Tuesday, January 28, 2014

WOYWW 243 - Aint She a Mess?

This isn't just my messy desk - this is a party over at Mrs. Dunnit's place.

Click here to join in on What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday.

Well, I'm a mess. I admit it. This cough and cold is dragging me down! All I want to do is watch Downton Abbey, drink tea, and embroider. In the evening my energy drains, the embroidery gets tossed on my workdesk, and I lay on my bed with the cats--a mess I tell you. Anyhoo, here's what I've been embroidering--I'm just doodle stitching and don't even know what I'm really making!
So now you know my secrets. I'll be peeking in on your desk to see yours. If I get some energy, I'd like to make a few Valentines cards. We'll see! In the meantime, I'm once again completely worried about Mr. Bates now that he knows what happened to Anna!
Well this couldn't be more delightful--I had just finished writing this post when I checked the mail, and I had fabric mail! But not just any fabric...beautiful fat quarters called "The Dowager" from the Downton Abbey collection sent by my UK soul sister Jan! What a lovely Tuesday I've had now. I love how elegant these are. 

Jan knew how much my mother loved Downton as well. I'll always remember my long discussions with Mom about all the characters and their gorgeous costumes. She had managed to buy all three seasons on DVD before she passed away and watched them several times. So whether these become some quilty pillows or a little lap quilt, it will be so special!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Remember

Monday, January 27, 2014

My First Crafty Book - McCall's Giant Golden Make-It Book

 When I was around age six or seven in the late 1960's, I loved coloring, gluing, writing stories, and even had a little grey metal sewing machine with a foot pedal and everything. We made doll clothes. So one day, when I was little, I found this big book in my mother's room, and immediately took possession of it--McCall's Make-It Book, published in 1952. I carried this thing everywhere!

Now when I look at it, I can even tell which pages I used the most! I felt like the happy kiddos on the cover--just makin' a table full of craftiness! My worktable looks like that today--only more fun.
Thought I would share some of the precious pages on the inside, because this book covers every kind of craft and even included knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, and weaving!
But first, it taught you how to upcycle. Way to go green 1952!
Then you got your crafty list. I remember gathering some of these things!
Who needs to garden when you can make paper flowers all day! Now I have one of those cool flower weaving things.

I think the sewing cards were my fave. My mother helped punch the holes for me. I probably drove her crazy!
I'm wondering if this where I learned how to sew! Who doesn't like simple sewing.
It's funny how I've pretty much been a cross-stitch-aholic for 25 years...but I do not remember the cross-stitch pages in this book. They are very pristine looking, so obviously I didn't go to this chapter. And I probably didn't have access to aida cloth!
I learned crochet when I was young. But now every time I crochet it ends up in a circle. However, I have not given up! Crochet makes the prettiest trim on things. (I do think the little girl here with the blonde braids is quite proud of herself.)
I did learn how to knit though, at some point. I still have my pink metal knitting needles from when I was ten.
Now I even know how to use double-pointed needles! I should do a dance.
And I know for a fact I took over several empty oatmeal containers from our kitchen to make into all kinds of things. So glad I found my first crafty book again.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Be Young Again

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sew Blissful Stitching - Felty Frippery

Felt scraps, pearl cotton threads by DMC, and winter evenings with my feet up. 
That's what stitching frippery is all about.

The day starts with my favorite: whole wheat waffles with banana and a big mug-o-coffee.

Then I'm off to use my coupons at Michaels--I stock up on the DMC pearl cotton in variegated skeins and those rich-hand-dyed-looking colors. It's my candy store! Love it. I also love buying these little floss cards, slip-knotting the skein around them (pearl cotton doesn't require separating) and then just slip one thread right out of the knot when you need it. Easy peezy.
I punch out a lot of circles with my Big Shot and a Bigz circle die with four sizes of circles. I love my Big Shot.
 I keep all this in a basket and it's just leisurely blanket and straight stitching that goes with me wherever I want to put my feet up. When I got my flower die delivered, I started on some flower frippery too! These have been made into ornaments for a Valentines tree which will be put together with painted branches--but there are so many things you can do with frippery!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

WOYWW 242--Beautiful Day in the Ozarks

Happy What's-On-Your Workdesk-Wednesday. Look at me, not in a hurry at all, posting late into a Wednesday morning!

See what deskers around the world are working on at Ms. Dunnit's blog!

This is yesterday evening's photo though. I have amazing sunsets out this window, and it always puts me in the mood to art journal for some reason. So, even though I have a terrible cold and cough right now, I pulled out an old music book which I've planned to tear up, and started a page. I'm ready to watercolor next.

Oh, do you see that book sitting there? That, my dear deskers, is my FIRST craft book! My mother bought it in 1952, but by the time I was born in 1960 I found it laying around her room one day, took possession of it, and never looked back. Oh, it's a dear thing, filled with sewing, knitting, gluing, painting, and even cross-stitch! The cover has completely fallen off. I still dearly love that book. I'll probably take more photos and post about it one day. Osito, my Mexican beanie baby is sitting there. And I'm very excited because I found an awesome Tuesday clearance on the Sizzix site yesterday, ordered four dies and saved almost 80 dollars. Woo hoo! Dies for my Big Shot are usually very expensive!

And work on my little embroidery piece continues. It was sunny and warm on my greenhouse porch that afternoon, so I let the cats out to play. You can see I'm having to go through the winter with my deck torn up--can't wait until work begins on it again this spring! Today is a little cooler and tomorrow is supposed to be ridiculously cold--but my stitching keeps me warm! Happy Wednesday!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday--Therapy!

Sometimes the only person you really need to be creative for is yourself. When you need restoration, relaxation, a little bliss, a little boost...it's all waiting at your work table. It's kind of like magic, hidden all around in a set of watercolors...your art journal...embroidery floss....fabric squares...and a box of beads. Pure therapy for the soul at its best.


I tend to do a bit more organizing and sorting during January. I find things, like a beautiful heart cross-stitch project I started last year, and failed miserably at finishing. But that's okay. It is now an official UFO (Unfinished Object) and that simply means, it will get finished someday! It's just that now I'm obsessed with embroidering on white felt. I'm completely covering this large square with embroidery--it's going to be the cutest little bag ever. (I always say that of course)

This size 5 pearl cotton floss is another obsession lately. I love the hand-dyed look of the rich colors, and I especially love the variegated skeins. When you slip-knot it around a floss card like this, or even a simple big ring, all you have to do is pull a thread out at the knot, and it slides right out. So easy!
Some days I feel like I'm attempting to embroidery the world--it's painting with thread and when you really get in the swing of it, you feel so peaceful and restored. Truly. 
I love working at my desk in the mornings with a big mug of coffee and my happy thoughts. Bliss! I have also started a new yoga class,and I'll soon be starting a new Zumba Gold class and a new health improvement program which has a holistic approach. I hope all this helps me be even more creative!
Now, I have to share this--to my left are my daughter's dolls from childhood--the Beanie Boppers. I was washing them down! Sadly, we are finally storing them away because they were getting dusty on a remote shelf in her room. They were well loved.

I want to thank the sweethearts who sent their kind thoughts last week--words are powerful and your words have truly helped me continue to heal from the loss of my sweet mother. Love you all! Have a happy Wednesday.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Restore

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Missing Mother ♥


"If you've had a mother and if she's given you and meant to you all the things you care for most, you never get over it."

--Anne Douglas Sedgwick

"She is the place you came from, your first home, and she's the map you follow with every step you take."

I've always loved this photo of my mother. She was 18 here in the early 1940's. She went to her place in heaven this past December and we simply just can't stop missing her each and every day. She was a beauty her whole life--but I don't think she believed it!

She was amazing, charming, loving and kind. She was creative, witty, intelligent and fashionable. She fiercely loved her family and always put us first. It can be so difficult to get back to the business of life after you've lost your mother. So you have to remember that she would want you to be strong, keep your wits about you, and keep creating the happiness and bliss that makes life so wonderful. I know I am forever thankful I had an amazing mom like her. ♥

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I'm Welcoming 2014 On My Blog and On My Desk with WOYWW #240

I hope you are looking forward to a wonderful year. We all have so much to be thankful for every day. For me, it is simply having something on my desk that gives me a creative outlet and makes me happy. It's a good sign, because it's been difficult for me the past few weeks. I lost my sweet, amazing, wonderful mother this past December. It was a very hard month. Christmas was challenging--and I adore Christmas time. I didn't even finish or send out my Christmas cards. But I had my wonderful family around me, and sweet friends. That's all I needed. So I was glad that we had already decorated when my mother suddenly passed away. Somehow, over those weeks and days my big Christmas tree and Nutcrackers and Nativity Scenes comforted and helped.

I had been working on these ornaments, some of them are for my Valentines tree. I kept thinking how much Mom would love them! She loved everything I made. Afterall, I got my love of art and crafting from her! She loved hearing about everybody's desks and projects all over the world too, although at 87 I don't think she completely understood blogging. She was beautiful and charming, dearly loved by so many people. 

I've had a hard time focusing on anything until this past week really. And then suddenly, I just started quilting a pillow one day. I'll post it later...but in two afternoons when it was zero degrees outside I pieced a little pillow, even added embroidery, quilted the front, and stitched it together. I think it's my Mom pillow. I know she is with me. So it's good to be back, sharing my workdesk, and starting to feel like myself again. Hugs to you all.