Block #27~ Friday, July 6

On July 4, 1978, I experienced fireworks in the form of contractions.
Two days later, I was blessed with the birth of my two sons. They were born, a minute apart.
One weighed 6 1/2 pounds; the other weighed 6 3/4 pounds.
Frank and Ed are the stars that light up my life.
I am so proud of them.
Since I was out celebrating their birthdays, I was not able to make the block for my journal until today.

Stars Bright, Stars Light

Background: Patriotic star fabric; red and white star fabric for backing
Technique: Applique

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

For this past week, I have been living out of my travel bags. Celebrating birthdays,time with my grand kids, and visiting my sister…what a great week!
I am home until it is time to celebrate the last July birthday at the end of the month. I will have a craft day with my granddaughter on that day.
Needless to say, I have not produced anything lately. I have, however, done the next best thing. I have benefited by meeting with creative people. My sister, Emma, invited me to go to her Girllustrators meeting. What a treat! These women are a group of very talented, creative, and inspirational artists. I learned so much just by listening to their conversation and seeing the work they shared. They included me in their share time, and they gave me such positive feedback on my work. Be sure to check the Girllustrator site and learn more about each of these women.
Alicia Traveria was also present at the meeting. You can check out her flickr site.
Patrice Barton was the host for this month’s meeting. She shared a journal that she made when she attended a workshop. My sister and I went to Jerry’s Artarama the next day to get the supplies we needed to make our own journal.

We found these cute artist trading cards by Bristol. I cannot wait to start on these trading cards.
Today, I went out and purchased more supplies for my art projects.
My sister made a video to explain how she started her journal.

I also purchased some other goodies for my projects.

Emma told me about a group of poets, Typewriter Rodeo, who attend events and write custom poems about real people.
They use old typewriters to write their custom poems. They have published a book, Typewriter Rodeo.

On pages 154-155, there is a poem written about my sister. Emma had attended the Texas Book Festival, wearing her red wig. She was in total Pig in a Wig character. The poem is entitled, Spare Hair. I love the concept of traveling poets.
Since I am planning to try new things with paint and pen, I had to reorganize my work room and storage. I spent the morning emptying bins, rearranging furniture, and dumping old paint and pens that were no longer working.
I hope to get started on some projects soon.
It was hard leaving my sons, grand kids, and sister; but it sure felt good to sleep in my own bed again…without a cat sleeping at my feet.

I miss these family pets.

Peace in the Kingdom…my youngest son’s pets.

Emma’s sweet dog.

Young Artist

I have spent some special days with my grandson. Our days were filled with scavenger hunts, play time, conversation, and creating.  My grandson loves to create things using wood, cardboard, twigs… anything in his environment that catches his interest.

Today, we took a neighborhood walk with my iPad. He took pictures of things he thought his dad would like. Then, I showed him how to use Movie Maker. He made the movie with very little help from me.
He was very proud of his work. And I am super proud of him.

One of the activities I had planned for him was printing with the Gelli- art plates. I had become frustrated with my own attempt to use Gelli-art plates. I didn’t know if my 4 year old grandson would like to print, but I decided to give it a go. I am SO glad I did. I learned so much from watching him. He enjoyed the process of adding texture with different items. I realized that I was doing too much second guessing and hesitating when I was printing. My grandson just did it, and had fun! I will follow his lead and do some printing of my own.😊

I made this video of the young artist at work.

It was hard to say goodbye today.
I will see him soon, when we gather to celebrate my granddaughter’s birthday.


Still Celebrating

This past week was the beginning of birthday celebrations. I am not in my sewing room.
I am visiting quilt shops as I celebrate in the cities where my son’s live. 
This week, the celebration continues as I visit with family and friends.
I will be back soon…with lots of projects to start!

Just for Fun

The city workers are working on repaving my segment of the street, so I am inside for the day. I decided to look up some easy to do crafts. I found this origami market bag video and tutorial that sounded very interesting.  Alanda Craft gives great directions and provides a video for making this origami bag.

There was a bin of patriotic fabric that survived my reorganization purge of fabrics.  I also always have denim fabric handy. There was enough denim to make the large bag on the video, but I did not have enough of the patriotic fabric. The tutorial includes directions on how to adjust the size of the bag, so I was able to come up with a small origami bag.

I intended for the denim to be the outer part of the bag, but I reversed the folding directions.
The patriotic fabric is on the outer part of the bag…very Fourth of July!

Tomorrow, I will be able to leave the house and celebrate the Fourth of July with family.

Fat Quarter Quilt

The City of San Antonio handed the neighbors on my street some good news/ bad news. Our street will be repaved…good. But they chose this holiday week to re-paveour street…bad. This means that on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, no cars can be parked or be driven on the street from 7 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. And during the hours that we are able to drive on the street, our cars will get splattered with tar and asphalt.
Great! Now I am stuck indoors!
I do feel sorry for the workers who are dealing with hot tar and asphalt on this scorcher of a day.
After muttering and complaining to myself, I decided to finish piecing the bird quilt that I started in the last week.

Block #26~ Friday, June 29

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.
Russell Baker

Summer IS HERE!
I was taking morning walks, when we were starting the day with temperatures in the lower 70’s.
We are now starting the day with temperatures in the 80’s; ending near, or at 98. The forecast for next week is filled with temperatures of 100 and over.
So, there will be no more morning walks, unless I go to walk in the air conditioned mall.
There are three reasons I do not like walking in the mall.
1. Malls do not provide the peace and quiet that a nature or neighborhood walk provides.
2. Walking a circuit four times is boring.
3. I end up stopping at Starbucks for a treat.

As much as I complain about the heat, I actually do like summer. As a kid, summer was always a great time for me. I also tried to make summers a fun time for my sons, when they were younger.
It is just a matter of dressing correctly and always carrying an insulated water jug. My grandchildren have portable hand fans that spritz water. I need to get me one of those. A hat, sunglasses, and light cotton clothes are a must for summer. In fact, June 27 was National Sunglasses Day. Yes, there is such a day.
Since I once had skin cancer removed from my face, I never leave the house without a hat of some kind.
My latest favorite is a purple straw hat.

Block #26 Friday, June 29
Summer Selfie

First, I thread sketched the selfie…without the wrinkles and double chin.

Background: Muslin; rainbow fabric for backing
Technique: Thread sketching; fabric painting; FMQ

Pause for Pillowcases

Today, I hit pause on arranging the fat quarter quilt blocks. A new month will be here soon, so I stopped working on the quilt so I could make the pillowcases for my two youngest grandchildren.
July is big birthday month for my family.
All three of my sons and my granddaughter have a birthday this month. My one and only niece has a birthday this month.
I tried a new pattern that was given to me by my friend and owner of Las Colchas.
She had run out of the birthday fabric, so I had to go to JoAnn’s.
I didn’t particularly care for the black and multi-colored birthday fabric, but it was the only birthday fabric available.
The pattern calls for gathering and this is a first for me. I tried gathering to make the ruffle three times. Each time the thread would break on me.  Then I looked up some tutorials on gathering fabric. I should have done this first!
There were so many tutorials, each with a bit of difference in instructions. I chose to follow the instructions given by Leslie , The Seasoned Homemaker. She connects the two parallel lines at one end. This made a big difference. No thread breakage!

The photo does not show how the ruffle poofs up.

This month’s fabric theme for my grandson is Paw Patrol. These were made using the burrito pillowcase technique.

Now, it is time to pause for a Popsicle!

Cooling Off with a Popsicle

I spent the afternoon trying to assemble the blocks in my quilt. This part of the process began as fun, and ended up with me retreating to my chair to unfrazzle.
This is the first result of many rearrangements.

It seemed off to me, so I asked my sister to make a black and white for me. I don’t know how to do this with my camera or computer.

I could see the dark clustering on the left side, so I started rearranging again. Flipping the blocks around was driving me crazy, so I stopped to make some birds. I wanted to see if the appliques would fit well onto the blocks.

I returned to rearranging blocks. After many more changes, I came up with this arrangement.

This is not the best photo since it cuts off the top and bottom.
At this point, I decided to give it a rest and enjoy a Popsicle. 
I’ll start again tomorrow.

The name for this quilt that has come to mind so far, is Pájaritos en el Parque. ( Little Birds in the Park ).