Sunday, April 30, 2006

'Weeds are flowers too'

What is it about dandelions? Like Carmi says they show up virtually overnight. Are they an unwelcome guest in your lawn? Does it become a personal war against them? What approach do you take? Do you take that forked prong designed specifically for this species- dig in deep to 'pop' that long tap root with a smug 'I gottcha' or resort to chemical warfare?
I'm here to tell you that battle is won before it began. There will always be dandelions.

There are some wonderful quotes about weeds. my favourite is 'but make no mistake: the weeds will win; nature bats last' Robert M Pyle

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Opening Day

Baseball started a few weeks ago. The hockey pools are picked & the long road to the Stanley Cup has started. But a new season started officially today. Yup Garage Sale season is here. The game starts when the local paper arrives Friday night. Game play is set-with marker in hand, map & the classified ads.
Saturday morning- up early- earlier than if I was going to work- something is definitely wrong here. But a XL DD from Tim's fixed that at least temporarily. One garage sale down the street-nothing-consider it a warm-up. Ooops have to stop by the local community centre because the town is giving away free compost. 20 cars are there already at 8 am .everyone watching like little kids as a huge truck dumps the steaming load of compost. three recycle boxes full of compost.
We are back on track-smelling down LEGO!! Hubby was very successful- got 1 box of assorted bits & 2 popular sets in the boxes almost complete with instructions. I wasn't as successful but did get some tiny little ziploc bags & have condensed the bead/button collection into a tidy little pile.
Home by 10am.

Friday, April 28, 2006

"Do with me what you will"

Cloth paper scissors magazine had a reader challenge in the Winter 2005 issue. Entitled "do with me what you will" a drawing by the very colourful Violette. I started working on it and missed the January deadline. Around the same time the Twisted Stitchers Guild announced a challenge to be based on a song title. Ok, I could shift gears & use the same piece. The Summer 2006 issue of cps has wonderful examples of how artists took the drawing & flew with it. There are eight more interpretations on the quilting arts website done by students. I think they will appreciate the great art teachers they have as they grown & create. It is a great lesson to learn to articulate about ones own creativity.
I was unable to make the meeting for the song challenge. This piece IS going to be in a challenge even if I make it up myself!! so here it is.......
Guess the song title depicted by my quilt...... I will send the winner 6 fat quarters of fabric. If there is no winner by next week I will give ya a hint!!
And yes it is not finished, needs to be sandwiched & quilted. Hey this is MY contest!! My rules !!
The leaves of the tree are made by using the gleanings from a scarf I made earlier- see Mar 21/06 entry.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

painting lace

At a booth at the quilt show in Chicago I tried painting lace. It was easy & fun. I decided not to buy anything from Sara's Bloom Embellishments. I have Setacolor paints tucked away with fabric & Mickey Lawler's book Skydyes.
Last week I bought this gorgeous piece of white lace for $1. It is 11 " wide and 6 feet long- plenty of lace to paint!! Off to paint!!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

work in progress-wreath

I need to finish this class sample before I go on holidays in a few weeks. It is a wreath made with bias strips then miles of yarns. I used up 10 yards of a yummy yarn I got in Chicago from Fabulous Fibers & Embellishments and that was just the last layer of yarn. I need to decide how to embellish it. Had picked out fabric with pinecones & evergreen branches but I think it needs something more from fall than winter. I'm thinking coloured leaves & bittersweet berries.
One of the benefits about blogging about a project other than not working on it is the photo helps to see what is working & what isn't. I love the two batiks for the border but I don't think there is enough contrast with the orange one. I think it should be a bluish green fabric.

Friday, April 21, 2006

3D Art Quilts

There were incredible examples of art in Chicago that happen to be quilts. This one is a series of columns that move & rotate so it always looks different. Hard to get a picture without a lot of background stuff. It is called 3D Bamboo by Trix Buhlmann-Epple of Bern Switzerland.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Best of Chicago Show

I really don't know how judges at the largest shows can pick a show favourite. A quilt show like the one in Chicago has nothing but the best of the best. Sometimes a smaller quilt show will have a few to a half dozen of these truly spectacular outstanding quilts. Imagine a huge hall of just those and them having to judge them!! Lukcily I didn't have that job I just got to admire them!!
These are the quilts selected as winners.
The robins was best of show. Wonderful piece especially at this time of year.
It is hard to see the incredible detail in the bedroom quilt by Rachel Wetzler of St. Charles, Illinois. The lamp has fringe, the picture in the frame looks real, flowers on the bedside table. You really can get a sense of the breeze moving through the open window. This was the viewers choice of the show.
The smaller winter scene is called Early River Morning by Bonita Ware of Columbus Ohio. The snowflakes sparkle like little jewels.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Do you wear an apron? I don't very often unless I'm cooking something special -a holiday meal, a dinner for two. There is something about donning an apron for me- a ritual that signals a beginning. The creation of a feast for the senses. The colours, smells, textures, sounds of working with food. Lettuce tearing, asparagus snapping, bread rising. Wearing an apron makes the food better. I have only one apron- a simple cotton over the neck style. I embroidered a little rooster -Mr. Poulet!! There are great sites for showing off your aprons.
There are some gorgeous aprons available from Domistyle. and anthropologie

Sunday, April 16, 2006

whiplash competition


A terrific new site for crafters of all kinds -Whip up - is having a weekly contest. It also starts the mental archives playing Whip-it, whip-it good by Devo. But I was in university which makes me older than Melissa!
The theme this week is everday creativity.
I'm not a big purse person. I will use the same small purse for years. But I do need totes. Into the tote everyday goes the purse, my moleskine,daytimer, journals for work, magazines for lunch reading, the daily newspaper, assorted containers with food sometimes for 3 meals if I'm at work for 11 hours. I am affectionately known at home as the Queen of Leftovers and not the Leftover Queen!
I had this piece of decorator fabric I picked up at a thrift store for a couple of bucks. I love the design, the colours, the texture. How lovely it would be to have it with me everyday. I decided to create a new tote for spring & retire my corduroy one for now. It whipped up following instructions from make-it-easy. There was not much choice for webbing -blue or beige - I sewed it down with green thread for a little contrast.

Gates in Chicago

Often at a quilt show there will be an unintention common thread between quilts. Sometimes its a fabric or a motif or a subject. The quilt show in Chicago was no exception. There were many pieces, many of them in the Journal Quilt section, that featured the Gates of Central Park by Christo. There are lots of pictures of the project on the web. I photographed a few of quilts made about and with pieces of the gates.
These examples are by Susan Madden of Austin, Texas (top) Gloria Hansen of Hightstown NJ (middle) and Magarete Steinhauer of Seituate, Mass. (bottom)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

More on Chicago

We spent most of last Saturday in Chicago. Got off CTA at Washingston Station again. Went to Marshall Field's for lunch. One whole floor of the store is restaurants.
We choose The Walnut Room and had a table at the corner window for a great view. The store like many things in Chicago reminded us of Paris.
Then it was on to the Navy Pier. It is wonderful to see cities restoring & revitalizing their waterfront areas. It looks like it would be a very busy place in the summer. There is a wonderful collection of stain glass art including many Tiffany pieces. Maybe I should make a quilt from Natalie & Nancy's book- Landscape Quilts. So many ideas-so little time!!
Then it was off or should I say up the John Hancock Tower. There was a Wedding taking place so we had a bit of a wait for the elevator but it was worth it. Great views.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


The most fun I've had at school!! Quilting Arts & cloth, paper, scissors magazines had a huge section at the Chicago quilt show. There were vendors that advertise in the magazines as well as a teaching area for the 1 hour classes. I took three classes. Like a good artist I altered my tags.
The first class I took on Thursday night was with Pokey. We got to play with a variety of supplies to alter a canvas bag.
We stamped with Staz-on ink, painted with Lumiere paints by Jacquard. Mine needs some more work before I can put it to use! It was great fun to try new products.
The second class I took was with Shelley Stokes who does great things with Shiva oil sticks. We moved quickly trying different techniques. We rubbed the paint over a template -mine is alligator skin texture-
we did stencilling with a paint brush - I like the checkerboard pattern I did with the metallic paint. It shows up nicely on the dark fabric.
These are expensive art supplies so it was great to try & get a couple little sticks to bring home. I will have to go back to my copy of Quilt Toppings by Melody Crust to see her work with the paint sticks.
The third class I took at Make-it-U was with Jill Haglund of Tweet Jill Publications. We work quickly to get a good start on ATC made from playing cards.We stamped, used newspaper as background, painted with twinkling H20's which you can see shining on my ATC. The piece of newspaper I used was from the business section and was about stocks but I like how it relates to the 3 little girls in the image. It reads 'Six Year High'.

The second ATC is not as far along. but I like how the 3 on his little dunce hat relates to the face of the card which will be the back of the ATC.

So much fun. Thanks Pokey.

Kaffe Fassett

I heard Kaffe Fassett speak years ago at the wonderful site of my graduation- Convocation Hall at UofT. I think it was before he started quilting. He talked about colour & inspiration. He finished by having people who had knitted his kits or in his style on stage with him. Now he has turned into a brand for many different mediums -fabric, tile, yarn.
I have his book Passionate Patchwork. I haven't found any local quilt shops that carry his fabrics -so that was on my shopping list in Chicago.
I bought 4 bundles of fat quarters- 24 in total. I love the colours & the variety of scale in the prints. I don't know if I'm going to do something specific with them or if they will join the stash to play!!

self portrait

Self portraits are a popular theme for artists. Many people participate in SPT. Quilting Arts magazine had a challenge and the pieces selected to travel to various shows were on display in Chicago. A talented friend from an on-line group has her piece included. It is beautiful. Her she is!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


It was wonderful to see the hundreds of ATC's that were sent into cloth, paper, scissors magazine. hundreds of exquisite little pieces of art. I don't know how Pokey gets any work done on her magazine receiving such treasures in the mail every single day!!
I heard a rumour they will be publishing a book with all the ATC's. As I was admiring them on Thursday night a woman next to me pointed mine out to her mother. The woman was from Toronto & her mother lives in the very next town to me. Small world eh?! She goes to a monthly ATC swap with mostly fiber artists at the Gladstone Hotel on Queen St. in Toronto. We didn't get to pick our own ATC's for the swap. It would be very time consuming if everyone had to choose. The top row is the 5 ATC's from the magazine swap and the second row is from the additional swap with the staff from the magazine. These are my first ATC's in what could become a large collection. I can see how this can become addictive.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Chicago Quiltshow

Home from 4 days in Chicago. It feels like we were away for a week. We arrived early Thursday morning & headed into the city after checking into the hotel. The transit system runs right out to the airport so it takes over 1/2 an hour to get into downtown. It was incredibly LOUD!! I even purchased earplugs for the trip back to the hotel. We found that trains with more people on them were not nearly as deafening.
One of the first things we noticed about Chicago was how clean the city is. No trash, no graffitti, no garbage anywhere. Even the sidewalks were clean of chewing gum marks. The city was just putting in spring flowers in all the planters. Big boxes of pansies, round containers with daffodil bulbs ready to burst into bloom around a spray of pussy willows.
The Millenium park at the waterfront reminded me of some parks in Paris. Very symmetrical, they even have a stop for the Metra trains the same as the Metro in Paris.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

H's Birthday

It is H's 21st birthday towmorrow. Wow! Where does time go? She is a tall beautiful smart caring woman. She is finishing her 3rd year at York University. Psychology, philosophy, essays. My years at University were all science- based. My favourite philosopher is the same as hers but for very different reasons. We walked the footpath of Nietzsche on holiday in France.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

roof tops

Originally uploaded by Creative gleanings.

Roof tops in the South of France. taken from the Jardin Exotique at Eze. Inspired by Corey's lovely pictures of her home in the South of France. I have many more once I flickr & I make friends.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Canadian Content

There are 2 new terrific Canadian publications that will be of interest to crafters. The first one is called A Needle Pulling Thread , a quarterly publication dedicated to needle arts. It includes quilting, knitting, crocheting, rug-hooking,beading, home dec items, historic pieces. something for everyone.
The second is about paper- another wonderful medium. It's called Scrapbook & Cards Today. The whole issue can be viewed at their site. There is a terrific article by Carmi about Claudine Hellmuth. The magazine may be free with purchase at you local scrapbook store or you can subscribe & pay S&H only on-line.