Friday, December 31, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Finished project - Noel ornament

The other freebie design by Sandra Longan Miller.
I adapted it slightly by adding a border.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Finished project - Merry Christmas ornament

Sandra Longan Miller of Log Cabin Needlework's is an aspiring cross-stitch designer and the above is one of her recent freebie designs (I modified it slightly for my purposes). I've been visiting her blog for a long time and have watched her progress with some interest. I plan on stitching up her other freebie this week-end.
I opted for a slightly non-traditional Christmas color scheme. The fabric is the backing to it. I fussy cut the butterfly section. Now to wrap it up and send it out to it's intended recipients :)
I hope you all have a wonderful festive season and stay safe.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday - Indoor Kitchen Christmas

I'm right in the middle of making a wreath and it looks like I inadvertently have a bit of a tartan/plaid theme going on in my kitchen. My new sparkly table cloth, shown above, is waiting for me to finish up a centerpiece of snowmen candle sticks.
Greetings to you all from my mischievous snowmen as they attempt to climb upwards ......... to visit .......

And over by our atomic clock our snowman is trying to decide if he wants to go Christmassy or stay autumnal :) Poor thing, he lost his nose in a severe frost a few years ago :(

The only blizzard I've seen recently has been courtesy of our snow globe. (Addendum - it's now Sunday and we have a real life blizzard. We were out driving in it for a little while. School has been cancelled for tomorrow.)

One of my twin snowmen is dying to sneak into the room and say hello but is feeling somewhat bashful.

If you want to see some stunning Christmas decorating hop on over to or click on the link in my side-bar.
Also head on over to for some fun REDNESDAY.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Haulidays giveaway - Chronicle Books

Well now what do we have here. An interesting book giveaway (with a fun twist) that closes on the 10th.
I read about it at but the link is if you want to participate.

 The idea is you pick books up to the value of $500 from the Chronicle Books site. Post your list, add your link with them, and if your name is drawn not only do you win but someone who leaves a comment at your blog entry also wins the same list of books. How cool is that :)

Here's my list - a bit of a mixed bag but nonetheless interesting I think.

Whip Up Mini Quilts by Kathleen Ricketson
Applique Your Way by Kayte Terry and Jennifer Causey
French General - Home Sewn by Kaari Meng and Jon Zabala
Sublime Stitching Craft Pad by Jenny Hart
Sublime Stitching by Jenny Hart and Alexandra Graslewski
1,2,3 Sew by Ellen Luckett Baker and Laura Malek
Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamuchi
Amy Butler's Style Stitches by Amy Butler
Lotta's Printing Studio by Lotta Jansdotter
Baby Bib Embroidery Kit b y Jenny Hart and Kenneth B. Gall
The Printmaking Bible by Ann d'Arcy Hughes and Hebe Vernon-Morris
Eco Fashion by Sass Brown
Guastavino Vaulting by John Ochsendorf
Digital Textile Design by Melanie Bowles and Ceri Isaac
The Art of Dale Chihuly by Timothy Anglin Burgard
Plants and Their Application to Ornamnet by Eugene Grasset and David P. Becker
Charlotte in Giverny by Joan MacPhail Knight

So hop on over to Chronicle Books and have some fun.

Monday, December 6, 2010

LofSHE BofM block

Our on-line embroidery group has been doing a block of the month all year. December is my turn and I decided to keep it simple but reflective of this season of peace and joy. Meet "Dove in Flight". She is about 7" wide and fits nicely on to an unfinished 10"x10" block. I am doing a tone on tone geometric white. One of the options for the outside edge area is to fill it all in and have it look like a piece of stained glass.

I have not decided how I'm going to finish the project off because I am nowhere near finished up with the other blocks that the ladies designed.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday - succulents

From a recent visit to Cheekwood.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Healing Hearts Blocks

We've been reading about the mining disaster in New Zealand.  To learn more about Healing Hearts Blocks, a project for the children of the deceased miners click on the link below.
(Update - As of today Friday 3rd. December enough blocks have been made BUT help is needed supplying batting and sewing all the blocks and tops together.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

A finished project - hexie mat

I was conversing with some of the hubsters quilty cousins recently about hexagons and I said I'd make one and turn it into a little project. So here it is.

With bud vase that picks up the background color.

With the scented crystals that sit on this bookcase year round.

And with one of my Christmas candles that picks up one of the bubble colors.
I might make a grandmas flower garden BLOCK and add some hand embroidery to it but other than that I have no desire to do a humungous project. I might do some embroidery on the middle of the current mat, but it will have to wait for a while.

So for those of you who want to know about sizes etc. I used my 31/2" template, pencil drew the outline on my fabrics, and cut everything out with my (very sharp) embroidery scissors. I machine sewed everything together - 1/4" seams - just to see how it would turn out. The back is pale pink.
I left the outside edge of one of the petals open so I could turn everything right side out and then machine stitched round the edge after ironing everything flat. There is also machine stitching round the inner hexagon.
Finished size 8"x8".
It took about 2 hours to make it but now I know what I am doing it will probably take about 1 hour.
There is no padding between the layers but it could still be used as a mug rug to sit a cold/warm drink on. Roll on summer pink lemonade :)
Mmmm - I just read Paula's new sewing challenge. I think this might work for it :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Project update - Cushion cover

It's been a while since I worked on my cushion cover. Wednesday we had a visitor for the day and I was planning to take everyone out and about. Then hard rain stopped play so I got a wee bit bored, looked through my drawers, and decided to work on something simple for a while. It's almost done now, like most of my projects ;) I really need to finish some up before starting any more new ones (other than Christmas ornaments).

I finished up the lower left, added to some other areas, and am working on the lower right. It's been a fun design to create thus far. I might take parts of it and design something else.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday - A "room" with a view

We get to see some pretty cloud/sky formations from our front and back porches. I like a lot of the delicate colors we see here.

Most of the time we get a gorgeous blue :)

With billowy clouds :)

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and can enjoy the beauty of family, friends and nature.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lof S christmas exchange

Well I have not heard yet if my package arrived safely so here is what I sent. (Update - it has now arrived.)

The package is traveling to Italy to the amazingly talented Anna Castagnetti author of "Italian Needle Lace". She founded Ricami a Fili Tesi and her work was often featured in RAKAM one of Italy's leading embroidery magazines (which is currently in hiatus due to a change in ownership). Mary Corbet did a feature spot on her in June 2010 We all feel very blessed to have her be part of our on-line group of stitchers.

I've also decided to join in with Paula at her bi-weekly sewing challenges. It can be sewing of any kind using fabric or cross-stitch etc. Given my cross-stitch slump recently this could get me jump started again. We shall see :) Currently the theme is Christmas, the next challenge will posted on November 24th. The VERY BIG, very pretty, link is in my side bar so hop on over and see who else has joined in and maybe link up yourself. (There is another fun element to the whole thing but I'm not giving it away.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday - A rose goes to heaven

One of my friends died recently. After her funeral I took photographs of one of her favorite spots at her farm. It's an old cabin that she made useable.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday - Marbles?

My son has a decent size collection of marbles including some that he inherited from his grandpa H. When we saw these ones I let him take the photographs (we have more).
Now if you have visited any of my blogs over the past few months you have to know that these "marbles" are not quite what they seem. They are in fact part of a series of Dale Chihuly exhibits that just wrapped up in Nashville. This section was in the Japanese Garden at Cheekwood.
My favorite marble is the orange & green one closely followed by the blue discs.
All the marbles on the gravel had the echoing circles raked into the gravel below them. it was interesting to see. Darling son had to do some contortions in bushes to get the above shot of the blue one :)
If you want to see more Niijima floats and learn more about Chihuly's work visit I also recommend looking in google photographs for some amazing views of his installations.
Then head on over to to see more of the participants in Outdoor Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

LofS Christmas ornament exchange

A big, rattling box arrived in the mail a few minutes ago, all the way from Baghdad, Iraq. The very talented Rand, who does amazing embroidery on the clothing that she makes, and gets teased at work about it helping her do reconstructive surgery (or is that her sister Arwa) sent me some pretty ornaments, needles and a lot of chocolate. The candy had some adventures on the way across but survived the journey :) I will have to hide said chocolate from my son !!!!!

So I now have beautiful gifts from both Rand and her sister Arwa in my collection, and feel very blessed to be on the receiving end of their combined talent.
I'll add another photo tomorrow showing the ribbon work. It's chain stitch which I have heard about but never seen in reality before.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Project update - Fleur de Lis wall hanging

This is one of my wall hangings that I am currently embroidering. The first line of each center panel block is done. Now on to the next color which will be one of the rust/orange colors. This is going to take a while for me to work on but I am really enjoying it so far.
It currently measures 35"x35" but might get larger depending upon how I finish the outer edge.

The stitching outline looks a bit whimpy in relation to the rest of the quilt design but it will beef up as the stitching progresses :) It echoes the shape of the leaves in the fabric which I am happy about. This is my first time hand stitching on Kona fabric and it takes well to embroidery. I don't like the shredding on the outside edges of each block so will have to work out something else for next time.

My mini Christmas Stocking wall hanging that I showed in a previous posting is now finished and in the mail. I'll share when it arrives at the other end. I'm excited about who is receiving it and you'll find out why soon.
Christmas is fast approaching so I'll be putting most non - Christmas related projects to one side till after December.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New to Me - Hanging on by a Thread

I love visiting blogs and being inspired. I've decided to start a "NEW TO ME" posting which will show up every so often. It might be someone who has actually been blogging for a while or a newbie.
Hanging on by a Thread - aka Patty C. from Florida has been blogging since February. Go take a look. She has some fun, small, Christmassy stuff in progress at the moment that I really like She also has a humungous list of sites to visit that should keep you all busy blog hopping for a looooong time :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

11/3 Outdoor Wednesday #95

I've decided to participate in Outdoor Wednesday sponsored by A Southern Daydreamer. I've dropped in on the postings on occasion and really enjoyed them.

Last week as part of my birthday present to myself I spent a chunk of the day, down the road, at Belle Meade Plantation. It is one of the earlier historic homes in the area and earned it's fame from raising and racing horses. (We were told that ALL the racers at the Kentucky Derby this year are descendants of Bonnie Scotland out of Belle Meade). The original family sold the property because of raids by local Indians. The new owners started out in a small log cabin which is still on the property. Eventually a small mansion was built and added on to later. Personally I find the exterior of the house quite unattractive BUT the inside is amazing. For me what remains of the extensive grounds and the utilitarian out buildings are the real interest.

Autumnal colors in the formal garden where many photographers come with their clients.
One of the peaks of the massive stable building. Part of my purpose for visiting was to take photographs of shadows created by the strong morning sun. I probably should have put a filter on because the light was a wee bit too strong :)
The plantation has trees that are OLD, old, old. I took this photo from inside the lower canopy of one of them. Yes there is a tree growing into the roof and yes that is a whooole lot of moss growing on the wood shingles :)
The original log cabin. Right hand side is  the oldest part. Left hand side is the add on to allow for a growing family. It later became the home for the head hostler. I have photographs of the inside that I will share at another time.
One of the casual walking "avenues".
Outside the smokehouse with part of the stables in the background. The stables had to be completely renovated and now house the family carriages. It is also used for other temporary exhibitions.
Just because I like the effect :)
One of my favorite spots. The "lean to" on the right is the greenhouse. Tiny !!!!! If you look really close you can see a photographer taking a nap under the tree :) The young couple in the background did the house tour at the same time as me. Their baby was a delight to be around.
Part of the entry to the formal garden.
One of the slave houses. It's actually two homes connected with a half dog trot. There is an interesting and very sobering exhibit inside .
The current visitors entry to the mansion. This is where tours start. The house was originally a "two up -two down" (part of which you can see here) and had significant additions made later. The in-costume docents are hilarious. The house is "going green" soon which they reckon will cut heating and air costs by half.
The bell outside the smoke house. If you look at the wall behind, the open brick pattern shows up in a lot of the buildings on the grounds. Probably meant for ventilation. 
Just 'cause I was intrigued by the double doors. This is actually, for me, the prettiest building on the grounds but the rest of my photos did not turn out too well :(
The lean-to greenhouse with early morning sun patterns on the wall from the glass roof.

So now that you've seen my "sun bleached" photographs hop on over to The link is also in my sidebar.