Monday, December 30, 2013

Getting Organized

What is it about the upcoming New Year that makes me want to get organized?  I guess its like opening a never read book and seeing that pristine first page before you. What will the story be, what journey will I take?

And so, I have totally reorganized my fiber rods.  I'm sorry I didn't take a 'before' picture.  Some things are best not shown.  But here is the 'after' and I'm so pleased with it.  I have organized each rod to hold a certain type of fiber.  Some of them are ribbons, some are chenille, some are quite glittery and fluttery.  At least now I know what I have.

Next came my fabric stash.  I know that compared to most of my friends my fabric collection seems quite small - but most of what I do involves very little fabric.  However, I can never say no to an interesting piece.  So my wire baskets now hold the various types of fabric.  A couple of my favorites are the wool felt pieces that I've collected and the flannel that sits there, unused, but much loved.  

I'm not quite finished as you can see here.  My 'bits and bobs' metal basket is filled to the brim with things both known and unknown.  This will be an adventure -- not only to go through everything but to then figure out a good way to sort it all out.  Sounds like I have a few more hours to go before I can say 'job well done'.  

Happy New Year!

"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up." - A. A. Milne

Friday, December 20, 2013

Winter Solstice

Winter has come a bit early this year - beginning just before Thanksgiving.

A lacy looking bench changes the landscape with just a little bit of snow.

Although water is still running here - this little grotto pond doesn't look at all like itself.  Are the toads buried deep in the mud below - trying to stay warm?

Nature has outlined the bricks on this path - making it look like the path on a board game.

"In a way, winter is the real spring, the time when the inner changes happen, the resurgence of nature." - Edna O'Brien

[To each of you a Happy Holiday -- I'll be back after Christmas.]

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tis the Season

I'm late this year!  Christmas is creeping upon me -- and I haven't even done my Christmas cards yet.  Where do the days go? 

And so my needles and threads have been pushed aside and I am spending this day writing cards with the goal of putting them all in the mail tomorrow.  While gifts are important to many -- I value Christmas cards.  Having lived as long as I have I know that gifts come and go but the contacts and relationships that we make with people along the way are one of the most important gifts we can give ourselves.  

Okay - I've postponed this long enough and its back to card writing.  

"Christmas isn't a season.  Its a feeling." - Edna Ferber

Friday, December 13, 2013

Today I am thankful for...

Blueberries, in a white bowl every morning!

I'm thankful that there even is something as wonderfully scrumptious as this.  I'm thankful for the fact that due to technology (meaning freezers) I can eat them year round.

I am thankful for the farmers and their laborers who plant these bushes, care for these bushes and pick my berries for me all through the season.

"I love berries.  Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, black berries,
 anything with an 'errie' in it!" - Jordin Sparks

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Best of Three Worlds

These days I'm incorporating my love of punchneedle embroidery, doll making and words into one small package (or hopefully 'packages')

I'm also learning along the way - with several missteps.  But then for me, that's always part of the play. After a brief frustration with myself, I move on, knowing a little bit more each time.

Training myself in the use of materials, especially if not traditionally used this way, is always 'interesting'.  That's the fun part.  The not-so-fun part is taking stitches out (and ruining a whole face in the process) and/or putting one piece aside and starting another to replace it because the first one did not work.  I shall persevere!

Don't lose your confidence if you slip
Be grateful for a pleasant trip
And pick yourself up, dust yourself off
Start all over again.
Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Bee Skep

I'd like to introduce you to two delightful people who I discovered quite by accident a few weeks ago.  They are  Lisa and Bob Prive and their website is The Bee Skep.

Their collection of both rug hooking and punchneedle items is great and their service is probably the best I've ever had.  Right now they have a sale going so this is a good chance to load up on either supplies or patterns for the upcoming year.  Meanwhile I'm off to start punching using two brand new gripper frames from The Bee Skep - thanks Lisa and Bob.

"There'll always be serendipity involved in discovery." - Jeff Bezos

Monday, December 2, 2013

"All Is Calm"

I have set aside this past wintry week to punch, punch, punch.  Sounds violent doesn't it.  But really its all about trying to get this Brenda Gervais design finished.

The gods of punchneedle were with me and I was able to get it punched, backed and framed in time for my self imposed Christmas decoration day, December 1st.  

As I worked on this design I pondered the words and embraced them.  Beautiful music in the background, snow outside my window and a lovely design to work on.  Its a gift to myself.

"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." - Saint Francis de Sales

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Its almost impossible

As Thanksgiving arrives I start to think...

...its almost impossible to be thankful enough.  Impossible because there will never be enough time in the day, or the week, or the month, or the years to list all that I have to be thankful for.  I don't believe that I can count high enough to enumerate them all.

My heart often fills with all the deliciousness of my life - but even it isn't big enough to capture all of my blessings.

This of course means that every single day has to be 'thanksgiving day' because to stop counting my blessings would be a disservice to all those who have given them to me along the way.  Thank you! 

"Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received.  Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling.  Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse." - Henry Van Dyke

Monday, November 25, 2013

Old Faithful

This vinyl tablecloth has been with me for nine years of hard work and service.  We began together working on book art, moved on to beading and then did stitcheries, doll making, and anything else that came into my head. 

Sadly she has now had to be retired.  I didn't mind all the paint stains, they were quite 'artistic' -- but she was tattered with holes, which just kept getting bigger and bigger.

A new 'faithful' has joined me here in my studio.  Oh my gosh - she's so clean and bright.  I almost feel like we're going to have a picnic.   

Instead I plan to pile the 'mess' from the previous post right back on top.  I'm not exactly sure I'll be comfortable with this 'newbie' until I've spilled a bit of paint, cut through her surface a couple of times and added some dollops of gel medium.

"It is easy to say how we love new friends, and what we think of them, but words can never trace out all the fibers that knit us to the old". - George Eliot

Friday, November 22, 2013


Yes, this mess is what comes of experimentation.  I've been spending the last week trying this and that.  Creating a 'might be' design and then 'messing' with it -- really messing with it. And making a general mess as I go along.

There were several technics that I had to explore in order to do what I want to do.  Some stitching and turning and trying and wondering.  

And I've been led me to pull out my 'embellishment' stash and start to paw through it - again thinking, wondering, trying.

This is a 'to be continued' story...

"Experimenting with your own life is the most fundamental medium we have." - Natalie Jeremijenko

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Inner Child

My inner child is coming out once again.

New little figures are popping up in my head -- and like any child they just have to come out to play.

This time, I'm thinking that to combine figures with punchneedle would be a divine way to spend the upcoming winter.  

Like a mad scientist I'm experimenting - asking myself over and over again 'what if...' 

As always you will be the first to know if anything happens during this particular 'coming out party'.

"Consciousness is the glory of creation." - James Broughton

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Day At The Museum

                                                           Lee Malerich

On Wednesday I had a lovely time, with friends, attending a fabric/fiber exhibit at the Pickens County Museum of Art and History in Pickens, South Carolina.  The museum itself was lovely with its historic displays from long ago times.  

Upstairs however was a wonderland of fabric and fiber.  There were weavings, and stitcheries, some paper work and quilts, even some handmade avant-garde clothes on display.

I loved these little spools which had pictures of family members on the ends and stitchery surrounding the center.  I was picturing punchneedle (of course) circling the middle of larger spools.

We all came home inspired by the creativity and talent of the exhibitors.  The pictures I show can't begin to capture the intricacies and textures of these wonderful fabric/fiber creations.

"Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them; for those experiences have left an indelible impression, and we are ever and anon reminded of them". - Henry David Thoreau

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ms. Pumpkin Lady

I'd like to introduce "Ms. Pumpkin Lady".  Yes, she's late for Halloween but if a girl is going to be shown on-line she has to be absolutely ready.

So, here she is - a little bit late, but now ready to spend the remainder of Fall standing on her cauldron.

"It is never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Autumn Everywhere

Leaving our home in the middle of 'leaf' color wasn't easy -- I didn't want to miss any of it.  But we soon learned that we were to be thrilled with autumn color in the desert of northern Nevada.

The light was golden, there's no other way to describe it.  These pictures were taken on an early morning walk as the sun began its wash over the land.

The colors were fabulous and our walk took far longer than we thought it would as we savored the sights around us.

 "Nevada Day" brought the sight of colorful hot air balloons.

And the day before we left we were greeted with a bit of snow - as if an ambitious baker had spent the night sprinkling powdered sugar over the hills.

"This is the sense of the desert hills, that there is room enough and time enough." - Mary Austin

Monday, November 4, 2013

Coming back to...

...finish up the background on this piece.  Thank you again Brenda Gervais for your lovely designs.

The most exciting thing about coming home is seeing designs all traced onto Weaver's cloth and ready for stitching.  Lots of fun hours ahead of me here.

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Friday, November 1, 2013

Back home...

...in my nest.  No matter how wonderful, fun, exciting travel is -- I always take a deep breath when I'm back in my own little nest.  Where everything is familiar, where my studio always awaits me, where my little daily routines are back in effect.  Its truly nice to be home.

"Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hello Family

This is where we'll be this coming week.  Having fun, in the desert, with our family.  I'll give you a hint -- I'm the second smallest person in this picture.  Quite a group we make!

"In every conceivable manner, the family is a link to our past and bridge to our future." -- Alex Haley

Monday, October 21, 2013

Autumn Celebration

What is better than the celebration of Autumn - with crows, pumpkins, bittersweet vines and buds? 

An aged black frame surrounds the design and overstitched wool felt backs it.  I know I probably say this every time -- but I really had fun working this design.  Just in time for Halloween too!

"I still get wildly enthuiastic about little things.  I play with leaves.  I skip down the street and run against the wind" - Leo Buscaglia

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wonder What's In That One!

I have several weaknesses but the one to which I succumb most often is 'boxes'!

Little ones, big ones...

Cardboard, wood or wire.

Open or closed.

This is the only organization within my studio - each box has a purpose into which I stuff 'stuff'. 

Not knowing exactly what is in any one box at a time gives me hours in which to paw through each and every treasure that I have saved.  What would I do without my boxes?

"Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes." - Tori Amos


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