Monday, June 30, 2008

I missed Sunday!!!!

.......I missed posting yesterday (Sunday) because my best girlfriends for the longest time ever came over to play with me! And we beaded and ate and laughed and had a wonderful time.......I hope we do it again often! I will post pix of all our projects in a day or two.............. .........but this book cover is an ugly rascal, isn't it?!!!! Heh, heh.........but it's a library book of short stories that are surprisingly good and I'm almost finished with it. I don't care for short stories or essays as a rule, but when I finished Patricia Cornwell's book over the weekend when the library was closed, I started this one out of desperation! My days are NOT complete unless I have read something.........either newspaper or magazine or book. Thank goodness my mama and grandmama loved to read and read to me as a child, and instilled a love of books and reading in me at an early age! These lavender and hot pink perle cotton threads were on sale last week at the Walmart, so I HAD to add them to my other hoarders out there will understand! Heh, heh..........

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Vintage" embroidery?!!

While digging through stuff stashed in our little log barn looking for something, I always find other stuff we'd packed away years ago and totally forgotten about! The art/craft/needlework of the day back in 1968 was crewel embroidery; needless to say, I had amassed designs and yarns, both of the wool crewel yarn, and these two framed embroideries I did with plain old embroidery floss................
..........I don't even remember doing this orange/yellow piece; I've never liked orange, but my initials are on it! And I even used a thin paper mat and painted a frame orange to match! And I also found a box of wonderful old embroidery patterns/designs that can be used for lots of things nowadays. I don't remember if I ever found whatever I went looking for in the barn or not. Duh. (At this age/stage of the game, I'm thankful I can still embroider, even if I won't remember next week what I did with it!)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Books, birds, baubles..............

This is currently on my side table for reading, and I'm half through. It's not her BEST book, but it's interesting enough to go through the motions of reading it. This author has one of the most intelligent minds; so much talent for writing books you cannot put down; so unusual for her to be a forensic pathologist (among other titles). I wish she'd write her autobiography........and I'd love to meet and talk to her. I find fascinating people...........well.........FASCINATING! I'd ask her all sorts of personal, improper things just because she's had an amazing life so full of learning and doing things most of us never even consider or think about! I'm so perfectly happy staying home and enjoy my own company, and am able to keep myself occupied with artistic endeavors of one kind or another for hours..........or a time! I'm not a "people person"; so I of course admire those other "adventurous" souls who barge into the world and do exciting things. But I only want to READ about their adventures, not participate!
This little weird red bird with a green/polk-a-dot breast is from a cute bird pattern on our Cloth Paper Studio group online. The members are making several to swap, but I only wanted to make a few funky ones to keep, and am planning to reduce the pattern some and bead the body for a Christmas tree or window ornament. We shall see.................oh, if the photo will click and enlarge, you can see her little brass locket on her necklace!
........and this is my 2-inch pin block for June coming along slowly.......I love the vintage metal heart; it is half of a ladies' belt buckle! And the old pearls from a costume jewelry necklace are all pretty together. Then when I added one corner of the blue sequin and beads for some contrast, I didn't like it, so set it aside to ponder a few days. I need to hurry and finish it because NEXT week will be time to start beading the July square!!! Bye, now!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happiness is...............

A nap or two on "daddy's" blanket with the air conditioning going and the ceiling fans keeping my tummy cool........ ........and helping "mommy" check her emails; I have lots of admirers!!!
And this is the latest finished library book read last week. It's dense with details like this author's other book "Snow Falling on Cedars", but it's worth wading through for the wonderful story. Up next: Patricia Cornwell's newest!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ribbon fetish................

I just wondered if anybody else out there in artist cyberspace has a ribbon fetish?! I have always coveted pretty ribbons and strings and cords and such............these three photos are just the tip of the proverbial ribbon "iceberg" in my stash. (That's visible without looking in drawers and shoeboxes.) And these are only the readily available rolls like you can find in craft shops and florist shops............I haven't shown you my stash of VERY LOVED hand-dyed silk and satin and velvet ribbons! I use great snatches off big rolls to wrap packages all the time, and never use it up; I hardly ever get to the end of a whole roll..........(and another reason I still have so much is because when I see more on SALE somewhere, it needs a home!) What's a girl to do?!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

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

The sun late one day uptown here looked like a molten circle of
was one of our hot, humid days with smoke in the air all the way from the NC coast, where they are still fighting forest fires. That is about 170 miles southeast of here, but most of the eastern part of the state and up into Virginia had drifts of the smoke for days. I most worried about the innocent wildlife, of course. Thankfully, the fires are being contained now.

Ahhhh............a perfect example of the old-fashioned common southern "daylily". Nearly every yard has them now; and even clumps of bulbs thrown away years ago alongside the roadway ditches are blooming. They are good and drought-resistant; it's a pity they only show their beauty for one short-lived day for each bloom. But just gaze upon the makes the day worth it, I suppose. Only God knows the whys and why-nots of the wonderful world of Mother Nature we have all around us; we are so blessed in this rural area of the south to have such beauty. I wish everyone who is in such a hurry would stop and LOOK at these little daily miracles happening all around us. Don't wait until you are OLD.........there is beauty all around, if you will slow down and look around you!
And is this not a beautiful FIRST beaded cuff bracelet?!!! My friend Deborah (of our Sunday afternoon art group) tackled the job like a pro and used this poly clay focal piece to start. Then she added fat round glass beads along the center sides and filled in with various tiny size 11 seed beads. I'm so happy to get my friends into beading with me!! Now "Dee" is working on a new pink and white round brooch..........and it's time for me to go add some beads to my own June square! Stay tuned...............

Monday, June 23, 2008

June favorites..............

The pink coneflowers and blue hydrangeas make a pretty arrangement together, and both last a long time indoors and drink lots of water! And the poor coneflowers are blooming with NO rains for weeks! They are truly a "dry weather" flower and re-seed themselves also.
I just found this cute enameled metal frog-on-a-stick when I cleaned out weeds, etc. beside one of the goldfish pools. He's been living in a flower pot for several years out in all kinds of weather and not changed his pretty colors at all !
And our daily walks have turned up the dainty Queen Anne's lace blooms this week all around the farm. We have one field just full of them; but the fields also are full of redbugs and ticks, so I don't venture into deep grasses this time of year! That's why I don't use this flower/weed in my little indoor floral arrangements! And our crops of maypop are up and growing like crazy, even with no rains. They will bloom soon and all so far are pale lavender; I will post pix when they come along. I love their intricate blooms, also called "passion flowers".

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cats, cats, pond..........

Well, as you can see, the new yellow boy cat is making himself at home since his surgery. He has a sweet disposition and has not ONCE asked or tried to go back outdoors!!! Some days Baby Sister will let him nap this close by, but she prefers her privacy mostly! They nap and eat and play and nap again...............such a hard life they live.
And here's Baby Sister drinking out of the newest koi/goldfish pond that DH installed last week. There's nothing as good as that good old cold, sweet well water! She checks it out every it had fishes in it, but she didn't pay them any mind.
And here the pond is coming along with rocks alongside and water plants;
it's finished on the outside with plantings of greenery to hide most of the ugly black pool edges. I need to post a new/finished photo soon!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Latest projects.............

This will be my monthly pin/brooch for the month of May; now to bead up another for June! Since June is associated with brides and weddings, I think I'll do an all-white pin with pearls, white beads and some gold or silver. This pin above needs the lavender sequins straightened up and the edging finished off.
This cute bird pattern is being used in one of my Yahoo groups, Cloth Paper Studio as a swap. I didn't join that one because my project cup already "runneth over", but I love the primitive look of the pattern, so I had to sew up at least one. Lots of ideas here for using the new hot summer fabrics together; and also I got DH to reduce the pattern by about half and I want to bead a bird for a Christmas tree ornament. Can't you just visualize her nestled in the evergreen branches with little white lights glittering off her white and silver beads and sequins?!! (Wow, it's only six months until Christmas week...........better get my act together!)
One day this week it was too hot and humid for my morning walk, so I did it late in the afternoon, and this soft golden sunbeam was so pretty spread across our little pink petunia bed...........and the CATS are everywhere, of course!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hydrangea days...........

We have two of these huge bushes, planted side by side. They each bloom different colors now after a few years. They used to be both blue; now one of them has some lavender/pink shades of color in its blooms. Either way, they are welcome each year...........I cut a vase of them and they last a long time (if the cats don't play with them).

This has been a hectic week, today especially. And we need rain again very badly............I hope tomorrow I will make time to finish a couple of small projects and upload pix of them here!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

....this one's for Maggie R. in Canada!

......this is the BACK of a satin top to wear.................
.........and this is the FRONT of the same top! And check out the gorgeous(my favorite hot pink ) sleeves with gold lacings.......
........and this is the wonderful end of the sari with its matching design of pink and green sequins and gold beads and threads! Some parts of these designs I can already visualize as being 100% hand-beaded brooches, using the beautiful glass beads........especially those that are silver-lined, making the light flash and gleam
when gazed upon! Oh, let me go find beads and sequins and start a pin tonight........just finished my 2" square beaded monthly block and will post it here tomorrow. talented beading friend who lives in Canada also loves COLOR and her motto is: "Life is short; wear sequins!" I agree, Miss Maggs!
Thank you for sharing your talents and friendship with me............

Monday, June 16, 2008

Luscious "finds"...........

Recently I was lucky enough to buy a cache of wonderful Indian saris and blouses and pieces of dresses...........this dark pink one is nearly 12 feet long!
........and the beautiful white embroidery and sequins design goes all the way down two sides!
I don't know what this piece was originally; it's almost too heavy to be worn as clothing, but man, does it ever have "bling"!!! And that's my thing!
When I was younger I was more traditional, but the older I get, the more I love glitter and shine and bright, happy colors! One of my online friends has as her motto: "Life is short---wear sequins!"

Look how the blues turn into pinks as the fabric is moved..................... .........and all of the intricate gold embroidery on the hot pink background is so very gorgeous. Be sure to click on the photos and see the embellishment details larger. I'm not sure what these fabrics will become, but for sure some are meant to be fabulous purses and pillows and parts for art quilts for the wall. But right now I have to finish beading a little square pin so I can show that to you tomorrow, perhaps!

We are still in the grasp of the awful heat wave with high humidity today and DH is outside installing his fourth koi pool. I'm not much help to him except for keeping him full of liquids and telling him how great it looks; then I have to escape indoors with the A/C. (Something to do with "getting old", somebody told me!) I don't mind getting old, I just want to do it in comfort! Heh, heh...............

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lucky twice

I found this four-leaf clover in the yard a few days ago. I have always been able to find one in most any "clump" of clover, near or far, all my life! Occasionally I will find one with five or six leaves........I don't know what they are supposed to mean!
.........and here's the lucky new cat at our house. I guess we should name him "Lucky"; he was fortunate to choose OUR house to come to visit daily and end up adopting him! We have been amazed at how easily he has settled into being a house cat.......except this morning at 2:30 a.m. when he woke us up jumping from the bed onto the top of the tall wood wardrobe!
DH jumped out of bed and caught him before he knocked my grandmother's beautiful old chocolate pot to the floor! We will have to get used to the idea of having a young cat again that is curious and will JUMP up onto tables, etc. And I'll have to keep my beading supplies better organized in case he thinks to check out THAT table one night!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Colorful cone...........

I had the best fun time making this teal felt cone for my dear friend Sue K. last week! The CPS yahoo group was making cones earlier and I didn't have time then, but loved the idea of May Day cones of paper like we made as children and hung on door knobs with flowers in them. So when I had a gap of time and the muse "moved me", I KNEW what to make and had all the elements for it on hand...........ha! (I have enough supplies "on hand" to make cones from now 'til Doomsday!) I get as much satisfaction digging through my drawers and boxes of stash to make an item as seeing the finished product! And I always find "lost" thingies I haven't seen in months that will be perfect for yet another project! Be sure to click and enlarge the photos to see details. I'll show the back side of this cone tomorrow; the blog wouldn't let me add but these five pix at one time!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Keeping cool.............

Our three little goldfish ponds full of koi, goldfish, black "bug-eyed" goldfish, and various mixtures (two albinoes) at the back deck are the only things around here this week that are keeping cool outdoors! DH put in one pool abut 6 years ago for one of his "projects", and because he'd gotten the pre-shaped pool for $4.00 at a yard sale. We had forgotten how hard the ground around the yard/house is, and how full of rocks and tree roots.
But after attacking the hole with the back-hoe, tractor, ax, shovels and anything else we could find, we finally got the hole large enough so that half the pool insert was actually down below ground level.........the other half is above ground, because we also didn't think of how slanted our entire yards are............downhill ! Duh. He's not a quitter, though. We got the pool in, got some water lilies and hid the ugly black edges of the pool with grasses that stay
green year-round and pretty field rocks from all over the farm. Voila! One beautiful goldfish pond. A neighbor who sells fish bait minnows gave us a few gold minnows (one's still here!) and DH added some Walmart fishes and we've watched them grow. When a couple of our dear friends moved away from Warrenton, they gave us their koi fish which were just gorgeous and huge and beautiful !!! Every few years DH gets another wild hair to put in another pool, a little larger than the rest.
You'd think he'd get tired of putting heating elements in for them in the winter, and cleaning out the aeration filters OFTEN during the summers, but he loves them and the projects. On spring and fall days I can sit in my rocking chair on the screened-in porch and read and listen to the water trickling over the little waterfalls. But in winter and this hot summertime weather you won't find me out there.............I'll be reading or beading or napping indoors with the air conditioner making its beautiful noise! sure to click and enlarge the photos............

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mimosa time............

This is my cousin's mimosa tree up the road......I get to see and smell its sweet blooms on my daily walks. Our old mimosas died a few years ago, but I see new baby ones coming up where they used to be.
CAT UPDATE: yesterday we took the yellow cat and had him neutered, and he did fine; but we also got bad news.........he has the fatal FIV virus for which there is no treatment. The sweet vet told us he's about three years old, and has only had the virus about 6 months. If we keep him as a "house cat" (indoors all the time), he won't spread it around the neighborhood in case he bites another cat, which is how it is spread. The other option was to just let her put him down right then, which we just could not do. So we cried and we prayed and brought him home to be a "brother" in the house for our old "Baby Sister" cat, who is already 20 yrs. old and diabetic. So we now have TWO ailing house cats............we shall see how he settles in. He's very sweet and loving and follows Baby Sister around. It's entertaining for her since she's been lonesome a full year since our last old house cat died.
And the vet said he could live a normal life for 10 to 15 years, if he doesn't catch respiratory infections, etc. from other cats. And thank God this virus is NOT contagious to humans! The truth of the matter is that we are ALL living a life that will become fatal at some point in time. So I'm going to just live and enjoy each 24-hours we have as we are given them, and be thankful for all the loving kitties we've had to come and go in our lives the last 50 years! (And it wouldn't hurt if all you wonderful "animal people" out there would send us little cat prayers once in awhile........thank you!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Clematis and cats..............

I'm glad I snapped this photo of our pink clematis bloom last week; our drought situation is worse with no measurable rains and everything is suffering. We've watered several early mornings a few select things, but our faithful deep well that has served us for 40+ years may or may NOT have plenty of water left! I'm afraid to push it; I'd rather we have drinking and bath water in the house than more blooms outdoors...........we are still under the awful heat wave that's sitting on the east coast. Today is another humid and very hot day at 100 least I've been productive in the art rooms since I'm house-bound until it cools off! My early walk this morning at 6:30 wasn't too bad, but now I need a nap! DH is determined to clean out the shed and rearrange things out in the heat; it doesn't seem to bother him as much. Men are just tougher than women in some ways!
...........and here is the newest adopted family member who has taken up residence here for breakfast and supper every day for several weeks now. We've treated his ticks and fleas, and hopefully tomorrow if he shows up for breakfast as usual, he's going to be taken to be neutered...........if we can get him into the cat carrier! And I'm praying he won't catch and eat any little wild thing tonight; and also that when we turn him loose after his surgery, he will stay nearby. He's not a feral cat, but his owners wherever they are evidently don't care enough to feed or take care of him. So he's not exactly fully "tamed". Send us your kitty prayers tomorrow, please!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Our first stargazer lilies.......

Aren't these pink stargazer lily blooms just the most beautiful shade of pink?! DH bought a bag of mixed lily bulbs several weeks ago because they were on sale and the poor things were trying to sprout in the bag....with no sun or water! We decided if the bulbs tried that hard to grow and bloom, we'd give them a little help.....and all seven have come up, but this pink one is the first to bloom. They are mixed colors, so each one will be a surprise!
My creative muse finally woke up yesterday, and is still pushing me to finish this felt cone with embellishments for a friend. I missed out on making "May Day" cones (like we used to make and hang on doorknobs for flowers) on one of my Yahoo groups. Not enough time! Too many beading projects still waiting! But when I saw the photos of the girls' finished cones, I wished I had made the extra effort to make one. So here's my first effort in the making.........hopefully it will be finished tomorrow and ready to mail.

I also started and finished a swap art quilt for the wall yesterday, but won't show the pix of it until it reaches its owner! Some of the things used (just to get your curiosity up) were cuts from a vintage/damaged wedding ring quilt; beads; buttons; and all sorts of fun embellishments! It's going out in the mail tomorrow also. Whew! This heat wave is keeping me inside and producing art, but I did go walking this a.m. around 6:30 and the heat wasn't bad at that time of day. The birds were singing and the early golden sunbeams were on everything.........a nice way to start the day; now I'm off for my mid-day nap!!!!!!!! (I am NOT a "morning person".)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Relay quilt.........

Our annual Relay for Life event has come and gone, but I meant to show this pretty art wall quilt my artist cousin Wanda made and donated to the cause. She's so industrious and can make beautiful things out of everyday objects, snips of lace or fabric others would throw away; she's always inspiring to me when we visit! The background of this quilt is an actual satin quilt she found at the thrift shop and cut out a chunk for her background. Then the added buttons, rick-rack, laces, ruffles, little pieces of crochet and oodles of other things. Don't forget to click on the photo and it should enlarge to see details............thanks again, Cuz Wanda!