Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

This is a Nativity Scene that my mother always put up every year.  I'm 60 this year so I can't tell you how old it is but it's something very dear to my heart.  This is my second Christmas without Mom.  I know people say losing someone during the holidays very hard on the family but I believe that it doesn't matter when you lose someone it's hard on the family.

I just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.  May God bless you and your family with love, laughter and peace.  I'll be back in 2014.  God Bless

Monday, November 25, 2013

Give Thanks for Family!

Our church had a Multicultural evening, Saturday night, with people representing  Native American, African American, Burma, Lao, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nigeria, Russia and Samoa.  Each culture spoke about their people and some presented music and songs in their native language.  It was simple amazing! 

Last night our church hosted the yearly Thanksgiving Union Service where we have different churches present. There were Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterian, and Methodist.  Each church presented some type of music or song.  The offering went to a local charity and the newest pastor, from the group of churches, was the guest speaker.  Truly a blessing.

This brings me to today, where I have thought about the many, many families that will be gathering together this week for Thanksgiving.  There will be one day where they all join together and enjoy each others company.  Laugh, talk and eat! 


I also know that there will be those that will not be together on Thanksgiving.  Maybe they're too far away, maybe they're too many family members to visit in one day, maybe they're too angry to speak to each other or maybe they just don't have any one but themselves. 

As Thanksgiving day draws closer, I just want to give THANKS TO GOD for giving me the family I have.  I remember the ones that have passed and I miss them deeply.  I pray for all that are still here.  May they find the peace and happiness in their lives.  I pray that they will remember that they are loved whether they are near or far and that they are family and I pray that they remember that family is the tie that binds.  May God's blessings be given to you this week.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chocolate Meltaways

Sounds delicious!  It would be if it was actually chocolate, but I'm talking about quilt blocks today.  I am starting the final stage of my block of the month, Chocolate Sampler quilt.  I have to make 12 "Meltaway" blocks.

This is the fabric that I will be using.  Luckily the block is a 10" nine patch, so it shouldn't take too long.  Then I will be making four 7" corner blocks from other fabrics.  I will be glad to get this one over.  They will have the new block of the month available in December.  This one is from 2012.  This year was a quilt from Bonnie Hunter and I already have 3, maybe 4 of her quilts going right now so I opted out.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Tears and Veterans Day

During our church sermon yesterday the pastor mentioned tears and crying.  He was talking about the time that Joseph met his brothers after about 30 years.  He wept, because he knew they had changed their ways and that his father was still alive.  He was overcome with emotion.
We all know that tears are a sign of emotions, sometimes uncontrollable.  They could be a sign of reflection, like when something sparks a certain memory and a tear will come to the eyes.  Tears can also be a way of showing love for the past.  Even though I knew all of this it came into prospective when we honored our veterans. 


This is my father, my oldest brother Michael and my middle brother Patrick.  I would say this was taken in the spring of 53' before my birth in Sept.  Today I honor them for their service to this country.  My father was involved in the Normandy Invasion and received a Purple Heart for wounds received in Saint Lo, France.  I recently saw a program that stated close to 3000 service men were killed during the battle to take this small town back.  I am blessed my father survived but I cry for the others lost.  My brothers Mike and Pat both served during the Vietnam war.  One in the Army and one in the Navy.  Today I say prayers, not just for my family but for the thousands of men and women that have proudly fought and died for this country. 

Linked to Hear it on Sunday

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lost Count

When you're working on quilt blocks do you ever lose count on how many you have finished?  Not only did I lose count, I actually lost pieces until they mysteriously appeared today, right after I finished my sets.


I needed 194 4-patch pieces and had all my strip sets cut in groups of 10 and went to town sewing them into 4-patch blocks.  I got them all pressed and was looking for a place to store them and what did I find in the basket I was going to use?  100 blocks already made.  If I wasn't so excited about completing the set I would be very, very, upset.  I will just put them aside and maybe use them in the border, I don't know, but it just tells me that I waited too long between working on this step.  I think I will have to start using labels on my baskets.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Walking the Path

Today I want to share a page from my art journal, but first I must tell you about this new site I have found and I don't even remember how I got there.  I feel it had to be from someones blog and I'm sorry I can't give the proper credit.  Anyway, the site is Real Stories, Real Life, Real Faith.  It is handled by Michelle DeRusha who is a Christian writer.  She has a weekly post titled "Hear it on Sunday, Say it on Monday."

Today is my first time sharing this and honestly I'm a little nervous about it.  Why?  Because I am normally a private person when it comes to my faith.  I mean, I go to church, bible study and attend the normal functions that our church has or even other churches may have.  I just don't write about it, until today.  I feel that I have been lead to her page and lead to share my feelings and words of faith.  I don't know where this will lead me, but it's a path I feel I must take.


My pastor mentioned this passage from Psalm 1: 1-3.  David is talking about the delight of following the Lord and it resonated with me.  We all struggle with things that come up during the day.  Someone says something and the next thing you know, there's an argument or resentment, hurt feelings, etc.  I just had to deal with a situation like that not long ago.  Words were said and my feelings were hurt but I walked away.  As it continued to bother me, I stopped and called a dear friend that I knew would give me the guidance I needed based on the situation.  As we talked I came to understand that I can't let words of others be my way of life.  I know this, I've known this my whole life, I've told others this but yet it still happens.  That's when I forget that I alone can't handle everything. Never forget about God.

Thank you Michelle for sharing your thoughts and allowing others to do the same. My prayer today is that I will always delight in the words of the Lord and He will lead me down the path I need to follow.  Have a blessed day!

Linked with Hear it on Sunday

Friday, November 1, 2013

Thread Art

A couple of weeks ago I signed up for a Thread Art class, by Lola Jenkins, on Craftsy.com.  I thought it would be fun to finally mix artwork with fabric.  I printed off the instructions and watched all the videos.  Actually, I watched them about 3 times before I took the plunge.

 First I traced off the design.  I wanted to use the teachers pattern because it was the Girl with the Pearl earring and I have already painted her in oils. Check out my Paintings page if you want to see her in oils.

The next step was to cover the tracing with thread by free motion stitching.  After that I had to fill in the background.  I wasn't too happy with my stitching but I went ahead and finished that part.

I used Prismacolor pencils and a blender pen to color everything in.  The instructor used a blender pencil but I didn't have one.  When I went to the store to buy one I found a set that had a blender pencil, blender pen, drawing pencil, pencil sharpener and 2 erasers.  The only thing I didn't like about the blender pen is it caused the color to run if I used too much.  It could have been the fabric but I don't think so. I think it was the operator of the pen, me.  I still didn't like the background stitching so I went over it with black acrylic paint.  Now the only part left is how to finish off the edges.  Should I use ribbon, yarn, fabric binding, or maybe a combination of yarn and decorative thread using a zig zag stitch?  I'll have to think about it for awhile.

I enjoyed the process and the videos were very well done.  Check out the website, there might be something there that would interest you.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mosaic Art

Have you ever tried anything like mosaic art?  I made table top one time using my grandmothers old dishes.  You know I work with oils on canvas and I also work with mixed media.  I've had this canvas of the "Creation", sitting in my studio for about a year now.  Every time I tried to work on it I just didn't have a good feeling about it.  One day, I was working on a journal page and it hit me, turn it into a mosaic piece.


I pulled out a few of my old art magazines, tore out pages of artwork and started cutting them into small pieces.  I am using a medium matte gel by Liquitex to adhere the pieces to the canvas.  After it's finished I will use a sealer over it, I just haven't decided what type yet.  I've got to cut some pieces to get the shading of the arms and hands and then add darker shades on the bottom.  I think I'll put them in some snack bags to keep it all organized.  Stay tuned for future posts.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fleece, Fleece, Fleece

It's that time of year that I wait patiently for our local Hancock's store to put their fleece on sale.  I have so much fun going into the store and seeing piles of it stacked up on the tables and then making my choices.

This year I came home with four different styles that adds up to about 20 yards.  Now, you're probably wondering what in the world am I going to do with that much fleece.

Well, every year our church collects donations for our local hospital.  We gather up needed baby items for families that have fallen on hard times and every year I make receiving blankets.  The fleece is 60"  so I can get 2 blankets per yard by making them slightly smaller than standard.  Once the fabric is cut I serge around the edges and they're ready to go.  By the time I'm finished I have a nice group of blankets and a heart filled with joy that someone can wrap their little one up for the ride home.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Finds

Yesterday while I was reading a blog This is who I am that I follow I noticed a button she had on her sidebar, Grow Your Blog.  I clicked on it, which lead me to 2 Bags Full, a beautiful blog with lots of interesting topics.  I signed up for the 2014 Grow Your Blog list as one of my, do something new for the new year.  While reading through her post I was lead to this blog My Desert Cottage which is also overflowing with interesting ideas.  More than I could read about at the time.

I did find a free tips and tutorials tab and checked that out.  I was able to make minor adjustments on my blog with her information.  I then noticed that she has published a book Building Beautiful Blogs which I definitely will purchase.  I guess what I'm getting at is that you never know what you will find if you would just take the time to read someones blog post.

Thanks go out to Terri, Vicki and Karen for writing and sharing as well as all the other bloggers out there.  I sometimes fail to comment on what you say but you never know how much you inspire others.  Have a blessed day.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Small Things Help

A few days ago I posted about my unique seam ripper that I purchased the local Art Festival.

Believe me when I say that I have used this ripper several times since I bought it.  I finally got in touch with the gentleman that was selling them.  I felt like a detective while I searched for him.  It would have been a lot easier if I had just kept his business card.

Anyway, after a few emails and phone calls I met his Saturday morning and made another purchase.

 I know, you're probably saying, it's just an ink pen and you would be right.  But for me this is a special ink pen.  Why, what's so special about it?

It has a stylus tip on the end and for me this is like finding gold.  Well, not quite that exciting but it comes in very handy when I try to text or make notes on my phone.  I know, I could have gone to one of the big retail stores and just purchased a stylus but I like to be different.

I have a condition called Essential Tremor which causes my fingers to shake when I try to do detail work, like thread a needle, draw a straight line, paint detailed work, or write with a pen and there are days you can forget texting on my phone.

Since this pen is made of wood it slightly heavier and larger than a normal ink pen and since it has a stylus tip it makes it a lot easier to use my phone. 

Some times it's the small things that make life easier.  I have the contact info where to purchase these pens or seam rippers so if you're interested send me an email or comment. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Studio Update



I have finally updated my Studio Page.  I am so happy with how I have things arranged now.  If you get the chance take a look and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Unique Find!

Last week I had a wonderful day with my daughter Amanda.  We went to Springfield for an Arts and Craft show in the park.  I guess there were about 50 booths set up with all kinds of items.  There were paintings, pottery, lots of beaded jewelry, glassware, woodwork, homemade soaps and candles and even items made from plastic spoons.  I stopped at one place and found the most unique wood carved ink pens. One even had a tip on one end that you could use on your Ipad.  But I just had to have this!

 A seam ripper!  Not just your ordinary plastic seam ripper either.

It has a small ripper on one end and a larger one on the other end. I loved the way the wood looks.  It reminds me of Peacock feathers.  Don't ask me why, it just does.  It's nice, easy to hold and great to look at.  A piece of art in itself.  I did take his business card and will probably get that ink pen later on.  What's your latest unique find?  I would love to hear about it.  Have a great day!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Take A Chance

Right before school started my youngest granddaughter, Abby, came over and made her first quilt.

Well, today I loaded it on my machine and instead of doing the normal thing I do, which is stippling, I took a chance and used each block to try some other form of free motion quilting.  Here are the pictures of my results.

 I used straight lines in one block
 
 Kinda' did a little echo quilting in one.
 
 Tried a circle but I think I should have started in the center.
 
 Small swirls, looks almost like rain drops
 
 Meandering which reminds me of ant trails
 
 I thought these would be clam shells but I did them wrong.
 
 Echo quilting starting in one corner.
 
 Plain squares or crosshatch.
 
 I made an X and then did echo quilting in each section.
 
 Some waves, I think. Not sure what you would call it.
 
 Some more echo quilting with arrow shapes.
 
 I even tried feathers, not so good, but at least I did it.
 
 Continuous circles in the sashing strips.
 
And small, not so straight, lines all around on the border.
 
I used Neon Orange on the border and Neon Green on the inside of the quilt.  I had fun working on this one and learned a lot.  I feel good that I stepped outside my comfort zone of plain stippling and one color thread.  I know now that I can do these things, I just need more practice.  That means more quilts!!!!  I better get busy.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dear Jane Blocks

I have been trying to get my Dear Jane quilt blocks organized.  So that's what I have been working on lately.  These are some that I haven't posted about before.

Pinwheel Gone Awry

Uncle Homer

Peek-a-boo

Farm Fields

Ralph and Nelda's Wedding

Pete's Paintbox

Dogwood Days
These little blocks are 4.5" square.  I have joined an online group that gives a challenge to complete one a week.  Dogwood Days was this weeks challenge.  I have now completed 21 with about 200 to go.  At that rate it will be another 4, probably 5 years.  But what's time when you're having fun?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Play Time

Saturday I decided to have some play time with my art supplies and came up with this.


  I pulled out an 8 x 8 canvas and started using acrylic paint to cover it.  Then I used some stencils, more paint, drywall tape, washi tape and watercolor.  I tried a photo transfer but that didn't work so I just added another photo of Amanda's dog Tucker.  Finished the edges with more washi tape and trimmed around the sides with ribbon.

Tucker loves playing with tennis balls and I this was a photo taken when he had just received a new package.  He always has a ball with him and will take his foot and slap it your way for you to kick it back to him.  He's a big lovable baby and a great guard dog for Amanda.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

New Fabric!

Friday was my time to get away and just enjoy the day.   There is this lovely town, Franklin Ky., that's about an hour away.  I knew the quilt shop there was closing so I decided to make one final trip to see what was still available.  Everything was on sale at 50% off.  How could I resist picking up these.

My sole purpose for this purchase was to make 3 new quilts from a BQ2 Pattern from Maple Island Quilts.  You use the floral print for the 12" center and use coordinating solids for side and bottom strips.  I loved the way that the pattern went together so quickly and fit our bed with enough drape on both sides.  The only thing is I don't have the quilt any longer, I gave it to our daughter Amanda but hey, that gave me a chance to buy more fabric.

As I was walking through the shop I also found this.


I have been working on Sylvia's Bridal Sampler, off and on, for two years now and it's all in 40's fabrics.  I have 21 of 140 traditional blocks complete, but I have joined a group that gives a weekly challenge to everyone.  It helps a lot to know others are working on the same thing and you get to see all of the different fabrics that each one is using.



Here are the last two blocks I complete this week so new fabric will go a long way to help me complete my task.
Thanks for stopping by and I wish you all a wonderful weekend.  If you leave a comment please include an email address so I can reply.  I can't accept anonymous comments.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Third Time Around

 
Last week I visited JoAnn's new location in Goodlettsville and purchased this yarn in three different colors. I just love it and its so soft. It's called Truffles by Bernat. One ball will make a ruffle scarf.


 
Pulled out my nice wooden needles, size 7, and started knitting the scarf.  About a fourth of the way through I realized I had an extra stitch, and there are only 5 cast on. The directions say to work in every other space of the top edge of the yarn.
 
I thought, don't ask me why, I could just remove the last stitch instead of working a decrease.  When I did the whole thing started to unravel.  I rolled it back up and put it away for the night.  The next night I started it again, made it about half way through and things were going good.  I stopped, went to the kitchen for something, came back, picked up my needles and every stitch slid off.  So, I rolled it back up and put it away.
 
Last night I started it AGAIN but I changed to a size 10 plastic needle and found a cover for the tip.  I love the smoothness of my wooden needles but I had to put them up.  Things seem to be working now so I hope that I can get this finished without anymore problems.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Turning 60

This past Saturday, the 14th was my birthday.  I have always said birthdays are just another day but when you turn 60, it seems a little different.  My daughter, Amanda, was determined not to let me spend the day and evening alone.  Ricky had a prior music event scheduled at the assisted living center for that night and could not break it.  Actually, I would not have wanted him to.  Those people at the center look forward to the music and company from Ricky and the guys that play with him.

So Amanda told me she was taking me to dinner.  Normally we pick a place and a time and go.  Not this time.  All she said was we have to be somewhere by 6:00 pm. 

From my previous post you can read that we spent the day at the art festival.  But before we got there Amanda said we have to make a stop.  She took me to Sweet and Sassy Bakery.  Before we went in, she said we are going in here and I want you to pick out a cake that will serve about 10.  Now my curiosity is peaked but I did what she ask.

It just happened that they had this cake ready and the customer that ordered it didn't want it.  Hey, it already had Happy Birthday written on it and it was Strawberry with Cream Cheese Icing.  Who wouldn't want that!!!!  So she got the cake, put it in the trunk and off we go to the festival.  Now, this was about 11 or 11:30 and we left the festival at about 1:30pm.  Then we went to my niece's baby shower and finally made it home about 4:30pm.  I told Amanda that if the cake melted we could always eat it with a spoon.

Went home, rested a bit and back to Amanda's at 5:15pm to be where ever at 6:00.  So we take off and finally arrive at our destination, Fontanella's.  I have only been there one other time and wasn't that impressed but they have changed owners and it is now Italian so I was very excited to try it out.

Walked in the door and who do I see, sitting there waiting for me.

My girls, not all of them but, standing behind me are my daughters Amanda and Teresa and my daughter in law, Christy.  Sitting beside me is my youngest granddaughter Abby.  My other two granddaughters, Lauren and Kaitlin, had to work.  What a wonderful surprise.  A girls night out and a celebration.  The food was fantastic and I even had a glass of wine.  I also received presents!

A beautiful Pandora bracelet and charms from each one.  They actually made me cry and I felt so special.  A night I will always remember.

Then we had that beautiful cake and let me tell ya', it was delicious.  I had the best time ever and will always cherish the time and effort that the girls put into making me feel special on my 60th birthday.  I am truly blessed with a wonderful and loving family and I thank God everyday for each and everyone.




Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Goodlettsville Art and Music Festival

Amanda went with me to the Goodlettsville Art and Music Festival.  I had 8 paintings showing that were for sale.  Hope someone took a few home.  While we were walking around I spotted these three items.


This is a bird house that has been painted and covered with trinkets.  When I saw it I knew exactly what I was going to do.  Make one using all of my mothers earrings.  I have had a bag full of her old earrings for 7 years now and never knew what to do with them.


 This is a flower pot that has been made the same way.  I just have to decide if which one to make.  I think it's a great idea.

And this is the best of all.  Someone has taken an old dress form, painted it, covered it with pennies and sealed it with resin.  She had her custom  made necklaces on it for display.  I have an old dress form and thought this would be another way of recycling something that I don't want to give away.

We had a great day and I was very happy that we were able to spend the time together.