Monday, February 6, 2017

Creating Wedding Ribbon Wands

My kids are marrying in a beautiful reception space... followed by a cocktail hour "presto chango" whilst the room flips from ceremony to reception. Because we are in one room... I wanted to create something "celebratory" for the new "Mr. & Mrs" as they take their recessional walk back down the aisle.

So I decided to create WEDDING WANDS!

I ordered a 100 yard roll of personalized ribbon on line.
Purchased assorted ribbons in "their colors" & theme locally to allow some variations 
- 12 inch dowels 
- 18 mm jingle bells
- my trusty hot glue gun 
- various colored ribbon

100 yard roll of customized ribbon 
printed by personal creations
All other ribbons, dowels, & bells purchased at my local Hobby Lobby & Michaels.

For each of the wands, I selected 4 ribbons... hot glued on 1 bell with a twist... & eventually I ended up with a weddings worth of wands.

I hope the kids will like this surprise & our guests might decide to keep one as an extra wedding day momento. 

I cut each length of ribbon approximately 30"

My daughter was visiting... so I got her help!

One of her oldest friends stopped by for a visit...
They tied a bell to the center of a length of sheer ribbon

Every wand includes one personalized ribbon...
one sheer ribbon with a bell...
and 2 other ribbons from a various assortment collected.
All ribbons are then folded in half- 
tied to dowel 
and hot glued in place

sample of completed ribbon wand

After all the wands were fully assembled 
it was time to even out the edges...
Then each ribbon edge needed to be sealed 
by flame to avoid unraveling

2 weeks later... Wands completed!!!

Packed up and ready for transport!

Thank you Deandra & Gabby...
We are all ready now for our congratulatory wave!

Friday, January 6, 2017

An invite for Junko

So many details to take care of when 
planning a wedding... 
But when a family member from Japan 
promised to make the journey, 
I decided to create a very special 
invitation- just for her!

Scott to Robyn Lieberman anata
 no sonzai no meiyo o yōkyū suru
 musuko no kekkon de Mason Jacob ni
 Caitlin Sierra Benetto nichiyōbi, 5 tsuki
 7-nichi ni sen jū nana yoru no 6-ji ni
 sutētorūmu Bosuton, masachūsettsu-shū
 forō suru resepushon
Scott and Robyn ***
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their son
Mason Jacob
Caitlin Sierra ***
Sunday, the ***
Two thousand and seventeen
at six o’clock in the evening .
The State Room
Boston, Massachusettes
Reception to follow
You will be our guest at the 
Please select 
beef, chicken, or vegetable
for main course dinner.
The favor of a reply is requested
by April 1, 2017
Top Layer: Printed directly on to the fabric
Middle: Slim pink border... fabric will be used later in envelope
Layer 3: hand pressed paper
All layers sewn together on standard 
sewing machine
A follow up!
Our wedding invitation made it to Japan!!!
Our dearest Junko displays her package
Arrival in tact
I can hardly wait 
to welcome her to Boston
to share the big weekend!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

"Time to say goodbye (Con te partirò)": An evening with Andrea Bocelli

On Saturday night, December 10, 2016, 

Scott and I drove to Dallas for a romantic evening with Andrea Bocelli.

It is hard to describe his voice & the feelings he inspires in to written words... 
but I am going to do my very best to try.
We supported PBS KERA during their pledge drive and purchased tickets to sound check, a pre-show lite supper, and fantastic concert seats.
Having a son who's life is spent with more time in rehearsals & sound checks than on stage performing with his cello- 
I was especially eager to experience this end of things.
We entered the American Airlines Center to find it had been transformed from a basketball super arena to an acoustically balanced concert hall.
Quietly we sat... people snapped pics (less than discreetly as requested) while onstage musicians, techs, and performers continued their run through.
Side stage were 3 young children sitting calmly... watching, listening... playing without distraction. Obviously, not American I guessed- our kids would have been all over the place! The younger of the 3 was Bocelli's. Precious, this tour is a family experience for all & I truly admire that!
Sound, lighting, mics, dance, violins... Bocelli kept it limited... saving his powerful vocals for the show.
When Katherine McPhee appeared for her duet check- she was on her cell phone texting away. She looked like a trench coat clad disinterested teenager... I could not help but laugh & wonder if she was worthy.
Her vocals and later performance would certainly prove me wrong. 

Andrea Bocelli 
December 2016 
10 DEC 2016

After sound check we met with some other KERA supporters in a room overhead to mix, mingle, & share some wine & appetizers... 
then it was finally time for the concert. 

...well, ticketed American time, anyways.

Pre-concert at the American Airlines Center
Andrea Bocelli's concert CINEMA

Perhaps in true traditional Italian fashion, things got going 20 minutes after 8PM.

Scott was thrilled to gain press credentials and took amazing pics from press area- allowing me to just enjoy every note and aria. No need to worry about sneaking iPhone images & videos like everyone around me.
(My only real pet peeve of the night were all those flashes and videos all show! Seriously folks... let the "others" post it on u-tube- don't waste this opportunity) 

It is hard to believe how large this arena is...
to know that cheering fans usually fill the official arena seating...
to stare down at that court and that we were sitting 5 rows back upon it from center stage!!!

Concert Program

The opening song was performed by the Dallas symphony & choir... 
setting the mood and further building up the anticipation....

And then finally- the conductor escorted him on stage. 

Image Projection "Threads"

And from his very first note- the arena felt like a small symphony hall.

His voice is powerful- while being intimate.
The stage was expansive and he stands alone with the orchestra and choir behind him.

He looked to me- nearly as vulnerable as he did empowered completing that first aria to the crowds erupting applause. 
He reaches deep within to share his gift with all of us... while trusting those around him to aid him in doing so.

He shared the stage with:
vocal soprano Ana Maria Martinez
"guest artist" Katharine McPhee
violinist Caroline Campbell
2 dancers at times
as well as pick up musicians & a choir from the Dallas area.

Bocelli with Eugene Kohn, Conductor

Throughout the evening his guest artists had opportunities for hailing their own talent, as well as duets with him. 

Caroline Campbell

Ana Maria Martinez

One of my favorite moments was seeing the smile on Bocelli's face when he introduced us to his Music Project, "Voices of Haiti" while singing Amazing Grace.

Vocally, the first half of the show was mainly "operatic arias" shared at times with Ana Maria Martinez.
The evenings second half had more of a pop tone.

Katherine McPhee (from American Idol & Scorpion) didn't appear until the 7th song after intermission and the crowd erupted when she finally took the stage and they sung "The Prayer".

Katherine McPhee

After waiting so long for concert day to arrive... 
and finally for it to begin- 
it was hard to accept it was now already over :(

He did 3 encores... 
saving "Time to say goodbye (Con te partirò)" for last. 

Reluctantly, it was indeed time to say goodbye- 
but hopefully- only for now...

a pic from last spring
when we enjoyed a weeks stay at the Bocelli farmhouse 
 Bocelli's Teatro del silenzio in Lajatico

TY to my DH Scott for his photographic commitment
and determination to alway snap the best & share
Nearly all of the added images above are his!


Monday, November 28, 2016

Hoards of Christmas Glitter

Stacked in piles... in storage up above sat the remnants of Chanukah's & Christmas's past.
Decades & Decades worth.
Memories of holiday preparations past...

And as the decorations were carried down...
(and down... and down...)

...only one conclusion could be reached-
today was the day.
I could ignore it no longer. 

Every year as the holidays near, I am seduced by the new colors of the wrap & the ribbons of the season. And every year, as the gifts are opened- we keep the gift bags that are savable... the ribbons & bows still flowing and the wrappings yet to be used.
I pack them up in bags and boxes and shove them back in the closet atop the "older stuff".

And then the following year I do it all again...

This year while shopping at Sam's club, my yearly christmas tradition was to begin and my husband said- enough
We have so much wrap... use what we have first.

FINE! I will use it up- and then buy this years patterns. (I'll show him!)

today I dug deep in to the back of the closet to wraps and boxes and bags untouched since the kids were young.

Stunned I had accumulated quite so much...
We carried down the tree...
Then came the crates.
11 plastic crates of decorations & "wrappings"!
Crates of bags & boxes & tissue & ribbons...
And Tall shopping bags full of even more!
And 4 tall crates full of gift wrap rolls of the patterns of seasons past.
Holy crap... that's a whole lotta wrap!!!

I haven't wrapped a thing yet, or finished unpacking the Christmas decorations-

My dining room table is a glittered crazy quilt of Christmas's past...
Help me Santa
The herpes of the craft world is winning...

2 days later:
I found it: The dining room!!!
I've sorted every gift bag & box and all the rest. 
They are now all organized by size & shape!!!
If you're near... come shop!

Who knows... eventually I may even get back to the holiday decorations...






Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Houston, we have a problem...

Last week was the International Quilt Festival! 
Quilters travel to Houston, TX from all over  the world to share their passion! 

luggage carousel welcoming us for IQF

Last year my week was jam packed and seemed to fly by "seamless"ly.
This year was different...
It had its highs and lows, 
It's excitements... 
and its frustrations. 

I was envious of the excitement of all the first timers... (proudly wearing their first time at festival show ribbons), dazed by the inspiring displays, and seductive shopping! Their widened eyes taking in every angle... and not knowing where to look next. 

I tried to borrow some of their energy & enthusiasm since sleep deprivation had left mine lacking.
But try with all my might...
It was just different for me this year.
I was alone... and in a convention center full of tens of thousands of people- it was a hard feeling to shake.

Prepping was harder this year because I have been so busy in my life elsewhere.
Some of the fabrics were overly specific and hard to locate. 
But I finally got them all prepped... packed... & thankfully all my bags arrived in tact in Houston. 
And then, opening night of festival- I zoomed through the vendor area to buy the last few fabrics I needed but could not locate locally.

So, what of the supplies & all my prep?

Each bag contained everything prepped 
on the workshop supply list

One workshop teacher prepared full kits for each of us and said there had been an "error" in the festival printed supply list!
Another brought the flesh colored fabrics I had searched hardest for along with her to share with us all- because she knew they are always hard to come by! 
And the third admitted she had told us to bring far more fabric than we would need so we would have choices.

Don't waste my shopping space!!!

We put the selfie puzzle together with freezer paper...
mix & matching reformatted pattern pieces...
and personalizing all we could 

stitch in the ditch... putting it all together

Ready for quilting!

My Whimsical Selfie Quilt created in workshop
displayed with Laurie Ceesay

I am especially proud of my eyes!!!

Pattern traced on to Steam-A-Seam-2
Individual pieces traced on to freezer paper and 
placed on adhesive over their assigned number

flower builds from inside out,
 as petal numbers increase & I slowly swap out fabrics

My Prismatic Flower created 
in my workshop with Barbara Olson---
to be continued

 Cute little project...
cute kit full of stuff I gathered for no apparent reason... (oh wait: it was on the supply list!)
for so little coffee!!!

Cutting the Main Fabric for Paper Piecing Foundation Piecing:
          M= Measure Width & Height
          A= Add an inch to each measurement
          C= Cut this size for each piece the same size
Different Rules for Different Shapes
          M= Measure longest side of the background triangle 
          A= add two inches
          C= Cut a square that measures 2" longer than the longest sides. CUT THE SQUARE IN HALF AT THE DIAGONAL.
          Do it again (or) Done = PTSD!!!!
Little Goose, Fly Away 🏡 Home with Gail Garber

An amazing collection of original quilts by Gail Garber... 
each with their own story tell.

and 6 hours later: MY TREE!
Looking like something right off the page of a Dr. Zeus book!!!

Curved Flying Geese 
forming a tree against sky

There were many stunning quilts & exhibits on display... most of my pics were out of focus  or don't do them justice. Thankfully, lots of other folks have posted their amazing images on line. One thing I was excited to see back in Houston was a quilt from the NASA Astronomical exhibit.

NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg 
displayed beside traveling Astronomical Quilts 

The Astronomical Quilts came together as a result of a collaborative call between 
NASA and the International Quilt Festival. 
Each of the quilts feature images that represented 
space exploration &/or NASA astronauts. 
This particular quilt includes the block created by 
NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg 
while she was 
on board the International Space Station in 2014!
In total: 2,260 blocks were used to create 28 panels!

my block on top Row- 
Second in from the right!

Houston construction... political mood... financial concerns... The World Series...and many other reasons 
probably all contributed to the lesser 
than previously experienced crowding...

A lucky spin of the wheel & a visit with GUS!

Sunday the bad weather headed our way...
My amazing husband surprised me & drove 4 hours each way that day without ever being asked. 
(Before I even knew for sure my flights would be cancelled & I wouldn't make it 🏡 home Sunday).

I think I will take a break from attending IQF for a while... I have gotten in to a predictable rut. I want that excitement back. I want to feel what the first timers & long distance travelers feel. The magic is still there... and I will go back when I can once again give it my full imagination and challenge me creatively. 
But for today... I will settle for an end to the laundry!!!