Monday, October 25, 2010

Contest for a Cause!

If you have an extra $5 or less to spend why not make a card for a soldier and enter a contest that will help the organization win too! Go to this page to see a QUICK, EASY, CHEAP Tutorial

I was able to make the card shown for just over a dollar! I spent $.59 on a piece of patterned paper and $.50 on a discount sheet of clearance rub-ons! The card took less than 5 minutes to make and now I will make some more cards to go with this one and send it over to Operation Write Home--one of my favorite charities!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Someone put a hex on me!

Last week, I went to the Long Beach Int'l Quilt Show with a friend of mine and I got hypnotized by the beauty of hexagons. Before I knew it I had purchased a hex kit along with some Halloween fabric that caught my eye. The technique uses English Paper Piecing to make the hexes by basting them onto paper. I settled on a method where the basting is only on the back of the fabric instead of through the paper to save myself from having to remove the stitches later.

So far I've made over 110 hexes and I had to order more papers. I have been stitching them while I watch TV in the evenings. Sewing the hexes together to make a flower is taking me almost an hour for each 7-hex group and the stitches are so tiny I have to put on my reading glasses!

Instead of the recommended whip stitch, I started using a running stitch for the construction as I think it gives a nicer look to the front. For durability, I am whip stitching each corner several times to secure it.

Here is a view of the back so you can see that I am using squares to baste instead of spending the extra time to cut hexagon shapes. When complete I am hoping I will have a lovely table runner as a gift for someone special!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy Whisky with Chocolat

Well, on this post I think the title says it all! Yes the whisky was very happy with the chocolat and so were we to taste it! Suntory Whisky—nothing else like it to warm you up on a cold day!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Continental Breakfast, Anyone?

When we were in Tokyo we stayed at a businessman's hotel that included a continental breakfast. Consisting of dry dinner rolls sealed in plastic, they were not very tasty.

Matt found a much better use for his roll. Can you guess what he did with them? Ah, yes--his poor tired feet hurt so much that all he could think of were pillows of bread to walk on.

A photo of the sorry-looking rolls at the end of a very long day!

Monday, March 01, 2010


If you ever get to Japan, one thing you will notice are the signs that may have lost a little something in the translation. Some of them are a funny mix of English and will just make you smile. This sign comes complete with a fun diagram.

"You tossed your cigarette out the window. You looked like you were fleeing the scene of a crime. RUNS AWAY - VICTIM - WITNESS" Below this dire warning against littering is the slogan for Japan Rail: "Meet your delight"

I appreciate your comments, but I am now closing comments on this post. For some reason, I am getting 2-3 spam comments every day on this one and it is driving me nuts!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Embroidered Napkins

I am a huge fan of old-fashioned linens and white-on-white things. They seem so pretty and pure and elegant to me. This is one of the last things I sewed and it was way back in 2004. I made these linen napkins for my cousin Matt's wedding to Gina.

I mail ordered some exquisite linen cloth and cut it into 18" squares. I finished the edges with a serger rolled-edge hem. The machine embroidery was done using silk thread and (I believe) a Martha Pullen monogram for the "B". I'm not thrilled with how the edges turned out but I didn't have time to re-do them by hand. I do love how the monograms turned out. Hopefully Gina appreciates old-fashioned finery (I know her mother-in-law does!)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Another Frame-up

Here is the second set of pics I have added to my bathroom. They are beautiful tropical photos hung to remind me of beauty and our relaxing time in paradise.

This was taken at Club Bali Hai in Moorea, Tahiti. I love the soft colors of the twilight here and it is so tranquil and lovely this time of evening. I set my camera on the dock and laid down on the wooden planks to compose this shot. I could have stayed there forever with the warm wood under my skin and the cool breeze melting over me. Sigh! I wish I could be there again.

We saw the most perfect sunset on our last night in Honolulu. We were leaving our hotel to walk along the beach to get to our special dinner we planned for our anniversary. It was such a wonderful evening.

This is an overwater bungalow at the Moorea Pearl Resort. It was that early peaceful time of the morning when the sun was just starting to come up. I had left our bungalow and wanted to enjoy the peace of the morning on our last day there. Not as soul was awake except myself and the pool boy who was rearranging the chairs for a new day of sunbathing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

ATC set

I realized I hadn't posted these anywhere last year so I thought I'd share them here. They are for a Jane Austen Theme swap I did with some friends. I used pages torn from an old Jane book that my mother-in-law was going to toss. She had worn through her second full volume of Jane Austen because she loves her so much! Now she is on her third.

I put a thin layer of gesso over the page and then stamped and colored the image. (stamp from Great Impressions) I kept this one simple like so much that I do lately and I put it on some pretty patterned paper from Daisy D's. The corners were rounded, inked and I stamped a simple sentiment from Stampin' Up with a tiny gel heart sticker to dot the "i".

Some notes about the coloring: I had issues using my Copics on top of the gesso. It will come off onto your marker so it is wise to test your process first if you try this. In the end, I only used the Copics for the skintone and used my stamp pad and a blender pen to watercolor the rest. I had tried two different inks to stamp the lady and was having trouble either with the color running or with it bleeding into the Copic color. I think the brown ink for stamping I tried was my Adirandock and SU Basic Brown (my favorite brown color and the one I use for almost any non-Copic technique.)

All in all this was an unsatisfactory experiment, but I liked the final results anyways. I never found a happy medium but it all worked out OK since it was a small area to color and I didn't mind the softening effect from the image blending.

Monday, January 04, 2010

I've been framed!

After 6 years I finally decided to hang some photos on the wall. I thought I would share the ones I added to a triple 4x6 frame in my bathroom. I thought they might add a little color and beauty to my life as I get ready for work in the morning.

The first photo was taken in Osaka, Japan. It is the plum orchard next to Osaka Castle. I remember how haunting and beautiful the blossoms smelled that day. I wish I could bottle the elusive scent of the plum blossoms to remind me of the loveliness in the world.

This was taken at Man Mo temple in Hong Kong. I love the repetition of pattern and color here and the photo soothes me and reminds me of a lovely day of sightseeing.

This fragile beauty is a hibiscus blossom from Tahiti. I love how delicate and serene this singular flower is. It reminds me to enjoy the beauty around me and to be at peace in the moment.

I hope you enjoyed this small break in your day and the world photo tour I have given you! Enjoy a beautiful day.