Friday, November 29, 2013

Q-Snap Frame...

Do you like to follow lots of varied blogs?  I do because I never know what I will be inspired to attempt to create.  Do you follow Sew We Quilt with Madamm Samm?  She is amazing and puts together blog hops like I have never seen before.  I recently followed one of her fun hops and she notified me that I had won a Q-Snap Frame.  I was thrilled.  In less than a week I received my frame in the mail.  Here is is assembled. This was super easy to put together.  It is very lightweight and easy to handle.  I have yet to put fabric in it to test my embroidery skills and will be doing that right after the holidays which are trampling me right now.

Here is the Q-Snap Frame as shipped in a simple padded envelope.  If you need a gift for a stitcher I would recommend these for certain.  I read lots of reviews and everyone was favorable.  I am including the link for your convenience.

Here is the frame in package.  How simple yet how smart.  I like this very much.  Thank you Madamm Samm for your wonderful blog hops and gifts galore.  I feel very fortunate indeed.  I am enjoying this latest hop "Black Tie Boogie".  Such talented and creative participants in your fabulous hops dear.

Here is another dress form pin cushion with some beaded pins adorning her.  I hope the recipient likes the colors.  I picked them especially just for her.

And one more I completed.  I am able to check off a few names on my gift list.  Feeling better each day as I stitch and stuff and embellish and bead.  I love creating gifts tailored to each person.  I do have a few items to shop for however you will not find me out at any malls or major stores this weekend.  Instead I will be home creating and making.  I will also be attending some local artisan craft fairs to support local artisan craft people who make wonderful things.  I prefer to shop local and help my fellow crafters.
Even though Thanksgiving is in the past I shall continue to be grateful for my blessings.  I am still doing my good deeds everyday and you would be amazed at how often people just don't get it.  I have to tell them, "Please don't spoil my good deed I am trying to do."  I don't think some have even heard of doing good deeds.  Kindness is such an easy trait to share with others.  May there be more kindness in our world.
Our weather continues to be warmer than normal and very dry.  I shall be doing some hand watering of plants outdoors so they don't dry up and perish.
Safe keeping as you go about your holiday busy-ness.  Joyful creating as you decorate your homes and make or bake your gifts.  Peace and Bliss...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Toast...

Here's a toast to Happy Thanksgiving.  
This has been a very trying year yet I feel very blessed and thankful.  
May each of you feel gratitude for what is important in life.
Blessings to all...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bird Nest Cone...

Oh how can it be such a very short amount of days until Christmas?  My lists are long and time is short. Thankfully I have been able to spend time in my studio and check off an item or two.  When you have a gift to make do you begin with an idea or a sketch or a pattern or maybe something else?  Do you follow your original plan or do you "wing" it as you go along?  This bird nest cone is one of those gifts that was in my head for months but never clear as to how I would create it.  I gathered supplies and they sat on the table.  I would add or subtract from the lot and there they would sit.  I never had the right inspiration...until...
I just began my project and it came together from entirely different components.  Nothing at all like I had in my mind.  This is my best way to create.  I let the gift speak to me and determine how it wants to come together.

I am so pleased with how this turned out.  Even Mr. C was liking it and that is rare.  I used lots of fibers, laces, ribbons and my special hand sewn origami bird.  What do you think of the finished gift?  I am hoping the recipient will be very pleased as well.  This bird nest cone is due to take flight to its new home very soon.

While sorting through my supplies (insert "STUFF") I found this Christmas card I made years ago.  The envelope has a .63 cent stamp on it to include the extra hand cancel postage so this tells you it was a while ago.  I hand made the fabric beads and then formed the tree using the beads and embellishment beads.  A snowflake bead for the topper.  Some inking around the edges and off to friends and family that year.  Mr. C saw this on my table the other day and said, "That is a lot of work and no one will appreciate it."  I understand he is probably right however that never stops me from spending inordinate amounts of time making and sharing my joy of creating.  I am always drawn to the unique and hand made from the heart gifts. I believe my time and creativity is part of the gift I am giving.  Money and store bought do not always give from the heart.  I treasure making something special for someone.
We have had rain and then very strong gale force winds for several days.  Today was hours of raking up pine needles and debris into piles.  Tomorrow we will load the truck and deliver them to the county landfill. It is time consuming and labor intensive and expensive but necessary.  A huge pine tree fell across the roadway and took out phone lines but no one was injured.  We did have a struggle getting home around the road blockage but managed to drive around the cones from the top after trying the bottom of the road.  It was dark and we had no idea what was closing our street.  Power was out for several hours too. Thankfully all is well.  More rain is expected for Thanksgiving.
I have much to be thankful and grateful for...Family, Friends, Food, Shelter and my Loving Husband.  May you each have a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving.  Blessings to all...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Elf Shoes Bribe...

With the days flying by so quickly I need serious help.  I have been hoping for some elves to appear and speed up my production in the studio and sewing rooms.  None ever come to my rescue.  So...I decided that I needed to bribe them with little elf shoes so their feet don't get cold in my mountain home.

With felt and crochet thread and needle I got busy.  I was only going to make two shoes.  I ended up giving those to Sisty when she was here visiting.  I kept making them as they are portable and easy to work on when waiting for appointments.  I admit the first one took way too long.  My blanket stitch skills were very rusty.  Once I got in the rhythm they just multiplied.

Thank you to my friend Judy of jfabrications blog.  Some time ago she sent me this pattern and I set it aside.  In sorting through a stack I recently found it and decided it is time to make these.  My Grandma used to make some very similar so I like the connection.

Here is a shoe cut out and ready for stitching.  The toe can be decorated with a simple pom-pom or a small jingle bell.  I did think of beading some but have to realize my limitations of time.  Maybe next year.  Do you think I can bribe some elves to come and help me with my lists of projects?
Last night and today we got some rain sprinkles.  It wasn't the good soaking we were hoping for but it is some moisture and will at least give the trees and plants a good drink.
Prayers and Healing Energy for all affected in the horrific tornadoes that did so much destruction.
This is still November and I am truly grateful for so many, friends and health.  The ability to spend my days enjoying life and being creative is such a blessing.  I am thankful.
Creative Happy Hearts...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Stitching & Daughter Visited...

Working on Christmas gifts.  This is a dress form style pin cushion complete with some beaded pins.  I have an angel on her shoulder and a heart for her.  She sits on a little glass pedestal filled with beads.  I am pretty certain the recipient will like her.

My wonderful daughter came to visit. Yes, I am getting shorter through the years however she is wearing 6 inch heels.  I hadn't seen her in over a year and she hadn't been to our home in seven years.  Long overdue to spend time here in this beautiful area.

She drove over 500 miles and arrived in her little red "sleigh".

 Mr. C took her for a ride in his beautiful black sleigh.  She had never gotten to ride in it.  They had fun!

Reflecting by the pond.  Mr. C has been doing leaf duty for days.  After all it is still Fall.

This is one of my favorite photos during her short stay.  Mr. C and Jenifer taking a walk checking out the property and enjoying our lovely surroundings.

My Grandma made the best gravy and I loved eating it on biscuits, mashed potatoes or whatever.  I didn't learn how to make it but my daughter learned from her Great Grandma and loves to make gravy.  It takes lots of time and patience and everyone in the family loves her gravy.  She made a huge batch for us while she was here.  I was drinking gravy, licking the spoons, smothering my mashed potatoes and my meatloaf. YUMMY in my tummy.  Thank you honey for making it and once again trying to teach me how.

We did some shopping while she was here.  Her passenger seat was overflowing.  She later told me the jingle bell on the snowman nearly drove her crazy driving home as it jingled over every bump and turn for the entire 500 plus miles.

We barely saved enough room for her to be able to sit and drive home.  The trunk was completely full too. It was a short visit but we made the most of it and spent quality time together.  I am so thankful she was able to come here.  She said she had been wanting to give Mr. C a big hug ever since his trauma accident the first day of summer.  I am a lucky mom to have such a wonderful daughter.
It is getting colder and the trees are almost bare branched.  We are desperate for rain.  So far no rain for us and no snow for the ski resorts to open.  We shall see what the next few weeks hold in store.
I am stealing snippets of time to be in my studio and sewing room.  There are such few days until Christmas and gift giving begins long before that as get-togethers happen and packages must be mailed.  I really am not prepared but I will somehow rise to the challenge that comes every year.
This year I am hoping to fully enjoy each and every magical moment of the holiday season.  I have already begun my joy of giving to the guy playing guitar outside the post office, the helpful man at the landfill, and those less fortunate who are at least trying to help themselves.  What are you going to focus on enjoying? May you create wonderful memories to treasure.  Peace and Joy to all...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Roses, Lavender, Cloves...

When I last posted I shared how I dry my rose petals and save them.  Now I am showing you what I do with them.  I take a large zip bag and add dried lavender buds to the rose petals.  In another bag I add cloves...whole and crushed to rose petals.  My sister and her daughter are allergic to lavender so that is how I began using cloves and I love the smell.  I let those "marry" for a few weeks and get the scent incorporated throughout the rose petals.  I do not use oils as sometimes they can overpower and they can also stain other fabrics they may get in touch with.

Here is what I have been making with my delicious potpourri.  Sachets.  I like using tulle for the actual potpourri vessel.  It holds the contents really well.  For the clove mixture that I added more powdery cloves to I simply doubled the tulle.  After sewing three sides of the cut tulle together  I fill it with petals and then stitch the end closed.  After that I cover in lace which allows the potpourri to still show.

I have decorated the lace with small buttons that I hand sew on.  I have also used vintage pearls and beads on some but didn't photograph them.  Time dilemma you know...

For my bows I like to use seam binding.  My favorite is from Zipperstop.  Click on the link to visit their site and find amazing things you will want to add to your crafting and sewing supplies.  The seam binding is very easy to color and while it is damp you scrunch it all up and enclose very tightly in little baggies.  I let mine settle for a few days to get all happy.

Here are my little bundles of happy seam binding all colored and dry.  If you are in a hurry you can dry them with a blow dryer.  Just keep scrunching them to get the ruffled effect.  Or just use ribbon or flat seam binding as your embellishment.

Here is an assortment that I recently made.  I like giving them as gifts.  I was going to be part of a holiday boutique and sell some but that won't be happening for me this year.  Maybe next year if I plan ahead better.

Sachets made with roses from my garden and stitched with love.  Safe to add to your drawers or pretty enough to leave out and enjoy.  Hope you are inspired to make some for your holiday or birthday gift giving. Once all supplies are gathered they are a joy to make.
Our weather is still fairly nice.  No rain or snow yet we desperately need the water.  We had some clouds that merely teased us all day but never let any rain fall.  With darkness arriving so much earlier I feel like I can't get much done.  My body is very tired without sunshine.  I am a Summer girl and need that wonderful sunshine energy.  Lamp bulbs are not the same thing as real sunshine.
Days are sprinting past and I am wondering how my lists are coming along.  Maybe I should get off my computer and check them.  I could seriously spend all day blog hopping and catching up with creative peeps. Do you have to limit yourself computer wise?  Lately I must do chores or craft in order to earn time on my computer.  Sounds silly but I am such a child and my incentive "bribing" is working for me.
Lovely last days of Fall to all.  May you be happily creating to your heart's content.  Creative Bliss Dears...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Roses, Fresh & Dried...

Mr. C and I both love roses.  We have become very fond of them and are growing many in our garden after he fenced out the deer.  I have no photos of the garden this year.  Mr. C and I just spent two very long days pruning them further back than ever before and I seriously hope they survive the winter cold and snow.

We have had profusions of blossoms all summer long and have enjoyed them with their beautiful special rose scents.  After we have gotten all the enjoyment out of the fresh blossoms I dry the petals.  The colors are amazing.

I have dried roses in all colors and sizes displayed in various rooms.  They remind me of celebrations and special loving moments.  Not all are from our garden.  Some are long stemmed florist bouquets.

Here is a tray of dried petals.  See how brilliant the colors remain?  Not much of the scent remains however.

Here is another tray of petals and blossoms that I am saving for some creative projects.  The blossoms are rather fragile so I shall need to be careful with them.

Here is another vase of dried roses.  They look rather sad in this photo however in real life they are very beautiful and I truly enjoy them.

Here is another basket of dried roses.  All of these are from this year's blooms.  I have these in my laundry room.  What a luxury to view while doing chores. are dried rose petals and lavender buds.  Looks like they are combining together.  Next post I'll show you more...
Welcome to my new followers.  I am blessed to have many followers and each of you are very important.  I really enjoy reading your comments.
Creative Happy Hearts...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sashiko Table Topper...

Can you see the huge grin on my face?  The feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that I have is pure bliss.  I have shared with you my Sashiko piece I stitched in this post before.  I also shared with you in a previous post how I was practicing sewing a mitered border.  Well I am very happy to report that I have completed my Sashiko Table Topper and even though it is not perfect (perfection being something I struggle with) I am beyond pleased.  I took my unfinished Sashiko piece to our local Ben Franklin and consulted with Linnea and Francis in the fabric department.  Linnea wisely selected this Japanese Crane fabric which compliments perfectly.  I got lots of compliments on my stitching which made me feel very proud.

Here is the backside of the topper showing the Japanese Crane fabric.  I added the small strip border of red because we have a red firestove in this room and two red leather chairs.  I like the pop of color the red adds to the topper.  Mr. C really liked my finished piece.  He is amazed at the amount of time and work I put into this and that nobody would ever appreciate it.  Not true...when Mr. C likes it and compliments me on something I make that is all the appreciation I need!

Here is my Sashiko Table Topper sitting on my very favorite table with my lovely Tiffany style dragonfly lamp.  Oh the pride I feel when seeing this set up.  I am a very happy girl.

Here is my beloved Karges table and chairs and an antique leather two deck playing card box.  This is my spot just for me.  Funny story on the table and chairs.  Before Mr. C and I were married (we are do-overs) we were shopping for furniture for our new home here.  This table and chairs I knew nothing about just called me and I fell in love with them.  Mr. C's interior designer invited me to sit in one of the chairs.  While I was sitting and feeling very special she told us the history of this set.  They resided in a private library in a home on Lido Isle and now they are for sale.  Well...not only did I fall in love with the table and chairs (even though they had different fabric on them then) I absolutely love Lido Isle which is near Newport Beach where we used to live.  It was always an extremely upscale place and my Grandmother's Aunt Flossie used to live there.  Ms. interior designer is still talking to Mr. C and I am dreaming of living on Lido Isle with this exact table and chairs...when I hear Mr. C say to me, "Don't FART in that chair!" " It costs $5,000 just for the chair. "  OMG I couldn't stand up quick enough.  I was so embarrassed to hear him say that (a lady does not fart) and I was so shocked at the price I didn't even want to be near that chair.  This was 18 years ago and that was a lot of money.  So now you can see why I am so fortunate to own this Karges table and chairs.  Mr. C surprised me with them and had them recovered in blue fabric which I adore.  The little leather card case was Aunt Flossie's so I feel extra special.  I made the table topper smaller than the table top because I didn't want to hide the leather and gold edgings.  I finished my project and am very happy.
November is here and I don't know how it will be possible but the days will pass even faster.  Someone keeps posting how many days until Christmas and each time I see it I wince.  I am going to slow down and embrace each and every day and enjoy all that I can.
Creative Happy Hearts to all of my followers and readers.  I appreciate each of you so very much.
This is the month that I really focus on what I am thankful for.  There is so much and I am so grateful...