Saturday, March 31, 2012

Studio Saturday

As I briefly mentioned in my FAL post earlier, I'm feeling a little down. I don't want to go into details because it's mostly work related, but it affecting my mood and motivation. That includes the projects I have to do this weekend for school, so I will be working on them all day Sunday.

First up is my photography project. Portraits is the theme and she wanted us to print them onto a material other than paper/photo paper. I chose to do self portraits that included Jameson and Angus, and then printed them onto fabric.

This is what they look like now. I have some finishing to do with them, obviously. I will be sewing them to a duck cloth backing and then edging them with eyelet trim that I tea dyed today. I also need to go pick up some grommets so that I can link them together.

Self Portraits

The photos aren't as exact in lining up as I would have liked, but it still works. Someone in my class thought I took one photograph and then just split it in two on the computer. It is actually two seperate images though.

In sculpture, we are still working on sculpting the nothing. I honestly haven't even started creating my sculpture, though I do know what I am going to do finally. I was having a hard time taking my idea from something literal to beyond that. Nothing to show here though, so look for it next week. This is due on Wednesday so I will be starting it asap.

In painting, we painted a self-portrait and then worked on painting the figure. I don't like the paintings I did at all, and most are still at school, so I'm not going to show those. We are supposed to paint another portrait painting, using the painting studio at school. I prefer to work at home though, so I have been putting this off. Tomorrow I need to go there to recover a large frame for our next painting, so I will be taking my camera with so I can shoot photographs of myself in the room and then use those to paint from. I'm toying with taking painting away from actual paint and instead, thread painting with my sewing machine.

The large canvas is going to be used to create a painting about a current issue. We had to go around the group naming current issues as ideas, but I was a little stumped and didn't even know what most people were talking about. Due to my schedule, I don't pay attention to the news at all and if I know what is going on, it's because I hear something on the radio or at work, or Chad tells me about it.

The issue I named in class was with the oil boom going on in North Dakota. Thinking about it though, I'm not sure how to paint that, so luckily the lottery was a topic that has been brought up a lot lately by people around me. Mostly in the sense of, "This is going to be the last time you talk to me because I have the winning ticket". I just laughed because everyone at work was saying the same thing. I told one person that we (ie Chad) buy lottery tickets, but that's our Plan B. They responded, dumbfounded, wondering what our Plan A was. Of course, for us, Plan A is to work, earn money to pay our bills and move towards our dream, living below our means. Plan B would get us there faster, but Plan A will do the same eventually. That person laughed at me and said the lottery was their Plan A. Thus sprung up imagery for me to use. I was a little worried I would show up to class on Tuesday without an idea, and then spend the entire class time overthinking or forcing something that wasn't there for me.

So, that's all I have to sum up this week. I'm going to get to work on this list, and then spend some down time catching up with my blog reading and email. Hope your weekend is treating you well!

FAL Quarter 1 Recap

End of the first quarter already? I still love the idea of Rhonda's Finish-a-Long, but I should have know better than to think I could finish five things on top of everything else. I did get one out of five done, so at least there's that.

(I'm a little down today because of all of my obligations. My part time job suddenly turned into full time hours this week, so put that with my full time classes and the three studio projects I need done early next week, I'm a bit overwhelmed.)

My goals for this quarter were to complete the following:

1. Garter Stitch scarf - still a WIP. Can I blame my lack of motivation on our unseasonably warm winter? Going on to the list for next quarter.

2. Halloween Mini - DONE!

Halloween Mini

3. Sewing Machine Cover - I have been plugging away on this one, but I still have a way to go. Going on the list for next quarter.

4. Late (very late) Wedding Present - this hasn't been touched for awhile. Going on the list for next quarter.

5. Drunkard's Path Quilt - honestly, I think the only times I've even touched this is to move it around my sewing room. Yes, I'm hanging my head in shame. Going on the list for next quarter.

My idea for this year was to have five WIPs to tackle and optimistically, finishing all five. Well I have four already and so just one spot. But I also thought I was going to finish one of the three larger quilts on my WIP list each quarter. That didn't happen, so do I add a second quilt and try to make both of them, or do I skip this quarter and hope to finish them all by the end of the year anyway? I don't expect answers for you guys, just putting out the questions running through my head right now. Good thing I have a week to decide on this.

I'm double posting today, so I will be back shortly with my studio update.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WIP Wednesday

I have to make this short because of the amount of homework I need to squeeze into the next couple hours. Linking this up to Freshly Pieced.


Project Quilting Challenge: Zig Zag - Yes! I finally finished one of these within the time constraints. And I completely love what I created. For more information, please read this post.

Project Quilting Challenge: Zig Zag

Progress Made:

Mini QT Swap - so close to being done with this one. I won't be able to mail until Friday and once she receives it, I will show you what I made.

Sneak Peek: Movies

Wild Olive Swap - another one that I'm so close to being done with. Also won't be mailed until Friday.

Wild Olive Swap WIP

No Progress:

Hand Pieced QAL - I have been wanting to make more of these blocks, but have restrained myself because of other deadlines. After this week though, I may plow ahead with them.

Typography Challenge - I'm hoping to get this one done still. Friday and Saturday should be enough for it.

Sewing Machine Cover

Garter Stitch Scarf

Project Quilting Challenge: It's Where I Live

Tangerine Tango Challenge

Sparkle QAL

1912 Project: February Pattern

Quilt Challenge of the Month: February (Cathedral Windows)

Quilt Challenge of the Month: March (Leaders and Enders)

(Late) Wedding Present

Nesting Place class - well the class instruction is over, but thankfully will be available for some time.

Dessert of the Month Club: January

Dessert of the Month Club: February

Dessert of the Month Club: March

Drunkard's Path QAL

Zig Zag QAL

2012 Color Challenge: January

2012 Color Challenge: February

2012 Color Challenge: March

Curves Class projects

Made in Cherry QAL

Embroidery Journal Project: January

Embroidery Journal Project: February

Embroidery Journal Project: March

Embroidered Ornaments

Project Quilting Challenge: Music

Project Quilting Challenge: Tools

Project Quilting Challenge: Barn Quilts

Pretty Little Pouch Swap - after this weekend, I will be working on this one.


Nothing this week.

That's is for me! I hope your Wednesday is treating you well. I will be making my rounds after catching up with my schoolwork.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Little WIP and A Little Mail Loveliness

With the end of the month approaching, I have a couple deadlines for some swaps and other things. One that I was going back and forth about what to do was for the Wild Olive Swap. We are stitching up a 4" hoop filled with whatever our secret partner suggested. My partner didn't give me much to go on - just colors she likes - so I wasn't sure of what I would stitch.

I finally settled on this vintage transfer of a teapot. As you can see, I'm almost done with the stitching, and then just have to finish it so it can be hung. I should be done with it tomorrow. I still want to pick up a couple little things to include and then it can go into the mail!

Wild Olive Swap WIP

Speaking of mail, I received a beautiful mug rug from Krista yesterday. She offered it up to the first person to claim it, after getting a little something in the mail from another blogger. I think it's too nice to get messy, so I will be hanging it up on the wall.

Mug Rug in the Mail

Though not a requirement of receiving this, I like the spirit of passing something pretty on. Look for that from me in the near future (I can't promise any certain date right now!).

I've put off my paper long enough so now I need to run off to work. See you tomorrow for an update on my WIP list!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Scenes From a Sunday

I spent most of Sunday in my sewing room working on this and that. Here's a couple sneak peeks of my mini for the Mini QT Swap on Flickr. The theme is movies and in this swap we know who are partner is. I don't want to show too much because she will definately know what I'm up to. These two photos are prior to any stitching.

Sneak Peek: Movies

Sneak Peek: Movies

I also took a long walk with my dogs. Angus found a new piece of rawhide that some other dog must have lost. He carried it back home and settled on the grass to start working on it. We don't allow rawhide in the house. Jameson was a bit put off because there was only one piece, but anytime I've had some for both, they still fight over the same one. He was forced to stay indoors until Angus was finished chewing, then I switched them around and let Jameson chew for awhile.
Chad took my bicycle out of the shed and filled my tires so I can start riding for the season. Because of it, I took a ride before the sun set. I didn't go far because I honestly am not in the best shape for a long ride. This is on my list of goals for the summer though and I start that goal today. Nothing can happen until you start, after all.


My weekend was relaxing despite how much work I did in the sewing room and kitchen. How was your weekend?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chase Patterns Mini

I completed this for the Project Quilting Challenge at Kim's Crafty Apple. This is the last challenge for this season and the challenge this week is on the zig zag. My title for this piece is "Chase Patterns" and it measures 17" x 32".

Project Quilting Challenge: Zig Zag

Of course to approach this theme, I didn't want to go with the regular zig zag arrangement. It was pure coincidence that the day before I had decided to use my Oakshott charm squares in a mini with HSTs. At that point, I wasn't sure of my direction but intended to play around with the colors and value differences in each charm.

When I read that this challenge was to do with zig zags, I decided to use this idea with the challenge. I have also been thinking about zig zags in nature. That landed me on how prey runs from predators in a zig zag formation. My dogs also do this when they chase each other. These two scenerios are different but the patterns are the same.

Project Quilting Challenge: Zig Zag

I sketched out this idea and also thought I would add on appliques of various animals of prey to put on top of the zig zags. Due to time constraints early in the week, I only got as far as prepping the charms instead of diving into this idea. I'm glad I had the time to think about it more as it seems like the theme for this past week as been to get away from the literal.

I had placed the charms into pairs, first with complimentary colors, moving into value differences, and then pairing up using the different colors in these shot cottons. I wanted a variety of color play to work with. Once I sewed up the charms into HSTs using Jenelle's quick tutorial (I know I keep pimping this, but it really works so well!), I set out to play around with arrangements. All I knew going into it was that I wanted one dominant zig zag to show up and then place the other pieces in varying ways.

Project Quilting: Zig Zag

After seeing this laid out on the floor, I decided to nix the idea of adding any applique. I think my inspiration speaks for itself with just the erratic zig zags and the addition of applique would have been too much.

I went back and forth on how to quilt this and in the end, decided to do straight lines in the ditch. I used a gray thread so it wouldn't stand out too much against the fabrics. My other idea on quilting was to stitch along each zig zag, but I wasn't too sure on it. Maybe in a future piece I will try that.

The backing is the same as the binding as I tried out the wrap from the back method of binding. I have never done this before, and while I ran into one issue of not having enough backing in a corner, it went well. I may use this method from now on for quilts that I intend to be hung on the wall or laid on a table.

This quilt is starting me on my path to where I want to be with both my sewing and art. It is not perfect by any means, but I love it all the same. It will be hung proudly on one of the walls in my sewing room as a reminder to do what I love instead of what someone else says is right. Not only do I like it, but I lost track of time working on it, staying up until an hour that was closer to sunrise instead of sunset.

Please feel free to tell me what you think about it. I will not be offended if you do not like it or see areas for improvement. I see flaws and my sensitivity to picking apart my work is gone after a few years of critiques at school. I really have a passion for making this my living and want honest feedback. If you don't feel comfortable leaving me a comment here, you may also email me directly with your thoughts.

This is the last challenge this season, like I mentioned, and I am already looking forward to the next one. I do have the pieces to finish for the challenges I have ideas for and I also intend to work through all of the past challenges in the meantime. If you are interested in stretching yourself with your quilting, I do urge you to take a look at Kim's website for more information.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

FTLOS: Partner Received!

Finally, my partner has received her items! The package sat in the post office in her city for a week before getting to her. Long story, but it has to do with the mail forwarding process. I'm just relieved it got there as I've been driving myself crazy checking the mail at my house for it.

Since she has what I made, I can now share photos with you. My partner was Whitney who made a mosiac of many modern items. There was a lot of improv piecing so I dived in to give that a try. She asked for a sewing machine cover as one of her items and that's what I went with. Also, her color inspiration came from Kate Spain's 'Fandango' which is where I started.

FTLOS Swap Items Sent

Here's the cover. I opted to make one with ties and wanted to personalize it. I improv pieced strips of three colors: greens, blues, and yellows. To make her name, I did reverse applique. It was quite the process and worked out in the end. I wasn't sure about it until I zigzagged around each letter and then added the hand stitches. The quilting is organic straight lines. I thought that went more with the improv idea rather than total straight quilting.

Sewing Machine Cover

Sewing Machine Cover

Close up of Reverse Applique

Sewing Machine Cover

As for the small item, I used some of the improv pieced strip to make a pouch. I don't recall how big it was now, somewhere around 9" at the longest edge I think.



I also included two fat quarters of peacock fabric since her blog title has peacock in it and at the time of making, her Flickr picture was a peacock feather.

Fat Quarters

Now as for those squares I shared on Friday? They are finally sewn together and I'm contemplating how to quilt them. I will be finishing this up before I go to bed so I can meet the noon deadline tomorrow. Back then to show you the final result!

Studio Saturday

I'm going to start off with my master painting that was due on Tuesday. The artist I chose was Rene Magritte and before spring break I wasn't sure which painting I was going to copy. I finally went with The Lost Jockey and am glad I did. I do love the giraffe one too and may use it as inspiration to create something with a giraffe.

Master Copy

I can't say that I got this one dead on. To get the layout right, I gridded both a print out and the paper I painted on. I found numerous colorings online so I went to our library and found this painting in a book. The book image had a mauve sky so that is what I used for colors. Books are more accurate than the computer. We were to paint it the same size and use the same materials as well. This piece is gauche on paper. I have never painted with gauche before and really should have done a few practice paintings first to get a feel for how it goes on paper. I really liked painting with it and will probably invest in more colors.

Chad loves my version of this painting and wants to frame it. I'm pretty proud of it too and am loving the way that Magritte created his trees. I may take that into future work as well.

The project I have to blame for me not getting much time to work on anything else was for my painting class. On Tuesday, we were assigned to paint ten paintings of a single object. Oh, and this was due on Thursday. Between my other classes and my late nights at work, I had only an afternoon to work on them. But I finished and am happy with most of them.

10 Paintings

My object is an adorable kitchen timer that was given to me by a friend. To create the ten different paintings, I used a variety of materials and techniques. I also took it as an opportunity to try out some new-to-me materials and see how they reacted. This assignment was graded, so I wasn't just going to turn in crap, but he wanted some creativity.

10 Paintings

I had this same instructor for a drawing class and he assigned a similar assignment for that (except it was 25 drawings to be done in two days). I had fun doing it then and took it as time to play and stretch myself. I can't say that I went quite as far with this one, although if we had to do 25, I would have got there eventually. One of the pieces I did for drawing was a collage made of dog food and treats (my object for that was a dog mannequin).

10 Paintings

On a side note about painting, I'm finding that I love water-based media more than oil. In high school, I loved to paint with oils. I even bought paints with the money I was making working after school and painted so many things. I did eventually get rid of most of these because they were horrible paintings. Time and other distractions got me away from painting altogether until recent years when I took up watercolors. I'm kind of amused at this change and am going to try to sell my remaining oil paints from this class as I won't be using them again. If that changes again, I can just buy new ones.

10 Paintings

I haven't progressed beyond my test shots for my photography project. It's been so humid lately and my hair goes pretty crazy. Even though this is for a class project, I still want it to look good. I have trouble taming it too (and it's made more difficult because I am trying to wean myself off of using a hair dryer). Also, she has been surprising us with showing our projects, or in the case of the last one, wanting us to make postcards and sell them. Another reason I have vanity issues here.

10 Paintings

I'm hoping for an overcast day over the weekend so the lighting is right for photographs. I will be shooting them with film and want to get into the darkroom to process them. If they don't turn out, I will just use my digital camera as my plan B.

10 Paintings

I do have samples of printing on different things, but they really aren't that exciting. We were to use non-digital papers (honestly, I had never heard of digital paper before a couple weeks ago), fabrics, and non-porous surfaces. I printed on handmade paper, canvas paper, osnaburg, some Kona cotton, plastic, and pleather. The pleather didn't work too well though. I still haven't decided what material I'm going to print on for the final projects. She gave me some ideas, but I'm not really into them. I do want this to be visually pleasing to me.

10 Paintings

Finally, my sculpture project is stalled. My instructor likes my concept but thinks my visual representation is too literal. I think most ideas start out this way and the artist works with them enough to arrive at something that isn't. I left class early on Wednesday after having a slight breakdown that involved tears (thank you, stress and not sleeping) and came home to take a nap. While in the near-sleep stage, I did come up with a couple other ways to show my idea.

10 Paintings

Yes, I'm being a little vague. I kind of think this project will need its own post. Let's just say, that my feelings on technology are going to be addressed here as well and the project is dealing with the concept of nothing. Since I have nothing to show you, I don't think explaining it will make any sense.

10 Paintings

That about sums up this week for school. Due next week is a self portrait for painting and then just working on the projects in my other classes. They are not due this upcoming week so expect some more on them next Saturday.

10 Paintings

I'm going to do my painting and write a paper, but also work in some time to sew, cook meals for the week ahead, and some cleaning. How about you?

So Many Colors

It's late, but I wanted to share my progress on my Project Quilting piece. I mentioned I was going to use Jenelle's tutorial on quick HST and it really was quick. Of course, I didn't have time to get this far in one sitting, but a little sewing here, a little cutting there, and then finally some pressing today, and I have 200 pieces to arrange now.


I'm going to play with them a bit before going to bed and then I'm hoping to sew them up tomorrow. Over the course of this week, I have changed my plan a bit, and I'm excited about finishing this up.

See you tomorrow for my studio update!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I've Been Tagged!

I was planning on writing out answers to the questions Jennie at Clover & Violet posted for her linky when I discovered that Toni tagged me in her post. So, I'm going to answer 22 random questions.

To break it up, I have some test shots I took today for my photography project. We are doing portraits and I decided to do two self portraits showing my relationship with each of my dogs. These turned out ok but I'm leaning towards taking some in film and then processing them. To sum it up, I'm holding Jameson because he is a little needy and loves to cuddle. Angus is sitting still only because I'm holding a treat. I want to show his perky personality in the final images and him begging is pretty spot on for that.


Questions from Jennie:

1. When you look at your stash, is there one color that dominates it?

I don't think any single color stands out. I love all colors though some are not as represented as others. I would say I have the least of oranges and yellows.

2. If you didn't quilt, what other artsy/crafty pursuit would you follow?

Well, I already do other things. I sew all types of items, I knit and crochet, love embroidery, drawing and painting, cooking and baking...

3. If you could hire a maid to clean only one part of your house, what would it be?

Bathrooms, hands down.

4. If you do/did work a 9-5 job, what is it/would it be?

I guess you could consider my "9-5" to be school and then I also work Monday-Friday evenings in the transportation industry. I do paperwork all night, which is a good balance to all of the creativity required during the day. My dream job would be to have a small farm and be able to run that and work as an artist.

5. What is the oldest item of clothing that you continue to wear?

I still wear a jacket that once belonged to my father in college. He bought it new in the late 1960's and aside from a small tear, it looks brand new. I took ownership of it when I was a teenager.

6. What is your dream vacation spot?

Just one spot? I can't pick just one, so it would be either Wales or the interior of Brazil.

7. What does your sewing space look like right now {optional: post a picture!}?

It's a mess right now. I have little free time and spend that trying to make things versus organizing. I have projects all over the place. No picture because of it!

8. If you could change your first name, what would you choose?

I used to want my name to be Kelly but I think I'm find with Katie/Katherine now.

9. If I visited your hometown, where would you take me?

Hmm... we would not stay in my hometown and instead go to one of the nearby state parks. I suppose I could also show you the sights, but there isn't much to see. I suppose we could go to one of the bars I used to hang out at. It's a biker bar with a bad reputation, but that's just the assumption from people who have never been inside.

10. How did you get started quilting?

I just decided to give it a try one day. No one in my family quilts so I don't have anyone who would have taught me.

11. What is your go-to dinner {share the recipe if so inclined!}?

I don't really have a go-to dinner. I try to eat a variety of different things, which cycle through regularly. I also don't use recipes for food other than baked goods. I cook with my senses most of the time.


Questions from Toni:

1. What is your least favorite color?

I love all colors, but tend to shy away from neon colors, unless it's neon pink.

2. What is your dream vacation, and would you take anyone with you?

A trip around the world with Chad and my dogs. I have way too many destinations I want to visit.

3. What was your first car?

A 1980's Buick. It was a beast but I loved it. I drove it for eight years until the repairs needed cost more than the car was worth.

4. How did you meet your current partner/ love interest?

We met at a former friend's house, who is Chad's neighbor, at a Fourth of July gathering. Not too long beforehand I had sworn off dating anyone for awhile but we just clicked. It was refreshing to not date someone I met at a bar or party too, as my luck with boyfriends wasn't the best in those situations. Now that I'm living next to her, we no longer speak, but for reasons not related to him and I being in a relationship.

5. What is the worst injury you've ever had?

I'm accident prone and have had many injuries. The worst was probably when I dislocated my knee in high school. It still bothers me to this day too. I also broken both of my wrists, sprained ankles, had stitches, you name it.

6. What is your favorite snack?

Either carrots with hummus or some chocolate. Depends on if I want something sweet or savory.

7. Besides quilting, do you have any other hobbies?

Yes, I sure do. Reading, music (listening and playing), cooking/baking, other sewing, creating art, photography, playing with my dogs, exploring the outdoors.

8. What is your least favorite household chore?

Cleaning the bathrooms.

9. How close do you live to the place you grew up?

I live in the same town and a few miles away from my childhood home.

10. If you had to pick a favorite quilt, which one would it be?

None are coming to mind as favorites.

11. Do you have any pet peeves that you don't mind sharing?

I do not like fake people and drivers who do not use their turn signals.


Now my turn... I am to tag 11 people and give them 11 questions to answer.

1. Are you a morning or a night person?
2. If I were to visit your hometown, where would we go?
3. Did you play any sports growing up?
4. If you didn't make quilts, how would you use your creativity?
5. What's your favorite color and why?
6. Least favorite and why?
7. Where is your favorite place on earth to be?
8. How did you meet your sigificant other/love interest?
9. What is your dream job?
10. What is your favorite movie and why?
11. What is your favorite type of music?

I'm going to tag Janine (Rainbow Hare Quilts), Sana Saroti, Jenelle (Echinops and Aster), Allison (Dreaming in Patchwork), Erin (Billy Button Design), Norine (Five Baht Elephant), Debbie (A Quilter's Table), Krista (Krista Stitched), Kelli (Seriously..I think it needs stitches), Pam (Threading My Way), and Cindy (Tops to Treasures).

I'm looking forward to seeing your answers! I must get to work now and may be back with some progress to show tomorrow. Have a good day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WIP Wednesday

The refreshed feeling I had on Sunday quickly disappeared by yesterday morning. Yep, I'm back to feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. I'm going to make this short as I have so much to do this afternoon for school.


FTLOS Swap Items - made and mailed.... and on their way back to me, I guess. I'm actually pretty annoyed right now but don't want to go in to it here. To say the least, I still can't show you what I made.

Sewn Postcard - there was interest in a swap for these. I want to be able to dedicate time to running it, so it will be coming in April or May.

Front of Postcard

Progress Made:

Mini QT Swap - I need to finish this up over the weekend.

Hand Pieced QAL - just the one block, but progress is progress, right?

Typography Challenge - needs to get done this weekend too. I finally decided on what I'm going to do, so I can dive in now.

Wild Olive Swap - I decided on a design and fabric to stitch on. Just need to transfer and stitch it up.

No Progress:

Sewing Machine Cover

Garter Stitch scarf

Project Quilting Challenge: It's Where I Live - I wanted to finish this up, but it's still sitting on my ironing board.

Tangerine Tango Challenge - ditto.

Sparkle QAL

1912 Project: February Pattern

Quilt Challenge of the Month: February

Quilt Challenge of the Month: March

(Late) Wedding Present

Nesting Place class

Dessert of the Month Club: January

Dessert of the Month Club: February

Dessert of the Month Club: March

Drunkard's Path QAL

Zig Zag QAL

2012 Color Challenge: January

2012 Color Challenge: February

2012 Color Challenge: March

Curves Class projects

Made in Cherry QAL

Embroidery Journal Project: January

Embroidery Journal Project: February

Embroidery Journal Project: March

Embroidered Ornaments

Project Quilting Challenge: Music

Project Quilting Challenge: Tools

Project Quilting Challenge: Barn Quilts


Project Quilting Challenge: Zig Zag - I know what I'm doing and have my fabric ready to go. I had hoped to be further along on this, but time didn't allow it.

Pretty Little Pouch Swap - yep, I signed up for another swap. I have been wanting to do this one for awhile now and we do have a month to stitch something up. My partner's mosaic is a little broad, so I have to think on it for a few days before I decide on something.

Monday, March 19, 2012

More Waffling

I just can't seem to make a decision about anything lately. I've been spending my computer time today reading more about the Pinterest controversy. I'm sure many of you have read the article dissecting the Terms of Service for their site. Now, having never used the site, I don't know what they say and have to go off of what other's are reporting. (And, I do admit that I don't always read through the TOS of many sites I use. That should probably change.)

To go into it further, I followed links around, starting with a little blurp at Mamacjt's blog about the other sneaky items that Pinterest snuck into their TOS. Whether you use the site or not, it may be in your best interest to check into what people are pushing to light.

These are the two blog posts I read today: and

The first goes into some of what has already been said, but also bringing up that you are agreeing that Pinterest can sell the images pinned on their site. Even if you own the images, would you want to give that up to someone else? For now, Pinterest is not a profitable site. I had heard a news story about them over the weekend and thought that it seems much like how Facebook was in the beginning. Now look at them. Everything seems to be about money and less about fostering connections with others.

The second post is from the same person who seemed to have started all of this. The founder of Pinterest contacted her, which she goes into detail about. I personally don't buy the load of crap he fed her. I think he knows what he is doing and we all know he consulted a lawyer to even come up with the TOS for their site. Blame has been conveniently pushed onto the user and not them.

If you read anything, read the comments that others have made. There are comments from all viewpoints and so far, the conversation generated is a professional one.

In other matters related to the site, it's interesting to me that some of the commenters say they spend more time pinning inspiration than using it. This is one reason why I never sought to join the site. I do have links bookmarked on my computer, but I also print out images and/or instructions to use as inspiration. I have some taped on a wall and the others are in a binder. Yes, we are living in a paperless sort of world, but to me, having the inspiration directly in front of me has worked best. Like the old cliche, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

In short, for now I will keep up that I am a Pinterest friendly blog, but will also add watermarks to every image I post. I'm not going to promise that I won't change my mind on this in the future. I just need to sit on this information for awhile, let it simmer, and allow a solution that is best for me to emerge.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Some Progress and Something New

I pretty much threw out the lists I have been making recently. Even going so far as to not really work on my school projects until today, so my weekly studio post is not happening this weekend. No biggie. I sort of let my body do the talking and took it easy. I feel refreshed (this beautiful weather we have been having helps too!) and ready to tackle the second half of this semester.

Last night I did feel like starting the Hand Pieced QAL that Erin is hosting on her blog, Why Not Sew?. She's on week 8, but stresses that this is a relaxed QAL with no pressure to keep up. I just felt like diving in and hand sewed the first block., which was the churn dash block.

Hand Pieced QAL

I don't remember what fabrics I am using (they are not a Moda line) but they are darling. They have apples, text, plaids... all things that make me happy. I happen to have two charm packs and am pairing them with a charm pack of some Bella solid that I have. It's a creamy color but the charm pack didn't say which one.

I had to stop myself from cutting up all the pieces for each block because I would probably misplace them. I could have stayed up all night working on them, but stopped at just one. I am loving the process though, which I had a feeling I would. I don't remember if I mentioned before, but I do want to make up the Farmer's Wife quilt and wanted to do it all by hand. This QAL is perfect for getting my feet wet since I will also be hand quilting it too.

I also was hit with an idea that would make use of the charm pack of Oakshott fabrics I got. Coincidently, the final challenge for this round of Project Quilting is on taking the basic zig zag pattern beyond the usual. I had been scheming a zig zag pattern already but now with some tweaking, I can take it to a higher level and push myself.

Oakshott Ready for a New Project

Because my track record on finishing these challenges on time hasn't be great, I am actually starting this today. I would plow through and maybe finish it, but I do have other things to do for school. I'm going to be using Jenelle's tutorial on quickly sewing up eight HSTs to speed up that part of the sewing.

That's all I'm going to say about it for now. I will hopefully have made some good progress on it by Wednesday to show you all. It's not to late to join in on these challenges either. The deadline to be eligible for prizes is next Sunday at noon. I have really been stretching my creative muscles when thinking about these challenges. Now I just need to get cracking on making them a reality.

I hope your weekend was wonderful! I'm going to zip outside to go for a walk before getting to work for the rest of the day.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

On Pinterest, Flickr, and Inspiration

I personally don't use Pinterest and never will. I see the draw to the site, but I already have a great way of keeping track of my online life that doesn't place it in the hands of someone else. Even though I don't pin, I don't want to deter others from pinning my images. However, it needs to be done in the right way. I know that there are images of mine that have been pinned but I was not asked and not even a comment was left saying so.

The same thing can be said about Flickr. I am an active user of that site and use it to host most of my images that I post here. I'm guilty of not always commenting on photos that I favorite either, but have been trying to make a better effort to do so.

With both sites, there is the possibility to claim an image as your own. I really do want to prevent that with images that I would be upset over someone doing so. Earlier today, you may have noticed watermarks on some of my photos. I decided that the images I post (that are mine, of course) that I do not want stolen will have a watermark from now on. I will be placing it on the image in a way to not deter too much from what I am sharing, but it will be over the subject so that someone couldn't just crop out my name.

I also am going to follow suit with the ladies over at Clover and Violet and publically proclaim that my blog is Pinterest friendly. I will be placing the button that Jennie and Clara created over on the side. I do ask the following things however:

1. Please do not pin any personal photographs from my blog. This includes the photos I post of myself, my boyfriend, or my dogs.
2. I would love it if you would leave a comment letting me know you're pinning something of mine! I don't necessarily need to grant permission every time, so a comment would be great.
3. Link each image back to its proper post.

Until the day comes where everyone is honest and respectful, this is my way of protecting myself and my creative output. I hope you understand and have a great day!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sewn Postcard

I mentioned in my spring break plans that one of my assignments was to create a postcard and mail it to my instructor. We could anything we wanted (as long as the post office would take it, of course) so I immediately knew I would be sewing one.

You would think with all the waffling I did on what to do that this would have taken me a long time to create, but it didn't. Once I (finally) decided on a base image, I pulled out some scraps and went to cutting. This wavering that happened is pretty much happening with everything. I am wasting a lot of time doubting myself instead of doing anything. This needs to change and I started with that change today.

I knew I wanted to use one of the photographs I took when I was in Brail in 2005. Why? Because my heart is still there and given the opportunity, I would be on a plane headed there right now. It was hard to decide which image to sew. I may do more of these because it was that hard.

In the end, I went with this photograph of a church in Tiradentes. Tiradentes is located in the interior of Brazil, where there are mountains and they do a lot of gem mining. The scenery is to die for and while there, I had the chance to go horseback riding in the mountains. Thankfully this is was not going horseback riding in the US, where you are nose to tail in a line. We were told that if we were comfortable with it, we could just go off. So after learning the Porteguese commands that the horse knew, I was off in a flash. It was bliss and I still cannot wait to have a place to have horses of my own.


Ok, I could go on and on about my travels in this beautiful county, but will leave that for a future post. I have it in mind to do an inspiration post with my images from this trip. This photo, and all of them that I took while there, are taken with film on a Minolta SLR. I did not touch up anything after scanning this and only added the watermark. I shot 20 rolls of film while I was there.

So here's my process of sewing this together. I started with a base of duck cloth cut to 4"x6". I cut out rough shapes and fused them to the surface.

A Start

Then with the photograph by my side, I free motion stitched in the details, leaving out some because of spacing issues (my fault). This was a different experience from the free motion work I have done before. I don't know if it's a combination of the heavy weight canvas or a mix of that with the fusible layer there. It will just take practice.

Front Before Trimming

Here's the back of the stitching.

Back of Stitching

Then I trimmed up the sides and fused another piece of duck cloth to the back. I zigzagged around the edges to seal it together.

Front of Postcard

And now I have a blank side for writing on.

Back of Postcard

Here's the front again, taken outside.

Front of Postcard

And the back, with my message to my instructor. I just used a Micron pen to write on it, which worked great.

Back of Postcard

Then it went into the mail. The woman at the post office was a little unsure of it, but she took it. It's only going a short distance, so I have faith it will arrive.

I had a lot of fun with it once I got going. I am definately going to make more just for fun, and maybe to send off. I wrote briefly at the end of last year about doing a swap, and this is the sort of thing I was thinking of swapping. Any interest? I could do a better tutorial on how to put these together too. I also thought that I could have sewn cardstock to the back instead of the canvas so that's another option.

I'm linking this up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

I have other thoughts that I wanted to cover here, but have to run off to work. I will either post about that later tonight or tomorrow. Hope your weekend is starting off great!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

TTT: Completely Random Thoughts

I love Thursdays for so many reasons. First of all, it's the home stretch into the weekend, and while this weekend is going to be full of the schoolwork I haven't been doing all week, it's still time to relax. Second, it's Thursday Think Tank at Making Rebecca Lynne and that means I can ramble on about whatever is on my mind (not that I couldn't anyway, but it's more fun to do with others). Lastly, it means that I get paid tomorrow and every Friday.

Today is the mailing deadline for the FTLOS Swap and mail away I did. I only have a sneak peek at it until I know my partner has received the items. My partner was on the quiet side and so I only had the mosiac and survey to go off of. I hope it's well received.

FTLOS Sneak Peek

Since most of our snow is gone thanks to rain early in the week, I'm starting to think about my garden. It's too early to plant but I can still plan what I want to do. I think I planted it late May/early June last year. If the temperature stays warm (I'm still not counting out more snow), I'm hoping to get seeds in the ground in early May. I went a little overboard with the space I have available so I'm going to show a little restraint this year. I also didn't get to plant any tomatoes so those will be a priority.

I've been taking some online classes held by various artists and a quilter to learn some new techniques. Thus far, I've only been disappointed in one of them. Not that I didn't learn anything, but it wasn't what I expected.

I highly recommend Rachel's Curves Class and she has mentioned she may run it again. If you are familiar with her blog, then you have an idea of how she lays out instruction. I haven't had a chance to make anything yet, but do have templates and materials at the ready for a few of them.

In the realm of art, I have access to a few classes from Christy Tomlinson. Two of them were created by her and the third is a joint effort between her and another artist (and sheep lover!), Junelle Jacobsen. The latter just started this week and I have only had time to watch the introductory videos, but so far, very pleased. Access to Christy's classes lasts for a year, so I have plenty of time to soak up the information presented.

I've posted a bit about the Nesting Place class being ran by Mary Corbet. She isn't running this one again because one of the fabrics used in the needlebook is vintage (read: all gone!), but if you are interested in embroidery, do check out her blog. She is stitching up an amazing piece right now that is making me want to try out goldwork. If she offers another class, I would consider taking it, depending on what it is of course.

The last class I'm signed up for doesn't start until May 1st. It's being put on by Karen Ruane and is on embroidery. I am looking forward to this one and the timing is such that this semester will be ending soon after.

There are others out there too that I have my eye on. I want to take a few more of Christy's and the artist, Alisa Burke, has a slew of classes that are catching my eye. Alisa mixes sewing with her painting, so that may be of interest to some of you wanting to take sewing beyond the norm. Have you ever taken an online class?

Finally, I thought it would be fun to check in on the goals I had set for myself at the beginning of the year. I was thinking of doing this at the end of the month, but there will be the FAL update to do, as well as Fresh Sewing Day. We're roughly through 20% of the year anyway, so why put it off, right?

1. Cut back on fabric buying. Fail. This is changing right now though and I'm not allowing myself to buy any more for the rest of the month to start this off again. In fact, I'm only letting myself buy things that are needed for my classes.

2. Experiment with dyeing and printing. I haven't even had time to think about doing this seriously yet. Summer will be the right time though.

3. Make art quilts. I have one in the works with others to come from the pages of my sketchbook.

4. Learn new knitting techniques. I haven't thought about this one either.

5. Transfer photographs to fabric and take it to my sewing machine. Well, I've been transferring photos to other surfaces... I actually do have it in mind to give this a whirl this month.

6. Make more clothing. So far, I've only made clothing for Chad. That counts, right?

7. Start sketching daily. Not daily, but I do sketch often.

8. Start selling patterns/things I have made. No time to even think about this right now.

9. Start weaving. Not yet.

10. Learn something from my crafty bucket list. I am thinking paper cutting is going to be first as soon as I get some things in the mail.

Ok, that was kind of depressing, actually. How are you doing on your goals for the year?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Somebody (oh yeah, me) forgot to charge the battery on her camera, so I couldn't take any photos today. I do have progress to share but instead of taking crappy cell phone pictures, I'm going without today. Sorry to all you visual people out there! I will have something tomorrow to show you.


Nothing quite yet. Oh so close though.

Progress Made:

Sewing Machine Cover - I've attached a few more hexies to it. Slow, but steady here.

Garter Stitch scarf - the need for a scarf this winter has passed, but I'm still plugging away slowly on this.

FTLOS Swap items - I am so close to being finished, I can taste it. I'm going to work on finishing when I get home from work tonight so I can mail it off tomorrow.

Project Quilting Challenge: It's Where I Live - I am close to getting this finished too. I missed the deadline, so I set it aside. I'll talk more about it when I'm finished.

No Progress:

Tangerine Tango Challenge - even though this is over, I'm still calling this mini that so I can keep track. It's still the same as it was last week. Other priorities right now.

Sparkle QAL - this one will be done soon.

1912 Project: February Pattern - I have the fabrics sitting ready in my sewing room. I need to tape the pattern together and then grade it up.

Quilt Challenge of the Month: February

(Late) Wedding Present

Nesting Place class

Dessert of the Month Club: January

Dessert of the Month Club: February

Dessert of the Month Club: March

Drunkard's Path QAL

Zig Zag QAL

2012 Color Challenge: January

2012 Color Challenge: February

2012 Color Challenge: March - the fabrics arrived last weekend and that's as far as I have got on this. I am determined to finish this one by the end of the month though.

Curves Class projects

Made in Cherry QAL

Embroidery Journal Project: January

Embroidery Journal Project: February

Embroidery Journal Project: March - I'm waiting on a few things to come in the mail still. The online store I ordered from had a great sale last month and they are back logged with orders, plus some of the things I ordered were out of stock. Should be soon, hopefully.

Embroidered Ornaments

Mini QT Swap - I'm going to work on this over the weekend. Mailing deadline is the end of the month and I am going to be playing with some new to me techniques.

Project Quilting Challenge: Music

Project Quilting Challenge: Tools

Project Quilting Challenge: Barn Quilts

Hand Pieced QAL

Typography Challenge - this is another one I want to get started on this weekend.

Wild Olive Swap - I haven't decided on what I'm going to do yet, but will decide in the next couple days. My partner didn't give me much to go on...

Quilt Challenge of the Month: March/Scrap Attack - these are probably going to be the same project if I can get started.


Nothing that I can think of right now. There are some ideas I'm kicking around, but I don't have plans to start them right now.

Be back tomorrow with some peeks at my swap items I'm sending. I can't show everything because it is personalized. Hope your Wednesday is going well!

Monday, March 12, 2012

And We Have Rain!

It doesn't make for great photos, but I sure am happy to see rain. It's yet another sign of spring arriving that makes my heart sing.

Yesterday, I took my dogs out for a long walk. I start to get restless this time of year (and really can't wait to get my bike out of storage once all of the ice and snow is gone) and just need to move. While walking, I heard the welcome honking of geese returning from the south. We may still get another snowfall or two, but at least the geese are flying back.

It was in the 40's over the weekend, so Chad and I took the opportunity to open the doors and windows to get fresh air inside. Yes, that may sound cold to some of you, but after a winter with temps hovering around zero degrees, a 40 degree day is refreshing. I also was running my errands wearing a short sleeve shirt and with my car window down.

These past few days I've been trying to listen to my heart and meditate on what it's telling me. I sense a change in direction in my life, but one that won't cause too many drastic changes. I'm feeling the urge to spend more time outside, away from any electronic device, gathering knowledge and inspiration. So I've decided with the spring equinox upon us next week, I will be starting a long personal project of documentation. I may share it here, or I may not, but I'm sure parts of it will come through in what I create.

I've been working on some of my to do list for spring break, but not as much as I thought. Since it's too yucky to take photos today, I will share those things tomorrow, unless the rain continues.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Studio Saturday

This post is going to have a lot of photographs, so be prepared. I did talk about some of this and what is coming up on Thursday, so excuse the repetition.

First up is photography. I turned in my project that used photo transfers and lifts. We learned how to do this both digitally and using gel medium. I didn't really care for the digital process, so I only used gel medium for these. We had to choose something we felt strongly about and create three propaganda collages. My subject is on how technology and social media is taking over our lives. (Please note: I am not really proud of how these turned out and while I do feel strongly about this, I don't really care to create work about these sorts of things. At least at this time in my life. Oh, and she is trying to find a place where we can sell these, which I'm not really keen on, but what can you do?)

This first one was my initial idea and one I like the least. We were to find images online and alter them in some way before putting the collages together. I altered the girl in front of the computer too much that it's hard to make her out. Her expression in the original image is of unhappiness and the text is supposed to imply that people spend more time with their "friends" on Facebook than face-to-face.

Photo Transfer Collage

This second one is kind of a spin off of a drawing I did in another class. I notice in all of my classes that the students are usually texting on their phones or on the internet on their laptops. They do this instead of listening to the lecture or participating in class. One time a student even answered a phone call in the middle of someone else's critique! He didn't leave the room first or even to talk to whomever it was. I routinely do leave my phone at home or forget it's with me. Maybe it's that I'm of a different generation. I saw a girl yesterday who was maybe 7 and had her own phone. She was complaining to her mother that her friend wasn't answering. Most days, I would love to give up my cell phone for a landline again.

Photo Transfer Collage

The third piece is kind of hard to make out because of the doodling I did in the background. The couple in the photo are both engrossed in their phones instead of paying attention to each other. The caption of "Everlasting Love" is supposed to leave the viewer wondering if the love is between the two of them or with their phones.

Photo Lift and Transfer Collage

Our next project is on portraits and printing onto alternative surfaces. We are to prep them over our break so we're ready to go on the Tuesday we return. I want to pick up some handmade papers, wood veneer, plastic sheeting, and thin sheet metal. I will also be using some fabrics and have to select samples to use. I'm still brainstorming the final project as well.

In sculpture we finished up our mold projects. They aren't entirely done as the clay still needs to dry and then be fired, so you will be seeing all them again once they are really done. On Wednesday we had our critique and also put underglazes on our pieces. I took these photos with my cell phone, so the quality isn't the best, but it shows the mold I used and some of the final pieces. This is before critique and I had not finished the third. We made two-part molds and the hole at the ends is for pouring wax or epoxy in. If wax is poured in, that can be used to cast it in bronze. Bronze casting is something I would love to learn but isn't covered until Sculpture II (I'm in Scuplture I). I will be taking it if it fits into my schedule before I graduate next spring.

Two-part Mold

Molding Process

One of the pieces is a solid lemon that I sliced into wedges. After letting the clay sit for awhile, I went back in and carved a little so they looked more like real lemons.

Lemon Wedges

The second one is a pile of lemons. Here's one of them and there are six more that I attached together. (I don't know why this photo is so small...)


The third piece is a play on words. I thought of first aid when thinking of lemonade, so I attached a cross to the surface of one lemon and underglazed that in red. The rest of the lemon will be white. I'm pretty sure I was the only one amused at this and no one else thought it was as clever, but I don't care.

During critique my instructor said I should have made one of the lemons into a car, implying the cliche about bad cars. I'm kicking myself for not thinking of that one as it's another clever idea. Oh well.

Our next project is on sculpting the nothing. This is very vague and I pondered it for weeks before pressing him for more insight on Wednesday. He gave me a philosophy book to read dealing with this idea and a lightbulb went off for me. I may even start working on it during break even though we don't have to. He does want us to firm up an idea and make a small model of it. I bought some thing for the final sculpture though and just want to sit on the idea for a few days before diving in. I'm pretty excited and will reveal more about it as I start working on it.

In painting, we moved on to working in oils. I used to love oil painting but am finding I am not so fond of it anymore. I've moved on to loving watercolors too much that anything else is just not what I want to do. I will keep it up and maybe come back to liking them again, but I doubt I would pick up them up to work with at home. Oil sticks, though, I do like using.

Anyway, we had to paint a single object three ways: realistic, abstract, and nonobjective (just shapes and colors/you shouldn't be able to pick out what it is). My object is the common tomato pincushion.

I don't like nonobjective work so much and really do struggle doing it myself. Though without seeing this with the other two, a viewer may not know what it is, I just don't like it. I already painted over it, so this photograph is the only evidence it ever existed.


Here's my abstract version. I may hang this in my sewing room after it dries.


And my realistic version. I don't do realism too well, but am pretty proud of this one. It could use more work but I'm going to leave it as is. The large brush stroke that curves around the tomato bugs me too.


After critique on these, he asked each of us what we would like to work on. Little did we know that whatever we said would be what we were to work on in class and also show on Thursday. Mine was that I wanted to work on using tools other than a brush to paint with, like using a palette knife only. I had a lot of fun with it and may even buy different types of palette knifes to keep doing this.

Here's the one I did in class. This is the canvas I painted over and so I painting on a layer of white and let it dry a little before smearing paint on with the palette knife. I just wanted to get a feel for using it and then looked at what the colors were telling me. There seemed to be some flowers there, so I worked on defining them and putting together a scene. This photo doesn't do the texture on this painting justice at all.


He likes us to look at something when working, so to see if I could do this same way of applying paint, I did one at home and looked at a little owl I have at home. This one needs work for sure, but it was fun to try out.


Finally, in class on Thursday we were to paint the uglist painting we could. I knew this was a trick of sorts, because it's hard to do ugly intentionally, so I tried not to think about making it so too much. I started out by painting a base of acrylics onto a piece of paper. I let the colors blend and become whatever they wanted to become. It turned out pretty dark and almost forest like. Once that was dry, I took out a marker and doodled a creature on top of the paint. I wasn't going for perfection and just went with whatever my hand did. On top of that, I used glazes (thinned down oils) to paint in the creature and the background. I wanted the base layer and my outlines to show through, so the glazes were perfect. When I was finished, I actually started to think he was cute, even though he's not that pretty.


Our assignment for over break is to complete our master copy. I still haven't decided which Rene Magritte painting I'm going to do and won't be starting it until Monday. I also have to finish my sketchbook pages and find an object to paint ten times. Oh, and make a postcard to mail to him over the break. Mine will be fabric and I'm probably going to work on it tomorrow. I just need to decide what I'm going to do.

That's all for this week. Hopefully I will have something to show next Saturday, depending on how productive I am. For all my plans to spend yesterday sewing, I actually spent it sleeping and then running errands for Chad. My body just decided it needed rest more than anything and Chad has some things that he needed done that he can't because of his work schedule. I am going to work on something tonight though and am hoping to finish it before a deadline tomorrow. If I finish, I will share it here as well.