A Visit to Piecemakers

The last time I visited my parents in Orange County, I had a chance to stop by Piecemakers Country Store.  Oh, it was such a delight to browse, and look at all the amazing fabrics and supplies for all the things I love to do! Quilting, needlework, beading, etc.  The list goes on and on.  And I met Jean and Joanna who were so kind to invite me into the room where all the current and upcoming class items were displayed.  My last project that I worked on from Piecemakers were some rag dolls, almost 30 years ago! I never managed to dress them, so they happily/patiently sit in their birthday suits on the shelf in my studio :).

Piecemakers_2016

Valentine Swap

I mentioned earlier that I was involved in a Valentine Swap.  It was hosted by Viv over at Viv Out On A Whim – Thank you Viv!  And I was partnered with a most talented mixed media artist, Cheryl over at Artsy Fartsy.  Cheryl sent me lots of goodies, including a bunch of caramel kisses! And I especially like the cupid tag she made using her husbands great-great-great grandfathers vintage photo as cupid! 🙂  Thank you Cheryl!

003mod 014mod 016mod

Balance

For whatever reason, this time of year, I seem to need some kind of spiritual connection.  Possibly the end of a hectic holiday season, and the departure of my children back to their respective lives?  I found myself feeling really empty after everyone left, and I was putting away Christmas decorations by myself.  So, the following weekend, I took myself and dear hubby to our church.  There, I had the opportunity to reach in a basket and select my word for the year – “Balance”.  Somehow, it seems very appropriate…

In my never ending quest for good health, and simply to try and stay out of Medical offices, I joined a local hiking group.  We have been hiking the hills surrounding our town and a neighboring one.  The views are breathtaking, the hills are green, and hiking is becoming addictive!

And to get my “Crafty” back on, I joined a Valentine swap.  It’s fun making things for someone, and it’s also fun to make things to decorate around the house.  I don’t have much in the way of Valentine decorations, so I made a heart ornament and a heart box for myself too.  The box top is made using a copy of a vintage card I purchased.  Under the girl’s skirt is a place to dab some perfume.  Amazing the ideas they came up with back in the day:

January2015_Balance

Show And Tell

While dear daughter was home on spring break, she crocheted this adorable elephant for her friends birthday gift.  I encouraged her to make more and I would put it in her Etsy shop.  She is just like her mother… she prefers to make things and give them away as gifts rather than sell them.

Dear hubby and I attended our friends Rotary Club fundraiser at the Country Club. Look what I won at the silent auction – a basket full of natural wool items! It even came with a bar of goats milk soap, hand knitted mohair scarf, and a gift certificate for a free lesson.  I think I’m going to take the spinning class:

ShowAndTellApril2014

My New Vintage Aluminum Christmas Tree & Giveaway

I have been on a lookout for a vintage aluminum Christmas tree for some time now.  It just brings back memories of Christmas from when I was a little girl.  Well, a very nice thrift shop owner promised me one, and I finally went to pick it up. It has the pom pom branches, and came with a rotating musical color wheel and rotating tree base – all in good working order. I am beyond excited to put it together for the holidays!  Any way, she decided to close her store, and offered me a big box of vintage Christmas for a song.  When I brought it home, dear hubby just looked at me, shook his head, and walked away… I have been saying that we need to purge and clean out our garage :).  After sorting, and selectively organizing, I decided I really needed to pass most of it on to others.  I put some aside, donated/gave away five bags, and kept just a few ornaments to give away on my blog.  So, If you are interested, please leave me a comment.  I will pick a random recipient on Wednesday, 16th.

AluminumTree&Giveaway2013

Here are the giveaway ornaments.  A Santa, an angel, two elves, a drummer boy, and trumpet player.  All are vintage Japan:

AluminumTree&Giveaway2_2013

Thanks for stopping by!

– Linda

Vintage Fabric And Things

I love all things vintage, and with my current quilting obsession, I have come to love vintage fabrics.

A package arrived the other day from my dear blog friend Nancy.  She sent me some teacup vintage fabric that she had kept for over 30 years! It is delightful, and I love it! Thank you Nancy!

002

I also noticed the super cute pumpkin can Halloween decorations Viv, Kim, and Shirley created, and decided to try my hand at making some.  This is as far as I got:

019

I will post again when I finish them – hopefully before Halloween!

Sewing, Cutting, Tying, … And Empty Nesting

I’ve been keeping quite busy since dear daughter left for college.  My thoughts on Empty Nesting, Hmmm… Odd.  Before she left, I had moments of melancholy, didn’t last long, but it was sad all the same.  Now, it’s just an odd feeling.  I spent the first few days cleaning. And you know what’s amazing? whatever I picked up and cleaned, stayed that way! And I can now stay longer with my quilt group, have lunch with them, and not have to rush home.  Like I said, it’s all very odd, strange… I think I can get used to this.

After all the cleaning and organizing, I even did some sewing, cutting, and tying.  I noticed dear daughters dorm room looked a bit sparse so I made her this cute flower pillow:

022mod

And all three of my kids have been asking me to make them new fleece blankets.  I made them one each when they were little, and I guess the boys, especially have outgrown them, literally. So, I bought 2 1/2 yards each, which should be enough to cover their whole bodies,  and made them new blankets.  Rotary cutter, and electric scissors made quick work of them.  Dear daughter’s is pink, younger son’s is a monster print, and what 23 year old could resist a sock monkey blanket – for older son:

FleeceBlankets2013

And here they are, tied, washed, and ready to be delivered/mailed!

026mod

Halloween Spoolie Swap 2013

Yup, another swap! This time a Halloween Spoolie Swap hosted by Deb (Garage Sale Gal) and Sandy (521 Lake Street).  I was partnered with Debby (Cozy Blanket).  Debby is very sweet – I have participated in swaps hosted by her in the past.  And look at the cute little ghost spoolie Debby made for me! She also sent me some yummy candy and fun stamps – yay! more crafting fun!

HalloweenSpoolieSwap2013

And the owl spoolie is what I made for Debby.  She said she liked owls, and I just happened to have the right one.  Thank you again to Deb & Sandy for hosting this fun event & Debby for being my partner!

Autumn Witch Cross Stitch

I took a break from quilting, and did a bit of cross stitching.  During one of my perusals through a quilting blog ( I can’t remember the blog name) I came across this most wonderful cross stitching blog, The Snowflower Diaries.  Maja has exquisite little cross stitch designs, and she shares her designs for free.  I stitched her Autumn Witch 2013.

I should be finishing up The Harvest, but I just wanted a quick, instant gratification mini project.  I made the finished cross stitch into an ornament:

TheSnowflowerDiaries_AutumnWitch2013

I didn’t have the wooden crescent moon button she used, so I just stitched one up with yellow seed beads.  And I think I used double strand on the flower, so mine looks a bit big/thick.

 

Ravenwood Whimzies Fall Pin Keep Swap

I just can’t seem to stop signing up for swaps when I see them.  Wendy at Ravenwood Whimzies hosted a Fall Pin Keep Swap.  I was paired with Michelle of Simple Pleasures.  Funny, until I stumbled onto Wendy’s blog, I didn’t know what a pin keep was.  Since then, I have made several as gifts.  Now that I’m quilting again, I’ll have to make one for myself.  Anyway,  here is the cute cute Witches Hat pin keep Michelle made for me. This can double as a Halloween decoration too:

PinkeepSwap_Aug2013_a

And here is the pin keep I made for Michelle. Michelle likes Amish things, so I created a little Amish girl on a pin cushion. Wendy also requested that the pin keep be mounted on something at least 4″ tall. I opted for a Ball jam jar.  This way, it can hold buttons, scissors, thimbles, and such:

PinkeepSwap_Aug2013

Thank you Wendy for hosting this fun event!  And thank you Michelle for being my partner!  I am going to call this doll #7.  I am catching up!

Upcycled Shirt

After losing 40 pounds, dear hubby put aside some old shirts.  As I am so into quilting, I thought, yes! more cotton fabric for a new upcycled quilt! Then I saw what Nan over at Retired In Alaska did, and of course I had to try it too.  I thought it would be more fun to fit dear daughter, so I had her pick out an old shirt.  She went for the old red flannel shirt.  Here she is with it on before I tackled it:

UpcycledShirt_1

And here is the finished top.  DD is rolling her eyes – modeling is not her thing:UpcycledShirt_2

The shirt was a Men’s size L, so I had to take it in quite a bit to fit DD.  I made a few tucks, and darts in front and back. And I cut the shoulders and sleeves and made it into a 3/4 length:UpcycledShirt_3

I think it came out pretty nice, and it was fun to do.  If you’d like to give it a try, visit Nan, or go directly to Cotton & Curls.

Thanks for stopping by!

– Linda

My Lampwork Studio

I have noticed many bloggers giving wonderful tours of their home studios.  I do not have a dedicated studio for my art/craft in my house yet, but I do have a lampwork studio in our detached garage.  Viv asked me about it, and I thought, why not? So, here is a tour of my garage studio.  It is more industrial than cute, but with melting glass, and sometimes exploding glass, it serves it’s purpose:

This is a view of our detached garage, and half of the fuel for my torch – a propane tank.  Dear hubby put in the exhaust vent above the tank:

LampworkStudioTour_1

And here is my studio in one corner of the garage.  In the middle is my work station with my torch, and all around are my tools, supplies, and equipment.  to the right is my kiln for annealing the beads, and below that is my oxygen concentrator (added with propane, fuels the torch).  And above is my air vent and fan. I use a Nortel Minor torch.  It has a graphite marver piggy backing on it so it looks kind of funny.  The little round white things are DH’s socks filled with beans that I use as arm rests 🙂

LampworkStudioTour_2

And here are a few of my beautiful glass rods.  I use mainly Moretti and Bullseye rods, but I also have CIM, Lauscha, and Vetrofond.  I just purchased some Devardi rods, which I am looking forward to trying out next session:

LampworkStudioTour_3

These are the tools of the trade.  Marvers, hemostats, molds, presses, scissors, knives, kitchen spoons, mandrels with bead release, and some stringers I pulled for decorating.  Starbucks coffee bottles make really good containers for glass storage:

LampworkStudioTour_4Here I am.  I think these photos were taken a few years back.  You can see I used to drink a lot of starbucks coffee 🙂  I am wearing my didymium safety glasses, melting glass, and winding it on a mandrel.  When I’m done, it gets popped into the kiln for annealing.

LampworkStudioTour_5

Finally, here are some glass beads I have made in the past.  I tend to make florals and rounds in happy cheery colors:

LampworkStudioTour_6

Thank you for stopping by!

– Linda