Friday, October 30, 2009

Great Halloween Ideas

I happen to be a fan of the Martha Stewart show. Normally I tape a week's worth of the shows and watch them on Friday nights or anytime before the a new week of shows begin again. The old VCR is acting up and may be on it's last leg. So today I sat down and watched the show and wanted to share some thoughts on it.

Martha does a great job of sharing ideas for the holidays. She does have a wonderful staff of creative people helping with a great many ideas.

Today's show was all about Halloween, but with a theme from the movie "Where the wild things are". Costumes and decorations were all related to "wild things". There was a great buffet set up with interesting recipes for this holiday. Jimmy Fallon was the guest that Martha had share several dishes from the buffet.

I'm posting a link to that segment of the show that was filled with creative ideas for a wild party. Check out Martha's Buffet.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


This Saturday will be Halloween and the last day of October. The next day will not only usher in a new month but days will become a little shorter and darkness will come sooner. The weather should be good for "trick & treating". Hope we get kids from the community just next to us! Hope that "goblins" of all ages have a good time!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Back To The Workroom

Since returning home from Houston I'm finding it difficult to get back to work. Trying to get some ideas worked out for possible class submissions. Have several ideas bouncing around my brain.

Several ideas in beginning stages for possible classes. Two layouts ready to sew for "service quilts". One quilt on the quilt frame waiting to be finished. Once that one is complete, there are two more to quilt before Christmas.

Waiting to hear about some display projects to make for the winter CHA show for one of my favorite companies.

Lots on my plate!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday With The Family

The sun was shining on this last Sunday of October. (How did this month pass so quickly?) The leaves have changed here and many have already fallen. Time now to clean things up and get ready for the winter season here in the Midwest.

This afternoon the kids came over. It's been awhile since we have all been together. With three grown children it's not easy to do. We live in a 55+ community and on the Sunday before Halloween we have a special day of "trick & treating" for the grandchildren of the residents. It's really a fun day and kids get tons of treats from all the grandparents.

It worked out great for us because we had extra hands to give us help putting things away and getting some other jobs done. Their payment was a nice hot, hardy soup and homemade pumpkin pie!

Friday, October 23, 2009


This week I have been trying to get caught up with so many things. It's been a fairly busy week and I still have several things to get done.

I don't want another day to go by without sending out a "thank you". "Thanks" need to be extended to a variety of people. The first goes to my husband, Mike and my family. Their support and encouragement have been so important to all my creative endeavors. And Michael, thanks for making the trip, the sight-seeing and your help at festival. Special thanks to my friend Rebekah. It was fun sharing space for a couple of days and your help and of course, moral support. A very special thank-you to Judy Murrah, from Quilts, Inc. for giving me the opportunity to experience and participate at Quilt Festival.

Others that I need to give a huge shout of "thanks" to are: Nancy of Earth Safe Finishes, Julianna from Sizzix, Lisa from C & T, Chris from Walnut Hollow, Jacque from The Warm Company, Diane from Beacon Adhesives, Tim for sharing great products, Christin from National Nonwovens, Dawn from AMACO, Belinda from Pentel, your help and generosity was so greatly appreciated.

Lastly, I would like to say thanks to all of the people that participated in my classes and mixed media sessions. You made my first visit and teaching opportunity at Quilt Festival successful!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quilt Festival

With this post I would like to share photos of only a few of the amazing displays this past week inHouston. I only wish that I could have taken photos of each and everything I saw at the show.

The designs, the colors, the textures, the techniques and the beauty of the quilts is something that I would like to share.

Some things of interest seen at the show was a display called "Fabric Forest". Panels representing tree trunks hung from the ceiling. Twenty-one quilters from Germany made the 33 panels to look like trees from the Black Forest. There was a collection of antique quilts that are always something to see because of the fact that you know these quilts were entirely made my hand. (The first quilt to the left was part of this collection. A version of "Gramma's Flower Garden, made with small hexagon shapes.) Another collection of antique quilts was titled "Text on Textiles: Words as design in antique quilts". A display of 20 quilts from Russia were beautiful. Kaleidoscope quilts by Paula Nadelstern were inspirational to see the manipulation of fabrics and colors. A wall of 32,000, 2 1/4 inch squares formed 21 panels that stretched a distance of 80 feet. It's title was "The Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt".

There are usually a handful of exhibits that do not allow photos to be taken. So unfortunately some of the above mentioned displays I was not able to share with photographs. Of course, there were way too many for me to photograph. They were all works of art!

Besides the quilts there were a variety of wearable art pieces, a whole exhibit of handmade cloth dolls, numerous smaller art quilts and several award winners.

If you ever have the chance to attend one of the shows put on by Quilts, Inc., you should try, it's like walking through any other art gallery.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Home Sweet Home

A very quick post tonight and photos will have to wait a day. We are home, safe and sound. Our flight out of Houston was delayed about one hour. We arrived home around 9:30 but the trip from Midway Airport to home was at least an hour ride.

Suitcases are unpacked but many things to still put away and laundry to do, but that will have to wait till later. I have many stories and photos to share and will very soon. Enjoyed the week but so glad to be home!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

It's Winding Down

This will be a quick post. It was a very busy day. Mike and I left around nine this morning and drove to the Johnson Space Center. We spent several hours there. While there we went on a tram tour and saw some very interesting things. The "retired Science teacher" enjoyed it very much and have to say so did I.

We then drove further east and south to a town called Kameh. It's sits on the Galveston Bay and walked around for a while before heading back to Houston and my last class. It went well and I'm ready for bed. We are up early for my very last session of "Mixed Media Miscellany" on all things felt and felting.

More tomorrow and some photos too! Good Night!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another Day Done

Today I participated in a session called "Mixed Media Miscellany". There were 18 participants and we were set up around a large ballroom with 20 chairs in front of each table. Each of us demonstrated something on-going for about 10-15 minutes. I will share with you some of the very interesting participants once I am home and can give you more specific information.

It went very well. The show limited the entrance to 300 people to attend this. They rotated from table to table during the two hours. People were very interested in my demo of using metal as an embellishment. I showed the process of punching, piercing and embossing metal.

Tomorrow is a three hour class in the evening. During the day we are visiting the Johnson Space Center/NASA during the day.

It's Been Great!

I know that it's been some time since my last post. Wondering what's going on down here in Houston?

So far, so good! It's been very overwhelming for me but a great experience. Let me explain first why I haven't posted till now. For some reason, many places here don't believe in providing free internet service to their patrons. I find that pretty bad service. So finally, after Mike arriving and checking into a hotel just outside the downtown area, there is access. So anyway, let me tell you a little of what's happened.

My two long classes on Monday and Tuesday went very well. Everyone taking them were very interested and enjoyed trying new things and having some fun. When I get home I will share more information about the classes and participants. Thanks to those who attended, you were all great!

For the very first time, I was able to attend Quilt Market and that was a thrill. Because of that I ran into old SCD friends, some new friends and others that I knew by name but never met. The best was seeing all those amazing fabrics that we should be seeing in stores all over the country. It would be like heaven if all the stores could carrying every beautiful fabric that was shown. WOW!

I took a quick peek into the showroom of the quilts on display this year. What I saw was just fantastic. The work that so many around this world do with cloth and thread cannot be described.

Yesterday, Wednesday, Mike and I took a trip to San Antonio for the day. Going there, fulfilled a lifelong dream of his. I found that out on the trip home. He has always wanted to see "the Alamo".

Today we will be heading off to the convention center around noon. I will be doing a two hour"on going" demonstration on metal punching and embossing. We have plans to walk around the area and go to an early dinner. One more three hour class on Friday evening and the last two "Mixed Media" event to go!

The weather here has been HOT & HUMID, not my favorite. The rest of the week is reported to be cooler, in the 70's. Let's hope.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Bags Are Packed...

... and I'm ready to go! No turning back now, morning will be here before I know it and will heading to the airport. I'll write later tomorrow night after seeing whatever I can of the Quilt Market. Hope to have a pleasant dinner with some friends that are attending the show. Then it's time to think about the first class on Monday morning.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Last Minute

It's going to be a hectic day. Just taking a little snack break before doing some last minute stuff.
After that's done the packing can begin.

At least I have everything laid out and ready to go into my baggage. It's going to be a late night (which most of my nights are) and an early morning. Flying out of Midway instead of O'Hare this time.

I hope to make a last minute post later tonight too. So back to work I go!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Number Three Is Complete

The third class project is finished! Spent this morning getting my hair cut (and yes, touched up).
Beth does wonders with my baby fine hair.

Decided to get my clothes organized today for the week in Texas. Better than waiting to the last minute like I usually do. So tomorrow and Saturday I will be finishing up on printing out collage sheets for the projects and instructions. Going to do a run through of each class project and time it. Once all that is complete, I hope to finish up some embellishing of a denim jacket.

The weather here at home is looking winter-like by the time I fly out on Sunday. Looking forward to what is supposed to be mild weather in Texas during the week and a good time away with Mike for a few days. He's such a great guy!

Thoughts of Texas

Things are coming together! There are still several things to take care of before flying to Houston on Sunday. Tomorrow I will be posting a photo of the third class project. It took a little longer because I made some changes. Since these classes are being taught at the largest quilt festival, I felt that the projects needed to fit the occasion.

September and October have been a busy time for us. Been to two weddings, both away. So we will be continuing this "on the go" life for another week. Mike will be joining me on Tuesday.

I hope to enjoy a few hours attending the "Quilt Market" on Sunday afternoon. Have always wanted to attend this HUGE trade show for the quilting community! I'll take what I can get ... I know it will be like a "kid in a toy store" feeling.

Along with teaching classes, we will be setting aside some time for sight seeing. Wednesday there is nothing scheduled, so we are spending the day in San Antonio. We know that we will be visiting "The Alamo" and the riverwalk area.

The rest of the week, we will fit in whatever we can. And hopefully, before heading home on the 18th, I'll get to view the quilt display and visit some of the 1100 vendors that will be there.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

International Quilt Festival

Let's just say that I'm excited! This is a great opportunity for me. Though I have been worrying from time to time about this whole endeavor, I know that it will be a great time. Meeting new people, getting new ideas, seeing new things to inspire and hopefully some new creative business ventures.

There are many people that I need to thank for helping me get ready for these classes. Their help and generosity means so much to me.

Everyone should get recognition, so I'll be mentioning them in the next several days. Just want to tell a little about each and how much I appreciate them.

The Work Continues

Next week at this time I'll be in Houston. The first class will be complete. Well, that's next week and I must not get ahead of myself. There are still several loose ends to tie up! I'm finding that I will have a number of things that will need to be packed in my suitcase that I was unable to ship earlier.

One of the projects that I finished for myself was to make some handmade business cards that would fit the occasion. I think that they turned out rather nice!

Most of this week's post will more than likely have something to do with the upcoming Quilt Festival, so stay tuned.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Second Class Project

Two down and one to go. The class sample for the October 13th, Tuesday's class is done. It should fill the six hour time frame nicely. The board book from C&T Publishing is a great surface to work with. The paint system from Earth Safe Finishes let's you apply color in a variety of ways.
Shapes and designs were cut using the Big Shot by Sizzix and a nice variety of cutting dies.

A little stamping, hand sewing, ironing and gluing finishes off the project.
I hope to make another one on Monday or Tuesday and time myself to get a better handle on how much time each step will take. The second sample will be given away.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Today's Happenings

Before I head back down into my workroom, to continue getting many things finalized, before leaving next Sunday for Houston, I wanted to make a quick post. I think today and tomorrow are going to be very long days. At least that's my plan right now ... to accomplish almost everything that still needs to be done. I don't want to be hassled with too many last minute things to do.

By today's weather, it's pretty definite that summer is truly gone. BUT, there is something about this time of the year that I really love. Had to make a quick trip to the craft store this morning. The ride takes me through a good portion of the forest preserve we are near. The trees are changing everywhere this week. I've noticed mums of every color, in pots and flower beds, at most homes. I love the autumnal color palette!

There's a crock pot of chili cooking on the counter ... Ahh, Fall!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pizza Night

Don't know why and how this began, but Friday night has become "pizza night" at our house. It usually is ordered from certain places that we have come to enjoy. Sometimes it will be "deep dish" style pizza from places like Giordano's or Lou Malnati's or the thinner crust from places like CPA (Chicago Pizza Authority) or California Pizza Kitchen.

Then there are times when we like to experiment with making our own. We have used frozen pizza dough, hot roll mix and packaged mixes. Like using the frozen pizza dough, but recently came across a recipe, whole-wheat pizza dough, in Everyday Food magazine (Jan/Feb 09). Have made it several times now and find that everyone enjoys it. Make it and use it the same day or roll them out into shells or balls and freeze for later use. This recipe is very easy to work with and goes well with whatever you like to top your pizzas with. Bake them in the oven or cook them on your grill for a grilled pizza.

Recipe: 1 1/2 cups warm water (115°) water
2 packets active dry yeast
1/4 cup olive oil. plus more for bowl
2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled), plus more for kneading
2 cups whole-wheat flour (spooned & leveled)
1. Place water in large bowl, sprinkle with yeast. Let stand till foamy (5 min).
Brush another bowl with oil.
2. In bowl with yeast, whisk sugar, oil and salt. Stir in flours with a wooden spoon until
sticky dough forms. Transfer to oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, let set in warm
spot until dough doubles (1 hr).
3. Turn dough onto well floured surface. Knead until smooth (15 min). Divide into two
balls. (Can freeze in desired. Prepare pizza with favorite toppings. Bake in 450 oven for 18 to 20 minutes.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Journal Project for Quilt Festival and More

It's been a busy day. Started with baking a pumpkin pie for dessert tonight. Neighbors are coming over for dinner. Using another favorite recipe ... this time it's for Bar-B-Que Beef. Making it with the sauce from Kansas City.

Continued to work on things to take with to the festival. Dyed and stenciled a tee-shirt, making handmade business cards, decorating a badge & card holder and several other items too. Will share some of them as I go along.

Another project that was completed today was to make the first sample for the three hour class that I'll be teaching at the quilt festival on Friday evening, October 15th. It should be fun!