Seasons


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Bk2Basics

Many of you know that our baby dog, Dillan has had a rough 2010.  I give many thanks to the Lord for hearing all of the prayers going up to heaven on behalf of Dillan.  A huge thanks goes out to all of you too for the many personal emails received during this difficult time.  Dillan is continuing to improve and we have very high hopes that the disease will go into remission.  Just yesterday, his medication was reduced to a half a pill twice a day.  Yippee!! 

I have always had a deep-seated desire to create with my hands, heart, and mind.  Cooking began at a very young age and from there quilting, sewing, weaving, spinning, and not to forget embroidery which is my love and how I make a living.  There are many other artistic venues included in my life toolbox and I’m always growing and learning more.  It’s important for me to have my toolbox full and varied but at the same time it can sometimes create overload because I usually have several artistic creations going on at the exact same time.  This means that it takes me longer to completion but that’s okay because I love the process as much as the finished projects.

Lately, I have really stripped down to doing what most would scratch their head and wonder why.  Things like making homemade butter and bread and learning how to make my own natural soap.  For me this process has been very fulfilling and brings me closer to my grandparents’ days.  It’s also a very natural, earthly feeling which I find intoxicating and irresistible.  It’s also less expensive.  The older I get the closer I am drawn to nature and a more natural way to living.  And if you’ve followed any news these past many years, you have learned right along with me that what is available to purchase is not always the safest.  It doesn’t stop with our food, but other products have so many safety issues that it seems only normal to learn how to do as much as you are comfortable with in providing for your family.  For me, I want safer foods with fewer artificial ingredients, soaps that actually contain soap and lanolin.  Many manufacturers strip out the lanolin and sell it separately.  Please!  That’s an important part of soap — well besides actual soap that is.  I have a whole lot of information on soap that I plan on sharing later this year.

My back to basics with quilting started with pulling out my oldest hand pieced project.  I’ve since put all of the blocks together, added borders, and am nearly finished with the top.  I just finished all of the flying geese for the last border and need to attach it and then it’s ready to quilt.  Tracy, my husband and best friend, gave me a new hoop for quilting at Christmas and I can hardly wait to get it hooped so I can sit and handstitch with him and Dillan in the evenings while watching tv. 

After this top is in the hoop, my free time will be devoted to working on The Lady again.  She’s been very patient waiting for her turn again.  I love looking at her on the design wall.  She almost looks like she’s looking at me and smiling.  This is my first artistic quilt that I’ve designed and it really has been a satisfying experience working on her.  Am I the only one that actually starts to talk about a creation as if it were living being?  Bizarre I’m sure to some.

Don’t forget to spend a little time on something creative today.  It’s good for the soul. 

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I attended a networking event yesterday and heard this quote that I can’t get out of my head.  It made me really think, and I thought I would post it for everyone to read.  So tell me — which are you?

       If a person works with their hands, that person is a laborer….

      If a person works with their hands and their head, that person is a craftsman…

      However, if a person works with their hands and their head and their heart, that person is an artist…

Enjoy the day and do something that stirs your heart and causes you to use your hands, head, and heart. 

Here’s a new picture from my garden…  This bush is called Cephalanthus occidentalis or more commonly called Buttonbush.  It is the last thing in my garden to pop out of winter hibernation.  When the leaves open, I know summer is here.

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Thank you so much for letting me know that you could not leave me comments on my blog.  The problem has been fixed, and I hope you will try again to leave me comments on any postings that interest you enough to.  Or, if you are new to my blog — a big welcome to you!  I hope you enjoy your visit and will come back frequently.

Enjoy the view from my window!  I’m so happy to have them return for the summer.  As you can see, they are a bit impatient to grab dinner.

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Well if this photo doesn’t just say it all, I don’t know what would. This is Dillan, our animal child. It really doesn’t take much for him to call it a day and retreat to “his” couch. We laugh at his antics daily. Yes, he really does have to have his own pillow, and no one had better try and take the “green” pillow. I tried to take the photo without disturbing the little prince but his ears are just too keen and he opened his eyes right as I was taking the picture. I waited a bit and got him in a deeper sleep and took another picture.  Are you owned by a member of your animal family? It is my opinion that people that have animal children are better people. They definitely are calmer folks. I have the benefit of having Dillan with me every day in the shop. My health is improved by his presence too because on “those days.” You know the ones I’m talking about; he instantly appears with kisses and that “come-on mom let’s play look” that causes my shoulders to relax and my breathing to deepen. It’s a great reminder that life’s way too short to allow the other stuff to get to you.

And if you happen to get all caught up on your daily activities, now you too know how to take advantage of a cold, rainy day and grab a little nap. It’ll do you good!

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The calendar says it’s spring and the Daffodils are blooming here, but the weather still feels and looks like winter. It has rained every day, the sun barely sneaks out from above the clouds, and the continual dampness has my garden still looking like swampland. I’m positive however that all that we need is a BIG dose of Vitamin D to get the pear trees blooming. Summer is coming because Easter is now less than a month away.

So with all of this weather gloominess, what’s a person to do to? Well, if the sun won’t come to you, it’s time to stitch some sunshine and nothing reminds me of summer more than flowers. Today, I stitched a beautiful red Anthurium on a customer’s black jacket. The detail was fabulous and the flower had three shades of red thread. The jacket was just released and I love the quality of it. And as an extra plus, it has hidden embroidery pockets! I love it when jackets have hidden pockets for embroidery because it allows me to make the inside of the jacket as beautiful as the outside.

Tomorrow I have two designs to create for customers. One has trees, mountains, and a stream going through it. It should be very enjoyable and maybe I’ll sneak some rays of sunshine into it as well.

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I lost all my writings from my blog when my website was moved to a new, more up-to-date server.  It was a surprise to me because I thought the blog was saved on WordPress too but alias it was not to be.  So dear readers, please allow me to begin again and start fresh.  Actually, it seems quite fitting with this being the first day of spring and all.  The Daffodils are blooming along the road sides and the promise of sun and summer and new birth is definitely in the air.  Looking out at the sky today and seeing just a little bit of blue scattered among the dark rainy clouds gives me great hope.  My hands are beginning to itch with the anticipation of working the dirt in the garden.  There is something deeply satisfying to work the ground.  I must confess to not being a “glove” wearer and that getting dirt in my fingernails isn’t a bad thing.  Good dirt feels and smells good.  No wonder kids love to play in it.  It’s too bad that we grow up and many of us forget that feeling. 

In case you are new to my blog, I am a thread artist.  My love is taking artwork from businesses and individuals and turning it into thread art…known mostly as embroidery.  I have the latest in commercial embroidery software.  It has a wonderful ability to be able to create stitches automatically but I never use that capability because like playing in the dirt, there is something deeply satisfying about being able to manually make each decision of the process.  And in my opinion, a person can still make better decisions than a computer can.  I prefer to decide where to begin the stitches, what kind of stitches, and what parts should be satin stitches or fill stitches.  A computer software cannot know that the design will be stitched on a cap instead of a shirt.  A cap being a circular object needs to be set up different than a flat garment that will be hooped and stitched in a flat hoop.

Being a thread lover takes me into all areas of creation.  Quilts, clothing, embroidery, portraits all are made with thread.  When I’m not creating, I’m dreaming of creating.  Everything I see gives me inspiration (clouds, sky, movement of the trees in the wind).  It’s time to bring out the camera and start capturing pictures.  My camera is wonderful because it sees differently than I do.  I’m always amazed at color the most when looking at pictures.  For example, a leaf that was pretty but looked a nice shade of green actually had seven different shades of green in it.  Looking at how the the shade hits the leaves aids me when I want to add dimension to a  customer’s logo. 

Thank you for visiting.  I hope you will add me to your watch list and will visit often. 

JoJo
SweetPeaz
503.756.1426