Archive for November, 2008

Art Show News

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Here’s the link to the ‘Little Things’ art show.
A little part of my beaded doll Not Quite Pink is in the middle row, third column.

And here’s the link to the State Street Gallery.

The Telephone Talked!

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

An almost completely, virtually, practically, literally true play, in four acts. It takes place in an ordinary kitchen.

Act I

Spooky music starts.
Telephone rings.
Telephone rings again.
Homeowner enters from stage left.
Spooky music gets louder.

Telephone: Call from wireless source.

Homeowner looks on in horror!

Telephone: Call from wireless source.

Homeowner: What the????

Telephone: Call from wireless source.

Homeowner: (tentatively picking up receiver) Hello?

Telephone: This is Grandma Ann.

Act II A few minutes later.

Homeowner: Where is that telephone instruction manual? Aha! Here.

Homeowner rifles through booklet, pushes buttons on telephone receiver, and hangs it up.

Homeowner: I stopped it.

Act III Later that day.

Homeowner walks into kitchen.

Associate Homeowner: (from behind a computer) It’s still talking.

Homeowner: I stopped it.

Associate Homeowner: It’s still talking.

Act IV The next day.

Associate Homeowner: Maybe you didn’t really stop it.

Homeowner: (Picks up receiver and pushes buttons.) See, it says ‘Off.’

Associate Homeowner: Maybe it has two voices.

Associate Homeowner picks up instruction manual and begins reading instructions.

Associate Homeowner: You have to turn the base unit off, too.

Homeowner picks up receiver and pushes more buttons.

Homeowner: Now I stopped both of them!

Victorious music begins.

Blue Abundance Completed!

Monday, November 24th, 2008

I finished my November Bead Journal Project page this weekend. It is Blue Abundance. That seemed like a good theme for November. I chose to express abundance by “overbeading”–using more beads than there was room for on the page. Trying to make the work more three-dimensional was a challenge. But that’s a big part of the fun. Because I really love the color blue, I loved making this page.

Technical Details:
I used Lacy’s Stiff Stuff as a foundation. I painted it blue with Dye-na-Flow. The beads are 11/0s, Delicas, 13/0 Charlottes, 15/0s, 6/0s, 8/0s, bugles and a few odd shaped beads. There are several types of fringe, a ruffle, and some volcanoes. (What’s the real name for that stitch?) There are also a couple of stitches that came from a book written in Japanese that Rebecca gave me. Neither of us could read the directions, but the diagrams were great! It is 2.75 inches by 2.75 inches. I used both Nymo and C-lon thread.

Here are a couple of pictures that show the texture:

What I Was Thinking:
I am fortunate to have an abundance of wonderful family and friends. My material needs are met. I want to remember at Thanksgiving to be grateful for all I have and to remember to share with those in need.

Issues That Came Up:

This page showed both the advantages and disadvantages of the small size. I had a few other things to do during November so the small size gave me time. But I wish I had had more space to include more beads and more stitches. I was surprised to see so many dark blue beads on the page when it was finished. I still have a rather abundant stash of blue beads, but I have identified a need for more 15/0 medium blue beads.

Now it’s on to Christmas projects!

We hope this looks like Vori

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

That’s “Vori” with an umlaut over the “o.” That makes the “o” sound like the “eu” in the French “leur.” In case that helps. “Vori” is short for “voros,” with umlauts over both “o’s”, which is Hungarian for “red.” As you can see, Vori is a very unusual color for a cat. His people are Borika and Andras, the parents of our new Hungarian son-in-law, Peter. Like all proper cats, Vori runs the household. So when we visited him and his people last May, the thought occurred to me that it would be fun to try a cross stitch rendering of him as a Christmas present for Borika and Andras. Years ago I worked a cross stitch kit of just the eyes of five different breeds of cats, and I figured I could adapt one of those cats to look like Vori. I chose the Persian cat since Vori has long fur and inserted the eyes of a different cat that were (I hope) close to Vori’s yellow-green eyes. Of course, I was working from memory without even a photo to help me, so I am hoping that I came close with the colors.
Since custom framing is ridiculously expensive, my plan was just to have a mat cut for the needlework and then to buy an inexpensive 5×7 frame for it. But when I was selecting a mat at the frame shop, the framer and I both felt that the 5×7 frame detracted from the interesting long, narrow dimensions of the needlework. (It is about 1.5″ x 5.25″.) And then she told me that she could make a frame with leftover short pieces of frame for very little more than a pre-made frame. So this is what I ended up with.

Now my problem is that I like it so much that I am finding it hard to give away!

Ex-Travel Knitting

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

I’ve learned my lesson about travel knitting – it’s important to take projects which don’t turn into half-finished, too-big-for-travel-knitting projects, or you’ll end up with a bunch of partially-finished scarves as reminders of trips past. It’s also good to bring projects which don’t require too much concentration. Counting to 8 is not difficult. Counting to 8 on inadequate sleep is much harder than you’d think.

Anyway, here’s a scarf I started a couple business trips ago (click to biggify):

It uses 2 colorways of sock yarn, which is why it’s kinda stripey.

And, apologies to dear Aunt Barb (who doesn’t understand why one would want to make socks when they’re so readily available in stores worldwide), but I think the perfect travel knitting for me is socks. Minimal counting required (I can generally handle counting to 2 even when I haven’t slept enough for days), they don’t get too big to fit in a quart-sized bag, and I like to wear handknit socks on business trips, so they’re very practical. I just need to purchase an additional set of sock needles to avoid any mid-journey disaster that would ensue if I dropped a needle on the plane and was unable to recover it.

Quilt show report

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Marty and I went to the Bloomington quilt show last weekend. We were both impressed with how many quilts there were since all of the quilts were made by members of the local guild. Here are some of our favorites:

We both thought this one was impressive!

This one is called ‘Nancy’s Flower Garden,’ so of course I liked it.

Especially cool to our vest and jacket makers.

I liked the applique and colors on this one.

And one more I liked.

Blue Abundance In Progress

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

To show abundance, I decided to “overbead” the page–putting more beads on the page than there is actually space for. I’ve been a flat beader, and showing dimension and texture has been an interesting challenge. I’ve admired the work of the many BJPers who do so well with texture and dimension, and I just had to try it. I’m learning a lot!

I chose blue because I have an abundance of blue beads, as opposed to an abundance of “the blues.” Ok, ok, ok, I hear the voices in the background. (You know who you are) I’ll ‘fess up. Blue is my favorite color and that’s why I have so many blue beads. Blue makes me happy!

Like my other BJP pages, this one is 2.75 inches by 2.75 inches. It is on Lacy’s Stiff Stuff that I painted with Dye-na-Flow.

I may not finish this by the end of November because we are expecting an abundance of fun and family next week. Our big job (besides the turkey) will be to babyproof the place. The 14-month-old Walking Man is coming !

I’m an artist!

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

I received word this afternoon that my spirit dolls Snowflake and Not Quite Pink were accepted for the “Little Things” show at the State Street Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin. They’re all packed up and ready to be taken to the post office tomorrow.

I wish I could go out there to see the show. But I’ll assign the Madison crackpot to attend and take some pictures. See the November 10 post for photos of the dolls.

When you don’t have enough time for all your crafty hobbies…

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

add another!

No, that doesn’t sound quite right. How about: Brain research shows learning new skills is good for you!

Here’s my new toy, a Kundert drop spindle, with my first attempt at spinning (click picture to biggify; teach me photography to better focus-ify).

I need to let the new yarn “marinate” on the spindle overnight so it’ll keep its twist, so I haven’t yet been able to fully evaluate it. I’m quite pleased that it looks rather yarn-esque, though!

…and here’s the M

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

The F for Friedrich went so well yesterday that I was ready to try the M for Martha today. I think it turned out very well, too. I got lots of practice with turning outside corners! I am really enjoying the machine applique, and it opens up lots of new possibilities for baby and kids quilts. I can’t figure out now why I was so hesitant to try it! Here’s the full placemat so far (the red at the top and the bottom is just for the binding):

So, add two mittens to the bottom or leave it as it is?