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Showing posts from March, 2016


I'm supposed to be cleaning the house.  I'm hosting Book Club tomorrow and I really need to clean but instead of doing that I've been out for a long walk round our neighborhood with Tia (my greyhound).  It is a gorgeous day with the slightest of breezes and bright clear light.

As I walked I photographed shadows with my phone.  I must have looked very strange.  Tia certainly wasn't impressed at having her walk continuously interrupted! 

 I'm fascinated by shadows, their detail, clarity or lack of it and their intensity.  It is just another way of looking at light.  I think they are beautiful and they remind me of old faded black and white photographs. 

Walk with us.....

Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides. Junichiro Tanizaki

Vintage Telephone Pincushion

Here is what I've been working on for the last few days.  This is one of the new pincushion designs that has been rattling around in my head since the quilt show!  I've been trying to get my shop restocked but I really wanted to make something new.  New designs always take a little longer as the kinks get worked out along the way.

This is an original black vintage phone from the 1930's that I bought for my husband several years ago.  We have it plugged in (it works) in our family room and it has a lovely, very distinctive ring.  Added bonus, it works during power outages!  I know cell phones do too but this has way more style!

As usual, I began with sketches and notes which will be useful if I make this design again. There was no need for pattern pieces for this design because it is simply a black felt circle with holes over a white felt circle.  I cut the white circle a tiny bit smaller than the black one so that you won't see the white felt at the edges when it is put …

Spring Fox

I don't know if foxes are still trendy, they don't seem to be on everything like they were a year or two ago, but this fox pincushion design always sells out at the shows that I do and in my shop.  

This pincushion was inspired by a fox we had in our garden a few years ago.  We always joke that our back fence is a critter highway.  The fence has a flat board near the top which makes a good walkway for wildlife.  We get possums, raccoons, squirrels, this fox and all the neighborhood cats walking along there!

The fox pincushion is back in stock in my shop and now I'm working on some antique clock face pincushions.  I have some new designs I want to work on but felt that I needed to get some of the favorites back in stock first.  After the clocks I'm hoping to tackle something completely new.  

Celebrating Spring

It was the first day of Spring a couple of days ago and although Spring isn't my favorite season, I am enjoying all the flowers and tree blossom (but not the resulting pollen!).

I'm hosting Book Club next week so I thought it was high time the Winter wreath I have over my mantel was replaced with something more appropriate!  Over the weekend I collected materials from Hobby Lobby and Michaels and this afternoon I put my new wreath together.

I wanted it to look like a woodland wreath, a little wild, like something you might find growing by a tiny stream.  I like to build on these grapevine wreaths because it is so easy to tuck in the wired stems.  I hot glued the little nest in place and also the moss around it but everything else is woven in.  
This photo (below) was taken last Spring up in the mountains.  While on a hike, we came across this tiny pool, just a few inches across, fed by melting snow and surrounded by soft mosses.  

The wreath is a good size, about 18inches across s…

Finished Apple Blossom Pincushions

I got these pincushions finished up last night and photographed and listed in my shop this morning.  I'm very happy with this design, I love the pale blossom with the subtle variegated embroidery floss.  

You can find these pincushions in my Etsy Shop.  I'm going to be working to restock pincushions that I am sold out of over the next couple of weeks.  I have a bunch of new designs rattling around in my head but I'd like to fill up my shop a bit first.  New designs take longer to produce than existing designs.  

Mixed Emotions

What a mixed morning it has been!  It began with a vague sense of dread as I had to go to the vet's office to pick up the ashes of our cat that we had had to euthanize a couple of weeks ago and pay my bill.  Everyone there has been so kind. When I got back into the car I found they had given me a box that contained her paw prints in clay and I was undone.  

That darn cat needed her claws trimming so badly but always fought us off and towards the end I found I couldn't put her through the stress of it!  There was a handwritten card too, and a heart shaped piece of paper embedded with wildflower seeds.  Such kindness.
Then I came home and made the decision to do some stitching instead of cleaning bathrooms.  I've been working on the apple blossom pincushions I posted about last time.  Last night I stuffed them and I just needed to close up the opening.  However there was something about them that was just bugging me.  I'd made a cute little red apple and some leaves for ea…

Apple Blossom Pincushion

I'm working on a couple of apple blossom pincushions at the moment.  They are inspired by the apple blossom in my garden and are a variation of my best selling cherry blossom pincushion.  This design features french knots which are my favorite embroidery stitch!  
These little stitches are often mistaken for tiny beads by customers at the shows I do, until they touch the pincushions!

Many people seem intimidated by french knots but I find the repetitive motion relaxing.  I think a common issue is tangled or knotted thread.  Some skeins of thread (I use primarily DMC threads) seem more prone to tangling than others.  I try to avoid tangles by letting the needle hang loose now and then while I'm stitching.  The weight of the needle untwists the thread.  If a skein is giving me particular grief, I use a thread conditioner (Thread Heaven).  

The thread I'm using for the apple blossom is this very pale variegated one.  It is very subtle and pretty and matches the shades of the blo…