Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Springtime in Paris ATCs...

Not only do I love Springtime and I love Paris, I also love Kim of ArtJoyStuff blog and her wonderful ATC swaps.  Kim is always so organized and on time.  Her participants are always very clever and artistic and follow through on their participation commitments.  A win-win for certain.
This is the style ATC I created for swapping.

I always send along four so Kim can have one as well as the three for three swaps.  I adore that little Parisian Eiffel Tower charm that I included on my ATCs and on the packaging.

I received this lovely ATC and packaging from Sylvia of littletreasuresylvia.blogspot.com which I cannot link for some unknown computer reason. Thank you Sylvia for this beautiful ATC gift.

This lovely ATC is from Liz and came from across the pond.  Visit her blog lululizinlalaland.blogspot.com to see her beautiful sharings.  Thank you Liz for your gorgeous ATC.

And this time I actually received one of Kim's stunning ATCs.  I love the entire ATC especially the Parisian Eiffel Tower charm and butterfly.  So Pretty in its Marie Antoinette style.  Thank you Kim for treating me so well.

And part of the JOY of participating in Kim's ATC swaps is that she always adds an amazing gift of her own creation. This is an altered paper clip and it is ever so Tres Chic.  I am seriously in love with this and have been wanting to create some altered paper clips for a while now.  Here is my inspiration and I am truly smitten.  Thank you so very much Kim for your gifts and your friendship through blogging and swapping Creative Bliss.  I am swooning!
Our weather had a few lovely Spring days and the grounds were drying nicely.  We called our annual property clean up crew to be here Monday.  What happened?  It rained all of Sunday night and we had to cancel the crew...again! I think this is the fourth time.  We are still grateful for the rain however it is playing havoc with landscaping and window cleaning crews. 
Alas...no visitors.  I realize it only takes one buyer however we cannot get 1 out of zero!!!  Come on buyer...PLEASE!  I am not above begging.  Each of the potential homes we could buy in St. George are sold quickly there.  And the prices continue to climb.  Here we are stagnated and waiting...
I shall continue to keep cleaning and pimping the house inside...just in case anyone wants to come visit.  However you will find me in my studio making wonderful messes so I can be creative and not lose my mind. Today I shall be cutting fabrics.  I will share my project soon I hope.
Springtime Bliss to each of you lovelies...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sister's Birthday Celebration

My sister Marie recently celebrated her birthday which coincided with Easter this year.  We met the day before to celebrate and avoid the Easter crowds.  I always have such a wonderful time with Marie.  She is such a sweet soul and so grateful in life.  I love Marie! 

Because her birthday was shared with Easter this year I stitched this little egg themed booklet for her.  The cover is linen and includes a heart and beads along with my stitching of a Jenny of elefantz design. If you click this link you can visit Jenny and learn about her wonderful monthly Stitchery Club.

This is the little stitched booklet inside where I added a simple pin with an M for Marie and a Butterfly pin because Butterflies are the Bearers of 10,000 Happinesses.

And keeping with my new mug mat obsession I sewed these for Marie.  No photo but I also included a bird themed mug and a nice water bottle for her to stay hydrated.

Marie loves Nature and Birds so this fabric was perfect.

I am so grateful my sister is happy with simple handmade gifts.  I also gave her the blue tatted bookmark (in my previous blog post) and a new book.  She is beyond an avid reader.
I had a nice time with my sister and I am grateful we live close enough to be able to get together.
We are having more rain. There can be no progress made outdoors on spiffing curb appeal. Way too wet and muddy.  There will be enormous amounts of clean up and weed abatement when dry weather returns.  With all this wonderful rain the plants are growing and everything is blooming.  The blooms get destroyed by the pouring rain but we are so thankful for the water table.  Some ski resorts are planning on staying open right through the summer with over 700 inches of snow!  Quite the contrast to the last five years of "exceptional" drought.
Mr. C and I have lost a wonderful friend who lost his battle with cancer last evening.  Prayers for the entire family who are grieving.  His wife just passed less than three years ago after her years of battling cancer.  I continue to pray a cure be found for all cancers.  I just do not understand.
These days and weeks are flying by so fast I am missing my summer before it even gets here.  I choose to embrace each and every day and not rush any of them.  Blessings and Bliss...

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Bookmark not Bracelet...

I am trying to improve my Needle Tatting skills.  However I can see I need a lot more practice.  This pattern I tatted is from YouTube One Virtuous Woman and you can click this link.  Thank you OVW.  I used size 10 crochet thread in a pretty blue color. Here is my link to show the bracelets I tatted for Christmas last year.

Instead of finishing it as a bracelet, I finished it as a bookmark. I added a heart charm to one end and a tassel to the other end.  My sister is a voracious reader and she has a birthday coming soon.  This will be part of her gift...along with a book she hasn't read. 
We are having Winter in full force for several days now.  Pouring rain, strong winds, lightening and thunder...oh my!  California is grateful for the water table.  I think we might be ready for Spring very soon.  We have the pollen!  At least the rain helps to keep the pollen washed off the decks and railings.  If I park outside at all my black vehicle is yellow in no time!
We celebrate lots of birthdays in April...18 and counting.  Mr. C has his birthday this coming Wednesday April 12th.  I have no idea what I am doing but somehow we'll make it a special day for him.  He does like to be pampered and he does like good food.  Hmmm...
I shall do some laundry while it is raining.  So nice to have everything clean and fresh...inside and outside.  What do you like to do when it is raining?  My Grandma liked to go for a drive along PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and visit the beach during a rainstorm.  She even recorded the beach with rain on a little cassette player she had so she could listen to it from time to time.  I didn't appreciate this until years after she was gone and now I understand her love of Nature.  So I shall enjoy our rain even though there is no PCH and no beach close to me.  Happy April Showers to You...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Mug Mat Swap...

This is the package of goodies I mailed to my Mug Mat swap partner.  I had fun creating these for Terry.  Thank you Donna of Brynwood Needleworks for organizing and hostessing this fun swap.

I have always loved fabrics.  I like to feel them.  I am pretty careful when I select fabrics for colors and coordination.  But...I must be dyslexic when it comes to sewing them together.  Oops...upside down does not do it for me.

Here I am frogging.  It must be right or I cannot continue.

Okay now.  All going in the proper direction.  I do really like the fabrics and colors in this selection.

I actually made Terry two mug mats just in case she wants to sit with a friend and enjoy a cuppa and a snack.

Here is another set I sewed for Donna our hostess.  She and her husband really enjoy music so I selected music themed fabrics.

I am very grateful I entered this swap for it challenged me and I learned how to sew binding on like a tiny miniature quilt.  Donna liked her surprise mats.  This will be the year of mug mats as gifts I am thinking.  It meets my happy factor of sewing and fabrics and fun. 
It is amazing to me that this is already the first week of April.  Mr. C and I spent a few days in Sonoma and Novato to enjoy some CSRG (Classic Sports Racing Group) auto racing. There were so many priceless fabulous cars and everyone was very friendly.  The weather was beautiful...except the wind!  Allergies and sinus infection not so much fun now. 
Lots of birthdays to celebrate in April...family and friends. 
You will find me busy cleaning house and Mr. C outside cleaning and mowing and blowing.  We are hoping to have a Broker Open House and find a buyer for our newly reduced pricing.  We remain optimistic.  We have been excellent stewards of this home and property for almost 20 years and it is time for us to move along and let someone else enjoy our labors here.
Prayers for all affected by horrific weather conditions across our nation and world. 
I'll take short breaks and try to visit each of you.  Happy Spring and Birdies Singing...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cards Need Envelopes...

Let me warn you there are lots of photos for this post.  I recently shared how I made lots of cards in preparation for all of my weekly and April's National Letter Writing mailings.  Well then I needed envelopes for all those cards.  I thought I would buy some but didn't get to the store. I couldn't find my envelopment maker due to it may be packed away.  So...what to do!

I got out my supplies and made it up as I went along.  Fun papers 12" x 12" I cut in half.

Then I scored the 6" x 12" strips at 4 3/8", 8 7/8" and 10 1/2".  This size will fit my 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" cards I created.

Next I clipped the flap corners off to give it some interest.  At this point I could have used any of my fancy paper scissors or my fancy edge punches. I merely was keeping it simple.

The flap I glue sticked. I will confess the glue stick did not stay stuck and I ended up having to redo all my flaps with Yes glue.  I always learn something each time I craft.

Here are envelopes in process.

Knowing my envelopes had no side space for stitching or gluing I decided to use my Washi tapes and let them seal the edges and add decoration to my papers.  I need to use my Washi tapes because I have learned they have a shelf life and some no longer peel cleanly and some no longer stick at all.

I had fun selecting decorative papers for my envelopes and matching them up to my cards.

Here are some cards paired with envelopes ready for personalizing and mailing.  Many of my papers can be addressed with a permanent Sharpie pen and some I prefer to use a separate label.

Thank you for following along with me.  I do hope recipients of my mail appreciate the time and effort I put into sending cheerful happy mail.  Mr. C thinks I am nuts to spend hours making them.
We are awaiting more rain.  It is overcast and gloomy.  Earlier today Mr. C and I washed his sports car so he could tuck it away for safe keeping until sunnier weather.  Even though today is officially Spring we know we are in for at least two more months of Winter.  May your flowers be blooming.
Now we are on to Easter and lots of fun ideas. This year one of my sister's has her birthday on Easter so we will be double celebrating. 
Discovering My Bliss in 2017...

Monday, March 13, 2017

Making NLWM Cards...

I NEED a lot of cards.  So I walked into my studio last week and with all good intentions of sorting and purging and downsizing...I instead found myself making cards.  April is National Letter Writing Month and I always participate.  Lindsay Ostrom, Miss Creator of Cuteness, is our fearless cheerleader/organizer for this FB group.  Thank you very much Lindsay dear.  In years past I have mailed to everyone but that got a little too carried away for me.  So now I will have one pen pal and then of course send to others at my discretion and time allowances. 

I have lots of supplies and have vowed to use what I have and not run to the store for more stuff!  Here you can see I am going old school and stamping and embossing cards.  Mr. C has been the only user of my vintage purple heat tool in his car building garage the past few years.  Not now!  I was in my glory with embossing those fine beautiful powders onto card stock.

Here you see I didn't just make one. I wanted to make lots so I have a good supply in my stash.

I also use catalog and magazine cut outs, along with card fronts from received cards and of course my Lindsay designed coloring images.

I am in no way any type of artist however I do have the supplies necessary.  I buy them with the hopes that I shall become an artist via osmosis.  LOL  I did stamp this and then embellish it with my colored pencils.  I wanted a very serene scape.  Yes, I am the one who colors a sun in the top corner of my paper...ever since I was old enough to color.  I still need a lot more cards. 
Our weather has been perfect with sunshine and blue skies.  Mr. C and I have gotten out to take a walk several days now.  Yesterday we drove a few hours north and schmoozed with lots of auto racers at Thunderhill Racetrack in Willows, CA.  The day was so beautiful and we were in no hurry.  We had spent the week previous cleaning and keeping up with this home and property in hopes that the sunshine would bring perspective buyers.  No one...not even one.  We will be having another meeting with our Broker.
I see Easter crafting and decorating is on!  I love what you all are doing.  My Easter decorating will stay hidden in the cupboard this year so as not to offend any potential buyers.  Make it look like no one lives here! 
Spring Flowers and Butterflies are showing themselves to many.  My daffodils are blooming and I love them.  Pollen season will be quite intense with all the rain we have finally gotten. 
Lovely days to all...<3

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Sewing Mug Mats...

I couldn't stand not sewing while our home is listed...so I opened up Koala only partway so the entire room is still spacious just in case any prospective buyers want to preview our home.  I can sew!  I am participating in Donna of Brynwood Needleworks mug mat swap.  I have never sewn a mug mat but love them and this is a wonderful opportunity for me to add to my knowledge and gift possibilities.

Donna has a great tutorial on her blog and I followed it.  Here I am pressing my sewn fabric pieces.

This is a finished mug mat.  I selected these uber fun fabrics that my friend Lori of Pretty Things blog gifted to me last August.  Thank you Lori.  These fabrics are fun and say, "Spring" with a smile.

I made three of the mug mats for Lori and her husband and son, Zack. I am pretty pleased with my results.  I imagine sitting in the sunshine and drinking some lemonade with a snickerdoodle or two.

While creating the mug mats I had a scrap that was just too cute to throw away. Since Lori is an avid reader, I made her a bookmark.  I surprised her in the mail with the bookmark first.

She smiles everytime she opens her book to read.  What would you have done with such a cute scrap?
I will share my swap partner mug mat when I am certain she has opened her mail.  I was glad I practiced making these.  Thank you Donna for such a fun and different swap.  I  have some excellent ideas for gifts throughout the year now. 
We have snow on the decks and ground.  It has rained since the snow so fortunately it is melting and the driveway is clear.  Today is supposed to be all sunshine.  I certainly hope so.  The sun energizes me and I need to get back to sorting and purging and organizing stuff...just in case we move out of state this year.
What are you busy creating?  I do miss it so much when I am not able to be creative.  I did read a book while the Winter weather was nasty.  Mr. C found it on our home library shelves and read it first.  "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain. We have watched him over the years on his many shows such as "No Reservations" and we find him to be interesting to say the least.  We are still pursuing our recipes and cooking together here at home.  I perfectly minced red onions the other day for Mr. C to enjoy Smoked Salmon Lox on bagels with cream cheese.  It doesn't take much to make me happy.  A new five inch chef knife and I am a mincing maven!
Marvelous March is traveling fast so be certain to enjoy each and every day my friends...<3

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Stitchery Love Finish...

As February ends today I am happy to say I have completed my Jenny of elefantz.com Stitchery.  I am tickled with how sweet this has turned out. My plan is to frame it in a simple shiny red frame because the recipient loves red.  Jenny finished hers as a mini quilt and that may be how I finish this one.  I will have to see what it looks like in the frame.  I have linked Jenny's tutorial for you.  It will work on many ideas.
We had a wild day of sun, rain, hail and snow flurries yesterday. Thankfully nothing stuck but everything is wet again.  Today we have sunshine and it has been a beautiful day.  I was able to prepare all my mailings for Random Acts of Mail and Love Notes and my other recipients.  Then I went to the post office and the market.  Nice and slow afternoon. I should be working on purging and organizing more drawers and cupboards but they did not interest me today.  Yesterday Mr. C bought me a new set of very nice pots and pans and I managed to clean out my slide out drawers and replace my old pots and pans.  I feel giddy to get new domestic equipment as I learn to enjoy cooking for and with Mr. C.  We are both learning together and thank goodness we have a very large kitchen.  I am amazed at how much space two people can take up just preparing a meal.  I have never enjoyed cooking because it takes hours and is eaten in minutes and with very little gratitude.  I am embracing my domestic duties more and more with time not spent working for others.  I am blessed!

This is Chicken Coconut Curry Noodle Bowl.  It was beyond delicious...and we have another meal of it in the freezer.  YUMMY!!!

March is almost here and let's see what it brings.  We already have longer light in the evening and I really like that.  March 12th is our Daylight Savings time and we move our clocks forward 1 hour.  Spring can't be far away...the daffodils are blooming in town...mine are budding.  Usually they get some rain and snow to smash them down so I know Winter is not over.  Creative Bliss to each of you...

Monday, February 20, 2017

Hand Stitching Love...

I belong to Jenny of elefantz.com monthly Stitchery Club and have been a member for over two years.  With all good intentions I meant to stitch my monthly designs...well at least some of them.  However as the months flew by and I wasn't doing anything with my pages of designs but store them away in a file drawer (the 3-ring binder overflowed), I became very aware that there would never be any time and in fact I had too many excuses.  Well here it is 2017 and "If not Now, When?" leapt into my brain!  I was no longer going to make excuses.  So I brought out my selected design and coordinating fabrics and got to work.

I had purchased the proper Hanky Linen this time and what a wonderful difference it makes in the ease of tracing and stitching.  Here is my beginning.  I purposefully selected a design that included applique pieces.  Jenny always shares the reverse tracing design so once I had read her instructions it was easy to accomplish.

My prepared and fused design ready to begin stitching.  I already have a feeling of accomplishment because I can see how cute this design will be. The fabrics really make it come alive even before any needle and threads are added. 

Here I am doing blanket stitch with regular sewing thread. I admit I had to YouTube blanket stitch as it has always eluded me on how to begin.  Once I get going it is quite easy.
I will share the finished stitchery with you very soon...I hope. 
Life is busy for us all and we merely need to make time for ourselves and what gives us JOY.  Thank You very much Jenny for always keeping your designs sweet, simple and filled with LOVE. I am sew grateful for giving myself this monthly Stitchery Club.  Magazines that offer "little" costs more than this and Jenny is always here for us with any help we may need.
Surprise...it is raining here.  Yes...it is pouring again.  We remain safe here and truly grateful.  Prayers for all those, especially in Southern California, who are having Mother Nature nightmare conditions.
Mr. C and I took a day trip to Blackhawk Museum yesterday to enjoy a special Speaker Series and meet and listen to David Hobbs.  Automotive racer and commentator extraordinaire.  He was funny and humble and entertaining. The automobiles on display are some of the world's finest.  I took no photos but you can click the link I added.  The weather was raining and traffic was dismal and took forever at stop and crawl pace most of the way home.  Danville is about a 3 hour drive each way.  It took closer to 4+hours to get home. Thankfully Mr. Hobbs was well worth our day and Mr. C got us home safely.
February must have wings for it is flying along.  Creative Bliss and enjoy your passion.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Hearts & Valentines...

A short post to wish everyone Happy Valentine's and Happy Hearts.  These are the ATCs I made and shared with friends and Kim's ArtJoyStuff blog ATC swap. I will have to show photos of the ATCs I received at another time due to no photos yet.

Here is my ATC packaging. I love how this turned out.  I merely pulled Pink themed goodies from my studio stash and AHA.  Pink polka dot bag with pink polka dot doily and a pink embellished paper cut out heart, stitched with Pink thread.  Fun and Fancy!
May you and yours enjoy a wonderful Valentine's and every day of Happy Hearts.  Mr. C and I will visit a new to us restaurant and enjoy being with one another.
The Sun is Shining til later this week. For any of you seeing the news of the Oroville Dam disaster and evacuation Mr. C and I are not part of that area so we are safe and uphill.  Praying for containment and correction of the erosion as we are due to get another week of more rain and snow.  Feast or Famine...we have gone from five years of extreme drought to an over abundance of water too quickly.  <3