Tuesday, December 31, 2013

You Can Be Published Too

My hubby received a free " make your own" book from photos  as a reward from a hotel chain.  I have been tempted to make one of these books for a while and I like free, so this was the perfect opportunity to pick a bunch of my quilts to put in a book.  It's a great way to show people what I do.

 This offer was from Shutterfly.  It  was for an 8"x 8" hardback book made up of 20 pages.  Looking through a bunch of my quilts, my Judaic quilts seemed like a cohesive body of work that would fill 20 pages nicely.  I decided to do it as an experiment and not obsess over the photos and whether it should be chronological order or it should just look nice.  I wasn't even sure if the colors would print true to the original.

Shutterfly offers different page layouts depending on how many photos are to be included on a page.  I decided that a mixture of close-ups and full view gave a lot of movement and kept the book from becoming static. I liked the black background.  It made the photos pop. I couldn't choose just one photo for the cover, so I did a collage.

So I just started.  Honestly there was a bit of a learning curve.  It was a bit more difficult than drag and drop, but I eventually got the hang of it.  My photos aren't cropped perfectly. It warned me about a few low resolution photos.  They did come out a bit blurry.  I even found a typo. But I like it.  I am happy with how the photos and color reproduced.  I now have a nice photo book that I would rank as a positive experience. It's a nice New Year present to myself.

This is what came in the mail, inside of a cardboard sleeve.

Total Cost?  $9.00 for shipping.  Worth every penny.
It's a perfect end to 2013.
Happy New Year and may the coming year be filled with happiness and creativity for everyone.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bailey Is Ready

We all have our "to do" lists as we get ready to leave for Key West. Bailey only had one thing on her list.

She needed to get her "Key West cut", or as I sometimes call it the boy's summer special.

(Sorry Bailey, I know you're a girl, but you do have a mustache. )

Off to the groomer she went and was greeted by the biggest dog ever.


The transformation from a wooly, chubby, little sheep to a sleek, skinny dog is amazing.

It must be nice for her to be done with her list. I'm still working on mine.

It was quite a coincidence that I received a wonderful link from my friend Liz, on the same day. This video, God Made A Dog, summarizes why I love my dog with all my heart.



Friday, December 13, 2013

Torah Stitch By Stitch

I have never done counted cross stitch. I think I remember starting some cross stitch pieces when I was a kid, but I never finished a thing. So, when I read about this project, I only had to think about it for 2 seconds. I knew I had to participate. I thought there's always YouTube to learn.

Torah Stitch By Stitch is an extraordinary international project done by ordinary people. Temma Gentles, a Canadian fiber artist had a vision of creating a Torah using counted cross stitch and involving the world wide community. Teams of 4 could work on each section.cyrrently there are over 500 stitchers in 12 countries. When each participants section is assembled into the complete text if the Five Books if Moses to compose a Torah scroll, it will measure 2 meters (6.5 ft) high x 86 meters (282 ft)long. That is almost the length of a football field.
I "recruited" 3 friends of mine from Temple Sholom, my synagogue, to work with me. Fortunately one of us ( not me) had experience with counted cross stitch. She became our leader.
Our first meeting was in October. We were entering the synagogue at the same time as our Rabbi. He was so pleased to hear about the project and offered to share with us the story behind our portion of the Torah. He is a fascinating and funny young guy and his recounting the story of Issac and his 2 sons gave such meaning to what we were going to stitch.
I have finished my 2 1/2 lines and have passed it off to my friend, Dina.

I have to thank Stephanie. She was sitting next to me while I was stitching at our last quilt guild meeting. She saw me looking at the paper, looking at the cloth, looking at the paper, counting the boxes, over and over. She told me about using the disappearing blue marker to place a dot on the cloth. What a difference that made.
I believe more people are needed to complete the project. If you're interested, check out the website:www.torahstitchbystitch.temmagentles.com. If your heart is willing, your hands will follow.
And here are a few more winter scenes from my 11 degree walk on Wednesday morning.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The View Out My Window

We are all housebound here in the Philadelphia area. Snowed in. The snow is falling in big fat juicey flakes. It is only December 10th and we have already had more snow so far this winter than we had all of last winter.

This is the view I see while I am sitting at my sewing machine looking out of the window in my studio. Pretty, isn't it?

It is pretty when everyone you love is in their homes and safe and drinking hot cocoa and sewing or watching movies or baking cookies. But when family and friends are out there, and the roads become icy, it becomes stressful and worrisome.

I am Key West dreaming - packing my fabric and getting ready to go where I can wear shorts and sandals and ride my bike and not get behind the wheel of a car for 2 months. Now that is truly beautiful.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Inspiration was everywhere that I turned. And yes I looked like quite the tourist with my camera and craned neck. I'll just share the photos. I could make at least one quilt from each one. How about you?

And here's an opportunity. Quiltmakers is having a giveaway for all 8 issues of their 100 Blocks Magazines. That would be a total of 800 different blocks. Now that's a lot of quilts! Here's the link.



Sunday, December 1, 2013

NYC Part I

My hubby and I spent a weekend in New York City. We met some cousins for dinner, shopped for silk (of course), checked out the Christmas Windows and visited The American Folk Art Museum and generally walked our feet off.

The AFAM is a meer shadow of its former self. Due to lack of funding, it closed its doors at its primary location. There is now a small exhibit space near Lincoln Center. Currently there is an exhibit of alternative quilts by 3 artists.

The artist and her quilts that really fascinated me was Sabrina Gschwandtner. Her quilts are created from 16mm film discarded by The Fashion Institute of Technology. The film strips date from the 1950's to the 1980's and were predominantly industrial documentaries pertaining to the textile industry.

She based her quilt construction on the traditional log cabin pattern that focuses on light and dark.

She sorted them and sewed them together. Each of her "quilts" were backlit and really glowed. It made them magical.

The "quilts" had an appealing fluid appearance attributed to the rippling effect from the stitching.

You could actually see some of the images on the film.

This was such a great marriage of subject matter and technique.

I took lots of photos of the windows plus inspiration photos- to be shared soon.