Thursday, September 30, 2010
Today the most adorable little envelope came in the mail addressed to me - totally unexpected...and inside was the most perfect scissor fob! It was wrapped in a piece of sampler fabric (and we all know I love any and all sampler print fabric!)...and it was accompanied by a very special handwritten note....it truly brightened my day. This special package came at the perfect time and brought an immediate smile to my face - it was a godsend! I can't help but grin from ear to ear after receiving this handmade gift - it was just what I needed to lift my spirits. Thank you to my dear friend - your kindness touched my heart.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I took a few hours on Wednesday to get together with my local stitching group, who I hadn't seen in months....and what a nice break it was...always fun to catch-up with my stitching friends. Of course I took along good old "Sarah Moon" - you know, my "go to" project that has been in progress for way too long. So, why aren't you seeing a photo of it here? Well, I did get quite a bit stitched, but guess what?...I counted wrong and basically had to cut out all I accomplished - quite discouraging. So when I visited with a couple special stitching friends on Friday evening, I decided to start something new...something on larger count fabric...something that wouldn't require as much "focus"...so I started "Winter Wonderland" by Blackbird Designs - which I feel in love with the moment I first saw it! It is Loose Feathers Pattern 39...and luckily I am auto with one of my most favorite shops Elegant Stitch for all the Loose Feathers patterns with fabric and floss - so everything was ready for me to start - I have been collecting the LF patterns since they started and I have actually completed quite a few of them! So the photo is what little I completed on Friday night...hopefully I can get it done before Christmas (I can dream, can't I?!)....
Tomorrow, I am taking the morning off to spend time with my dear friend Merry - we are going to visit a couple favorite quilt shops and have lunch...and I can't wait! It is going to feel great to break out of my studio and the organized piles of work surrounding me...time with Merry is always fun, encouraging, and refreshing...and it is just what I *need* right now....
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Remember, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, please educate yourself ~ more and more people we know are being challenged by this life-threatening disease ~ cherish the time you have with family, friends, and loved ones....PLEASE do your monthly breast self-exams and your yearly mammogram - early detection is key!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I have been feeling like an emotional wreck today - could be stress - or lack of sleep - or the fact I haven't had my sewing machine on in several weeks - or a combination of all three. I decided it would do my soul good to turn on the Diamond today and do a little quilting. I started by making a couple small project bags for surprise gifts - a couple special people will be receiving these soon! Then I decided to catch-up on my Accuquilt GO! Fabric Cutter block of the month series - if you remember, I completed the first two months (June and July)....but then things really got busy with BRD and I just haven't had a chance to do August or the new one for September...so finally, I did the August block (#3) today...and it actually went pretty quick and easy (no frogging!). It is called Flashing Windmills and like the others in the series has a finished size of 12" x 12". Before I clean up my work area, I am going to cut the pieces for the September block (#4)...then hopefully I will find time to piece it together tomorrow. This quilting time has actually given me the boost I needed this afternoon and I am ready to go start bagging charts...
Thursday, September 9, 2010
- It has marking lines for both 1" and 2" seam allowances, so you only need one tool.
- It is clear, making it easy to see your fabric placement.
- It is 2 mil acrylic plastic, making it durable.
- It has complete 3" ruler markings down the left side - these can be used for:
- finishing work measurements
- measuring between stitched designs
- counting threads to figure fabric count
- It has 1/4" and 1/2" markings on the other three sides.
I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of this product - it seriously has been a dream of mine since before I started designing. To go along with this special tool are five sleeve designs - these sleeves are designed to hold your "Stitch Starter". The chartpack will contain: one stitch starter tool, charting for all five "Stitch Starter Sleeves", stitching instructions, complete finishing instructions, and an alphabet/numbers for personalization....it also contains instructions for using your stitch starter (which I will be posting on my website soon...so if you are confused, please be patient - answers will be forthcoming). The sleeve designs would also work great for ornaments, small framed pieces, needlework smalls...you name it. The designs are stitched on 32-count Strawflower from Lakeside Lines with Weeks Dye Works cotton floss....and the finishing is quite easy. In this industry, it can be a struggle to keep needleworkers excited, intrigued, and happy - I am always striving to come up with designs that are unique....designs that will interest and challenge you - I hope this design does the trick! "Blessed Beyond Measure" will be released later this month at the TNNA St. Charles Needlework Market....meaning it will be available from your favorite needlework shop at the end of September/beginning of October....and you, my friends, are seeing it here first!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
One of my favorite places to visit on the Las Vegas strip is the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio Hotel. The current summer exhibit was whimsical and wonderful - an unbelievable gardening exhibit - filled with over-sized flowers and flower pots, gardening tools, bumble bees, ladybugs, butterflies, mushrooms, snails, frogs, and even hot air balloons suspended from the ceiling. I think I took over 100 photos while visiting the Conservatory. Bumble Bees and ladybugs are some of my favorite things...and seeing these large floral "happy insects" immediately made me smile!
One of our most amazing experiences was visiting Valley Of Fire State Park. This is the oldest state park in Nevada and gets it name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago. The vibrant colors and unique formations had us speechless. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this park and stopped at each of the viewing areas along the way. At the Visitor Center, we were totally amused by the white-tailed antelope ground squirrels...we could see what seemed like hundreds of them running all over the rocks and formations. The most adorable thing - they would flatten out on the concrete to cool off (I spoke to a park ranger to find out about this - she also told me they can fan out their tails like umbrellas to shade themselves). I had so much fun watching them - they were super cute! But, the most awe-inspiring thing we saw was a group of four bighorn sheep in their natural habitat in the "White Domes" - we couldn't believe this sight!...and although we were not dressed in the proper attire, nor are we rock climbers, we couldn't resist climbing as high as possible to get an even closer look and some photos - it was truly a once in a lifetime vision. It was a phenomenal afternoon.
Monday, September 6, 2010
I have returned from a MARVELOUS (and very much needed) Las Vegas vacation and once I catch up on sleep and get back on Iowa time, I will feel very refreshed. We had a lovely time and did all sorts of fun things! We stayed at the brand new Vdara Hotel and Spa, pretty much in the center of the strip (right next to the Bellagio)...our room was quite something - everything was run by remote (even the window treatments) and we had a 39th story view of the fountains at the Bellagio - it was extremely quiet without a casino, and I thoroughly enjoyed the clean, crisp, contemporary/modern decor. The sculptures and artwork were quite something - including the tree of canoes in front of the hotel (seen below). We did spend quite a bit of time next door at Vdara's sister the Aria Hotel and Casino (also brand new) where my husband could play cards and do a little gambling.
Then it was back to the city for another fabulous dinner and some gambling, followed by seeing Blue Man Group at the Venetian - we had special Allegiant Air tickets, right in the center, right in the front - it was a fantastic show - then we got to go to the Blue Lounge for a meet and greet (with two other couples)...which was totally cool, as one of the members actually spoke and let us ask lots of questions (check out my tweets for a photo of me with a member of Blue Man Group!)...and then each of the members signed our tickets by placing their blue fingerprints on them - a totally unique experience. And I almost forgot to mention - earlier in the day, when we stopped at the Venetian to pick up our tickets, we went to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum - what a hoot this was! - if you haven't been there, all of the stars are posed, so you can have your photos taken with them - we had so much fun walking through each room and "seeing" all sorts of famous people - and they do look SO VERY real! If you read my tweets, then you saw a funny photo of me between Johnny Depp and Justin Timberlake (talk about a dream)...the museum was great for a bunch of laughs and giggling and I would definitely go back.
The next day found us making a trip to Stitcher's Paradise, Quiltique (thank you Kathryn for the GREAT suggestion), and the Hoover Dam and Bypass Bridge. Stitcher's Paradise was phenomenal - truly heaven for a needleworker - and although I didn't buy much stash (as we all know, I have enough to last a lifetime), I truly enjoyed my visit. Quiltique - well let's just say, I think this is my favorite quilt shop I have ever visited - I was seriously speechless when I walked in the door - and I did buy some stash, in fact, probably more than I should have - my husband even left for a bit, so I could do some serious shopping - it is a FANTASTIC quilt shop! We then made out way to the Hoover Dam and Bypass Bridge - we had visited there in February and wanted to see if the bridge was completed - but they are still working on it. We saw so many neat things - I will be back with more photos soon....