Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Pillow Line

Well, summer is here. It's been in the 80's here in the Northwest and it is only the end of May. Many of us here have no cooling systems because of the usually mild weather. I sat at the sewing machine and really started to heat up because of the machine light and the ottlight that I use to see better. So, it made me make a decision--I'll be making simple projects, nothing elaborate at the sewing machine this summer!! I had been thinking of a line of pillows and pillow covers--lots of straight seams--and I think it will be my summer project!

I bought some beautiful trims, and I'm looking for some fancy fabrics to make some crazy patchwork pillows. Watch for them! I'll post a picture of the first one that I finish! I'll also have a few little sachet pillows later in the season. Just a taste of the summer offerings! Visit my etsy shop and my new shop at

Thursday, May 28, 2009

June's acomin'

June symbols, like the moonstone birthstone and the rose for June, are not what I think of when I think of June. I think of the beginning of summer.

I remember the hot days and warm nights in my home town. June wouldn't yet be as hot as July and August would be, but it would average 92 degrees daytime and 62 degrees nighttime. What pops into my mind is the George Gershwin song and a bug. The song is Summertime with it's slow sorrowful tune. It reminds me of those lazy days of summer when school had just finished.

And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high

They grow cotton in my home town, so that fits! As a kid, my sister and I almost always went barefoot; I remember bee stings, when we didn't wear rubber flip flops, as we ran thru the clover; and splashing in the puddles left by the sprinkler.

But the nights were the best! It would cool off and we would sit on the back porch and watch the June bugs fly into and bounce off the porch light! (For those who don't know, June bugs are a little brown beettle about and inch long.) They would fly crazy, I don't know if they were blinded by the light or what, but they'd hit the light or the wall or the screen door and fall to the cement patio floor. Then they would buzz around on their backs trying to right themselves. Being kids, we'd pick them up and put them in a jar or pitch them back into the air to watch them fly! As kids, we knew that June bugs meant summer was here and school was out!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I've made a new etsy friend, Janelle, who lives near my hometown. She's a creative photographer who makes lovely cards from her work (also prints available.) I love her images! Visit her "things that are made" shop:

Anyway, I love her work, because I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley in California and saw all the terrain for about half of my life. I now live in a much greener environment which I love; but isn't it always this way, you really don't appreciate your surroundings until you are not there anymore?! Simple things of home I miss, like the wildflowers that grow prolifically and cover the hillsides in spring! The state flower is the golden California Poppy; there are also lupines, Indian Paintbrushes, monkey flowers, buttercups, and fiddleneck!!! Janelle shot a picture of a field of fiddleneck that grows everywhere in the valley and the surrounding foothills. It's basically a weed grass that has a blossom on the very end that unfolds as it blooms much like unfolding a coil. An original homesteader, and good quilting friend of mine, introduced me to this overlooked flower, saying: "You can remember it's name by the look of it. The blossom resembles the neck of a fiddle!" If you look close at Janelle's picture, you will see it! (Anyone know the botanical name of this flower?)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Excursion

My daughter, the lucky thing, is on a cruise! So . . . that leaves grandpa and me to babysit! Well, it's what I like to do, so we left on a little trip of our own yesterday, Memorial Day. We went to Silver Falls State Park near Silverton, Oregon. Their site is:

Ten falls tumble from the beautiful canyon walls made from ancient lava flows. It's so ancient, that trees and other growth have covered the canyon in most places and you would never know it was there! We climbed on a tree, counted it's rings, went wading, hiked to the falls, (well, actually, the girls and my husband did all these things, while I took pictures); and, of course, we had a wonderful picnic.

I'm not getting much crafting done this week, but Kayleigh and I will be making a little birdie pillow like the one in my shop; this one for her room. Or maybe, she says, she might give it to her teacher. I'll get back to serious crafting next week when my daughter returns.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Elementry Readers!

One of my granddaughters is in the sixth grade and loves to read! (Her mom has been known to stay up nearly all night "finishing" a book--her aunt too!) Anyway, recently I gave Kayleigh and her sister, Taylor, a couple of my handmade ribbon bookmarks. Apparently Kayleigh takes her book with her everywhere and her school friend, Mark, liked the bookmark so much that she asked me for another one for him. I had only one in stock that was not girlish, so she took it for her buddy.

This little story is so inspiring to me, because usually this age kid is not into reading! It's more like constant video games and wii. Now, don't get me wrong, Kayleigh is definitely a "techie" who knows all about computers and games and videos but when a little thing like a bookmark is a "sharable item" with one's elementary friends----that's inspiring to grandma! There are so many good books available for young readers, that it is just too bad when young people spend the bulk of their time with games---that's just a grandmother's opinion!

Check out Kayleigh's book recommendation listed in the 'Books I Recommend' section in the right column.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Children's Gifts for DAD

Father's Day is on the Way! Remember to advise and help the young ones to honor dad! They can make personal handmade cards! They are always appreciated! How about helping them make a hand painted t-shirt with their little handprints on them! My husband got one of these some years ago, and it is still a treasured possession.

Check out this site for free craft ideas for DAD!'s_day_crafts-t101.html

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pencils for Creativity

Pencils are the start of creativity. Some of us sketch out a visual our ideas, or jot down ideas for the future. Most of us keep a notebook with notes, ideas, clippings, e-articles etc. Inspiration starts from many places, from something we see, to something that we experience. Sometimes it comes from just touching and feeling a piece of fabric, clay or metal. But all creativity ultimately comes from inside of us, somewhere.

Might I suggest taking a walk, when creativity wanes. Or looking at some else's work for a change of pace. How about looking at the sunset-even a walk in the rain when you can't see the sunset. Or browsing the local art gallery. What do you do for inspiration?

By the way, this little artist's pencil case can be seen in my shop. Just click the picture.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Post Mother's Day thoughts!

I know that mother's day is over, but I am still reeling from the day. It was awesome! My daughter graduated college on Saturday; my husband bought me a beautiful mother's bracelet; my oldest son made breakfast for me on Sunday; two younger sons invited me to church to witness the dedication of their little daughters, then made a wonderful champagne brunch after church for their wives, myself and several other mothers; greetings, hugs and cards arrived in person, by phone, e-mail and texts; flowers were given and wishes were expressed! All I can say is: "I am blessed!" I have ten children and 23 grandchildren and I am blessed!!!!