Monday, January 23, 2012

Light As A Feather...Klunk!

It's been a crazy week, but I think we're just about back to normal...only about 6 inches left after a whirlwind of snow.  We had a few visitors that I've not seen before this time, so I thought I'd share with you.

These are puffed up varied thrush so I'm told.  Very striking birds, especially with the white backdrop.  They feasted for days on my purple beauty berry bush.  More birds followed their lead soon after.  My feeders were plenty active too with the usual chickadees, marlots and other varieties of beautiful songbirds.  The birds were the only sound as the snow muffled out all distant noise.

Seeing his next meal at this bush was my unexpected visitor.  He greatly misjudged the flight path and slammed into my dining room window so hard that I thought it broke.  As we watched him in the snow, his head was actively moving, but he appeared to either not be able to move or was stuck in the deep snow.

So, I ventured out with really heavy gloves on, in case he needed some help.  Well, once I got within 2 feet of him, he lunged out of the snow and landed against the house.  I managed to get a few shots of him looking me over.  After a little research, I believe that this is a Coopers Hawk.

After just a few minutes to shake off the cobwebs, he flew towards me and then off high into a fir tree.  Whoosh!  I fell back into the snow and just marveled at how he began his wobbly flight and then soared away.  So magnificent to see one of these birds and also to know that he's okay after having his world turned upside down.  Wonder if he'll think twice before attempting to secure his next meal near our house?

Well, back to creating, now that school is open for Nic, and the house is once again lacking the turnstyle of kids through the front door.  I'm working on a few more patterns and projects and will share those soon!  Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Celebrate in a Heartfelt Way

Without sounding too gushy, I just love Valentine's Day!  It's that expression of love that my sweet hubby has down pat...for 25 straight years now!  Nothing like that special feeling from someone you care about so much.

So I had some fun creating a few hearts for this celebration with the OFG Team.  Hope you'll check out this beautiful collection ( type: stlc in your search bar), as there are a lot of new artists participating and nearly 90 heartfelt items.

'Cuz, after all, Love Dwells Here...especially at this time of year!

Monday, January 16, 2012

All "Fire'd" Up in Wool...My Textured Kindle Keeper

Welcome to my stop for the Nancy Zieman Tablet Keeper blog tour!  I'm so honored to be a part of this exciting opportunity to show different techniques and styles for the Clover Trace 'n Create Templates.  

My creation was constructed entirely from wool fabrics with a hand needle felting design on the cover, and I couldn't resist some bead bling sprinkled in.  Using wool does give the overall piece a bit more bulk; however it also provides a little added protection for my Kindle Fire. 

I began by creating a paper pattern of a randomly flowing floral and vine design.  The template helped me to determine placement of those areas that I wanted to really show off without being obscured by the strap.  After cutting out the pattern, the design was chalked onto the black wool base.  

I needle felted the design, blending the tones to achieve gradual shading.  Then it was time to sew on lots of colorful seed beads to the larger flower centers and finally finish the cover with some beautiful square black beads scattered about.  Even though this step took some time, the result was just what I was looking to achieve.  

The interior was created with scraps of hand dyed wool fabrics fused to the interfacing in a crazy patch style, and then I feather stitched the edges with heavy black thread (perle #3) for more impact. Once the fusible interfacing is applied to the cover and lining, the wool fabric won't stretch out of shape, making it just as easy to work with as cotton for this project.  Using wool fabric inside also helps to wick away dust from the e-reader...another plus!

The wool strap was embellished with purple eyelash yarn and matching beads.  I used the perforation markings from the Clover Create a Strap to keep my yarn's spacing even without even having to get out my tape measure!

The binding was also done with wool, although I did cut it at only 2" wide and sewed it as a single fold binding to further keep the bulk down.

And one last tip...To make the Kindle Fire fit a little better, I moved the elastic in further, just past the template's markings.  This proved to be an easier work around, rather than altering the keeper's overall size.  I'm very pleased with the end result!

There are limitless ways to personalize these...think about the timeless beauty of hand embroidery and applique on wool as other ideas if you're not a needle felter.  As you can see, quilter's cotton doesn't have to be your only fabric creative and it will turn out beautiful!

Thank you for stopping by today to see my creation!  For more ideas and inspiration, I invite you to become a follower of my blog.  A big Thank You to Clover for providing the templates, shapers and hardware to construct this project!  And don't forget to enter HERE for Nancy's drawing to win these great products from Clover:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Creative Evolution

A creative soul can find all sorts of ways to express their artistic style, and every year I find that there are more and more techniques out there to learn.  I grew up in the era of construction paper, glue and sequins...then there was the phase of tri-chem paints, stamped cross stitching, and felt applique.  Today, there is an amazing array of mixed media outlets to learn incredible new ways with paper clay, creating your own fabric designs, and who would have thought that bottle caps and Scrabble tiles could be so beautiful.  And since the ideas keep coming, the wheels of creativity will never end!

Lately, I'll confess to being hooked to the how-to videos from  I began to watch these weekly tutorials, each describing a technique or product I was unfamiliar with.  Lots of tedious detail, and I find that to be helpful in determining my interest.  This week, the focus was in creating bead edging and fringe.  Beautiful in design, the hand beading is so exquisite...just look at this purse by Barbara of Joggles.  Wow...  Now I'm inspired to add a beaded edge to one of my next table mats!

As far as creating my own fringe, well, I'm still set on buying that by the yard for my scarf embellishments as I've found some of the most gorgeous trims over the years for my scarves.  This one is my favorite right now, hanging nearly 4"'s really show-stopping.

However, I am intrigued by creating my own beaded fringe on an elaborate purse like this one soon as I can figure out a good staging method for those teeny tiny beads.  'Cuz, with kids and a dog, sigh...can you see the bead showers in my forecast?

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Patriotic Pattern Release!

What was once considered a distant dream is quickly becoming a very enjoyable reality!  I've been busy writing, editing and brainstorming creative patterns and have just released my latest...a needle felted star over a whimsical flag on this cute (and easy to sew) lined tote bag!

This idea began as a commissioned project, and swiftly became one of my daughter's favorite pieces, so I created one for her too.  These are so easy to make up; I could see creating a different embellished bag for just about any occasion!  And because the outer shell is made in wool felt, this project is very affordable and has a minimal supply list to complete.  It combines easy sewing construction with one of my favorite creative expressions...needle felting!

Never being one to stay only in one artistic venue, I have another epattern about ready to release (a very quick and simple sewing project), and several more in the works, so I hope you'll check back for more inspiration soon!