Sunday, June 28, 2009

When Quilting Arts magazine first came out back in 2001 I started with issue 2 and could never find issue 1 until they did re-publish it a few years ago and then I bought it and had the full set. I was one of the people who dropped their subscription a few years ago because I just found it was not going in my direction. Just my own opinion. I thought it would be a lot of cq and I was just beginning and was so excited to receive it. In issue 3 there was a purse made by Kellie Sammon of Pocketful of Posies. I loved the purse and it had been made of all hand dyed velvet fabric by Kellie. I contacted her and she sold me a lovely bunch of the velvet pieces enough to make at least one purse.

I started on it and then it became one of those UFOs that get put in a box or drawer and forgotten about. Well last year I found it and decided to finish it. I did and just a couple of weeks ago I mailed it to my niece in Toronto for her 50th. birthday. She was very excited to receive it and will hopefully make some use of it at cocktail parties, lunches, etc. Happy birthday Linda.

I don't know if Kellie is still in business or not. I must google her and see what I find. I did a beaded handle on it from a necklace I bought with the thought of a purse in mind and they worked great on this one. The beads were a flea market find.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My daughter Sue and I did go to the luncheon and book signing for Lisa See's new book called "Shanghai Girls". It was in a very nice restaurant called Lovells in Lake Forest. The restaurant is run by the son of the former Astronaut James Lovell. It was a full house and Lisa signed some books before lunch then stopped for lunch. After lunch she talked for a good hour and answered questions. Her family history is amazing. My daughter had suggested I read the family biography called On Gold Mountain to learn about her Chinese relatives and their histories. I bought it and she autographed it for me to "The Graham Girls" which was my maiden name.
I have 2 older sisters. Dorothy passed away almost 3 years ago and Irene is still alive and well. The reason I had her sign it this way is she spent a lot of time talking about sisters and their relationships both good and bad and had us laughing and almost crying. The story of the Shanghai Girls is of 2 sisters from Shanghai named May and Pearl back in 1937. That is all I will tell you so I don't spoil any of this for you if you do read it. The only other thing I will say is that at the end of the book my first thought is I wonder if there will be a sequel to this and my daughter just finished the book the night before and the first thing she asked is did I think there would be a sequel. Well she confirmed there will be and she is working on it now.
She was a delight to listen to. After lunch she signed more books and I had taken my camera and went to get ready to take pictures and the sd card was not in there but at home in my computer from the previous pics I downloaded. Sue has a phone that takes pics so we grabbed that and Lisa was very gracious taking a pic with us individually.
They are not too clear and I am glad because on Monday I was at the dermatologists to have a basel cell cancer cut off my face. He cut from the side of the right eye through into the hairline. They had to cut some hair out. He told me I might have a black eye and he was right. I had a swollen eye and it is turning colors. I had a very large bandaid over it so it was covered at least. My daughter's pic was not very clear and I took it so blame me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I am back working on the butterfly quilt or should I say my version of it. I think the only resemblance to the calender one is the layout and I will have a large butterfly in the middle. I am just doing my own thing on the squares. I left a good 1-2" around the 10" squares so I would not have to worry about ravelling, etc. Last night I cut out a 10"frame so I could lay it over and let me see exactly what the 10" square looked like. I should have thought of doing this a long time ago. It really helps. I have the above block finished or thought I did until I looked at the pictures then wondered if I should add some more beads to the black butterfly square - is it too bare? That is the trouble with cq when do you stop with a block. If you look at this square please leave me some feedback as to what you think.

I took a pic of one of the roses from the bouquet mentioned below as they are fully open now. They are so beautiful.

If anyone is a fan of Lisa See my daughter and I have read her books including the new one whose name escapes me at the moment. It was well worth reading. She is in the Chicago area and Sue and I are going to lunch at Lovells restaurant in Lake Forest tomorrow and she will be there as the speaker and signing books I assume. Sue already bought the book so must remind her to take it with her. We were on a waiting list as they could accomodate only 120 people .. Well today Sue got a call that someone cancelled so we can go. She had some last minute finagling to do. She is teaching VB school this week so had to get a replacement and she did then had to convince her 13 year old to babysit the 6 year old and she would pay him. The 11 year old is at camp this week in Wisconsin. the 13 year old was there last week. She still gets a babysitter for the 3 when they go out at night just so the younger ones will listen and they do for the babysitter whereas with brother it is a different story. Don't all of us mothers with grown kids remember those days.
Will give you an update on Lisa See after tomorrow.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

In the Chicago area we have had hardly a day without rain and some of the storms have been very heavy. If it was sunny in the daytime it would storm all night or vice versa. Thursday night it stormed all night and stopped about noon yesterday.Wehad about 4" of water just in that time not counting the water already on the ground. We had more water sitting on the ground then I have seen in our 13 years in this house. It was like a swiming pool to the one side of our house. You could not see grass or the brick walk just a bed of hostas with their tips sitting up. Luckily our basement was high and dry and the sump pump was going continually. It was a new one from last year plus we have a battery operated one also. Many people in the area were flooded out and many are still without electricity in our NW suburbs. We are on a small wooded court with just 6 houses. We are the second in and the 3rd & 4th. are at the lowest part of the street. Well we have fairly new neighbours who are from Korea and they do not speak very good English except for their teenage son and older daughter who is a concert violinist in Philadelphia. Well I happened to be in the garage after the rain stopped and she came running out of her house and crying run up to our younger neighbour on the corner. Tim ran down to her house and I thought for sure someone was ill or hurt. Well her house was flooding from water pouring down from the high point of the forest behind her house. Tim ran and got a shovel and started to dig a trench trying to get the waer away from her house. Our next door neighbour had a small pump and they got that going and I grabbed all the large bath towels we had and ran over with them and she started to sop up the water on the carpet with them. Well her husband came home and had a carpet cleaner to suck up the water plus the trench idea worked the best.
It started to pour again last night and all I could think of was them sitting in their house with the lighning and thunder worrying about flooding.

Well this afternoon there was a knock on the door and she was standing there with my large pile of towels, washed and dried and then she handed me 6 long stem pink roses for helping her. They didn't have shovels so I had taken 2 of ours over and she is keeping them in case they need them again.
I put the roses in a vase and filled it out with large hosta leaves. One of my favorite fillers. That is the pic above.

Tim's son was getting married today and he was just leaving to go over and help decorate for the rehearsal dinner but instead he grabbed that shovel and went to work. He was soaked because it also started to pour again.

We are very blessed that we have good neighbours - you never know when you might be the one who needs the help. Maybe someone smiled on Tim because this morning the sun was out and it was a beautiful day for a wedding.
I think the only one who liked the rain was my large fish in the garden on the deck that disappeared under water. He was probably in his glory with all that water. Just kidding as he stands about 2 ft. high but I literally could not see any flowers. I am hoping they all survive this much water.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I received my puzzle pieces this past week and it was such fun opening the envelope and out fell 5 pieces. I made 4 for trade and the 1 for Pat herself. I was amazed at the amount of work these gals put into these tiny little puzzle pieces. They measure 4 1/2"
square including the cutouts that jut out. I thought you might like to see them and you may want to join in the next one Pat has. It will be awhile as she needs to recover from this one. Pat said that anyone that wanted to trade one with her personally was just to tell her. Well Pat not only had to make hers for the swap but one for every single gal that asked her and I am sure it was a lot of people. This is way beyond being generous and kind as for you that know Pat she is both of these things and would never disappoint anyone. Hope you enjoy looking at them.

1st. pic - made by Pat winter
2nd. pic - made by Terisa Brooks-Huddleston
3rd. pic - made by Elizabeth Woodford
4th. pic - made by Terries Thread Art
5th. pic - made by Sharon Chapman

You can hit to enlarge any of my pics so please do and look at the tiny details. Wonderful.

Thank you ladies for your puzzle piece. I love each and every one of them.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

tonight I have another swap item to show you. It was a pinkeeper made with the CD inside. This was another of Vickie Brown's swaps.
I was trading with Orinda of Colorado who is an exquisite stitcher especially in her detail work. I have pictures of the full front and back of the pinkeeper then thought you would like to see closeups of her stitching and beading front and back. Also the little extras that she added to the top front. You will agree that she is like no one else when it comes to her work. Wonderful.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Another cool and rainy night and day in Chicago. The rain really came down last night and the sun did come out this afternoon for awhile but it is not a typical June. Should be in the 80's and we are in the 60's. 70 is a warm day.

Last May my daughter and I were out shopping and were in a Tuesday Morning store. I saw this large fish and said very casually to my daughter look at that fish. It is really something but too expensive. Well she just sort of looked, shrugged and away we went. Well Mother's Day she hands me this large shopping bag and what is inside but the fish as a gift from David (my oldest son) and her.

Last year I had it lying down in the yard with some trailing plant coming out of it's mouth but decided this year to dig it down in a little to hold it and have it straight up. I planted some pony grass and impatience in it. See if you like my fish as much as I do.

Friday, June 12, 2009

MaryAnne of http;// has just posted a new technique and made a piece of fabric that looks like leather. Now when you first look you think "what is that"? Sort of ugly but it grows on you. I told her I had a pic to post of a piece of fabric I made on the embellisher and then embellished by hand that could beat that for ugly but in reality when you see it in person it is very nice. I actually made two samples on normal size pieces of felt and they are going to be added to the front of tote bags.

The one I am referring to as ugly is the brown one with the furry look. The turquoise one is actually my favorite of the two.

Just a little fun today.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I mentioned in the last post about going into swaps. I have some pictures you might enjoy today that were from a needlecase swap run by Vickie Brown of Ribbonsmyth. My name was given to Jules Yonge of Texas and she sent me this absolutely beautiful needlebook. I say book because it is hard sided and joined with fabric hinges. She is an expert needleworker and I was just blown away when it arrived. She spent a tremedous amount of time making this I am sure. She has become a nice on line friend and maybe some day we will meet at a retreat somewhere. Right now Jules is having a hard time in her life. Her elderly aunt she was very close to passed away, then her Father passed away and Jules then broke her ankle. I think her hard times are behind her and there will be sunshine ahead.

I took these pics outside today but they appear a little washed out. In real life they are much more vibrant.

I have pics somewhere of the one I made for the swap but I cannot think of who I sent it to. When I do I will post the pics.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Yesterday I worked out in the yard for about 3 hours. I did the balance of the planting on the deck then divided some things up and generally moved things around in the garden. I was able to move all the furniture, planters, etc back on Sat. I am very pleased with the color of the deck now and did do another coat of remover on the lower deck and then power washed it with - MY OWN POWER WASHER -. I had so much fun using that thing that I decided with all the brick work and decking we have around here I could sure use one. I had borrowed the neighbors when the hose wasn't working well. Not enough pressure. I must make him a pie or something for being so kind to lend it to me and tell me to keep it as long as I needed it. It threatened rain all day but never came until in the night then we had a good storm. Everything is so green after a good rain. I think the sun is coming out now and will take some pics this afternoon. It will be so much prettier when the plants in the pots have taken off and are really in bloom.

I mentioned that I had Pat Winters puzzle piece but didn't want to take a pic of it until she had received it. Well now she has. It must have taken her days to do this swap. Pat has done various ones in the past and I have always enjoyed them. Thank you Pat for all your hard work.

The colors in her puzzle piece are teal taffeta punched with an overlay of black lace then once embellished the stiffening was attached and then the back piece of the same dark teal. We buttonholed around it to hold all together. I don't think the embellishments show up in the pic. It is hard to

photo glitzy items. I hope she likes it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tonight's post is more of a family post. You all probably know I have 5 grandsons and only 1 grandaughter. Well she turned 14 in Feb. and graduated last night from jr. high and will enter high school at Fremd High in Palatine, IL. Her brother will be a junior there this year. The unfortunte part of graduating is a lot of schools funnel into this jr. high but only about 10% go on to Fremd and the rest go to Palatine High. Therefore friends they have made in the past two years are split up. I guess that is life and you just go forward. Jenny is a very happy girl and is very friendly so I know before long she will know half the school.

We got there about 6.30 for the 7 program and were seated right on the ground floor in front of the stands because of Harv being in the wheelchair.
My daghter had nabbed 2 tickets so she bought her 7th. grader who will be doing the same thing next year. She crawled into the bench behind us in the special seating She is also very social and volunteers at all the schools so knew probably half the kids there. I am posting a pic of Jenny herself, one with her Mom & Dad (her dad is my middle son) and one with Grandma who had bought her red roses . She looked lovely and was going on to a party after.

I did comment that it looked more like a high school graduation. 8th graders sure have changed. I spent more time looking at the girls teetering along on very high, bejewelled shoes. Life sure does change.

Love you Jenny - she was always my girl when she was little. Still is my girl.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I am not getting very far with the butterfly quilt because I am still not organized. Too much with inside and outside but hope to have it all in order outside by the weekend unless it rains again. We have had a lot of rain lately. Almost every second day.
I thought I would go back and show you a few things that I have made over the past years and taken pics of. In July 2007 I found Robin Atkins was teaching a beading class thru the Embroiderers Guild and was able to get into a 2 day class. It was very close to me so I could just drive back and forth every day. She is a wonderful beader and teacher but this was a very free form type of beading. She said to find a bead we really liked and sew it down to the fabric. I regress that initially she had us pick out a pattern of a small amulet type bag and draw it onto our fabric we had bought with us with beads that would go with it colorwise. From there we just meandered and it was a lot of fun. If we were stuck she was there to help us but we all did end up with such different things. I made a small amulet bag that I wear and every time I get compliments on it. Went for lunch and shopping with my daughter for our last free day as the boys are on the run as of Mon. and a couple of people commented on it.
It is hard to take pictures of beads but there is the bag and as closeup as I had been able to get.