Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Etsy :: Treasury List

One of my amethyst dream pieces is featured in an Etsy treasury titled "Got Hearts?". YEA!
Here's the link.....

There are many beautiful purple heart items included.
:) Beth

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Spinach Madeleine to Dye For!

Well today was the day for me to make the big triple batch of one of our family's favorite Thanksgiving dishes, Spinach Madeleine. Some of it is for my husband who is pet sitting and working this year instead of traveling north to Frisco, some of it is for the church pot-luck tomorrow and 85% of it is for my cousin Carmen's Thanksgiving feast.

I think the recipe orginally came from the famous River Road Recipes cookbook;but, my copy is from a list of family recipes my beloved Aunt Celeste typed up years ago and distributed to everyone.

For part of the recipe you have to drain the spinach and reserve the "liquor" (green spinach water) for adding to the recipe later. When I was doing that step it occured to me that I could probably dye fabric with the leftover spinach liquor that wasn't going into the dish!

Here's the spinach and the reserved liquor.

Here is the fabric added to the spinach liquor. I used plain muslin and PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric to compare the results. PFD fabric is treated so that it takes up the dye more readily.
I added a lot of salt thinking it might help with the dyeing and I boiled it and then let it sit w/ the heat turned off for a few hours.

Here's how it turned out after washing out the spinach remnants and ironing it. The plain musling is on the left and the PFD is on the right. The top fabrics are what they looked like before dyeing. I had no idea PFD fabric would turn out so differently! I did this a while back with the blueberry juice that you are supposed to drain from the canned blueberries that come in the box of muffin mix. I didn't have any PFD fabric then so I just used muslin. It came out very light blue. I have a feeling that if I do it again w/ PFD fabric, I'd get much better results!

By the way, I did finish the triple batch, too. Spinach Madeleine to DYE for!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Etsy Mom Treasury-Read and Write

My Sapphire Dream journal is featured in an Etsy Mom Treasury. You can click on the link below to check out the treasury which includes all kinds of handmade items related to books made by moms who have shops on Etsy. Great place to start holiday shopping!

Here's my journal that is featured in the treasury. Everything in my shop is 20% off until Christmas!
Thanks got out to WylesStyle for including me in this awesome treasury. Here's her shop link...

Yea EtsyMoms!!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Please God help me to stay sober today!

Well this is a prayer I have prayed now daily for over 20 years.

So far its seems to be working for at least 24 hrs at a time (more or less) as I never remember to pray it at the same time each day;but, at some point during the day I say this prayer and I really mean it. I do it becasue early on someone in a meeting told me that they do it and it worked for them and they were sober longer than me so I thought I'd give it a try and it has worked.

Now, it's not been a "Touched By an Angel" type of thing;but, I believe deep down that the Lord is helping me to stay sober on a daily basis. I'm attending a Big Book Study meeting and came across this part that just reaffirms what I already know...

"The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power." p.43

I thank God that I found recovery. I know that I would not be alive today without it.

I would have nothing, I would be nothing and I would be able to do nothing. I would be a miserable, pitiful, sick, sorry soul. If I were to be unfortunate enough to be alive, I would be actively suicidal and terribly depressed and alone.

I know this because that's how it was when I drank. I was miserable and desperately wanted to be put out of my misery.

God heard my paryers. He led me to sobriety. He gave me the tools and the people I needed in my life to help me to fight to stay alive, to be able to speak the truth, to have courage and to not be afraid.

I know now just how fortunate I am. How much I would have missed had I continued to drink to my death. I thank God on a daily basis for this and I never ever want to take it for granted. It is a gift freely given to me and I take it and want it and ask for it daily.

Thank you God for helping me to stay sober today!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pokey's Fabric

Well, a while back I won a pack of fabric from the Quilting Arts Magazine blog. It is fabric dyed, stamped, painted, etc. by Pokey Bolton, the editor of Quilting Arts Magazine . It arrived last week...

Some are canvas...

Others are types of paper (perhaps release paper and lutradur)...

A group of printed words and sheet music...

A group of swirly fleur des lis type images...

And a sheer shiny fabric (my favorite although it didn't photograph well)...

Very, very cool! I will make something soon using this new special stash and post it here.

I do realize that I have a whole list of projects I said I'd do on this blog that I haven't yet done...

  • projects using my embellisher
  • quilts using MRI images
  • ATC/ACEO's using the remaining parts of the beaded tassle that I disassembled
  • and now stuff using Pokey's fabric

AND, of course, there are the presents that I haven't even started like the one for my mom's 65th b-day that was last week. (I'll post pics of that as well at some point)

Hoping to go to less doctors in the near future so that I should have more's been a doctor filled September and October...hoping to not need to go again until the new year! Don't they know that I have fun things to work on????

Friday, October 24, 2008

War of the Worlds Mixed Media Canvas Book

This is the cover of my entry into the ETC (etsy Texas Crafters) design challenge for October.

It is a War of the Worlds themed mixed media canvas book. You will be ablte to vote on Monday October 27th and I will add the link to my blog when it's available. Here is the link to my listing in my etsy shop...

Here is the link to vote. The list is on the right side and I'm the 3rd from the top(Mixed Media Canvas Book ByBethStudio)...

My entry is also one of the three prizes as I was sent the original inside album cover image to use in my project. This is a picture of what I started with...

I wish I had thought to take my own picture of the inside album cover spread as it's a little different from the above image as I had none of the words shown above. I just had the picture. I think you'll recognize the parts I used when you look at the inside pages of my book. The words read, "The chances against anything coming from Mars are a million to one but still they come." This is the quote that was printed with the inside album illustration.

And this is the back page...

I got the idea for the canvas book from the article titled Canvas Books A Mixed Media Approach to Preserving Memories in the Oct/Nov 2008 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. It was so much fun to make. It took a lot of time; but, I really got into it and had fun. I hope you like the finished product! I sure would appreciate your vote on Monday! :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fabric Postcard Treasury

My Pirate Cove fabric postcard mini-quilt is featured on an Etsy Treasury of fabric postcards.
Here's the link if you'd like to check it out....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Quilt Display at Herb and Art Fest

My friend and quilting buddy, Cindy, owns Perks Coffee Bar in Lampasas, TX. This past weekend we had a quilt display in conjunction with the Herb and Art Fest. This is my side of the display board. I put a variety of items that are my favorties throughout the years.

This is one of Cindy's matted pieces titled "Dream".

This is an art doll by Cindy. It is her muse doll and the face is a mirror so when you look at the doll you see are your own muse!!! Pretty Cool! Cindy is SO talented and she also sells art quilting supplies at Fatty Corner's Quilts located in the coffee bar. If you are ever in central Texas needing art quilting supplies, go to 3rd Street in Lampasas!

This is "Mom is Wow upside down" again by Cindy. She made this as a gift for her mother-in-law. It says Mom on the front and when you raise it up to see the back it says Wow! (Did I mention that Cindy is very talented?)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Owl Quilt

Here's my latest project. My daughter named it "Owl Night" and it is hanging in her room. That is what happens when you ask a 4 yr. old for advice on hanging Mommy's creations... they all end up in her room. :)

I mostly follwed the directons in the Aug/Sept 08 article "Being Pet-ty Quilted Pet Portraits" in Quilting Arts Magazine. I modified it a little;but, followed it for the most part.

Now of course this owl is not a pet. It is done from a picture of an owl statue that we have in a part of our garden we call "The Owl Nook". I have all kinds of little owl statues tucked away in that corner.

At night, when I'm lying awake unable to sleep for various reasons, I can hear the screech owls that live in our yard (these are real owls now, not the statues!). We have other owls that come through our yard on occaison;but, the little screechies have been around for years having fuzzy little owlets.

So here's my tribute to them, a fuzzy little purple owl that now watches over my daughter as she sleeps. :) Beth

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Green and Purple Etsy Mom Treasury

Yea! One of my ATC's is featured in this EtsyMom treasury...

If you would like to find other great items by other moms on Etsy just search "Etsy Mom Team". Also the Etsy Mom Team has its own blog in case you would like to join the team...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Patchwork Treasury on Etsy

One of my Sapphire Dream ATC's is featured in a treasury on Etsy along with many other lovely blue patchwork items. Check it out....

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Lucky Number 7 Piece of Toast

This is the piece of toast that was served to us at breakfast today! Pretty freaky! It really has a number 7 on it! I'm selling it on eBay just out of curiosity to see if someone will actually buy it...

Here's the listing if you want to check on it during the week to see if it's going to sell...

This has been a fun highlight of a week that has been spent watching hurricanes in the Gulf with my family who is evacuated here from Gustav and is waiting to see where Ike goes before heading home to New Orleans. If the piece of toast sells, I will donate the money to hurricane recovery efforts.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Apple Printing-Back to School

My daughter and I tried our hands at apple printing the other day. Etsy Texas Crafters had a design challenge this past Monday and one of the themes was Back to School. Apples seemed to be a good fit. I did some printing along with my daughter and then even used my new embellisher to needle felt the finished quilted piece. I'm really quite pleased with the resulting mini-quilt. It is listed in my etsy shop, bybethstudio.

Here's my daughter's hands loading the apple with paint...

We just used regular acrylic panit on cotton fabric. Here's the printing in progress (this is my side of the fabric)...

Here's the free-style painting that my daughter did along with the apple printing...

She has titled her fabric "Butterfly Garden". I will soon quilt and embellish her piece as well and will post a picture of the finished piece. Claire LOVES my sewing machine and embellisher so I will have her help me with that part too.

We also saved the apple halves and are going to print with different colors on different fabrics later in the week. I'll post the results of that printing session, too.

Welcome Back to School!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Embellisher Practice Samples

Well with the encouragement of my quilting buddy, Cindy, I got over the fear of screwing up my new machine and dove right in. I have started practicing on fleece and have tried a variety of items as embellishment such as , fleece yarn, regular "fuzzy" yarn, metallic yarn, yarn woven with threads and just fleece pieces. We were both impressed by how well the 2 items are felted together into a very solid new creation.

Here is the front of my fleece sample strip....

And here is the back.....
Now that I've over come my initial trepidation, I'm really having fun.

I'll post more later as I continue to experiment with my new toy!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Newest Toy

Well, there she latest toy, a Baby Lock Embellisher. I got a steal on the EMB7 from a sweet lady in Minnesota.

It should arrive here this week.

After a long while of googling, searching blogs, calling local quilt stores and fantasizing, I'm eagerly anticipating its arrival.

After feeling like I was involved in new car-like negotiations with a local quilting store (amazing how a price can drop by $400 seemingly overnight???, good thing I didn't jump at the expensive-ass first price...who are they kidding here?) I found this brand new, never opened one on Craig's List and the seller is a fellow etsy person (etsian?). So it has 7 needles instead of the 12 of the new model...that's ok! I really don't even know what to do with the 7 needles it has. I'm sure I'll have fun learning!

So, I made a new etsy friend and got a cool new machine at a great price.

Keep checking back for pictures of my first attempts at creating things with my new baby. YEA!!!

Any input on good sites and blogs with project ideas and how-to's is appreciated. :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

ETSY front page! YEA!

On August 2nd I was featured on the front page of Etsy! YEA!!! My little green ATC/ACEO is in the top left-hand corner! Yea!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Beaded Tassel Inspiration

I scooped up this interesting tassel on a shopping trip with my daughter a few weeks ago.I have disassembled it into its components and I'm using the parts in different ATCs/ACEOs for my etsy shop bybethstudio. Here it is in parts....

Here are 2 ATCs/ACEOs that I have made so far using the parts...

They are both newly listed in my etsy shop .

I'll post the others as they are created from the parts of this one just never know when inspiration will strike! Keep creating! :) Beth

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Good Lord Will Take Care of Us

This block is in memory of my father’s cousin, Amelie Dalier (82) and Amelie’s niece, Sandra Richard (58). They drowned together as the flood waters consumed the first floor apartment that they shared on Cleveland Avenue in Mid-City. In their obituary it states that despite urgings by family and friends to leave the city, they decided instead to stick it out as neither one owned a car so evacuation would be difficult.

Claire Dalier, Amelie’s sister-in-law recalled Amelie saying, “The good Lord is going to take care of us.”

Amelie’s words are the inspiration for this block. In thinking about the block, I wanted to illustrate Amelie and Sandra rising from the flood waters of New Orleans into heaven and ultimately into the arms of the good Lord whom, I am certain, is taking care of them for eternity.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Love, Grandma Betty

This block is in memory of my grandmother, Elizabeth Lay Eastwood MacConnell, a long time resident of the French Quarter who died while evacuated in Texas on September 29, 2005 exactly one month from Katrina’s landfall.

The main photograph of my grandma was taken by a photographer in 2005 at The Quarter Scene Restaurant where she ate breakfast daily. It really captures the essence of my grandmother. The smaller picture is one of the four generations (Grandma, Mom, myself and my daughter) that was published in the Times-Picayune shortly after my daughter’s birth in 2003. The excerpt is from a collection of letters written to me by my grandmother. It states, “It was nice to have Beth and Claire here for a visit-We enjoyed showing off 4 generations of girls at our favorite restaurant. We didn’t tell them-they figured it out by themselves-I guess there must be a resemblance between us.”

I used cat fabrics for both the front and back of the block as my grandmother was a “cat lady”. The beads are an old pair of glass Mardi Gras beads which remind me of the necklaces that my grandmother would wear regularly and they also represent her love of New Orleans.

One of the blessings of the evacuation (although, we didn’t see it as a blessing at the time ) was that my mother, my father, my husband, my daughter and myself were able to spend every day for a month together before Grandma got sick and died peacefully. My grandmother told my mother earlier that she dreamt that she would go to a small town and die there. Although she missed New Orleans terribly during the evacuation, small town Lampasas, TX reminded grandma in many ways of her small town childhood home, Owego, NY.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Brainy Ideas

So I'm thinking of doing a series of "brainy" quilts...mostly minis and ATCs using MRI images of the brain (my own brain of course).

I had surgery last year for a non-cancerous tumor and found out last week that I'll need a little radiation as it's growing a little...Bad tumor! BUT.... good radiation...cyberknife radiation that is supposed to be very specific to the tumor and has very few side-effects.

I am so fortunate that it's NOT cancerous and is very slow growing and I really have no symptoms. I am however surrounded by MRI images and brainy talk and of course my way to deal w/ all of this is to create and turn them into something fun and wonderful to me so if anyone has links to brain fabric or stamp images or brainy trinkets and feels like sharing the info, I'd appreciate it. Plus the MRI images are all black and white flim and digital images which is really appealing to me from an artistic standpoint there are so many cool posiblities ... dyeing, painting, etc. not to mention cutting them up and also altering them on the computer....

Pre-surgery last year I talked up the idea of having a post-surgery brain party(although I never did) and found all of this cool brain stuff on-line especially on etsy...SOOO if anyone has a really great brainy site on-line...I'd love to know about it!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Quilt for a Hero

Well my latest project is a quilt for my father-in-law. He's a true American hero having served in the Army in the 60's and doing at least 2 (perhaps 3) tours in Vietnam. He's having prostate cancer surgery tomorrow and I hope to have his lap quilt done within the week to send to him. Here's a picture of the layout of the blocks. I'll start sewing them together later toady. Still might play around with the placement though...
The pattern is "Blue Bamboo" out of the book "9-patch Pizzazz" by Judy Sisneros.
It is a little smaller than I thought but will work as a lap quilt or even a wall hanging. I will probably make a throw pillow to go with it out of the leftover scraps and another Army panel.
Thanks Phil for your service and sacrifice for our country, USA!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Doing what I love to do! Art Quilting!

I Love My Boring Life!

Ok, well this is my favorite saying, has been for a while now. I was going to title my blog this;however, someone else has already done that...see how really boring my life is?

So, I don't really know what I'm going to say on this blog but you will get a glimpse into my boring life.

Of course, my life REALLY isn't boring BUT ... when I discovered I was pregnant in 2003 I had to fill out TONS of paperwork just to see a freakn' doctor and one of the multitude of papers was a friendly survey about my intimate life...
  • Do you know the father of your baby?(yes)
  • How many men could possibly be the father of your baby?(1)
  • Does the father of your baby know he is the father of your baby?(yes)
  • Are you afraid of the father of your baby?(no)
  • Do you drink?(no)
  • Do you smoke?(no)
  • Do you use drugs?(no)
  • Do you abuse drugs?(no)
  • Do you have a home?(yes)
  • (I think you get the idea.....)

So, I realized at that point that I have a really boring life and I'm so thankful for it! Thank you God! Thank you God! Thank you God! Of course, as I may or may not get into later, there was a point in time when if I had continued on a certain road and managed to live through it all, my answers to the above questions could have been MUCH, MUCH different! Thank you God!