Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Silver Bells

Doing quiet activities as I regain my strength. Yesterday a jigsaw puzzle. Today, more embroidery on paper.


Another piece based on a design from this book:

Sunday, November 27, 2016

One Step Closer

Jodie and Ken plan to have a picnic wedding next June. They've reserved a special park that is significant to them. The wedding will be informal. Guests will sit at picnic tables.

So the saga of the wedding centerpieces continues.

Today we finished making all the polymer clay birds and baked them. Jodie is pretty sure she wants to use mason jars and baker's twine. She likes daisies and is considering fresh flowers or silk. If silk, she might attach the flowers to pens so the guests can use them to write a special message to the happy couple.

Here's a mock-up of our first idea. Jodie's maid of honor has some great suggestions to make this better.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Oh! The aroma!

Dale's makin' up a big pot o' turkey soup.

Jodie took this photo of a ladle full.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Fresh Attempt

Jodie and I tried out a new-to-us craft today. We're making polymer clay birds.

If they turn out as we hope, these will be used in her table settings at her wedding next summer.

There is nothing quite like having crafting time in my Studio with my daughters.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


I finished the candlestick last night before bed. This embroidery on paper activity is very calming for me. The calm before today's Thanksgiving storm of family and fun.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!


Another piece based on a design from this book:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ready for the Feast

Every year this little angel watches over our Thanksgiving feast. I bought her on a very special trip I took to spend time with my girlfriends, The Gauntlettes.

Next to her is the only petit point piece I've ever stitched.

There seems to be a "Give Thanks" theme here. I let it permeate our home.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Instead ...

I was hoping to have another finished embroidered piece to post tonight. Due to all the Thanksgiving prep, I didn't get it done. So instead ...

here are some dead flowers peeking over a fence. They're pretty neat, too.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Groceries Galore

All the food we need for a weekend of celebration.

OOoooo. There's a lot of work ahead for me!


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Boy with a Lamp

Today's embroidery on paper project. This one is done with hand-dyed cotton floss. The moon and flame are a linen thread.

I like this enough, but I enjoy the ones that look like string art even more.

Another piece based on a design from this book:

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Beaded Embroidery

This may be my favorite embroidery on paper to date. 

Variegated floss on card stock with gold and pearl beads. 

So  pretty! It's based on a design from this book:

Friday, November 18, 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016

New Buds

This lilac is confused. It doesn't know if it's Autumn ... or if it's Spring!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

My Beautiful America

I'm a little blue dot in a big red state. The results of this week's election -- both local and national -- were pretty tough on me. I was thinking about that today as I took my morning walk under a stormy sky.

My town is beautiful. The streets are safe. I have good neighbors. So what if we have different ways of looking at the direction our country is going? This country is resilient. We'll cooperate with one another. We'll figure out how to create a space where our children can grow and thrive. We'll have some growing pains along the way. It's been this way since the Revolution.

As  I turned the corner, the flag the Baptist minister put up in his front yard whipped violently in the wind. What a great metaphor for us right now. Proud Americans. Firmly planted in the ground. Surrounded by Autumn's beauty, changing into Winter. Our country is experiencing a seasonal shift, too. We may all feel like we've been batted around recently, but our beauty and strength are still evident. We'll find our way home.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Breathin' Easy

I took a true Sabbath today. A day of rest. A day of watching Flea Market Flip, two light comedy movies, and the first episodes of The Newsroom. A day of calm and comfort with Dale. A day out of the rain.

A day of embroidery on paper.

I'm using up some miscellaneous fibers, so some of the designs are working out better than others. The calm that accompanies the stab of the needle makes all the designs worth trying.

Hope you had a regenerative Sunday, too.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


Way back in May 2015, a swarm of bees spent an afternoon in my neighbor's yard. It was fascinating to see them up close. By the end of the day, a local bee keeper collected them. Later in the year, he brought my neighbors some honey from their hive.

Today, I ran across the photos in my archive.

Friday, November 11, 2016


These mushrooms appear to be playing piggyback in my front yard.

Or maybe they're snuggling up to keep each other sheltered on these cold Autumn nights.


I think this is my favorite of this set of mushroom photos. To me, this looks like a batch of yeast rolls rising before baking.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Another 'shroom

This little guy appears to be a different species than the fungi I posted yesterday. I found in my front yard, too.

I like his little hat. I'm continually intrigued by the structure on the bottom side.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Fungi and the Trees

I've been fascinated with how the forest takes care of itself ever since I listened to the RadioLab podcast: From Tree to Shining Tree.

Then I heard the same story in a TED talk: How Trees Talk to Each Other

If you have a chance, go watch and listen. The essence is that trees in a forest help each other stay healthy by "talking" to each other using an underground web of fungi! The mushrooms found "blooming" at this time of year, are the flowers and babies of this fungi network.

Right now, our tree-strewn yard is full of these palm-sized mushrooms. When I look at them, I no longer see a nuisance. Instead, I lie on the ground, take photos of them, peer up their skirts to marvel at their fibrous underbellies, and listen. If I'm quiet enough, will I hear their whispers?

I hope to share more of my mushroom photos later this week.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Night

I'm too preoccupied with election results right now to come up with an original post. Instead, I'll show you a drawing that my long-time friend P. Serra sent me. It arrived by snail mail this afternoon. I'm grateful for such happy surprises arriving in my mailbox.

If any of my readers would like to send me happy surprises, I'd love to share them on my blog.

"Bird on a Fence"

Monday, November 7, 2016

Election Mandala

"I must have flowers always and always"
~ Claude Monet

While watching the latest news of the election, I decided to color.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow night!

Drawing by Thaneeya McArdie from her book Flower Mandalas

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Return of the Slouch Hat

Project Pinterest 15

In the last year I made three of these crocheted slouch hats, trying to alter the pattern so it was *just right* for me. I wanted one to match the scarf I knit. I finally got it.

I used a nice fat size K crochet hook to get big fluffy stitches.

I used Lion Brand Tweed Stripes yarn in color 201 Orchid. This yarn has two colors twisted together, and then the color shifts in the length of the yarn so that you get stripes as you stitch.

I altered the pattern a bit to have more crossed stitch double crochets on every-other row during the increase. Then I made it extra long to allow for a lot of slouch when worn.

I also added four of five extra rows of single crochets around the band to make it wider where it hugs my forehead.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! Now on to my next bit of needlework. I'm in the mood to do some embroidery on paper. That will be easy stitching as I watch the election results this week.


Inspiration is the Kisses Slouchy Hat by Kristina Olson Designs

Friday, November 4, 2016

Skittles Experiment

My friend Sarah did this experiment with her kids. It looked so fun that I checked it out on YouTube to see how to carry out the experiment myself.

Grab a bag of Skittles. Put them in a ring around a plate. I decided to use a pattern, but it's not necessary. The colors can be random.

I used the Wild Berry Skittles because I liked the colors.

Carefully pour some warm water in the center of the plate.

Watch. This looks cool.

Wait. I don't think my table is level.

Enjoy the colors wick off the candy and into the water to make pretty designs.

Now the colors are getting muddy.

I tried this back in October when I was playing with using shaving cream and food coloring to marble paper. I wanted to see if I could marble paper with the food coloring swirl made by the Skittles experiment. It didn't work at all.

I admit to waiting until now to post the experiment because the day after I did this experiment, Donald Trump Jr. made that horrible Skittles-in-a-bowl reference. I didn't want to be associated with that nonsense in any way.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

American Pride

It happens every time, be it a local school bond or a national election like now. Standing in line with my fellow citizens, anticipating, knowing that we're likely voting for different candidates.

These Idahoans are good people. Hard working. Caring. We're in it together. Being polite. Holding on to good humor and civility.


I feel the elation each time I place my sticker over my heart. This is my kind of patriotism.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Hooker

Look who has her crochet swagger goin'.

Must be a November chill coming on.