About Me

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i am a creative person. mother to a daughter who is an active young woman and a constant blessing in my life. i hope that you enjoy your visit here and that you will return often.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

today was a great mail day~!!~ full of fun and fabulous surprises.

i recently participated in a give-away from Cathy of Big Lake Quilter and low and behold ~!!!~
i actually won~!
a beautiful collection of moda fabrics as well as an Omnigrid Mini-FoldAway. i work small a lot of the time and expect that the miniature cutting and pressing station will come in quite handy. as for the fabrics . . . they are so yummy that i'm bound to find myself starting a (forbidden) new project . . . i could sure see these fabrics making a sweet little doll quilt or two . . .  hhhmmmmm . . .  maybe a great way to pay the give-away goodness forward . . .  it is about time for me to have another one i think . . .  how's that for a tease?
thank you so very much Cathy.

i also received a totally unexpected card from Jay of  Creative Crone from studio Q. she is a zentangle artist extraordinaire as well as a fellow quilter. she has challenged herself with creating regular zentangles as well as an accompanying haiku with each one.  i LOVE visiting her and seeing her newest creative tangles.
and today, totally out of the blue, i got a card from her that was full of loving kindness as well as one of her beautiful zentangles.
on the back of the zentangle is it's very own haiku written by Jay:

 "Giving is Pleasure.
No matter how large or small,
The thought is the gift."
how true and how blessed i felt to be the one thought of in this special way. thank you Jay.
btw: can you guess what proud state Jay is from? there's a clue within today's photo.

in addition to all of that goodness i received the newest issue of the Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine.
i've been so busy admiring my other goodies that i haven't even cracked the cover yet but am looking forward to taking it to bed with me and possibly staying up late soaking up much of what is within it's pages.
a fabulous way to end this abundant day.

today's gifts include:
  • the generosity (of both spirit and gifts) from friends i've made while blogging
  • a walk with River and my wonderful husband. the new hip is feeling really GOOD just lately
  • the lovely feeling of excited anticipation

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

some (merry) christmas projects that i've worked on and finished over the last couple of months.

 these are small (approximately 3.5 inches) mitten ornaments that i made using some of the tiniest scraps that i found in the scrapbag. hand pieced onto a scrap piece of batting. simple feather stitched embroidery over the seams and a tailor's buttonhole stitch  all around.

 they are backed with a nice bright red felt. my quilt guild donates a decorated christmas tree to a local fundraiser auction. all ornaments for this tree are handmade by the guild members and these were the ornaments that i made and donated. they are quick to make and turn out pretty cute. there was quite a selection of beautiful work done for this and someone won a very nicely decked out tree this year~!

 this was a small (approximately 9 inches tall) stocking that i made using basically the same technique. fully lined and donated to the guild's annual christmas bazaar fundraiser.

i decided to use a simple feather stitch for the embroidery on the above pieces but there are many choices when embroidering a crazy quilt seam. an excellent resource for learning more about crazy quilting is CQMagOnline.

i also enjoy going to Pin Tangle for seam embroidery details and instruction.

 this stocking was a bit bigger (approximately 13 inches tall). machine pieced with the trims being added by hand. also fully lined. my wonderful daughter decided that she would like to have this one to use as a gift for a friend.
this last stocking is quite large (approximately 20 inches tall). it was made using a vintage block that i was given (one of a set of about a dozen star blocks) that didn't lie flat. it was easy to see why the maker hadn't put them together into a quilt but of course i couldn't waste them and  have begun to use them in this way.  fully lined and also claimed by my wonderful daughter for gifting purposes.

today's gifts included:
  • gingerbread cookies made and decorated by my daughter ~ these were so charming to look at that i almost didn't want to eat them
  • a much needed afternoon nap
  • hearing my daughter's laughter

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

just a quick post featuring a couple of postcards that i managed to work on and finish during the last few weeks.

this first one was a birthday card. i used a bit of an old tattered hand embroidered towel (both the embroidery and the  lace edge) and a piece of my own hand dyed orange fabric. the sun has been reverse appliqued by me and i did add a few more embroidered stems and flowers.
last year i did a similar card for the same person using old linen bits (an embroidered handkerchief) and a hand dyed fabric. i think i'll make this theme a tradition for her birthday cards as she seems to really love them.

this second card was made for  a friend who has been going through cancer treatments. she will be finding out very soon the results of all of that . . . keep her in your thoughts and prayers please.
i found that skep and bee fabric years ago and because it was on sale (and i loved it) i bought a few yards. now i wish i'd bought the whole bolt~!!~

i want to thank every visitor who has returned to my blog and especially those that have left a comment. i feel such joy being back within this friendly blog world.

this morning i discovered that Somerset Studio's has a new blog. i'm a huge fan of many of their publications (and secretly dream of someday being within those pages).
are there other Somerset Studio's fans out there?

it's early yet, but today's gifts already include:
  • the joy felt when i see that other bloggers out there haven't forgotten me and the sweetness of their recent thoughts and prayers
  • my morning mug of hot chai tea (with it's overtones of coconut) with milk and honey added
  • waking up to a newly mucked out pantry ~ organized and tidy

Friday, December 9, 2011

i've had this post partially prepared since mid september and am happy to finally get to share it.

this is a small quilt that i made for a very good friend in celebration of her birthday.
she seemed to really love it and i enjoyed making it for her.

i used a pattern called "Crow on the Pumpkin" designed by Lisa Bongean of (Primitive Gatherings) that was featured in the fall issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine. it measures approximately 16" x 20". my version used a homespun fabric background as instructed but i also used cotton fabrics (rather than wool) for everything except the stem on the pumpkin. the fabrics were all within my stash and/or scrapbasket so i was pleased with myself for not needing to purchase anything for this project. i just didn't have quite the right fabrics in wool . . . btw: that wool stem was snipped out of a particularly hideous tie. it made a much better pumpkin stem than it did fashionable(?) menswear~! you should know though, that Lisa sells kits of the suggested fabrics within her shop for those wanting to duplicate it exactly. i also did not use fusible web as instructed. i needleturn appliqued it and made the necessary adjustments to the pattern provided in order to do so. i hand quilted it using a cotton variegated quilting thread in fall colors.

this is the fall issue of Primitive Quilts but their winter issue has arrived at my house and i'm inspired to try many of those projects out too. i'm a big fan of this publication and have resubscribed for another two years. if you enjoy primitive you should give it a look. i like that there are a variety of needlework projects within it's pages such as quilting, cross stitch, rug hooking,wool mats and, pillows, stuffed bears, etc.

the pattern was actually for a two piece finished project with a 'background' quilt that left a space for overlapping the smaller piece onto it. the magazine promises "more little quilts for your seasonal banner in future issues".
what a great idea and i may re-visit that idea and the upcoming patterns that are shared within this great magazine at some point in the future . . .

i LOVED the way that it was displayed and photographed in this shot~! one of my favorite things about the primitive look is that it's always warm and comfortable looking.

today's gifts included:
  • a short walk with River
  • a slice of my daughter's homemade persimmon bread (still a bit warm from the oven)
  • time to hand quilt
  • finally being able to post on my blog  :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

click on digital 'page' to enlarge

Monday, September 19, 2011

"If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees."
Khalil Gibran

"Alone with myself
The trees bend
to caress me
The shade hugs
my heart."
Candy Polgar


fall seems to be making it's presence (presents?!?) known more every day. a chill in the morning air and afternoons beckoning with wonderfully mellow sunshine in a sky that is somehow bluer than at any other time of the year.

the hollyhocks thrive during this time of the year. while photographing them i was intent on noticing the glorious light and the deep red color of these particular stalks. it was only after i uploaded the shots onto the computer that i also seen the hollyhocks had another visitor at the time . . . a surprise that made me smile.

you may have noticed that i haven't been posting much and have been pretty slow to answer most comments. this is due to most of my extra time going towards preparing myself and my household for my upcoming hip surgery. the date has been set and during the second week in october i will go in and have it done.  i'll be blogging quite a bit less for approximately the next six weeks. it may be a shorter amount of time but there is no way for me to really know and amazingly at the six week mark the holidays will be upon us all and so that may slow me down as well. 

in an effort to be more prepared i've been trying to get some of my holiday creating done early . . . i do hope to be able to share that here in my blog in bits and pieces as i can as well as do some blog-hopping to see what everyone else is up to. i may be a bit of a lurker, checking it all out when i can . . . hang in there with me. i'll do my best.

today's gifts included:
  • time with the trees
  • the autumn afternoon warmth
  • freshly picked corn from the garden for dinner
  • that blue BLUE sky

Saturday, August 27, 2011

i've been tucked behind the  computer for most of the day playing in photoshop.
i'm proud to say that i made the background image myself from one of my painted journal pages and my own  macro photo of the surface of a rock. i used the image of the triple frame from a scrapbooking suite (It's My Hx) and i used the lady, the compass and the clock face with a dragonfly from Deviant Scrap/Colorsplash.
in addition to the background, i used my own photos of a clock face(the larger background image) and stained glass hearts (within the triple frame) as well as my own layer of text.

Seeking Direction

today's gifts included:
  • the ease of leftover homemade pizza
  • clouds and a small afternoon rain to ease the heat of the day (90's)
  • time to create today's post

Saturday, August 20, 2011

busy as a bee . . .

these shots really must be clicked on and seen large to be fully appreciated. i hope you enjoy them as much as i enjoyed taking them.
today's gifts included:
  • watching the bees and other pollinators within the mint blossoms
  • productive 'nesty' feelings
  • a cool evening on the back deck with my family

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Morning Glory Memories

this morning i went for a visit to see what Bonnie at Pixel Dust Photo Art was up to. i like her artistic style and today she was offering two of her beautiful textures as a freebie to play/test out. they were irresistible and this evening i've given them a little workout.

this first photo is one that was taken while i was in Honduras this past Christmas. i didn't think it was a great shot for a variety of reasons but i wasn't ready to totally give up on it either. so i tucked it away for possible future photoshop play and today while i was looking through my photos it popped out at me as a possibility for using with Bonnie's textures.
so this is what i did:
  • cropped it square
  • duplicated it
  • added the Silent Memory texture at 40% opacity - hard light
  • added the Fleeting Memory texture at 30% opacity - overlay
  • flattened it
i'm very happy with the results. thank you Bonnie. i hope to play with these textures again very soon.

Morning Glory Memories

it's interesting how seeing and experimenting with this shot brought back so many different memories from this special trip. it was the first time i had seen my daughter in over a year and a half. not only was i happy to see her again (all whole and happy and oh so freckled) i was also pleased to be able to experience the country and people that she had been involved with during that time. while there with her i realized that she was a young lady with extraordinary discipline. she's tough as nails on the outside and amazingly resilient but inside she has a heart/spirit that aches to make the world a better place. what a winning combination (!!) and such a blessing in my life.

today's gifts included:
  • a visit from a close friend
  • trying out the newest kitchen gadget: a handy dandy cherry pitter.
  • smelling the fresh lemon that i sliced for iced tea ~ lemons smell really good~!!~

Friday, August 12, 2011

a finished mixed media postcard. i made this one using a chunk of the hexagon pieced paper i was experimenting with. i've included a bit of vintage embroidered pillowcase edge, a fussy cut butterfly, a piece of vintage book page that i have sketched (watercoler pencils) a california poppy onto and some of my own embroidery work. this one is on it's way to my mom in celebration of her birthday.

and here's a sneak peek/teaser shot of the progress on the AAQI  pear quilt that i am working on.

today's gifts included:
  • spending some time with my daughter
  • brainstorming and gathering materials for an upcoming birthday quilt that i want to make
  • the arrival of my new needle felting machine (!!)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Texture Tuesday/ 8-9-2011

it's all about the small stuff over at Kim Klassen's Cafe today. i used her  free 'Not too Shabby' texture with one of my photos (square crop). Thank you Kim~!~

today's gifts included:
  • playing tug and fetch with River (she's not 'lost' anymore)
  • watching the hummingbirds chase each other around the feeder
  • participating in the texture tuesday challenge this week

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

today i mailed off all three small AAQI quilts. the process really is quite simple and i will be watching for when they've been posted for sale. i imagine it will be a while but having never done this before i'm really not sure.


yesterday i was out of town seeing the orthopedist. it seems i'm in need of a 'hip replacement'. the up side is that once it's done i won't be in pain anymore. the down side is it scares me. for now there are lots of insurance details to figure out as well as dates to clear on calendars and what-not. i may be less regular than ever with my posts as well as hopping around to all of the other blogs that i like to visit, but will get them in when i can. this is why i did not post my texture tuesday image. i hope to find time later in the week to work on that.

i promised to show progress of the latest AAQI quilt that i am working on so below you will see that the body of the piece now has the two 'border' pieces attached. i've cropped the photo so that the other two (raw woven edges) don't show much. i'll decide what i'm going to do with them later on.
next i will be cutting a pear shape (from the hand dyed fabric that i posted shots of recently)  and then i am looking forward to beginning the embellishment and appliqueing of it. i have no plan and will just stitch what feels 'right' as i go along.

toady's gifts have included:
  • getting my AAQI package mailed
  • taking some time to think
  • being able to relax (a little) about some of the goals i haven't met

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    Texture Tuesday/7-26-11

    good morning. the texture tuesday challenge this week is 'Dream'.

    Free To Fly

    i've used a recent shot, a layer of 'not too shabby' and a quote that i like.
    the layer is a freebie from the very generous and talented kim klassen.

    today's gifts have included:
    • a few extra minutes of sleep
    • the beloved ritual of watering/tending the houseplants
    • frozen grapes on a hot summer morning ~ yummy ~!!~

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    some progress.
    i noticed that i accidentally turned one of my fabrics to the 'wrong' side while working. also a couple of the strips are a woven check and these really don't have a right or wrong side.
    which got me to thinking that i had choices as to which side to use as my 'right' side. one of them is simply more subtle than the other . . .  what are your thoughts here?

    i chose to back stitch at the beginning and ending of thread lengths so there are no knots on either side.

    i decided that i would work this piece to whatever size my skinny strips dictated and go from there. after cutting a thin batting to 9 X 12 inches and laying the sewn piece on top of the batting i could see that i wanted a bit more added to two of the sides. i trimmed those two sides so that all fabrics were creating a straight edge being careful not to cut into the seam areas.

    i found a small piece of fabric that i could cut in half and use for both of those ends. i am going to sew them on by hand but have decided to do that with hidden seams so there will be no raw edge where they join the original piece. i think this will give it a more definite bordered look.

    i've sifted through my hand dyed fabrics. the photographs of the piece that i chose are quite blurry but it doesn't matter because that's sort of how the fabric reads anyway.
    can you see the pears hidden in the motley coloration?
    i can.

    today's gifts have included:
    • homemade blueberry pancakes for breakfast
    • the discovery of a dyed fabric that will work well as an appliqued pear
    • the rhythm felt while enjoying 'process' 

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    i've been steadily working on some AAQI quilts and now have two ready to label and one more ready to quilt. next step is looking into the shipping process/instructions and getting them mailed out.

    for these star quilts i went through my orphan blocks and came up with three that i thought would possibly work. after measuring them it was just a matter of applying simple outer borders to bring them up to the 9 x 12 inch size (the maximum that they will accept) that i wanted. i think they turned out okay and was happy to be working towards the goal of furthering the research into Alzheimer's Disease.

    the newest project in the works is also related to the AAQI project.
    i did receive a couple of comments that suggested i try using my zentangle pears as a jumping off point for one and then some serious brainstorming began. 

    i decided that i would try appliqueing a pear and stitch/quilt/embroider (?) some 'zentangled' type of designs within it. but what to applique it onto . . . ? . . .

    as i thought about it i remembered having seen (in various places) some cloth work that was hand stitched and free-form and sort of had that 'doodled' look . . . as if created spontaneously right off of the top of one's head. this lead me to some googling and after lots of research i've finally found a resource that i'm thrilled with. Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth has a blog that sums things up rather nicely for me. if you are interested in this type of work i highly recommend a visit.

    after all of this reading/research i still didn't have any real instructions per se. maybe this work somehow defies instruction . . .  after all it's a whole lot about intuitively 'listening' to the materials at hand and the project being created as it comes along.
    so i decided to just jump in and see if i could create a background from some skinny/selvedge edge strips that i had originally set aside for rug making. i deliberately chose pale and mostly neutral colors. i ironed them and trimmed them to approximate lengths of 12 - 13 inches and then began weaving them together securing them with a running stitch as i went. no seam allowances as they are stitched rough edge to rough edge with some having fringey edges (which i love). i carefully trimmed off any fringe/threads that i felt were too long as i stitched them together. this piece has no backing (yet). it was a little slow at first but as the piece grew it became more and more it's own self/cloth and not so much small strips that needed taming.

    i've used quilting threads that were still on the needle to sew the strips together. it seems that there is always some left in my needles after completing a piece and i generally leave it on the needle and then tuck it into the spooled thread for future use in that color. well, i've gone through my quilting threads and am using up those various threads. quite randomly, just using what is closest at hand as i go. in future i anticipate using various threads from my embroidery tin . . . etc. there are lots of possibilities here.

    so this is what it's looking like so far. i'm only putting in enough stitches to hold everything together nicely but i will be going back over this and adding more. when i feel happy with the way it looks and behaves i will begin the process of appliqueing the pear onto it.

    in the above photo you can see one of the edges and how that looks as it's 'growing'.

    and here a very close macro of the stitches and the 'woven' unions.

    this is a wonderfully soothing way to work with fabric. it actually moves along more quickly than i anticipated it would but certainly is not as fast as sewing by machine. the cloth being created has a beautiful soft hand/feel to it due to being hand sewn and working in this way feels meditative and calming. i don't want to put it down once i've begun and i very much look forward to picking it back up again: a lot like when i hand quilt, embroider, crochet, hook a rug, etc.

    so this is my newest stitching adventure. it will be fun to see where it takes me.

    this is my 'poster' picture of a dog that strayed into the yard right after the fourth of July and was in need of some TLC. fresh water and food have been provided as well as some comfort in the shade should she choose to stay (and she has).  she was in pretty rough shape and seemed to need lots of rest as well as wounds that needed tending. at first she wouldn't even let me touch her and acted as though quite traumatized. she now won't let me out of her sight when i'm outside and lays by whichever outer door she thinks i'm closest to when i'm inside the house. i come home from going somewhere and she's there waiting on the steps for me. on the poster i've stated that she will be taken to the pound on the 20th if no claim has been made. we've had a couple of calls but none that panned out. the nearest pound is an hour away as we are so rural.  today i realized as i sat down to blog that it's the 20th and some decisions are going to have to be made . . .

    today's gifts include:
    • the house to myself ~ so nice and quiet
    • time to blog
    • time to think
    • time to stitch
    • time
    • lovely. quiet. time.

      Tuesday, July 19, 2011

      Texture Tuesday

      here we are at another tuesday. the challenge at Kim's this week was to use at least one layer of her (free) texture 'aurora'.
      my columbine have mostly finished their bloom time and now present their funny little jester style seed pod heads.

       Sweet Surrender

      i used the (challenge) texture of 'aurora' as well as 'pour vous' on these two images.  the second image is different only in that i've added a border.
      do you prefer one more than the  other?

      Sweet Surrender (with border)

      today's gifts have so far included:
      • waking up in my own bed (i've been out of town for a few days)
      • cinnamon rolls for breakfast
      • the ability to 'lose' myself while playing in photoshop

      Tuesday, July 12, 2011

      Texture Tuesday

      it's Texture Tuesday again over at Kim's Cafe. the challenge this week was "pink".
      i had fun with two different images but failed to write down which textures i used and now i've forgotten.
      so . . . my challenge to all those who participate in this weekly event is to give me your guesses within your comment. i do remember that i only used one on Linen Love but there were several used on HollyHock Daze. Have Fun.

       Linen Love

      HollyHock Daze

      Today's gifts have included:
      • deep satisfaction with the weekend garden projects
      • cool morning air as i admire the blue summer sky (and the weekend's garden projects)
      • ibuprofin as i recover (from the weekend's garden projects (!)

      Friday, July 8, 2011

      "Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are the sunshine, food and medicine to the soul."
      Luther Burbank


      wishing you a weekend full of sunshine and flowers.

      toady's gifts included:
      • a few moments to quietly stitch in the cool morning air of the front porch
      • feeding a stray dog
      • cool breezes