Saturday, June 30, 2007

Squirt the Cat Pillow

Of course, now that I had a great photo of Squirt the Cat, I just had to use it! I printed it on cotton and found I had some really beautiful Batik fabric with all the colors so complimentary to the photo. I cut it a little off skew and put a dark frame around it making the crispness of the white stand out. Below the photo I had some fun making a few appliques that mimicked the fabric on the back and then added a fringe of beads along the bottom of the picture frame.

For the back I used a coordinating batik and another photo of Squirt the Cat. The frame on this is a bright pink organza.

The finish is the black and white ruffle making all the colors really stand out.
This is my favorite pillow now.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Squirt the Cat

It's truly amazing what can be done to photos using a couple of computer programs.

This is one of our cats, Squirt. He's 16 years old now and came to me when my youngest sister died in 1993.

He had to travel from New Jersey to Florida right after the funeral and it took him one full year to come out of my bedroom/bathroom area to creep through the family room and head out to the porch. Most of the time he hid under our bed. He was not a happy cat.

I remember having to give him a bath in the kitchen sink one day because he was itchy with New Jersey fleas. He was so upset, he bit down on the middle finger of my left hand and wouldn't let go.

My impulse was to pull back, of course, but that only left him hanging off my finger. By this time I was screaming, he was growling and my 14 year old son, Joshua, was totally beside himself. "Ma, Ma! Get him off your hand! Ma! Let Go!"

Finally, I gently splashed Squirt back into the dishpan and got my heavily bleeding finger back. I put a towel over him so he couldn't get away with soap all over him.

Josh was going to be late for school, so like any good mom, I told him to go.

"What? Are you crazy? And, leave you here alone with this nutty cat!!!"

"Josh, I'll be alright. Just help me bind my finger so the bleeding will stop", I said.

"But, Ma..."

"Don't worry, I'll call Daddy and he'll call in some antibiotics. I'll be fine"

"If it was me," he said, "I'd have flung that cat across the room and slammed it against the wall!"

So, off he went to school and I got Squirt rinsed off and let him scramble back to safety under our bed.

This cat now practically owns the house. He demands to sit on my lap when I'm at my computer and has taken to mimicking me by meowing, "hello", "hello". If I don't pick him up, he won't shut up. Very demanding. And still has a tendency to bite.


Love. It sure comes in funny packages. Over the past 14 years he's been costly with high vet charges, irritable, hissy, and downright mean always wanting his way, not ever considering our way. He's 18 pounds of gray fur, jealous of all the other pets in the house, who climbs on my husbands' chest every night to nuzzle into his beard while my husband falls asleep.

The rest of the night he is on my legs or near my head, still a nuisance, but still a perfect piece of love in a truly unique form.

Oh, and this photo was altered in Paint Shop Pro 9 with Virtual Painter Version 4 plug in. I've printed it out on fabric and am using this and other photos in my art work these days.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Applique Pillows #1

As hard as it is to believe, in all the years of sewing, quilting, machine embroidery and making things out of fabric, I have never turned out any pillows!
I am amazed. And, now that I have decided to spark up the living room with some good housekeeping and new slipcovers (soon to be ironed and applied), I have discovered a new fun way to spend my sewing time.
I'm using some gorgeous batik fabrics and am linking each pillow by using some black and white fabric to frame each one. This is the first one I finished.
It was a whole lot of fun to make the applique. Another newly fresh discovery for me. I've always hesitated doing much applique work because it seemed so laborious and I just don't like to see the heavy zigzag outline on everything. However, this time I just took out some Alieen's Hot Stitch Fusible Web that I've had hanging around for at least 10 years and I free hand drew the leaves and spiral. Now I really don't know why I drew the spiral, but that's what happened, so I went with it.
It's really easy to do applique this way!!! I love it! I pressed my drawings onto the back of the fabrics, cut out around the pencil line and placed it on the background batik. I didn't want to zigzag anything, so I rummaged through my drawers and found some fuzzy yarns that coordinated nicely and just used nylon thread to nail them down onto the edges of the appliques. It didn't take much time at all and I didn't ever use stabilizers for the back of the sewing area.
Amazingly, it didn't crinkle, pull, or otherwise distort the fabric. Again, I was amazed. All the books say stabilizers are a must, but I guess the applique fairies were with me that day and I got a beautiful result. It's a shame you can't see the fuzziness of the yarns.
After that, I wanted some sparkle, so I added hot fix Swarovski crystals. They don't show up in the photo either, but it sure looks nice when the morning sun hits them. A fuzzy, wuzzy, sparkle, sparkle pillow!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Exam Room #1 - part 3

In this photo of the lion mural, the basics are done and I am going home very tired, but knowing that the next day with bring me to the finish line.

Here is the mural with the final touches done to the frame and the rest of the layout. And, yes people, she is a she and she is pregnant. After all this is a Pediatric office and we want more babies, don't we???

The last photo of the mural that I can take and it has to be on an angle. Drat! The room is too small to let me back up enough to take it square on. Oh well, you get the drift. It looks good. And, this will be the last time it will be naked as the guy who installs the protective plastic is coming tomorrow to install it over the lower third of the wall art. A big piece will also go over the flowers where the parents' chair is, too.

A view into the room from the hallway. This is the first one that anyone sees. It was the last one I painted, so my technique is in its' improved state here. As you go down the hallway and see the other rooms, things change. Each room has its' own character and colorway, but the idea of putting a large piece of art on the back wall really did work out well. My husband can still see the patient's skin coloring without too much interference, so he is NOT sending everybody over to the hospital for lab work to rule out diseases that make people yellow, blue, green, red or purple!