Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

May you all have a safe and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Back From My Christmas Trip - Camera Left in Michigan

We just got back from a Christmas trip to visit my parents in Michigan (Hi Mom!). We had a great time. My sister Julia was also visiting from Shreveport with her family. Brother Jon (he's local) was also around one of those days. We filled up all the beds, so today after we left, my other sister Laura and her daughter Sarah (from Galveston) and Sarah's family moved in to fill the void and spend New Year's with Mom and Dad. Quite the game of musical beds!

Anyway, we talked a lot, played cards, handed around Christmas gifts and ate like little piggies. I never found peace and quiet to do some tatting but, oh well, the family doesn't get together often because of the distances involved. A great time was had by all.

Unfortunately, I did a really dumb thing. I left my digital camera in Michigan. So I am sorry to say that my blog may be without photos until after New Year's when my camera arrives from it's own trip home from Michigan. It was one of those "I put the camera down because I remembered something else that needed to be packed and forgot to pick it back up again." (A senior moment maybe? Tomorrow is my birthday, so it is possible!)

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My Boy Scout Son's 3 Seconds on You Tube

My son Kyle got an e-mail from a friend that gave us a pleasant surprise. Kyle is in a Boy Scout Promo video on You Tube! At 1:12 into the video is a young man in his Boy Scout uniform (my Kyle) pushing a young scout on a tire swing and laughing. I wish you could hear his laugh in the video instead of the music - he has a great laugh.

I just had to brag. Kyle worked at Owasippe Scout Reservation (Chicago Council) for 8 years - from counselor-in-training as a freshman in high school to Health Officer this past summer. Now that he has graduated from university and moved into the real working world, he will only be able to volunteer during his vacation time. I am sure he is going to miss working with all the scouts

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Greetings to All!

Merry Christmas to all! May you have a peaceful Christmas in the company of your loved ones!

Please say a prayer for the families of our soldiers who cannot be together for this year and a prayer for the safe return of all our soldiers.

Peace be with you


Joyful Stitching,


Life Catches Up with Me!

Life has caught up with me and kept me so busy that I am not sure if I am coming or going! Now the gift shopping is finished, Christmas dinner is in the fridge and ready to cook, and much of the housework is done. Time to take a deep breath!

Our daughter Caitlin (our youngest) celebrated her 21st birthday on Wednesday. How did she get so old!?! I am sure that I am not old enough to have a daughter that old! It seems as if time is moving much too fast. Time for a piece of chocolate (the basis of all life). One of my friends calls them "chocolate fortune candies'"

The chocolate wrapper wisdom of the day - " Smile before bed. You'll sleep better."

Monday, December 18, 2006

CQforNewbies Challenge #2

Our CQforNewbies Challenge #2 is to bring out one of our projects that has been tucked away and display or use it. Since so much of what I make is given as gifts, I had a hard time coming up with something. As we decorated our Christmas tree last evening, I started thinking and a Christmas ornament brought itself and (by association) another project to my attention to meet the challenge.

This tatted ornament is from a class in needle tatting that I taught a couple of years ago. We had a wonderful group of ladies in that class and had a great time! At the moment, I don't remember the name of the book that this pattern came from. I will find that information and edit this post to include it. It was made using Cebelia 10 and a #5 tatting needle.

Update: The pattern for this ornament is in Needle Tatting with Style Book 1 by Barbara Foster and was designed by Sandra Scales.

This pincushion is from a hardanger class that I taught. It has a matching scissors fob and needle case. (I don't know where I packed them.) Again, my mind is blank on the source of the pattern. I'll find this one too and add it here.

The chocolate wrapper says "Sing along with the elevator music." Sounds like fun!

Take A Stitch Tuesday Challenge

Sharon B of the blog in a minute ago will is presenting us with a challenge called "Take A Stitch Tuesday." We will be taking 1 stitch each Tuesday, beginning the first Tuesday in January, and playing with it to see what we can do with it, try different threads, different embellishments. Then we will post a photo of our work either on our blogs or on a photo site. It sounds like a great way to stretch our stitching skills and creativity. Click on the link to find all the details and if you haven't checked out Sharon's blog or website, please do so. She has a stitch dictionary and lots of eye candy!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Ornament Swap

The mailman brought me a present today, an ornament from the CQforNewbies Swap. This stocking was made by Christy. Isn't it great!?! I love the pearl fringe and the silk ribbon flowers.

I have just finished cleaning and rearranging furniture so that we can put our tree up. I can't wait to hang this on the tree.

The chocolate wrappers know me too well! " You know what? You look good in red."

Monday, December 11, 2006

Tatting for Block 2

While looking for something else, I ran across a page that my Grandmother had torn out of the April 1969 Popular Needlework magazine. It had patterns for 3 tatted edgings. I thought that it would be nice to include something that Grandma liked in my Fall Table Runner, so I tried one of the patterns.

I used Perle Cotton 12 and the #8 tatting needle. Beads, etc. to be added later.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Another Christmas Ornament

This afternoon (well I guess it is yesterday afternoon now) I finished putting together another Christmas ornament. I wanted to give it to Margaret when she and Joyce and I had our "girls night out" last evening. Joyce is now pouting because she hasn't received hers yet! It's coming, my dear!

We went to Applebee's. It was great - no cooking, no dishes to wash, a nice young man to wait on us and for Joyce to flirt with. We laughed so hard, entertained the staff, and had a very good time. I can't wait until next month!

My CQ Seam Treatment Journal

Last night, I looked around my computer and saw a paper full of quick sketches of seam treatments that I had seen on a crazy quilt listed on eBay. Not far away was a journal with a beautiful CQ cover that I had ordered from Sharon B's shop at Cafe Press. (Check it out - great CQ stuff - and sign up for her newsletter too!) My brain fires up - what a perfect place to record these seam treatments! So out come my Dream-A-Seam templates (from Carole Samples - marvels of artistic symmetry), rulers, circle template, and colored pencils and I get to work.

This is the first page of my Crazy Quilting Seam Treatment Journal. I will keep it in my CQ workbasket so that it will be close at hand for inspiration. I am quite pleased with myself!

Now to find all those other pieces of paper stashed around the house!

I reward myself with chocolate. "Remember your first everything" the chocolate wrapper says. Yes, it's a first step in nurturing my creativity and the artist within.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Am I an Artist? Are You?

On November 26
Sharon B began a series of postings on her blog In a Minute Ago about nurturing our creativity. Many other bloggers have also taken up the discussion. Sharon got us all to thinking (she's very good at that!) about taking ourselves seriously as artists.

This is something that I had not really thought about. Sewing and embroidery have always been "things that I do." I have not thought to apply artist as a description of myself. I make clothes and home dec stuff. Is it art to use patterns that others have come up with to sew my clothing? Maybe it is. I can't seem to make anything exactly as the pattern is written. I always have to do things my way and add my own little touches. My choices of fabrics, threads and embellishments are made to please my eye - my artistic eye? - and not to please anyone else. Am I an artist?

I also make jewelry. Often, I will see someone else's design and say "That's great, but..." and go off in my own direction. Am I an artist?

Sharon B also talked about maintaining a visual journal of our ideas. Again, I had never thought of doing this - or maybe I had, informally. There are little (and big) pieces of paper all over my house, stuck in odd places, with sketches of details from antique garments or embroideries that I find inspiring, with photos with color combinations or flower arrangements that are nagging me to turn them into embroidery or clothing, with quick scribbles of seam treatments found on antique crazy quilts that I have seen on eBay. Am I an artist?

I can't answer the question. The word artist feels strange to my shape - or is it to my thinking? Have I been pushing this aside for years to raise a family and earn some money? I have discovered this - I need and deserve to chance to find out. I have to give myself permission to do this. I will turn 54 on December 30 and I have many years ahead of me to enjoy my art!!!! I am not too old. It is not too late. I will do this. I will make time for my stitching and other pursuits every day. And even if I never find the answer to the question, I will be a happier person for spending more time doing something that gives me so much joy and for using a gift that was given to me as much as it was meant to be used.

This has been a different kind of thinking. I need some chocolate!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Start on Block 2

Yesterday, I got 1 1/4 yards of the hem edging completed for Aiden's baptismal gown. Today, I need to get another 1 1/4 yards made! Onward and upward...

I also made some time for stitching on Block 2 of my Fall Table Runner. It was very happy to receive some attention.

On the piece in the lower right corner, I embroidered the design in the fabric with a stem stitch using silk buttonhole twist. and the lace on the top left corner was based on. I still don't know how I will be embellishing the lace, but inspiration will come, I am sure.

The chocolate wrapper for the day says "Hey, why not?" Maybe I need to have another piece of chocolate!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Crochet Motif

When I was at Border's the other day, I found a neat book put out by the American School of Needlework called 101 Thread Crochet Embellishments by Delsie Rhoades.

While there are lots of things to try, I decided on a fan. I used Perle Cotton 12 and could see after about 8 rows that it was just going to be way to large for any of my crazy quilting projects. So I stopped after 11 rows, added a row of single crochet, and called it completed. I haven't been crocheting for quite a long time, so was quite pleased with the results.

The chocolate wrapper is being mischievous again! "Naughty can be nice." I have to think in that!

Aiden's Baptismal Gown

Well, Blogger was not being nice yesterday, so I'm trying this again!

After shoveling out my car yesterday, I worked on a different project - one in the "must get done" category. Aiden Patrick (nephew Patrick's first baby!) needs a baptismal gown. I was to the point where I had to decide on the machine embroidery I was going to use at the hem. So I spent a good part of the afternoon trying out various designs in my 3D Embroidery software (such fun!) and this is the trial run of the combination of designs that I decided to use. The designs are from Husqvarna Viking design package #154 Elegant Elements.

Now that the trial runs are over, it's on to the real thing!