Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April Take It Further Challenge - Not Quite There

Today's postcard

Today is the end of April, and while my Take It Further Challenge isn't finished, it's far enough along that you can see where I am going with it. The challenge topic was "Change - How Do You Feel About it." I'd just finished one of Dena Crane's Quilt University classes, and wanted to try another project, which just happens to show the positive way change can make something totally different and better.

These fabrics were the start, and you can see the changes as you scroll down.

Next I want to incorporate a couple more insets of the the striped fabric, and after that I'm not sure what comes next. Maybe some circles that include the pink, since that seems to be a nice accent. No border, just a simple binding. In the meantime, I'm eager to see May's topic tomorrow.
And yes, I was experimenting with the flash in the different pictures.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Again . . . . .

Today's postcard - hand dyed silk velvet

Ok, I know you saw the picture below on this blog last week with the accompanying information that Mike had hit a hole in one. So, why are you seeing it yet again?

Because today Mike hit ANOTHER hole in one. And this time there was someone to verify it for him. Would you believe it? Statistician Steph, what are the odds of an amateur golfer getting two holes in one in the same week? Must be astronomical. I tried to do a quick search for the info, but it's probably so unrealistic that nothing came up quickly.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fun Ways of Dyeing

Today's postcard

I'm really enjoying my dyeing class. That homework always gets done. Like anything else new, I like some things better than others. So far, I'm not a fan of dyeing on silk, but who knows, maybe I'll get to love it. I haven't quilted with silk yet, maybe that's part of my minimal enthusiasm. I think that some of the silk techniques I'll go back and redo in cotton.

I know, it's not a good idea to use the washer as a dyeing work space, but I'm planning to get a table soon.

So far, the one below was my favorite. It takes a little extra work up front, but it goes from this

to this.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Family Stories

Today's postcard

For several years, Sarah has done landscaping at a home in Asheville. Right in Asheville, not out of town. One of the landscaping challenges in that neighborhood is dealing with the wild turkeys, who tend to tear things up. She sent some photos of the birds at the home where she works.

It could be worse, she once saw a bear, and that was in town too. In the country, she once pulled up to a new-construction job site and saw a cougar.

And, fabulous news here in Cincinnati, Mike got a hole-in-one on Thursday. Steph did a little research and found that the odds of an amateur golfer getting a hole-in-one on a par three course are roughly 12,500 to 1.

The only down side is that there was no one with him to witness it. He had been playing in a threesome on the front nine, but the other two golfers quit after nine holes, leaving him by himself on the back nine. But, how amazing, especially since he's only been golfing for a few years.

Nora and Aaron Pictures

Today's postcard

With apologies to Grandma Janice and the aunts for not posting kid pictures for awhile, here are some.

The next two pictures of Nora were taken at the Chinese Buffet.

Aaron can get up on his hands and knees and should be crawling soon. In the meantime, he just rolls to where he wants to go.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Shibori Dyeing

Today's postcard

I did some homework for my shibori dyeing class today - on silk velvet (I'm not a fan of the results, but I think it came out like it was supposed to)

and cotton. It was great fun, and also the first dyeing I've done since fall. Dyeing is a warm weather sport, at least in my basement, since it doesn't work well in cool temperatures.

I was so concentrating on the technique that I forgot to add the soda ash. Oops. I made up a cup of water with soda ash and "painted" it on the fabric and I think that things worked out ok.

There was dye left over so I used it on cotton - I was glad some cotton was washed and ready to go. I put the cotton in containers, added the dye, and poured the soda ash solution over it after a few minutes. I really like the results.

Since I was just making use of the dye that was mixed, I didn't do any measurements and have no way of replicating these, so I'll just enjoy the pieces I have.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Answer to the Question

Today's postcard - I've never really learned to use the embroidery unit on my sewing machine, so the next few postcards will be machine embroidered.

I got a nice email from Kelly Leon at the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation answering my question about what happens to the pansies on Fountain Square after the show.

Kelly said that beginning Sunday, April 27, at 7 a.m., the 20,000 potted pansies will be given away by the Cincinnati Park Board and the Fountain Square Management Group. People standing in line at 7 a.m. will be given a crate with 6 plants, first come, first served. If anyone wants more than 6 plants, they can go to the back of the line for another chance at 6 more plants. The give-away lasts until 10 a.m., earlier if all the plants are gone.

Yesterday, I mentioned the happy lunch crowd, but I didn't mention the bears. Aren't they cuties?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pansies at Fountain Square

Today's postcard - Shiva paintstick on fabric - hurray, I finally tried it.

Fountain Square in Cincinnati has a wonderful pansy display in the area that held the skating rink in the winter.

I wonder what happens to all those pansies when the display is over. Pansies often winter over but die out during the summer so I can't imagine that they replant them.

It must be warm to stay - the fountain's turned on.

Around the corner are still more pansies in a smaller bed.

Since I'm a big fan of pansies, I was loving the sheer numbers of them here. I was there at lunchtime and the whole area was filled with people eating lunch outside and enjoying the sunshine.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More Smokies

Today's postcard

There are certain pictures in the Smokies that are always in my head. They vary somewhat from season to season, but they're always there.

Cades Cove at twilight

The little homesteads hidden here and there - really, it's a young park, dedicated in 1940.

Mountain roads

At some point, there will be pictures of wild flowers, but for those of you who are tired of this, we'll be moving on to other things tomorrow.
I've started a new part time job today, but I'm going to try to keep up my blogging. I have all the usual new job concerns, like whether I'll be able to keep a good balance and whether I'll be able to learn everything. Along with that, I'm taking four online quilting classes, which is crazy, but I didn't want to miss any of them. One is a shibori dyeing class, one a design class, one a photography class. the other was a bonus class that deals with values and making a scrap quilt with half square triangles. The last one isn't difficult and the last class is this Saturday.
The photography class was helpful if for no other reason that it got me reading my camera manual. It's amazing that no matter how many times you read those things there is always something new tucked in there. I have to admit to being pretty lazy and usually just going with the automatic setting, and my quilt pictures especially really need more. I know I'm not going to set up a photography wall just now, but I've identified the spot and one of these days I'll do it. I plan to paint that room soon - maybe then.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Smokies Trip - People Pictures

Today's postcard - made from the bag from my purchase at the visitor's center

I certainly have Smokies withdrawal today. I miss the mountains, the streams, the wild flowers, the company, all of it.

We came upon a farmstead on one of our hikes. Sarah was taking pictures of the spring in the springhouse

and Bridget and Helen were taking pictures of Sarah.

Sarah had to leave Saturday night, but she made a fire in the fire ring at the motel before she left. Sarah and Helen are the fire tenders in the group. The motel had six units and three fire rings, and the Little River was just past the fire rings. Sort of like camping at Elkmont but with a refrigerator and shower.

Our last stop was at Look Rock, at the far west side of the park on the Foothills Parkway. There was a short uphill hike to a lookout tower with wonderful vistas. We saw some climbers coming down - other than that, we were the only ones there.

To see the view from the tower, look at the webcam.