Friday, February 29, 2008

Birthday Flowers From Sunny California

I feel so very fortunate to have a wonderful DH that has made my Birthday a week long celebrations. He has taken me shopping in the big city, which was sooo much fun. Wednesday the 27th which is the actual day of my birthday I received a very unexpected delivery of Flowers which was shipped to me by overnight express from sunny San Diego California. When I open them I could hardly believe my eyes, Spring Flowers of Iris and Day Lillies shipped from the farms of coastal California.

I had No idea who they came from at first because I could not find a card. Then later I found a note taped to part of the packing. I can not even begin to tell you how this lovely bouquet of flowers made my "Spirit" soar on a day when I looked outside and saw 2 1/2 feet of snow. My dear DIL Jenny had ordered them for me because she knew how much I loved flowers and because this winter has been s long and cold. I called them up to tell them how much I loved the flowers and I also talked with Chloe who is only 21 months but she said hi and Good Bye too me. So my special bouquet of Spring flowers came from my son Shane, DIL Jenny and my grand daughter Chloe. Thank you all so very much you all made my day more special.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My First Fly Stitch Lace Stitch

While at Judi's home last Saturday, she taught me how to create the Fly Stitch Lace Stitch which is a old stitch not commonly used today. The photo above is my first attempt. Not perfect but passable. I have to say it was not so easy to line up the lace stitches as they fall. The top photo is my first attempt at creating a fly stitch spider which Judi also taught me. This CQ pieced I am working on is the failed Triangle that I have decided to use as a label on the back of The CQ Of My Dreams when completed. I also played at beading a rose. Thanks Judi for teaching me the Fly Stitch Lace Stitch.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Birthday Gift from Lyn in Melbourne

Today in the mail box I received a lovely birthday pressie from Lyn My Dear Friend in Melbourne Australia. The top photo is of the whole quilt with lots of embroidery and lace on it. Lyn does lovely stitching. The second photo is an up close photo of the round medallion of a Lady Stitching. The third photo is of some chook buttons, lace elephant and a angel pin in my birthstone. The bottom photo is of the quilt label. Thank Lyn for everything. I love it all. It will go up on the wall in the living room this evening.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Western Michigan Stitching Get Together

Bill and I was very happy to accept the invitation to Judi's home Saturday evening to chat and stitch. Bill took me shopping in Grand Rapids for most of the day and I visited one quilt and bead shop. I also did a a bit of shopping for my grandchildren for birthdays and Easter.

We arrived at Judi's and Ted's home around 430PM and we did not get home until after 11PM. I had NO idea where the time went too. Judi and I sat and chatted and chatted about everything. LOL I showed Judi my In Progress "Crazy Quilt Of My Dreams" and appreciated Judi's input about piecing the triangles. Isn't is always so much more fun to have someone teach you in person a stitch or two. I found the "Fly Stitch Lace" stitch a bit of a challenge but Judi was such a good teacher I think I finally learned all the steps to it. I will post a photo as soon as I finished the seam treatment. I also learned how to create a fly stitch spider and we also worked on improving my bullion stitch..

The top photo is of Judi sitting at her "Command Center" in her lovely new sun room. LOL The middle photo is of our DH playing their harmonicas. Ted is on the right and Bill is on the left. The bottom photo is of the lovely pinchion Judi made for me.

Judi made us a lovely dinner and to my surprise she made me the most creative "Birthday Cake" I have ever eaten. It was a weight watcher chocolate pudding cake served in a bowl. Oh, It was so tasty.

Our DH chatted on and on too. Towards the end of the evening they got out their "Harmonicas" and played some lovely church hymns and many other oldie songs. It was a pleasure to listen to them play in perfect harmony and it was their first time playing together.

Thank You Ted and Judi for a very lovely evening.

Friday, February 22, 2008

My First Beaded Bracelet, Spring Flowers

During the whole month of February I've had Cabin/ Spring Fever big time. So to get me through this month of ongoing snow blizzards,( 96.8 inches of snowfall and still counting) I have focus on things "Springy"!!!

First, this past week DH and I have booked a room at a Best Western down in Southern Illinois so we can attend the Paducah Quilt Show at the end of April. I still can close my eyes and see all the Red Buds and flowers blooming from our last visit in 2005. During this visit my Dear Friend Inge and Jaap from "The Netherlands" joined us and we all had such a super wonderful time together that I will never forget. Unfortunately, they can not join us this years but maybe next year. I am truly looking forward to this trip in so many ways. Seeing all the gorgeous quilt really makes me smile. I hope I will get to see a Crazy Quilt or two amongst them all. Of course the vendor mall is always so awesome and I love seeing all the new goodies out there.

This past winter I have developed a new passion called "Beading"!! So I decided to try and create a beaded bracelet which was more than a challenge but the final creation I think turned out pretty good. I call this bracelet "Spring Flowers"!! I have another project I am working on for this trip too. "Paducah Here I come"!!!! LOL

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Belgium Lace from Brugge

I fell in Love with Brugge Belgium. This ancient city is so grand and know for many things along with its Belgium Bobbin Lace and Chocolates. The top photo is of the Museum displaying a lovely piece of bobbin lace. You can also see the river that flows through this city. The 2nd photo is a lovely piece of Lace with Belgium Chocolate being shown on it. vbg The third photo is a bobbin lace collar being created. The bottom photo is of a bobbin lace Heart I brought home with me. I truly enjoyed visiting this city so much I went back a second time. If you click on Brugge Belgium highlighted link it will take you to the lovely city of Brugge. There will be a photo that you can click "Next" and it will give you a photo tour of Brugge. In one of the photos you will see "The Main Square" and in the backgroud you will see green awning which are the outdoor restaurants where me and my friend sat and ate Belgium Waffles which are sooooooo tasty and the people watching was fantastic.

Belgium Lace from Brugge

I bought these three lovely bobbin lace pieces while I was visiting Brugge Belgium. Brugge is the lace capital of Belgium. I was so impressed with the lovely detail of this bobbin lace. The ladies who create this lace are very creative artist.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lyn's Bobbin Lace Case and Bobbins

The CQI list has been chatting about bobbin lace and tatting and I discovered my SIS in Melbourne Australia had taken a class and was creating lace and I was totally in the dark until she showed me some pictures of her lace and bobbins. The case was made by Chris (sister In QLD.) and given to Lyn. What a lovely case and I love all the beads Lyn has attached sooo she does not lose her bobbins. VBG

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Judi's Beautiful Fly Stitch Lace

The above photo is a lovely example of Judi's first attempt at creating the old antique Fly Stitch Lace Embroidery Stitch. I must give this lovely stitch a try this weekend. Thanks Judi for sharing this photo with me. Super Lovely Stitching.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Fly Stitch Lace

There has been some dicussion lately about this antique embroidery stitch called Fly Stitch Lace on my CQI online Crazy Quilt List. My Friend Judi came up with a diagram of stitching to create this stitch for me so I can better understand it. LouAnne also on the CQI list plans on doing a tutorial on her blog in the near Future. Thanks LouAnne. So between these two sources maybe I will be able to finally create this stitch too. Above is a photo of Judi's Diagram. Thanks Judi for creating this diagram for me. Greatly appreciated.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Polly Patch and Stick Beaded Dolls, from UK

Several weeks ago a new friend Christina and I decided to swap gifts. After "Polly Patches" long trip across the big pond she arrived at my home today. "Polly Patch" is incredibly beautiful. She is bright, happy and colorful all the things I needed to see after enduring this bleak cold and very long winter. Christina also included a "Stick" beaded doll to attach to my scissors so they do not get lost so often. vbg I will truly treasure these lovely beaded pieces of art. Thank you Christina your beading is so very lovely.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Easter In Metz France

I can not remember what motivated my friend and I to travel to Metz France for the weekend but I am really glad we went. Getting to Metz was very much of a challenge and we must of stopped a million times to ask for directions. But we finally arrive at our hotel and it was just about across from train station. Please see the top photo of the lovely gardens in front of the train station. A site to behold. Our hotel was in walking distance of this gorgeous old city. The second photo is of me taking a rest after all day of shopping and walking and shopping and walking. The building were incredible ancient and grand. The flowers were blooming every where. But never in my life have I ever seen so many French Chocolate Shops. I had to stop and admire everyone I came upon. The other photos are of the most Incredible Artistic Easter Chocolate Creations made in my humble opinion. And French Chocolate is so very very good to eat. LOL I will never forget this special time in my life.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

German Easter Markets and Bobbin Lace

While living in Germany I always looked forward to the 4 weeks before Easter because all over Europe there was so many wonderful Easter Markets to explore. The base paper would publish a list of the Easter Markets for us all to attend. Sometimes, I travel to 6 or more on a single weekends. Most of the time I traveled with a friend but a couple of time I set off on my own and finding the Easter Market was as much fun as the Easter Market itself. I collected endless textiles, laces, painted and carved eggs, pottery, and on and on. During the next several weeks I will be posting picture of these artist and all the wonderful art that they created. Unfortunately, I do not remember all the names of the towns I visited. I did venture to France one weekend and was so amazed at all the French Chocolate shops which I took many pictures of too. The French Chocolate was like pieces of art too.

Because we are chatting about "Vintage Laces" and Europe on "CQI" I decided to beginning by showing you all the above two bottom pictures of a Lovely German Lady creating "Bobbin Lace" and some of the laces at her booth at a Easter Market. The next two photos show a bobbin lace bunny and rooster which was a gift from my Dear Friend Ulla who was my neighbor in Ettinghausen, Germany. I collected several more bobbin lace creations from the above artist and others but never did find a bobbin lace "Rose" along the way. One day I hope I can find a bobbin lace Rose to embellish "My CQ of My Dreams".

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tammy's PIF Gift Calm After The Blizzard

Today I received a very Lovely Beaded Gift from Tammy in "Rainy" CT. It is a beaded pen with my Initial J and a Heart in my favorite colors of purple and teal. It is more than a Pen it is a Piece of Art that I will always treasure. I think it is very fitting to also include a photo of the calm after the the two day blizzard so Tammy can enjoy some snow this winter even though it virtual. Thank You Tammy.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

CQ Triangle block finished, Sad Looking

After much thought I started working on my first CQ triangle block for the "Crazy Quilt Of My Dreams" yesterday. The theme of this Crazy Quilt is Hearts and Roses. There is 6 triangles to be crazy pieced. So my thought was I would piece 3 of these block to give a look of a rose bud or rose. The other 3 triangles I would piece to give a look of hearts. All 6 of the pieced triangles need to give an overall look of creams and lights fabrics to go along with the other pieced hexagon. Sadly I did not get the look I wanted. So I will try again. I have searched for examples of CQ pieced roses and hearts with no luck. Can anyone direct me to some ideas. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Oya's from Istanbul Turkey

Today a special package I order from Rengin arrived from Istanbul, Turkey. I have been admiring Oya for a long time since when I first saw them on crazy quilts, scarfs and in Patchwork Quilt Tsushin issue number 125 April 2005. I was very excited to see them upclose and believe me no photo can do them justice. They are so delicate, I am in awe of the artist who create these works of art. The Beaded Oya Lace is also extremely beautiful. All these incredible gorgeous Oyas and lace will proudly be used on "The Crazy Quilt Of My Dreams"!

Rengin included a very lovely surprise gift for me of many beautiful things I can also used on my Crazy Quilt. Please see the second photo from the top. Beautiful hand dyed ribbons in my favorite colors, sparkling metallic threads, fancy fabric pieces and sweet charms along with a photo post card from Turkey. Thank You Rengin from the bottom of My Heart.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

My Journey Into Blogging, Artful Blogging Mag. Spring Issue

I have been blogging since July 31st 2007 so I am relatively a 'Newbie"! This journey started because a new friend Jo from NZ that I met on Crazy Quilting International kept telling me "Judy you need to start a blog". In the beginning the road was bumpy because I was learning all kinds of new computer skills, like hyperlinks, slide shows, adding links and html's and on and on. With support from friends and family, I have learned to love this whole "Blogging Thing"! CJ Stitching and Blooms not only became a menu for displaying my artistic creations but I also wanted it to be visually unique that hopefully would make visitors smile too.

To say the least "
My Journey Into Blogging" has been a road in which my expectations has been exceeded in many more ways than I could even begin to imagine. I look forward everyday to chatting with my old and new friends from around the world. My world has been open to very artistic people that have shared their talents with me and for that my imagination has soared. I am always amazed by all the lovely, thoughtful, kind comments left on my blog by friends and strangers alike. They bring a smile to my face and warm my heart.

And this brings me to my August 2nd 2007 posting on my blog about my new discovery of the "Artful Blogging Magazine" premier issue. Last November, Staci the Managing Editor of Artful Blogging sent me a surprised email message asking me for permission to publish this statement in their upcoming Spring 2008 Issue. I was honored to be selected and was happy to give my permission.

Since then I have been anxiously awaiting for this issue to arrive. Yesterday, I bought it at the book store and on page 2, "Buzz" there are 4 statements published. The first is from Sondra Casario from New Glouster, Maine, then mine, CJ Stitching and Blooms, from Michigan, Katelyn Thomas from Cecil County, Maryland and Laura Allen, from Ocala, Florida.

The Artful Blogging Spring Issue 2008 reading is "Great" and the "Photos of all the Art" in the blogs are "Incredibly Beautiful". I would highly recommend The Artful Blogging Magazine
to everyone.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Crazy Quilt Of My Dreams, More Progress

After many days of planning the small center hexagon to place in the center of the large hexagon, I was finally happy with the design. I wanted so much to be able to curve piece the different fabrics around the heart but I just do not have those skills yet so my heart did not come out perfect IMHO but close enough. The bottom photo is a close up of the small pieced hexagon. I photo transferred our favorite photo of "My Sweetie and Me" and placed it inside the heart area and basted it down. The third photo is a close up of this photo. I stitched on a very delicate rose ribbon around the photo of us and added the word "Love". The Lovely Rose Ribbon I bought from Helen Gibb's Booth at the Novi Sewing Show. The second photo is of the completed small hexagon placed in the center of the large hexagon. The top photo is of my new found skill of printing words onto fabric and in color too. Now onto piecing the triangles.
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