Friday, December 30, 2011

Block 9, Glacier Bay, and fifth Applique block

Saturday is not only New Year's Eve, but our 9th block pick-up!
  It is called Glacier Bay, and it is one we've done in past years, but it continues to be pretty!

It's also time for another applique block.  This one is called Rose Wreath
I like this applique pattern quite a bit.  I think it will be nice to quilt around.  Sometimes I think it would be nice to hand-quilt an applique quilt, but am a bit afraid to tackle such a time consuming project.
The past couple of days, I finished off a couple of things, like a neck cowl that I knitted before christmas, and also tried my hand at cutting out a paper silhouette:
 can you tell what it is?  I got it from another blog, by Elsa Mora, here.  You have to look through her blog to see all the free paper silhouette patterns she's shared.  
This is of Alice in wonderland, playing croquet with the stork and the hedgehog ball.

Another project i started before Christmas was to play around with some self-hardening clay.  I'd thought that we would be short on Christmas ornaments to put on the tree, and decided to make some.  However, it seems that I was worried about nothing, because it is Very Easy! to get lots of Christmas ornaments in no time flat.   So then it didn't seem very pressing to finish these ones off. 
The self-hardening clay is sort of odd stuff.  It seems to be a sort of paper product.  There are no ingredients listed on the package.  It also smells a bit funny.  I have since filed off the rough edges, and now intend to put a little wash of color on them. 

I hope you have been having a wonderful last few days of 2011!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Madonna and Child on Christmas Eve

 Last year, I went around our house and captured some of the icons we have of the virgin and child, here
 This year, I thought it would be nice to visit some of the amazing art housed in the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., which I visited earlier this year. 
These art works were painted by amazing artists like Fra Angelico, Benvenuto de Giovanni, Fra Filipo Lippi, Domenico Veneziano, and D'Arezzo between the years 1270 up through the 1500's, I think. 

Out and About in Savannah

Yesterday was spent at a leisurely pace, as we all went for lunch and browsing around the downtown.  we have 2 out of the 4 kids here. 
I'm always on the look-out for m's

lavish lunch spot
i like views that are framed by alcoves, or windows or door-frames..

love the symmetry

I love this shot of the floor of the coffee-shop.  I wonder who took it when I left my camera unattended....

back alley

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Sale on now

If you are in the Saskatoon area, you might be interested to know that we have a book sale on at Periwinkle until the end of the year.  It is buy one book and get a second one of equal or lesser value at half-price. 
 because who doesn't love books?!!!
as you can see, from my little shelf here, you can never have too many books.
also, because we seem to have a LOT of books in stock at the shop, and it would be nice to have fewer to count for year-end inventory.
 I am happy to have finished the crocheted mesh/woven blanket, it turned out well, I think.  it is pretty thick for an afghan, but that is nice in its way.  I ended up washing it in cold water, on delicate cycle, and it didn't shrink or felt at all.  it also didn't get that halo of little fuzzy fibers that I was hoping for.

 This is a little flower that just started blooming on a bush outside.  I don't know what it is.
I've been doing more knitting than sewing!  I guess I'm just thinking about what I want to sew next.  It seems hard lately to just jump into new projects, or to "play".  Lately I've been thinking about that whole concept.  Why is it harder to sit down and work on something without having a particular end object as a goal?

Anyway, this lacy rectangle you see here is going to be sewn up at the ends to make a tube.  It is a sort of neck cowl to wear like a scarf.  It is wide enough to pull up over your head like a hat.  The yarn is half silk and half mohair, i think, so it is pretty supple.  Also it seemed to stretch quite a bit when I washed it and laid it out to dry, so it will be interesting to see how it works,,,, the holes got quite a bit bigger in the lace pattern.
Now I am currently knitting a pair of slippers, since my feet get a bit chilly.  I am using the felted slipper pattern that I've used so many times before! the instructions are  here

Hope that you keep toasty warm today! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More Tybee,

 I was looking back over the photos I took of Tybee a few days ago, and wanted to share a few more of them, (laurel, you will like to visit here when you come!)
 It really is a big beach to be so empty,

 the waves come rolling in, making a bit of foam.  I like to see the colors that the water makes in the sand.

 This is a Semipalmated Plover, who is mch the same size as a sandpiper, but is present year round.
The wet sand is like a mirror,
 He is very!! fast.
 This shows the dunes at the edge of the beach
 Spaced along the shore there are several of these swings to sit in and contemplate the view,
 the sea oats,
 and of course, finishing up at the Gallery Espresso for a cappucino...
Christmas decorations are all over the place now,  this was the house by where I parked the car the other day when I was out shopping,

 I'll take my camera with me next time too, and try to take some photos of  some big houses in the historic districe.
And lastly, this is the gate at the Wormsloe plantation on Skidaway Island, with a big live oak.  Hopefully we will go visit there later this week.
Have a good new week!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Christmas Banner

(Yes, I am back on my laptop! Hooray!)
 We will be spending Christmas in Savannah, and of course all the Christmas decorations are in Asquith. So i decided to make some festive looking holiday decorations.
One of the projects is this banner/garland.
I've made a couple of garlands before, like the ones I have hanging up at the shop.  Because a few people have asked about whether there is a pattern, I decided to take photos and make a little tutorial here!

1. Pick out some nice fabrics... I decided on 3 patterned ones with a Christmassy look. plus white.
Cut them into strips, I think mine are 8 inches wide.
 1. Make a cutting template. 
I cut  a couple of rectangles, 6" x 8 ".  Fold the rectangle in half and cut the diagonal triangles off the edge.
 this is what it looks like opened up:
 3. Use the triangular pieces as cutting guides for the rest of the triangles you want to cut
 I cut a stack of colored triangles, and white ones to use as the backs of the flags.  (You can have the flags be colored fabric on both front and back, especially if you hang the garland in a way or place that both sides are showing.  I decided to use white on the backs because I didn't have enough of the Christmas fabric to do both sides)
 4.  if you want to put words or anything else on the front of the flags, do it now. 
  I wanted the garland to spell out Merry Christmas, so I decided to make red letters and attach them with fusible web.
To make the pattern for the letters, I just made some 2 inch lines on freezer paper and sketched out the letters. (on the dull, papery side!)
 I ironed fusible web onto the back of two rectangles of red fabric:
 then cut the letters apart, and placed them on the right side of the red fabrics, ironing them down so they would stick long enough to cut them out. (freezer paper is like that!)

 5.  Lay out the flags in some sort of plan.  I alternated the colors, and then planned where the letters would go.  I decided to make 3 sections of words rather than one really long garland.  I put the letters on the flags and then ironed/fused them down to make a permanent hold to the fabric.
I did a trial one where I stitched around the outline of the letter, but it was time consuming, and I decided that I really don't think it's needed on a seasonal garland.  But, it could be decorative on some projects! 
Or, you could just embroider letters!
 Also at this time, I sort of figured out how much fabric I'd need to use for the length of the top string.  If you need to join strips together, it's nice to use a diagonal join to reduce bulk.

6. Layer each of the triangles with a backing fabric, and stitch around the lower 2 sides,
 clip the fabric at the bottom point so that it won't get too bumpy when you turn the flags right side out.
I used the blunt end of a paintbrush to help push out the sharp points at the ends of the triangles:
Iron the triangle "flags" so that they are nice and crisp!  If you want, you can embellish them more....

6. To make the string that connects the flags, I make it using 2-1/2" strips of fabric.  Iron them in half lengthwise, like you are making a binding,  (In other projects I've used the leftovers of binding strips that I just joined end to end. 
 then, iron the raw edges to the inside crease, like in the photo above.

7 Lay out the flags beside the string, and space them out where you want to sew them on. 
 For this project, I put them pretty close together, about 1-1/2 inches apart.  At other times I've put them farther apart.
Then sew the "string" closed along the double fold edge, slipping the triangles inside the string as you go to hold them in place. 
I sewed on little bells to the ends as well, to make it more festive!

I hope you give this project a try!!
                (they are fun to make)

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