Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pin It Winnings...

Recently I enjoyed this blog hop.  I am amazed at the wonderful sharing of such creative people and all the inspiration and how-to's for making pincushions.  You can imagine how surprised and excited I was when Kathy of Kwilty Pleasures (click on the link to visit her blog) notified me I had won her give-away. Hooray!!!

Not only had I won her give-away, her pincushion was unique and one of my very favorites.  She made a pincushion in a little frame that can stand alone on its own.  How fun is that!  This is mine now.  Sew very cute with cherry fabric inside a little silver toned frame.  Now you have to know I am going to pick up some little frames at my local $1.29 store and then I can make these for gifting to my friends and family.  Bonus is they are easy to mail...a pet peeve of mine...postal rates and lack of service.  With what I spend on mailings I cannot understand how the post office system is broke!  Oops, on my soapbox...I am climbing down now.

Thank you sew very much Kathy.  Your generous package of red fabrics and adorable little fabric blocks of cute sayings you included in with my framed pincushion is divine.  I will definitely be using these.  With the little sayings and the matching fabrics I am thinking mug rugs.  Another cute gift item I have not made...yet.
I not only enjoy blog hops for inspiration, I also like "meeting" creative talented people who participate.
Our days and nights are very much cooler.  Lots more windy days.  Leaves falling before they can even turn colors.  Cedar seed pods are "raining" down everywhere.  We have at least a dozen huge Cedar trees that are lining our driveway and are in our front landscape.    They are truly messy but ever so forest glorious.
Falling into Autumn is in full swing here.
What are you working on in your creative time?  Are you making something new to you or something tried and true?  I am vacillating over several projects and need to make up my mind and get busy.  I have some UFO's hovering that I am really needing to complete or pass along.
Creative Happy Heartfelt Bliss...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Crayons, Markers, Pencils...

You already know my obsession with Crayola Crayons.  I buy them every year as school supplies are put out for children returning to school.  I love the smell of brand new Crayola crayons.  Do I ever use them?  Well not so much as I want them to stay fresh and pointy as in brand new.  Once in a while I allow myself to give one or two bright colors to Mr. C when he needs to mark something he is working on.   Then they are broken and dull and thrown away.  Mr. C is not attached to crayons.

It seems I also have a penchant for buying other art supplies.  There is something that "draws" me to buying them thinking I shall be able to actually draw or paint like an artist.  For the most part my supplies merely sit in the cupboard looking fabulous.  As I advance in years I find I am buying more selectively.  I now prefer finer quality artist materials.  Does it make me an artist?  No.  Sadly my drawing skills are completely absent from my creative talents. However, I do like knowing I have the proper tools if I suddenly wake up one day and magically have drawing skills.  Isn't that how osmosis works?  If you buy will come?  Really!

These pencils I got in 2005.  Never sharpened and certainly never used.  So when I recently purchased my new titanium pencil sharpener I thought it was time to sharpen my beautiful pencils.  Just in case I might be able to use them.  Silly me!

Last week I got my newly sharpened pencils and some marking pens and placed them close to me at my favorite sitting spot near windows of light and nature.  I have lots of stamped images, photocopied images and those little "stained glass" books for children to color.  Knowing I am still a child inside I began to color.  Pretty soon I had quite a few colored pieces completed and ready for future projects.  It is amazing how just a few minutes can result in such a peaceful way to spend time and produce results.  My pencils are no longer virgin and my markers will not run dry from lack of use and have to be thrown away with never getting to enjoy their beautiful inky colors.

As I was blissfully coloring it became easier for me to shade and really play with the colors.  I was enjoying myself.  Children enjoy themselves and create art so freely.  Why can't I?  It is hard to see but I added some 3D snow for Santa's hat and the bunnies tails.   With just a few simple supplies I was able to truly relax and get lost in the act of coloring.
What do you enjoy doing in precious few minutes that is truly relaxing?
Our weather is glorious...sunny and cool.  No more rain or snow for now.
Thank you for your well-wishes.  I usually don't advertise that I am sick.  I am realizing maybe I just ran myself completely down to exhaustion and open for illness when I was caring for Mr. C night and day.  I am on the mend and will take much better care from here on out.  Also thank you for well wishes for Sisty.  She is doing remarkably well and is approved for her big trip next week to come and visit.  Hooray!
Today is mending day.  Remember the embroidered towels from decades ago.  Each day had a chore and that is how many households functioned way long ago.  I never have set days for chores.  It just happens that I need to do some mending and today is a very good day to do it.  Hem some new pants for Mr. C and stitch a few ripped seams.  Do you darn socks?  I wore a pair of wool socks yesterday and got a hole in one of them.  They are still new so I don't want to throw them out.  I think I shall darn that hole!  I do know how because I used to darn socks all the time.
May you have a week filled with Creative Bliss...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pretty Little Witches...

"Pretty Little Witches" is the next ATC swap I am participating in with Kimberly of ArtJoyStuff.  Thankfully I got busy and created these right away when I signed up.  I always spend days making my ATCs as I need them to speak to me while I am designing and putting them together.

I like how they turned out and hope the other participants will also like them.

Here is how I packaged them this time.  I am always relieved to see that they have arrived safely in Kimberly's hands.  This time I am extra pleased that I got them made and mailed before I got seasonably sick and down for the count.  I don't make gifts to give to others while I am sick as I wouldn't want to share my germs with anyone else and have them get sick.  With the Fall winds and raking up leaves I got a sinus infection and had to visit the doctor and get meds.  While I was there I also got my flu shot.  Needless to say I am not quite up to par so I am taking time to do some reading and resting.
It is raining today and I am so very thankful.  Hydrating our forest and water table.  Refreshing and cozy is our day spent indoors.  
Love and healing energy to Mr. C's sister Joanne as she is recovering from emergency surgery to implant a pacemaker which will allow her heart to work better and the blood to flow properly.  We are so thankful she will be feeling so much better.   Keeping her from her beautiful gardens and plants is not a good thing.  Her green thumbs really do wonders in her glorious gardens.
Thank you for my new followers and thank you all for your comments.  I love reading them and getting feedback.  I have some projects in the works and will be getting back to them soon and sharing with you.  Until chocolate with marshmallows, a bowl of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich is on the menu to add to this cozy cool wet weather.  It snowed above us at Donner Summit.  This is early for snow fall.  I believe the Farmer's Almanac is predicting a very harsh and cold winter this year.  In the meantime I shall embrace Falling into Autumn.  I enjoyed very much our beautiful magical Harvest Moon.
Happy Creative Hearts...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pincushions & Ribbons...

I have been enjoying Madamm Samm's newest blog hop all about pincushions.  I did not participate however I have truly been inspired by how creative and clever so many others have been with making pincushions.   A few months ago I was able to meet Carole Sidlow of right here locally while she was participating in a show. Tanya of BeedandNeedle knows her and recommended her lovely supplies.  I was smitten!  Thank you Tanya.
Now if you sew you probably have pincushions.  One can never have too many pincushions for the purpose of comforting needles and pins.

This is a lovely Truffle pincushion handmade by Carole and purchased by me.  It is small and delicate and made with the finest materials.  I fell in love with it.  This is like a delicious pastry and jewel all rolled into one beautiful little work of art.  She has every color imaginable.  I must have been channeling my mother with this purple version.  

Some of the gorgeous ribbons and lace I just had to acquire.

Here are some hand-dyed velvets and ribbons that just had to come home with me too.  Carole was a doll.  You can purchase lots of beautiful supplies right from her website or from her store in the Las Vegas area.  

This "pin-it" hop ends today however I know you will find lots of fabulous and fun inspiration if you check it out.  This community of talented and creative souls is an endless source of bliss.  The world truly is much more accessible with our blogging sphere.
It isn't too early to begin those little gifts made from the heart that we like to share with others.
Falling into Autumn is very evident today.  The temperatures are only in the mid-70's and there is a steady breeze allowing leaves and cedar pods to rain from above.
Off to my little slice of sewing heaven.  I am busy with some quick little giftie items.  It helped me to actually make a list of some of the many things I have in my head but somehow never think of when I should.  Now I merely check my list and focus on what I want to accomplish.  Nothing new...not reinventing the wheel...just being organized and managing my time more wisely.  Great concept I am trying to embrace and utilize!
May you find yourself enjoying your time and creative pursuits...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sashiko Stitching Bliss...

Previously I shared how generous Susan of Plays With Needles blog was when she gifted me some Sashiko fabrics.  I took these with me to Wendover and they saved my sanity.  I enjoy a good relaxing time however staying at a casino hotel is not my idea of fun.  So...I stitched.  Sometimes in my room, in the cafe, by the pool in the shade, or wherever I could get some peace and quiet.  There is no way I can convey the peace and calm that this stitching brings to me.

With my Sashiko needle and Sashiko thread I put the tiny precise stitches on my needle and proceeded.  Line after line after line.  There is a rhythm that begins.  A Zen state of peace.  Well until a knot happens.

I have finished this piece of blue with white thread.  The stitches actually begin to form a bit of texture which is really pleasant.  Now...for your help and advice.  Do I press this with a very lightweight facing to protect the threads on the back?  How do I proceed before I consider what I shall actually do with this new to me stitched fabric?  I want to enjoy it but not overuse it. No shopping tote.  Possibly an accent pillow?  Maybe an accent on a wearable jacket for Fall?

Meanwhile I began this piece while in Wendover.  I had LOTS of time with which to entertain myself.  This is a very lightweight white fabric and I am stitching it in blue Sashiko thread.  I shall continue to place my needle and thread in the fibers and enjoy the rhythm of the stitching.  Thank you for any insight you may have on how to utilize my Saskiko stitched fabrics.
Our weather is wonderful.  We are Falling into Autumn and I am enjoying the changes that Nature does so well.
Thank you new followers.  I hope you enjoy my creative bliss I enjoy so well.  Thank you all for your comments and creative spirit you share so well.  Lets make something wonderful...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pretty Pink ATCs...

After all this time I still love ATCs.  Artist Trading Cards.  They are small.  The size of a regular playing card at 2.5" x 3.5".  They are never sold...merely traded.  I find the small venue quite challenging to be creative yet not overwhelming.  I have made hundreds.  I know that sounds like a lot but I do believe my number is correct as I spent about three years making dozens every month to donate locally as tray favors for shut-ins. So when Kimberly of ArtJoyStuff announced her "Pretty" swap I was on board.   She is the most amazing hostess and very organized.  I am never disappointed with what I receive.   Thank you Kimberly.  You are a creative JOY!
These are the four I submitted.  It was a 3 for 3 swap but I always include an extra just for Kimberly.

I usually make more than four as I have special friends I send them to that are not able to participate in swaps.  It is such fun to gather supplies and just put them into action.

Here is my swap package I received in the fun mail.  Kimberly always includes an extra surprise and this time is was an envelope filled with ephemera and bits and bobs for embellishments another time.  She tied the package with lovely pink baker's twine and a soft little rosebud.  My ATCs were from Becky of; Charlotte of and Sylvia of and I adore each of them so very much.  Thank you for participating and creating such lovely "Pretty" ATCs.

This fun mail I recently received is from my friend Theresa (no blog).  I actually "met" Theresa in one of Kimberly's swaps.  This is a beautiful birthday card and two very sweet ATCs made just for me.  I also adore how she includes some fun die-cuts as I don't have such equipment.  Thank you dear sweet Theresa.
Actually I am working on my next ATCs for the "Pretty Little Witches" swap with   You have time to sign up and create and participate if you like.

Today I must admit I am breathing a short sigh of relief.  I do not do well with sadness and this world has made it through September 11th once again.  I am thankful to be here today and enjoy the wonders it holds for me and my loved ones.
Lets get creative and make something today.  I will be in my sewing room for a while.  Stitching with fabric and thread is very therapeutic.  I have another birthday gift to create.  This pours love and happy thoughts throughout my realm.  Life is good and I am blessed and happy.
May you find your joy and take time to be happy...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Handmade Gifts Given...

Do you love handmade gifts?  My family while growing up always made our gifts for each other and our friends.  My Grandmother, Mother, Sisters and I would each sew or crochet or knit or craft each gift.  My Grandfather and Father also were wonderful craftsmen and worked with wood to make cherished gifts.  It is the way I was taught.  A gift is much more special when you take the time to make it.  Buying from the store is not what we did.  Money was short yet somehow we gathered supplies and created.  I am very thankful for those teachings and beginnings.

So to carry on that tradition I make most of the gifts I give.  Here is a watercolor card I recently sent to a dear blogging friend who has her birthday on my exact birthday...of course she is much younger however we still share a wonderful Virgo Sister bond.  I used really good materials in hopes of a better result.  My watercoloring is not the best but with using my stamps for the outlines I think the result is sweet.

Here is a recent bracelet I put together.  Simple grey pearls with some very high-end Swarovski crystals.  This photo is horrible but I think you can see the simplicity of the bracelet and my favorite magnetic clasp for self closure.

This is a set I recently made and gave to another friend.  This is the lightest weight necklace made from "railroad" yarn/ribbon.  It is crocheted and has layers of lengths to give it fullness. I kept this one very simple as the recipient doesn't do fussy.  Some crystal earrings I put together complete the set.
I felt I needed to let you know I haven't been a total slacker in the creative department this year.  I am never as fully happy as when I am in my wonderful studio making something for someone.  It gives me solace to share my skills I was so fortunate to learn from so many before me.
Falling into Autumn here and the weather is just right.  Warm days with cool nights.  We are still having smoke from the horrible Yosemite Fire, a closer fire and now a new fire near San Francisco.  I pray for all to be safe and spared losing lives and homes.  This is just the beginning of our true fire season.  We did have some rain but I would welcome lots more to keep our forests hydrated and not so terribly dry as they are.  It is said that we buy wetter lumber at the store than our forests contain.  Come on rain...
Autumn breezes (Spring Blossoms for across the world) and may you create with joy and pure bliss...
I adore your comments and look forward to reading them and your posts.  This community is such a big hug!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Boys*, Toys, Speed...

This is a picture heavy post and I am condensing two weeks and hundreds of photos into a bakers dozen with hopefully very few words.  I hope you enjoy this adventure of Boys, Toys and the NEED for SPEED!
Bonneville Salt Flats is the nirvana of land speed records for all things, trucks and motorcycles.  Mr. C has numerous vehicles he works on for others who pursue their passion of record breaking speed.  Bonneville is in Utah.  We stay in Wendover on the Nevada/Utah border.  Nothing but hotels and casinos!  No fabrics stores, no big box stores, no bead market and some fast foods with about six hotel/casinos!  I never went out to the salt but stayed in town and walked and observed people.  I read, did some coloring pages and my favorite relaxing Sashiko stitching.

Mr. C preparing our truck for the salt flats.  Spraying 4 large cans to the undercarriage of the truck.  Very messy!!!  I had the joy of mopping up the floor after the spraying.  YUCK!!!
An 8 hour drive to reach Wendover.

Mr. C took all these photos from the salt flats.  No less than four filming crews for this BUB International Motorcycle Meet.  Helicopters and cameras and lots of excitement.

Mr. C and his wind system ready to install along the 11 mile long course.  Salt is very hard and cannot be pounded into easily.  Drill, pound, drill, pound, soak with water and so on...

Seven of these stations along the 11 mile course.  Tough hard work!  These stations have more to them and then communicate with a tower and Mr. C's computer programs to read wind speed from both the mountain side and the highway side for riders to know every moment of their opportunities to make a run.

This is why you spray the undercarriage as the salt sticks and corrodes everything.  One guy at the gas station in town thought we had been four wheeling in the snow.  He was from out-of-town.

The Weather Station Tower.  As you can see the entire Salt Flats are very bleak and that is why I stayed away.  Hot!  Salty!  Windy!  Desolate!  Sun Beating Down!  Dirty!  Sticky!  Not for me.

People come from all over the world for this meet.  This classic Rolls Royce comes every year from British Columbia and pulls his motorcycle in a trailer behind the Rolls.  I met people from Finland, Australia, Japan and so many more places.  Amazing.  I also must say that this is not only for men and boys.  *The women were KILLING the records.  At the completion of the meet there was a party to honor everyone and the women out-numbered the men.  Truly amazing!!!

I mentioned windy.  This is the rain that comes up after the wind.  Over 6 inches fell in just one short few hours.  Of course the courses are closed and everyone waits and hopes for another day of perfect salt.

This is the BUB Streamliner.  Previous record holder at 367 mph.  They were trying for 400 but got stalled by the rain.  They did make a run of 323 but were stuck in 3rd gear.  The Streamliner is sitting on a four-wheeled cart.  It does not run on the four wheels...only the two wheels you can barely see.  The rider is the third from the right.  Mr. C is waving.  At this point they must pack up and return in a couple weeks hoping for better weather and speed.

Mr. C after a day of recovering his wind systems along the course.  Exhausted but happy I say.

Safely home after another 8 hour drive and about 1500 miles put on the truck.  The sprinkler is set under to loosen the salt.  A long process of moving and waiting.

Next the hose treatment.  Then the pressure washer I didn't photograph.  Three separate pressure washings over two days.  Then we had glorious rain that dumped 1 1/2 inches and helped clean the truck.  Now we have been home a week and the truck is still dumping clumps of salt on the driveway.  Thankfully we made it home just before our water pump bearings went out.  As we drove through that long lonely desert I was always saying my prayers as we passed others with their hoods up.  Little did I know how fortunate we were.  All repaired and thankfully the truck will be staying home with me.  No more salt for now.  Mr. C is heading to Bakersfield the car.
Thank you for your healing energy.  I am recovering.  Physical therapy and exercises are helping.  Seems like my Sciatic nerve got really angry and didn't like my long truck drive/rides or my walking so much in Wendover.  I am very thankful nothing worse is wrong.
Now to get into my studio and sewing room and have some real fun.  Leave the speed records for Bonneville Salt Flats and the others.  
I am embracing the beginning of Autumn.  Cooler nights and glorious days.  Bye Summer...I will miss you.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Behind & Backwards...

Today is a new beginning.  I accept this day and will honor it to my best ability.  As for my post title...I am so far behind that I feel I should simply start and work backwards.  To set the stage as to why I am so far behind I lost 9 days to a road trip I shall explain and post later.  Upon returning home I have now lost another 5 days to severe back and leg pain that is knocking me down.  Fortunately I am on the mend as Mr. C had a doctor appointment Tuesday AM that I was able to take.  Our wonderful GP took great care of me and I spent my day having a shot, going to Physical Therapy for treatment, the pharmacy for additional meds and the hospital for X-Rays.  What a day and my beloved husband, Mr. C, was right there supporting me and taking care of me.  Nothing major and nothing new...I have had this many times before but somehow this is the worst ever.  I know I will be fine but when the pain takes over my ability to walk, sit, stand, or recline I just simply get scared.  Today I have my "Big Girl" panties on and will take it very slowly and carefully.

While I was gone I celebrated my birthday.  On Tuesday I got another year older and now participate in Medi-Care.  Joy or be determined.   This lovely photo is a my attempt to show you the beautiful peacock colors and hand knit stitching by my dear friend Sandy.

Sandy knit me a beautiful neck muffler in my favorite colors.  I love this scarf as much as I love Sandy!  Thank you for being such a wonderful friend and for taking such good care of me.  Sandy has visited us here and knows just how cold it gets.  This neck muffler is also a head scarf which warms the ears.  So clever!

Another wonderful gift was waiting for me at the post office.  My dear pen pal, Dogwood, had emailed me not long ago to confirm my favorite color.  What a wonderful surprise to receive this uber cute shopping bag.  How clever to embellish a purchased boring bag with beautiful fabric, tatting lace and ribbons.  I adore this and will use it proudly.  Thank you bestest pen pal ever!
Now I am back to reality and doing some much needed laundry...slowly and carefully is my motto today.
Thank you each and every faithful follower for your lovely comments on my "borrowed computer" post.  I am now on my own computer and what a blessing.
September has arrived and we had the most glorious rain on Labor Day Monday.  We had approximately an inch and one half of rain.  The fires around us are now either out or getting close to complete containment.  The smoke is dissipated from our airspace and I am grateful.
I am hoping each of you are safe and enjoying this Summer to Fall transition.  And for my overseas friends your Winter to Spring transition.
Now to get back to creating...