Welcome to the Playroom at 14 Peonystreet!

This blog started in the "playroom". That's what DH calls artwork- playing. Wish I could live in the "playroom" forever.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!
from some of the Gang at 14 Peony Street
(what a bunch of babies!)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Worm Moon

It's a Worm Moon tonight.
The dogs are barking, night birds are singing, and there's just a general racket out there tonight.
Happy Spring!
Read about the "Worm Moon"  here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Installing Gripper Snaps with Spool & Hammer- Tutorial

Okay, Here's the scoop:   I looked all over the internet, and DID NOT FIND one good tutorial on how to install these little snaps with a hammer and spool.  There's tons of tutorials that show how to use a tool to grip it together.  I've never used one.  I've been doing it MY way for a gazillion years and it works.
Hammer, Spool- wooden if you have one, plastic will do.
Hard surface.  I use a piece of leftover flooring.  Any board will do.
Thing your snapping to-- usually fabric!
Snaps-- Your parts will be:  1 top with prongs;  one bottom-- looks lit it sticks up in the middle;  one prong ring, and another ring- with hole in middle for snap to go into.  These are usually sold in packages, and usually have instructions how to do this, but I bought mine so long ago, I no longer have the package.
Snap parts.  See how the top piece has prongs, and the prong ring has prongs.
The prongs will be pushed into the cavities on the other pieces.
Another photo of snap parts.

Highly recommend you use interfacing inside the fabric you're going to attach snap to.
You want to have some "meat" in there-- If you don't you'll just be attaching the very strong snap to a flimsy piece of fabric and when you snap and unsnap a few times, the fabric will tear.
Use a midweight fusible interfacing.
When the strap is sewn and turned inside out, there is a good FOUR layers  for the snap to be attached to.
Wristlet strap, ready for snaps!
STEP 3:  FIND AND MARK WHERE YOU WANT SNAP, AND PUSH PRONGED END THROUGH FABRIC.  We're going to attach the top one first- the one that has the button looking plastic on top.

Use your fingernail to push prongs through the fabric.
This is the underside piece that's getting attached to the "button" side.
Line up the prongs so that they will fit into the cavity/grooves.
Check to make sure they are in the right place before hammering.
Now, get your spool ready.  See the hole in the spool?
Carefully place this over the part of the snap that's sticking up,
without moving anything.  Sometimes this takes a light touch.
Here's how it looks from the side when everything's lined up:
How it looks before compression.
Make sure everything's lined up, and that you're on a hard surface,
and whack (hit) the top of the spool reall good with your hammer.
Careful!  Don't hit your fingers!
Everything should compress together nicely.
How it looks after compression.
Check and see if you can press your fingernail into the area between the snap and the fabric.
If you can't, snap is installed correctly.
If it's not, line up your spool again, and give it another whack!

If all is well, proceed with remaining pieces, making sure you've got the sides lined up right- nothing twisted, so that it will fit right.
Other end.  In construction language-- it's the "female"snap piece.
Underside of "female" snap, held in place with the prong ring.
Snap pieces in place.
Check to make sure it snaps together.  This one does, so we're finished!
And, if you happen to make a mistake, you CAN
take it apart.  Use a flathead screwdriver, and carefully pry it apart.

Hope this helps anyone out there who doesn't want to buy a tool to
install these snaps!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Appalachian Spring

There's nothing like an Appalachian Spring....
This is a Bradford Pear tree.  These are the flower bud right before they bloom.
They look like miniature flower bunches to me.
Saucer Magnolia, just beginning to flower.
Maple tree bud.
This is our Biscuit #1.  (Private collection.)
She is my little Appalachian tomboy.
She's nearly always accompanied by a dog.
This dog is named Chi-Chi.
Biscuit always reminds me of Spring.
I love Aaron Copeland's "Appalachian Spring" composition.
I used to hate Martha Graham's ballet of the same name- I thought it was so boring, but now I think it's quite nice.
I'll have more about Biscuit soon.
For now- Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Why God Made Colors.....

I can't say that I really know the mind of God.  I actually only have theories about why He made colors.  I think He gave us colors because He loves us.  Colors are a gift to us.  And speaking as a person who Loves color, works with color,  plays with color, it makes my heart feel better about the world, and it humbles me to think of all the Good Things He has given us.
Colors are like a balm in Gilead.
There are so many fantastic fabric designers in the world today.  Some new ones to the Moda world of fabrics are Lauren and Jessi Jung.  Click here to read their blog.  Yes.  It was me.  I won a jelly roll of their new line- Birds & Berries.  (BTW- I'm NOT getting paid or otherwise to mention them in my blog. I really did win this in a random drawing.)  If you love color, and pattern and detail, you should run to your nearest quilt fabric store and treat yourself to some of this gorgeous eye candy.  I guarantee you it will make you feel better.   Digital photography is great, and if you don't have a quilt shop near you, it's the next best thing to being there, but there's just no comparison to touching, seeing, feeling the FABRIC and seeing it with your own eyes in different light.  Trust me-- just GO and see for yourself!  Your life will just not ever be the same as when you are viewing textiles, paints, paintings- ANYTHING handmade or artistic or sculpted- in person.  Your life will be forever changed when you see something authentic- the real thing- not just a photograph.
Thank you to all the designers who give us wonderful colors and patterns to work with in our lives.
And thank you, God, for making all those wonderful colors!
Photos:  1-5:  Lauren and Jessi Jung's Birds & Berries fabric; 6: Fig Tree & Co., Joanna Figueroa's California Girl;  7: My thread spools; 8-9: Joanna Figueroa's Tapestry; 10: Jan Patek's Lilac Hill, with my vintage Singer; 11:  Joanna Figueroa's Tapestry.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lost at Sea....

In Memoriam:
down off the Maryland coast
near Assateague Island
in the stormy weather yesterday,
May you rest in peace.
Condolences to the families.

Saturday, March 2, 2013



Despite the little snow showers,
and grey days,
Spring is actually on the way.
Photos of:  Myrtle branches, Robin, Blueberry stem, Camellias-
which bloom all winter long here, Hyacinth, Hydrangea buds, Nest, Tree bud.


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