Saturday, December 31, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! PRESSIES FROM THE HEART!!

Hello Everyone!

We wish Everyone A Very Happy and Healthy New Year in 2012!
Time is passing to quickly, I can hardly believe tomorrow will be 2012. 

Our weather this past year has been so unpredictable and awful across the USA. But here in Michigan we have missed most of the weather disasters which makes us feel very fortunate indeed.

Usually our Winter snowfall starts in November and by Thanksgiving we have plenty of snow on the ground.  I will admit Winter is not my favorite season. I have to admit I have never seen a Winter like this in Michigan.  We still have NO snow. The photo below was taken on Christmas Day and today on New Years Eve the site outside our windows remain the same.  NO Snow!!  I must say I am enjoying this lovely pleasant weather!! LOL   

My Sweetie has gifted me with some money soooooo I went on a wee shopping spree and bought some things on My Wish List.Some new books and some more lovely threads and flosses to add to my collection. In the Art Kit are 12 spools of 12 Wt. Wool threads by Aurifil. These are new to me and I am looking forward to stitching with them. I really enjoy stitching with Valdani Pearl Cotton threads. During the Sue Spargo workshop I was introduced to Bozzolo no. 24 silk threads which Sue uses for beading. Filato tres Stelle which Sue used for fine applique work is great to stitch with too. A site to buy some of these threads is called,
"Tristan Italian Threads". My very Favorite New Floss discovery this year is the "Silk Chenille from Thread Gatherers in Idaho. Oh,how I love this floss.   
My Sweetie was very kind to create another piece of furniture for in my Create Studio.  It is a very fancy Ironing Board with drawers and storage area underneath. I love it. Thank you My Dear for taking the time to make such a lovely gift for me! 

 Last year My Sweetie bought me a AccuQuilt GO! I have really enjoyed using it allot. This year he bought me some more Die Cutters in "Feathers, Stars and Hearts"! I do have a plan to Create a wall hanging using all my die cutters that will look like our home with our gardens on it. This quilt is still in the planning stage.

 I have such kind and generous friends who gifted me with the very lovely pressies below. Thank you Lyn, Shirley, Di, Wendy and Heather from the bottom of my heart.

Now that I am working more often and cooking is not my thing I really needed some help so I can cook some healthy and quick meals.I am looking forward to trying out my new Mini Pie Maker! Has anyone used one before?

 My Sweetie and I really enjoy watching movies during the cold Winter months. "The Help" we bought a few weeks ago and it is truly a very very good movie. It takes place in Jackson Mississippi during the sixties. We highly recommend it. If anyone has a good movie I would love to hear your recommendations too.  Thanks. 
 During the Christmas and New Year break from work I have found a wee bit of time to do some stitching.Below is a photo of the progress I have made on My Pomegranate Table Rug. I still have heaps to do but I am enjoying stretching my stitching skills with this project. 


I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas Holiday and I look forward to chatting with you all in the New Year!!  To all my ladies friends, "Laugh Yourself Into Stitches"!! 

Hugs judy 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR

HELLO EVERYONE,

I would like to wish all My Wonderful Blogging Buddies a Very Merry Christmas Season and A Very Happy and Healthy New Year!
I have been absent from blogging because I have started a new full-time job. It is totally different than any kind of nursing job I have ever had.  Hence, with it being very challenging my poor mind is very tired when I get home at night.  I hope in the New Year I will cut back in my hours so I can have some more time to do the things I love, like stitching and blogging.

My Sweetie and I put up our Christmas decorations yesterday.  We did cut back allot on them this year. I added this new Sparkling Ribbon Reef to the collection. 
I have found some time to create a few wool Christmas Snowflake Ornaments.

WE put out the Winterkinder Pyramide which I bought in "Seiffen Germany" back in 2003. The Winter scene display of children playing on their sleighs spin around when the candles give off heat. 

Because we are so busy we decide to go with a much smaller tree this year.  It is a fiber optic tree which is so lovely in the evening to watch all the colors sparkle off the ornaments. I did not get a full photo of it this year because the lighting was not good. I have three Christmas German Smokers that I truly love displaying, so this year they are under the tree. 

The wee church is an exact replica of the Church in Seiffen Germany with its Caroler singing.

Below is a close up of the Christmas tree smoker.  They come apart toward the bottom and you can put in the wee incense inside and the heavenly scent comes out its mouth. 

I absolutely fell in love with them while in Germany and brought home many special ones with me. 

Of course there is the German "Pickle" Ornament which I hide every year for the grandchildren to find.  It is a wonderful tradition they love and as soon as they come in the door on Christmas Day they are searching for it.  It is so much fun trying to find a good hiding place and watching them search for it.


The above cookie molds are also from Germany. They are replicas of the original ones. The molds are pressed into the cookie dough and then baked. These cookies are called "Springerle". 

A few years back I made paper Christmas Ornaments and then painted them and gave them away as gifts. Below is the the book I bought on how to make many different kinds of German Cookies.It is called "My Favorite Cookies from the Old Country".

I was so excited to walk into my Creative room and find my Christmas Cactus blooming this week.  Right on time for the Holidays.  Amazing isn't it?

We've had a love of BBC movies for many years.  This past year we bought three different series of movies. I would have to say so far, "Lark Rise To Candleford" is our very favorite.  We just started watching the 4th and final series of this one.  I will be very sad to see it end.

The other movie is called, The Land Girls. They have two series. We truly enjoyed watching this series but are disappointed there is not a 3rd series.  Hopefully one day they will film another one. They left us wondering what will happen to many of the characters.

The other one is called Random Passage. This one starts out in Ireland and ends up in Newfoundland. A Very good movie. 

When our Winter weekends are so blustery cold outside and the snow is several feet deep then we snuggle up and watch these Wonderful BBC Movies. vbg If anyone has any other suggestions of great BBC movies please let us know.  Thanks 

I hope all my dear friends in the UK are safe and warm after the horrible winds that blew through their country.

With all the incredible, awful, natural disasters around the world this year, you have to wonder if global warming is the cause. 

Take care all my friends and I will chat again with you all in the New Year. 

Oh and by the way it is December 11th and we've not had any snow yet. Huge Very Big Smile. Do you think this is a sign we will have a very mild Winter this year.  One can wish, hey?

Hugs Judy 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

MY SUE SPARGO WORKSHOP FUN

HELLO EVERYONE!

On November 3rd and 4th I took my first "Sue Spargo Workshop" at 
"Smith Owen's Quilt Shop" in Grand Rapids, Mi.  I anxiously awaited for this class for several months.  I picked up my Kit for the class the first week of August so I had been planning and creating embellishments for the Pomegranate Table Rugs for months.  I had a wonderful time and learn some new stitches and met some new friends too.  

The kit was made up of "Orange" wools and velvets, dark greens and grays.  None of those colors would go in my home so I had my friend DeEtta from 
"Fiddlehead Finery",  hand dye me some wools for the whole project. I even bought some pinkish and green hand dyed velvets to use too.

Instead of doing a middle flower My Pomegranate Table Rug I decided to rug hook a star circle for the center.  I just learned how to do rug hooking this past September so this was a bit of a challenge for me.  I was very pleased to finish it the night before the class.  Thanks do DeEtta and her lovely hand dyed wools the wool in the star circle turn out just perfect. Thanks DeEtta. 

Around the star center I added chenille yarn that gave it more dimension.
Below is an up close photo of the Hooked Rug Star Circle.

Below is a photo of the unfinished Pomegranate Table Rug.  I have lots of stitching and stuff to add to it yet.  I was hoping to have it done by this Christmas of course this is not going to happen.  I am really hopefully for next Christmas.

I have been also making some Sue Spargo Seasonal Stitches Christmas Ornaments. The pattern is the November/December Issue of American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine.


Below is a photo of three Smith Owen's Quilt Shop employees and Kathy the lady that travels with Sue Spargo. Kathy is holding the coffee.


Below is a photo of Lisa  with her big smile. Lisa fingers were very busy. Lisa has a lovely blog called, 
"Strayed Threads"! I will have to post another photo when Lisa gets her project done.

Another new friend is Susan and her blog is called "Sukylady's Studio". Susan has lots of photos from our Sue Spargo Workshop on her blog that you may want to take a look at. Susan Eldest daughter Fiona took the needle book class on the 3rd day and did some lovely stitching.


The lady across from me at my table was a lovely lady named Pauline.  This was a photo of the progress she made on her Pomegranate.


Pauline also brought along her finished top called Crimson Tweed to share with us all.  It was truly lovely.

Another lady Lynne brought along her finished top called Mercer Lane. She truly did some fantastic and creative stitching on it. I love it.


Below is another photo of Lynne's Mercer Lane. She created some lovely dimensional flowers that were just stunning to her quilt. Susan has a photo of Lynne's whole Mercer Lane Quilt on her blog if you would like to see it.


Susan had this BOM bird block with her. It was truly lovely.  Susan's stitching was truly very creative and beautiful too. 

Of course I had lots of fun collecting more hand dyed wools and all kinds of lovely threads.  

I learned some new beading techniques. I also learned some neat techniques working with velvets too.  

All and all I had a fantastic time chatting and learning at the workshop. 

We had our first snowflakes fly this past Thursday but they did not stay on the ground long.  Thank goodness.  But the temperatures are getting a bit cooler everyday and the winds are blowing stronger so I do not think our "Winter" is far off. 
Stay warm my friends.

Hugs Judy

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

AUTUMN FESTIVAL AND MY VERSION OF SUE SPARGO PINEAPPLE PIN KEEPER

Hello Everyone,

I can hardly believe that October has gone by so quickly.  I think because we had so much rain this Autumn our Autumn leaves have been so brilliant in colors this year.   
The first photo I would like to share with you all is My October Pink Hydrangea. This is what I see when I look out one of my Studio windows.  I love the site of it this time of year when all the other blooms are gone.

The next photo is of an old abandon school house from a very long time ago. It is located a short distance from where we live.  Isn't those Autumn colors gorgeous.  

The above photo was a contest put on by the local businesses.  I loved this one created by a Beauty shop.


The 5 pumpkins here were waiting to be weighted in and the kids were truly enjoying playing on them.  Guess which pumpkin won???  The winner was the 4th pumpkin from left. It was very tall instead of wide and it weight over 500 lbs.  Pretty good from a local garden. 


You all know I took a rug hooking class back in September.  I absolutely love doing this.  This is my newest project.  I designed the Star Circle and applique the lovely Star wool down. Then my friend and teacher DeEtta started hooking the edge for me to give me an idea how tall I should leave the wool loops. I am still working on this and will have more photos later to show you the finished project.


I've had in my stash this Sue Spargo Good Wives Pineapple Pin Keeper pattern for several year. I decided it was time to make it.  So I started by spray painting the tin that came with the kit.  Then I started making the leaves next. But when I got to the point of adding the leaves around the Pineapple everything did not fit into the tin.  Hmmmmmmmmmmm!! what to do???  
So I decided to make the pineapple into a flower and not add the leaves. 

I also decided I wanted to stitch some of my favorite saying that I love allot into this pin keeper.  I made 3 sections with ecru wool and the other three with hand dyed wools. 

The first section I used the "Kindred Spirit" copper charms words my sweetie made for me.  I think they turned out super great.  What do you all think?? 

I am trying to convince him to make more word charms for me.  None yet!!  LOL  I was also even thinking of selling them too?  Do you think they would sell???


The next section I created and stitched a couple of "Hearts" and the words "Kindness Matters"!


The next section I added a "Tatted Heart" made for me by my dear friend Wendy from "Umi & Tsuru"! I love all of Wendy's tatted creations.


Next are the words, 
"Enduring Elegance Of Women's Friendships"!   I especially like this phrase.   I have been so very fortunate over the years to have made some very lovely wonderful friends over the Internet.  Many have even come to visit me from different countries. I have been truly blessed and they have certainly brighten my life.


Next is My JG Signature I put on all my creations along with the date.


I reckon you all know I am a huge Anne Of Green Gable fan! One of Anne's saying is "Kindred Spirits are Always There For One Another"!


I thought about how to finish the top for sometime.  I bought this very lovely flower button some time ago and knew it would perfect on the top.   

I added some green wool to make it look like leaves around it and then used light green wool roving to stitch around them.  

I still thought it needed more so then I added the pink tweed wool to make the flower look like it had another layer of petals.  This time I used ecru silk chenille thread to stitch it down. 

I still was not totally happy with it so I decided to take some wool roving and wet felt a wool bead.   Then I added two more beads on the top of the wool bead.   
Then I said, yup it now looks like a flower. 


So after several weeks of playing and stitching I have My Flower Pin Keeper.  What do you all think???

In the photo above at the same Yarn shop I also discovered those lovely light green round balls of soap that looks like rolled up yarn.  They smell heavenly.   I just love looking at them.  vbg

On the October Month of My Anne of Green Gable Calendar  there is a very lovely photo of PEI with it grand Autumn colors.  

Anne says,  I loved "Gypsyings" over the autumnal hills in the crisp golden air...were the best and dearest hours in the whole week". After visiting PEI I can imagine this too. 

After years of being a Sue Spargo Fan I am taking My First Class with Sue on November 4th and 5th. It will take place at "Smith Owens Quilt Shop".   Huge VBG 

More about this class in my next posting.  I can hardly wait.  

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your lovely comments.   Have a lovely week everyone!

Hugs Judy   

Monday, October 17, 2011

WINNERS 4th BLOGGING CELEBRATION


Hello Everyone,

We were away for the last few days visiting family in Eastern Michigan. Unfortunately we headed for home very late Sunday and hence we got home very very late.  Oh, I was so tired and so this AM I had a good sleep-in.  vbg
So please forgive my late announcement of the "Winners" of My 4th Blogging Celebrations.  

Visiting with My Sweet Grand Daughter is always such a glorious happy time.  Her Mom dressed Chloe up in her Halloween costume so I could see her in it. This year she is a Fluttering Dancing Butterfly!!  Too Cute. 
I would like to Thank Everyone who enter my give away this year..I wish I had a gift to give to everyone. 

Congratulation to all the
Winners!!
The #1 gift goes to Susan of "Threads of Inspiration"! Susan you won the Rug Hook Sunflower Pin.
The #2 gift goes to Gayle from 
"The Middle Sister"! Gayle you won the CQ stitched Necklace!

The #3 gift goes to Sue of 
"Simple Piece-ful Quilting"! Sue you won the Crochet Button!

The #4 gift goes to Linda from "Simple Country Seasons"! Linda you won the Hand Dyed Wool. 

Please ladies email me soon with your addresses.  I will get the gifts out to you all as soon as I can. Thanks

My Next Posting I will share with your a New Pincushion Creation I recently made!! I also have some very lovely Autumn photos along with some photos of a Fall Festival in our home town!

Take care all.
Hugs Judy 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

CELEBRATING 4 YEARS OF BLOGGING GIVEAWAY: GLORIOUS AUTUMN TRIP UP NORTH


Hello Everyone,

I would like to thank All My Blogging Friends for their Very Kind and Lovely comments left for me to read on My Country Bucket posting.  They all were Greatly Appreciated.  

This past June My Sweetie and Me decided to buy a RV.  We thought we could use it for local camping trips and then maybe one day we would go on Out West Adventure.   

We went on three trips this past Summer and the weather made the first two adventures very challenging. The first trip we had 98F 102F and record breaking temperature of 104F.  

The second trip we had a huge storm with heavy rain and fierce winds that took down lots of trees and put out the electricity for miles around.  Our trailer rocked back and forth and I thought I would "Never" go camping again LOL  

But the Third time was a charm.  We headed to my much loved Up North! We had a wee bit of rain going up but the rest of the trip was truly lovely in many ways.
Below is a photo of us stopping at a rest stop and it was raining a bit.

Some friends requested a wee tour of the RV and below you will see the kitchen area.  We took out the removable table and bought a rocker recliner to take its place.  I love it because I can sit and stitch and stitch in comfort.  VBG


In the photo below you  can see the living area, then the bath room and then the bedroom is in the back.  Perfect for us.

 
A called an Up North quilt shop and they referred me to DeEtta and her lovely Rug Hooking Studio called "Fiddlehead Finery"! I called DeEtta and she dyed some very lovely wools for me.  

I ask DeEtta if she would give me a Rug Hooking Class and she very kindly told me yes. I have been wanting to learn rug hooking since 2003 when I bought  a subscription to The Wool Street Journal while living in Germany.  So I have waited a long time for this very special day.

  My Class with DeEtta fell on the Glorious First Day Of Autumn September 23rd. DeEtta has been rug hooking for 11 years and her creation are truly beautiful.  DeEtta was so very kind and I learn so much in my 3 hour class. Thank You DeEtta!

"Fiddlehead Finery Studio" is very warm and lovely very much like DeEtta.  Look at the beautiful hand dyed wool vest she created hanging on the wall.


Below you will find a photo of DeEtta lovely stash of wools.  Can you believe??

Below is another photo of DeEtta studio. Notice her very lovely Hooked Rugs.

Below you will find the hand dyed wools I bought from DeEtta. They are all such beautiful colors.


My first Rug Hooking Project I bought back in 2003 as a kit.  After 8 years I have finally started it.  It was so much fun learning and not as difficult as I imagine it would be.  I look forward to finishing the two wee pieces.

This past August I took a crochet button class at the Michigan Fiber Festival.  The teacher used a book called "50 Heirloom Buttons to Make" by Nancy Nehring! This book is out of print but can be pick up at used book stores on the Internet.

  What do you think of My First Crocheted Buttons? This book also teaches how to make the "Dorset Buttons" which I also enjoy making.

Ok. Time to show you all what I have for My 4 years of Blogging Celebration.  

(1) First is a Hooked Sunflower Pin which I bought at the Michigan Fiber Festival at the booth called "Hooked On Ewe" Linda Harwood from Ionia Michigan this past Summer.  I do not see a pattern for the Sunflower on her site but I reckon you could email her about it.

(2) Second is a Crazy Quilt Hand Embroidery Pendant with Silkie and wee beaded dragonfly stitched in it. I bought this pendant from an Etsy shop.

(3) Third is one of My Hand Crocheted Buttons I made this past Summer.

(4) Fourth is a Very Lovely Pieced of Hand Dyed Wool I bought from DeEtta which is 14 inches by 9 inches.  

See photo below. My Sweetie will draw the names of the 4 Winners on Monday October 17th. 

If you would please take the time,  I would love to know how long you have been visiting my blog and what posting is your favorite this past year.  Thanks 


 Last but not least here is a lovely Sunset that My Sweetie and I watch one evening while we were camping Up North on Lake Michigan.  We truly enjoyed this trip together and the lovely people we met and chatty with.

 
One of My favorite saying is "Kindness Matters"! To me Friendship consists in forgetting what one gives and remembering what one receives.  Thank you all for your Friendships and comments. 

Hugs Judy
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