Saturday, August 16, 2014


My daughter's birthday was last Thursday so we've spent some time off and on since then celebrating.
First up was birthday donuts and presents from us.

I got her a betta fish, but have not figured out how to get a picture of it.

A couple of her friends were not going to get to go to her party so they had lunch with her on her birthday at magical McDonalds.

Today was the big Star Skate party, which was much easier than most of her parties to date.

My son got to invite a friend. He was much happier. Really, he would have been fine with the younger kids, but this was even better!
 She didn't get many of the coupons but she nabbed every dollar they threw in.

Afterwards the family headed to Vans to celebrate my dad's birthday.  He was not 6 of course--but is still in his sixth decade.
 And of course the picture I took didn't even have him in it. Oops.

Happy birthday Grace and Dad!

Friday, August 8, 2014

a two quilt week!

At the beginning of the week I finished up the Fractures quilt. I still don't know if I like it, but at least I finished it and it can now be something useful for someone instead a mound of fabric in a box (or on the floor).

Back in February I took my kids to Turner Falls, which is the Arbuckle Mountains near here. All along the interstate in that area you can see the layers of rock. Of course an interstate is not the best place to stop and take a photo so I had to settle for this one in the Turner Falls area.

So I worked on a quilt with that kind of fractured look and came up with this.
I know. Not the same and MUCH more colorful. The pattern was based on the Cabin Fever quilt designed by Ann Baxter in the Jan/Feb Quilt It Today magazine. If I remember (February was a while ago), I started with the beiges and tans, to would give it that same look as the cliffs. And then I needed something else cause beige and tans and golds needed more and one of the fabrics (the floral) included the violet and purple.

Backed with a basic lavendar gingham and quilted with a meandering squiggle. After I started quilting I remembered I was going to use an off white or ivory thread. I just kept on with the white and it was fine for most of it.

The second quilt is a scrap quilt. It was inspired by this picture:

and the Improv with Intention webinar by Cheryl Arkison that I watched a week ago. I finally figured out that I could do a scrap quilt based off of a color scheme/photo inspiration rather than an all color explosion.

It's small, maybe 3' square, and has been claimed by my daughter the queen of pink.

After this (and a much needed weekend break), I think I will be ready to start on the second of the log cabin quilts.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

a zoo

We made it to the zoo this morning, along with a BUNCH of other people who wanted to take advantage of the cheap prices on Wednesday. Really, our own group was a bunch of people.

 That's us minus me. Our own little stroller caravan.

It's a little harder to get a good shot with there are this many posing on the lions. Thankfully we didn't try to wedge the three babies in there somewhere!

We got to check out baby Rupert. Lot of the animals were out since it was a little overcast, even the cats. They are usually the hardest to spot but we saw a lot of them today.

Before we left my kids wanted to feed these birds, so we jumped in line before they closed it for the afternoon break. 

He was super happy until a third bird flew onto his back to join in the fun. Those claws are sharp!

I took my art supplies with me, but wasn't up for drawing after lunch. I had reached my zoo limit. I may draw from a photograph or two I took. Until then, this is the watercolor/sketch I did the other day:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

around town

With the slightly cooler weather the past few days, we've been more willing to go outside. We have quite a few places to explore near our house.One day I went with my daughter to the creek. I drew and painted, she watched the little fish and hoped to find a frog. I didn't bring my camera but did paint a picture of her--and haven't taken a picture of that to put on here. So just imagine a girl with brown hair perched at the edge of the water, watching.

Another day we took a family walk on campus at OU, which is conveniently across the street from our house.
they got to spend a lot of time waiting, sometimes because they walked faster, but mostly because of the handstands

she did a LOT of these with all that green grass around

Yesterday was free Monday (the first Monday of the month) at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, so I left work an hour early and took them. I had been waiting to see the Hungry Planet exhibit as well as a fossil photography exhibit. That ended up being my favorite part there. Had I brought some paper and a parka (it was FREEZING in there) I would've done some sketch time. I at least got one photograph I can sketch from at home.

The Discovery Room:

watching the video of how they prep the fossils and take the photographs

a beautiful display but hard to capture without glare

someone always wants to pose here!
Wednesday we will head to the zoo. We still have a little over one week before they have get to go back to school, one week to wear them out so they will be ready to go sit with their friends in a classroom all day. Unfortunately I wear out faster than them!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

a bit of therapy

This week has been heavy. With a work load at my part time job that really would be saner with a bit more hours thrown in--too many upcoming events and program kickoffs. And with so many friends facing crazy critical surprise health crises. It has not been my favorite week.

One of the things I do to take a mental or emotional break is to sew and make things. So I have some finishes this week, including a quilt. I've continued to work on the quilt projects that I had started and then stuck in a box. Something more pressing must have come along (probably somebody's baby quilt). This week I finished up this baby boy flannel quilt. It was one I started from all the flannel leftover from other baby quilts.

The pictures are not that great. It's been raining (yea!) so these are indoor shots, plus the colors are so pale, it just all washes out. But you can get the idea.

the back
My aunt is coming to pick up this one and a girl baby quilt tomorrow.

 I've also been covering the mini sketchbooks I brought home from Turkey for the family. I carried mine in my purse for a couple of weeks and quickly found out why they were priced so low. Hopefully the fabric cover will help them hold up a bit better.

My current project is to finish this thing. It was one I started back in April then stuck in a bin. It was based off of a pattern in a magazine (I'll share the specs when it's done) and some rock cuts, but the sizes are a bit different than the pattern to accommodate the scraps I was using. I'm piecing together the strips and then will decide if I need to do something else with it. I'm still not really loving it, which is probably why it got shoved in a bin. That and all those babies needing quilts and overseas travel and what not.

I think there is one more "nearly finished" quilt bin to tackle and then I will be ready to move on to the twin size version of that last log cabin. And maybe I will even start working on quilt ideas from my Istanbul inspiration pictures.Surely I could do something with this

or this

or even this, cause I really like mountains
That would be a bit of a stretch of my improv quilting skills at this point.

Monday, July 28, 2014

mini eye

My kids are away for a few days with grandma and grandpa. So what am I doing with all this free time? We did watch a movie at home and didn't have to wait until the kids went to bed. I cleaned the guest room and bath--and it's still clean. I went to work some. I helped a friend as he cleaned out a storage building, taking an old globe and map off of his hands. Other than that, today was kind of rough there, so I am now flipping back and forth between Junk Gypsies (just found because I never watch tv) and Friends which I can't watch when kids are home. I know, I'm really living it up here.

And, of course, I finished one of those quilts piled up in my room.

It's 20 inches square and is Jeni Baker's mini warm cool value quilt. All made out of my scraps. I think it kinda looks like those God's Eye stick and yarn things I used to get to make all the time when I was a kid. It's is now hanging up in my office. I've about run out of walls for quilts in there!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Laney's quilt

This quilt began with a picture and a request. Make a quilt (well, really two for a set of bunkbeds) and use the colors in this sign from PB Teen:
I looked in my books and a few magazines and had almost settled on a pattern and then I saw the quilt on the cover of the Spring / Summer Quilt Sampler magazine. And it would work perfectly with the Wee Wander fabrics I had been eyeing.

The backing is from the same collection. The pattern in the magazine called for 16 fabrics in each color. I decided to do 8 (in double the amount). That made it a little more complicated when piecing together the log cabins, since I didn't want to repeat fabrics, but it worked out for the most part. So in each color about 4 of the fabrics are from Wee Wander, and the rest were others I already had (the pinks) or were some that I found at other shops. Since I was buying for two quilts, this was really a lot of fabric.

This is what it looks like on a bed, although not it's real bed.

and this is my son's glamour shot as he was keeping the quilt from plunging to the ground:

The quilt has made it to it's new home. I still have a twin size version to make, but as usual when I get done I need to clean up the sewing room and quite a bit of my house that I neglected while I was sewing away. And I have a wee little quilt or two to finish up. It's nice to work on something small after the big ones!

On Friday this post will link up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish Up Friday, and for those extra eyes (all quilters) I have a question: How do you balance how many quilts you keep versus what gets given away or sold? Do you have rules? Do you try to keep all your favorites?  Other artists feel free to chime in. I'm sure it's a question painters and other artists struggle with too!