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Showing posts from 2008

Chocolate Swirl and Lace

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Thinking ahead about Valentine's Day chocolate came to mind and, of course, hearts. I wanted something different than red and pink. Color is one of my favorite things in the whole world. Nothing better than having all of my floss out around me organized by color in a huge wheel and I get to put them together to see if they sing or scream. I especially love the hand dyed colors because I can use less and get more in my designs. I chose just a few colors for my chocolate swirl project - purples and greens. I loved the combination. I have also been in a green mood with my knitting project. When my sister and her husband brought their sweet new baby girl to visit us in Nevada this summer we visited "Jimmy Beans Wool" in Reno and I bought some luxurious alpaca and silk yarn. I love to touch it. Seems to melt through my hands. I chose a fairly easy lace pattern - to me a lace pattern would be the only type to do this yarn justice. I just knew it would drape beautifully. It had…

Free Heart Embroidery Pattern Patchwork Tote

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I have been working on Valentine design ideas and decided I would put one of them on my blog to see if anyone would like to try it out. If you have trouble printing it from here please visit my website as it should print from there, http://www.countrygardenstitchery.com/ I finished mine in an evening and made it into a cute patchwork tote. It is very easy. I used stem stitch on the hearts and large swirl flowers, back stitch on the small swirl flowers, lazy daisy stitches for the leaves and three wrap french knots for the smallest swirl flowers. I used one strand of Caron Collection Wildflowers in Eggplant. I stitched the design on some very white fabric with a subtle floral design on it. I love little bags and totes so I went through my fabric scrap box and found some pieces to make one. I trim down my finished design to about an inch around and begin by putting two strips of fabric on each side and then on the top and continue adding until you are happy with the size. Cut a back the…

good harbor and valentine stitching

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I am working on a couple of valentine designs to add to my other February/Valentine's day designs. One in cross stitch and one in embroidery. i like being able to trade off between them. "Chocolate Swirl" is my cross stitch design and I will leave it to your imagination to picture what it will be like until I release it in early January. "Love Matters" is my embroidery design and I think I will make a pillow out of it. I love the colors and I can see it finished in a pillow. I have been reading a lot and I have been enjoying Anita Diamant's books. I have started "Good Harbor" because the summary really spoke to me at this stage in my life. Her books are so wonderfully written and help me to discover myself. I am planning on reading "The Red Tent" again. The sun is shining and it is very cold, but this afternoon it will be warm. I need a good storm. One of my favorite things is a good storm with solid gray clouds in different shades of g…

Fairies, Needlework and Mystery Stories

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I have been needing some new inspiration lately. I have been reading the new 2008 Best American Mystery Stories and they are pretty good. I think it is funny they call them mysteries as some of them aren't, not even a little. I do enjoy reading most of them for the writing quality. I think maybe I need something a little more happy though. I need a really funny author, know of any. I tend to seek out the serious authors, I need a change I think. I have also been seeking change in my design work too. Fairies came to mind since I like nature and that is where they live. I have been working on new ideas for embroidery, cross stitch and greeting cards with fairies. They can be very cute, and not very cute I have learned. I have become very interested in all of them and all the beautiful artwork done now on them. I bought the new 2009 Linda Ravenscroft calendar, absolutely stunning. I hadn't heard of her work until I found the calendar at a gift shop in Fernley, Nevada. I have also…

Sketches from Nature Journal

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I am finished with my new book! Yay! It is a book of sketches from many years of exploring the Nevada desert and ghost towns with my family. Watercolor paintings, pen and ink drawings and sketches along with journal entries. The places include Unionville, Nevada; Rochester, Nevada; Lovelock, Nevada; Humboldt City, Nevada and a few other places. A few animals and other nature creatures we ran into. It is a fun little gift book, something different, especially if you like history and art work. It is available in my Etsy store for the holidays.

Shabby Chic Style Scarves, First snow, Needlework Show

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First snow today! We woke up to fat fluffy snowflakes coming down and coating the grass. It melted quickly more into a rain, but wow what a great ski season in the Sierras if this is an indication of the weather to come. I have been busy sewing things for the holiday crafting this season. I decided to use a technique from the industry and leave my serged edges exposed on some patchwork scarves and they turned out neat. I used variegated threads in my serger that match and I really liked it. It is fun to play with all the cute fabrics out now in the quilting shops. Quilting shops are so fun to visit. We had a shop hop here in our area and it was a great success, lots of people had fun. The online needlework show was earlier this year and it was a fun time as usual, lots of new patterns to see and emails from wonderful stitchers all over the world. Now it is time for me to get my sketches and threads out to plan for a new set of cross stitch and embroidery patterns for 2009. Thinking of…

Country Decor Table Runner and Autumn

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I spent Labor Day weekend sewing and tried a quilted runner with triangles again. Everything was going along smoothly and I was thinking to myself this is great so nice and quick. Well....beware when confidence gets to high.... i had forgot to put in a triangle or two here and there in the block strips i was making. I was wondering why i had all these little triangles left when i was ready to put on the sashing... I was reading the directions and not paying close enough attention to the illustrations. I almost hated quilting again for awhile. I had to take apart all my pretty little triangle blocks and insert more. It was a kit so i had limited fabric, fortunately the pesky triangles didn't stretch and they were salvagable and the quilt looks okay. I like quilting again since it did turn out okay and I look forward to another project, however probably not with triangles. Need a break from those. I have been working on many embroidery projects too and drawing the autumn nature scen…

Flower Arrangements and Life Changes

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Iremember hearing "life can change on a dime" and I never really understood what that meant. I guess I thought it meant very quickly, unexpectedly - but what does that have to do with a dime. Because it is small? The smallest, thinnest coin? Still don't know but my father died unexpectedly last week and that thought came to me. My life does feel changed, a bit empty and it has brought me to a new level emotionally and mentally I think. Feeling a hurt so truly and deeply does bring change. On a happier note I am going to be doing a flower arranging class. I love flowers and am really looking forward to the colors and different flowers I will learn about. I am hoping for some healing too. I looked at the flower bouquets at my father's celebration of life ceremony and they were beautiful. Lots of yellow flowers ~ buttery yellow gladiolas, sunflowers with huge chocolate colored brown centers, sunshine yellow daisies. Yellow is a happy color and I am thankful for all of t…

New "Sketches from Nature" Embroidery Book

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I am very happy that my embroidery and watercolor book is finished. It seemed to take most of my time for awhile. I put 24 embroidery designs in it along with lots of watercolor florals. The embroidery book is a collection of all my embroidery booklets - tulip embroidery, sketches from nature embroidery, daisy embroidery, and garden cart embroidery. It has a finished project of each category to show what the design looks like stitched up. I am publishing another book with my desert ghost town drawings in it that I have collected in my journals since my children were little. Very excited about that. It should be finished very soo. I have also been getting ready for the online Needlework Show in September. Wow, almost need another vacation. I have the new Amy Butler design book and I have been slowly perusing it in the evening for relaxation. I love it because it is very different and fresh and brings lots of ideas to my brain. I got a couple other sewing books too - "Si…

Country Garden Cart Embroidery Quilt

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I am very excited! I finished my wall quilt this past weekend and it is hanging in my hallway. I kind of designed it as I went using fabrics I found on a weekend trip to Idaho. I had a great time browsing the quilting shops. They are one of my favorite kinds of shops to visit, so cozy with all the fabric and color. Lots of rain for Memorial Day and is still raining, my flowers are very happy now. Much better than last weekend with temperatures way too hot for this time of year! Going to start on my autumn pumpkins now I think. I really like this quilting

IF Worry

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It has been awhile since I've participated with Illustration Friday. I've been drawing plenty, just not posting. I took a great life drawing class and learned so much, but now that it is over I find myself with more time. Thinking of a class for fall, but haven't decided yet. It is really neat how classes can change perspective and lead into new directions, very healthy. Happy Memorial Day to all and enjoy the long weekend.

Tea Party, Moonlight Garden Cross Stitch, Gardens

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Red and pink zinnias, purple daisies, pink snapdragons, purple pansies and varigated alyssum make up my flower gardens this year. Nice healthy plants, but the heat this weekend is really making them struggle to smile. Some of them really look droopy, but it could be my cat laying on them or worse... Good thing he's a cute cat. I finished my "Moonlight Garden" cross stitch with quilting fabric. I tried to use fabrics that coordinated with my design and found a blue print with stars. Quilting fabrics are so wonderful right now and the stores are so wonderfully cozy and welcoming to shop in. I have a surplus of really cute quilting fabrics so now I need designs to go with them. Planning a larger quilt for my daughter using some charm squares - don't want anything too challenging... Pictures from our annual tea party are inspiration for new designs and drawings. Lots of beautiful teapots, glistening china and silver with pale lacy flowers - wonderful.

Quilted Needlework, Needlework Mysteries, Moonlight Garden

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A weekend spent in the garden and at the local nursery was very nice. I planted more flowers and have a purple and pink theme going with splashes of red and orange with a yellow columbine. Right outside my bedroom window I have a small flower garden around a flowering plum tree. It is getting warm enough outside now we leave our window open at night. I planted purple varigated alyssum around the outer border and bright pink petunias in the middle. The quiet breeze at bedtime brings in the wonderful fragrance of the petunias and it is heavenly. I haven't had a garden so close to my bedroom before and I love it! At the Flower Tree Nursery there was a wine tasting, all kinds of drawings to enter, classes to attend and flowers to browse. I tasted a white riesling wine from a local nursery and a port which I've never tried before - didn't like it at all so really glad I had never bought any! I tasted a fantastic blend of zinfandel, merlot and cabernet and it was by far my favor…

Pansies and Shabby Chic Placemats

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My favorite time of the year, planting time. I have been pacing myself this year since I have a new and different garden. I have garden beds this year and rock landscape so no weeds! Or easily managed weeds I should say. I want to plant things that look great together and like a cozy cottage garden. One of our local nurseries had an open house last weekend and I had a great time (even though I smelled too much and got terrible hayfever, from which one I don't know yet- probably something I bought) anyway they had a great selection of beauty. My daughter and I participated in a herb growing and cooking class that was all about eating great food made with herbs! I haven't had that much fun in a long time. We had watermelon, onion, and feta cheese salad - with a few other ingredients to top it off and it was wonderful! A great artichoke dip and my other favorite was a thick tomato slice, cheese and a large basil leaf. Wonderful. I bought lots of pansies, alyssum, a columbine and …

French Country Colors

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Very excited with this new quilted needlecase. I am starting to become inspired by brighter colors (i am definitely a pastel girl by nature). These colors just make me happy though and I want to try more. There are so many neat color combinations out there and fat quarters galore to choose from. I got my Beatrix Potter fabric yesterday and have been inspired by sheep. I love sheep and used to have a few of my own, funny experience. They are funny characters, and so was I since I didn't have too much experience with them. Anyway I have always loved sheep, especially the lambs. I think I will do an embroidery set for kids featuring lambs and sheep and a few flowers here and there - my other favorite. My local flower nursery is starting to get all kinds of neat things in and I have to discipline myself to stay away and not go everyday since we have to buy things to eat, fuel that is priced like gold, and other necessities too... Last weekend I did get a few flowers (just had to) and …

Spring weather hiking and creek painting

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We went out for a bit on Sunday even though it was much colder, no shorts - got the turtle necks out again. We found a new ghost town we haven't been to. Really neat old rock structures that still have a few walls intact. A small creek was running and I found a quiet spot in the willows near a little waterfall to sit down and paint. The sun was warm and the trees protected me from the wind. Lots of rocks, but no sign of rattlesnakes yet. We were out by a bird conservation area too and there were lots of geese, egrets, ducks and others that I couldn't see but I heard them. Really neat black crane type birds too, lots of them. A little family of geese that liked the quiet canal along the road rather than the busy marshland area. I'd never seen goslings except in storybooks so I was very excited with this discovery. My needlework is coming along and for those of you who visited my web site for the online Needlework Show my "Moonlight Garden" is almost finished and w…

Lake Painting, Alchemist, Garden Cart Embroidery and such

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I painted a lot at the lake last weekend. I love the sounds of the water and the warm sun. My daughter wanted me to sketch and paint her playing in the water. Immediately I think I can't do it, but she goes out there and I begin. I begin to draw and it looks like nothing, not even close to her. Pretty soon my sketchy marks take a shape that starts to resemble her and I have more confidence in myself. In black and white it still doesn't resemble her much, but after I add the paint and it brings life to her skin, clothes, hair, and surroundings I was surprised with it - so was she I think. Funny. I have also been busy with my new set of embroidery patterns. They are very fun and will be quick to embroider. I love working on the quilting fabric, much more interesting than muslin. I am very excited to sew this together in a wall quilt. My walls are much too white right now. I have ideas of painting my walls here and there. Not a mural - too much for me, but little flowers here and…

Garden Embroidery and Quilting

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I've been inspired to begin a new set of embroidery patterns. A lot of whimsy, smaller in scale, following my garden theme, but a few more in another wall quilt. I am excited about the colors I've picked and fabrics I am going to use. Those bali fabrics with leaves and other nature images in them are fantastic. I am going to mix one I have with some florals to see what I come up with. I am still going to stay safe and use squares as I did in my daughter's quilt I finished. A heart pattern came out of the dark squares I used, which I didn't plan - just happened. Serendipity, love when that happens. I am pleased with how it turned out and it adds so much color to her room. I'd like to make more pillows for her room. No sewing last weekend, we went to the lake and spent lazy days by the water. Was wonderful on Saturday, but nearly were blown away on Sunday. Enjoyed it anyway and the wind helps to clear the mind and get the ideas flowing. I am almost finished with my d…

Purple Tulip Wall Quilt

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I finally finished all three tulip embroidery patterns and made them into a wall quilt for my bedroom. I liked how it turned out, but again I learned a lot from this project. I didn't measure my fabric for the embroideries beforehand so one was off and my block was off to so I had to add fabric (on the middle block). Did you notice before I told you :) I'm getting good at improvising if nothing else I guess! I am very excited though, these patterns will be distributed by Pattern Peddlers in the near future. Getting them ready to send. I am working on another set of five that I will use in a wall quilt too. My walls should be very colorful in the next coming weeks.

Zig Zag Quilt Pillow Adventure

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I decided to sew last weekend and finish the quilt wall hanging for my daughters room and make a matching pillow. I am not an experienced quilter, I can do simple 9 -patch and log cabin - straight seams. Well I decided to try my hand at triangles, good grief. I almost hated quilting for a while. I learned a lot from this little project and think I like quilting again because I did get it to turn out, but not without a struggle. My pillow isn't perfect in any way, but it has its charm and the colors are fun and my daughter was happy, so I was too. It has given me a litle more confidence and lessons in measurement :) I think I will make another similar one next weekend and see how it goes. Working with all these fun fabrics is really fantastic, I love decorating my house with quilts and pillows and other warm, cozy things. I have a great collection of quilts from my grandmother and step-mother. They've inspired me to keep the tradition going. Lots of talent came before me.

Blooming Pink Tulips

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Inspired by all of the blooming daffodils in my neighborhood I decided to draw some tulips. Sometimes I have a hard time getting my colored pencil to show up well on the scans so I decided to leave more white and see how that worked. I like the value contrast and the white showing through. Still too cold to plant here I think so my mums are still near a sunny window. Getting ready for my online needlework show on April 16. Still working on a little lady who loves her garden pattern and the third embroidered tulip pattern that will complete my set of three. I am going to make a wall quilt out of the three embroideries using purples and greens in the fabric. Will be a new project for me, haven't used several embroideries in my wall quilts yet, hope to get the measurements right.

First Day of Spring

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Very excited today is the first day of spring and a beautiful one at that here where I am in the high desert. Very quiet morning and I am inspired to write. Got a new book yesterday - Amy Butler's "In Stitches" and I am terrifically excited to begin a project. I definitely want the bedside caddy to hold my novel - I love to read before sleep. I also bought my first flower plant for our new home - a daisy like mum. My grandmother has always grown these and they turn out so beautiful and bloom a long time. They grow into a beautiful round mass covered in flowers. I hope I can grow mine as well a she did hers. I am anxious to go and visit the nurseries to see what they have for spring planting, but not until a few more weeks have passed. Still too cold at night. During the day though we have lots of sun and people in the neighborhood are beginning to water their yards.

Ribbon Embroidery and more Tulips

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Very inspired by spring and warmer temps. and sun, lots of sun. I decided to use some of my favorite quilting fabrics and ribbon embroidery together. I love the cottage look. A house that looks like it has come together over time and is very cozy with quilts here and there, baskets, lots of sunshine and colorful things. Books too, love books. I enjoyed doing the silk ribbons and beads. The beads really pick up the different surrounding colors. Working on my third embroidery for my tulip series and I really like that. Really new at that type of embroidery and I love it, looks sharp.

Purple Tulip Garden

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Anxious for spring and planting my garden. Painting one is almost as good. I love to sit outside and paint in the sunshine with the sounds of nature, fresh air and slight breeze. I sketch all the time during the season of light. I don't know if I have a favorite flower, all of them are very unique and I enjoy them all, except maybe orchids. I've never liked orchids much they remind me of venus flytraps and I think they will come alive.

Bright Pink Quilt Wall Hanging for Girls

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I am working on a 9 patch wall hanging to decorate my daughter's room. Very new to quilting so this seemed an easy project to start with. The different mix of pinks is fun to work with and the dainty dresses fabric. I can see myself becoming a fabric collector very quickly. I will post the finished quilt, hoping it is presentable. It seems to be turning out okay so far.

Tulip Embroidery for Quilting

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I am very excited about this new embroidery design I am working on. I am using Gentle Art Sampler flosses on ivory quilting fabric and the varigated floss adds so much interest. I am using stem stitch on some of it and back stitch on some for variation. I am already planning which quilt fabrics to use when I make a wall hanging out of it. I plan to do three similar designs to make an oblong wall quilt.

Scissor Fob and Needlecase

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A newsewing creation with fun quilting fabrics and beads. I am really liking beads. I wanted to play around with making scissor fobs. Very fun and so many beads and colors to choose from. Can't wait to make more.

Desert drawings

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Beautiful weather for a desert hike. Light blue skies with cloud wisps and so quiet. We head out to explore the desert, ghost towns, and whatever we happen to run into. That is the fun part though, we never really know what we are going to find. We run into people drilling for gold hoping to strike it rich like they did in the 1800s. They have bags and bags of core samples hoping one of them contains what they work so hard for. We find old rock houses and they are so small, people must have just slept on the floor. We found an old town up in a canyon and that is where the drawings came from. The neatest old truck skeleton and small intact houses with name plates and old relics all around. Snow all around this area in the canyon, but we trudged through it just to peek into the old buildings for a glimpse.

IF "Choose" - Flower Cart

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I love flower carts and have a hard time choosing which flowers to buy. Today it is very nice here in Nevada and I am anxious to have flowers in the garden, but will have to settle for buying some in the store. Good thing it is close to Valentine's Day. Happy weekend!

IF Tales and Legends

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I love wizards and wanted to paint one for this topic. He is conjuring up some gifts for a birthday in this painting. Lots of fun, maybe will try a dragon next time. I loved the movie "Pete's Dragon" when I was a kid - i like dragons and would love to visit Maine.

IF Plain

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Here are some plain flowers I tried my new gouache set on. I've only played with watercolor until now and really like the gouache, although have to remember not so much water... i like to use lots of water in my watercolor paintings! Very excited to start a painting class tomorrow. Will be painting models and trying my hand at acrylic. Branching out a little... Have a good week!