Friday, February 16, 2007

Back among the living....

Wow, what a crazy time it's been. Besides my laryngitis, which I FINALLY went to the Dr. for on Monday, Chuck has been having a very serious flare up of gout in his wrist! He's been in severe pain. AND, Sam got strep! So how's that for a week in the Platten house? Truthfully, I"m so thankful because it's really the first time we've had significant sickness in our house in MONTHS!!! But boy, all of us struggling at once... well, let's just say I'm glad we're on the upswing. When I took Sam to the Dr., he had been sick on and off for a few days but the throat symptom was the last one to show up so I had no way to even suspect strep. The Dr. put him on antibiotics and just went ahead and put Max on them too knowing that since Sam had actually been sick for a few days, Max was highly likely to be next in line. Then, I finally got tired of feeling like I was breathing through a straw and went to the Dr. on Monday. They gave me antibiotics, some new nasal spray for allergies and also I'm doing albuterol treatments twice a day to calm the breathing problems down. I'm still croaky but feeling much better and am sleeping like a log at night... finally!

Anyway, I do have a few pictures to show. I snapped a couple pictures of the boys outside last week. You can tell Sam is sick but he's still the cutest little redheaded guy on the entire planet! :) I'm a little partial. And then, there's the camera HAM! Also, here is a picture of a robot Sam created on a mini Etch-a-sketch. Can you even believe this comes from a 7 year old? I can't do this and I'm 42! Or am I 43? Let me think....No, I'm 42. OK, so the mind starts going early...I blame it on my kids. I think you loose brain cells with each birth.

On a creative note, I finished my gourd piece! I'm so beyond thrilled with how it turned out. The title is "The Offering". The red color inside represents fire. The Hebrew writing on it is some of the names of God. Now, you people out there who actually know and can write Hebrew, please be gentle with me. It is my first time ever even trying to write this beautiful language and I know the characters are far from perfect. I'm thankful for a forgiving God who knows my heart. And I'm thankful so much for my sweet Jewish girlfriend, Fran, who stopped over to show me a few things about writing Hebrew! And gosh, it was a really good thing she came and happened to mention "Oh, don't forget that the letters are written from right to left. Otherwise, you might run out of room and stop God's name in the middle!" YIKES! I didn't know it was right to left! It was a new experience writing that way! Anyway, this piece will be part of a prayer station at a 24/7 week of prayer starting at my church on Sunday evening at 6:00 pm. It will be interactive. I have small strips of red paper that will be provided with the piece. I've asked people to go before God and ask for Him to reveal to them areas where they "hold on with a grip" to things they are afraid to trust Him with. Then, to pray for the courage to give those things to Him as an offering. OR, just to write out praises to God for who He is. They will write those things on a strip of red paper, fold it up small and place it in the center of the gourd, symbolizing their "burnt offering" to God. I'm also setting up a collage station and have all my things pretty much ready for that. We are setting up after church on Sunday. It will be a long weekend. We have a wedding to attend on Saturday and then I'll be at church from 9:30 in the morning until at least 6:00 that evening! Whew!

Well, I need to get to work. My kids get out of school at 11:45 today so I don't have much "alone" time left!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Down for the count

OK, so I have laryngitis. This is nothing new for me this time of year. I seem to get it at least once a year and have actually had a year getting it 4 times! However, I'm usually able to function totally normally... I just can't talk. Not so this time. It came out of no where and has blind-sided me. I'm completely wiped out. There must be some kind of infection in my larynx. I think I'm going to have to get chuck to call the Dr. in the morning for an appt. I can barely stay awake and my voice box feels awful! So, if I disappear for a couple more days, you know where I am...

Saturday, February 3, 2007

January Journal Quilt finished!

OK, so I'm a few days late but I'm finished! However, I do still have some small tags to make with some literal journaling on them and they will be tucked into the sheer pocket on the back of the journal quilt. Anyway, here it is. Oh, and I've decided to keep my lips sealed about my new binding method because if I can figure out a way to use words to explain this process, I will write an article and send in a proposal to Cloth, Paper, Scissors! :)

I"ve created a monster....

Sam just handed me his drawing for his next creature I'm suppose to make for him. Can you believe this?

My computer collection

OK, yesterday I witnessed just how much this can freak a person out but, for me... well, I love my little collection that sits on top of my computer. Yes, I have a small collection of dead insects. My poor friend Becky nearly bolted for the door when she noticed them and found out they were, indeed, real. Poor thing. Artist's usually "get" each other but I think Becky thinks I'm a little weird. But that's ok! I LOVE my insects! :) Every time I look at the intricate details that God put into these little creatures; these things that have a very short life span and that most people find bothersome and want to kill, I think if God saw purpose in taking so much care creating THEM, how much more purpose in creating ME! When I see these insects, I feel loved by God and feel the weight of my value to Him. And by the way, these were all found dead already and yes, I did pick them up myself. Poor Becky, she got really spooked and grossed out yesterday! LOL!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Problem solved

OK, so I came up with a solution to the problem of gummy needles due to the Ultra hold fusible web, which I don't plan to use again but, in case I ever deal with a gummed up needle, this is the solution! I was thrilled to figure this out! I took a small amount of mineral oil on a q-tip and wiped the needle down. It worked like a charm! Here is a photo of the back side of my journal quilt. You can see the bottom stitching how messed up it is and also skipped stitches, etc... Then, about half way and up to the top, you can see how drastically different the stitches are. This is where I came up with the idea for oiling the needle! Cool, huh? I worked on my quilt more today and am doing the binding now. I have come up with a new wayI plan to do my binding for the future of adding this to a book. I did a very small prototype to see if my idea would work and it did so, I'll be trying it out and don't even ask me to explain it. I actually tried to write myself future instructions and couldn't do it. I'll just keep my little prototype handy! Anyway, I'm almost ready to post my completed January journal quilt. Now it's already Feb. and it's a short month! I have NO clue what the theme will be for this months quilt.

a day of dye

Today, my friend Becky, helped me dye 6 sheets that will be used for a prayer station for an upcoming 24/7 week of prayer. It was our first time doing anything like this. It was great fun but we both have major back aches! Once the sheets dried, however, we weren't happy with the tone of color so we will be doing another dye bath to deepen the color on Monday. We both want to try doing more dye play with smaller, more managable pieces of fabric too.

It was Friday Fun Day with my boys so we watched movies and played 2 games of Trouble, which Sam won fair and square, and one game of Sorry which I won.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

a day of sewing

Well, my day has gone much easier that thought, in some ways. Chuck woke up early with a sudden and bad flare up of gout in his knee. I fully expected my day to be at his mercy but he hasn't needed much, for a change! I started working on the back side of my journal quilt and have learned a few hard lessons. NEVER use heavy fusible web when sewing! MAJOR rule to remember! It gums up the needle REALLY bad, totally screws up the bobbin, breaks thread, etc... So, my morning was spent in utter frustration. I had run out of my good thread too and was using crappy thread that was just shredding. So, I took a break and ran to Hancock for thread. Since I've already fused all my pieces down and managed to stitch half of it, I have to finish. I have a couple of ideas and am going to see if they help with the sticking.I ran my needle several times through a versa mark embossing pad! :) If that doesn't work, I'm going to add a tiny bit of oil to my needle and see if that helps. I'm desperate! This didn't happen with the front side and my conclusion is that I adhered Timtex to the back of the front piece and it's got a weird sorta' waxy feel to it and I think it helped keep the sticky stuff off my needle! Now that I'm doing the back, I don't have the timtex on because I'd then have double thickness in the middle of my quiltie, which I don't want. Anyway, I'm trouble shooting.

I stopped and picked up a movie for the kids because I'd promised Max that I'd make him a creature from his drawing today. He'd originally drawn a tiger but changed it to a leopard. So, while at Hancock, I just happened to notice leopard print and bought a tiny piece! So, I got busy on his creation as soon as I got them home from school and settled with the movie. Now, his little creation turned out really cute but OMG, I thought I'd go nuts! These pieces are so tiny to turn and stuff! Next time, the critters have to be bigger! I did have to make a minor alteration to Max's original drawing. He had drawn his leopard with stick legs! I took the general shape he had and just made the legs wider. And, at his request, The ears got straightened out a little bit. He was very particular with how the face was embroidered and he requested no nose because he didn't know how to do one like a "real" leopard and he didn't like my version either! Of all the nerve.... Anyway, here's Max and his little leopard! I think I need a break now....

I may get back to my quilt back and maybe not today. Tomorrow, I"m suppose to be dying sheets for a station for our upcoming 24/7 week of prayer. My friend Becky is suppose to come help me!

Gotta' go do food....