Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Making a Quilt

The quilt on my bed is 20 years old and has been in constant use since it was made. The fabrics are faded slightly, but mainly I'm tired of it and ready for fresh colors and patterns.

I've been an admirer of Denyse Schmidt quilts and fabrics  http://dsquilts.com/  for years, and found a complete set of her Flea Market Fancy fat quarters  http://dsquilts.com/fabric_and_patterns.asp?PageID=79 at Beth Louche's StashModernFabric on Etsy  http://www.etsy.com/shop/StashModernFabric . I'm alternating squares of Schmidt's fabric with some PFD Kona Cotton that I bought for dyeing a couple of years ago.

The layout is made with one inch squares of 19 of the prints on white cotton and I like it so much I may stitch the squares to the background and quilt it as a wall piece.

I was inspired to use contemporary prints and a very simple block design by following Rita Hodge on her Australian website, Red Pepper Quilts http://www.redpepperquilts.com/ . I love the clean, fresh fabrics that she uses with unexpected bindings. I also want to complete this bed covering as quickly as I can and get on to other projects.

I have cut all of the squares and triangles and I'm working for several hours a day piecing them, by machine, of course. I've located my sewing table halfway between the little tv and my computer so that I catch all the episodes of Downton Abbey and Bones or play Craft in America episodes on the PBS website.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jean Campbell At Arrowmont in 2013

I collected seed beads and books on beading for years and never completed a project. Sure, I would handle the bead containers and rearrange them, sorting by size or by color. Finally after maybe 15 years, I sold all of them and concentrated on other media, selling my chainmaille jewelry at small shows. This year I started adding beads to chainmaille and found myself purchasing beads once more. Then my hands started hurting from using pliers constantly and I looked to beads as a change of muscle movements.

Jean Campbell's books on beaded beads have always been my favorite books on the subject and they were the first ones I picked up to make a real attempt at learning to make jewelry from beads. Only a week after I received these two books in the mail Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts posted its 2013 course catalog on its website:  http://www.arrowmont.org/ and I found that of all people, Jean Campbell will be teaching a course there in July. The title of the one-week course is Geometric Beadwork, and peyote stitch will be used to create the geometric shapes. I registered for the class before the end of 2012, assuring myself of Arrowmont's early registration discount. I'll admit to saving money whenever I can, but I'll spend all of the money I saved on the class purchasing beads at the school's supply store.

You can find a course description and brief bio of Jean Campbell here:  http://www.arrowmont.org/images/arrowmont/pdfs/arrowmont-2013workshops.pdf . Click on the link and scroll down to page 24 of the PDF catalog.

If you register for any one-week course, two-week course or weekend course at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, before February 8, 2013, you will receive a 10% discount on the price of your class. The geometric beading class price is $495, so the discount means a savings of $49.50. That's a lot of beads! Just make sure that you register by 5:00 PM on Thursday, February 7 and join me in Jean's class!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

King of Hearts - and a Giveaway!

The tricks are amazing, and the treats are even better. Many people who work with polymer clay know Dr. Ron Lehocky, a general pediatrician in Louisville, Kentucky, who makes polymer clay hearts to benefit the Cerebral Palsy Kids Center there. In 2005, when Ron became a board member of the Kids Center, he set a goal to make 10,000 hearts to sell at $10.00 each, with all monies from his sales to go to the Center for the children who are treated there. November, 2011, marks the sixth anniversary of the heart project and at this writing, Ron has made 16,840 hearts.

Ron's craftsmanship astonishes the person who picks up one of his pins for the first time. His construction is impeccable and his techniques and finishing details are those of pieces made for gallery exhibition. Each heart is made as if it were one of a kind. Buyers and gift recipients always feel as if they have gotten the better part of the deal, and when we displayed several hundred hearts in a class at Arrowmont recently, otherwise courteous and pleasant adult polymer clay students became aggressive and grabby in an effort to purchase just the right one.

Ron is a master of techniques that are appropriate for covering his plump, rounded hearts, and is generous with his knowledge and demonstrations on accomplishing specific techniques. Attend a class with him and he'll have everyone there howling with laughter - everyone knows how nice Ron is, but they forget to tell you about his sense of humor.  Not only do his Halloween hearts wear ghost and mummy costumes, but those costumes glow in the dark!
Ron has seven Louisville retail outlets selling hearts for him, including the prestigious Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft; each merchant writes a check to the Kids Center and then sells each heart for $10.00. No one profits from this project except the kids and the Center.

Maybe you need a glow-in-the-dark mummy heart to wear for Halloween or perhaps you need special gifts for favorite friends for the holidays. If you are nowhere near Louisville, Kentucky, you are as close to Dr. Ron Lehocky as the internet;  his email is rlehocky@bellsouth.net and you can order hearts directly from him. Every heart that is purchased from him is really a double gift: you get a heart for yourself or a friend and you give help to the children who are treated at the Cerebral Palsy Kids Center. Don't tell 'em, but Ron's hearts are what my friends are getting for Christmas!
Oh, yeah! Ron's hearts will be appearing one more place this fall: you will be able to see them at Arrowmont the weekend of November 3 - 6, 2011, in Judy Belcher's classroom. Judy will be teaching Op Art in Polymer Clay that weekend, and there are still openings for the class. To register for Judy's class, phone 865-436-5860;  for more information about the class, click here.
Now, the Giveaway!
I have a gently-read copy of the February, 2009, issue of Polymer Cafe, which contains a six-page article written and photographed by Dr. Ron Lehocky.  He presents two heart tutorials and I tell you, there are more pictures than words. There are also other articles by artists you know, and I think altogether this is one of the best issues of Polymer Cafe ever. If you would like to have this magazine, leave me a comment below and your name will go into the Goat-A-Rama cap for a drawing on Friday. I will announce the winner of the drawing on this blog on Friday and we can get together about mailing it at that time.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The name randomizer at work

My husband does not read my blog so he's as objective as it gets to drawing a name for the Helen Breil rigid, discontinued, hard-to-find texture plates.  Congratulations to Susan, whose name he drew! He looked at me in a very funny way and said to me, "You won your own drawing???" No, this is another Susan and I'll email her right away to let her know the plates will be on their way.

Lizzie does read my blog but would prefer to shop on Amazon (you don't need thumbs to shop online) and has picked out the giveaway for next Friday.  She has hidden the item, however, so I'll have to find it and show it to you, say, on Monday. Just leave a comment below or on any polymer clay post between now and Monday morning and your name goes into the hat, along with all  of the others still in the hat.

I am working on another post of some pretty cool items - got to photograph while the sun shines!



Monday, March 21, 2011

I started out as a small blackenwhite cat named "Thomas"

and I turned into larger blackenwhite cat named "Lizzie."

 They can't reach me on top of the refrigerator in Bob Briscoe's bowl, but I can supervise every movement in the kitchen. They call me a "bad cat," but I'm really just playful. I'm not very pretty but I have a good personality and of course, that makes up for everything.

She's got these things called "spinning wheels," and I help take the fibery stuff apart and try to keep the wheels from going too fast.

She makes these toys for me with yarn and fibery stuff and put little bells inside. Then she washes them and rubs them so the fibery stuff doesn't come out. She has to put them way up on the top shelf of the bookcase while they're still wet so I can't get them. Next to the plastic ring on the milk jug, they're my favorite toys.

When I hide in the napkin basket they can't see me, but they still yell at me anyway. Sometimes they yell and spray me with water at the same time.

 This is where the yarn stays before it's a mouse. I just love getting in here! When I get to be a big cat I'm going to be a fiber artist.

Friday, December 3, 2010

This is the actual hat...

that I put the names of people who commented, and the winner of the circular chainmail pendant is Anna!  Anna, if you're listening, I'll mail your pendant on the black neckwire on Monday.

Thomas says it's almost crazy-time.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pendants on neckwires

The first neckwire I sold was one of my simplest Celtic Starz hung on one of the new neckwires with a strong magnetic clasp. I had set up my display and I just hung it around my neck. Within half an hour a customer pointed to it and said she wanted to buy it without even asking the price. After  selling three more in two weeks I ordered more neckwires, and started making pendants in lots of shapes and sizes. The large diamond above is one of a kind in patinated copper; its price is $25.

These five pendants are one of a kind and made of bright aluminum. Each pendant, on a black neckwire, is $20.
Pendants in patinated brass, patinated copper and a combination of the two metals are $20 each, hung on a neckwire.
Thomas supervises the printing of every mailing label. He says to remind you that we take PayPal cash and PayPal credit cards. He says you can order from him at this email address:  slkunze@gmail.com because I won't let him have his own email address. Thomas was born on the full moon, so you can just imagine.