Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gifts To & From...

An altered clip board I made for a friend.  Ana of Scrappy Pink Corner.  She had some sadness recently so I wanted to give her something to help her smile.  I have been working on it for a long time as I would do one step and then as that was drying I would let it tell me the design it wanted.  I had an idea before I began but this end result is nothing at all like I envisioned.  I like it even better.  I can show it now because Ana has received it and also likes it.

Today I met "The Ladies Who Lunch" at one of our favorite local restaurants which is sadly closing.  This is Bev and this photo was taken last Christmas at the same restaurant.  Bev has no blog.  She is such a lovely lady and I am proud to share her friendship.  When we met today she handed me a little bag and asked if I was still doing the pink scarf project.  I said yes and opened the bag.  Wrapped in tissue was a pink scarf Bev had knit to donate.  I was so touched and pleased.  Thank you Bev.

This hand knit scarf is so soft and feathery in the palest of pink color.  It is delicious and very light weight.

Here is a closer look at this gorgeous pink scarf.  I was truly surprised and grateful.  One request by Vicki and the meaning of  "it takes a village" comes to mind.  I am amazed at how many people have created and donated a pink scarf to this project.  Bev said she may even knit another one since we have until October.
Lots of sunshine here.  Snow is still on the ground but it is melting.  Still very cold even though the sun is shining.  I love the sun however I know we need more rain.
The stores are full of St. Patrick decor and Easter things.  I feel like we are rushing our days even faster than they are flying by.  I realize I better get very busy if I am going to meet all my March projects.
I am so grateful for all of your comments.  I think I am in for a long spell with this cold.  I can only hope I don't get the "cough that clears a crowded room"!!!
Creative Blessings and Hugs to each of you...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Gift Card Holders...

I am participating in Sandi's Christmas in the Bank.  Her blog Maximum Embellishment is always lots of fun.  For February Sandi suggested making Gift Card Holders and gave us the measurements and how to's.
This is a very easy and quick project that can be as simple or complex as you wish.
The first photo shows you some of my crafty tools I was able to use.  Decorative scissors that round  or scallop the top flap, my scoring board and bone folder, my heart shaped hole punch and some other supplies such as scissors, paper cutter and whatever you desire.

Here are the holders I made.  From a 12 x 12 sheet of decorative glittery card stock I was able to cut out 6 holders.  I made mine the size Sandi suggested and then I also made some slightly larger holders.  I think they would be fun for business cards to hand out for special occasions.  The blue patterned holder I used a sheet from one of the 4.5 x 6.5 mat card stock packs.  There was no cutting and I really like how it turned out.  

Here is a close up of the original size holder that I stitched up the sides.  It really makes the holder very small for a card.

Here is the original size holder with the sides open.  I don't personally like this idea as the gift card can slip right out and get lost.

On my holders that I cut a little larger width wise I was able to use a good double stick tape along the sides and still have plenty of room for the gift card.  This way I can be certain nothing will fall out the ends.  These can be used for gift cards, cash, business cards, coupons or anything else you think of.  These are fun and fast to make.  They can be decorated to fit any occasion.  On one of these I put a strip of Washi tape and really like the look with coordinating ribbon.  I also used yarn, twine, crochet thread and tulle.  There are infinite possibilities for these gift card holders.  Thank you Sandi for such a great idea and for helping fill my gift cupboard with ready to give gifts.
The sun is shining, the snow is melting, the weather is chilly, the moon is full and bright and the daffodils are popping up through the frozen ground awaiting their time to bloom.  Life is good.
Mr. C got over the horrid flu and promptly caught a cold.  I was able to avoid most of the flu but I did get the cold and it is a whopper.  I have no energy, or creative drive right now so I have been able to do some blog hopping.  I love to see what others are busy making and creating.  I am very grateful for blogging and all that we share with like-minded creative souls.
As February comes to a close we know Spring is around the bend...closer for some than others.  March will be a busy month this year with Daylight Savings Time, St. Patrick's Day. Palm Sunday, Passover, Good Friday, Easter and several birthdays to celebrate.  We have lots to be thankful for and lots to be creative with.  Blessings everyone.  Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Snow, Sunshine, Scarves...

Our Winter February snow we had yesterday stopped at about 6 inches.  I am very grateful it was no more.
Today we have glorious sunshine.

The trees were dropping their snow very quickly.  Mr. C did have to shovel the driveway.  He cheated this time and only shoveled two tracks for the 4X4 truck.  That alone took a couple of hours work.   Our driveway is very steep with 16% grade and very long.  This morning after Mr. C returned from his morning meeting he admitted his drive was extremely icy and he was more than sideways several times.  Thank goodness he knows how to drive and handle the truck.  Not Me!!!

This Crepe Mrytle looks more like a cotton tree with the snow on its branches.  I didn't take any photos but I did shovel off our huge deck.  I never finished as it was way more work than I could do.  Maybe I can do more tomorrow since I know the snow will wait for me.

I have been able to complete another two pink scarves for Vicki's Pink Scarf Project.  There is still time as the completion date is this October.

On this purchased pink and grey scarf I embellished it with a silk flower and button detail.  I hand gathered sections to give it interest.  This is a charm of hope I attached and stitched pink pearls in the shape of the pink cancer awareness ribbon.  Every stitch I made I put my prayers and love into this scarf for someone who is brave and courageous.  Not everyone likes frilly so I thought this scarf would be a good alternative choice.
I am feeling good about completing several projects.  I even finished my little snowmen lanyards and earrings.  Thank you for the comments of how cute they are.   I also completed two birthday gifts for upcoming dates.  No photos yet as I wouldn't want to spoil any surprises.
I am having a blast hopping some blogs.  It is amazing how much inspiration there is in visiting these blogs.
Welcome to my new followers.  Thank you to all my followers...especially my loyal friends who leave me comments.  I do adore reading the comments.  Mr. C says I am addicted to them.  Hmmm...could be.  This seems harmless enough to me for an addiction.  
Happy Hearts are Creative Hearts...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Winter Snow & Snowmen...

Today did not let us forget it is after all Winter.  This is around 9 am when it began snowing with sincerity.

I just had to get my camera and try the "snow" feature it has.  I love my camera so much I have already had it for several years.  It is a Canon Power Shot SD880 IS Digital ELPH.  I know how old fashioned I am because I don't have a smart phone or an iPhone, iPod, iPad or anything else i really want.  Wanting them and knowing what to do with them are why I don't have such technically advanced toys.

I didn't take any later in the day photos but it finally measured just about 6 inches of snow.  Not bad.  Mr. C did have to shovel the driveway though as it will ice overnight and he has an early morning meeting of the "car guys" to attend.  They meet once a week for breakfast at Penny's Diner and it is a good group of guys.  I know because I had to "crash" their party one morning.  Lots of Testosterone in that group!

So because I am fortunate and do not have to go to work or anyplace else I was able to stay home and cozy.  I spent a little time in the studio.  My little "keeper" was storing some beading supplies and how appropriate that I work on them today.

Pretty cute if I do say so myself.  Little beaded snowmen.  I made some as lanyard charms and some as earrings.  I will be putting these into my Christmas stash of gifts for giving.  I usually do work on Christmas all year long so I am better prepared when the time comes and life is hectic and busy.  It is such a relief to have some gifts already prepared.
The rest of our week is merely supposed to be cold.  I thought for a while we might lose power as the lights blipped pretty badly but alas we were spared that Winter "camping" experience. In past years when it snows a lot more than this we would lose power for up to five days.  Not very fun when you have your own well for water.  So I am happy and thankful we have some added water table moisture.
I am seeing so much Easter crafting yet I haven't even thought about it yet.  I did do some fussy cutting of Shamrock themed St. Patrick's day items.
Silence and Beauty of the Snowflakes Dancing to Earth was amazing today.  Blissfully ethereal...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dress Form Ball...

Last year Carol held the 1st annual Dress Form Ball and I enjoyed it very much.  She is once again hostessing the 2nd annual Dress Form Ball.  You know Carol of Polka Dot Closet and her amazing creative talents.  Click her link and see what she has shared previously about dress forms and how to alter them.
So I have had this paper mache form for a couple of years just sitting and waiting for my attention.  I mentioned this to Judy of jfabrications and she promptly got me into action.  Judy is currently altering the most amazing forms and will be doing a wonderful display and sale at her local museum in Australia.   Here is a great video she shared on the making of dress forms.
This doesn't look right but you can access the link from Judy's blog I linked.

Here is my paper mache form.  It is table top and only about 12 inches tall.  I have a vision for this but just never got busy.  Thank you Judy for the push I needed.

I gathered my Mod Podge and dress maker pattern tissue.  You see the scissors but I ended up tearing most of the pieces as I liked the torn edge better than the sharp cut edges.

Here is my progress.  The form is now covered in pattern tissue and Mod Podge...very messy!  I will leave it to dry overnight or longer.  Now my muse will contemplate how to decorate this.  I am hoping to participate in Carol's Dress Form Ball this year.  Having a deadline helps me I hope.
I spent my day at the local Chamber hostessing the Visitor Center.  It got pretty busy as today was President's Day (I hesitate to say Holiday as that just doesn't seem fitting for our past presidents).  I love meeting and chatting with people who come to our little charming historic town. 
Rain and snow predicted for tomorrow.  Winter is definitely not over here in Northern California.
Happy Hearts are Creative Hearts.  I am grateful for my followers...each of you and your comments.  I read every one and "listen" to what you have to say.  Keeping my muse busy!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Swapping, Beading, Enjoying...

A random post of catching up with cleaning out photos on my computer.  This is an ATC I made for Kimberly of ArtJoyStuff.  I adore the one I will receive.  Please visit her and see how she is trying to trade an ATC every week with a different person.  Ambious yes...doable yes!  Kimberly makes fabulous creations. Thank you Kimberly for your blogging friendship.

I made this simple beaded bracelet for one of my blogging friends.  Kathy of PaperPumpkin blog.  When she selected her word for 2013 I thought it was a wonderful word.  I made a search for just the right charm with her word on it for her bracelet.   This is my way of doing a "Random Act of Kindness" and surprise someone with a smile.  Thank you Kathy for your blogging friendship.

This is a gift we received when Mr. C and I recently hosted a dinner party.  One of the couples brought this as our hostess gift.  How fortunate for us.  More importantly how fortunate for the little birdies in our yard.  This is an edible birdhouse and is made of different bird seeds.

I had not seen one of these before and it is adorable.  I put it outside but it may be a little too early and cold for birds here.  I look forward to being able to watch them enjoy this treat.  I brought it back in before nightfall.  I think the squirrels will find it and then the little birds will not get any at all.  I am posting these photos for my blogging friend Judy of jfabrications.  Go check her blog to see her birdbath and birds that keep her entertained.  Very sweet.  Thank you Judy for your blogging friendship.
Our sunshine has given way to overcast skies.  The weather is turning cooler again and rain and snow is predicted for the coming week.  I know we need the rain but I hope the snow will stay up at the ski resorts.  Mr. C has had the flu this week.  It is not pleasant for either of us...he is not a good patient and I am a terrible nurse.  I am hoping he is on the mend and that I will not get it.
I see by my blog visits that Easter is quickly approaching.  It is early this year...March 31st!  Hoppy Creating.  Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Handmade Beauties Won...

I recently visited Vicki Welsh and her Field Trips in Fiber blog.  I won this beautiful hand painted and hand stitched postcard.  She used the new stencils from Terri of Stegart.  This is Sunshine Smiles each time I look at it.  Thank you very much Vicki.

Here is the backside of the postcard.  Bright and cheery and beautiful.  I hope you visit both Vicki and Terri.  You will be amazed at the inspiration both these creative ladies offer on their blogs.

And look at this gorgeous display of beaded pins all kept safely in this felted flower.  Jill of Fiberluscious sent this to me after visiting her blog.  She participated in the Grow Your Blog party.  I can honestly say I am now a follower of hers.

Thank you very much Jill for this beautiful handmade box of glorious bounty.  Your presentation is fabulicious!
My time lately has been spent doing a lot of deep house cleaning with Mr. C helping me.  Actually he is pushing me along as cleaning is not my favorite pastime.  I am also continuing to organize and purge my studio of all that I insist on saving (hoarding).  Mr. C always has a rule:  "Volume In Equals Volume Out"!  I tried to show him how much packaging volume there is but he doesn't count that as Volume Out.  I do believe the more space we have then the more stuff we acquire to fill it.  When we remodeled our kitchen a few years back I purposely kept one small drawer completely empty.  I am happy to say that drawer remains empty to this day.  I find myself taking the time to really think about whether I truly need an item or if I am just wanting it.  Why is that so hard to do when it comes to fabric, lace, ribbon, buttons, beads, charms and all things used in creating?  I just feel blessed that I am able to be creative and make things.
Happy Valentine Heart Hugs and eating your favorite candy or chocolate.  Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Precious Friends & Gifts...

This is my friend Tag.  Formally Taggart of Brynwood Needleworks.  Tag does his very own blog posts on Tuesdays so definitely check them out here

Here is Tag with his family.  "Handsome" is a musician and plays lovely music that Donna shares with us.  Now I know you follow Donna of Brynwood Needleworks.  She is completely talented with all types of needle and thread...both hand and machine.  I am so happy and proud to share Donna's friendship.  I feel like we are sisters yet we have never met in person.  If we lived closer than the Gulf Coast vs. the Pacific Ocean I would be taking her classes and learning such wonderful needlework techniques.  However I am not able to move so we stay in contact via blogging and email.

One day recently I received a package from Donna as a complete shock since I was not expecting anything and hadn't won one of her fabulous give-away's.  In the package were some very beautiful gifts she made just for me.  I had seen her blog post of these items she had completed and was drooling but never thought they were made for me.  This is a bookmark and I adore it. The little fairy and bling button on the soft scripted and rose fabric is beautiful.

And...a needlebook of my very own that Donna made.  The scripted and rose fabric is so feminine.  The little teacup ribbon is just so special.  I feel like we are sitting and sipping tea together sharing stories and being creative.

Inside the needlebook are pages of the softest wool for keeping needles and pins.  There are also pockets for special keepsakes.  This needlebook is very thoughtful and beautiful.  Thank you Donna Dear.

And if all the above was not enough...Donna made me one of her very special Ribbon Embroidered Rose Strawberry pin cushions.  I am swooning with delight over this as I admire her stitching so very much.  I can honestly say I will not be putting anything sharp into this silk ribbon embroidered piece of art.  I feel very special to receive such heartfelt and handmade gifts from such a dear lady.  Donna you are a gem and I am proud and honored to be the keeper of these heirloom treasures.  Thank you very sincerely.
Blogging has expanded my world and I am very grateful.
I do pray everyone is safe from the snowstorms and what Mother Nature is giving us.  Our weather has been cold but sunny with a complete lack of snow and far.  Here we know it can snow as late as June with March and April being horrible Winter months so I am not digging out the summer clothes yet.
Valentine's Day/Week/Month is here and in full mode.  May your chocolate be abundant.
Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hari-Kuyo Festival...

As I have shared on my blog I made a little needlebook.  I purchased the supply kit and e-course from Susan of PlaysWithNeedles blog.  I was reluctant to begin my little book as I wanted it to be perfect.  I am learning there is no perfect so I began.  With Susan's excellent videos and instructions I completed my book and I am in love with it.  Thank you Susan!  Please visit Susan for the story of Hari-Kuyo and the Festival of needles.  In short it is a ceremony in Japan to honor the broken and bent stitching needles that have served the ladies so well through the year.

Now that I have my little needlebook I am learning about needles.  Oh of course I have used all types of needles through the years but never really knew much about the types or quality of them.  Here are my latest acquisitions.  I wanted also to have something worthy to put into my little pages.  Spiral eye are very new to me and I am anxious to try them.  The old easy threading needles never really worked very well so I will give these new ones a try.

I have three of my best beading needles I use all the time on this page along with one new Spiral eye to try.

Here are my favorite butterfly pins...mostly for decoration...but they are also excellent for pinning.

These little quilting needles are brand new and have not been used...yet.  So far I do not quilt so I have never  used any quilting needles.  I see that they are very short...extremely short.  I am wondering what one does with these.  Because I wanted really good quality I bought "Black Gold Needles" which "pierce smoothly" and are "specially polished with Black plating for enhanced rust resistance".  They also tout that they do not bend easily and have the ultimate balance between hardiness and flexibility.  Whew!  That is a lot for such a tiny short needle.  I hope some of my followers will have comments on all of this.

Fortunately I do not really break my needles.  I do tend to bend them.  I also know they get dull and rusty after so many years.  I do have a really bad habit when hand stitching.  If I can't get the needle to go through all the layers easily I push the eye end on the counter or my scissors to help it along.  Yes, I have broken the eye of the needle doing this.  My bad!
This year I am not actually burying any of my needles as I did not realize how and purchase some tofu.  You really want to read Susan's post today.  She also has Linky so others like myself can share their posts.
This has been a fun project and I am learning so much.  It has refueled my desire to do more needlework.  I am in no rush however as I have other projects already in the queue.
So let the Hari-Kuyo Festival proceed...
May Winter Sunshine Warm You and may you have lots of creative time and happiness.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Another Pink Scarf...

In making pink scarves for Vicki's project I was smitten by Celestina Marie's pink scarf she made.  Visit her blog to see her beautiful photos.  Thank you Celestina Marie for the beautiful inspiration.  So off to the local Ben Franklin's to get a skein of Sashay yarn.  Normally I would have never even looked at this skein because it holds no interest for me.  The yarn is not pretty but appears rather chunky and utilitarian.

Aha...don't judge a book by its cover so they say.  Upon closer inspection the yarn is very interesting.  Spread it out and you see lots of netting style openings.  Now with a crochet hook (there are also instructions for knitting) you begin crocheting this into a scarf.  I had to You Tube a video (several times) as the instructions were not clear to me.

Hmmm...its beginning to look like a lacy jabot.  Not very easy to work with and definitely do not lose your place.  I seem to constantly be getting interrupted which is not fun while working with this yarn.  I really need three hands for this.

I will persevere and finish this scarf.  In fact I am planning on having it done before February is finished.
When I posted my last pink scarf I was contacted by my dear friend Sandy who donated that gorgeous yarn.
She and her daughter and daughter-in-law are each going to knit a pink scarf and donate them to Vicki's project.  Thank you very much Sandy, Emily and Robin.  You are the best!  Isn't it wonderful how one person can make a difference?  However it takes a village to really get the job done.
Our weather is continuing to hold sunshine.  It is glorious!  Still cold but much better than snow and ice.  Our area renamed January to Junuary because it was such a mild one.    We are expecting some rain this week. I hope it is clear this weekend as our little town celebrates Mardi Gras with a Ball, Street Faire, Parade and Carnivale.  We know how to have fun!  Here is the link.
Off to crochet as I have a scarf to finish.
Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Joyful January 2013...

I participated in the easiest postcard swap ever.  Visit Clarescraftroom to read about it.  I sent a postcard from my town to my designated swap partner.  I received this beautiful postcard from Noosaville Australia.  This swap helped me learn a little about the world I live in.  Thank you Clare.

I made this very easy potholder from a wonderful tutorial shared by the very talented Tanya of Bead and Needle.  It would also make a great trivet.  I already have some ideas for future projects.  Thank you so much Tanya.  You really are fabulous.

This polka dot really makes me think of Minnie Mouse and I love her.  This is the finished backside of my quick and simple potholder/trivet.

I finished my beautiful Japanese inspired Hari-Kuyo Needlebook.  This was an e-course I participated in with Susan of PlayswithNeedles.  I admire everything Susan stitches and really wanted to make this just for myself.  I can see lots of improvements I can make in my hand stitiching.  Overall I am so pleased to have finished it.

This little needlebook is a treasure.  Even Mr. C is impressed with it and that is rare!  Thank you Susan for an excellent e-course that was informative and easy to follow.  I don't have any broken needles for the February 8th Festival however I do have a few very bent and dull needles that need retiring.  Now to find and acquire some new needles for my pages.

Here is some yarn I recently purchased at my local yarn store.  It is from Italy and I absolutely fell in love with it.  The color is heavenly.  I chose to use my wooden crochet hook this time.  I am letting my knitting needles rest after completing the pink scarf project.

Look at this yarn as I crochet and place each row upon the last.  I am in love and swooning!

Here is the completed scarf.  It is light and airy and I consider it more of a Spring scarf as opposed to heavy warmth for Winter. matters not how much I love it because it is for someone special.
Joyful January really fits because I got some projects completed.  It always feels good to complete some things before beginning new projects.  I continue to work on my sorting and organizing.  It is a really slow process for me and I am in no hurry.  I actually enjoy the journey!
Our weather continues to be mild for Winter.  Cold but Sunny.  I have been able to work out in the yard a few hours each day and pick up leaves, pine needles and acorns.  Mr. C helped me and we got the pond bogs cleaned up so the air and sunshine can feed the new growth on the special water plants.  Just in time as the weather report for next week is predicting low snow.
February is here with lots of reds, pinks and hearts.  Hearts make me happy.  May each of you be enjoying all that makes you happy.
Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...