Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Good Day To Dye.....

Yesterday was so lovely in the morning. Sunny and clear. I did some housework, Steven cut the grass. He is off Fridays now, like me, due to the cuts companies are making. It was nice being home with him. He fixed my car (it had a leaking gas line, for months, I thought he was waiting to see if I went up in flames before he fixed it) and I prepared a dye bath for some fabrics I had, and some I bought the other day when I was out with a friend at the Salvation Army store. 
As you may have read below my friend in Tennessee sent me a box of trims. I wanted to make her something. I was inspired by my friend Nancy VanHoose who is taking a class with K C Willis. I would LOVE to take the class too, but with less money coming in right now, and my daughters college to pay for, it will have to wait a bit (however I am trying to win a chance!). Yet, how I could look at the beautiful work Nancy is doing and not want to make something? Then all that trim my friend Cathy sent just begging to be used gave me the added motivation.
I prepared a dye bath, Rit Dye, Tan (do not use the dark brown, it turns things purple!). Although it worked well, it lacked the right hue I was trying to achieve. So I tried Coffee staining next. Well I liked it much more, it was much easier to control.  I think I prefer the Dye, I read the acids in the coffee can deteriorate the fabric over time.  I will just have to experiment with colors another time. My neighbors must have thought I was nutty, hanging bunches of stained, torn pieces of fabric outside. 
I foolishly thought, "this won't take long", wrong! It took almost all day. At the end of the day though, there was some lovely aged fabric and trim. I laid out some of them to start a project. Now that I know which ones I want to use, we can begin. The striped fabric is from two sheets,  some of the trim from Cathy, and the bottom of an old pillowcase.( I also found a couple jewelry pieces to use as accents).....
I dyed a lot of trim, and got all levels of stain depending on how long I left fabric in the dye, and how much I rinsed it. I found this vintage skirt at the local Salvation Army, I love the dusky color it got. I bought some pretty pearl cotton to add accents.
I think I love what the coffee dye does to silk flowers the best. They look all aged and rustic...
So today, after I clean the bathrooms (yuk I hate this job) I will start cutting and sewing.....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

K C Willis Collage Camp!

K C Willis does the most interesting work in fabric collage. I would dearly love a chance to attend her camp, so I have entered her giveaway with high hopes to win. Check it out by clicking on the Post header!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Giveaway! "Click Here" to Enter!
Check out the giveaway at her new blog. Lovely handmade wool pins....and a chance to win one!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Package From a Friend....

My good friend Cathy Teller moved to Tennessee a few years ago. I miss her, we used to paint together and laugh and have fun. She makes cards also as well as china paint (her work is beautiful). Like so many people who make art, her Mom was/is her inspiration. A big fan of Carol Duval and crafting she like many moms opened a door of possibilities for her children.
Cathy has dabbled in many things, but she really shines when she paints. Her Mom decided she wanted to purge herself of some things she felt she had no use for. She brought them to Cathy, knowing that she was having a garage sale.
Her mom wanted Cathy to sell off the lot for a couple bucks unless Cathy wanted them. Well darn if Cathy didn't think of me. She called and asked if I would be interested in a "couple things".  I said sure asked her how much, she said "Oh, two or five buck would be fine." 
So in my mind I thought, okay, how much could there be for that? I said yes. I sent out a check to cover the amount plus shipping.
I received the box Saturday afternoon. I want to say it was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. What could she have sent me?
First a lovely card, saying to keep what I like, and throw away what I don't (yeah like that would happen). She hoped I would find use for the things she sent........There were a few pieces from Toms family, her sister, a cross-stitched table runner, a crochet runner, some embroidered napkins,(she said they were "bonuses" she thought I would enjoy them)most though was from her mom.
There is so much here, crochet pieces, flowers, and circles. Some fabric ribbons...
More crochet trims, flowers, and leaves.....
New treasures with each layer..........
Just look at all the colorful lace trims......
There were pieces of eyelet, laces, cutwork and more.....
Then there was all this............
White, Cream and Gold Fringe,
Lace and more trims wrapped on cardboard and plastic racks.......
Even more trim and fringe...
This was below, pieces and parts, bit's and bob's. Beads and Ribbon, Fringe and lace....
There was a nice note from Cathy also. I cannot thank her enough for thinking of me. The Caption on the inside said: We are such good friends because, surprisingly, you are not intimidated by my beauty. 
Well Cathy, sometimes I am.............. Thank You good friend!
P.S. I called Cathy to tell her I thought I had not sent enough, but  she assured me that it was plenty.  I have not been feeling very much like doing any art. Now I want to make something with all these lovely things, something for a good friend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's Back!

Yes, Mariana de la Noche is back on Univision! Yes and although it is halfway through the series, I am still going to watch it. I saw it the first time it was on and really enjoyed it. It was the first time I saw this guy, Cesar Evora. I love his deep voice. I was hooked. This was the second Telenovela I followed. I don't speak the language, but you really don't need to, you can figure it out if you watch long enough. I even learned a few words and phrases watching (I keep a Spanish/English dictionary handy). If you really want to know what's happening there is a site called "Caray Caray" ( where people translate and give you a synopsis. Now I warn you ,these people at Caray Caray are funny, and you will often get their commentary along with the story. So if you like "overly dramatic" (yeah a whole lot of crying, men and women, and over the top acting) you will like this. I recommend it. Next to La Madastra, it is my favorite one so far...... Oh did I mention Cesar is in La Madastra too?....... Here he is again, although later in the show he is shaven, much better..
How about this guy? Jorge Salinas, yeah he makes this telenovela easy to watch too..... Here is another one for you.....mmmmmmm
Things that fascinate me about Telenovelas:
The women all have a lot of makeup (even some of the nuns)
They always have a priest at some point in the story
They always have the Lady of Guadalupe at some point in the story
Both they guys and ladies cry (yeah I know we have a lot of that in our soaps, but I think they do it a lot more often)
They always have a happy ending (okay at least every one I have seen), the bad guys get caught and punished, or are forgiven, and the "true loves" are together in the end. Which is another reason to watch!
Oh, I hope you are home or have Tivo, it's on at 1:30 pm est.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Thoughts today....

Today I learned that a family member who has a rental property cannot find someone to rent the place. She also learned that thanks to the banks "dumping" properties in her area, and yes although it is soooo much easier to blame the people who left them behind, it is in my opinion primarily the banks fault here. Her home is now worth less than what she owes. Shall I mention here that she has owned the home over ten years. When she and her husband married they kept his home, rented it out and bought their home. When he died suddenly, she kept the rental hoping it would be some kind of income/retirement for her and her children, but that is not what is happening. It has now become a noose around her neck and why? Was it because she speculated? Was it because she lived beyond her means? No, it was neither.  You see banks have to "dump" homes to shed the "toxic loans" they made, from their books so they literally throw homes away for practically nothing. Most of them in such a poor state that it sits there, the grass becomes overgrown,  while the inside trashed and in disrepair. Which in turn, lowers the value of any other home in the area. So my fellow Americans you get to pay not once, not twice, but three times for this fiasco, that the banks and investors, (yeah those guys who all just got BONUSES), let people buy, and get in over their heads with. Are the "people" somewhat responsible, sure, a lot of them are. Many knew they could not afford the house they were buying, but then the real estate agent, mortgage broker, or bank told them house were going up, up, up! Did any of these morons learn about gravity in school? The market? Basic economics? anyone?, anyone at all? Were all of these people right out of high school or on drugs? Surely some of these agents, brokers, bankers had been around long enough, many even longer than me, to know what goes up, inevitably goes down. Chances are as fast as it went up, it will be twice as fast coming down. In my life I have bought three homes. I have seen high interest rates  of 9%  to 14%, even higher if you had poor credit, heck when we had a 7% interest rate we thought we were doing good. You had to have at the very least 10% down and good credit! You could not count your overtime, and in the case of our first two homes, they would not even count my salary! In 1987 when Ford’s was hurting they would not give a "projected" income for Steve, so the bank hesitated at first before finally giving us a loan, and we had 20% down for gosh sakes. I am not that old either, we are not talking 30 - 50 years ago, more like 10-20. When we bought our first home the realtor sat us down, went over what we could afford. It could only be 1/4 of Steven’s monthly gross income. That’s it. Boom! This is what we will show you, in that price range, unless of course you have the difference in cash to put down? No?  So sorry then, we wouldn't want to show you a home you could not afford or get approved for . So now of course the banks are looking to solve their dilemma once more at the taxpayers, and responsible American’s expense. How? Well sure "dumping" the properties looks good on their books, gets rid of the nasty "toxic debt" they created,  but now the neighbor over there next door, the one who pays his bills on time, and took care of his/her home has found out their home is now worth nothing. Why? Well according to the Realtors and BANKS, you have to base your worth on local comp’s, and that means all those "dumped" homes the ones the banks wiped off their books, has now "wiped" your home in with them. Of course those who need to get more for their home, unlike the often totally trashed empty house next to them to pay off their mortgage are S.O.L. To add insult to injury, the same Realtors that sold you that house now tell you, "well you have to compete with the foreclosures or let the bank have it!". Yeah, it’s great how they still manage to ask for 6% of that nothing too, isn't it? Talk about making money on both end. When I read in today's paper that the markets rose due to, let me quote the Detroit News accurately here, " Stocks rally on the good housing, banking news" I ask myself "What the heck are they talking about?" Yet tomorrow it will probably fall once it dawns on all of them,  and they realize that sure they dumped those homes, which in turn may cause others to have to walk away from theirs, because now they cannot get a decent price. Which means it will go back to the bank, who can afford to write it off by, you guessed it,  dumping. Cause heck, it’s not their money right? Thank God, truly, I thank him today for being born in the generation that can still do "basic" math. I can add, subtract and divide without the aid of a calculator. I can see the forest despite the trees, and I know when someone is blowing smoke up my ass.
Hey remember that saying from a while back "If your going to screw me at least introduce yourself" or was it "at least buy me dinner"? Looks like we’re not getting either.

Friday, May 15, 2009

More photos

Here they are again with another layer. I have deepened the shading, and softened the whole piece with some white.  I am still not completely satisfied, so for now I will put it aside and think about something else for a while.
Here is another painting. Very similar to the one I did for Ms. Vicky, but much smaller. I still have a lot to do here also.
So this was all I did besides laundry and changing out linens on the beds. I was supposed to do so much today, but nothing went as is was planned. I had a terrible headache (thanks to the darn weather), the bank called my daughter and postponed the closing , again! Which may have been a good thing, since I really wasn't up to celebrating.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


My work in Suzi Blu's class so far. Not much I know, but there are a lot of steps, and then drying time. I still have to add more, some distressing, some more "stuff" until it is where it needs to be. I am in no rush, but I cannot decide where to go next. It will come to me.  For a while I will just look at it and play with something else.
I like the faces, and the dress, but it is only the beginning I think.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Just Breathe

Ever feel like just walking away? Maybe just going to your room shutting the door and lock out the world, like forever. Lately that's how it has been for me. I am tired, dead to the bone, tired. Not the physical kind, that might be good, but the kind of tired that comes from trying not to let it all get to you. You stop looking forward to the day instead you think, if only I did not have to work, or clean, or cook, worry about my job, his job, her tuition. 
It gets like this at times. Not really depression, just a bone dead tired and a need to withdraw a bit. I am so tired of all the talk on the TV and radio. Stupid News feels the need to crush the last bit of hope from every aspect of people lives, every hour on the hour. I dare you to find a station anywhere that does not dwell on the negativity. Even if you lucky enough to get a "rumor" that someone saw a light at the end of the tunnel, they feel the immediate need to rush in and turn it off.
It is hard, hard to go to a family event without hearing about some poor person who has lost their job, home, or insurance. I am regularly flabbergasted at the response this is all having, instead of compassion and trying to help, companies are raising prices and finding ways to add charges to further bleed the dying. My friend in Tennessee told me that her sister had surgery. When she started getting billed she arranged to make payments. She received a statement saying that if the bill was not paid in full, within 90 days, she would have to pay 18% interest! Of course they never told her this before the surgery, but my god, that's higher than a lot of credit cards. She is off work recuperating with this hanging over her head. They aren't even taking her good credit into consideration.
Prices on barrels of gas have dropped due to less demand, yet the prices just went up .40 this weekend? The post office, cut back workers, is going to do away with Saturday deliveries and then raised it's price .02 per stamp!  All the cuts the Automotive workers have made and the price of a car is still high? You cut a workers pay in half, get deals from suppliers, shareholders, and still expect top dollar? How does this all work, the less you have the more they want?
I still have not heard what "sacrifices" all the top executives have made? We all know the banks are still getting their bonuses, Citibank is getting TARP funds and raising your interest rate? What the heck.
Instead of coming together people are tearing each other apart. They are so busy worrying that their neighbor may have something, and some even seem to relish in another person's  misfortune. Good Lord people, knock it off! 
I recently told my friend Vicky, that I felt that everyone was being pushed to the edge of a cliff, all shoved together trying not to fall, and all they needed was one more shove to send them off into the chasm. That while I cannot excuse the shootings, suicides, and crazy  behavior I can see how some might feel so desperate.  It isn't just me feeling it either, so many people I know have just locked in or backed off.  No one wants to talk, I can't blame them there hasn't been a whole lot of things to say that won't remind you of all the crap going on.
I will be okay but I need to step away, I need to cut back and do a little less for a bit.  Take a breath, and just hope for the best.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mixed Media Background Class

Mixed Media Painting with artist Julie Prichard from Julie Prichard on Vimeo.

Julie is teaching a background workshop. She is having a giveaway for a membership. If you would like to learn how to work with paints, check out her class here:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Raffle to Help Bella!

This dear baby was born premature. The family does not have enough insurance to help pay the mounting bills. Many talented and generous Artisans have come together to help raise money for this little angel. I have donated a print, and you can help by buying a raffle ticket. There are some fantastic prizes to be had. Won't you help, and pass this along after you buy a ticket?
Click on the title to take you to the raffle site!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Winner Is.....

"Excuse me Madam, but it is time."
"Oh yes, right Sebastian, time to draw the name of a Winner for my giveaway. I believe they have a choice of one of my prints, or a handmade mouse, such as the one shown two posts below."
Yes Madam. shall we proceed?
"By all means Sebastian."
I have taken the liberty of writing each name on a slip of paper, according to the outline, once for a comment, twice for following, and thrice for posting on their site..
I have carefully folded and placed each name in the bowl.....
Ah hem, Mr. Hand (Steven) if you would do the honors......
Here it is, the WINNER........
"Of course we must Thank all that took part. They have been so kind to visit and leave such dear comments. You know Sebastian, I was thinking, perhaps we shall do this again. What do you think?"
"I think that is a most excellent idea Madam. When should we do this?"
"Oh, Sebastian I think we should leave some things for a surprise don't you?"
"To be sure Madam, to be sure."
"Well before I retire I am off to contact Tumbleweed Trails and let her know. Goodnight Sebastian."
"Goodnight Madam"