Monday, July 18, 2016

Random Thoughts on a Random Day

It's not Thursday. But I'm going to be gone for the week, so here is some randomness before I leave. I'm sure you are thrilled.


While our son and daughter-in-law were in New York City for a week, and four grandchildren were here for the first four days of that trip, we had "art camp" and I wrote about that here.

However, there were lots of fun times besides art camp.

My parents have a favorite donut shop. So one morning we met them for donuts.

Somehow Charlotte found a picture function on my phone I didn't even know existed (she did the one above, with all the circles), and as I scrolled through my pictures after the kids were gone, I found all kinds of interesting pictures.

Example number 1:
Hanging around...
  They love making silly faces.

Levi built a new toy for Ella. It had two pages of instructions. All I did was hand him a Phillips screwdriver.
Did I mention that Charlotte became my personal barista? Wow, do I ever miss that perk. Haha, do you see what I just did there??
She made cookies too. Yum.
The last night they were at our house, we went to the zoo for supper. Our zoo has an amazing African Adventure section, and so you order your meal, sit outside and gaze at the animals. It's really quite phenomenal.

Mark bought a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me. I used the "watercolour app" on my phone and the picture of the flowers went from this
to this. Isn't that cool?
Aaron and Christa brought me a NYC Starbucks mug as a souvenir. They know me so well. Look at the cute little yellow taxi. :)
My good friend, Deborah, celebrated a birthday. Remember a couple of weeks ago when Mark and I went on the train with the rest of the family to have ice cream? Three of us celebrated Deborah's birthday, taking the train and having ice cream. Deborah ordered a banana split.
I'm not a huge ice cream fan (I know, that seems weird) so this is what I had.
Here is a question I like to ask: who is the musician you would pay the most money to see in person? My number one choice has always been James Taylor. Mark was the first to read that he was coming to town and we I grabbed tickets as soon as possible. The concert exceeded even my high expectations. We had great seats but even so, it was nice to see a close-up on the jumbotron.
This is the first time I have ever purchased a fan t-shirt.
So the grandkids had told me about a donut shop in town called Fantasy Donuts. We made an expedition there the other morning. It was already 10:30 so all the really "interesting" donuts were already gone. Although there were still some with "flaming cheetos" on top. Go figure...
Ella loved her chocolate donut. Or maybe I should say, the chocolate loved her.
I love all things Pantone (with the exception of the two colors they chose for Color of the Year 2016). Did you know this?
And finally...
I'll be in Minnesota for the week. Hope yours is a good one.

Friday, July 15, 2016

From Start to Finish: My Swedish Ex

It's about time I show a finished quilt. I always enjoy sharing where the inspiration came from, and move on to the completed quilt.

This is My Swedish Ex (more about the name later....)

The idea started when Mark and I were at IKEA and I saw this little 8"x8" print on a canvas.
I loved the graphic impact, and of course the fact that it was solid colors.

It was about the time that Hoffman Fabrics came out with their new Me+You line of solid and subtle print batiks. As soon as they were available, I purchased a fat quarter stack of the prints, and then Hoffman sent some of the solids for me to work with.

The blocks (there are actually three blocks) are easy to construct.

A few times I was able to achieve a transparency effect and those are my favorite blocks.

In May, Mark and I headed to the Monterey coast and took some fun shots. Going to the coast for quilt photography might be one of the main reasons I keep quilting--haha.

The backing came from my stash. Both fabrics have color names.

Oh, and the name...Since my inspiration came from IKEA, I started with "Swedish." At first I was just going to call it "Swedish X" and leave it at that. But somehow, changing it to "ex" seemed to add more mystery to the story.  And if nothing else, it made me chuckle. Mark always says I come up with quilt names mostly to amuse myself. He might be right about that.

Quilt: My Swedish Ex
Block Size: 8"
Quilt Size: 64" x 64"
Designed and Made by: Cindy Wiens
Quilted by: Darby Myers

I'm linking to Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF, Fort Worth Fabric Studio and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Really Random Thursday, 7/14/16: The 2016 Wiens Art Camp Edition

Be prepared for lots of color and lots of pictures. The 2016 session of Wiens Art Camp seemed like a resounding success.

After decorating their art smocks, the first project was stamping and painting on leather. I had purchased long strips of 3/4" wide leather that I cut into 12 1/2" lengths. I saw this project on Kristie Maslow's instagram feed (@kristieocd) and she texted me with lots of helpful hints.

I had two sizes of alphabet stamps and we spent a bit of time figuring out what words they wanted on their leather key fobs. I helped Gabe a little bit by holding the stamp, but he did all the letter spacing and pounding himself (and never missed once).
Then it was time to use some leather paint for decorating.

 Charlotte sneaking in some extra painting time before she and Levi left for swimming lessons
I added the rivets and the key ring. Ta-da!
Charlotte made two--a matching one for her best friend.
And if you are curious what an 8-year-old boy stamps on his key fob, it reads: "Oh yeah. Go to @ Levi is cool." And now you know...

We had extra time another day, and extra strips of leather. They had enjoyed the project so much, they asked if they could each make another one. Of course!
We usually had our sessions during Ella's nap time--just easier as she is 2 1/2. But I had gotten some Color Wonder stamps for her and she enjoyed that.

The next session was a bit lengthier, but they never lost focus. It involved carving their own stamps, making a custom stamp pad with screen printing ink, a piece of craft felt and a paper plate (works like a charm), stamping on linen, and then doing some fabric painting.

With careful supervision, Charlotte and Levi carved their own stamps.

I found a cool set of foam shapes that Gabe could pull off and attach to another piece of foam and make his own custom stamp--perfect for his age.

Then we made the stamp pads. Charlotte wanted purple paint, and since I only had golden yellow, green, blue and magenta, it was a good time to talk about color theory and how to mix colors to get the purple that she wanted.
Then it was time to stamp on the linen.

Paint supplies are so pretty.
We put fabric paint in this plastic palette.
And they completed their project with more color.
I'm so proud of them. They were engaged and seemed eager to learn new techniques. (And I learned right along with them, as I had never done any of these projects myself.)

Once they understood the steps, they were completely free to make their own artistic decisions. Aren't these fabulous?

I highly recommend the book, Beyond Cotton, by Krista Fleckenstein. It is packed with information for each of these techniques. And we still have a lot more to learn.

I'll have a couple more highlights of the week tomorrow. I know Aaron and Christa were having a great time in New York City, but Charlotte, Levi, Gabe and I were having our own adventures. I hope they will have some good memories of art camp.