An extra day in the month! How exciting! How will you spend your extra 24 hours? (Facepalm) I could have had a V8!
This is a relief embroidered piece that Dee Dee made using an assortment of felt and buttons as well as a product label. 

Here is another with sticks, needle woven fronds, and three little monkeys carved from bone or possibly tagua nut.
The weaving looks very difficult and it was when I just looked at it and tried on my own to make it happen. Dee Dee showed me a way that made it so much easier.


This beautiful piece of embroidery came from Dee Dee Triplett's trip to Guatemala. I doubt you can tell but each stick of each petal is made of bouillon stitch--that is a stitch that requires upwards of 10 stitches worked around it.
 It is amazing in person. The next one was "recycled" by the seller into something appealing to the tourist crowd.
 See? A handy little tote.
Here is an apprilla. I have been interested in these for some time now.  Probably because they are a style of "relief" embroidery meaning they usually have a three dimensional quality.


Happiest travel cup ever. I love dots. Dots are GREAT! I especially like perfectly round, repeated size dots. With bright color and dots, how can anyone help being cheerful? Find a great cup like this one here. Or if you really want to, get this for me!

In my class at the Folk School, Dee Dee brought several examples of embroidery. This antique shows turkey work on wool felt. There is also some satin stitch but the fluffy blossoms certainly do catch the eye.
This one looks like it might have been worked in variegated thread.


Wednesday at the Folk School

I have enjoyed Morning Song each day and not even missed my customary morning of computering. I am sorry to miss all the evening programs, but basically they are just practices for the different community dance groups, which I can go see anytime. This time with Dee Dee Triplett and my two talented classmates will never happen again, so I will enjoy it.

Had a massage today from a wonderful, nurse, tie-dye expert, kaleidoscope-making masseur. He probably has other claims to fame but those are the ones I know about. 

I had the opportunity to spend time with him TWO days in a row because after my massage day, I invited him back to our classroom to see how we were rusting blacksmith refuse (we practiced dumpster diving and found a treasure trove) on to "found" fabric. As a tie-dye expert, he was very interested.  He came back the next day to show us an outfit that had a long story in front of it. Fantastic. He left us that evening with ANOTHER long story, joyful, sad, enraging, poignant and with a happily-ever-after that reaffirms the basic goodness of most people regardless of their own personally held beliefs. 
Yes, the socks do not match. Man after my own heart. His have all the shades of red, rose, lavender (with sparkles,"Someone made them for me and of course they have sparkles. I love sparkly things"), and all the pinks from hot to mellow. You can see part of his outfit. The entire thing was tints of what you see on the pants cuff, audaciously, joyously tie-dyed and was the exclamation point to a story we had heard the night before.


Tuesday at the Folk School
 Ice encrusted waterfall in the pond between "home" and the dining hall.
Tuesday, Feb 14.  Up later--5ish. Icy Cold. Spent the day learning new stitches. Many were "off-loom" weaving style. Came back after dinner even though that meant missing the contra dancing. Worked with the teacher and learned even more "off-loom" work, but basically worked independently. 
Fun times with the roommates. Laughing and revealing confidences; discussing teachers and classes. Every meal, I have been sitting at a different table and meeting people. Met a pair of doctors and a data person. The doctors are making a fly-fishing pole (he) and learning book arts (she) The data person works in Atlanta and says she has taken several blacksmithing classes already. She is working on a table sized-bonsai like tree that will hold three candle cups. I hope I get to see it. She is fun to talk to and I ate lunch AND dinner with her. I will go back to breakfast Wednesday and sit where she customarily sits. 
 As you see, I DID get to take a picture of Blacksmith Atlanta-Data person's beautifully wrought creation.


The diary from first full day at the Folk School.

 Metairie classmate's sample of stitches.

Monday, February 13.
I am up at 4:07 a.m. Sleep fitfully until 5:40 when I decide to quietly gather my things and go to the bathroom in the hall (not the one in the room--don't want to wake up the other) Took my shower, got my computer, downstairs for coffee which was promised at 6:00. Well, they were close. Only ones up--me and a man who probably was in the next room. After about 15 minutes, more men entered the living area. Women don't seem to be up and about. Seems like these fellows may be doing wood working? Not sure. They were talking about sawing logs and I can tell you that SOMEone in the next room was definitely SAWING LOGS throughout most of the night! 

In class, we reviewed lots of old stitches, learned some of the ones that involve stitching enhanced by stitching of another color applied on top. Came back and worked after supper with a classmate. She has led a fascinating life and is a Katrina survivor. I cannot even begin to imagine how that will affect every choice she makes from then on. She elected not to receive a certificate of completion. I wondered at the time if that was because she realizes THINGS are not as meaningful as people and knowledge. She worked small and neat, organized. Like many people in the sciences (she is/was a geologist) she has a left-brain streak but I think Katrina really brought a different sense of order to who she is.


Melted snowman made by *Flower*, my fire-dancing, vegetarian-cooking roommate when she was here the week before studying pottery.

John C. Campbell Folk School was wonderful. I was lucky enough to stay on campus even though I live only 30 miles away. I think it was important to do that the first time so I could get as much of the "flavor" of the school as possible. I had wonderful roommates. We shared a lot of laughs and there were five of us in one room, so laughter was a wonderful bond. Here is Sunday's diary entry:

Sunday, Feb 12.
I am to stay in Keith House, on the floor above the registration and "living" area.  I have 5five roommates and we are a varied bunch. The Kentuckian is a therapist and her clients contact her by text and FaceBook. I think they are very lucky to have her. She will learn the banjo this week.  The blacksmith is a knitter and had pretty blue and green yarn which she will probably be too tired to use this week. Two are learning vegetarian cookery. The first I met also does fire dancing, the other does non-combative historical re-enactments. Then, next to me, is a newlywed who is studying paper arts and the making of books. I am the only embroiderer in the bunch.

Dinner is family style. We all file in, stand, sing a blessing, then pass serving bowls around. Sunday night's menu: ham slices, string beans, sweet potatoes, cornbread muffins, chocolate cake. Just like a regular Sunday dinner at  a grandma's.

Then we met with our teachers in the classroom. I drove over to the weaving building where my class is being held so I could off-load my huge bin. Dee Dee has TONS of supplies for us to use.
It looks like we will be doing a sampler of leaves after we learn KNOTS Monday.
Here is the teacher's sample. We never did get to that, so I am doing one at home right now.

2.21.12--Folk School Journal Tomorrow!

I went from HATING free-motion quilting to kinda liking it. By the last bits of my February lesson, I actually enjoyed it! February's lesson was by Diane Gaudynski and was all about feathers.

 I have never really warmed up to the whole feather thing in quilting--hand or otherwise but I can see how it is easy to do because of its continuous line design. I do, however, LOVE to do LEAVES.

 I enjoyed these feathers as I pushed and pushed until I was doing leaves. On some of the outlines, I did some Jane Sassaman style wigglyies kind of like ric rac, and I liked these very much. So, here is my February challenge response.


Continuing the red theme for February's Monday Tea Time, here is a cute little set. The mugs are not my favorite style but I liked the saucers very much. The pot looks like my brown betty's design. It is called the Very Merry so the link may be broken by the time this post publishes.


I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE new shoes. In fact, I always had my eye out for a bargain. I fell out of love with high heels several years ago but if I thought my feet could stand it, I would make myself a pair of these DIY Louboutin Googly Eye Slingbacks.  Eye-catching, yes?


Bought myself some embroidery scissors. By now, I will know if I love them or hate them. I chose the red pair since that was my only choice and I wanted to shop locally. KIND of locally; my closest favorite quilt shop is Bless My Stitches in Murphy, North Carolina.


Are you feeling crafty today? If I had a couple of soda bottles, a zipper, a heavy duty needle and some heavy duty thread, I might make this PET-purse. I found the directions HERE but they originally came from HERE, (Zitta Schnitt, Industrial Design) where you can get a PDF showing you how to make one for yourself.


While I am away at the FOLK SCHOOL, why not enjoy learning how to decorate cookies with a minimum of mess? I have not tried it yet but I am very tempted. It is from Karen's Cookies and I found it HERE.


While I am at the Folk School, enjoy this video from one of my favorite animation groups, AArdman Studios.


Can you even see this first piece of fabric? It is black with brown circles. I was looking for a few blacks and medium browns for an applique quilt I wanted to start. It is called Henrietta Whiskers and I was all excited about starting in January. You may remember it was set up as a block of the month and I collected all the blocks for free as they appeared on the Bunny Hill site.
It is no longer free but if you click the link, you will see that it has a lot of squirrels and crows on it.This looked like it might make nice squirrels. It even goes with most of my other browns and well with the next piece of fabric I thought might make nice squirrel tails. But I have not started this quilt yet. I was going to cut the first pieces on January the first.
I can not bring myself to make a cute squirrel quilt when we STILL HAVE VERMIN IN OUR CRAWL SPACE and now our bedroom smells like a squirrel toilet.  The wildlife division of our insect exterminator company will have come and gone--A THIRD TIME--by the time you are reading this. I hope I have good news to report.

Kyle and Chris were our most recent technicians. I think we will continue to do battle with the flying squirrels but at least we have great support via Arrow Exterminators. I will probably be able to make headway on this quilt in the spring.


This wonderful movie. I heart it very much. Watch it, then call in your family to see it. If you work at a school and YouTube is blocked, you may be able to show this embedded version directly from my little piece of publishing heaven. Get a cuppa tea and enjoy!


Guess where I am today? I am at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. I will be studying Innovative Embroidery with Dee Dee Triplett. Her link will take you to one of her pages on the Southern Highland Craft Guild pages and from there you can click to see other pages of her soft sculptural work. 

I will be bringing my camera and computer and I hope to get permission from classmates to photograph their work to put here. 

I will try to write blog entries each day I am gone, but you will have to wait until the week after to see everything I have done.


Another treasure. My Oregon family sent this beautiful shawl--from France! Can you see the gift bag? It is lavender and tan and looks like it is homemade. I forgot to mention it in my thank-you note, but it is appreciated! I like recycling and this little bag will get some use.


Birthday pampering. Yes, I know my birthday was more than a week ago but the pampering continues! My southern Florida family sent relaxing shower washes and candles. Here they are posing on a pretty scarf with pockets, knitted for me by my mother. I hope we get some more cold weather so I can use it. This has been a very weird winter.
I also got some LUXURY yarn; soft alpaca. See it posing on the alpaca scarf? I think they like each other.


My Quilty Friend knows I have a fondness for chickens and this is what she gave me for my birthday (among other things). He is quite a rooster and he has a secret.
He actually came with a little sponge in his compartment for that was his initial purpose on this planet but I am going to make him into a pincushion so he can be in my studio as a working chicken.


YAHOO! Quilty Friend gave me a YARD of this. We take an applique class together and she recently used some in purple. I could immediately see ROOSTER TAILS if I fussy cut it correctly. You can, too, right? Anyway, I do love orange. I spent almost all day cleaning out the studio Monday and found that I have loved orange for some time now. My fabrics are somewhat organized by color and orange is certainly in the top 5! I should take pictures of my fabric stash so you can see my color array.


Here is Lily, our sweetheart. She is guarding an oversized rawhide bone. She has a special spot near my reading chair--a doubled and folded brown towel with a dachshund-long heating pad in it!

She would prefer to be in someone's lap all day long and help them eat whatever snack they choose. She is not a picky eater and especially enjoys banana, cheese, deli meat, and cooked broccoli.


Look at THIS BLOG. Her name is Kim and she MADE this. She shows how on her blog. She is a talented embroiderer.


One time last month, Quilty Friend and I had a Girls' Day Out and we went fabric shopping at a place that was having a sale. 

I think Quilty Friend is having an influence on me because this  is not my usual style, but I just loved it! Must have been the dots or maybe the leaves. If you saw the actual fabric, you would not even notice the dots because they are so tiny.


Just needs finishing touches! Hope my youngest niece does not look at my blog or her birthday present will not be a surprise!


Remember this?
Here is the pattern I am using for the project. Can you guess which version? 
If you guessed NONE OF THE ABOVE, you are correct. I vaguely used the skirt pattern from view C and kind of looked at the bodice and then made my own, better, faced edition.

By the way, if you like this pattern and have a spare $16.95, you could own it, too. Luckily, I am an excellent shopper and bought my copy for $.99.  I love a bargain.


Finished! It should hold two stacks of magazines, side by side. I will no doubt use this for FABRIC! OR YARN! OR PATTERNS!


I am learning to cane chairs. This is an example of my French caning. 
I am much slower than I thought I would be but maybe this family heirloom will last a little longer with a new seat. It has not had one in many decades.