About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Sneak Peek

Ahhh uhhhmmm... the bead frenzy has hit in full force! And not just for making the 
I bet you can all guess what I'm doing next...

with a whole lotta beads... and cute little felted wool balls...
A beading needle... and LOTS of patience...

and a bit of a stiff neck, actually!  Time for a break--often!  And a good S-T-R-E-T-C-H.
But I am super excited about these little GEMS!  And when I get it all done, and get on with a bit of Christmas decorating at home, I hope to show you the FINAL result.

Yes, it takes LOTS and LOTS of time to strings LOTS and LOTS of beads - which I have lots of --- beads that is, not so much on the time! LOL.

I'm hoping it will be worth all the effort... come back and SEE!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stuffed Ornaments

Basic.  And... very simple. 

And simply hand made! 

Christmas ornaments!
I love the handmade look!  

I began with a circle, which I traced from my miniature handy-dandy color-wheel which is always within reach of my cutting and sewing worktable, next to my machine.  Of course, you can choose any circle shape you want.  A cup, or a very small plate for instance.

I then placed a piece of batting under one side of the fabric circle, and added a piece of loosely-cut fabric (and an extra piece for color and interest), in the shape of a rectangle, on top of the fabric circle, making sure it fit within the confines of the circle shape, and quilted it with a single word:  LOVE.   and SHINE. 
But what about a child's name, loved one, or friend, or any other JOYFUL description based words you might  think of!?   Hmmm... 'words for thought' I think! 

I also went around the 'word frame'  with a loosey-sketchy frame of stitching, just to add a bit of emphasis and accent. You're probably tired of me saying so, but I used King Tut 40 wt thread, as it has more presence, (and I love it!).  And I also added stars in the first picture, using GLITTER in silver. (Yay!)

Then add your backing fabric. I used the same print as the front. Then I stitched the perimeter of the circle pieces together, using a very 'rough' zig zag stitch --- just like they say on the food cooking shows (which I love to watch!) --- 'give it a rough chop'  --- well, that's what I did with the zig zag stitch! 

Now stuff it with some loose fiberfill -- the amount depends on your personal preference for 'stuffiness' shall we say?!!!  Of course, leave an opening in the top and use your glue stick to establish a place for the ribbon or hanger before you close it up.  You could add this at the last minute if you forget... it has a countryside touch, don't ya know!

And stitch it again, securing the opening closed.  Keep it simple, and keep it fun!  

And think about other shapes as well.  Instead of a rectangle on the front of the ornament, what about a heart shape? I bet... you can think of LOTS more variances... all of them simply handmade, and charmingly, SIMPLE!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thread Spools!

Such a cool idea. Nothing like playing 'dress-up' with thread spools!

I first saw these charming little darlings shown here, posted by Kelli Nina Perkins. 

And so began a journey in patience, for first I had to bid on these adorable little antique spools, which I found on ebay.

and when they arrived, the Friday after Thanksgiving, I was very excited to get out all my yarns, ribbons, and shiny, sparkly threads ...and start playing...
and start wrapping.  College football anyone?!  (Go Oregon Ducks!)
So many pretties... so little time!

and then I added...BEADS!

Aren't they sooooo pretty? And fun to photograph, too!
 So now what do I do with them?  I didn't really want to string them all... although that is quite tempting as they would be a LOVELY garland hanging from the tree, or a window, wouldn't they?  (Which was shown by Kelli on her blog site).

 I think I need to get more spools... because I am seriously hooked now!  And I'd love to make a Christmas garland with these!
But time is running out, and Christmas will be here way too soon.  And they do take a goodly amount of time; keeping in mind that by the time you drop, roll and crawl... as that's what I ended up doing half the time as I wound, dropped the thread spool, or the needle, or the bead... well you know.  But  oh...so fun!  And by the way, I used a beading needle, and Nymo (beading) thread.
 I decided to make them into ornaments, and came up with an idea using some lovely organza from my stash! This is how I incorporated it into the ornament.

 I cut a width of perhaps 2-3 inches (no measuring!!) and stuffed it into the spool center hole using the skewers I just happened to see in my drawer while looking for the big carving knife-sharpener on Thanksgiving. 
 The top loop of fabric is ideal for the metal hanger you can attach or I could add a cord, too, but I think it's more elegant with just the organza. I also played with trimming  the bottom... and I kind of like the idea of a fluffy little skirt on this little beauty. I may cut it straight off... or not!  What do you think? 
 Does this project appeal to you?  Maybe you have a great stash of old antique spools somewhere.  And happily, I have pink, lime green, aqua, white (and more!) colors of organza handy.  Love it when I do not have to go out shopping for anything!
And a very big, happy, satisfied sigh.


Christmas Runner

Hi there! Hope your weekend, and/or Thanksgiving celebration has been lovely!  Ours was very nice, very quiet!  No shopping in the 'Streets of Laredo' for this girl!  LOL!  Instead, I had about enough gumption to go through some of my Christmas fabric scraps.  Not even a hint of a desire to even go to the quilt store!  Just staying at home, happily 'putzing' as it happened (and still is!)  And this is the result:
I began with a solid piece of leftover red fabric, and from the scraps of the coordinating fabrics, I randomly cut, without measuring... (a big leap of faith for me!) and placed the little fabric gems, again - randomly - another leap - well, make that a hop, skip and a jump!  onto the fabric.  Then what? 

So I  made a thread choice first.  Decided to go with a white cotton thread, this is King Tut 40 weight cotton, as it a bit more presence than lighter threads.  I used a 50 wt or maybe it was 60 wt Bottom Line on the bobbin...  Then I free motioned the patches onto the quilt, 'willy-nilly' around the edges, as you can see!  IT WAS FUN.  I loved it!!!  Doing it traditionally would have slowed it down in my opinion, but you could easily do it that way if that is what you are more comfortable doing.
 Sometimes my little patchwork blocks had some quilting or a theme in them... some did ...  NOT!  But the funnest part for me were the one's I added with just a white stitched block, and a fun little word written inside it...  and sometimes I even stitched the word twice, just because... it was fun to see what the result was!  No, it is not done on all... no need to.  It just simple... fun, and well...simple!  No need to make it complicated.
Life will do that for us without asking.  So I left all patches, and the binding, too... left raw-edged.  Then I threw it in the dryer with a load of wet laundry, and let the edges fray a bit more.

As always, much
And it will hopefully go to a loving home through my Etsy shop, or at the Christmas Stroll in Fort Benton, next Saturday!  

Best to you all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Time for Gathering In Thankfulness

The leaves are all gone, except in our home!  This is a favorite fall wall hanging... lots of couching, lots of feathers in the background, and fun stitching I enjoyed doing VERY much!
 I loved practicing my feathers on this little Quilt.  And it's part of a little 'vignette' I enjoy as part of our Thanksgiving decorations.  

 It's a "Wooly Lady" pattern... but I couldn't find it to show you... (uhhmmm... I know... an ongoing problem with my organization apparently!)

Gathering in an attitude of  GRATITUDE!

 Ahhh yes... gathering in.  If our only prayer was to say "Thank You, Thank You, Thank You" --- it would be enough.  


Monday, November 21, 2011

Hungry Horse!

Appropriate title in light of this being Thanksgiving Week! I've been revisiting some older photos...
Ahh... woodsmoke in the background.  Light rain... and very cool temps.  

When my husband and I were first dating, we packed our lunch, and took day trip in the late fall season, just at Thanksgiving time, 2007, on Hungry Horse Lake, near Columbia Falls, MT, where he was living at the time.  We shared a wonderful Thanksgiving with his parents, playing cards, eating, and watching tv and then later in the weekend, we went on a small hike before driving around this huge man-made lake.  We also saw a black wolf that day.  Amazing wilderness.
 The lake has been drawn down quite alot by the time late fall arrives... and it's always intriguing for me to explore... sit on the rocky shore, and take it all in!
Me n my best dog Micah!

 The larch tree needles have fallen into the lake, and then washed onto the shore in an interesting visual pattern.

It's pretty revealing for me to look back on these pictures I took then.  I had purchased a more 'advanced'  Kodak camera late that same summer, and was just having fun learning about it.  Of course, I always take pictures in the hopes of turning them into an art quilt... and I am glad to revisit them!  You just never know what may strike you a bit differently a few years later.  

Nothing but SWEET... all the way around.  
We were married in May of 2008.  I'm so THANKFUL for you, my darling husband!  Precious Memories!  



Saturday, November 19, 2011

"THREADS" - Very Cool!

This is one VERY cool book.  Seriously cool.  By Debbie Bates and Liz Kettle.
A WEALTH of information... tips... creativeness abounding.  You can find it on Amazon for $22.36, by clicking on this LINK.  Or you might like to put it on your list for CHRISTMAS gift giving...
And while looking through this book a couple evenings ago, I remembered about something else that is seriously cool... that would be the 3 Creative Studios website.  And there are SO MANY terrific tutorials, and resources you can print out for your own ... click here.  And you'd better put it on your 'to do list' right away, because Terri and Vicki are shutting down the site at the end of the year!  Sad, but true.  Understandingly so.  They are both wonderful artists in their own right, and are moving on to building their businesses, blogs, sites and more, and I know I'll look forward to enjoying what they will do in the future!  Not only are they fun and knowledgeable artists, but they SHARE.  And from what I understand from their recent newsletter, they will both transfer things from 3 Creative to their own sites.  But nonetheless... go check it out, while it's all in ONE PLACE.  

You will be really, really.... REALLY glad you did!


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