No Tree This Christmas!

Barnie on china cabinet

And this, my friends, is why there will be no tree in our house this year. This, and watching cats vs. Christmas tree videos on YouTube. I figure if the dining room table is a launchpad to the china cabinet, the coffee and end tables would be open invitations to the tree. It’s interesting how having 3 house cats has changed our lives!

Advertisements

New Beginnings

With Labor Day, my birthday and the first day of school (back when I was in school!) usually all falling in the same week, this time of year feels like time to start fresh. It was a great summer, I won third place in the Hoffman Challenge accessories division and started selling my work in a local shop!

IMG_1466Meet Serendipity, my Hoffman Challenge entry. I loved this fabric the moment I saw it and knew I had to feature that little “magic carpet” on my bag. I had started in a completely different direction and wasn’t happy with it so when my friend suggested I look at ethnic bags on line for inspiration, I dumped the first concept in a heartbeat and everything fell into place almost effortlessly. I modified “Abigail” from Chris W Designs for size regulations of the challenge and was off having fun. A skirt from a thrift store provided the brass beads, sequins and dangles and I did a lot of surface embellishing. Here’s a few more shots of my “baby”:

IMG_1467IMG_1471IMG_1468

A local consignment shop, The Artistic Attic, was looking for new artists so I took my purses and other accessories in and finally had some success selling! My Etsy store never took off so this is really exciting for me. I love digging around in thrift stores for fabric treasures to recycle/upcycle into new pieces. “Pebbles” is made from a “new” denim skirt (with tags still on it), “new” suede pants (tags still on them) and a child’s two-piece leopard print outfit. It’s so much fun bringing these garments together into a cohesive piece. I was happy with the results and it’s really exciting to have a total stranger buy my work!

IMG_1519IMG_1524

Front                                       Back

IMG_1520

Detail

My “new beginnings” are off to a good start and my only resolution now is to keep the creativity going!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween 2013

Isn’t this a wonderful little quilt? My BFF quilting friend Janis Turocy made it for me and it surprised me arriving in the mail at work one day. I simply love it! I have a “thing” for black cats–three share our house and three more feral cats live in the yard (yes, that’s six black cats!)–so this just makes me smile. The cats and pumpkin are wool and are hand blanket stitched, the rest is cotton and the entire quilt is hand quilted. Over-all it’s 9 x 13.5 inches and is the perfect accent in my cubicle at work. It may NOT come down November 1st! Happy Halloween everyone!

Fabric and Fun in Philadelphia, Part 3

Thanks to technological challenges, I’ve been a little MIA, but I think things are cleared up. I hope so at least!

My phinal day in Philly was phull of phun and phabric. (Sorry. I’ve been wanting to do that since the beginning. It is now or never and is out of my system.) Philadelphia’s Fabric Row.  (http://www.visitphilly.com/shopping/philadelphia/fabric-row/)  What a fun place to visit! So much fabric and so little time. The shops are amazing–so much stuff crammed into small spaces–it’s impossible to absorb everything!

IMG_1089

Something about these bins of fabric right on the sidewalk outside several of the shops really intrigued me. Do people steal them? What if it rains? Who totes them in and out every day? They are right there on the street!

IMG_1087

There is every sort of fabric, trim and notion available at Fabric Row, though there wasn’t a huge selection of quilting cottons available. I was doing a lot of bridal work 20 years ago and was wishing I had had Fabric Row available–and convenient!–to me at the time. There is no resource like this available to Clevelanders. Sigh. Please note: there’s not just fabric to be had on Fabric Row–there are restaurants, tea shops, antique shops and I forget what else as well. So cool!

Apparently, this guy was picking stuff wherever he found it:

IMG_1088(Close Up):

sanford crop

If my husband had been along, he would’ve been whistling the theme song from “Sanford and Son”…

And just like that, my 4 day trip was over. Why do vacations fly by so fast?

Fabric and Fun in Philadelphia, Part 2

Back to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Exreavaganza (www.quiltfest.com) and the real reason for this trip aside from seeing my Hoffman Challenge (www.hoffmanchallenge.com) purse on display: viewing the quilts. Well, okay, after a fair amount of shopping, that is!

This was the first quilt that caught my eye. It’s so pretty, sort of a pastel Amish-style quilt.

Beach Quilt

But once I got up close, my jaw dropped. The quilting was amazing! The center medallion was based on a photograph of the quilter’s children playing on the beach.

Beach Quilt Center

The detail is stunning! She used a copy of the photo as the label on the back. The borders were  quilted with various marine animals, and my favorite is the corner with the jellyfish.

Beach Quillt Corner

I could have stared at this quilt all day. It’s one of those that the more you look at it, the more amazing elements you find.

I have always loved white-on-white whole cloth quilts and this one is spectacular:

IMG_1076

Here is some of the detail

IMG_1075

Here is a hand quilted beauty that I thought was amazing:

Hand Quilted

And the details!

Hand quilt detail

Hand quilt detail 2

Last, but not least is this hexagon quilt. My BFF who quilts is just head-over-heels in love with making English paper-pieced “hexies”. I see hexies in a whole new light, and am so much more aware of them now. I don’t know if this quilt was English paper pieced, but I do know I never, ever could have accomplished what this quilter did!

Hexie Quilt Hexie border detail Hexie Quilt detail

The green border with the black Celtic work was so amazing. Yards and yards of black bias so intricately and perfectly placed was phenomenal. To me, all those loops on the outside edges were the perfect finish.

Hexie edge detail

I could go on and on about all rest of the amazing quilts we saw, but these were the highlights for us.

Next post: Philadelphia’s Fabric Row

Inspiration Board, Part 2

Well, I’m obviously new to posting on my blog, and somehow I “published” instead of “previewed”! My sincere apologies and here’s the rest of my thoughts. I was trying to show how I (unsatisfactorily) used the bathroom door to photograph (with the hinge in plain view that did get cropped out of final pictures), as well as my kitchen cupboards…

IMG_0984

…and a broken tree branch.

Bella 5

Then I thought of my old inspiration board. It’s big–36″ x 48″–so I’d be able to pin almost anything I make to it for a photo session! So out came some white fabric, pinned it on, and there I have a very satisfactory and mobile board for photographing!

IMG_1054

The blue bag is my current upcycling project, and will be further discussed in my next post. Thanks for dropping by, and I’ll try not to hit wrong buttons in the future!

Inspitation Board

My old inspiration board was so old and faded, and not being used. When we moved to this house 14 years ago, I didn’t have wall space in my sewing room big enough to hang it, so it got shoved into the garage and forgotten. (And judging from the faded spots, I didn’t change my inspiration much anyhow!)

Inspiration Board

Inspiration Board

Recently I realized I want to be able to photograph my bags and accessories better than I have been. I’ve been relying on a hook on a bathroom door