Tuesday, November 21, 2017

What's Up!

 Ok! So I've been absent from my blog for a long, LONG time! I am ready to re-charge this blog and get on with a more active blogger life-style. If you're reading this now, glad you peeked into this view into what's up.

I've become involved with my local Bismarck-Mandan Prairie Rose Bobbin Lace group. We are a small gathering of women interested in learning the art of bobbin lace . . . a rather slow-paced form of hand work creating old-fashioned lace using wooden bobbins. It's slow, but at the same time a cathartic Zen sort of thing for me. The repetitive process of cross, twist, cross motions to complete the patterns is interesting. I find myself relaxing as I listen to You-tube videos on various subjects. I've completed quite a number of beginner projects such as bookmarks and practice pieces learning the basics. The photo at left is my first "big" project making a larger rectangular shape that will become a finished piece I plan on framing. You can see the bobbins laid out upon my bobbin lace pillow and the printed pattern I am following. This piece is actually pretty much finished (except the framing) and I have already nearly completed a second one like it. I am about at the 3/4 point on that one.

This photo at left is an image of a bobbin lace pillow (roller style) that I made up myself from scratch. I researched a huge amount of these roller style pillows on Pinterest and decided to give it a go with making it up on my own. There was not a pattern to go by. I had it nearly complete, then realized the slope of the original pillow was way off and my bobbins would not stay under control like I needed them to do, so I took it apart and re-sloped the curve of the pillow to be a more gently, shallow curve. I works so much better now. The pattern and bobbins shown on the pillow is my first project on this home-made roller pillow. It is made mostly of Styrofoam, Ethafoam, Foam-core board, a layer of batting and fabric from the home-décor section of Jo-Ann Fabrics. I liked the look of the French inspired fabric since I'd seen so many roller pillows of French design on Pinterest. These bobbins are English style Midland bobbins. They are actually the least expensive type of bobbin I could find of this style as a beginner bobbin to start with. As with anything, bobbins come in all price ranges and can be quite a collector's item to get the specialty ones.

I've made a number of these pin cushions on my embroidery machine to use with my new bobbin lace activities. This is an Anita Goodesign machine embroidery CD to make Biscornu pin cushions. It is essentially two squares of decorated fabric sewn together to form the pin cushion. I've made several for myself to use with bobbin lace and also to set alongside my sewing machines. Plus I've made several to give as gifts to the gals at my recent bobbin lace meeting earlier this week.

Along with working on the sewing and lace projects noted, I've recently started to work on a new oil painting. I've completed the basic drawing of the image that I will be painting. These are three of my most favorite little ones in my life. So far I've just completed the  transfer of the image to canvas. I haven't started the actual painting here yet. There are a couple other paintings shown in the background, to the left of the large canvas, of some earlier paintings I started some time ago. I really should finish those! The new one is from a photo their mom took and posted on-line. I downloaded it because I liked the composition with the kids laying on top of a bright, colorful quilt I made for their family some time ago. The kids really show off their individual personalities in this photo. If you're reading this "mom", great job capturing their personalities!

I re-ordered my "Yellow" Room, Art Room, Studio . . . whatever you want to call it . . . this fall. Here's a view of my embroidery machine and some of the threads I've accumulated over the years. Honestly, I really have no need to purchase another spool of thread for a long, long time! I've been extremely blessed with the volume of sewing supplies I've gathered, having worked in the sewing industry for so many years. Hopefully my stuff will get used up during my lifetime! I need to stay busy sewing!

 This one is a wider view of the two canvases I plan on working on during the next couple months. I enlarged the photo of the kids I took off the internet with my copier machine to get down the basics of image to make my start on this painting. I was contemplating getting two paintings going at the same time. One might be a gift? We'll see how smoothly it goes once I actually put brush to canvas. Meanwhile I get to look at those cute, smiling faces while I work!

 This image is me stitching two of the embroidered biscornu squares together to make those pin cushions. I think I made nine or ten of them. I lost count. These  are stuffed with cotton or polyester fiberfil then hand stitched closed.

In progress photo of some of the biscornu pin cushions being sewn and stuffed. It's fun to work with such pretty, colorful pieces. I had fun looking through my stash of buttons, too. I've got lots of buttons that I color matched with the choice of threads on each pin cushion.

Okay . . . so that's some of the recent activities keeping me busy this past several weeks. I'm planning to get this blog rolling again with updates on a regular basis. Glad to have you stop by this time . . . check back again, or follow me (above right) to see what's up with me.  Leave a comment below if  you care to post one! What have you been up to?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New to the Studio

My new dress form added to the Studio
I have a new visitor in the Studio. She's with me all the time, but remains quite to herself . . . quiet and reserved! I've been wanting a professional dress form for some time. Recently I took the plunge and invested in one. I am hoping to spend more time sewing garments in the future so hope to put her to good use this fall and winter. It remains to be seen how involved I become with garments. I'll keep you posted on any new adventures in that direction. I've got a couple top patterns and a pants pattern on my mind.

Meanwhile, I keep busy working on some quilting projects as well as a variety of machine embroidery projects. I'm made a few sample for use at a local quilt shop I work at. Lately I feel I've spent more time sewing  for shop purposes than for personal purposes. I need to complete a few more promised projects before I can move on with other things in my life. The other day I spent a bit of time "un-sewing" a quilt block. That's what I get for trying skipping ahead on a project rather than sticking exactly to written instructions. I have to admit I'd much rather "wing it" with my own designs and pattern ideas rather than following precisely someone else's pattern instructions. I get an idea into my head on "the way I would do it" and then have to go back and follow the written instructions so others making the same pattern my sample is for will get similar results. It's much more fun to just do things my way. But, alas ... if there's a pattern for the shop to sell, I guess the sample needs to follow it. Note to self: Don't be so eager to volunteer to make these samples! I'll admit I like the freedom to "do it my way!"

I happened upon someone's website by accident the other day (scrolling thru the web) about their cottage industry machine embroidery product offerings. It was a website with machine embroidery applique designs. The site boasted of 750 designs already created. I perused through a few design pages and came away with the notion that I could certainly create better quality machine embroidery designs than those. But when stopping to think it through, even though this person had very simplistic style designs that did not impress me a whole lot, he/she was obviously staying focused and producing designs to market. Could I do better? Yes, certainly. I have abilities that would enable me to create better quality, more inventive designs. Should I actively pursue this notion? It has been something I have considered more than once, but put off saying I wasn't "ready" yet. Perhaps it's time to develop my creative machine embroidery skills to set up my own commercial enterprise. Creating embroidery designs has been on the list of things I've considered doing before in the past. Perhaps the time is now. After all, I'm not getting any younger. I'll see about drawing up some sketches to digitize. I'll set it as a goal to post something within the next seven days. Would you mind giving me some feedback on this sort of project? Check back for progress on this project . . .

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hello Again!

Wow, it has been quite some time since I last posted. I've thought about posting many, many times over the past several months. Today is the day I decided to break the lapse and begin again. I have been rethinking my blog and how I want it to manifest. I have several ideas of changes for it and for my websites that I will be working on over the next few months. Meanwhile, my goal is to blog on a regular basis again.

This past month of May I had the opportunity to spend a week with my sister when she flew up for a visit. It was so much fun to see her and do some sister-bonding after not seeing each other for so long. I will have some things to share about that shortly.

There have also been a few ideas rolling around in my head of weekly and monthly features and articles I am considering. As I am able to develop those more fully I will be announcing what those consist of. There are also a number of free items and posts about freebies in the planning stage so there will be a section of my blog devoted to those. Over the summer I will be consolidating and upgrading each of my blogs. Some will go by the wayside, and others will be incorporated into this blog. I will be reducing the number of blogs and committing so just the ones that are most important to me and significant to the new direction I want to go.

So . . . here's to starting over again, getting the camera out and composing great shots in Photoshop, re-familiarizing myself with features of this computer and the updates that have taken place with the various programs I typically use as I get back into the swing of blogging.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fun Tonight

Tonight is a night of fun and relaxation. I got done with work (long day) and am enjoying a relaxing evening watching "The Voice" with my husband while sporadically checking out things on-line.

I recently purchased a pattern created from the "Straight Stitch Society" (cool name - that intrigued me) so I went to their website tonight and checked out their offerings. Sure enough, the pattern I purchased "Feed the Animals" is there in all it's cheeky glory, along with a few other great selections. I'll be checking this site out for future offerings. Meanwhile, I have plans to finish some cute little zippered animals - since I purchased the pattern . . . and will keep my eyes open for more fun patterns. I'll keep you posted on results.

I've got the day off tomorrow, and plan to re-organize a closet downstairs. Yep, that means going to Lowe's or Menards and purchasing a closet organizing system. I want to get my garments organized on two racks (one up high, and one lower) in the the closet to make more room for seasonal clothes and accessories. It will be a busy day - or weekend - depending upon how long this organizational project takes to complete.

So . . . looking forward to an efficient and productive day tomorrow.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

3D Hot Texture Serger Pillow

Pillow and Quilt designed and created by Doreen Baros
I made up a pattern to use for a class I taught at the shop where I work. The title I came up with, 3D Hot Texture Serger Pillow, seems a little long to me. I am trying to come up with another one that fits better.

The pink center of the pillow is made up with Heat N Shrink material. It's a product in the Floriani line. For this particular pillow I actually used the Jenny Haskins Krinkle Magic product. It creates a 3D puffy, raised textural surface.

The pillow was made on my serger and incorporates rolled hems, the Coverlock stitch, and the 4-Thread Overlock stitch. I used the Belt Loop foot to create the tabs where the buttons are sewn in place as a visual accent.

I want to get a bit of feedback and make a few minor changes in the pattern before I have it printed up and make it available for sale on my DoreenBaros.com website.

You might recognize the quilt it is sitting on from my previous post about another pattern I made up. I have received some reviews on that pattern and will be making a few additions and changes on it, too. Both these patterns will be available for purchase on my website soon.

Here are a few more photos of the pillow:

Serge each layer with your Coverlock Stitch.

Button accents are fun!

Love all the textural interest created with Krinkle Magic and lots of wonderful ruffles.

My new pattern to create this pillow will be available soon on my www.DoreenBaros.com website.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Modern Quilt with Dresden Plates, Circles & Spokes

I taught a quilting class last week using my original pattern. I'll have this pattern available on my website soon. In the meantime, these are a few photos of my sample quilt in progress. Watch for an update with more details coming soon with a link to purchase the pattern.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Learning to be a Blog Boss

I signed up to attend Holly Becker's new "Blog Boss" e-course during the month of March. I've been wanting to get back into the habit of blogging as I used to do several years ago. This course is my inspiration and motivation to get back into the swing of things. I will be changing some things about my blog and website as the month moves along. I've got a few ideas of things to do differently. I'm sure there will be many good suggestions to incorporate into my blog that will be gleaned from this class.

If you'd like to watch my progress over this next month, just give a shout out that you're following. It would be fun to know what you think of any changes that take place, or changes you think should take place. It has been a pleasure searching through blogs belonging to others in this class over the past couple days. I'm trying to pay more attention to what it is I like about individual blogs.

On another topic . . . unfortunately I was not feeling well today: issues with my asthma, feeling nauseous and dizzy. I stayed home from work feeling out of sorts and worn out. I wonder if it might be some sort of inner ear thing as I've had clogged up right ear for some time. My recent trip to Las Vegas, at the end of February, had me feeling a bit better after getting off the plane when we arrived. I thought the air pressure changes while flying may have popped some inner air pocket loose or something (not sure how medically sound that idea is). Then it seemed the dry climate may have done me some good for a couple days change of pace. Now that I've been back for awhile I am feeling the same pressure in my right ear as before, sometimes more and sometimes less. I'm beginning to think it may be allergy related - perhaps to something I'm eating that I hadn't been when in Las Vegas, or something in the house. Anyway, I'm considering doing a fast for a bit to see if I can determine what might make a difference if it's food related. I've come to realize I need to stay away from milk. I had a bowl of cereal a week or two ago and within 10-20 minutes of finishing it my ears felt very ichy inside the ear canal. I haven't touched that carton of milk since . . . it's past it's buy-by-date now and needs to be tossed. I cleared out a few other milk-related items today - like sour cream and the cream cheese I like on my bagels. I might have to do some research on-line about allergies to milk and possible related items. A fast to break my eating cycles and determine a culprit is likely the best way to re-establish a healthier diet. I've been pretty lax on the fruits and veggies for some time, and too rich with the sugar and carbs.

The trip to Vegas was short, just a few days. It was essentially two wasted days of travel time and two days of seminars and training on new machine embroidery software. The training was good. I learned some things I had not known before. The new Floriani software is good . . . and seems fairly easy to learn. I need to practice more with it to become truly fluent in it. That will improve over time, with more time spent using the program.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Recent Project

I am excited to try posting with this new iPhone app that allows me to work right off my phone, photos and all. It is not quite as fast to type with the tiny key pad on the phone, but great for uploading photos in a jiffy. Hopefully they look alright with no cropping or color correction from Photoshop like I usually do.

Here are a few photos of a recent project that I adapted some Jenny Haskins designs to make into this little purse/wallet. It measures just under 5" x 7" folded, with embroidery on three sides.

I created it as an In-the-Hoop project that was stitched in my largest master hoop on my Pfaff Creative Vision. The ribbons are woven and appliquéd as part of the design. The Jenny Haskins designs are from her book Sharmin's Vintage Garden.