A blog about my interests, which include crazy quilting and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Manning the buckets...

Well, technically it isn't buckets, but it's lots of towels!  We are suffering the wind and heavy rain tail end of the storms that have gone through the US and our windows, we discover, leak.  A lot.  I was happily stitching away and suddenly heard dripping.  Thought I was certainly imagining things and it wasn't until one of the drips splashed water onto me did I realize that the dripping I was hearing was on the INSIDE.  By all reports this weather has settled in for at least two or three days so I suspect there might be a lot of towels being wrung out.

Oh well.
It could be a whole lot worse
as we're seeing more and more reports
coming in on the news.

I took a little break after finishing Secret Project #1 (sorry, still can't show you even a teeny little hint of what it is) and before starting Secret Project #2 (sorry, can't show you that one either) to create these little gifts....


Recycled denim tote bags,
in the crazy quilt style with
the stitching done with my machine.
Thrifted labels here and there for
additional interest.

Might not be a post for you tomorrow because I'm teaching again and will probably be too pooped to participate when I get home!

Today's quote (very appropriate for me I think!) is from Lady Bird Johnson.... "Become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid" 




Friday, April 25, 2014

Dreaming!

This morning I checked my email and found another lovely blog post from Di van Niekerk.  If you don't know her, she is the author of many beautiful embroidery books and her posts often include absolutely stunning silk ribbon embroideries.  She also often features other artists and today she had a guest post by Marina Zherdeva who created this...


Please click to embiggen to see how incredible this is!!
 And, once you've done that, go HERE to see more
close-up pictures and  to read her tutorial on how 
it was created.  

I can only dream about ever being this good!
(oh yeah....and also dream about winning the 
lottery so I can afford the silk ribbon!!)

Today's quote is from Pablo Picasso... "There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun"




Thursday, April 24, 2014

What a difference a day makes!

Well, guess what folks?  My computer and camera are on speaking terms - at least for the moment.  I finally resorted to taking my camera back to the default settings and lo and behold, it worked!  Who knew?  Of course now that means I have to relearn my camera again, but at least I have one problem solved (maybe!).

So, just to prove I've really not been idly sitting
around eating bon bons and sipping on
Irish cream
(which, btw, have both been banned after an ill-fated
climb onto the bathroom scales this morning!!)....

We retrieved the cradle that my dad made for our #1 son over 30 years ago and have been busily sprucing it up for use by our soon-to-be-born baby grandson.  Jack gave it several coats of Murphy's Oil Soap and we purchased a new foam mattress, which I proceeded to cover with waterproof fabric.  There was enough left over to make a change pad too....bonus!  I also made a couple of fitted sheets for it.  I know it's difficult to tell from the picture, but the pile of 'lumber' in the front is actually the legs (underpinnings?).

As a little aside - the cradle itself is made of oak.  My dad was helping out at the local auction house at the time and in the process of moving a very old organ from a house to the auction it fell off the back of the truck and shattered into pieces.  Ooops.  Dad had nothing to do with its demise, but he lucked out and got the pieces, which were turned into the cradle.


I was given a pair of pillowcases that, unfortunately, had been stored for many years in a plastic bag.  Not a good idea!   The fabric is now covered with little brown-ish spots (if you embiggen the picture, hopefully you can see what I mean).  Now my dilemma is how to remove them without losing the wonderful stamped cross stitch pattern.  Bleach is obviously not an option.    The lesson here?  Do not, under any circumstances, store your valued linens in any form of plastic!!

The quote today is from Ralph Waldo Emerson...  "Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we will not find it"


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mutter,mutter, mumble,---oh, and maybe even swear a little!

I know I've been missing on the blog for a few days - no excuse, really.  I've been busily stitching away on the great secret project so can't show you anything about that anyway.  So, I just now scurried around and took a few pictures of things I CAN show you and, wouldn't you know it, now my camera is refusing to speak to my computer.  Or maybe it's the computer refusing to speak to the camera.  Either way, they aren't communicating and I have no earthly clue as to why. 

Yes, I've been doing things - we got the new piece of foam for a mattress for the cradle my dad made over 31 years ago for my kids, and I covered it with waterproof fabric.  I made a matching change pad because there was some excess fabric.  I made two fitted sheets for said cradle.  I was given some very interesting pieces of stamped embroidery that I would like to show you.  Alas, the pictures remain on my camera.

So....

instead, I will show you this cute
picture I found on the internet...


Now, doesn't that make you feel good?

Today's quote is from C.S. Lewis.... "The future comes at sixty minutes an hour"


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The mailman brought this too...

I'm doing my post a little early this morning because I have a busy day ahead of me.  I'll also tell you that it's doubtful there will be a post tomorrow because I'm teaching another workshop on the crazy quilt hussif.  Part one of the two-day class is tomorrow.

Do any of you remember making things like placemats and doilies using a wooden loom...probably back in the early 70's?  My dad made me a loom and that Christmas every person I had on my gift list got a set of placemats...great fun!  This past Christmas Pam Kellogg's beautiful mother Adria sent me one of her handmade doilies and I realized that she had used one of those looms.  Mine, of course, is long gone.  Well, after I wrote to thank her and told her the story about my experience with the loom, she told her wonderful husband who then proceeded to make one for me!!  Not only did I get a loom, but Adria also made me another doily AND pre-threaded the loom and gave me instructions on how to do it (good thing, because I had totally forgotten!).

Here's the loom and what it makes...

 













Thank you SO much Adria and your wonderful woodworking husband!!



oh - and just as a sidenote - woke up to a heavy coat of snow this morning!!!!!!!!!!



Today's quote is from Anonymous....  "Reach for the stars, even if you have to stand on a cactus"

 

 








Monday, April 14, 2014

Look at what the mailman brought!!

Sometimes I really think my mailman is wonderful, especially when he brings treasures such as these from my friend Lyn in England!  Lyn and I have been exchanging stitching magazines and sometimes there's something else that seems to get tucked into the envie.  Well, I must say Lyn outdid herself with what tumbled out of the latest envelope!

Just have a look at these!



This piece measures approx. 10x14".  If you look closely you can see that the embroider has attached a clump of the threads she used ready to continue stitching.  









Here's a closeup....

The larger flowers appear to be made using some sort of soft nylon ribbon.





The envie also had this...

This appears to be done with machine
and measures approx. 6x10".

And THEN, out tumbled THIS....






Oh wow!
A partially completed piece of special embroidery!
You can see the wonderfully done shadow work and the partially done flowers with the lovely blue transfer remaining on the close.  It's just as if the embroider was called away and is coming right back to continue stitching.
This piece measures 11" square.

You can click to embiggen all the pictures.

THANK YOU LYN!!!!!!!!!!!

The quote from today is from Judith Viorst - "Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces"

Stay tuned tomorrow to see something else the mailman brought!


Friday, April 11, 2014

My fascination with birds continues...

Still working on the secret project so nothing to show for my stitching efforts at the moment, so instead I will send you to see a couple of neat things.

1. Remember my sending you to visit the live camera on the eagle nest at Berry College (btw - the baby has grown tremendously!!)?   Well, now they have a link to a live cam inside a bluebird nest.  Right now the mama bird is busily building her nest so if you go for a visit you might have to wait a bit to see her.  I'm sure she will be laying eggs soon.  Anyway, go HERE to see the nest.    And if you missed my link to the eagles nest go HERE.    They have over ten million views (yes, you read that right!).

2. Maureen Greeson has posted a wonderful tutorial about how she makes her beautiful pincushion half dolls.  Wish I had known her method when I attempted to make one years ago.  Go HERE to see hers.

Today's quote is from Thomas Carlyle....  "Every day that is born into the world comes like a burst of music and rings the whole day through, and you make of it a dance, a dirge, or a life march, as you will"


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Mumblings and such

Because the project I'm currently working on is top secret, you're going to have to suffer through my mumblings today.   I have a couple of things I'd like to draw your attention to....

1.  Deb of Mosaic Magpie has drawn my attention to a very worthwhile project and, because it's one of my chosen charities to support, I thought I would pass it on in case you would like to join in.  MJ of MJ's Lost Cause has started a wonderful 'Tatted Totes 4 Tatted Tits' project.  She's collecting as many hand sewn tote bags as she can for donation to people newly diagnosed with breast cancer.  If you would like to know more, and find a link to an easy tote bag tutorial, go HERE

2.  Karen Ruane has placed her highly successful 'Alchemy' class back on offer.  I can tell you with a high degree of confidence that you will love every single minute of ANY on-line class that Karen does (I'm currently enrolled in her Simply Stitch 4 class).  Karen is one of the most gifted embroiders I've come across and she's very generous with her knowledge....and delivers it all with a great sense of humour as well.  If you are wanting to increase your knowledge and also expand your own abilities, go HERE to read the course description and to find out more.

3.  You all know my insatiable 'need' to own every single book about embroidery (yes, I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a collector!), right?  Well, thanks to Mary Corbett's review I had to order this book from Germany, and have to say that the mail service from there is second to none.    Anyway, this is what I ordered and am currently drooling over...






4.  And, for your viewing enjoyment, I have to show you just part of the large flock of vultures that have been visiting the skies over the river the past week.  I think they are incredible flyers - so graceful in the air, despite being rather an ugly bird on land.   (Click on the picture to embiggen)



5.  And just to prove that I haven't been idly sitting around snacking on bon bons and watching the boob tube....





The completed stack of flannelette receiving blankets!





The quote of the day, from Erma Bombeck...

"Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died"

Friday, April 04, 2014

Done, Done, Done!!!!

Purse # 3 is done!

Purse # 3 is done!

Let the bells ring out!!!!!!!!!!!!!






 The front....












...and the back.










This is the last of the purses I have to make and must admit I'm rather hopeful that I won't have
to make any more for awhile.  I love doing the crazy quilt part, but the sewing together?  Not so much!

This afternoon it's dull and raining so it's a good day to spend in my sewing studio making cute little baby flannel receiving blankets.  At least they're a whole lot more cheerful than it is outside.  Oh yes...and they're calling for snow flurries again.  ARGH!!!!!!!!

This quote is by the infamous Anonymous....  "This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it"


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

A new toy!

I've known for some time now that my trusty iron has been on the ailing list and finally reached the conclusion that she really was gasping its last and that she no longer could be trusted to do what I needed her to.  She was having hot flashes and the chills, poor thing.

So, being a fickle person, and realizing that the 
love affair was over, 
I replaced her
with this....


This little beauty steams her
little heart out
and delivers a hefty burst of extra steam
when she's asked.
And she doesn't complain either!

I think it's true love.

- - - - - - -  -

Today's quote from Carol Holmes.... "A happy life is made up of little things...a gift sent, a letter written, a call made, a recommendation given, transportation provided, a cake made, a book lent, a cheque sent"