Friday, January 30, 2015

Clean Slate Sewing Room...

As January 2015 comes to a close I do have something to show for three days of my January.  My sewing room had become such a clutter filled mess I honestly could not see any flat surface for all the piles of projects and fabrics, laces, ribbons and anything else that could be stacked upon.
Even the triple closet was overflowing with stuff.  Where to begin was my dilemma.  So I began with the closet and took out everything.  I found a floor and walls that I hadn't seen in years.  Who knew?

I also found some very interesting frames I forgot I had purchased along the way.  Now the closet is neat and clean and organized.  No photos as I forgot to take those because I was so focused on clearing and sorting and de-cluttering.  I worked non-stop for three full days and now I am happy to say my room is just right again.  I even got the ladder and emptied all the shelves and cleaned and organized my "dust collectors" as Mr. C calls them.  And he is right...there was a lot of dust on them.

I do know how very fortunate I am to have such a luxury space all to myself for sewing.  I remember long ago when I was much younger and had no money.  My only creative space was a tiny little wall hung drop-lid desk that was about the size of a large breadbox.  I painted it bright yellow and put lots of contact paper stick on flowers...after all it was the hippie era.

This room and all the contents really make me happy.  I love to sew and find it very rewarding and relaxing...unless I make a mistake and have to un-stitch and begin again.  I have my wonderful Pfaff sewing machine, my mother's original Baby Lock Serger (yes it is the four threads that MUST be threaded in sequence!) and my old Singer (Japanese plastic model) that I now use for sewing paper and cardstock.  Having each machine out and ready is such a help.  There were years when my only machine had to live in a hall linen closet and could only come out for specific sewing tasks only to be put away again so the only table could be used for dining or paying bills.  How do we get so lucky to have numerous tables and desks and other pieces of furniture that do only one specific thing with no multi-purposing?

I have shared my sewing room here on my blog before and nothing has really changed.  This time I am sharing a fresh clean slate for beginning my sewing projects I have in mind for this year.  These two frames are my view of many gifted items from blogging friends.  These are all from very early on when I was truly amazed that people I didn't even know would share their wonderful handmades with me.  I cherish every piece I have ever been gifted.  I'll share other displays in future posts.
Thank you for indulging my little piece of heaven and for letting me share my joy of working hard to clean and organize.  Oh and did you see my corner window view?  Mr. C built all this beautiful cabinetry (we purchased the Koala Sewing Cabinet)  and window seating for me.
No rain or snow and our 2015 January is the worst ever for precipitation according to the weather gurus.  I am savoring every precious drop of water I use each day.
How will you spend your February?  Hopefully in Creative Bliss...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Disintegrating Paper Repairs...

I truly never quite know what Mr. C will bring to my studio and plop down on the table and say, "What do you have to ...?"  Well honestly I love it when he does this because it means our two creative worlds come together and we collaborate.  Do you have any idea what this black thing is? Well...

Here is a better view.   Now do you know what this item is?  This is the Glove Box from our 1969 Rambler American.  Mr. C is putting the dash board back together and this part is literally  falling apart. It is some sort of black paper/poster board that is very old and brittle and dirty.  Together we had to save this relic.

With trusty black duct tape and Aleene's Tacky glue we put it back together and hopefully it will last another 45 years or so.  Mr. C was able to squeeze it back into the surrounding dash board and so far it is holding its own.  I do realize I have not shared much of Mr. C's project he has been working on and I will do so for certain.  It has been quite the journey.

Last year I participated in several of Kim's ArtJoyStuff ATC swaps.  I was so happy with each and every one of them that when I saw her newest for 2015 I jumped at the chance to join in.  Kim is the most organized hostess and always includes such a wonderful surprise gift with each swap.  Thank you Kim Dear.

Here are my Parisian Beauties for swapping.  I had fun working with matte board, fabric, feathers, laces and rhinestones.  I do hope the recipients like them.
We have been having Summer-like weather.  Of course I love warmer days and lots of sunshine...however this is so not good for our drought conditions.  Maybe we need to seed some clouds as rain dances and prayers don't seem to be helping much.
I am seeing lots of Valentine inspiration and realize that all too quickly January 2015 will be completed and in the history books.  I must admit I have already been creating some cards and ATCs for mailing.  I have also been working on a couple of swaps due in February and will share them later.  Staying busy and creative is at the forefront for me right now. I am truly enjoying Creative Bliss and wish the very same for each of you.  I am grateful for your visits and comments.  This blogging community is Creative Bliss...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Beginning Stitchery Basics...

I have been following a wonderful blog named elefantz written and shared by the very talented Jenny. Jenny has begun 2015 as "A Year of Gentle Domesticity" and this really spoke to me.  In my quest of enjoying every day to the fullest I am joining Jenny in her monthly stitchery subscription and swap. Well...hesitantly I must say as my embroidery skills are very rusty and I left them back in the 70's with flowers and peace signs and the "hippy" movement.  Back then I stitched on everything...shirts, jeans, blouses, hankies...nothing was spared.

I found my light box and got busy.  Did I have the "right" but that didn't stop me.  I traced one of Jenny's patterns I received in my monthly Stitchery program subscription.  What a treat!

Here I have completed my tracing and I do believe it looks rather like the pattern.  Good news.

Then I ironed on the stabilizer in preparation for stitching with needle and thread.  What?  Really? How could I do that?  "Did I do that?"  (I can hear Urkel saying it to this day!)

Drat!  I immediately tried to pull off the warm stabilizer.  No such luck.  I had ironed it onto the front side of my pattern instead of the backside.  How did I do that?  No saving this piece.  Seems I need to pay much better attention to what I am doing.

Okay here I am tracing the pattern once again.  This time I now have a much smarter pen to use.  It has a finer line.

Here it is all ready to iron on the stabilizer to the BACKside.

Success!  I finally have needle and thread bringing this to life.  I will share the finished project at a later time.  Do you embroider?  Do you have any hints or tips for me?  I am definitely ready for any updates since the 1970's Flower Power stitching days.
We are having glorious weather.  Sunshine and mid 50's F during the days and nights with lots of damp moisture.  We still desperately need rain.  Now the ski resorts are having to close for lack of snow.  This is really sad news for not only economic purposes but truly for our watertables.
I spent Sunday at my local Chamber hostessing the Visitor Center.  When I signed up many weeks ago I didn't realize this past weekend was our annual Film Festival.  Boy was I busy with visitors.  I had families from as far away as New York and Hungary.  Amazing how our little historic town draws people.  I have added the link if you want to check it out and make plans to visit in 2016.
I am hoping you are enjoying your Creative Bliss...I am doing just that.  Being creative makes me so happy.  My sewing machine is humming along.  My paper and punches and glue and ribbons are happily creating Valentines.  What are you creating?  I'll be sharing some things soon.  Blessings and safety to all in icy conditions...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Banner Birthday Swap...

This year I am participating in A Swap For All Seasons with Linda as our hostess.  Her blog is really fun and shares lots of inspirations.  This year we are swapping 4" x 6" fabric banners.  This is the size of a postcard so it is very doable.  My swap recipient this month let me know she is having a milestone birthday so you know I designed my banner to honor that.

Using lace and fabric and felt and ribbons and buttons and beads makes this little banner very festive. I also hand embroidered Happy Birthday and stitched it on.  I can share this now as it has been received and is well liked.

Here is the back with my signature ribbon label...Saucy Chicks.

I also created a birthday card to go along with the birthday theme.  And I made the birthday girl a bubble wand.  I think blowing bubbles is good for all celebrations.

So this is my January Banner swap completed and mailed and received.  Now I shall move on to February as I just signed up today.  Hooray!  Thank you Linda for such great inspiration.
I am so blessed to be able to go into my studio sanctuary space and gather supplies and create fun.
California is continuing its drought with no rain or snow.  We are really going to be in trouble come summer.  If you have excess water table please send it along. If you can do the magic rain dance...please do it for us.  I certainly am not looking forward to another year of our well going dry. Water is such a precious commodity.
Praying for World Peace...

Monday, January 12, 2015

Beautiful Book of Cards...

This is such a beautiful book of cards.  I am truly swooning over this amazing gift I have been so fortunate to receive.  My friend, Theresa, whom I have shared about before has no blog to link to.  I wish she did as she is honestly extremely talented and makes the most beautiful works of art.

When the envelope arrived it was flat as a pancake.  I had no idea what was inside.  I pulled out this book, a card and a baggie of delightful decorative yarns pieces.  Hmmm...
After reading Theresa's note I then understood what I was to do.

Off to my studio to gather.  I keep everything I am gifted by friends in categories.  Cards are in a "photo" box labeled cards.  The box is rather full so it took me a while to sort them out.  My instructions from Theresa were to take the cards she has created and gifted me with and add them to the book.

Here is a stack of the fabulous cards she has been creating and sending me over the last several years. I was so happy to be sorting through this stack and enjoying each one once again.  Her work is stunning and rivals any designer out there.

Now to add the cards to the book.  Tie each spine of each card into the book with the fancy yarns.  Oh I am loving this!  The free-spirited yarns draping deliciously over the book still my heart!

Here is a view of the book opened so you can see the "outside" back.  This is artistic bliss!!!

Here (and in the first photo) you can see the cards inside the book.  I do believe!  Thank you so very much Theresa.  This is a gift I shall enjoy every day...not only while it sits on the counter so I can see the dancing yarns but also each and every time I pick it up and review each card you have lovingly created and gifted me with.  I am speechless.  Bless you my friend.  I really need you to have a blog so everyone can enjoy your creativity dear.
Dry weather continues here.  We are hoping for some rain the end of this week.  Funny that Southern California was having pouring rain and we had nothing.  Kind of topsy-turvy.
Mr. C and I had company over the weekend and we enjoyed our time together so very much.  We honestly relaxed and got to spend time together without crazy hectic running around.  Did a little local shopping and dining which was light and easy.
Still celebrating all those January birthdays and still eating way too much.  I will get back into my healthier routine soon...I hope!
May you be enjoying your "New Year Beginnings" and Creative Bliss...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

No Waste Cardboard...

Do you save cardboard?  I do and usually I just pile it up with other pieces and leave them for future use.  Well that leads me to save and hoard and keep too much stuff.  This time I took my little cardboard pieces I got from a nice box of crackers or something and I went straight to my cutting table.  First I determine the largest size that I can get.  This lot allowed me to end up with three pieces of 4" x 6" which is just right for postcards.  I also got  three pieces 2.5" x 3.5" which is perfect for ATCs.  The last three pieces I got would normally be thrown away.  This time I had just the right project for the leftover size of 1.5" x 3.5" pieces.

I was packaging some angels onto folder cards and realized my little cardboard pieces are just right for the little angels ready for mailing and gifting.  No Waste!  And the bonus of no added piles in my studio.  If I can keep up with daily "ephemera" that finds its way into my life then I might be able to actually clear some of the many piles that have accumulated from years of stuff I keep.
So far I am enjoying each and every day of this new year.
I am also praying for safety and warmth for all across our nation who are freezing with unbelievable cold temperatures and frigid conditions.
Creative Bliss my friends...

Monday, January 5, 2015

Origami Sewing Companion...

While sitting at my computer which is a huge "library" of great information and inspiration I came across this "Simple Sewing Companion" from Popular Patchwork blog.  You will find all the information just by clicking her link.  Thank you very much. Now you know me enough to understand that I "save" things like this for future reference.  Fortunately I needed some birthday gifts in a hurry and Voila!

Here is the beginning of the next few I need to sew.  This shows the interfacing step before the sewing happens.  With any first prototype the going is a little slow and unsteady.  However the next several are much faster and clearer.

I think I would skip drawing the lines as once you sew and turn they are of no help.

Still using my stash of fabrics and buttons.  I even had a stash of small tassels to select from.  I think that is a perfect reason to in fact have stash!  No wasted time or trip to the store.

I will be mailing these so will not fill them with the usual scissors and needles.  Besides the person who will receive this definitely has a lifetime supply of sewing supplies.  She taught me how to sew.
Do you think you will make one or many of these?  Or are you like me and file the idea away for future use...possibly forgetting that you even saved such a great little gift idea?
January is off and running quickly.  I am off and running to my local Chamber of Commerce.  I stopped in on Saturday to do some local shopping.  I happened to look "around the corner" to my shared desk area and saw the stack for me.  I better get in there and complete my stack of tasks!
Still not thinking of a word for this year.  I am enjoying reading your blogs and seeing what you are doing.  I did come across this quote (sorry I do not  know where I saw it to give credit) by Albert Einstein and find it very fitting to my thinking...
"Play is the highest form of research".  Now lets all play...every day!  After all Play was my word in a previous year.
Enjoying a Creative Blissful life and hoping you are doing so also...

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Preparing for Christmas 2015...

Yesterday Fed Ex drove up the driveway.  Mr. C met the driver and then brought in a very large box.
What could it be?  An after Christmas delivery?  I didn't order anything.  Hmmm...

 Mr. C ordered something and it is just what I have been wanting ever since I saw this house to buy! How very thoughtful of Mr. C.  The man who doesn't do holidays or celebrations has ordered a beautiful faux Christmas tree for the antique round table in the downstairs foyer. Here he is testing out how easy it is to assemble and to be certain nothing is missing and that the lights work.

Thank You Mr. C! This is exactly what I have envisioned all these years.  Now I shall be ready for Christmas 2015 and in lovely style with the little white twinkle lights.  From the front door this is what will greet everyone who enters.  I am one very happy girl who does believe in magic and the wonder of it all.  I think I shall be sewing a wonderful tree skirt this year.
Our weather continues to be very cold.  In fact frigid is more correct.  I am afraid some of my plants are not going to survive the freezing temperatures.  I wasn't able to bring them indoors as I do not have a greenhouse.  I also didn't get that nursery cloth that helps cover them in a blanket of safety.  I shall be sad however this is not the first time I have lost plants to freezeing weather.  One year I lost all fourteen of my English Lavender plants.  Even the local nursery lost plants that year.  Even with the extreme cold we have no snow or rain.  How are you with your weather?  I pray for all to stay safe with the snow and ice storms across the country.
We are off to celebrate a good friend's birthday today.  It is a surprise 74th!  Lots of people and laughter and stories will be in order today.  We have at least ten January birthdays to celebrate!
Birthday Blessings and Creative Bliss will be the theme this month.  Peace and Joy My Friends...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome 2015...

Welcome fresh new year 2015.  This is my view and I never grow tired of it.  Looking left from my front door.  Cold and crisp and sunny...what a wonderful way to begin a new day of a new year!

Looking right from my front door.  No snow and no ice yet the ground is frozen and crunches under my feet.  The pond is frozen yet crystal clear.  Such a wonder...this Winter season.

Looking to the back from my kitchen deck.  I am blessed to have this view each and every day. This will be an indoor day for me and Mr. C.  He will build a fire in the Vermont Casting stove while we have the Rose Parade showing on the tv.  To think it was just last year that we were right there on Colorado Boulevard and Orange Grove Boulevard experiencing the Rose Parade in person.
Fresh new beginnings...
Creative Bliss to all...