Wednesday, August 31, 2011

JURY DUTY BE GONE...Zentangle to relax!

Egads... I'm thrilled I'm off Jury Duty and even more thrilled I was NOT called from my panel to serve on about the ugliest kind of case one could get on involving ... gangs... guns... murder.
Filled with relief, I spent last evening and this a.m. playing with Zentangle... a doodleing form of mental yoga. VERY RELAXING and ADDICTIVE. Much of Zentangle concepts can be applied to free motion machine quilting texture and filler patterns so since I am planning to teach on a Carribbean Cruise next March, I thought one of the 3 hour classes woud be fun with Zentangle... so I decided to play and learn. Wow... it's pretty easy stuff once you give yourself permission to just START. I decided to play and learn on a piece for myself. I need a pocketed apron for my tools when I am longarm quilting. Here's the result of relatively little effort and lovely mind distracting fun.
I started on my pocket with sort of an idea out of a book, but before long, you get the idea and books.. be gone. I needed to practice something kind of tropical for the cruise.... inspiration for some things came from fabric and a 99c store bag, an element of a complex scrapbook paper, a piece of oversized fluffy rick rack, simple stuff in my simple brain, and a 59c palm tree decal.
All you really need from inspiration sources is the basic outline of important shapes. From there... you just start playing with your micron pens and a marker and somehow... it all works.
Color MAY be added later... I haven't decided. Too FUN!!!!!
Books on zentangle are available in lots of places. I got mine from

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Boys are Gone... I'm back to work

Our dear grandsons from Jersey have gone home, the days at the beach house finished and the norm returns. Ya gotta admit these guys are pretty fun.
Shown L to R are Herman ( New York State) Brothers Max and Leo (Ridgewood New Jersey), and Dylan, Chino, Ca. The bathing beauty is granddaughter Morgan from Claremont, Ca.
Newport Beach California's rock jetty called "The Wedge" produces big waves only suitable for the most experienced swimmers/body surfers. Every afternoon about 5pm when the waves get their roughest, a lineup of photographers appear looking to snap either a great ride or a big wipeout.

Meanwhile, I'm back at it.. quilting for a friend from Church. All quilts are beautiful to me but this is Pam's first quilt and it's pieced quite nicely! Congratulations Pam! I bought a new panto for Pam's quilt ...called Pretty Paisley by I like the pattern with her choice of fabrics, and so far I'm liking Superior's new long arm thread line OMNI.
This will grace Pams bed shortly!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Vacation DEAL next March

Let's see.... 10 days cruising the Caribbean for $999.00 Sounds good to me so I have linked up with World of Quilts Travel to teach on this cruise March 18 thru March 28, 2012. We'll go from Miami to 6 islands and 3 days at sea for classes.

Click Here to check it out!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stacking Them Up!

What a nice hubby I have. I'm away on sewing retreat with gal pal Laurie, and my hubby sends me flowers to !?celebrate!? another birthday.
I have no idea what the greenery is but it's kind of interesting.
So we celebrated creekside with an afternoon chat and a margarita. Such a lovely, relaxed setting.
I'm still sewing!!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stars in The Sky

One of the special things about Sedona is that one can actually see the Milky Way Galazy at night.... Soooooo many starlike lights!!! Well, thats not the trigger for this quilt of stars I'm playing with, but I love the correlation. I'm embarking on a king-sized gradated/pieced collage of varied sized stars also in varied colors and values. This won't get done quickly with mostly 6" stars, some 9", many 12",and a few 18" plus filler blocks so this will NOT get finished this trip. I know how to make a traditional star of hope and had cutting instructions for straight forward stars like seen in the stacked on the floor small stars shown below. Making the largest 18" star within a star sounds easy, but not so much for me. I got great grades in math but it's been a while. All that to say, I give credit to those that create patterns and cutting instructions.
I have only just begun...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back To Sedona

Sedona, Arizona is mother nature's canvas lovingly arranged into breathtaking beauty and serenity. This picture is just outside my patio door. I am here at my favorite place to stay... creek side..listening to the babbling sounds as I post.

I'm here to sew for 5 days.. yeah. This won't be like things I'm usually identified with... no painted work... all pieced... but to keep it interesting for me... no pattern. eek! We'll see what I come up with.... but I'll have to take a break or two and visit the area galleries, soak up nature's grandeur etc.
This is my photo... nature provides postcard shots at almost every turn of the highway.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Finishing All Things Asian

An Asian theme stencil placed here and there around the surface was the ticket to unifying the multiple images. Then using Shiva Paint Stick COPPER on a stencil brush, the open stencil areas were brushed in a slightly transparent fashion.
The above photo IS slightly deceiving in that the soft yellow background didn't show as well... but you do get the idea of what the stencil did. The next pic is the finished version (double click for closeup). I did feel a bolder yellow here and there in the background would add interest and move the eye around. So my Tsukineko bottled inks were added to finish off the top which is a far distance from where we started. I LOVE the journey!
The stenciled areas were further defined when quilted with a single thread black outline. The yellow background areas were quilted in similar color thread and then it was time to finish the edges. I added a stencil matching fabric ( soft copper color) of 1/4 viewable binding..machine stitched using monopoly top and bottom... Sleeve and label on the back and this baby is ready to go. Where?
This piece will be part of the teaching quilters donations to the public silent auction at Houston International in early November.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Creating Background Interest and Stamping Images

Following up on previous post, some darker values are added to the cotton background (using Pebeo Setacolor transparent paints). The paints are added now as once all the matte medium is down... it is more of a challenge to add pigment atop 'matte' painted areas.

Once paint was dry, ink stamping was done and once dry again, images were enhanced using prismacolor pencils.

We aren't quite done but I note here that this slightly wrinkled art quilt top will be covered with a press cloth and heat set. The next challenge I see is to add some subtle imagery that will help visually link all these independant images. I have a plan! So far... this whole process is truly fun!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sometimes you HAVE to just PLAY!

I know this has to have happened to you too. I had soooo much on my plate ( ie.. my to do list) my little head was spinning so I NEEDED to take a day to play and do something outside of my own box. That said, I took a 1 day class with Judy Perez on mixed media on fabric. It's just too fun selecting miscellaneous things you wish to essentially glue, stencil, or stamp onto fabric. I chose an Asian theme because I had several Asian stamps with me, and there were available news clippings from Asian papers, japanese art papers, and chinese restaurant tissues, plus some interesting butterfly/dragon fly tissues I could use. Step one is to lay out the choices and rearrange to my liking. Step two was to carefully 'glue' them down (using matte medium) to the prepainted/dry cotton fabric.. all the while saving room for planned stamped areas. You see some stamps lying on the surface here.
I'll post more soon.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Heading To Houston

I spent this morning and afternoon getting sleeves (top and bottom) on the back, adding the label, and photographing "My Kind Of Dragon".... meaning "NOT a scary one" and one with great benefits as well. I love this dragon more than the quilt itself. The male "Leafy Sea Dragon" found in the kelp beds of Australia seem to be a good partner. Leafy Sea Dragons breed annually when the female choses the male, and then transfers her fertilized eggs to him to carry til birth. That sounds like a great idea to me. This piece (44"W x 41"L) is now headed for Houston to the International Festival scheduled in early November.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Day with Lisa E.

What a blast I had with this class. First, I am seldom in the states when Long Beach Quilt Festival is held, so when this year was different, I decided I would take and play in several surface design classes. The first with "Letterista" Lisa Engelbrecht of Southern California. I chose this class because Lisa uses Acrylic Inks in creating background for text and well as text. Since I haven't been a great proponent of anything acrylic on fabric, I decided to play and see. I knew some acrylic paints were getting more fabric friendly... I would also say these inks seem to be. I tried 2 types... FW and Liquitex Inks. I most liked the FW acrylic.
(available at or any sizeable art supply store) Here's Lisa's site info. You may want to check her out.

Here's a photo collage of backgrounds fancifully painted with inks on heavier muslin and or light canvas.
these were fun!!!

I still have to experiment with these on lighter fabric I enjoy, but I recognize why Lisa chose a slightly more rigid fabric as she letters atop them.
Look at some of her beautiful work:
then there's my very favorite piece.... spectacular!!!!! Double click for real closeup.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dancing In The Park!

I have some arsty stuff from Long Beach to get posted, but had to post this fun family thing too. My husbands daughters (all grown) from a previous marraige are spectacular and reunite from New Jersey to here each summer. Last night, we went to Claremont, California's summer concert in the park ... What a great time! There were surely 2000 + people there in a big park with a concert bowl for so much fun,

First the 2 grown and ever so loving sisters dancin' to "beat the band"... Shari (left) and Theresa.
Then New Jersey boy grandson Leo asked his G'ma to dance. Leo looks mighty proud and happy!

Plus hubby Ray and his daughter Theresa "cut a rug" every way but loose.
and Ray's daughter Shari and sweetheart Jim got out there too.

What a great way to spend a summer evening! I hope you take advantage of any such events in your home town.. YOU'll HAVE A BALL!