Friday, October 31, 2008

Braving the Elements

The 'Braving the Elements' online exhibit was put together by Linda Minton and includes the Journal Quilts that were released from the juried exhibit or not finished in time. Mine was released. Linda and Van did a beautiful job on the online show. will take you to the exhibit. Lotsa eye-candy!

Breaking Traditions

Breaking Traditions Exhibit
curated by Lynn Krawczyk
Mine is the third from the right and third from the bottom.
Lynn also published a catalog/book at Blurb and I ordered one and received mine yesterday.
She did a beautiful job on the show and the book.
You can read more about it and see the whole exhibit online at

All pressed

Here's the wine press that TJay built for me as a Christmas gift a few years ago. Works just great

Holds about 40 pounds of grapes.
TJay and I pressed the cab and zin grapes today.
We made a major mess, but it was fun.

I can has hot dog?

I made a costume for Paulie.
He's got the cutest buns!
Note to self: next time, buy a pattern!

Getting organized

TJay built me some more shelves for my fiber studio. This makes it official -- I no longer have a dining room. The only thing left that reminds me of the room's former purpose, is a china cabinet and hutch, but those are covered up with a design wall...

All the cutting, heating and gluing things and thread.

This one is 8 feet tall and holds all my fibers and dyeing, batiking, rusting, stamping and painting stuff.
See those crates from the grapes?

I can find everything at a glance -- I love it. That doily is there because...well, what else would you do with a fuchsia, turquoise and lime green doily?
I had 16 inches of wall left over and this fit perfectly.

The mural is done!

The mural is finished and hung. It's 12 feet by 4 feet and Tjay made an oak frame to mount around it. They are very happy with it! It's alot like the mural I did in PJ McIntyres, but this one has all four of Bernadette's boys and her parents in it. And, of course, it's smaller!

Ballycroy and Achill Island, County Mayo (click to see larger)

Thread slut?

When I started sewing again, I asked TJay to build me this cute little thread box. I thought it would be more than sufficient for any threads I would buy. And it was -- for about a month. When I sewed before, I don't remember all these different kinds of thread...or so many colors!

He's always making me cute stuff like this...

If he makes me a box to hold all the thread I've accumulated in the year since he made the other box -- I won't be able to move it!
And now I have the damned embroidery machine -- I need more thread!

In the kitchen and not dyeing!

We pressed the chardonnay grapes and wound up with almost 8 gallons of juice. It's happily bubbling away.

I love the sound of the bubblers.

The Zin and Cab grapes are sitting on the skins and French oak chips. these will be pressed in about 10-12 days. Not much room in the kitchen for a while.

Then I got a taste for Twetschgenknoedel and made 75 of these. They're little Italian plums, pitted and covered with a potato dough. They get boiled, then browned in lots of butter and bread crumbs and sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar. Yeah, I'm a real health nut this week...

Hey, can I have some wine with my cholesterol, please?

Wine season -- Yay!

I love this time of year. This year we got 80# of Zinfandel grapes, 120# of Chardonnay grapes, 120# of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and 6 gallons of Johannesburg Riesling juice. All shipped from California to Collinwood Grape and Juice, where we buy them. My favorite shopping trip of the year. 'Cept for the bees. Bees LOVE grapes.

Forgive me, for I have Zinned...

Thinking ahead, check out the great racks that these Chardonnay and Cab grapes came in -- fabric storage!

We offered a bonfire, a cookout, beer and vodka to our friends for helping to de-stem the grapes. Alex and Joe helped us out.

This is some serious fun right here...

Maybe 320 pounds was a little bit much at one time.
(note to self -- two separate trips next fall)

TJay smashing the grape for the last time. We got a crusher --yay!

Oops -- didn't mean to do that!

Pins and Needles sent me a sale flyer.
Huge sale.
I went to look for a Juki 98Q or a Janome 1600P. I've been looking for a machine with a little bit longer arm for quilting. They didn't have either one. I should have just bought that half price Angelina and walked away...
What they did have was a really good sales lady that somehow convinced me that I needed this Babylock Ellure. I was very vulnerable (just got paid for working at the 'Taste'). It is a pretty sweet machine and it's used, so the price was amazing. It's my first computerized machine and, I gotta admit, THAT is so cool.
So I took her home and started looking into digitizing software, because I'm not really interested in using someone else's designs. Holy Crap!! The software costs WAYYYYY more that the machine did. (sigh...) So, I downloaded several of those 30-day trial programs to see which one will let me do the things I want to do for the least amount of money and aggravation. I'm having fun trying out the programs. I already digitzed about 50 lighhouses working from my own photos. Maybe this could actually generate some income!

Any input or suggestions regarding software would be greatly appreciated!

My new baby (note the lack of a longer arm for quilting...)

Headed to the corn maze at Mapleside Farm

Tha apple trees were loaded!!
I was cleaning the unused paint off of a palette pad and was about to crumple this up and toss it...then I saw a fence and tree stumps and water and a meadow and sunlight through the tree branches.

Didn't make it to the trash.

Then I tried doing some silk ribbon embroidery from a little bitty purse kit that I bought many, many years ago and misplaced and then found again last month.
Isn't it adorable? I don't usually do adorable...

Buck makes new friends

Took Buck to hang out with Patsy and Edwina.

Licking their chops after eating...what??

Okay, maybe Buck does not look all that thrilled with the whole thing...

Ike and X-fest

Went to Dayton to work at X-fest, a 12-hour hard rock concert held at the Dayton fairgorunds. About 20, 000 people had to be evacuated in the afternoon when the remnants of Ike hit the fiargrounds at 80 mph. Of course, by that time,many were loaded and not too happy that they had to leave. Not pretty. Wire fell on the fair grandstand and started a fire.
Sorry the pictures are blurry, but i couldn't brace against the wind -- it was wicked!

One of the stage backdrops ripped to shreds.

See that silver place, just left of center. It's a car. This guy was so lucky -- he had just got in the car to move it when the tree fell on him, but he was unhurt.
TJay hoped I would come home early, since i was done working by 7:30. Yeah, like I wanted to follow that crap all the way back to Cleveland on a four hour drive. No thanks! I went back the the Marriott and holed up till morning.
They have awesome beds to hunker down in during storms. :)

Silky looking mold

Ive had a Stay-wet palette for several years. Love it. I have one brand of black acrylic that consistantly spurs strange growth though. This batch was really pretty, but I had to toss quite a bit of paint and a new palette sponge.

Looks like silk roving...

I was tempted to let it keep growing, but I needed the palette.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

RIP Snowball

Snowball came to the Cleveland Zoo when I was in high school and he was 11 months old. He was the second oldest polar bear in captivity in the US. I'll miss him.

Catching up...way up!

TJay, Joe and I had a great day-trip on the CVNRA towpath trail.

A heron that DIDN'T fly off when I turned on my camera! I have lots of lovely pics of feet and tail feathers...

I knew she was going to cross the boardwalk -- just couldn't catch her in the middle.

More hind feet and tails...

Me and Joe