Saturday, December 27, 2008

Whacky Weather!

What a difference a day or so makes! Just a few hours ago we were enduring subzero temperatures and ice storms. Today it is 60 degrees F!! The snow and ice are gone, but melting snow has choked the storm drains and we are expecting floods. Cheez!

My cousin Carolyn’s birthday is new year’s day and I made a Threadography for her. Normally, I only make one of any given image, but she really loves this one—and it’s the cover of my book. So, for her, I’m making a “limited edition.”

The stitching is complete and it will go to the framer on Monday.

I’m frustrated by a bulge in one section, though. I rarely have bulges from heavy stitching and don’t understand what happened. The piece was stabilized with Pelon Thermolam, although it’s a thinner variety than I usually use. Thread tension was fine. There was a lot of stitching in curves, which may have contributed to the abberation, but I’d love to hear your suggestions for preventing this!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Give-away winner!

And the winner is … Terri Head Moose!!
Terri, please contact me with your snail-mail address so I can send the rust-dyed purse to you.

Sorry for the delay in announcing the winner, but we were without electricity and Internet service until yesterday evening. There is another storm coming in, so who knows how long we’ll be warm and able to communicate!

The trees are all coated with ice and they make an odd sound when the strong winds blow through, causing the branches to collide. Service crews are working 16-hour shifts to restore power to as many of the 160,000+ households as possible in our area without electricity. The power company is bringing crew members from Kentucky and Tennessee to help.

The Memorial Coliseum and assorted churches in town have opened their doors to anyone without power. I can’t imagine the angst parents are experiencing with children going through withdrawal from computer and video games!

Predictions are for yet another storm mid week, making plans for holiday travel and family dinners tenuous at best. We’ll all get through this and it will make for amusing family stories in the future. But it really isn’t much fun in the here and now!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

“What in your life is calling you? When all the noise is silenced, the meetings adjourned, the lists laid aside … what still pulls on your soul?’
—Terma Collective, “The Box”

It’s the calm before the storm, literally. The sun is bright on the snow, but the weather prediction is for an ice storm tonight, which will most likely knock out the electricity.

We are used to it and have firewood and candles at the ready. I also stocked up on a few new library books to keep me entertained. What DID we do before the Internet became such an integral part of our lives?

This little beauty came in the mail today from Brenda in Muncie, IN. Brenda took my Joy of Rust Dyeing workshop in September. That was such a fun group and Brenda sent this journal cover to me as a thank you! What a total surprise.

She had no way of knowing the notebook that goes everywhere with me had just been filled and I needed another. Coincidence? I think not!

As we each deal with recent economic changes, I extend my wishes for a safe and warm holiday season, filled with the joy of family and friends—and maybe a small treat or two.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Christmas tree is up and the guest areas of the house are decked out in holiday finery.

The wreaths are up outside, the coach and pole lamps have been touched with red velvet bows, and the small tree is up. This year I painted paper mâché stars white and added white glitter for just a little sparkle. The snow that fell last night looks like frosting on the branches just outside the front door.

The Christmas cards are almost finished and I’m in a baking mood again.

There’s still time to leave a message for me on the post about the purse giveaway. The name of the lucky winner will be drawn Friday at noon EST in the US. I’ll then contact the winner for her (or his) snail mail address.

Also, let me know if you are interested in the wire hearts or metal tree cutouts for rust-dyeing fabric. They will probably not be part of the Trusty Rusty line of products. The supplier is not willing to commit to consistent quantity, price, or supply. So, when they’re gone; they’re gone!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Today was the children’s Christmas pageant at church, an annual event that warms the heart of parents, grandparents, godparents, aunts and uncles (who beam and cheer)—and older siblings (who snicker and sneer).

It includes off-key carols sung with gusto. Wise men fidgeting beneath the weight of their crowns. Wide-eyed shepherds and pint-size angels with bobbing pigtails made their way down the aisle to the cardboard stable, followed by herds of reluctant lambs and a covey of white-feathered dancing doves.

The brown-spotted cow forgot his lines and one small rabbit made a hasty retreat when he saw rows of cameras and video cams pointed at him.

There was a moment of concern when an over-enthusiastic angel turned abruptly and swept two of the smallest children off their feet.

The gray donkey will most likely recover from the unfortunate accident when the camel stepped on his tail.

Every child who wanted to participate was included in the seemingly endless stream of luminous little faces cloaked in adorable costumes.

No matter that the youthful pianist played so fast the cherub choir couldn’t keep up, or the little drummer boy lost his place and repeated the same line over and over! These little ones reminded us that what matters is the grace and joy in the gift of perfect love.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Giveaway

Well, I am finally taking the plunge with this holiday giveaway.

The signed handbag is a funky little accessory, 6" x 8 1/2" (excluding the handle).

Both fabrics on the outer shell are rust-dyed cotton. The darker fabric has been further treated with tannin and the lighter fabric has surface design applied with Paintsticks. The lining fabric and tassels have also been rust-dyed. Black piping outlines the bag and emphasizes the piecing.

Free-motion stitching is worked on the shell, front and back, in copper metallic and black rayon threads.

This sassy little bag is perfect for party or everyday.

Please leave a comment for me on today’s post and the winner will be chosen on Friday December 19th. I’ll be glad to pay postage within the states. :-)

Also, I just opened a shop on the 1,000 Markets website. Please visit my new shop at:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Instructions for this adorable CD case have been uploaded to C&T Publishing’s new blog site:

I’ve worked with a lot of publishing companies in the quilting, craft, and sewing industries and have to say working with C&T has been a delightful experience. They are extremely professional and thorough—and do a wonderful job of promoting and distributing books.

They are the publishers for Altered Photo Artistry as well as my new book, to be released July 2009. In February, I can post a photo of the cover and reveal the subject—and I can’t wait!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

You'll notice some new links along the side of the posting today. New additions will include blogrings and links to some of my favorite charity/funraising projects.

All the fabric postcards went out today to Holiday Mail for Heroes, sponsored by the American Red Cross. I'm so glad they are spearheading this effort to send greetings from plain old US citizen me to a service person who will be away from home for the December holidays. It was heartwarming to be able to reach out and send a little fabric hug to someone far away.

Now, back to the fabric collages for Collage Mania!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Can you stand one more snippet experiment? This is a photo of a tree printed on rust-dyed fabric (a white-on-white print). It has been thread painted with a YUMMY variegated thread from Linda Palaisy. The leaves are snippets of several different fabrics, stitched down with a very fine bobbin thread from Wonderfil.

It's a little busy, but I like the 3-d effect of the snippets.

It's been snowing here all day and it's beginning to pile up. I love sitting in front of the fireplace, wrapped in a quilt, sipping hot tea and watching the snow fly by the window. Cozy!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

This little piece is for Holiday Mail for Heroes, sponsored by the American Red Cross. Here is the URL, if you'd like to know more:

Details for the give away are almost complete. So, stay tuned!

I delivered four holiday postcards to Artlink yesterday. They have more than 200 entries for this exhibit! Deb Washler the executive director said this was an experiment and they are thrilled by the response. The "hallway" gallery had been designated for this exhibit and next year they will dedicate the main gallery to it! Cool!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Well, I think I finally have a handle on the snippet technique. This vintage Father Christmas is printed on silk and framed with snippets.

Compare it with the Winter Bouquet, which is also printed on silk and framed with snippets. In Winter Bouquet it looks like the background is all one fabric; in Father Christmas the background is obviously more than one piece.

1. Use larger pieces
2. Use fabrics with greater contrast
3. Stitch with larger thread
4. Stitch with less density

This is all in readiness for a major piece I'll be donating to my church just before Easter 2009.