Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pretty buttons.............

Aren't these just some of the prettiest buttons you ever did see?!! One of my gal pals gave me a couple of cards of them for Christmas and I just "found" them again today in the sewing room. They seem to have tiny dots of glass made into the little colored shapes on top...........hmmm. These have lots of possibilities.........stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lonely hearts.............

Well, while digging for embellishments for the FELT heart pins, I found some great scraps of vintage cottons and upholstery fabric, so they worked fine for these little heart-shaped sachet pillows.............
I especially love the ones made from the old rose fabric with tan/beige backgrounds.......some hearts are weirdly-shaped and some have little pockets that will have little "somethings" tucked into them.........(yet to be decided)! This could take awhile...........I seem to get sidetracked from one project to another when I'm digging into stashes that I haven't been in for a year or more........anybody else do that? Now I'm back today working with the felt; gotta go practice my blanket stitch for edging and I cannot for the life of me get started without looking it up in one of my embroidery books! Duh. I've only been doing hand-embroidery since I was 16 years old. This is why we seniors need a BIG supply of reference books, right?!! Heh, heh....

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mix and match...........

Today I started dragging out all kinds of fun stuff to make Valentine heart-shaped pins. And mini-pillows. And sachets. Ideas just keep coming! And time is short, as was just Christmas, for heaven's sake! Now the stores have Valentines already out to sell, and the Easter bunnies won't be far behind! So I thought I'd better get MY behind in gear.........
Felt, ribbons, laces, beads, wool and soy silk rovings, hand-dyed velvet and buttons........surely I have all the "makings" for LOTS of heart thingies to sell and give for Valentine's Day! It's amazing what you can put together with ONLY bits and pieces of scrappy things, if you don't throw away those clippings of metallic threads or fabric or yarns............stay tuned............
I found these wonderful sheets of wool felt at "" and cut out shapes from all my stash of pink/red/purple mixes. Then stuck a thick felt heart under the Babylock Embellisher machine to punch some dangling yarns onto it, and immediately broke one of the seven needles! Arggggh.....!
Okay: I can just keep "felting" with the other needles. One day I broke four within an hour. Then I can go weeks without breaking one.......I should have checked for the thickness of the felt first. I make the kind of art that is called "learn as you go" these pins I can see in my head won't be able to be made altogether with the Embellisher. That would be super-quick, but now I think I'll add the embellishments by hand and use some great colors of hot pink and red and gold metallic threads I got for Christmas. Hopefully in a day or so I can show you some finished pins!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

......the last straw!

On top of all else this "new year" so far, I knocked my pretty little mirror off the dresser and when I caught it, I grabbed it so hard that these cracks radiated from the sweet little woman looking into it! Whew! It never hit the floor, thank goodness...........I would have been wiping up glass shards with wet paper towels to keep the cat from walking on them.

And the supposed "bad luck" of a broken mirror has already started: while waiting to finish the root canal next week, this weekend another big old tooth got flossed and I spit out a chunk of the side of the tooth! Dammit.
I shouldn't be surprised; it's one of those 30-year old fillings that we've been expecting to go "someday" least I'm VERY thankful it's not hurting for this weekend! I'm off to find some soup............

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Leggy Lady.........!

Finally! Above is the pretty beaded art dolly I've been working on (her legs)
and she's just about done. Aren't all the shades of pinks and purples and blues gorgeous together? This group of ladies are talented beaders.......

The doll was all covered with beading except for her legs when I got her; so now the fronts are done and I'll finish up the leg backs SOON! When there are so many freeform stitches used, you have high and low areas. I kept getting the thread hooked around a bead or sequin on the "other" leg while working on one; I finally wrapped up the finished leg with a scrap of fabric to cover it smoothly and then could get to bead without that hassle! Whew! I've learned a lot during the last six months of beading on this group of art dolls, and made wonderful new online friends also. Now I have to move on to the project of beaded 2" squares, both for the Pink Artist doll and for a monthly on the Cloth, Paper Studio Yahoo group. And it's time to begin whatever I'm going to make and donate to our local Relay for Life that will be held in a few months' time! Happy beading, everyone!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Good Read..............

Here's the latest book I read last week; I rated it "Good". Tabitha King is Stephen's wife (he of the horror stories), but she's a great writer herself.
When I learn how, I'll keep an ongoing list of good reads on this blog. I've kept a notebook of every book I've read since 1965, and rated them:
Fair/Good/Very Good! Only the ones rated "very good" would I read again sometime in the future. I feel sorry for people who were not read to as children, and who don't love to read as adults. I MUST read something every day, whether it be newspapers, magazines, books, my large print bible (which I have highlighted here and there in yellow!), paperbacks and hardbacks. I've visited our little local library since I was four years old and sat at the little oval wood table that is low enough for kids. Now I can put my name on the waiting list for best-sellers or get them to borrow books we don't have thru the inter-library loan program. And I love to read lots of different kinds of tales............both fiction and non-fiction; more on this subject another day. It could take a long time.................stay posted if you're a lover of books!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Fine Feline...................

This beautiful cat figure was given to us by a local dear friend for Christmas! Isn't she just grand? She reminds me of our old Siamese cat that lived for 20 years........and we still miss her! This kitty keeps me company at the computer every day and loves the photos that come in showing other felines, of course!
I really wasn't drinking when I took this shot(!), but I wanted to show the beautiful finish on's copper/greenish and looks like the real thing of a bronze sculpture until you pick it up and realize it's not heavy.
It came from the Winterthur Museum's gift shop, so is probably a rendering of some of their many Egyptian felines. I love her! Thanks, K.W.!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Redwork Ladies...........

Aren't these embroideries just wonderful??!!! My dear friend Sue Kurowski in Ohio sent them to me in a swap, and I cannot wait to add embellishments to them.........maybe some beads, ribbons, laces, feathers?
Yummy! Thanks, Sue!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Natural beauties...........

I've found so many beautiful shapes and colors of things right here in my yard this winter; it makes me stop to think how much Mother Nature gives us for pleasure and creativity. The top photo is the stump of an old cedar tree we had to cut down because of ice storm damage done years ago, and it was dying............(and a friend needed some cedar fence posts!) And yes, it still smells wonderful like cedar chests or cedar closets! But look at the shape of the tree's outline................sort of like a flower. Or a leaf. Or a butterfly with a huge head!
And in this other close-up photo of the same cedar stump, you can see where little bugs lived and ate their way through, making interesting little tunnels as they went. I wonder where they went after the tree was cut down. Maybe they had already abandoned their little tunnel homes when the tree way dying. And I couldn't count the "age rings" on this tree like I can on a pine to tell how old it is. But I remember how big and tall it was for all the 30-odd years we've lived here, so I grieved for losing a pretty old cedar which had given the birds shelter from the hot sun or winter cold rains for so long. Not to mention the oxygen trees give us; or the carbon dioxide they absorb to clean our air. And the many Christmases that I snatch off a few soft cedar greens to decorate with, and that smell so great!
Can you tell I'm a "tree hugger" kind of person?! Heh, heh.........everybody please go plant a tree somewhere this year.........the environment and birds will thank you for many years to come.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Laurel Burch horses..............

This is one of the late Laurel Burch's fabric panels with horses in her wonderful, bright colors. I hope to put lightweight batting and a fabric back for a wall hanging for my nephew, who loves horses. Of course this one will have to have lots of beads and yarns for embellishments! And I love doing hand quilt stitches are not the tiniest or the neatest, but I love doing it!

Since Burch's death last year, some of her designs that had never been printed to fabric are being done now; and I was lucky to find this place online with new cats/horses and her great borders and stripes and dots, so I got some of several designs. The most striking of her works are the ones done on black backgrounds using her gold detailing.......just beautiful.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I am a Pink Artist!

I am a breast cancer survivor. Recently my online friend Monica Magness invited me to participate in making parts of her project doll, which when finished, will be auctioned off on ebay I believe. All proceeds will go to the Komen breast cancer research. For more info, please visit her blog listed in my side list as Girl Gone Thread Wild!

Last beaded dolly............

Well, this is the last fully-beaded art doll in the online round robin I'm working with. She's really large at 9 1/2 inches tall; but the beaders have done a wonderful job thus far, as you can see in these photos! Above is the front of the doll.....and check out the creative fabric "yo-yo's" on her! A new idea for other beading projects!
Her full hair and whole dress both front and back have been beautifully beaded in lots of peyote stitch and other "freeform" stitching. Now it's up to me to cover both those naked legs from her skirt down to her little feet!
Our weather today is horrid: 34 degrees and dreary rains....a great day to bead! We need the rain very much and I'm thankful we missed the frozen ice that we usually get this time of year!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

January's beaded "mini"..........

Well, finally!!! Finished this little two-inch square piece for the year-long challenge on the Yahoo group: Cloth, Paper Studio. I think the colors look cold and icy and to finish off the back and make it into a brooch! These little pieces are fun to bead!
Next on my work table is the last of the Round Robin dolls to bead my share on her pretty little legs and feet. She's in the great fun group of ladies from several countries who are members of the Yahoo group: Beaded Art Dolls. I've made some great friends in this talented and sharing group of women; and am finally learning to BEAD! It's one of those things I have admired for years, but didn't have any idea I could do it! I'll post a photo of this dolly..............stay tuned..............

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Faeries live here!

This is a gorgeous "bronze" finish faerie given to me for Christmas by two of my dearest girlfriends! She has tin wings and is tall; I can't decide where to put her yet. Or a name for her, either. Hmmmm.................
Isn't that the sweetest face?!! Not all faeries have "nice"/sweet facial features; I am picky about my collection of "statuary" of different mediums around here......I don't do "cutesy" any more. I like them to look old-fashioned and dainty..........
...........and here she is from the back; her skirt is a flower and she is plucking at the "petals" with her dainty little hands. And she's wearing very sensible shoes.......little flat ballerina-style flats that are just right for tip-toeing thru the woodland world!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dollar Tree gleanings.............!!!

One day this past week someone on one of the Yahoo groups mentioned she had found Blue Moon beads in the "craft" section of her local Dollar Tree store. Another lady said she was so disappointed because HER local store did NOT have them. Of course I had to whiz on over to MY nearest Dollar Tree store about 15 miles away and check it out.......I almost missed finding them! So I asked the sales lady and she sent me back to the area where the (sometimes) skeins of yarns and paper craft supplies are. As you see in the photo above, I got a great selection; now I can use some of them in one of my January challenges, which is a small beaded pin/brooch. I'm doing it all in white/silver/blues, hoping it will look cold and wintry. So hurry on over to your local dollar stores and find seems all states didn't have them; and there were only a few colors available, but still a lot cheaper than in the bead stores or ordering online! Good luck.....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

In memory........... dear's image above is for you and Jackson. Today he is walking along a peaceful path such as this one. We are weeping with you and for him and his family. May God be with all of you this week.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Embellished brooch..........

This is a pin/brooch I made last night for my cousin's black beret; and it matches the lime green scarf I knitted her for Christmas. These brooches can be made by hand or using your embellisher/needle-felting machine. I have the Babylock Embellisher......a "sewing" machine with no thread! It has a close grouping of 7 barbed needles, and as you "sew", the needles felt/punch yarns, sheer fabric scraps, etc. through the base of felt or Pellon, etc. Here I added some glass beads, lime feathers (Dollar Store boa)!, scraps of chiffon and silk rovings, silk ribbons; and the outer edge is a wide ribbon of green and yellow (another dollar store find!). Also I love using sequins and gold "glitter glue". I belong to several online Yahoo groups of needle-felters and we all have fun seeing what everybody can whip up from scraps of "this and that" off the sewing room floor!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Winter or Summer?!!!

Here is our farm pond a few days ago covered with ice; today our outdoor temps were 72 degrees, and broke another N.C. record! But we might get another little rain "event" the weatherman says, for the next couple of days............our area is still 9 inches below normal for the underground water table and the drought is still upon the land. And so, we continue to pray. Feel free to join us if you like; we need all the help we can get!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Boo-boo banner at top of page!

I've been fiddling with the blog banner and actually got a photo moved there; now the white type is fading into the white clouds/sky! I can't get it to change yet........if anyone can tell me how to fix it, thanks...and hurry!
Meanwhile readers...........bear with me! Blogging is still new to me.

Vintage Treasure............

......check out this wonderful old beaded necklace I'm thinking of selling at the local thrift's so unusual and since I've been beading for one year now, I can REALLY appreciate the time and work that went into making it! The beads are black glass seed beads and the whole piece is 28 inches around.
These thin metal "leaves" are attached to leaf shaped wooden pieces underneath........and there are little holes bored thru the wooden underside for the beading needle/thread to pass through when it was strung! I forgot how many separate strands there are, but it's more than 20.......hmmmm.
I may not be able to get rid of it just yet........I wish a beading person would want it; then I'd know it had a really GOOD home!!!

ATTENTION: you beaders or crafters out there who live near a Dollar Tree store: they have Blue Moon beads in little pkgs. for sale right now!
Needless to say, I got a bunch of colors/shapes today!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

...check out my new paperweight here on my computer desk! It's a favorite gift from my dear friend Sue K. who used to live here and now lives in Ohio. We exchange "goodie" boxes/pkgs./envelopes once a month, and it's the highlight of my month! This gorgeous pale pink gem was in my last pkg. and she knows I love glitz and glitter and "bling"! Thank you, Sue!

We're having another weird but nice day in our weather here's partly sunny and up to 60 degrees outside! I'm off for my walk around the farm and to find various other things to do outdoors, because I'm sure it won't last long!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

January monthly challenge........

Above I've laid out some of the beads and sequins and a rhinestone oval from a broken piece of vintage costume jewelry that I'm beginning to work on for my January project. It's a one-year challenge in my Yahoo Cloth, Paper Studio group that members have signed up bead a two-inch piece of fabric and cover it for each month of the coming new year! Of course January reminds me of cold and ice which we usually have here, so I'm working with rhinestones, white and clear and silver beads, and ice-blue sequins............stay tuned! Hopefully, I will end up with 12 finished square brooches/pins to gift or sell by December and the next Christmas season!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sewing tricks.............

Well, all the folks have gone, and this house is SO quiet! This great-niece above helped me cut/sew most of her wrap skirts before they had to leave late yesterday. I sometimes wish for a larger house at times like these, so we wouldn't have to lay out fabric and cut on the floor! But I would only fill it with more stashes of "stuff"! Now to try and get well, and get back to life being "normal", whatever that is.........

For starters, I have to send out my PIF gifty things promised before Christmas; and I'm awaiting the last of the round robin beaded dolls to work on; and need to start a new 2" square of beaded artwork for one of the Yahoo group's challenges. It's a year-long project, but surely I can manage to bead up a little tiny square every 30 days, can't I?! Heh, heh...