Monday, December 31, 2007


Well, tonight is the last of this year; and I'm ending it being sick as the proverbial "dog"! Caught DH's head/chest cold a few days ago; then during the holiday weekend an old tooth with a 30-year-old filling in it decided to act up...........after all those years of chewing!!!! How DARE it?!!! And our loved ones are here until tomorrow night to celebrate the New Year! And among the visiting relatives is my dear great-niece who is 17 and both smart AND pretty, if I DO say so myself! She had unexpected gall bladder surgery recently and missed schoolwork; brought it with her down here from PA and she's catching up on Spanish and Advanced Math and God only knows what else, (she's on the National Honor Society!) heh, heh...........can you tell I'm so proud of her?

While great-niece has her head stuck in her books and my computer, I'm in the sewing room trying to cut out and sew up FIVE cotton, wrap-around skirts for her to wear on a missionary trip w/her dad to Africa next month!
We are afraid for her to go, but it's a trip of a lifetime; and she's really into helping/nurturing people, so it will be a good thing. Do join with me to pray for their safe journey, work, and return next month.............thanks.

I have no photos for you today, but will in a couple of days. I'll find out Wednesday what this tooth is going to cost me to keep it in my mouth!
I'm looking at a sure crown, and praying it doesn't also need a root canal.

Plus: we got THREE days/nights of rains to help our "severe drought" conditions here in mid-N.C., and for that I'm very I'm not staying up late tonight to see the New Year in, but hoping 2008 will bring better health; prosperity; and lots more creative endeavors! Happy New Year, everyone!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Latest beaded doll..........

Here's the latest beaded doll I've just finished working on in the round robin with the ladies of the Yahoo group "Beaded Art Dolls". Her name is "Candy", and she's a surprise doll for one of the members who had to drop out of the RR. Won't she be a beautiful unexpected gift?!! This one was started at the bottom and the women have worked from the bottom...up towards her face.
This is a close-up view of my work on her upper chest/neck/and the pink sequins around her face oval....I added three pink flowers and green leaves as a "top knot"; I hope my friend Sammy won't kill me for putting those in her way! ( She has to bead this child some "hair" next, and then the doll will be finished. Sammy also did the beautiful, tight peyote stitching around this doll's face cabochon.) I'm still learning stitches from these ladies!
.........and here's Candy's back view; almost done! I did the upper back/neck area and learned to make a peyote "ruffle" finally! And the large areas of dark purple are shell-shaped sequins.......I never knew sequins came in so many colors, shapes, and sizes before getting into beading! I think if you click on the photos, they will enlarge for you to see the beading work more doll to go!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

How do you like this TALL stuffed doll I have dug out of my stashes?! She's 26 inches tall and seems to have a body made of canvas that is painted black. I bought her a few years ago, intending to embellish her in some way and then sell her. She came just as you see her here; the head is composition of some sort, and she's on a metal stand (see photo below).
I'm thinking the canvas cloth is going to be resistant to beading; but will have to at least try a patch somewhere on her and see. Her hat is some sort of stiffened net fabric that's also been painted black. Hmmm......all sorts of possibilities........the hat and twine wrapped around her hips can all be removed........let me hear from some of you creative gals out there with suggestions as how to embellish her. Of course I could paint her another color(s); could try "dressing" her in a bohemian style; or even using a hand-held felting needle, add some wool rovings in gorgeous many ideas! Thanks for letting me hear some of YOURS!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Check out these new goodies I found last week at the new "vintage" shop here in town! Above is a winter white furry fabric beret for my artist cuz in Raleigh.........she wears a black one now, and collects vintage berets!
And this is a good little haul of vintage buttons, jewelry and a mother of pearl belt buckle.........the gold button has a "face" in the center. And several have my favorite thing...........rhinestones!!! So when I finish the current beaded doll this week, I'll look for something to make with some of these treasures!

Monday, December 24, 2007

I dressed up the concrete bunny rabbit by one of the koi ponds with her pretty Christmas ribbon today...........maybe Santa will leave her some fresh carrots tonight!!!
............remember this angel whose photograph we took and only used her top half on our Christmas cards a few weeks ago? Well,
here's the whole angel with her little dove in her hands, and praying for "Peace" on the base............she liked it on the porch with this old branch of crooked willow. And from my house to yours: "Merry Christmas" all week long!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

..........well, dear hubby is at it again! And with a vengeance.........this has been a two-day baking spree. Most of these cookies are oatmeal with chocolate chips and maybe pecans.
............oh, yeah! He just found the sugar sprinkle thingies at the grocery store, so now everything has those hard little balls of red, white, green on them to look "Christmasy", he says. I would show you the gingerbread, but I ate that!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Knitted Ribbon Scarf's a new scarf I knitted with fat needles and the wonderful, silky flat ribbon yarn. It takes one whole ball of ribbon, and a small part of a second ball to make this one. Love the went to town hopefully to get sold!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Well, here is the front of the "Princess" beaded doll..........all finished and ready to go home to her "mama" in Oregon! I finished beading her neck and chest area and gave her some arms..........she was fun and easy to work on.
Here's a close-up of the areas I beaded; you cannot see two rows of sequins under her hair; but I love the added pink flowers and green leaves. I also enlarged the little bugle bead "necklace" someone had put under her chin area, adding pink and blue bugles to brighten her up some.
And here is her finished back view: the green sequins w/pink seed beads around her neck don't show up well here, nor do the flower-shaped blue and pink sequins. (Should have taken another close-up....duh!) Then I used the bocce stitch to fill in around her arm/shoulder area with green seeds, and sprinkled some light green beads here and there around her body........her mama had asked all of us who worked on her to use: shades of mauve, blues, greens, and maybe cream. But when I got her, she only had one "cream" heart-shaped bead and a couple of green beads, so I tried to fill some little areas w/greens where the fabric was showing through and it brightened her up a little bit. Overall, she's rather dark, but when she gets home and is displayed in a well-lit area, she's really beautiful !
I do hope her mama likes all the freeform beading we've all done on her; she was a joy to work on! I've colored and stamped and written in the little doll's traveling journal, so after the holiday rush at the post office, I will send her on home!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Check out this gorgeous beaded snowflake bracelet on my (aging!) wrist!
I still can't believe I won (Amazing) Grace's give-away awhile back....she made this beautiful peyote piece and invited everyone to leave comments on her blog and then drew a winner's name............and here it is!!! It's a perfect fit; and the beautiful white button has a snowflake pattern chisled into the top of it. I've worn it for two days now since it came in the mail; might keep it on 'til New Year's! Love it, love it!!! Thank you, dear Grace, for your generosity............perfect for this Christmas time of "giving"!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

TAG..............I'm "it"!!!!!!!!!

My online friend Diane from the Cloth, Paper Studio group has seen fit to "tag" me to play in this blog game: I must list 7 random/weird things about me that perhaps nobody knows. Then I tag 7 other blogger friends
(who will drop me like a hot potato, since this is the week before Christmas and nobody has time for this!) who must (please?!) play "tag" with me, and list 7 thingies about themselves on their blogs; and also visit 7 friends of theirs and "tag" their blogs. This could go on forever!!!!!! Okay: here are 7 things about me that most folks don't know:

1. I drink a big jar of sweet iced tea EVERY day, year 'round!
2. At home or eating out: I MUST have my tea glass FULL of ice!
3. I "hole up" for DAYS in winter like a hermit, and read or bead or paint or sew or knit or quilt, etc. and see no one except DH! (and the cat)
4. I LIKE my own company!
5. I will move to an uncomfortable position in bed to make room for the cat's choice of HER place to sleep!
6. I am addicted to using Avon's "Care Deeply" lip gloss....year 'round!
7. I've never been in an airplane; and have NO intention to do so now!

Now: here are the 7 people who I am "tagging" to follow along and play this game:
Sue K.
Monica M.
Jo Anne O.
Maggie R.
Sammy S.
Susan C.
Cathie R.

........thanks, girlfriends.........for being good sports! Aren't we a fascinating group of artists?!

Monday, December 17, 2007's a few of the cakes that my DH is making and taking to friends, neighbors, relatives this week..............this is one of his annual fun things to do at Christmas; AND he cleans up the kitchen after his baking fits!

Friday, December 14, 2007

This purple/pink doll is the next one I'm beading on in the round robin; that being a part of the yahoo group: Beaded Art Dolls. This top photo shows the doll's front and the bare area I have to cover on her chest. This has been a fun round robin, because there are no hard and fast beading pattern rules; it's just called "freeform beading" and everyone can do their favorite stitches/patterns! The tricky part of this doll is going to be working around the little "necklace" at her throat that's already been sewn on; and also working around her neck, both front and back, because her pretty "loopy" hair drops down and covers the area to be beaded yet! I guess that's why most doll beaders leave the hair for last. But there are tricks of the trade: like covering her hair with a little plastic bag/rubber band, etc. so I can work under it. Stay tuned......this one will be interesting!
And in this doll's color choices for us to use in beading on her were listed shades of green and cream...........I don't see any of those color beads much, so will dig some out of my stash!
And this is the back of the same doll; I have to finish the bare upper back and shoulders. thinking she also needs some "arms" of some sort. We shall see........but when I get finished with her, I'm the last one to work on her, and it will be such fun to mail her back to Oregon to her "mama"!!! Aren't her colors yummy?!!!
And this cute little doll to be beaded is pretty, too! Such light and happy colors! I think her name is "Candy"..........and I might do her hair, since there is one other beader to work on this one..........but I'll try to keep it up off her neck! Hmmm.........maybe a band/necklace of pretty sequins?! So many choices to play with!
Here is "Candy's" back side.........look at the cute little floppy "wings" at the top! She looks like she also might need some arms..........I'm off to pull out my bags of beads and lay out two palettes of colors to match/blend with these dollies and get to work. And to find some larger focal beads for more texture. Oh, I've enjoyed this beading group so very much since I joined them nearly a year ago....and the ladies are so generous with their help and encouragement for those of us new to beading on doll forms! Thanks, BAD ladies!!! I'm addicted to 100% beading on fabric now!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

.........can you believe this clear blue sky weather we're having in N.C.???!!!
And the weather is outrageously warm this week. Check out the temperature below for Tuesday:
.......we got up to 82 degrees this week; "normal" should be around 45 or so. It's 73 now on Wednesday, Dec. 12th! And still no rains..........the drought situation is getting severe now. God willing, we might get "showers" tomorrow, and some "substantial" measurement of rain this Saturday. DH is working in the yard raking tons of leaves and pine straw and also vacuuming them up with the riding mower, but dust just flies up from the least movement. We also live down a long gravel driveway from the highway to the house, so we have a good standing reason for not washing the cars too often! It only takes ONE trip in or out to get covered again with dust!

Monday, December 10, 2007

.........does this look like a bored cat, or what?!! Baby Sister got tired of helping me haul this bag around and wrap some gifts, so when I couldn't find her in the room I was working she was, looking so
ticked off! Of course it got her a treat and we settled down for a nap and a bit of reading my newest "Quilting Arts" and "Beadwork" magazines!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Here are photos of a new book authored by my dear online friend, Margo Duke; (known in the fabric art world as "Her Majesty Margo"). She is the ultimate embellisher using felting machines and by hand, and this great first book of hers has projects for anyone wanting to try their hand playing with wonderful fabrics like wool felt; silk; wool roving; ribbons; buttons; beads; and any sheer fabrics at hand! Isn't the cover just luscious?!
Even the back cover of the book is beautiful; Margo has a natural talent for putting together the most wonderful colorways! Also check out her web site and blog, listed at the right on my list of favorite blogs. Her gallery of finished projects will make your mouth water; the book is now released and available in book stores/quilt shops/online/ or from Margo!
Add it to your sewing/crafting book collection's not expensive, and FULL of great information and easy-to-follow steps. Happy embellishing!

Friday, December 7, 2007

I love this little artsy hanger my dear friend Sandy gave me.......I truly AM "too fond" of books; plus my brain IS getting more "addled" I'm finding as I'm heading full force into my sixth decade! But I don't think it was reading all those books; if anything, reading every day helps me to keep my sanity. My new online friend, Susan Cleveland has a great blog and I love the list she keeps showing the books she reads, and also giving a little review of each one, AND she "rates" it!!! She and I have exactly the same "taste" in the books we read.........thank you, Susan, for the list! I want to do something similar on this blog when I learn how. Duh.(Addled brain)! Check out her blog in my list to the right: its title is "Blackberry Creek".

My latest book is Nicholas Sparks' new "The Choice", and it is the same as all his other you can't put down until the end! And he lives in New Bern, N.C. I don't know why, and I'm not bragging about authors, but North Carolina has produced several VERY good authors. They write both fiction and non-fiction about our varied history of this state which has three definite sections: the Great Smoky Mountains; the rolling hills and pastures of the Piedmont; and the coastal beaches and small towns, which are my favorites to read about. In this new book of Sparks' I can just visualize the places they visit in Beaufort, at Fort Macon, driving over the bridges from Beaufort to Morehead City, and the bridge connecting Morehead to Atlantic Beach and all the wonderful little towns on the Bogue Banks. I'm a Pisces and was taken as a baby/child/teen/adult to the beaches of that area, and still go when able now. A part of my heart stays there year-round.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Meet "Bindi", the latest beaded art doll I've worked on this month.....she lives in Australia with my online friend, Lynn Manning. We in the Beaded Art Doll yahoo group are doing a round robin and using the "freeform" beading style.........which means I can just go nuts with my big, bright hunky beads and focal pieces! Lynn named this cute doll after the late, famous crococile hunter's little girl, Bindi. Since she's a wild child, I thought I should make her some "porcupine" hair out of bugle beads and tipped with blue seed beads. The parts I beaded are her right arm with its blue sequin flower and glass leaves; and her left leg with its spiral bead, some bugles and a butterfly mixed in at her ankle with the light green seed beads. And I found the goldfish and two other little clay fish beads that needed to live on her chest!
This is a close=up of Bindi's "porcupine" hair! I used a tribal bead in the center (just because it "looked/felt" right" when I held it up to her head);
and the hair took the better part of 3 afternoons running to sew on!
Here's Bindi's back side which the next beader will finish and mail back to her Australian home. I added this large clay "sun" face bead, and the surrounding green, gold seed beads; and the wonderful and bright square turquoise sequins! All the other ladies have used many sorts of peyote stitches and "bridges" and great focal beads to make her a really pretty doll. We all hope her mom will love her when she ends her travels. And in this week's mail, I received a box with the next TWO dolls to bead on for the month of December! So you all know where I'll be if I miss a day here and there on this blog................duh.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The other day on our cold daily walk, dear husband (DH) took this photo of our little flying squirrel who is living in the bluebird house in the front yard.
When I tapped on the side of the box, this cute little face popped up to see what the heck was going on...........I wish you could see his little bitty toes on the edge of the hole! It's packed with all sorts of cozy dried grasses, etc. for his winter stay.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

'Tis the be loving and giving of ourselves and our art.
A couple of months ago I participated in the "Pay It Forward" action here on my blog, and only had two responses; but I sent out three gifts because one woman's heart was in the right place, but she was having a difficult time then. I see that several of my fellow artist/bloggers are doing the Pay It Forward thing again, and since I signed up for them, I want to do it again also.

Here's the deal: the first three people who leave comments to this note will receive a handmade gift made by me............IF they agree to post the same offer on their blogs, and also to make and send gifts. In this way we are touching we know not how many lives and hearts; and the very best reward we get is from doing these "random acts of kindness"!!!

So: send in your comments, and after the holidays and early in the New Year I will contact you for addresses and send out your gifts. And just imagine how far and wide all of our small acts of kindness will go, and how many people they will touch! Thanks for participating!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

.......this a VERY old tree. DH and I feel this old, Dec. 1, is our 45th wedding anniversary! WHERE did all the years go? We are old-fashioned and "home-bodies", so we stayed home and raked leaves and made art and ate lots of goodies that were NOT sugar-free! Heh, heh......
we will both be sore and "stove up" in the morning. And his blood sugar level will be up a little....but what the hell. We only go around once, and we were lucky enough to find each other as teenagers and have been together ever since. And to top off a great day, my online beading friend Grace just emailed me tonight that I had won her drawing for one of her beautiful hand-beaded bracelets!!! How lucky is that?! We are SO blessed. Thank you, Grace. Thank you, God.