Friday, August 5, 2011

Some pics from the week

Louise (aka the class valedictorian) made books of her AMAZING paper cut-outs all week. This is her carousel book.

Below is Holly's carousel. She had a map vibe going this week.

Marv and her carousel book. Oh yeah, and her turned bowl. She always brings a piece of jewelry she's made in the past to trade with one of the woodturners. Smart gal.

Leslie's carousel book. Inspired by a poem one of her high school drafting students wrote for extra credit a couple of years ago.

Catherine and her sweetly illustrated carousel telling the story of a sheep and it's wool turning to yarn.

My carousel and tunnel books experiments.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mid-week Arrowmont

Man the days go fast yet time is warped being immersed in doing just one thing. We eat breakfast, go to the studio, eat lunch, more work in the studio, dinner, then a slide show from faculty and resident students, then often... back to the studio. 

 We are learning all different ways of engineering pop-up structures and have been making lots of models. I'm trying to make notes on my models so I can recall the process once back home. 

This was a little cut out I did that I intend to add to a pop-up but we are moving along so fast that I haven't had a chance to actually put it in place yet. 

We took a "field trip" today at lunch time and went to a local Gatlinburg attraction - The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum. It was a hoot!

You get the idea.
A fun diversion.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Arrived in Gatlinburg on Saturday. Not the most fun time to be in this little burg since it's honky tonk heaven on Saturdays 
(yes, that is a dog in it's own helmet on the front of the bike.)
but at least that aspect was tempered by a gorgeous drive through the Smoky Mountains. 
Long way from home...

Hung out in the library on Sunday and collected some images for my future books. They have the most awesome color printer here!

Then Sunday evening, we met our teacher, Carol Barton and had some elementary instruction. 

Looking forward to the week!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Yeah, you heard me, f.l.e.a.s. Eeeew!

Long story short, we found out the hard way that the renter who had been living in Jan's house had left behind an unwanted gift. She had a cat that had free roam of the outdoors and who we figure must be the culprit who infested Jan's sweet little place. The renter left about two weeks ago so Jan's been doing some cleaning, painting and repair work over there intermittently. On Friday, she took Zuri with her for a relatively quick stop but it wasn't quick enough because late Monday morning Jan made the horrid discovery that Zurine had fleas on her otherwise queenly and pristine belly. Luckily, Ella had not been affected and we saw no signs elsewhere in this house but by the time she had seen these on Z., the man who was doing some work on her tub that day confessed that he was being attacked while in her place.

She moved into quick action bathing the dog; getting special household flea spray from the vet; moving all the dog beds into the garage at this house; starting what would end up being countless loads of wash in hot water followed by rounds in a hot dryer; and treating the empty rental house with a vacuum (vacuum bag went straight into plastic trash bag) and spray. Once I was home from work, we vacuumed this house (same drill), did more laundry, and sprayed the first and second floors. People and animals are not supposed to not be in the sprayed area for two hours and it was getting late so we slept on the futon in the basement which is at least a decent and, on that very warm, humid evening, cool place. 
By Tuesday Jan had decided to hire professionals to treat her house which was infested and, after talking to various people including my mother about their past experience with fleas, we decided to do the same thing with our house on the same day - strife bombing. In our book, there is no overkill when it comes to something like this.  We even got oral pills for the girls.
This meant we had to be out of the house for FOUR hours so we made an afternoon of it. 
Ella caught up on her reading and loved on her mom.

Jan returned an overdue phone call while Ms. Z lounged in the yard having had two baths in as many days - NOT her cup of tea.

We generally lounged then had our grilled dinner on the blanket and never did get to the Scrabble game that we had brought out. All in all, it was a fun afternoon despite the little terrorizing monsters that initiated the camp out. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A dear friend's birthday

So sue me. I've been a bad blogger. There's been a lot of non-blogworthy, real life mundanity happening so, as they say, when you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything. Not that there haven't been nice things...

One nice thing that got done was that I finished Marv's birthday present. I have been working on this for m-o-n-t-h-s. The concept for a project involving feathers started after a sweet story that Marv told me at the end of her visit here last August. We were in Portland in search of the perfect lobster roll before heading to the airport and saw a seagull feather on the ground. This reminded Marv of a woman she met on a cruise a few years ago who said, in essence, that if one really looked that one could find a feather almost every day. It didn't have to be a 'real' feather but you might find one in a painting, printed on fabric on someone's clothing, hear the word 'feather', or encounter a feather in any number of ways and that this was some kind of talisman. 

Nice story, nice thoughts then, just like that, I started seeing feathers. Almost every day. I collected some I found along the way and couldn't get the whole feather talisman thing out of my head so decided to do something with a feather theme for Marv, one of my oldest friends (in terms of time we've known each other, not necessarily age), who is having a special birthday today. 

This is the second iteration. The first altar book form had a different cover paper which just didn't work for a number of reasons. The button is a vintage goodie from my button collection. Buttons, like ribbons, find their way home with me without a thought to their ultimate use. Okay, so maybe paper and fabric do the same thing, but I digress...
The feather paper also went through two trials. I carved the feather stamp and stamped it onto some Rives BFK but that luscious paper is too toothy and the image bled a bit too much. This is a Japanese paper that had more of a coating so the ink stood up more on the paper and gave more detail.
The inner box has Maine birch bark at the base. The feather print on the bottom flap is a color copy of treasured Holly Bard fabric that was then mounted on top of faux gold leaf and the other feathers are ones that I picked up since hearing that story. Happy Birthday my dear friend!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A quick project

Found this cute little Valori Wells pattern at my local quilt shop when I popped in to pick up some thread a couple of weeks ago. They cleverly had this bifold pamphlet positioned near the register as an impulse purchase so I impulsively purchased it because it is so cute.
Just got a chance to give it a test run today and this is what I made.

 I'm seeing Christmas gift potential here. Some things I'll do differently next time:

  • use a heavier interfacing.
  • try a smaller snap since this seems too much for the quilting weight fabric
  • sew the snap on the cover flap BEFORE sewing together
  • cut out more than two patterns at a time

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It takes a lane

That's right. No village here, just a lane of fabulous neighbors. 
Even though the day was grey and quite un-summer like, it was time to all pitch in and remove the cover from Lori's pool. Hey, you want to swim in it, you help with the cover (at the very least). 
The problem is that the cover fills with leaves over the fall and winter and the dilemma is how to keep the leaves out of the pool. The cover is permeable, at least that's my understanding, so the thought was that we could pull it slowly to one end capturing said leaves while letting water back into the pool.
Here's how it went down...
First there was the surveying and picking up of the weighted tubes.
 Then there was the posing...
 (it would have helped if I'd had my glasses on so these were actually in focus)
Then there were those who were actually working.
Turned out that the plan didn't come together as anticipated as far as the leaves were concerned BUT the cover is off and that means that summer can't be far behind.
As with any job, you are bond to have those who just close their eyes to the fact that there is work to be done.

What's work without a bit of play afterwards - with your remote control truck, of course!