Friday, July 30, 2010

Toot! Toot!

Well, I'm really kinda shy about tooting my own horn, but it's hard not to get excited when I get to create something cute and share it with everyone. I made this little fat Santa ornament for a Christmas in July themed tutorial at OFG, and hope you'll give it a try. My nine year old daughter enjoyed making these together and took most of the photos, since my hands were a little busy! Imagine a bunch of them on a festive holiday tree. Guess it's time to get busy and use up some more of my red fabric. Any reason to go through my immense stash is a good reason to get more, right?
Find the tutorial at: They are super easy and fast and don't have too much sewing involved. Hope you'll give them a try!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Oh Deer!

Well, we're back from a wonderful week along the Oregon Coast! What perfect weather and outstanding state parks to camp in. There are so many new things that the parks offer, like continual educational programs for children and activity books that teach about that particular area's wildlife and habitat. I'm sure they wouldn't like that we hand fed the wildlife, but the deer there were so tame. This brave buck gently took as much of an apple as he could. Nicole just loved the whole experience, and probably biked 100 miles by week's end. Of course, she never did get tired. Makes my old bones wish for that kind of youth again!
I took a tote bag full of stitchery projects, and only finished two, as I found myself enjoying those bike trails just as much, as well as walking on the beach. Nothing is more tranquil than that!
Now, it's back to reality and perhaps, payback. As I anxiously awaited returning home to a very ripe patch of sweet nectarberries, alas, the deer here made themselves at home during our absence. I managed to get enough picked before we left for one pie, but it looks like that may be all. Oh well. They did leave the rest of the garden to grow nicely while we were away.
Hope you get a chance today to enjoy the fruits of your labor in some special way! Mine will just have to be vegetables. :O)

Friday, July 16, 2010

A very special person

This week has just flown by. I will see my little girl, Nicole, this Saturday, and am so excited as I've been really missing her smiling face each and every day. She is such a positive and caring young lady, and I sometimes wonder what I did right to deserve such a treasure. As we prepare to see her, I am thinking of the person who has been shaping my little girl's life these past two weeks, her Grandma, Linda. Grandma has been busy shuttling Nic to daily swim lessons as well as teaching her the techniques of riding a horse that has been specially raised for her. All this in an environment where it's been at or near 100 degrees every day! Goodness, that's a lot for a Grandma to do, in between handling her own daily work at their ranch. So, I thought it would be nice to put together a little something in appreciation for Grandma's hard work, patience, and understanding. This is an idea that utilizes a technique that I have ventured into lately and really enjoy...needle felting. I painted the clay pot a toffee color, then crackled it with a black top coat. The focal piece is blanket stitched osnaburg fabric with a layer of batting behind it. I needle felted the flowers all different colors and the pot in shades of turquoise and white. Some hand stitching for the stems and buttons, and then jute was tied to secure it around the pot. I found a beautiful striped miniature rose for the pot. Grandma will probably be able to grow this inside her house for a while (she has an incredible green thumb). Then I imagine a beautiful indoor cactus growing in it. She has those everywhere.
This is a photo of one in bloom at our last visit. I have many special people who have helped to shape the development of my daughter to thank. Grandma Linda is just one of them. May you be blessed with many special people in your lives too!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mouse size tantrum and a special day

Ahh, Monday. Hope you had a great weekend! Mine was productive shopping, working in the yard and, of course, sewing. Well, the sewing part wasn't so productive. In fact, it was down right frustrating. See this cute little mouse? Well, my intentions were to make several, so I got busy chain sewing those body parts one, then I was just cruizing! Whew, now to turn them out and stuff away. A great job for TV time. Here we go...okay, um, try again, and once more, again (I don't give up easily)...huh? My itty bitty tweezers that have gripped and turned many a doll part could not make anything happen. The material I used was too stiff to turn these tiny parts. GRRR. I had to throw away all of it. Sigh. It's not easy to toss out an afternoon's work.
Now did I really want to make the darned thing at all? I'd already done up the candy cane, so I tried again with a more flexible material that managed to work. Got one done, and I think he looks great. I'm plugging away at the others now, and I still have a problem...they're all turning in such a way that they are now lefty's! Guess that's not so bad, since I'm a lefty!
Today is a special day though, as my sweetie and I have been married 23 years. Time has sure gone fast, but I'm so blessed to have this wonderful guy with me. May the people that surround your life bring you as much happiness as mine do! Have a great day!

Friday, July 9, 2010

New girl in town!

Hello! And welcome to my new blog! I'm Ilene, and I have a little business known as Happy Valley Primitives where I create and sell my handmade stitching designs. Like to take a look at what I offer? Check me out on:
Today is, well, obviously, my first post. And as I sit here typing, I'm trying to think of what my next project will be. It is already time to work on the Christmas holiday items for my upcoming craft shows, and it'd sure be nice to feel like I'm ready for them this year. It's always a crunch to get just one more item made before a show. Guess I have that mentality because that last item made usually is one of the first sellers for a show, so it makes it worthwhile to stay up and get 'r done!
I'm a stay at home mom (SAHM), and, ahhh, enjoying a few weeks without my little girl as she spends some quality time with her grandma and grandpa at their horse farm. Don't get me wrong, I miss her a lot, but it's sure nice not to have to handle both of our schedules, shuttle her here, there, well, you know!
I'll leave you today with my latest table mat just listed in Etsy. I love making these as I can take them anywhere to stitch and they come together fast. Enjoy!