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December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays and a Wonderfully Creative 2011

I make fabric ornaments for our Christmas Tree every year and I'm now trying to paint all of them to have images I can play with.  This small stocking was made in 1989.

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My daughter and I took Sydney to the NY City Ballet version of The Nutcracker this week.  She loves the Mouse King, but I painted him after we went last year.  This year I decided that we really needed a Nutcracker drawing  - and I sketched this one from a little ornament I bought for her.

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I still have two more small stocking stuffers to sew today, then tomorrow I'll make the flourless chocolate cake for Christmas Eve dinner here with all of our children and grandchildren.  My husband is making a rib roast, and creamed spinach.  I just need to bake bread and make rice pilaf.  We love Christmas!

December 4, 2010

New Christmas Ornaments

I make multiple Christmas ornaments each year and just finished those for 2010.  Several years ago I made many images of a Christmas tree in a silk screen workshop by Marit Kucera and just put away the fabric squares in my studio when I came home.  This year I rediscovered them in my studio and designed ornaments for our children and grandchildren to hang on their trees.  

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I made 13 total, several with a sparkly fabric overlayer.  After stitching together the fabric with the silk screen, batting, and backing, the trees were turned and machine quilted with gold metallic thread (YLI Kaleidoscope).  I love the sparkle!

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November 23, 2010

Never Ending Rice Mice

Henry (7), Sydney (5), and Callum (3) were here overnight on Saturday and two more Rice Mice were born.  Sydney now has 3 and Callum has 2.  Syd was able to sit on my lap and work the foot pedal on the sewing machine while I steered, and then pour the rice into the body using a funnel.  Callum picked out the fabric, the eyes, the tail and poured in the rice.  Both snuggled with their mice and happily carried them home.

Regular readers of this blog know that these mice are very special to me, and many of you ordered the book of pen drawings, poems, and patterns after my last posting.  Thank you.  Ann Goodman Hays was thrilled with the response and proceeds continue to go to the Gunvor Refetoff Art Program at the University of Chicago lab school.

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Here is Sydney with her latest mouse.  She selected a piece of hand painted fabric from my quilting stash.

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Callum has trouble standing still for a photo, but crawled under a dining room chair to admire his mouse and I was able to take this picture.

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Happy Thanksgiving to Americans who celebrate this holiday across the world. 

November 2, 2010

Quilt Journal Page #6

I'm off to The International Quilt Festival in Houston, but wanted to post my last quilt journal page before departing.  They were photographed quickly as they hang on my apartment-sized design wall - a little crooked.

This page was created with the thermafax screens that I made last month and thickened procion MX dyes.  I loved the technique!  The image of the models was a green dye print and then I free-motion stitched it in black.  All of the other stuff in the background was printed from other screens. 

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Here are the first 6 all hanging together.  I will definitely go back to do a little more quilting, but I'm trying to keep the creative momentum going.  I have at least 4 more ways that I want to try to transfer images of the model to fabric.

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I have a blog post comparing Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and watercolor washes in the Strathmore Visual Journals that will be automatically uploaded while I'm gone.  I didn't think my husband would step-in to post it!  But I won't be able to moderate comments until I return on Sunday. 

October 17, 2010

Rice Mice Are Nice Mice - and How To Make One

WARNING:  This is a long Post

Several years ago, I posted photos and journal pages about Rice Mice that I made for Christmas decorations and for my grand children's stockings.

Here is the link:  http://www.paperandthreads.com/2008/12/the_wife_of_one_of.php

Most of the important information about the origin of these handmade toys and my love of them is in that blog post and very important to the rest of the story.

I had so many requests for information about where to buy the book, that I contacted Dr. Sam Refetoff and met with him and his current wife Heather when they were visiting New York City and plans began to update and publish a new edition of the book.  Heather worked with Ann Goodman Hayes, one of the original co-authors, and I closely followed the progress of the project.  The 2nd Edition is now available.

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To obtain copies, contact Ann Hayes:  annhayes@ionsky.com 

I read all of the poems in the book to my grand children, ages 3, 5, and 7, this weekend over breakfast and once again needed to make a Rouse Mouse - singular of Rice Mice. 

There are new poems in this edition and lovely line drawings.  Here is one I thought was appropriate for this blog.

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And here is happy Sydney, still in her nightgown this morning, with her new mouse.  She selected the fabric, buttons, and tail from my plentiful stash and then worked with me right up to the point where we added the rice.

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And here are the photos of the furry little creature. 

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