Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 9 - Clean!

So I have really been busy.  Finished up my sunflower purse by constructing it from my own pattern, cause I wanted a little more interesting shape - tapered at the top.  Photos to come! 

The biggest happenings around here is that I am back on the healthy wagon!  :)  I have gone back and forth with this over the years, but you turn 41, you are planning on going to Hawaii and you are just sick and tired of headaches and neck/shoulder aches - ya gotta look a little deeper at what you're doing.  Plus, I just really want to wear a bathing suit this summer and not feel like crap!

So, Martha to the rescue when she went on the Clean program.  I LOVE to read about nutrition and my bookcases definately reflect that!  I got a juicer for my b-day present and I have had more fruits and veggies in the last 2 weeks than I have in like seriously, months.  NO WONDER I have 20 lbs to lose!  If you are intersted in learning more about Clean - check out the book and the website.  It's definately not for the faint of heart, but for 3 weeks, I think anyone can do anything.  I am pleased with my results so far - within 3 days, I was off caffeine and aspartame.  I really don't miss coffee!  NEVER thought I would say that!  Once I get done with my 3 weeks, I will post my complete results. 

I broke the news to Max and Scott that Koolaid was getting 86'd from this house.  Also, tapering off sugary cereal - weekdays, eggs or oatmeal for breakfast.  Soon, weekends will be gone too.  I also had Max pick out veggies that he would like to have with dinner.  Slowly but surely! 

I have found some great websites lately if you are interested in gluten-free, dairy-free, etc.




Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunflower Art Quilt


Well, what a busy weekend!  I decided to take the machine quilting bull by the horns and even do a little thread-painting!  Ooooohhh, I can see where this will be very addictive!   I can also see where I am going to need alot more thread!  First, I took a solid yellow piece of fabric and used tsusineko (sp?) inks and fabric paints to create the petals.  Then I cut a piece of brown fabric for the center.  I fused both of these to a white piece of fabric.  After that cooled, I took light blue and cobalt blue paints and painted in the sky.  I let it all dry and then add a piece of fusible batting.  Loaded my sewing machine with varigated thread and did the center thread painting with my zig zag stitch.  Switched over to yellow thread and worked on the petals.  Ended up doign 3 different colors on the petals.  I should have taken a picture of the back, cause it was pretty cool!  I then added another layer of batting and then machine quilted around the petals and the sky.  I think this panel will end up going into a bag.  I really like how it turned out!

Here's a close-up -


New Watercolor - Quiet Snowy Trail

Artistsnetwork.tv. has some wonderful online art classes that I have been taking advantage of. Setting up wireless in the house helps bring the laptop down to the studio. Gordon Mackenzie is the teacher of this class called The Watercolorists Essential Notebook - Landscapes. I would watch, pause. paint and repeat! With our snow storm just starting to happen outside, I hope to go out on our local trails tomorrow and take some of my own pictures and use the techniques I learned. Highly recommend these classes! I never thought I would enjoy watercolor! Jill took my lake picture - so cooooool to do lake sparkles!

New Art Quilt

Originally uploaded by Maxi Fortend
I found some lovely stained glass windows online and wanted to test out using watercolors and Jacguard Extender. I utilized many of the decorative stitched on my sewing machine - another test I had been wanting to do! It was alot of fun and now it's a notebook cover.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Re-Org and Re-Design Friend's House!

January10 079101
I have been a furnture moving maniac since I learned from my Mom that it's the only way to feel like you really got every thing cleaned up.  It also just makes what is a sucky job fun!  :) 

One of my good friends let me recently into her home to have at it!  Here's the before and afters!  Like alot of people, folks get in a rut and you need someone to stand there and tell you - organize that pile.  Keep, donate and throw where necessary!  I exhausted my poor, good friend - but she is really happy with the results.  My motto is that you should have comfy nooks where you can enjoy your home and enjoy your hobbies.  (Read, knit, listen to your kids play their instruments..etc)

Here are the dining room before's -

January10 06992 January10 07295

Here are the afters...

January10 079101 January10 080102

We created a more useful desk area where my friend and her kids have easy access to the family calendar, important papers, etc.  We moved the book shelf over towards the kitchen to help flow in the room.  We also made the peninsula a NO DROP ZONE!  LOL - It's hard to see in the picture, but we took a small wrought iron basket holder and gave each person a basket for those items they need each day - ie badge for work, keys, etc. 

Here is the living room before's -

January10 07093 January10 07194

The large comfy chair is right in the way of traffic flow to the bedrooms.  The pictures don't show how the living room is one long narrow room.  My friend had her couch up against the far wall, so it was alittle like a bowling alley.  Great for tooling around on your Razor, but not good for enjoying the fireplace or having a conversation.  It was funny, because as soon as I moved the couch, my friend was like "Huh...I never thought to move it there!  We ended up creating two rooms out of the one long room. 

Here are the after's -

January10 081103 January10 07799 
Notice the big comfy char is now gone from that spot.  (Ignore the dusting stuff on the mantel!)  LOL - We hung a mirror on the wall, added art and accessories that have international flair - all things that my friend really loves.  Also, we took a side-trip out to her parent's house and "shopped!"  We got the cream chair, pictures, a sewing table, lamps, etc.  They are really lovely people and it was nice to visit.  ALso notice how we moved the run in front of the fireplace, created a conversation area and moved the hutch to the middle of the wall over by the piano.  All of these things created a coziness.  Pops of red and cream also help tie the rug and furniture together.  Those pics on the wall were taken by my friend's mom - a wonderful photographer!

Here is the second part of the living room - the piano and knitting area!

January10 07497 January10 085105 
This area is now a great place to sit and read by the window.  Look out onto her garden when spring arrives and also have easy access to her magazines, knitting and books via the cabinet behind the couch. 

We also did some work on the basement family room, but did not get any pics taken.  All in all it was exhausting, but SUPER< SUPER FUN!  If I could figure out transportation, I would totally do this for anyone that would ask!  I just love it!  What is so great is that we did not spend any money.  Just cleaning, organzing and opening up our ideas of what the room should look was all we needed to do.  Thanks my fantastic friend for giving me the opportunity!  (For also putting up with me as I directed you about the place!)


Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Moon - Quilting Arts

Happy Moon - Quilting Arts.  Totally cool gallery to check out for inspiration!  This one is very cool and gives me ideas on how to use my water soluable pastels!

Retreat & Clean

Our quilt retreat was soo fun! What a wonderful group of ladies and really inspiring work being done. I am being a good girl and cleaning today and getting my sewing area back into business so I can be productive tomorrow!