Friday, April 30, 2010

Stuck In The Blues

Week #15 unfortunately brought on an attack of the blues for me..
So the words on this six word memoir quiltlet reads:
Stuck In The Blues Once Again.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Failed Bowties

Next up in the six word memoir quiltlet series.
Can you spot the sushi grass that I used?

The words read:"Failed Bowties Can Still Be Beautiful"
Because they can, see? The green/yellow/blue check is leftover from my attempt to make a bowtie for my son's drama performance last spring. I used the shapes "as is" to hopefully make the bowtie idea a bit more obvious.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

13 Together

I thought it would be fun to see what all my six word memoir quiltlets look like up on the wall together. I placed them in weekly order starting with the red one in the upper left. So far it just looks like a hot mess to me. But still lively and interesting. I do like the varied shapes that they are ending up being.
It will be more of a challenge to display them together with the non-standard shapes. But I'll solve that problem once I get to the end of the year with this project.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Flowers For A Reason

I got to buy a mixed flower bouquet recently for some raw materials.
I was on the hunt for yellow roses to go with a burgundy dress.
This dress happened to be the one my son's prom date was wearing for the Junior/Senior prom. He was insistent on wanting to make a corsage for her himself and it had to have yellow roses. So here is what he came up with. He used some of our mini pink climbing roses. It turned out her dress wasn't set up well for wearing a rather big corsage, so she carried it, and it still looked lovely. So Zach was right on the color choice.
And here is the boutonniere that I made for Zach out of his favorite rose in our garden. He looked so handsome and grown up in his tuxedo but I am unfortunately unauthorized to share that picture here. I made the mistake of asking him first.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gardening With Pride

Here is the big Pride Of Madeira (Echium candicans) that I have at the top of my driveway. It was damaged when the almond tree fell over in January, so I wasn't sure it would feel like blooming or not this season. About half of the plant got squished or broken off.

The answer is Yes! It bloomed quite nicely thankyouverymuchforasking.

Such a beautiful plant structure, and those hairy leaves mean that the deer do no like to eat it, which is why it is more than six feet tall at the moment.

Here is a close up picture, close enough to spy a bee at work. Bees just love this plant so much. I'm glad that it grows so well here.Surprise! Attack of the Guard Lizard!
We have these giant plastic lizards left over from the days my boys liked to play with such things, and they have ended up in various places in the garden. Mostly because they crack me up when I forget about them and get surprised. I suppose it is nice to be able to surprise myself once in awhile!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Construction Finale

The last couple weeks have been consumed with getting our house remodel completed in time for inspection before the permit expires.
I haven't been quilting or making anything at all. Instead I've been doing what I can to help the process get completed. And taking some pictures as I go along. And then collapsing from all the running around to stores and answering contractors' questions and climbing up and down ladders.
This picture is of a giant bolt is holding up our new deck (along with a whole lot of other impressive hardware).
This deck is so solid, I swear we could host an elephant party up there. But oh what a lot of work. A couple of times we've asked each other, whose bright idea was it to have a deck up here? I know we will really come to enjoy using it, but we are bitching about it a whole lot as it is getting finished.
I also have been up and down stepladders installing fireblock caulking in the ceiling of our garage. This is a special requirement since there are living spaces above the garage. In case our car decides to explode or something I suppose. I took this and several other pictures because the fireblock is two different colors, and I didn't want the inspector to give me a hard time. My contractor tells me it is usually red to distinguish it...Oh well, not the stuff we found to buy!
I thought this was a cool picture with the dirty/clean magnet on my diswasher in the background. All those circles.
Anyways, it was a big disappointment on Friday, I waited around half the day for the inspector, but no phone call, nothing. Finally after poking around on the county website and through the voice mail system I figured out that it was the one day a month that they are having a furlough day. Thus no inspections. sigh. Guess that makes it an Inspection Monday! Cross your fingers for us that we pass!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wishing For Colorfulness

Sometimes I wish I was this colorful.

Or I imagine that my cats were equally colorful.
Sometimes I wish my house was this colorful.
Sometimes I wish all of you were this colorful too.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Don't Stand Still

Anything is fair game to get embellished in my studio if it holds still long enough. This is a bottle of hand lotion that had its very very sticky label removed by my son (during the "I Hate Labels" stage). It was bugging me every single time I touched it because of the stickiness. What do I have lying around to fix this? Oh yeah, fabric scraps. So now the lotion bottle isn't so awful to touch anymore, plus it looks kind of interesting too.

These are my Raw Materials these days. I have so much fabric now (probably too much), that I really am not buying much of it anymore, but I am using whatever interesting things come my way along with all that fabric stash.

You saw how the red ribbons got used in yesterday's post. When will the other items appear in something else that I create? Who knows, but I know that they will be likely candidates to grab and use, since they are sitting near the top of the pile on my worktable.

What pile you ask?
This pile!
What are you recycling or reusing these days?
Oh and Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fancy Red Ribbons

I bet you can guess what week this six-word memoir quiltlet is from.
Words are: Chocolate Bunnies With Fancy Red Ribbons
Yep, those are the red ribbons that were around our Lindt chocolate Bunnie's necks. But not for long....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What Doesn't Kill You

Finally! I can show you what I made for the winner of the One World, One Heart blog-giveaway that I participated in way back in February. I can finally show you, because I finally completed the winner's prize. Not sure why, but I had artist's block for a little while(like writer's block I suppose) which contributed to the delay.
The winner, Bonnie, wrote me a great email with her story and why she chose the seven words that she chose for her memoir quilt. "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger"
This first picture shows the quiltlet during the editing and composing stage, before I've finalized the design. The next step is to nail everything down with lots of machine stitching. This is how it looks with most of the stitching done, but no words just yet..
I had to make them first! Using my favorite teeny font stamps I stamped the seven words on the selvedge of this thick natural colored cotton.

This is what the words look like after I've sewn them into position and colored them with fabric crayon pastels.
I liked how the colors blended in but still were enough of a contrast to stand out.And down in the corner is what came to call "Strong Dog". She's that part of ourselves that will always stand up for us, even when we might not want to. She was made from a scrap that was this exact shape when I took it out of the scrap pile. I couldn't believe how much it looked like a dog. So I used it without cutting anything off. It just seemed so expressive of what I wanted the dog to represent.
I used the circle stitch on my Janome to make his eye, I love using that stitch!And up in the left hand corner is a piece of one of favorite fabrics in my collection. I remember the dress my mom had made out of it, and the fantastic rustling that it made as she whooshed around the house getting ready to go out. It is a very shiny woven taffeta.
And here is the whole thing, finished.
I sure hope that Bonnie likes it!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Brought To You By The Letter E

This post today is brought to you by the letter E.
And the letter S.
I think I'll add these letters to the great flickr group for single letter photos, One Letter.
This post is just a collection of detail photos from our recent trip from San Diego to Mexico and back.
Some variety of aloe, soaking up the sun in a street-side planter in Cabo San Lucas.
A very interesting mall "skyline" view in San Diego. I sat and sketched this for a long time. I think this would be a great quilt design, all those shadows and specific shapes.
The pose-ing-est pigeon I've ever seen. He didn't move until I a)noticed him and b) took his picture. I love how his toes are turned out in second position.
I was fascinated with how the ship was tied up in San Diego. All this apparatus, ropes, metal pieces so thickly painted, on such a big scale.

California Iron Works, very solid.

A dangling something off the side of the ship. I just thought this was really pretty with the water reflecting and shining and the red flag.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Mint On My Pillow

Here is the 12th in the year long project of weekly six-word memoir quiltlets. This is obviously from cruise week! You can see a foil mint wrapper, my cruise card (very dangerous this gizmo), and some tuelle netting to hold the card on to the quiltlet.
Words say:
"Mint On My Pillow Every Night."

Monday, April 05, 2010

Looking For Solutions

Here is number twelve in the year-long weekly series of six-word journal quiltlets.
The words say:
"Looking For Solutions Here And There".
The red fabric that the words are machine-embroidered is from the red Crate & Barrel napkin that I used for the very first of these journal quiltlets. Those scraps have been on my table top in the scrap basket all year so far and have made it into several of these quiltlets. Nothing like a nice solid red sometimes.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Pink Egg

Pink Egg, originally uploaded by JulieZS.

My quilt "I Guess I Like Pink After All" egg-er-cized @ dumpr.
Go make one and let me know, I'd love to see it!

Happy Easter if you're celebrating today, and if not, Happy Nice Spring Sunday!

This is an interesting exercise to see how a flat 2-d design looks when put onto a 3-d shape. I would have definitely made some different design choices if I'd been making it in 3-d originally. Can you imagine how hard it would be to do this on a real-life egg! What process would you use? Painting, silk screening, dyeing, image transfer? hmmmm.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

As The Season Turns

And just like that. It is Spring with a capital S. Woohoo finally! And the gardening to-do list has started out very very long this year, since I was so slothful and unmotivated to garden much last year. My plan is to do a little every day instead of overdoing it all in one day. That way I can fit in the indoor quilting stuff I need to do also (see yesterday's memoir quilt).
I just love the way the horizontal bark on the cherry trees looks, so different than the other fruit trees. We don't ever get many cherries off of this tree, the birds get almost all of them. It mostly functions as a decorative tree. Plus it is really too tall to even harvest properly. It is the last one in our row of fruit trees, so it hardly ever ends up getting pruned, by the time we've done the plum and the apples.

The lilacs are bending down with the weight of the rain on all their blossoms. I haven't pruned them in years, I think this is the year, just as soon as they are done blooming for us. And the viney thing twining through them is the wisteria which is attempting to take over the world, that definitely needs to go. I truly do love wisteria, but boy is it ever a "garden thug". Give it an inch, it takes a mile, at a minimum. Western kudzu?
What's on your gardening to-do list this spring?