Tuesday, February 23, 2010

OLIVIA




Meet Olivia, a porcelain doll I made. She is 21 inches tall and such a sweet little girl. Please CLICK on photos to enlarge.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snowbound February block


This is the second block I made for the Snowbound Project by Anne Sutton. It took me forever, but the more I stitched, the more I enjoyed it. The entire block is done by needle-turn hand applique. I wanted to make it Valentine themed thus the heart-snow.

The pattern does not include the little bluebird, but I just had to include this cute little bird. The bluebird reminds me of the birdhouses Dad used to make for our cottage at Clear Lake.

Dad passed away two years ago February 6th and I miss him very much. Dad loved all breeds of birds and called our cottage and Clear Lake God's country...I too always felt close to God whenever we would visit our cottage in Clear Lake.

Seeing a bluebird is enough to make one understand all the mythology and symbolism why the bluebird is referred to as the Bluebird of "HAPPINESS". Now I understand why Dad loved making bluebird birdhouses. However, life changes, and cottage was too much upkeep for my aging parents...thus the little bird in this block will remind me of many fond memories.

WIKIPEDIA RESULTS ON THE BLUEBIRD:


"The mythology of the bluebird has deep roots that goes back to thousands of years. Indigenous cultures across the globe hold similar myths and beliefs about the bluebird. It is the most universally accepted symbol of cheerfulness, happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health, new births, the renewal of springtime, etc. Virtually any positive sentiments may be attached to the bluebird."

There are references to bluebird myths and symbolism in Navaho culture, in Europe and in Asia. The author mentions Maeterlinck's play, "L'Oiseau Bleu," which by a coincidence I once read. I didn't really appreciate it at the time, although it has the "moral" mentioned by ESC. Materlinck's play is based on a fairy tale published, as "L'oiseau bleu," by Madame D'Aulnoy in the 17th century.

Most Americans know of the Bluebird of Happiness from a song of that name written by Jan Peerce and Art Mooney, introduced by them in 1948 with Peerce's voice (a classical tenor) and Art Mooney's Orchestra. It was inspirational and immensely popular for a time.


*** *** ***
*** *** ***
The Bluebird of Happiness.
(verse)
The beggar man and his mighty king are only
diff'rent in name,
For they are treated just the same by fate.
Today a smile and tomorrow tears,
We're never sure what's in store,
So learn your lesson before [it is] too late,

(refrain)
So be like I, hold your head up high,
Till you find the bluebird of happiness.
You will find greater peace of mind
Knowing there's a bluebird of happiness.
And when he sings to you,
Though you're deep in blue,
You will see a ray of light creep through,
And so remember this, life is no abyss,
Somewhere there's a bluebird of happiness.

- Words by Edward Heyman and Harry Parr Davies

Saturday, February 20, 2010

PIN CUSHION TUTORIALS








When you are a sewer or quilter, there usually is an abundance of needles and pins involved. Normally, a quilter also owns a pin cushion or two or three to keep the needles and pins SAFE when in use. There are several `horror`stories of those `stray` needles and pins being found in precarious places!

Well, in 2009 I was on a mission, that is a 'needle and pin' mission. Firstly, I signed up for a pin cushion swap. This was so exciting for me. I found a tutorial on the Internet to make my pin cushion to exchange, however the first sample I made was too large and looked more like a pillow than a pin cushion.

My partner was in Australia and I finally posted her pin cushion, however I will probably never know if the pin cushion I made her arrived safely or not as she never responded to my email address or posted any confirmation on her blog.

After participating in the 'swap', I made several MORE pin cushions. As I was browsing on the Internet, I noticed a really neat pin cushion KIT on a favorite BLOG site I follow. The pin cushion design really motivated me to contact the blogger. I was elated when I received a reply there was one kit remaining. I purchased the kit immediately. Actually, I also ordered the pin cushion that was already made (just in case I never did make up the kit). Well, when I received the kit, I immediately went to work and here is the result.

Once I sewed the panels together and stuffed my pin cushion, I started finishing the seams and embellished, my favorite job. I worked, or I should say 'played' as I enjoyed making this pin cushion very much. I enjoyed the summer breezes as I completed this pin cushion. Of course this was done during the summer as my gazebo is currently full of snow.
The burgundy flowers are spider roses made by using perl cotton instead of silk ribbon. Leaves are embroidered feather stitch. I used lace with little hearts to trim one seam then stitched with the herringbone stitch.

Then I made another pin cushion and here is the result of number two.

When I had collected more candle sticks and other miscellaneous items with intentions of making more. I even found some wonderful China tea cups and creamers which will make beautiful pin cushions such as the lovely one Pat displays on her blog.

Pin cushion swaps are becoming a favorite with bloggers and Flickr members. Our '2010 tea and Coffee Group' are presently doing a Pin Cushion Swap and I am looking forward to seeing all the different pin cushion ideas they exchange.

There are DOZENS of wonderful sites displaying different tutorials for making pin cushions HERE:

- SWEETHEART PIN CUSHION TUTORIAL If you do make one, feel free to share with us by adding a picture to the Happy Together Flickr Group.

- 60 FREE PIN CUSHION PATTERNS AND TUTORIALS

Enjoy viewing all the pin cushions or TRY your creativity today..ENJOY. Oh, if you wish to post your photo here, please contact me by leaving a comment in my comment space.



I almost forgot to include a photo of the lovely pin cushion I received from Carla. I will cherish this forever as I can appreciate all Carla's work.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vintage beading display at museum






ABOVE - beaded items in museum

My husband and I visited the museum yesterday and was amazed at the beading displays. Most of these glass beads were sewn to leather items such as saddles, moccasins, etc.

I returned home to work on my CQ embellishing....what a different style I was working on!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What WIP to do Next?

Have you ever had days when you feel you have accomplished NOTHING? Well, I am having one right now. I have spent hours browsing online, viewing thousands of ideas I WANT to do, however I just cannot motivate myself to start. I have approximately eight and one quarter 'old' WIPs that just do not 'speak' to me today.

I used to have a philosophy to 'finish the old, forget the new', but this does not work all the time.
The 'new' CQ block I just started to work on seems to be tempting me to get busy sttiching...but I am listening to my husband's 'hurry up and WAIT', not knowing what I am waiting for! However, for some eye candy, I am posting my latest WIP, a CQ block that I am stumped what to do next ...perhaps, I am waiting for spring and an inspirational 'moment'.



...still lots of stitching and embellishing to do!!!!


But I know for one thing...I will finish three cups of coffee and browse around Flickr and Google for another half hour or so then I must be on my way. I am tempted to start an embroidered Valentine project as I love anything with a heart theme and this would be a perfect project for this 'love' month. I have already printed out the pattern and just love it, but am trying to figure out how to use this block in my TEA project. You can find the pattern HERE: And you may even see my version of this pattern here soon...please check back in a day or two...or three. Take care my friends.
Enjoy.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,

If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,

If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun

And crocus fires are kindling one by one:

Sing robin, sing:

I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring."

Christina Rossetti

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dog Booties versus Commercial Booties.




I was feeling terribly guilty whenever my husband took our little bichon dog, Marlee for a walk. The winter temperatures were frigidly cold...minus 30 Celsius degrees and I would often see my husband carrying our dog home as he warmed her little paws in his hand.

In past winters, I had tried purchasing at least four or five different styles of booties for my dog's feet, but nothing seemed to work.

So I performed a Google search and sewed a pattern I found on a website. And the booties actually worked. One did come off when Marlee decided to dash through a two foot deep pile of snow, however my husband took her back about five days late and would you believe, Marlee actually sniffed the lost bootie out of the snow bank?

All we really needed was something to prevent ice from forming between her toes.

Here is a brief tutorial.

1. Fold fleece or fabric you wish to use.

2. Cut four 4 by 8 inch strips from a soft fleece fabric.

3. Sew a round circle of upholstery fabric (somehting for grip) to the folded end. I used a glass to mark the circle then zig zagged it to the right or outside of the fleece.

Here is a picture of one pattern I used for my guide here: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_VLZ5_6CoB8g/SXC1pK8lDTI/AAAAAAAAA4g/bK0ZgzvqFx4/s320/free-dog-boot-pattern.JPG


4. Sew 3 inch strips of Velcro (soft part) approximately four inches from the 'toe' end.

5. Sew a two-inch piece of wide elastic to the Velcro with the hooks. I sewed this part into the seam or under the soft part, making sure when you wrap this part around your dog's foot so the hooks fasten to soft Velcro attached earlier.

6. Curve the 'toe' ends of your rectangular pieces using a saucer.

7. Sew side seams catching the hook part of Velcro. You can sew top of tube booties if you desire.

Now try them on your dog's foot and take your pet for a walk...you may want to make a second pair if these booties are too large for your pet.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tea Block Number 3


This block was not easily inspired as my end result turned out very differently from my original design. I had actually envisioned a grouping of cupcakes so please tell me why I ended up with a teapot! However, I found this floral heart motif in my stash. I had paid ten cents for it; I thought it would be appropriate for my Valentine theme teapot block. Using a contrasting heart-designed pink fabric, I hand appliqued the spout, handle and lid, but the teapot is fused then I embroidered around the edge, using a blanket stitch.

After I completed this block I sewed a block for my next CQ...so guess what I hope to be doing this week...please drop by to see my progress. I had anticipated making a pin cushion, however when it was not working out, I gave up and started to sew scraps together. I can't wait as there is something about CQ and hand embroidery that I absolutely love! Is this why people call this type of work 'crazy patchwork'?

I think I love CQ as it gives one a chance to incorporate many different techniques in one project, for example - silk ribbon embroidery, applique, tatting, crocheting, lace, different fabrics, hand embroidery, trims, beading, embellishing, Brazilian embroidery, cross stitch, etc! The combinations are limitless! Now on with my stitching.

Take care. Happy Valentine's Day!
Cheryl


Some thoughts of the day:
1. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God.. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. The best is yet to come
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?".
26. Always choose life.
27. Forgive everyone everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business.
29. Time heals almost everything.. Give time, time.
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
31. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
32. Believe in miracles.
33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
34. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
35. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
36. Your children get only one childhood.
37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back..

Crazy Life

Crazy Life
"Quilting is my passion...chocolate comes in a close second."

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