Saturday, July 26, 2008


Well, I finally got back to working on some stamps, which has been on my mental 'to do' list for awhile now. It's hard to believe that a year has passed since I took the wonderful surface design class that got me started on so many wonderful techniques! Then, I became a blogger-junkie, and have amassed a list of blogsites I visit regularly, like old friends. There, I find inspiration, ideas, a wealth of creativity, and I delight in the fact that so many of us are enjoying similar pursuits around our tiny world!
Okay, enough said. Here are the stamps I have finished so far this weekend:

I made this pair from sticky-back craft foam, attached to plexiglass, and used an old piece of plant stake for the handles.

These are carved from a semi-soft substance that is very easy to work with... almost like cutting cheese! This is my first attempt at using a combination of shapes and designs on one stamp. I can't wait to try them out!
Oh, and I splurged and ordered Rayna Gillman's book " Create Your Own Hand Printed Cloth " for my ever-growing Surface Design library! I can't wait for it to get here!
Meanwhile, I have dyed several pieces of fabric for journal covers, and some shirts and tanks for my website, so all in all, it's been a productive day so far!
More later...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Catching up

It's finally happening... the backlog of projects I managed to accumulate is dwindling! I am currently finishing up a challenge quilt for our Quilters' Guild... can't post the picture until after our August meeting, so stay tuned for that. Last weekend, I finished 3 quilted Journal covers of hand-dyed fabrics:

As these were my first attempts, I decided to keep them simple in design. I quilted the fabrics, bound the edges with grosgrain ribbon, and inserted a loop of covered elastic to secure the covers when not in use. The hardest part was creating the eyelet hole to pass the elastic through! But I am satisfied with this first batch.
Slowly but surely, I'm working my way down to a commission quilt for a friend, that is for her soon-to-be-born granddaughter, but the quilt is to be a Christmas gift, so I have time to finalize the design and set to work on it.
Last weekend, I planted 4 small trees and a shrub in the front of the house. That makes 16 trees we have now, although I have planted and lost at least 10 or 11 others in the 5 years we have lived here. We live in an area that gets pretty stiff winds from time to time, and it's pretty hard on the vegetation. I'm learning to try and plant hardy, lower growing shrubs, and I baby my trees as much as possible to try and get them established. We also have visits from Elk, who love to snack on leaves and bark, and we have a pretty large colony of prairie dogs... I'm sure they're nibbling roots when they aren't keeping our vegetation cropped topside! Ah, but it sure beats living in 'civilization'! I don't miss the big city one bit!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dyeing weekend

I managed to get some time to dye for myself this weekend, as well as for a friend. After cleaning house on Friday (which was looooooooong overdue!) I dyed 2 dresses for my friend Dede, then pulled some blank stock to dye for my etsy shop, website, and a show I will be setting up at in November. I had lots of dyes leftover from previous projects, and wanted to use some up, so I dyed several pieces using Low Water Immersion. Here are 2 that I particularly like:

I really like the organic design I got on these two, and have no idea how old the dyes were, but they did the job!
I have also begun to make covered journals, and will post pix when I have a few completed. Great way to use some of the complex cloth fabrics I have been accumulating, as well as some of the other fabrics I have dyed.
Well, it's Monday, so back to work I go, but soon I will be able to get up on Monday and head down the hall to the studio! Yaaaah.....

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Monsoon season

This is one of my favorite times of year... we suffer in June with high temps, then we get the relief of Monsoon season. Almost every day thru mid-September, we get a nice rain to water the plants and cool things off a bit. In the morning, we have the most deliciously fragrant air! And of course, everything grows at top speed now... hubby has been putting off riding the tractor-mower for too long, and we are now surrounded by vegetation that comes up above my waist. The cats love it, because they can skulk about and hunt critters, and... truth be told... I love the way it looks! But soon he will be cutting it back. We have cloud cover this morning, and I took these pictures to capture the mood. Also, I managed to re-connect our rain barrel to the downspout of the rain gutter out front just in time for the storm yesterday. I now have a 55-gallon barrel full of rain water, and need to come up with a plan to disconnect and re-connect the original downspout TODAY! We had so much rain yesterday, it left the patio room surrounded by a moat. Need to get more cinder rock!

This shot is looking toward the east from our back deck.

This is looking west toward the San Francisco peaks from the front yard.

The infamous rain barrel, re-installed, full and ready for the next dry spell.
Well, as I promised myself last weekend, I spent the day yesterday cleaning house... it was such a disaster, and I feel much better now that I have finished most of the work. A little dusting, one more room to vacuum, and sweeping and mopping the patio room, and I will be caught up. Meanwhile, I pulled a bunch of undyed clothing from the bins yesterday, and hope to get a bunch dyed this weekend. Two dresses are for a friend, the rest will go on the website and etsy shop. I also made progress on Thursday night on a challenge piece I am doing for our Quilters' Guild... not due until late August, but I would like to be done with it so I can move on to other things.
So many projects... too little time!