Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wall Murals for Social Services

When I should be thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas, I get a call from my old boss asking me to draw and paint kid-friendly murals in their visitation rooms.  It's for kids.  How could I say no?

Since I am still working, I needed to find simple scenes others could paint.  After searching the Internet 'til all hours of the night, I found scenes easy enough for novice or experienced painters and sketched them out for approval.   

For the first room I drew huge simplistic trees with flowers and butterflies. A whole team of volunteers showed up to paint the walls.  I'm not the only soft touch with a soft spot for kids.  😉

Each of the second room's walls featured a different type of landscape.  One wall featured a city with a lake nearby, another wall had mountains, and another had a forest scene.  A road with cars and trucks tied the scene together.  This was mainly the room I painted in.  Since most of the scenes were angular, I used painter's tape to tape off the scenes, then used sponges to add paint. 

I never got to see the rooms finished because I wasn't there the final week, but I've been promised pictures.  Hopefully the children that use these rooms will find them cheery and bright.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Practical Magick

My Dark Butterfly quilt is finished!  I love its rich tones with the contrasting aqua and mint. This is a large lap quilt for a friend.  There are two prints with butterflies, a tan and a mint green toile, and the aqua has ruminations about a garden in brown ink.

It must be the influence of all the supernatural shows at the movies right now, or perhaps because Halloween has just passed, but this quilt has a magical quality for me.  Although there is nothing mystical about the prints, the writing on the aqua fabric and the little pictures on the tan and mint prints make me think of Merlin's book of spells. 

I'm hoping its recipient is pleasantly charmed and feels warm and loved as she snuggles under it on cool evenings.  Blessed be.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

2016 Holiday Hop

 I love quilt shop hops and was especially excited to be able to participate in the 2016 Holiday Hop! 

My good friend Rhea fired up her Denali and we were off to begin out adventure in Fresno, California where we visited Kiki's Quilt Shack.  Kiki's is a new addition to our regular group of shops.  This is a beautiful shop that caters to both quilters and embroiderers.  Their friendly staff is very knowledgeable in the quirks and remedies of embroidery machines and offered me free advice on how I might troubleshoot some of the problems my Bernina has been giving me.  The shop is full of beautiful fabric and plenty of patterns.  As we walked in they gave us an adorable faux fur Santa bag filled with recipes and goodies.  Once we finished oogling all the store had to offer, we helped ourselves to hot cocoa and a variety of cookies.  YUM!  We will definitely be coming back to Kiki's!

Next on our itinerary was Quilter's Paradise in Clovis.  This is one of my favorite shops!  Since I am interested in learning how to work with wool, I spent a lot of my time oohing and ahhing over their wonderful selection of wool and flannel.  If anyone has a favorite website featuring wool designs and such, please give me a heads up.

Besides their wool section, Quilter's Paradise has an extension selection of beautiful fabric which is right up my alley.  I love novelty fabric and this shop has plenty, even several bolts of the Ghastlies.  The entire store is full of completed quilts, many of which have available kits. They also have one of the most complete libraries of books and magazines I have ever seen. It's not hard to imagine why this is one of my favorite shops.

I thought I showed real constraint by not buying everything I saw.  Rhea ... not so much. 

The last shop we visited was Thimble Towne in Visalia.  Thimble Towne has opened a branch of their store in Bakersfield, where we live, but the two stores carry different items so it's always a treat to visit this wonderful little shop.  Their staff always comes up with a cute idea for their hops, and this time was no different.  In their goodie bag they included a recipe and a spiral Christmas tree ornament kit. 

I was really looking for a specific type of Christmas fabric and didn't find it at any of the shops we visited, but I did find at Thimble Towne fabric for a couple of other quilts I am thinking of making, so my resolve to watch my budget flew out the window.  But really, what's a shop hop if you can't buy, right?  Rhea says she allows herself to splurge when she shop hops.  I think that will become my motto, too.