Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Peacock CQ Box

This is a Secret Santa gift I made for Alene on Cyberbees which is an online group I've belonged to for over 10 years. She liked it!

CQI Winnings

I won the November Challenge prize for CQI (Crazy Quilting International) group and Cathy C. knows how to pack a baggie! She put some of the most beautiful fabric and trims I have ever seen into it. Thanks CQI and Cathy!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Vintage beads

I got these vintage beads yesterday at an estate sale. I was tempted beyond this, but these were what I could buy at a reasonable price! I added the pics of the black birds especially for Gerry K!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Metal Buttons

I found these buttons at the Salvation Army the other day for cheap. I like the ones on the bottom row the most, then the middle, and least of all the ones on top. So, would you use metal buttons on your CQ? Why or why not? Does anyone have any idea of how old these might be? i guess I would use them on something that was not meant to be an heirloom, but what about on something special? Could rust or decay be a problem? Could you treat them to prevent problems? Coat them with nail polish or something?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What happened to fall?

I don't know about you, but it seems like the day fall arrived, winter set in. Here's a photo of yesterdays weather -- everything was covered with a thin coat of ice and it was freezing!

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Chinese Auction Winnings!!

Gerry K. made it, Janet thought she'd won it, Carolyn stole it for herself, but it is mine, all mine!!!!!!

Seeking Creative Advice

I bought this at a yard sale for $5. It's old and not especially well made. I think it's made out of plywood with veneer on the outside. I'm trying to decide what to do to it to make it interesting. I thought maybe I could repaint the insides, refinish the wood, and have even contemplated adding a crazy quilt to the outside surfaces. Any other ideas? I also immediately thought of Gerry K. and her painting, but I can't paint!

CQI Retreat in Breckenridge 23 - 26 September 09

I attended an awesome retreat in Breckenridge put on by the yahoo group leaders of CQI. We (14 of us) stayed at a home in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. The food was awsome, the classes were interesting, and the company the best! It is really wonderful to spend time with gals who have your same passion. Everyone was on their best behavior I assume because, for the most part, all of us got along famously. (-; We dyed laces and ribbons, made polymer motifs, painted buttons, sewed, ate, shopped, hot tubbed, walked, made ribbon flowers and leaves, embossed velvet, played with punch needles, talked, had a chinese auction, shared "ugly" ties, and collected fabric goodies mostly provided by Cathy. Here are some pics of the girls!

Lace and Potassium Permanganate

Cathy gave us a lesson on aging lace at the CQI retreat. Most of these laces were a bright white before application. Some are darker because the solution was fresher or I left them in longer.

Velvet Embossing

One activity at the CQI retreat was velvet embossing -- this requires some practice (at least for some of us!) I figure there are two kinds of stitchers in the world -- those who have ironed a hole in velvet, and those who are going to!! We figured that the velvet was either cheap or the iron was too hot. Here are pics of my beautiful work (ha ha!). Leslie came to the rescue and cleaned the iron with a dryer sheet so we all learned something from my mistake!

My favorite CQ quilt of all time!

Claudina Hruby brought her stunning quilt for us to see -- her first one I might mention. I love everything about it! Here are a few pictures of it -- I never tired of looking at all the wonderful little details. Make sure to look at the fine border. The bear is also her work -- she is an awesome stitcher!

Claudina Hruby brought her stunning quilt for us to see -- her first one I might mention. I love everything about it! Here are a few pictures of it although there is much more of it to see and admire.

Piecemaker's Quilt

We were lucky enough to have the honor of viewing the Piecemaker's Quilt while at the CQI Retreat. Ingrid from California thought to ask to bring it for us to see -- Thanks Ing! This was my favorite butterfly motif -- a thing of beauty!

Gerry's Button Painting Class

Gerry K. taught us how to paint birds on buttons at the CQI retreat in Breckenridge and these are a few of them. Everyone really enjoyed the class and some self starters went on to paint mountain scenes (Carolyn).

Leslie's Charming Landscapes and "Swinging" Escapades!

Lesley also shared a couple of quilts she's been working on while in Breckenridge. The colors are striking and I love what she does with fabric texture to make these landscapes come alive. And of course her trademark tree! Make sure to double click on the "swing" picture to see her expression!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Laurie's Lovely Under-the-Sea Quilt

Laurie brought her lovely quilt to the CQI retreat for us to see. I took some pics of it and these are the best ones, but there is much more to it -- she put so much work into this quilt! It is really an amazing work of art.

My Making Memories Block

The butterfly on the top is done with punch needle and the two dragon flies are made from angelina. I have to admit that jewel tones on white/off-white would not have been my color choices so I struggled with the block! Hopefully when Debbie puts it together with the other blocks, it will look alright!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

More pictures near our retreat site

Sometimes I felt too busy to take pictures, but one day Cathy and I went out for an hour or so and just took pictures of our surroundings -- what a gorgeous place!

The Beauty of going to a retreat!

These pictures were all taken within 5 miles of our retreat house. Nice place to be inspired by beauty, isn't it?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

When working on projects...

Someone asked me if I pulled certain laces to work on a project and the answer is yes! I store them in old plastic computer disk cases that you see in goodwill a lot now.

For my beads, I found the greatest display shelves at a going out of business sale. They were selling everything to include their sales props. I don't know what this was used for, but it works great to see what beads I have available when I'm working on a specific project. The clear bead storage cases work really nice for this. I think of all my organizing discoveries, this is my favorite and most useful!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Polymer buttons

Here's a picture of the polymer clay buttons I recently made. I tried using a product designed to make molds, but it didn't work out very well, so then I just made the molds out of polymer clay. I pushed a button or other shape into the clay and baked it. Then I pushed clay into the baked mold and pulled it out. I trimmed around the shaped object until I got it the way I wanted it, then painted it with mica powders. I got my mica powders at this site because you can get a teaspoon for a $1 and you really need very little of them. Some kind person on a scrapbooking blog gave me the tip. You should wear a mask when using mica powders because some are metals and you really don't want to get this stuff in your lungs. One of them came with warnings to use gloves and a mask with the term "cyanide" in the name! It just seemed like it wasn't worth the risk so I didn't use that one! I then baked them for 10 minutes at 275 degrees and painted a varnish called varathane (the water-based kind) on them. I haven't tested them out to see how resilient they are after you sew them on, but I did drop some on the floor and they stood up to that test! Also, they are very light weight and so shouldn't drag your work down.

Organizing my Lace

I have been putting all my laces in order. I keep them in my Olfa storage drawers that I bought at the container store. After listening to a bunch of different people's advice on how to store and how not to store lace, I decided on this method. First I wrapped the lace around an acid free trading card which is the perfect size for small pieces of lace - 2-1/2" x 3-1/2". For tiny pieces I cut a slit in the side of the card and tucked the ends in there. For larger pieces I cut a piece of tulle and tied it around the lace to hold it onto the card. I sorted them by color.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Enjoying the great outdoors

On our recent vacation we visited my sister and her family and my Mom and spent some time at my sister's cabin in Wisconsin. The weather was quite cool, but we still managed to spend some time outdoors. Here are some pics -- my daughter and husband are pictured in one getting ready to go jet skiing. The rest are of us ATVing through the woods. I really loved this as I used to spend quite a bit of time as a kid romping through the woods and it reminds me of when we used to go snowmobiling. It is so pretty and peaceful (aside from the noise of the ATV!).

Great View

this is the view out the deck of my Mom's house whom I visited recently. This is the mighty Mississippi river. Actually the main part of the river is just past the farthest greenery which is an island. We saw dear and heron on the island while we were there, but have also seen eagles, geese, cranes and other wildlife in the past. The picture is deceptive because there is really a large hill down to the river. It is seriously over grown now -- they used to cut out a trail to the river and mow the flat base at the bottom of the hill, but it is quite a chore!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What are the odds?

Who'd have thought that two pictures could be so interesting? I found these two pictures in my Great Grandmother's album. The one on the right is my Great Great Grandfather, but I didn't know who the one on the left was. I decided they looked a bit alike and wanted to get my second cousin's good advice on the subject so I sent it to her. She thought they might be brothers who both lived and died in Wisconsin, where I was also born. Coincidentally around the same timeframe I came into possession of a letter written in the 70's by one related individual to another with the same family name as the two men in the photo. It was postmarked from a town in Colorado about 40 mile from where I now live. I decided to take a chance and look in my hometown directory for the surname and found the letter writer! I took the photo to the now nearly 90-year-old man and to my delight he was the descendant of the man on the left and my second cousin twice removed! He and I proved the two men in the photos were indeed brothers! I was also able to identify his wife and children from two other photos I had that were taken by the same photographer and the same place. It was truly remarkable that all these things came up at the same time to help me link clues together to identify these unknown pictures. What are the chances that he and I, whose common ancestor was a man who died in 1912 in Wisconsin would both end up in the same town in Colorado!