Posts Tagged ‘Toby’

I have met a very lovely, generous and extremely funny lady online.  Annette had been sending out happy mail boxes to everyone and her birthday is Aug. 1.  So I made her a Thank you/Birthday gift and included a recently made tag.

The wall hanging is made using marbled prints, paper clay, paint, sequin waste, beads,sequins, buttons and shells.  As always you can click on photo for larger image.


The tag is made with milk carton paper for the base.  I took an empty milk carton and peeled off the thin layers of waxy plastic on both sides.  When layers are removed you end up with a paper that is like watercolor paper.  I gessoed both sides of the tag and then ran thru the BigKick with and embossing folder.  Added some paint, inks, stains, printed silk and embellishments.

In the mornings I am always joined in my craft room by the furkids.  They have a front row view of the birds playing in the flower bed, or just lounging in the floor.

Ginger and Toby

Miss Ginger


That’s all for now. Thanks for visiting.



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Since I started taking the Strathmore Visual Journal Workshops, I’ve been spending a lot of my time in the “multi media” room playing with paints and journals.  I haven’t even unpacked my sewing supplies and machine from retreat.  Still haven’t finished the journal cover I started at retreat or finished the cover for the handmade journal.  Instead I’ve been playing with my art supplies.  The first page of the handmade journal is done.  It turned out really well and looks good when you see it in person, I just can’t get a good photo of it because of the gold metallic glaze I used as a final layer.

First page of journal - pic didn't turn out well

Then I decided to do a watercolor painting of Toby using the new paints I got for Mother’s Day.  It turned out pretty well, better than I expected.  I posted the pic on Facebook and Jessica commented that she didn’t know I painted, I posted back that “neither did I”. 🙂

Toby - Journal page

Since starting to work in my art journals, I’ve been checking out the blogs of other art journalers.  Some of them are teachers and post free tutorials on art/visual journaling, drawing/sketching, etc…    Whenever one of them mentions drawing, they also say, “Don’t say that you can’t draw, it just takes practice.”  So I have been practicing and also working my way through the book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”.  The book helps you to develop and use the visual/perceptual right side of your brain, over the verbal/analytical left side. 

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

Alot of you have heard the story about the 8th grade art teacher that on the second day of classes asked me to transfer to another elective class because I would be wasting his time and mine by staying in the art class.  Let me tell you I was one traumatized eighth grader and it was many years before I tried to do anything with art again.  Now I realize that the teacher didn’t want to teach art, he wanted students who already drew well so he could mentor them.  So now I’m sketching and practicing, having fun, and it’s for myself.  I’m not trying to impress or prove myself to anyone. 

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Wow!  I can’t believe it has been over 4 months since my last post.  This past winter was pretty rough but things are getting better.  I’m finally getting meds that are really helping.  Still have pain, but no where near like it was and less pain means higher energy levels and increased interest in playing in the room of good intentions.

I stumbled across some free online visual journal workshops being given on the Strathmore Artist Papers site.  So far I have been through Workshops 1 & 2.  The workshops have really gotten my creative juices going again.  I really think the first workshop should have been the last one, but I still learned a lot that I can use as my journals progress.  My journal is progressing slowly because I need to loosen up and quit trying so hard.  I need to just do, and not think about it so much.  Anyway, the first week of Workshop 2 was making stepped pages, pockets and extended pages, I have gotten as far as cutting the stepped pages and working on the first 2.  The third page is still in progress and is only a background, which I’m not totally happy with so I will still be playing around with it.

When I wasn’t playing in my journal I have been playing with wool.  Marilyn gave me a wool jacket that had been shrunk, the colors were great so I tried making a pincushion.  Then I made another pincushion out of a light weight wool felt, it turned out well and is pretty but the fabric is a litte lightweight.  Next I used part of a Harris Tweed jacket to make a pincushion and I really like how it turned out.  So now I had all of these pincushions that I really had no need for, so since Skrappy Retreat was coming up I decided to give them as doorprizes, except the one made from the bright red wool jacket, that one I gave to Marilyn.

Wool Pincushions



Canyon Wall

 Last weekend was the Skrappy Ladies Spring Retreat at Canyon Camp.  We had a lot of fun and Cathy did a fantastic job of picking the mystery.  I didn’t participate in the mystery, but I loved getting the email clues from “The Old Goat”.  The mystery was easy enough to have a finished top by the end of retreat but still be interesting.  It was amazing how different each persons quilt turned out.

Shirley's Mystery

                                 Patsy’s Mystery

Pam's Mystery

           Melissa’s Mystery – She was working on the larger size
                                                     Marilyn’s Mystery
                           Joann’s Mystery
                              Jean’s Mystery
                            Diane’s Mystery
                           Colleen’s Mystery

Cathy's Mystery

                                               Carol J’s Mystery
There were a few people working on other projects after they finished the mystery.  I’m sorry but I don’t remember the names of the quilt patterns.
                                                           Patsy’s Quilt
                                                                 Jean’s Quilt
                                                       Shirley’s Woven Hearts
I worked on a journal cover instead of the mystery.  It needs some adjustments and a little more embellishing, so I will show it in a future post.
Everyone had a great time at retreat, and a few who shall remain nameless stayed up until the wee hours of the morning visiting.  Even though it takes a few days to recover, our retreats are worth it.
There can’t be a post without The Boss.  Over the winter, Bill made a place where Toby could hide and watch the birds.  It was one of the patio chairs with some brush around it, and Toby would hide under the chair.  The poor thing would never survive on his own, he gets too excited and starts chattering and wiggling until he scares the birds away.  On one sunny day Toby decided to lay on top of the chair and gets some sun.
                                            Toby – The Boss
Maybe the pictures and captions will stay put.  WordPress isn’t playing nice today with photo loading.
Hope to start posting again on a fairly regular basis.  Thanks for visiting.

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April 16 – 18 was the Skrappy Ladies Spring Retreat at Canyon Camp and it rained all weekend.  Not the hard gully washer type rain that is usually the norm in Oklahoma, this was a gentle soaking rain, but it rained non stop until early Sunday afternoon.  Of course since we were there to quilt, the weather didn’t really affect us.

The project chosen for this retreat was The One Block Wonder, or there were some of us that worked on slimming down our UFO piles.  I didn’t work on a One Block Wonder, but would like to do one in the future. 

I’m having a hard time matching quilter’s with quilts in some of the photos, so if I make a mistake or don’t name a quilter, leave a comment  and I will correct the error.  As always, clicking on a photo will open a larger image in another window.

Skrappies and friends at work

 It is always hard to get a pic with everyone in the room at the same time,  there were 14 of us at this retreat.

First we will be starting off with the show and tell quilts.

Carol J's Sock Monkey - progressive challenge blocks

Diane's Stars

Marilyn's Cruise Project


Cathy's B&W Quilt

Carol C. made the apron won by Judy H. and loaned to Colleen for inspiration.

 Colleen was working on a bib type apron made from overalls. 

Melissa's Seven Sisters

Melissa's Zig Zag

Now for the One Block Wonders.  It is really interesting to see the different designs that come from one piece of fabric.  I wish that I had thought to take pictures of what the fabric looks like before cutting.

Carol J's One Block Wonder Blocks

Cindy's One Block Wonder Blocks

Jo Ann's One Block Wonder

Melissa's One Block Wonder Blocks

Melissa's OBW with a little visuall interest added

Shirley's One Block Wonder Blocks

 After seeing the picture of Shirley’s blocks I was wondering how they would look arranged with the golds in the center, radiating out with the lights, pinks into the greens.  Sort of like a large flower.

Now moving on to the the various other projects being worked on over the weekend.

Jan was finishing up a string type quilt. Picture doesn't do it justice.

Patsy's Scripture Quilt

I finished the snowball blocks for my Tennessee Waltz

There were othe projects being worked on, but didn’t get pics of all of them.

We had a good time and while I was loading my car, the goats came down off of the rim into the canyon.

Bruce and family (inside joke)

 Okay! Are you ready?  Are you sitting down?  I finished a knitting project.  Using the 198 yds of Heaven shawlette pattern, I knit a shawl for Kerry.  I did 2 extra full repeats of the pattern which made the finished shawl 33″ x 70″ and used 2 full skeins of Cascade 220 wool with about 5 to 10 yds left over from another project.

Ta Da!

Kerry's 440+ yds of Heaven

And in conclusion, the ruler of the roost.

The Man and his(my) cat

Toby Tv

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Long time gone.

Hadn’t realized how long it had been since my last post.  There has been a lot going on around here but either it wasn’t blog worthy or was secret Skrappy stuff.  Dug out some of my older cd’s and have been listening to old favorites like Crosby, Stills, Nash, and later to join, Young.  Thus the post title “Long Time Gone”.

This weekend is the Skrappy Ladies spring retreat, down in a canyon, away from the distractions of the outside world.  No television and no cell phones.  Emergency contact is through the office or pay phone.  A weekend of quilting, laughter, and food.  The camp supplies our meals, but we must be afraid they will forget because we always have a table over flowing with snacks and drinks.  We usually have a project that everyone works on, but this time I’ve decided not to participate and to work on finishing my mystery quilt that we started at fall retreat.   

This year instead of having door prizes we are going to play Bunco/Bunko.  I have never played this before so I don’t know anything about the game.  Anyway, everyone is supposed to bring a quilting/sewing related gift with value of approx. $10.  I always have trouble picking out something that I think everyone might like, so I usually make needlebooks or handmade items.  My contribution for a Bunco prize will be this beehive pincushion.

Beehive pincushion

At the winter quilt show a vendor was demonstrating how to make bowls and bags out of fabric wrapped cotton cord.  I bought some of the cotton cording and had planned to make a bag, then I had the idea of making a pincushion instead.

The yard on one side of our house is very narrow, with little to no sun, and nothing but a few weeds will grow there.  So eventually we plan on laying down a weed barrier and covering it with small stones.  A relative was removing stones from part of the yard at his new house so Bill brought them all over here, where they are sitting on one side of the back porch until being moved to the side yard.  There are quite a few doves that visit the yard and they love to sit on the rock pile in the afternoon where they have a very interested audience.

Toby, dove watching.

It’s amusing to watch Toby while he’s watching the doves.  He tries so hard to be still, but keeps twitching until it finally gets the best of him and he jumps, which scares off the doves.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard

Not much to post about today since there was no needlework done over the weekend.  Still recovering from nursing a very sick kitty for the past few days.  He scratched his chin until it was bleeding, so we made an appointment with the vet who prescribed an antibiotic and some shampoo.  Long story short, Toby had a very bad reaction to the antibiotic.

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My State of Mind

 lethargic – deficient in alertness or activity; dazed, foggy, groggy, stuporous, dreamy, lackadaisical, languid, languorous, listless.

There has been very little stitching, knitting, reading or much of anything else.  The first few weeks after lowering my Prednisone dosage are always the worst, but hopefully this will be the last time.  I should stay at this level from now on, barring any future  breathless episodes.

Many, many more french knots have been added to the jungle motif.  In response to Judy and Marihette, thank you for your comments, and although there are times that it can get boring, actually making all of those knots can be a sort of meditation. 

The February Lady sweater for Jessica now has the body and one sleeve, maybe it will be finished in time for her to wear it at least once before warm weather.

The Wichita Mountains Quilt Guild will be holding their biennial quilt show in Lawton on Friday and Saturday.  I’ll be going down to Lawton on Friday to see the show and visit.  Hoping that seeing all of the creativity will help me escape the doldrums.

Toby was adopted from the shelter in November and has settled in very well, along with deciding that he will let us stick around to take care of his needs.  Like the times he lets us know we are failing in the attention department.


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I’ve been stitching the background for the jungle motif of “A Crazy World” and that means hundreds and hundreds of little french knots.  Probably not a very interesting picture right now, but in a couple of days I should have something worth posting a pic.

In the meantime I’ll post pics that I’ve taken in the past week.  Last Friday I went to the Oklahoma City Winter Quilt Show with Carol Ann and Melissa.  We had a great time, but it seems like there were fewer quilts this year.  There were over 2/3 more vendors than quilts.  I was worn out after the 3 hrs it took for us to see everything.  So to relax and feed our growling tummies we went to Chellino’s in Bricktown for really good Mexican food.

I used to take lots of pictures at quilt shows, but for the last few years I’ve started just taking pics of the really impressive ones or detail shots of techniques I want to remember.  Therefore, I only have two quilt show pics to post.  Click on images to enlarge.

The first quilt “Circle of Friends”, was made by a group of six friends from Newton, Kansas they combined their skills for the piecing and applique and then shared the hand quilting.

Circle of Friends

Circle of Friends

 The next quilt “Brown’s Star” was made by Janet Brown of Gainesville, TX and was visually stunning.  We were all surprised that it didn’t get any awards.  Turquoise and brown is one of my favorite color combinations, although while in high school (during the dark ages) when I wore those colors I was always told that they didn’t go together.

Brown's Star by Janet Brown  Gainesville, TX

Brown's Star by Janet Brown Gainesville, TX

Last Saturday was Skrappy Ladies workday so I headed south to Lawton.  We discussed Super Secret Skrappy Stuff for our next challenge and I managed to get a little more piecing done on the fall mystery.  Carol Ann finished piecing all of the components for her mystery and laid it out on the floor.  It’s hard to take a good photo of a large quilt top laying on the floor.
Carol Ann's Mystery Quilt

Carol Ann's Mystery Quilt

Toby has a new favorite napping spot, it’s the back of Bill’s chair.
This is MY chair.

This is MY chair.


You're disturbing my nap.

You're disturbing my nap.

Just finished reading a very good book by Brunonia Barry, “The Lace Reader”.  It has gotten mixed reviews, but I liked it.  So today I need to return books to the library and pick up a couple I have on hold.  One book is “Company of Liars“, by Karen Maitland.  I read a few chapters on a book site and it drew me in and made me want to read the rest.
Thank you’s to Judy, Darlene, and Susan for your recent comments about the jungle motif. 


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Season’s Greetings

Wishing everyone the very best of this holiday season.


Toby says, "Merry Christmas!"

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First off I want to thank everyone that has commented or sent a message about my blog.  It’s nice to know that someone out there is actually reading what I ramble on about.

I stretched the preparation out over 3 days and ended yesterday with rollling and steaming 3½ dozen tamales.  A few hours after dividing the tamales into packages of 6 and loading the freezer, I realized that I didn’t document the momentous occasion by taking a picture.  So just picture in your mind, beautiful, perfectly rolled tamales, NOT.

OK, I don’t know what my problem is but it seems that I can’t follow easy to understand instructions.  The knitting project has been frogged again.  Luckily this time it was just a few rows.  I still can’t figure out how I ended up with 2 buttonholes on one side and 1 buttonhole on the other side.  It would certainly make it difficult to button up the front.

We’ve pretty much finished all of the Christmas shopping, now comes the part I’m not particularly fond of.  Wrapping.  I did manage to wrap a few presents the other night while watching Kung Fu Panda.  Of course I cheated, and two of them were stuffed in gift bags with tissue paper.  Now that’s my kind of wrapping.  Someone did try to help me with the decorating.

Toby helping with the garland

And he also does a great impersonation of a Christmas present.

Toby's impersonation of a Christmas present
Toby’s impersonation of a Christmas present

Actually this pose is quite unusual, because he generally runs by and swats the doll’s face or bites her foot. 

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