I'm Just Soooooo Excited!

Look what came in the mail!
This is the beaded tassle I won from SharDon Exclusives in the One World One Heart event...and it is stunning! I wish you could see it up close and real!
Sharon is so special, she created a little chest for the tassel and mailed it in a special box!
Both are a works of art! She even included a little note tag. And I just love the little chest...it will be a permanent storage for the tassel.
 If you love designer level jewelry...and really, who doesn't! Just hop on over to Sharon's blog SharDon Exclusives and enjoy photos of all of her beaded jewelry! Stunning!

Thank you again Sharon! I'm in love with this tassel...
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Autumn Craziness!

I'm working on an Autumn CQ Block.
It is for Thearica, a friend in North Carolina. She and I both are members of the HGTV Message Board "Quilting and Needlework". I have her as my swap partner in a crazy quilt round robin; and Thearica asked for a fall or autumn block. She has seen these sneek peeks...but not her total block.

And, NO Thearica...I'm not going to show you the whole block here either! But, I might show you an additional sneek peek!

So, here is some more eye candy...a bunch of wheat tied up with a lovely bow.
 And, a dragonfly with dimensional wings.
After Thearica receives her block...I'll come back and post the entire block. (Thearica...patience is a virtue!)
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Bullion Flowers

Well, I have changed my mind...okay, I realize that is no surprise to anyone! But the hydrangea flowers I showed you yesterday, just did not go with the delicate vine and leave! So, I decided to do some bullion flowers instead.
I love the end result! The flowers are done in more rayon thread from JDR-BE. This time it is a variegated NOVA #2. The size of the thread is similiar to a #5 Perle Cotton. 
 The size of the thread makes the bullions "puffy"compared to the delicate vine, and I like the added dimension that gives the entire design.
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Creating Cross-Needle Hydrangea

Yesterday I shared with you some leaves and a stem stitch. Today, I'm going to add some flowers to the design. I want to stay true to traditional Brazilian Embroidery and so pulled out my reference book Brazilian Embroidery 101 by Cheryl "Sunshine" Schuler. It is just full of diagrams and instructions so hopefully it will help me! The book is available at various sites, including the primary site for Brazilian Embroidery supplies (IMHO) at JDR-BE.


The main reason I want to try this flower is because it uses Boucle thread...which is really "bumpy" and not suitable for most embroidery work. To start off the instructions required that I put two long needles into the background fabric to form a "cross".
Next, the thread is brought up between two of the needles...and close to the center.
Wraps are made under the needles around and around...pulling only the first round tightly. All subsequent rounds are laid on the surface fabric, but closely together.Once you have enough wraps for the size of flower you want to make...you slide your needle under the wraps and needle down near the center. But, being careful not to pull the thread so tightly that it pulls the wraps out of place. Next, you needle up at the center...
then slide your needle back under the wraps and needle down at the same (or very close) position. This "tacks" the wraps together. Repeat this between the needles in all four open positions of the cross. This will create four petals. 
Remove the needles from the background fabric. Stitch each "tack" one more time and tie off your thread in the back of your work. "Fluff up" the petals and you have a finished hydrangea bud! Pearls, sequins, crystals, or french knots could be added to the center of the flower to change it up!
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Finally, a Decent Stem Stitch!

My stem stitch has always looks like it was intoxicated! They just could not walk a straight line! They were also never uniform or pretty...therefore, I mostly used back-stitch to embroidery any lines. Well, perhaps no more!!! Look at this gorgeous stem stitch...I'm so proud!
This is stitched for a round-robin called Brazilian Embroidery (BE) on Crazy Quilter's International (CQI) Yahoo Group. I stitched it with rayon threads from Ed-Mar in FROST #311. These threads are "Z" twist, which is traditionally the type used for BE work. 
I took my time...stitched left to right...and kept my thread ABOVE the line of stitching. This is backwards from "normal" stem stitch...but correct for Brazilian Embroidery because the threads are not "S" twist as English threads are like perle cotton. If I stitch this again in perle cotton I'll have to keep the thread BELOW the line of stitching.
You probably can't imagine how happy this little accomplishment makes me! I thought I was doomed to just stitch a "crappy" stem stitch! But, now I know there is hope! I can do this...I just need go slow and think of every single little stitch along the way!
The leaves are done in fly stitch...still my favorite leaf to create! And you can see that I used a very sharp #2 lead pencil to draw on my leaf shapes.
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Help a Great Cause and Possibly Win a Quilt!

What could be better than that! Quilts are being donated to raise funds to support Muscular Dystrophy...so your donation to this cause is also a charitable giving! Here is one of over 30 quilts created for this event!
My friend Jean, over at the HGTV Message Board, is hosting this event...and I can personally vouch for her integrity. Each and every dollar that is donated to this cause...WILL GO TO THIS CAUSE! Jean if phenominal! Here is a link to photos of all of the donated QUILTS. When you donate...please mention SHAWKL and I might win a special quilters prize from Jean too! Keeping my fingers crossed that you will be one of the lucky winners of a special MDA quilt! And, the person with the most tickets could also win a prize from Jean! How great is she!!! Here are Jean's guidelines for making donations!

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Simple Crocheted Hat

Thought I'd share a simple hat I crocheted for Aidan last week. It started out to be a basic pull on style, but she decided as we tried it on along the way that it needed a "brim". And a flower!
A hat like this is truly easy to create without a pattern. Start with a ring and load it with enough double crochet stitches to form a circle that lays nice and flat. Keep doing more rows of double crochet...increasing the number of double crochet stitches in each round to keep it laying nice and flat. Once it is large enough to cover the crown of the head nicely...crochet about 5-8 rounds (depending on the size) by using the same number of stitches (no increases)...this will form the "bowl".
Then you can start to decrease a few stitches for a couple of rounds...then end with single crochet stitches to tighten up the edge. The "brim" is single and half/double stitches...and I just winged it to get a shape that looked a bit like a brim. Aidan loves the hat, and prefers to pull it low on her eyes! She thinks that COOL, and that it funny that Nana does nott like her to wear it like that...see how funny she thinks it is!
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Raggedy Ann Embroidery Blocks

Kaaren of The Painted Quilt has been offering a block of the month Raggedy Ann quilt for the past few months.
 If you have not been over at her blog to check it out...really, you should! The blocks are wonderful!
 She just posted the last in the series...so you can go and download all twelve embroidery blocks. Her embroidery designs are stupendous...and the patterns are very well done. They are all in pdf format downloads...just click...scroll down...wait a few moments and then download!
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TDiTM Stitch #139


This would be a great stitch for any block...but it reminds me of snowflakes. So, I think it would be really effective on a winter block...done in metallics!
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TDiTM Stitch #138

This is a very simple feather stitch seam...but very lovely! This would also make great "seaweed" in an Under The Sea style block...of course, it would be vertical then! LOL!
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Woot! Woot! It's Better than Christmas...

I won again! And you just won't believe what it is....my love..my passion (well one of them anyway)...

Swarvoski crystal! Isn't this a gorgeous beaded tassle! Oh, I hope I can make something as wonderful as this one day! I'm following Sharon's blog SharDon Exclusives to get inspiration and enjoy all of her eye candy! So, if you like to bead...come on over and you can drool over her wonderful creations along with me!
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A Story of True Love...


My friend, Pam, sent me this in an email...and frankly, I usually delete these "feel good" notes...instead of forwarding them as I'm asked to do. But,...for some reason this one really touched me...so I'll forward this little story along to you.
I have no idea if this is true...
but I'd like to believe it could be!
I call this ....
True Love 

It was a busy morning
about 8:30, when an elderly
gentleman in his 80's arrived to have
stitches removed from his thumb.
He said he was in a hurry as he had an
appointment at 9:00 am.
 
I took his vital
signs and had him take a seat,
knowing it would be over an hour
before someone
would to able to see him.
I saw him looking at his watch and
decided, since I
was not busy with another patient,
I would evaluate his wound. 

On exam, it was
well healed, so I talked to one of the
doctors, got the needed supplies to
remove his sutures and redress his wound.
While taking care of
his wound, I asked him if he
had another doctor's appointment
this morning, as
he was in such a hurry.
 
The gentleman told me no, that he
needed to go to
the nursing home to eat breakfast
with his wife. 
I inquired as to her
health.


He told me that
she had been there
for a while and that she
was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease.

As we
talked, I asked if she would be
upset if he was a bit late. 
 
He
replied that she no longer knew
who he was, that she had not
recognized him in
five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him,
'And you still go every
morning, even though she
doesn't know who you are?' 
 
He smiled as he
patted my hand and said,

'She doesn't
know me, but I still know who she is.'

Now, wouldn't that be a great and true love! 
I'm sorry to say that I don't think I've ever had anyone love me this way...but I hope that you have! 

I don't know who created these gorgeous photos, 
but if you do...please let me know so I can
properly credit them!
Here's my favorite:
 




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Want to See Something JawDropping?

Isn't this GORGEOUS!

This absolutely stunning hand embroidery was stitched by Sherry Johnson. It is the prettiest heart I think I've ever seen stitched! And that's not even the best part...she is sharing her pattern on her blog Time For Stitching...for free!
So hop on over to her blog timeforstitching and check out all of her work and download the pattern to stitch for yourself! Sherry is well known for her Brazilian Embroidery work...and any accolades I could give her are very well-deserved! I'm so glad to have found her site...and hope to learn a lot from her work! After you check out her blog...I'm sure you'll agree with me that it is INSPIRING!
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I won, I won! ...and again!

It is hard for me to believe...but look what will shortly be mine!

Isn't it pretty!!! I commented on over 500 posts during the recent One World One Heart event...and actually visited all of the sites...over 800 of them! However, I did not have time to stay long at most of them because I was flying around visiting! Of course, some of them caught my eye right away...and I could tell that specific "blog" and I would become good friends...so I became a "follower" and will be keeping an eye out for their wonderful posts. Others were interesting to read and view different artist talents...but, the blogs were not "right" for my interests...so I simply enjoyed the brief visit. And a couple scared me even!

During the visits...I hoped that I would win at least one little thing after commenting on over 500 sites...but when I woke up this morning...there were no "congratulation" emails for me. No great surprise really...as my luck really is not good with this sort of things. [This is the reason I stopped buying lotto tickets!]

Then around noon...I got a real surprise. An email from Dale Ann of "Chronicles of Whimsy"...with notice that I had won something! And not just a simple something...but this astonishing necklace. It will be my new talisman of good-luck! If you have a minute...hop on over and check out Dale Ann's blog...and her stupendous artistic endeavors!!

EDITED TO ADD:
Oh my...I've won again! Becky of ArtBeckons emailed me today...and I won a great book on wreaths! Check this out!
I can't wait to get it. Becky does multi-media art...which is not usually my "thing"...but her site is full of great ideas...so worth my visit there. Go check it out...you might get hooked by her posts and let loose your Artsy Self!
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TDiTM Stitch #137

Here's the second of the feather stitch base seams...this time, let's add some detached chain stitches and beads!
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Time to Bake some Cookies!!!

These are so easy, a seven-year old can do them!
[Wow, that photo makes it look like I actually have some counter space...but no, it's an illusion. I have a spot that is 13" wide by 35" long to create any food magic!]
RECIPE INGREDIENTS:
1 egg
1 container whipped topping (Cool-whip, reg size)
1 box cake mix (your choice of flavor) Chocolate works great, but we didn't have one...so we used basic yellow cake mix by Duncan Hines (any brand should do)
1 box powdered sugar
I'm not sure if there is a substitutes for the Cool-whip for you international folks...so here is a photo. Perhaps you can figure how to create these cookies with different brands of items.
Mixing: Beat the egg slightly with a whisk or fork. Add the Cool-whip and stir. Add the cake mix and stir until well blended. Put the powdered sugar in a seperate bowl. Take a spoon full of batter and drop it into the powered sugar bowl...Coat well.
 This was Aidan's job!
Shake of excess sugar and place on the cookie sheet for baking...slightly flatten. Bake at 350F degrees for about 12-15 minutes. Let cool slightly before removing from the cookie sheet.
 They are a little messy...but fun!
And they taste great!

OWOH FOOTNOTE: I have not forgotten that today is the day to "draw" the winner for the OWOH prize...I will let the Random Generator pick a number and send that person an email. When they respond...(and I'll wait only 3 days)...I'll post the winner at the bottom of the original OWOH Post.
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