Saturday, August 30, 2008

Halloween Apron

I'm hosting a Halloween Apron swap on Fabric in Altered Arts Yahoo group. I made the apron above this week from fabric purchased at Granny's Attic in Campbellsville, Kentucky. I developed the pattern and have used it a few times. Notice the cute black ball fringe also from Granny's Attic. I have bat fabric for another apron which I hope to work on tomorrow. I'm not sure which one I will exchange in the swap. These are quite simple to sew and fun to make. Love the Halloween fabric. I also completed a quilt top for a Halloween wallhanging. It's made from a charm pack. I'll post photo when I finish the quilting. I purchased the charm pack and pattern on-line. A great way to shop.

Friday, August 29, 2008

By the Sea ATCs

Here are the ATCs I received in the August Swap at Mystic Paper. The theme was By the Sea. You can see my By the Sea ATC here. Such a fun group of ATCs this month.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Skirt is Back from Altered Couture Magazine

My Going Green Skirt arrived in the mail yesterday from Altered Couture just in time to display at Bernina Southwest. I will be teaching a class on how-to make a skirt just like the one feathered in the fall issue of Altered Couture magazine. The class is called "Glitzy Jean Skirt" and is offered as a two session class in October at Bernina Southwest. Check out their schedule of classes here and click on the classes tab for more information. I'm looking forward to teaching again after the summer off. I hope to add more classes as time allows.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Summer Fabric ATCS

I received this set of lovely Summer Fabric ATCs in today's mail. They are from a swap on Fabric Art Trends. I have added them to my growing collection of ATCs. You can see my ATC for the swap here.

Halloween Towel Swap

These are my two towels for the Halloween Kitchen Towel Swap on Fabric In Altered Arts Yahoo group. It is a two for two exchange. I purchased the towels and fabric during my recent visit to Kentucky. The fabric is from Grannys Attic and the towels were purchased at the local WalMart.

I enjoy working of sewing projects while at our vacation home in Kentucky. I can sit at my machine by the window and watch the cows graze in the pasture. Sometimes I also see wildlife (rabbits, squirrels, and Saturday a red fox ran across the pasture). Monday I also saw a deer and fawn running in the field in front of our house. It is so peaceful and quiet and I am able to work on projects at my leisure. A great place for rest and relaxation.

More posting to come of projects completed in Kentucky.

Rose of Sharon

This beautiful bloom is a Rose of Sharon. I have a few of the shrubs in our yard in Kentucky. I took this photo and think I may use it as inspiration for an art quilt.

I am glad to be back in the "Blog World". I find it difficult to blog on the extremely slow dial-up service that we have at our country home. I arrived back in Phoenix yesterday. It's good to be home but I had a wonderful visit with family and friends. I also had time to shop the sale at Granny's Attic and complete some of my projects. I'll post photos of those projects later.

I had posted earlier about the dry conditions in our area of Kentucky. We finally had a good soaking rain on Monday afternoon. The grass greened up immediately and the temperatures were cooler when I left Tuesday morning. Looking forward to some time at home. We will return to Kentucky for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Here is a photo of our backyard in Kentucky.  Normally at this time of year it should be lush green.  You can see how dry our pasture is.  The neighbors' cows graze there but they don't have much to eat now.  The corn and soybeans in the distance are extremely dry.  No rain is expected until sometime next week.  I'll be back in Arizona before they have rain. Had a great meal earlier.  First time I had fried catfish but they tasted great.  I had slaw, cornbread and fresh tomatoes from my uncle's garden.  This is great time to visit.  The tomatoes are fresh from the garden.  The corn is gone now but I was able to get a few ears.  Country living is very special.  I've been to the quilt shop and will go stock up on fabric on Friday.  Karen is having a great sale.  I will lunch with a childhood friend tomorrow.  Probably won't post again for awhile.

Hello from Bluegrass Country

But today the grass isn't so blue. We are experiencing a very dry August and crops are in need of a good rain.I decided to post a hello while I'm here in the country enjoying the wonderful cool weather. It's been in the 50's and 60's at night and 80's in the day. If we could just get rain. I have been watering our yard but realize that it is a never ending task since I would need to water the entire hillside. So I have decided to water the driest places.  Our home is out in the country and we only have dial-up service.  I plan to try and post a picture later but have my doubts that I can do this with such slow internet.  Guess I can live with slow internet to have such a lovely place for rest and relaxation.Tonight I will fry catfish.  Never done this before but my neighbor stopped by on Sunday evening with a "mess" of catfish.  I have cornbread in the oven and slaw in the fridge.  Guess I'll have a Southern dinner.  Life is so rough here on Moss Road!!!!!! ha! ha!  Will attempt to post a pic later.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My dining room

Here is a picture of the dining room with cabinet and table.

New Glass Cabinet

This is the story of my "Dream Cabinet". Three years ago we moved into a small ranch style home in the West Clark historic area of Mesa. Most of the furniture from our previous home was given away or taken to our second home in Kentucky. Basically we started out fresh in our new "little" retirement home. I spent many hours searching thrift stores and secondhand furniture stores for just the right furniture for this home. We did buy an new Lazy Boy sectional and had furniture custom-made for the master bedroom. Over the past three years, I had tried various things as a cabinet in the small dining area but nothing seemed to work. While searching through a Pottery Barn catalog, I discovered this Glass Cabinet. It was the wrong color red and had a price tag of $1499.00 plus $150. shipping. (See top picture.) But I really liked the style and the size was perfect. I cut out the picture and kept it in my ideas book. Everytime I went into a thrift store, I would look in the furniture section to see if they had anything similar. Never found anything remotely like my "Dream Cabinet".

Fast forward.

Today I get to brag on my DH. He is retired and now works for a realty company doing various handyman type jobs. The middle picture is from an email he received asking him to remove this "large cabinet" from a home. The new owners didn't want it and since it was a repo the previous owners didn't take it. He called me into his office to look at the picture and asked if I thought I might use it in my little garage for storage of my treasures. I said lets go look. When we saw it, we were overwhelmed at the size of the thing. Over 12 feet in length with four huge glass doors. Much too big for my garage so we thought maybe our son could use it in his. As we looked closer, we realized that it was solid oak and very well built. It appeared to be made in four pieces. We left wondering what we could possible do with such a big piece. My DH was convinced that it needed to go the thrift store.

A few days later, I was looking through my idea book and saw my dream cabinet and began to see the similarities of the two pieces. I asked my husband to look at my picture. He said lets wait and see how it comes apart when I go pick it up. He had to make two trips with our large flatbed trailer just to bring the pieces home. We measure the two outer pieces and "there was only a few inches difference between the pieces and my "Dream Cabinet". Then we noticed the crown molding and bottom molding that were a close match to my "Dream Cabinet". We decided to go for it.

DH had painted my dining room table pedestal, entertainment center, and shelves in our combo living - dining room a dark red. He does an excellent job with his sprayer. We learned from the experts who did our bedroom furniture that the secret is to lightly spray many coats of paint until you get the look you want. So he painted the cabinet.

Doesn't it look lovely. I'm so excited. It is perfect. He still has some touchup work do after installing the crown molding but I had to take a picture today. Just what I needed to complete the dining room and display my blue ceramic dinnerware. I can't believe that we were able to get my "Dream Cabinet" in the correct color for the cost of the paint and $12.00 at Home Depot for the glass knobs. Of course, I owe it all to my wonderful DH.

Hope you like my little story.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Paper Doll Card

Last evening I attended a Paper Doll Card Class at Mystic Paper in downtown Mesa. The class was taught by Meri Wiley. We had our choice of four cards. You can see all four examples here. Meri had the classroom full of wonderful fabric and embellishments. We choose our paperdoll and then we began to dress our doll. We used Stickles to add sparkle, made skirts from lovely fabric, and added many more "pretties" to complete our card. Such a great group and Meri did a super job teaching us how make the cards. We left with more dolls to dress at home. A fun class. Check out all the great classes at Mystic Paper.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Krayon Keeper - Crayon Caddy

I designed this Krayon Keeper this morning for my granddaughters first day of kindergarden. On Monday, August 10th, she will begin her all-day experience at Highland Elementary School in Mesa. Seems like only yesterday we were seeing her for the first time at the hospital. How time flies. She was in Early Learner's Half-Day last year.

I had seen some posts on the crayon caddies and after searching for patterns, I didn't see one that I liked. So I sat down and designed my own pattern "Krayon Keeper". This pattern is completely sewn on the machine. There are no bindings to be attached, no hems to be sewn, and it's a double layer. I think it looks great and will be very durable. Just throw in the machine if it needs cleaning. I made this one to fit a box of 16 regular crayons but plan to make one for the larger crayons that come in a box of 8.

If anyone would like a copy of this pattern, please a reply on my most current blog entry. Please leave your email address and I will email you a copy of the pattern.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fab Four Goodie Bags

Many years ago I endured a horrible weekend class for teachers taught by two incompetent instructors from the U of A. The class met on Friday evening and all day Saturday for three weeks. On the first Saturday four of us decided to go to lunch and have a margaritta. It made the afternoon go a little faster. We did the same the next Saturday and by the third Saturday we were a little group and decided to continue to meet on a regular basis. We call our group the FAB FOUR. Since that time long ago, we have continued to meet. We have supported each other through illnesses, deaths of parents and friends, weddings, births of grandchildren, retirements, and other occasions of celebration and sorrow. Most recently they have been a great support to me after the death of our son last year. From that terrible class came a wonderful support system. Something good did indeed come from something terrible. I love them all and tell them regularly.

We continue to meet and have a tradition of bringing gifts once a year to the group. I have summer this year and these are the bags I designed for the three other women. I purchased the bags and attached their felt initials with tulle. Inside are goodies that I collected over the past year with a garden theme. We will have lunch at the Red Robin this week (isn't that appropriate for a garden theme!) and they will receive their bag of goodies.

Shades of Ivory Quiltie

The color theme for Quilties in August on Fabric in Altered Art is "Shades of Ivory". This little quiltie was made from two pieces I picked up in a bag of linens at the thrift store. I brought them home and immediately washed and dried the items. I think they are homemade on someone's embroidery machine. They were probably intended as napkins are hankies but they are now a lovely quiltie for the swap. Usually I use Peltex for my quilties but I used warm and natural this time. The embellishment is also a thrift store find. I think they were left over from a wedding. There were probably 20 of these little goodies in various shapes and sizes. I have used a number of them in my art and still have a few left for future projects.

This completes my August swap pieces. Now to get everything ready to mail.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Message from Altered Couture

I received a very exciting message from Beth Livesay, the new editor of Altered Couture magazine. It seems she has been working on Stampington & Company's new publication Apron.ology and obviously liked the apron I submitted to that publication. The email was to encourage me to submit altered clothing to Altered Couture for possible publication. At first I thought it must be a mass mailing but it was not. It was a personal message from Beth.

I replied that I had just finished a collage vintage purse and matching vintage gloves. I will be submitting them to the magazine this week. I will probably try to come up with another idea for Altered Couture and may submit an "apron-all" to Apron.ology. I think both publication deadlines are September 15th.

This is all new to me as I just had my first submission published in the latest edition of Altered Couture. Fun! Fun! Fun!

By the Sea August ATC

The theme for Mystic Paper's August drop-off ATC swap is "By the Sea". I found this fabric in my stash. I purchased it last year at Granny's Attic and made a convergence quilt from part of the fabric. I cut the sailboat image from the fabric and added vintage trim and lace to bottom of the card. I embellished the clouds with Stickles. The back of the card is a smiling sun cut from the same fabric. I will add my info to the back before dropping off the ATCs.

I'm working to get all my swaps completed before I leave on vacation.

August Quiltie -Recycled

The theme for quilties on the Fabric in Altered Group for August is "Recycled". This is my recycled quiltie. The front "fabric" is the interior of a Frito bag. I painted it with copper Adirondack paint. I hand stitched two butterflies cut from fabric on the recycled "fabric" and made beads from a recycled FedEx mailer painted with the same paint. The painted mailer was then cut into long triangles and rolled around a toothpick. The piece was then heated with a heat gun. The result was these beautiful beads. I stitched the word FLY and added the word recycle with a sharpie. The back is a recycled bubble mailer with a flower from the same fabric as butterflies. The flower was stitched onto the mailer. As I sewed the flower, I noticed that the bubbles would flated when poked with needle. "Idea" - why not leave air in the bubbles behind the flower and poke all other bubbles? The flower is now puffed and the remainer is flattened. The front and back were attached with a blanket stitch. The entire piece has a rustic look.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Black and White Fabric Postcard

The theme for postcards in August on Fabric in Altered Arts is Black and White. This is my postcard for the swap. The photo is one of the free ones from Dover. Dover is an excellent source of free clip art and art images. The fabric is a Civil War print from Granny's Attic. I selected the word Dream because she seems to have this "far away" look in her eyes. On the reverse of the postcard I have printed " Dreams are illustrations...from the book your soul is writing about you. - Marsha Norman"

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fabric in Altered Arts Wallhanging

I just received this lovely wallhanging in the mail. It is from a swap on Fabric in Altered Arts and was made by the very talented Cathy. I couldn't believe that I received such a lovely piece in pink because my studio is pink and green and the wallhanging looks lovely on the pink wall. Here is a link to the wallhanging that I made for the swap.

Fabric book pages

Altered Art Fabric Book

I joined a swap on Fabric in Altered Arts group for a 1 on 1 fabric book swap. These are the front and back pages of the book. I will post interior pages later. The general rules were pages 5" to 7" with at least 10 decorated pages. Theme is our choice. Mine is 6" x 6" with 12 decorated pages. They are due in mid September but I will be traveling two weeks in August and we have a cruise scheduled in September. I am trying to keep ahead in my swaps so I finished my book yesterday. Will post more pics later.

My theme is summer. I purchased a summer themed fabric page with preprinted images at Mystic Paper. I also purchased a few sheets of Graphic 45 Botanicabella Collection paper and a cute little Birds & Botanicals journal book at the shop. I used fabric and embellishments from my stash. I am very pleased with the little book. Hope my partner Debi likes it.