Saturday, June 28, 2008

You might have seen the news about the hundreds of wildfires burning in California. Here in the urban East Bay we haven't been able to see any of the actual fires, but we've certainly seen and smelled the smoke! This was sunset on Thursday -- just orange haze. The fog has come in big-time today and it's been windy, but it still looks like smoke.Since I've been findng it so frustrating to photograph the birds that move around constantly, I decided to look for some "prey" that would sit still for the camera. How convenient to find this snail on my dining room window today! Look how crisp the photo is! I took a picture of the other side, too... but decided you probably didn't want to really look closely at the underside of a snail. Yech.
I have been doing a very little bit of sewing -- here's a little hint of my Summer quilt for the 4 seasons swap -- it's going to be a Japanese garden.
Finally, I have to report that despite the fact that I flagrantly displayed my unmentionables a few days ago, I did not receive a single bit of spam. And when I check the "referral" list on sitemeter this morning, there were no rude google searches showing up at all! As I told Sweet P, I think the fact that they were "old lady" style and made of cotton probably saved me!

Monday, June 23, 2008

I feel much better now...

now that the blocks are all facing the right way! I took the opportunity to substitute in my one extra "dark" block, 'cause I didn't like the two turquoise ones together in the bottom row. I have some lighthouse fabric for the backing, one of these days.

And, now, a photo of my underwear! I decided to do a little more playing around with my Procyon dyes, to see how different colors would blend. I definitely had a few surprises -- like the orange was "supposed" to be red, and that weird brown was "supposed" to be purple! At least I no longer have a bunch of bland white and beige in my undies drawer. Next time: gradations?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

what's wrong with this picture?

I hate it when this happens... now I have to rip some border and turn that silly block the right way! How was it that I didn't notice this when I was assembling the rows? These blue & white blocks are ones I won I won on Block Lotto last year -- in fact I won them the very first month I participated in the lotto. I think this will end up being quilted fairly simply with some lighthouse fabric on the back, and will go off to a little boy somewhere.
This second photo is just a little progress report on my Shakespeare in the Park quilt. It needs 2 more large blocks, and 32 (aargh!) little sawtooth stars around the edge -- I have 12 done so far. I seriously hate making the same block over and over, so it will take me a while to get those done. The only thing saving me is that the fabrics are different combinations for each star.

I need to get in gear on the summer quilt for 4 Seasons -- I had an idea or two last week but I wish I could remember what I was thinking about! (where's that gingko when I really need it?) I have an idea for the booty swap quilt that involves using a fragment of a very tedious paper-pieced pattern that I started... but Summer comes before Booty on the calendar this year!

Monday, June 16, 2008

show & tell

The mailman has been very attentive lately -- he must be wondering why I get all these squishy packages from overseas, and why my eyes light up when I answer the door and see him there!

Today brought this beautiful finale from the Spring Fling Round Robin:

It was made by Carolyn, Nancy, Solidia and Luisa, and flew all the way from Portugal.

Yesterday I received this tiny treasure, which I bid on and won from the Priority: Alzheimers auction -- the quilt is only about 8" tall and has all those tiny flying geese! It was made and donated by Nancy McCain and I love it!Finally, something I made myself -- another pair of socks. These are called "garter rib" -- a little bit boring but I'm working my way up to a fancier pattern. This yarn from KnitPicks was easy to work with, but I don't really like the way the stripes pooled in funny ways, and so differently on each foot.
Blogger is being a big PITA today, and it's taking several tries to upload photos -- and then it won't let you drag them around very easily. Is it time to move to another venue?

quilty give-away!

Here's an opportunity to win free long-arm quilting:

contest

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sweet P challenged us to show unusual containers we use for storing sewing stuff, so here are my entries...

First up -- and I'm so embarrassed to show this -- is a super-funky piece of pottery I made in a ceramics class at adult school some years back. I got absolutely nowhere trying to "throw" pots, so I reverted to kindergarten techniques instead! This is a sweet little plastic mushroom that originally held tiddly-winks, and now has appliqué pins:
Finally, I have a bunch of these tiny wash-buckets. They're great for paper clips, pins, hard candy, and just about anything else you can think of.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm dyeing to tell you...


But first, let me show you the quilt I received from Emma for the first Miniature Booty Swap! It's very cute, with appliquéd leaves in the jewel tones I love... of course I've already signed up for the second round of the swap.
And, I finally spent a day with my sister playing around with dyeing and discharging (yech -- that sounds horrible, doesn't it?!?) She's really into using thiox to remove color from fabric, and it seems you never really know what you'll end up with. I tried it on a black cotton sweater that I was tired of, and I thought I was getting a nice blue-steel gray, but when it was dry it was sort of a weird medium green. So, I over-dyed it with emerald green... and I think I'll like it if I play with it a little bit more.

Here's a piece of fabric that was blue-almost-black with white swirls, and look at the interesting texture that showed up after the discharge process.:

This is a piece of white Kona cotton I played with, just to see how different manipulations would work -- scrunched and tied, rubber bands around different beads, and then pleated and tied. I have more fabric and colors to mess with next time I have a free day.Finally, this is a scarf that was stretched out and painted several times -- Dharma Trading sells "blank" scarves in various sizes, shapes, and patterns for dyeing along with the wonderful selection of white and black fabric, dyes, and (surprise!) an overwhelming selection of yarn. I can't believe I hadn't been there for at least 25 years...

Monday, June 02, 2008

here's my mosaic!

and here's how to make your own:

1. First, go to Big Huge Lab's Mosaic Maker and set up a mosaic grid.

2. Then, open Flickr in a separate window, and type your answer to each of the questions below
into Flickr Search.

3. Using only the first page of results, pick one image. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into the spaces on the Mosaic Maker page

The questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. What is one word that describes you?
12. What is your flickr name?

Leave me a note if you do this, so I can check out your mosaic, too!



photo credits:
1. Mad Julie, 2. Mmmm Cheese, 3. The Berkeley Library, 4. Gizmo, 5. Blue in the face, 6. campari splash, 7. Green-Park-Banksy, 8. Fruit flan & lemon meringue, 9. Retired After Hard Work, 10. Peeli Dopehar aur Wo, 11. The neon lights, 12. A Bud Vase full of Roses from our Garden - Ya just gotta love Springtime!