Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Finally some ART time...

I finally decided it was time for me to take some "Art Time" or "me time" ;-)
The hubby and I have organized the basement to a point that we can finally take some time for fun. Meaning he is hoping to set up an area in the basement to take photos and I am trying to set up a wet studio area for dyeing silks and cotton fabrics.
It came back to me quickly this morning while I was playing why I enjoy dyeing silk scarves.
I love the unpredictability. I love the feeling of the many ways to experiment with the dyes, the shibori stitching and the unpredictable outcomes. I love the "hmmm wonder what if I…..?

Stitched, thread pulled tightly then fabric dye 

Stitches being removed

Placed on drying rack to dry for 24 hours before being steamed
Large silk piece on table attempting a different technique of dye application
Stitching being removed from silk piece
Shibori threads removed from silk piece
A few scarves on my drying racks
Creations now drying for at least 24 hours before I try steaming my dyed pieces for the first time.
It feels so good to take some ART Time…ta ta ;-)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Another project before Thanksgiving was..

So another project we accomplished before the 2012 Thanksgiving Holiday was to refurbish our old dining room furniture to give us a feeling of new. This meant we had some gluing to do to the wood frames along with me recovering the chairs.
New fabric on the left..old fabric on the right
Me working away
This chair seemed to run into a problem or two possibly during one of my son's poker parties?
A little glue and clamping brought it back to life.
New fabric new look 
All set for our Thanksgiving dinner.
Have to admit we had a GRAND Thanksgiving 2012.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

We're as ready as we can be ;-) bring on turkey day.

Yay! It's Thanksgiving week 2012 already!!! We say bring it on we're as ready as we can be and VERY excited to be having our first (just one of many we hope) family holidays in our new home.
So this year I will have the pleasure of 2 out of my 3 children and their families visiting [Meaning my 4 grandchildren ;-))] Along with god-daughter Mattie and her folks and Claire parents.
Hubby and I are very excited.
So day by day we are finally seeing some progress as far as being finally moved into our residence in Quakertown PA. It's really feeling like our home ;-)

So we call this our "princess suite" because it has a guest bath/shower in the room.
Notice the headboard please; I just finished covering an old headboard of ours
 was actually part of my husbands parent's bedroom set.

Remember the cabinet I painted with Annie Sloan paint when we first moved in?
Again another old piece of furniture we already owned.

Notice the little book shelves in the room? I just finished painting it with Annie Sloan paint
and intend to paint the side bed tables as soon as I get a chance so the pieces will all match.

Our grandkids cave 

If you've been following my blog you might have noticed a past post
about painting my son's old bunk beds with Annie Sloan paint.
I love that we have been able to put in use our old pieces of furniture.

So tomorrow will be first time my grandchildren see the room completed and ready for 3 of them to sleep in the room together, hubby told me I'd better take some photos to share before they arrive and get the toys out. ;-) Notice my wall piece "color my world" I did while studying with Nancy Crow seemed like a perfect fit for the room to me.
What's funny is these cabbage patch dolls used to belong to my daughter Keli.
So our "Lady Day" room is ready too.

This bedroom furniture is part of a set from my Alabama years,
made by Davis furniture company was supposedly the oldest produced bedroom set
designed after President Grant's set we were told when we got it in the 70's.
So time for me to go check my lists to make sure we're ready for OUR turkey day…May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

It's been way too long again between posts

So I am going to back track a little here…
The end of Oct the hubby and I took a trip to MI for a family wedding. ;-)
We had a fabulous time…and then if one recalls the storm Sandy 2012 hit…
Well first things first…here's a photo of our lovely bride and groom..the groom is my handsome nephew Gerald and the bride a wonderful addition to our family Megan.

It turned out as has semi become our norm these past few years we arrived to MI to find that my mom sadly had a little health issue so since our area in PA got hit with the storm and we assumed we were without power we extended our trip a little longer then expected. Hubby stayed a few days out on Harsens Island visiting with his Aunt.
While staying with my mom I popped back and forth each day to my son's home to work on a little project for them I had promised long ago to try. It worked out well gave me a feel of completing something artsy. So here are photos of my little project.
Dresser drawers before

Their dresser as I was priming it (step 1).
Dresser primed,next step paint it with latex paint.

Dresser bring painted with 2 coats black latex paint

Dresser ready for them to add knobs to.
 Bouncing back and forth helped me actually with the project..it forced me to take my time and as suggested in the directions I found via "google" helped me have the patience to let each coat dry 24 hours before adding new coats of primer or paint.
When we finally headed back to PA we returned to a safe home but with no power for 3 more days..so our neighbors were without power for 10 days, we were just inconvenienced with only 3 days yet feel so badly for the many folks that lost their homes and belongings..our prayers are with them.
Lucky for us, we returned to PA to find our home was safe
and the only damage was a tree fallen in back yard on our septic field.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A little of this and that

So hubby and I babysat for two of the grandchildren while their folks flew to Napa to join my other two children and their spouses to celebrate the fact that 3 out of 6 of them had turned 30 during 2012!
It was such a great feeling having all of the siblings and spouses celebrating together and so much fun watching their antics via facebook postings. I look forward to tasting some of their Napa choices at Thanksgiving.

My 3 wonderful children; Brian, JB & Keli

My Children and Spouses: Brian and Heather, Keli and Nate, JB and Claire.

Two of  our grandchildren Caleb and Brynn sound asleep at Grandma's.
So now that babysitting is completed this time around it's back to the painting of Grandchildren's guest room and possibly begin on the dining room.
But to give me a jump start in the studio I've decided to participate in a Quilt along.
Ellison Lane Quilts
Stay Tuned.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

So there once was a very special lady

Once upon a time there was a very special lady in my life, her name was Sheila Hatty. I called her "Aunt Sheila" even though she was technically my mother's only cousin. Aunt Sheila had three boys, Tommy, Joe and Lou. [Wish you could have seen my mom and Sheila when they got together such par tier's and stinkers. ]
When I found myself a single mom during my 30's it was my Aunt Sheila who mentored me after all she had raised her 3 sons quite well basically on her own. I still remember one funny tib-bit of advice from her was that my boys were sure to fight as they were growing up so if they began a fight I was to grab a broom and swoosh them outside and do as she used to tell her son's, "their fights were not to damage anything of mine, just themselves if they insisted on being stupid enough to fight."
Sad to share I lost my Aunt Sheila when she was much too young, 67 years old if I recall correctly. I watched her fight a very strong fight against cancer yet she lost. In our many talks while I was coming to grips with her illness she shared how much she loved her grandchildren and her one regret was that she would not have the time she wanted with her youngest grandchild Ava. Well her little Ava graduated from high school this past June and I KNOW my Aunt would be so proud of the job her son Lou did raising his daughter and even more proud of the wonderful young lady Ava has grown to be. So to honor my Aunt Sheila I designed a special quilt for my cousin Lou to give to his daughter so they could remember all the wonderful times they had as she grew through her childhood years.
So here are photos of my process of creating Ava's memory quilt.
Quilt top sewn together now ready to quilt on the HQ16

Quilting on HQ 16 frame, almost completed working on
the bottom right corner, a special label with family photos 
Rolling the quilted top off the frame.

Almost rolled off frame, you can see the quilt shape.
Adding the University t-shirt to the back.
Adding University T-shirt to backing.
I usually design a t-shirt memory quilt with all the t-shirts on the front with a solid backing but in the case of Ava's quilt her father did such a great job of saving or compiling t-shirts that included nightgowns from early childhood, little short shorts with labels on the behind, ;-) and t-shirts from her high school years I made a creative decision to save the University T-shirt for the main focus of the back.

It's almost completed, just need to finish the binding.
Here's my label, special family photos along with my message to Ava.
Isn't my cousin a handsome dad.
Center focus on front of quilt.
The yellow piece is part of a nightgown my Aunt Sheila gave Ava.
One side of quilt.
Lou (Daddy) and Ava's (daughter) memories.
Ava's memory quilt.
PS: you might be interested in reading more about this quilt:
back in the saddle again
quilt top coming along slowly

Finally can share about a special quilt

I have kept quiet about the last two quilts I made since they were to be gifts for some special people in my life. [Thus kept secret until the recipients received them.]
This weekend was the wedding shower of my nephew Gerald Taylor and his bride to be Megan McFall.  I was not able to travel to MI to attend but my gift made it's way thanks to the good ole USPS to the shower. I hoped they could tell my thoughts were with them.

When deciding what to design for this very special couple I wanted to honor their contemporary side yet also honor their family sentiments and traditions honoring their Irish heritage. [*Side note: Jerry proposed to Megan while they were traveling throughout Ireland]

So I chose some pretty batiks in colors I felt they liked and then decided to use a traditional pattern. "Irish Chain".
Irish Chain squares design sewn together.

Completed Quilt top on my design wall.

Next step quilting completed on my HQ16.


Signature on front. I actually did label this quilt on the
back with pattern name, date, made by, etc.

Trying to take photo to document yet the wind was not totally cooperating
;-)  heck maybe you can semi see the batik backing I chose.

I miss the wonderful bridge I used to use while photographing my
creations. Sadly it's in VA and we now live in PA.

Staging on the rock in our backyard for the time being until I can locate
another sweet bridge or spot to use for photographing my quilts..

So the wedding shower has come and gone. I've been told the "soon to be married" couple love their quilt. I'm hopeful to receive a photo soon of the lovely couple w/quilt (if I'm lucky)Hubby and I are looking forward to attending the wedding Oct. 27, 2012  to be a big family celebration.
So Until…..stay tune, I hope to be able to post about the other completed quilt soon, I just need to hear it has made it way to it's recipient.   May the sun keep shining on us all.