Thursday, July 31, 2014

I must read this each day...

Take Risks  8 in. X 10.5
 I love to paint on fabric and over the years have amassed a pile of my own painted scraps. Surprised??
I was looking through these hand painted scraps to print an extra gift for my pin cushion winners.
 While I was in there, I stamped a few for me... why not??
The lesson here is, no scrap is really too small for some use and hand-painted strips look different when cropped.
I chose the saying, "Always know in your heart that you are far bigger than anything that can happen to you".

(The color is a bit washed out in this close up. The color in the top photo is closer to true. Remember you can click on photos to enlarge them)

After stamping I cut out that bit, not caring if it was square. Added in the one eye, the all seeing all understanding eye for clear vision.

I knew this piece would be raw edge, not concerning myself with fraying or shape. I wanted it to be of the moment. I forced myself to work quickly and not fret too much over the details.
I had a bit of trouble deciding on a background, auditioning many fabrics. Finally I settled on a skydyes scrap, made the piece on peltex instead of batting, quilted with YLI metallic gold thread and free motion.
The beads prove no piece is too small to dither over the details!
I had the "risk" dangle for years waiting for just the right time to use it. Proving one can and should hoard supplies as you will find a great reason to use them at some point.

 The binding was put on by machine, sewed to the back, folded to the front with a turned edge, and topstitched.

I hope you like it.
I need to read it each day.
There are times that life kicks my bum, and I am dog tired of it.
 Do you ever feel like that?
As this quote says, we are bigger than these problems.

Don't always play it safe, take risks now and then.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Why yes, I'll have a bowl of ice cream

 Cole enjoys ice cream.   A LOT!
We made the mistake of letting him lick a bowl once and now it's expected.
He can count to two. My husband finishes first, and Cole is there to help clean up...
Then he waits impatiently for mine. Then he forgets he had some and waits for his bowl to materialize.

 Um, my bowl seems to be empty.

My. Bowl. Is. EMPTY.

Sometimes we give him a little bowl of whipped cream, which he also forgets he had.
Do the calories go away if you forget you ate?

So sad when the ice cream is gone. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

late to the zen party

Okay, so I am a little late to the Zentangle party. Our Quilt Book Study Group is learning and practicing the art of ink and paper starting with a great video. Our leader hit the pause button often as we took our next baby steps. It is just so much fun to try something new if you have friends next to you!

 First we did the little 3 inch paper that came with the kit. And it came out looking okay! I kind of like the photo taken on my porch tablecloth. I do like some color!
We tried two more exercises together, and I did them on a piece of regular paper. I like a lot of the patterns, and found myself unhappy not having enough space to play in, so I made a few outside the box! Typical...
After everyone was tired, I moved on to my favorite subject...

 Flamingos!!!  I sketched out a flamingo in my sketch pad, and began using the patterns we learned today. I like it! I even started making up my own patterning. For some reason all the many books on zentangles have overwhelmed me, so many patterns in black and white on each page, just too much. So I haven't tried it til today.
We all sketched away, not quite the zen atmosphere you want, we gripped our pens and held our tongues just so... but we all did it.

Now I am INTO it folks!

I came home and thought, what if I add some color, just a wee bit. You know how I am about color!
So, I sketched the flower, then filled it in, then got out some prismacolor pencils... and made this. Fun too. Can't wait to try this on fabric next week.

More sketching like a four year old  just a click away, oh, go see, you know you want to!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ah, red stained glass

I'm showing you the last of my red scrappy blocks for this month's rainbow scrap challenge at
super scrappy Saturday link party  A different color is chosen each month.
This month I got out the box of red scraps. There is a lot of good energy in the color red! I feel different just working with it! Are you effected by different colors??

These are the stained glass blocks I am doing in each color, the pattern is a click away right here!
Here are some of all the colors and aren't they exciting?? We have some colors yet to come, so stay tuned.
The block calls for a thin strip of black around each but I am liking them cheek to cheek like they are here!
Enjoy your scraps! Visit the other links to see their red blocks.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I still do...

Contra dance
stolen kisses
leads to love
and marriage
This is for my dear husband Drew on the occasion of our 20th wedding anniversary. I still do... love you.

These photos are from dusty framed snapshots that sit on our shelves every day, so please excuse the graininess or reflections. Look at the love shared.

This in on the coast of N. CA

We met at a contra dance in Fl, and spent the week basking in each other's company.(check out a contra post here!) Despite Drew telling me he wasn't good at letter writing, we kept in touch. So much so that we were engaged within 3 months and married within a year.

Ah San Fransisco, look at those newlyweds! So glad the wedding is over and they can start their lives.

 Both relieved to find the person who wants and supports and cares for them so very much. A place to belong. A family. These two didn't think about 20 years from that date and all they would go through together in the mean time. They just knew it was good to be together.
We still prefer each other's company.
We've traveled many places, including this birthday trip for me to Newport RI when Cole was an infant.

We have experienced loss and wins and daily life together.
Drew is the one I want to tell my story to at the end of each day.
During our courtship, which was long distance MA to FL, we spoke nearly every day, wrote letters, one of us received flowers regularly, and saw each other when we could. All looking toward the day when we would live together.

We have a few pictures on shelves, but we have many more mental pictures of the moments that make up our life together. We have many stories to share at the end of the day.
I am continually grateful for our love.
 Love, LeeAnna
look at this cute picture from last year  click here!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Walk Softly...

"Walk Softly..."   12" X 12"     (c) LA Paylor 2014
I got behind in my work.
I just finished the STAT project... for last month!  Our  focus artist was Jacob Lawrence, and you'll have to google him to see images of his artwork.
When I approach these exercises I try to look at the artist's  whole body of work and decide what characteristics I see. In Jacob Lawrence I saw simplicity of line, gold red and blue, and political statements against oppression.
My poodle has found an enormous tree limb, taken up the battle against injustice in his world: Bad food, leashes, rules about furniture, and lack of autonomy.

My group is called STAT and you can see a few of my other pieces under that label   click here!

The group studies a different artist and makes a textile piece inspired by said artist, with an emphasis on textures.

now for a few comments on materials

The tree is from a Rennaisance vest I made dh. It is wonderfully shiny textured and fun to manipulate. You'll notice how I sort of pushed it into mounds while stitching. I couched a hairy yarn over the bark. 
All stitching was done in the quilting stage. I felt Jacob L's words would have been roughly cut, so that's what I did, and I wanted the viewer to fill in the blanks (carry a big stick) of the quote by T. Roosevelt.
The letters are held on by echo quilting with madeira twist metallic threads,same with the poodle curls. Free motion, fun, create as you go. The grass is var. YLI cotton 40 wt. Thick. The nose is inked on.

As a pup, Cole was president of the stick relocation team in our neighborhood. He attempted many a limb, because he always felt you should reach for the stars and he has a healthy ego.

Our next artist is Edward Hopper and due in two weeks. Wish me luck! LeeAnna

Monday, July 21, 2014

The batik explosion

I am in the process of re-washing my batik fabrics. I love batiks for their painterly effect but the chemicals used to process them give me big allergy problems. I know people who cannot even touch them in a store, in fact I have trouble walking past the row sometimes. But I want a piece of all of them.

These neutral batiks were washed once already but I can't piece with them because when I press them I get sick.
So I took out the drawer and it took two loads, two HOT water washes each, to start over. 
I thought, there! Three hot water washes! That should do it!
I still smelled about 6 of them while pressing.

WHAT does it take??

This is why I have trouble in classrooms. So many people do not prewash, and if the batiks still have that smell after three washes, imagine my reaction when someone is piecing with unwashed fabric.
Also a note: Check out how massive that pile of fabric is! It came out of the drawer on top of it in that top picture. This is the reason my drawer stays full no matter how much fabric I use!
The other note: After refolding it all went back into the drawer like this
It's only one of my four batik drawers. While folding I wondered how many yards are in here. YIKES!
(dh stop reading right now!) It might be about 70...although some might not be whole yards.
 I've been collecting fabric since 1985! I also seldom turn down fabric given me by friends.

I sure hope I can use them now that they have been washed two more times. Anyone else have sensitivities?
How do you deal with them? Is there a special soap? I already use unscented.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

the winners are...

The winners of my one year anniversary giveaway are... Angela and Kaja!  Congratulations!
Originally I was going to give away one hexie pincushion but in my heart of hearts I wanted to make one for everyone! I just couldn't but I did make another one so I could draw at least two names.
I always want everyone to win, so hopefully I will be able to give something to each of you over the years.

I put your names on slips of paper, and asked Cole to leave the TV show and come pick one. He said he wasn't falling for THAT! He has gotten in an amount of trouble for eating paper including my watercolor painting over the holidays,  read all about it here so he wasn't even getting near to paper.
 In front of me.

Friday, July 18, 2014

red scrap sugar cone block

unfinished size 6.5 inches

As if the mugs weren't enough red, here's this month's scrappy star in red!
The color red stimulates brain wave activity. It increases creative energy on all levels.

I took a workshop in color vibration and it's effect on people. Fascinating! Apparently I need more orange/red in my life. A lot of my quilts have blue/turquoise/green/purple in them. I think I use
all the colors actually, except beige.
Red really resonates with me, how about you?

What will I do with this little rainbow of blocks?? 

I already made my stained glass blocks in red, but will put them on the blog next week to finish up the month at
Check out the other red scrap projects too!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quilted mugs

Aren't these cute?? There were times yesterday while making them I thought, this is a hot mess! I cut everything incorrectly, I had to rip out stitching, my colors looked like a dog's dinner.

 I know you can relate! We can all relate to those days when the universe decides to teach us patience or perseverance. I mainly just kept going, hoping that it would come together.

The lesson for me here was
1. Don't worry too much about following the pattern.
2. A mix of pattern, color, tint, and shade is not only okay, but preferable to me
3. Things are always darkest just before the dawn, meaning it will look so much better sewn together than all
      stringy and uneven like it looks on the design wall before being neatened up in the seaming. 
4. Keep going even if a cookie break is necessary midway
Look at those little chefs!! And the salt and pepper shakers!!

I LOVE fabric!! 

The pattern came from quiltdoodledesigns  an ongoing free monthly pattern for the year. I am behind a bit, meaning I haven't done the skates yet. She is doing a mix of some rows, and some blocks but all scrappy with a winter theme.
My plan is to quilt the rows then sew them together to make it easier on my back.

That all being said, I changed up the pattern, not using all 2.5 inch squares. I like to use some larger pieces mixed in with the little squares. I use a mix of blues, turquoise, green, and purple as my backgrounds. I am using my scraps which overflow their containers.

Next I need to replace the bulbs in my spotlights with the full spectrum
bulbs DH bought, then my pictures will look normal again.
On to the three small challenge pieces due soon.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I made you a little something

I made you a little something.... you know I love a pin cushion,  check out  a few of them In this picture and in This cutest little find. picture.
I also love a hexagon. I use the quilt patti's method of basting around a plastic template, then popping them out when they are surrounded by others.
When I first started sewing hexies, I bought a package of them. When I had used them all to make components but wasn't sure how I wanted to arrange them, I bought two more sets of templates.

The way I work is to make lots of components, then move the "units" around before sewing them into a top which requires a lot of templates. Soooo

I began cutting more from yogurt lids, using my quilt pattis as template. Since DH and Cole poodle eat a significant amount of yogurt I now have an unending supply, in any size I want! The hexie project turned into a king size project, more projects have come and gone--- and actually gotten finished--- using these same plastic templates I cut out of lids.
Which brings me to your gift.
I used the free pattern here: .victoriana quilt designs
It's pretty easy, a little fidgety to get fat fingers in after you start the final sewing, but really fun to make.
I made one also from a traditional colorway, but found there wasn't enough color change to show off the hexie design. If you make it, use a different color in each hexie.
Also, if you make it, beware of these...
bad bad pellets
Oh my heck. See that funnel? With the opening 10 times larger than a pellet? Well these annoying little pellets  clog it. Then they repel each other flying all over the place except into the pin cushion. I got a few in, packed in with stuffing. Ground walnut shells are supposed to work better.

I have been blogging for about a year now. I am a dinosaur, and there are still times I am stymied by computer issues but I have loved the connections made with you all.

If you would like to WIN the pin cushion, and some other surprise treat, here are the ways to do it:
1. Read an older post and comment on it on this current post, telling me when it was originally posted
I suggest you look at the labels on the sidebar; because they are categories where you can find something to intrigue you. Choose one that sounds fun, and click on it! It'll take you to a treasure trove of older, hopefully entertaining posts. I particularly like "If you want me to fetch throw a squirrel"  post is here under the label poodle puppy ponderings

I would be over the moon if you decided to follow my little blog by email or another method. To be honest, I don't know if joining my circles lets you know about posts! (Dinosaur)  I just hope to keep in touch with y'all.

I will draw a name, in old school fashion, by having Cole poodle choose, and since he can't read it's all fair.
We'll do the drawing at 10AM EST Sunday morning , announce the winner (and email them) so make sure I have your email address. If like me you are no response and just can't change it, leave the address in the comment.

Thanks for making this journey with me!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Trips and coffee love


We went on a little trip up to Pennsylvania yesterday to drop off my quilt for Quilt Odyssey. We had a fun time driving up, with great scenery, lots of cows to look at, and the three of us were together. We decided to go up because 30 homeowners in my neighborhood had a company come spray for mosquitoes and I am so sensitive I almost had to visit the ER last time they did that 21 days ago. It's going to be a hard summer with it happening every 21 days. Anyway, we visited the organizer/owner of the show at her lovely home and Cole had an exciting moment when her cat approached.

The cat was unimpressed by Cole's size, intensity, or poodleness

At one point the cat walked right under Cole's tummy in order to cross the porch. Imagine the look on his face! He did manage to slip on the tiles trying to eat cat food and now requires a visit to the vet to investigate the limp. 
 On the way back we stopped at an art museum/park for a little leg stretching. Cole said maybe I could ride a bike??

There were swans to observe, and luckily he listened to me about the temperament of swans... best to leave floating birds float...

We got home, grabbed a quick leftover dinner and just before bed realized we were out of our regular coffee. Now that's a crisis! We loves our coffee, strong with milk. Luckily we located a forgotten stash, so the question was, how old is too old? 

Potent Poodle Best Friend Blend

One lump or two??

picture from this coolpics site

The answer is, when it comes to morning coffee... give it over!


Friday, July 11, 2014

poppy in progress

Yum! Look at all those shiny reflective silks in red!! I don't work in red enough! These came from my shopping spree in my silk drawer.
My friend Mary who just moved to CO sent this black and white fabric to me as a challenge. It's 9.5 inches square. She printed it with black paint on white fabric from the poppy pods left after they bloomed in her new yard.
I was so excited after seeing hers, I begged for a piece of the fabric!!
She sent this, and I want to make something fun with it instead of just hoarding it.
Here you see it with one of my scrap leaves and a scrap heart from the design wall, pretty isn't it?
I cut out some bits from each fabric, pieced them together, being careful of the hot iron while pressing.
I knew I wanted something textural and 3-d.
I couldn't find just the right reflective black in my silks drawer, but found this leftover from a lovely piece I made a few years back. It is one of my favorites and made from lots of slinky embossed fabrics. As I sat on the porch last night with my husband reading our fascinating book aloud, I took needle and thread in hand, and stitched the raw edged petals to the stuffed black circle so that when attached to a quilt, they will stand up around it.

I'm auditioning this black fabric, which has stars in circles in tan on black. All the fabrics I expected to look good, didn't work. Hmph. I kind of like this one and the orientation.
When you work originally and improvisationally there is no right answer, but it's very rewarding. I'll let you know what this turns into. I'm having a bit of trouble allowing myself to cover up so much of Mary's fabric!