Sunday, July 31, 2011

Curved 9-Patch Revival

Another quilt revival, this one, and I admit I had to think hard and look this up, is a curved 9-patch.  I am pretty sure this quilt project, yes, still in progress, was started before the Double Wedding Ring.  Interestingly enough, the shapes are very similar, and this one also has a funky technique to eliminate the curved piecing.

It started with deciding to remove the blue and lace tablecloth from the dining room table.  I like the dining room table extended to its full length, but the leaves are not of the same wood quality as the table, which by the way is quite antique, and so I needed something to cover them.
Looking around for a table runner with blue in it, I came up empty handed, since they are all in use in my bedroom.  But I found this square of 16 curved 9-patch blocks that I thought would work.

Curved 9 Patch

Love the soft pastel colors against the dark wood.
Curved 9 Patch

Thought I would plop the newly blooming purple African Violet on top for an even more cottage vintage look.
Curved 9 Patch

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wrapping Up Week 30

Wrapping and scrapping week 30 using the right side of Anna Aspnes Project 2011 Template #5, which as mentioned, makes scrapping a piece of cake.  I tried hard to find more to do than just place the photos, the background paper (from Anna Aspnes Something Springy, the color adjusted to match the pretty gladiola that sticks out of the fence on that house on the side of the 4th hole of the golf course), the numbers, week etc, mostly copied from Week 29  (Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette English Rose, Harry P font from The Daily Prophet) so they would match, but there is really no more to be done.  It's that simple.

Week 30

Friday, July 29, 2011

Reviving the Double Wedding Ring

My first and longest lasting fabric love ... 30's prints, be they original or reproduction.  These pastel novelties are just so happy, and I love having them in my house.

Recently while searching for fabrics for the Envelope Quilt, I came across this quilt in progress, otherwise known as a UFO or unfinished object.
It's a Double Wedding Ring, one of the most famous of 30's quilt patterns, made with an interfacing product from QuiltSmart to bypass the piecing of the arcs.


Charmed by the pretty blocks, I pulled pieces out of the carefully organized bag. I even found a tiny scrap of paper, dated Tuesday, November 28, 2000, with information on how I had modified the pattern.
DWR Elements

I recall deciding that I liked the product but wanting bigger blocks, I had split the interfacing arcs, separating them carefully by 5/8" before proceeding to sew, clip, turn and press to stick them to the background fabric.

DWR Arcs

Just spending a little time each day I have been able to put two more blocks together.
DWR Block in Progress DWR Block

I don't know that I will finish this quilt anytime soon, but I am smitten with it right now.  My next objective will be to find a yellow solid that matches the corners of the yellow blocks, as there was none of that in the bag.  Is that why I stopped, I wonder??

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Church

I pass this church every time I go to see Dr. Dreyfuss in downtown San Jose from Silver Creek.  It's on Alum Rock Road right off 101, easily seen from the freeway.  It has this magnetic quality...look at me, find out more about me.  Yet it seemed like every time I would pass by, it was raining, or I was in a hurry.  Tod helped me to find out that it is the Five Wounds Portuguese National Church.  And finally, last week, I was able to stop, park, walk over and get a better look.

It is stunningly beautiful, especially so starkly white against a blue sky.  And as an added bonus, there were beautiful roses growing all along the sides and front of the church.  My only disappointment was that I could not get inside.  Why is a church locked?

I used the Church as the subject for a pop-out detail page for Anna Aspnes Project 2011 exercise 5, to create a multi-page story.  So far it is just two pages, Week 29 and now this page, but soon it will be joined by Week 30 and another detailed page expounding on the story of one of the other photos of the day.

Portuguese Church

Additional credits: Anna Aspnes Artplay Palettes Barren Sunrise, Floralis, Find My Way and Artsy Layered Template No 19.

And here is the story I was able to find, on the site of the Portuguese Band of San Jose.  It's a great story!
The Five Wounds Portuguese National Church is the heart and soul of the Portuguese Community in Santa Clara Valley. The Five Wounds Parish was dedicated by Father Henrique Ribeiro on November 8, 1914. The hard work and dedication of many Portuguese families made this beautiful edifice possible. The story of the construction of Five Wounds is a testament to the spirit of the Portuguese people. After the local Panama-Pacific Exposition closed in San Francisco at the end of 1915, a group of community leaders asked to use the timbers and wood from the Portuguese Pavilion to help build the Five Wounds Church. With wagons and fanfare they brought back from San Francisco down the El Camino Real the building materials for Five Wounds Church. They were met and celebrated in the many Portuguese communities along the way. The cornerstone of the church was laid October 1, 1916, and the completed building was consecrated on July 13, 1919. From that wonderful beginning grew the strong support for the Five Wounds Portuguese National Church.
The building is of Manueline style and has been a source of identity and pride for the over eight hundred thousand Portuguese-speaking people who live in California. Five Wounds has been declared by the City of San Jose a historical landmark of general interest to the entire community.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Week 29 Scrapped, More Project 2011

Almost caught up with my scrapbook weekly layouts!  I am now actually scrapping last week, and only the first week of the year remaining, and I will be well on my way to my most thoroughly documented year ever.  Too bad I haven't been doing this for about 30 years.  But then, I would need an even bigger house.

For weeks 29 and 30, I am going to use the same Anna Aspnes Project 2011 Template #5 that I used for weeks 2 and 3, then expand on some of the photos in these weeks to tell a more detailed story.

Here is the start, Week 29, using a background paper from Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Barren Sunrise (probably my most used kit!).  

Another photo taken at the movie theater, and just as bad in quality as the one of Megan and I with the Smurfs, but still hopefully tells the story. I did a search for free Harry Potter fonts and had no trouble finding one, on The Daily Prophet (where else??).  I incorporated some fun elements from Jen Maddocks Venerable kit.

Week 29

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Project 2011 - Weeks 2 & 3

I am admittedly still all over the place with Anna Aspnes' Project 2011, but that doesn't mean I am not challenged, learning, thinking, applying.

While still thinking about how to incorporate promptings and lessons on a multi-page, as in 3 or 4 page, story, I decided to warm up the Week 5 template by using it for my 2011 weeks 2 and 3 layouts.

Week 2 Week 3

These templates are sinfully easy to use since the photos take up most of the page.  I like that in a layout.  I want to see the pictures, and rather abhor white space.  A simple background (from Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Barren Sunrise), journaling and date circles (ArtPlay Palette Find My Way) complete the page.

Week 2

Similarly on the right-hand side, Week 3, using ArtPlay Palette Seafoam as a background, and repeating the date circles and fonts.

Week 3

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fun in the Summertime Sun

A new digital scrapbooking  kit from Maya de Groot, Fun in the Sun, provided for some fun scrapping over the weekend.

I remembered this picture Amy posted of Lily in the pool on the 4th of July, and thought it would be perfect to use with this kit.  Every time I look at the picture and the layout it makes me smile.  Don't worry, it all turned out OK, as it always does.

Lily in the Pool

The template is Maya de Groot's Template Set 7, and in addition to Fun in the Sun, uses her kits Home Sweet Home, Artsy Fartsy and Stuck on You.

Here is the preview for Fun in the Sun, which has a lot more purples and blues in it than I highlighted in the first layout.

Purple made me think of a couple of photos of the day from last week, the thistles from Toulon Hill and the purplish sky at sunset after a late round of golf, so I also used the kit to do my Week 28 layout.  The template is Maya de Groot's Double Dippers Set 2.

Week 28

Looking back at just a week ago I see so many wonderful moments...Wednesday bagels, always so good, a strawberry pie, how delicious that was!, finding thistles on Toulon Hill dotting the surrounding hillsides with bursts of prickly purple!, new lounge chairs for the back yard...ahhh!
Week 28 Left

My golf game continues to improve and I had yet another birdie, and the week culminated with the visit with the Brunos.  I love P365, it reminds me how fortunate I am!
Week 28 Right

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Envelope Quilt Completed

At the end of last evening and the end of the movie (The Figher...I recommend this!), and the depletion of my energy, there were still 12 more buttons to sew on.  Fortunately there was a Yankee game on TV today so I could plop myself in the naugabeast and settle in with needle and thread.

The envelope quilt, titled "Return to Sender" is now complete, packed and will be on its way to New York tomorrow.

I have a new favorite place to take pictures of my quits, especially smaller ones, draping them over the rocks of the pool.  The light is so much better, and the sky provides a wonderful backdrop.  As I ran to get the camera, I had a vision of the wind suddenly picking up and dumping the newly finished quilt into the pool, but fortunately that didn't happen.

Envelope Quilt

Envelope Quilt

My secret ingredient, the one that I think takes the quilt from ok to better-than-ok, is the quilting. I freehand quilted the alphabet in lower case cursive, over and over on the quilt (only needed about 4 repetitions in the body of the quilt) and then again in each of the borders.

Envelope Quilt

I miss sewing, and have dragged out a "UFO" (unfinished object), a double wedding ring in 30's repros, that I am going to try to work on now and then.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Envelope Quilt in Progress

One of the most interesting pieces of mail received while we were away in June was a package from my friend Pat Yamin of Come Quilt With Me.  In it was a template set and a letter asking for a quilt to be made for an upcoming TV appearance.  Of course I would do it, I would do anything for Pat.

Fast forward several weeks and aghast, the quilt needs to be in New York by August 1.

While I had been thinking about it, choosing fabrics, even making blocks, it was not proceeding well, which sometimes happens.  But it was time to just go for it.

And so in the past several days I completed the blocks, chose a setting, finished the top, and started quilting it.  By the end of the day it was ready for the buttons to be sewn on, which I did in front of a movie (The Figher).

Envelope Quilt in Progress 1

I still need to finish 12 more buttons before shipping it off.  And I am still not crazy about it.  I like the fabrics, the Come Quilt With Me collection of 30's reproductions designed by Pat Yamin and produced by Marcus Brothers.  I like the blocks, but I wish I could have come up with a more creative setting.  And the setting fabric was hard to choose.  I rearranged the blocks a hundred times, then a hundred times more as I mixed them up while sewing the rows.  There is one thing I do like, which I'll show once it is all done.
Envelope Quilt in Progress 2

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quote from the Weekend

One of the things I like about Anna Aspnes Project 2011 is that it makes me think.  How can I implement this technique in a meaningful way, given whats going on in my life and the pictures I have to work with.  The thinking is a challenge, and it makes me grow in my skills and become a netter storyteller.

I was thinking about the first two lessons, which were about quoting.  A quote from a special event can be so powerful, evoking a whole flood of memories.  A remembered quote can last for years.  For example, I remember things Crissy said when she was 2 and 3 years old, remarkable things for a 2 or 3-year old to say, and they bring back a crystal clear picture of where we were and what we were doing ("Hey, what's going on here?", "I want to go on a honeymoon.").  Such is the quote I chose from this past weekend that we spent with Anna, Lello, Lucrezia and Andrea.

I was worried that these teenage girls who lead a somewhat charmed life would be bored by a rather out of the way trip to see some trees.  They are special trees, the coastal redwoods of Muir Woods, but then again, trees and 15/16 year olds??

I was not going to ask if they liked it, but rather, explain that Tod likes to share nature with people, and her response, "It is beautiful.  It is important to see it", spoken in her adorable Italian-accented English, will be what I most remember from this trip.

The second technique from the project I have been wanting to try if blending a paper onto a quote.

I combined these two aspects into a double-page spread from our visit to Muir Woods.  Besides the shots of us at the woods, I took a close up picture of some redwood burl, and the colors and textures of the burl are providing the background for the right-hand page.  These colors are perfectly complemented in Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Barren Sunrise.

Muir Woods Quoted Muir Woods Right

Muir Woods Quoted

Muir Woods Right

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Moving into July

Now that I have completed scrapping all of the photos of the day from June, with the exception of June 30, I am moving into July.  As I am moving back and forth between the early weeks of the year and the current weeks of the year, I can honestly say it is better to scrap current, as it is much easier to remember the details.

Since I had 1 picture from June that was not about Europe, and 2 from the first week in July, I decided to combine this short part of week 26 with 7 photos from week 27, into a double page layout featuring all 10 photos.

I thought one of the templates from Anna Aspnes' Project 2011, with the many photo masks, would be a good starting point. The number of photos was not exact, but I simply added, subtracted, multiplied and divided to meet my needs, while hopefully keeping the feel of the templates.

Back in week 2 of Project 2011, a suggested journaling technique was to use 6 words.  The idea was to supplement the pictures with 6 powerful words.  I am not sure my words are powerful, but I like them.  They do say a lot about what was going on, what I feel, what I like, and as I look at them, my mind combines these words into phrases which relate even more about the week, like...
  • delightful blooming flowers and trees
  • delightful weather
  • blooming hot
  • hot but delightful weather
  • my backyard fantasy full of gnomes
  • delightful flowers everywhere I go (neighborhood, farmers market)
  • charming gnomes added to my collection (my new Gnomeo & Juliet)
  • Midnight in Paris was a charming movie
  • charming fantasy gnomes
  • charming gnomes create a fantasy backyard
I decided I needed, and wanted, a little more journaling to be sure some little details, like which movie we were seeing when we stood in front of the Smurfs, and why am I suddenly showing pictures of older gnomes (they are newly painted!!).

Week 27

In the background of the left-side page are several papers from Anna Aspnes Something Springy.  The word art for the 3 words on this page are a combination of Anna's Descriptives, Jen Maddocks Apple Blossom, and simple text in funky fonts set against Descriptives.  Several of Katie Pertiet's Flower Cards are blended into the background.

Week 27  Left

On the right side, there are so many photos the background is nearly hidden, but more Descriptives and creative fonts adds the 3 words to this page.  The picture taken in the dark lobby of the movie theater is admittedly not a good photo (despite attempts at editing), but it still is precious to me.  Adding a simple hand-drawn pencil frame adds some emphasis and whimsy.  The papers and numbers are from Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Special One.

Week 27 Right

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Anna Aspnes' Project 2011

There are so many wonderful and talented designers involved in digital scrapbooking.  I love being on the Creative Teams for Simply Kelly, Jen Maddocks and Maya de Groot.  But if I had to pick my favorite designer for scrapping personal projects, it would be Anna Aspnes.  Her esthetic so exemplifies the collage style that I adore, and the pages made with her templates and products really make my heart sing. I first started seeing reference to Anna in the gallery at Jessica Sprague. There was one particular member, Ann6, who made the most beautiful layouts that would stand out and draw me from the pages of the gallery. And almost every time I was drawn and read the credits, Anna Aspnes products were involved.

And so I am excited to be participating in Anna's Project 2011, newsletter-based instruction and inspiration series designed to result in at least 20 scrapped pages using templates and prompts, especially prompts for journaling.  We are about half-way through the project, but it's not too late to join. Go to Anna's blog and sign up for her mailing list.

As I was catching up on CT commitments in early July, I was a little late getting going, but have created 4 of my June POTD pages using products from this series, and I LOVE these pages, full of color and excitement and yes, plenty of journaling, now hopefully better as a result of the prompts in the Project 2011 lessons.

The first is a double-page spread of  the Lauterbrunnen POTDs:
June Lauterbrunnen Left June Lauterbrunnen Right

The second a double-page spread of the end of June, covering Zermatt, Pontresina, St. Moritz and Zurich, as well as the flight home:
June Zermatt June End

I look forward eagerly to the arrival of the weekly Project 2011 newsletter and am looking forward to the continuation of the lessons and layouts.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Stacked & Pink from Simply Kelly

A pretty new kit and versatile template from Simply Kelly Designs have enabled me to feature some recent flower photos from the garden and neighborhood.  
We know how I love taking pictures of flowers!

First, using Kelly's new Roll With It Kit, and her Along a Curve template, I captured one of my photos of the day of the Rose of Sharon tree blossoms in the back yard.  I love how strong the contrast is between the petals and the deep blue sky.  Similarly, the contrast of the pink and black adds a lot of drama to the layout.  I love the flower elements that look like molded clay...wish I knew how to cluster better.

Rose Sharon Bunco Kit

The Roll with It Kit is actually Bunco themed. But since I have never played bunco, I chose the simply make good use of the colors and the wonderful curvy elements.  The pretty blue "paper" on top is simply a blue to white gradient using the sky color as a starter, overlaid with one of the papers from the kit, set to "multiply" blending mode to remove the white.

Last week when we were too tired to play golf and too tired for a long walk, we walked up Coulon Hill and were delighted to find the thistles in bloom. There is one thistle plant in the creek on the 5th hole that we see when we walk over the bridge, but I never have the time or inclination to get closer to it (we kind of hate that creek on 5, and even more where it curves and winds and cuts the 6th fairway in half). The last time we were on Coulon Hill the new thistle leaves were pushing up out of the drying ground, but this is the first of the fresh new batch of thistles.

This layout uses one of Simply Kelly's new Stacked Templates, along with papers from her Power of Pixels and In the Pool kits. All the thistle stuff - papers, seeds, tag, overlays and grunge - are from Jen Maddocks Designs Everyday Garden kit.

Thistles SKD Stacked2

There are 2 other templates in this Stacked Templates package that I am anxious to use.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weeks 4 & 5

Since I have finished scrapping June and July is, well, I was going to say just getting started, but that's not quite true.  Anyway, before I completely forget any of the details, I want to finish up the first 5 weeks of the year.  Here are weeks 4 and 5, using Anna Aspnes Magic Sparkle PhotoBlenz Album pages.  I bought this album because I saw I could easily incorporate 7 photos on a page, focusing on one large one, making them a good candidate for weekly layouts.

With 7 photos on the page, once a background paper is chosen, the layout is nearly complete.  however, that does not mean I don't spend a few additional hours tweaking. 

Week 4
Week 4 also uses papers and elements from Jan Maddocks Designs Apple Blossoms kit.

Week 5
Week 5 also uses papers and elements from Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palettes Special One and Sunshine Bouquet.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Finishing up June

The last of the June photos of the day, at least up until the 29th when we flew back from Zurich, with our stops in Zermatt, Pontresina, St. Moritz and Zurich, using Anna Aspnes Project 2011 Template 4, with her ArtPlay Palettes Englush Rose, Barren Sunrise and some glows and loops from her Magic FotoBlenz Album.

June Zermatt June End

I will forever be content that we were able to see the Matterhorn clearly on not only our arrial day but also our departure day.  The one in between, well, we knew it was there.  And now we don't have to go back, since it is rather far out of the way, and the most expensive place we encountered in Switzerland (thank goodness for the CoOp grocery!).  And I will forever remember the fresh and lovely hike to Zmutt, how kind it was of the people at breakfast to recommend this wonderful hike, and how beautiful the weather was and how perfect the trail as we gently climbed nearly 100 feet above the Zermatt valley floor.

June Zermatt

And Pontresina, St. Moritz and Samedan.  they were not at all what I expected, and in fact St. Moritz was a disappointment.  Tod hit the nail on the head when he said it had no soul, but there was plenty of soul in the other little towns, and plenty of good weather and hiking opportunities in this perfect geological bowl.  Zurich we will remember as being too hot, and the lovely flight attendants we met on the boat who shared the United wine with us :-)

June End

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend Photos

What a busy but wonderful day we had, spending it with the relatives from Italy.  After picking them up at the Sir Francis Drake in San Francisco, we paid a quick visit to Sausalito for ice-crean and expresso, then headed further up to Muir Woods, which was shrouded in fog, but smelled so fresh and lovely.  Quote of the day, from Lucrezia, spoken with an adorable italian accent, "It is beautiful.  It is important to see it".


How cute are these two?  That is Andrea on the left, Lucrezia on the right.  Lucrezia is the daughter of my grandfather's brother's grandaughter.  At least I think that's right.

And here we all are in the back yard after an American style barbeque - Megan, Anna, me, Tod, Lello and Lucrezia.