Snow Pictures

I got up early this morning so I could get some snow pictures before it melted. It had pretty much stopped snowing by the time I went to bed, so we only got a very light snow. I’m watching the weather channel, and Georgia is getting our snow now. Virginia is also getting its first snow of the winter too, according to TWC. I really love snow, probably because I live in Mississippi where we don’t get any snow and don’t have to deal with all of the problems it can cause. As I sit here typing this, I am watching the snow melt and fall out of the trees.

So here is our snow for 2009!

I did get a picture last night in the dark –

Here is our world this morning. The front of my house –

The pond –

And my back yard –

All that talk of snow all day yesterday put me in the holiday mood, so on my way home from work I stopped and got some rum and egg nog, and we put up the tree as the snow came down. What a wonderful start to December!!


Here it is the first part of December, and we are getting snow! I’m just so excited. I went outside in the dark and cold just to watch it come down. The world just seems so quiet when it is snowing. And I love the sound it makes when it crunches under your feet.

I love snow! I will go out in the morning and take pictures. Woo hoo!

Baby Snake outsmarts the Boy

Megan’s boyfriend Billy, aka the Boy (who’s really not a boy, he’s 24), found a baby snake when he was pulling grass out of the “garden.” It is just a teeny, tiny little thing. Of course, my first question to him was did he know what kind it was, being just a little concerned that it might be a poisonous snake, but he just shrugged. So since he wasn’t going into some kind of seizure or writhing in pain on the ground from being bitten, I assume it is not a poisonous one. :o)

The little snake really wasn’t happy to be held by some great big human. First, he pooped all over Billy’s hand. That made Billy put him down, but then he decided to pick him back up to take a picture with his cell phone to send to his friend. Evidently the little fella REALLY wasn’t happy to find himself back in the hand of a great big human, because all of a sudden he appears to go into a seizure. He starts writhing around and curls himself into a snake knot, then he opens his mouth, lets his tongue fall out, and collapses like he is dead. Now I’m upset that Billy killed the baby snake, Billy is upset that he killed the baby snake, and his friend is on the phone going, dude, how did you kill the snake (he’s talking so loud I can hear him)?

So Billy hangs up, and we are looking sadly at the poor little dead baby snake, when it all of a sudden unknots itself and slides under some bark to hide. I start laughing, pointing out to Billy that the baby snake outsmarted him, but he didn’t see the humour in that. But I must confess, it was a very convincing performance, right down to the teeny-weeny little tongue hanging out the side of his mouth. :o)

Here is a picture of the little fellow. I uncovered him so I could take a picture of this emmy award-winning baby snake.

My finger is resting on the ground beside him to give his size some perspective. I’m not sure what kind of snake he is; I’m thinking maybe a king snake. I warned him about Evil Kitty Baby, so hopefully he will elude the master hunter and not fall into his claws.

Fabric painting, sewing, and stitching

Last Monday I did some gel printing on fabric using house paint and leaves and feathers. Thank you Rhonda for demonstrating this technique with house paint!

First I practiced on some paper.

Then I printed on my fabric. I like the way both the paper and fabric turned out. Now I’m mulling over some ideas for more gel printing.

I also finished my quilt squares for the beginning quilt class I am taking through the MS Craftsman’s Guild. I really love how they turned out, and I can’t wait to see my finished quilt! :o)

This is my Shoo Fly square:

This is my Sawtooth Star square:

And this is my Log Cabin square:

I’m now working on the fourth square, which is a hand appliqued heart. What I found very interesting about my class is that we all included some form of green in our color scheme, even though the color schemes and prints chosen by my class mates are all very different. Green seems to be the unifying color! :o)

One of the groups I’m in on the stitchin fingers Ning group is redoing Sharon Boggan‘s Take a Stitch on Tuesday (TAST). They just started back up with Week 27, which is the bullion stitch. So I joined in, because it is always good to practice different stitches, plus I’m hoping to learn some new ones. Here is my bullion sampler. I used Heathway crewel yarn and Edmar rayon thread.

June – A Busy Fiber Month!

June was a very busy month for me. The June Gathering for the Mississippi Quilt Association was the first weekend in June, TVR’s Share-A-Stitch XXIX was the third weekend, and I also started a beginning quilting class. I had a wonderful June!

My poor dogs had a kind of tough June though. They are never sick, but all three of them came down with kennel cough. Kennel cough is a very infectious respiratory disease in dogs; usually they catch it when they are in large groups such as at dog shows. All I can figure is that Lacey brought it home from the vet’s office when she had her teeth cleaned. All three had a terrible sounding cough, and poor Flea ran a fever. They had to be on antibiotics, and Honey (who had the worse cough) was given some cough medicine. It was Hydrocodone, which is the same kind I get prescribed when I have a cough (I even had to get it from the drug store). So I know how sleepy and out of it it makes me, and it did the same thing to Honey!

This was the only reaction I got when I snapped these pictures right in her face. Poor high baby. LOL

I took a hand applique class from Dorothea Hoffman at the June MQA Gathering. She was a wonderful, very laid-back teacher, and it was a great class! She showed us some of her applique quilts, and they are all so beautiful. Then we all set about cutting out flowers, leaves, and a flower pot to make our own small applique wall hanging. Here is mine, taken shortly after the class.

Please note the flowerpot – it is made of some of my rust-dyed fabric. :o) I am getting close to finishing it, and I plan to add some embroidered accents and beads to it. When it is finished I will post another picture.

I took a Silk and Metal class from Sandy Rodgers at SAS XXIX, which is the regional seminar of the Tennessee Valley Region of the Embroidery Guild of America. She is an absolutely fantastic teacher! If you ever have an opportunity to take a class from her, I highly recommend you do! Not only did she teach us techniques, but she lectured quite a bit on the techniques, which I found just fascinating. I am new to metal embroidery, and she made it seem very easy. I intend to finish this piece this year, so it is staying out with my other WIPs. :o)

The silver leaves were painted with a paint pen. That was a fun technique, and I plan on using it again in other projects.

The Mississippi Craftsman Guild had a fun July 4th day yesterday. Several of the members were doing demonstrations. I really enjoyed watching the wood carving and wood turning. Wood turning is almost hypnotic to me. The man demonstrating the wood turning gave me a little wooden acorn he made while I watched.

It is made of Purple Heart wood, which is a tree that grows in the rainforest of South America. The wood is a beautiful purple color, which doesn’t show very well in my photos. The grain in this wood is beautiful.

He had a bunch of walnut shavings on his table. I thought they looked very interesting, and would make cool additions to some fiber art. When I asked him for a handful, he got a bag and gave me all of them! Aren’t they pretty (this is just a little bit)?

Then Billy shot fireworks for us in the evening. That is always fun. So although it was just way too hot, I didn’t hibernate in the air conditioning as I tend to do during our steamy summers, but still had a very good day! LOL I have Monday off, so I have two wonderful stitching days ahead of me. This is the way EVERY month should start! :o)

My Mandala

On Saturday I went to a class on drawing mandalas at a local shop, P is for Primitive, which is a really cool folk art, antique, and gourmet food shop. Lisanne is a fabulous rug hooker who designs rugs and teaches rug hooking. She is also a fabulous cook, and one of the definite perks about taking classes at her shop are the wonderuf lunches she always serves! :o)

The mandala class was given by Stacy Wills, an artist who rents a studio above P is for Primitive. Her site is called A Magic Mom & Her Mandalas, and they are just beautiful – check the link out. :o) The class was wonderful! She gave a great lecture on the history and different kinds of mandalas. She went to see the Tibetan monks who created a sand mandala when they visited Millsaps, and she talked about what a wonderful experience that was. I would have loved to have seen them! Then we got to tour her studio and see some of her art in person. She also showed us some of her favorite paints, glittery glues, and other really cool artsy stuff. :o) After the delicious lunch served by Lisanne, we drew our own mandalas and started decorating and coloring them. We also got to experiment with making mandalas out of colored sand.

I just finished my first mandala. I really enjoyed creating it, and I find the whole process quite addictive. I am already looking forward to creating my next one! There is something so freeing and meditative about creating them. The mind just seems to float unfettered as the hands work. I think it is just amazing how pleasing our eyes and brains find these geometric creations.

So here is my first mandala.

And here it is shifted just a bit.

Cool, huh? I love it! :o)

Playing with fabric

Today in my art quilt group we did some fabric painting. We were working with gel plates, but mine was just too mushy to give good prints. It did do some cool texture in the paint though.

This second one is my favorite.

Then I tried just rolling paint on the stamps, and that was fun too.

I really enjoy my art quilt group. I’m learning so much, and it is just such fun to see what all can be done with and to fabric.

I have also been doing some rust dyeing. I think they all turned out pretty.

Rust dyeing is so easy, and the patterns it makes on the fabric is cool. I think it is addictive. :o) I need some more rusty things!

Good morning on a cool, rainy MS morning

This is the way (Evil) Kitty Baby starts out on a rainy Saturday morning. Don’t you just love the way cats nap? :o) It looks like he may spend the whole Memorial Day Holiday weekend here, because the weatherman says it will be rainy all weekend long. Oh well, I wanted to stitch and sew this weekend anyways.

I am stitching on Moonlight Sonata, an EGA correspondence course I am taking through CyberStitchers. I am having a little trouble with my counting skills, however. I have had to take out and redo more stitches than I have had to do in a long time. I guess all the time spent with my surface embroidery projects has made the counting part of my brain lazy. Well, it needs to wake up! LOL

I have discovered art quilts, and now I am adding a whole new world of stitching to my needlework love. Not that I haven’t been aware of quilts, both traditional and art, in the past, I just have concentrated on embroidery. So I seem to be diving headlong into quilting. I am taking a class on fabric protraits from Quilt University.

So this

plus this
is going to (hopefully) become a fabric portrait of my daughter.

Off to find some nourishment now. :o)

Star Trek movie

I went and saw the Star Trek movie, and it was absolutely great! Fantastic! Wonderful! Can you tell I really enjoyed it? :o)

I am a die-hard Trekkie from way back, and although hopeful, I was prepared for a fail with this movie, but it did not disappoint, not one little bit. I love that the actors all looked like youthful versions of the originals, and even managed to get their mannerisms down. Now I’m ready for a new Star Trek series – Star Trek Alternate Universe! Woo hoo!

Live Long and Prosper!

Happy Birthday to Me! :o)

Today is my birthday, and I had a lovely, quiet, contemplative day.

I decided to attempt to make my mom’s chocolate cake for my birthday cake. Megan assisted. :o) Actually, it was the first time in her whole 21 1/2 years that she had ever witnessed a cake made from scratch, as opposed to made from a box. My mom’s chocolate cake was the best ever rich, yummy chocolate sheet cake. It turned out okay, not as good as I remembered from when my mom made it, but not a total fail either. I will have to work on it.

There are pecans on only half because not all of my people like pecans and they whined when I told them they could pick them off. I mean, come on people, whose birthday cake was this?? Sigh…the things I do for my little and not-so-little peeps. :o)

Then, since I was evidently in a baking mood, I made my mom’s peanut butter cookies. They are so yummy!

I felt close to my mom as I made these things from her recipes. It was a comforting thing to do on my birthday.

And then came the best part of cleaning up…

Yum! Yum! cookie dough!

I had an audience, just in case some wild cookie dough jumped out and landed on the floor. My ever vigilent pups, willing to risk life and limb and throw their bodies on that dangerous stuff to protect their mom!

And lest you think I haven’t been stitching because of the lack of needlework pictures, here is my latest finish. It is Brazilean Dimensional Embroidery, and was a lot of fun. I haven’t decided what I will do with it yet, but I think I might make a little sachet with it.

What more could a girl ask for on her birthday, chocolate, fiber, and fur babies? :o)