Since my knitting is 'down' for the moment, I have been doing embroidery for my tv-watching busy-work. I have a piece I started working on a couple of years ago - I appliqued a mosaic block with wool scraps of many colors onto a good quality dark purple cotton flannel fabric (think 'short nap velveteen'). Each of these wool scraps is getting embroidery on it in a fairly free form way. It's my carry-along work basket and I am enjoying playing with color and stitches with it. The photo above shows the most recent scrap I've embellished while watching episodes of MI-5 on Hulu. :)
Yesterday I had an email conversation with my 'primary care' physician (Dr. Wm. Saway) about my fall and my balance in general. After some discussion, we've decided to keep watch and see if I have any more episodes, then follow up with exams and tests. I have noticed over the past three years that my balance is getting more tottery (that's why I'm still using the walking cane, even though my knees are both fine now). I'm hoping that this is just an allergy-related problem ... but we'll see. :)
My husband had a series of errands he needed me to do yesterday so I did quite a bit of driving around town - to the post office, the bank, to take our tax papers to our accountant, etc. I also managed to pick up a prescription refill and eat lunch out. :) By evening, I was tired ... but I promised my friend Barbara that I would bring her birthday gift to give her at our Monday night guild meeting (Faithful Circle Quilters meets twice weekly, on Monday evening and Thursday morning). So, I wrapped up the goodies and went out to the church where we gather. I always enjoy going to guild - there are old and new friends to chat with, show and tell quilts to enjoy, and often give aways to pick over. :)
Barbara's birthday is in early February but, due to circumstances beyond my control (as they say in the broadcast media), I missed that deadline this year. :) Let me share what I got her with you. :)
First, I made her a pretty (hmm, well, I think it turned out pretty):
This squishie (softie:) is about ten inches tall or so. Made from a free pattern by We Folk Art (if you click the link to go look, you'll notice that my color scheme was quite different from theirs:). I had lots of fun making this baby - intended to be a doorstop by their designation, though I think of it as a large pincushion or maybe just a softie. :) The wools I used came from a package I bought at Springwater Designs (they have a small but pretty selection of wools and threads). I stuffed it with a whole package of poly-beads (very small plastic pellets originally created to fill dolls), which took forever to find at my local Brand X big box fabric store. Sigh. Barbara did actually realize it was meant to be a doorstop (surprised me! without the pattern site's naming of it, I'd never have imagined that use for it. All my Grandma's door stops were assorted artillery shells.:).
The other item I gave her I ordered from Etsy. Bought one for myself, too.
This is a Dohickey, a very pretty handmade binding spool. I had fun choosing the colors and hair decoration. :) Here's the one I bought for myself; maybe you can get a scale from the computer keys each of them is laying on?:
See the big slot through the spool? This baby is intended to hold quilt biding that you make for your project until time to bind the quilt ... and to be pretty on your shelf, of course. :) I wanted to share the link with you but for the life of me I cannot find it right now ... or on Google. (Scratching head in puzzlement)
So, yesterday was a success from several standpoints ... though the weather was cold, brisk and gray. :P Today the sun came out and it warmed up - felt really like spring. :)
I decided to go to The Queen's Ink to the Journal Junkies meeting for this month. The last time I was in the shop (for card making day), Patti told me about this group and invited me to come. I'm so glad I did! There were three other artists there today, once of whom I've known for years and another of whom is an acquaintance. Gayle Sternheim was there - who used to work full time for the National Quilting Association when it was headquartered in Ellicott City and whom I've known for many years. We were both surprised to see each other as neither of us knew the other was 'into' paper arts. :) Also there was Diane (with her beautiful English accent) and Kim (who knows oodles and oodles about art materials). So much fun!
I bought myself a new journal and some Dylusions paints and three stencils and some Uniball pens and some Stabilo pens and went to town. Had no particular goal other than to socialize and push color around on the page (and my work looks like it:).
Take my word for it, I had a wonderful time. :) Such a pleasure to spend time with other people who love the same things as you do!
I stayed from about 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and talk ranged from books we are reading to what languages are Indo-European to various mixed media artists and their classes to particular brands of colored pencils to .... Fun, fun! :)
When I got home, I brought in the mail (we have clustter mailboxes that are a bit away from the house; we only check for mail two or maybe three times a week). Was the best mail day for me in ages and ages. Now I have a big pile of goodies to play with and read! Here's what came:
An assortment of Bake Shop 'low volume' prints I ordered from Gotham Quilts (and they came really quickly);
While I was in hospital having surgery, I missed the bus trip to go round for the eastern shore shop hop; the trip organizer sent me a bag of goodies in compensation - can't wait to dig through it!
Landauer Publishing had a special bundle sale for the three Circle of Nine books and I decided to buy them; this is a quilt style I've been interested in learning recently. The oldest of these three books is a downloadable pdf; here is the third:
I like the ideas in these three books and I look forward to making a couple of quilts with the arrangment. :)
The real prize and the true excitement came from this:
There is an online magazine out of England called Bustle and Sew that I've been subscribing to for ages (I _think_ I might have all the issues). Recently the editor decided to have a giveaway for one of the pieces she made for the most recent (Easter) issue and I won!! I'm so pleased with this piece - it's mounted on canvas stretchers and will go up on the wall in my to-be-completed sewing studio (if I don't give it to my daughter:).
If you like applique, embroidery, stuffed animals and 'vintage' flavored artwork, you'll love this magazine. I guess it says something that I've been getting it so long - do love it. :)
So, I have lots of goodies to read, pet and enjoy today .... on top of lovely sunshine and a great day out. Contentment reigns for a change. Grin. Think I'll stay home tomorrow and play with my pretties.