little drill bits for me, aren't they nice? How many girls get excited over drill bits!? I wanted them to prepare for my Over-the-Top Embellishments class. I've also been doing a little more experimenting with Xpandaprint.
I stamped these images with my little hand carved wine cork stamps, then lightly dusted with Pearl-ex powders. Discovered I should put something under the fabric. My cutting board has some new decor now. I scrubbed it after this photo & it faded a little, but is still visible. Oh well, live & learn.
This last one is Xpandaprint & Pearl-ex done with a little metal stencil that I bought in Shipshewana, Indiana in 1996. Finished it's 2 1/2x 3 1/2. The size of an ATC.

Today we're heading back down to Kenai to try & get a few more of those good Red Salmon. Wish us luck!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fishing Weekend on the Kenai River

See that splash? That was a fish. We stopped on our way down to the B&B (thanks goodness we did), & Warren fished for about an hour.
He caught one very fresh, red salmon. 3 or 4 dinners worth of fish for us.
Then we went to the B&B. It was 2 twin beds. Nothing fancy. The bathroom next door was shared with a couple of quiet kids. Their water smelled & tasted of a strong sulphur mixed with iron. I gagged the first time I brushed my teeth there. I used bottled water after that. I also went to the beauty shop in Soldotna & had my hair shampooed & cut so I wouldn't have to shampoo in their water. UGH! Oh, & I think the B&B stood for Beds & Bathroom, because no breakfast... not even coffee was served. I went to Fred Meyers in Soldotna & bought bottled water, coffee, bran muffins, new pillows, & 2 little portable lights so we could read in bed & not have to get up to turn off the only light in the room, & made it through the rest of the weekend. It was cheap, so you get what you pay for!
Warren fished every day, & caught nothing but one very large Rainbow trout that couldn't even be taken out of the water for a picture. It had to be released immediately. Good thing he got the Red on the first day.
I enjoyed the scenery. Notice how the Forget-me-nots match the river color.
We discovered a brand new brewery in Soldotna. The St. Elias Brewing Co. They served really nice food & the beer drinkers in the crowd said the beer was good too.
I liked the stained glass light fixtures,
& the food too. This was the 2nd time we ate there, we met up with Ellis & his son Andrew, & 2 nurses from the hospital who were fishing with the guys.
The lake that our B&B was on was beautiful . The water was so still. I heard a loon calling every day. I love that sound.
I tromped around the lake a bit. Taking pictures of whatever caught my fancy. I love the moss hanging from the dead spruce.

Fungus really appeals to me for some strange reason too.
The end of the lake where the loon hung out most of the day, was full of waterlilies, not quite in bloom yet.

There were probably about 10 houses on this little lake, & 2 of them had float planes parked out front.
The B&B had a canoe, which I was told I was welcome to use, but wasn't given a paddle!
I stepped outside & took this picture at midnight on Solstice. The sky was pink, & it reflected in the water, but didn't show very well in my photo. Now it'll start getting dark again.
Out final day, we left early for home. It was chilly & rainy.
Just the kind of weekend that really makes you appreciate HOME!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I didn't get a lot accomplished today. I got up early & went into work for meetings. I was only there 2 1/2 hours. When I came home the sunshine & deck swing lured me outside. I sat there enjoying my book & the sun. It felt lovely. I'm on call this evening, so may still have to go back into work & it's hard to get too involved in anything fun if I may get called away. I did load some wash-away stabilizer on to Lily though, & started the piece above with sun -sensitive thread. I'm not sure what it will end up being, other than home-made fabric for another project, but I wanted to see if I could use this thread with Lily. It was temperamental on my Bernina, & Lily seems to like it just fine! This will turn a pastel blue when the sun hits it. I have 5 other colors that all look white indoors, but outside in the sun they bloom!
Tomorrow after I go to quilt guild, we're heading down to the Kenai Peninsula. We're going to a B&B on a Lake in Soldotna, & go fishing. We're hoping to bring home some salmon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Blind Baby quilt

I met a blind baby today. It broke my heart to see him & realize all the things he'll never see. He was only about 11 months old. The age of my little granddaughter Carys. I went home & made this little woobie-quilt for him. It's not pretty to look at, but it's all soft textures, & shapes for him to learn by feel. I hope he likes it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Surprise on the front porch

Look what I found on my front porch this morning! My friend Josetta was out early & left us a Rhubarb surprise. We had some with our dinner this evening & it was delicious! Makes my mouth water still, just thinking about it!
Well the quilting is finished, but I still have plenty to do on this quilt. I want to add 3-D petals & leaves. I think a pink piping & dark green binding plus the sleeve for hanging & label will finish it off.

I really enjoyed doing the feathers in the borders. I'm happy with how I am progressing in my control of Lily.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

I hope you all had a nice Father's Day. I started the day by calling my Dad. It's always good to talk to him, & I had the bonus of talking to my big sister Vicki, because she was there visiting him at the time. I'm looking forward to seeing them in September.
I spent most of the afternoon & evening down in the studio working with Lily. I was really having some fun. I used tons of thread. Heavily "painted" the tree with thread. I tightened the top tension to pull up the bobbin thread & make little pokies when I did circles in the tree for more texture.
The mountain is covered with 4 different colors of thread to mimic the black spruce we have here. Sulky Holoshimmer in the water, the color of the Kenai Lake.
Are beginning to get the picture?
I couched white wool yarn down with Madeira Metallic to give texture to the Cow-parsnip.
I made it to the border, & am having some fun with feathers. I wanted them to be a little different, yet subtle, so I used a matching thread in a Rayon. I am so happy with Lily, she takes every thread I throw at her now & runs beautifully with it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Painting with Lily the Longarm

It feels like summer was yesterday & today it's autumn. It's been cool & raining today. I'm not complaining. We really needed a cleansing rain, & it made it easy for me to spend the day inside the studio stitching away. Today Lily & I are working on a painting that I started about 5 years ago. I painted on the fabric a picture of a scene along the road to Seward. I'm only showing a couple of close views today. When I get it done I'll show you the whole thing.
Fireweed is one of my favorite subjects. I've done it several times, & still love to do it again.
Note the white thread along the edge of the pink on the left. It's wash-away thread. I used it to stabilize, instead of trying to stitch-in-the-ditch, as perfectly as I would want, I decided wash-away would work well. When I am all done, I can rinse it away, & no nasty bumps from bad SITD sewing! Brilliant!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Summer Day

Last night I whipped together the Muslin vest to try on & fit Hope for her Irish Dance dress. She'll come over this weekend to try it on. My goal is to get the dress done before my surgery next month, or sooner if possible. She's leaving town for a competition in Nashville soon.

Today the weather seemed to get out of the Purgatory I mentioned yesterday, & felt like a perfect Alaskan summer day today. The sun was hot, but there was a light breeze that carried the cool kiss of the snow from the glaciers deep in the mountains behind us. It was lovely. I used my birthday gift (above) from Ilene & Stu to take a couple of self portraits.

That hair hasn't seen a hairdresser in 3 months! Time for an appointment. The chewing of the lips is how I always sew. It's part of how I concentrate!

I love working on this piece. I'm running the bead needle through several beads at a time then sewing through to the back to stabilize it. I'm going to switch from straight pins, to safety pins though. the straight pins kept falling out & poking me as I worked. I love the Boohoogie hoop. The bungee cord on it is easy to work with, & gentle on my fragile silk.

I ended up removing all of my rings from my side bar, because I couldn't figure out how to switch them over so that they would work again. It's very frustrating when Blogger takes something that was working just find & messes it up. Am I alone in this frustration?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Calendar Girls Meeting

Thank you for all of the nice comments on Ruby Red Wine! I'm flattered!
I've worked 2 days this week. The weather hasn't been the sort of summer weather we've become accustomed to up here. As my friend Jackie called "purgatory summer", which seems pretty appropriate. It's been cool, & cloudy. It looks like it's threatening to rain, but never quite follows through on the threat. I really wish it would rain. That yellow on my deck is pollen off of the trees. We could use a good cleansing rain.
The Lupin on the hillside seem quite happy with the weather. They were everywhere up by my friend Mary's house. We had our Calendar Girls meeting there today.
This is the 2nd of 2 group quilts we started several years ago. Both were from photographs that I took & blew up on to freezer paper for a pattern. The first was Nasturtiums, which we got a blue ribbon at the State Fair with last year. Betty Bivens finished this second quilt after 6 people did the applique'. It is a scene at the State Fair.
Yesterday in my email at work, we got a note talking about the benefits of laughter in healing. It said we should try to get at least 15 minutes a day of good healthy laughter to reap the benefits. They encouraged us to try & help out patients & our coworkers find things to laugh about. Not just smiles but good deep belly laughs (though that could be a bit rough on the patient who just had their gall bladder out).
At Calendar Girls we got a good week's worth of laughter in today.
Further content deleted by author, since it made Mindy speechless!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Red Ruby Wine & A Yam Surprise

Sounds a bit like a food post, doesn't it? Nope just some silliness. Here I thought I didn't have any house plants, & look what I found in my cupboard! I love the leaves on it. They look like dragon's wing to me.
I've finished quilting the "Red Ruby Wine" quilt. That's what I've decided to name it. I wish I would've done less circles, & put straight lines around the water lily motifs, but I enjoyed this quilt so much I may try it again in a different color & size. Here it is, pinned to a blocking screen. It's still quite wet.

Here are a couple of detail shots.
Well I proved to myself I can do small detail circles & Sliver metallic thread on my Longarm Lily!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Well I zipped that comfort quilt off & folded it away. This is the back side of a Trapunto top I started ages ago. My own design.
It's only about 20" square.
I decided to see how detailed & small I could get with Lily. The other thing I am experimenting with is the thread. It's Sulky Holoshimmer Ruby red. It's working beautifully. I am very happy with it. The white thread you see is a wash-away thread, so when I'm all done, I'll wash it & all that will be left is the red sparkles.
We took a run up the mountain to my friend Mary's today. She gave us some baby Alder bushes to plant in our back yard. Ours were decimated when the big equipment came in to raise up the cabin & build our basement foundation. We miss the privacy they gave us.
Mary's house is near the top of our mountain. Her view of the inlet is pretty spectacular.
She had some clematis starting to fill out & bloom.
Afterwards we went downtown Anchorage to have dinner at Simon & Seafort's. We don't usually do downtown in the summer months, due to too many tourists, & long waits at the restaurants, but today we got there early enough, the wait was only going to be 10 minutes, or we could sit in the bar side. There was a nice table in the bar, & since there's no public smoking anyway, the bar was great. I had a Pomegranate Lemonade to drink ( very unusual for me to drink anything with calories). It was Sweet-Tart & good)! Dinner was very good too. I had fresh caught King Salmon with a garlic-herb butter.
This was the view through the window by our table. That's Sleeping Lady, or Mount Susitna.
After dinner we took a short walk to the observation deck looking out over the Cook Inlet. Captain Cook looks out over the water named after him.

It's been a nice day here in Anchorage.