Saturday, December 31, 2016

Good-Bye 2016...

Saying Good-Bye to 2016 seems like a very good thing to do.  It has had its issues and so have I.  With the decision to list our home for sale has come a lot of added work and responsibilities.  It also added a lot of travel to find where we will relocate.  Nothing is certain and there are still many decisions to be made. 

I am busy auditioning words and meanings for my 2017 journey.  I have a few that I am pursuing and hopefully I will "focus" on one very soon.  Focus was my word a few years ago and to be truthful I am continuing my struggles with being able to focus.  I do get easily side-tracked. 

I wasn't able to do as many creative pursuits this year.  I am hoping to make my creative interests priority in 2017.  This photo is showing some Needle Tatted bracelets I was able to make for my girls for Christmas...daughter, daughter-in-love and two granddaughters.  I found this YouTube video by One Virtuous Woman and it was just the perfect help as I learn Needle Tatting.  Thank you very much OVW.  I wasn't able to be with my daughter or granddaughters this year so I can only hope they liked their bracelets.  My daughter-in-love put hers on right away and I know she liked it.  Her favorite color is purple and she loves copper.  I saw her actually smiling as she carefully looked at the tatting.  It warms my heart.  I shall continue to pursue Needle Tatting in 2017.  In fact Santa gave me an instruction book and I have read it once through.  I even ordered new threads.  I will share more on this in the future. 

For now I shall wish each of you a Wonderful New Year in 2017.  May you have Happiness and Love and Health and Creative Bliss.  Mr. C and I will be safely staying home and enjoying a nice dinner and conversation with our dear neighbor who watches over our home when we are gone.  We are not late revelers so I can assure you we will not be out and rowdy as midnight strikes...a second later than normal. 

Peace and Love and Health and Happiness for each of you and for everyone in our World.  XO

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Santa's Elf???

Just the other day I spied into my studio and there I saw what appeared to be Santa's Elf working.
He is very resourceful and somehow found my tools and my Ott light.  Note to self:  find better hiding places.  LOL

What could be that frown?  Oh those teeny tiny itsy bitsy parts and they are so hard to read.  It is critical that they be placed exactly in the correct order.

Nicely soldered and permanently installed.  Mr. C is back to his beginnings in the old days of radio and computer repairs.  Nice to know he still "has the magic touch".  What is he repairing?  Our home doorbell and intercom system.  Murphy's Law always reigns supreme and decided that since our home is For Sale the doorbell should quit working.  Murphy is fooled by Mr. C to the rescue!  Thank you for your engineering expertise.  And here I thought it was Santa's Elf working in his toyshop making gifts for...

Looks like Mr. C aka Santa's Elf is plum tuckered out.  It is very cold here with our Arctic Chill.  I know we do not have any minus digits but for us here in Sunny California 25 degrees F is just too cold for pleasure.  May everyone stay safe and warm all across our country.  Looks like it will be a very long Winter. 
Now for all you merchandisers who are inundating me with sales and promotions and specials...Could someone please put on sale what Mr. C needs?!!  I don't think it is too much to ask for a special sale on BMW Struts that he needs 2 pairs of.  I am not seeing any practical necessities on any sales.  Okay I am done with my little want rant.  Thank you for indulging me.
Christmas is almost here and I am enjoying all the beautiful decorations and the many wonderful hand crafted gifts you all are sharing. 
Merry Christmas Bliss and Jingle Bell Joys...

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Fabric Magic Stars....

You have seen these on the internet and elsewhere.  Jennifer Bosworth of Shabby Fabrics has a wonderful video on how she creates these.  She calls them Fabric Snowflakes.  I like them for year round so I am calling mine Fabric Magic Stars.  My blog friend Robbie of Robbie's Paw Prints blog introduced them to me last year and I made a few.  Thank you Robbie.  Just like potato chips!

No matter what is or is not going on and no matter how little time there is I try to make gifts for those I love.  Here are some photos of my steps.  I select my coordinating fabrics and cut them up.  Then I cut up the Heat n Bond Ultra Hold.

Here you see my stages.  I am making half a dozen or so.  With my newly cleaned and organized studio I really have lots of room for every step of the way. 

Another view of the steps.  Removing the paper backing and pairing the two fabrics for ironing.

Here you se me preparing for the hot glue steps.  I am almost done. Check out the link I have included and you just might want to make some yourself.  They really do go together quickly.
And...they are light as a feather for mailing.  Just be certain to put in a good sturdy box for transporting.  Let me know if you make any of these.  I would love to see your photos.
It is pouring rain as I type and it has rained all night.  We had rain Thursday, Friday and now today.  The snow is staying up in the highest elevations and is making the ski resorts happy.  I am very happy it is not snowing here.  Crowds and traffic are crazy enough just with rain. 
I love visiting your blogs and seeing all the beautiful decorations.  We are not decorating at all this year since the For Sale sign is up.  We don't want to offend anyone who might celebrate a different holiday than Christmas...or celebrate nothing at all.  Therefore I am really enjoying all of your ideas and decorations.  I promise I won't miss a moment of the Magic of Merry Christmas...after all...I still BELIEVE.  I feel the days are flying past as fast as Santa's Reindeer must fly on Christmas Eve.
Our little town is busy with Victorian Christmas and that is very magical.  Here is the link to see what it is all about.  People come from far and near to enjoy this bit of Magic.
Stay well and safe and warm.  Enjoy this wonderful season of love with family and friends.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Family, Food, Fun...

Over Thanksgiving weekend we were invited to spend time with our extended family.  This is Mr. C and Brad.  They are always bonding and solving the problems of the world.  Here they are taking time out to watch extreme vehicle rock climbing...something Brad loves to do.

This is Amy, Brad's wife and she is our favorite daughter-in-love (okay she is our only).

Amy fixed a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.  Each dish was truly yummy and extra special.

I managed to mix and serve "Cookie Dough Dip" with graham crackers and apple slices.  Thanks to Pinterest it was so easy and everyone loved it. 

This was also courtesy of Pinterest.  Mr. C actually made these.  And with the leftover bits of crust he formed a tiny apple pie.  So yummy and not heavy after a full meal.  I actually ate mine for breakfast the next morning.  Warmed in the oven and very tasty.

Pallets were all the rage this year for yard decorations.  Amy cut and stained these trees.  There were also Snowmen and candy cane fences which I neglected to get photos of. 

This is a new addition to Brad and Amy's home and I LOVE the little carved holding down the ladder and the other one peeking into the window.

Here are the decorations lit up at night.  Friday night the entire street was lit up and decorated in honor of the tiny town parade.  I didn't get any photos because I was too busy cheering on each float and entrant.  Small town USA at its finest!
I trust you and your family enjoyed a wonderful warm weekend with family and/or friends. 
Now we are on to Christmas which is right around the corner.  I shall be writing and addressing cards and checking my list.  This year I am focusing on time with family and friends and not so much on gifts.  So many of us do not need material things and therefore our time with others is the most precious gift of all.  Embracing all the Magic of this Wonderful Season.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Oficially Listed For Sale...

I really haven't been ignoring my blog.  I have been very busy.  Mr. C and I have officially listed our home and property For Sale.  This is a very big step for us.  We have lived here almost twenty years.
When we bought this place it was a brand new mess.  Construction ground everywhere with no landscaping.  The house was only finished about 2/3 of the way due to the divorce of the couple having this custom home built.  It was builder beige and boring.  Along came Mr. C and I...

We were getting married, we are do-overs.  Mr. C was selling his computer company in Southern California, we were getting married out of country (that is an entire story of its own) and we were moving to Northern California all while our baby kitty was ill and in the hospital in an oxygen tent (thankfully she was saved and we shared our lives for 18 years together). We do have an exciting life.

We have poured our hearts and souls into this home and property...not to mention the enormous amount of money and work.  Mr. C has done most of the work along with contracted specialists.

It would take me days to tell all the tales we have shared in building this place we call home.  We love it here, however it is time to move on.  Mr. C wants to move out of California even though we are both natives.

This is where we like to sit and enjoy our beautiful home in the trees.  It is very peaceful here.  We have been extremely happy.  It has been a dream come true for us.  Now we are ready for our Sunset chapter of life.
Our weather was warm and beautiful for Autumn.  Then we got some very welcome rain.  Snow fell over Donner Pass and in the higher Tahoe ski mountains.  The temperatures have turned chilly and Winter is on its way.  More snow is predicted for the Thanksgiving weekend.
We will be celebrating with family and being mindful of all the things we are so very grateful for.  May you and your families and friends enjoy a truly wonderful Thanksgiving. 
Christmas is just around the corner.  Fa la la la la...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Feeling Very Accomplished...

Today, Yes it is November 1st, I had a task to do and normally I am just too overwhelmed to begin.  However in my new state of being, I am finding ways to tackle even the hardest of jobs.  I know I have talked about the fact that Mr. C wants to move out of California.  Well in order to do so we must list and sell this home and property in order to begin anew in another state.  With that in mind...I am trying my best to make my home look like no one lives in it and for certain that no one makes any chaos out of any room...including a craft studio.  So...This is what I accomplished today.  Clearing my studio table which is approximately 5' x 9' in size.  I didn't take any before photos because I believe you have all seen it piled to the highest peaks.

Due to the size and weight of my desk and table I will not be able to take it with me.  I am hoping the new buyers will want to keep it enough to add a little money to the deal.  Mr. C made it and it took 6 strong men to carry it in and place it on the desk.  I have loved it and used it to cut out fabrics for Dress A Girl Around the World, make cards for Random Acts of Mail, make postcards for Love Notes, Angel charms for giving and a myriad of other assorted crafts and such.  Even Mr. C has  used this table for making cardboard templates and fixtures for his car building projects.  Mr. C built this room especially for me including the shelves to hold my bins of ephemera and treasures.  I will miss this room but I do believe I shall have another equally wonderful space for my Creative Bliss.

Here you can see the large oak cabinets that currently house too much stuff (where else was I going to put things?)!  These cabinets, total of 3, are not moving with us either. 

We have gotten an estimate from the local family run moving company (83 years in business) and it was higher than we thought.  Of course the last time we moved was 18 years ago.  So every ounce and box and piece of furniture has to be carefully selected for making the trip.  My bead podium with the printer drawers is going with us...except...I must put every little bin of beads in zip bags.  Now this will be a project.
We are not moving yet.  We have no idea when we will be able to sell and move.  We also have no idea what home will be available for us when we can move.  There are only two developments we want to live in and homes are rarely offered for sale.  We still entertain the thought of building our home, however, with the Real Estate market dead for our home here in rural Northern California we are not hopeful we will have sufficient funds to build. 
So I am here in limbo and not able to sew or craft or make a lovely mess of my rooms for who knows how long.  I have done all of this in preparation of the listing photo shoot.
Mother Nature has delayed our schedule due to lots of rain.  We need to remove 21 Rosey Glo shrubs from the front slope and yet it is too muddy to attempt yet.  Then we need a nice sunny day for the photos.  Somehow all will work out.  I am doing my best to visualize, "A Full Price Cash Offer with a 45 Day Escrow."  Yes, Please.  I know things will work out eventually and everything will be fine.  I just need to try to do my very best and not get overly stressed.  After all this is the busiest time of year for holidays and get-togethers with family and friends.  I shall EMBRACE all that Mr. C and I have worked so hard for in this life we share.  I am truly GRATEFUL beyond words. 
I wish for everyone lots of LOVE and BLISS...

Monday, October 24, 2016

Autumn Colors & Family...

When you live in the forest there aren't many naturally occurring Fall colors.  Mr. C and I planted these Crimson King Maple trees sixteen years ago.  They are a riot of colors and today Mr. C captured them in full splendor.  We had a little rain overnight so everything is fresh and happy.

I took time off my house chores on Saturday and drove "down the hill" to visit with my sister Marie and her daughter Meg.  My niece lives in Michigan so we don't get to see her very often.  We three ladies enjoyed a good visit while having lunch. Marie is vegetarian and Meg is vegan.  I am happy with eating just as they do so we all ordered butternut squash Panini and white chocolate chai to drink.  I did add avocado to my Panini and it was quite yummy.

It was such a nice day for a family visit.  Meg is on the train back to Michigan now.
Upon leaving the ladies I did a little shopping.  It is always wise to make the trip down the hill account for more than just one reason.  All the stores are fully into Christmas with displays and merchandise.  It is almost Halloween so I suppose Christmas is right around the corner.  Yikes!
Still preparing the homestead for listing...or not.  It seems our rural community has not recovered from the Real Estate Bubble Burst and being rural has not allowed progress.  Our beautiful home and property are in the exact price level that is dead.  We are down at least $300,000 and that was not our plan.  In our Sunset years we want to enjoy our lives and not have to stress over money.  All of this just makes Mr. C want out of California even more.  I am merely trying to remain calm. 
Autumn is turning chilly and leaves are falling fast. 
I am happy to take time each week and visit each of you. I am enjoying seeing your lovely decorating and your wonderful creative projects.  Autumn Bliss to all...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Closet Before and After...

Several months ago Mr. C told me to empty my closet because he needed to work on it and paint it fresh.  We have lived in this home for 18 years and I confess my closet was a disaster.  I did not take any before photos with clothes because it was just too embarrassing.  I admit to a slight tendancy towards "hoarder" status.  I hate to eliminate things even though I always donate to Hospice.

It took me six weeks to take everything out.  I was overwhelmed with how much I had stuffed into this space.  Oh by-the-way I was so shocked at the size of my closet when I did get it emptied that I measured the floor alone.  It is 7 feet x 13 feet and I am embarrassed because that is the size of some bedrooms I have had in my past. 

It is nice and bright and I do enjoy having a window.  I had to cover that window though because the wonderful sunshine would stream in and fade only the one side depending on how clothes were hung.

So where did I put all that stuff?  Well, the library across the hall.  Mr. C had the audacity one day to ask, "What is all that stuff in here now?"  That man should be silent!  I did take loads downstairs and hang them in the guest closets.  Then I was talking via telephone to our good friend, Mr. Larry, who recently moved and rebuilt closets.  Well...

Brilliant Larry suggested two ladders with poles across.  So Mr. C got to hang all of his clothes nice and neat.  He did take over the dining room.  Thank you Mr. Larry.

So for a solid week Mr. C and his super helper, John, worked in both closets and routed every edge of every shelf, straightened my sagging brackets and rods, and sanded and painted.  Two gallons of expensive Benjamin Moore paint and five hours later I could move back in.  But..."don't clutter or overload!  Remember we are listing the house and buyers need to see a spacious closet."

Now I have donated another truckload of clothes, shoes, boots and hats to Hospice.  I just hope I have clothes and shoes left for me to wear.

 Now you have seen the after photos and I admit I am so giddy with the transformation.  I love to be able to see just what I have and am able to actually wear.  Oh, you ask if I kept anything downstairs in the guests closets?  Yes, just a wee bit.  I have one garment bag in each closet with specialty pieces that aren't for everyday.  Mr. C did approve of this.

One last photo to share with you and Thank You for staying with me this long.  This is the niche just before entering my closet and I love to display special treasures of family vintage hats and "handbags".  Not all are vintage but they are lots of fun. 
This entire closet project almost killed me and I am so thankful it is now completed.  Now on to more sorting and donating and packing in my craft room downstairs. 
Our weather is just right and hopefully we might get some much needed rain this coming weekend. 
I am content and finding JOY in each and every day.  I did take a day "off" and meet my sister.  We spent some lovely hours making beaded charms.  She was learning and she did extremely well!  I was very proud of her.
Embracing Creative Bliss...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Silk Ribbon Embroidery...

Even though it is taking me a very very long time with my Crazy Quilting lessons I am not quitting.  Now I am learning Silk Ribbon Embroidery and I am so excited.  I have always wanted to be able to do this.  Here are my very first ever practice Iris flowers. 

Here are my CQ Block Iris flowers.  They are not blue but the same purple that are my practice flowers.  I am so pleased with these. 

Now I have my practice Spider Roses also known as 5-Spoke Roses.  I love the color of this variegated silk ribbon.

Here are my Roses that I stitched onto my CQ block.  I used softer peachy colors to help balance my block colors.  These Roses are super easy to create and I can imagine lots of possibilities for using these in other creative ways and places. 

I am excited to see my CQ block coming along and filling in the blank spaces.  If you click on any photo they will be larger so you can see the details even better.  Thank you Kathy Shaw for teaching me this wonderful Crazy Quilting process.
Now that October is here we have had the cold snap that truly brings out the Fall colors.  Our temperatures are much cooler and we have had to turn on the heater already.  We have had a high of 52 degrees F and a low of 33 degrees F.  I am so not ready for Winter which follows Fall.  Growing up in Southern California there really weren't "Seasons" and I never knew to miss them.  Now that we have Seasons here in Northern California I appreciate them but I certainly do not need them.  Thankfully we have had a little rain.  We also had a massive hail storm and luckily it didn't cause any damage for us. 
Thank you for visiting and always inspiring me along the way in this journey of life.  I continue to EMBRACE every day and all that it holds.  Falling into Autumn Bliss...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Needle Tatting Practice...

With daylight ending so much sooner as Fall is here and Summer is long gone, I am finding less time to actually spend creatively.  Days are filled with home and property chores and yes, we are still pimping the place for listing and selling.  I managed to spend a little time earlier in Summer practicing my Needle Tatting. 

Here is a yellow butterfly, a couple of simple flowers and an orange split ring chain.  Any of these can be used for embellishments on paper cards or fabric items or whatever your creative mind chooses. 

Since tatting is nothing more than rings and chains and picots it is important to be very comfortable with making them and being consistent in shape and size.  I can see where I have lots of room for improvement.  These can also be used as seam treatments in Crazy Quilting which is my other class I am still taking.  I shall share my progress in that very soon. 
Our Fall weather is exactly as expected...warm, windy and cool all mixed together days and nights and you never know what clothes to select from day to day.  This is also officially the beginning of our true fire season here in Northern California.  Due to the excruciating five years of drought we have had, our huge pine and cedar trees are suffering from bark beetles and dryness to the point of death.  There are hundreds just here around our community and when fire starts it explodes as it lights up these dead trees.  Property owners are supposed to have the dead trees removed but many do not do so.  I can only pray we survive another year with no major fire here.
Falling into Autumn Bliss...
I am seeing some lovely vignettes of Fall d├ęcor and I think my favorite touch this year is the addition of the color aqua amongst the oranges, yellows, burgundies and greens.  Here is a beautiful example shown by Celestina Marie of Southern Daydreams.  Click her link and enjoy visiting.
I know I have not been consistent in my blogging and I can only say I apologize but life is getting in the way.  Thank you for being true to following and visiting and leaving me your wonderful comments.  I am truly grateful for each and every one of you.  Embracing Creative Bliss...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Evening Book Reading...

Hello and thank you for visiting.  There are no photos today due to me posting from my iPad.

Mr. C and I have been reading books now that the sun is waning and the daylight hours are getting shorter.  I recently bought him "The Mechanic's Tale, Life in the Pit-Lanes of Formula One" by Steve Matchett.  We are both fans of Formula 1 racing and of Steve Matchett who is now one of the commentators for each race.  He always is so very knowledgeable and explains things extremely well.

While reading the other evening, Mr. C stopped and asked me to listen to something.  We were both so awed we read it again.  I would like to share it with you.  Page 35, Chapter Two 1989...

"To live is a tremendous privilege, simply to experience a little of the world and to devour the skills and ideas of those who have gone before.  But life is a gift on loan, and in comparison with our surroundings, even a long, full life of a hundred years is but a passing moment.  We should be resolute in enjoying the experience of the fleeting time we have, and we should try never to regret a second or waste even a moment of it in bitterness; yesterday has already gone forever."

I find these words to be very powerful and I am going to listen to them each and every day.

May you be Falling in love with all that Autumn brings...Spring for my friends across the pond.
Embracing Creative Bliss...

Friday, September 9, 2016

September Sister's Swarm/Storm/Soiree

We all survived...including Mr. C...and by this photo he actually had a little fun.  I didn't even know he knew how to photo bomb!  Well done dear.  Sisters from left are Joyce, Renee, Marie and Niece (Renee's daughter) Celeste.  Celeste drove from Tucson to Fullerton to gather up her mom and then drove here to Northern California.

Mr. C took this photo so I could be included. 

My sister Renee on the left is my Sister-of-the-Heart.  She always looked out for me and then took me in as a teenager while she had a husband and three children.  At the time I had no idea what she took on, however, now I am so very grateful and appreciative for her love and care.

You can't tell by this photo but I surprised her with an A and W root beer a child's size vintage mug.  Several years ago when Renee was visiting she found two mugs in an antique shop and gifted them to me.  Our family loved to go to the drive-in A and W's for root beer floats.  Yes, I did make full sized floats for all of us.  Memories are such an important part of our lives and we shared old ones and created new ones.

This day made my heart sing!  My sister Renee is beading and my niece Celeste is sewing.  My studio and I were so very happy.  While shopping locally Celeste found her Halloween costume and was enhancing it.  I will post photos of her after the big reveal.  Renee had brought along an antique necklace of gorgeous glass beads (over 100 years old and from her paternal grandmother).  It was strung on something like bakers twine.  It had broken and a few beads were lost.  We managed to incorporate some new vintage beads and restrung it on fine jewelers wire.  I also created a pair of matching earrings.  I can't believe I forgot to take finished photos!

Here we are relaxing on the deck.  I had purchased really great canvas bags from my Chamber of Commerce gift shop and then I filled them with fun goodies.  Feather boa, feather mask, Crayola crayons, adult coloring book, jar of bubbles and a pocket letter for each sister with assorted goodies in it (chocolate!).  Everyone had fun with these. 

And because we were having a slumber party (Marie had never been to one) my daughter told me we needed to play games.  Well I don't like playing games and therefore I didn't plan any.  Bless Celeste because at the last minute I told her she was in charge of games...after all she is the youngest of us!  Well here we are having a tattoo party. This is at about 2 AM so we are all blurry eyed.  Celeste works for a company in Tucson that makes temporary tattoos and she brought a box full of all assorted styles.  We really did have fun with this.  There are tattoos that you apply and then with a smart phone app they come to life.  Celeste put on a green frog and with the app he came to life and moved all about and made the croaking sounds.  WOW! 
I am so very grateful Mr. C and I were able to host this September Sisters Swarm.  It had been five years since we all got together here.  We talked about the next one being in Tucson. 
Fall is here and the temperatures are cooler.  The deer are eating everything in their reach.  Squirrels are gathering acorns and eating pine cone seeds.  I was going to share our last road trip however I shall save it for next time.  The sisters just couldn't wait! 
Embracing Creative Bliss...(at least I hope to get back to my CQ class and my Needle Tatting).