Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Small Offering

To honor Spring. I haven't been up to much of anything but work over the past few weeks, but I find that I must have a little something to stitch on to keep my sanity.  It's just that simple for me. Stitching makes me happy! and this little bon bon makes me happy. It's a teeny one - less than 3 in. across and this time embellished with a few beads. It is dense and compact and I like the weight of it in my hand. I think I may have to make some more of these. What do you think?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Deconstruction: A Cautionary Tale

This week I began constructing the practice muslin for the tunic pattern I showed you in a previous post.

Things were going reasonably well until I got to the neck binding.

And….problems.  After watching a few YouTube videos about a dozen times, I thought I understood what to do and forged ahead.  Unfortunately, I forged too soon.  If you look closely, you can see a pinked edge peeking out from under the neck binding.  I was too cautious in my trimming of the seam allowance, and was unable to catch it all underneath the binding. Sigh.

Out comes the seam ripper.

And rips a hole in the fabric. Louder, more exasperated sigh.

What have I learned on this sewing adventure I've undertaken?  So far, I've learned:

- It is most definitely a good idea to sew a practice muslin before attempting to sew a new pattern on your "real" fabric.  (Yay! I got this one right!!)

- Whenever you are learning something new, expect to run into problems and make mistakes along the way.  It's part of the learning process.

- As so many of my lovely friends have advised me here, take your time. Be patient with yourself and with what you're doing.  Don't get in a hurry to finish (so you can post braggy pictures on your blog of your wonderful progress - not that I would ever do such a thing) .

- When you do make a bugger of a mistake, take a deep breath, grit your teeth, and make up your mind to keep trying until you get it right. In other words, don't give up!

- And by all means, be careful with that seam ripper.

Thank you so much to everyone who has given me so much encouragement and wonderful advice.  You guys are the best!  And a special thank you to my sweet friend Valerie who is not only an accomplished artist, but also an accomplished seamstress!  She is doing her best to shepherd me along as I go.  And I will keep going!  Hopefully next time I will have some prettier pictures to show you ;))

Happy Sunday everyone!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Moss Garden Part 2

I simply couldn't resist making another one - this time with daffodils :)

And just look what a beautiful morning…..cold and foggy and soft and quiet.  A perfect morning!

My heart is so full today.  do you ever have one of those days when you feel like you love every single person in the world? and you just want to give them all a warm hug and tell them how special they are and that they are loved and that, really, really - it's all going to be ok.  I feel like that today.

Best wishes for a beautiful day,

Saturday, February 22, 2014

It's All Greek To Me

See this pretty paisley? Don't you just love it? Me too!  I went to Hancock Fabrics a few weeks ago, just looking, because goodness knows I don't need any more fabric, and this bright colorful pattern just jumped out at me.  It feels like Spring in a very folk-arty kind of way, yes?  So, I've been wanting to make myself a peasant top for ages, and I figured this was the moment.

 I hit the pattern books at the back of the store and found this Kwik Sew pattern - which means it should be easy, right? I'm thinking View C - with the contrast panels at the nape in solid black with some embroidered flowers that I will adapt from the pattern.  At this point, I'm SO excited.  Can't wait to get home and get started.  I'm planning it all in my head, imagining how cute it will look and how smug I will feel sporting my own handmade peasant top with my very own hand embroidery.  "Oh, how cute! Where did you get it?" I made it myself!!!  Yes, the whole fantasy was playing out in my head as I was happily driving home from town.  I got up the next morning rearing to go.

and then as I started reading the pattern instructions (which are supposed to be super easy, right?)  I remembered why I have only sewn two things in my lifetime. and my fluffy feathers fell flat.  I realized this is going to be much harder than it was in my fantasy which kinda skipped over the "making" part and went right to the "bragging" part.   Dang it.  This is going to be a long, painstaking process for me, and I have decided to make a muslin one before I cut into my beautiful paisley dream fabric.  I have a feeling I might be coming to you to ask some questions.  I read and re-read and scratch my head.  They really don't write these things for people who don't already know how to sew!!  It's like reading a foreign language.  But, says I, I shall persevere. Maybe I can look at the picture and figure it out.  Stay tuned.

"Pride cometh before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." - Proverbs 16:18

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Digging in the Dirt

Ok. I admit it. Even I, the girl who loves winter, am dreaming of Spring.  Specifically, I'm dreaming of gardening.  This would explain the following photo.

Breakfast.  A few cups of coffee, and a stack of gardening magazines.  I'm a magazine addict anyway, and these gorgeous spring issues of every gardening magazine I could get my hands on were calling my name!!  Oh how I love to sit and read every word, absorb every beautiful image, plan lush perennial borders in my head....  I can hear the bees buzzing, the birds singing, the warm sun on my face…..aaaaaaah.  I highly recommend it.  I call it magazine therapy :-)

For Valentine's Day, my sweet hubby got me flowers.  Not the kind you put into a vase, but the kind you put into the ground.  A peony, some strawberry plants, and a miniature orchid for inside.  I love that man.

We have been having some very warm, spring-like days this week, and I was so desperate to plant something, that I made myself this little miniature moss garden.  Ain't it cute?  I had gone for a walk and spied some itsy teeny tiny ferns peeping out of a mossy bank, so I went home, got my hand trowel and a bucket and went back and got him.

I know better than to be fooled by these warm February days.  I've made the mistake of planting things too early before only to have them killed by a late frost.  So, this was just sort of a fix.  I got to dig a little, pot something up, and satisfy my creative urges by decorating it with some pretty stones gathered from the creek last summer and a couple of little acorns that just happened to be nearby when I was playing, um, planting.  Now I am thinking of another pot with daffodils springing up out of some of this moss.  Wouldn't that be pretty?  And maybe a terrarium for inside, and maybe……………...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lovely Gifts from a Lovely Friend

Do you know my friend Jules?  If you do, then you know what a sweet, generous person she is.  We recently agreed to have a swap, and just look at the wonderful treasures she sent to me!

Jules is a very talented artist who paints, stitches, and crafts in a variety of different mediums.  She sent me that gorgeous piece of hand-dyed silk in the photo as well as the hand-crafted paper clay necklace and she even made the little box it came in!

She made the wonderful little bookmark too - all hand stitched. I love the little quote.  And she also sent me the wonderful silk threads and collection of beads. Notice that it is all color coordinated!  I was tickled to death to receive this wonderful collection of gorgeous goodies from my sweet friend.  Jules and I met through blogging, and quickly discovered that we share a love of art, nature, poetry, literature, and even mushrooms!! 

I am so thankful for all of the friends I have made through blogging.  I have met so many wonderful and talented people, and as you can see, also a lot of very generous and loving spirits.  I feel so blessed to have friends like Jules to share my interests with.

Jules has a wonderful blog called Adventures in Thread where she shares her beautiful handmade dolls (they're to die for!) her embroideries, nature photos, and sometimes even tours of some of the beautiful homes and gardens of her native England.  She's a sweet, talented lady with a beautiful blog full of lovely things to share.  I'm sure she would love for you to come and visit her sometime.

And thank you for visiting me here! I've got lots of projects to share with you soon - sewing, gardening, stitching and more!