Friday, March 27, 2009

Springtime and Easter Memories In Germany

My friend Liz in Germany introduced me to this lovely book called "Sew Pretty Homestyle" by Tone Finnanger. Liz has a wonderful blog called, "Moments"! It was originally published in Norway back in 2006. There are many creations in this book I would like to make but first I decided to create the lovely "Roses"! In the book there is patterns for a large and small rose. I love to embellish everything so I added heaps of beads to the edges of my rose to give them a bit of sparkle. There was no pattern for a medium size rose so I made up my own. Above is the first three beaded pink fabric roses I made in the last couple of weeks. I think I will create a brooch from the medium size one.

The above photo is of the first and smallest fabric rose I created with lovely toile pink fabric.

This photo shows an up close look at the medium size rose. I think it will turn into a brooch. I used lovely fabric called "Posh by Chez Moi for Moda. It has lovely lace looking paisley through out it. Just my kind of fabric!!

Here is evidence that Springtime has finally arrived here in Michigan. Another true sign that Springtime has arrived in Michigan is our state bird the Robin and we have many investigating our yard at the moment for a place to nest. So "Crocuses and Robins" truly make me smile because I know that our long dreadful winter has now passed for another year.

More Crocuses!!
I also get very excited about Springtime for another reason and that is Easter. In Germany 4 weeks prior to Easter there are Easter Markets everywhere. At the school were I worked they would gave us a long list of Easter Markets not only in Germany but the surrounding countries so we could travel and explore these wonderful markets. I love getting out my "Easter Treasures" every year for several reasons. They bring back wonderful memories of my time living in Germany and they are so lovely and unique to look at. On my sofa table this year I decided to create a wee display of some of my treasures.

Here is my Easter Tree with lovely bobbin lace ornaments created by several ladies I met at the Easter Markets I attended and also by my good friend Ulla who was my neighbor where I lived in Ettingenhausen.

I love this Easter linen because it sparkles with lovely Easter Eggs. On my sofa table I have displayed several Easter decorations from Poland, Germany and Italy. The ceramic weaved basket is from Italy and it holds my collection of "Polish Pottery Eggs" and two of them are hand painted by a German artist.

I have a wee collection of "Nesting Hen" and this one is from Poland. While living in Germany I made two wonderful trips to Poland. It was one of my favorite places I visited.

When my teacher friend and I discovered this treasure we both looked at each other and said, "A Half Baked Chick" and laughed and laughed. Yup we both bought one. I love my half baked chick allot. The wee linen it is setting near says, Happy Easter in German!!

Here is an up close look at my lovely "Polish Pottery Easter Eggs and the two beautiful hand painted German ones.
Another wonderful area I visited a couple of times was in the far Eastern part of Germany in a region called "Erzgebirge" which once part of Communist Germany! Here in a small mountain village called Seiffen you can find of the most wonderful wood carvers in the world. They are know for their beautiful, "Nutcrackers", "Smokers" which I bought several of and just truly lovely hand carved creations. Above, Mrs. Rabbit is sitting in her very comfy rocking chair knitting away and just as happy as can be. It reminds me of myself sitting in the evening stitching away and truly happy and at peace being near my sweetie in the place we call home!! Happy Spring! Happy Easter Everyone!!! Danke for visiting my blog, I always enjoy reading all your lovely messages.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Circle of Flowers BE Online Project, Update

For the last several weeks I have been taking an online class from Rita Goff from the Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery yahoo group. I have certainly learned allot and I thank Rita for being so patience with me and all my questions. This is my "Circle of Flower" project 3/4 complete with two more flowers to learn.
This photo is an up close of the "Cast-On Flower" using the lovely variegated purple Lola thread. This flower I have found the most challenging so far. It is not the casting on the thread to the needle that was challenging but the sequence of how the petals laid in the circle that was a bit confusing to learn. But with Rita's assistance the above cast-on flower was created. vbg I think it is such a lovely wee flower.

This photo is of "Creeping Flower" in the pretty pink color and the "Baby Breath" flower in the pearl white. I really love the BE flosses because they make your project shine. I have certainly been enjoying this class and I hope to use all my new Brazilian Embroidery skills to embellish "The Crazy Quilt Of My Dreams". So stay tune next time I will have photos of this wee project completed for you all to see.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, and a Pressie

I received a very lovely gift in the mail over the weekend from my friend Cathy who lives in Utah. Cathy has a lovely blog called "Crazy By Design" and is a fellow crazy quilter. So many treasures to use on "The Crazy Quilt Of My Dreams"!! I also received this very lovely antique dollie with a pink cross stitch pattern with pretty lace around it. I have a weakness for old antique linens. Thanks very much Cathy for thinking of me and the lovely gift too.

This past Sunday "My Sweetie" took us to visit "Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park" in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is approximately 1 1/2 hours drive from our home. The purpose of going is that all the beautiful butterflies are now blooming. Along with the very lovely butterflies many of the tropical flowers were blooming too.
Here is a photo of two lovely butterflies. The bright orange and black one is called a "Postman" and the other one is called "Blue Longwing". They all come from Columbia, South America.
Here is a photo of a very unusual tropical plant called a "Pinecone" tree.

This very lovely butterfly is called a "Brush-Footed Tree Nymph"!

This is one of many sculpture in the park.

Another very unique and interesting sculpture.

We went to the Conservatory on March 15th and on this lovely day we walked around with no coat on. Mother Nature is being very kind to us with an early Spring after our very long and dreadful winter. Thank You Mother Nature. This day was good for the soul and it brought many smiles to our face. I hope you all enjoyed the photo tour of our Conservatory. We plan to go back to see many outside flowers blooming this summer.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring Flower Pincushion Swap, Goodies

I belong to a yahoo group called,"Pincushion Crazy" and our group owner Ruthie who also has a blog called, Ruthie's Place, decided it was time for a "Spring Swap"!! I have been pretty busy stitching and did not sign up. A lady who had sign-up broke her finger so Ruthie asked me if I would take her place. I was very happy to do so. My swap partner ended up being Susan from Texas. Susan's blog is called, "Susan Sews." This past week I received my truly very creative "Spring Flower Pincushion". It has a lovely antique look, created by it standing on a "Old Mattress Spring"!! Isn't it great? I was very surprised to also receive a "Cinderella Pincushion" which Susan crochet from an old pattern that her grandmother and mother passed on to her. I also received pink crochet scissor holder and pin keeper. The three FQ are in my favorite colors of pinks and purples. Isn't the rose pretty and it is attached to some lovely red organza ribbon which I am sure I will find good use for. The note card was created by Susan's daughter who loves scrapbooking. This one area I have NOT ventured into. VBG Thank you very much Susan for everything. I love it all.

At the end of February I turned another year older. I was pleasantly surprised to received these truly beautiful 100 Peruvian Lillies in an array of glorious colors. My son Shane, Jenny and my grand daughter Chloe had them over night expressed to me from sunny California and they arrived here in very very cold Michigan day. They are still blooming and they warm my heart and bring a big smile to my face everytime I look at them. Thank you Shane, Jenny and Chloe. I love you all.
Recently, My sweetie took us on a get away weekend to the Lansing area so I could visit some of my favorite shops. My most special shop is called Yards Of Fabric. Jeanne carries very unique fabric and laces for crazy quilters. I especially loved this years fabric line by Northcott, Quest For a Cure, called "Rose Garden Tea For Two. It is truly beautiful. All of the fabrics and lace I bought will be going into "The Crazy Quilt Of My Dreams" which I plan to get back to piecing soon.

Also at Yards of Fabric, I bought some lovely hand dyed silk ribbon by YLI. Jeanne also showed me this wonderful new creation called "Sweetheart Rose Maker" by Clover!! It works on the same concept as the other Yo Yo makers. I plan to create heaps of rose from it. They come in three sizes and I bought the smallest one which creates a 4 cm wee rose.

Also at "Yards Of Fabric, I discovered the new fabric line called "Flower Faires" based on Cicely Mary Barker fairies. They come in several colorways. This one is called Periwinkle. Wouldn't they make wonderful silkies for Crazy Quilts? vbg

I feel truly blessed to have such a wonderful sweetie who loves adventures as much as I do. We are true kindred spirits and I hope and pray we have many more adventures in our future together.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Life In The Wilderness, Birch Lake

Life In The Wilderness: Birch Lake, was created for my "Kindred Spirit Friend," Heather as a thank you for giving my blog a new look several months ago. Heather's blog is called "A Cherished Life". I loved it so much I decided I wanted to create something that would reflect my appreciation for her kindness and talents and would hopefully make Heather smile as much as I do when I saw the new look of my blog. I have a great love for wildlife as Heather does and we both had a special interest in a wee beaver. So this started my idea for the theme of this project, Life In The Wilderness, Birch Lake. I have never did any "Stumpwork" embroidery before so I got out my books and started playing. The above photo is my third attempt to create the stumpwork wee beaver and birch trees. Note one of the birch trees has already been cut down for its beaver dam. vbg I am truly very appreciative of, Laurette, Heather's Mum for providing me with heaps of information/photos of this area so I could create this project as close as possible to what it really looked like. Laurette, also has a lovely blog called, "Tea and Biscuits" where she showcases her poetry and stitching.. You all must venture over and have a look at her blog. I also asked Heather, never ending questions about where she lived hoping she would never get suspicious of what I was up to.

Heather lives in the Northern wilderness of SK Canada so I thought I would create my base of this project out of 100% hand dyed wool with a crazy patchwork look. I wanted the lake to sparkle so I created "Birch Lake" out of several different Angelina Fibers.

In this photo I have added the stumpwork wee beaver and birch trees. I have also added a silk ribbon cabin, evergreen tree, wild rose bush and some ferns.

In this photo I have completed the wee beaver dam by using 100% wool multi color yarn stitched down with variegated pearl cotton thread. I also used the same yarn to create the dock on Birch Lake. The wee beaver and dam is stuffed with wool to give it a dimensional look. I also used Brazilian Embroidery Floss (BE) called "Boucle" to create the path to the cabin.

In this photo I have created some stumpwork cattails with 100% wool floss, with silk ribbon stalks. I also added three blueberry bushes with wee beads for the the blueberries. Heather mentioned one time that there was a small island at their end of the lake which she liked because it stopped heavy wave action from hitting their shoreline. Hence the BE boucle threads used to create the wee brown island near the Loons. I also added lots of underbrush around the lake by creating it with the "Turkey Stitch" using two different colors of 100% wool floss.

Heather told me one time they had a bear break into an enclosure they had on their property and so I decided to add a Zuni Bear sneaking around in the woods on the far side of the lake. He was heading toward the blueberry bushes to have a good snack. I also used lots of BE Boucle flosses in this project for shrubs and grasses in the woods. I added several bead rocks along the lake shoreline.

In this photo I added several silk ribbon violets and more ferns and grasses. In this photo is a close up of the Loons I added. I have a great love for Loons and Heather told me they had 2 sets of Loons on Birch Lake. Both Heather and I love listening to their lovely eerie sounds. I searched everywhere on the Internet and could not find any Loon beads. Then in the middle of the night it came to me that I had Loon ear rings I had bought when I lived in Fairbanks Alaska. So I had my sweetie carefully take off the ear ring part and then I had my loons. I glued them onto the lake. They are hand carved by Alaskan natives.

I love dragonflies and I knew "Birch Lake" would probably have heaps of them flying around so I added a beaded dragonfly in my favorite color of pink. I also used metallic variegated Kreinik threads to create its lace wings to make them sparkle.

This is the finished "Life In The Wilderness; Birch Lake" landscape. I used simple stitches for the seam treatments for the crazy patchwork stitching because I wanted the eyes to focus on the encrusted embroidery scene of Birch Lake. In the lower right corner I put my "JG" initials using the lovely boucle floss like I do on all my work. I think it blended in well and is not really noticeable. I finished the edges of the project by using variegated green and brown 100% wool and button hole stitching it on.

When Heather open her pressie she was so happy that she called me straight away all the way from SK Canada to thank me for it. I was outside in March raking leaves off my flower beds. Yes, my prayers have been answered we are having an early Spring, at least at the moment. We chatted and chatted for sometime. It warm my heart and made me smile allot that Heather was so happy with the gift I created for her. That is what life is all about giving to others and making them happy.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Kindred Spirit Friend, Heather's Pressie

Yesterday the mail lady arrived at my door with a big box. H'mmmmmmmmmmm I said, I had not ordered anything so I thought to myself who could this be from?? Soooo I quickly brought it inside to have a look at where this mystery box had arrived from. Of My Goodness I said, It is from my "New Kindred Spirit Friend" Heather in SK, Canada. I quickly open it and I was sooooooooooooo humbled to see this beautiful "Pink Frou Frou Rose Tote". This was the one Heather has been showing progress photos of on her "A Cherish Life" blog. Little did I know it was going to be for me. vbg Every section of this tote is special. My friend know how much I love pink roses and you can see many different fabrics of pink roses. This tote construction is very creative. I could of never created a tote like this.
This photo shows an up close of the "Kindred Spirit Silkie" of Anne of Green Gable and Diana walking across a field of wildflowers. I sent this card to Heather at Christmastime and she made it into a silkie for this tote. Wasn't this such a lovely idea? The silkie is embellished with pink french knots for wee flowers along with flowing pink ribbon attached with two wee pink rosettes in the corners. Also Heather hand dyed the pink lace that is covering the sky area. There is lots of beads and vintage buttons and "One Heart" with another wee flower in the center. Truly lovely. The other side of the tote is just as pretty as the other. Another bigger "Pink Heart" with a rose. This one has a pocket to store things in. Up at the top is a chain to attach my keys to soooo I do not lose them while I am shopping away to fill up my new "Pink Frou Frou Rose Tote!! LOL The inside also has lovely swirling pink fabric with two very large pockets. I can seeing me filling this tote up to the brim while shopping at Paducah in April. LOL Isn't the ruffled pink edge around the top so feminine and pretty. I just love all the beautiful rose and coordinating fabrics. They all look so wonderful together.

This photo shows an up close of the lovely rose lace used on both sides and the ruffled insert is also very pretty. Sooo many wonderful touches to this "Pink Rose Frou Frou Tote.

I also received a lovely card that says, "Thinking Of You".. with flowering Magnolia Tree in full bloom with Black-Capped Chickadee on it branches. I am sure they are singing Happy Birthday to me. VBG

On the back of this Canadian Wildlife Fund card it says, "Friends are Flowers in the Garden Of Life! Now this sounds like a familiar saying. vbg The chickadees and this saying is perforated and tears off to be a bookmark. How great is this?

And then there was more. Heather mention some time ago about making a wild rice dish for her sweetie. My sweetie also loves eating rice so I asked for the recipe. I did not find any wild rice so Heather sent some Wild Rice and the recipe too. I also received a magnet that says, "Gardening Forever, housework whenever!! LOL Yup, I can relate allot to this.
I also received a very lovely delicate carved wood "Eden Angel" prayer. It says, "Prayer must be spoken from the heart, in selflessness and humility, knowing that it will be answered in ways we may not see, in time we may not recognize".
I truly feel, our unusual meeting was meant to be. Heather's friendship has warm my heart and brightens my everyday. Thank you Heather for your very generous gift and kindness. I will treasure them forever.


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