Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Time -- It's Almost Easier to Live In the Moment

When I'm sitting outside on a warm breezy summer morning, whatever I'm doing just seems to be a little more relaxing than usual, very zen, and completely refreshing. Here's a few things I need to do more of and inhabit every moment with thankfulness and bliss.
♥ Enjoy more morning coffee - like a meditation. Taking a few moments with my coffee and the fresh breeze makes me more thoughtful and really sets a good mood for the day.
♥ It's  time to knit something with that fun t-shirt yarn I made last year!
 ♥ Let myself feel calm and happy as if I'm walking by a fountain or a waterfall through the whole day.

 ♥ Create fun scenes like this in the garden!
♥ Add some entries to the cutest upcycled art journal I've ever made.
♥ Well I may not have an adorable antique stove like this -- but I do have the ability to plan some fun summer meals.
♥ I need to type on this thing more for some fun summer art journaling and scrapbooking.
♥ Bento box lunches are the best -- it's time to get those guys back out of the cupboard and make some fun to-go lunches.
♥ I totally need to play checkers outside with somebody! That is summer!
♥ I bought the most amazing blueberry preserves the other day--so good! I'm definitely buying a couple of more jars of that amazing stuff to enjoy with my coffee.
♥ After all this fun it will be time for some afternoon zen moments in a nice chair, with a nice book or a little stitching and fresh air.

 ♥ My stitches are being turned into some nice patches for a future little art quilt. My week is planned!

Have a wonderful week enjoying your summer time moments each day.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Enjoy

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Threads

But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.
II Timothy 4:17

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Crafty Bunch

Jeremy Rabe, Me, Barry Williams, My Sister Deb
I absolutely love everything about being an artist and a crafter. So when Jeremy Rabe started filming his own craft/DIY show right here in the Ozarks--FYI GUY--I went to the women's expo to meet Jeremy in person and to see a demo of his upcoming show. He is a frugal kind of crafter, which I love--he upcycles and recycles anything and everything, and I couldn't wait to see more. So I went to the first filming of his FYI GUY shows and had a great time. Last night I took my little sister and we went to a very special edition of FYI GUY. He called it his "Seventies Show" and the guest star was Barry Williams who played Greg Brady on the Brady Bunch TV show from the seventies. My absolute favorite show from my childhood.
Jeremy and Barry on the FYI GUY set
I have loved the Brady Bunch my whole life. I was right in-between Jan and Cindy, age wise, when the show actually aired from 1969 into the early 1970's. I didn't miss an episode. I wanted to be Marcia. 

My sister and I had so much fun!
Since then, the show has never been off the air, and I have the whole DVD set, so I've watched it time and again with the children in our family, and sometimes just because I'm in the mood to watch a comforting childhood favorite and knit with a nice cuppa. Ahhh. 

I was so sad when Ann B. Davis, who played Alice, recently passed away. I thought to myself how I wished I could have met that wonderful lady. So it was pretty amazing I got to meet Barry Williams last night. He is an absolute sweetheart, so funny, and very talented. 

We are lovin' on Greg Brady!!
By the way, Barry actually wrote "Clowns Never Laughed Before" -- I had no idea -- and here he is wearing THE tiki, the actual tiki from the Hawaii episodes. Very cool. He and Jeremy made tie-dye shirts on the show, by the way. Crafting with Greg Brady. Never thought this would happen! Right now you can catch FYI GUY on YouTube, and I hope this seventies episode will be up soon! I have no idea if the Brady Bunch airs anywhere else in the world except the U.S.--but I don't think my childhood would have been the same without it.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Believe

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blooming Where You're Planted - Five Little Unusual Gardening Guidelines

My "salad crib" built from a simple wooden pallet
I have had some kind of garden in my life for the last 25 years--I'm not really counting my childhood because we always had a garden when I was growing up. The difference is, I didn't pay that much attention to it, sadly, and I didn't particularly like everything in it, except tomatoes and strawberries.
Grown from Mesclun lettuce seeds
It's more important than ever to have a garden. You are your own best source for growing fresh, organic food. If you have a pot of soil that you can throw some seeds in, let it have sun and water, then you can have a garden. Even if it's just fresh herbs. It's important. Do it. We've been dining several nights a week from our salad garden made from a wooden pallet. The flavor is amazing.
I haven't always had big gardens, and I've had my years of starting seeds on a dining table. Now, I have written, in my mind, my own little gardening guidelines--they are not your normal gardening guidelines for sure.
Better Boy tomato variety getting ready to ripen
1-Grow what you love. That includes what you love to eat, cook or just look at! To me, the taste of a fresh sliced tomato from my own garden is a taste of heaven.
Fresh basil - it's cut and come again!

 2-Grow with your garden. Grow your knowledge, your experience, and grow as a person. Taking care of your garden is like taking care of yourself. You will start to know what is looking healthy, what might be causing a problem, and who your plants' best friends are! Take tomato and basil--they are companion plants. Not only do they taste good together, they grow healthier when together.
When the birds get too excited about my tomatoes we hang noisy foil and chimes to keep them away!
3-Learn to experience your garden. I love the smells in my garden, the high-energy fragrance of rosemary and freshness of lemon thyme, and I love the stillness of the garden when I pull up a chair and sip some coffee there in the morning. It's such a great place to be--this outdoor room where I started most things from seed myself, and it's all alive, and fresh, and feeding my senses and my stomach! If you have a little kitchen garden outside, keep a chair nearby. You'll enjoy it.
A pink zinnia growing in the middle of some green peppers and cucumbers.

4-Grow diversity in the garden. Beyond companion planting, I've always found that mixing flowers in with herbs and veggies seems to make everything thrive even more. This year I am so focused on growing a lot of tomatoes for canning that I just didn't have as much room for a cutting garden. So I just stuck my zinnia seeds here and there wherever I could find a spot, and they seem perfectly happy! Also, marigolds are the guardians of the garden, they are full of antioxidants--plant them here and there around the corners!

5-Cut and come often! I have four Italian Parsley plants, because I make herb bouquets often and snip from this stuff every evening for pasta, salad, just adds that incredibly fresh flavor. I'm always snipping the basil, throwing a cucumber in a salad, or slicing up a fresh green pepper. When the tomatoes start ripening--I have plans! Of course, we'll eat the cherry tomatoes right off the vine, every day, slice up those big boys for salads and dinner, and then I will can probably dozens of jars of salsa and whole tomatoes--my favorite  thing. I'll have tomatoes to cook with all year, and plenty of salsa to eat and share. It really makes it worth it all to take care of your garden plot in life. Whether you have some pretty pots on a rooftop patio or a real kitchen garden, having a garden is very zen, natural and oh so good for you. It nourishes the soul.
The first pepper of the season!
Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Grow

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WOYWW 264--Hello Scrapbooking, My Long Lost Friend!

I am embarrassed to admit how long it has been since I actually scrapbooked. Seriously, peeps, I need to join a regular crop group. Scrapbooking is originally what got me into papercrafts, which I love, so I feel I've let my scrapbooking down! That, and the fact that my family mentions it sometimes because it turns out, they LOVE the scrapbooks I've done! But anyhoo, I found a pretty 12X12 scrapbook that is new and I guess I bought it for a song many moons ago, and there it was in my closet. So I'm beginning with Christmas 2013 and working my way from there! After this, I'd like to get away from the post-bound style of scrapbook--I just can't deal with those stupid little metal posts anymore, and I need to go with good ole three-ring!

And by the way I think we are all happy that our dearest Julia continues to be on the mend--she hosts today's fabulous link party...a wonderful weekly visit to crafty tables around the globe--visit and link up right here!
Sam and I had a cheese puff snack--a little messy but good!
For my next scrapbook pages I decided to do some watercoloring--so my crafty table changed up to that, and I had a little visitor--my cute nephew, Sam--so I put up the leaf and he started coloring and watching the Lego movie on my tablet. What a great crafty partner I had for the afternoon! He liked my dinner too...I love a kid that eats everything you cook for them!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Scrapbook

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Completed Bliss Banner - My Version of the Prayer Flag

It's almost like a daily art journal on fabric. I saw the idea on a sewing show where a lady made prayer flags each day for a month. I like to call mine "Bliss Banners" because each one conveys a word of joy, hope or thankfulness.

My words are always embroidered - but really, anything goes. You can upcycle from your stash--maybe a piece of fabric has a special meaning to you--no words needed at all. You can mix medias and stitch on ephemera, a greeting card, photo, buttons, ribbon, beads--whatever your artist heart desires. Once you start making these little flags--you can't stop! Your stash will now forever be a future, possible, Bliss Banner or Prayer Flag!
Knot your skein and threads pull out easily
This Bliss Banner consists of 8 little flags - each cut to around 5-1/2X11 inches. I like the number 8 -- infinity! So I will hang this outside for a time and all the sentiments will be carried to the wind for infinity and circle around the world forever! I love that idea--and each one was a joy to stitch as I upcycled my scraps and stash of things. On some I handstitched more than others - but each can take an hour or more if you like. I made one of them in 20 minutes with mostly machine stitching. When handstitching I found it easiest to use #5 pearl cotton floss so that I didn't need to separate out threads in a regular floss skein--much quicker that way! Click below to see each on day's Bliss Banner.

Day 1 - Bliss
Day 2 - Peace
Day 3 - Happiness
Day 4 - Hope & Faith
Day 5 - Love
Day 6 - Joy
Day 7 - Blessings
Day 8 - Creativity
These banners can carry a lot of meaning for you personally--but you can make them for others--what a unique gift. This particular banner is made from mostly vintage fabrics that my mother gave to me long ago. One was a tattered but beautiful embroidered pillowcase I asked her for. She had once rested her sweet head on it, and now it is part of my Bliss Banner. Other flags in the banner came from a vintage table cloth - also well loved - and a vintage doily and tablerunner. It all makes it truly unique and special. I have a couple of people I plan to make banners for - and then a very special banner is planned that will be all about my garden. I love my garden, and it holds a lot of magic for me. But to know that you can stitch up your own magic makes my life as an artist and sewist even more meaningful.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch Magically

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Yes--that is a Mollie Makes on my desk as they now have them for the first time at Barnes & Noble!!
Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday! I'm a quick one today because I'm a bit tired from gardening, housework, stitching, working, and running around! Captured my desk as I was working on one of my Bliss Banners this week--just scroll back through my blog to see all eight of them. I'll post the whole strung-up thing on Thursday.
And by the way--if this is posted, that means our dear Julia is up and running a bit more, and I'm so thankful she is healthy and back home!
And here's my new baby--a little pink thing called the Fuji Instax Mini 8 camera. Basically, it's my new polaroid style camera. I LOVE it. The photos are credit card sized--perfect for having fun with in my art journal and scrapbooking. I picked it up for half price at Michaels with a coupon--my sister and I neither one could resist! She got a blue one. I have to say, the technology is so much better with this one than any of my old Polaroid cameras.
Have a happy week and stay well everyone!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch Healthy

♥Daily Bliss Banner - 8 of 8 - CREATIVITY

It feels good to finish a little project. Last week I started this thing where I promised myself I'd stitch a daily "Bliss Banner." Also known as "prayer flags" each of my flags conveys something to be happy about or thankful for. Number eight is creativity! I'm highly grateful for loads of creativity. And the best part is, that creativity is a sustainable resource--the more you use it, the more you get!
My number eight bliss flag was stitched with a very old crochet-trimmed doily--a bit torn and stained. Whenever I have my diecutter out, I tend to cut extras of everything, and keep them in a stash to use for things later. So the dress form applique was from a Tim Holtz Bigz die, and all I added to the flag was some embroidery, a little flower diecut, a bit of white lace and buttons!

I hope you visit on Thursday when I try to get a nice picture posted of the whole thing! Cheers!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch Creatively

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

♥Daily Bliss Banner - 7 of 8 - BLESSINGS

Bliss Banners - Prayer Flags - Happy Thoughts On Fabric - call it what you like...but these are so fun to create. I'm on Day 7, of a little promise to myself to make one flag each day.

See Day 1 and My Rules Here

I confess...I didn't quite make one each day. A birthday, an anniversary, and father's day took me out for a couple of days--but not bad, right? And today's Bliss Banner (as I call it) came together in about 20 minutes! This is a piece of vintage table runner - it had stains and holes...but I love the white-on-white embroidery and the scalloped edges, so it made a great base to upcycle into a little flag. A couple of cross-stitches laying in my scraps basket, a piece of lace and an angel peeking in from a fabric scrap are all I needed. I machine stitched everything on this one, except where I embroidered "Blessings." Sometimes I feel like handstitching these, and others seem to want to come together much faster! It all works though. Have fun playing with your scraps - one of the most beautiful ways to upcycle.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch Blessings

Monday, June 16, 2014

♥Daily Bliss Banner - 6 of 8 - JOY

I am having so much fun stitching little bliss banners - based on the prayer flag idea - that I plan to keep an ongoing banner basket full of scraps so that I can stitch these all throughout the summer.

Today's flag features the word joy - and the embroidered flowers here are mad with joy! The actual little flag took less than hour to stitch, and again it was from a piece of that well-loved vintage tablecloth where I'm sure many loving family meals were served. It looks like it took a lot longer than an hour because I used a piece of embroidery that I had stitched up last winter. I was playing with cotton pearl flosses, fabric scraps, and felt with a few tiny buttons thrown in. I had no idea what I was going to do with it - and now, here it is! But that's the beauty of stitching up banners that have been made from stash and upcycled--sometimes I doodle stitch on felt and fabric with no special purpose, and so I have those little pieces laying around. Sometimes I find vintage embroidered pieces at flea markets--also a great thing to have in your stash! I love it.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch Joy

Friday, June 13, 2014

♥Daily Bliss Banner - 5 of 8 - LOVE

Today's Bliss Banner post is quick - because I'm off to a fun, busy day! So I stitched this one pretty quickly, from an old ballet shirt, a scrap of an old cross-
stitched bookmark, and ballet fabric I used to make my daughter ballet bags when she did ballet for many years! Around our house, we love dance! So I stitched in the word LOVE, very blended in, but it's there! Scroll on down to see the other banners in my busy stitching week!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch Happy

Thursday, June 12, 2014

♥Daily Bliss Banner - 4 of 8 - HOPE & FAITH

Based on the prayer flag tradition -- I am on Day 4 of the 8 Bliss Banners I'm making this week. I call them Bliss Banners, because eventually they will be strung up with words of bliss and hope on them to bless and bliss everything around!

I like that idea.

My stitching travels with me
The traditional prayer flags have specific colors to represent the elements. 
White -- sky and space
Blue -- air and wind
Red -- fire
Green -- water
Yellow -- earth

Interesting, no? Today's bliss banner has a lot of white and red -- I think that happened on purpose, because the words faith and hope are full of strength like a solar wind! I made that up...but I like it. The fabric base of this banner is from a vintage tablecloth that was well loved.

Have a beautiful day, wherever your flag flies.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch Happy

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Mine Is a Pile As We Celebrate Special Times This Week

Making earrings - knitting - stamping and stitching!
This time of year is typically a big busy week in our family, and it is especially this year. We just celebrated my sweet daughter's 20th birthday. How is it possible I'm the mother of a 20-year-old! I must have been a child bride, right?, no, and no. I had her two days before my fifth anniversary, and I was 33 already! So here we are at her celebration lunch. The day before was my sweet mother's birthday, and she would have been 88--so I know she's watching over us. And now my hubby and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We are having an evening out for dinner and going to see Tent Theatre. He is actually a Tent Theatre alum--it is a summer tradition at the university, and some of its alumni include John Goodman, Tess Harper, and Kathleen Turner. Mostly we see John G. at all the reunions--what a nice, humble guy he is.So back to the desk...
A box of scraps and stash!
I've got my Daily Bliss Banner project going--just a personal challenge to motivate myself to spend an hour a day stitching a wonky flag from scraps, and adding a blessing or thankful word. When this is hung up outside, it is supposed to bless the countryside! Tibetans make five flags to hang--but I'm making 8 little rectangular banners. I love how they are wonky and imperfect--just like me! The best part is the upcycling of scraps and stash--always my favorite thing!

And by the way--I was so sad all my PBS Masterpiece Classic shows were over for their seasons--so on the treadmill each morning, I'm re-watching all the seasons of Call the Midwife!! I can't help it.
Happy Wednesday lovely deskers!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Celebrate Each Day

"There will not be a WOYWW link today, I've just heard from Julia, she has been taken ill whilst on holiday and is in hospital. Not life threatening but she is not well. PLEASE do not email her, if you want to send a message, then do it through me. She won't be home until next week, so I don't know if there's going to be a WOYWW next week either."
Let's all send our prayers and thoughts up for Julia that she is comfortable, recovering, and will get back home safe and healthy!!