Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in my rear view mirror

This evening I was sitting down to write my annual “this is what I created this past year” post and was feeling fairly down because I didn’t feel like I had done much.   As I started looking thru past posts, I became more excited as I realized that I had actually worked on several pieces and am very proud of each of them.

The year started out with the quilting work on “Flower Pot, Flower Pot”, the quilt that Mom and I made together……


Next was a quickie Mug Rug for Valentines Day…..


…..followed by a top made in a Rayna Gillman workshop that I turned into a chair back cover…..


In May, my creative group started working on the “Use It Up Challenge” which resulted in this fun piece…


I happily finished a quilt that had been started about 6 years ago and is now being used as my lap quilt of choice…..


There was one other “finished” project during the year…..this little Christmas quilt….


There have been two “starts” that will hopefully be finished early in 2014.

The Aussie Fabric quilt which is ready to be basted and hopefully quilted during the few minutes of relaxing during tax season…..


And, finally, the Pueblo quilt that still needs a few hours of quilting……


I could ALWAYS complain that I haven’t had enough time to create, but this year has been different.  I have greatly enjoyed my studio time and am VERY happy with the output for the year.

Tonight Michael and I are celebrating in our own way…..


…..with Dairy Queen Blizzards and relaxing in our recliners!!!!

I hope that you all have a wonderful New Year’s!!!!

On to 2014!!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I’m going to be in so much trouble next year….


One of my favorite things about Christmas is planning and buying the gifts.  As the kids have gotten older, they often want cash instead of presents and I HATE to just hand cash over!!

As the years have gone on, I have stuffed cash inside rolls of toilet paper, taped 10 dollar bills to cans of chili and even folded it up and rolled it into bubble gum wrappers.

Last year was a great year as Brian’s money was inside a bank and he had to roll a small ball thru a three dimensional maze to unlock the bank, Amber had to unroll yards and yards of crepe paper to find her presents inside and Jenny’s money was stuffed inside balloons that she had to pop.

So, this year Michael decided that I needed a bit of my own medicine!!  He bought me three packs of  Tsueniko Fabrico Markers and wrapped them in an ENTIRE roll of toilet paper!!   I unrolled for about 5 minutes!!!!


Jenny and Amber both received plastic containers filled with candy, finger nail polish and hard cold CASH…….



But the one that stole the show was Brian’s gift.   It started when I found this lunchbox for my Star Wars crazed son….


Then I started thinking about the lunch that he took every day for 4 years of High School.  It consisted of one peanut butter sandwich, a bag of Spicy Nacho Doritos and 2 mini Butterfinger bars. 

I decided to fill his lunch box with an actual lunch, but where would I put the money……in the Doritos bag….no, too easy……in the Butterfinger pack….no, too hard.

That leaves the sandwich……..


……just right!!!

Brian was a trooper and played along with the entire gag!!!!B1

…..first checking out the lunch…..B2

….then hopefully checking the Doritos bag…..


…..finally conceding that he was going to have to at least open the sandwich, although at one point he thought that he would have to actually eat it!!B4….after much laughing and finger licking……

b5…..the cash was liberated…..b6 

As we all laughed about the gag gifts, Jenny noted that next year it will be all-out war.  I will have to be VERY watchful when opening my presents next year and will have to up the ante.    Any suggestion?????

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Cactus Craziness!!


I am sure that most of you have heard of the Christmas Pickle…..


Traditionally, it was hidden on a Christmas Tree, with the finder receiving either a reward or good fortune for the following year.

Well, many years ago we decided to add this tradition to our Christmas mornings except there was one big problem…..I couldn’t find a pickle.   I searched in store after store but could not find one and this was prior to the days of internet buying.  Then one day I stumbled on to this ornament…..


…..and thus the Arnold family tradition of the “Christmas Cactus” was born!!!

Now to the story of this Christmas……

The kids (ages 26, 28 and 28)  had left the room so that the Cactus could be hidden.  While Michael was trying to hang it on the tree he accidentally dropped it and couldn’t find it.   So he told the kids to come on in and look for it…..


Almost at the same time, both Brian and Jenny yelled “there it is” and the scuffle was on….


You notice that Amber used her head and got out of the way!

Well, this year, the cactus got the worst of it…..


But both Brian and Jenny emerged with a portion of the cactus and both claiming victory.…


Notice the ornament that was pulled off of the tree and got stuck in Jenny’s scarf!!

Typically the Cactus Gift is some sort of kids game that they play for money (everybody wins something), but this year my efforts were foiled by the lack of one Size C battery…..


Oh well, the money was awarded anyway and this will be put back for next year…..with batteries!!!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas…..



From our family to yours…….




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Putting it all together……


After I finished adding some threadwork to the four panels, it was time to put it all together.  My original thought was to border each panel with a brown fabric and then to add some other designs and pots, etc.   Something like this….


BUT….when I put the borders around the first two panels, I realized that it would look better if I kept it simple and leave off all of the other stuff…..


I kept on adding strips until the piece was basically square…..


After deciding on a dark border, I felt that it needed something else, so ended up adding a sliver of Turquoise around the edge…..


Here is the final top…..DSC09089

I got the quilting started before my meeting last week but ended up taking it in for the challenge in an unfinished state.    Hopefully I can get it finished up before the new year!!

By the way, the challenge was to make a quilt depicting a Nation, including an Indian Nation.    Here are a few of the other entrants…..

Nupur made a “stamp” from her native India……


Mary’s quilt was Polynesian in nature…..DSC09102

Nancy used “Olive” trees to depict Italy……


Madeline remembered her trip to France with her daughter……


Pat chose France as her country.  She had two wonderful quilts,  but I wasn’t able to get a good photo of her first one.  Here is the second…..


Mary Ellen had two entries.  The first was from Africa…..


Her second one was from Australia……


And finally, our Challenge chairman, Barbara, chose to depict our neighbor to the North…..


It was a fun reveal to the challenge and a great Christmas party!!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The “People” panel


Before I forget, one of the Australian bloggers that I follow   (Emma), AND one of my other Aussie friends commented that the Scissoroos were still available at  https://www.scissorman.com.au/online-shop/all-products/scissoroo.html .  I would encourage you to give them a try.


The last of my “Pueblo” panels  is now finished.   I did a Google search and found a picture of an old postcard that was used to advertise the Taos Pueblos and used that as the basis for this panel.

Of course, the first thing that I did was to fuse the tree fabrics onto the PAPER rather than onto the Teflon sheet…..ARGH…..


Notice how neatly I placed the paper pattern on TOP of the Teflon sheet rather than under it!!!

Since this panel has a lot of pottery in it, I had to develop a process for making them.   The first thing that I did was to draw the pattern onto Freezer paper and fuse onto the fabric…..

DSC09064Next, I put the fabric onto the light box and started adding the details….DSC09065

Then when I finally cut it out, the pot appeared…..


After I got the two potter women finished, I started making pots to sit around.  They were really addictive to make, but I finally had to stop!!!DSC09068

The final step was to add a bit of interest to the background, including changing the tree some and adding rugs for the women to be sitting on…..DSC09072

FINAL panel finished……now to put it together!!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I LOVE my fabric stash!!!

I have really enjoyed working on the 3rd panel for my quilt, especially being able to  make use of some special fabrics…..

When we were visiting the Taos Pueblo this summer, Michael took this wonderful photo…..


…..and this was the start of my thinking about making a Pueblo quilt!!


One of the first fabrics that I pulled was a wood grain piece to use for the beam at the top of the panel….


I did want it be a bit of a different color, so I painted it with some Tsueniko Fabrico Markers to change the color a bit..

In pulling fabrics for the oven and courtyard, I ended up using some of the ones that I had dyed when I did the week-long course with Elizabeth Barton.  It was so good to finally be using them!!!

And, while looking for fabric for the ground, I picked up a piece that I dyed MANY years ago and then had stuck back to “use sometime”……


BUT, the most exciting thing came when I was looking for greens that could be used for plant life.   I pulled out this piece and had the flash of creativity to use this as the background behind the Pueblo building…..



I LOVED the way that this little piece added so much to the panel…..DSC09054

I also enjoyed using the Markers to add some shading to give more dimension….


I am always amazed that I cant draw ANYTHING, but can take an outline and shade it to look somewhat real!!

When I got ready to add the piece of pottery, I decided that it would be easiest to simply print out the actual picture on fabric and use that.  It worked really well.

Here is the final product…..



The next panel is the one that I am looking most forward to!!!

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