Friday, September 19, 2008

Meet Lily & Paris

I thought I would explain my name & have you meet Lily & Paris, my girls, my cats. Lily is the tabby & Paris is the Russian Blue. Both are rescues, literally.
Tigerlily, or Lily for short, was found with her 4 other brother & sisters next to the Pepsi machine at my apartment complex. It was February 2002 & it was one of the coldest winters in a long while. We guessed correctly that the momma cat was moving them to a warmer location & had gone back to get the last kitten. I decided to take all 5 kittens for one night & give the people that rescued them a break. Every 2 hours I got up & made bottles & fed them. What an ordeal, these ferals were not what I expected, they fussed until they got their bottles & fought while they were getting them. All except for one kitten. She seemed to be hungry after her bottle because she kept trying to crawl out of the plastic barrel we were using for a bed for them.

It turns out she wasn't hungry but wanted to be held. She didn't want to be curled up with her siblings but with me. I had lost my cat of 14yrs to cancer 9 months before that & thought I would never want to get another cat or love another cat again after she passed away but here is this little bundle of fur telling me it's time. I decided my other cat, Friday, had grieved long enough & needed love too, so Tigerlily joined our house. Later that year Friday passed away. She taught Lily how to be a cat, use the litter box, groom herself, etc. Lily was an “only child” for over a year, when my mother called & told me about a kitten that had been tossed into a backyard of friend’s brother & would I take it? Of course, but secretly I was worried about Lily’s reaction.

The kitten was estimated to be about 6 months old & I am pretty sure she is a Russian Blue. Her double coat is like silk, and has purple-pink pads on her feet. She is solid grey (blue) but does have a few stray white hairs which would make her ineligible to be shown if she had papers. She’s exotic looking & truly a beautiful cat that deserved an exotic name. It was November 1, 2003 when she adopted us & Paris Hilton’s sex tape had just been released; I thought this new kitten was pregnant because her belly stuck way out. I thought she had “gotten around” a bit while being outside so I named her Paris after the beautiful city & for getting around like the other Paris. Turns out she just had food in her belly for the first time in a while all she had was a bad case of ear mites.

So the seeds for Lily & Paris were born. Jump ahead 3 years on Mother’s Day & I made a purse for my mother & put a homemade label inside that said Lily & Paris, too (the way I signed my cards with my name) Walnut Creek, CA. It was meant to be a joke but when I went downtown to my local clothing store Belinda M Designs,, to get a flower pin for the bag she was excited by what I did & told me to make some more & bring them in & she would sell them for me. And thus Lily & Paris Designs was born.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Annie's Heart

Here is an embroidery piece I call Annie's Heart. My dear friend Annie had her feelings hurt & her heart broken by some very insensitive people. My reaction, like many of her friends, was to come to her aid & let her know we love her & she is perfectly fine the way she is. This is my interpretation of that. The flowers represent all her friends & the plethora of animals she has that all love her. The red stitching is the blood that flows through the heart making sure it doesn't become cold as ice. The green is new growth of love & friendships.
I decided to add a border frame of Hoffman's commercial hand dye in Raspberry. I think it pulls the colors together nicely, don't you think? Echo quilting to come.
Here it is finished, 8.5" x 11". I echo quilted in Caron's Impressions 50/50% Silk/Wool in raspberry & lime, also used DMC Crewel Wool in dark lime & raspberry. The binding is satin stitch in Superior's King Tut thread in Black. It's a wonderful black that almost looks like velvet. I am really pleased with this piece & can't wait for Annie to get it. That will not be until sometime in October. Others are making journal pieces for Annie as well. I just hope she doesn't read my blog!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Needle in a Haystack

I went to Needle in a Haystack ( on Saturday to pick up some threads for embroidery & also some of the wonderful Zweigart linen that I hand dye. I have a love of Caron's Impressions 50/50% silk wool blend threads. They are soft and smoother than plain wool & glide wonderfully when I do bullion stitches but have enough tooth from the wool to stay in place. I picked up several variegated colors:

As you can see I also picked up some other 100% cottons, silk perles, & wool. The organdy ribbon is a new type of thread for me. I saw someone do some beautiful embroidery with it & decided to give it a try.

I dyed the linen last night:

Living in an apartment complex I don't have the room to dye fabric traditionally. So I use Ranger's Adirondack Color Wash Sprays. They were made for the scrapbookers but it is a pigment dye so can be used on fabrics. No soda ash or other chemicals are required however I find it will continue to bleed even after setting with an iron & rinsing; I use Retayne after the preliminary rinsing & let it soak for 20 minutes & that stops most of it.

Chihuly at the deYoung

About a week & a half ago I finally went to see the Dale Chihuly exhibit at San Francisco’s deYoung Museum.
I took my friend/surrogate daughter, Larisa. Larisa is a joy to be around and at 17 I wish I had the smarts & confidence this one has. She enjoys art so I became a member of the FAMSF so we can go from now on as many times as we want w/no additional charge. Now if we can only learn the Muni system so I don’t have to drive & park there.
We did go on a Friday night which is music & culture night during the summer months I believe at the deYoung. That night there was Brazilian music, an area for kids to make art with their parents.

My First Blog Entry in my Third Blog

So I am giving this a shot. My first blog entry in my third blog!!! I have tried 2 other blogs & the management tools do not make sense so I will use the blogspot that my friend Patty uses, at least she can help me if I can't figure it out!!! If you are reading this, welcome & thanks for visiting. The photos are my entry for the Breaking Traditions Art Quilt Exhibit at the American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan at the Rock Financial Showplace. The exhibit dates for 2008 are September 26 - September 28.
Inspired by sspyndel's photo:

Fabric paint, Shiva paintstiks, thread painting, hand beaded, machine appliqued & quilted, hot-fix crystals.
Made in honor of my dear friend Patty ,
I must admit I am very proud of this piece, proud as a peacock. Oh very corny, well get used to it there will be more I am sure.

I have resisted starting a blog because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about. My quilting art, cats, hockey, or TV. Welll I think a bit of everything will be here. My 3 main loves are my cats, hockey, and quilting. I like to make my own fabric or paint what I am quilting, but am not opposed to using prints or batiks if they serve my purpose. I am not a purist, yet. I’d find it hard to part with all my print fabric that I have collected since I started quilting in 2002.