Saturday, January 31, 2009

How exciting yet bummed!

I'm geeked! I've had a fun day messing with my new HQ16.....if you recall I took delivery in Dec. the day before my hand surgery! I've been trying to slowly work or experiment with the new machine but sadly the working hand when using this machine is your right hand! I AM left handed but the on-off buttons are on the right handle (hand I had surgery on) and my hand just cannot push the on the button yet ;-( also try threading a machine when your thumb has no feeling! BUT today I was determined to try out an idea I had to complete one of my homework assignments for the art quilting study group I'm working with ;-)

So my idea worked...or will in the future when my thumb is back 100%.
I did have lots of fun today but have decided to take a rest since I am suddenly breaking threads and worse my thumb/hand is too sore to continue! I AM looking forward to getting to know my machine more and to understand how to use it properly.....I know it will open lots of possibilities in my future! ;-)
Notice my free hand leaves.
So now to go soak my hand, then heat,massage and ice so hopefully I get to do some more sewing tonight!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ice great day to mess with dyes and glue

So another ice school! Sadly it makes it rough to go back..but made for a nice day.
I finished my 2nd little still life for my online book group and then after running a few errands (cause heck had been house bound for a few days so felt good to run out)
Forced myself to go downstairs and try some experiments I've been wanting to do. Took a few of the pieces of fabric I dyed the other day and put washable school glue on it to try resist experiments of over dyeing. They have to dry and maybe tomorrow or this weekend I can re-dye the fabric. If you look closely in my photos you'll see the tools I used to make the designs.
Next I have a piece of rusted fabric I did last summer that I want to make a whole cloth art quilt but first wanted to add color. I was going to use my inks but decided to first add color through more water color techniques using dyes to have soft areas of color versus hard lines or details.
Now I'll let that dry and see if I need to redye for darker tints or shades. Then I intend to free motion or thread paint as I quilt it.
Can you see trees and a lake w/reflections.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ice/Snow school!

So no school today! I got to spend the day catching up on more of the items I've let go by the wayside since my surgery today, thankfully my list is getting smaller....I also got to complete the purse a couple members of my quilt guild demonstrated this month. ;-) Turned out cute! My hand is getting better..the purse was easy but I know it would have been easier if my thumb was working. lol lol I'm also working on a color wheel for one of the upcoming assignments with the online book study.
Now off to do my rehab on my hand.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

SNOW DAY in VA- Teacher work day moved to home ;-)

So today was one of our end of first semester workdays (meaning no students, teachers work on grades, etc).
Sadly I could have used the day at school to clean my art room AND start labeling and packing county art show items. Such is life.......I definitely will not let those thoughts stop me from enjoying the workday from home!
So the weather in VA/DC area still amazes me even after almost 5 years in the area.....They talk about the weather or snow for days and then many/most times are wrong ;-) but today they ARE correct..we now have wet snow coming down.....I was up at the norm 5:35am and no snow in sight by 7:00am (on a normal day I would have already reported to work) still predicting and then received phone call stating teachers work from home.
What's nice is so far my hand is feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed.....(not sure for how long if I push it too hard) but I am showered, fed and intend to have a productive day!
I just finished ironing some material I dyed in the past two days ;-)))) was just experimenting trying to get some interesting orange and try out other colors, just see what I could come up with. Some of the pieces I plan to batik or use washable school glue for resist then re-dye so stay tuned.
This morning as I was filling my bird feeders I noticed a FOX on the golf course right off our deck. Since I'm never home in the morning it's a sight I don't usually get to experience. Looked like a good size fox. So signing off to get back to work!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Productive day but my hand hurts now........

So got most of my homework completed.......I'm working the way through "Color and Composition" with the online group Studio Quilts-Goldilocks and friends and our first assignment was "Contour Drawing and Contour cutting". I'm quite pleased I quit procrastinating and accomplished a lot today but now must go soak my hand....the payback sadly for pushing it a little too hard today...pain and swelling! So more posting about this at a later date....hope you enjoy the photo's. ;-))) Oh yeah...I did not have 3 different fruits for the composition which the book requested so I fudged a little........

Studio Quilts- can you spell procrastination?

Can you spell procrastination? So I have homework to do for my book study group; deadline approaching soon... It's been interesting the game I seem to be playing with myself? Let's see...I told myself I'll do the blind contour drawings while I'm at yeah sure!@*# like I have so much extra time at work this year with 6 classes a day. Next I told myself I need to buy some fruit that will peak my interest or other's interest? lol yeah sure! @*# Then of course there is my hand.....sadly it does keep flaring up from me trying to push it back to norm when it just isn't ready.
I have been compiling an interesting collection of fabric pieces though for an upcoming assignment in the book...let's see now that would be week 5 through 12? AGAIN "Calling procrastination".....
Funny I have learned some interesting stuff this week though....I tried to buy some plain grey/gray (which ever you prefer to call it) fabric for the background of my homework piece...went to my hometown quilting store and she was out, had nothing! Then went to Joann Fabrics and they had 1 selection! Wow.....I found that very interesting!
Then if you notice my growing collection of fabric pieces...(I lucked out having some discontinued fabric sample booklets from my sister-in-law, thanks Jennifer!) Anyway notice my orange pile? Of course please know I was just sorting into piles NOT sorting into gradation yet......and from the photo one of my oranges definitely looks red....among some of the other piles being in wrong groupings once photographed. You would be surprised seeing the fabric in person, the ones that look white in photo do NOT look white in person........more beige. Color will always amaze me!!!!!! So much to explore and so much to learn no matter how long I work with it....and how very different it is in the different mediums....watercolor versus acrylic versus oils versus cloth versus dyes versus tissue paper.......etc. etc. etc. etc.
Well time to work on my homework....I just realized no more excuses I have some lovely red and yellow peppers in my frig I can use as my subject matter! Wish me luck......
Oh one last item......(yes possibly more procrastination peeking) Bill got home from Hawaii, he's sleeping to try to get over the time change AND red eye long flight, he arrived in DC around 6:30am. Brought me a little "I'm sorry you were not in Hawaii gift..........
Cute huh? It's actually a pillow case but I'll probably hang it on wall for a while in my studio area.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Nice day

So sadly my hand seems to be flared today...I must be trying to push it too quickly in my rehab ;-( I'm soooooooo determined to hurry the process to get back to my norm! ;-((( yet am trying NOT to be stupid!!!! Want it to heal correctly and be successful surgery.
Managed to enjoy the day so far though.....(Bill is on his way home from Hawaii so I've been on my own all week) rewarded myself with a pedicure, ran some errands then home to the machines. It's the end of first semester at work so next week I get new students so at work I have been trying to choose some items from first semester for the County Art Show (in March) and then returning other work to the students. [Notice the pic of 4 value studies similar to Carol Taylor quilts...the kids glued their fabric to paper backing then wrapped pipe cleaners over hangers ;-))) for their circles, hand sewed on with invisible thread.]
Today I was also determined to try out my new machine a little...sadly after watching the DVD that came with it they push using the right hand as the major working hand ;-( so that puts me out of commission for a few more weeks but I still messed around more with the practice material I received set up when they did demo on the machine at delivery. I also tried floating a little piece of washed canvas today so when I get my practice work off the machine I intend to try some dyeing or painting over my practice material or floated canvas ;-) I look forward to seeing the back of my work to see if I have been keeping consistent in my tension. Been learning to thread and put bobbin in, etc.
Sadly my hand is starting to complain so I'm going to go soak and put some heat on it to see if I can stop the pain and then later tonight or tomorrow I hope to do some simple sewing on the Janome. ;-)))))) I need to feed my creative soul..........

Monday, January 19, 2009

Okay so now got my little piece quilted ;-)

So I have been trying out my hand slowly these past few days, today I have been doing some cutting of fabric for a project my quilt guild will teach this week. I have managed to hold my fabric straight and cut all the prep cuts ;-) and then I finished the quilting on my little cyanotype piece. My thumb is still tender and sadly is not bending the whole way yet so don't have a good grip and it's hard to hold the end of thread ;-( but I have hope and am very very glad I am left handed! It felt so good to finally do some sewing.
On another note......Living near DC for the first time during an inauguration ceremony has been very interesting to me...(I was born in Detroit, MI spent most of my life in MI, I can remember when Kennedy was shot...(grade school memories) then can remember a little of the Detroit Riots, graduated from Eastern Michigan University and later years moved to Alabama as a young bride and new teacher (1976 or so), then it was back to MI to raise my children, now I have been in VA for almost 5 years. All I can say is wow! This inauguration time is proving to be very very different than I can ever remember. Leads me to's going to be interesting to see what OUR future will be?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

YAY! did a little sewing tonight...

Well finally my hand is feeling a lot better and tonight I have made it through the evening without the splint and even got to try out my hand at some simple sewing on a piece I owe someone ( a belated gift) here it is so far.........felt good to hear my machine's humming again.....will try to complete it tomorrow ;-)))))))

Sunday, January 11, 2009


So it's been hard to bring myself to post when I haven't been able to sew......
I'm now in a splint that I can take off a couple times a day for showering and to soak my hand, trying to get my thumb bending and motion back.....the wound is tender but stitches healing nicely! 2 more weeks and I hope to be back to working order at least as far as quilting goes!
I'm posting a few of my student's work. I had to turn in 6 items for our county travel show this week. Luckily I was able to mat and get the items ready for the show. Now remember my students are 6,7 & 8th graders. We have some mixed media, the leaves are glue prints by 7th graders and then a tempera self portrait completed by 8th grader. Yes I am a proud teacher.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Thought now that I figured out how to get photos off my cellphone ;-) I'd show you guys what is under my pretty red cast (it was so funny..... imagine me in doctor's office trying to sneak pictures of my hand with my new cell phone that I had no idea how to use) This is my hand after they took the initial cast from surgery off! I was amazed when they removed the initial casts I did not realize I would be cut so much. Now maybe you can envision why my cast hurts so much. They took staples out from surgery after one week and plopped the cast on over the fresh wound. Ouch! This is actually my second red cast...the first one hurt so much they cut it off before 24 hours to appease me and put a second one on. Thankfully the second one has been manageable. I go back next Wed for it's removal to yet another one? Think the next one is partial or removable for washing? But this too will soon pass...... Then finally back to quilting!!!!!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

I got busy and forgot!

So I forgot to share the video short I got from my son JB and his wife Claire (my new daughter).
It is so nice..cannot wait to receive the real one......
take a second to see some of our wonderful the way the handsome little ring bearer is of course my grandson Caleb...nice high five in the video huh? ;-))))

Highlights of video for me? Notice when the ring falls from minister my younger son (the best man) saves the day ;-) the voice at the beginning of video by the way is Brian's voice.
Then besides my grandson's high-five notice my dance with my son the groom AND my mom blowing bubbles at the church ;-))
So 2 weddings down one to go Sept 26,09.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! wow.....2009!

Happy New Year!!! Time to reflect? Time to set new goals?
Wow Have to admit Nov and Dec 2008 had it's moments.....
Good, bad, fulfilling and stressful but now it's history to file away....
My time in MI flew by with many family gatherings, some time for friends and then the normal "shit happens crap" lol. Let's see I had the thrill to experience time with my folks to celebrate a milestone 63rd anniversary, there was Rayna's Christening day, and of course Christmas Eve and Day celebrations.....the drive up north had it's moments we took it in two days due to the storms but the drive back to VA was sunny and smooth. Poor Bill had to do all the driving due to my lovely Red Cast! (This too shall pass though)
During our time in MI we had the full whelm of weather...cold frigid winter weather, lots of snow then two days later rain and balmy temps in the high 50's so flooding began. Of course we had some usual homeowner troubles ;-( our sump pump drainage system broke but thankfully we managed to jimmy up something to work till summer or till my son Brian can get to the problem, (snow,ice and winter is not conducive to the repair) he is such a great tenant. Then winds, and I mean lots of wind so..... timber look out below.. a tree from the property next door once again fell our way. Thankfully it missed the house......sadly we had to leave that problem behind since we had to get on the road towards our VA home once again.

It is nice to have a few days to regroup home in VA before we head back to work, I'm hoping to get into school Friday to unload my student clay work from the kiln and reload it with more student work so they may glaze next week. Due to my hand surgery ending up rougher then I imagined my student work is behind and the end of the semester will quickly sneak up on us!
Well think I will complete my 2009 resolutions or goal setting later in January when I finally have this cast off and hopefully have my right hand back in working order! Dr.Snyder did promise the surgery was complete success!
Short term plans..I am excited to be starting (with a great yahoo art quilt group) working my way through two artquilt for future postings pertaining to this experience. ;-)