small sample of my crazy quilt embroidery

About Me

I am a consumate crafter. I knit, quilt both sane and crazy, scrapbook, bead, mosaics and any other thing I can think of along the way. Someday I also hope to do real glass jewelery and stained glass but those have to wait until I have room and more time.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Missed by Just this much...

Did you notice? I missed my Sunday deadline by just a tad. I had the best intentions but as always laziness just got in the way. I think it was due to the short return to winter we were exposed to yesterday. I just wanted to stay cuddled up and cozy with my quilting or knitting.

Not much has happened around here this last week. We had some lovely weather, some wet weather and then the chilly weather. Zat's OK, it is still spring. Summer will arrive soon enough. A few more things have popped into bloom. My Flying Dragon trees that are growing in the drainage ditch next to the property have sprung into flower. This tree is such an interesting one. It is a native citrus that will survive some very cold temperatures. It is often used as the graft host for commercial orange growers cause it is so hardy. It does have fruit that can, if you are so inclined, be used. Some suggest making a beverage out of them, much like lemonade. We will see on that one!! But it is a beautiful little tree with the longest thorns!! The flowers are white and smell nice, like a delicate orange.

On one of my little jaunts I noticed some violets growing in a ditch along side the road. Now these were not your typical tiny little purple ones, but big white and lavender ones. The flower is a bit bigger than my thumb nail, but still with the flower shape of a true violet, not a pansy. At first I thought maybe crazy person had planted them there many years ago. But then I started to notice them in other locations. Along with some grape hyacinths or muscari of the deepest purpley blue. So the next day, after a good soaking rain, I went and dug some up and brought them home. I am so hopeful that I can get them to grow as I do so love wildflowers and these are some great ones for early spring. But here is a couple of pics I took of the flowers that ended up on my table. Even if I can't get them to grow well at the house, I can always pick all I need along the wayside. Oh, and the white flower must be some kind of wild statice. I am not going to try to transplant any of that. It grows in wild abundance in the ditch up by the school.

We also had a windy day last week. That brought me another treasure of nature. Under a tall pine tree I found this delightful bird's nest that had blown down. It is a medium sized, twig and mud masterpeice. It seems to have a central "bowl" of mud surrounded by a layer of loosely woven bigger twigs. Among the twigs is some of that curly christmas ribbon. The ribbon is white but wouldn't that have been fun if it had been red or green!! Then inside the mud bowl,which by the way, is perfectly round, is a soft layer of dried grasses on which to cushion the eggs. This next was built on a small branch that included a pine cone which is now a permanant part of the nest, glued to the bottom by the mud. I am not sure if this nest ever got used cause there is no evidence of tiny feathers and such. It could have just been built and then blew down, poor birdies with all that hard work. But at least it still has a purpose, one to decorate my front porch. And it is doing it's job quite well. The other items in the picture are both forms of polypore, or shelf fungi. The brown one is probably velvet polypore and the white, which from the side looks like a perfect mushroom, is probably a cottage cheese polypore. Both were collected off the ground here on the property.

My projects are all coming along nicely. I may even have a finished object to show next week!! The shawl is just 17 units from completion. I have been managing to do about 4 a day so even with blocking I could have pictures by this time a week from now. The quilt blocks are being made at the rate of about 5 a week. Now that is slow but at least it is steady. And this without a dedicted sewing area. I sure hope at some point to step up the pace. This week for some reason, I picked up an old hand quilting project that really needed finishing. It is a quilt made from muslin and plaids. It was inspired by a long ago class taken with Roberta Horton who loves scrap quilts and uses tons of plaids. In fact she had a line of fabrics that were sold at LQS's for many years, may still be. I had 5 of the 35 blocks already quilted and this week I have managed to complete one more and am already working on the 2nd. I would love to finish this up sometime this summer and use it on the bed out in the guest quarters. The colors will be perfect and it will fit the double bed out there nicely.

It is less than 2 weeks til our trip to Disney. We are getting a bit excited thinking about seeing the granddaughters and getting to go to the beach, then on to wonderland!! We now have our hotel rooms bought and paid for, our tickets to the park, bought and paid for so all we have left to do is to make the trip!! I am not sure I will even be bringing any knitting with me to do in my spare time. Cause honestly? Do you really think we are going to have any spare time????

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Great Expectations

Here I am again. For the third week in a row, I have made it here on Sunday evening. Now if I could just find a way to make my writing a bit more interesting.

Lately I have been feeling a bit expectant. No, I am not pregnant. Those days are so far behind me that I can barely remember them. No, my sense of expectation is all spring related. You see, the first time we saw this house, and the country side surrounding was last November. They had already had their killing frost and the landscape was all dead or dying. The previous owners had cleared away most of the vegetation to make things look better for prospective buyers like us. So now that spring has arrived, I walk around the property wondering what will come up next, where and when. Just like an expectant mother, I go shopping but can't buy much cause I don't know what is coming my way in the next few months. New parents have to buy the important things first, such as cribs, strollers and diapers. We have to buy trees for the orchard and equipment for working the garden. We leave the fun stuff at the store, for now, cause we just don't know what will suite our new babies til we see them. But slowly I am making some progress. I have put in and completely planted my herb/salad garden. I would love to have a few colorful fun things to pop in the middle but that will have to wait til I get some other things taken care of first. We have all our trees coming in this week, have muscadines planted and all the trellising materials in place. A whole long row of asparagus in is and peas are growing on their supports. So I just have to wait and let those labor pains progress and before I know it I can sit back and enjoy getting to know my new garden/baby.

Both my projects have made slow progress this week. The shawl is close to 3/4 done. The quilt has several more blocks made. But the good news is that I am finally making some headway on designing and organizing my sewing room. For my birthday I ordered shelving for the closet. I ordered them on line so they would be delivered right to the door. This company also offered more sizing options that any I could have bought at a big box store. They came in on Thursday while I was out shopping. That was perfect cause Friday was my birthday and I could get them put together that afternoon. I took these pics but it is hard to really see. A wide angle lens would have come in handy for that. It only took a few hours to get them all put together and loaded with stuff. To bad there are still boxes all over the sewing room!! And tons of empty space at the top of the closet. So I am going to need to order the extensions to take these shelves up another 24 inches. I will need a stepstool to get things up and down but I can always put stuff up there I rarely need so no problem. It will probably be a few more months before I do order the rest cause it sure was not a cheap way to do a closet!! Now I just need to figure out the very best cutting and sewing tables.

Now just a couple of cute pics of the kitties. Wouldn't want to bore you all with to many of these in a row. Don't you just love the idea of Lexi having a reference guide for her birding. Kind of like a menu at a restaurant!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Slow But Steady Progress

See, I am making a sincere effort to blog more regularly. The drawback is that none of my projects make enough progress in just one week to justify breaking out the camera. Just taking the pictures is not even the issue. With that comes finding the interface cable, downloading, sorting, open photo editing software, import, edit, tag, name and put in appropriate folders. But don't get me wrong, I love digital photography. Compare it to buying film, loading it in the camera, taking all the pics with caution to not waste film, figure out how to take 24-36 pics with the same speed of film, remember to take film out, take to be developed, remember to go back and pick them up, see 2/3 of them be wasted after all!! Yeah-give me digital any day.

Progress is being made on the shawl. I have passed the 2/3 done mark and should be done in 2 to 3 weeks. For awhile I thought I might run out of some of my colors but after rummaging around in the back bedroom I found some more of colors close enough to fit right in. I should be able to complete it with only a couple of colors being skimpy toward the end. No thought yet on what my next knitting project might be.

The quilt is also slowly making its way. I have 14 blocks now done. The plans to make it all red and blue on a neutral back ground went by the wayside today. I picked up what I had done and had that sense of not wanting to work on it any more. I thought about why that might be and came up with the notion that I am totally sick of red and blue!! Even if they were civil war reds and blues, they were just a bit boring. So out came the rest of my civil war prints and I am going to be so much happier including the whole kit and kaboodle. Actually this ends up solving several issues. The fabric I have will go much further and when I need to buy more(which I will) I will have alot more to pick from.

The weather has been quite a bit nicer a bit more regularly now. Although this weekend we did have a generous amount of rain. My lettuce, radishes and peas are all coming up well. The peas will have to be ferociously weeded here soon. I put them into the garden right after it was rototilled and only thought I got out all the grass!! So this week I will try to start getting that bed cleaned up a bit so the peas don't have to much competition out there.

I am loving my bird feeders being right out side my bedroom window. So is Lexi!! The bird population here is a bit different than in Oklahoma and I am constantly trying to use my bird identification book to get them all sorted out. So far some of the new birds(to me) are the dark eyed Junko, Carolina Chickadees and Eastern Bluebirds. In Oklahoma I could not get the birds to eat from the feeders unless they were yards away from the window. Here the feeders are less than 1 yard away and the birds waiting for their turn to eat often perch within inches of the glass. Of course Lexi goes into heavy stalking mode and jumps at the window when they are that close.

Another advantage of having acreage to roam is that I am much more tolerant of weeds. Who is going to try and have a perfect lawn with so much to care for. So now I am learning to enjoy the beauty that comes with those weeds. Hope you all enjoy them thru these pics. And see you all next week.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What A Difference A Week Makes

I know, suprise, suprise, I am posting after only 1 week!! I am really trying to develop a new routine and making blogging a little bit more of a priority..

In just one week our weather went from freezing, with a dusting of snow to almost 80 degrees for the last 3 days. That allowed me to get outside, alot. I managed to get peas planted in the main garden and to make a salad border to my herb bed. I put in scallions(2 types), lettuce(several mixes of leaf lettuces), radishes and carrots. Everything got watered in and now we are awaiting a week of predicted rain and more seasonable temps. It will be a bit longer before I start planting the intermediate season stuff like beets, more carrots and spinach. And I need to buy some seed starting mix to get all my warm weather crops going in the mini greenhouse I have set up on the front porch.

When I went outside this morning I was greeted by some pretties, brought into bloom by the milder temperatures. First would be my 1 and only daffodil. I put in 2 bags, 30 bulbs each, of naturalizing daffs. They got put in the ground a little late and in a hurry. But so far almost all of them have sent up leaves and I will have a few more bloom before the season ends. But daffs will multiply readily and in the next few years I should have a beautiful driveway lined with yellow nodding heads in the spring.

Then I noticed that I had gorgeous white blossoms all over the bush right by my driveway. Yesterday the buds were all still tight with no sign of color. I think that my brother/sister in law told me this was a shrub magnolia but I could be wrong. But it looks a lot like the magnolia on the other side of the house. And I am confident about that ones identity. And to be sure I walked around the house to look at the leaves on that one to see if it indeed matched and it was in bloom also. It is a bit taller and it's blooms are a dark purple. I never used to be a magnolia fan but I think I am now!!

Now some pictures of my furniture finds. I think I mentioned the display coffee table last week. I ordered this off Ebay hoping to get a decent peice of furniture. Boy was I happy when this arrived at our door. It is all solid oak with tempered glass. It is very well made, all by hand and should last me forever. The seller never even charged me shipping and it arrived in a huge wooden box that he built around the table so it would arrive safely. I will probably be ordering a end table later on. The quilts in the table are some older ones I bought years ago on ebay, before everyone caught on, and things were still bargains. BTW-there are baskets under the table. They fit perfectly and allow me to store my knitting projects right where they are easy to get to.

My next furniture find was a godsend. I was sewing at my dining room table. It was too high and hurting my neck. I had hoped to find a small portable sewing table online, but the ones I found were going to be about $150.00 with shipping. Well, this week on my shopping day, I stopped into an antique store in Fayetteville, looking to see if they still had a ceramic peice I had passed over several months ago. Of course it was gone but this little table caught my eye. It was marked as "antique sewing table" for $125.00. I did think this was a decent peice and the price was probably worth it. But I wasn't willing to shell out that much right then. So I stopped by and talked to the owner, telling him how I was intrigued by the table, but really couldn't afford it at that time. I was not trying to talk him down, really I wasn't!! But he started scratching on his notepad and said "$75.00" And without even hesitating I said "SOLD" And it came home with me..It is solid mahogany with a metal bar on the bottom that holds the legs in place. You lift the bar up slightly to fold up the legs which is what makes it portable. Very very nifty. Wish they still made them like this. Now mine is a bit crooked over all, but still very usable and now is holding the machine in the following pictures. I used it to sew a few blocks last night and it is just the perfect height.

I have been plugging away on the swirl shawl but don't have any new sweaters in the works. The quilt is still slowing making progress also, but alas I need more fabric. So I ordered some today and will probably have to order some more.

My kitties have developed a new daily habit. They found that for most of the mid day, the sun shines into our bathroom right into the soaking tub. So they started taking sun baths together. It was so sweet to see them all warm and snuggled up so I threw in a big feather comforter to make it even nicer. They love it!!

And Miss Daisy can't be left out. Although it is a bit harder to get pics of her!!