Friday, November 30, 2007

This is the beaded art doll I'm finishing up this weekend.......I covered her right arm and left leg in the top photo. She is from Australia, and loves it here with me and my other dollies!
.......and here's what I added to her naked back: the pretty clay sun face; and the surrounding beads and I'm going to bead her a head full of (hopefully!) gorgeous hair, and then mail her on her way to Oregon where another beader in this round robin will finish the other "naked" areas! Then "Bindi" doll will fly home across the "pond" back to her mom in Australia..........oh, and she travels with a little journal that each of us adds a little info into telling about her stays with us. I have to decorate my two pages a little more and she will be all done.
And just when I thought I was catching up with this beading round robin, today I heard the last two dollies are on their way to me in the mails as I type this!!!!!! It's so exciting to get each one and a challenge to see what we can add to each doll........I never thought I'd have the patience to sit by the hour and sew itty-bitty glass beads on by hand, with a CURVED needle! (I do cuss a lot some days!) And usually three or four beads at a time; backstitch and do it again............what can I say? I'm addicted!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

.........well, here I am, still recuperating from the Thanksgiving holidays! When I put this eye mask on and get into my pink chaise lounge with the cat and the heating pad, everybody KNOWS not to bother me! I'm "dancing as fast as I can" now trying to at least get all my lists in order to match days of the calendar. I cannot believe the month of November is gonna be totally GONE this Friday! Ha! DH says I might as well accept it and get my act together.........heh, heh. I've about finished beading on the latest round robin doll in the beaded art doll group; she will be mailed out this weekend. Then I'll whip out a few painted glass tree ornaments if my acrylic paints haven't dried up. And in between, I'm determined to finish the new Jan Karon book, "Home to Holly Springs"; it's the first of the new series about Father Timothy and it's going to be real good! The library just got it and thankfully it's large print, so I whiz through a few chapters a day, in between all else going on. I MUST read every day, and I MUST do some kind of art every day...........they are my life supports! When I learn how to put a list of good books I've read/am reading on this blog, I'll do so. I love reading other bloggers' lists of their great books, and their comments.

Monday, November 26, 2007

This sweet little bird sat on one of the cast iron "birds" attached to our small birdbath in the backyard this morning for so long, we thought he might be sick! He let me walk all around him to put sunflower seeds on the bird feeder; then I got DH to bring out his "big" camera w/telephoto lens. He was able to get several shots of the little critter before it got tired of all our attention and flew up into the tree! We think it's a nuthatch; I haven't had time to look him up.......if anyone knows for sure, I wish you'd let me know! Not much "tailfeathers" to speak of..........very short. But isn't the coloring glorious?!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Isn't this a gorgeous angel?! She's about two feet tall and is holding a tiny bird in her hands. At the front of her base is the word "PEACE". We dragged her all over the yard this morning trying to get a good photo of her to put on our Christmas cards for this year. DH is working on them now; we shall see what he comes up with! We are fortunate to have all the beautiful and free supplies for decorating for Christmas here on the farm; longleaf and white pines; magnolias; cedars; running cedar; holly trees full of red berries; and dozens of these nandina bushes with their bright red berries in clusters! These berries will dry and keep their shape and color for about six months! It's cold and damp today, but soon we will make wreaths, door sprays, and maybe put up a tree.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Here's my other work room where I do rubber stamping, painting, collages, make cards, and sling glue and all the "wet stuff" around........
although the plastic bins above with drawers DO hold lots of larger sized glass beads! And tin charms. And little clay art doll faces.
Check out the neat shallow shelving unit hubby made for my rubber stamps! And I need another one it seems; other stamps are all over the stamping table surface. Lots of bags/boxes, etc. for shipping underneath. And the carousel of scissors that all make different decorative cuts/designs for paper edges! The corner of the stamping room is filled with magazines like Quilting Arts; Belle Armoire; Stampington; Cloth, Paper, and Scissors........above the table-top cabinet, and below on the floor. The beautiful angel arrived with a broken wing! DH has since fixed it with epoxy glue, and she has the word "Peace" carved on the front of her base. Plastic bins full of vintage papers and old broken costume jewelry for beading and embellished wall quilts!
Can you tell another fetish I have is RIBBON?!! And I didn't even take a photo of the "ribbon shelves" behind the door! Sheesh! And oodles of nice plain note cards to watercolor on, or glue photographs. They are ivory with red or blue or green deckle edges. The shoe boxes are filled with old photos taken and printed from film; before we got "digital".
This wonderful old sewing cabinet on top I got from a local antique shop, and it holds rubber stamps and handmade papers. The large wooden chest
is full of vintage books and papers for collages. I have a wonderful old dictionary from 1918, that was my mother's when she was in 5th grade here in town. Its pages are golden/brown with age and it would make gorgeous collages or art journal covers, but I can't bring myself to tear it up yet. Other great things living back in this room are children's song books with sweet illustrations; old music books; and various old bibles from three generations of my family tree.
Now you know where I do my artwork and sewing, beading, etc. And it's been fun to see other artists' photos of their work sites on their blogs!
Thanks for the challenge, Alma!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

.........all right, girls! Here are some shots of my sewing/beading/reading room. Above is the lower part of the pretty little old dresser I posted earlier.
The market basket underneath is full of hand-dyed wool rovings for machine embellishing/felting; and the shelving on the left holds felt sheets and fabrics from muslin to satins and silks and hand-dyed batiks.

And up on the shelf are some jars of my vintage button collection; another batch in a drawer. The plastic drawer/bins are wonderful for seeing through, so I can find stuff in a hurry! And you see the beading side of the sewing table with tubes of tiny beads that I recently bought on a half-price sale and they are too tiny for me to work with, even with my MagEyes! So thankfully, a beading friend online is buying them from me, or we are doing a swap of some kind.........her eyes are younger than mine! Thank you, Jo Anne! Way up top is quilt batting and my hoop for rug-hooking.

........more great see-through bins full of sheer things to play with, like netting/tulle; soft old silk scarves; vintage lace from old dresses, etc. And in the ugly wooden tower (DH donated it to me when he replaced his computer furniture)........I keep some skeins of yarns and the wonderful, colorful flat ribbon to knit and crochet with. Inside drawers are needles, threads, a collection of clothing labels cut out of various things that "died" over the years. I hope this furniture can "go away" after Christmas and I'll get more bins that I can see through. The machine to the right is my wonderful babylock Embellisher! And on top of the black/clear drawers is a box of rolled fat quarters of beautiful quilting cottons; and a box of sewing threads to the left.
This stack of fabric is mostly fat can see I now LOVE bright colors! Just can't get enough color and glitter and glitz.......the older I get, the more I love my sequins, Maggie! And this is a better view of the jars of vintage buttons........ I love to use them on so many projects!
Isn't this a great old wooden table?!! Still has its original red paint and a drawer. This is where I sit to read at night, and the bins underneath of course are full of ...........hmmmmm............I can't really tell. (I went to look......) I found ribbons, fibers and yarns; embroidery flosses, a gorgeous piece of antique white wedding gown w/clear sequins and pearls! (From the thrift shop). Also silk ribbon flowers and tiny thingies! (I also love to do silk ribbon embroidery), but am too busy this year beading art dolls and brooches!)

Monday, November 19, 2007

This old dresser with the pretty-shaped mirror was mine as a teenager, and Mama let me cover the lovely wood with white paint and gold decorations!I had to have "French Provincial" at the was all the rage, and I couldn't afford new furniture. It's served the family well down through the ages. Now it's back into a corner of my sewing/beading room........if you click on the photo (I hope it enlarges for you) you can see my various art dolls hanging around the mirror. Fabric postcards are on the wall above, and reflected in the mirror is just a tiny view of more stashes of fabrics and buttons, etc. I promised a friend to post views of my two studio rooms, but can't find the pix now! So I will take new ones this week and try to post tomorrow. Trust me...........I've accumulated LOTS of wonderful "stuff" to create art with!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Can you see the six big, black vultures in this dead tree? Way up high; almost every cold day they come to sit/nap and spread their wings to get warmth from the sun. They're ugly rascals, but a necessary evil; they are scavengers and clean up roadkill on the highways and byways. And now that we have deer hunting season going on, I'm sure they find wounded poor deer here and there out in the country. There's nothing "sporting" about sending a pack of dogs into the woods to flush out deer, and when they run straight towards you, kill them with a rifle. Duh. Hunters nowadays should have to hunt like the American Indians used to hunt.....on foot, with bow and arrow. Without dogs. And hunters now should also be made to use and eat every part of the deer, and then tan its hide for later use. Such waste. Time for me to go tack up some more "NO HUNTING" signs around our farm.................

Friday, November 16, 2007

This is my baby sugar maple tree we planted in the back yard a couple of years ago........the sun on it this week has been so beautiful ! I hope it survives the ongoing drought in this area, and will live to be big and old!
We actually had a cold front to go through here and got about a half-inch of rain; also the balmy 70 degree days have switched to windy and below 50-degree days. Looking for 29 tonight, so all the outdoor kitties have their beds on the porch with heating pads set on "low"........they like the beds so much, they are spending most of the daytime in them as well as night-time! And the birdbath has its heating element going so they will have water; and DH now is putting heating elements into the three goldfish ponds.........I'd say we're all set for winter!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The wall where I sit at the computer looks like this right now. It began two years ago with the great metal word, "Relax". Then friend Sue K. sent me the pretty wooden blackbird. And now that Christmas is so near, and I am so behind in preparing for it, I just found the new and perfect phrase you see hanging at the top! That's my state of mind today, at least.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

This little beaded doll I made for a sweet online friend of mine who is fighting cancer for the third time. I hope it's a fun surprise for her when it arrives, and that she likes it. I loved embellishing it for her, and included prayers for her good health once more. (Doll form by M. Magness)!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Baby Sister is SO tired of me taking her picture in her new pink bed......see that expression? I think we'll make some note cards of her (again)! Our poor friends and relatives get bombarded with CAT cards.......when they see this, they will groan. Heh, heh........

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Here are our outdoor kitties.........the two gray tabbies, that is. The light orange "tom" cat is new to the neighborhood, and shows up just for breakfast and supper! Thank goodness he's friendly, so we were able to put Frontline on his neck along with the other cats and rid him of fleas. All our cats have been spayed or neutered; and if he's going to hang around long, he's in for an unexpected trip to the vet's office! It's VERY frustrating to live in the country and have neighbors with pets who show no responsibility for their roaming cats and dogs. Very few have collars with information; almost none have been neutered or spayed; and of course there are always unwanted litters of kittens and puppies. DH and I belong to a local animal group, Citizens for Animal Abuse (CAP) which thankfully has made a dent into the neglected animals in this county.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

This fuzzy photo above is the beaded doll's arm I'm adding to in a "round robin".......I hope her "mom" in Australia likes what I'm doing to her baby!
......and here's the whole doll on my work table and some of the beads and sequins, etc. I'm digging out of my stashes to add to her! I just found out the new tiny seed beads I got on half=price sale recently are TOO durn small for me to work with! I'll know NOT to buy size 15 beads any more.
This baby is coming along, Lynn M.! I'm addicted now, and on a roll; hope you will like her when she gets back home to you!

Friday, November 9, 2007

And here is our little library that I visit at least once a week, it seems......I am a voracious reader, and go through one to three books during a week. Not counting the daily newspapers and my arts and crafts and sewing magazines! I will start a listing on my blog (when I learn how) of my favorite books as I finish them, in case anyone reading here likes to read the same types that I read. (I have kept a notebook for the past 30 years of all the books I've read, and also "rated" them, in case any were good enough to read a second time!) My memory is not reliable any more, so my record book saves me from reading "no account" books a second time! Heh, is too short and there are too many great new books out there I need to read! This past summer I've been enjoying all the library's books about Abraham Lincoln and his family and career, for some reason. Both fiction and non-fiction.......they were a fascinating family. I also like to be first on the list to read the large-print new best sellers; especially ones by my favorite authors.

This little library building is very old, and I loved going as a child and sitting at the little oval wooden tables with kid-sized chairs to pick out my books for the week in the "children's room". Of course now the library is out of private hands and receiving state monies, which is both good and bad. We got "computerized" and have more workers, and money to buy new books every month. But the quiet, peaceful days of sitting to read the newspapers or book reviews are gone forever. And the thing I miss most of all is the little signature card that stayed in the paper pockets on the books' last page and showed everyone's signature who had read it before I did...........this was a great help, because if I saw the names of friends who love the same types of books that I do, I knew I should get it!

And just two blocks away, ground was recently broken to build a new and larger library. Of course it's been needed for years, but we are a poor county and have high taxes. The new building will offer lots more stuff that we've never had: audio books; movies; a genealogy room to do research in; larger bathrooms; offices; meeting rooms; computers for the general public and for school kids who might not have them at home.............and God knows what else. I'm sure I will use the new library, but I will miss this pretty old building and the quiet days spent there seeking out new and old favorites, and whispering with our friends we'd happen to run into and get caught up on each other's "favorite book list".

Notice in the photo above all the wonderful old trees and shade; this library is on the courthouse square in the middle of town. The trees are very old and in the summer children check out their books and sit on the grass and learn to read, while the adults visit and good-naturedly fuss at each other for "beating" them to the newest of the "best sellers".
The new building will be built where our old A&P grocery store once the middle of a naked, hot cement parking lot. We'll have lots more convenient parking spaces for sure, but I sure will miss the shade and autumn colors of the huge old maple trees that will be left behind.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

........well, here's your highness, Baby Sister cat enjoying her new pink and brown toile cat bed! It's got a great fat and soft mattress underneath her, and a pink satin bow on the end! And the little pillow she uses to prop herself up to see which library book I'm reading...........this one at the side is Patricia Cornwell's newest, "Book of the Dead", and I went through it in two days; it's very good. is good.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pass It Forward...........

I have an online friend, Maria, who shared this idea with me. It's a sort of "random act of kindness" that so many artists on the online groups carry out all the time. This is how it works:

*I will send a small handmade gift to the first three people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this "Pass It Forward" exchange. The only thing you have to do in return is to Pass It Forward yourself, by making a similar agreement on your blog!
*You will find that participating in these random acts of kindness to be very rewarding!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

In the photo above is the newest beaded art doll I just received in the mail. I have about three weeks to fill in half the "naked" spaces left on her. She comes from Australia, and has traveled to Germany and Pennsylvania before getting to my house! This is being part of a "round robin" being done by ladies who belong to an online group: Beaded Art Dolls. I joined them last fall, and am loving learning from all of them!
The back side of the beaded dolly is showing an awful lot of bare "skin" to be covered! But her "mom" told me to "do my thing" with textured freeform beading, (that means no rules!), so I'm looking forward to sewing on her with some larger glass beads, maybe a vintage small button or two, and some crystals or a rhinestone or two! And filling in also with a few hundred other tiny glass just happens that I received a new little order of gorgeous small beads last week!! Can't resist those half-price bead sales! Stay tuned to see how she looks in the coming weeks.........

Monday, November 5, 2007

......and here's the prettiest Trick or Treat visitor we had on Halloween; she's Kayla, daughter of our god-daughter. She informed me she was a "Walt Disney Princess", (specifically the blonde one wearing a pink ball gown on her treat purse!) She let me wear her wonderful hat for a little while.......I love how it floats along when you move about! Hmmm..... I may have to make myself one of them and add some beading, to match my magic wand I made last year for a swap! It's pink with a star perched on the top; has glitter and pink satin ribbons dangling down....... on my few "good days" I can wear my hat and wave my wand at Baby Sister cat when she bugs me and tries to play in my little trays of beads! Heh, heh........

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Isn't this the cutest decoration?!! Last weekend our little "uptown" Main Street merchants all had a scarecrow decorating contest, and this is the winner. She's living right now outside The Warren Restaurant, one of our weekly "watering holes" for lunch. The orange "menu" on her lap offered mashed autumn leaf gravy, and other fun make-believe foods! (We didn't order that, so I can't report on how tasty it was)!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

.........well, here's Flossie Flamingo all faded pink and her pearls she's worn all summer are sort of greenish. Guess it's time to take her in for the winter and paint her a hot pink and wash her pearls. Or I might paint her and put her out for the winter like last year, but wearing one of my hand-knitted fuzzy scarves! The dear friend Sandy (in Florida), who gave Flossie to me was horrified to see an email photo I sent her last winter with Flossie out in the icy weather, so I put a warm scarf around and around her neck and sent another photo. So Sandy felt better (a little). She has this ongoing "flamingo" thing going since she retired and moved to Florida, of giving me one of the pink birds in one fashion or another every chance she gets!!!!! 'Cause she knows I don't like'em. And 'cause she loves me, she swears! (I'm glad she doesn't hate me!) Heh, telling WHAT she'd send me then.

Friday, November 2, 2007

This Friday post is way late in the day, but we've had a busy time and a gorgeous autumn day to run errands. Above are some of the pretty vintage grosgrain ribbons I acquired recently (front stack). And I was happy to see in the Walmart today that the ribbon companies are making lots of reproductions of old buttons and laces and ribbons! Of course, the newly-made items we love to create with don't have that "aged" patina on them, but boy, do we have lots of ways to "age" them........with tea and instant coffee and plant dyes; and for colors: use Kool-Aid and Easter egg dyes!

When we got home late this afternoon, in the mailbox was my next Round Robin doll to bead on in the Beaded Art Doll yahoo group! She's from Australia; she's already traveled to Germany and Pennsylvania, and now to me in North Carolina! I'll try to remember to post a photo of her tomorrow here so you can see the beautiful beading that's already been done by three of the ladies; then I'll show her to you again when I finish my part of the "free-form" beading and work in her pretty travel journal and mail her off to the next beader in Oregon! This child needs a suitcase, doesn't she?!! And a passport! Her "mom" in Australia will be so happy to get her back home in January..........and to exclaim over the untold hours of intricate beading done on her. It's such a fun RR, and all the ladies in this group are super nice.......they're master beaders, and still let "newbies" like me join their group to learn to bead! I"m so blessed.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

........outside the side door/porch dear hubby has not one, but three goldfish ponds. It started several years ago with a cheap yard-sale fiberglass shaped pool that you dig a hole and set it into the ground. So he dug and dug and since the yard is very slanted, got half of it into the ground. Then we hid the rest with huge field rocks he brought in with the tractor's scoop from all over the farm and lots and lots of hauled dirt. Then the black, wide edge of the pool looked ugly, so we dug up various green things from the other parts of the yard and planted liriope, monkey grass, and English ivy and left some pretty rocks showing. He added goldfish from Walmart, and here they are........6 years later! We've learned a LOT about fish ponds since then, let me tell you. For one thing, the fishes only grow according to the space in their pond. So these have only tripled their size (or more!) And now there are 11 in this one. He added some part-koi and some of the goldfish have triple tail fins that have grown long and wave beautifully in the water. Oh! and we had to add "water plants", of course. Some died. Some didn't, and grow out of their pots every summer. And of course now our weather is getting cold; the fishes know when to curtail their eating, and are very sluggish. Their systems go sort of dormant in the winter; they stop eating; and of course hubby had to add an electric heating element so they wouldn't freeze up in the ice. But he also has this year made a new little waterfall and added a new filter thingie for them to get more oxygen and of course moving water doesn't freeze. They DID freeze up the first winter, however........before we knew what we were doing, but it didn't harm them. They just "woke up" in the springtime, like everything else does, and went on about their fish business!
We now have THREE fish ponds at the porch, but that's a story for another day! But it's wonderful to sit in my rocking chair out there and read or hand-sew and listen to the gently bubbling water.