Monday, January 31, 2011

My new mukalucks! Going to need them!

Ordered my new boots...going to need them!  We are supposed to get tons more snow to the already large amounts of snow here in Wisconsin.
I just got over the flu...I went to a quilt retreat and started to feel badly Saturday morning....kept trying and trying to not be sick...but couldnt quite pull it off...I was pale and had stomach pains...and sooooo tired...but still I kept trying as I thought it was nothing...but it was turned into the full blown flu Sunday afternoon when I got home...and I am just now getting up and around.
I realized though that I am an ART QUILTER and that a traditional quilt retreat....may not be something I want to do again ...I think I would have enjoyed it more if it there was at least one person who did what I did...I felt like a fish out of water.  They did have some sewing techniques to teach me as their sewing skills were better than mine by far....but otherwise I just did not fit in.  Personally, I dont know how people can get excited about making things from other peoples patterns all the time...and in their world...triangles, squares and rectangles and variences thereof.  I just cannot and would never fit into that mold.  I couldnt get excited about it....but they do...and god bless them..they were very pleasant and nice women...but I need to be more careful as to how I place myself for a whole weekend....They were like.."There is one in every crowd!"  I guess uniqueness..???  Sometimes I wonder why God made me sooooo very different all the time...most times I enjoy my uniqueness.  I wonder though why I ALWAYS have to be so different!
Well, here's to being over the flu and hoping I dont have another flu bug for a very long time as that sucked!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Just a give away to try! I love Catching Fireflies stores!! 

These are some items you can buy there!  Their selection is so fun and their prices are great!  take a look at their web page!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Top is done! Ready for quilting anyway!!

Well I finished putting all the layers together!  I am so exhausted but excited.  I am going to be able to take tomorrow and use it for getting to know my new sewing machine and not working on the quilt!  I need a day off before the big weekend...I see already a few, I think I am not going to use wool batting next was too last quilt was fine..but this is a bigger quilt so I had to get a bigger piece of batting and the wool just bunched up everywhere.  I liked wool because it was not so stiff as the other....but I am going to try the other next time.  Also, I used the light fusing this time because I knew I was going to have more layers than my last quilt.  This was a mistake.  I am going to use the regular weight fusing from now on. but its just not as sticky as the regular weight and the pieces are already starting to come off and I still need to bunch it all up and quilt the thing!  Hopefully things will stay in place enough that it wont become a mess.  I learn as I go.  This is life!

Mute my other music on the right and give a listen!

Yea! All the pieces to the puzzle are done!

I have finished with all the I am going to go take a shower, get dressed (It's only 1:45 pm!) and then fuse it all together and put the quilt sandwich all together...the backing ...the fill and the top.  This is so good that I am this I need to play around with my new sewing machine before I go to the retreat.  I thought I was going to have to bring both sewing machines as I didnt have time to even figure out how to use my new one yet!  So life is good!  I happy with it thus far!!!  I wish I had a wall in which I could put it up and look at in a different and straight on view.  I have to stand on the chair and get this picture....this is not right.  When I get my new studio in the fall...I will make sure my husband puts up some ceiling tile on the wall so I can do this.

Kitty is telling me "Get creating Laura"

 My kitty, who is getting big, is telling me "Get working Mommy!"  He is sitting on my ironing board..."Come on....get working"

This wood rug came in the mail yesterday...I love it!  However, its a bummer that I have to fix 2 slats in it...Its an easy fix...though really.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My new lamps

I just love these...I got 2 for 16.00 each at Goodwill (our Thrift Store)  I love the red and white striped shade. One is going in my bedroom and one in my dining room...

Down to the last stretch!

Finally today I finished the lilies!  I had no idea each one would take me so long.  They were painstakingly hard...lots of petals!  Now I have 2 days to finish the water ripples and put the top all together...fuse the top, layer the batting and the backing and I will be ready to go to my quilt retreat and machine quilt all weekend!  I was so excited...I hate to say..I have had to quilt non stop and feverishly to get it done by Friday that I almost need a break from quilting!  But I know I will have a good time!!  I cant wait to see what everyone else is working on and talk talk talk!  I'm bringing my book club book and my swimsuit and I AM going to relax,eat and socialize as well as quilt!
Everything always looks a bit flat until I start quilting and adding dimension and delineation to the quilt.  Trust me it will look better quilted! Each petal will be delineated better...and I shade with the thread as well. Thats the fun part...well...actually I love it all!  I haven't decided whether to use metallic thread, coordinating thread,contrasting thread ...or what.  I am thinking for sure metallic thread on the water ripples.  Plus I am adding bead work on the water ripples as well.  when it is all together I will haul it to the store to put threads on top of it to decide...Im cleaning it all up for today.  I finished what I set out to do today.  Tonight I am going to try to go to my first Madison Contemporary Fiber Artist Meeting in Madison at 6:30.  After that, I am going to work out for an hour and 1/2 at the gym...reading time and to bed.  A good day, productive and busy day!

New "tools" of my trade

I thought I would share some new "tools" to my artwork.  Everyone seems to be on the bandwagon with art journals but if you ask me they take too much time away from you 'real" art.  Unless you really love to do it and for some that IS there art medium!  I am a journalist and I write in one daily.  I have probably 4 around the house to write my thoughts in.  But I wanted one specifically for my art ideas.  So, I went to Barnes and Noble and picked the 5 dollar blank book up.  It is beautiful and such a deal...nice crisp 8 x 11 sheets.  I can put all my thoughts and ideas and sketches for new quilts..etc...I can tape pictures in there from magazines or copied out of books for inspiration...I mean this is not for anyone else be for me to you dont need to worry about spelling...stealing someones work..I put pictures of other peoples work for inspiration or to remember an element about it that I like and may want to try in my own way someday...Its not so pretty that it takes time away from my real art...but everything is in one place.  So, now when someone tells me about an iron cleaner that works well to get fusing off your iron...I put it in my journal.  It isnt the most organized becuase then again, it would be taking too much time away from my art...and while looking for a tid bit of info...I come across things I ended up being glad I came across anyway! 
The second is a beautiful leather book that I got a  thrift store for soooo cheap...(compared to what most leather bound books are these days).  I am going to use to showcase all of my artwork. especially my art quilts and hooked rugs.  Then I tote this with me when I go places where someone might be interestd in my grandchildren brag book.....although I dont have grandchildren...YET!

The pages are this beautiful handmade thick paper with flecks of flower petals in it... I just cant wait till it starts getting filled with pictures of my artwork.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I felted this ring first attempt.  I made it too time I will make it skinnier and I also made it too big for my finger...I thought bigger better...and I will shrink it...Well, I dont know why my wool sweaters always get shrunk in the wash and especially if they go in the dryer, but do you think I could shrink this ring? No!  I tried 3 times...I got it very wet and put it in the dryer 3 shrinkage.  So, now I have to re-cut it and try to re felt the connection.  I hope this is possible.  I am going to embroider on the ring as well ...I just want to make sure it fits before I start embroidering. (Oh, and I am a fiber dont look at my very dry and un-manicured hands and nails...also its Winter in Wisconsin!)
 finished the lily pads...sorry if you are bored with this...I am doing it for myself so I can see progress...also, it looks different to me and I can see where I need to make changes...Most of the lilies in this picture are paper...I am not done with the lily flowers.  Will try to do that tomorrow and the next day.

This looks like lovin for my tummy! Comfort food!

Lemon Sponge Pudding Recipe
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter six - 1 cup (240 ml) ramekins or other heatproof bowls.
Set aside 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of the sugar to use when whipping the egg whites. Then, in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the remaining sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the three egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Add the flour and salt and beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour in the lemon juice and milk. Set aside while you beat the egg whites.
In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, in three additions, mixing only until incorporated.
Carefully pour (or use a ladle) the batter into the prepared ramekins. (The batter does not rise much during baking so you can fill the ramekins almost to the rim.) Place the ramekins in a larger baking pan (or any size pan that will fit the ramekins and leave about 1 inch (2.54 cm) around the edges).
Prepare a water bath. (A water bath is used to provide temperature protection for the eggs.)  Carefully pour in enough hot water so that the water is halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for about 40 - 45 minutes or until the sponge cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean. Be careful not to insert the toothpick into the lemon sauce at the bottom of the ramekins. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool slightly before serving.  
This dessert can be served warm or at room temperature. Dust the tops of the puddings with confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar and dress with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh fruit (optional). 
Note: You can also make this dessert in a 2 quart (4 cups) (960 ml) souffle dish. Baking time is about 60 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.

My new kit came yesterday for felting!  I am going to have some fun today with it.  My kitty, however, finds these balls of fiber irresistible  and I have had to chase him down with the balls in his mouth like a fur ball animal he caught!  Just as I was typing this he took off with a ball! 
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar, divided
3  tablespoons (40 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon (4 grams) lemon zest
1/3 cup (40 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Lemon Zest - The yellow outer rind of the lemon that contains the fruit's flavor and perfume.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

started on the lily pads and lilies

I started on the the lily pads and the lilies...I was amazed at how long it took me to do one lily...with all the petals...I think I can only do one to two a day and there are like 5 more...I am trying to finish the top before my quilt retreat on the I have 8-9 days left.... I think I will make it.  I want to just do the "quilting" all weekend...I dont want to be doing any piecing as it is very messy and not as portable a task.
I am realizing that I may want to pare down the ripples...they are too thick I think...and need to be more delicate.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I kept going!

Like a good book that you cant put down I had to keep going!  Started on the 3rd koi.

2 koi done..1 to go!

I am trying to get the whole top completed before I go to a quilters retreat Jan 28...then I will just spend the whole weekend machine quilting it.  I cant do the piecing and fusing etc. with anyone around..I talk too much to myself and make a huge mess!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New background water fabric

I went out and bought some new water fabric....I dont know about this either!  But it is better I think.  I still might use the original....or I may get another just still doesnt seem right.  This just looks too crafty...the darker one looks more artistic and richer...I keep making my husband look at both back and forth...he agreed the darker one looks richer...we both agreed it had a bit too much brown in it....but that often when you look down at a koi pond you see the rocks and the brown think I need to finish more and keep placing it on both to see...nothing is written in stone until I fuse it!

Perhaps my water material is not quite right????

I am background material...which I ordered online..and thought was perfect....I think is too busy for the water now that I have one koi done.  I am just not sure...need to finish all 3 koi and the flowers and place it and see....but right now I am thinking I may have to get less action.."busyness" in the water. Damn .....the one I thought was perfect has too much brown in it for the water...this was an expensive mistake I think...I know I can use the fabric for something else...but I usually pick the perfect fabric for each it may be awhile that these fabrics will be perfect for another hooo................

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I started my new quilt!

Started my new quilt!  I know, it looks like a mess...but I sure am having fun!  I realized today, thanks to my husband, who said, "why didnt you reverse the picture when you made your pattern enlarged at kinkos so you wouldnt have to bother reversing it the hard way?  Because I cant find my light table I have been cutting out all my pieces and turning them upside down to cut my stupid of me!  Its one of those aha moments! It is taking my 2-3 times longer and many extra steps....aghhh!   I told my husband ..."You know, no one taught me how to do this...I am figuring it out as I go...mistakes are part of learning."..I tell you though that is one thing I will never do wrong again!  Duhhhh.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I liked this recipe...thought I would share!

chicken croissant turnovers

These tasty turnovers look fancy but are a cinch to make and easy to prep ahead of time for a shower or get-together.
Chicken crossaints3
2 cans croissant rolls
4-5 boneless chicken breast halves
1 pkg. cream cheese
1/4 milk
1/2  tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp. chives
5 tbsp. melted butter

8 tbsp. crushed croutons
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 cup of milk
Chicken crossaints2

Bring chicken breasts to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes until done. Let cool, then shred chicken. Whisk cream cheese, melted butter, milk, chives, salt and pepper in bowl.  Once blended, add cooked chicken and mix. Take 2 croissants and place flat on cookie sheet to form a rectangle.  Pinch seams together.  Place 1/8 of chicken mix in center of rectangle and pinch 4 sides together. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 8 croissant turnovers.
Chicken crossaints1 
Whisk can of mushroom soup with milk and heat.  Pour soup mixture over turnover and top with crushed croutons.  Serve with a pretty salad and voila - a delightful dinner!

Monday, January 10, 2011

My fabric came in!

Yea hoo for cocoa puffs!!  My fabric came today...after my watching for it for days!!! I am so excited as it is just what I was expecting!  I love it!  Now, I just need to enlarge my pattern and I can start!  I am hoping I can get this done today.  It is so hard to look at it and not be able to start....first things first!  I am just bubbling over with excitement ...can you tell?!!!
 Oh my!  Look at this mantle....If I were rich I would have pulled out my cc card and no matter what the price I would have bought this!  I have a thing for old carved wood....This is so wonderfully beautiful!  If I win the lottery anytime soon...its mine!  he he he...I just had to share cause its so awesome.