Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Buttons into brooches...........

This pin/brooch above is another large aluminum button covered with muslin and then beads sewn onto it. My gal pals and I had fun yesterday making pins! They were so tickled, not thinking they could also be "real beaders"!!!
.........and isn't this lavender azalea gorgeous? It's just opening now, but is beat down because of the 2" of rains we've gotten with storms this weekend. The yard is so beautiful...............

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'm late, I'm late!!!

I'm days behind in adding new pix and chit-chat to my blog..........and some of you kind and faithful readers have even let me know I'm being missed!
I'm so thankful for friends...........both here and online!

I've had two out-of-state girlfriends in town this past week, and am trying to spend time with them as much as their schedules permit, so please come back here often, and by Monday I promise to have some great new
pictures for you all ! (One being a local, first-ever, "dog walk" sponsored by our animal shelter.) DH and I are off now to take photos of pups and their owners; hopefully they will sell and put more $$$ into our spay-neuter/etc. coffers for the animals in our new shelter!

Stay tuned................................

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lady Slippers!!!

For many years we have had large areas of wild "lady slipper" flowers to come up and bloom in the spring in our woodlands. I tried several times to move some to the yard, but they do NOT like being moved! So all mine were dead until last week DH came to get me from the house in a hurry to see a "surprise". Lo and behold, there are three lady slippers up and getting ready to bloom right in the side yard in the pine straw under a pine tree! And NOT where we planted them years ago! I don't know what's going on with them, but I'm SO happy to see them; when they open their color, I'll post another photo. They're pink.
And this is a few little items I ordered recently online.......wonderful tiny brass lockets....both round and rectangular.......that actually open! And check out the bag of little china doll arms with hands! And a new shape pink heart-shaped clay piece; a little lock and key; and several pairs of these neat small and SHARP little scissors.......so cheap! And some gold beads on sale also...........oboy, I love shopping online. In my pajamas. Any time of day or night. I may never dress and "go shopping" in real malls again!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Vintage button bracelets...........

This bracelet is made from small "baby" or child's buttons, using wire and also stringing on two blue seed beads through the top layer of button holes. The underneath side of the bracelet is just all white baby buttons.
They all match and I want to sell it, if anyone's interested. (Or swap; see below.)

This larger bracelet is also wired together using 11 matching vintage red buttons. The underside is layered with all-white smaller buttons. I'm also selling this bracelet. Anyone interested: email me:


I'd be interested in trading for: vintage linens, buttons, costume jewelry, fabric, glass beads, laces or ribbons! I love swapping stashes, so feel free to contact me with what you might have to swap!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Old stuff..............

I love these polished small rocks I've got poured in several locations around the yard. These are at the bottom of the steps; others are at the goldfish/koi ponds. Some of the beaders on the online group I belong to are now beading rocks! And they're pretty! Of course these little rocks are pretty just like they are, but I'll be bound to try covering a couple with seed beads for small paperweights. And they won't be too heavy to mail as gifts!
Stay tuned.............
.........does anybody know exactly WHAT this little OLD lamp is called, and how it was used? The green is thick glass; I'm assuming from the tall "handle" that it was meant to be hung from something. I suppose a small candle would burn in the round metal container inside; the top of the thing is open, so a flame would get oxygen, and smoke could escape. I didn't measure it, but it's not more than 15" tall. Thanks for any information about it!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Buttons and books.............

These yo-yo fabric shapes were made with the new yo-yo maker I got recently. One makes the cute little heart-shaped pieces and the other is just a quicker way to make round ones. Once I get the hang of using the templates, it will be much faster when I need a few for a project! Oh, the little white fabric-covered button in the center has some beading started on it..........I was showing some gal pals how to make pins from fabric covered buttons (they come in several larger sizes!) by just beading onto the fabric using a focal bead (in this case a little yellow glass flower bead and a light green leaf bead; then we switched to no. 11 seed beads in the purple color. (Not a great selection, but we used what was at hand to get them started on the feel of beading.) Now on to big, fat buttons and little art dolls........there's no limit to what you can bead! This book, "Change of Heart" is my latest library book read; it was very good, as are all of Jodi Picoult's books! Now I have to tackle a little pile of magazines that have been patiently waiting their turn to be seen and read!
And the new issue of Quilting Arts came, too.............sheesh! I may not be seen for another week!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Grandmama" azalea, ca.1958

This gorgeous old pink azalea with its double blooms was given to our family when my maternal grandmother died in 1958. I planted it here in our family plot at the beautiful historic Fairview Cemetery that spring.
We have rooted numerous cuttings from it over the years and shared it with friends and relatives. It was twice this size until about three years ago it mistakenly got "trimmed up" by the cemetery crew! I had one of those southern "conniption fits" and now they know not to bother our lot; we do the maintenance, which is very little. So now we have "cousin" pink azaleas from this shrub at home in front and back yards as well as down the lane at my late parents' house. I think they all bloomed very well this year considering the ongoing drought our area of the state is in.
.........and isn't this view of dogwood branches glorious?!! I rode through the cemetery yesterday just to admire the many lots with blooms everywhere! I found pink and yellow tulips, white iris, and pansies along with the pink and white dogwood trees........what a lovely place for us to spend eternity when the time comes!!!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dogwood time............

.........and here are a few looks at our many dogwood trees in the yard and around the farm. The blooms are not as many, nor as large as usual, but considering their stress from the ongoing drought in this area, I'm surprised they're blooming at all this spring............and so very thankful and blessed to see them again!!! Our dogwoods grow wild in the woodlands and we have to make an effort next fall to try and transplant small ones to our yard and driveway to replace those lost from age and drought. So far we haven't been able to get a pink one to live here, but there's always next year!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Birds and blooms................

........can you believe this great nest our phoebe bird has built on top of the night spotlight?!! She built here last summer and raised three batches of babes; I hope she will do it again this year. One year I grieved with her; something (a snake?) had climbed the rough brick wall and torn most of the nest down and some baby birds. She's a determined little soul, just think of how many trips she makes to the pond (down in front of the house 500 feet away!) to bring little beaksful of mud and straw!!! It's amazing to watch her. I am in awe of Mother Nature!
..........and check out this huge azalea bloom! It measures a little over three inches across! I'm not especially fond of the azaleas with huge blooms; I don't know why. They're ALL beautiful after a long and dreary winter! I just like the varieties that have hundreds of smaller blooms with double layers of petals, and when the bush blooms, there are hardly any leaves to be seen! I'm just greedy for spring...........and thankful for every single living thing that has survived our drought.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Gifts and pink page project............

I got these wonderful metal cuff blanks for beading onto for bracelets from a sweet online beader friend, Ralonda! We had been discussing them and a few days later........out of the blue..........voila! She sent me some of hers as well as the cute kitty card made of fabric with crystals! Thank you so much! Now I'll have to get out the beads and pellon backing and can try to make my very first beaded cuff bracelet! If it turns out halfway decent looking, I'll post a photo later!
This is a 5x5 inch pink paper square using a new face rubber stamp that I just love, some bits of feathers and lace, pink buttons and a strip of lace dyed pink that I stitched down with gold metallic thread on the machine.
This is for Jo Anne's pink book project; she was mailed today. I hope it's suitable! Thanks for letting me play with you, Jo!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Azalea time!!!

Our yards and driveway are just "shouting" color with all these azaleas blooming this weekend! And the purple and dark reds to come later! Today was a gorgeous blue sky with flying white clouds, 62 degrees and lots of sunshine..........we enjoyed out walk and took the small camera. All the 39 years of plantings here and there have paid off just in time to enjoy it during our "golden years"..........even if all the work did render our knees and aching backs useless on some days, it's all been worth the effort! We are blessed to live in the country where it's private and quiet and looking out of every window of the house we see Mother Nature showing her stuff!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Signs of April............

This huge old apple tree lives across the road from us in my cousin Susan's pasture. She used to have horses who nibbled on it, but they're long gone now and the beautifully shaped tree greets us on every trip going out of our driveway! (Be sure to left-click on any of my photos and they should enlarge for more detail.)
This is one of dozens of redbud trees we have in the yard, and growing wild in the woods surrounding the house. They bloom quickly and don't last very long, but while they're showing off their gorgeous pink finery, we are blessed to have them all around every spring. They also attract honey bees and bumblebees, which are disappearing from the world at a terribly fast rate. We plant lots of things that will feed/attract insects, hoping to help their pollination routine which in turn will bring more trees, shrubs, etc.!
And this big froggy fellow lives in one of our goldfish/koi ponds at the side door! He's for you, Diane F. in Texas! (She's an online friend who loves all things "froggy"). We have a large assortment of frogs this year; a huge black bullfrog; some smaller greenish ones, and they are so used to us walking by and the cats drinking out of the ponds that they are not easily frightened. And more than once when I've leaned over close to the water trying to get a good photo of a fish, one of the frogs will jump into the water right under my chin and scare me to death! It's remarkable how close they let us get to them; so far the cats haven't caught one (that we know of!)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Yo-yo makers!

This little kit makes round yo-yo fabric circles, in a nice size...once I get used to stitching into the proper holes for stitches, it's going to be faster and easier to sew up a batch for decorating things! I'll probably never tackle making 3,000+ like my friend Betty who is going for a quilt.......a big, bed-size quilt of yo-yo's!!!! It will be stunning...........
And this kit makes a heart-shaped yo-yo!!! Really! I played with it awhile and found out it will take a little "getting used to" also, but I learned right off to double the thread and it won't break when I start gathering! Duh.
And the holes close up nice and tight; they'll be cute using fat beads or buttons to cover the hole if needed. An art quilt for the wall would be mighty sweet made with LOTS of these! We shall see................

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hummingbirds were here!!!

This is a tiny hummingbird nest from last year that fell with a limb out of a tall pine tree in our yard. I should have put a ruler in the photo to show how tiny the nest is! It's two inches wide and one and one-half inches tall. I would love to watch the hummers build a nest; it's nothing short of amazing how they manage to gather lichens and pine straw and cobwebs and all without being able to open their little beaks!!! It's almost time for them to return for this season.........I hope my usual little one comes to the kitchen window to let me know to hurry and hang their feeder! I'll let you know when they come...........

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Mail call................

This is our very old over-sized mailbox. After being hit by a car and having to be replaced with a new one, we put this old one in the crotch of this double-trunk tree in the woods at the edge of the yard. For many years now, the wrens and other birds have used it for nesting and to get out of falling wintry weather! It used to be black and shiny, but I love the natural patina of rust that Mother Nature has given it.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pink Lady arrives!!!

Awhile back, I posted a photo here on my blog of a two-inch beaded square that I made and donated to be sewn onto this doll's skirt, along with many other artists. Monica Magness, mixed media artist (girl_gone_thread_wild) has spent many weeks making this 39" tall doll from the ground up; plus sewing all the beaded squares you see onto the skirt. There are still more squares to be made into a little art wall quilt after Monica takes a rest break! (continued below............)

Isn't she elegant and wonderful?!! She's to be eventually auctioned off on ebay , and all the proceeds will be donated to the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Center. As a breast cancer survivor, my little 2" piece of this doll means a LOT to me; and I am so happy to have been asked to participate in the project. (Continued below............)
Here's a close-up of part of the doll's skirt; aren't all the squares beautiful little works of art?!! I am amazed that Monica or anyone could pull this together in such a short time.........but here she is! The hand beaded "crown" on the doll's pink hair is actually a cuff bracelet which goes with the doll. The handmade box she's holding was made by another artist and it holds decorated "butterfly wings"! Yet another donated a purse for the doll to carry; and another beaded a gorgeous "necklace" which will also be the buyer's bracelet to enjoy! The whole process and story is amazing.......please go to Monica's blogs shown in my list of blogs to visit on the right-hand side of my page and see the step-by-step process that made the vision of this doll become a reality! She's awesome!!! (The doll AND Monica Magness!) "THANK YOU!" to every artist who made and gave a square, and the many others involved in this project. The "Pink Lady" is named "Love Squared", and I will let you know when she appears in the doll magazine, and when she sells on ebay!

Friday, April 4, 2008

......around the farm............

This very old building my dad built back in the 50's is near a log tobacco barn and a small log cabin he also built here on the farm. Once upon a time he raised and cured and sold tobacco on these hard-scrabble acres.
I love the shape of this little building, and for some reason the family has always called it "the furniture house", because whatever odd pieces of furniture from anybody's house that didn't fit at the time were relegated to "the furniture house" until the next person might need a piece or two! We keep saying every spring or fall we're gonna clean it out, but never do. Of course by now any furniture in there has been leaked rain on and the mice have raised generations in the stuffed old sofa!

I took photos of the creek that is the boundary line of the property while we were down there last week removing three fallen trees from across the walking trail. The creek is officially named on the map "Yellow Wood Creek"; nobody seems to know why, or how it was named that. But during the years of flooding and Mother Nature taking her action, the little creek is very winding. It has low water now because of our drought the last three years, but fat little minnows dart about in the water, and there are always footprints of raccoon, deer, the green heron, and other critters in the sand. One year we moved big rocks and dammed up a place for a small "waterfall", and the sound of the water going over is wonderful, both on winter and summer walks.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Beaded pin for March...........

Here's the latest beaded pin/brooch finally finished just in the nick of time to meet the March 31 deadline! On one of my online groups, we are challenging ourselves to bead a 2" square every month of the year.......the idea being that by Christmas we'll have finished at least 11 little pieces of beaded jewelry for selling or gifting! This one was hard to work on, for some reason; I think because I had three other deadlines looming. The pink felt background you see will be turned under or trimmed away up to the beads and a backing piece of felt/fabric will be stitched on as well as a metal pin-back. The center button was in a Christmas gift to me, and I love it.........it looks to have been beaded itself with teeny-tiny beads, but it's actually painted to look that way. I used pink and yellow flower beads, and some teal glass leaves........all the colors of spring, which is coming on fast, thank God! Now to decide what theme/colors to bead my April square in....
hmmmmmm. Stay tuned!