Friday, March 11, 2016

Perhaps I was wrong...

There is always the chance I did know what I was doing...LOL.  Remember when I recently said I tend towards the mess makers mind and my mess is typically un-contained?  I looked high and low and could not find my hexagon punch...
I found it...nicely tucked inside this lovely bag, made by my girlfriend Diane,  I had been using as a mini hexagon factory.

Now all I need is an APP called, "WITH IT."  That would be short for "Where The Hell Did I Put It?"  Wouldn't that be excellent?  We could snap a photo of our "stuff" and the app would have categories so we could remind ourselves later where we put our things.  I know I'm not alone here....do you always remember where you put things?  I have a feeling I'm not alone...giggles.

What do I do with my time when I'm not searching for the things I forgot where I put?  According to my oldest son...not much.  He came in from school and was very upset with me recently.  I had "failed" to repair his prized possession, Tiggy.
World...meet Tiggy....Tiggy....meet the world!  This is Aaron's life mate and he is 13 years old (looks like he is 100 I know).
Tiggy has had many surgeries over the years.  I remember my mother sewing his neck together at least twice and I've done it no less than 3 or 4 times myself.  A needle and thread wasn't going to fix him this time so I had to come up with a new plan.

I was downstairs  strategizing when Aaron approached and was standing guard over Tiggy....monitoring my every move.  "Mom do you have a nurses coat" Aaron asked.  "No sweetie...why do you ask?"  "I was just thinking you should be wearing a nurses coat and perhaps we should have a wheelchair too.  Tiggy would really like that."  He loves his Tiggy so much.

Perhaps next time we should rush Tiggy to the hospital and let the surgeons do the repairs...where they have real equipment.  Kids...I tell ya...
Wonder how long this patch job will last?  You know I'll be using this for his wedding photos....oh yes....this Momma will have the last laugh.  I'm so bad!

Evil Smiles,
Kelly

Monday, March 7, 2016

Progress

Progress not perfection right? 
I spent 4 1/2 hours today just rearranging fabrics on my portable design wall.  There are parts I don't like and will change out....but I have to run and get the boys from school so that's all I could do for today.
(Aaron's lips are blue...not from lack of oxygen but rather a blue sucker he had eaten.)

On another front....I found a website ChoreWars.com and it has I am soooo impressed.  If you have kids (husbands included...lol)  you may really find it helpful too.  I added adventures (chores) to the list and the boys get gold pieces and can fight monsters etc.  Yesterday afternoon Aaron got up from watching TV and went into the kitchen and emptied the dishwasher without being asked.  Why didn't someone tell me about this years ago???

Grins and Smiles,
Kelly

Friday, March 4, 2016

Finally Found It

Finally....after trying every combination of fabrics I owned to border my Kaffe Fassett fabrics....the LQS, The Quilt Foundry, had just what I needed.  I want your honest opinion, please :)
The batik has both plum and red in it and I think it was just the thing to enhance the blocks without feeling like my eyes were slamming into a brick wall. 
This picture may show the tones the best.  Wish one of you would come here and set up a professional photo booth and pay for it too...then all my pix would be soooo purty....a girl can wish can't she?  LOL

Waldo helped me choose the fabric and afterwards we headed out for lunch.   It was snowing lightly and Waldo said, "my those snowflakes are beautiful...just look at them."  I saw the collectively as they drifted from the sky but then I looked down at the arm of my coat and was shocked by what I saw.

Yep...perfect little flower snowflake on my sleeve.  I could not believe it.
Here it is again....I took several photos trying to capture their beauty.  A moment to take my breath away....and sharing it with my friend made it extra special.

Sometimes that is life....
and sometimes....this is how we play the game of life!  Mr. Got Bucks won and had over 2 million dollars.

Other times....we have warriors running wild with Nerf Guns....
complete with a snow sled as a shield and a gangster hat....he was only wearing shorts and had his re-loader tucked into his pants....what a wild life I lead.

Giggles and Smiles,
Kelly

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Artistry or Creativity?

(Technical problem may be the wireless router....not sure yet)

I've heard it said that everyone is an artist. Interestingly enough I don't feel like I have an artistic bone in my body....however....I am very creative.

When it comes to messes, I have noticed that my creativity is very messy and I tend to think that an artist would have a purposeful mess.  Maybe I’m just splitting hairs here….maybe not….I’ll let you decide.

Take for instance Mary Jane, my late girlfriend. She did have some piles, 99% of them were project based and in her sewing room.   The projects typically had a container that could be put someplace so it could be easily found.  I always loved that about her.  She had an engineer’s mind and lots of artistic abilities.  The yardage of fabric in her stash frequently contained hand written on the salvage: the name of the fabric line, yardage she had purchased, store it was purchased from along with the price and sometimes the date as well.

My brand of creativity is free floating and typically uncontained  I have a mess makers mind and it can be a struggle to find the right container to hold my projects or even find my supplies sometimes.  Recently I wanted to punch more hexagons....do you think I could find my hexagon punch?  Nope!!!  I looked high and low and still no punch.  The good news is that Mary Jane and I each had a punch and I knew right where her punch was....in a labeled container!

The engineer in her had put all the fabric she was using along with scissors, needles, thread and the punch to work on her project.  Contained artistry....something I have yet to master.  However....I am making progress :)

This is what you can currently find sitting in front of my sofa.  A re-purposed container from Costco filled with lots of tiny zip lock bags holding my various hexagons.    To be really fancy, I have Aaron's discarded pencil box from elementary school to hold my punched hexagons and fabrics cut to size to be assembled later....my travel kit if you will.  None of this stacks neatly anywhere...but do I spend my time in the isles of a department store looking for the right size container or do I make do with what I have?  My creative mind says... make do and save your money for more important things.  See how I think?  More like a mess maker than an engineer...the struggles we face...ROFL.

I really like the well engineered discarded pencil case because it is so easy to take along with me where ever I go.  Last week it traveled to the snow hill....this week to a few doctors appointments...my well contained little mess.

A small digression.....At last month's guild meeting , my girlfriend Barb  brought her English paper pieced project and it is absolutely beautiful.

English paper piecing seems to be all the rage and there are many people doing amazing works of art.  After seeing Barb's piece I began thinking about all those little hexagons I have put together over the years...another mess brewing!!!

You see when I learned to do English paper piecing it was with small little hexagons...

yep.....the size of a nickle.  Mary Jane taught me and that was the size she was using at the time.  Naturally I had no idea that hexagons could be different sizes or that I could put 1/2 hexies with diamonds and triangles in with the hexagons...not a clue.   Mary Jane thought I needed a car project to keep my hands busy during those long trips between Ohio and Pennsylvania  so I set about making hundreds if not thousands of little hexagons.  With no planned project I just kept stitching those tiny little fells and over the years I now have a tote bag full.  

I began organically piecing all my hexagons together....letting the "story" unfold.
Some are put together by theme or fabric....I do love the little girl at the bottom of this one....with her legs kicking up to the side...cracks me up.

Another cute piece I like...where will they fit in?  The mystery will continue to unfold as I go along.

A larger piece here....just adding as I go.

This is the current size of my "mess" with several other larger pieces I have yet to stitch on.  I hope when you click on this photo it will enlarge because I gave a monkey a bikini top.

Artists...I tell myself...know the direction they are headed, they have an idea in their mind and they set out to bring that picture or project into being.  My creative mess makers mind sees all these nickle size hexagons and thinks....just start and let each speak to you and add them as you go.

If you have started any of these English paper piecing projects....I'd love to see and hear about them.  Are you an artist or a creative mess maker?  

Giggles and Smiles,
Kelly


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Post in progress

I'm having some technical difficulties today.  Not sure if it is blogger or the wind interfering with my internet service.  I'm just going to post a little teaser ....my next blog post will have something to do with the photo above.  As soon as I can debug the issue...the rest of the post will go live.

Smiles,
Kellly

Sunday, February 28, 2016

THANK YOU....and an Explanation

I am overwhelmed with the number of e-mails I've received saying how happy the person is that I started blogging again.  Thank you to all of you who take time out of your life to stop and read my blog posts.  You know, I tell myself crazy things like what I do isn't that important....until I hear someone tell me that when they were off of work due to an illness that my blog was the one thing they counted on each morning to make them smile.  I absolutely love writing my blog posts (unless I have to tangle with technology....then I want to break the bot).  My primary drive in life is to connect with other people in a meaningful way and exchange something about this process of being a human being.

Nothing makes me feel more alive than this exchange with another person.  The acknowledgement ....I see you and I care....and I'm excited to have the good fortune to have crossed paths with you.  This energy fuels everything for me.    It fills my tank and pulls me forward into a meaningful day.  It is all about the quality of the authenticity....not the circumstances in which we find ourselves.  

Now....you can imagine what happens to me when I'm isolated or I have lost someone who I have connected with in a powerful way....or when I come in prolonged contact with those who do not hold sacred the bond that is possible between human beings....my lights go dim. My life force energy can be so drained that I can no longer feel the light at the other end of the tunnel and there seems to be nothing pulling me forward.  

My higher power is that power which connects us one to another to the degree that I actually feel what I consider to be the golden strand that connects us each to the other.  I have been with people that just seem to radiate great energy and  that can fuel me for weeks and months.  The clearer and more authentic the interaction....the happier I am...even in the midst of what we humans consider darkness or negative experiences.

As I type....I'm starting to see that this probably won't be one blog post....so if you are one of those who prefers photos....ya better hit pinterest for your fix.

On October 12, 2013 I went to a embroidery guild meeting.  Afterwards there was a group of gals meeting at a restaurant for lunch, one I had never been to previously.  Having young children it wasn't often that I was able to get away on a Saturday for lunch so I was pleased to have the time to join them. 

Once inside the restaurant...I immediately noticed it was dark....sort of like a night club.  I told a gal at the front of the place that I was looking for a large group of ladies and she told me where to find them.  I entered the dining room and saw the girls gathered around a few tables that had been pushed together and  I walked in their direction.   I was happy......feeling good....not in a rush....just a good feeling about being able to connect with these ladies outside of guild meetings.

As I walked toward the table I noticed there was only one seat available at the back side of the table on the end.  I walked in that direction and as I walked behind one gal with a walker and turned the corner....everything came to an alarming halt.  I had absolutely no idea why on earth I was laying on the floor.  Shock....an out of body experience....what on earth....like a meteor came from outer space and knocked me to the ground.  Instantly I knew I needed a doctor and asked the ladies to get a doctor call 911....I need help and I need it right now.  My next awareness was the intense pain I felt at the bottom of my left leg...I pulled my leg up into the air holding it with both hands...and then I caught a glimpse of the problem...my left foot was no longer connected to my leg....it was now perpendicular.  Nausea was instantaneous followed by an intense feeling of panic and pain.  I asked someone to please get me something cold for my face....hoping to stay conscious....and to hold something up in front of my foot so I would not see that gruesome sight.

It wasn't until later that day while in the hospital did I learn that it was not a meteor at all....it had been some heavy beverage mats that had been folded up and placed on the dark carpeting very close to the end of the table I was going to be sitting at that had stopped me in my tracks.  Apparently the dining room where we were seated had previously not been open and they opened it because of the large group of ladies coming for lunch.   Who ever had cleaned the floors in front of the beverage station had removed the mats...stacked them on the carpeting and had not replaced the mats before the guests were seated.  Dark dining room, dark carpeting and dark mats that I could not see were the cause of this nightmare.

After reading this....every reasonable person I have met has told me that was an accident just waiting to happen.  Come to find out....the legal system in Michigan where the restaurant is located did not see this as an accident waiting to happen....they see it as an "open and obvious" situation where I did not take necessary care to assure my own safe passage.  

I will pause here...because this is definitely a situation that requires chapters.  I will conclude by sharing that I had to file a lawsuit to have my medical expenses and the expenses for my care covered.  As a result of that lawsuit the opposing attorney was reading my blog.  Once I learned this....my blog no longer felt like my place....it felt like a place where people who were attempting to find things about me to twist and turn to suit their story and I wasn't going to continue to be vulnerable.  I felt violated....yet at the same time...I know I'm a very open and honest person with nothing to hide...yet...I needed to feel safe and sharing my daily experiences didn't feel safe...so my blogging trickled down until I completely stopped posting all together.  The suit is now over and again I feel comfortable to return to sharing my experiences.

Choosing to Smile,
Kelly

 


Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Quick Ripper Saves Time

Over the last few days I've been reviewing a variety of colors of fabric to border some of my favorite fabrics.  Prior to this, I hastily selected a fabric and put all the borders on my blocks.  After putting them up on my design wall I noticed the dark borders take the focus away from the fabric I want to showcase. 

Oops....that happens sometimes!  I've been telling myself that if it felt good to sew the borders on the first time it will also feel good when I do it again.   Apparently I really like to feel good and sew and sew and sew...ROFL.

School was canceled again today so I was fortunate enough to have an IHAN Elf available to do a quick video demonstrating how I make un-sewing as quick as I sew with The Quick Ripper



You can cut your fabric if you are not holding your fabric properly but I've only had this happen once, thankfully!  The Quick Ripper comes with 2 AA batteries and I have not had to change them very often.  I use mine to trim threads on the back of my machine embroidery, trim threads when making fabric coil baskets, take out seams, and trim the edges of fabric that has frayed...a very useful tool.

While viewing this video I hope you kept in mind that I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal and I did not prepare the background, get a manicure or edit the video....what you see is what you get...that's how I roll.

Smiles,
Kelly

 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Rehearsing More Border Colors

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on my previous blog post.  I got some great feedback.  The feedback inspired me to try some more border colors.  Here are some that I tried with various blocks:









I realize these are not the best photos....but with what you see....what do you like?  Thinking about just leaving these up for another day or two so that when I do decide I'm not having to deconstruct any more blocks.

School was canceled today due to icy roads....
....the never ending  Monopoly game seems to be a good way to spend our day.

Boardwalk Smiles,
Kelly

Monday, February 22, 2016

Open for feedback

Not much time today to sew as there was no other driver in the car pool.   Three hours in the car (typically only 2 but Aaron had a medical appointment this morning so that was twice to school)....yikes!

When I did finally arrive home I began studying my design wall.  I am in the process of using my coveted  Kaffe Fassett fabrics and I'm using the Big Ten pattern by Swirly Girls.

 The problem I'm having is choosing the border fabric for the 8 1/2 inch blocks.  The fabric below is a P&B Textiles Suede in Navy.  It looks like a dark ink in "real" life and not so stark as a black.  Hard to see in these photos.


The fabric is so bright and busy I feel the border fabric needs to give the eye a break....a pause in the dark to celebrate the bright lights that follow.   

Another choice.....

I have this purple and I don't know if it is a Kona but it feels like a Kona.  

A close up better shows the shade of purple a little better.

So, what do you think?  Is it the Navy or the Purple?  Or can you think of another color that would help break up the bright and fun and give our eyes a rest before we continue with the Kaffe party!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts :)

Smiles,
Kelly

Friday, February 19, 2016

Have you ever noticed.....

Have you ever noticed that life is a little less colorful without props?  I was looking through pictures I've taken over the past several months and I noticed many of the photos I love have something to do with the fun props included in the photos.
While driving the boys to school one day I passed this little red sports car on the curb next to trash cans.  Apparently someone had used up all the joy in this little red sports car and now it had become trash.  My mind instantly went to The Flamingo Family.  There could be so much more joy in the cars future if it could play with the Flamingo Family.   Sooooo....I quickly dumped the kids at school and flipped down the seats in my car and hoisted this hot little car into my not so hot little car.  I have to admit I felt a bit embarrassed.....not while curb shopping...nope....it happened when I knocked on the Flamingo Families door and offered them this hot little number. What would I have done if they said, "no thank you"....THANKFULLY the man accepted this little red trash to treasure gem.  I look forward to the day I pass their house and see this hot little number sporting a few flamingos.

Here are a few more photos that crack me up....



 Mr. McSteamy received this chef coat and hat from his lovely Megan for Christmas.  I just need to embroider Chef Ree-Chard on the jacket (his real life name is Richard).

Zach's goggles....look closely....they were steamed up all but the centers....too funny.
Aaron found this scarf under a table while dining out.  He came up from under the table with the biggest smile...wrapped it around his neck...and made a evil squeal and said, "The Spoils of War."  I almost wet my pants laughing.

Last week I made the huge mistake of asking Mr. McSteamy to pick up some groceries from the market.  He came home with all sorts of wild azz food...little pies, Klondike bars, whip cream (not real whip cream but the plastic whiz in a can) and of course there was a sprinkling of real food in the bags somewhere.  After dinner dishes were done I had come into the living room and I heard someone in the kitchen....didn't we just have dinner....who is back in there eating (truthfully....I was thinking....who is in there making another mess)  Just as I entered the kitchen....what did I see?  Zach with is prop....a Klondike bar with  whip cream eyes and a smile....he was in greedy heaven...and I was instantly filled with joy.

Props....the things that make us smile and remember.  

While typing this it occurred to me to check the origin of the word prop....here is a definition:
something that is said to publicly thank and give special attention to someone for doing something : credit or recognition

Learn something new every day....clueless here...I thought it meant the stuff in the background.  Nope!  Apparently Props is just a shortened abbreviation for Theatrical Properties....the portable objects on a stage or set.  

If you are getting board reading this post....then ya better be getting back to that to do list.  For the rest of you...thanks for taking time out of your day to spend a few minutes with me while I entertain myself and share the things that I notice and observe about what makes life more joyful.

Treasures...yes...those are not two medicine bottles with fancy fabric stuck to the tops....those are absolute treasures.  They used to sit next to Mary Jane's sewing machine on a rotating tray.  That is her handwriting on the bottles....one is for safety pins and the other is for discarded needles and pins.  It is the small things in life that tickle my core....today I am so grateful for all these little things....the Props that make me smile when I stop to notice them.

Where are your Props today?   I'd love to hear a story or two (or as many as you care to share :)

Heart Smiles,
Kelly

 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

It would be nice to drop a fat quarter

I'm not talking about giving away fabric....although I've recently given tons away....I'm referring to the "mo-jo breaks" I've been taking during my sewing.

Here are some of my favorites:
Uptown Funk
Double Dutch Bus
Brick House

After these three I was quickly reminded why I have refrained from busting a move in the last few years.....my left ankle was hurting big time.  Chronic pain is a very ugly reality not only in my life but in the lives of so many of the people I know.  No fun!

My broken ankle was the biggest reason I slowed my blogging and then stopped all together.  I'll share more about that soon.

After taking a long break from sewing I finished two projects in one week....can I get a high five....just one will do you can stop all the party dancing now...LOL.

This is the wall hanging I made for George, Mary Jane's brother.  He is in a nursing home recuperating and I thought it would add some color to his room.
 This is a cheater panel that I picked up from our guilds free table. (Thank you Barb for donating it :)

 I just stitched the outlines...simple.


The other project I finished is a tote bag for Cloe, a gal we are going to visit in France soon.



This is a lined tote bag and I don't like it when the lining goes up to the top so I stitched the outer fabric to the top of the lining fabric.


I did this because I don't like it when the lining fabric shows at the top of the tote.

Naturally my rotary blade was dull and this was denim fabric....so I had to pull out my handy rotary blade sharpener.
This is the only sharpener I have found to really work on my rotary blades.  If you don't have one and need one....you can find it by clicking HERE.  Since blades are expensive I do my best to sharpen and reuse the ones I have before purchasing new blades.


Hope your day is a dandy one!

Smiles,


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I discovered a few things today

Most days I discover things....I practice "noticing" frequently....and today....

I discovered that I want to accomplish something....I want to finish a wall hanging I am making for Mary Jane's brother George,  who has been ill.  I don't want to get up to eat or even get a bottle of water.  I just wanted to sew.  In and of itself...that is absolutely amazing for me because I've felt the need to be "quiet" and a desire to grow roots out my bum (a visual here: deep tree roots connecting me to a comfy spot with very little movement).

As I am sitting and sewing on George's wall hanging....I'm thinking....I need to move my body more....this body deserves some zest.  At the same time....I don't want to stop sewing.  Then it came to me....if every hour or so I put on a song that really gets my mo-jo up....I can turn it up loud and dance like no one's watching (and they aren't)....I bust a move for 3-4 minutes....then I can go back to my sewing.  Do you know how many minutes of aerobic exercise that adds up to be?  I don't know either....but I can tell ya....it is a hell of a lot more than I have been getting and I'm heading in the right direction :)

Photo Credit Click Here

You know what else I discovered?  While dancing like a wild woman I saw at least 6 pins I have dropped on the floor and never noticed before now.  I added some dance moves that included bending down and picking them up.  Now....I'm begging you....please don't tell my husband because he will suggest I play music upstairs and clean the house.  I must draw the line somewhere!!!

BTW....I can guarantee you with 100% certainty the only similarities between my dancing and the photo of the female dancing above (found by Google-ing wild dancing) is that I am a female with  two arms and two legs...oh yeah....and I was vertical.

Giggles and Smiles,
Kelly

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