Monday, May 28, 2012

The Merry Month of May

 I'm still playing around with bits and pieces, and snippets

so glad I chose that word for May
it's really the first time a word has grabbed at me all month long - maybe because it's about creative fun as opposed to self-improvement....hmmmm

anyhow, here's the latest adventure

I'm teaching a Christmas Card class tonight
part of my "Twelve Months of Christmas" classes at the local quilt shop

I couldn't decide on just one or two so I made a variety pack

 crazy quilting for sure, 'cause it's my favourite
I had bought some clip on earrings at the local antique store
they were dirt cheap as they'd been there a spell

I cut, pulled, pried and yanked the clips off the backs - not easy at all
but so worth it - the green and gold ones reminded me of little wreaths

 then I moved on to snowmen...

the background is torn strips of plaid that are woven
with the little figures appliqued on top


see how they're "holding sticks"?
kind of like holding hands but a little bit different
just a little bit

fiddly fabric fun

this is the elegant one
easy peasy, except for trying to blanket stitch with stranded metallic thread - yeesh!

and this is the simplest of all...
a pieced background with a muslin label
and some pigma penmanship

there are still a few more ideas floating around my head but for now I am moving on

June's a-coming, and there's more adventures a-waiting!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What's Up?

so what's happening in your yard?


 mine's been full of spring loveliness
cherry blossoms
peony buds
weeds 'n' things

it looks like we're in a for a bumper crop of cherries again this year
 we have two cherry trees: a sweet one and a tart one
the sweet one usually gets worms (we don't spray)
but the tart one never does... go figure...

the branches get mighty high and can be hard to reach, even with our big ladder
I'm not afraid of heights but I am of falling

does that even make sense?

anyway, a couple of years ago I got myself a bright idea
as I stood on the top of the ladder, looking at some laden branches, just out reach

the tree needed pruning...
I wanted those cherries...

so, I cut off the branch,
carefully carried it down...

and parked myself on the bench, branch on my lap, and picked the cherries off at my leisure
in comfort

the neighbours didn't quite know what to make of it...

it gave "cherry-picking" a whole new meaning!

and in a random way, I was rooting around in some of my needlework today and found this

it's a sampler by Shepherd's Bush
yet to be framed

I love the verse though... so true for all of us, don't you think?
a simple thread connects us all
and brings us such joy

have I ever told you how much I love needles and thread?

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Whole Year

  sometimes you just have to wait...

ideas can't be forced
creativity finds it's own way

I feel as though I've sitting around for the past few weeks drumming my fingers, waiting, waiting on something

 as I was working on a project for work I berated myself for not doing much with my monthly words

oh, they tumble around in my mind often enough, but the thoughts associated are completely random, and while every so often they will coalesce into something meaningful, most often it's just a jumble of words

today I took matters into my own two hands and got busy with an idea

knowing how much I love hearts, I decided I would make a sampler of my monthly words,
one square for each word, making each square the same size, and incorporating a heart into every one

I found four different fabrics for the background: silk, linen, cotton and one mystery one (mystery to me that is - I think it's cotton but not sure - and I like the idea that I don't know)
and cut three six inch squares from each

I thought perhaps I should be disciplined and begin at the beginning with
January and "hush"
it wasn't what I felt like though - we're in May and May is "snippets"

so snippets it was

snippets of lace, ribbon, damask, silk and cotton
a random button, bead and brad

french knots and cross stitches hold everything in place

I have yet to add the word - haven't quite figured out how I want to do that - it'll keep though, until the right idea comes to roost and takes hold

 and I know that if I hush the voices in my head, am prudent with my ideas, savour the process of creating a wonderful record of my monthly admonishments, organize my supplies so I can find that exactly-perfect-thing-that-will-make-the-whole-project-amazing, 
and make use of all the snippets of time available, 
at the end of the year I will have a beautiful reminder of


oh, and pick really, really good words for the next seven months!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What a Lucky Bit of Luck

 every once in a while I have the great good luck to be in the right place at the right time
and if I'm really, really lucky, and a little bit smart, I'll recognize the moment for what it is and seize upon it

I did that a few months back when Deb from The Mosaic Magpie admired a book I had made and offered to buy it

I thought it would be way more fun to do a swap....
and she had been making these amazing stitched "pebbles"


so I suggested it, and she, being a like-minded, good luck sort of gal, agreed.
lucky me again

this is the stunning little pebble she sent me
all those tiny, perfect stitches
all those perfect subtle colours


Deb also included this beautiful necklace


some heavenly doilies

and much, much more

lovely, thoughtful gifts!

I guess now I'm going to have to be even smarter about being lucky...
the Government of Canada just minted the last of the pennies this past week

pennies will be no more in Canada
apparently it costs more to make a penny than a penny... kind of an odd thing really

no more pennies means no more lucky pennies
I wonder if they thought of that before they did the penny in....

no more lucky pennies
oh sure, they'll be in circulation for a while, but eventually they will all be pulled, just like the $1 bill was

and finding a lucky penny will be even more special
I've had a few over the years, like the one pictured above
found in the airport coffee shop after checking in, on our way to France a year ago
and deposited back on the floor of the same coffee shop upon our return

now that was a lucky penny...

I think I'll go buy a few rolls, to tuck away, just to share the wealth a little
for a little while longer

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Tale of Two Kitties

This post could also be entitled
"He Always Gets What He Wants"....

Bozzy rules the roost at our house
he's the Big Kahuna

it's been that way from the beginning... likely because he was such a pathetic little mess when we adopted him - ears frozen and ready to fall off, ditto for the end of his tail
wheezing and grunting from frozen lungs
he's been molly-coddled back to health and then some...

he and Mistress Josy-phine have a special relationship
he always gets what he wants
she can have a little hissy fit if she likes

Bozzy has learned Josie always finds the best spots for perching
and watching the world go by

so he knows that when she's conspicuously absent, it must be because she is in a better place

case in point...

surveying the situation

mapping the route: north face, no ropes


 and... done!

He'll sit there for a while, checking things out, until he's sure everyone who's anyone knows that he's The Boss and then he'll saunter off, in search of a person...

that's the natural order of things

I've gone back to the natural order of things too...

when I first started quilting I made doll quilts

little quilts in different patterns, learning about colour and cloth and pattern and design
some hand-pieced and hand quilted, others by machine
all teaching me something
I saved all the snippets and scraps in baggies, one for each one that I made and they are still that way, tucked away safely in a box and in my mind

Laura was little then and always going to birthday parties
 the doll quilts were perfect little birthday presents - they were chameleons; a doll quilt if appropriate, a place mat if not
Laura always chose which one to give

this week I made another one 
machine pieced, but I'm hand quilting it
silk batting
a dream to needle - I'll never use anything else for hand-quilting again

 and my brand new bunny scissors from The Raspberry Rabbits

Shell said in a recent post she contributes $ from purchases to a shelter for bunnies so I ordered these 
and are they a dream!
cute and sharp, made in Europe and beautifully pointy
I love lovely tools