Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Grandma's Journal of "Lotsa"...

 In a simple 6" x 9" brown mailing envelope with my name written on it is a gift of timeless treasure from my beloved Grandma.  Grandma was left handed and very creative.  This was her writing at age 82. Inside this plain envelope is the following...
 A journal of tips created by Grandma herself. This sticker is very vintage and has my favorite blue color on it.  The gold frame around the flowers is very old world dimensional gold relief.
This is the title page of her journal that she left for me.  Wow I cannot believe it is already 14 years since she created this.  
 Here is her description of why and what she put into this little journal.  Grandma loved to type.  She would sit at a metal typewriter stand with her manual typewriter and type letters to her friends.  At 82 it was easier to type than to hand write.  Her fingers and hands had arthritis and would get cramped and painful.  Somehow she continued to knit and crochet to keep her hands busy.
I believe if you click on the photos they will enlarge so you can read the words.  Here is a tip in her little book that I can honestly say I have never tried:
Tennis Balls...When they lose their bounce, wrap in foil and bake in 200 degree oven for 20 minutes.  I am not certain I would try this nowadays.  So many variables may have changed.  
This is my late addition to Memory Lane Mondays and I am linking to Brynwood Needleworks.
It is no surprise to any of my followers that I often go back to a memory that includes my beloved Grandma.  She was such a special lady and I am so fortunate that I was able to learn from her and I continue to learn from her via her thoughtful ways she gave me so much.
Here is a special thought from a page in this journal...
"Just for today I will be unafraid.  Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe that as I give to the world...so the world will give to me."
I will be certain to pass this journal on to my daughter and so it will continue to give for generations.
Thank you Donna for this wonderful Memory Lane we can travel down.
Our weather is grey, cold and very wet.  Will it snow?  I don't know but it certainly is cold and dreary.
May your week be wonderful...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Marvelous March In Time...

 Block #31 Evening Star

Here I am in Marvelous March and I am thrilled it has turned out to be such and not Mayhem March.  I have been able to work on some more of the March suggested Farmer's Wife blocks.  I really love this block because it features my floral focal fabric with the blue I so love.  No matter how many times I look at the book page diagram on the left I still see it differently each time.  Talk about focus...good thing I am still mastering focus.

 Block #34 Flock

I like this block as it utilizes my beloved floral and a soft gorgeous paisley in the light grey and that pop of black and white polka dot.  Can you imagine some Canadian geese flying overhead?  Or maybe some smaller birds heading back home after winter?  
 Block #103 Whirlwind

This block doesn't do much for me but it will add to my wall hanging.  Speaking of my wall hanging I haven't decided how many blocks I am going to utilize in the finished size.  So silly me I asked Mr. C and showed him some I had laid out on the table.  He said nine blocks was the size he wanted.  Nine?  I have already made at least eighteen and have lots more to make.  The wall is very large.  This will need to be discussed again at a later date.  I will probably make place mats or a table runner also so therefore I can continue making my Farmer's Wife Quilt blocks.
Block #51 Hovering Birds

This block really had me stumped.  There are 22 cut pieces.  No matter how I tried to lay them out in order to begin my stitching I just didn't get it right.  Lots of de-stitching on this block.  The angles of the triangles are a bit tricky and the long edge is not the same as the shorter edges.  Geometry?  Math?  Not for me!
I called in the expert engineer, Mr. C, and consulted with him.  Oh dear!  What was I thinking?!!  Of course he could see right away how it should be done and put together but I did know enough that there is a very specific sewing sequence and pressing sequence to this quilting career.  Mr. C and I are complete opposites and with that said, he left the sewing room and I sewed.  Together we got the block completed and I am very proud of it.  He, by-the-way, thinks I am crazy to even do this quilt block challenge.  That's me...crazy!
I shall link this to our QAL hostess, Donna of Brynwood Needleworks.  She is amazing and you should see her beautiful blocks.  You can also view lots of other's blocks in the group.  The fabric selections are each unique and amazing.  
Our weather was sunny for a day and now is very cloudy and cold again as we await rain and possible snow.  Mr. C and I spent some very muddy hours in the yard this morning cleaning up weeds and debris and planning our new rose garden...now that we have our deer fence for this area.  
Please share what you are busy with.  I love to visit your blogs and see what you are creating.  I adore reading the comments you leave.  Blissful Inspirations...  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Farmer's Wife Progress...

Block #2 Autumn Tints

 As March is moving along quickly I am moving along slowly making progress on my Farmer's Wife quilt blocks.  I believe we have ten blocks for March which of course we can make all or part of.  Here are five that I have completed so far. My blocks have not been trued as of yet.

Block #6 Big Dipper

I am truly enjoying the process of seeing how my selected fabrics come together and compliment one another.  Not all I care for however they work harmoniously with one another.  

Block #10- Bowtie

Some blocks are fairly simple with very few fabrics and cut pieces.  This results in fewer seams.  I am actually getting the hang of matching points...well sometimes.  

 Block #15 Buzzard's Roost

For some reason this block seemed confusing to me.  There are 17 cut pieces of fabric and 16 seams that put them together.  I did have to do some de-re-stitching.  It is amazing how those little pieces just get together and switch it up on me.  I lay them out correctly but somehow in the pick up and sew stage they just get together wrong.  
Block #29 Economy

This block might be one of my favorites.  The floral is my feature fabric and the one I fell in love with.  Any other of the fabrics are the complimentary fabrics and this dark maroon is quite complimentary I think. 
I feel sew good when I am able to spend time in my sewing room and put together my little quilt blocks.  
Are you busy creating something you love? Are you trying new and challenging pursuits?
Our weather is very nice but we are in for a cold snap and more rain and possible snow by this weekend.  Maybe I will be able to complete my March Farmer's Wife quilt blocks.  
Thank you for visiting and commenting.  I read every one of them and enjoy the feedback.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Creative Happy Husband...

I know I have shown you my favorite play rooms but today I want to show you Mr. C's playroom.  We call this his Toybox and he has all the proper toys in order to play and be creative with what his passion is.  Cars!  He is always "shredding" apart cars and trucks and anything else with an engine.
Do you see this smile on his face.  This is when he is happiest!  Playing in his Toybox with his cars!!!
Just when I get busy playing in my studio I might hear..."Sherry!"  I cannot ignore my name when he calls.  He needs me to help him and I really would rather not when it comes to engines, or technical widgets or his precious tools.  Can I just say I am not the handiest girl in the garage?!!  I don't like to get dirty or greasy.  I don't like to get yelled at when I do something wrong...which is constant.  And I don't like the precarious positions I am expected to perform.  Stand on the top rung of a 6' ladder and hold this wrench but don't touch anything or drop anything and...  Geesh!
 I adore the fact that he is so hands on.  He has always done all the maintenance on our vehicles and saved us lots of stress and money.  I also adore that he allows me to have what I want when it comes to custom exhaust or headers or lots of specialty parts on a car.  He thrills in designing and engineering and making all the necessary custom parts.  The more complicated the project the happier he is.  If it hasn't been done he will do it.  He has quite the following too for his expertise in all of this.  Guys call him all the time for help.
 I just couldn't resist today when he called, "Sherry" and I had to join him in the Toybox.  I brought my camera and took photos. He will also use these and more that I took for his logbooks of what he has done.  Do you see the stencil on the wall?  He let me paint that on the entire length of the wall.  Then when his buddies come over he has them sign a car.  Too funny.
Here he is with clipboard and pencil documenting the progress he has made today.  For two years he has been chasing an EVAP error code and today he found the culprit!  Now to fix it and confirm all is well.  We must wait for better weather to put this little jewel on the roads and run through its computer sequences for complete confirmation.
So while I have all of my wonderful ways to play and enjoy my creative interests it is gratifying to know that my dear husband Mr. C (aka Mr. WayneO) is happy and creative in his playroom as well.
We are still having winter and snow on the ground however no snow falling.  Maybe more rain this week.
I am content not to be out in the yard all cold and damp even though I know I will have a ton of work to do.  I am enjoying staying indoors sewing and beading and keeping up with domestic frivolities.  So many of you are already gardening in this strange winter season we have had.  What else are you busy creating?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Serene Snowy Sunday...

 Good Morning Winter.  You are so beautiful and fresh and ethereal with your white fluffy snowflakes falling softly around me.  I went to bed last night with a hint of tiny little snowflakes falling but nothing really sticking.
 Throughout the night I would get up and look out my favorite window to see the progress.  It was slow and steady.  The rain soaked ground very slowly turned from muddy brown and fresh green grass to this white that does not compare to anything else on earth.  Snow has a beautiful shimmer and glisten to it.  It is pure!
I have spent years living in this wonderful slice of heaven yet dreading the snows of winter.  Having to get up very early every morning and traverse this treacherous slippery stuff is not what I enjoy.  However now I can  truly enjoy every snowflake and every inch that accumulates while I stay inside and and sip a cup of my favorite tea.  There is no place I must be and I am enjoying this winter scene.  My daffodils are smashed down from the over 12 inches of rain we have just received in 4 days and nights and now this layer of snow which is about 6 inches at this time.  It happens every year so no surprises.  Winter has been very mild this year so we are blessed to have rain and snow for our water tables and fire suppression.
Welcome Serene Snowy Sunday.  I hope you are enjoying your day sitting back and relaxing.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Simple Sachets...

 These simple sachets are very easy to make.   I got this idea from the wonderful Jillayne of A Fine Seam.  She shared a beautiful pieced, hand stitched and embellished heart she made on her blog.  Please visit via the link in her blog name.  
I made mine smaller than the pattern suggested.  Here is the pattern that Jillayne shared.  I tried different fabrics.  I stamped the white with a butterfly and a dragonfly motif.  I really like the possibilities.  I embellished them with seam binding, ribbons, buttons, beads and charms.  Some I filled with lavender and a very special one I filled with cloves because my sister is allergic to lavender.  I must say I really like the clove aroma and my studio smells heavenly.  
 Here is an altered tin I did.  I bought this lovely tin of talc.  Once I got it home I decided it could use some embellishing.  So I got out the ribbons, lace, rhinestones, pearls, 3D flower and glitter.  I am very pleased with how it turned out.  
Here is a side view of the finished tin.  I also added a beaded pin to the front ribbon.  

Here are two of the items I have created.  What do you think?  Worthy as a gift to someone?  I am entering into the busiest birthday season in my family.  I am surrounded by Aries. :o}
I have had fun playing in my studio and sewing room.  For being on the road so much I feel blessed to be able to create some fun things.  
Our weather continues to pour rain.  We have had over 10 inches in just three days.  Snow is predicted for this Saturday evening and Sunday.  I ventured out today in the rain and managed to get most of my errands completed.  I did get to wear my plaid rain boots and that is super fun!
What are you creating?  Are you enjoying the longer daylight hours?  I love it staying lighter later.  
My daffodils have begun to bloom but just in time to get flattened by rain and snow.  Bring on Spring...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

NASCAR Experience...

 Mr. C and I drove 12 hours to Las Vegas last week.   We had an opportunity to experience NASCAR in person.  Normally neither of us follow NASCAR as turning left and going in a circle is not our style.  We follow Formula One and Indy which have many more road course races than ovals.  So here is Mr. C as we enter the Neon Garage.  Fortunately we had all VIP passes and enjoyed this experience in grand style.
A photo of Tony Stewart on Friday practice.   We really were this close to the cars.
This is Friday and not crowded at all.  Our weather was perfect.  Sunshine and low 70's.  
A few more people now that it is Saturday.  This Las Vegas Speedway is an amazing venue.  The logistics are extremely well planned and executed.  
 Now this is NOT a NASCAR.  What a beautiful Italian import this is...Ferrari!  Sort of out of place at this venue.  Oh for a price you can take a driving course lesson in one of these.  I will pass on that.
The Saturday line up of race cars.  This race included Danica Patrick as one of the drivers.  The fans are so in love with her.  Unfortunately for all she qualified 12th and eventually ended up in the same 12th place.  
Oh dear it is Sunday and the big race.  As you can see the crowds are getting much bigger.  I personally do not like crowds at all.  You should have seen the swarm of wall to wall people in the tunnel we had to traverse...I just tried to focus on getting to the other end safely and in tact.  The tunnel is very very long!
Here is the line up of cars for the big race.  I did not have a favorite driver even though I am familiar with many of them.  The entire race was sold out.  I heard the number 300,000 attendees for Sunday and I believe it.  
As part of our VIP experience we had excellent sky box seats at the pit exits at turn one.  The best about this oval racing is that you can literally see all of the track and cars all at the same time.  The race is over with no major incidents (thank goodness as I never need to see horrid accidents) and Mr. Tony Stewart won.  This photo is an overview of the crowds as they depart.  Fortunately for Mr. C and I we merely walked back over to the Neon Garage, got some refreshments and sat in some very comfortable arm chairs to listen to the live band and watch all the entertainment that was happening so people didn't have to rush to leave and wait in long traffic lines.  After 3 hours of entertainment we headed back over to the motor homes and the parties for a few more hours until we drove back to our hotel.
Now I can honestly say I have experienced NASCAR.  If I had a bucket list with this on it I can now check it off.  Surprisingly I enjoyed my week away and seeing how much Las Vegas has grown since I saw it last.
However, it is good to be home.  I have lots to catch up on and lots to create.
As we drove the long 12 hours home we were able to stay ahead of the storm and drive over Donner Pass with no issues.  Winter has arrived and we have had rain for less than 24 hours that has added up to approximately 3 inches already.  The weather forecast is for about 9 inches of rain for us this week alone.
I will now spend time unpacking, doing laundry and all the wonderful house chores that have waited for me.  I will also spend time catching up on blogging because I missed you all so much.  I look forward to being inspired by the talents each of you share so generously on your blogs.
Creative hugs...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happily Creatively Playing...

 How blissful to be in my very own studio playing with my wonderful array of supplies.  Here I am working on some lovely green acrylic Shamrocks.  I really never know exactly what I will create until I am beginning my process.  I try different things and see what I like.
 I crocheted a hanger with a loop, tied a green bow, used some flocked Shamrock ribbon on the centers front and back and finally beaded an eye pin to attach as a dangle.  These look really pretty with glorious sunshine glowing through them.  Each of these I made have all found their way to new homes of friends and family just to brighten their days.
I really love ATCs...both making them and receiving them.  I finally got the time and opportunity to join in a swap with the very talented Kimberly of ArtJoyStuff which many of you already follow and have participated in her swaps.  These are some of my selection I am making.
Here is an array of some fun creative supplies I am using on my ATCs.  A lot of this was generously given to me by Ana of Scrappy Pink Corner blog.  Ana makes lots of mini albums and cards that are fabulous.  Please visit her blog and enjoy what you see there.
I have some other projects I am working on but no photos as of yet.  I really need to spend some serious time sorting and de-cluttering and organizing my studio and sewing room.  It amazes me how quickly every horizontal surface in my rooms gets cluttered and piled high with stuff.  I think I have an "Occupy" gathering of creative little fairies that come during the night and pull things off the shelves just to see how high they can stack it on the worktable.  Why they don't put it all away is the real mystery.  Oh and I wish they would return the two pieces of butterfly fabrics I had sitting on the table.  One day they were sitting there and I was happy to look at them and then they disappeared.  I have searched everywhere but no butterfly fabric to be found. Must I go back to Bakersfield to buy more...would they even have any more of it left?  If I did buy more then I would find the pieces I already know I have but cannot find.  LOL  Does this ever happen to any of you?  Do you ever buy the very same item you already own but forgot you had or misplaced?  When I do this I realize I must have really liked it to want it twice...or more.  Besides it gives me a good chance to share with a friend who might like to have it too.
Our weather continues to be very cold and a mix of sunny, cloudy, snowflakes but no accumulation and overall strange.  My prayers continue for those less fortunate in the extreme weather and tornado areas.
Marvelous March is moving along briskly and I wish you each creative joy...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Small Town Saturday Joy...

This is our small town of approximately 3000 population.  The entire town is on the National Historic Registry.  We are located in the Gold Country and have a wonderful rich history.  Saturday with snow covering our home and yard we decided to "go to town" which is merely a mile and a half from home.
 We enjoyed comfort food for breakfast in one of our little favorite restaurants.  The hand painted mural on the wall is actually of the town.  If you watched Hallmark's movie "The Christmas Card" this was the featured diner.
 After breakfast and a stroll to the post office we walked up the street to the local library where they have a book sale the first Saturday of each month.  I love to go to this and support the library.  Mr. C (seen here in blue jacket) even enjoys this for a very short time.  He buys his favorite hard bound books for $1 each, reads them and then donates them back to a future sale.  I am not so generous about donating my purchases back.  I like to keep them as I usually buy books for crafting.
 Here you can see they have quite a selection of every type.  Sometimes the rooms are very crowded with people and you have to wait to get to the book shelves.
 The prices are super fair.  Some books are even free.  How can I not support my local library?!
 Here are three of my latest finds.  Tassels was just 25 cents.  Dressed by the Best was a whole $1 and has lovely wearable art pieces in it. The Art Nouveau Dover book with CD was my find of the month.  Brand new and still complete.  Only 50 cents!  I know!  How lucky am I?  Can you believe Mr. C said to me, "What are you going to do with that?"  I don't think he will ever really understand creative types and I can understand we are a world of difference from his type...Engineer twice over and a Type A personality.  What was I thinking when I found him?  Oh right!  Love does not think.  Besides I had never formally known an engineer.  My entire family is artistic of some sort.
Here we are back to the car across the street from this super old historic hotel and restaurant.  Lots of stories these walls could tell.  Famous and infamous people have stayed here over the years.
We enjoyed a lovely morning in our little town.  Home to shovel snow and wash the car...surrounded by snow.   Our weather is very much Springlike and the daffodils are beginning to bloom.  There are hundreds planted along the highway and it is quite a sight to enjoy.  I walked outside this afternoon and I can already hear and feel another storm coming in.
I am still praying for those who have suffered so much loss with the extreme weather and tornadoes.
Thank you wonderful bloggers who visit and leave me a comment.  I read each and every one and always learn something.  Now I am going to enjoy visiting your blogs and commenting...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Flower Patience...

 A Christmas gift from a dear friend.  Red Lion indoor Amaryllis.  One big bulb in a little green plastic pot.
Water and wait...and wait...and wait.  About 6 weeks later a green leaf sprouts forth.  Then another and another.
 A couple more weeks and a stalk shoots up.  This is a rapid rise to dizzying heights.  Finally a bud.  More waiting...
 One by one each flower opens to spectacular glory.  A total of four blooms at the top of this very sturdy stalk.  The red is truly this gorgeous.
Mr. C and I are enjoying this glorious Amaryllis each and every day.  From Christmas to Spring this is a wonderful gift as it keeps on giving.  After completion of blooming I understand the bulb can be planted outdoors and just might bloom again next year.
March is here...the sun is shining and we still have snow on the ground.  It is cold but with the sun shining so brightly it makes us think it is warmer than it is.  Yesterday I shoveled snow off the upstairs deck but only finished about a third of it so maybe today I shall finish shoveling the deck.
I hope each of you are enjoying a beautiful and relaxing weekend.  I pray for the safety of everyone experiencing severe weather storms and tornadoes.