Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Winnie the Pooh and SBS Quilt Blocks, Too!

Can you believe that I walked to the post office today to get the mail?  Yippee!  The weather is beautiful.  We must have been near the 50 degree mark.  I had to check the calendar to make sure that we were still in January. ;)

Here are my latest blocks from the Skill Builder Challenge...

I can now check off  block #20 Circle Appliques (bottom right corner).  It was a block that involved various techniques of hand applique.  The circles weren't as terrible to complete as I thought that they would be.  Although, I did manage to sew the block to my pants a couple of times during the hand turned applique.  Ooops!

Block #22 (in the upper right corner), the Flowering Snowball, started our introduction to curves.  Surprisingly, I really enjoyed fitting the curved pieces together.  Normally, I am not a lover of pinning fabric to death, but it was actually fun.  When time came to press the fabric, the pieces pressed down so smooth... just like magic! ;)

Block #23 was the Drunkard's Path.  I arranged mine to make a circle in the center.  The circle made me a little anxious when piecing the last four blocks, but everything worked out perfectly. :)

Block #24 was a beautiful block called the Curved Nine Patch.  (The picture arrangement cut the green boarders off that are on the left and right sides.)  I see some of the quilting blogs using a curved ruler to make this, but ours was pieced by hand.  A few more templates for this one but well worth the time.  I think it is a lovely block and would gladly do a whole quilt of them.

One more block to go to be caught up with the group.  I need to do a Rose and Tulip applique block for #21.  Why did this one not get finished?  

Because this silly old bear needed to have his darling little body finished! :) 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Upcycled Wool Sweater Mittens & Soup!

It has been cold outside today, so I was inspired to finish up my sewing on these wool felted sweater mittens.  Here they are newly pressed and ready to be listed in my Etsy shop. :)  I have some plain sweater fronts cut for mittens, also.  They were suppose to have some wool embroidered designs added to them, but a friend convinced me that some plain mittens would be great for customers with patterned coats.  So, I'll be finishing those up this week. ;) 

It has come to my attention with various hints from my family members  ;) that we have not had fresh noodles for a while in the house.  Everyone (myself included)  is sick of eating prepackaged brands.  So... I took time away from my work to play in the kitchen.  Noodles are so fun to make, and the clothes rack that I bought is a great help in making 4 or 5 double batches.

And my reward for turning out all of these noodles?  A warm bowl of homemade chicken soup! :)

I hope everyone is warm and cozy today!  They are predicting temps in the 40's this week.  We sure can't complain.  It has been a mild winter in Northern Illinois this year! :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gift from Lil Fish Studios

Recently, Lisa over at Lil Fish Studios (Isn't that the coolest blog name?)  was having a giveaway for one of her beautiful needle felted stones inspired by the snow of winter season.   And guess what?   I won! :)  This is what arrived for me in the mail...

I was so extremely impressed by all of the fine artistic details put into this wondrous piece.  It is truly a sight to behold.  My photos do not do it justice, so I am giving you a link to Lisa's blog and her awesome photos of this wonderful stone here.    The enchanted frost stone (as I call it!) is encased flawlessly in needle felted wool with added embellishments of beadwork, embroidery, and magic that I am at a loss to describe! ;)  All that I know for sure is that this artist has some steady hands and a sharp eye for working on fine details...

If you get a chance, stop by and visit Lisa at Lil Fish Studios .  Her posts are filled with information about using nature in craft work... foraging natural dyes... food from natural resources... and her splendid creations (which are for sale at her store!).  I thoroughly enjoy following along with her blog and am honored to have a piece of her art to display in my home! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fabric Cover for My Canon Printer

My studio area shares space with the laundry room in our home.  So, I am always careful to keep my Canon printer covered to keep the dryer dust at bay.    This has been going on for a few years now.  The plastic cover is the original plastic bag that arrived with the printer.  It is way oversized and has to be tucked under and around the printer.  And since it already looks tidy and unkempt, it has become a 'catch all' for mail, scribbled notes, or those items that were easier to set around the corner of the doorway - but not put away! ;)  As I was cleaning the mounds of small items off of the poor printer last weekend (You can imagine how many small items can be stacked on this baby!),  I decided that I was sick of looking at this...

In the front room of our house was a heap of fabric to be sorted from my stash,  I found a large piece from Phillip de Leon of Alexander Henry Fabrics entitled "Conversation".  How appropriate... This machine and I have had many a conversation, although some (while learning the ropes) were not for young ears! ;)  Without having a clue to what I was doing, I decided to take a 'throw caution to the wind' approach to this project.  A sketched template was made for the top... measurements taken of the sides...  and I proceeded to dive in without thinking.  What did I have to lose?

Here are the results of my labor.  I was honestly surprised at how well it turned out.  Had there been serious thought given to sewing protocol or technique, it probably would have came out worse! LOL 

I will not embarrass myself by telling you of my 'eyeing' the positioning of the seams... LOL  Not to brag... well not too much, but I even made curves around the front and back that were smooth!  And the moment that I realized the sides were too long, I ran back to the machine and put a hemmed bottom around the whole thing!  How crazy is that? ;)  Great credit is giving to my SBS quilting challenge for making me confident enough with my machine to take on this challenge.  So a shout of thanks to Leila from me and my printer!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Vintage Rusty Bed Springs & Gourds

Here are some rusty bed springs that my kid found for me.  Aren't the pretty? ;) I was thinking about playing around with some of my little gourds and mixing them with recycled stands.  Since I do most of my thinking out loud LOL, my kid decided to help my plans along by locating some rusty springs.   How lucky am I ? :)

For the creations that do not require the added rust, I purchased some new springs from Deb's Etsy shop  My Stitches to Treasure .  The new ones have such a nice clean look to them, and the base is more narrow than the vintage springs.  They should appeal to potential customers that do not desire the rough weathered look.

My collection of nail kegs hold all of my small and mini gourds.  They look so wonderfully prim stored in that fashion!  Here is a little guy in the most basic form! ;)   Thank the heavens that he has some friends, since I can see many different whimsical beings created from that shape.  The sketch book will be getting filled up tonight! 

My next thought was to turn to my jumbo egg gourds, but then I decided to give myself a little challenge... How about these mini dipper gourds with their curly tops?  I'm thinking, a few of them are going to make their way to the studio.  :)

When looking at the photo of the mini dipper gourds, I laughed when noticing the tag from the flea market.  It will stay on the keg and remind me of the great times hunting for treasures... and the adventures to come! :)

Stay tuned for more updates on the mini gourd front... :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Revised Honey Pot on Winnie the Pooh Vintage Cross Stitch Baby Quilt

I wanted to show some finished work on my Winnie the Pooh cross stitch quilt that is getting close to being finished.  My quilted Winnie the Pooh officially has his honey pot!  Below is the picture from the quilt kit.  For being a Disney design, I found it rather blah.  So... my stash of DMC threads was put into action... 

And here is the end result.  It is enough of a change to make the pot a little more dimensional and pleasant to the eye.  The older Disney quilts tend to not have a lot of color variations going on.  Little changes in the layout can add so much to the quilt's appearance and give it some individuality from the mass production.  I think that the flowers will get altered, since they are mapped out to all be of the same shade...  Just a few more flowers and Winnie the Pooh's body are left to finish up! :)

And just in case you were wondering... I ordered my Lorax fabric today!  Kaufman fabrics created two lines one of earth toned colors and another of brights to make quilts with.  The original book is in earth tones, so I ordered that line.  Maybe later, the bright colored Lorax fabrics will find there way to my house, too. ;)   But, there is the Cat in the Hat fabric line that is calling my name... plus the rest of the spotted Seuss fabric... Aaaagh!  What is a girl to do?  Then as I wandered around the Fat Quarter's shop, I ran into Eric Carle's "Hungry Caterpillar" fabric.  My son's favorite book as a child and another addition to my wish list! ;)  It was then that I decided to work on finishing some projects, before I found too many more to start! :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

YIPEEE!! The Lorax is on Fabric!!

Can you believe it!!  I just found out via The Jolly Jabber that Robert Kaufman designs has released the Lorax for January 2012.  I just knew this was going to be a fabulous year!!   As my sisters can all attest, I am a HUGE Seuss nut!!!  And well, I guess my comment to the wonderful staff at Fat Quarters says it all ... Oh, and they requested that comments be in rhyme, and I was more than willing to oblige!!:

I have loved Seuss and the Lorax, since I was old enough to read...

About the problems of the Truffula forest from making too many thneeds.

The Oncler learns his lesson and inspires a young boy...

To plant a Truffula seed and create a new forest full of joy.

I have been a fan of Theodor Geisel aka Dr Seuss from the very start...

I loved the Grinch and the Sneetches but the Lorax stole my heart.

For years I have waited for fabric to immortalize this little critter...

The empty bin in my fabric hutch left me with a sadness that was close to being bitter.

Thank you Kaufman fabrics for bringing these terrific characters into my stash...

I cannot wait for the Lorax line to be available and am saving up my cash!!

I owe a lot of my humor and my love of rhyme to that man named Dr. Seuss...

And now that he can become a part of my quilting, my love of design can be let loose.

If you are not a follower of The Jolly Jabber  and LOVE fabric, I highly suggest that you head on over to their blog and sign up here.  They made my New Year kick off with a bang!  And if you have a need... to shop for a Lorax or a Thneed (rhyming again?LOL),  you can find the darling Lorax in their shop here.

My hubby will be driven nuts tonight with my rhyming and excitement.  Maybe I will dig out my Lorax shirt, book, and have the DVD playing when he gets home!  ;)  LOL  The Lorax is one of my favorite stories by Seuss... followed closely by the tale of the Sneetches and of course that wonderful Grinch!  For those of you that are not familiar with the Lorax, I highly recommend this children's tale.  It resonates with the young and not so young readers.  Seuss had a gift for transcending generations and relating to the reader as well as the young listener.  He had a true gift.  Best of all he made his readers want to be better people and create a  better world.  For the would be writers in the group... He opened our minds to the strength of words (real or make believe) and the beauty of verse.   And for the soon to be artists... He inspired us to let loose and venture out of our comfort zones, to dream larger than life, and capture on paper the world through our own eyes...  I will always be grateful to Theodor Geisel for that. :) 

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Holiday Inn is the "go to" movie for me to welcome in every New Year.   I never tire of the wonderful music and choreography.  Its charming wintry scenes inspire me to see the beauty of the season... at least for the first few storms anyways! ;)   

I spent most of the first day of 2012 taking down my Christmas displays and sampling way to much chocolate.  It is sad to see the decorations get packed away, but I'll be hauling them back out again in another 10 months or so! ;)   The winds have been so strong today that I passed on taking down my outdoor lights... Maybe tomorrow.  

I like the sound of 2012 and look forward to new adventures to fill the year with!  I hope that everyone rang in the New Year safe and sound and wish you all a Healthy and Happy 2012!