Sunday, January 25, 2015

Welcome To The Party!

A big thank you to Vicki for hosting this party and inviting each of you to visit.  I can't imagine how much work must be involved in putting on such  a fun party!  Vicki is one that is always thinking of and doing for others.  She is someone that I am proud to call my friend.  There are givers and takers, follow Vicki's example, be a giver... give til your hands are empty, but your heart is full...."2 Bags Full".  

Welcome to my blog, I hope you will visit often.
I have been blogging since 2010....a look back reveals a variety of interests.  I am envious of those that find their niche,  the one place where their heart sings..my heart must be composing a symphony with all the things I like to do.

Crazy Quilting seems to be one of those things, with some staying power.  I am currently working on a Mother of the Bride bag.  


The copper frame is so beautiful, I think I could stitch a plastic bag to it and it would be stunning.

The embroidery thread I am using is from years ago, I bought it with the intentions of doing a counted cross stitch picture of my tabby cat, Pooh.....that salmony color was the exact color of his nose.  Funny to remember such a thing.

Another interest is basket making:

I asked my daughter's boyfriend if he had any deer antlers I could make a basket with...he brought me the antlers from the first deer he shot as youngster.
                           

How could I do anything other than make him a basket with those special antlers.

                  

I had a friend that taught me the art of basket making.  It is nice to think back on those that taught us and those we have taught...each sharing our love of using our hands and hearts.


Smocking is a way to use your heart and hands to create small "Wee Care Gowns"...tiny gowns for tiny angels.


These gowns are donated to hospitals to dress sweet infants that are stillborn or die shortly after birth. I pray for the mother, of each child the gown goes to...may she find some comfort in knowing someone cared.  Making these tiny gowns, has led me to my next interest.
Recently, I have become obsessed with doll making. Waldorf dolls, with sculpted cloth faces and stuffed with wool.


 My friend and I ordered a kit from etsy and  we look forward to getting started.

 I say, I am  obsessed, as I have a Pinterest board devoted to these dolls and I have watched every You Tube video I can find.  Do you do that with a new interest? 

 Another doll interest I have is half dolls...the bottom of the doll is quite often a pincushion.  I have an antique reproduction mold to make a few of my very own. 


As a "Thank You" for visiting me during this party I will be giving away one of these half dolls.  Please leave a comment telling me which color you prefer and I will draw a winner on February 15th.

There are never enough hours in the day to do all I want to do...my mind and pinterest boards are full of ideas of new things to create!  



                                            Love to all,

                                                 Deb

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Beginnings

The New Year always reminds me of the first day of school.  New beginnings, fresh new notebooks, pencils, boxes of crayons, a new classroom and often for me a new school.  We moved 36 times as I was growing up and this lead to a great many new beginnings.  
I recently took an online Crazy Quilting class and this lead me to joining the "2015 Crazy Quilt Journal Project".  Each month through the year an 8" block is to be completed and embellished.  This is a learning opportunity and a chance to challenge your skills.  The projects are not graded but shared with the group for review and comment.
I wanted a project that would keep me involved, I have trouble with quickly losing interest and having yet another project end up in the UFO pile.  I also wanted to work on something that was useful...how many Crazy Quilt blocks does 1 girl need...I have no place to hang a wallhanging...so I had to put on my thinking cap.
I have recently seen beautiful Crazy Quilt bags, purses, and cell phone holders.  Pat Winter and  Annamaria have several on their blogs and Facebook pages.  So these, will be my focus and with several weddings coming up they will make nice gifts.

This first step is order a metal purse frame...you can find them on etsy, ebay and other purse making/crazy quilting supply websites. 
 After the frame arrives you draft a pattern using the frame as a guide.  I found several "pins" on Pinterest about creating a pattern for the purse.
Here is my pattern, I have cut the pattern out and kept the paper surrounding it...this will serve as a frame so to speak to help me decide which area of the 12" block I want to embellish.
 Here is the front :
And this will be the back:  
The pattern piece then is replaced  and a faint pencil line is drawn around it to help me confine my stitching. 
Edited to add:In the comments below MA suggests running a basting line of stitches instead of the pencil line.  This is an excellent suggestion...when I finish the purse the basting stitches will be a guide for my machine stitching.  

 Next comes the fun of gathering your threads and embellishments.  The fabrics are white and the purse frame is copper. I found a piece of antique silk ribbon for color inspiration.
I love the colors and they blend nicely with the frame.  Threads, laces, ribbons and lace motifs all were added to the pile.
I won't use them all but they are here for inspiration.
So cheers to another new beginning!  

Several bloggers choose a special word each year to serve a source of focus.  I gave it some thought and really nothing came to mind other than contentment.  Finding pleasure in the activities you choose to spend your time on, whether for a greater good, or to enrich your own soul. Take your time, enjoy the process, we are not in a race for the finish line, allow contentment to fill your heart.

Love to all,
Deb 


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gifts Incoming and Outgoing

Outgoing:
I was asked to smock a dress for a very special young
lady.  The dress fabric was purchased at a quilt shop it has
a linen like look and is 100% cotton.  The smocking
design I worked out on smocking graph paper.  I know
the design looks simple but it took me days of drawing and
erasing to figure it out.  I have new found appreciation
for smocking plate designers.
The center section is back smocked and the 
University of Kentucky logo is picture smocked
on top.  The hearts are geometric smocking, I designed
that area as well.
A one of a kind dress, stitched with love.

Incoming:
Sweet Marie recently had a month long
celebration of her blogging for 5 years!  5 years
of blogging and 5 giveaways!  I was the lucky 
winner of this beautiful necklace!
Have faith in you...that is something
we all need to remember.

The necklace is long and so
much fun to wear as everyone
seems to notice it!
A sweet tag, 
 book pages, and LACE!
Thank you Marie!

Love to all,
Deb

ps  I also completed the Beginning
Crazy Quilt Class Kathy Shaw
taught here is my completed
block:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Lonely Dragonfly Finds A Friend...A Tutorial

I preface this post with the fact,
I am taking an online Beginning
Crazy Quilting class from Kathy Shaw
shawkl .  The classroom is a private
blog, so I am sharing my post
from the class blog here with you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Kathy suggested a couple of you may want
to know how I created the dragonfly on my 
block.
There once was a lonely dragonfly
stitched to the corner of a crazy
quilt block.  The dragonfly had
a purpose, he was to spread his
wings and create some interest
in an otherwise quiet corner
of the block.  
The dragonfly was proud to be the
first creature to grace the block,
but he was lonely.
So, the stitcher began to create
a friend.
Using 4mm silk ribbon a loop
was formed much like the beginning
of a lazy daisy stitch.
A tiny stitch using 1 strand
of embroidery floss helped to 
form the shape of the first 
wing.
Another wing was added
in the same way.
The tail was formed with a
stem stitch.  The same stitch
we used on our vine.

A bullion stitch forms the body.  
The bullion may be new to some
of you it looks difficult to
stitch, but really it is quite
fun.  The best hint I read 
about stitching a bullion
was to stroke it as you are
settling it into place. 
Straight stitches were added
for the antenna. 
French knots were placed
at the end of the straight stitch.

The dragonfly was lonely no more
he had a friend to help with his
task of adding interest to their
corner of the block. 
I hope this was helpful!

Deb

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Man On A Galloping Horse

I remember once putting up wall paper in my kitchen,
with my MIL.  We survived the adventure with few 
mistakes.  Of the mistakes we did make, my MIL said,
"A man on a galloping horse would never notice".
So imagine yourself on a galloping horse as you view
my Beginning Crazy Quilt project.
These are the beginning seam treatments with other goodies
to be added.  I think stronger magnifying glasses are in order.
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I began my new medication yesterday and I believe it is helping already!  The nurse that worked with me said it usually takes 3 months to feel better.  I told her, it was going to start working today....the power of positive thinking!
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My friend Marie is celebrating blogging for 5 years!

Click the image to join the fun!



Okay, get off your galloping horse, unless you are planning to be the Headless Horseman for Halloween.  The Smock- Along Ornament begins next week, there is still time for you to join!

Love to all,
Deb

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Stitching Up A Surprise

SAGA is hosting a Mystery Ornament Smock Along.
I have never stitched-along with any group, so this
will be a new adventure for me.
I have gathered my supplies and pleated the fabric.
Since I was unsure what the completed ornament
would look like, I chose a similar palette to that 
shown on the Facebook group posting.

I am also involved in a a Beginning Crazy Quilting 
Class hosted by Kathy Shaw (shawkl). At the beginning of
the class we were given a list of cotton fabrics and hoop
to choose. 

 Even though I have Crazy Quilted in the past
I know I will learn a great deal from Kathy.  The first
thing will be using a hoop.  I have always held the block
in my hand as I stitched.
  The class comes highly recommended by several
 blogging friends.   Kathy offers several classes but you
 must begin with her beginning class and work up from 
there.  A lovely place to start...the beginning.
The class is free and it is offered at different
times throughout the year.  Simply follow her
blog to see when it will be offered again.

Yes, my hands are hurting from all this activity but
I really can't seem to help myself from the torture.
I feel as though I must have something to do with
my hands...it is an obsession. 
  
On the new medicine front....I have had a flu shot,
pneumonia vaccine, TB test all in preparing my 
immune system for the new medication.  Hopefully,
 next week I will begin  my new medication and
 the pain will a thing of the past. 

Love to all,
Deb

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sometimes God Sends Someone Just When We Need Them

I have mentioned that I volunteer at a local hospital.  My days there are spent helping register patients, taking a snack cart around for visitors, escorting patients to tests, delivering mail, flowers and the newspaper.  With all these activities, I meet quite a few people.  Recently a young lady came in, she was teary eyed, upset and alone...since she was close in age to my daughters I felt my heartstrings being pulled.   I left my desk and came around to give her a hug.  I told her we were there to help and everything would be fine.  She looked at me and nodded as tears spilled down her cheeks.  As the day went on, I kept thinking of the young lady and wondered how she was doing.  Later in the day while taking another patient to their test, I saw her on the elevator....she was crying again and I asked her if I was going have to give her another hug!?  She smiled and from the front of the elevator a lady said to me, "So, You are the one!"  It was the young lady's mother.  She thanked me for giving moral support to her daughter.  She explained she could not get to the hospital when her daughter came in and she knew how upset her daughter was, being there alone.  The mom said, "I prayed God would be with her and help her to feel His love".   She went on to say," Sometimes God sends someone, just when we need them".
 I explained, I had 2 daughters and would have appreciated someone giving them a hug, had they been in a similar situation.  As we talked, we began to notice we were close to the same age and looked quite a bit alike..we laughed and hugged glad to have shared a "daughter" that day.
I tell this story as God sent me someone I needed today....well 2 of them!
I have rheumatoid arthritis and have been on the same medication (Methotrexate) for 14 years and until this summer I did fairly well.  This summer my body decided it was not going to tolerate being on MTX any longer, this lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and multiple swollen joints and extreme fatigue.  Today I had an appointment with my rheumatologist and we discussed new treatment options.  Discussing a chronic disease that there is no cure for, tends to get you a little depressed.
 I returned home with literature to read and decisions to make.  Not one of my favorite days....until the phone rang.  It was Vicki!  Calling to say hello and chat for a few minutes. What a nice surprise that was, it gave me something else to think about and look forward to as we planned a lunch meeting soon.  Vicki is always encouraging me...she talked me into setting up a Facebook page....dragging me into the modern world!
The second angel of the day came in the mail all the way from Canada!  Lorraine sent me the most beautiful hand dyed embroidery thread....size 12 perle cotton, my favorite thread to smock with! With the thread was a note saying she thought these threads would be perfect for my Wee Care gowns...and she is right!  
Such soft rich colors, I think the grey is my favorite:
I can just see it used on a soft grey linen!  Here is a link to her Etsy shop.   Lorriane has a great eye for color and creates some lovely color combinations. 

Angels sent and my mood is lifted!

Love to all,
Deb

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Wedding Bells Ringing

Once again Wedding bells are ringing.  This time they ring for a young lady that has been very dear to our family.  She became friends with my eldest daughter about 15 years ago.  Her home life was difficult, so she spent a great deal of time at our house.  One summer her father drove up from Texas to take her home with him for a 2 week visit.  I remember standing on the front porch, watching the truck drive away, in tears knowing we would miss her. 
One of the kindest compliments I have ever received came from her.  Once becoming engaged the young couple looked for a home to make their own.  After looking at many houses, she found the one that was to become their home.  She said, she knew the house was right because it smelled like our house....the house where she felt loved.  I attribute the smell to Gain detergent, but to her it smelled like love.
One of the gifts I have made for her is this bottle with their engagement photo inside.
We are so happy she has found the man of her dreams, someone to love her to the moon and back!

Love to all,
Deb

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"If/Then"

My daughter recently saw the Broadway musical "If/Then" starring the Tony winning actress Idina Menzel.  The play focuses on the character Elizabeth (Idina Menzel) and the choices that set her on or changed her life path.  When you look back on your own life and think, what if, if then, should I, I shouldn't have....the path could have  been a broken road or a smoothly paved highway that led you to where you are now. We are faced with choices every day, will the choice you make, help someone?  When you look back and think what if and if then, would the outcome be for a greater good.
My friend Vicki has a project that involves one of those choices you will make today.  Read the post here.

"I used to pray that God
would feed the hungry, 
or do this or that,
 but now I pray that he will guide me
to do whatever
 I am supposed to do,
 what I can do.

I used to pray for answers,
 but now I'm praying for strength. 
I used to believe that prayer changes things,
but now I know that prayer changes us,
and we change things." 
Mother Teresa

Love to all, 
Deb

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tattered Shirt to Apron

DH had thrown it in the trash, an oxford cloth shirt with the buttons still on it!  As I was cutting the buttons off I kept thinking how soft the cloth had become from years of washing and ironing.  My creative gears began to turn and the idea of an apron came to me. 
The back of the shirt became the front panel of the apron and the cuffs now are large pockets.
The front pocket of the shirt, I added to the center front of the apron.  
The opposite front side of the shirt is now a pocket that extends along the bottom of the apron.  The button band is the neck strap.
Most of the shirt was used in creating the apron, I liked it so much I wore it all day long!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wee Care Update:
 Size Tiny suitable for 1 pound.
Several in the works these two complete.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Trapper continues to grow!  He weighed 6.2 pounds when we got him.  6 weeks later he has gained 20 pounds!  The vet says he will be a BIG boy!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have been taking a correspondence course through SAGA, beginning smocking.  The first part of the course was a sampler of the different smocking stitches.  At different points the sampler was returned to the teacher for critique.  Each time the good, the bad and the ugly was pointed out to me.  LOL there was no mention of ugly, but those stitches that were not up to par were pointed out along with ideas on how to improve.  The stitches that were done well were also pointed out and gave me an example on how the stitch should look.  The critique was detailed and very helpful.  If you are wanting to learn to smock, I highly recommend the class.  
I have progressed to the final project a bishop dress.  Here the fabric has been pleated and I have stitched the cable, stem and outline stitches.


Summer is speeding right along, between the dogs, yard, stitching and housework it seems as though each day goes a little faster.  

Love to all,
Deb
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