Jun 30, 2017

May/June 2017 Monthly Challenge

The Challenge color palette selected was Light Sage, Dark Sage, Sand, Coffee Creme and Gingerbread to go along with B'sue Brass Ox Components.

All Brass Ox Components, chain, beads, pearls, small porcelain roses, and bead caps are from B'sue Boutiques!

 Where all the good stuff is!

May 1, 2017

Extra Special Necklace, In Deed

Wanted to share with you where I have been for the last 2 years - B'sue Boutiques Creative Group on Facebook making Vintage Jewelry!

This is my challenge piece for the March/April 2017 B'sue Boutiques Creative Group. The challenge requirement were to use only Old Rose Ox Copper and Gingerbread Pewter. Along with that was our color theme, Worn Turquoise, which included dark gray, dark sea green, teal, dark turquoise, med gray and sage green. As I was pulling components for this necklace I was having a hard time getting it to pull together until I remembered the teal roses that I had gotten from Paula Gaskill. Like a piece to a puzzle the roses were the perfect floral component to make it complete! All other components, chain and such where from B'sue Boutiques  http://www.bsueboutiques.com  or my stash. 

I learned of Paula's crossing the day after the necklace was done - talk about the collective consciousness, there you go... Thank you Paula for your beautiful roses and Bsue for all the Good Stuff !! This necklace will always be my favorite!

Image may contain: jewelry

Nov 14, 2014

CQJP 2015 Challenge

It's that time again!
Please share this on your blog, then go to cqjp2015.blogspot.com and register for the challenge. Photo submissions begin in January 2015.
Details are on the CQJP2015 Blog.

Hope to see you there!

Nov 13, 2014

To Fuse or not to Fuse, Makes Me Crabby!

My DH attended his Sons of the American Legion Crab Feast 2014 and after telling me all about the highlights of the event I got inspired to make a Fabric Collage to honor the memories there of.

Our Maryland Blue Crabs are renowned for their sweet meat and are just to die for! 

This was my first lay out. I chose the batik because of it's beautiful colors (like our crabs) and it reminded me of the bay water.

After gathering images and photos I did my mock ups and when it hit my fancy, I loaded them up in my graphics program and made them into photo transfers. I then cut them out with a wavy blade on my whizzy whacker.

I had planned on fusing the components to the background and embellish from there. At this point I hadn't decided whether to make a wall quilt, mount it in a frame, or what ever. The what ever turned out to be a canvas tote bag.

Now at this point I was happy with the way it was all falling into play. I stayed focused on the theme of the crab feast, family and friends This collage was going to his friend, so I thought I would let my DH take a peek and get his feedback. DH said he thought I was going to focus on his friend's family. Now I’m feeling I should do that as he knows his friend whom I have never met. So back to the drawing board!

This arrangement was okay, but it needed other elements to balance it. At this point my creative flow is slowing down and I'm having a hard time with decisions. I love the hand dyed lace pieces that I got from Cathys Crazy by Design  https://www.etsy.com/shop/Cathyscrazybydesign . I wanted to add the bay elements back in again and remembered the lovely lacy/mesh material I had.

Under the upper right hand corner I filled with the Lacy mesh, and added a bit of teal velvet. 

On the left hand bottom I also added the lacy mesh. Now the hand dyed lace just didn't work anymore as there was not enough contrast. Dragonflies came to take their place and I gave them each beaded eyes.

I needed focus to go to the photos and images and added another border in golds and oranges. My colorway is now gone that I had originally planned, but let it flow to see what it wanted. I made black rick rack out of velvet, then applied metallic rick rack on top of that. It calmed the border down but seemed to still have the fluid element in tact.

I played around with buttons, ribbon, shells, you name it. Nothing wanted to go into my design (what was left of it) and it finally occurred to me, it's done. If I added these other elements they would snag on anything and I'm sure would become a catch-all. (Besides, men usually like it simple where as woman love sumptuous things LOL!)

As for the fusing of this piece, I used wonder under on the background, borders, photo transfers, and the dragonflies. When I was sure my surface design was complete, I fused this to the canvas tote and hope it stays put. I ran my needle into my finger and under my nail because the wonder under makes it difficult to stitch. After giving the dragonflies eyes, I wasn't real keen on the idea of decorative stitches that we use so lovingly on our crazy quilts.

I didn't attend the crab feast with my DH, but I didn't care because he steamed a dozen jumbo blue crabs for me at home before he left. I was a happy camper to say the least!

Apr 9, 2014

CQJP2014 Anything Grows Feb Block

Ah... February, shortest month of the year, hearts and flowers and Mardi Gras!
My muse is on the run to find all that sparkles and gleams of sparkling light! Purple, green, gold, music, dance, hidden magick, Kings Cake, and good eats.This block is gonna be easy to work I say... but was it?
I choose green silk, purple satin, purple velvet, lace, gold fuchsia lame. 
The center patch is a deep purple velvet covered with a black lace infused with deep blue flowers. It gives this area a magickal texture, one that draws the eye down to the velvet thru the lace. It also gave stability to the patch.

After the block was done I mounted it into a Grip-n-Stitch Frame Hoop that I had used for the last block. That didn't last long because the frame (now with use) became unstable.

I had several round hoops, but with the size of the block, was like putting a square peg into a circle hole :)

I dug deeper into my hoop stash and found a tapestry/scroll frame and gave it a go. Finally! I think I have the right frame for the job. I added 2" of muslin on both sides and used scotch tape on the new side borders to insert into the slits of the frame, then taped it to the frame and border again and adjusted the tension to make it drum tight. YaHoo! That was the ticket! 

 Along with trims of green and gold, beads and coins (from a Kings Cake) and golden instruments from my stash were added.
See how nice she mounts up! 
 Note the gold patch - it's lame but looks like a stripe in other pictures... :(
 Had to figure out a way to keep the mask from being lost due to not enough contrast!
I needed to do something with this corner area to pull things together and keep the visual aspect moving.
I made a small piece of Angelina fabric and embossed a dragonfly in the center. Using a sequin and bead I then attached the horn. The coloring in the Angelina worked just lovely.
 The gold trim looked really regal when first stitched down, but really hard to embellish further because of not having trims or beads with enough contrast. It seemed even the white pearls didn't do the trick.
 Keeping elements away from the seam line used to attach it to another block was a challenge in itself!
 Can you see the lace pattern on the center patch under the trumpet?
 After several ideas for the mask, I ended up attaching a wee bit of white lace at the top of it. I also added green sequins just below that and star sequins under that. Sorry it's so hard to see.
I then made a platform so to speak under the mask. It is a gold lace ribbon for texture and trimmed with hologram sequins at the base. The sequins really dance in the light and add so much color to the block!
Here is the finished (at this point in time) February Block. I will still need to do more work on the embellishments when added to the quilt.

What have I learned with this crazy quilt block?
  1. How important it is to have the right hoop/frame.
    It has to help you, not hinder!
  2. Watch how you are holding your hoop by using the right tension in your hand while stitching.
    I was far to hard the last time by pulling it thru like I was fishing :)
  3. Not all patches have to have a stabilizer,
    the muslin backing most times to the trick.
  4. I'm still saying "but what if?"
    If it doesn't work - take it out, it's your piece!
  5. When you ask your Hubby what does he think,
    look at his eyes and expression for the answer, not his spoken word. Remember most of the time this art is all Greek to him, but he is taking the time and effort to share time with you.
  6. It's okay to say stop, I'm done!
    You can always go back to it and change anything you want.
  7. "But my Grandmother and Aunts didn't use that!"
    I guarantee if they had the materials we have today they would! LOL!
Hope this post may have helped you with a problem and/or even better yet - inspired you!

See you next time with my March block!


Feb 26, 2014

CQJP2014 Anything Grows Jan Block

I've started my Crazy Quilt Journal Project for 2014. The challenge is to challenge yourself. To improve and expand your artistic and technical skills.
It requires 12 CQ blocks one for each month of 2014 that will be put together in a quilt. The blocks can be any size from six inches square and up. You also have the freedom to use any fabric, threads, beads and embellishments that you desire. The bottom line is do as you will and then some lol!

The main theme for the finished quilt will be "Anything Grows". I am giving myself the freedom to choose the colors and mood/theme for each block independently.

My first choice was to work with lace and more fancy fabrics. I've worked with cotton for so long, it was time for a change. I never realized I was a lacey kinda gal till I had gotten some beautiful laces from other artists esty shops. And, of course, if you love lace how can you keep your fingers off of the pearl beads! Color wasn't a problem either. A piece of wine velvet got a hold of me and away we went!
Block mounted in a Grip-n-Stitch Frame

Now for a theme for the block... that's easy, too! For me, life begins after coffee. It's that magical time first thing in the morning to wake up with and set your day.
I found this lovely lace motif from Judith at her etsy shop The Queen's Flamingo. It so expresses the lovely coffee times with my Hubby. Thank you Judith!
Why the mouse you ask... his name is Anthony. I had left a cup of espresso on the glass table on our outside deck one morning, and when I came back the sweet little field mouse was "sipping his morning coffee!" I didn't have the heart to disturb him... those sweet little ears and big bright eyes!
After that he came back often to check for treats that I had left him.

The seam treatments were different lace trims and beads that I have and I cut different velvet's with a wavy cutter to make ric rac. Another challenge for me because I never really cared for the look and the velvet made it so much easier!

The striped fabric puts me in mind of Victorian Wallpaper so I hung a cuckoo clock there for Coffee O'Clock time. Again I added a ric rac with sparkle to it, I liked the look.

As I worked this block I kept my eye on the teal velvet area. Depending on the light and angle of the piece, it would change. First I would see a flowing  pattern, then it would change to look like small clusters of flowers. I decided to keep it clear of any further treatment and allow it to show just it's own magic.

This was my first time working with velvet, satin, and tapestry. I first applied a stabilizer to each piece that I thought needed it in hopes of better control and to cut down on fraying of edges. It didn't change the hand, it remained soft. The seams were a different matter, of course. I trimmed down the seam allowance as best I could, but still bearing in mind of them fraying later.

To help the visual confusion of seam lines and borders, I used a "window" to place over the large block so that only the finished sized block would show.

I added a few splashes of flowers and beads. They were added with texture in mind and to keep the eyes moving around the block looking for more things to see. For some reason this block did not want alot of embellishment past the lacey trims that I had already done. Maybe because I see it as a morning block, waking up to a fresh new palette in which to create my new day!

So here we are with it finished (for now).

Dec 24, 2013

Victorian Yule Tree

Yule Love These Vintage Kifli Cookies!

What better way to celebrate the holidays then with cookies! Here is my favorite and my families traditional cookie for over 60 years.

(meaning “horn” filled cookies)

My Mom found this recipe in The Record Courier Newspaper. The recipe was sent in by Mrs. Peter Sench, 883 Wooster Rd. (the town/location was not mentioned) Since The Record Courier was a local paper it would lead me to believe she was local... maybe from Ravenna or Kent (Ohio),
Portage County. It was dated in the late 1940’s.

Here's the recipe:

6 cups sifted flour
1 lb butter – or (½ lb butter – ½ lb lard)
2 egg yolks
1 egg
¾  cup pet milk = small can, 5 fl. oz.
1 cake yeast .6oz. or 1 pkg. dry yeast

Crumble yeast fine into flour.
Work in shortening like pie dough.
Make a well in center of mixture, add yolks, egg and milk.
Work ingredients together with hands until dough pulls from side of bowl. (The warmth from your hands will ease the blending of the butter).
Form balls; chill.
Roll out very thin with powered sugar and fine grated pecans.
Add ½ tsp. filling, form roll.

Bake on nonstick cookie sheet or parchment paper for 15 to 20 min @ 375 degrees. Check your first batch at 15 minutes; cookies are done when bottom is browned lightly and top flaky.
Makes 120 cookies.

*We use Solo brand fillings that come in almond, apricot, poppy and cherry. or Emmy's (my Mom) date nut filling YUM!!!



Cook until thickened, strain thru sieve if desired.
Add 1 cup chopped nuts of choice (pecans are my favorite)
Cool before using.

Setting up your work area. I like my pastry sheet in front of me with the powdered sugar and grated pecans near by. Cookie sheets await at the other top side of work area. All sticky stuff, jams, preserves, solo cookie fillings and the like are placed on the left where they will be spread on each cookie after rolling it out thinly.
See my little treasure, the small rolling pin in the left hand of the picture! It is a dough roller for chinese foods, but it fits so well in your hands and is gentle on the thumbs!

Cookies have been mixed and formed into balls. Now wrapped and ready to go in the refrigerator to rest for 2 hours or up to overnight for next day baking!
See my little treasure, the small rolling pin I'm using? It is a dough roller for Chinese foods, but it fits so well in my hands and is gentle on the thumbs!
My husband is busy on the right side spreading the sticky stuff! He's a great helper, without him these may not have gotten baked this year :)

Here they are baked and ready to be enjoyed. They store well in tin cookie containers or Tupperware storage containers.