Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Little Pink Ranches

I may have to rethink my goal of finishing by New Year's Day 2010. I quilted all day today and now when I close my eyes, I see stitches!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Race Is On!

I found this wonderful box of reproduction western hankies at my favorite quilt shop and absolutely, positively had to have them! Of course they are much too spectacular to ever use as an actual hanky, so what did I do? I made them into a quilt!
Last New Year's Day, I got busy and made the entire quilt top in one day. A few months later, I put the layers together and quilted the center. And then it sat. The cat claimed it as her afternoon napping place all summer long and into the fall. Now that the New Year is rolling around, one of my resolutions is going to be to finish some of my projects. So I set a goal...to quilt one square a day and try to finish this quilt by New Year's Day. Yes, New Year's Day, 2010! I've kept my goal for the past 3 days. Now I'm going to post a square a day. Here's the first one:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


What I love about collage is the instant gratification. Not that I mind spending years on a quilt, but sometimes it's fun to start something in the morning and finish it the same day.

This creation was made at Art and Soul in Lisa Kaus's Gridlocked class. Her class was magical from the moment we stepped into her classroom. Music was playing and each student's place was set with a vintage school-lunch tray in a gorgeous shade of aqua, filled with supplies and fun extras. We learned to use graphite sticks and water-soluble crayons to create a background that we could stamp, collage, and attach 3-D elements to. After we we done, we coated it in beeswax for extra dimension. It was joyous to spend a day coloring and gluing and making a mess!

My collage tells a story of travels with my husband. Let's start from the top. There's a piece of a calendar that shows a month of Mondays to represent time off when the rest of the world is facing the start of the workweek.
The egg and the tulip stand for new beginnings and the crowned goose and the surprised boy are for the many unusual things we see and experience. A game card that says "STOP" is a reminder of the times that things have not gone as planned, and yet we always manage to turn it into a new adventure. 75 miles stands for the times when we are so near, yet so far from our destination. The tape measure is for all of the times my sweetheart has done his research ahead of time and surprised me with a detour to a fabric store, a quilt show, or some other "all-about-me" destination. Chef Fish is for the unusual restaurants we try on our adventures. The cartoon stars are for the times our nerves are frayed and we get snappy.
Mended hearts are because travel is good for the soul and pencils are for sending postcards to those we leave behind in our native land. Stars and moons are there because we love to drive at night; leopard skin and a glamorous image are because we like to travel in style and pretend we are famous. Finally, a heart and a wilted sunflower mean that it's good to be home again, our garden missed us!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bah Humbug!

The tacky sweater turned out fantastic!  As my brave husband entered the room, he was greeted by laughter, which was just the response we were going for. Don't you love the mini pockets on the Grinch's sweatshirt?!

To make the applique, I cut a stuffed Grinch in half, flattened him out and hand-sewed him on the sweater.  
I liked his poochy belly, so I put some of his stuffing back in the midriff area.  

I made a frame for Mr. Grinch using garland and battery-powered LED lights.  The battery pack is inside the sweater in a pocket that I attached behind his stomach.

We didn't win the contest, but we left them laughing for sure!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tacky Sweater Fixin's

The blank canvases:

The embellishments:
I love competition, so when our staff was challenged to a Tacky Christmas Sweater Contest, the creative wheels started spinning out of control!  I rushed off to the local Goodwill where I found inspiration everywhere!  I am going to make two of the tackiest sweaters ever seen.  Let the games begin!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cowgirl Shrine

Yee Haw! She's done and she's a beauty. Meet Ruby, a cute little cowgirl made from a vanilla-extract bottle, a tin nicho, and other assorted junk. She lives in a shrine adorned with leather barbed wire, rusty tin hearts, and plastic six shooters. And if that weren't enough, she has a light installed in her "sky" to bring a glow to her world after dark.