Surprise Exchange w/Colleen!


The whopping big red bead is what Colleen mailed to me to work with. It was a challenge to me, both in color and in size. 
 
Here's the story, and the pictures:

Colleen and I decided to exchange purses. We picked a date well in advance (the first problem) and exchanged cabochons to add to the purse...hence the challenge! (the second problem). We were excited and our little brains started to whirl with ideas! But, none of them seemed just right for such a special friend...whom we wanted to please. So...time rolled on, and we procrastinated. We moved the deadline twice...and still, no "stupendions ideas" would come. We finally just kicked ourselves in the butt...and proceeded. In the end...my gift to Colleen was not a purse...but an organizer (which she has received and is overjoyed with). I'm waiting on my gift which Colleen has mailed...but I can share my creation for her with you now that she has opened it!
Here are photos of the finished organizer...full of pockets...front, back, and inside!
 
My first issue was the bead. It was not a true cabochon (flat back)...but a rounded bead with a hole at the top. So, it would not lay flat...it reminded me of a spider butt. So, that's the direction I went it...a huge honking red spider! Yikes! So, a spiderweb was needed...but on what? I decided to do a needlepoint background..then the web...then some green vines/flowers.



The initial ideas was to do a small purse. But...it was not to be! As the design grew...so did my need to make it "something usable". And, the honking big spider was scary just on a purse! Didn't want folks beating poor Colleen when she carried it...trying to "kill the spider" that was on her! So, I added a fabric border and turned the needlepoint into a focal point of the "purse" organizer. Here is the front:
Adding the borders also made it "bigger" so it could hold STUFF! The teacup fabric is some Mary Engelbrit fabric that Colleen has gifted to me the previous year...so I thought she might like it (and I was right!).
The back has pockets for pencil/pin/cell phone/scissors...etc. I thought it would be a good organizer to take to any classes or stitch-a-longs.



The inside has more pockets...a covered elastic band to hold thread spools and such...and a detachable little pin cushion. There is no pattern...I just "thunk it up". The front and back have cardboard inserts to help keep it sturday. Easy to do your own...just do the inside w/pockets and such...then the outside with pockets and such. Next, slap them together...good sides facing. Insert handles and stitch all the way around...leaving an opening to turn. Turn right sides out...close the opening...and put a couple of horizontal seams at the bottom to stablize. Attach your velcro pin cushion and you are done! An organizer like this could be make any size you want!


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French Script Saturday - F


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Flashback Friday


If you search through the US Archives, you can find lot's of really old books. Sometimes, they include photos that really inspire. Here is one of some dress fronts that I really liked.
And, one of the motifs could be easily interpreted into a crazy quilt embroidery motif too! How great is that!
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More Tomatoes!


Eight more quarts of tomatoes! I am done canning these for the season! Perhaps a few more pints of apples...and that's it! Aidan helped with this batch of tomatoes...she "squished" them...and added the salt to each jar. And I tested her...and she can explain the entire process we followed to can them! I'm sure she'll forget most of it...but she's turning into a great little helper. I'm planting seeds for tomorrow...and I'm not talking tomato seeds!
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I lost 10 pounds of hair!!


Today was hair day! Aidan wanted a bobb...before school started. It is hard of a Nana to take her grand-daughter for a hair cut...without her mom. I had to call and wake my daughter just to make sure it was okay...cause you never know what a seven-year old will say to get her way! Ha!
Here are the before...(taken previously)
And the afters!

I'm telling you...I do feel at least 10 pounds lighter...maybe 15! Wish it was not just my hair I lost!!
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Oh, a Free Pattern to Inspire!!


Check out this cute little table runner pattern...free! I found out about it over on the Quilt Inspiration blog. And, think it will be a good pattern to work on this year. My plan is to do a white/beige/blue background...with a green vine with pink buds. And, each vine leave bud should be adorned with embroidery and beads! Want to play along...I'll try to get started in September...after my nieces wedding.
So, print out the pattern...find your fabrics...and play along!
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I love a productive day!!


And, yesterday...I had one! I got through about half of the apples (thought I could do them all...but I'm getting old!!). I peeled, cored, and sliced the green ones...covered them with white sugar and cinnamon...and they went into the oven to bake. Was thinking about a pie..but really, just needed to get them "processing" so I could move on to the red apples...which were to be my apple butter! 
 To my surprise...when I went back in about 40 minutes (in 350F oven) and started to "turn" the apples...they broke up...not mushy, but into small pieces just the same! Oh..goody...fried pies! So, I have a nice bowl of apple chunky-mush to make pies with tonight! Yum!
And...discovered a good way to "start" my apples for the apple butter...really sped up the process! So, after peeling, coring, and slicing about half the red apples...then went into the oven. Then, went into the crock-pot (slow cooker) on high for about 5 hours...stirring occassionally...then more often the last hour. Spooned the apple butter into jars...and then a 10-minute boiling water bath! Voila...3 lovely pints of apple butter! (Also have half of the red to do today...and "found" another bag of green apples too!) So the job is about half done!
Another success...was this sprouting mint! It is ready to plant. These little springs came from my special drink at Olive Garden Restaurant a couple of weeks ago...when I had a shopping trip with my sister. How cool is that! Now, I will have a little pot of lovely mint growing in my kitchen this winter!
Lastly, while the apples were cooking (and the mint was growing)...I've been beading cabochons...since Saturday! Several are done and many more are prepped. 
 Let's not talk about the 3 trays of cabochons in the bead closet that aren't glued to a fabric/leather backing yet! Today, we're only talking about productive things!
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Marvelous Monday Motifs...Interrupted


 Come back next Monday...and perhaps I'll have "my act together"! But, no promises! Seriously, I need to download some more page scans and re-size them for Monday Motifs..but no time!
Today I need to get these apples peeled, cored, mixed with sugar/spice, and into some canning jars.
And, I'm leaving in 15 minutes with my DSIL to go get Mom some ears of corn she "ordered" from a local farmer. So, corn will surely quickly follow the apples...if they don't jump out in front!
No time to stitch, no time to post, barely time to brush my teeth!
Hang in there BFF's; I'll be back!
And, I'm beading cabochons as fast as I can...with every spare minute since the Studio is low! Now, how in the world did I let all of this pack up on me! Life! Gotta love it! What I can't ever figure out however is...how can someone "who doesn't have a life!"...have so much to do!???
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My Peacock Has Arrived! And She is Gorgeous!


A little while back I posted about the StitchMAP Mentor's Challenge, and the doll that I had created for my swap partner Amy. Well, yesterday I received my "prize" from my swap partner, Ann....and it is stupendous.
First off...the fact that it is a box is GREAT! As ya'll are my BFF's ...you know I need to be organized! And, that my space is at a PREMIUM!! So, just the simple fact that Ann was thoughtful enough to make me something I could use...speaks volumes to me! Hugs Ann! BUT, the fact that it is stitched so stupendously just left me speechless when I opened the package (Yes, it is possible to render me speechless...it's just not easy!)
The peacock is the focal point of the lid...and it is stitched superbly! Check out these close ups!

But, the gorgeous stitching doesn't stop there! The rose in the corner is so beautiful...it really speaks to my heart.
Even simple fabric manuplation looks just grand when done with luscious silk...a recycled tie or scarf perhaps?! And check out the chain stitch "loops" she stitched to fill in the patch! Ingenious!
The monogram is just too delicate for words. I just adore it! 
Isn't the entire block she created for the top just wonderful!
Ann Flowers...you rock!!
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Gorgeous Ribbon Work! I'm Drooling!



... and that's a bad thing...I don't want to get these pages wet!
Two books I'd ordered from Amazon came this week...and I'm just like a child at Christmas! These are wonderful. 
 Of course, every single book ever designed and written by Di van Niekerk is superb! And these are the best yet! 
 Seriously, hop on over to Amazon and check these out!! 
 
I'd loan you mine...but, I can't get my hands unclenched from around them!!

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Testing One, Two, Three...

Anyone else having issues with Blogger today? This morning...I tried to post...and typed my text, then uploaded a photo of my canned tomatoes. I could not see the photo in my draft. But, when I loaded the page...the photo was there...but no text!

Now, I have a completely new input screen...so perhaps it was just a minute bleep on the screen as Blogger uploads their new design. Hope so!

So, just testing...here is a photo of the new flower beads I just got in yesterday! Loaded them on the Studio this morning!


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Tomatoes Anyone?

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