Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rainy Halloween crafts

It has been a dreary wet week here in the Hudson Valley, and even Cassie is a bit bummed by all the wet weather. Here she is on Wednesday after her daily morning play session with the two dogs next door. They always seem to find the one spot in the yard where grass doesn't grow. It gets nice and muddy and they roll and play and end up looking like something the cat dragged in! I had to quickly bathe her before work and then clean up the tub! Today we are playing indoors, or staying on the leash!

While my husband was out with our two youngest girls for a wet afternoon movie, my oldest daughter, who is home with flu-like symptoms (!) stitched up a bunch of these quickie pumpkins and gourds. The idea came from the October 09 issue of Family Fun magazine, and they were so easy and quick (and of course I happened to have a decent stash of orangey-yellow fabrics), she was able to fill up some otherwise boring hours keeping her fingers busy. She really loves how cute they came out. They will make nice seasonal decorations or Thanksgiving dinner centerpieces or something.

Here is another batch of paper-cloth I made in September. I had set it aside, not sure how I would use it, when I thought about cutting out some leaf shapes. I just love the endless variety of leaves that are scattered and mixed in big leaf puddles all over the lawns and roads this time of year. The maple leaf in the upper right was layered with felt as batting, machine stitched around the edges, and hand stitched for veining. What will I do with them when they're all quilted? I'm not sure... I could string them together somehow in a garland or mobile-like wall hanging, or print inspiring words on them and give them as little gifts... I'll play with them and see what develops...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More experiments...

After playing with the new scanner a bit, I realized the main reason my husband bought me the darn thing is so I can scan in my work rather than photograph it (I can't seem to get enought light on my pieces, or get close enough to get good detail). Of course, not all pieces fit on the scanner top, but this one did - why didn't I just scan it in to begin with? Anyway, now I (and you) can compare the results with my other post of this piece. Any difference?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Experimenting with leaves

Here are some beautiful leaves from the yard that I've scanned into the new scanner/copier my wonderful and generous husband gave me for Mother's Day. (I've been planning on using it before now, but I've been busy...really, really busy, I swear!). Anyway, I love the way this captures the leaves so accurately! I didn't even press and dry them (they get crinkly and crack) - just used them fresh from the lawn this morning (picked them up on my morning outing with the dog). I want to print them onto fabric to use in my art. Now that they are all stored and saved on the computer, I can use them at any time! What do you think of that? Ain't technology neat? Gotta start using it more...!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

That time of year again!

Here we are on our annual apple picking trip. The trees were pretty picked over, but we had no trouble filling our bushel bag. The weather was lovely, just beginning to really feel like fall.

Here is Cassie, now 4 1/2 months old, tasting some windfall apples. It was fun bringing her along. She had a great time walking the rows of trees and meeting many friendly people who were eager to pet her.

Here is the bag of apples we brought home. These should last until Christmas, with proper storage.

And then home for a nice hot dinner, beef stew with noodles and crusty bread...

And here's dessert! A little ice cream, a little whipped cream, Mmmm!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A heavenly weekend!

I spent the weekend at a "Quilter's Retreat" organized by the lovely folks at the Country Quilter, Jane Davila and her mother, Claire Oehler. It took place at the Interlaken Inn in Lakevile, Ct, just over the border from Dutchess County, NY.

The conference center has many outdoor amenities like a pool, tennis court, and golf course, and has gardens and spaces to accommodate weddings. The food was plentiful and delicious, with a full breakfast buffet featuring an omelet station (I love that!), many home-baked snacks like pastries, cinnamon buns, and pretzels, and delicious desserts too!

Below is only one of the conference rooms we took over and filled with sewing machines, fabric, design walls, and fun people! There were 3 rooms like this! The wet weather on Saturday only made us cozier, as we were all indoors together creating quilted masterpieces. At first I thought I might have difficulty concentrating enough to compose a new piece with all the hub-bub going on around me, but I found I was able to screen it out and get down to business. Also, as my piece progressed, it was nice to have some favorable feedback from other quilters passing by.
This shot below features my table group and my work-in-progress, the waterlilies piece I blogged about in June. It is coming along, thanks to the long uninterrupted hours I had to design it, choose fabrics, and begin the fusing and quilting. I hope it will be finished in time for Christmas.
I owe a big thank you to my parents who were able to come stay with the girls (and the puppy) this weekend so I could enjoy a few days of indulgence! Thanks, Mom and Dad!