Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"When we knit for those we love we do more than present them with a garment. We embrace them with our love with every stitch." Nathania Apple

Another of the blogs I read frequently is Nathania Apple's Purls Beyond Price. She does the most gorgeous knitting, but she also allows a peek into the lovely person she must be.

The saying above is not exclusive to knitting. It can be anything from crochet to embroidery to apple jelly... made with love for someone we care about. The picture is of me wearing the shawl that I finished several weeks ago. And it is like being "wrapped in a hug" each time it's worn.

Art Journaling

SharonB, on her blog inaminuteago, posted a link a while back to a site discussing the how-to's, whys and wherefores of journaling. Looking through the site, I found another link to Suite 101 for a free online course about art journaling. The two photos are of denim pieces left over from making Dear Hubby his latest shop apron. I fooled around with several in my photo program and really like these two best of the many effects I tried. I think I will make another book and use one of these (or both) on the covers. Making an art journal out of a ream of A4 copy paper is inexpensive and I can make the cover whatever I like..Will let you know how it turns out...grin
One of the exercises is to place your pen(cil) on the center of a sheet of paper, turn around so you cannot see the paper, relax the other hand in your lap and draw it without looking at your paper... Well, they tell you in the lesson that it won't be great, but have a look at mine..grin
I think I need to take this course... grin

Monday, February 27, 2006

Snowflake Monday 4

This tiny snowflake is the same pattern as one I have previously made that was about 4" in size. By changing the thread to Cebelia 30 and using a smaller hook, the size difference is remarkable..grin This tiny snowflake will not be used to put on the Christmas tree, but instead will be used as embellishment on a shirt, a CQ block or something else..who knows ..grin Sorry about the picture quality... the lighting my workroom is off a bit and the flash did funny things with the color.. ;(

Sunday, February 26, 2006

V-Stitch Afghan and Irish Crochet Pillow Cover

The Irish Crochet Pillow Cover began it's life as a trial square to see if I would enjoy doing Irish Crochet in yarn. It turned out fairly well and was relatively easy to do, but what in the world would I do with one Irish Crochet Square? So I did a row of Hunter green single crochet around the edges and then began to double crochet in rows along one side. When this solid strip was the same size as the block, I began to decrease each side for a couple of rows, then added 5 treble crochets in the center stitch for 2 rows to give a little curve and interest to the foldover. To join the sides together, I single crocheted down the edge to the joining of the front square, turned, sc in the first stitch, ch 2, sc in opposing stitch of the back and continued up the side of the square. This joining will give the pillow cover either more room for a flat sided pillow or it can used for a square pillow with 1+" depth. I'll put up another pic when I get it complete with pillow...
The V-Stitch Afghan is completed. It measures a good 7 feet long and is warmer than I expected it to be... After it reached about 5' in length, it was very warm to work on..grin I still haven't decided whether to add fringe to the ends because it is already so long, but on the other hand, fringe always adds a look of completeness... What do you think?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Vietnam Vets

One of DH's Vietnam buddies who has been visiting with us for 2 1/2 weeks had to leave yesterday. What an experience to watch them as they reminisced each day . Those of us who remained behind cannot imagine the things that happened to these young men during the days and weeks of performing their duty to this country. The worst days of all were upon the return home to scorn and disrespect. If you run across a Vietnam Veteran, while the pain cannot be undone... perhaps if you reach out to shake a hand or just say hello, it can help mitigate it somewhat.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Vintage Photo Find

I found the most wonderful Flickr site this morning. Chrysti is a multi media artist with some great vintage photos that are listed in a free photo format for anyone who wants to use them in their own art. She also has a shop listed on e- bay called Covet Me where you can find all kinds of supplies... but also some of her own art.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Floral in Oils

It's a gray, cold day out today, so I painted this floral just for the need of a few spring things...
It's supposed to start warming back up tomorrow, but the sunshine is not supposed to begin again for a few more days. DH has asked me several times today if I am upset with him... guess my gray day blahs are showing more than I thought...

Painting Update

When I realized that the irises on the right side of the painting were taller than the man (I had put them in prior to the boat and man), I decided to change that shoreline... I don't like it... so will change it again...

Snowflake Monday

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Round Robin Letter Update

A few weeks ago, two of my aunts and myself decided to do a Round Robin Letter. I would start it with a note and send to one aunt, she would add a note about what was going on with her family and then send it on to the other aunt for her note about what was happening there. So we did... then our Round Robin Letter group grew..grin What started out as 3 of us turned into 8 of us...!! As of this update, the letter has been from Texas to Oklahoma to across the state in Oklahoma and back to Texas and is now on it's way to Michigan. From there it will go to the Panhandle of Texas, to North Central Texas, back to Oklahoma and then back to me...grin I can hardly wait to get it back.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Fabric Follies

I have put the pattern for this small flower on my other blog... Fabric Follies..


We had to run to town yesterday and when we stepped outside the garage it was amazing how much smoke was settled over the entire area. With the couple of small rains that we've had, we thought perhaps the danger of grassfire was at least reduced... but guess not.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Spring Daffodils and Gazing Balls

Maybe the daffodils weren't so confused after all... grin The weather has been warm and sunshiny today, so I walked the meadow in back and looked around areas that I truly hadn't seen before on our property (since I have this loathing for snakes and will not enter the overgrown areas in the spring and summer...) Coming back up into the yard, I saw the daffodils blooming and had to take a couple of pictures. By using the gazing ball, I found that I could finally get a picture of the oak tree in the side yard that is at least a hundred years old...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Jackie Karp at Karp Styles Crochet Snowflake Patterns

I have a couple of books of Christmas ornament patterns, but there are only a couple of snowflake patterns in each book. So I did a search online... The Crochet Pattern Central site has many patterns all in a list... just click on each link for a different pattern. JPF Crochet Club has a lovely, lacy snowflake. Lion Brand has 6 lovely patterns for the advanced beginner to intermediate skill levels. Jackie Karp at Karp Styles has the pattern for a lovely beaded snowflake.

Snowflake Monday 2

This is the same pattern I used last week but done in Cebellia size 30 thread and using a 9/1.4mm steel hook.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Blocking Snowflakes

When I finished my first snowflakes, I looked around for something that would support the shape of the snowflakes and still allow the pins. This is what I came up with. Also made a bell and have always had a bit of trouble getting my bell shape to be symmetrical... the plastic Easter eggs worked like a charm.

Friday, February 10, 2006

What I've been up to...

Our oldest son was over a few days ago and this was up on my easel... he stated this is the same painting I have been painting for the last 40 years...hmmm My daughter called a couple of evenings ago and when I told her what he had said, she immediately said...and I quote.. "Oh! the one with the water and trees...!" hmmmm (grin) So my answer was... if I ever get it right..I'll quit trying to paint it..!! Anyway, I started this one several weeks ago, but have been working on it for the last 2 days. Reworked the house, then the meadow, and today have worked on the left foreground and tree. When today began, this tree looked very much like the tree on the right...As time goes on, perhaps will show more of the progress... unless of course I really mess it up!! grin

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


If there is anywhere on the net that has lovelier inspirational art, I don't where it is.... Take a look...

Aunt Betty's Page

Aunt Betty sent me this poem to go in my book. I love it! The story behind this is that when her children were small, gifts were opened on Christmas Eve.... but the Special Gifts (the ones they REALLY wanted...grin) were saved and put under the tree for Christmas morning. She said her son mentioned to her a few years ago that that was the most exciting time of his childhood. Now her children do the same for their children and grandchildren... Hence the inspiration for this poem.

Christmas Favorites

Things that lift my spirits and give me joy:
A playful kitten, a sweet baby boy,
A cute little girl, with face all aglow,
Asking things about gifts only Santa can know.

Time for baking cakes and cookies and candy.
Late shopping - in crowds, when it's snowy - not windy.
My children and families arriving Christmas Eve,
With smiles and suitcases and snow on their sleeve.

Christmas party with carols - cameras clickin',
Turkey dinner on Christmas that's "finger - lickin'"!

But the thing that's so special (they do not perceive),
After opening their gifts on Christmas Eve...
Is early Christmas morning, to see their delight
At the Special Gifts "Santa" brought during the night!

Betty Griffin Reed
December 1992

Picked up the CQ Block again!

I picked up the Crazy Quilt block again... I have periodically worked on it since this is my learning block...grin Yesterday I made a trip to Hobby Lobby and finally found the real silk embroidery ribbon, so I bought it! It's amazing how much easier it is to work with than the ribbon I used on the larger floral area in the upper left. What a steal... they had the heart beads and some tear drop beads on sale for 39cents/yard! Love that... (Mistake on the photo text...grin It really is 39 cents... not 35...ughhh)

Painted Wooden Box

I found some very small wooden boxes with hinged lids at JoAnn's just before Christmas that were on sale for $.25 ea. ... so I bought 7 of them with idea in mind to fill them with rolled up $1.00 bills for the grandsons for Christmas... As luck would have it, they were 1/4 inch too small. So now I have all these small boxes... grin The brilliant red bead is attached to the top of all the boxes with some kind of killer glue because no matter what I tried, I couldn't get it off. Sooo... I just painted one..grin When I put the green around the sides of the lid, I considered taping it off to insure a clean edge, but I really like the look of the slight smudging around the edges in the way of Shabby Chic, so I decided not to do that.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Grateful Tuesday

That bright red flash as the cardinals dart around the back yard reminding me that the blahs of winter hold the promise of a lovely spring.

The sound of the shower as Hubby prepares for the day.

Leaving the back door unlocked so visiting friends can come in to grab a cup.

The clean smell of shampoo.

Half empty corn cobs on the squirrel feeders.


Shadows under the trees.

The crunching sound of acorns under my shoes.

The return of a blogging friend after a long absence.

The smell of blueberry bagels.

A Chrismas poem written by Aunt Betty.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Dale Anne's Daily Devotions 365 Days

There's a wonderful relatively new blog I stumbled onto today. Dale Anne's Daily Devotions 365 Days is chock full of wonderful fabric postcards & scrapbooking ideas. Take a look... you'll be glad you did!

I love the idea of this paper bag book!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

"Life" Song...grin

So I popped over to DebR's place for my daily grin fix and found this link to find out what your "Life Song" is... So I did.. Put my birthday in for my 18th birthday (since I am older than dirt and they did not have the Top Ten Lists during Noah's time!) Seems my "life song" is .. ta daaa.. none other than Monday, Monday by The Mama's and the Papas.. Yayyy.. love that song... right. (My kids will attest to the fact that they must have heard it every day for the first fifteen years of their lives...grin) So, I go sniffing around the net to see if I can find a photo of the album, maybe an excerpt of the song...whatever... so I do a search... Here is what I found..grin
Yep...lyrics, album cover...everything! yayyy! ... on The Most Annoying Song of the Day site! How annoying is that???!!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Snowflake Mondays

Several years ago I lost all my handmade and crocheted Christmas ornaments when the storage area they were stored in had a wall collapse in a very heavy rain. Since that time, I have started several times to replace them, but just... didn't. When I came across the Snowflake Mondays webring, it just seemed serendipitous...grin This is not Monday..but since I have made two already, this one will go up today... grin
It's made with size 10 cotton thread using a size 7/1.66mm steel hook. The pattern is from the South Maid #357 book.
Please bear in mind that this one has not been stiffened or embellished..grin

Fog Yesterday... Rain Today!

Looked out the window yesterday and there was heavy fog... yayyy! By the time I thought to get my camera, it was beginning to dissipate... but still pretty.
This morning woke up to wonderful rain! After months with no rain at all, this couple of rainy days has been a real blessing.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Setting the inks in ink-jet printed fabric

I've done some printing on fabric, but have never done any that I felt would be washed. After a discussion with Aunt Edna about her's fading out with washing, I decided to do some trials. This print was done on white 100% cotton fabric and is a kaleidoscope effect of a photo taken last year in our backyard. This gives the same image many times on the fabric.
Strips were cut and the first strip was heat set using the iron and pressing the print under parchment paper. Just dipping it into the water caused the inks to release and fade.
The second strip was dipped into a vinegar/water (hot) solution. This didn't seem to fade as much, so when it was dry I put it back into plain water.... the inks released and it looked exactly like the first strip.
A third strip was painted using a fabric medium used to paint with acrylic paint on fabric... this was allowed to dry completely... dipped in plain water... with the same result. The inks released.
A fourth strip was sprayed with matte polyurethane.. allowed to dry... heat pressed under parchment paper... with the same result. The inks released.
So, it looks like the product (I will find the name and put it up) that you wash the fabric in before printing to make the inks colorfast is the only way to go if you are looking for colorfastness.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Got the Blahs...

Been a semi busy couple of days... Spent the day yesterday taking Brigit to the groomer and vet... Got my hair cut... But can't seem to kick the blahs...grin
I'm working on another blog. This one seems to be a bit of a Mish Mash..grin ... and it's a little hard to stay on track with any theme. So I've got another one started that will be nothing but crafting. Tomorrow the planning will continue and when there is enough up to warrant it, I will share it...