Monday, December 24, 2012

Twas the night before Christmas...

and all through our home

the presents were growing

there's no place to roam.

The teddy bears sit by the fire and wait

to see if St. Nicolas will not hesitate

to visit this house and three tiny grand-tots

and their Nana who loves them, lots and lots!

But lest we forget, in the joy of the day

the reason for the season, asleep in the hay.

from my home to yours ~

Merry Christmas


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Decorating in the South

Well, it's December.
Time to pull the Christmas decorations out of the cold attic,
make a fire (or turn on the gas),
get a cup of hot chocolate,
and play the first of many Christmas carols
while putting up the tree and deciding where to put what.

The only problem is

it's 80 degrees outside!

The attic is hot as we struggle to get everything out.

And forget the fire and hot chocolate.
Let's fire up the airconditioner and make some iced tea!

But all is ok as soon as the first box is opened
and the magic of Christmas begins.
The heat is soon forgotten
as memories come flooding back. 

Now that I have grandchildren, my decorating has evolved.
Gone are the days of fragile decorations.
The glass angels and ceramic santas stay safe in the attic.
The village and trains are going to stay packed for a few years too.

Instead, my latest theme is teddy bears!

Lots and lots of teddy bears!


And, when decorating the tree,
all the fun ornaments are at the bottom
where little eyes can see them and little hands can take them off,
and maybe put them back somewhere else.

Thankfully, gone are the days of worrying about perfection.
Of worrying about what others will think.
Of worrying about something getting broken.

Christmas now is about something more important.
It's about watching the joy in a three year old's face as she walks into the room
and is told she can play with the bears. 

It's about NOT saying "Don't Touch!" when she wants to inspect the ornaments.
It's about seeing the tree get re-decorated, or finding ornaments

in unexpected places

 later in the day.

It's about love.
Until next time ~


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Basket Making Progress

I thought I'd give you a quick update on my
basket making progress.

It's taken me a few weeks to get to this point.
Of course, I've been working on other (many other) projects
at the same time.

Last night I decided to time myself and see how long it takes me to do one row.
Now, this basket is quite large, so each row seems to take longer
and longer to complete.

And if you look closely you will see the design I decided to
incorporate by using a different stitch.

Well, one row took over an hour of uninterrupted work!

I want to make this basket at least another inch or two larger, so estimate
about another 20 hours of work.

The application to enter it in the State Fair is printed and
will be filled out and mailed this weekend.

I'll keep you posted:-)


Thursday, November 15, 2012

When Old Becomes New Again

My precious grand-babies were both baptized this past Sunday.

This is Sarah. 

Isn't she adorable!

I especially love this little Christening gown she is wearing 
because 35 years ago it was part of my wedding gown.

The gown sat in my closet for 30 years.  
My daughter thought she would wear it at her wedding, but it really wasn't her style.  
A 1970's wedding gown is very different from those worn today.  

So what to do with this keepsake now?


let's recycle it.

 Let's take it all apart and put it back together, right down to the Chantilly lace trim, 
satin buttons down the back
and even the ribbon bow.

I can't take the credit for making this lovely creation, but I can take credit for the idea.

I love that something old can become something new again.
That nothing is wasted.
That life continues, even for an old wedding gown.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Basket Making Season

In the fall when pine needles begin to fall I get the itch to stitch....baskets. 

I want to make a large basket to enter in the Florida State Fair and thought I'd share the process.  
This is how it begins.

I am lucky enough to have access to a private site full of mature, long leaf pine needles. 
The smell is delightful!  I pick the needles one at a time, making sure they aren't twisted, and put them in bunches. Then I take them home and sit out on the screen porch and begin.

 The needles have to be trimmed before they can be used.

 I carefully cut the ends off at an angle
and again check to be sure each needle is straight.

These are my piles of trimmed and untrimmed needles.

You can see below that the top needle looks straight and the bottom one looks twisted.
Twisted needles don't look good in a finished basket.

When I have enough needles sorted and trimmed I can begin stitching.
This large agate slice was set in acrylic and then holes were drilled
at 1/4 inch spacing.  This is called the basket center. Sometimes I'll use 
a sliced walnut, or often a cabochon which is glued to faux leather.

I use waxed thread to then sew coils of pine needles through the holes
and around the center.

It takes a little practice.

The size and design is only limited by time an imagination.
 This is going to be a pretty large basket, so hang with me and I'll show you my progress.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Life Changes

And how quickly it does!

Seems like just yesterday I was merrily going along with life, traveling, making pine needle baskets, knitting, and learning how to blog.  And then WHAM!  A job offer landed in my lap which was too good to pass up.

So now, my creativity has, and is, being used up as I create at work instead of at home.

But the one thing certain in life is change. 

As my life has changed, a new baby boy entered the world, forever changing life for his parents.

And since all babies deserve something handmade, I whipped up this pair of booties (which I know he loved :-)  They are almost as cute as he is!

So if you don't hear from me often, now you'll know why.  But I promise to keep creating and sharing as much as possible ....until the next change comes along.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

More Travels

Whew! I can't believe so much time has gone by so quickly!  I am still enjoying visiting all of the wonderful creative places from our party, and making new friends along the way.  The amount of creativity and imagination out there is truly inspiring.

While I was away from blogging, I was away.  We took a little trip to Nashville to visit our travel friends and while there, of course, had to travel :-)  Kentucky is just a short drive away and so we went to a Bed and Breakfast near Bardstown. 

I had never been to a B & B before and was pleasantly surprised.

This is the Springhill Bed and Breakfast near Bardstown.  It's a lovely place, set in a vineyard.  
There are six guestrooms and we took up four of them.

 As you can see, the house is lovely.
That's Eddie, our host, on the right.  

  I can't believe I didn't take any photos of the breakfast, but it was awesome! 
The hosts, Caroline and Eddie were great.  We will go back.

The next morning we all went to church at the Bardstown UMC.  
A beautiful church and a welcoming reception.

And this is some of Bardstown.  
We need to go back when it's not Sunday and the little shops are open.

No trip to Kentucky would be complete without visiting some distilleries.  
We went to Makers Mark where I discovered I really don't like bourbon.

 But it was fun watching our friends dip the bottles in red wax.

We headed back to Nashville but couldn't leave without going downtown for some Honky Tonk!
On Monday nights John England and the Western Swingers play at Roberts and they are great!  They play all the old western hits and we love stopping in and listening for a while.

As usual, all too soon it was time to go home.  

So we are again back in the heat of Tallahassee, patiently waiting for fall....