Thursday, February 25, 2010

button-button Thursday...just barely

Where did the day go??? I guess I got too wrapped up in designing the cover sheet for my new pattern and then I decided to clean out a couple of cupboards and then watered my plants and made dinner, blah, blah, blah, all of a sudden it's 11:30!!! Oops - Project Runway is on....I'll be back later.
 Never mind it was a rerun. I just love that show. Can you imagine making a designer piece in ONE day!!! Whipping up a Halloween costume in an evening is one thing but WOW it is amazing what they can do in a day. Both good and bad.
Anyway, during this weeks venture into the fabulous magical button bins I found a great assortment of BIG BROWN BUTTONS!

I would imagine that most of these were from warm wooly coats and toasty knitted cardigan sweaters.
I remember that my mom had a black and white check coat with great big buttons on it.
I found another neat looking site for button acquisitions. It's the Button Drawer 
Itt looks like they have a great selection and there is no minimum order. They even have buttons by the pound! Note to Cathi  - they have yellow buttons by the pound!
Well, it's about to be Friday so I'm going to post this.  Hope you've had a good week and have some plans buttoned up for the weekend.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

easy art techniques

Well, this weekend I entered my little art quilt "migration" into our upcoming quilt show. The quilt is named after the theme of the excercise which was the word migration. So whales popped into my head - not literally- but the concept of the gentle giants migrating through the oceans did. The piece only measures about 9" x 11" and I used some simple and fun techniques.....
First I chose the background fabric (cotton) and I wanted to also use some fabulous white silk that I had.
I then cut some whale shapes and arrow shapes from freezer paper to make stencils. I ironed (dry iron) the freezer paper stencils to the fabrics. For the paint I used Shiva Paintstiks and laid down a generous amount on a palette (paper plate). I used a stencil brush to lightly "paint" in the stencils and then added a few accents with a pigma marker. I fused the silk squares to dark blue cotton squares and fused those to the background. I added some hand stitching and French knots with black pearl cotton.
I machine quilted it in a wavy design and I also echo quilted around the arrow shape.
I certainly don't expect any ribbons as we have a VERY talented group of art quilters in our area but I am interested to get the judges feedback.
How many of you have made and/or entered an "art quilt" ?
If you haven't dabbled in art quilting do you want to?
What different quilt techniques have you played with lately???

Friday, February 19, 2010

take a blond to the museum day.....

If you want a good laugh at my expense, take me to a museum.
I can't believe I'm admitting to this but here goes.
My friend Karen & I wanted to go see the Illuminated St. .Johns Bible voumes exhibited at the Naples Art Museum and the corresponding calligraphy exhibit, we each had a break in our schedules and so hopped over there to see it.
The Bibles are so beautiful and we wished we could turn the pages to see more. What an incredible work of art. If you ever get a chance to see them - go.
The accompanying calligraphy exhibit was also fabulous and included some of the work of the same artists that worked on the bibles. There were also several pieces by renowned calligrapher Denis Brown and many other calligraphers and book artists. I really enjoyed it and may have to go back again.
We then headed over to the Chihuly exhibit. The Museum has several large Chihuly pieces on permanent display along with a Chihuly ceiling but today we found out there was also a special exhibit going on with what they were calling his current work.
Now mind you, I have been to this museum many, many times and I guess I'm just going to have to chalk this up to a blond moment, make that double blond because Karen didn't catch it either.
We were walking around the exhibits and admiring the "new" pieces when I said to Karen "these are all from 1941, why are they calling them new?"
She replied " no kidding" As luck would have it I finally came to the realization (after the second room) that on the title plaques, - we were looking at the year of his birth! OMG...thank goodness we didn't ask the docent why the works were all from 1941.
What can I say...if you need a laugh take a blond to the museum!
By the way.....Dale Chihuly's current works are fabulous and stunning and current!

The pictures here are from another outing to the new Catholic university town of Ava Maria that is only a short distance from us. The two pictures are of the church that is in the town center. It is a remarkable Church (obviously modeled after a bishops mitre).  The sanctuary inside is beautiful but the day my DH & I visited there a wedding was underway so no pics inside to share.

Have fun and read all plaques carefully  :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Button-button Thursday - out of shape???

No not you, my buttons.
As I was enjoying a few meditative moments digging through my button boxes I found very few that weren't round. With modern buttons, especially novelty buttons,  the sky's the limit when it comes to odd and varied shapes. Now, I don't profess to having an extensive assortment of button styles, (most are probably form the 30's to present, although there are a few that may be older).
But these are the few that were, in my little button world - out of shape. They are all kind of interesting, I think that I like the green ones and the mother of pearl the best. Are odd shape buttons a more recent phenomenom or do I just have boring buttons?

Whilst browsing about online I found a couple of button sites that may interest you. The Button Emporium is an online shop that offers an oodle of new buttons in all sorts of colors, styles, and "out of shape" buttons too. This next site makes me want to hop a plane to New York city today! I have a feeling that a visit to this adorable shop Tender Buttons would dramatically add to my "collection".
If you are out traveling perhaps you'll want to stop and see Dalton Stevens the Button King in  Bishopville South Carolina. Here's a you tube clip to check out - Button King.
Well, after watching that clip, I feel better knowing that I have a long, long, long way to go to before anyone can stick me with the moniker - button queen.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Monkeying around

Today was a total goof off day. Started out with an early lunch with my BFF's  followed by a trip to Barnes & Noble where I ran into an old friend. I used to read about his adventures when I was little and so I was thrilled to see him in person...or should I say to see him in monkey? Does he look familiar to you?
My friends helped critique a small art quilt I have started and I am always grateful for their feedback and ideas. After a leisurely chat there it was then off to take a peek at a new quilt shop, and yes fabric was purchased. I found a really nice background fabric from the fusions collection by Robert Kaufmann. I got the vanilla colorway and I should have bought more than I did. Oh well, an excuse to go again?
Then I got home, bundled up in warmer clothes, and then me and my DH picked up some friends and headed off to the county fair for a night of fun and junk food. We had our first taste of deep fried Oreo's and oh yes - the are very yummy. I'm going to have to take an extra long walk tomorrow.
Tomorrow of course is Valentines Day and perhaps we'll go see Avatar before it leaves the big screen.
I heard it was a must see and we both like sci-fi anyway.
Goodness, with all this goofing off I'm going to have to put work double hard come Monday, but it's worth it..... life goes by quickly, so play like you mean it and have a wonderful Valentines Day doing something you love.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

button - button Thursdays

Who's got the button?
Do you like buttons?
Do you collect them, use them, display them?
Do you have oodles of buttons or just a modest few?

I love a good button collection. When my mother-in-law passed away about 9 years ago I inherited her button boxes. I have one tin from her with mostly white and mother of pearl buttons, and then a small cigar box that is filled with all sorts and sizes and snaps etc.

Then recently, sadly, my friend Marti's mother passed away and Marti generously gifted me her mothers button tin. I am still delving into the tin and discovering new buttons each time.

I am going to come up with a unique project for some of these fabulous buttons so they don't languish their existence away in a tin.
In the meantime I am going to declare Thursdays here "Button Blog Thursday" and share all things buttons with you. This weeks button blog is for Marti...... with a big button thank you!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

be inspried

Good Morning and today I would like to welcome and introduce my guest blogger Ladipo. Click on this link to take you to My Structured Chaos and today's post by Ladipo. Now mind you - she is a college student and might be sleeping in this morning so if Saturday's post isn't up yet check back in a bit.
She is a delight and you're sure to enjoy her blog. Thank you Ladipo for sharing your day and your blog.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Saturday's guest blogger

Just want to let you know that tomorrow Saturday (Feb. 6th) my blog will feature a guest blogger. 
I am really excited to have my first guest and I hope you will stop by to see her post. 
Her name is Ladipo, she is an interior design student, and she just celebrated her 21st birthday! 

I met her via etsy and I'm glad I did.
So stop by on Saturday and I will have the link to her blog post which will be my Saturday blog.
There may be an easier way to do this but I haven't figured it out yet :) Anyway...
she has an adorable blog and I'm sure you'll enjoy visiting.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Valentine Giveaway winner

Thank you one and all for leaving such endearing comments and for putting up with the extra task of finding the pink thistle. You are all so sweet and worthy of winning but alas the winner for this Hello Valentine giveaway is the Happy Cottage Quilter!
I will be e-mailing you so I can get your address to send out your prize.
Also of note, I will be having a guest blogger on the blog this Saturday and I hope you will stop and check it out. Her blog topic is "you inspire me" and I am looking forward to seeing her post. So stop by Saturday sometime and have a look-see.
I am also working on a free pattern for you to download from my website and I will let you know when it's up and ready. It should be soon, but this week has turned out to be crazy busy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shibori sunshine

I am having too much fun. Our quilt guild had a guest speaker Carol Anne Grotrian and one of her specialty is Shibori dyeing. I was fascinated with her fabrics and her quilts. Thank you Carol for inspiring me so.
What is Shibori you ask?
Shibori is a Japanese term for resist dyeing, such as tie-dye. Remember all the tie-dye t-shirts - that's just one Shibori technique.
When I got home and kept thinking about the examples I saw, it dawned on me that years ago (about 6-8 years) I had purchased a kit of special pre- treated fabric that you expose to the sun to imprint an image.
Surprisingly I found it right where I had put it many years ago and I have been having fun ever since.
I took some to retreat with me so my friends could play with it too. In fact I had just received the order I had placed for more kits and now they come in more fabulous colors. If you've always wanted to dabble in dyeing fabrics but don't have a place to do it or you are hesitant about working with dyes then this technique is for you too. I now offer packages of 8-1/2" pre-treated squares on my website. The colors available are the original white/indigo and five new colors.
I have a workshop posted at S.E.W. Studio so if you are in the SW Florida area let me know if you are interested in a class.

This is the defining block Karen did at retreat.....

Here is the block that Cathi made... don't you love the bear!

These are some I have done, along with the one at the top of the page.

In case you can't tell, I am so excited about this. I have only wet dyed a couple of times and it was fun, but much more time consuming, messier, and many more supplies are involved. Of course you can't duplicate the unlimited effects and color combining that you get with wet dyeing but if you just want to have a little fun, no mess, and be creative you can't go wrong with this technique.
More to come...........