July 20, 2009

Assembly line...

I feel as thought I have been quite an efficient assembly line in the past few days.  I have been able to create enough squares for three tops!  I finished all my stripe quilt and fish circle squares to even complete the tops.   I am also half way through with my Christmas whirrly giggles.  I am so proud of my productivity.  I always feel way more accomplished when I have products to show for it.  

stripe quilt
fish circles

This week marked the beginning of my summer vacation!  I was teaching summer school for the past three weeks so even though technically it was summer I was still working :(  But now I have 5 whole weeks off and I feel as thought I have started off in the right direction.  

So I have been very busy piecing away getting quilt tops finished but I did not stop there.  I was VERY motivated, haha.   I ended up making a simple back for the stripe quilt and quilting it.  I also quilting my japanese blue and white quilt (which was pieced for a while now) with simple lines.  
back of stripe quilt
Japanese Blue and White- quilted

If I continue in this manner I just might make a decent dent into my fabric pile... which is always good news... I would get to go shopping for more ;) haha.

Hope you are feeling motivated and productive!!!
Take care mucho!

July 9, 2009

I am a HUGE fan.....

Last week I had the opportunity to go to a huge Education Technology conference, NECC, that was luckily held in DC (literally 5 blocks away from me) this year.  I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of stuff going on at first but quickly got my bearings and learned about some great programs out there, many of them FREE!!!  

The best day was by far, the last day.  I was walking around the massive expo and saw that Peter Reynolds (author of The Dot & Ish) had a really great animation program, Animation-ish, for people to test out.  I jumped at the opportunity to try it out which got me talking to some of "his people" and they told me that he was actually walking around the convention center.  Now I know I am a bit on the old side to be acting like a teeny bopper but I have to confess that it was difficult suppressing the teeny bopper inside me that wanted scream out loud "OMG Peter Reynolds is HERE! 
You mean THE Peter Reynolds!".  I quickly got on my cell phone to call my librarian friend, Amy, who shares a healthy admiration of Mr. Reynolds work with me.   Now here is the part where I have to preface this with the fact that both Amy and I, months before hand, had already been talking about joining forces in getting Mr. Reynolds to come and visit our school.   She met up with me at the Fable Vision booth and we started to work our "magic".  It ended up being quite a small world.   Amy happened to have gone to the same school Mr. Reynolds manager, Bill, had taught at.  Needless to say Amy and I were ecstatic that we had an "in".   We had a great conversation with Bill, but despite the fact that it was a bit lengthy, Mr. Reynolds didn't show up.  We distracted ourselves walking around the rest of the expo, trying with failed attempts to win any type of prizes.  We decided to go back and see if the famous Peter Reynolds would finally be at his post.  SUCCESS!! We got to see him do a demonstration of his Animation-ish product AND chat with him a little AND took a picture with him (the one above- I know I look like I might kill him... don't know why, I was super excited!!).  He was even kind enough to create some cute drawings on our convention badges.  

The bestest (I know this isn't a word but thought it should be) part of the whole encounter was at the end when Peter Reynolds himself saw how star struck I was and signed his book The Dot and gave it to me for my library!!! 

I was totally beside myself.  No one else got a book signed just ME!  I walked around the rest of the day with the biggest smile on my face,  literally ear to ear.  

Ok now I have feel the need to promote everything Peter Reynolds.  Not only do I think he is such a down to earth, nice person, I totally LOVE his work.  Everything he does I think it so brilliant and what makes it even better is that I can use it in my art room with my little guys.  If you haven't already clicked on the links throughout this blog I highly recommend seeing his website and his company's, Fable Vision, site.  His books are great with the best morals and his animation program lets everyone, young (and I mean really young) and old be able to animate.   Check out his stuff! I promise you won't regret it :)

Hope everyone at one point has had a good teeny bopper moment like mine, hehe.

take care mucho,
- Natalie 

July 6, 2009

The Cake...

I wrote before about the cute little baptism cake that I made for my nephew.  I finally got the pictures and thought I would share with you all.  I got the idea from a search on Flickr and changed the details a little bit.  My mom has kept the fondant figurines in the freezer because she can't bring herself to throw it out.  She is so funny. 

The entire cake is frosted with a good layer of buttercream before covering it with fondant.  I personally don't like the taste of fondant so I feel like the generous layer of buttercream fixes that problem.  All the decorations on the cake are fondant.  

Hope everyone is having a great start to the week.

Take care mucho,

July 2, 2009

Not 1 but 2 quilts....

So as I told you I have been making good use of my summer fun.  I have started two quilts that I have been meaning to start for a few months now and am LOVING the way the squares are coming out.

 I had ordered Heather Ross' fishes fabric that I fell in love with and payed probably way too much for since it is out of fabrication now.  It has been sitting on my shelf for months and I wanted the perfect quilt idea to pop into my head before I started cutting into it.  Then as I was surfing blogland I came across this blog.  I fell in love with the third quilt on her title bar, the one with the circles.  Then I searched some more for a possible tutorial since I think circles are pretty intimidating.  I was lucky because I found this.    If you scroll down a little the pictures are great and it is SUPER easy!! The circles actually come out like circles :) Here are some of my squares.  I am hoping to arrange these squares with plain brown squares so it kinda looks like you are looking out a ship window and see fishes swimming by.  I hope that it turns out as good as I think it is in my head.  I will keep you posted.

 I started a strip quilt, which I know is quite trendy right now.  I really liked Film in the Fringe's strip quilt so great first strip quilt and paper piecing project, no? I decided to substitute my favorite color, red, mixed in with the black and white.   I used the same widths for the strips.  I am glad I did this for my first strip quilt, though when I do this again I think I am going to vary the widths, I think it spices things up a bit.  

So far I have about 1/3 of the squares needed finished.  Hopefully I can whip out the rest just as quickly as I did these so I can show you a completed top soon. 

Next posting is going to be a little different but definitely FUN!! so please stop by to see.

Wishing everyone a happy 4th of July weekend!!

Take care mucho!