Friday, November 30, 2007

My First Beaded Face Brooch, Pink Princess

This past week I was inspired to tray and create a beaded brooch from the Polymer Clay faces I have made. I finished the Pink Princess two days ago and decided I would share her with you all. The Polymer Clay face I made this past summer to use on the Spirit Dolls I have been creating over the last 6 months or so. So now I have a new use for them. I did struggle a bit with the beading but I think she worked out OK. The back of the brooch is Ultrasuede given to me by my a new friend Noel a former Michiganer. vbg I really need to take a formal beading class so I know what I am doing. LOL I had sooo much fun playing around creating My First Beaded Face Brooch.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The German Pickle Christmas Tradition or Not??

Below are two verison of the German Pickle Story I was told about while I was living in Germany. Are they true or not. To me it does not really matter. Since I have come back from Germany the Pickle I bought in Lauscha, Germany the home of the first Christmas Ornament is carried on each Christmas Morning here in my home. My Grandchildren love searching for the pickle an they all have such fun searching for it. Who ever finds the pickle gets a special treat and then a weeee treat is given to the others. Last Christmas we were setting around and I had temporary forgotten about the "Pickle" and I was ask when can we search for the "Pickle" soooo the "Pickle Tradition" is alive and well in my family. vbg
One rumor tells of a Bavarian-born Union soldier fighting in the Civil War named John Lower (or perhaps Hans Lauer) who was captured and sent to prison in Georgia. In poor health and starving, the prisoner begged for just one pickle before he died. A merciful guard took pity and found him a pickle. Miraculously, John lived, and after he returned home he began the tradition of the Christmas Pickle, promising good fortune to the one who found the special ornament on Christmas Day.
The first ornaments used by Germans to decorate Christmas Trees were fruits, particularly apples, and nuts. These, along with the evergreen tree itself, represented the certainty that life would return in the spring. In the mid-eighteen hundreds, a few enterprising individuals living in the village of Lauscha (in the present-day state of Thuringen) began selling glass ornaments. Using fruit and nut molds at first, they eventually branched out, adding thousands of molds to their repertoire: angels, bells, saints, hearts, stars, and so on.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pay It Forward

I believe that "Pay It Forward" is a wonderful program and I look forward to participating and creating a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment here on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.”Sew, if You have not already joined in a PIF venture, please feel welcomed to do so. I KNOW I will NOT have my end ready for mailing until sometime during 2008 , but this will keep me committed and I'll keep you in mind for the holidays as I stitch my way through the end of 2007.

Memories of Christmas in Germany, Willkommen

I have many memories of the two years I lived in Germany. But the most fondest memories are at Christmas time and especially the two times I went to Seiffen Germany which is the official Christmas Village in Germany. (Please click on the buttons for beautiful pictures). Seiffen was a very long drive from my home in Ettinghausen Germany. It took me approximately 6 to 8 hours depending on the traffic. Yes they have traffic jams in Germany. LOL
Seiffen is located in the Ore Erzgebirge Mountains in Eastern Germany near the Czech Republic border. "Christmas in Seiffen" is the most incredible beautiful village I have ever seen. (This link plays Christmas music with pictures of Seiffen). They are know for creating wooden Christmas toys, nutcrackers, smokers, pyramids, angels, wibbogen and many other wonderful creations. The top picture is of a "Doppelschwibbogen" which is such a lovely wooden Christmas Tree that lights up. They have many different creations of Wibbogen but I choose this one to bring home with me.
In the second picture there is three of my collections of "Smokers". There is the Snowman, Santa and the Christmas tree. They come apart and you can place weee cones of inscents on a holder and when you light them the scents of smokes come out their opening which most of the time is their mouth. In this picture there is also a replica of the Mountain Church in Seiffen with their carolers. It is a Octagon church and the focus of the community.
In the third picture is a "Pyramid" which when you light the candles the heat from them makes the Pyramid spins around.. During the Christmas season I light the candles for our evening meals and it is a joy to watch it spin around.
The linen I also bought in Germany in a area they call Bavaria. I have many more pictures to share of My Memories of Christmas in Germany which I will share with you all in the weeks to come.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Our First Snow Fall Nov. 23rd.


The Morning after Thanksgiving our World was blanket in a weeeeeeeeee bit of fluffy snow and with the sun shining brightly everything appears soooo serene and beautiful. The top pic is a sneaky furry squirrel getting his morning breakie from bits of feed that the birds have left fallen to the ground. The second pic is our front yard with the sun rising behind the trees and the third pic is of my Jim Shores Santa Flag. I have several decorative flags that I change with the seasons. Today we will put up our Christmas Tree. Soooooo More pics to come.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Linda's Memory Silk Tie CQ

Recently the online group I belong to called CQI has been showing pictures of our First Crazy Quilt. I was a bit hesitant about sharing mine, so I called My Dear Cousin Linda and ask her for permission to show pictures of her Memory CQ and talk about the reason why I made it for her. She very kindly said, yes she would be happy for me to share her CQ on my blog. This CQ was created from the Silk Ties of Linda's deceased husband Patrick. On March 11th 2001 Linda's DH, youngest son Aaron 26yrs. and his two children, John 3yrs old and Sam 10 months old was taken in a tragic car accident. One day after this horrible event Linda was telling me that she was cleaning out Pat's clothes and she had all these ties she did not know what to do with. I told Linda to please send them to me and I would create a Memory Quilt from them. I looked at the ties for a few months trying to figure out how to best use them. I called Linda back and we talked some more about how I would use them in the quilt. Linda gave me some special dates which occurred during their 30 years marriage together and their favorite vacation place. After this conversation I knew how I would use them. I would make a crazy quilt and create each block to reflect stages of their life together. I also decided that the last block would be of "Hope and Happiness". The first picture is of Linda with her Memory Silk Tie Crazy Quilt. The first block reflects when Patrick was born, the second one is about when Linda and Patrick was married May 30th 1970. The 3rd block is about Patrick's business called Reliance Refrig. The 4th block reflects their favorite vacation spot, Banff in Alberta Canada. The 5th block is Linda's words to her loving family she lost. The 6th block is of "Hope and Happiness" for the future with with embroidery of flowers and butterflies. Linda and I have been very close Cousin and my wish was that this CQ would provide Linda with good memories of her marriage with Patrick and her family and would also provide her with "Hope and Happiness" for the future. I am very please to say that Linda has now been remarried for just about 2 yrs. to a wonderful man Phil who now gives Linda must Happiness.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Lyn's Spirit Of Friendship Doll" Snow Princess"

Lyn's Crazy Quilt Spirit of Friendship Doll, "Snow Princess" is the second Spirit of Friendship Doll I created this year for Christmas Presents. She is made from 3 different kinds of sparkling snow flake fabrics. I did beaded embroidery snowflakes in shades of white and silver. I also used three different kinds of embroidery floss, Renaissance Ultra Sprinkles, Kreinik Metallic in white and platinum and White Madeira Metallic. I also created her face from translucent Kato Polyclay and painted her face with Pearl Ex Powder Pigment in the color Pearl before baking. I think this is the most beads I have ever added to a doll especially around her face.
A bit of history about our Friendship. Lyn's and I met on the Australian Southern Cross Quilters Online Quilting list in October of 1996. As a new member I sent a message introducing my self and Lyn sent me a warm welcome and told me about herself and we discovered we had many things in common. That was the beginning of a wonderful 11 year friendship that has grown and grown.
I have always felt I missed out by not having someone to call a "Sister" and experiencing the special relationships I believed sisters had between each other. Well over the years Lyn has become "My Adopted Sis".
In the year 2000 I turned 50 years old and for a special gift Lyn traveled from Melbourne Australian to Virginia to help me celebrate my birthday. vbg We celebrated everyday for 3 months. When Lyn arrived in New York it started to snow. As Lyn walked from the jumbo jet to the smallish plane Lyn saw and felt "Snow Flakes" for the first time in her life. When Lyn arrived in Virginia she was dead tired from the very long trip and when we met she could not stop talking about the beautiful snow flakes she saw in New York. vbg The next day I showed Lyn piles of snow in our local parking lots and she was soooooooooooooo very excited. We through snowballs at each other and laughed and laughed. During the next 3 months we had the most wonderful time together.
WE went to three major quilt show. The first being the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show in Hampton, Va. the second being The Mountain Quilt Festival in Pigeon Forge Tenn. and the third being the Lancaster Quilt Show in Penn. We had endless adventures together during this time and we still chat and laugh about them. Soooooooooooo when we decided to exchange "Spirit of Friendship Dolls" I knew Lyn's had to be a "Snow Princess" !!! Lyn I am so happy you like your "Snow Princess"!!! Merry Christmas...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Anniversary Trip To Frankenmuth Michigan

On November 3rd DH and I took a trip to Frankenmuth Michigan to do some Christmas shopping and celebrate our 3rd Anniversary. Frankenmuth is also called, "Michigan's Little Bavaria"!! This community takes pride in preserving the German heritage and greets you with a Big Wilkommen!!!

Frankenmuth has many unique shops but the one I enjoyed the most is called, "Bead Haven". I have never seen a Bead Shop so huge. The third and fourth picture from the top is the building where Bead Haven is located. It encompass the beige, pink and green sections of this large building. I did find some lovely beads that I plan to use in creating my Spirit Of Friendship Dolls and on my first crazy Quilt I plan to start in the new year.

Frankenmuth has endless places to browse in and the most fantastic restaurants. We ate at Zehners which is famous for its Chicken dinners. In 2006 Zehnders served 948,675 meals which made it the #1 restaurant in the USA for meals served. The food is so very very good. vbg

I also really enjoyed the Woolen Mill which has been in business since 1894. Their shop have the most gorgeous sweater I have ever seen but I resisted buying any. vbg

Bronner's Christmas Wonderland is the world's largest Christmas Store. The building is the size of 5 1/2 football fields. It is an amazing place to shop in.

We truly enjoyed "Our Anniversary Trip" and I was able to get "All" our Christmas shopping done too. Huge VBG I feel so fortunate to have a DH that loves to go on "Adventure Trips" and enjoys them as much as I do. Sooo we now have "Three" Wonderful Years Together" and DH says 3 years going on 40 years and we are going to live to be 103!!! VBG You gotta love such a great attitude.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Garden Angel For Inge In The Netherlands

Garden Angel is the first of three "Spirit of Friendship Dolls", I made for my dear friends this year for Christmas. "Garden Angel" has already arrived In Hoorn, Holland and Inge has warmly received her and gave me permission to post a picture for you all to see her.
A bit of History about how Inge and I became friends. In the Spring of 1996 Inge saw that I posted a comment about a quilt I saw on the internet and I think it was a quilt from the Netherlands. Inge can you remember??? vbg Inge wrote me telling me about herself and that was "The Beginning" of a 11 year Friendship. Over the many years our Friendship has grown and in April of 2003 while I was living in Germany I went to visit Inge during the most beautiful time of year when all the fields of "Tulips" are waves of the most gorgeous colors I have ever seen. Inge, DH Jaap, and a good friends of Inge, Mieke took me all over Holland showing me all the highlights of their wonderful country. Wonderful Memories I will always treasure.
In the Spring of 2005 Inge and Jaap came to the states and we all met at the Paducah Quilt Show. For several days we chatted and admired quilts and we even went to a lecture together. We discovered that both our DH were electrician and sooooo they had heaps to chat about too.
When I discovered Spirit of Friendships Dolls and told Inge about them she was very excited about exchanging dolls this year. I received Inge's a a few weeks ago and the above "Spirit of Friendship Doll" is the one I created for Inge. I am soooo happy you love your Spirit Doll Inge.
We will have to see where the other "Two Spirit of Friendships Dolls" I made this year finds their new homes at. vbg

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