Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Black,White and Red All Over Swamp

Looky, some actual sewing has been happening! These are for a swamp (swap) with the QuiltMavs. Black, white and red all over is the theme as you can see. I obviously didn't have a block pattern for most of them, just started cutting and sewing together. I had to buy fabric to participate in this one, black and white prints aren't my usual thing, but they were fun to work with. I really enjoy how the spots of red keep your eyes moving around. This will be a cool quilt once all the blocks come in.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Dog Lake

Here is a snip of the quiet and peace of the shore of Dog Lake, which is a very steep yet short hike out of Toulumne Valley.

I just wanted to try the new button on Blogger! Next to the upload picture button, there is a shiny new upload video button. And you know how hard it is not to push buttons.... So let's see if it works!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm Your Heroine

You Are Buffy the Vampire Slayer
"We saved the world. I say we have to party."

Thanks for the link Kristen!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Laundry Test

Here is a laundry test, ground in dirt, blood, grass stains, food stains. All after only one week of football. camp for my son Zach Good thing they aren't cotton!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hand-Printed by Moi

I just finished up participating in a hand-printed fabric swap, hostessed with grand aplomb and dexterity by Bitter Betty. Luckily for me, she was waiting on some other folks besides my late-ass self, and she also lives nearby! Thanks BB!

So I was able to sneak in under the finish line with these woodblock prints on some of my recently finished hand-dyed cotton:

Woodblock printing is harder than rubber stamping on fabric! I obviously need to practice, or change my technique because it was mucho harder than I thought it would be to get a consistent printed image.

I used a fabric printing ink that I bought from Dharma Trading, purple and green were the two colors. It isn't really labeled, but I think it is made by Ranger.

The woodblocks are from two sources, a store called Treasure (who are usually there vending at PIQF) and of all places: Lillian Vernon! The teeny Ganesha, Sacred Feet with Eyes (it must be called something specific) are from Treasure. The floral-ish ones from L.V. I need to figure out how to do this, because it was really fun, I mostly liked how my fabrics turned out, and I have some other woodblocks/batik stamps that are larger that I want to use!

Now to go peek in my package at the goodies I received!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Patterns on my Mind

Ooh, do I ever have patterns on my mind. Being out in nature, camping does that to me every time. I see patterns everywhere, and they get all my worn-out creative synapses snapping again And looky here it is the middle of August, and I haven't done anything for the Self Portrait Challenge which is all about patterns.

I took this photo of the rock dome at the Olmstead Point view turnout on the Tioga Road. The pattern on the rock just amazed me. I think I will make a screen or stamp out of it for printing purposes. Tioga Road or Highway 120 is closed during the winter months, it is at such a high altitude and gets so much snow they don't bother plowing it at all. So once you are finally up there driving around, you realize how crazy it was to even make the road in the first place! I'm glad it is there though, since I don't think I could make the backpacking trip that it would require to get from Yosemite Valley (4000ft elevation) up the Toulumne Meadow area (8400ft elevation!).

Then I combined it with a photo of me sitting on the shore of Lake Tenaya taken by my son, Zach. This is my absolute favorite lake in the whole world. The water is cold (of course, it is snow melt!), but so clear, and no yicky decomposing stuff on the bottom of the lake. I think not much lives in it compared to lower elevation lakes. The sandy beach is all granite sand which is different feeling than most beaches one goes to. Also there is a steady wind, coming up from Yosemite Valley, so there are continuous, small, very quick waves. Think of the ocean as a grown-ups' heartbeat compared to a babies' heartbeat.
I was really bummed that I forgot my swim suit, otherwise I would have gone in, cold or no cold.

I'm proud of myself that I figured out Photoshop Elements enough to do this! A little fiddling and concentration was all it took.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Where My Head Is

This is where my head is.
I haven't fully come back from vacation yet.
Not even close!
A week of camping in Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite will do that to a person.
I have hundreds of photos, but this is my favorite that I'll share with you right now.
This is Lembert Dome at sunset, with a deer in the foreground.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Bag, Finally

Here it is, the long-awaited, finally-done, "spring" bag. Yes, done just in time for the end of Summer. At least it isn't quite Fall yet, right?
I bought the fabric way back in April, and the Sewing Workshop L2 Bag pattern in May.

What was the holdup? Well, hmmm. I'm not sure really. I guess I got it cut out in June, started sewing it, realized I didn't have the iron-on interfacing or stabilizing stuff, had to find some, then I needed some ultrasuede in the right color. Anyhoo, after several stops and starts it went together super easily, and I can't wait to transfer my stuff into it and begin using it already!

And here is the super cool, full-'O-pocketsessss, contrasting inside.
I used a Clover magnetic catch, which was super easy, and it looks good, and holds well.

Guess I better get started on my Winter bag, right?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Laura Wasilowski Class

This last Saturday, I got to take a class from Laura Wasilowski, dean of the Chicago School of Fusing. My quilt group CQFA held the class, with a great turnout from old and new members.
It was a really great class, and I was happy to learn so much about fusing from such a good teacher. Plus, she sings!

Laura is the owner of ArtFabrik, where she sells her hand-dyed threads and fabrics. I splurged on some lovely threads seen above.

She really knows fusing! I have never worked with this much fusible at once before. I used two yards of Wonder Under. It was quite fun to work with the lovely hand-dyes that Laura provides as part of the class kit.
This is the leftover from the class, including the scraps (which are fusible backed), fusible backed fabric, some of her dyed thread, and my official Chicago School of Fusing badge, yay! Guess I'll have to make at least one more little quilt with all this material that is ready to go.
Here is my version of one of the exercises she had us do, to practice cutting out shapes on the fused fabric. It is like making your own patterned fabric in a sense.

Next, we got to cut strips with the fancy cutting blades on our rotary cutters. Between us, Jaye and I had pinking, wavy, and deckle. I think it looks pretty cool. You have to press really hard to cut the fabric though. Then we assembled it all, overlapping and fused it down to make our own fabric.

Then it was time for lunch, all this fun makes one quite hungry. After a healthy salad, a trip to the 7-11 down the block was in order. And lo and behold it was transformed into a Kwik-E-Mart. And they didn't have slurpees, oh no, they had Squishies!! As a very long time Simpsons fan, I was pretty psyched.

I hope that explains my final composition to other Simpson's fans.

The next day I got to go see the Simpsons Movie with my family. Oh boy was it ever funny. I was worried they would try to "movie it up". But nope, it was just like a super long extended regular ol' Simpsons tv show. Go see it if you like the Simpson at all.

Here is what I'd look like if I was a character on the Simpsons. You can make an avatar like this at the movie website.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Birthday Girl Dyeing

My real reason for getting going on dyeing again, was the recent second birthday of my niece, Meytal. The hats I did for her last year are of course too small now.
Turns out she was especially fond of these socks I dyed for her! She sat down and tried them all on, including running up and down the hallway. They seemed to suit her. And it certainly made it worthwhile for me as a dyeing gift-giver. Nothing like the immediate feedback from a two year old!
Check out the girly flouncy layers. But still comfy as a t-shirt. I was happy with how the colors mixed on this one.
Here is the complete green, blue, yellow ensemble. I thought the yellow hat and dress shoulders would help her stand out in a crowd. I chose this t-shirt dress because of the nice big pockets on the skirt and the floppy bucket hat was made out of a comfy, soft cotton knit. Good old Dharma Trading, they have such good stuff to dye!

It is fun dyeing for such a sweet little girl!


Here's a smorgasboard catch-up of photos from "lately":
First up, a necklace given to me by Lunaea, she got it by mistake and thought it looked like the art I make. Thanks Lunaea, I'm enjoying wearing it very much. I am not enjoying sleeping in it however, oops, won't make that mistake again!

The challenge: How many centers of Newman O's Mint Chocolate (Oreo look-a-likes) can one stack? Twelve was the answer. Yes, he was able to eat the whole thing at once. (wow!).
And yes all the chocolate cookie parts got snarfed up too.
As you can see we are quickly running out of things to do this summer.
Thank Goddess it is August!

I had a few minutes on my own last week so I dashed into the Bead Nook in Felton and found a watch to bead into a bracelet or key fob. A recycled glass pendant in red. A red glass etched marble from China. And some bone beads fashioned into dice. Cool stuff huh?

Then I toddled down a couple stores to Luminous Threads and snapped up some sale fabrics. A really unique Egyptian print, a Buddha collage print (this one felt more respectful than some others I 've seen), a stripey/blocky print, and two colorways of a stretched-polka-dot-ish print.
It is so nice to have these two stores close together, and nearby too. If only there was a used bookstore and a music store too. Nope, gotta drive 15 more minutes for that to Santa Cruz.