Monday, March 31, 2014

March Ends...

As March comes to an end we are currently receiving snow from the heavens.  In California where our drought has been labeled "exceptional" we are desperate for any moisture.  The last several days we have gotten glorious rain and welcome it with glee.  Now it is snowing and so ethereally beautiful.  I stepped outside just after 7 pm PST and this is my view.  Stunning!

We are not supposed to get much snow.  More rain is predicted.  Thankfully the ski resorts above us are getting lots of snow and they are thankful even though it is late in the ski season for them.  For our water table this is a real blessing.

This lovely blue fabric wallet was made by Daryl of Patchouli Moon Studio.  She very generously offered give-aways to celebrate her six year Blogiversary and I won this.  Her sewing is amazing and this wallet is perfectly created.  I feel very blessed.  

Here is another view with the inside showing.  Daryl has included lots of card slots, a zippered section for change and the perfect space for either checkbook or coupons or love notes.  It also has a nice magnetic closure to keep everything safely contained.  Thank you sew very much Daryl for sharing your Creative Bliss with me.  I love the blue fabric she chose.  Blues are my heartthrob.

Here are some circles I prepared for those magic folded fabric ornaments I love.   I have been sending them to friends and family as little surprises.  Here is the link to my post on how to make them.  They are super easy to make.  The blue circle is actually some muslin that I created with fabric paint.  I needed just the right color and going to the fabric store was not an option.  Besides, when I go to the store I spend money and get distracted by shiny things.  I just might be a Magpie.  Spending money and buying more supplies does not fit in with my desire to "use what I have".  When you use what you have I believe it also allows you more creativity to alter or design on the fly and often times that works better.

Here is the folded fabric ornament all stitched.  Who knew a square comes from a circle?  I sent this to a blog friend who recently celebrated her birthday.  I included an extra piece of fabric as she loves to create and makes the most amazing things.  Have you guessed her name?  Terri of Artful Affirmations.  Tell her hello from me too when you visit please.
So as March comes to an end I am happy to say I am being a tiny bit creative.  I will share my progress on the Quilts of Valor blocks very soon.  Also tonight at midnight begins National Letter Writing Month of April.  I have been very busy with this.  I am seeing via FaceBook that this year's participants are very serious about sending and receiving mail.  Yikes!  I must really get busy.  After my post on NLWM I have some people who want to join in the fun next year since this year was closed at 137 participants.  Then along came the birthday list...and the children/grandchildren list...Oh Dear!  The post office ought to honor us for supporting them so well.  Alas, my local postal clerk never heard of NLWM.  Boy will he be surprised when the mail volume is ramped up beginning tonight!
What are you creating?  Easter is coming and I am seeing some wonderful inspirations for decorating and cooking.  Do you have any special traditions you honor?
I am very grateful for all of my followers and welcome to my newest followers.  I love to read your comments and they even help me in my creative journey of life.  Thank you sincerely.
Joyful Creative Bliss...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Catching Up Creatively...

This post will be a catching up with some of my recent happenings.  This fabric tray is made from a practice quilt block I made.  Suzanne McNeill has a video (click on her name) and book to make 10 minute blocks and I just had to try them.  I really liked the block but it just sat around my studio for months.  I had no more fabric to match and there it sat.  Not one to dispose of something creative I kept looking at it.  After my recent try at fabric boxes and trays I decided my block would be perfect for a tray.  This first one I used muslin for the outer fabric.

Here is another 10 minute block I had made.  Why make one you have no reason to make when you can simply make two?!  I really like this tray with the fun outer fabric.  The placement of the block center inside the tray allows it to be seen...well until it gets filled with stuff.  What do you do with practice or sample pieces that are perfectly good?

My friend Lindsay, Creator of Cuteness designs stamps for Rubbermoon.  I received my order in speedy haste and look at the very cute little pin they included.  I will definitely buy from this company again.

This is the stamp I bought.  I am not showing a very good photo of it here.  I will be using it in some of my NLWM mail during April.

My dear blogging friend Judy who resides in Australia is such a kind and generous soul.  She and I have shared creative bliss many times over the years now.  I recently received a surprise package from her.  If you do not follow her blog just click on her name to visit.  She makes incredible and lovely art pieces.  Her heart is made of gold and she supports numerous charities with her sewing projects.  I love you Judy.

This lovely tag is in the Fall colors as we are experiencing Spring (I am sorry so many of you are still freezing and snowed in) here in California, Judy is having Autumn in Australia.

Judy excels in fabric, fibers, lace and stitching.  This is a postcard with her hand painted kitty face and beautiful fiber adornments.  Judy knows how much I adore kitties.  This is absolutely purr-fect.

The back of the post card is embossed.  Simply lovely.  Thank you Judy.  There just might be something heading your way soon.  I adore our sharing of creative bliss.
As I am typing this we are finally having some rain.  A nice steady rain all day with more on the way.  Spring and Sunshine have been lovely however water is the staff of life and we are still having our "exceptional" drought.  We need a lot of rain thank you.  I do hope our sunshine has moved to you who have had way too much snow and freezing temperatures.  I was taught to share and I am more than happy to do so.
With March coming to a close quite quickly what are you planning for April?  Do you make and decorate for Easter?  Last year it was so early and this year we have some time to enjoy it before it is over.  April brings lots of birthdays of family and friends.  Mr. C will be having his birthday this month.  No big far.
Let's be Creative and Joyful...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

National Letter Writing Month is April...

This is something I have participated in over past years.  I still have my original pen friend and we still swap mail all through the months of the year.  This year it has grown...a lot.  Miss Lindsay is our fearless leader and bless her for organizing all of this.  I believe we have over 130 participants this year alone.

I have been very busy creating lots of assorted items to mail.  We only have to mail to our swap pen friend. However many of us mail to many...if not all...of the participants.

I am not one to sit and make cards but I must say it was fun to gather my supplies and put things together. I did enjoy the treasure hunt in my studio and found lots of goodies for mailing.

I spent lots of time cutting out ATCs and post cards.  I tried using some cereal and cracker boxes but discovered the work involved is not time smart.  We will see how successful any of this will be.  I have gathered and rolled change in order to buy extra stamps.  NLWM after all was begun by the post office to earn more postage sales.  It worked!  Now the carriers get to work extra.  At least they will be very entertained with all the amazing clever and creative Happy mail.

Yesterday we received our lists of pen friend and everyone involved.  Lindsay is "The Creator of Cuteness" and created the adorable post card she mailed notifying me of my specific pen friend.  This postcard (bottom left) is ready for me to color.  How cute is this?!?  Thank you Lindsay.  I also want to thank Lilli who has helped organize all the chaotic names and addresses.  Lilli is clear across the coasts and did a lot of electronic helping.  I gave Lindsay a big hug today when I saw her.  She needs an extra Happy Mail in her mail box!  This photo is showing my attempt at being organized and ready to send out lots of mail to surprise pen friends.  My Tinkerbell bucket holds each of the participants names and addresses so that I might select one at random whenever possible.  This is going to be such fun!!!
We are clearly having Spring weather and it is beautiful.  However...we desperately still need rain!  Lots of rain!  Our "exceptional" drought is certainly not gone.  I am wishing Sunshine and Warmth for all who are still having snow and ice.  Crazy weather across the country.  I am enjoying our extended daylight which allows me more energy personally.  I feel like I still have time in my day to be productive.
I must admit my time has been spent on NLWM 2014 and I have not done much in my studio or sewing room.  I was sew excited to get my Pfaff Sew La Te Da back and here I am at my computer.  Soon I will share a small project I sewed.  What are you creating?  Do you like the extended daylight and get more done?  Joyful Bliss to all...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sew Happy in Sewville...

Yes!  I am Sew Happy in Sewville!  I was able to pick up Pfaff Sew La Te Da Saturday afternoon.  I am like a kid in a candy store...and I love candy!  Of course now I have my sewing machine back and got it plugged in and find zero time to sit and sew.  Go figure as that is why we are flexible in life.
This photo shows the five pillowcases I mailed today to the Pillowcase Project.   I don't normally duplicate them however I had the perfect fabric for two identical cases and it worked nicely.  I wish you could feel how very soft this vintage fabric is.  I sew want those little children in the hospital to rest their heads comfortably and be able to get well quickly and completely.

As I shared on this previous post this is one of the vintage ATCs I created and sent to Kimberly for swapping.  I always enjoy Kimberly's ATC swaps and signed up to participate in the most recent.  Pink, Black and Bling is what I am currently working on.  No sneak peaks yet as I am just beginning them and I tend to create as I go along.  I begin with an idea but then I let it flow as I go.  How do you create yours?

I received these Vintage ATCs and each one is wonderful.  Thank you to M. Buisset (top left), Karla (top center), Kimberly (top right) and Dawn (bottom).  I adore each one.

This is a close up of the tiny little charm tag Kimberly made using Shrink Art.  "She is an Artist" is just such a sweet and appropriate charm for each of the ATC swap participants.  Kimberly always goes the extra mile and does something wonderful for each person.  Thank you dear!
I am very grateful for each and everyone of my followers.  Thank you for thinking enough of my postings to comment and to visit over and over again.  I am humbled by such wonderful compliments on my hair photos I shared.
The days are running their own speedy marathon and I am having a slow time of keeping up.  Our weather has been Spring glorious and continuing our California "exceptional" drought.  For all of you still snow covered and ice frozen I hope you have Spring and warmer weather very soon.  The calendar says Spring will be this week.  I hope Mother Nature agrees for so many of you still experiencing Winter. Mr. C and I have been working on the property to rake and gather fallen limbs and debris and leaves and pine needles to keep a clear fire break.  I can't imagine our small efforts would be any help in a forest fire however we always do what we can to feel safer.  And just like cleaning house everything just feels better afterwards. A few pain relievers and an Epsom Salts tub soak helps us feel better too.
Now lets make beautiful and creative and fun things.  Creative Bliss is my Joy.  What is your Joy?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sewing Machine Update...

I truly love my Pfaff Sew La Te Da sewing machine.  Before it got a broken thread lost in the inner works I was busy sewing zippered pouches to put in my gift cupboard. These are the last two I finished.  I really like the home decor fabrics I am using.  I lined these with solid fabric.

Here is my beaded zipper pull I like to include.  It makes the zipper easier to maneuver from side to side. The ribbon tab gives something to hold when zipping open or closed.

As it turned out I sewed one pouch with the zipper on the left and one with the zipper on the right.  They both work either way.  When I add the beaded charm I use a split ring for safety as they don't come open as easily as a regular jump ring and get lost.

Here are the two ready for gift giving.  With the quilting and fusible fleece interfacing they are quite sturdy and would easily protect an e-reader or small computer. I like them for small stitching projects when traveling or awaiting appointments.  All supplies are kept nicely together and these fit into a purse or bag.

This is before stitching.  All cut out and ready to assemble.  I actually have a new set of two in this stage awaiting the return of my machine.  I called for an update and nothing had been touched.  Ten days gone!  Why is it we always miss and want what we don't have?!!  I did sew something on my old Singer but it was so slow and archaic that I am willing to wait to sew anything fine with fabric.  Paper and waxie bags and anything crafty I don't mind using it for.  Pfaff Sew La Te Da...
Mr. C and I have spent two days outside working in the yard.  One day was weeding and trimming on the front slope which is very difficult to work on.  Our ground is nice and wet and soft so it was the perfect time to get the heavy weeds out.  We have some sort of vine that takes over and has to be eradicated or it chokes out the good plants.  Today we did lots of fire safe clearing of broken and fallen limbs and leaves and pine needles.  Today was a burn day so that is what we did.  I personally do not like burn days or piles but sometimes they are necessary.  We stopped short because the wind came up and was very erratic.  Mr. C made certain he completely put out the fire.
Nothing creative here...unless you count how I trim and rake and pull weeds with artistic abandon. LOL
Welcome my new followers and as always thank you all for your comments my faithful long time followers.  I was very overwhelmed with how nice all the comments were about my hair.  Thank You Sincerely.
Happy St. Patrick's Day soon and enjoy all the green celebrating.  Happy Spring and Happy Autumn around the world.  May you be blissful and creative making all that is joyful...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Three Year Haircut...

It is not like me to post personal photos however this time I am. I have always been very happy with my hair and the way God created me.  In my younger years I colored it everything from dark black to blond.  I never bleached my hair so it remained in good condition.  But after many years of Loreal I never achieved the Heather Locklear cute sexy look that Mr. C loved so much.  As I aged I decided to grow it out and let the natural color show itself.  I wore it far too short several times through the years and it really never was "me".
So about three years ago I just stopped getting it cut.  This is the result.  I have very thick and heavy hair.

Over the holidays into the new year Mr. C kept saying my hair was too fly-away.  Yes, it had a lot of static with wind and coats in the cold.  It made me start thinking that maybe it was time to get it cut.  I even measured it to see if it was long enough for Locks of Love.  Yes, however they don't want "grey" hair.
I dropped in to see my previous hair dresser (Marye) whom I always adored and she was very sweet.  I made an appointment for the last day of February.  I cannot believe how nervous I was.  I studied hairstyles online and printed out lots of pictures.  I dug through old photos of me and took them along too.

In the end this is me with my new haircut and style!  I love it.  In this photo my hair is still wet.  My hairdresser was amazed at how great the condition of my hair was in after three years of only me tending to it.  No split ends and not dried out frizz.  Yay!    So this is the cut with my naturally wavy/curly hair left to air dry.  That is the secret to my good condition...I try to never blow dry or as they call it...blow fry my hair.

I can honestly say Marye did exactly what I wanted and what my hair needed.  The longest she cut off was about six inches and the majority was about 2 inches in length cut off.

I am able to have my long hair and enjoy it.  My mother had long hair for many many years.  I can't say Mr. C was overwhelmed as he expected some fabulous hairstyle that just isn't me.  I never spend time on my hair any more than I have to.  High maintenance is not my style for anything.
Thank you for indulging me sharing something not involving fabric, beads, buttons, lace or fun stuff.
Today was gorgeous weather and we went for a walk along the water canal.  Tomorrow is supposed to be more rain and I say yay!  Our water canal is barely flowing with only a few inches and should be a few feet.
Enjoying friends and food and life.  I love reading your comments and seeing what you are busy doing. Creative Bliss to all...

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ATCs & Quilts of Valor...

Here are my ATCs for Kimberly's ArtJoyStuff swap.  I used vintage sewing pattern directions for my background.  Then I used vintage buttons, safety pins, snaps, fasteners, needles, lace and thread to embellish each ATC.  Many of these vintage supplies were from my Grandma's sewing basket.  Hard for me to use up but happy to share with others who are creative.

I hope the swappers like my vintage theme.  I had fun putting these together.

Then I stitched a little pocket folder out of the pattern directions to enclose each ATC.  Using another vintage safety pin to close the end.  The little safety pins I have had since the popularity of beading them and making necklaces, bracelets or earrings.  Well, if you are too young to remember this trend I will share something one of these days.  Yes, I still have one of the necklaces Grandma and I made.  Very Vintage!

Okay, last night I was blog surfing and read Connie's Freemotion By The River post.  As I read it through it caught me and I knew I would have to participate.  Thank you Connie for sharing this QOV need.   I am over-committed yet I just felt that I had to research it further.  So off to Kevin the Quilter blog for details.  Hmmm...the purpose of the block drive is right for my heart.  It fits my 2014 "giving" purpose.  I read and re-read until I convinced myself that I can definitely sew these simple blocks of fabric and mail them to Kevin.  He will be doing the hard work.  I marched upstairs and told Mr. C that I need my sewing machine back from service and I need to buy some solid fabrics.  His only question was, "You don't have fabric?"  My reply, "Not solid fabrics in these colors!".  Once I filled in the need Mr. C was totally understanding and knows I will be participating without a doubt.  I couldn't sleep until after 4 am for trying to figure out how much fabric I need for the block pieces.  This morning Mr. C figured out my yardage and cutting lines for me.  I notified Kevin that I will be sending blocks for QOV...Quilts of Valor.  Kevin emailed me with huge gratitude.  Now I ask any of you (sorry no International) reading this blog...if you sew at all and want to make these simple blocks for such a worthy cause please visit the links I have included.  Pfaff Sew La Te Da will be very busy when she comes home.
Winter is staying with us as we have wet drizzly weather every day now.  No complaints here!  For all who are snowed in and Polar Vortex frozen I wish you Sunshine and Spring.  For England I wish you dry weather so your floods will subside.
I love being creative with paper, fabric, and all my wonderful supplies.  Feeling Blessed Everyday...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Yellow Spring Swap...

Many of you know how much I love blogging.  I find such amazing and interesting pursuits.  Recently I found A Swap For All Seasons and wanted to learn more about their monthly swaps.  I contacted Linda and learned how I could sign up to participate.  March was my very first time.  The theme was Yellow and Spring.  In Linda's swaps you send to one person and receive from a different person.  Hmmm...
So, with the theme in mind I created my required card and tag as you see in the first photo.

Here is some of my yellow themed ephemera I included in my swap package.  Yes, I painted the mailing envelope bright yellow.

I also included some yellow glitter foam and yellow scrapbook papers.  I also like to add some postcards that represent my home ground.  I sent this package to Linda of Lambsworld.  I was very nervous hoping she would like my first attempt in this swap.  I am happy to say she did.

Susie of South City Hues sent me her package of Yellow Spring Bliss.  I was excited to open this envelope with the sweet Spring flower on the front.  Inside were two envelopes of Yellow Spring happiness.

This is the card and tag Susie created and gifted me with.  I love them both.  She put a lot of time into each.

Here is the fabulous yellow ephemera she included.  I am sorry about the photo but you can see how fun all the elements are.  A tag book, teeny tiny little bird eggs, buttons, ribbon, lace, slides, paper bird and flower and the intricate folded flower.  Thank you very much Susie.  I adore everything!
Not surprising I have signed up for the April swap.  Theme of Mother's Day and Peach.  I better get busy.
I am happy to report that we are having rain.  Lots of rain.  It has been raining for days.  We even had a couple of lightening and thunder storms.  The lightening was the brightest, whitest that I have ever seen.  Some of it was very very close and there was no delay in the thunder clapping.  Fortunately no damage to big trees or structures here.  A big sigh of relief for certain.
March has come in like a lion and is roaring loudly.  Let it rain for we still need so much water.
Mr. C and I took a quick get-a-way to Sacramento.  We stayed in an historic old hotel.  Visited the traveling Viet Nam Memorial Wall at the Capital grounds.  Of course we ate really well.  I had French Macarons for the very first time at Estelle's Patisserie.  We dined at The Grange and I highly recommend it as a very fine dining experience with amazing delicious food.  It was a nice time even with the rain and winds.  Always nice to return safely home.
We also delivered my sewing machine to the repair shop and it will be about three weeks.  They did try to untangle the thread but it will require an entire dismantling and service to get it done.  Maybe I will get some house chores done this week.  Of course I will also spend time in the paper department creating.  What will you be doing this week?  Let's make beautiful things and be joyful...