Saturday, December 15, 2012

Snow Flakes on the Brain

Whew! IT about 2:30am on Saturday, but I actually finished a challenge this week! I was really interested to try Erin's snowflake zendalla template technique from Challenge #35. I thought I would whip out a trial just for fun this evening, never figuring to be done in time to have a weekly entry. I really liked the result and kept going. It does not happen often that each thing I add to a piece makes it even better (making the pressure to choose the next element even greater of course!) but this one seemed to be working out that way. So, when everyone else had gone to bed I had no other barriers and no good 'stopping places'. So here we are, middle of the night and I am scanning in an entry for a challenge!

Since the challenge was to fold paper like I was cutting a snowflake in order to come up with a zendalla template I had snowflakes on my mind. I think it heavily influenced the outcome! This is the original...

This is the result... oddly it looks very little like the original in my opinion. It is about 7" across. I am interested to do this template again and see if the second one also looks 'flakey' or if I can make it look totally different. To see what everyone else who felt called to this challenge came up with check out Challenge #35 on Erin's blog over at The Bright Owl. NOW I am going to sleep!
tanlges include, Black Pearlz, Bunzo, Fescue, Dragonair and Finery

Monday, December 10, 2012

A NEW holiday project... Yay!

Oh Brother! I have a holiday wreath project half quilted. I have a winter/holiday top with backing all ready to go. I have two quilt tops that need quilting for the show deadline in March, one has a back, the other has a back design. None of these much delayed projects will likely get done before the holiday because I have decided that I need to use up the last of the fabric remnants from making the children's stockings. I love this fabric. I bought plenty of it 12 years ago when I made my first child's stocking. I knew I would have lots left over to make the next child's stocking, and the next if it ever came to that. I have made three from the set and that is all I will ever need. All different block patterns, all different backing and cuff material with the same lining. All have solid cuffs of different colors and all sport merry sounding bells.

My husband does not have a stocking from his childhood. As nearly as I can tell his family got new, plain  stockings every year from Santa. I still have the one my mother made for me... a red felt 'french boot' trimmed in lace with my name on it. It is elderly now and worn and I am afraid that Santa will tear through the thinning felt while stuffing in my surprises (because I am always SO good!). I have decided to make two stockings for us from what is left of the childrens' stocking fabric. His will be made of equilateral triangles (3 sides = 3kids) and mine will be made of rail fence blocks (three rails = three kids, two rails of one value = two boys, one rail of a different value = one girl). Ours will have some of all of the fabrics contained on the fronts of theirs, plus some of each backing. I hope to have enough of the lining to do both. I may make the backing of mine out of the actual pieces left from when I made the kids' and his (yes, I still have the extra squares I cut 12 years ago). I may cuff both of ours the same so they will match when the kids are all gone and have taken theirs to their own holiday hearths.

The one on the right is sewn together and needs just a smidge more at the top which I will add with a plain strip as that will be hidden under the cuff anyway. The one on the right is still in the lay-out stage. Already I see two blocks that could be swapped and I will likely need a few more once the seam allowances make this number shrink up a bit. I hope to be able to share the finished product some time before the holidays have come and gone... but you never know with me... I may come up with ANOTHER project that needs to be started immediately! (insert eyeroll here!) To see what other holiday wonders people are working on this week check out Judy's blog at Patchwork Times: Design Wall Monday.

Monday, December 3, 2012

45 minutes

45 minutes... that is how long I have spent in the sewing room in the last month or so. Maybe its been twice that much. I went up there some time back to quilt on a holiday project I want finished and found a few scrap 9 patches I wanted to do something with because they look wintery and got involved in that. I got two of 6 blocks done then and had to stop. Its been at least a full month since then with no action and I managed 45 minutes up there this morning and finished the next two blocks. Now I have no idea what to do with them, haven't made any headway on finishing the holiday project, but the sewing machine and iron were turned on and actually used today so I think that calls for a Design Wall Monday post! What have you been up to this week?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Another UMT Challenge

This month's "Use My Tangle" challenge landed on Socc, one of my all time favorites for ease and the way in which it disguises its origins.  I thought I might try it in a different format than my usual so I used one of a few mandalla patterns I came up with by tracing the edge of a cast off lid from a cup of coffee.
This did not come out how I envisioned and I really didn't care for it in the in between stage, but it has grown on me since I finished and shaded it. This next one is more the way my 'usual' Socc comes out...
Clearly I need to practice my Knyting, but that tangle is fun too.

These are a few other things I have been up to, trying to keep up with Art Every Day month. The first one was partially inspired by some paving stones in Washington DC. Can you guess which part?

This one was a Bunzo I did not finish in time for last week's challenge. 

And the last one is the other coffee lid mandalla pattern I made up. It was not supposed to be quite so "checkerboard" as it turned out to be...I feel like I am winning a Nascar race! I started with the tri-Sparkle and thought it would come out more organic and flowing, but apparently it had other ideas. I did manage to echo the shapes of the Sparkle with a little tri-Arabella which also brings in the high contrast of the Knights Bridge. I will have to redo this mandalla string and see if I can make it come out differently.

So, that is what I have been up to. I think I will have a quieter week or so before things get hopping for the holidays. Have a great week!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Diva Challenge 93: Bunzo

WooHoo! I love this tangle. Having recently discovered the addictiveness of PopCloud  which is very similar for this challenge I was excited to try out the new Bunzo by Maria Thomas. I like the filled in sections and find them very dynamic when a little sparkle is worked into them. I was glad to see that they were the subject of the challenge this week since I was playing with it already. I did a patch of my son's art box with this pattern, but I will save those pictures for when I have it all finished. This is one I managed to finish. I used String 14 from Tangle Patterns for the string - that whole site is a really great resource!

I have a couple of others that are not finished - the end of the week got really busy. I didn't think I could even post at all this week because we misplaced the power cord to our printer/scanner after taking it with us for a Cub Scout thing last weekend. I hate to try to get a decent photo of tangles and could not scan without the power cord! I was so happy when I found it this morning. So, there you go. I have chores to complete before noon today because I am going away for the weekend with my wonderful husband (sans children) so I better get busy!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Finished before Friday!

I finished the quilt I was binding on Monday, washed it and managed to get it in a box and to the post office in time to have it arrive ON the birthday of the recipient! WooHoo! And just in time for the Bloggers Quilt Festival!

So, I had a weird thing happen with this quilt... I ran out of time to get the quilt completely dry on the low heat setting I was willing to use while at the laundromat. When I got home it was such a nice day I thought I would hang it out to dry the rest of the way. When I took it off the line where it had been folded over at about the middle over the line the edges seemed to bow out sharply where it had been in contact with the line. Now I know for a fact that I trimmed those sides straight and the corners square. What's up with that? I suppose it will relax with time and possibly the next washing, but it was unsettling. It is quilted in a large allover meander with a variegated blue thread. I am so glad that this one is done after so long and done before the recipient's birthday. I am absolutely going to celebrate by sharing this Friday Finish with everyone else who finished something over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Monday, October 22, 2012

In my lap...

There is no real  Design Wall for me today... I have something in my lap. I am finishing the binding on a top I made long ago for my nephew's new apartment. I would like it done so I can send it in time for, or close to his birthday which is coming up next week. This is the top...

I backed it in mottled light grey and it is being bound in double fold bias that matches the outer border (I can't believe I saved that fabric for about a decade to go along with it when I finally finished it... such optimism!) I will save the details of the quilting and post a photo of it REALLY done, hopefully for a Finish Friday this week! See you then!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Beads of Courage

This week's Diva Challenge is about a program for 'medically experienced' children who have had way more than their share of exposure to the wonderful world of Medicine called Beads of Courage. In the Diva's own description...
"Beads of Courage is a wonderful charity that helps a child with a chronic illness or condition to tell their story of courage and strength as they take their medical journey. Every single bead represents something your child has done - a test, a poke or needle, a procedure, a doctor's appointment, therapy, special accomplishments, an xray, use of oxygen, mobility issues, etc.  It's incredible to see what your child has been through in a very tangible way. "

We were challenged to come up with something that represented this program. I went with the obvious...beads!

There has been little else going on this week. I have done some sewing, which I will now have to UNdo because I totally muffed it because I guess I wasn't paying attention. That will have to wait for a while because now I am binding a quilt for my nephew and I really want to get it finished to send off to him before his birthday next week. I am in the hand sewing stage at the moment - wish me fleet fingers! 

We will also be preparing for the big fall family camping trip next weekend, planning a harvest party for 12 4 year olds, making a few costumes, getting ready for the nearly-9 year old's birthday on the 31st and trying to clean the house so My IL's can come and stay the first weekend in November while DH and I get away for a few days. Whew, why am I still sitting here typing? Later, all.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I guess I need guidance...

So, I guess I need guidance sometimes... or at least a string not of my own making! I blew through two Zentangle pieces for the Diva challenge this week much faster than I normally finish challenges. I don't know if it is that the string was supplied (as per the challenge) or that the given string was tile-sized, which is smaller than the usual size for me. See, I don't work on tiles, I work in a sketch book that is either about 4x6 or 8x10 so I can make my strings as big as I want. I think sometimes maybe I make them too big. The smaller size was really nice to work on and allowed me to finish much faster, although I felt a bit cramped for space at times.  Here are the tiles with the suggested string (001) from Linda Farmer's site. The plain string is seen to the right.
I chose Popcloud for the main part of this one. I had never used it before and wasn't sure I really liked it much but something about it appealed to me right then. When I tried it out on a scrap it was just what I needed at that moment - it is a little hypnotic curving back and forth like that and it is just right for my mood. I wasn't sure how to shade when I was done, but I like it and will certainly use it again. I'm not sure the other patterns I chose to go with it really match it in feel, but I do like the Florz in the middle as a virtual 'blank space'. Oh, I just thought of a good way to shade that part... now I'll have to try it out.
The second go around I also tried one I haven't done before, which I now can't recall the name of... girders or something like that... Girdy is the name. Super easy pattern with a nice open look to it. I like the beads continuing out of Kunstler and the Tuftid is just the density needed in the center, although I wish the last space had come out even with the others. Well, no mistakes right? At least I don't call them mistakes when there is nothing I can do to fix them!
This is one I did a week or so ago in a sort of 'color block' string of rectangles. I really like the top right and bottom left rectangles and the rest turned out OK too. That one in the middle on top may be something new. This is not the best version of it I have done but I was playing some to see what else was possible. 

This last one is an October project over at a Yahoo group I belong to. We were to trace out hand and use it as a string. I traced the outline and then added the creases in my palm and fingers to break up the space ("Let me see your lifeline... talk fast!). The only section I a am not happy with is the tip of the index finger which I wanted to fill in with a fine pattern so the scale was more 'finger print-ish' but overall I like it. Hope you have a great week, now I have to get back to what I am supposed to be doing!

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Monday Design Graph Paper

It finally happened, I had an idea for the back of my crumb quilt (what a cliche... I was in the shower at the time)! The front has been done for a long time. I think I know how I want to quilt it and I knew that I wanted to use certain pieces of really old calico fabric in the back in the spirit of 'use it up' but I didn't want it to be really ugly... I will make the back like one of the blocks on the front, only bigger and sort of a combination... a wonky heart inside a wonky star...

what do you think? Sort of 'giant crumbs'. Now I have to see if the pieces I have in mind are big enough and if I have enough gold for the heart, it is called "Hearts of Gold" after all.

I also finished the last 7 pillowcases for my friend's pillow case drive for the Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA. I posted more about it here.

The top princess one (the upside down one with the pink ribbon trim) is going to my daughter since I promised her her choice of the princess ones. At least she picked the one that I sewed together with the princesses standing on their heads! I love the Aunt Lindy's Paper Doll ones, I used up the scattered clothing fabric I had for the cuffs and bought the yardage for the bodies in the clearance section of the LQS. It is an older line and I was lucky to find it - I thought I might have to make do with a plainer pink or blue. The ones below are the set I finished on Friday. So I have 12 cases to send to Sara for the collection she is making in celebration of her daughter's (too short) life. Hopefully her collection for the hospital will help to cheer other children who have to spend too much time there.

Gee, I haven't done this much sewing in many weeks... can you tell I am procrastinating! Back to work! If you have some time check out the other great quilt designs swimming around over at Patchwork Times' Design Wall Monday.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cases for a Cause

I have something to celebrate getting done this Friday , although I did not really plan it that way...I got 6 pillowcases done and 6 more pinned up ready for sewing. I will celebrate by playing along with Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Why am I doing this, you ask...

I was browsing around some blog links from my list of blogs that either don't get updated often or I don't get to read often and I came across the blog of a friend who lost her 8 year old daughter back in the spring. That child had the biggest smile and most sparkly eyes and she had been through so much in her short, medically complicated life. I used to read updates about how she was doing with, well, a sharp stab of guilt actually. See, I have a son that was born just two weeks after Emily was and he visits the doctor literally once a year, typically for a well-visit (visits to the ER for broken bones and self inflicted eye injuries not withstanding - this kid has 'thrill issues'). Knowing what Emily would be doing and learning and accomplishing if not for her medical challenges just made the already heart wrenching news about setbacks and medical procedures all the more painful. Conversely, when there was good news about her walking with assistance or sitting up and playing on her own I was SO proud of her and the efforts her mom made to make those things happen for her. Her mom has, understandably, been in a lot of pain since her death. Emily's ninth birthday is coming up in October and her family is planning a celebration of her life. Part of that celebration is a drive to collect fun and festive pillowcases to donate to the Mattel Children's Hospital where Emily spent so many days. Her mom says that something as simple as a 'happy' pillowcase can make such a big difference over the 'sterile hospital white' they are surrounded with. The information about the drive is on her blog here.

These six are done!
I got to thinking... I have lots of ~1 yard cuts of bright, fun prints that I have accumulated over the years thinking I would use them for something for my own kids. Then life happened and the kids grew out of them or the right idea never came along. So I started making cases. It only takes a 26.5" length of 41" wide fabric and a 10" x 41" band of complimentary fabric and surprisingly few seams. I made 6 without breaking a sweat (or buying any fabric!) and today I went out and bought a few lengths so I could use up still more of my stash that I didn't have the right go-with piece for. I will have to sacrifice one to my 4 year old... she spotted the princess fabric in the stack and begged me to let her have one of the two cases that yardage will make... I did buy it for her originally and could never think of anything to make with it. Voila! A Princess pillowcase to go with her pink sheets that didn't come with a pillow case of their own. If you have any fun fabric laying around, waiting for the right idea please consider making a case or two in honor of Emily.
This is fabric for another 5 earlier today - they are cut out and pinned up ready for sewing and I
forgot to take a picture of the fabric for last two - from Aunt Lindy's Paper Doll fabric... SO cute!

These are shown above... Too buggy? Would that be weird to sleep on bugs,
or will some future entamologists think they are the coolest thing ever?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

IX challenge

Hello all! The Diva challenge this week is to use the relatively new pattern IX in a piece. When this tangle came out I played a little with it and found it 'ok'. I have the most trouble with the ends which I have not found a truly satisfying solution for... I don't even really know what it is about them that doesn't work for me so it is hard to fix it. I do like it curved rather than straight and I like lots of overlapping lines because I like the woven look the junction gets. I have already seen some great interpretations posted as responses to the challenge (I peeked before I posted mine which I usually try not to do!). Anyway, here are mine for the week...

I will likely be pretty scarce here on the blog for a while. I am preparing for an exam that dredges up a bunch of information that I knew pretty well... 20+ years ago, I have a degree in it after all. The results of this exam will determine if I am able to step through the looking glass and change careers in the most lucrative way possible in the near future. As such, I am trying to motivate myself to study a few hours a day. The study itself is not so bad except for the fact that not remembering any of this stuff I used to know so well is a little depressing and ends up making me feel a bit brainless. I am also trying to finish quilting the endless quilt (I am never quilting one this way ever again!) a few minutes at a time when I can and teach my two after school classes and do everything else that a mom of three is required to do. I hope to keep tangling, if only to 'chill out' once in a while, but no promises about posting them! Once things calm down some I hope to have a little  celebration of my first whole year of blogging and having 50 whole followers! WooHoo! I will keep you posted. For now I have to go stop the boys wrestling match before someone breaks something (don't laugh, it has happened before, twice), get the middle boy to return the box turtle he found today to the woods and put the 4 year old to bed.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Out of Bounds

This week's Diva challenge for Zentangle was to "break free" from constraints and boundaries. Whatever it was/is that contains us we were supposed to defy that with our tangles. What a happy coincidence since I have been on a bit of a mission for a few weeks now to not be so hemmed in by THE LINE. When I am feeling less that inspired and creative because I am too busy and scheduled I have a tendency to both feel constrained by but also be a slave to THE LINE of the string... and at the same time I tend to make pretty yucky strings (too much thinkin' about it and/or trying too hard). Isn't that just the way... the harder you try the worse it gets... very un-Zen. So I have been trying hard to 'let go'... which is sort of at cross purposes, no? Anyway, this challenge was right up my alley.

It is hard to see how much this one 'broke free' of the string because there is little visible of the original string. Basically the top boundary of the string was used as a 'suggestion' of where to begin to end the Hill and Dale (a pattern I keep meaning to publish the steps for-let me know if you are interested).  In the bottom section the Huggins (or whatever it is) 'leaked out' into the next section and also did not strictly follow the boundary of its own section. There were only the three sections to the string.

This one clearly shows the boundaries, but also leaks out of them. The Kunstler leaks into both the Lap and the outside. The Meer leaks a little into the Lap and the Printemps floats out of bounds as well. The Lap actually dictated lines in both the Meer and the Kunstler as well. I like this one the best - see my need to 'stay in the line' shows even here where I am trying to break free!!

Oh, and imagine my surprise when, the other day while surfing someone else's Pinterest board, I found this little banner for with my three patterns on it; Groovy, Islette (spelled wrong) and Brainz. I don't think I ever published the breakdown for two of them and had never even heard of the website. I am not even a member of it, yet I am apparently one of the 'designers'! What a surprise when there are so many people much more deserving of that designation than I! I was also a little taken aback that I am apparently on the sight in the form of my patterns and had never even heard of it. I mean, I know what I publish on this blog is 'out there' for whatever purpose anyone has in mind... but I was just surprised to actually see it happen and without my knowledge. Not sure how I feel about it actually, I am still processing. I guess the really nice thing about the whole experience is that I ran across some really great 'new to me' patterns by people I knew about before but had somehow managed to miss (like Lap, by Lizzie Mayne). Now I need to draw out the breakdowns and add them to my file. 
Hope everyone has a great end of the week and weekend!

Monday, September 10, 2012

On my Wall today...

The project on my wall today is not a quilting project, although I am using many of those skills to do it...

My oldest son's Boy Scout patrol (the Eagles) is belatedly making a patrol flag and asked for my help. Thank goodness for Steam a Seam! I hope to finish this week but they have to make a few decisions about how to hang it and what else goes on the flag before I sew the seams and inset the trim.  For now the roman eagle needs to be ironed on still so it can go to the meeting tonight.

I have been quilting some lately. I am in the middle (literally - it will have to be moved to sew the patrol flag) of the Holiday Wreath quilt I have spoken of here before. I don't know WHAT I was thinking when I decided how to quilt that... it is taking FOREVER. I also dug out my collection of charity tops that have not yet been quilted and selected a small one to get me 'back in the groove' so to speak. I added the purple border and quilted the one shown here which was made out of left overs from several other projects. I even used up tad ends of bindings on this one, as well as a scrap of batting and a pastel striped piece of fabric for the backing. Feels good to be done with one that can now go to a new home. I have several more in line, slightly larger but still manageable. I hope to knock them out before getting seriously involved in piecing anything else. I am really warming up to quilt two of my own that I want to enter in the local show. Before tackling the larger quilts I started small and quilted these two tiny ones... one left over block from a backing that was made out of trimmings leftover from the front of the same quilt. Leftover squared? It is a cute mug rug size and it was nice to finish up something quickly. 

Then this one is a little larger, the house is about 6". I have been kicking around the 'little house craze' inspiration in my head while thinking about how to finish off a left over HST flimsy (below) and got interested in the little house craze going on right now. I purchased the book "Down in the Valley" by Derksen and Harder and will probably use several of the house patterns in there to make it look like a little town commons with cottages, a school house some barns and trees on one side ... call it "Cross Roads" or "Village Cross Roads". This extra block was an early exploration of making a house and did I need the paper pieced foundation and could I make it wonky with or without one and, hey, what about doing a 'crumb' inspired house quilt? Once the Cross Roads quilt is is done I think I will choose one house pattern I really like and make up a bunch of papers for each section. I will stack them in the crumb drawer and piece them out of there in an ongoing process where I can just do a few at a time when I have the chance. That drawer is filling up again and I think it would make a cute quilt and use up lots of scraps. I think I will make all the chimneys the same brick fabric and maybe all the windows the same gold to unify things. Everything else will be scrappy and maybe I can throw a few trees in there too. 
Check out the adorable quilt on Judy's wall over at Design Wall Monday and have a great week!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Finally a challenge response!

I have spent some time this week tangling... no sewing so far. That is about to change, as my oldest's Boy Scout patrol needs a flag and he thought they would get a good result if I was involved... gee, thanks for the vote of confidence... I think. Anyway, this week's challenge from the Diva was to use Copada, one of Margaret Bremmer's tangles. I love her style and use a lot of her tangles all the time. This was one I hadn't used yet. The 'strip' nature of the pattern screamed for a double pencil string, which I had not done in a while. There are so many possibilities with this tangle that this piece quickly became a mono-tangle... why would you need anything else?
There was another project I worked on a lot this week... my younger son has a binder for school that allows you to slip a paper under the clear covering. I suggested he draw a picture to go in there... he suggested that I draw a picture to go in there.  So I worked on this 'cover page' for his folder for about a week on and off. I think he likes it, I know that I am pleased with it. It was nice to use color and I really like the pencils I used... each is a combo of three colors in one, which gives a nice subtle variation.

I have also done a bunch of paint chip bookmarks and discovered yet another of Margaret's tangles, Kunstler, which is awesome! Check it out and have a great week.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A little tangling to keep me sane...

I have not intentionally been neglecting this blog, my sewing or tangling... I just haven't had time to post. In addition, I have been in a bit of a slump with tangling (not liking my results for challenges and such much) and the weather has been unfriendly to taking good quilting photos so I have not had much to be excited to post about! Add that to getting really back into the swing of school, volunteering, teaching after school science club, applying for a new school opportunity myself, staying up late and getting up early and I am whipped! BUT, I did zip off this little Zendalla for challenge #21 because I really liked the simplicity of this string. I wanted to try to do more but time has just not allowed and I have been working on something else. I had been browsing for inspiration when I came across Michelle Beauchamp's post about a tangle called Scroll Feather. In typical fashion, hers is elegant and lovely and flowing and made me drool. So I adapted the shape a bit to fit this Zendalla and had a little Scroll Feather fun of my own. It is a bit chunkier and less elegant, but does well with this shape and I like the repetition and the regularity imposed on it's otherwise flowing and organic shape. I have been trying for a while to be not so attached to the hard line shape of the string I am working with (like fill to the edge and stop). So this was a little success at that, although the shape is still pretty strictly followed. I am working on something else for one of my boys and am trying to work a bit 'stringless' to see if that helps. I will have to share the results of that a little later. Gotta run so I can sit in the preschool carpool line!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Under the wire...

OK, we are two weeks into the regular school year, preschool starts next week, as does my part time after-school teaching gig and I have already 'dropped the ball' twice. I won't go into details, but let's just say things were missed that shouldn't have been because I was too involved in enjoying my last uncomplicated, less busy week. You would think that wth less to do I would maybe have remembered?!  Blah, not a good way to begin. Anyway, as I stayed up way too late last night (for legitimate reasons) I thought I would try out the idea I had for the Zendalla challenge #19. It did not come out as planned (do they ever?) but here it is.

Anyone recognize that 'hilly' pattern? It sort of looks a little familiar to me, but then I found the pattern on a fabric I have been working with so I am not sure if that feeling comes from that or if I have seen it as a tangle before? Anyone? Here's to a better week next week!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Help me name this quilt...

I am sitting here at the computer roughing out a label for this quilt and I realized that I have no idea what to name it! So here I am with no name for this quilt and I need the label done so I can finish piecing the back.. how is it that I have no name? I have worked on it for well over a year and nothing has popped into my mind. What about yours? Got any good ideas?

The body is made from a Kim Brackett pattern called "Feedsacks" from the book Scrap Basket Surprises with a Moda jellyroll and charm pack of  a fabric line called 'Modern Workshop'. The border design is mine. Got any good ideas?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Making Friends

So after looking at my first attempt at this week's Diva Challenge on line (why is it that it looks somehow different there than in my book?) and reading a few other comments about people not always being sure the best way to shade Mooka and picturing Linda Farmer's rendition in Tangle Patterns in my mind's eye I had a thought... just one. I went to my book, drew a string and thought I would try it out. When the first section of Mooka was done I thought, hey, why not try Assunta again... I am not going to let it get the best of me. I had a thought as to how I could make it easier for me. It requires a little 'cheating' in that I just draw a light pencil grid the way I draw grids best and then erase (*gasp* yes erase) it when the pattern is done. It came out MUCH better, much more even and where I wanted it to be. I like this one better and might even use Assunta again if drawn this way, so I guess we are making friends, or at least coming to a sort of peace. It has been a while since I had more than one submission to the challenge, but here it is...

Have a great week!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

One old friend, one new adversary...

This week's Diva Challenge was to use Mooka and Assunta together. Mooka is an old friend, I like it and use it often, although I don't always know how to shade it to the best effect. Assunta I had never tried. It had never really appealed to me. As a result of never having done it before it was a little more difficult to execute which makes it less fun to do. I find I either like drawing patterns that have no grid pattern, or a fairly obvious one, it doesn't have to be straight and it doesn't have to show up in the final pattern, it just has to be pretty clear to begin with. Assunta is challenging as it does not fall into these categories. Even when I used the guide marks as the breakdown shows I had a hard time keeping things regular. SO, in all it was a good challenge as it took me away from the ever tempting comfort zone. Here is the result.

Good gracious, I scanned it upside down and forgot to turn it... oh well. The 'beads' clustering inside Mooka make more visual sense when it is rotated 180 degrees - then it looks like they have rolled to the 'bottom'. I did find it interesting that the inside shapes of Assunta (colored black) make a Cadent-like shape.

Not related tot he challenge, but something else I came up with this week...I had an hour long committee meeting the other night for which I was largely an observer. I found an old penciled Jacob's Ladder pattern done with a compass in my sketch book and decided to fill that with tangles while I listened to the proceedings. This was my result. It is not totally symmetrical but I like it - especially the Verve and Betweed parts.

I hope you had a mind expanding week, either through Zentangle or some other experience, and that you have another great one ahead of you.

By the way... The Diva also has a very cool drawing going on right now for a "Blog Friendship Cup". If you want the whole story check it out here. Basically, she received a pretty decorative cup filled with little goodies from another blogger, altered the appearance of the cup a little, refilled it with goodies and is looking for a fellow blogger to send it on to so he or she can repeat the process. If you are interested in being in on this 'share the love' bloggie experience check out Laura's post about it and read the rules and sign yourself up!