Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My cute little kitten

My youngest cat is a little cute guy named Oscar. He is a sweet little guy. Ran across a couple pictures I took of him a couple of months ago. Thought I would share. Enjoy . . .

Eeew! That's bright!

Is it safe to look yet? Are we done yet?

An exhausted speed deamon

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Crazy Quilt Seam Treatment Notebook

For those who know me, I have been doing artwork since I was about 4 - or at least that is what Mom keeps telling me. I come from an artistic family on both sides.  I enjoy looking at the world and dreaming of artistic endeavors. So, when I say that walking into a fabric store with all the colors and patterns and such puts me into an artistic frenzy, you'll know I genetically come by it.

Fabric store have always made my fingers twitch, my brain go wild and my pocketbook scream. I have been resisting the call to do quilting and such because I need another craft to learn like I need another hole in my head.

Still a couple of years ago I gave into Crazy Quilting (CQ). I took a class and created a few blocks (will post pictures of them another time). Loved the embroidering aspect of this form of quilting. Also enjoyed the individualistic aspect of the whole genre.

Still in looking over old crazy quilts in books and those being sold on eBay, I noticed I needed to study the seam patterns - the stitches and what combinations apealed to me. So I created notebook to draw out and paste in CQ seam treatment patterns.

Here's what it looks like:
Printed out a photo of a favorite CQ picture and covered the front of a composition book with it. This is the front cover. Also took some book tape down the spine which also attached a marker ribbon.

Used my computer to print out a front page titel to the book and added a picture of another CQ picture.

At the back of the book, created a section showing how to do some basic embroidery stitches commonly used to decorate CQ's. Some I sketched in myself (right side) some I pasted in printed diagrams (left side).

Used a handful of colored pens to draw the seams that appealed to me. Having a composition book full of gridded paper really helps to do this. The only problem was that the ink bled through the paper - so I covered the back of the pages with CQ square close-up pictures.
This is the back of the notebook.
I keep this notebook with me to draw in when there is. time  It really is helping me with my current CQ work. It's good to have a lot of ideas in one spot. It's got 104 pages. I've filled up to 82 with seam treatments. Am going to have to set of a second one soon.

Reference notebooks are very handy things.

Carved Stamp fun

Ended up holding a Carved Stamp session at the April Society for Calligraphy & Handwriting (SCH) meeting. Nan Robkin and Sue Gruhn helped me put on this last minute session. They were terrific!

For those who don't know what carved stamps are, they are carved eraser's and eraser material used to make stamps for printing designs on paper and such. It was found out by calligraphers and artists a while back that the white erasers like those made by Mars-Stadtler can be carved very easily with linoleum carving tools. They turn out wonderful little carved stamps.

So Nan, Sue and myself gathered together our carving tools and carving material and showed our ladies how to carve them. We had some great results.

I ended up redoing one stamp of mine because the original is hiding (still haven't found it). It is of a lion form I found on the margins of a page in the Robert de Bello Bible (British Library Burney 3 f.2). He was wonderful to carve. The night before the meeting I also carved a stamp of one of my favorite kind of owls - a Northern Saw Whet owl. They are so cute!
The Northern Saw Whet owl and the Robert de Bello Bible Lion images from the carved stamps
The Robert de Bello Bible Lion and Northern Saw Whet owl carved stamps
I have had a lot of fun with carving stamps over the years. I made a dragon label stamp a while back that I love. Just recently I did a little unicorn stamp. Was inspired after the meeting to carve this little unicorn. Here are the dragon and the unicorn.
Dragon and unicorn images - these are on the cover containers used to store these stamps.
The unicorn and dragon carved stamps.
These are a fun art form that can be used to stamp images on paper or fabric or whatever you can think to stamp on. For those of you who would like to try this here is a good tutorial:
You can also search on the we using the terms "carved stamp tutorial" and find several other tutorials. Go check them out and have some fun!

Sigh. Foiled by the Post Office!

Lost Block!

Sigh. My first round robin Crazy Quilt block for the Fabulous First Timer #15 (FFT#15) round robin was lost in snail mail. Somehow the block got lost out of it's cover and never made it to Katy in Mt. Shasta, CA. Somewhere, this unfinished block is either ground up in mailing machinery or languishing in the dead letter portion of the Post office. I hope they find it but I'll not hold my breath. Such a pity.