Sunday, January 30, 2011

Promises

Every night as I'm dropping off to sleep, I promise myself that tomorrow I'm going to start walking again.  Then every morning I promise myself, I'll go after I've had my coffee...then breakfast...then blogs...then email...then more coffee.  But....this morning I actually got off my butt and took a walk.  Granted it was only a mile but you have to start somewhere.  I used to walk 3 miles every other day but I got out of the habit somewhere along the way.  I feel so much better physically and mentally when I walk, I don't know why it's so difficult to get myself out the door.  Anyone else have this problem?

I've sorta designated Sundays as 'work on the 501 Project' day so today I cut out six new blocks and pieced together two of them.  All of the blocks cut today are in this color scheme.  I may sew a couple more tomorrow.

left:  The Sickle    right:  Chuck A Luck

One zentangle:



And some more hexagons.  (not shown)

Hope you had a good day.  Is the weekend over already?

--  Pat  --

Friday, January 28, 2011

What a week!

I've had something going on every day this week--doctor appt., dentist appt., dog groomer, babysitting (multiple grandchildren) and dealing with treacherous traveling.  I'm ready for a weekend.  I could use a couple of days where all I have to do is hang out and work on quilty things, maybe a little zentangle.

I was able to sew together some hex flowers while babysitting though.  (so what am I complaining about?)



Pretty huh?  They'll make an interesting something.

I've spent a good portion of today trying to burn a couple of audio cds.  When I was done, I tried them out in my big stereo and they didn't play so I tried them in a little cd player and they worked fine.  So on my way to the groomer's I tried them in the car and they kept getting ejected.  After some research, I found out I should have been using CD-R instead of CD-RW.  I thought the 'R' in CD-R meant readable and that the 'RW' meant read/write.  It seems that the 'R' means recordable and if you look at the CD-R closely, you can see a little musical note (a clue).  So I'm guessing the CD-RW are for data type stuff.  I know I've used them in the past to transport photos to be printed.  Anyway, I've done the cds over on the correct media and they work in the little cd player.  I plan to check them out in the car when I go to pick up the dog.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Hope you had a good day.

--  Pat  --

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Zentangle Challenge #6

This week's challenge from I am a diva was to use the new tangle Ixorus.  Laura displayed the illustration to draw the tangle.  I glanced at it somewhat quickly and went on my merry way, creating seven zentangles using 'Ixorus'.  But just for kicks, I thought I'd better take a closer look before my submission to make sure that I had been drawing 'Ixorus'.  Mine were drawn incorrectly.  Perhaps we can call it a 'tangleation'  (a noticable variation of an existing tangle) however for most of you, it might take awhile to see what's wrong.

Ixorus?!


Two of these are not like the others - the bottom middle and right are the most correct.  Can you see what I did wrong?  The black arcs should have been drawn in an 'S' shape starting on the left of the bar then to the right.  I did it the other way around.  Next time, I'll pay closer attention.  It's hard to 'unlearn'.  

So, right or wrong, these are my entries.

Hope you have a good day.

--  Pat  -- 

Monday, January 24, 2011

501 Project Progress

Yesterday I cut and sewed 4 new blocks as part of the 501 Project  (actually 5 blocks-one was a duplicate).

left:  The Broken Wheel     right:  Cracker

left:  Cats and Mice      right:  Devil's Claws

Best zentangle of the day:



I also sewed together a bunch of hexagon flowers but I haven't taken any pictures yet.

Hope your day was as fun and productive as mine.

--  Pat  --

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Another Hexi Day

Anyone who has read my blog lately knows that my latest passions are zentangle and hexagons.  So today, I wondered what would happen if I tangled some hexagons.  Can you see the four hexagons?  Pretty cool looking huh?



Then I watched a you-tube video showing how to do the tangle 'Betweed'.  The demonstration is done by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts, the creators of Zentangle.  It's fascinating to see how it's done.  I couldn't resist trying to incorporate the tangle into one of my zentangles.  It's the one that looks sorta braided.  There are three of them.  I'm sure 'Betweed' will be one of my favorite tangles.


As you can see, I'm still toying with shading.  I can't decide if I've done too much to this one or not.  I do like how it plays tricks on your eyes.

Before I sat down to work on my zentangles, I cut a 2 1/2 inch strip from every green fabric I own, then cut those into 2 1/2 squares to be used for hexies.  Last week, I mentioned that I had sorted all my fabrics into colors and stored them in bins.  After I finished the job, I read in someone's blog how it was more efficient to fold the fabrics in such a way that they can be stored on end in the bin so that you don't have to pull all of them out to choose one.  So after cutting each green piece I refolded it and have now 'filed' it this way.


I think this will work much better.  As I cut strips from the other colors, I plan to reorganize all the bins this way.

Hope you had a good day.

--  Pat  --

Foto Finish - Kodachrome

In keeping with this week's theme - Kodachrome - 'nice bright colors', here are two photos of  argyranthemum I had growing on my balcony two summers ago.





To see other photos for this Foto Finish, pop on over to Cat Patches.

Hope you have a good day!

--  Pat  --

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ginger's Sweater

I've been wanting to take Ginger out for a walk but the weather has been so yucky, wet and cold and I knew she'd never be warm enough that I thought I should buy a sweater or jacket for her.  But knowing how much they cost, I decided to try making it myself.  I searched You-Tube for a quilted dog jacket pattern/instructions and didn't find one (or perhaps I didn't look long or close enough).  But I did find a nice sweater tutorial and I had purple yarn (my favorite color) so....  This is the link for Crochet Dog Sweater Button Sweater by Tracey Alena.  She walks you through every step and made it so easy.  I started out making the extra small but when I tried it on Ginger (about 1/2 through - dumb), it was too small.  So I tore it out and added some extra stitches and went from there.  I tried it on a number of times along the way and added extra stitches and rows here and there to fit her the way I wanted it to.  The belly band is supposed to be fastened with a large button (which I didn't have) so I used a safety pin for the pictures.  I do have velcro and may end up using that.  Here are a couple of pictures.  As you can see from the photos, Ginger was thrilled to have her picture taken.  I also purposely made the sweater before her grooming to make sure it wouldn't be too small.  Oh!  And if you don't know, Ginger is a toy poodle, 4 1/2 years old.







Now if it'll just stop snowing, we can try it out.

These are the zentangles I did since my last post.  Today I ordered the book AlphaTangle by Sandy Steen Bartholomew.  Can't wait to get it.  I love tangling.  I found out why it only took one day to receive the book and the zentangle kit.  The author lives about 20 miles from my house (NH) and the kit came from MA.  So maybe I'll receive the book tomorrow, although if it actually comes from Amazon, who knows?!  This purchase uses up the last of the gift card I received from my daughter for Christmas.  Thanks Corey!



I received my order from Connecting Threads.  I bought a number of yardage pieces (mostly yellows, tans, apricot, spice) and the Mirage Muted Fat Quarter Sampler.




 I haven't bought any of the Mirage fabric before but I love it.  I think I'll order the 'Jewel' FQs next.  (like I need more fabric)  I cut one 2 1/2 strip from each of the yardage pieces to be used for hexagons.  And being the addictive personality that I am, Ive sewn some more hexagons.  The ones on the left are ready to be pressed and the ones on the right are ready to be sewn into flowers.



So for today, I think I'll 'file' my fabric in their proper bins, work on some more hexies and start on the first season of 'Star Trek Voyager' from Netflix.  And who knows what else?!

Oh!  I almost forgot.  I received an email with details for my 40th Class Reunion (high school).  I'm tempted to go.  I went to the 20th but was a little disappointed.  I'll have to think about it.  It's not until May but I need to respond before then.  Anyone else attend their class reunions?  What did you think?

Hope you have a good day.

--  Pat  --

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Question -

Does anyone else have a problem coming up with titles for their blog posts?  And what about titles for quilts, zentangles, works of art etc. etc.?  I have a tough time with all of these.

I traveled to MA this morning to babysit my granddaughter.  What usually takes 1 hr. took 1 1/2 hrs.  Actually, I thought that was pretty good considering what the news forecasted for road conditions and accidents.  And...I made it safely home again.  I consider that a good day.  I always enjoy visiting - Lily is such a charmer.  While she slept, I sewed a few hex flowers together to add to those I sewed last night.   I think I need to use fabrics with greater contrast for the centers.  The picture is a little deceiving, the true colors aren't quite so muted.



Here's a photo of the zentangle I did last night:



When I drew it, it was with the flower in the lower right corner but after I was done, I thought it looked more cohesive in this orientation.  I'm still playing around with florz and shading.  I'd love to get better at multi-dimensional artwork.  I'm learning something with every one that I draw.

Hope you had a good day.

--  Pat  --

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow day

I know this isn't unique but today was a snow day.  It started early and hard and is still snowing.  I didn't drive to MA to babysit.  The commute probably would have been okay this morning but they were talking sleet and freezing rain in the afternoon when I'd be driving home.  I can take the snow but sleet and freezing rain scares me.  I'm hoping tomorrow will be better.

I've been wanting to try those little hexagon flowers that I see everyone doing so last night I printed and cut out a bunch of hexagon templates and started sewing fabric over them.  Before I got in too deep, I sewed together one flower.  Here it is:

1st Hexagon Flower
I think it looks pretty cool.  I stitched it with the templates still attached.  From what I've read, you should leave the paper templates attached until all your hexagons have been sewn together.  But I was curious to see how it looked without the templates so I removed them.  It still looks pretty good.  I worried because I think I'm using a little larger piece of fabric for each hexagon than what I've seen done as an example.  It's a great way to use up some of my scraps.  Today I made so many hexagons that I ended up having to wear my wrist brace.  I only use it when I do a repetitive type action or twist my wrist in a weird position.  And my thumb is a little sore from stabbing it with the needle.  I guess it's going to take a little more practice.  I don't know what I'll do with all the hexagons but you know me, I love trying new things.


This week's zentangle challenge over at the diva's is 'Orbs' (circles).  I don't know if I really hit the mark but this is my zentangle for the challenge.



Pop on over and take a look at the other entries.

Hope you had a good day.

--  Pat  --

Monday, January 17, 2011

My To Do List

is done...at least what I had written down.  The closet is clean, the fabric is organized, the Christmas decorations are down and put up in the storage unit and the photos from the albums I borrowed have been scanned and organized.  It kinda feels like spring cleaning, without the spring.  It's a good feeling.

I haven't done any sewing over the weekend what with all the other activities, but I did draw a couple zentangles.  They say that you don't know what they'll be before you start.  I know that's true.  These are what I drew Saturday night.  I didn't start out to draw a fish but ain't she cute?!  I must have been in an underwater state of mind.  The second one was sort of a practice in movement.


Hope you're having a good day.  I'm off to babysit Tuesday and Wednesday.  Let's hope the sleet and freezing rain that's forecast, doesn't interfere with that.

--  Pat  --

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Today

This is the story of my day.

For quite awhile I've been reading about how other quilters organize their fabric.  My organization has been pretty basic - buy plastic bins - put fabric in.  What that means is that every time I want a particular fabric or color, I have to go through every bin to find it.  Not good.  So this morning, I pulled out all my fabric and sorted it into categories - color, holiday, flannel, themed, non-cotton and put all of it back into bins and labeled them.  I need to buy a few more bins but for the most part that's done.

Then, I went through all last year's papers and filed or shredded what I needed to.

Then I cut and pieced two blocks.

Blue Fields

Five Diamonds

Then I tangled.





Then I blogged.

Then I rested.

The end.


Hope you're having a good weekend.

--  Pat  --

Friday, January 14, 2011

2 Posts in 1 Day...

I'm so proud of me.  I started and finished cleaning the walkin closet.  Here are the before and after pictures:

Before
Awful huh?   I only have two closets in the apartment.  This one and a linen closet.(which could use some straightening too!).  This one really is a catch all with clothes, quilts/blankets, yarn, fabric, vacuum cleaner, dirty clothes.  But it has gotten away from me over the past few months.  Now see how it looks:

After

It's amazing how many empty boxes I've saved over the past year - just in case.  And how much stuff I'm taking to Goodwill and how much ended up in the trash.  And even though it's still pretty full, at least it's organized and I can find things again.  Yay me!

I also tried my hand at tangling a moisturizer jar and a face wash bottle.  It's more difficult to do objects.  The jar cap was somewhat easy because it was plastic.  The glass jar itself wasn't as easy because it's slippery and I had to be careful not to smudge it.  The plastic bottle was a little difficult because of the various contours.  But it was fun to do.  I think I may get a smaller tipped sharpie for next time.  The only one I had was a large chisel tip.  It doesn't look as delicate as I would have liked.

1st tangled objects

Have a good weekend!

--  Pat  --

I am so happy!

Today is the 3rd day of the Star Trek TNG marathon.  Can you tell I'm addicted?  I've seen all the series and all the episodes many, many times but...I never get tired of it.  It makes for good background noise for quilting and zentangling.  I've read that zentangle is a noun and the verb is tangle.  So I guess I should have said 'tangling'.

I finished two more blocks yesterday on the 501 Project.

Eight Hands Around

Cut the Corners

I'm going to have to wait to make any other blocks in this two fabric combination  I have just a few scraps left.  I've ordered the tan from Connecting Threads.  I only ordered a yard but now I wish I'd ordered more.  It's on clearance so I don't think it'll be around much longer. Do you see another order in the works?!  I also need to run down to JoAnn's to pick up more of the green.  I'm thinking maybe I'll work all these blocks into a quilt.  I love this fabric combination.

I also did another zentangle.  I'm trying to do 'only' one a day.  But it is addictive.  I just read a blog Zentangle where the author tangled her cupboard lazy susan.  It was so cool looking.  I've been looking around the apartment for things I can tangle.  I can't do any apartment-type things but there's always the cold cream jar, mouthwash bottle,  food scale, etc. etc.  Lots of possibilities!  Anyway, here's yesterday's zentangle.


You'll notice that almost all of my zentangles have the tangle 'florz' (the net-type tangle) in the corners.  I always feel as though the corners need something and that's about the only thing I can do.  Another blog, Shelly Beauch shows some other tangles to try.  But I do like doing the florz pattern.  It gives me a chance to try out movement.  It's kinda fun to play around with.  And of course I'm still practicing shading.

I started a to-do list yesterday of things that need to be done-that I shouldn't put off any longer.  You know, 'file last year's papers', 'start a new year folder', 'clean and organize the walk-in closet', 'scan photos' (I don't really mind that job-it's full of remembrances), 'take down the Christmas decorations, lug them up to the storage unit'  -that sort of stuff.  I'm sure if I look around, there are many more things to add.  I think for today, I'll start with the walk-in closet (though it means I can't watch Star Trek).  Maybe I'll just crank up the volume.  I wonder what the neighbors will think?!

Hope you're having a good day.

--  Pat  --

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hard to believe...

that we had such a huge snowstorm yesterday (except for all the snow on the ground).  The sun is shining so bright!

Yesterday I pieced a new block - actually two because that's what the cutting instructions called for.  Here it is:

Aunt Mary's Double Irish Chain
I love the tan fabric Connecting Threads Tossed Dandelions so much that I ordered more of it.  Actually I ordered a lot more than that - enough fabric to avoid the shipping costs.  What can I say?  I have plastic, I must have money.

Last week I participated in I am the diva's weekly Zentangle Challenge for the first time.  I've created a lot of zentangles since that first one.  This week's challenge is Starry Eyed Surprise.  We were supposed to listen to a song by Paul Oakenfold by the same name and create a zentangle from that.  I have a confession to make.  I didn't care for the song and didn't listen to the whole thing.  I did however create a zentangle based on the title - Starry Eyed Surprise.  Here it is:

Challenge #4 Starry Eyed Surprise
 
What can I say?  There's a star and if you use your imagination - 'eyes'.  I wish I'd thought to draw stars in the eyes.  That would have been cool.  I also created another one (for fun).


I haven't been using the tiles from the Zentangle Kit because of the cost.  Since I'm so new to this, I didn't want to waste them.  I purchased a small sketchbook to practice with.  It doesn't have the texture of the tiles but it'll do.

Hope you're having a good day.

--  Pat  --

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shading

I've been 'tangling' every chance I get and having such fun with it.  I've also been practicing shading.  Some I'm happy with, some I'm not.  I guess there's a learning curve.  I find myself trying to create zentangles that everyone will like rather than focusing on what I like.  But I am enjoying the process.  Here's a couple I've done over the past few days that I'm reasonably happy with.  I think I may have overdone the shading on the first one.  I especially like the second one.



Today we're getting the snow that was promised.  I'm fortunate enough to be stranded at home.  The original plan was that I'd be in MA for the day but my DIL is working from home today, so she didn't need me to babysit.  I'm glad to be home on a day like this.  I'm sitting here admiring my Christmas tree (yes, it's still up!), blogging/reading blogs and watching the Star Trek TNG marathon.  Does life get any better than this?

Hope you have a safe and happy day.

--  Pat  --

Monday, January 10, 2011

Crazy Ann

I bet you thought I was talking about a person, right?  You know, like 'crazy Aunt Theresa'. (mine)  Every family has one.  From one nephew's point of view, I'm 'crazy Aunt Pat'.  Hmmm....  But I'm not talking about a person.  I'm leading into the next block - Crazy Ann.



Crazy Ann

This block is supposed to be done in two colors but I didn't have a lot of any of the 'beige' colors.  The light color triangles in the top left and bottom right corner are what's left from the first two blocks in this 'color scheme'.  I actually think the way the block came out is much more interesting.

I did another zentangle.  I tried to shade it in such a way that it would look more 3-D.  It looks much better 'in real life' than in the photo.  I photographed this one instead of scanning it like I did with the others.  I felt as though scanning made them look too sharp.  I also went through all the other zentangles I've done and shaded those too.  I like them a lot better.  It takes practice.




It seems as though there's to be a snowstorm coming through tomorrow night so Ginger (toy poodle) and I will be staying over at my son's house.  I babysit there every Tues. & Weds.  I usually commute an hour each way, which I really don't mind but I feel much better staying over if the weather's going to be bad.  I'm a little nervous about bringing the dog.  She's pretty active.  And they have a big dog.  I guess there'll only be one dog out of their crate at a time.  I'm sure it'll be fine but I worry just the same.

Hope you're having a good day.

--  Pat  -- 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jumbled

When I got up this morning, I thought 'I don't have to do anything today.  I don't have to make my bed.  I don't have to shower.  I don't even have to get out of my pajamas'.  So I didn't.  I had my coffee and watched 'Law & Order' as I read all the blogs I follow.  I sewed a block of crumb fabric.  This is what it looked like.


It was a mess.  Not at all cohesive.  A jumble of mismatched colors and patterns.  I didn't like it.  But it looked like I felt - 'out of sorts'.  So I made my bed, changed out of my PJs and took a shower.  I cleaned up my sewing area (kitchen table) and sewed this (already cut out) block.  If it looks a little 'off', it's because I cropped it too close.  I should have left a little 'outside the block' boundary.

Coxey's Camp

Much better.  I feel much better too.

Here are the zentangles I did yesterday.  (additive?)

#1

#2


#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

I think I like #2 and #6 the best.  But from what I've read, zentangles aren't supposed to have a specific orientation.  I'm having a problem with that.  Most of mine have a very definite 'this side up' theme.  I think I have to 'let myself go'.  For a structured person like me, that is a little difficult.  Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me over the past few days.

Hope you're having a good day.

--  Pat  --