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Friday, September 30, 2005

All That Jazz Help Needed

Well, as you can see, I haven't gotten very far on this yet. So far, I have the basting stitch along the outside so I don't put beads too close to where the seam will be. And that's about it!

I'd like to ask you, my readers, what should I do with this? I've been staring at it for 3 days now! Usually, I just jump right into a CQ block. They're very spontaneous (and I am not a spontaneous type of person) but I can usually just go with the flow of them. For some reason, I'm at a loss as to what to do with this one.

I'm very nature oriented. I love doing vines and flowers. Will that work with this theme? I would like to do a mask in the gold patch. I think that would be a good place to start but what else?

Remember, I have those cute little music themed buttons that my mom found for me and I plan to paint the instruments with my gold paint pen.

Chris suggested some butterflies too. I love butterflies and I think I can work them into this but I'm open to any ideas that anyone is willing to share with me. I'm really itching to start on this and sometimes, that's the hardest part!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Christmas Tree Skirt

I asked my mom if I could share this with my readers because I think it's just too cute! My mom just finished making this last week. It's a Christmas tree skirt that she made as a gift. Although she used a pattern for the actual skirt part, she designed the little snowman motifs herself. This project took mom weeks to do!

The little snowmen are machine appliqued and then embellished by hand. The scarves are all hand crocheted. There are over 100 snowflake buttons on here and I don't even know how many sequins.

TreeSkirt3

TreeSkirt4

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

End Of Summer

Although I still have a few here, some of my hummingbirds have started to head south for the Winter. It's a sad day for me when I realize that they've all gone and that I won't see them again until late April.

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HummingbirdFeeder3

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These photos are not nearly as good as the ones I took in June. But they're not terrible. I was just a little too close to the feeder so they're a twinge blurry. If you look closely at the bottom 2 photos, you can see her little tongue sticking out!

Hummingbirds are the tiniest of all birds. They are no bigger than my pinky finger.

Hummingbirds wings flap about 55 times per second and they can fly at the rate of 25 miles per hour.

To learn more about hummingbirds, specifically the Ruby Throated Hummingbird which is most common species in the US, click here.

I've enjoyed endless hours with these little creatures. I'm completely facinated with them and I know they've become quite used to seeing me. In fact, on Monday, when I brought the feeder in to wash and refill, one of my little girls pitched an absolute fit at me! She was sitting in the pine tree and the minute I grabbed that feeder, she started screaming at me!

They are fearless and very territorial. I've had them come right up to me and hover about a foot away from my face, almost as if they're thanking me for feeding them. If we stand to close to the feeder, they buzz us! That is, they divebomb us but because they're wings move so fast, you can hear them buzz. Scott came in the house one day last week all excited and proudly proclaimed that he had been buzzed by a hummingbird!

Hummingbird feeders are a great responsibility. The feeder must be washed and the sugar water changed at least every 4 days. After that period of time, the sugar water can start to ferment and the growth of mold can take place and that can make the tiny little birds sick. I love my little hummingbirds so much that it's never been a chore for me to take care of the feeders. In fact, I've had so much Hummingbird activity here this Summer, that I've had to wash and refill the feeders every other day all Summer!

Besides the sugar water, which gives Hummingbirds their instant energy, their main source of food is the protein found in bugs. We never use pesticides in our garden. Not only do we not want to harm the hummingbirds, but if we kill of the bugs, then the hummingbirds won't have enough food in our garden to keep them here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My Christmas Gifts Are Complete

except for the finishing that I have to do on the sewing machine which I'll probably do over the weekend. So, I plan to start on my All That Jazz block in the next day or two. Stay tuned for updates.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Lucy With Stenciling


Lucy With Stenciling
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Well, I found a photo of my stenciling. Actually, Scott took this photo of my Lucy and the stenciling just happens to show in the background. I wish he would have thought to move the empty iced tea pitcher!

Anyway, that's stenciling, not wallpaper. Each block took me 15 minutes so all together, to do the whole kitchen, it took me almost 3 weeks. Lucy is sitting on the counter next to the sink. The stenciling is a border by the ceiling in the rest of the room.

A Bountiful Harvest


Harvest2
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Also hanging in my house, my kitchen actually, is this lovely frame made for me by Janet's husband. The design is another one of mine but this one too is retired. It's beautiful in my kitchen as it goes so well with my stenciling.

My Cats In Hats And Cross Stitch


CatsInHats2
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Janet asked me what sort of things I have hanging on my walls. Well, being a cross stitch designer, I have alot of cross stitch pieces displayed.

This piece is quite large and it hangs in my living room. It's one of my designs but I believe it's been discontinued. The cats are my own babies. Simba on left, then Lucy, then Nightmare and on the right, my Garfield.

Scott does not like this piece. I think it's because Simba, Nightmare and Garfield are boy kitties and I put hats on them!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Weekend Update

Just wanted to let my readers know that I'm still working on my final Christmas gift. As soon as it's complete, I can start on my All That Jazz block. I'm still not sure exactly what direction I'll take with it. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. But I do know that I want lots of sparkly glittery stuff on it!

Anyway, I'm off to go grocery shopping and run errands.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

All That Jazz Block


All That Jazz Block
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Here it is! The long awaited, "All That Jazz" Block! The dark fabric shows up a little better in this scan. It's very metallic and shimmery.

So why am I still thinking about peacocks? Hmmm.....well, I can't start it until next week anyway so I have more time to think about it. But I think this looks really cool and I've been looking for a place to use that star fabric! I think this is perfect! Very festive!

All That Jazz Fabrics


All That Jazz fabric
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Ok, here are the fabrics that I picked out for my block. They're all a little brighter than they look here and unfortunately, the scanner just killed the metallic on the bottom piece. The bottom fabric is black but is printed over with hot metallic colors. Purple, yellow, orange and blue. Very hot looking!

I'm off to sew but I'll have more later.
That's if I can sew with these bifocals!
Geez, will I ever get used to them?

My "All That Jazz" Block Decision

Well, after much thought and many ideas, I have finally decided on what to do for my "All That Jazz" block! I'm going with the Mardi Gras theme. I plan to use the Mardi Gras colors, gold, green and purple. I'm going to do a mask, hopefully with feathers, beads and sequins. I'll be working in some of the music buttons that my mom found for me last weekend. I'm so excited!

I'm getting ready now to pull my fabric stash out and do the foundation piecing. I just have a few more "Kitty & Me" business things to take care of first and then I'll be on my merry sewing way!

Check back later. As soon as my block is pieced, I'll post a photo here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A Quick Update

I'm working on my last Christmas gift now. This will take me about another week to complete. If all goes as planned, I'm going to sew up my All That Jazz Block tomorrow. As soon as the foundation piecing is done, I'll post a photo. Sorry I don't have any interesting photos to post at the moment. I can't share what I'm working on until after the holidays. But as soon as my current project is complete, I can get back to sharing my stitching here.

And have I mentioned, that these bifocals are driving me crazy?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Motifs For "All That Jazz"

Been reading the various blogs by CQer's and everyone is thinking about their blocks for the All That Jazz project. I too have been thinking of what to do with my block and the various motifs that could be associated with the south, Mardi Gras and so on.

One of things that comes to my mind besides the little Southern Belles (Crinoline Ladies) is peacocks. Yes, I remember seeing photos or a movie or something that took place on a southern plantation and there were peacocks roaming around. Wish I could remember where exactly I saw that.

So what do my readers think of this idea? Yes, I love doing peacocks and it may not even work as I really don't want to try to stitch a "Gone With The Wind" house on an 8 inch block. I don't know how to tie that in with the "All That Jazz" theme and my little musical buttons but I'm open to ideas if anyone has any!

And speaking of seeing, these bifocals are getting on my nerves!

Buttons For My "All That Jazz" Block


All That Jazz buttons
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
My mom found these for me at Michael's. I'm planning on using some of them on my "All That Jazz" block. I have a metallic gold paint pen so I'll probably paint the brass instruments.

I think these will work nicely. I just have to get my block sewn up and then figure out what direction to go with it.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

New Glasses

Well, Scott and I just picked up our new glasses. Boy, my prescription sure changed! And the bifocals are certainly going to take some getting used to. I talked to my dad and he said it only took him about a day to get to used to them. Time will tell how long it takes me.

I'm going to go try and do some stitching with them now. I hope to have something a little more interesting to write about tomorrow.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The "All That Jazz" Quilt

I've been thinking about what I want to do with my block for the "All That Jazz" quilt. I can't start on it for another week or so as I have two more Christmas gifts to complete but I wanted to begin getting my ideas together.

My first instinct was to work with the Mardi Gras theme. That would certainly give me loads of options for sparkly things like beads and sequins. But I did have to remind myself that it wasn't just Louisiana that was affected by the hurricane. Mississippi was devastated as well by storm.

I decided to do some Googling and found out that Louisiana and Mississippi shared the same state flower, the Magnolia. How cool is that?! And, I have a Magnolia tree in my backyard! So I know very well what they look like!

Considering that "All That Jazz" is the project title, I have to get some music in there too. My mom threw some ideas at me, my dad reminded me that Louis Armstrong was a popular Jazz artist and my friend Chris had some ideas for me too. But I somehow can't settle on anything yet except for wanting to use the Magnolia flower on it.

I think the first step and best option is to get my block pieced and go from there. I have two color options in mind. The first being the Mardi Gras colors - gold, green and purple. That might be my way of working Mardi Gras into my block without limiting it only to that theme. My second color options are bright yellow, hot pink and electric blue. Yes, I like to work with a limited palette rather than just grabbing a bunch of different colors and seeing what I end up with. I'll have to pull out my stash and see what clicks in my mind as I play with my fabrics.

If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions for my block, please feel free to leave me a comment.

In the meantime, I'll complete the last of my Christmas gifts (sorry I can't post photos until after the holidays) and then I'll get started on my "All That Jazz" block.

Sharon, our organizer from In A Minute Ago Blog has set up a Flickr Group so we can post photos of our blocks as we work on them. If you'd like to follow everyone's progress, click here.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Crazy Quilt Fundraiser For Katrina Survivors

Sharon B. at In A Minute Ago blog has organized a fundraiser for Crazy Quilters to help the Katrina hurricane survivors.

Please pour yourself a glass of iced tea and read about the fundraiser here.

Flea Market Trip And Transfers

Scott and I went to another flea market and antique show on Sunday. I was so disappointed. We walked the entire market and all I found was this Vintage Simplicity Apron pattern from 1954. The envelope is quite tattered but the pattern is in mint condition!

ApronPattern7

Well, at least I found something!

However, after returning home Monday after eye dr. appts. and ordering new glasses for both Scott and I, the mail arrived. Scott went out for it and came back in waving a package! It was from Robin, one of the girls from my chat board. Robin had been to a swap meet and found a whole bunch of vintage transfers which she picked up for me. Wow! These are so wonderful!

Transfer From Robin 1

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What a nice surprise it was to receive these lovely transfers from Robin after such a disappointing flea market trip! Thank you so much Robin, for thinking of me!

Goodies From The Land Down Under

Recently, my friend Gina of Patra's Place in Australia, offered to send me some pieces of vintage lace from her collection for my Crazy Quilting. I asked Gina if we could do a trade and she agreed. Gina asked for some Aunt Martha's Iron-On transfers since they don't seem to be available in Australia.

So when I was in WalMart, I picked out some tranfer designs that I thought she would like and I mailed them to her last week. I don't think my package has arrived yet. But Gina's package arrived here last Friday. Wow! What beautiful things she sent me! I've scanned a few of the pieces to post here:

Lace1

The black lace has metallic threads in it! Very sparkly!

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Aren't these unusual? They just don't make anything like this these days!

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Along with all the beautiful lace pieces, Gina also sent me a small piece of fabric with a pretty teapot and teacup on it. I plan to cut the motifs out and hand applique them onto a a block.

And then, Gina sent me this little bookmark with gorgeous Blue Wrens on it! She knows how much I love birds and I'm absolutely facinated with the colorful birds in Australia.

Thank you so much Gina! I love everything!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Autumn Cleaning

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. Been busy trying to organize drawers and cabinets, basically some Autumn cleaning. I still have a ways to go but every now and then, I get this bee in my bonnet and have to clear some things out!

I'll have something interesting for tomorrow so please check back.

Friday, September 09, 2005

In The Pink Peacock Complete!


HotPinkBlock7
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
I finished the embellishing on this project last night. I added a tiny rosebud applique to my signature, added the little blue glass butterfly above the peacock feather, finished the vine that the peacock is sitting on and did a bit of embellishing to the vintage lace. The little ruby charm is a crystal that I bought from Fire Mountain.

This is complete now. I just have to decide if I want to finish it into a mini wall quilt or a pillow. I'll let you know what I decide on.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Hot Pink Peacock Additions


HotPinkBlock6
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
I did some more stitching on this block last night. More beads, more sequins and the spider web and spider. I so much enjoyed doing the web and spider on my mom's CQ piece that I decided I wanted to do another one on this block! The web is worked with Kreinik metallic #4 braid. I don't remember the color # but it's silver and blue, very sparkly. It's couched on with the same thread. The spider is worked with 2 beads and DMC black floss for his little legs.

I also added 4 Swarovski crystals to the daisy row near the spider web. I had no idea that Swarovski crystals came in opaque colors until I bought a pack of 144 misc. colors from Fire Mountain Gems & Beads.

There's more some more stitching to be done so check back for an update tomorrow.

Robin Completes Her Set Of Vintage Style Towels

We have some more additions to our Vintage Style Towel Challenge today. Robin completed the set of fruit towels that she was working on has kindly sent me photos to share with my readers.

RobinsTowels

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I believe Robin told me that these were from an Aunt Martha's Iron-On Transfer set. Aren't they pretty! Thank you so much Robin!

If you would like to see all of the towels from the challenge, click here.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Happy Movie

I've been a bit under the weather the past few days. Just some little late Summer bug messing with my sinues. My husband had it last week. Anyway, after working on my computer most of the day yesterday, I just didn't feel up to stitching last night. So I just relaxed on the sofa and watched my Chicago Cubbies win!

Since I don't have an update for you on my current CQ block, I thought I would share with you one of my all time ever favorite movies! Yes, I love all sorts of vintage things including old movies!

This movie is called Swing Time and it stars Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Yes, it's one of their dance movies and in my opinion, their best! It was released in theaters in 1936 and was finally released on DVD just last week.

Read more about Swing Time, at Reel Classics.

This is a very cheerful, uplifting movie. Cute and funny with great music and beautiful dancing. There's nothing like a happy movie and some popcorn to brighten one's mood!

Nightmare And Lucy


Nightmare And Lucy
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
I went through my CD of our photos and thought I had a better one of my Nightmare but so far, this was the best I could come up with. Nightmare isn't one to sit still for too long. He's a very busy cat!

Nightmare has been with me since he was 3 weeks old. He along with his brothers and sisters were found on a construction site not far from here. They were only about a week old. The workers took the kittens to my vets office and they tried to catch the mother kitty too but she wouldn't cooperate. Anyway, we adopted Nightmare. He'll be 10 years old the end of October.

Scott refers to Nightmare as "pure concentrated evil". He's definately the bully of the group.

My cross stitch followers already know the story of how Nightmare got his name. Shortly after we adopted him, Scott was trying to put lights on our Christmas tree and this little one kept climbing it. After pulling him out several times, Scott finally said to him, "you are such a little nightmare!" We decided that name was perfect and as time went on, we've learned that we made the right choice!

Nightmare is always into something. As I said, he's a very busy cat. He's had a heart problem since he was a year old and has been on medication ever since. You'd never know it. He's trouble with a capital "T"! But he's very smart and very beautiful he very much keeps us on our toes!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Laren's Blackwork Shirt

For those of you who love blackwork, be sure to visit Laren's The Needle's Excellency blog to see an update on her blackwork shirt. You'll have to scroll down just a bit. It's absolutely breathtaking! I can't wait to see what this looks like sewn together.

A Ray Of Sunshine

It's difficult not to get caught up in the sadness of the aftermath of Katrina. The uncertainty is everywhere. Those who have lost everything aren't sure where or how to start rebuilding their lives and those of us not directly affected by it, feel helpless.

Through my friend Gina in the wonderful land of OZ, I found the most beautiful weblog. Rose Cottage is a blog by Laurie who loves vintage linens and beautiful china and roses. Laurie and her family live about 5 minutes from Biloxi, Mississippi. They lost just about everything to the hurricane. Laurie's family is fine and their computer survived so Laurie has been able to keep her readers updated on how she and her family are doing.

A ray of sunshine came to Laurie and her family from under the wheelwell of her car the other day. Nala is a little kitty that somehow managed to survive the hurricane. Please visit Laurie's beautiful Rose Cottage blog if you'd like to see Laurie's new little kitty, a bright light amidst the darkness.

Hot Pink Peacock Update


HotPinkBlock5
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Despite feeling like I was hit over the head with a baseball bat due to a sinus infection of some sort, I did some more stitching on this block yesterday.

I embellished the row of yellow daisies next to the feather with some sequins and beaded the other row of yellow daisies.

I also did some tatted flowers using the same thread as the the lazy daisy flowers on the vine and sewed them on to the vine adding some yellow beads for flower centers. This gave the vine a more 3-D look.

I also did my usual plain tatted edging and added that above the peacock feather. I hope to feel up to working on this some more later today. I have to do some real work for the time being though.

Janet, one of the girls from my chat board, asked me if have any of my CQ's finished. Well, hopefully in another week or so, I'll be unveiling my 30 inch X 30 inch whole-cloth crazy quilt that I did back in the Spring. I have the binding on it now and just have to add the sleeve for hanging and my quilt label to the back. As soon as I can get it completed and hanging on the wall, I'll get some photos to post here.

I've finished many of my 9 inch blocks into either pillows or doorknockers so I'll pull some of those out and get photos of them as well.

I don't mind "finishing" at all. But I would always rather be stitching so I usually wait until I have a few things needing finishing and then I do several all at once.

My Garfield


Garfield
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
As promised, I'm sharing with you another of my kitties today. This is Garfield, named after the cartoon cat.

My Garfield turned 14 years old the end of July. He's big and fat and fuzzy and crabby, Crabby, CRABBY! He's so much like the cartoon cat, it's uncanny! Although we do not feed him lasagna!

Garfield weighs in at 18 pounds, he's extremely fear aggressive so we have to tranquilize him to get him to the vet's office for his shots. He's untouchable, meaning, no one but Scott and I are allowed to touch him. I don't know how he got to be that way because he's been with us since he was 6 weeks old. He's never been abused and has never wanted for anything.

But for Scott and I, he's a big, fat, cuddly teddy bear. So soft and mushy and he buzzes really loud!

As with Lucy and Simba, Garfield was also rescue. Although we did not rescue him. We adopted him from our vet's office.

Monday, September 05, 2005

In The Pink Peacock Has A Tail!


HotPinkBlock4
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
Despite feeling a bit under the weather yesterday, I did some more stitching on this block. Now the peacock has a tail!

The jewelry piece was a pin that I found a flea market. IT's quite sparkly even though that doesn't show up well here. Scott cut the pinback off for me so I could sew it down and get it to lay flat.

I also worked on the seams some and will get back to it here shortly.

More tomorrow...

Simba


Simba
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
I've posted alot of photos of my Lucy. Mostly because she's facinated with the camera and will sit still long enough to have her picture taken. So Scott takes alot of photos of her.

I do have 3 other cats and I want to share their pictures with you as well.

This is Simba laying in the chair here by my computer. He'll be 9 years old the end of this month.

Yes, he's fat and mushy and just as sweet as can be. He's very gentle, doesn't have an aggressive bone in him and so shy that when the doorbell rings, he hides under the bed!

I named him Simba because when he was a baby, his little profile reminded me of the baby lion in The Lion King movie.

Scott says he's not the brightest crayon in the box and that is true. Be he's so sweet and so beautiful and he lays next to me when I stitch and I love that.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Hot Pink Peacock Continues


HotPinkBlock3
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
This is how the block looks as of now. What you see was done on Friday. I didn't get to working on this yesterday but I will today.

The rhinestone piece that I have will go on today along with the "tail feathers". And we'll see what else I come up with!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Pets and Hurricane Katrina

Sadly, in disaster situations such as with Hurricane Katrina, animals and pets are often left behind, to fend for themselves.

Many of you already know how I feel about animals. I will never understand how anyone could leave their pets behind but I suppose in the chaos, the fear and the panic, I guess it happens.

The Humane Society of The United States has launched a massive effort to rescue pets and animals left behind during the evacuation. Last night alone they rescued 130 animals in Mississippi and I'm sure they will continue with their efforts until they've saved all that they could find.

Many donations are going towards helping the people and that's great. I'm all for that. But my donations at this particular time will be going to the HSUS to help them with the animals.

If you would like to help them, here is the website for the The Humane Society Of The United States

There is a link on their website to make a donation now using a credit card or I'm sure you can send them a check.

Thank you,

Pam

P.S. You may already know that this is my Lucy. She was a rescue, not from a disaster situation, but from our backyard. We have no idea where she came from.

Lucy3

Friday, September 02, 2005

Embellishing The "In The Pink Peacock"


HotPinkBlock2
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
I've started the embellishments on this peacock block. I embroidered the peacock and the feather, added some various yellow daisy trims along with a piece of hot pink grosgrain ribbon with white polka dots and did a little seam embroidery.

I have a really pretty vintage rhinestone pin for the tail but I need my husband to cut the pin-back off so I can sew it on for the tail and make it lay flat. I'm sure he'll have time to do that over the weekend.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

In The Pink Peacock Block


HotPinkBlock1
Originally uploaded by Kitty And Me.
I'll be starting on this block later today. It'll be another peacock block and this one will be a Christmas gift.

The black is crushed velvet, the floral print is a cotton, the soft pink is a silk print, the white is moire taffeta and the hot pink is a sheer fabric with glittered floral sprays. I used white quilters cotton behind it. The lace is vintage. It must have once been on a pillowcase because it has a cut off cotton flange which made it nice and easy to sew into the seam.

Stay tuned to see how this block develops!
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