Monday, May 26, 2008

My Special Collection of Pincushions

I recently bought a new book called Pretty Little Pincushions publish by Lark Books, which has endless patterns of very creative and unique Pincushion. The one that has capture my attention are the ones made from 20 oz. pop bottle caps designed by Jen Segrest. They are so very pretty and tiny. I hope to create a few of these unique weee pincushions in the near future. I have been collecting "Pincushion" of all shapes and sizes for many years. The above photo of pincushions and one needle case has been given to me from my dear friends over many years. They all are very special to me.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Faith Hope and Love Penny Rug

Last year I completed a 100% hand dyed wool embroidery penny rug which I have dedicated to our marriage. The theme of the wall hanging is "Faith, Hope and Love. The Greatest of These is Love.

We both had a sad past and lived in two different countries when we met on an online Christian chat group. We both had faith and hope that one day we would find someone new to care about and love. During the time we chatted with each other online and on the phone we fell in love but neither of us would admit it until much later. We met along the shores of Lake Huron when I came back to Michigan for a holiday from Germany. During the summer of 2004 we fell in love and have never look back. Two and a half months later I was back home in Michigan and we got married within 7 days of my return. We have now been married for just about 4 years. We treasure each day we are together.

The Faith, Hope and Love Welcome Sign DH bought for me to hang on our front door. It reflects our feeling for each other.

The Faith, Hope and Love Penny Rug pattern I instantly fell in love with and knew I needed to make it for us. The pattern is from Bonnie Sullivan from Salem, Oregon and she has a website click on her name and it will take you to her wonderful creations.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tarja Renta Wool Art and Uniquely Felt

While living in Germany I discovered and fell in love with wool felting. Since being back home I have taken a couple of wet and needle felting classes but there is so much more I would like to learn. While exploring Germany, I came upon a wool shop that had all kinds of wonderful wool felted art. One artist wool art collection that I really admired was Tarja Rinta from Finland. Tarja's wool felted painting of the birch trees and wildflowers was just to beautiful to leave behind. I also thought Tarja wool felted animals were really cute so I brought them home too.

Today I received a new wool felting book in the post, called "Uniquely Felt" by Christine White. Oh, this book is fantastic and will teach you anything you need to know about wool felting. The photos are wonderful. I am really looking forward to getting out some of my wool stash and start playing. vbg Oh, BTW there is a new forum called, Stitching Fingers ( Main Page) and it has several subgroups one of them being Wool Felting. It is great fun have a look. Now only if I could find a friend that would also love to do some wool felting with me here in Western Michigan.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Susan's DesertSky Floss

Recently I purchased the above lovely threads from Susan at Desert Sky Esty Shop. I had been waiting for Susan to get in some pastel colors to use on My Crazy Quilt Of My Dreams and they finally arrived. Susan I am very pleased with the pastel colors and I look forward to using them. Thanks for the extra one you included in my order. It seems I had just placed my order and it had already arrived. Excellent Service.

The floss is 100% cotton and are hand dyed, using Procion dyes, exclusively for Desertsky Quilting by Shannon Colbow of Wild Card Design Studio.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My Alaska Tree and Spring Garden

I planted 4 Viburnum Bushes two years ago and this is the first summer they have bloomed. This year "My Spring Gardens" are looking pretty wonderful. The Viburnum in the above photo is called Blue Berry Muffin and because of all its flowers it should have lots of blue berries in the Autumn for the birds to eat. This bush smells so lovely.

This is the second year for my Fringe Tulips Bulb to bloom. Last year I was disappointed in them but this year they look very lovely.

The photo at the top of the page is of my "Alaska Tree". My co-worker and friend Heather brought this back with her on the plane for me in May 2006. She dug up two of them for me along the side of a ditch outside of Anchorage, Alaska. Heather also brought back herself back 3 fir trees. Unfortunately, one died last summer but this one continues to survive and grow. This Spring it has probably grown 3 inches or more with lots of new branches. It was about an inch tall when it came to me. It has now been growing in my 3 season room for its third summer. During the winter I just let the soil freeze just like if it was growing in Alaska. I just re-potted it today because it had outgrown its other pot. I truly hope it survives its re-potting. I have it planted in Miracle Grow soil since day one so it definitely been pampered. vbg

When I lived in Alaska back in 1991 and 1992 my mother came to visit me and she also dug up a weee Alaska Fir Tree. Mom brought it back home with her in a plastic baggie wrapped with a wet paper towel. Mom grew hers in the house for 4 summers and now it grows proudly in Mom's front yard and is at least 10 foot tall.

When I left Alaska and my job as a "Bush School Nurse" I left a weee part of my heart their too. So growing this Alaska Tree makes feel like I still have part of Alaska still here with me. Hopefully one day my Alaska Tree will be 10 feet tall.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bobbin Lace Rose and Dragon Fly from Ulla

Today I received a lovely surprise gift in the mail box from my friend and previous neighbor in Germany Ulla. Ulla created this very beautiful bobbin lace "Rose and Dragon Fly" for me to add as a embellishment to "My Crazy Quilt Of My Dreams" which unfortunately I am progressing slowly on. I am attempting to learn tatting but creating bobbin lace is an ancient craft I will not even try to learn. Much to difficult. Ulla thank you so very much for this special gift it was so thoughtful of you. I am sending you a big Hug.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Beaded Stone Age Doll, started Robin Atkins Book

I recently bought Robin Atkins new book called, "Heart To Hands. Bead Embroidery". Oh what a wonderful illustrated book of "Beaded Dolls and Beaded Journal Projects" plus much more. Robin has created gorgeous pieces of beaded art to reflect her life's story in her "Decade Dolls" which I just love. I must do this. She teaches you many new beading techniques and gives you much encouragement to express yourself in bead artwork. She gives you many tips which I have read many times. Four of them have touch my heart. Robin tells you " Be gentle with yourself". "Let go of trying to be perfect". "Try to forget about "figuring it out" and "getting it right". "Feel free to make mistakes". This book has been awe inspiring to me because I am always trying to create "Perfect" stuff. Thanks Robin for taking the time to publish this lovely book.

During the last month I have started over three times in trying to create my first all beaded doll. There seem to be always something I did not like so I would either start over on the beading or start with a new fabric form. The above photo next to the beads is the 3rd beginning of a"Stone Age Doll" that I am swapping with Kristen who is a very experienced creative beader and her blog is called, Still Heart Studio. So far I am happy with my progress and hopefully this doll will be completed.

I stopped in at Bead Haven In Frankenmuth, Michigan to treat myself to some new beads on our road trip over to Eastern Michigan to visit with my family last weekend. It is truly a Bead Haven. vbg

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Artistic Impression: Spring In The North Woods

My Friend Jane who lives in the UP of Michigan and I decided to swap Crazy Quilt Fabric Post Cards with the theme of Spring In Michigan . With this theme in mind, I ended up creating two post cards one for Jane and one to put in our sun room which has an outdoor look. Jane's Blog is called Crazy Here And Now. The Lovely Crazy Quilt Post Card Jane created for me can be seen 3 post down from this one.

I have been visiting Allie In Stitches Blog and in one of her post Catherine Smith from Montavilla in Portland Oregon came for a visit. Catherine brought some very lovely items created with Angelina Fibers and Wools. This motivated me to bring out my "Angelina Fibers" I bought at the Paducah Quilt Show in 2005. I could hardly believe I had not play with it yet even though I had bought three books to give me instruction on using Angelina.

I was surprised how very easy it was to create Angelina Fiber Fabric. I combined the "Hot Fixed" Angelina along with the "Non-Fixed" Angelina colors and pressed them slightly between parchment paper for just a few seconds to create the Falls/River in the post card. The sun was created from "Hot Fixed" Gold Angelina. I bought the Angelina Fiber at two different places at the Paducah Quilt show vendor mall, Country Keepsakes from Pa. and Embellishment Village.

It had been awhile since I have been stitching so creating these two post cards was a joy. It was great just to set in the evening and stitch away. When creating "Spring In The North Woods" I thought about all the wonderful nature elements I saw while playing in the woods at our cabin outside of Munising, Michigan. The River was only several hundred feet from our cabin so I knew I needed to include a Falls/River in the Post Card. Then there was the Butterflies, Pine Trees, Birch Trees, Blueberry and Wild Rose bushes and lots of wildflowers. I had forgotten about the Pussy Willows until Jane mentions she had picked some along the road one day in her blog so I included them too. Creating this "Spring In The North Woods" for Jane was a great pleasure that brought back wonderful memories of my childhood. I hope one day to go on a trip to the UP and see if I can find our cabin in the woods which was sold many years ago. Hopefully one day Jane and I can meet up too. Thanks for the post card swap Jane.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Evening of Fun In The Sun Room

In April My DH has been working on creating our 3 season sun room into a year around sun room. The first big project toward this goal was to replace the screens with nice insulated windows. The nice slider windows and the very lovely fancy trim work is now done. I did a wee bit by doing all the staining of the new trim work.
Our first guests arrived last evening to celebrate my friend "Judi" birthday. We had a nice dinner and then we migrated to the sun room to play. Early in the evening Judi spotted some wool felted projects I have done in the past. Judi fell in love with a "Acorn" I made inspired by the book, called "Felt Wee Folks" by Salley Mavor in 2003. Judi ask me if I could teach her how to felt. I do not consider myself a teacher but I went to my stash of wools and supplies and we started our lesson. The above middle photo is of Judi happily felting away. The bottom photos shows Judi's acorn on the left and mine on the right. Our DH even went out into our yard in the dark to search out a "Acorn Cap" for Judi to use to finish off her felted wool acorn. Our DH are such sweeties.
The top photo is our "Musical Husbands" having fun playing their musical instruments. My DH loves playing his many harmonicas (left) and Ted (right) was playing his mandolin. Ted also plays the harmonica. It is a joy to listen to them play. The evening went by all to quickly. We have now entertain our first guest in the sorta new renovated sun room. We still have lots of work to do before it will be totally transformed into an all season sun room but we have started. It is my favorite room in the house. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDI. I hope we have many more fun times together.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Wool Felted Projects

On the wool felting list I belong to, Rosemary from the Falkland Islands ask the group what she could wool felt and sell to tourist off cruise ship. I suggested wool felted post cards as weee pieces of art, brooches and pins. Judy Lessard from Heron Creek Fiber Farm in Mason Michigan suggested wool felted "Pin Cushions". When I places a wool roving order from Judy a couple of years ago she included a lovely wool felted pin cushion with shiny pearl head pins as a gift for me. The pin cushion is pictured above. The wool felted Sheep Pin I created and added a few beads to it and gave this to Judy as a gift. I like the sheep pin so much I made myself one too. I also have made wool felted pins in different shapes. I made a Autumn Leafs, Snowman, and post card with the theme of winter. I like to add a bit of stitching and a few beads to my projects too.

CQ PC, Spring In Michigan from Jane

A few weeks ago a new friend Jane who lives in the UP of Michigan decided to swap CQ Post Cards with the theme of "Spring In Michigan". After a very long day day of work yesterday I got home at 645PM and Jane's lovely package was there to greet me. After I collapsed in my favorite chair in the sun room I anxiously open the package Jane sent me. OH, what a very lovely CQ Spring Post Card. The tree is budding out in green, with a small bird nest with eggs which is a sure sign of Spring In Michigan. There is many weee flowers blooming throughout the card along with beads that make the card sparkle. I also love the way Jane put the eyelash yarn around the edge of the PC. Along with the PC Jane surprised me with many other goodies to add to my CQ stash . She included some fancy fabrics, very lovely lace pieces with beads, buttons and lovely embroidery flosses. Jane also included a homemade note card of a weeee girl picking Spring Flowers. Thanks You Jane for the very pretty PC and goodies. You made the end of my long day very Happy.
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