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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Inktense Pencils

I tried the Inktense pencils yesterday for the first time.  They are fun!  I bought this very textural fabric thinking I would try to dye it and see how it looked when it was dyed.  Still have enough left to try that but it is also working for the quilt I am doing right now.  I used the pencil to color in a part of the design.  I than painted textile medium over the top of the pencil.  Wow the color just pops after I put the medium on top.  You can use water as you use the pencil and it makes the color more intense also, but I wanted a controlled application.  I was afraid I would color outside the lines if I used water and for once I wanted to stay inside the lines. I just wanted the color in certain areas of the pattern.  I suppose I could dip the pencil in the medium and that might have worked as well.  Didn't think of that.... might have to try that sometime. Here is a photo of the design with just the pencil.

Here is a photo that shows one with just pencil and one with the medium on top.

Have a creative day. Janet

Monday, May 25, 2009

Subtle changes

OK, Maybe I am the only one who will see the changes I made, but I do like it better now.  I added more definition to the chin by increasing the shadows and adding a line of paint.  I made the hair smaller by 10%.  The old hair was just a little too big for the new face.  Now on to the rest of the quilt!  Have a creative day. Janet

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chin definition

I discovered my chin needed more definition.  My fabric painted chin at any rate.  When I added my hair and clothing, I lost my chin.  At least I think that's the problem.  It just didn't look quite right to me.  Still better than before. Waiting for the fabric to dry so tomorrow I can put it all together.  

I'm hoping I don't need to redo the hair and jacket and shirt.  I removed the pieced face I had in there and am trying to fit this face in the opening.  It may be that my proportions are just a smidge different so they won't work together.  Here is what I did before, you can see why we thought it was a little scary.  Even with a good pressing it would not have been pretty. Have a creative day. Janet

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Painting faces!

I mentioned in a previous post that I am trying to re-create this photo of myself from the 80's.  The face has been giving me trouble.  I didn't think teeth would be such a problem but I was having a lot of trouble with the teeth and the nose.  The latest version, the best comment I heard was "At least it isn't quite as scary now!"  

Today I took a different approach.  I decided to try to paint the face rather than piece it with fabric.  I have Bonnie McCaffery's DVD called Painted Face for Beginners and was honestly a little afraid to try because I was sure it would be a disaster.  I should have known better, I love Bonnie's vid-casts so why wouldn't her explanations for painting be just as clear.  She breaks the process down into small steps and before you know it you have a face.  Here are a few of the photos I took along the way.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Potato Chip Bag Purse & Mom's birthday

I went to Iowa to visit my mom last weekend.  She had her 91st birthday while I was there.  She still lives in her own apartment with the help of Meals on Wheels, a visiting nurse, a home health aide, and the society for the blind.  She doesn't get out much any more though so I always take some hand work to try to work on while I am visiting, especially good when she is napping.  This was a nice visit.  Two of my sister's were there this weekend as well one of my brother's who lives in the same town as my mom, and one of my cousins even stopped for a short visit.  My mom did get to go to her study club meeting last week with the help of my sister-in-law.  She was thrilled about that.  It was the annual luncheon so a fun meeting to go to for her. She has been a member for about 50 years, I think that is what she told me.  That's a long time to be a member of any organization. She loves listening to books on tape and music CD's.  I bought the Irish Tenors for her, I hope she likes them.

The handwork I took with me was a potato chip bag project.  At the last Minnesota Contemporary Quilters meeting Peg brought a purse that she bought made entirely of potato chip bags. She mentioned that the instructions for making the bag are online and that was enough to get me started.  Do you remember making chains with gum wrappers when you were little?  This is the same principal, except I don't remember making anything but chains with the gum wrappers when I was little.  Here is a link to a blog by Mylinda with instructions for how to make the bag.  We don't eat too many chips so it will take me awhile to get enough for the bag.  I've had offers from a number of other people to save their bags for me.  We'll see how many actually remember!  I found that other things come in a similar bag, such as chex mix and animal cracker cookies so I save many things. 

So far I have two of the seven rows finished.  I will also need enough for the strap.  My son wants me to make him a belt next.  So I guess I will be saving bags for quite awhile.  You cut the bags into pieces so they are the same size as the gum wrappers we used to use.

Then you fold them and link them together.  Mylinda has excellent instructions on her blog.  I haven't got to the sewing part yet but hopefully I will be able to figure it out.  She even adds a zipper.  I think I will probably add a lining too. Have a Creative Day! Janet

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Quilts

I had to run out and take a photo of my crab apple trees yesterday.  The blossoms opened but it is so windy I was afraid they would blow off before anyone had a chance to see.  Wish they would hold on to the blooms a little longer.  Aren't they pretty!

Now that I have my long arm, I will need lot's of quilts for practicing and learning new stitching techniques.  Yesterday I received an order of fabric in the mail from Whittles.  I've never ordered from them before but the service was great and very fast.  Their prices are very good. Here is the fabric I ordered.

I sent for this with a specific pattern in mind.  I found this free pattern for a Block of the Month quite awhile ago.  I have this fear of making patterns like this and not being able to get the final block that I need.  I usually wait until I have all of the pattern before I begin. (Do you think there is a name for this phobia?)  There is still one more block to come out but I'm taking my chances that I will remember to get it off the site in time.  It is on the site Nancy Rink designs and is called building blocks.  Do you think my fabric will work?  Have a creative day everyone.  Janet

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Final Concert! & The Beast

My daughter came home last night to go to her brother's last band concert.  So of course we had to get a photo of her playing with the Beast as well.  I think she was more than a little surprised at how complex it is and how "BIG it is.  The machine I have is the Innova, I have linked to their site if anyone is interested in the Beast.  I haven't had it long enough to give any type of critique and I don't really have a frame of reference but I like it so far.  I don't have the computer system and at this point I don't know if I would ever want it but it's nice to have options.

Last summer I made a t-shirt quilt for my daughter with all of her softball shirts.  She played from Kindergarten thru high school with her dad coaching most of the way.  Now she plays on a team for her job.  I added parts of some of her caps and photos of her playing to some of the shirts.  I think I should stitch over the writing on the one shirt from her senior year in case the writing washes out.  I just need to get it quilted for her but didn't want to attempt it on my domestic machine. Here are a couple close ups of a few of the squares.  I was also playing with the long-arm trying to make a design for quilting.  Here is the softball I made (circles are harder than they look).

Here are a couple of photos from my son's final concert.  (Insert tears here)  No, I didn't cry but I've been going to concerts for about 20 years now so I'm not sure what I will do with all of my free time! (Just kidding) He of course was in the middle so it wasn't easy during the concert.  They do clean up pretty well!
Have a creative day everyone! Janet

Monday, May 11, 2009

Long-arm adventure begun!

Yesterday was a wonderful Mother's Day for me.  My son and I are greeter's at our church about every other week.  Yesterday was one of our days.  I saw a friend I haven't seen in quite awhile.  Even though we live in the same town and go to the same church we seldom see each other any more.  Our daughter's are the same age and were often involved in the same activities throughout their school years so we saw each other frequently through our children.  Now that our girls are grown women and out in the work force our lives have changed directions and don't cross often any more.  It was nice to touch base again.
After church my husband and son took me to IHOP for a brunch.  It was the plan for many families but the wait wasn't too long and the omelet was delicious!  The restaurant even gave roses to every mom.  Isn't it pretty!

Saturday my husband and son helped me finish getting my new long arm ready to launch into service.  We put the leaders on.  Since we go to the 11:00 a.m. service on Sunday morning, I had plenty of time to load some fabric before we went to church.  (I'm usually up by 6:00) I couldn't wait and started playing with it right away.  I used up an entire bobbin before church (I have to admit we were a few minutes later than we normally are because I was having too much fun and didn't pay attention to the time!)  I've learned a lot already.  I know I will find a different way to attach the first quilt I do.  Right now I am playing with some inexpensive muslin just to get the hang of how things work.  

After IHOP we came home for a short time and I managed to get both my son and husband to try The Beast too.  I bought a couple of pantographs about a year ago because some one told me they are able to use those to sew designs on their quilts with their domestic sewing machine.  I of course never managed to figure that one out.  I pulled out the pantographs and was trying one.  My son thought that looked like fun so here is a photo of him giving it a try.  And a photo of him instructing his dad how to do it since he was an expert by this point.  

We all need a little more practice, especially with the points on the pattern but we were all intrigued by the possibilities.  Now I want to buy a few rolls of paper and design my own pantographs to fit what I need to quilt.  Always something more to try!  I can make flowers and stars on my own without a pantograph but need practice with feathers and would love to be able to "McTavish" on my quilts some day.

 Next we went to the new Star Trek movie.  It was really good.  I watched Star Trek on tv but don't consider myself a trekkie.  I couldn't answer any of the trivia but I know the main characters and this was about their origins on the show.  

Tonight is my sons last band concert.  Possibly forever, as he doesn't plan to do band next year.  He wants to take other electives his senior year.  It will be very strange for all of us.  He has played in band since 5th grade and had private lessons since 7th grade.  He is very good, so it's a shame he can't take band along with the other classes he needs and wants.  This photo is from their winter concert in December.  I'll have to get some more photos tonight.
The rest of the week I will be finishing my quilt with a sense of humor for our guild challenge, going to my fitness program, planting flowers, Art-a-Whirl in Minneapolis on Friday and than to my mom's for the weekend as she has a birthday soon.  Here is a photo from Thanksgiving two years ago at my brothers in Davenport, Iowa.  I think there were 50 people at his house that day.  This is my mom and two of my sisters.  Have a creative day. Janet