Tuesday, May 5, 2015

On My Worktable

Today began with some delicious gluten free blueberry pancakes with extra blueberries and some maple syrup.  These are light and fluffy and my go-to pancake recipe (thank you Pinterest!).  And of course they taste even better off one of my pretty plates from Anthropologie!  

Today I have been working on some more antique clock face pincushions which I wrote about here.  I have sold out of these in my shop and had a customer convo me to see if I could make more.  

I've also been sewing more hexies for needle books.  I have to admit I find making these soothing and a bit addictive!  They are pretty small, less than an inch across so a bit fiddly but not too time consuming.

I think there is something very comforting about cats on windowsills.  Mine like to follow the sun around the house, starting off in the morning at the back of the house and ending the evening soaking up the last rays on the windowsill in the living room.  I love it when I walk up the path to the front door and they are both mashed up against the glass of the living room window, completely oblivious to everything except the warmth of the sun.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Working In The Garden

Here in California we are living with a serious drought.  Since there is little we can do inside to minimize our usage (we've already done what we can) we have been turning our attention to the outside.  Usually I grow vegetables throughout the year but this year it seems irresponsible.  So we have leveled our beds and covered most with gravel.  We didn't have any grass in the back anyway and already had a gravel area with a fire pit.  Now it's just bigger.  I'm finding that I love it and I've been enjoying decorating the space... with plants, furniture, rocks and accessories.  The new plants will get a little water, we are allowed to water on Tuesdays and Fridays but I was very careful to only pick really tough plants that could tolerate heat and not much water. 

Today I went to an import store and got a little turquoise metal table to put near a pair of loungers and two pretty Moroccan style lanterns which I've hung in the cherry tree.  As it began to get dark, I put the little tea lights inside and lit them.  The glowing lanterns are making me smile.  They look so cheerful hanging there. I hope the glass doesn't fade in our strong sunlight.  

A little while after taking the lantern photos the moon rose, full, golden and enormous.  A show off moon begging to be noticed!  This photo, like the one taken a few days ago, was taken from my back doorstep.  

Friday, May 1, 2015

Random Friday Musings

I just had coffee, or in my case, tea with two friends I have known for years.  We try and meet up regularly but it can be hard to juggle work, parenthood and coffee get togethers!     We talk about everything and today as always was a mix of happy, sad, laughter and unquestioning support ... because that's who we are.  

Here are some pictures from the last couple of days.  They are random, but they are snippets of my week I might share with a friend.

The moon has been pretty this week and I've been playing with my camera again, still trying to get to grips with some of the manual settings!  I took this from just outside my back door.

This is me playing with a new selfie app on my phone!  The app is called B612 and has loads of fun filters.  I also photographed my cats with it (see below).  Because it doesn't take the photo immediately that you click, I was able to position the phone and then quickly move my head out of the photo!


Actually it got even warmer than this later in the day.  If felt like summer yesterday and it wasn't fun.

I received the felt I'd ordered and was excited to see all those beautiful colors. This is hand dyed felted wool from fellow Etsy shop Quilting Acres.

I finished up the three cherry blossom pincushions that I've been working on and mailed off an order for another of the antique clock face pincushions.  That was the last one so I will have to make some more of those soon, and some of the Union Jack ones since I sold the last one of those too!  Happy Sewing!  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Another New Needlebook

I made this needle book yesterday but the design has been rattling around in my head for several days.  It is inspired by beautiful old leather bound books, and maybe a little bit by some of the books in the Harry Potter movies!  It is hard to capture the richness of these dark felt colors in photographs.  I used a golden brown variegated thread for the embroidery which works really well in this project.

felt needle book

needle book inspiration

needle book project

old book style needle book

You can find this needle book listed in my Etsy shop here.

antique book

old leather book, felt

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

New Needle Books

I realized that my stock of needle books has gotten quite low so I've been working on remedying that and have some ideas for new ones in my sketchbook.  Seriously, there aren't enough hours in the day!  Here is the little English paper pieced hexagon one.

The little hexagons are less than an inch across so it was a fiddly process but I did enjoy the hand piecing.  I found it rather soothing.  I'm thinking that I will make several of these using different fabrics for the Quilt Show later in the year so this one is not in my shop.  

I've sold several of the antique clock face pincushions and I had a customer ask me for a matching needle book so here it is.  The clock face is a little bit smaller than the one on the pincushion but otherwise very similar.  This needle book is available here.

This needle book with the little bird in a nest coordinates with the tree pincushion which has the same little nest on the side band.  I added some pale pink french knot blossoms to this one for a bit of extra color.   The leaves seemed a bit bare without the flowers.   You can find this needle book here.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Momentous Day

This week I became a U.S. Citizen.  It was time.  We've lived here for nearly 20 years.  My daughter was born here but my husband, son and I have been here on Green Cards.  We applied for citizenship in early January and so the whole process has taken about 4 months.  It was very straightforward and everyone at our local Naturalization Office was really friendly and helpful.  This week was the Oath Ceremony, the final step to citizenship.  It was held in a theater and there were nearly 400 of us that day, from over 50 countries.  

I felt a bit emotional on the morning of the ceremony.  I think it hit me that it was such a big step in our lives.  I calmed down with my last cup of tea as an "Alien" before getting ready per the instructions we had received (solemn occasion - no jeans or flip flops!).  I really, really dislike dressing up.  I'm a jeans/yoga pants and t-shirt girl, I had to buy a dress for the day, and shoes but buying shoes is always fun!

This beautiful rose caught my eye on the way out.  I have roses down the path to my front door and in the front of the house.  They are all fragrant old English style roses and are so pretty at the moment.  

Inside those envelopes we are holding are our Citizenship Certificates, voter registration forms and passport application forms.  We are looking forward to having a say in how our tax dollars are used and to voting in local and national elections.  The ceremony was on Thursday and at the beginning of the week I got a jury summons in the mail for late May!  And so it begins.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

On My Worktable

I had a great few days in the mountains last week, hiking, sewing and watching movies with my daughter.  It was lovely.  I put a note on my shop announcement saying I would be gone for a few days and oddly enough, I had a eight orders!  I got those all packaged up on Sunday and to the Post Office first thing Monday morning.  

After a few days away I have been doing all the usual catching up things around the house, laundry and cleaning etc which is all quite tedious!  I have also been doing some sewing.  I made some more antique clock pincushions last week while I was away but stuffed and finished them on Monday.



I also finished up some more of these little bird pincushions.  You can't see in this picture, but there is a little nest on a branch with another red bird nestled in it on the side of these pincushions.  

For a while now, I've wanted to make something with English pieced hexagons.  I decided to start with a needle book.  The fabrics I've used look like Liberty prints don't they?  In reality they are made by Moda and actually have a nicer feel than the Liberty quilting cotton fabrics I have in my stash.  They have the weight of quilting cotton but the softness of Liberty lawn fabric and they sew beautifully.  These hexagons are small, less than an inch across so they are a bit fiddly to work with!

I finished this needle book this afternoon but didn't have time to photograph it so I'll show you next time.  This evening after dinner I started on some cherry tree pincushions as I am currently sold out of those.  This is another project featuring hundreds of french knots!  I've mentioned before that french knots are my favorite embroidery stitch, I find them very soothing...... until the thread tangles....grrrrr.