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.


P.S.
I miss these family pets.

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


Bella
Emma’s sweet dog.

Spring Craft Deadline

This morning, I met the  part of my deadline for the spring projects I will be gifting tomorrow.
I completed two sets of coiled rope plate mats and heart-shaped bowls; along with a small coiled bowl and a rock painting.
There is still one more coiled project to do for one of my three sons. I have an extension on the deadline, since he does not live close by and we will not be meeting this weekend.

Fiesta Coiled Plate Mats and Heart-Shaped Dish

Boho Coiled Plate Mats and Heart-Shaped Dish


Small Ring Dish 
Pig in a Wig painted rock
(Pig in a Wig is the character in my sister’s series of children’s books.)

Since I have working to meet this deadline, and meeting with daily life events, I have not been able to work on the hexagon block for my quilt journal. I have the design in my head, but I just have not had the time to work on it. I plan to try something new with this block.
Tierney posted some work she did with fabric painting. She also posted some great information on good habits that can change your life.
Also, my friend, Jeana, who does my long arm quilting, has been encouraging me to try some fabric painting.
I spent my non-coiled mat making minutes viewing fabric painting tutorials and trying things out.
I just played with the paint on different fabrics.
Hopefully, when I return from visiting with two of my sons, I will get started on painting the fabric for my hexagon block.

Melanine, of Catbird Quilt Studio, posted some great essays and thoughts on creativity.
Reading these posts gave me the encouragement I needed to persist on this new fabric painting venture.

I know it seems that I am going in many different directions…rope baskets, improv quilts, quilt journal, fabric painting…but that is the way I work. For better or for worse.
It would probably be better to focus on one thing at a time, but I have never been able to stay focused for too long.
But I am okay with this… I am having so much fun!

Vroom and Zoom

The mailman delivered a great surprise today.
My sister, Emma Virjan, sent me a copy of her fifth book in the Pig in a Wig series,
What This Story Needs is a Vroom and a Zoom.
This delightful book , published by Harper Collins, will be available on July 4, 2017.

The characters are adorable!
What an adventure!
Pig in a Wig has a great pit crew of friends!

I highly recommend that you zoom over to your nearest book store and get a copy.


My goody package came in this adorable envelope.
Emma sent me one of the color sheets that is on her website, in case I was
“looking for something to do.”
Of course, I immediately took out my crayons to start coloring.

Way to go, Emma!
Pig in a Wig Power!

Summer Celebration


It is hard to believe that June is almost over.
July has always been a special month in our house.
All three of my sons were born in July.
My granddaughter also has a July birthday.
My sister Emma Virjan has her fifth book being released on July 4th.
Yay for Pig in a Wig!

This weekend, my sister will be having a family pool party to celebrate July.
In preparation for the month-long celebration, I decided to make my granddaughter a
July purse.

Pig in a Wig Power!


This is the first in the series of books written and illustrated by my sister,
Emma Virjan.
Be sure and check out the other book titles on her website.

I finished the cape for my sister to use on her school visits.
She always captivates and engages her young audience.
This cape will add to the fun.
  

Now, I am planning my next project.
I ordered some material from Spoonflower to make something special for Emma.
The fabric is entitled, “feeling pensive”.

As soon as the material arrives, I will post more information about this project.

June

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June. 
Al Bernstein

June has always been a favorite month for me.
I was born on my mother’s birthday, and to this day, I still brag about it to my siblings. 🙂
I have a cousin, a brother-in-law, and a daughter-in-law who have June birthdays.

As a child, the month of June meant SUMMER FUN was here.
We began the summer with a pool and pinata party; and the fun continued until
it was Back-to-School time.

This June has been another great start to summer.
I have spent time with my sons, daughter-in-laws, grandchildren, and friends.
This is the first week I have nothing scheduled on my calendar.

After going to the gym this morning, I started writing project based lesson plans for my friend.
For 42 years, I would spend time in my summers preparing for the next school year, and I can not let go of this habit. I love writing curriculum.

Next, I began working on the super hero cape for my sister, Emma, to use at her school presentations.
I purchased the fabric and made a pattern.

The outer cape will be red satin.
The inner cape will be white with black polka dots satin.

This was my first design for the logo.
My sister’s books are about a Pig in a Wig, and I need to put a snout somewhere on the cape.

I think I will simplify the logo and add the snout to the front of the cape.
I still have to put some more thought into this design.

Not having anything on the calendar for this week is rather nice.
Tomorrow will start with a morning cup of coffee.
I’ll rock in my porch chair and thank God for creating June.
Then I’ll decide what to do next.
I think I am finally getting the hang of being retired!

My son sent me this photo from Port A.
He had taken his son for the weekend.
I think I hear Port A calling me!

Super Siblings

We knew this first December without mom would be tough, but oh my…
Thankfully, I have three super siblings.

My youngest sister was in town this week.
We went to eat breakfast at Jim’s, my mom’s favorite place for breakfast.
It was great being together.
We miss having our brother near.
He lives in Seattle, but we do keep close contact.
It has been a great week.

Emma, the author and illustrator for The Pig in a Wig series, was scheduled in schools and  at Barnes and Noble for author visits and book signing.
It was a thrill to see her with the children.
She connects with her audience and inspires them.
Today, one little boy said he was going to go home and write his own story.
The teacher in me just wanted to dance with joy when I heard him say this!
20161210_175524863_ios
I took this photo as she was setting up at Barnes and Noble.
The wig and pig nose are big hits with the kids!
I am so proud of her!

Oh, at Barnes and Noble, I found a great book by Lucinda Ganderton.
20161210_191458243_ios
I haven’t had a chance to study it, but, I like what I have seen so far.

Upon returning home, I got right back to work on a Christmas stocking.
My youngest son said he was looking for a stocking for his son, and I, of course, volunteered to make one.
I made my own pattern for the stocking, but I did find a tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company.
When my sons were little, I made stockings out of felt.
I followed the tradition of placing a felt, beaded tree and train.
This time, I wanted to quilt a stocking.
This is what I have so far.
20161211_025154276_ios  20161211_025202523_ios
I made my own tree applique, but cheated and used already made Christmas and bird appliques.
I hope to finish this tomorrow morning.
My friends and I will be volunteering at a school on Thursday.
I let my friend talk me into her bird brain idea of making 97 bird seed ornaments to give the students.
I will be teaching an art/writing lesson on Thursday, and I need to prepare for that.
Busy!

Pig in a Wig

EmmaVpiginwig

It is my honor to be the sister of a great author and illustrator, Emma Virjan.
Young readers are delighted with the adventures of Pig in a Wig.
The rhythm, rhyme, and word patterns make it easy and fun to read.
I’m also proud to say that my son, Sean Cunningham, is the creator of the trailers for Pig in a Wig.

BookPeople, in Austin, hosted the book launch for  Emma’s first book in this series, What This Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig. I wanted to make something special to celebrate, so I decided to make my first tote bag. I purchased a pattern, but found the instructions were confusing. Even people with experience confirmed that the pattern was not user friendly. This became a real learning experience for me.
I used one of Emma’s images of Pig in a Wig (with permission) and made an applique to add onto the center of the tote.
Cindy, at Las Colchas, demonstrated the bullion stitch, and I thought it would be great to add dimension to Pig’s bouffant. By the time I got home, I had already forgotten how to do the stitch, so I researched and found a tutorial for the bullion embroidery stitch.
I wanted my two youngest grandchildren to participate in the celebration, Pig- in- a- Wig- style, so I added and applique of Pig onto a dress and a t-shirt.
It was a great day, celebrating my sister!

Pig jan4_aug312pigdress jan4_aug312pig shirt

Acquired /Improved Skills: Reading and adjusting a pattern, making a large tote, boxing the corners of a tote, bullion embroidery stitch, applique techniques