Thursday, December 31, 2009

Finishing up 2009

Thought I would get in one last post this year. Here is the (nearly) finished Waterlilies piece I created at the request of my mother-in-law. I started it in October and worked on the quilting during that month. I have to admit, with this piece, I spent so much time with my seam ripper, I decided to give it a name! (I named him Jack; I think that's appropriate -get it? - Jack the Seam ripper!). I redid the quilting, or portions of it, more than once, and also had to redo part of the binding. Another thing that slowed me down was choosing the border fabric. I bought one fabric, then wasn't sure, and kept shopping at various stores up until last week, when I decided I'd better just make a decision and finish this! I think I bought four different fabrics in all. I ended up going with my first choice after all, and I'm happy with it. Yesterday I added a few sequins for sparkle and I still have to add the sleeve for hanging and label on the back. I hope my inlaws will be able to take it with them when they leave on Sunday. My mother-in-law seemed very happy with the final result. She plans to hang it over their bed. I think the oval shapes which appear to float over the surface and the calming color scheme are appropriate for a bedroom. Here are a few detail shots of the piece:

I have been thinking about the past year's accomplishments and contemplating goals for 2010 - I'll share that with you next post!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

13 Years ago today...

...I had a little Christmas miracle of my own! My water broke at 11:30 pm on December 23rd, 1996 but I was in labor for more than 12 hours, walking the hospital halls in hopes of hurrying along the delivery, when I finally broke down and took the pitocin and epidural. I remember looking at the clock (after another 12 hours) at 11:45 pm on Christmas Eve and thinking, "I'm not gonna make it!" and I was right. She made her appearance at 3:14 am and I remember the doctors and nurses having a good laugh when Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" coincidentally started to play on the homemade tape we brought with us. It was surely a memorable night, and now we celebrate more than Christmas every year, although, I have to admit, her birthday often gets lost in the excitement of the day. But I do manage to bake a homemade cake for her every year, with delicious buttercream frosting (this year I used the Ghirardelli baking cocoa - to die for!) and she always gets a few extra gifts to open. I hope to take her (or possibly the whole family) to NY to see "Wicked" some time soon. (It's hard to believe that picture was taken 13 years ago! A teenager, already? And she's already taller than me!)
And by the way, I am really enjoying the scanner more and more, as you can see. The baby picture was, of course, not digital, but now I can post anything and save them on disc permanently!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Can you guess...

...where I've been?

Now can you tell?

One of the things I love about Disney is the theatricality: you feel like you're there (or at least on a really good movie set!). Every detail is so convincing, from the architecture to the props! As a person who works with small (minute) details, I can really appreciate all the planning that goes into a project. And it's nice to see that their attention to detail is worth it, it really pays off to create the full effect. It was great to have a change of scenery, get away from the endless laundry, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning details and have a little fun! We had great weather, which gave my poor chapped lips and cracked cuticles a little respite. Now I've been home a little more than 24 hours and I managed to finish and mail the Christmas cards, do 3 loads of wash, make a quick trip to the grocery store, and bake a batch of cookies! I guess the vacation is really over... (By the way, most of these were taken in the Asia section of Disney's Animal Kingdom. Amazing, no?)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Collaged coasters

The last few days, I've been working on these gifts for co-workers. I used the same paper-cloth technique I've been experimenting with, this one all in shades of blue and white, with silver accents (she celebrates hanukkah, which begins tonight). I really enjoy this technique and the small format as well as working on several out of the same cloth and making each one different and unique with embellishments and words.

Here is a second set I made for another friend - totally different color scheme and feel. She is a very high energy person and loves to celebrate Christmas in a big way, has a big family party every year and I hope she'll be able to use these then. Fun!
We are leaving tomorrow for a family vacation, so I won't be blogging for at least a week. I'll try to take some interesting photos while I'm away, so I'll have something creative to do and think about. Times like this, I wish I knitted or crocheted - so easy to bring that along! I'll just take my book for the plane ride. See you next week!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Here is the final finished piece. I decided to use a dark green wool felt as batting, backing, and border (how's that for economizing on time and materials!) and hung it from a natural branch from the backyard. I've tried to think of something else to call it, but "Photosynthesis" just seems right, obvious or not. I don't usually work abstractly and I almost didn't bother taking part in this challenge, but I do like the final piece. So it pays to push yourself outside your comfort zone sometimes.
Now the holiday rush is on and I still have many more bookmarks waiting to be finished, as well as the Waterlilies piece for my inlaws, which still needs a border and binding... St. Nick won't be the only one burning that midnight oil!