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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sooooo Blue Postcards

These postcards were a delight to make for several reasons, first- blue is my most favorite color, and second- the print of this fabric is so diverse and versatile. Gold cording and butterflies were a quick accent for a pleasing end product. Wheeeeeeee!!!
I also made some blue QTC's (Quilters' Trading Cards) but will wait to post them with the red, orange, yellow, and green QTC's I've already made and the purple, pink, white, black, silver, gold QTC's yet to be made. Stay tuned...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Aerial Thrill

On Saturday I was near the fairgrounds talking with some friends when I happened to look up. High above in the clear blue sky, a brilliant glint of white caught my attention. At first I couldn't figure out what it was, but seconds later, the source changed position and I saw it, a beautiful, majestic bald eagle. There was no mistaking the white head, brown outstretched wings and white tail. It lazily circled in the updrafts with nary a wing flap. Every time the angle was just so, the sunlight accentuated those white tail feathers in a very striking manner. I was thrilled! Having seen an eagle quite close up in the nearby marsh years ago, I knew they could be in the area but never had seen one flying over the city. Lyrics from two songs came to mind: "Lord, lift us up where we belong..." and "You are the wind beneath my wings."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Beatles/Beetles Postcard Exchange

A fine member of one of my online fabric postcard groups (Postcardpizzazz) hosted a Beatles Swap recently. I was still slightly behind on making cards and QTC's so I did not sign up. However, I wanted to send her a card.

Remember Volkswagon Beetles? "Love bugs" with flowers painted all over them, "Flower Power?"

Thinking about the Beatles brought back memories from the 60's. When I was in grade school we shared the bus with Catholic high school girls. They were all ga-ga over some music group I had never heard of. (We didn't have a TV when I was growing up... never missed it!) For some reason my mother bought me a Beatle's album.

I had a little green and white phonograph in the (finished) basement. My younger sister and I played this new record. It was my first lp, as I had only had 45 speed (with the red plastic center inserts) and 78 speed records before that. We began dancing to the music, shaking our long hair all over the place and looking like a pair of crazies. All this without seeing anyone else dance like that. Weird!!!
So, instead of participating in the Beatles theme swap, I stepped a little bit outside of the box and made two cards with my own interpretation. I just love to add googly eyes to some of my postcards. They are so fun to shake! Hope you like it.
One of my postcard friends refurbished a touring bike, painted flowers and dots on it and rides wearing a long flowing scarf. I wanted to try and capture the image on a postcard, which I sent to her. She said I got pretty close on this one.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Flavors Of Summer...

The first postcard in my Flavors of Summer Series was created for a woman who just loves pineapple coconut ice cream, probably only available in Hawaii. I had fun using thin strips of Pellon interfacing for the coconut, and fused the pineapple chunks onto the light background. Next came chocolate, then black and red raspberry (or strawberry) with sprinkles on top, chocolate coated vanilla, butterscotch fudge ripple, and my favorite (okay, one of my favorites): mint chocolate chip. Don't the chocolate waffle cones look yummy? Catch that drip! Or as my mother used to say when we were children, "Here, let me help you with that." Yeah, right, Mom!

Sprinkles on ice cream make me recall
some of childhood's most colorful scenes of all:
trips to the city zoo, laughter well-spent
on raucous clowns in the circus tent;
birthday parties with lots of friends,
rainbow days with early ends;
fireflies, grasshoppers, bumblebees,
bright colored playclothes with patched-up knees;
marshmallows singed by a campfire's light
that flickers and leaps up into the night;
snow caves, and icicles sparked by the sun,
leapfrog and hide-n'-seek, all sorts of fun.
Sprinkles on ice cream I'll eat today-
I'm still a kid at heart, what can I say?!
Written 4/21/2001 Copyright 2001

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Button, Button, Who Has The Button???

Several days ago (or was it longer than that?) I was told in an off-handed way: "A button just came off my shirt." Since I am the resident seamstress, it is my responsibility to keep track of miscellaneous bits and parts and put them back together. I set the errant button on the cutting board in the kitchen.

The next day, while pouring the last little bit of hot Naking Cherry Jelly into a jar, I noticed something dark inside it. What??? Oh, the button. (How did it get in there?) Today I mixed up dough for four loaves of mixed grain bread. Somehow that button kept showing up in the flour. I was wondering if it might find it's way into one of the loaves, but I am happy to report that it is still on the counter. Maybe now I should go sew it on the shirt before the button gets canned with the Hamburger Soup???

I had a good day today, riding my bicycle to the dollar store for corn picks (they keep breaking off in the cob), then walking along the river on a trail which used to be a railbed. My friend and I took turns being dragged along by her big dog and her little dog. They both know how to slip out of their collars, just a little too tricky for my liking.

Many blackberry bushes along the pavement's edge begged to be picked. I intended to go back with my bike and a container but thunder rolled in. Some time later, rain poured down in sheets with ice chunks in the mix. Hail! Please don't bruise my tomatoes... Such a sweet fresh scent to the air afterwards. Mmmmmmm

Fabric projects in progress include a Threads Of Friendship postcard swap, a Happy 1st Birthday postcard swap for our group, silver QTC's (quilters' trading cards) and gold QTC's (these are swaps I'm hosting). I'm also working on green QTC's, blue QTC's and purple QTC's and my take on the Beatle's swap (but not what you might think). And cards to sew before I sleep...

Summer Dyeing

One of the fun activities of summers past was gradient dyeing. Some people call it "pickle jar dyeing," but I use canning jars because I have plenty of them. With only 4 or 6 jars and two dyes, a pleasing array of colors can be achieved. When the jars of dye and scrunched-up cotton fabric are lined up outside in the sun to "cure," they look almost as pretty as my filled jelly jars on the pantry shelf. The center stack of fabric started out as a lavender and white print. The other fabrics were white. If these daily thunderstorms let up, I just might go down to the basement and mix up some dyes.

My online fabric postcard swap groups hosted a MiniQuilt exchange, with size requirements of 8" - 10" square. I had fun using a picture I "saw" in my head to design the "Flowers Of Imagination" quilt. A background of purchased hand-dyed fabric, flowers cut from batik, some free-motion thread-painting on netting and washaway stabilizer, two fusible-backed butterfly cut-outs and some opalized clear glass beads for dew drops completed the quilt. (The striped border seems to be one of my trademarks. Now if only I could find some more of that narrow striped fabric!)
I'm working on a series of postcards which are truly yummy, but have to wait to post the pictures until someone out west receives her very special first one. Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

More Fabric Postcards To Share

I had this teal/purple/blue zebra striped fabric and didn't know what I would do with it. An "Anything Goes" exchange came along, so I made four postcards, each different. One of the recipients suggested that I might be into swimsuit design. (Look at the cards sideways...)
While I was making some Yellow Quilters' Trading Cards "Lemon-Cheddar" using the fabric collage method, I decorated enough background to have some leftover for a few postcards. Adding pink and orange fabric bits prompted the name "Tropical Punch." I couldn't decide if I liked the card with or without added edge trim...
I had the same dilemma with the Asian Exchange postcard, another collage using three different fabrics. This shaggy sparkly black yarn demanded to be added after-the-fact. Maybe my discontent stems from my not really being a "frou-frou" type of gal.
The red gloves postcards, "Hands Of Friendship" were prompted by the cardboard inserts in a package of white cotton gloves. I fused red flowered fabric over the cardboard shapes, then added silk flowers, beads and lace "cuffs." One of the cards I sent to my dear chiropractor and his wife, my gifted massage therapist. Through their hands they have helped many, many people move from pain to better health. I'm so grateful for them both. They loved the card. Unfortunately, the other card never reached its Texas destination. I was disappointed and so was the intended recipient. I've made and sent her a replacement card, but it just isn't the same as the first. Isn't that life? This collage of chocolate bars was my contribution to a Chocolate & Beyond postcard exchange. It's made entirely of fabric and ribbon, except for the heart which was cut out of the shiny red cover of a box of chocolates. The "kisses" and "hugs" strips are white cotton, printed first on the computer. I scanned in the candy bar wrappers and printed out on fabric AFTER emptying each package, of course! Sometimes one must make a sacrifice for the sake of art!