Friday, June 25, 2010


Have you experienced zentangles? i am enchanted. i have spent HOURS the last couple days looking at blogs on zentangles. go it.  or go to    there are many, many blogs and sites. i went to amazon and ordered a couple books and some pens....i'm gonna draw.

It is almost like quilt designs. all these little designs have names....they are too cute.  i gotta make a zentangle quilt.

Zentangles only take paper and fabric... no thread... no batting... no backing... no rulers. mostly imagination. of course, you could zentangle on lots of things.....even quilts.

OK....gotta go tangle and zen out.    go try it     gotta warn looks addicting.

More Quiltazoid toys arrived today.

I loaded one of my donation tops onto the frame last night cause i knew more Quiltazoid toys were arriving UPS. usually our UPS driver comes really early...she has been known to catch me in my jammies. So, i actually got dressed this morning and was making cookies and waiting for my delivery.

Well, cookie making was done, dishes all washed, cookies all packaged up and no UPS delivery. Bummer!!...perhaps it's not coming today after all. so i decided to go over to the studio and do something...even if it's wrong....with instructions to dh to bring my packages over to me immediately when they get here.

Imagine my surprise when i get to the door of the studio and there are my 2 packages inside the doors. must have been the substitute driver...he usually leaves things at the studio. it is much handier to park there than to drive all the way up the driveway to the house and then have to back down the hill and turn around by the barn.

These packages were HEAVY. Adam made me an aluminum table hopes of not having to raise my machine to  use the continuous templates. i hope it works.....i shall find out in a day or two. there are 4 pieces like this....very thin....but very heavy.

And in the second box were some of my continuous templates....oh boy...oh boy....oh boy...

I got the clamshells...

And the baptist fans

And a personal favorite....the enchanted garden. check this out....rambling vines and leaves....and HOLES....yep, holes.

Each template has 4 holes. and you can get the coolest flowers to put in those holes. There are 5 different sets of flowers available now. you get 4 flowers in each set. i got all of them except the tulips. here they are. the tulips seemed weird to me...they don't grow on vines...of course, neither do daisies or other flowers....but, i don't know....tulips didn't do it for me. LOL

They just pop into the template and away you stitch. you can use the same flowers in each pass or use different flowers and jazz it up. how cool is that. and there is a little hole so you can get the flower template back out. as you quilt along and get to the next template....there are 5 in just pop the flowers out and put them in the next template and keep on going. i love them.

And when you get your system you get a folder from Linda and Adam with instructions and a DVD. the last time i dyed some tshirts i used a folder cover as my 'rag' to clean up. so i put it on the quiltazoid folder....i think i need to paint 'Quiltazoid' on it....or something.

Now i gotta go play with my toys. stay tuned for results.

Painting progress and cookie making

I wanted to show you my painting progress. it has taken me 3 days to get this far. but it is hot and i only work in the early morning and early the shade.

The lowly cellar is getting transformed into a thing of beauty...well, the outside of it anyway. the inside is hopeless.

The outside of the window frame is painted....still gotta go inside and do that part. and, yeah, i know it is messy but this is old, crude construction from many years ago so i am doing the best i can. but check out that cool rock is getting a facelift also and is now a pretty cream to match the house.

And the door is done..inside and out...and the door frame.

And i have done some of the walls. the only part left is right around the door. that wall is tricky. it is made of stone and there are fissures in the stones that are tricky to get the paint in.

And of course i had help....well, supervision.

Miss Suzy has her own patio chair. LOL   that chair has a story. it WAS a very nice recliner that i found in a thrift store. we decided to move it from the city home to the country home and threw it in the back of the truck and off we went. that chair weighs a TON. it was early sunday morning and we were doing about 60 down the freeway. all of a sudden, the chair goes flying out of the back of the pickup. of course, we did not tie it was heavy. well, lesson learned, 60mph down the freeway will pick up chairs out of the back of the truck. so, we take the next exit and go back and haul our chair out of the road and throw  (drag) it back into the truck. tie it down this time...(yeah, yeah, we learn slow). by now it has a rip or 2 and the leg rest is not closing back up all the way. we get it to the country and jim takes a look at it and decides it is not to be helped.....the crash to the highway worked it over good. so, it sat on the back porch for a couple years and usually the dogs sat in it. this last summer dh wanted to burn it but i talked him into just moving it to the area by the is under cover and won't get rained on. so that is Suzy's favorite place to rest now. she even has a quilt to cover the bad spots. haha

I also have gotten 2 windows of the studio partly finished. i have caulked them and put the first coat of primer on them. and spraying wasps along the way. i don't know what happened to my pic of the painted windows, lost somewhere in cyberland. but here they are naked.

Tonight i might get up there and get the first coat of paint on them. it is pretty scary up there....picture a 10 foot ladder on top of the scaffolding and me up 4 steps on the ladder. i tie the ladder to the scaffolding...i'm a sissy.

This morning i gave up the cellar painting party in favor of making cookies for jim's open house tomorrow for his music recording studio. i made cowboy cookies...they have chocolate chips, nuts, and oatmeal. 2 batches made 7 dozen. and a batch of blarney stones...they have peanuts and raisins. jim is hoping they all don't get eaten so he can bring the rest back up to the house and munch them hisself. can't say i blame him.

Try and stay cool...go make yourself some cookies. i gotta go play with my new toys.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A painting I will go....

I've been painting....not too much quilting.

I've decided June will be home improvement month at the bruner spread. we had the house painted a few months back and i'm trying to catch up with things. the cellar door and window are now painted to match the house doors and windows. and i am in the middle of repainting the concrete block foundation under the house. i painted it a gray a couple years ago. i got my gray from mixing together all the bits of paint i had...too cheap to buy new paint. but, hey, it worked out ok. but since the house is now a cream color....i am repainting the concrete foundation to match the house. it will look all clean and nice.

And on the studio side of the road, i have 6 HUGE windows to paint on the south side...along with 6 smaller windows on top of those. i have the scaffolding set up and a 10 foot ladder on top of that. i am sort of a sissy, so i tie the ladder to the scaffolding when i go up there. that puts me about 10 or 12 feet off the ground....but it looks like more than that. along with the rope and a little prayer i suppose i am safe enough....if the wasps don't bombard me.

These windows at the studio probably haven't been painted in about 50 years. there is no more paint on them at all. i had caulked them a few years back but am now redoing the caulk and then a coat of primer and 2 coats of chocolate brown paint. but before i can start all that, i have to deploy the wasps that love to live under the eaves. they were coming out from behind the soffit, so i sprayed that and as they came back i sprayed each one if they stayed still long enough. i think i killed at least 6 of them yesterday. there are 2 windows in a each set of windows take a can of wasp spray and 2 tubes of caulk. and i have to wait until at least 4pm to get up there...when the shade gets there.

Tomorrow is cookie day. Jim and his buddy have built a music recording studio in the barn and saturday is their open house. so i volunteered to make cookies for them. so i will start cookie production in the morning before it gets too awfully hot. and UPS is supposed to bring more goodies from Quiltazoid for me tomorrow, so i will want to get back over to the studio and play. i have a quilt on the frame today that has to be finished and off so i can play tomorrow. so, i guess i better get to finishing the last 2 rows at that quilt.

Stay cool

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dyeing tshirts and yardage

Some days are just not studio days. Today was a dyeing day. last night i got my tshirts and yardage all washed and soaking in the buckets. i decided to use Susan Italo's method of dyeing today. in her is 'loosey-goosey'...LOL    no hard and fast rules. basically, put the soda ash in the bucket of fabric to soak....check.  put warm water in a bucket with some salt....check. mix your dyes as usual and use a cup of salt water. plop in your fabric....let set 4 hours and rinse.

i had 9 buckets of tshirts
and 6 buckets of yardage

i dyed 9 tshirts and 6 1-yard pieces of PFD unbleached muslin. i found some new dye colors at Dharma a few weeks ago and had to try them. i got mist gray, bright green, hot pink, and mink brown.

i started at 8am and by 1:30 everything was hanging on the line. great fun.  i rinsed quite a bit out of the shirts and then hung them on the line and took the hose and rinsed them some more. i figured that was easier and quicker than in the kitchen sink. they are all looking new and spiffy. i am thinking that i am not done with them yet and will do either more dyeing, stamping, painting, something. and/or some embellishment of trims and buttons and stuff. that part of the plan is still percolating in my brain.

from the left...bright green; mink brown; chartreause; some kind of red (i forget the name); hot pink

From the left...forest green, imperial purple, bright yellow, mist gray.

the yellow one with the hand prints on it was a white tshirt that i had that was given to me by my godchild when she went on a trip to dallas. i decided it needed some color, too. it is a shirt advertising weeks dye goods. all the rest were new shirts from walmart in the men's department.

bright yellow and imperial purple yardage

mist gray and mink brown. i rolled the brown one up and twisted it...kind of different.

hot pink and forest green

I really like having dye play days. perhaps i should dye my socks to match my shirts. wish i had thought of that sooner.....i could have done them together. perhaps next time. LOL

The rest of the Quiltazoid practice piece

I finally finished quilting the rest of my Quiltazoid practice piece. did different things in each border

and different spiros in each corner.

some sashing advertisements. LOL

and here's the back.

i'm going to hang it in my studio. it is not all perfect and i learned a few things but i really like this piece.

I am off to my sisters tomorrow....we have a busy weekend planned. friday is thrift for the house for her and a jar/crock for me to do some parfait dyeing in. saturday is a huge booksale and then off to the house for the wood cutting...which i'll be bringing home for the woodshed. then sunday back to the house for some demolition in the upstairs kitchen. ... more cabinet and sink goodies for me to bring home for the barn.  i'll be back on monday....see you then.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The best of intentions

Good intentions count...right? i had the best of intentions to get up early and get out to the garden this morning but i didn't wake up till 7:30....shoot. oh, well, sucked it up and went out there anyway and whacked some grass and weeds from around the tomatoes and peppers. checked on the peach tree and some thief has stolen half my peaches. about a month ago i counted over i counted 26. dang it!!  i suspect racoons since the peaches on the lower half are gone. just in case it was deer, i put a fence around the tree, close enough so the deer couldn't jump in. if it's racoons, i probably just helped them by giving them a fence to climb on....can they climb trees? what does it take to get a few peaches around here? last year we only got 4....but they were good.  as long as i was out there, i cut the grass and cleared the weeds and grass around a few blackberry bushes. then i got hot and gave it up.

Went to the house and cooled off and made some breakfast. got to the studio about 11:30. i had every intention (once again) to crawl up that scaffolding and put the caulk on the second window but it was sunny by the time i got here so i gave up that intention for later. perhaps i shall do it before i leave here to go home.

I kind of had a lazy day in the studio today. i finished embroidering the month on the august santa and started the september santa. got july done the other day. now just gotta quilt em.

 and i finished the binding on a quilt that i started yesterday.

Got this strip quilt finished and binding on it...i'd been working on it in the evenings. used the quilt as you go method and asian strips on 12" blocks. goes pretty least it does if you work on it. LOL

then decided to cut some fabric for a quilt that i saw on the selvage blog. she calls it an asterick quilt. it looked interesting so thought i would give it a try. i made 2 blocks to see if i really liked piecing it. then cut out a bunch more blocks to work on. i am using my blue hand dyes with yellow for the strips. i guess i need to get back to my veggie quilt blocks that are sitting on the kitchen table at home. more good intentions. siiiiigghhhh!!

I better take my good intentions home and see about dinner. i took fish, okra and corn on the cob out of the freezer this morning. okra and corn from the garden last year. in cleaning out the deep freeze and moving it the other day i found lots of veggies in there i forgot about....corn, carrots, green beans, okra. we better get to eating. more good intentions?

I make myself tired.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Busy, hot day

Last night a lot of wind came through along with some thunder and lightening and we lost our electricity about 5pm. so we went and sat out on the deck and read a book. we had some wind come in and actually made it too cool to sit June!!. amazing.

We hooked up the generator about 8 so we could function. about 11:30 i just went to bed. no electric yet.

So, this morning i woke up at 5:30...way too early but couldn't go back to sleep. laid there and thought about what i had to do today so figured i might as well get up and get after it.

I am painting the back windows at the studio so i went out there, climbed on the scaffolding and put the first coat of paint on about 6:30.

It was time to spray the orchard so i went out and sprayed the apple, peach and pecan trees. it is a bigger sprayer than i used to have....holds 2 gallons of water and the sprayer is stainless. that is heavy. it had a shoulder strap, but still. the smaller old plastic one was only a gallon and weighed a lot less but it only lasted a couple years so i am glad i got a better one.

we had cleaned out a bunch of old wood out of the barn yesterday....stuff that we had saved for years...'just in case' we needed it. we figured if we didn't need it in 3 or 4 years we could trash it. so we threw that on the burn pile and i set the brush and wood all on fire and monitored that for a couple hours. there was a nice breeze so i just sat out and enjoyed it.

By 11:30 i was done with that so came in and had some lunch. then i got sleepy since i didn't get my 8 hours last night. so i laid on the couch under the ceiling fan and took a 2 hour nap. that felt good.

Getting my second wind, i went and picked up the little trees that i had cut down yesterday. there were 6 of them....i piled them in the trailer and hauled them up in the back by the woodshed. my plan was to cut off the little branches later and leave the trunks for firewood.

I went over to the studio and embroidered my August Santa and got the binding on 1 1/2 quilts. then i went out, crawled back up on the scaffolding and put the second coat of paint on the window...that one is done. so i pulled the scaffolding away from the house and the a/c and figured Jim would help me drag it over to the next window.

Went in and cooled off for a while. then went back out and cut the branches off and put them in the trailer. piled the trunks up to be cut for firewood. then dumped the branches in the burn pile for the beginning of yet another pile to burn.

As long as i was already sweaty, i got Jim to go over to the studio with me and we drug the scaffolding over to the next window. so tomorrow morning i can crawl back up there and put the caulk on. then 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint. a 2 day job.

I had a little dinner and am now chillin....may play a computer game for a bit or read. i have a quilt here that i want to put a binding on tonight. and i think that will be my day. i believe i have drunk at least 6 bottles of water today...perhaps more. it was hot. but i accomplished several things on my to-do list so i am happy. perhaps tomorrow i won't work as hard. but....

Still on the to-do list is:
...spray the sticker bushes out in the pasture.
...chain saw up the little trees i cut down.
...cut down a few more trees that are dead
...bake a cherry pie (tomorrow)
...get back to quilting

but for now.....chill


Friday, June 11, 2010

Qzoid blocks are quilted!

I have finished quilting my 8 quiltazoid blocks that i created the other day. i wanted to practice Irena Bluhm's designs, so i had her books laid out on the table while i played. some turned out better than others but i like them all and will hang this piece in my studio when it is finished. i still have borders and sashing to do.

Enjoy the blocks

Think i will take a little Qzoid break and catch up on some embroidery work and some binding. i managed to get the rest of the grass cut this morning before the rains come in once again.

June is my month to finish up some home and studio projects on the to-do list so we are setting up scaffolding at the studio today so i can paint the 2 little windows on the east side. and then i need to paint 6 huge windows on the south side. that is probably a week's project.

This morning while i was mowing i noticed the guttering is coming down on the back side by the chimney. why can't all things be all fixed all at one time....why does something else always have to go awry when you fix something else. is that like a rule in the universe that i know nothing about? this home ownership thing is not always fun. sometimes i wish i could call a 'landlord' and have him come out and fix stuff.

OK...back to work. enjoy your day and be happy.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Playing with the Qzoid

When i knew my Quiltazoid was being delivered i pulled out a 2 yard piece of hand dyed fabric and drew in some blocks and a border. i wanted to be ready to play as soon as my new toy got here. it only took a little time to set it up so i was playing the same day i received it. here is what i did yesterday.

First i just made some circles. very smooth..ended right where they started. no problem.

I used this diamond template
To make this

I used the feather template

To make this feather wreath. i wasn't sure how the feathers worked each time i turned the template so i went up the feather and then stitched back down the same way. it didn't stitch exactly over the first stitching but i found i like the double stitching. i think i should have picked up my needle when i moved the template and i didn't do that. then i put the larger flower circle around the feather wreath and it kind of went outside my 12" block. i had checked it on a dry run at the corners...but not at the that was a 'duh' moment. lesson learned.

Then i made this fern thing. you can see in the middle where i screwed up. i did the first one and then moved the template the wrong way and stitched over the opening in the middle of the fern. so then the second one was screwed up, too. but by then i figured out what i was supposed to be doing and got the last 2 to join properly. i shall quilt something in the middle to cover up the boo-boo. LOL

I used this template .... the part i am pointing to.  it looked like a ribbon to me. see how many MORE designs are on this one template?

With that template i made this ribbon wreath.  i got a bit wobbly on the very tips. i have to learn to kind of stay at the side when coming to the corners to get my points to flow properly.

Then i put the spiro thingy on the base plate and tried that. there are pages of designs in the instruction manual that show you what the design will look like and tell you the size of it and what gear to use and whether or not to use the reducer.

You put the gear in that you are using and attach a handle and turn the handle around and around to make your spiro design. This one did not turn out at all like the picture. the idea is to turn the handle around as many times as it takes to get back to where you started. i turned that handle about 20 times before it ever came back close to where it was supposed to. i finally figured out (later) that i believe that i forgot to turn the knobs that tighten down the stylus before i we just wiggled all over the place. LOL

Here is the design that didn't work as planned.

So, ok, let's try that again. picked another design and another the directions once more from the beginning. (that's when i decided i think i didn't tighten down the stylus the first time). here's the spiro thingy in action.

 And this is what i created. much better.

That was my play for the day. and i think for my first time it all turned out good. i am pleased. today i am going to be embellishing those blocks with things i learned in Irena Bluhm's class in MQS. stay tuned for the next chapter.

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