Friday, November 28, 2014

Brocade BowTies...

Thank you to my wonderful followers who sent me links for making BowTies.  This is my result.  I was able to make two.  One is an inch longer than the other.   This Brocade fabric is beautiful. However it is not friendly to cut or sew.

Here is my template pattern ready to cut out of the brocade which has been fused with Pellon.  Only one side of the self-faced tie.

Here is my template pattern ready to cut out of the brocade which is not fused with Pellon.  My first attempts were very difficult and problematic.  This fabric shreds so easily that if you merely touch it the silky threads are all you have left of your edges you wish to seam together.  Sew...I purchased a very expensive pinking edge rotary blade and that helped but was very dangerous to use freehand cutting.  I spent days and days just trying to get one good bowtie sewn and ready for approval by the wedding couple.

Here are the two bowties I was able to complete as prototypes.  Am I proud of them?  Yes and No! This is not the finest work I can do.  This fabric has been such a troublesome lot that I don't believe the result is stunning.  Mr. C and I have tried to actually tie this around his neck and it just does not cooperate.  The fabric is stiff yet not crisp.  The bow looks okay but the knot is not laying well.

The end result is not very nice.  I have spoken with the bride-to-be and she already has Plan B in action.  No suspenders now as the groom-to-be is entertaining vests to be worn.  The online ordered vests will not go with this brocade so my job is done.  I will not be sewing any more Brocade BowTies for the upcoming wedding to be held in late February in Minneapolis in Winter weather.  I was so worried and stressed over this entire project and now I can merely get on with December and Christmas gift making and giving.
Our weather is just what you would expect for the Autumn to Winter season's changing.  With the shorter daylight hours making me feel like I should go to bed right after dinner is over.  My sunshine is not here to give me energy and allow me to accomplish as much as I do in the warmer longer daylight days of Summer.  I do read more in the evenings and that is enjoyable.  I am also getting some much needed hand-sewing done on gifts.  Nothing fancy and nothing fun...yet.
I shall continue to be grateful for all of my blessings.  One day is just not enough time.  The Holiday Crush is upon us.  I don't like to count down the days as they already pass too quickly.  My focus will be to make a list and check it twice.  Complete what I am able to and let the rest fall by the wayside. My goal is to enjoy every day and not get caught up in the stress of trying to do it all and then some. My wish is for each of you to also find balance and enjoy your days.  Sharing Joy and Peace...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Blessings and Gratitude...

As quickly as the hours are turning from morning to night and back again to morning I feel I need to post my Thanksgiving photos and savor them for a few days.  I don't normally go for trendy pieces but this Jim Shore Pumpkin really spoke to me several years ago at an after holiday sale.  It is my focal piece and reminds us to "Count Your Blessings".

I am not big on decorating for holidays so this is my only vignette.  One simple sofa-back table with some of my very favorite pumpkins displayed.  Most of these have been gifted to my by special friends over the years.  Now if you happen to spot Mr. Frankenstein...well...he is just having some leftover fun from halloween.  He insisted on coming home with me one day from a church thrift store.  Now how could I resist his charm?!!

This painted gourd is one of my favorites and I have shared it before.  The little mouse peeking at me from the side is my favorite.  I am grateful for the many memories these pieces all have.

A couple of years ago I was very fortunate to be gifted by Mr. C this lovely "Harvest Nest" created by the very special Vicki of Two Bags Full blog.  I look forward to displaying this each Fall/Autumn.

May all who celebrate Thanksgiving share blessings and gratitude with family and friends.  Mr. C and I will be home enjoying a small intimate celebration.  No crazy crowded shopping for us.
Our weather is clear but we do have some rain in the upcoming weekend plans.  Unfortunately we must travel by car on Saturday and Sunday.  We will hold prayers for our safety.
May everyone all over this world stay safe and be grateful for every day of life.
Now to find precious time to create and enjoy all the wonder of this holiday season.  Sharing Joy and Peace...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Unexpected Home Repairs...

During this busy holiday season I can truly use some extra energy and good health.  This classic Lucille Ball is still one of my all time favorites.  My daughter got me this "just because" and I adore it.  Thank you Shelby.

Poor Mr. C is hard at work...again!  I happened to see a few cracks and said, "Honey you should caulk those before Winter". eagle eyes brought to attention that caulking wasn't going to save some seriously rotted out wooden boards.  Our home is covered with wood boards due to the English Tudor theme and having decks at both ends of the house.  DRAT!!!  One board led to another board and then another and so on...

Here is our railing which had to come off.  I cannot express how unsafe a second story deck is without a sturdy railing.  I did not like the edge, especially after he had to also remove a very big load bearing timber from under the deck.  This process has been going on for weeks.  Mr. C will only do the very best job possible and not make any shortcuts.

Here is my view from the deck down to the six foot tall ladder (the little one).  The drop is at least twenty feet.

Here are the new boards replaced around the window and the corner of the house.  The railing is beginning to get back together.  Thank you Mr. C for always taking such good care of us and our home.  You are the very best!  I love Mr. C and this color blue he let me have on the house.

I am still making Little Wallets.  This beautiful tatting my friend Diane shared with me looked just like her initial "D".  My gift list is out of control.  Every year I plan to cut back and not overdo but then the excitement gets to me and I get carried away with Sharing Joy!
We are having no sunshine but lots of grey and drizzle.  Not really rain to fill the watertable but glorious sprinkles to water the plants.  Prayers for all in deep snow to stay safe and warm.
I just love seeing all the wonderful gifts and decor that you all are sharing.  Sharing Joy this holiday season.  Thank you.  Creative Holiday Bliss...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tatting Angel Gifts...

One of the blogs I have followed for quite a long time is Lace-Lovin' Librarian Diane.  She is a master at Tatting.  I have been wanting to learn to tat for decades now and with no luck.  I just know Diane could teach me but she lives way too far from me.  This past year she taught lots of her students...both boys and girls and I must tell you honestly I wished I was back in her school. Recently Diane posted a beautiful doily that she sees a mistake in.  I emailed her to ask if I could purchase it from her.  Later that night I thought how bold I was to request her work to be sent to me.  To my wonderful surprise Diane sent me not only the blue doily but also a bookmark and the most beautiful white snowflake she tats using a little "doodad" charm in the center.

Then in the package was also a baggie of all types of tatting she has done.  Some are samples of a pattern she tatted and some are her "oops" she set aside and began again fresh.  I feel like I have truly won the Tatting Lottery!  Thank you sew very much Diane Dear.  I think I shall try to learn once again.  These amazing pieces of thread knotted into such beautiful lace really speak to me.

Diane asked what I would do with these pieces.  Well here I am thinking they make fabulous adornments to my addiction of Little Wallets.  Yes, I am still sewing them.  Can't get enough...just like good chocolate.  Ihave some other ideas for pieces of tatting she sent along.  I feel so blessed and grateful for the heartwarming friendships I have made through blogging.

Here are some Cercis Redbud leaves that are littering our landscape and filling our pond with debris. Instead of seeing them as work to be done, I prefer to see them as Nature dropping beautiful "Heart" shaped colors of Autumn for me to enjoy.

This is a new acquisition for Mr. C and myself.  We have some friends who just moved away and this plant/tree could not live in their new environment.  When we brought it home it had some leaves and nothing else.  Very scraggly and I wasn't certain it would make it.  Then...several weeks and it must be happy here.  Look at these magical Faerie flowers.  I love them.  It is also known as Angel's Trumpet and the entire plant is highly poisonous.  Who knew?  I am still entranced with these flowers.
We have had a little rain and several days of gloomy grey drizzly weather.  I am not complaining as I have been able to stay inside and take care of my back.  Thank you each and every one for your well wishes.  My back is doing better and I am able to be up and about doing mild domestic chores and cooking.  Now Mr. C is needing extra well wishes.  He is having some sort of "allergic dermititis" otherwise known by me as a very itchy rash.  He also is under the weather and fighting off some unknown germ.  Back to the doctor tomorrow.
Being grateful for all my many blessings.  How are you staying calm in this wonderful season of lots of activities and things to do and see and accomplish?  Doing any baking which helps warm the house and smells so good too?  Creative Bliss and Joy...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ruffles Potato Chips???

Here is something I bought several years ago to support a fellow craftsperson.  I thought I would make some for gifts.  However I was never inspired by this one and the workmanship was not great. So it sat in the abyss of stuff.

Then I was shopping one day and found the pattern.  Little Wallet by Valori Wells Designs.  Of course I bought the pattern.  I was still intrigued with these for gift giving.  And then they both sat waiting for my inspiration to get in gear.

My blog friend Annie of freezeframe posted some on her blog.  You really do want to click on her link and see what she created.  This was my green light to get inspired.  On top of her post she surprised me with this beautiful Little Wallet.  Annie's workmanship was perfect and I was smitten.

I was entranced with her selection of coordinating fabrics.  After thanking Annie for her generous gift and her inspiration I got my pattern and began.

These are like Ruffles Potato Chips for me...I can't eat just one and I can't make just one Little Wallet. Here are the first ones I have made.  My gift list just got sew much easier.  And bonus...they are easy to mail.  How fun it will be to include those ever popular gift cards for each recipient.

I have sew much fun selecting fabrics from my stash.  These are easily made from scraps.  I wonder how many I will make before I retire this pattern?  Thank you sew very much Annie for sparking my inspiration and gifting me with my beautiful Little Wallet.  Thankfully there are no calories or fat in these like my beloved chips.  Gift List Bliss right here...
We are awaiting a tiny bit of rain during tonight.  It has been cold and very dry here.  I am praying for all of you to stay safe and warm if you are in the frigid cold Winter weather.
On a personal note my words of wisdom last week were easy to type, however then life throws that unexpected glitch.  I did some extra household chores and didn't take very good care of my back and sciatic issues.  By Friday afternoon I was flat down and stayed that way for four days.  Now I am slowly and carefully trying to function.  So to remind myself...some things will get done and some things will be put aside for another time.  Breathe!  I am truly grateful.  This too shall pass...
I am so happy to be reading all of your wonderful blogs with lots of decor and gift ideas.  Thank you for sharing your Creative Joy and Bliss...