July 2009

I’m in the planning stages of developing mini tutorials to answer basic questions on embroidery and digitizing.  My goal for these is to spur you on to further exploring and continued education.  I cannot stress how important it is to obtain as much education on your software as you are able to.  The more you know and more comfortable you become, the more enjoyment you will achieve.  Don’t forget to also become intimate with your embroidery machine too.  You, your software, and your embroidery machine must all dance to the same tune or you’ll be booted off the dance floor pretty quickly!


My equipment both hardware and software is commercial because I do embroidery for a living, but I also own a Bernina sewing/embroidery machine.  Because these tutes are meant for home users, I will demonstrate on my Bernina instead of my commercial embroidery machine.  My Bernina’s embroidery module has never seen the light of day.  It’s hard to go to 1 needle when you’re used to 15!  J 


Where to start is the most difficult part.  I’ve decided to start on the software side and then gradually move to the hardware side.  I hope you find these beneficial and that my love of embroidery will come through and encourage you to not only do more embroidery but also to teach another person this wonderful art form.So BATTER UP and get your software manual out.  We’ll be up to the box soon!



I’ve been in the midst of a huge work order and haven’t had any time or energy left at the end of the day to get in my creative fix.  And to make matters worse, I’m coming up with all these ideas this week.  Finally, I pulled out my journal and each time an idea pops in my head, I stop to take a moment to write it down.  Sometimes it is just a word; other times it’s a picture.  Then I get back to work and continue on until I need a creative break again.  This has been great fun and I don’t know why I haven’t ever done this before.  Maybe the busyness of work has made my brain become more conscious.  Whatever it is, I’m loving it and it is guilt free.  I’m still working and periodically still being creative.  And I don’t know about you but ideas are like dreams.  If I don’t write them down pretty quick, later on I can’t remember them.  So if for no other reason, I have a great start to some fun playing when I have some quiet time. 

Remember the Nike slogan ‘Just Do It’?  It really is a great slogan and something we should all strive to do and do every day whether it is an exercise program that we’ve promised ourselves to start or that quilt project that’s been silently crying out to you from your studio.  Oh, and I’ve decided to call “my area” my studio even though it’s original purpose in our home was to be used as a second bedroom.  Well, after years of having a bed that never got used, my husband and I made the decision to give the bed away and redo the room for just me.  I love my area but never thought of it as a studio until this week.  After all if you think about it there are apartments that are advertised as ‘studio apartments.’  I believe that meaning is that it is one small area that you will have to live in.  Well, that describes my area perfectly so as of today, JoJo has her very own Studio.  Oops… I guess I got a little sidetracked… I was talking about the ‘Just Do It’ slogan.  Here are two thought-provoking quotes to help you do just that — JUST DO IT!

            “I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung.”  Rabindranath Tagore, 1861-1941

            “Don’t wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself.”  Sara Henderson, b. 1936

Oh and I almost forgot — my order of Angel Paint arrived today!!!  Dilly and I went to the mailbox and retrieved the mail and my mail carrier left a ‘key.’  I instantly got excited because that meant that the parcel was too big to fit in my box.  I knew as soon as I opened the larger box that it was my paint.  Dillan wanted to explore the neighborhood but I pleaded with him to wait until later in the day when it was cooler!  LOL – He’s a dog and believes everything I say.   I received 11 of the cutest mini jars of paint that you ever did see.  I’m attaching a photo for those of you that don’t believe me.  See – aren’t they just the cutest jars. 





 Unfortunately, I will have to wait until next week before exploring more with them. 

My love of my life and I are going out to dinner tonight to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary.  I am so fortunate to be his wife.  He is a wonderful husband, great provider, my best friend, and just a joy to be around.  I feel like I am the luckiest woman on the planet to have found such a perfect soul mate.

Now the humorous side of me found the following poem at http://www.allamericasbest.com, and Tracy and I laughed.  It’s a great site to peruse.

‘After 27 years of marriage, a couple was lying in bed one evening, when the wife felt her husband begin to touch her in ways he hadn’t in quite some time.

‘It almost tickled as his fingers started at her neck, and then began moving past the small of her back.  He then slid his hand across her shoulders and neck, slowly worked it down over one breast, then
the other, stopping just over her lower stomach.  He then proceeded to place his hand on her left inner arm, caressed past the side of her breast again, working down her side, passed gently over, and then in between her buttocks and down her leg to her calf.  Then he proceeded up her inner thigh, stopping just at the uppermost portion of her leg.

He continued in the same manner on her right side, then suddenly stopped, turned over, and became silent.

As she had become quite aroused by this caressing, she asked in a loving voice. “That was wonderful.  Why did you stop?”

“I found the remote,” he said.

Whew — what a fantastic feeling it was to spread the dress out for pictures.  A large portion of the dress (about 90 percent) was completely sewn by hand.  The remaining 10 percent of mostly the straighter seams were sewn using my Bernina.  I had so many deep curves that it was so much easier to sew by hand and I found it quite relaxing too. 

So without further delay, here is the “Lady’s” completed dress.



 I’m not sure what I will work on next but I think it will either be the sun or stars.  I need a little break from all those curves!  :)

This summer I have made a conscious effort to take my camera with me everywhere I go.  I started doing this because of the many missed opportunities I’ve had to take the “perfect picture.” 

I love flowers and weed flowers.  You’d think that after 27 years of marriage, my husband would have learned to appreciate my taste in flowers.  But as soon as I pull into the driveway with a big smile on my face, he starts to shake his head.  “WHAT” I exclaim as I get out (no jump out) of the car.  ‘And, what flowers did we buy today,’ he sarcastically says with a half grin on his face.  I simply smile and begin to explain all of the wonderful attributes of my new find.  “Honey it’s a WEED” he growls.  Absolutely NOT, I gush out.  It will be perfect in the garden.  Now, my husband does all this grumbling only for fun because while all this bantering is going on between us, he has already gathered the proper garden tools to do some planting.  I will plant them myself I pout halfheartedly and then grab my favorite tool and run off.  Don’t forget your gloves my husband shouts but it’s too late because I’ve already rounded the house heading to the perfect spot. 

He knows I hate to wear gloves – it takes away the entire experience of bonding with the dirt and plants.  And if you’ve read any of my ‘I love’ comments, you’ll remember that working in the dirt with my bare hands is akin to eating chocolate to me.  I really do love it!

Why do I love weedy-looking flowers?  Today was the first day I actually sat and wondered this aloud to myself.   I think understanding oneself gets better the longer you live.  I was surprised at my answer to this question.  I love weedy-looking flowers because I am most like a weedy flower.  My color is unlike all of the standard flowers most folks love.  My shape is not perfect.  I don’t have a wonderful aroma that draws you in.  I guess I’m a little bit of a misfit in the land of flowers. 

Oh, but how the bees LOVE weedy flowers; and hundreds of butterflies visit daily to exclaim about their wondrous adventures and travels.  And last night a baby rabbit tasted one of the petals, which is perfectly alright because it helps them to spread and allow more flowers to burst open with the upcoming morning sun.

But most importantly, God made each flower unique, special, and PERFECT regardless of what names each of them are given.  So, even a weedy flower has its place in the world.  And that unusual color I am — well it’s a very unique true blue that is so sought after by all the ‘normal’ flowers out there.

Can you find me among the pictures?

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