Monday, August 30, 2010

Basket Pincushions for sale

I've been busy, among other things, making these small basket pincushions for my Etsy shop. The pincushion I made earlier with the quilting theme is destined for upstate New York in a few weeks and the one seen here:
is being shipped back to Arizona to April. After making the first one I decided to add some beads and a button to the front of each for decoration and I think I like it! I have two for sale, the first one is a dark burgundy fabric and 3 colors of hand dyed reed:
This one has a sage green butterfly fabric and green reed accents:

I just love making these, they are so stinkin' cute!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pink 'Shrooms......really!

Ok, I lied. The mushrooms aren't really pink, they're FUCHSIA!! We have been receiving quite a bit of rain here lately (I've heard tell from the locals that May is supposed to be the rainy month, but this summer it seems to be August) and when it rains, there are many, many mushrooms growing on our property. I've seen white, brown, gray, black, orange, yellow, smooth, warty, and even some purple mushrooms, but today takes the cake! The fuchsia (and believe me, the color is not as bright in the photos as in real life -- I will try again tomorrow when the sun is out to see if I can capture the true color) mushrooms growing out of the base of a dead tree blew me away today when I took my walk through our woods! They are not very big, maybe a little larger than a thumb, and as velvety in texture as they look. So cool! I had to share:

UPDATE ON AUG. 25: I emailed David Fischer over at American Mushrooms this morning and he responded very quickly to my inquiry about this mushroom and here is his reply: This is a unique edible* mushroom with a tart taste, Fistulina hepatica, commonly called the "Beefsteak Polypore." I've never seen one quite so DEEPLY pink! Thanks, David!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sneak Preview!

I've been busy creating and have some NEW items ready for my Etsy shop! I love making little books and have created Canvas Bitty Books filled with paper. The covers are canvas and Moda fabric sewn with crazy stitches. Threads and ragged edges abound on these little cuties (measuring 3 in. X 3 in.). Signatures are sewn in by hand with variegated perle cotton and embellished with beads and buttons:
Don't they look yummy all lined up?
The next original item is a hand-made basket pincushion. This particular baby is headed to upstate New York as a thank you gift. Sarah is a quilter so I have used Debbie Mumm's quilting themed fabric for the top. The basket base for this pincushion measures 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 2" tall not including fabric top.
The wine colored reed was hand-dyed by me!

Stay tuned for these hand crafted, original designs to be added to my Etsy. Check out my shop (to the left of the post!).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Etsy Up and Running!

I have updated my Etsy shop with 11 new items: 3 Needle Books as seen in Sew Somerset Summer 2010 issue and 8 A Little Piece of Art Journals!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am excited to offer some of my favorite pieces of art (so far!). Stay tuned as I continue to create and update. Check it out on the right.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Reconfigured Blog List

Hey! Check out my newly organized blog list over there on the right! Whew! It took some time, but I organized all of my fav blogs into categories, so that when I'm in the mood to Zentangle I can zip right to the Zentangle blogs! Some days I spend hours blog hopping and finding lots of inspiration along the way, this makes it WAY easier to find the blog I want.
Tomorrow I should have my Etsy store up and running, just putting the finishing touches on my little journals, take pictures, and write the sales pitch, then DONE for now until I can create the niggling ideas in the back of my brain.......stay tuned...........

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bean Pot Basket ---SCORE!

One thing that tickles me is tackling a difficult project and ending up with a piece that I like! In preparation for an item I will be offering in my Etsy once it's up and running (this week!) I made a basket that actually had to be shaped as it was constructed. The last basket I made (you will notice that I have not posted it!) came out so funky-shaped that I stuck my peacock feathers in it and plunked it down by the non-working fireplace. It was supposed to be tall and square. Mine: not so much! It still looks okay with my feathers, but I know what it's supposed to look like! Cheri and I joined the Surry County Basket Makers Guild and attended our first meeting last Tuesday down near Mt. Airy, NC. Each month a member creates a kit and we work on it at the meeting. It was fun even if my basket is funky! Anyway, this Bean Pot Basket had to be shaped from fat to skinny and I actually did it! After struggling to twine the base and take out the reed a couple of times the rest wasn't too bad. I had to use a different reed for the rim which was much thicker than what I should have used and I struggled to get it shaped, but it finally worked. Here it is:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Foggy Mountain (no breakdown)

One of the "issues" I had with living in Arizona was the same weather day in and day out. Yes, there's no snow and it doesn't get cold, but after over 30 years it was pretty boring! Yawn! Today I woke up to light rain, it drizzled all morning and when I left mid-morning to check out a fiber and fabric event in NC, it was very, very foggy! It was foggy all the way down the mountain and into Cana, NC where it was still drizzling. I imagine Stephen King driving down Rt. 52 off the mountain and dreaming up "The Mist", one his short stories. Anyway....... the fiber and fabric thingy was at a historic working farm and was quite interesting. This is the view of my street from the road:
This is our house enveloped in fog (and as I look out my window it is still foggy!):
I couldn't resist taking a photo for April at the grocery store in Mt. Airy, NC where I stopped to get cash. I've never seen this specialized parking before!

Friday, August 13, 2010

What I've been up to lately

One of the mini-goals I set for myself was to have items ready to sell so that I can get my Etsy shop back up and running. I have made a few needle books as seen in the Summer issue of Sew Somerset. So far I've made three, as I made books for my sisters and Cheri I made an extra one to sell. The ones I have made are not personalized, but just as cute! The three covers are all different and designed by me (as is the entire book!). The books are made from primarily upholstery fabric so that they are durable. I have free motion embroidered, hand embroidered, sewed and bound each. Two are bound with sticks from my property and the third, which is Japanese themed, is bound with a chopstick. The cover for the butterfly book made in deep reds and tans is shown below. I have also made a nurse themed book in blues and the oriental is in reds and blacks.
I have also been experimenting with paper towel fabric (yes, you read that correctly; the fabric is made with paper towels) as a cover for small journal/books. the cover you see below is my first embroidered cover which also has Moda fabric and a button from my HUGE stash. I am currently playing with different paint and ink techniques for the pages that will be housed in the covers. I enjoy taking a break and just sitting by the window and embroidering!

Stay tuned for my grand re-opening of my Etsy shop where these (and more) will be for sale! Let me know what you think and if you would like to see any other items featured in my shop. Thanks!

Monday, August 9, 2010

News from April

Although I prefer News #1 from April's blog, I am thrilled with News #2. April is a guest designer for My Stamp Box and created an altered clipboard. So go on over to her blog and click on the link for her bio! Congratulations!
Here's a pic of April and her sister, Dorothy taken in Chittenango, NY, birthplace of L Frank Baum:

If you don't know what News #1 is you will just have to go there and find out.