Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm gonna dream about eBay tonight!!

Do you ever do that? When you work hard on something all day, then you dream about it at night? Well, I've been tending to my eBay store , adding lots of new stuff that I had been meaning to for ages. I do most items with Best Offer, but I do get a little cranky when someone offers less than half price on one item. I'll be listing a bunch of single items at auction starting at .01. These are all new books, but not the 'latest' books. I've added 2 new lines from MODA. I don't usually get so much fabric, but hey, this was named "HELLO BETTY" by Chloe's Closet. (Chloe is my new granddaughters name). How could I resist??

Also found three vintage pillow covers at an estate sale before Christmas. Going to list those this evening as well. Don't know much about them but hopefully someone will find them and want them. After spending many hours doing updates, and having to re-create every listing due to rule changes that ebay implented about shipping charges. I ended up spending way more time on each entry than usual. Tomorrow, back to work quilting for the quilt show. Have several custom quilts that need some special attention. Today, I just couldn't bring myself to work on those and just quilted easy peasy pantos.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

For The Birds !!!

We had a great Christmas, we are so blessed to have so much and such caring family members. We had agreed ahead of time to make gifts this year, and a few of the great gifts we received from the kids are pictured. Lindsey made the sign in the first picture. She had requested stuff to do 'welding' for her birthday last year. This is what she made. I love it!
The next picture has a cool bird house- see the white one? Robert made that one. It's really cool, a little upscale from our other ones. Some of the black circles are 'blanks' . I'm waiting to see a unsuspecting bird fly into a paint spot. No, they seem to have it figured out that there are fake holes. At least I haven't seen any lying on the ground.
Today was another great day in Houston. Think I heard it made it up into the 70's. The sun was shining, and it was pleasant outside.
Spent a good portion of the day in my studio today. Got a couple more bookshelves to put fabric inventory in. Hubby forbid me to get any more shelves. Had a bit of a problem with the second one last night, and had to ask for his help putting it together. Everytime I would 'almost' have it together, the stupid thing would collapse. But, since he had his nail gun out, I drug the other shelf and let him strengthen it as well. Spent the rest of today cleaning and organizing my studio. Just have one corner that is still 'not organized' (meaning stuff in piles), but since I have Bee meeting there in March, I have a good deadline to get it done. We'll be having an all day sew-in, so I have to clear things anyway to make room for everyone.
Finished up a custom quilt and a t-shirt quilt for another customer this weekend. Don't get to count those as personal finishes. Hopefully, after the quilt show next month, I'll get a chance to work on something of mine.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stuff I Want to TRY / DO in 2009

Ideas that have been bouncing around in the back of my head for quite some time. I think putting it writing will get me one step closer to doing it!

These are things that I have always wanted to do, or maybe tried once long long ago and would like to re-visit.

Make silver DANGLE earrings - My friend Linda Minton is going to give us lessons at our retreat in March. I got so excited that I got beads and supplies for SEVERAL projects. See last post for some of the beads that I bought.

Learn to do peyote BEADING - Poor Linda, she dosen't know what she is getting into! I'm counting on her for this one as well! LOL

Carve my own STAMP - We did this in high school art class. I remember I made a closeup of a snail crawling through blades of grass. Made one or two prints, and don't remember whatever happened to it.

Create a ZENTANGLE - Ran across this. How cool! Might buy the kit for someone's birthday in April! Check out their website.

KNIT A pair of socks- Started knitting scarves over Christmas. Am working up to SOCKS.

PRINT my own design on fabric - Bought some cool software at Houston Quilt Festival. It is specifically for working with your designs and printing on fabric. Have loaded the software on computer. Next step. . .

Maintain an ART JOURNAL - Got the journal, now just need to get the courage to put MY drawings and ideas on paper. What if someone looks at it??? That is my fear, and what I have to overcome.

Complete a BTB CHALLENGE - First challenge for Beyond the Borders is due in April 2009. Size 20" long by 6 to 12 inches wide. Theme is TREES. Restriction: NO GREEN

Make a fabric FLOOR QUILT- Have all the stuff.... See the book by Ellen Highsmith Silver

Make time for 6 WORKSHOPS - My quilt guild sponsors a workshop nearly every month with nationally known speakers. I learn something from every one that I take.

FINISH one UFO per month - I literally have over a hundred to choose from. Got January done last week!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Project for 2009

OK, I know my resolutions were to finish up projects, and 'try' not to start new projects unless I really plan to get them finished. I agreed to join this swap with my Monday morning Bee (The Katy Rotary Club" to do the pattern "Around the Block" by the Rabbit Factory. Cynthia Regone, local talent extraordinaire is organizing the swap in our Bee. This looks like a fun quilt, and most of the Bee members are participating. Cynthia is a good teacher and she will break this down into easily done steps that all of us will be able to get it done.

The first step was to make 18 9-patches that are red and cream. Red on the inside (negative blocks). Those are due tomorrow and I am done with those blocks. Off to a great start!

Now, for the other project(s) that I bought stuff for is BEADING! My artsy friend Linda Minton is going is give us some beading lessons at our retreat in March. After our FML lunch last Monday we stopped at Beadaholic and found lots of cool things. I'm really chomping at the bit to get started on some of these.

The green beads are for a bracelet, not sure how to describe the bracelet, but you use silver wire and little groups of 7 crystals. Stay tuned for pictures when that is done.

On this project, the turquoise will be the focal point, and Linda is going to show how to make some sort of braid with the other beads. I forgot what kind of braid she called it, but sounds cool. The beads are a chocolately brown, turquoise and a muted gold color. None of these beads are shiny, and are all colors that are in the round turqoise piece.

These red beads are for a pair of earrings. I want to do some twirly girly twists with a few of the black beads in the silver, and then wrap some silver wire around the triangles. Hopefully Linda will be able to understand what I'm looking for. I think that this project will be fairly simple - Except - trying to make both earrings look the same!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Favorite Quilts

How many of you have a favorite quilt? This old lap quilt was the first quilt that I quilted on a longarm. Back in 2000 during an ice storm, I pieced this flannel quilt, did a medium size meander after taking a longarm class at Quilters Nook in Tulsa, OK (shop now closed). Anyway, even though my dog teethed on the corners of this quilt, and chewed a hole through the middle of it, it is still my favorite quilt, and the one that is in my chair (or over my legs) year round.

In 2000, after working on the quilt above, I started another quilt; a calendar type quilt from "Joined at the Hip". Can't find the pattern on their website any longer so am guessing that it is out of print. I really like working on this quilt. I did it all with flannels and each block has a basket, flowers and a star tucked in somewhere. I did a freehand McTavishing/flame kind of filler around the baskets. I'm entering it in the quilt show next month and titled it "Flowers, Baskets and Stars, Oh My" for lack of a better name! I wonder if this will replace my 'old faithful' quilt that I have brought with me to quilting retreats, car trips and snuggled under for the past 7 or 8 years! Finally moving the Baskets quilts from UFO's to FINSHED! Yippee.

I picked up my knitting needles in December while family was visiting. Since I couldn't spend time out in my studio, I had to do something to keep my hands busy. So, I finished two scarves, one pictured that goes with my new leather coat, and the other one I gave to Lindsey. I started a third one, but haven't finished that one. Not as happy with the third one as the color changes look rather funky. I'm thinking about pulling that out and starting over with a different stitch.

The pattern was pretty simple. Use size 17 needles, get your hubby to cast on 10 stitches, then do a knit stitch on every row until it is the length you want. Cast off. Bury the ends. My daughter said to NOT put fringe on it, so that made it even simpler! Oh - you're wondering about hubby casting on for me? That's because I've got a lot more experience with a crochet hook than knitting needles, and he remembers how to do from when he watched him mom do it as a kid. How cool is that?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Stashbusting - 2009

My New Years Resolutions always include something about STASHBUSTING, some times I do better than others. I think I did much better in 2007 than 2008. So, my goal is to at least do better than 2008!

Fabric added this week: 0 yards (of course I haven't been shopping yet, and it is only the 6th)
Fabric added year to date: 0 yards
Fabric used this week: 6 yards (Backing for a UFO Quilt-yippee)
Fabric used year to date: 6 yards
Net fabric busted: 6 yards

All RIGHT! Off to a great start. The quilt is loaded on the longarm, so will show pictures after finished. Actually going to enter something in the quilt show next month!

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Year, New Goals, New Directions

Well, 2008 was certainlyl an eventful year. My first granddaughter was born, survived my first hurricane (we evacuated for Rita), bought land for retirement, saw a black man elected president. Hmm, all that was just in the last quarter of 2008. That's not to say nothing happened the rest of the year. Just that those rather over-shadow the first part of the year!

We had the whole family here for Christmas, and Chloe has grown so much, and is such a cutie. This picture she is just over 3 months.

Was nice to have everyone here. Why is it that Lindsey is always in her pajamas when we take a picture? In the background are the palm trees that Jon got me for Christmas. I loved the palm trees at our old house, and these will make a nice screen between us and the new house behind us.

My daughter Lindsey is the artsy one. She designs product packaging for HEB, a regional grocery store in Texas, and this was one of the labels that she put on the homemade goodies that she made for Christmas. Her finance is the 'meat' guy at HEB and Lindseys last name is Baker. Harley made venison jerky and Lindsey made some awesome cornbread and hot pepper jelly.