I had a wonderful afternoon. in keeping with one of my New Year's resolutions, I had a crafty get-together with my mother, my aunt and my cousin. We made these button brooches. The one pictured here is about a year old, so the pinked edges aren't as sharp as they were, but I still like it. Anyhow... Step one, make some felt (wet felt method); Step two, cut out three leaves; Step three, lay the leaf shapes on more of the felt and embroider veins on the leaves through both layers; Step four, cut around the leaves with pinking shears*; Step five, sew on mother of pearl buttons; Step six, sew on pin back. I love old buttons and snag them whenever I see them at estate sales. I always wonder about the woman who first owned them. What was her life like? This pin looks very nice on a dark winter coat.
* I've heard, who can know if it's true, that the word "pink" as in a zig zag finish comes from the saw-toothed edge of the carnation-like flower called pink. Then after that, the word pink became the widespread label for the color we now know as pink. Reading that, it's hard to follow, so, in other words: First pink meant the name of the flower, then pink meant a zig zag edge on fabric and, finally, pink meant a light red tint. ( I love finding out the history of words.)
As always, thanks for coming to visit me. Have a good night.
I really got my machine warmed up this weekend. I'm happy about that because I had made myself a promise about how very productive I would be. I get a little thrill out of the tidy, straight stitches forming. I love the smell of steam pressing as I go. Had a grand day listening to public radio and stitching away. Project number one was a Bend-the-Rules pouch. I have a few sample books filled with swell 12 x 16 inch swatches with great patterns. I even scored one with silks. I'm pleased with the pouch. The fact that it shows off a pretty button is icing on the cake. If a person hasn't sewn in a while, this would be a very nice project to test the waters. I ended up using a hand-sewn running stitch instead of a machine top stitching around the top edge. My machine wouldn't cooperate. I think the bulk of the seam, along with the slipperiness of the silk lining on the feed dogs prevented me from getting the finish I wanted. After I tried it, I ripped it out because I knew I would cringe every time I looked at it. I'd have to say that is the greatest change in my sewing. I wouldn't say I was a perfectionist, but I am willing to do something over in order to have a nice finished product.
The other project I completed today was a before-and-after. Much like the roller shade I had been blind to all that time (what a dreadful pun) I had some utterly dreadful miniblinds on a window leading out to the garage. I used a remnant with a harbor scene theme I got last summer at a tag sale. The miniblinds were holding nearly their own weight in dust when I took them down.
In the spirit of the newness of this year, I'm spending the weekend puttering around and trying to tidy up my dwelling. I woke up this morning and was stunned to notice that in my bedroom window I still had a vinyl roller blind put in place three years ago when we moved here. Like all vinyl roller blinds it broke within days of installation. I myself prefer a minimally dressed window, but a neighbor's night time security light is bright enough to be seen from the space station, so the window requires a shade. Why, oh why, have I tolerated this ugly thing? Sooo... a trip to Home Depot garners me a new cellular shade. Total time invested - less than an hour from measuring the opening to final installation. After tolerating an eyesore for three years. I'm sure there is a lesson there somewhere.
My veternarian's office called and left a message. They have a 5-month old puggle male that needs a hame. Puggles, for the uninitiated, are a hybrid of a pug and a beagle. A planned mongrel. That exhausts my knowlege of the breed. I will always miss my sweet Bailey. I still get a lump in my throat when I think about her. But I miss having a dog around. So I will meet this little guy and find out if his temperment is a good match for our family. I got this picture from the internet. Pretty cute!
Sweet Tracy of http://pinkpurl.typepad.com/ tagged me in September for heaven's sake to tell 7 random things about myself. A New Year makes me feel very list-y, so here goes:
1. I love making things. Since I was a tiny kid, I've taught myself to do any number of crafts.
2. I prefer to learn new things from how-to books as opposed to attending workshops. I think it's because I prefer to go through the ugly-duckling/struggling phase without an audience.
3. I have 4 brothers, we are generally cordial enough to each other, but we aren't particulary close.
4. My favorite travel adventures (Iceland, Peru) have been with my daughter. Those "chick trips" were one of the best ideas I've ever had
5. My favorite book of all time is Anne of Green Gables. I even traveled to Prince Edward Island to see the setting for myself.
6. My favorite television show of all time is Upstairs, Downstairs. I have all five seasons on tape. I will have to keep a VCR til the end of time so I can view them when I want to.
7. I have a whole small building set up as a warm-weather art studio, but I have the ugly habit of shifting clutter into it during the off-months. It takes days and days to clear it out when the weather breaks, but I consider it one of the greatest luxuries in my life.
So, there it is. Now I get have to follow the rules which go with tagging. I have to name seven blogging buddies to tell Seven Random Things about their very own selves:
Rebecca, from http://greeneyedknitter.blogspot.com/
Mags, from http://smartymags.wordpress.com/
Laura, from http://littleorangekitchen.typepad.com/
Jenna, from http://corgipants.blogspot.com/
Tamy, from http://3sidesofcrazy.blogspot.com/
Felicia, from http://fluffyflowers.typepad.com/
Leigh, from http://www.loveleighthings.typepad.com/
With my pitiful computer skills, that list took me a half an hour to compile. I truly am on technology's short bus. As tag victims, here are the rules:
1 Link the person who has tagged you
2 Tell seven true things about yourself
3 Tag seven new people
4 Leave a message with the person you have tagged so they know about it
I'm working on a knitted snowsuit using a pattern that I first used for my own babies 25 years ago. I love it because it is a useful garment and works up super-quick on size ten needles. I'm using a Paton's shetland chunky tweed. I'm hoping that I've struck a good balance with the subtle fleck in the yarn paired with a textured pattern stitch. I rarely will have a patterned yarn with a pattern stitch. So far I'm happy. But... I'm using bamboo needles and boy oh boy, the deep blue dye is really coming off and impregnating the needles! It stains my fingers, too. I can't ever remember this happening with a commercial yarn. I plan to give it a vinegar wash when I'm done with the project.
The story of the three kings has always been one of my favorite parts of the Christmas story. We've always referred to it at our house as Little Christmas. with shoes filled with candy and small toys. The description I like the best is in the opening chapters of Ben Hur. A complete description of how the camels were fitted out and how the wise men met in the desert is really detailed and interesting to me. I also like the idea of having an epiphany, especially as the New Year begins. Epiphanies can lead to resolutions. Here's an incomplete list of goals/epiphanies I want to address in 2008:
Improve the corners of my home which have been neglected
Read one worthy book per month
Attend one cultural event per month
Make a doll per month
Pay much better attention to how I run my kitchen (this one is inspired by Laura, of In My Little Orange Kitchen
Make one new recipe per week
Purchase one new kind of high nutrition food per week
Acquire a good-natured mutt and train it
Limit craft purchases to items needed to make things using materials I already own
Habituate myself to taking a walk after work instead of flopping on the couch
Purchase one good-quality wardrobe item each payday
Participate as a volunteer once a quarter
Become a registered member in the church I've attended the past three years
Arrange crafting get-togethers once a month with my family
Plant herbs and tomatoes this summer
Make homemade gifts throughout the year
Improve skincare and hair coloring/ haircut routines
Keep my car clean and well-maintained
Submit a doll to a magazine
Write some freelance newspaper articles
(Here's the big scary one I've avoided for two years) I will write the romance novel that has been swirling in my head for a couple of years. I have the setting, I've conversed with the characters, I've walked through the setting. I just need to capture it all between pages
So... I scared myself a little with this list. But, the age-old question is - "How do you eat and elephant?" The answer - "One bite at a time!"
Thanks so much for coming to visit.