Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Etsy items

No, the birds aren't on my Etsy, but I just had to share my favorite bird photo out of the hundreds I shot at my sister's house over Christmas. The bird eating is a tufted titmouse and one of the male cardinals is coming in for lunch:
I finally got my small rag journals listed in my Etsy shop thanks to a book I won a couple of weeks ago over on Ricë's blog: "Crafty Superstar" by Grace Dobush. In the book she shows how to make a light box for taking photos inside and since we have a dearth of sunshine nowadays, I have been slacking off on taking pics of my creations. But now I have that little issue licked! Thanks Ricë and Grace.
Here are the Small Rag Journals I am selling:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Present Presentation

I spent most of the past week baking cookies and working on little art quilts. Our friends are coming over this evening for early Christmas celebration. I bought a couple of large clear glass plates, lined them with a fabric napkin I made, piled them with cookies, then wrapped them in red organza. Tied to the ribbon is one of the ornaments I made (see previous post). The Chex Mix and white chocolate popcorn in the glass jars have homemade labels I created from canvas, leftover napkin fabric, and an embossed image. The labels are tied to the jars with ribbon. The cards are also hand made from leftover ornament fabric. Hope they like them!
Thursday we will be heading up to central NY to spend Christmas with my mother, my sister and her family. I will try to post the basket I made for one of the cookie presentations if I remember before I leave. The basket was a pain in the patoot to make, but actually came out pretty good! Off to heat up the lasagna.......

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Recent Projects

As usual I have been busy creating, creating, creating. Some of my items will remain a secret until they are given to the recipients at Christmas, but here are some I can show you. I posted on Facebook that I was going cross-eyed from blanket stitching ornaments. Well, the first set of 4 are almost finished, just needing to be stuffed and quilted a bit for more dimension. I started a second set after seeing how well the first ones are turning out. I knew they would be time intensive so I didn't want to get in too deep with more than one set at a time. I would hate to have wasted time and more materials if they just weren't working out! These ornaments will be part of other presents I will be giving away so I am choosing to show the incomplete set so it's still partially a surprise. So far these are fused and basted and need to be blanket stitched and embroidered:
I made another small rag journal. The more of these I make the more I like them. I put some really cool beads and charms on the spine to add some glitz:
I have joined my mother's quilt guild in central NY and needless to say I won't be attending many monthly meetings, but I do want to learn to quilt better so I can contribute when needed. I'm not much into the traditional patchwork quilts, but figured I should at least know how to piece them for background knowledge. My main quilting goal is to create original art quilts, but for now I need to learn the basics. I've pieced 4 basic blocks with not rhyme or reason to the color schemes, just used whatever was handy and had enough of for each block. They are all basted to the batting and backing and I finished hand quilting the Whirling Geese block. The plan is to finish blocks, bind them individually as blocks and then make a block sampler book out of them. The blocks are different sizes which will definitely be cool when I make them into the book. Too much uniformity puts me to sleep! This is the Whirling Geese made from black, red, and white; hand quilted with white thread:
The pattern I downloaded from McCall's calls this block Hole in the Barn Door, but I have seen it called other names. For this block I used some of my Moda stash (yes, Cin, from the yard sale!):
I love this one ~ Card trick. All but the blue/purple fabric are again from the yard sale Moda stash:

Stay tuned for some really good news in my little art world here at Faerie Acres!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

OMG! This is freaking hilarious!

Since I'm blog deficient and don't feel like figuring out how to actually put the video in my post, go here to watch the Patty Cake playing cats (thanks Ricë!). Both Dave and I had tears running down our faces and he made me play it again.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Real Snow!

Now for some "real" snow! I've been watching the progressive snowfall today and loving it. Of course, I don't have to go out in it if I don't want to.......... It's a nice day to stay inside and finish some projects. I've been working up some quilt square samples, have to create the last of the swaps for my yahoo group, and write some for a new article I'll talk about later. For now, the snow:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Carla Sonheim Journal and Snow in the Mountains

Since my mother doesn't read my blog I feel safe in showing progress on her Christmas present. I have signed up for Carla Sonheim's journal and purse class which I have envied since I saw it presented at Joggles. She has offered the class on her blog so I jumped at the chance to take this online class from her. Carla offered her drawings to use as a focal point for the cover of the journal, but instead I enlarged the Matroiska pattern I had used for my mother's needle case (see earlier post) and appliqued it for the cover. So far we have created the outside and inside cover with fabric and lace and I am anxiously awaiting the next steps:
The front:

the inside cover with a small pocket on the back:

This morning it snowed! Wahoo! Before you Easterners excoriate me for rejoicing in the first snowfall remember that we moved precisely for the colder and changing weather! In Phoenix there was (and still is) not discernable change in weather, it just goes from very hot in the summer to not so hot in the winter. Sure, you may be enjoying the "cooler" weather now, but call me in August! We just couldn't deal with the same-old, same-old day in a day out. Yesterday it rained 6" and today it snowed. LOVE IT! The snow is beginning to melt already as the sun is coming out, but it is still windy and fabulous outside! We are toasty in here with the new wood stove burning away in the basement.

Monday, November 29, 2010


We have a flock of over 20 wild turkeys roaming the woods and our property. They seem to be enjoying the huge amount of acorns that fell from our oak trees earlier this fall. Sometimes we will see them twice a day and some days not at all. Dave and I usually stop what we are doing and just watch them scratching under the leaves, backing up to eat whatever they've found. They make quite a few different noises (haven't hear the "gobble" yet! lol) and just are fun to watch. At first glance they seem to be, how shall I say this, on the not-so-pretty end of the bird spectrum, but hopefully you can see in this shot that their feathers are really rather pretty! Shades of rich brown and speckled. I keep waiting for them to shed these beauties so I can add them to my art.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pound this!

I've been thinking that there is a secret to flower pounding from the online research I've done. But, noooooo........ all you need is pre-washed muslin, a flower, and a hammer. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, didn't back it with tape, didn't treat the fabric, etc. Why didn't I do this earlier? Now I have to wait until Spring to gather some flowers and stuff from my property. Anyway, Cheri gave me some petunias and a few petal fell off so I ran upstairs, gave flower pounding a try and got this:

I had a moment afterwards! Cool stuff!
Update on my stash-busting books: I have almost 40 done and STILL haven't made a dent in my stash.......... methinks I have too much paper!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What I've been making -- Part 2

These little 6X6 books are a result of my stash-busting efforts. I have made 31 so far and still haven't made a dent in my paper stash! It doesn't help that I sent a medium priority box home from April's full of paper, but I couldn't resist the Basic Grey. I have used Scenic Route, SEI, and Heidi Grace paper lines to create these little books. Cheri came over the other day and made 2 for Christmas presents. She's giving them as phone message books. Clever idea, girlfriend! Even though there are several from each paper line, they are all unique. I used whatever embellishments I had that matched and made it work. These will be either gifts and/or etsy offerings.
This first photo shows almost all of the finished books:

... and the covers of 3 different ones:

I received a Joann's ad in the mail a week or so ago and they had this cute Nutcracker made from sewing supplies on the cover. April and I love Nutcrackers so I saved the illustration and copied it into my Moleskine journal. I used watercolor pencils (no water, though) and gel pens for the gold and silver. I think he's cute and what a clever idea they came up with!

More journal pages (see, I told you I was working it!): the left hand page looked like crap until I put the washi tape over it. The base is collaged book pages with random scrapbook paper words as well as some Japanese paper glued on top. It looked very disjointed at that point so I laid some tape strips on top, and it turned out looking pretty good. The right hand page is a piece of painted paper towel. Love the intense colors.

Like the pages above, these are just backgrounds so far. The are both watercolor crayon/pencil backgrounds (still experimenting). The left hand page is orange, yellow, and black scribbles with washi tape and a left-over sticker (from the books at the beginning of the post). Right hand page is scribbled circles in blues, greens, and purple with some outlined in black pen. Just playing with the colors at this point.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What I've been making -- Part 1

I have not been faithfully following the word prompts for Dawn's NaNoJouMo, but I HAVE been working in my Moleskine journal. Truthfully, the words have not inspired me to do much with them, so I stopped trying to force it. I have written them down as a reference and may work with them eventually, but for now I'm doing my own thing. Both pages below have watercolor crayon/pencil backgrounds (love experimenting with these), the left hand page has a stamped saying (I did actually put the word "reverie" on the page) along with a tab and a chipboard piece leftover from another project. The right page is just a rant from yesterday about my inability to complete most of the projects I start. I'm working on that!

I think I may have already posted the "esoteric" page, but didn't feel like cropping photos today, so apologies if it is a repeat. That left hand page has book pages collaged as a background, the flower is watercolor pencil, and the word "esoteric" is gel pens. Right hand page is day 10: liberty.

I've been attempting, in vain so far, to learn to knit. I can make the stitches, but my tension is too tight, the pattern I want to work has yarn-overs and stitches knitted together and I can only get so far before I start heaving the needles across the room! I keep going back to the needles and hopefully someday I will get the tension correct. I CAN crochet, however! Dave and I traveled to Elkin, NC to get some more yummy wine from Carolina Heritage Vineyards and also stopped in the local yarn store. I am crocheting a purse (supposed to be fall colors since it will have leaves and an acorn closure) in some pretty jewel toned yarn. I have completed the front and back panels and am now working on the sides. I love the way the colors are turning out:

Hey, look! I actually finished something! I worked up a smaller version of my Rag Journal (see previous posts) with sketch/drawing paper for the pages. It measures appr. 5" X 7" and I think it turned out cute. I'll have to get some more finished for my etsy shop.

I also completed all of the steps so far in Linda's stitch-along quilt on Thistledown & Co. blog. I was getting severely frustrated the other day following the directions so I left Linda a message which she promptly answered on her blog. Seems a vital step never posted. Whew! I was getting worried, but now have the quilt top up to speed with her directions. I haven't done too badly with matching seams so far. The fabric is Moda and I think my "dark" could have been darker for more contrast, but I love the fabric anyway.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More Journal Pages

I completed a few more pages for Dawn's NaNoJouMo prompts. I haven't considered myself a journaler per se, but I really want to continue to journaling. This has been a great experience so far and I WON'T give up! I am a few days behind, but today will be a great day to catch up as my husband is varnishing the wood stairs leading up to my art room and I am not allowed on them until tomorrow. Dang, why did I have to be so anal and put almost ALL of my art supplies upstairs yesterday? This will be a test of how much I can do with what I have available downstairs! Fortunately all of my Zentangle and journal supplies are here with me. Whew! Anywhoo........... Day 5 (drat, I noticed that I put Day 4 on the journal entry, I fixed it, but am keeping the incorrect photo!) word was equanimity. The "name tag" near the center of the page is actually a drink cling I took from April's stash we cleaned out while I was in AZ. I LOVE "Hello, my name is..." name tags, but I can't say why! Basically I just put the definition of equanimity on the page and journaled a little about the difficult of maintaining that state.
Day 6: esoteric Just wanted to put a watercolor flower on the text collaged page without much writing.
Day 7 is my favorite so far! The word was moment and the text reads: "yesterday is only a memory, tomorrow but a dream. today, this MOMENT, is all that exists. This MOMENT happens only ONCE. live it!"

Happy journaling!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Journal Pages

Even though I have not posted for a couple of days, I HAVE been creating (as I told my sister: "If I don't create something or at least handle my supplies every day, I get a little bitchy!"). The link for Art Every Day Month is over there ---->
I worked on some pages for books I want to make, not real happy with them right now so they are tucked away out of sight for a while.
Still tangling in various journals, playing with watercolor backgrounds, and working on Dawn's NaNoJouMo word prompts (again, the link is over there ---->)
My newest project is creating a piece for Alma Stoller's The Glossy Project (wait for it: link over there ---->), I've just started and won't take pics until I have some work done on the piece. Check out what Alma has done, she's fantastically creative!
A couple of random, new journal pages where I played with watercolor, journaling in curves, and a new Zentangle page-

For Dawn's NaNoJouMo (National Nonstop Journaling Month) Day 1's word was "inception" and Day 2's word was "choice." My pages aren't very "colorful", but I was playing with the curvy words--

Day 3: "fortune", I found a use for my MANY Chinese fortune cookie fortunes (why, oh, why do I feel the need to save EVERYTHING? geesh! get a grip!) --

Day 4: "quarter" The background is a version of the ink/shaving cream method that I played with before the trip, it just happened to be the next page so I used it. Can you tell I'm a language arts teacher (noun and verb anyone?) --

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Visit to Az and Art

I flew back to AZ for 5 days last week to help April sort, clean, and store the supplies in her craft room so that they can get the room set up for their baby due next March. It was a lot of work, but I think we did a good job. Most of the give-away supplies went to my friends, Karen and Miranda. I'm sure they will make good use of them. Lots of stuff is winging its way here for either me or my friends Cheri and Mary Ann. Since most of it was mine to begin with, it has come full circle!
Before leaving I began several projects, one of which I am calling my Rag Journal. The original cover for these pages was a gutted hardcover book with a painted canvas spine, buuuuut......I should know better than to make a cover prior to the pages! The pages didn't fit (there were too many, not the wrong size) so the result is Plan B. I used latch hook canvas and used LOTS of scraps:

I made nearly a bazillion pages trying out different techniques. One day I painted, the next I sewed, another I got out tape and stamps, etc. Very random, but I'm liking the color schemes. I just match up what I want to go on the page, for instance I found a red ticket which went perfectly with the page below. The dress stamp is an image I practiced tangling on as seen in a book April got for me, "Zentangles 3" by Suzanne McNeill. Very cool book and I am loving practicing the new tangles!

I plan to make more, smaller sized Rag Journals for my Etsy shop, but want to focus the pages so I am trying 2 or 3 techniques in a limited color palette. I paint scraped on the reverse of some scrapbook paper with terra cotta, sage green, and blue (the muted colors on the patterned side).

I joined "Art a Day Month" (there should be a button over on the side if I can get it there!) so the pages above are what I created yesterday as well as the third lesson of a mystery quilt over at Thistledown & Co. blog. I'm thinking it won't be much of a stretch to create something every day since that's all I do! Now it will force me to record my projects and keep my blog up to date!
So over at April's zoo, I mean house, she has a new puppy (90 lbs. of boxer), Jackson who is a sweetie-pie and strong enough to pull me and the futon across the floor in a rousing game of tug-0f-war! He thinks he's a lap dog and who am I to argue?

Last (but certainly not least!) April got her gender ultrasound, originally scheduled for mid-November, rescheduled for last Friday while I was visiting! Got to see many, many parts of the baby in utero. Sucking HIS left thumb, waving arms, etc. Pretty cool. It was VERY apparent that it is a boy so I made a journal page in my new Moleskine:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The finished purse:

Includes hand-sewn zipper and zipper pull (not in the directions). The seams even lined up on this one.......ha ha! On to the next project, a little wallet to match my purse. Google here I come.


It's magic (or will be)! One of the aspects of creating that is satisfying to me is taking a small pile of something and turning it into a three-dimensional creation. Take like, oh for instance, this small pile of Moda fabric:

Add some thread, batting, buttons, and zipper and soon.... POOF! it will become a small purse for April. Watch and see, I dare you!

Packaging Overkill

I understand careful packaging. I get it.......I don't want my Zig Writer pens to explode or rip the packaging while in transit. Seriously, I appreciate the care with which items are packaged and sent through the ruthless USPS. Thank you, Amazon and Ben Franklin for your extremely careful packaging of my 2 Zig pens:

However.... seriously? I needed a box THIS big (5 1/2 x 7 12 X 12) to transport my two lonely pens from Grand Rapids, MI to Woodlawn? Get some smaller boxes! I appreciate the quick shipping, really I do, but........ what a waste of cardboard to send me the pens.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Nuts! and a finished project

I actually started and completed a project in two days..........unbelievable. I usually start a project, get partway through and abandon it to my ever-growing pile of UFOs. *Sigh* However, I bought a couple of cute patterns at the Cazenovia fabric store while visiting central NY. One was a cute quilted bag made from the 5" squares you can buy at quilt fabric stores. I purchased a pack of Moda's Urban Couture (Basic Grey paper line) earlier this summer and decided to go for it. There's a very good reason why I don't quilt! I'll leave that up to my mother, I'll try art quilts. None of the seams matched up and some of the pieces are upside-down, but by God! I finished this little sucker, hand-sewn zipper and all! I think it's cute despite it's flaws. I may even try another one being a little more careful with my seams. I'm much better at random sewing than trying to make even seam widths. Maybe if I just practiced more? I'll have to ponder that.....
The squirrels are out in force the past couple of weeks finally eating some of the bazillion acorns littering our property. I tried out my long lens to shoot one of the guys eating:
Finally: Elf Ears! I'm planning to use this as my Facebook pic, it's SO me!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Favorite Photos from Central NY

I traveled to Central New York last week to visit my mother in Madison and my sister in Binghamton and while there I assisted at my mother's quilt guild's bi-annual quilt show. I chose a few of the photos (from the 200+ that I took) to show you. It took me several shots and flocks of Canada geese to figure out how to shoot them (manual focus!) so here is by far the largest flock I saw. This was taken at Madison Lake in my hometown of Madison:
Again at Madison Lake. I was going for the windmills in the distance (they were not around when I grew up in Madison so they fascinate me) and ended up with a fab shot of the trees' reflection on the lake:
A view of the street in Madison, again showcasing the beautiful fall colors:
A close-up of the Maple leaves:
And finally (for this post) the fog over the hills on my way to the quilt show:

I have more so check out the post below!