Saturday, May 31, 2008

Inspiring Wirework

I am happy to review this new wire working book that I purchased today. I took a beginning wire working class many years ago. I can do most of the basic techniques, but I have been looking to move on. I love books with clear detailed instructions and great photos of the projects. This book has some techniques that were very beginner, however it moved into some intriguing Celtic work. I went out and bought some wire tonight and a jewelry hammer. I could not find a stainless steel block to hammer onto so I will be looking for it online. Great book, plus it shows examples in silver, copper, gold, mixed metals and even colored craft wire.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Orangina Quilt

My friend Suzie says this is not an orange quilt, that it is a hot pink quilt. Suzie loves orange more than I do. This is almost too orange for me to sleep under. Another friend offered to buy this when she saw it come back from the long arm quilter, hanging around waiting for me to get the nerve to bind it. My quilter loved it too. I'm thinking that it feels like summer sunshine.

My mama bought the pretty pillow to match. I started  collecting orange fabrics when Sara made her first monochromatic orange quilt. I made my friend Suzie a mixed orange fabric quilt like this one. Since I am a self taught quilter and pretty compulsive when I am into a theme, I always buy way too much fabric for my projects. After 4 or 5 orange themed quilts, I still have 1/2 a box of orange cottons.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Painted Hot Air Ballon

My daughter, Rachel and I saw this colorful Hot air balloon coming down right as we were nearing her home town in Maryland. We chased it for several miles to watch it come down. It touched the ground near us and then took off again. I have always wanted to do one of these rides. But I am scared of ferris wheels, so maybe this would be terrifying.

They have a big Hot air balloon festival here in Texas near my home in the fall. We just happened  upon it when we moved here last year. Their were so many gorgeous balloons!

Flowering Baskets

Look at how lovely these rescued baskets from Home depot's bloom-less shabby clearance section have rebounded with lots of watering. Richard took these pictures with his new Nikon D300, and they are so clear and pretty. In Texas we have to water a lot to keep plants happy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Marblezing Orange Ribbon

I wanted to add silk ribbons with beads knotted on them into my friend Vicki's tangerine necklace. They only had yellow silk ribbons at my craft stoore. So I bought to Sharpie permant pens in light and dark orange.

 I wadded the ribbons up on a paper towel and dabbed them all over with both colors. They were still more spotted than marbleized. I was doing this at a friend's home (without my camera, of course). She had no isopropyl alcohol,  so I sprayed this ribbon generously with perfume, liquifying the inks. I massaged it around, rinsed with water and the pressed the ribbon with a handy nearby curling iron.

Then I added a tiny crimp to one end. It is gold metallic in these pictures. I strung the orange crystals and knotted on both sides of the crystals. Then after all that effort, I hated how it looked with the necklace and did not end up using them at all.

But it was super crafty!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tangerine Tango

What a great necklace my friend Vicki designed for our beading day this week. She is going on a cruise and is wearing a zippy Tangerine linen casual suit with capris. We found this scrumptious citrus colored dichroic pendant at our recent bead show. We also found the perfect coordinating beads. The olive colored crystals accent the colors in the pendant. This pendant did not photograph as vibrant and sparkly as it is in person.

We also made some fantastic earrings, but she took them home before I got a picture. I have been crafting all week, but I forget to take pictures for my blog. I'll get the earring pictured soon. Vicki is now looking for tangerine patent leather pumps. I admire her spunk, a tangerine suit, WOW!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Iris experiment

I waited and waited for these to  bloom, not knowing what Spring flowers might pop up in my yard. Well, they were the boring purple ones. But they did bloom their hearts out. Did you ever make my mistake of bringing them indoors. They have a pleasant enough smell outdoors but smell pretty bad inside.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hobo Handbags

This pattern is called the Fat Quarter bag and I just taught how to make it at my local quilt guild. The pattern is found in M'liss Rae Hawley's book "Fat Quarter Quilts". It is fun and sews up quickly. 

To demonstrate for the guild I made several in various stages of completion. The one in black and  white fabrics has 6 fat quarters. The colorful hobo one is made from a quilt top, badly made with mixed fabric types from the early 70's. I have recycled it into this bag. It is so homely that I couldn't even give away the leftover three panels from the quilt top.

The bag is huge on purpose. It has elastic and gathered handles at the top edge. It is intended to hold your quilts when you take them to "show and tell" at the guild. You think you will never need bags this huge, but once you have them they are so versatile and handy!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Take Better Baby Pics

I enjoyed this new technique book for children's photos with digital cameras. It had easy to reproduce shot ideas and lots of good basic techniques. The photos were not just babies, but featured ages up to older kids as well. Lighting and  composition helps make this a good book to have in your library.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Parisian Rose Necklace

I had a wonderful day beading this week with my friend Patty, She loves copper beads and has inspired me to try something new. This double necklace set features a unusual stone centerpiece I got at the Renaissance bead show when they came to town a week ago. I think it is a dyed stone. It has interesting  peach and coppery striations and bubbles.

I added copper beads and it was so dull without anything but the rose and copper so I added these mixed green/turquoise accent beads to punch it up and some black spacers. The inner necklace also has some antiqued hammered copper chain with large decorative links. I made the beaded connections to the chain on softflex wire with copper crimps.

I have nothing to wear this with. Like most people who get into beading in a big way, I have started buying clothes to match my jewelry instead of the other way round!

Floozy Apron

I finally got this wild pink and black lace from the Church garage sale put on an apron. The lace was this crunchy synthetic  organza that messed up the tension on my sewing machine and had to sew it on by hand. There are two rows on the bottom hem.  I thought about embroidering kitchen Diva, but then I saw one like that at a store and decided to just add more lace at the neckline. This just makes me laugh--