Monday, February 29, 2016

T Stands For Tea Journal

Hi Everyone! Today for Elizabeth's group, I am sharing another page in my Tea Journal.  I must have Spring on my mind....
This spread came together really fast after I came upon this quote: Tea is quiet and our thirst is never far from our craving for beauty.
Some scraps of mulberry paper made excellent grass and the tea tag flower pots worked for me with their flower stems. The clouds are fabric  with puffy paint around the edges--I salvaged them from an old shirt project.

I used a piece of washi tape down the middle which I see is going to need some glue help to stay down.

And now one last look at my t-shirt anniversary quilt which is now finished:
I bought a turquoise bed sheet and used that to back the quilt. I decided not to tie it together after all and stitched by machine around each block to keep the layers together.  To finished it off, I rolled the edge to the front, turned it under and sewed it down for the binding.
In this close-up you can see the appliques I added here and there.  The fishy in the top left corner of the bottom right block actually hides a stain that I could not get out.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

T Stands For Tea Journal

Hi everyone! We certainly are getting "paid back" for the warm weather we enjoyed back in December and most of January.  The last few days we have had single digit weather with wind chills well below zero! It is hard to get moving on cold days like that, so not much has been going on around here.  I did manage a page in my Tea Journal which lets me stay in touch with the tea group.
On the left side, I used some gorgeous handmade paper gifted to me by our lovely hostess, Elizabeth, as a background. I had several copies of cups, and with a little cutting here and there, was able to stack them up. I wanted to carry over the music theme and images(which were rub-ons) from the other page
so I rubbed the images on a separate piece of paper, cut them out and added them to the steam. I thought I didn't have enough swirls so I drew some as well as the musical notes.
On the other side I added the rub ons directly to the page as well as some music notes that I stamped on stickers but had to glue down anyway. I used a calligraphy marker to write the quote, "Tea is to the body as music is to the soul".

My goal today is to try and get the quilt finished! I hope you have a great day and thanks for visiting!

Thank you for the kind comments and suggestion. I have now linked up with AJJ in!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

T Stands For Another Quilt Post

Hi everyone! I'm glad you stopped by today, because I baked us a little treat for T Stands For Tuesday...

Double chocolate chip walnut cookies! I'll be enjoying mine right after lunch with a cup of this delicious green kiwi tea! I think I am becoming a "tea snob" because ever since I discovered the taste of full-leaf tea....I don't think I can ever go back to dunking a bag. Do the tea drinkers out there have a preference?

I have found that I really need to just get off the computer for awhile if I want to get anything done, and I am still attempting to be a "working" artist, so apologies for not being such a regular visitor last week. I am finishing up my T shirt quilt and thought I would show more photos and explain about the lettering.
Here it is with all the connectors cut and removed--certainly easier to read. I even added our names and wedding date at the bottom.
Some people asked about my machine and if it is computerized. Well, yes, but not really in a fancy way. He has decorative stitches and letters built in--no dies and no other symbols can be added.

The charts on the right side of the machine list the symbols the machine can make & have a number above it. At the top of the machine you will see a screen and some buttons. You use the button to enter the correct numbers. Sounds simple, but it is really easy to get confused or enter the wrong code, or even forget to add a space. So I was quite proud that with all those line of stitching, I only see one spacing error which didn't look bad enough to correct.
I printed out what I wanted to do in stitching and as I entered the codes, crossed off each letter and space. By the time I got to the 2nd & 3rd verses of the song which were repeats, I decided to make a chart I could follow (sheet on the right) so I would not have to figure it out the second time. All this was then complicated by the fact that the machine can only hold 35 characters (including spaces) at a time and many lines were longer than this. So when the machine stopped (as in finishing a line of programming) I just punched in the rest of the line and continued with the fabric still in place. I did not do all this in one day! But when I was finished and put the rest of the block together, and then added the sashing and borders....
This is where I am right now! I have some tropical appliques that I am thinking of adding before I back the quilt. They are good for covering up the odd stain or two on the shirts that just would not come out. I hope to be finished by next week so I can move onto other projects.

I appreciate you stopping by and all the kind comments I have received. Happy T Day!

Monday, January 25, 2016

T Stand For Tea Journal and More Quilt

Hi everyone! After snowing all day Saturday, we accumulated about 7-8" of snow. I know that anyone south of us got much, much more. Our daughter works in New York City and they have over 18" of snow. I hate to think of the poor people further south! If there is a bright spot, much as already melted and with temperatures forecast for 45 to 48 degrees tomorrow, hopefully much more will melt. There was a beautiful sunset though....
We were well prepared and since we did not need to go anywhere, I had lots of time to play with my art supplies. I did a page in my altered tea quote book that I am sharing with Elizabeth for T Stands For Tuesday--a weekly link up where we share what we are doing and something drink related.

I drew the silhouette of me holding my cup and painted in onto the page. Since this also fits TIOT's current theme of silhouette I'm linking there, too. I covered the right side of the page with some paper towel scraps I had hanging out on my desk. I gave the embossed hearts a little color and added a quote, "There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life". As for my quilting progress....
I have started to do the stitching on the white square. It will be filled with the lyrics to our wedding song which was "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis--big surprise, huh?! Anyway, I'm using variegated thread--a different but complimentary one to what I used before. Each letter has to be entered on the sewing machine one at a time, so it is pretty slow going. When I am all finished, I will clip all the connecting stitches and threads and show you again. It will be much easier to read.

Lastly, I needed a new project while watching TV at night, so I started a scarf with a herringbone pattern. I chose black and red instead of the more common black and white.

It will take me awhile since you change color every row, but so far I am enjoying making it.

Hope you are all safe if you were in the path of the snowstorm! Happy T Day and thank you for stopping by!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Waiting for the first snowflake...

Hi everyone! I decided that I needed to learn how to just play and create something without having a purpose--I am trying to learn to be freer in my art. As most of you know, I am primarily a beader--more specifically, a maker of french beaded flowers.  There are very distinct steps in that craft and although there is a lot of leeway with respect to colors etc., there isn't too much variation necessary to craft a life-like flower. So, while I am waiting for the first snowflake to fall, I pulled out one of my UFOs which now done, I think I should have just launched into space. No really. You should have seen it before I worked on it some more.
After the background was painted, this was completed all with foam stamps. I masked out the cabin to do the trees green and then lightly stamped the image of the cabin.
I painted over the cabin and added the door--whoever heard of a cabin without a door? Silly stamp! I added some white to the trees and added their trunks. Stamped the snowflakes and then restamped and embossed them because they were still blah.
Still didn't love them, so I drew around them and added the quote from Albert Camus, "In the depth of Winter I finally learned tht there was in me an invincible summer". So much for playing, but at least I can turn the page in my journal and go on!

The weather forecast for my area is either a few inches or 8-10 inches--they are having trouble deciding; however, it is more of a southern storm  and I predict the lesser amount. If you are in its path, please stay safe and home if you can! Happy Weekend  everyone!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

T Stands For WaTer today

Hi everyone! Another Tuesday has rolled around and I am sharing my drink with Elizabeth and Bleubeard (and Squiggles of course).
Mine is a drink on the go today as we are running errands and doing some food shopping.  It is good to get out and about at least once a week despite the temperatures being really, really cold today. Before I get running, I thought I would show you how my quilt is progressing.  A little slowly, but....
This is an example of the free motion quilting I decided to do. I used a variegated thread which I really liked because it brought in some tropical color.  It was fun but a little stressful at the same time, because it is really hard to get the stitches an nice even length. What helped a bit was that my sewing machine has a speed control, so I could "floor the pedal" but it would only go so fast. Gave my brain one less thing to coordinate.
Is this making you dizzy? I guess the hands were shaky this morning, but I basically wanted to show the colors, not the stitches.
 I started adding the sashing strips which as you can see are orange. I have all the blocks put together except for the top row. Remember that blank block still needs the words. I've been procrastinating starting that one because I know it is going to be very tedious, but cool in the end.
Here is a little closeup to see how I handled more of the stitching. I basically just went around the block if I could or else just in the free space so I avoided stitching over any of the designs. Some of them are silk screened and some are a little raised like the palm trees in the one on the right.

Well, I had better get going now. I'll be around to visit everyone late today. Have a Happy T Day!

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Hi Everyone! I know, don't faint--two posts in the same week! Thank you all for the lovely comments and suggestions on my quilt post. I'll show what I finally decided on Tuesday, but today I had time to just play around with a little collage. It fits the Art Journal Journey challenge this month so I am linking up. It is hosted by Chrissie who chose as the theme, Winter Wonderland. Since we had our first little dusting of snow (which is mostly gone now) inspiration came a little easier.
Although it is difficult to see in the photo, I started out by swiping a mix of blue & white acrylic paint with a piece of cardboard to cover my page. When dry, I started on the bottom of the page:
Can you see the different pieces of ribbon that I used as snow?  I tucked the snowman which was recycled from a Christmas card into the snow,
crocheted him some branchy arms, and added some blue highlights with spectrum noir alcohol marker on the ribbon and painted background.

I really had fun just playing around today. Thank you Chrissie for the inspiration!

Monday, January 11, 2016

T Stands For QuilTing

Hi Everyone! Time to join in with Bleubeard and Elizabeth for T Stands For Tuesday! You know, that's when we all get together and share what we are up to. Anything is allowed as long as you share something drink related.

I've been in a sewing mood so I pulled out the only unfinished project I have which is an anniversary T shirt quilt. This year Dennis & I will be married 25 years, and I decided it was a good time to pull out all those T shirts we bought in Hawaii on our honeymoon and no longer wear, and do something nice with them. Here is my progress so far:
Since the shirts were two different sizes, I had to add a border around the smaller ones so the blocks would all be the same size. I plan to add orange sashing between the blocks and probably as a border, too.  First, I have to decide if I should do some machine quilting before I put them together. The blocks are backed with interfacing so they don't stretch--they are also pretty heavy already & I am thinking that I will not add batting. I would have liked to put it all together and then machine quilt, but I am afraid I will not be able to do it on my machine.  Maybe will tie at each corner. Here are some of the individual blocks...

 Obviously, this is one I added a border to. The one below is one of the larger ones.

 I don't really want to "destroy" or sew over the images randomly, so I may try to do some kind of free motion outlining. 
This 3rd block shows how this one has so much more free space.  I'm at a standstill right now until I decide; so if there are any quilters (or anyone) out there, I'm open to suggestions! By the way, on the blank white square at the center top I plan to machine write our wedding song. We'll see how that goes, LOL, I have extra squares!

In the meantime, I think I will enjoy a cup of chocolate macaroon tea that I picked up at David's Tea last week. Sorry the photo is a bit blurry--took them all at the same time/ same day. The other is buttered rum. I've tried them both, and they are both delicious--not artificial at all! 

Hope you all have a great T day! Thanks for coming by!

Monday, January 4, 2016

T Stands For Starting off 2016 crafting!

Hi Everyone! It is the first Tuesday of 2016 and I dug into my Tea Journal to share a virtual cup of tea with Elizabeth & Bleubeard's T Stands For Tuesday. The simplicity of this page belies how long I actually spent trying to make it....shall we just say a week total? Most of it thinking and drying time.
I doubt you can see how many layers there are--four--including the one I painted over because I didn't like the colors. The first layer was a maroon frame around the two pages with the center filled in with bright cadmium yellow.  Next I lightly covered everything with gesso & pressed in some corrugated cardboard for texture. When dry I added a glaze of sea green. You can see all the colors better in real life--except for the hideous grey & pink I started with.
Next I messed up the quote....which should read, "Life is a tea cup", not what I wrote, "Life is like a cup of tea".... I embossed the word "tea" on a used tea bag.
I got this part of the quote right. Who said it? Nobody (or me) just like this.
You may be able to see some of the texture and underlying colors better. I am happy that I got it done, and I am working on not being so left-brained about it next time.  Right after I visit the others who post on Tuesday, I'd better start thinking about next Tuesday's project!

Happy T Day, and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Second Look on the 2nd--Snow!

Hi Everyone! Today I am joining Elizabeth & Bleubeard for a second look at a post you may not have seen. This one is from March of 2009 when we had freezing temperatures and lots of snow. I chose this one to remind myself of how "lucky" we have been so far this Winter season. It has not gone below freezing more than once--in fact, our temperatures have been more Spring-like, hovering in the high 40s and low 50s. Christmas Day was nearly 70 degrees! We have also had no snow other than one day of icy rain that turned to slush and was gone with the following warm day.

I don't mind the cold so much, but I am not a big fan of snow or ice so hopefully this new year will not be a repeat of March 2009!

I have the urge to sing......

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! The snow is snowing, the wind is blowing, it is only 18 degrees and yes, school is closed yet again! Surely this must be the last of the days they built in to the school calendar. We were supposed to go to a meeting at the school this morning for Junior parents, about college application procedures, etc, but that was canceled, too. 

We have at least 8" of snow already and it ain't over yet! Fortunately, we fixed the belts on the snow blower on Saturday! We've been so spoiled with warmer weather lately, it is humbling to remember that we can actually have big snowstorms right up into April. No wonder I can never get a decent garden going!

I 3/4 done with the first pin I am beading & will hopefully have it up tomorrow. Today will be filled with ironing, making soup and challenging my daughter to some rousing games of Wii Tennis and Bowling!

Hope you're not snowed in like me! Glad we're not snowed in like in 2009! Have a great day!