Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday's 'Musement - Ticking Away

 Busy days of summer are here and time is ticking away...

Pie cherries are ripening in the tree and I have several bags in the freezer already, and more still to do, the garden needs weeding, tomatoes are growing...happy days of puttering outside - when it hasn't been raining of course. (I think we have passed the 36-hours-without-rain mark!)

And now that most of my chores are done, today I got to play.

I got this charming French ticking wired ribbon in my July Gilded Girl's Stash Society Box (yep, I signed up and wouldn't you know it, my first one is French-themed. Yippee!)

I decided to start small so my first project is a gift bag, just the right size for a petit cadeau...

although the ruffle at the top gave me a bit of grief,

First I thought it should be a folded ruffle but that turned out to be way too heavy - I had wondered if it might be when I picked the fabric, but I seem to be an eternal optimist, hoping it would work...

then I decided a single layer with a simple hem would do the trick,


as I flung it aside in disgust, it landed wrong side up... as I was giving it a sidelong dirty look, I realized this way was none so bad...
a little lace, a dried heart decoration,

some beads and twisted cord made out of embroidery floss and it was all done

for me, this is kind of like a warm-up,

Now I feel ready to delve into the rest of the goodies!

And thanks to everyone for the suggestions for seam binding sources. I did go to Zipperstop and they had everything I wanted - I picked out four rolls and went to check out - then the shocker.
$44.95 to ship to Canada!

So, I followed the other suggestions and went to Etsy and found just what I wanted at Fini Ribbon. Now I just have to hurry up and make 50 of the little Wish Stars!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Where Bloggers Create 2011 - A Dissertation on Portability

When I read that Karen was hosting another "Where Bloggers Create" party I knew I wanted to participate but I wasn't quite sure if I should - not much has changed in my workroom in the past year, and I didn't think I would have much to share that hadn't been shared before...

I've added a few storage items like this old banker's stamp caddy (which is perfect because I'm an old banker!)

and some bling to my fabric pail


 I've even been lucky enough to lay my hands on an old printer's tray that still has all it's dividers

took my suitcase back from the cat and filled it with linen

little changes that really don't amount to much...

and as I thought about what to do, I realized that I am the kind of Blogger that creates in many places, not just my sewing room...
 as I am sure, are you.

Which led me to think about this...
A year and a half ago I spied this little antique table  in The Old Curiosity Shop and have gone back to look at it many times, humming and hawing endlessly over it. I loved the size (27" square) and the simple styling, but wasn't sure exactly where I would put it and so in the shop it remained.

and then it came to me - this little table, perfect in it's small size, could be moved around quite easily, a portable workspace if you will...
 I brought it home and set to work re-finishing it and as I was sanding it I thought of all the things I could use it for...

I have wanted to paint en plein air for years but our patio table is just not conducive to that sort of activity
this little table is the perfect size to tuck under the trees or move around the yard with the sun

 I made a cover for it, which is really a table cloth - two layers of heavy duty canvas for the top which will be perfect for soaking up paint spills, and for inspiration, a beautiful Bali hand-painted batik for the sides

just enough room for an easel, brushes, pencils, watercolour paper
and wine, of course

with a lovely peek-view of the lake through the trees

and then girly thoughts tumbled through my head...

another thing I love to make is pretty picnics for outside

so I gathered up my all my pretty in pink fabrics and made a cloth edged with lace, complete with a ruffled underskirt

and created a tablescape that spells summer

summer lunch outside, by the flowers

just the right size for one, or two

napkins swirled around to resemble roses make it even more summery

it's also the just the right size to rest my little Singer Featherweight, perfect for patchwork

with enough room for all my favourite notions

or an ideal space for writing

 laptop, journals, note cards etc., everything I need to fulfill my passion for writing

I can picture it pulled in front of the fireplace for a cozy winter afternoon of sewing or writing

and finally, it's a beautiful backdrop for my little shadow...


So there it is.. this Blogger can now create anywhere.

Thank you so much for stopping by and a huge thank you to Karen Valentine for hosting this event -
I don't know how you do it Karen, but it's much appreciated!

Please click on Karen's name to head over to her blog and check out all the fabulous studios bloggers all over the world are sharing - I promise you'll be inspired!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Do you ever need to make something but you're not sure how you want it to be?
I am in that design pickle more often than not; although ideas flow through my head constantly, they don't always pertain to what is needed at that precise moment.
That's how it's been for me for a few weeks... I needed to get started on the invitations for my annual Christmas Sale but no idea of what to do - and I like them to be different every year.
I read somewhere a long time ago that suggested if you have a problem to solve, you should just forget about it rather than stewing - your brain will whirr away, then it will come to you and you'll say "Aha!"...
Uh-huh.... I'd been waiting two whole weeks and not a single image, thought, word, design or anything at all had come to mind.

Well, last night it worked. Or should I say, in the wee small hours of today. 
I had an idea last night and made templates, gathered fabric and thread and went to bed thinking I could finally make a start today.
Woke up this morning with the uneasy feeling that something was wrong and realized what I was thinking of doing wasn't what I wanted at all - I had hearts and cute fabric but what I wanted was more ragged and sparkly, and not another heart!
And in a split second, what you see above is what popped in to my head.

 Out of bed, into my sewing room and in no time at all, this was what I came up with. 
I love it!
All I need to do now is print out the details, pretty it up, and glue it to the back.

I love "Wish" for the word.
My sale is all about wishes...
I wish everyone will have a good time
I wish that I will have enough things for the number of people that come
I wish they all find something they adore
They wish they will find something they adore and no one else has beat them to it...

One big Wish List

Wishing for a divine design idea does seem to pay off, but only if you're patient!
And if any of you know of a source for light blueish-grey seam binding, please let me know. What you see above is all I have and if I can't get any more,  I guess it's back to waiting for another brainwave... patiently of course!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Better All Around

After posting about my first attempt at an angel wing ornament, I mulled over how it was I missed the mark - if I wanted it shabby, why didn't I make it shabby?
Seems like a simple question but the design path I trod is a bumpy one, full of forks and branches and one wrong turn only leads to more.
Today I stuck to my plan, always keeping my mind's eye on the final destination.

 And that extra little bit of focus made all the difference!
This version is much, much closer to what I had in mind - a little glimmer from the beads, combined with some feathery stitches

raggedy edges and simple quilting

a cluster of roses fashioned from torn muslin

tiny stitched stars

 a little detail, but not too much

But since I seem to live a little bit in The Land of Never Quite Satisfied, I'm thinking they're a bit big - I want something a little smaller, a little fuller... it seems there will always be something!

And speaking of better, thank you all so very much for your well wishes for Josie. 
We have a new vet helping us out and they have put her on a course of IV therapy which has helped immensely. She is getting back to her old self, and yesterday I caught her making off with one of my quilted yoyos; they're her favourite toy, and it's wonderful to see her playing again. We know it's not a cure, but for now, she's happy and so are we!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pretty Little Things

Sometimes I really can't decide what I like best...
vintage lace
a pretty floral print fabric
striped ticking
a fluffy, downy pillow to lay my head

well... they almost all came together...

this little gem has all of the above except a place for my head - it's only about 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" in size!
I saw this pillow pin cushion in a quilting book and couldn't resist

found some vintage eyelet from France

rustled up my most favourite striped fabric

and literally five minutes of time was all it took!

What a perfect, fun little project to while away a few spare minutes before work this morning

and speaking of pretty little things...

Miss Josie-phine is not well. We came home to her suffering from the early stages of renal failure and so I have been spending much of my time cuddling and coaxing her to eat and drink. Today she was curled up in her perch looking pretty content and I couldn't resist flipping up her little blanket to tuck in under her chin. 
I haven't tended a sick child for many years but it all comes back pretty quickly. 

Kitties or kiddies, the goal is the same - comfort.