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i am a creative person. mother to a daughter who is an active young woman and a constant blessing in my life. i hope that you enjoy your visit here and that you will return often.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

15 minute challenge ~ april 24

When you drink the water, remember the spring.
Chinese Proverb

this week's report:

  • tuesday, april 17th: postcard work
  • wednesday, april 18th: postcard work (TAST: french knot) ~ sewed path pieces onto a hexie flower
  • thursday, april 19th: postcard work (TAST: french knot) ~ basted hexie paths
  • friday, april 20th: cut out quilt blocks ~ sewed path pieces onto a hexie flower
  • saturday, april 21st: sewed quilt blocks ~ neatened up studio 
  • sunday, april 22nd: basted hexie paths
  • monday, april 23rd: basted hexie paths

  • i used that sweet bunny fabric to create another postcard.

    if you're interested in making it a priority to find time for yourself and what you love to do you may find the 15 minute challenge group over at Kate at Life in Pieces to be just the catalyst you need.

    recent gifts include:
    • sunshiny days
    • evening birdsong
    • flowers~!!!~ 

    Friday, April 20, 2012

    TAST week 16 ~ french knot

    the daffodils are officially announcing our spring by beginning to bud and flower . . .

    this week it's the french knot on TAST.
    i generally avoid the french knot as in the past i have found it difficult to control. so this practice was really good for me. and thanks to a few tips that i found i actually did relatively okay with it.

    what would spring be without a bumblebee~!?
    i've changed things up a bit and have used the stitch on a postcard rather than a christmas stocking this time. the card needs to be in the mail asap and i liked the idea of dimensionalizing (is that a word?) the bumble bee that was printed on the fabric with some of those french knots. in fact, i wonder if this counts as stump work . . . will have to look into that.
    i'll get back to the stockings next week.

    within the comments section of the week 16 post on Pin Tangle there are some delightful samples of this stitch in use. 
    there are some lovely flowers using the french knot: grape hyacinths and these look like hollyhocks, or foxgloves or maybe even gladiolas . . .
    tiny spring peeps are adorable using this stitch.
    and there's even a clever stitcher who created some oxygen with this one~!
    and last but not least, its all about beautiful textures on this blog~WOW~!!~
    please take a second and check these sites out. you'll be delighted by what you see.

    recent gifts include:
    • rain coaxing the grass into green
    • wind keeping things minimally muddy
    • snow keeping away (~!!!~)

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    15 minute challenge ~ april 17

    an overcast day and a few sprinkles
    the columbine is coming up~!

    this week's report:

  • tuesday, april 10th: hexie basting (paths)
  • wednesday, april 11th: hexie basting (paths)
  • thursday, april 12th: working on a postcard
  • friday, april 13th: TAST (stem stitch) onto my own christmas stocking
  • saturday, april 14th: TAST (stem stitch) onto my own christmas stocking
  • sunday, april 15th: working on a postcard
  • monday, april 16th: starting another postcard

    i managed to finish the post card that i started last week and have started working on another one.

    the front of the card

    the back of the card prior to addressing, postage and a birthday wish.
    and today it's in the mail and on it's way to encourage some happy birthday wishes.

    the 15 minute challenge group over at Kate at Life in Pieces  has been just the jump start that i've been needing for a long time. it's created both an atmosphere of accountability and encouragement for me. most of the time i find it very easy to find the 15 minutes and frequently i start with the intention of just 'getting it done' and end up enjoying myself for quite a bit longer. once in a while i get to the end of the day and realize that i've not accomplished it but since it's only 15 minutes i can pick up one of my projects and put my time in and get off to bed feeling quite happy to have met the challenge once again . . . because what i do 'for myself' matters too. i'm good at keeping promises i make to others but this has helped me keep those made to myself.
    it's been a very good thing~!

    recent gifts include:
    • folding the fresh warm laundry, especially the towels . . . i love a fresh towel~! 
    • sending arty birthday wishes 
    • beautiful postage stamps  

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    TAST week 15 ~ stem stitch

    dreaming in green.  i've played around with this one in photoshop elements, adding some layers and making some adjustments.

    week 15's stitch with TAST was the stem stitch.
    this is a stitch that i know well and have practiced a lot over time. for some reason i had a very hard time getting started with it. i had a few ideas but nothing was grabbing me until i decided on this . . .

    it's not necessarily very creative but i think it works.

    i discovered a lot more creativity than i showed as well as some spring garden stitchiness within the comments section of the week 15 post on Pin Tangle.
    there is a wonderful spring nest, a simple but whimsical and fun garden, and a willow tree~! if you have a spare minute and an interest in embroidery you will enjoy seeing all of these as well as the other fabulous handwork shared.

    recent gifts include:
    • a surprise weekend visit from the wonderful daughter. it's nice that she now lives close enough to do this. 
    • a good report from the orthopedist
    • a few minutes to play in photoshop elements. i've missed it~!

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    15 minute challenge ~ april 10

     my crocus continue to bloom and apparently they're thirsty~!

    this week's report:

  • tuesday, april 3rd:  hexie basting (paths)
  • wednesday, april 4th: (TAST) satin stitch onto wonderful husbands stocking
  • thursday, april 5th: (TAST) satin stitch onto wonderful husbands stocking
  • friday, april 6th: hexie basting (paths)
  • saturday, april 7th: hexie basting (paths)
  • sunday, april 8th: hexie basting (paths) ~ working on a postcard
  • monday, april 9th: working on a postcard

    this week seems pretty boring after last week's finish but i did manage to sneak in my time every day with the 15 minute challenge group over at 
    Kate at Life in Pieces.

  • i am working on a postcard for someones birthday which has been fun. that bunny fabric is going to yield quite a few cute cards i think.
    recent gifts include:
    • an easter weekend barbecue 
    • the weather being actually spring like and allowing a good bit of enjoyable time outside
    • time to enjoy the pond and watch my beautiful goldfish and think about not much of anything except the wonders of the pond.  

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    the give-away winner is . . .

    Isabelle (and Pauline too of course~!) of Pierres, Papiers, Ciseaux.
    Isabelle commented:  "very close to plants ? for another theme, perhaps "tiny critters""
    last month's theme was actually 'very close to plants'.  i chose green as i thought that would be appropriate since saint patrick's day is in march . . . and it enabled me to continue taking floral macros which i love to do. as for 'tiny critters' . . . i think it sounds like it could be fun and this great idea has gone onto my growing list. 

    thank you Isabelle. would you please e-mail me with your mailing information and i'll get your goodies on their way.

    i'm very happy that you all played along with me last month and i will be doing another drawing for a few of my photo note cards at the end of april. i hope you will join me in celebrating once again.

    Friday, April 6, 2012

    TAST week 14 ~ satin stitch

     i have been so very hungry for spring greens lately~! not just the pretty flowering kind but crunchy green romaine, tiny spring onions,  fluffy sprouts~!
    since i'm doing my own cooking now (:-D) i decided to make myself some lettuce rolls with the above ingredients. once i had layered it all into those lovely romaine 'boats' i drizzled a homemade balsamic vinaigrette over the mix and floated them right into my mouth.
    mmmmmmmmmmm, so very good.
    i recommend several of these a day to anyone with the same craving. make them the main course or use them as a side dish. eat them as snacks. eat them as desert. breakfast lunch AND dinner~!
    the 'filling' can easily be tailored to just about any vegetable as long as it's cut up into small enough pieces and you WILL feel better. i promise.
    if you don't have these ingredients in the fridge go get them. do not pass go. do not collect $200. just go get them. maybe you even live somewhere where you can pick them fresh right out of your garden . . .

    i'll share my simple vinaigrette recipe with you:

    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    1 tbsp dijon mustard
    1 tbsp honey
    a clove of garlic (i press mine through a garlic presser)
    salt and pepper to taste

    1/2 cup (scant)  olive oil

    mix the first group of ingredients into a small jar or container with a tight fitting lid. put the lid on and give it a good shake.
    add the olive oil in three separate 'doses' and give that container a good shake after every addition. this is best at room temperature but will store in the fridge for a few days.
    always give it a good shake before each use.


    there was no stitch given for week 13. it was a catch up week for those who needed it. as it turned out last week was so insanely busy for me that i was happy to count that as a blessing.
    the stitch for week 14 with TAST is the satin stitch.

    i don't use the satin stitch very much because i'm not very good at it. i'm not very good at it because i don't use it very much.
    this one is all about practice.

    it's fairly simple to do but if you don't work carefully it just looks sloppy. 

    i've gotten a bit better while practicing/using it this week but i am uncomfortable showing these ultra macro shots of my work.

    however, i LOVE what i came up with and as a whole it doesn't look too bad. after all, most of us don't have microscopic sight~!

    i used anchor pearl cotton (sz 8) to stitch the lights and aurifil lana (12/2) to stitch the cord. i used the pearl cotton (sz 8) to stitch the prongs at the end of the cord.

    i'll be adding more to my string of lights but as this one is fairly time consuming i'm showing what is completed for now.

    these are on the wonderful husband's stocking.
    it always seems like he is the one who gets stuck untangling those strings of christmas tree lights every year. poor guy.

    there are several fun and well done examples of the satin stitch shown within the comments section of the week 14 post on Pin Tangle.   
    i found a beautifully done castle  (!!!!) using the satin stitch this week as well as a whimsical flower garden, a beautiful sunset and a fabulous three tiered cake that really does look good enough to eat~!
    there are some really great imaginations and creative hands enjoying this TAST challenge~!

    recent gifts include:
    • spring greens in the kitchen and on the table 
    • spring greens in the garden (wait until you see the next post's 'featured' photo)
    • a really tasty vinaigrette

    if you haven't entered my giveaway yet and you would like to try to win a few of my photo art note cards click here.

    i will draw a winner on april 9th.

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    15 minute challenge ~ april 3

    the crocus are blooming~!

    my weekly report card for the 15 minute challenge:

  • tuesday, march  27th: quilting the pink lemonade quilt (alternate squares) 
  • wednesday, march 28th: quilting the pink lemonade quilt (alternate squares)
  • thursday, march 29th: quilting the pink lemonade quilt (alternate squares)
  • friday, march 30th: binding machine sewn onto pink lemonade quilt
  • saturday, march 31st: finish work for binding on pink lemonade quilt
  • sunday, april 1st: label onto pink lemonade quilt
  • monday, april 2nd: hexie basting background/path pieces 

    i had a few close calls but did manage to get all 7 days in for the 15 minute challenge with the group found at Kate at Life in Pieces.

  • we've been helping the wonderful daughter to move on to the next adventure in her life. she'll be working on her master's degree and living a few hours away in a new apartment. so once again out of town a lot. the good news is i managed to finish the (easily carried along) pink lemonade quilt.
    when i got to the machined part of the binding i was at home just long enough to get it sewn on and pack it back up again for the last of the handwork done on yet another road trip.
    i'm pleased to say that even the label is done.

    this cute piece is one of the pink lemonades done as a quilt-a-long project with Lori at Humble Quilts.
    there's a whole dolly quilt show of these cuties here. if you've never been there you should definitely link over and check out this great blog.
    and i still totally love those frolicking bunnies on the back~!!~

    recent gifts include:
    • robins loudly announcing the onset of spring as i woke up 
    • a warm sunny day
    • the satisfaction of finishing

    if you haven't entered my giveaway yet and you would like to try to win a few of my photo art note cards click here.
    i will draw a winner on april 9th.

    Sunday, April 1, 2012

    another celebration give-away~!

    Some wish blessings, others pray for them. Some send blessings and they become one.
    Joyce C. Lock

    thank you readers, for sending me your sweet blessings.

    i had such a great response from the last note card giveaway that i have made the decision to have another.
    i've been very encouraged by all of you wonderful readers out there and appreciate it. thank you for every single generous response. once again i was able to meet my own personal goals within a challenge framework so if you are interested in winning three of my photo note cards (of my choice) as well as a few extra surprise goodies i would like you to leave a comment on this post telling me what you think my theme for march was. once again, you don't have to get it right, you just have to guess within your comment. if you happen to have an idea for a future theme, feel free to share that as well. 
    on april 9th i will draw one of your names and announce a winner.

    the cards were made by a company called snapfish. i'm not being paid by them but i do think they deserve to be mentioned.

    so leave a comment and invite other bloggers to play along if you think they might be interested.

    recent gifts include:
    • the kindness of good neighbors
    • a mucked out linen closet
    • pancakes for breakfast with my family