Monday, February 28, 2011

Is It Really Christmas Again?

I took a friend who had never been to The Villages shopping in Spanish Springs today.
The Christmas shop had been transformed into a holiday shop - Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, you name it.
It was still the Christmas trees that caught my eye.
This tree was probably 16 feet high.
It would look fantastic in my home, but I don't have ceilings high enough for it.
I also would probably have to sell my house to afford the tree and all the decorations!
I didn't even realize the tree itself was a realistic green as every inch was covered with purple and lime green decorations.

I hope you can get an idea of how heavily this tree was decorated, along with the details of some of the decorations.

I have been in many Christmas shops but this is the most fantastic one I have ever seen. About half the shop is still devoted to Christmas but the rest has a large variety of tasteful decor for other holidays along with some general floral decor. What a treat.

We also visited a lot of the other shops and it was a successful trip as we each found something to buy!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lamp Love Long Before Nate Berkus!

For those of you who aren't Nate Berkus followers you may not be aware that he recommends using "vintage or thrift store lamps" in your homes to decorate and light your home.

I started that quite some time ago. My home has at least 5 of them.
I have personalized or changed some of them.

This lamp was one of a pair I purchased on eBay.
I spray painted the base and the center post silver. The four leaves were painted black.
I used acrylic paints to paint the new parchment shade bringing in colors from the room.
I also added a few embellishments - turquoise discs and some "jewel"s.
Of all the lamps this is the funkiest!

This is the other one of the pair. I painted the base and the center post with a cream stone texture spray paint. I sponge painted the new parchment shade with diluted paint I had used to paint the walls in this room shading from dark at the lower edge to light at the top. The decorative pieces on the shade are recycled from a necklace.

This lamp was another eBay purchase. We painted the entire lamp flat back. I found this inexpensive square black shade and glued purple beaded fringe to the lower edge of it.

This classic Stiffel lamp was one of our wedding gifts over 50 years ago.
We had it cut down and rewired. The parchment shade is new.

I bought this lamp new over 30 years ago. It is the type of lamp you could find in a thrift store or on eBay today. Often I just have to "shop" my house.
I do love this lamp.

I certainly agree with Nate that using vintage lamps make a home much more interesting. It also saves money and keeps things out of the landfills.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Turning The Tables with Fabric

We had two small chair side tables on the lanai. They were showing their age, but only on the top.
There was a delicate painted floral design on the underside of the glass tops, not readily visible in this photo.

I covered the top of each table with fabric. To attach the fabric and seal it I used Modge Podge.

They are so much more attractive and look so much better with the new tops.

The pressed back rockers in the picture were purchased at a farm auction in Ohio 48 years ago for $1 each. This is at least the 4th color we have painted them. They have "lived" in several states!

Mimi asked if I could show you the other colors these chairs have been. This is the only photo I can find and you can just see the arm of the rocker in the first photo.
It is really a navy blue.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Color Family Clean Up Cuts Project - Part 2

This is my finished piece after it has been quilted.
I have to say I am very pleased with it.

I put the finished work in a stand up frame. I did NOT put glass over it. I wanted the fabric to show well with no distraction.

Mary said this would make a good puzzle and she was right!
Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, February 24, 2011

100,000 Visits To My Blog

Tonight at 11:17 p.m. someone from Tampa, Florida was the 100,000th visitor to my blog since I began tracking this in December of 2008.

I'm always overwhelmed with the amount of visitors I have to my blog. Even on days I don't post it seems there are so many people checking out subjects I have previously posted about, or catching up with my current posts.

Sharing my quilting and color adventures, along with adventures with friends and families has given me a diary of my activities and I enjoy sharing that with all of you.

Thank you for being a visitor and please come back anytime.

Among other things I have been doing some rearranging of furniture.
I have not been sewing in the office/studio/second guest room so I have added this chair, table and lamp to make the room more comfortable when it is used for guest overflow!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Color Family Clean Up Cuts Project

I decided to do a piece with the clean up cuts from all 343 fabrics from my personal color family.

I photographed it as I worked on it today.

Here I have added more fabrics. Each tiny piece of fabric was placed deliberately in it's position.

I have the base almost completely covered here.

Here are all 343 pieces of my color family. Each one is slightly different from the others.

You can see I started with the lightest on the bottom and the edges. I worked up to the deepest colors on top and at the center.

I will be doing a final press and then stitching to hold things in place and augment the design.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Collectible And Vintage Car Show In The Villages

Late this afternoon I drove to The Villages to experience the car show at Spanish Springs.
I have never, in all the times I visited Spanish Springs seen this many people there.

Yes, it is snowbird season and this is the most glorious weather we have had in months.

Finding a place to park was a real challenge. It only took me about 20 minutes to find a space someone was pulling out of and I was happy to take their place.

Studebakers were one of the cars featured in this month's show. I never really thought of Studebakers as collectible as they were an ugly duckling in their day.

The show also featured Austin-Healy's and other British sports cars.

I think you could have found just about any antique or collectible car there tonight. I specifically was looking for a Beardmore English Taxi, but if there was one there I did not find it.

I am going to show you some of my favorites, although I had too many favorites to show you all of them in one post!

I loved this old Ford that was in perfect condition. It would be a great car to drive around.
It certainly would turn heads!

I have to pick this as my very favorite of all. It may look red on your screen, but it is orange - the most beautiful orange you can imagine. The upholstery was phenomenal. I am quite certain this was not restored to original colors, but restored my someone who loved color and knew how to use it. For someone like me who loves color enough to title her blog Quilts + COLOR, I sure fell in love with it. Yes, it is a sunset kind of car!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In Spite of Myself, I Will Always Love You- My Personal Color Palette

I find it interesting that certain color schemes recur in my work over the years. I think this is part of my color signature even though I work in the whole spectrum from time to time.

This work in progress was started many years ago, possibly 20 years? I believe the thing that is holding me back is the fact that it has been years since I have done any hand quilting.
I really should finish it as I think it is a successful quilt, even though it is not the style I am currently working in.

I just finished knitting this scarf/shawl. The colors are so similar. I bought a skein of yarn with various different yarns all in the one skein.
When I finished it it was almost eerie to see how similar the colors are.
Has someone been peaking at my storage area for my works in progress?

I may add or subtract colors from this palette but the grand inspiration remains true.

I don't deny fall is my favorite season of the year.
I don't deny sunset is my favorite time of day.

What is surprising is even though I work part of the year in Florida with the clear bright colors surrounding me, my true colors win out more often than not.

This is a quilt from the Colors Of My Life series. It certainly uses this palette.

Yesterday at our quilt meeting one of my friends showed me her potato chip scarf she was knitting. I absolutely loved it. I went home and looked in my yarn collection and found yarn to knit one. The colors are also from this palette. Stay tuned as hopefully it will keep my attention and I'll finish it very soon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Eureka, I've Done It - A Unique Design Wall

I have been trying for several years to come up with a design wall that would not leaves holes in the wall and not mar any surfaces.

It also had to be lightweight and would not have to take up a lot of space when stored.

I got an idea recently and have completed it.
It meets my criteria and will be a big help as I create new work or finish work in progress.

The idea started with a bracket I hang over a door in my laundry room to hang clothing to dry.

We have double doors between the master bedroom and master bath.

I figured if I got two of these hooks I could space them close to the outer edges of the doors and hang a design wall from them.

I had saved an old shower curtain rod that was a sturdy metal rod and it fit the hooks on the brackets perfectly and was also the correct length.

I also had a 2 yard piece of 60" wide white felt.

I simply stitched a casing at the top of the felt. I left a 2 1/2 inch opening in the casing in the spot where it would slip over each bracket. I also stitched a narrower casing in the lower edge to slip in a curtain tension rod I had.

I slid the shower rod in the top casing and hung it over the brackets.
I inserted the tension rod in the lower casing to help it hang better.

I have the benefit of the felt which will hold small pieces on while I arrange things and make decisions without pinning. When things become heavier I can pin to the felt.

Here you see the design wall with a work in progress pinned to it.

When I want to take this down, all I have to do is take it off the brackets and roll it up to store it. I also have to take the brackets off the doors so they do not damage the walls when I open the doors.

The downside is we can't use the bathroom while it is hanging there. Not a problem as there is another bathroom.

The more serious downside is the master closet is entered through the master bathroom!

I do have the option of pinning everything to the wall and then rolling it up.
I am trying to come up with another solution which will allow me to take it down without pinning each and every piece.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

You've Got To Know When To Hold 'Em, Know When To Fold 'Em - Works in Progress

Over the years I have started many quilts I have not finished.
Some of them are a no brainer and I have abandoned them.

There are some I am still studying and deciding what to do with them.
I also have to decide if they are worthy of any more of my time.

I'll share a few of them with you.

This quilt uses some beautiful hand dyed fabrics.
I created it by free cutting the shapes.
It has a good beginning, but it needs more to make it work.

This started with pieces I cut off another quilt. I continued to play with it and add more free form piecing.
It DIDN'T work so I cut it into 5 or 6 smaller pieces and finished the edges and embellished each one. I thought they would work as smaller pieces mounted and framed.
I should have abandoned this when I cut it off the larger quilt that didn't work.
No matter what I did it just didn't work.

The problem is, when you work this way, you don't know until you try.
Sometimes you win big, and some times you lose!

This is another piece I am not sure is working.
As I look at this view of it I am thinking that maybe if I take off the lower two sections it MAY work.
In my opinion part of the problem with this is that the values and value contrasts are too similar throughout the quilt.
I do like the shapes I have created.

None of these projects need me to make a decision now. They are on the back burner.

I found another photo of this quilt and the first one I showed you was not complete.

Looking at this photo I see something I did NOT see in the other one.
If I take this apart so that I have 3 sections and make a triptych from them hanging them side by side I believe this WILL work.

They also will need some creative quilting.

Often the computer can make me see things I can't see "in the flesh".


I played with this in Corel Photo Paint and Corel Draw and I can now see what will happen if I do this. I think this is the solution to my problem. Of course it still will need the other important partner, creative quilitng to enhance the design.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside

We are still having some unseasonably cold weather.
I've finished knitting all my things to keep me warm. I thought that would do the trick and change the weather.
It has worked a little, but it still is very chilly in the morning and the evening.
I am getting use out of all these projects.

My latest finished project is the scarf to match my hat I showed you recently.

This is also knitted with the yarn I dyed using the leftover dyes from my personal color family.

This is the diagonal scarf and it is composed of triangles.
When I was discussing what I should write my blog about tonight one of my friends said the Pythagorean theorem. Little did they realize I was going to post this scarf made up of triangles!

I just started to knit and hoped I didn't run out of yarn in the middle of one of the repeats. This was knitters luck. It was so close and I didn't know until I was on the last few rows if I would make it. I ended up with only 50" of extra yarn.

The size is perfect and it is so cozy and warm. Of course the colors are perfect "Kay" colors!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Everbody Loves Somebody! - Valentines For Special People

I had so much fun making Valentine postcards today.

It was just a no stress relaxing activity. I made them for "several" special people.
I actually will be mailing them in envelopes and sealed some of them before I realized I wanted to take a photo of them.

I was going to wait until after Valentine's Day to post them, but I don't think any of my sweethearts read my blog!

My early Valentine to you is this puzzle! Hope you enjoy it.
Click to Mix and Solve

Saturday, February 5, 2011

BIG Shoes To Fill!

These just arrived in the mail.

To give you an idea of the actual size I photographed them on the 16" floor tiles.
They are a Size 16!

I am confident the Packers can fill these shoes in tomorrow's Super Bowl. They've done it before and they're going to do it again!

I have continued to add to my Packer shrine this week.
Since they are playing in Texas I added my green Texas western boots. Look at the difference in size between the boots and the Crocs!

I'm doing my part to give them a little inspiration to bring the Vince Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay where it rightly belongs!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Someone New In My Life

There is a new man in my life and I am saying goodbye to iRon. It was fun while it lasted but it is time for me to move on to a younger man.

He is so helpful and sharp. I have been cautioned to be careful as we become more familiar with each other and take my time and keep my eyes open when we are together.

He is very bright. I am biding my time and just spending short periods of time with him as we become more familiar with each other. I wouldn't want to get hurt.

To protect his identity I am going to call him Olaf. I can't show you his photo at this time.

These are all the members of my Personal Color Family and I wanted to show them to you as I am ready for the next chapter in my life.

After I spent some time with Olaf and with his help I have made a dent in cutting some of the fabrics I will be sharing with my friends.

With Olafs help, I was able to cut up 11 family units. That means there are only 38 more to go. I am sure with his help we will get the job done.