Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Hand Knit Ornaments

 I said I would show you some non-glass ornaments, so here are just three.

My dear friend, Paula, is a knitter extraordinaire.She makes the most intricately patterned exquisite sweaters, gloves and hats. Over the years I was thrilled to be the recipient of three knitted ornaments  for my Santa tree.

They are each about four inches tall.

                        This one has a felted face and beard with a knitted hat. So cute!



                                           This one is all knitted. Note the curly beard.



How about these Santa's long johns with the tiniest buttons down the front? It even has a drop seat in the back with two more buttons.




A few years ago she made a series of adorable animal dolls. She brought them to my house for Show and Tell at a FiberWorks meeting. As I oohed and ahed about this bunny/girl, she insisted that i take it. She happily resides on some throw pillows on a chair in my bedroom. Everything is knitted in, including the skirt and Mary Janes. She even has different striped undies and a tail in the back

I cannot knit or crochet so I am always impressed with other people's talents. Paula is very talented in other areas and has tried so many different arts and crafts. She is currently engaged in making collages. Of course they are also fabulous

Come back for some more non-glass ornaments. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

I'm Still Here

I got an email from a high school friend asking if I am alright since I haven't blogged since early October. I'm still here and I am fine. Just lazy, I guess. I haven't been doing any sewing. I seem to have lost my mojo. Maybe I'll get it back. Thanks for asking, Judy.

I did start my decorating this past weekend and as of today, I am finished! Two trees, my mantle, baker's rack, dining room table and sideboard and entry hall table. Whew! It is a lot of work, but I love the results.

I hire a young man to haul the heavy tubs from the basement and assemble my big  very heavy artificial tree. I bought it at Costco a few years ago and have loved it for it's size, its realistic look and the pre-lit lights. HOWEVER when we plugged it in this year, I could only get blinking lights. I HATE blinking lights. No matter what we did, we couldn't get it to change to solid lights. So I had to put six strings of new white lights on it. A real bummer.

I was starting to think that this was all a little too much for me. At my age. Maybe this would be the last year that I go to this much trouble. Then I started taking the ornaments out of the box and I remembered why I do all this. I LOVE my Santas and can remember where I got most of them. This year I counted the glass Santas. I have 75! And I add to that a few fabric and homemade ornaments. I do like the results and enjoy seeing all my old Santa friends. 

Tomorrow I will show you some of the hand made Santas.

I always show you what my niece, Lauren, does for Thanksgiving. Always a culinary and visual feast. NO exception this year.

A beautiful centerpiece using roses, Protea and alstromeria. 



She aways has a special drink, this time it was gingerbread martinis compete with gingerbread Peeps. Way too delicious!

And the usual cast of characters. Lauren's daughter, husband and two boys and my sister and me. 

If you come back, I promise I will show you some of those handmade Santas tomorrow or the next day. You've seen my glass Santas.


Thursday, October 6, 2022

Margaret's Leaves

Margaret, a dear friend and member of our FiberWorks group passed away a few years ago, much too soon. She was an avid quilter and left behind a huge stash of fabric and several unfinished projects. A few members took some of them home to finish. I took a bundle of leaf prints on a tan and white fabric. There were a lot of them in orange, green, tan and brown. There was a lot of the background fabric, too. They had been languishing  in my studio for awhile because I couldn't get excited about the colors. But last week I took them out and started playing with them on my design wall.



I eliminated the dark brown leaves because they didn't print very well and I was satisfied with these colors. I sewed one row together with sashing that was the same as the background. Big mistake! It was very boring.

I went through my batiks and found a few that I thought would work. I didn't have enough of one of them and decided to use several. Since the leaves are different colors, I thought that the mixed colors of the sashing would be fine. I do like the way it looks. It looks darker at the bottom because of the lighting.




I had just enough background fabric to make borders. Now to quilt it! I'll show you when it's finished. 


I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

This and That

I know that it's been a long time since I've blogged. I was going way back and looking at past blogs when i was posting two or three times a week. It just seems that I don't have much going on  that is blog worthy, but I will try to get better.

I finally got my big quilt hung over the couch in the family room. My cleaning lady and her hubby came over on Sunday and did it for me. I never could have done it alone. I'm glad to have it up where I can revisit all my blocks, but I think that the one they took down looked better. I can always switch them aground.








This is the quilt that was taken down. What you can't see here is the extensive free motion quilting. I love this quilt and others did, too. It won some ribbons at shows and was featured in a few books. You can see that it is an entirely different look. Actually this was taken before piecing the blocks and quilting. I have a gazillion pictures on file, but couldn't find one completed. If I do find it I will put it here.



I'm always having fun with my card making. I did quite a few that I call spinning circles. The center circle spins around when open and has a different design on each side. Here is a sampling.

This was my first attempt. I used an embossed card that I have previously made. It is a thank you card and has a different saying on the other side. I liked the way that the embossing looked so I did that on the rest. I have a lot of embossing folders.









I had made several using my plain circle dies before I thought of using my scalloped circle dies. I really like the look and will use that from now on. I tried a square and it works, but I think the circles are cuter. I sent one to a friend who displayed it on a table where the AC hit it and sent the little circle spinning.

I finished my Christmas cards this week, all 51 of them. I know that so many people have stopped sending them, but not me. I love making them and receiving them. To me it's a big part of Christmas.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.


Saturday, August 13, 2022

Black and White and Pink All Over

Last week I mentioned the Dark and Light themed show that FiberWorks is putting on in Sept. While going thru my stash of quilts looking for something else, I can across this quilt that I made several years ago. It was for an online challenge and had never been shown anywhere in person. I thought it was perfect for this show and even the perfect size, 28 " square to fit on the required 30" square black canvas.


I fused collaged as many black and white prints as I had and put them in a dark to light sequence.



Then I wrote all over the surface using free-motion satin stitching with as many "pink" phrases that I could think of.


 I covered it with netting, capturing many pink objects under the netting such as spangles, paper clips sequins, buttons and beads and I free-motion quilted it in pink thread.

When I finished the quilt I realized that I had omitted a most important phrase, Schiaparelli Pink, named after the famous designer in the fifties who brought the phrase and color into our vocabulary.  So the quilt is titled Homage to Schiaparelli.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday

Saturday, August 6, 2022

New Work

http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com/2022/08/rosie-lee-tompkins-on-off-wall-friday.htmlFinally I have some sewing work to show. My fiber group, FiberWorks, puts on a show every year at the Newtown, CT library. We always have a theme and this year it was Light and Dark.  My thoughts went right away to my favorite birds, Penguins. I worked from a photo found on line, but it gave me so much grief. I hadn't done any appliqué in awhile and made every mistake you could. Still not happy with the way you can see the sky/snow merging behind the penguins. I added a second layer of white and you can still see it.

Then I planned to thread paint the shading and started on the yellow breast of one of
the big birds. It looked terrible, so I laboriously picked it out and switched to just coloring with crayons and pencil. Much better. 

It will be mounted on a 30" square black canvas, as will all the other pieces in the show. I am also using a piece I made awhile ago, but never showed anywhere, but I will show you that later. 



I am calling it "Family".

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Friday, July 29, 2022

More bookmarks and day lilies

 I sent away for this cute punch to use on my bookmarks. It has a triple scalloped edge if you use 2 1/2 wide paper and less scallops if you use 2" or 1 1/2. It even punches the hole.


This time round I used two of my old favorite Hot Potato stamps (no longer in business) and watercolored and splattered after stamping. Of course I used my new laminating machine and added some pretty ribbons. These are just too much fun to do, but I have to stop before I am inundated.




I am very fond of day lilies. To me they are the almost perfect flower. They require very little care, have no insect or disease issues and are self cleaning, altho I do dead-head because it looks nicer. They come up year after year and spread their clumps in size.Their only enemy are deer, which consider them candy. So I spray, spray,  spray with nasty smelling stuff. My correct favorite is Repels All. The odor does not last, but the deer can smell it long after we can and they stay away. Aptly named, the flowers only last for one day, but there are always new ones coming behind.









As for sewing, I am working on a project which is giving me a lot of grief. I was almost ready to throw in the towel, but I brought it to my FiberWorks group today and they encouraged me to carry on. I will show it when finished.

Hop on over to Off the Wall Friday to see what some talented people are doing.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Bookmarks

 Haven't posted in about a month. Not much going on in my studio. I am working on a piece but it's not ready to show yet.

I have been having fun with my new "toy". I bought a laminating machine on Amazon. It was very inexpensive, as were the folders you use. I am a big reader and like to have a nice bookmark. Paper ones always get beat up and the laminated ones are so sturdy. When I borrow a book I like to return it to its owner with a nice book mark.



I used good watercolor paper and used a smooshing technique with Distress Inks for the backgrounds.  The Distress inks pads were  pressed down on a craft sheet, spritzed with water. Then I placed the paper on it and smooshed it around. The results are unpredictable but always pretty. Then I stamped them with black ink and various stamps. I especially liked the Tim Holtz flowers. The stamping is much more visible than in the photos, don't know why.

I brought them to my book club meeting and to my FiberWorkks meeting and had them all pick one or two.  

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Dyeing

 I have been dyeing my own fabric for at least twenty five years. I rarely use commercial fabric, altho I have a huge stash. Dyeing can be a bit of a crap shoot or very precise. Mine is usually the former. I can make a decent six way gradation using the zip lock bag method that I learned years ago in Adriene Buffiington's Hand Dyed Fabric Made Easy.

I have played around with snow dyeing and ice dying with some great results, but they are not very predictable. And thus my adventure this week. I am ready to put the binding on my big quilt and thought I would choose one of the blues in some of the squares, since I plan to hang it over the couch in my family room, mostly blue and white. I like the blue/green fabric that I had used on the back, but didn't have enough left and I really wanted it to be more blue with just a little green.

It would have been helpful if I had kept a record of what colors I had used. I have several different blues and the same with green. I held my little color swatches next to the quilt and thought I had picked the right ones. I wanted mainly blue with just a touch of green. 

While this is interesting and very pretty it is sooo not what I wanted. Where did all the purple come from? It must have been in the blue, which after all is ROYAL Blue. The dye crystals do separate when you dye this way, sprinkling dye powers over the ice that covers the fabric.



  I then just plain dyed a piece of a better blue( Bright Blue) but was quite solid and rather boring. (Sorry, no picures) so I ice dyed over it, using the same new blue.



Much better. I did not take the chance of adding green this time.



I do have some of this fabric left and I think I will piece it in here and there. 

I had another sympathy card to send this week. One of the bad things about aging is that we keep losing our friends or their husbands. I didn't have any sympathy cards left, so decided to use one of my water colors/pen and ink cards. I like sewing them onto blank colored cards. I plan to take more of these with different pen and ink drawings and water color additions.



Summer is really here this week, with temps in the 90's. I like walking in the morning when it is a lot cooler. Enjoy your summer wherever you are!

I'm linking up a little late with Off the Wall Friday.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Finished, almost

All three of the segments are now pieced together. When I pieced them together I used a quarter inch seam and then pressed them open. I then fused a 1 1/2 " strip of fabric to cover the seams. I probably should have taken a picture, but I didn't.  I did a fair amount of piecing for the backing, but I think it makes it more interesting (or is that a cop-out for not having one big piece.) 




                                                                              Detail

I'm not sure what I'll use to bind it. Although I have plenty of fabric left, it is mostly green. I'm planning on hanging this over the couch in the family room, which is mostly blue and white. The quilt is 77" x 46". I will have to make a wide sleeve and buy a piece of board. I did this with the big quilt 50" x 50" that is hanging over the couch now. I had a carpenter cut it to size so that it was about an inch from each end. Then he put a big screw protruding from each end. Then he put 2 big screws in the wall so that the board could just sit on it. A very easy way to hang a big quilt. but there's no way that I could do it myself and be sure that it us perfectly level. I also try to avoid ladders in my advanced age. I will use a handyman.





It has been a nice June here, so far. In view of all the terrible weather going on in parts of the country, I feel very fortunate. I bought this beautiful Hibiscus and put it in a heavy blue pottery container. It will be treated as an annual here in CT because it would never survive the winter. But I will enjoy it all summer into the fall and the first frost. 

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.