Saturday, February 28, 2009

DRAWING WINNERS!!!!

Of course, you're all going to skip this part (at least at first) and look ahead to see if your name was the one drawn. But I'm going to pretend you're reading this patiently, (yeah, right, LOL!).... The day after the deadline, I listed all the entries, checked links and tallied up all the "points" for each person. Some entrants had left no contact information, so they were eliminated. Word to the wise: make sure someone can get in touch withf you if you enter a contest!! There were 123 valid entries!! Whew! Those names were printed out (some only once, some up to six times, depending on how many times they qualified), and I got carpal tunnel cutting them apart. (Another word to the not-so-wise - that would be me: Use you d*** paper cutter next time!). So, this is what it all looked like when we were ready for the drawing on Friday night: Now, isn't that the cutest bowl you've ever seen? I bought this fired pottery basket, made by a wonderful artisan at the Salt Lake Farmers Market, a couple years ago..... But, I digress..... Here is Bruce, my DH, reaching in for the name.......
And whose name did he draw??? The Winner is SHARI IN COLORADO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Congratulations, Shari!! Please send me a private email and we'll arrange the details, OK??? BUT WAIT - there were so many entrants, that I decided to have a second place goodie bag (smaller, but still nice) for someone. So, DH dove into the names again and came out with...

Second Place is Karrin Hurd !!!!
Karrin, please email me too to arrange details!

Thanks to everyone for entering the contest, or mentioning the drawing on your blog. I truly appreciate all your congratulations and good wishes on my 100th Blog Post Milestone. I wish it were practical to give everyone goodies, but unfortunately it's not. But I've met many new people and discovered some wonderful new-to-me blogs. And I hope you all stick around and pop in to say hello now and then!

With appreciative hugs,

Cathy
Tuesday, February 24, 2009

100th POST!!!!!!

Hi - this is it! My 100th Post. It's been so much fun and so rewarding to discover so many wonderful people and blogs during the past 10 months. Thank you all for your kind words.

This is the last post before the drawing. For rules and a picture of the goodies you might win, see one of the previous two posts. The deadline for entry will be Wednesday Feb. 25 night at 9:00 p.m., Mountain Time (8 Pacific, 10 Central, 11 Eastern). That will give me the rest of the evening to verify that I've got everyone's name down correctly and prepare the drawing slips. I'll have DH select the winning entry on Thursday or Friday evening from a glass vase.. The winner (and I'm thinking of picking a second name for a second, smaller prize) will be announced on Saturday morning, Feb. 28.

In the meantime, I have something to share. I bought these at an Arts Festival on an Indian Reservation (can you say "Casino"?) in Arizona. The woman and her sister who make these items first collect leaves. Then they send the leaves off to someone who soaks them in a "top secret solution" that leaves only the veins and membrane.


When they get the leaves back, the sisters coat the leaves in a metal and apply heat for coloring.

These are my oak leaf earrings.

My husband picked this out for the colors. I think we'll probably give it to DD; it's a barrette.

After the drawing, I've got pictures to share of some CQ'ed puzzle pieces that I'm working on for Pat Winter's "Pieces of Friendship" swap. What a fun idea that is!

Until next time,

Cathy
Sunday, February 22, 2009

99th Post, Goodies & Sunny Pix

Business first................ this is my 99th post!! If you read my last post, you know I'm having a drawing to give away a goodie pack in thanks for your support! Just leave a comment on this post (or the 98th one, or the 100th one when I do that.....) and I'll enter you into the drawing. Mention it in your blog and link back to mine and I'll enter you AGAIN. What will you win? I promised a picture, and I've finally gotten most of the goodies together, so here it is.

There are 20 pieces of fancy fabrics; nice quality and clean. Mostly new and pressed as well. I'll include a little info with the packet to explain what's what........ And then there's the lace (mostly vintage), some paisley lace (new), a cross-stitched rose motif, a piece of sequined fabric to "raid", some hankie corners for incorporating into your work, thread and trims. THERE WILL BE MORE. When the winner is selected, I'll add additional things to tailor it to your particular tastes and interests. If you do collage, I can add some ephemera, jewelry bits, feathers, wallpaper samples. If you are a sane quilter, I've got loads of yummy cottons. If you embroider, we can go heavier on the threads - metallics, silks, whatever. OK???? :-)

I've got still more pictures from our vacation in Arizona. Take heart, LOL, this is *almost* the end!!! :-) The shop I'm showing you today is one of my favorites ONLY because of its exterior. It's a cowboy shop and gallery (complete with old-time cowboy music) and its wares are just "not my thing". But, oh the courtyard! It's another of those combination shop and residences, although instead of being in one building, the courtyard separates the two and also provides a walkway for people crossing from one street to another.

It's called the Graham Bell Gallery, and as you approach the entrance from the lower street, this is at the foot of a stairway that takes you up to the courtyard..... That's a dummy in the vintage truck, but I always do a double take! In fact, the dummy (there's probably a more politically correct term for that..... life-sized doll?) is switched out with several others that move around from the house front porch, to the shop, to the courtyard benches, etc....

Inside the walled courtyard is a wonderful bubbling fountain. There's a split-rail fence around the imaginatively-landscaped yard. Plant containers and yard art include Talavera pots, a rusty ore cart, old farm machinery, newly-crafted tile and iron benches, wagon wheels, religious statuary and more. There's even a marked grave with a cross for "Sparky" (not pictured), whom I presumed to be a lost FurFriend.....
A potted pine
Cactus and a bench for resting at the upper courtyard entrance.... What a lovely day it was!!!

And a bit of serendipity.......... in the little Tubac Trailer Tether that my BIL owns in Tubac, one of the owners had a "Free Yard Sale" on one of the days we were there. They set out a couple tables of things they wanted to get rid of with a sign that said "Take Whatever You Want - Free!". This is what I found:
An old book (circa 1920's) that I can try my hand at altering, a round little tin full of gold stars, a heart pin and a knife & fork pin. Both of the pins will be great for adding to CQ.. And DH joked that it was worth everything I paid for it, LOL!!!

Hugs,

Cathy
Friday, February 20, 2009

100 Posts Drawing & More Pictures

As I was preparing pictures for this post, I looked at my blogger dashboard and realized that this is my 98th post! Well, we all know that 100 posts is a real milestone. So I want to celebrate it with you, whether you're a regular or casual reader. To that end, I'm going to have a drawing.

So here's the deal (it's the usual .....) leave a comment on THIS post (#98) or NEXT post (#99) or the post after that (#100) and I'll enter your name into the drawing. If you mention my drawing on your blog and link back here (please let me know), I'll add your name an additional time. So, you could have your name entered up to six times!

What will you win? Well, that's the million dollar question, isn't it??? Um......... I'm not sure yet, LOL!!! What I'm going to do is gather a bunch of STUFF and
include a picture on my next post. I assume that most of you are fiber artists of some sort and that the majority of you are CQ'ers. Whether you are or not, most of us have some sort of fondness for fabrics and related goodies. So, this prize package will include fabric pieces (the gamut from silk to cotton), laces (contemporary and vintage), silkie prints (images printed on fabric), buttons, beads, and whatever else I come up with. I'll have a core package pre-made, but will allow some room to tailor it to whomever actually wins. That way I can accommodate YOUR favorite color, theme, interest , or whatever. Sound good??? Let the celebration commence!!

And here we go with more pictures from our Tubac, Arizona vacation. My very favorite store is Galileo Antiques. I've been going there 3-4 years - ever since they opened. The owners are Gail and Leo (hence the name the selected for the store!). Their shop is actually a shop and residence where they live for half the year (fall through spring). The other half of the time they own and operate another antique store in Minnesota (spring through fall). In between, they drive back and forth, seeking and buying for the stores. What a great lifestyle!!
Above is part of their front area. See that blue chair? My parents had several of those (originals!) when I was growing up. We had red, yellow and green. I'd love to get a couple for our patio. Below is some of their outdoor items displayed in the covered breezeway (beyond the arch in the previous picture).
When you walk into their shop, you step first into the kitchen where all the kitchen items are displayed (that works out pretty nifty, eh?). See the modern refrigerator? It's there because it IS their own refrigerator. They just clear off the stove area to cook, and clear off the table to eat, etc. So, when they close the store at 5:00, they are HOME! Nice commute!
The rest of the store proceeds in the same manner (there's a TV in the fireplace, LOL, and the bathroom is off limits!). But I got so excited to see Gail and Leo and catch up on things that I forgot to snap any more pictures. But let me share with you some of the goodies I got.

Isn't that a lovely beaded purse? A detail shot is below. I got lots of buttons, too. Not that I needed them, but they're always fun to share. And the hankie's trim was so delightful that I had to bring it home.
I'd love to try beading these flowers and leaves on something! Right..... in my *spare* time....

And then there was this cute little apron for a half a song and three pieces of vintage silverware. I've seen the forks bent into little picture stands or decorated with flowers and ribbons, so I may try that some day. And the knife has a hollow handle. While on vacation, I saw a vendor who had taken these knife handles and made them into little posy holders for a single rose or blossom. Delightful!

Gail also has an exquisite and extensive collection of vintage linens. The thing is, hers are all so beautiful, clean and pressed - much too nice to use as I would want - as cutters for incorporating into CQ and other projects. I bought
several other things, including a vintage Caithness paperweight, but I'll share that sometime later when I share some of my paperweight collection with you.

I was going to include some more yummy shop and exterior pictures, but this post is long enough for today. Shall we get together tomorrow??

Cathy
Thursday, February 19, 2009

Redwork CQ & Feminine Mystique

When packing for vacation, I threw in an old UFO to work on. It's a 12" crazy-pieced block in red and white that I was doing for my daughter, who wanted a red & white bedroom at the time. But she changed colorways, and this got put away....... until I pulled it out and fell in love once again with the freshness of red against a crisp white background. I guess my eyes get starved for color at this dreary time of year!

The entire block (in process) is above; a detail shot of the center motifs is below.

One of our challenges this month on CQI is to incorporate hankies into our CQ work. It was actually in preparing for this challenge that I thought to retrieve this block and finish it.

There are several snippets of vintage trim in the block, as well as this vintage hankie which I accented with mini rick-rack. I'm torn about whether to do some highlighting of the embroidered motif (1 strand red silk floss) or whether to leave it alone. What do you think?? On one hand, to leave it alone would leave a big white area on the block's upper right. Or maybe instead of outlining the motif I could just embroider a dainty vine along the corner edges???

I've still got quite a way to go on this block, but I'll post progress shots ....


In Tubac, one of my favorite places is called The Feminine Mystique (sound familiar? It was a book by Betty Friedan). It's a gallery that displays the works of women artists of all mediums. They kindly gave me permission to take pictures, so I'd love to share them with you.

Regina Browne is a very talented fiber artist, and she had several wall hangings in the gallery. Two of my favorites were the ones pictured above and below. The desert landscape provides great inspiration and opportunities for interpretation in many techniques. I love how she has captured some of the subleties (above piece) of color as well as the impossibly beautiful color-charged sunsets (below). We witnessed a sunset very similar to this, but I was too mesmerized to go grab my camera.

Here are three more of Regina Browne's pieces: (the name Jan Hayden that you see refers to the body sketches and paints hanging adjacent to Regina's felted pieces).

Gretchen Lima had an amazing array of dolls on display in the gallery, in addition to a full booth going outside at the Arts Festival. What a prolific dollmaker she is!

And I HAD to snap this picture of a wildly painted hutch. It reminded me of the bright furniture painting of my dear friend Gerry, although this style is folksy Mexican .....

Well, that's it for now. Tomorrow I've got a great exterior courtyard to show you, my favorite antique store in Tubac, and some of the goodies I snagged along the way!
Cathy
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

6th Picture Meme, Pots & Festival

First of all, I'd like to thank my friend Heather for tagging me to play the 6th Picture Meme. Actually, I was also tagged by Shari, so I'm killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. I've received a couple other awards from friends recently, and I must thank you - you know who you are - for thinking of me so kindly. I just don't feel I have the "with-it-ness" to keep track of these things and keep them going. But I would like to share my 6th picture in my 6th folder, not because it's a great picture or anything (it's NOT), but because it's been such a long, cold, snowy winter....... and this picture is so GREEEEEN...... glorious green, as in plant chlorophyll garden growth green!!

The picture is part (3/5) of our grape arbor in the year we first started it (2005). On the other side of it is our covered patio, and this arbor provides shade from the afternoon sun in the west. Not to mention all the grapes it provides for eating and juicing. I had stuck a few "troubled" planting pots there to get more water. Since then, DH has installed a nifty drip irrigation system in our front yard, and we line up all our colorful Mexican Talavera pots on the front steps. Which leads me - clever segue here - into my next subject of Talavera pots and other goodies we shopped for in Arizona on our recent vacation. Check out the colorful wares of these stores in Tubac.

In the picture below, I circled the pot we bought for our front steps.
We also got two others (not pictured but similar to the one on the right in the picture below) for my DD and DSIL who just bought a house. Here are our front steps with the Talavera pots and flowers in 2007. Getting back to Arizona, blog-wise, we really enjoyed the Arts Festival and shops this year. Let me share some more pictures....

This shop (above) is the Lee Blackwell Studio. The stuff in front is more of the mass-market Mexican imports, but Lee's studio is in back. Some of his sculpted metal art is in the front courtyard, and the rest is in the studio or back courtyard. Lee's dad, Lyman Blackwell (who used to have HIS electronic studio in the Tubac Trailer Tether that my BIL owns) was the inventor of the first battery-powered smoke detector in the USA, and was featured once on Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story". While we were visiting, Lyman was closing down his electronics shop and had my DH Bruce go through some of his electronic stuff for whatever he (DH) wanted.

Above: a busy street as the Arts Festival gets underway in this small (pop. 1100) town.....
Below: a view of the Tubac Trailer Tether (background L) , the Tubac Country Inn (background R), and (foreground) vendor/artist tents in the Arts Festival.

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Above: Artist booth in front of an older building in Tubac
Below: More booths, crowds and some saguaro cacti - but they're not real!

Next post: A CQ piece I've been working on, and some great artsy shops in Tubac. Thanks for stopping by!
Cathy
Monday, February 16, 2009

Hearts RR Work & Carefree Highway

While on vacation, I had plenty of leisure time to stitch AND I brought along Gerry Hookstra's incredibly lovely block for the Hearts II Round Robin we are in together for CQI. It was hard to take that first stitch, especially because of the meticulous piecing and beautiful fabrics with which it was made. The first person to stitch on a block usually sets the tone, and Gerry's lovely heart block deserves the finest stitching and embellishment. Intimidating!
The four corners of the piece had equal triangles, and I figured that each lady working on it could take one. Because there is a central heart in reds and the larger, outer area is gold (you'll see the full block below), I wanted to add a red floral motif to bring them together. That is also why I did the seam embellishment in golds - to enhance the seam but not to compete with the motif or the heart. Then I did some work in the center heart:

The trim is vintage, as is the little red montee at the top of the feather stitch heart. The heart bead was a recent purchase at a newly-opened bead store here in town. Here is Gerry's block after my work was completed. Isn't it classy?

And now, some pictures of our recent trip to Arizona as promised (or threatened, depending on your perspective, LOL). Our driving route from the Salt Lake area to Tubac, AZ (south of Tucson) took us down through Utah, over to Las Vegas, over Boulder Dam, along the Carefree Highway, and down through Central Arizona (and then Phoenix, Tucson and finally Tubac).

Does the name Carefree Highway sound familiar? You may remember Gordon Lightfoot's song about the highway. It was written after he spent some time in Arizona back in the seventies.



We snapped some pictures of the lovely saguaro cacti along the route. It was a beautiful,
warm day! Truly carefree for us!

And finally, we got a kick out of this "stop" sign at our hotel in Wickenberg, where we stopped one night. Wickenberg is still a quaint "Old West" town!


Until next time,


Cathy