Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bless You

I finished another small stitchery today! So nice to have a tapestry needle in my hand again.

As you see, I changed the colors slightly to brighten up the pallette. I think these colors work better with the 18ct aida fabric I chose and the backing fabric I plan to use. Like the heart I finished earlier this week, this will be made into a phone case for a friend of mine.

Pattern: Bless You
Designer: Heart In Hand copyright 2000

If you'd like to purchase the pattern from me, it's $2.50 (includes postage); paid via PayPal.
The chart is originally from a kit.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Recycled CD Christmas Ornament

Project Pinterest 02

Yesterday's self-challenge was to open one of my emails from Pinterest, find an interesting project, and using only materials found in my stash, make the craft immediately . That's saying something for me, because I'm quite a planner. I usually don't start any project until I've thought about it a good long time.

The project that caught my eye in the very first email I opened was this: a plain glass Christmas ornament covered in a mosaic of pieces cut from a CD. The original post showed a glittery ribbon inside to add to the sparkle.

I rummaged through my CDs and found one with old photos on it that I didn't need any more. I know from experience how difficult it is to cut a CD with scissors. Often it will shatter. I wanted more uniform pieces.

So I used some tin snips to do the job. That worked fairly well, but was still pretty rough on my hands. Were I to try this again, I think I'd experiment with my paper shredder to cut the CD into uniform strips, then cut the strips into bits with the tin snips. To contain all the small pieces, I used the top of a plastic shoe box. The pieces did like to fly with each snip!

Deep in my stash I found this plastic cup left over from a package of cupcake papers. I decided to use it to hold the glass ornament steady while I used hot glue to attach the CD mosaic bits to the glass ornament.

I removed the top of the ornament before the next step. I first tried using some silver glitter hot glue sticks to attach the mosaic pieces, but that didn't work very well. So I switched back to clear hot glue. The sample ornament was covered with larger pieces of the CD in various shapes with wide-ish gaps between the pieces (see below). I decided to use small bits of rectangular CD mosaic pieces with small gaps between the pieces. Jodie and I chatted via Skype while I crafted, which made the time fly by rather than having this step feel tedious.

When all the pieces are glued in place, it might be wise to use some rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth to remove any hot glue "spiderwebs." I tried putting ribbon in the orb like the inspiration piece, but because my mosaic doesn't have a lot of space between the pieces, the ribbon didn't add extra sparkle. I decided to leave the ornament empty. I replaced the top of the ornament. Then, using some silver ribbon from my stash (re-used some of the ribbon from the 25th anniversary cake!), I formed a small loop so the ornament can hang from the tree. I also tied another length of ribbon around the ornament top to complete the piece.

I'm quite pleased with the result! I'm going to challenge myself to do more of these "spur-of-the-moment" projects using materials I already have in my stash. Fun!


Inspiration Mosaic Ornament by Shelterness

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Our Yard in Spring - Cherry Bush

The last cherry blossom

Shortly after I took this photo, I bumped the bush and the petals floated away.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

One step closer

Way back in October I started this very small stitchery. I dug it out of my Studio stash a few days ago and took time to finish the stitching this afternoon. I like the feeling of accomplishment.

I plan to turn it into a phone case for a friend of mine. Let's hope that doesn't take another 6 months.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


This week in #CornerOfMyHome, the dish cupboard in the kitchen.

The dishes ... Feistaware interspersed with look-alike bowls and plates from the dollar store. Amazing how well they look together.

The cupboard ... a hand-me-down from my mom. I'm pretty sure it was her mother's hutch. My dad was tightening screws in the doors and broke them. He always did like to over-tighten screws. What an odd memory this photo conjured.

Gosh. That shelf paper is looking quite dated. Time to replace it during Spring Cleaning.

I believe that one of photography's greatest gifts is that it helps me see the reality in front of me. I get so used to my "stuff" being a certain way, that I don't realize how it looks until I photograph it and see it through fresh eyes.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Our Yard in Spring - Phlox

Last year, our phlox bed was lush with flowers.
Then it got overgrown with weeds and wild grass, so we had to tear out the phlox and start over.
This year, we have just one little survivor.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Our Yard in Spring - Oregon Grape

Bright yellow blooms among the dead pine needles and new grass shoots.

This plant grows like a beautiful weed along our fence line.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Our Yard in Spring - The First Tulips

The sun was sliding over the treetops to the west when these tulips called me outside.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Some Wear Their Heart on Their Sleeve

Apparently, I wear mine on my bathroom counter.

I got out of the shower and was drying off. I looked down at the counter and saw this happy heart watermark.

Seriously. It's like hearts follow me around. I'll take a little lovin' wherever I can.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

One More Anniversary Celebration

Saturday was the last part of our week-long 25th wedding anniversary celebration. Jeanne dropped in from the Spokane Valley. Julie and Jeff drove up from Moscow.

Pre-game Groupie

We made it another laid-back day of chatting, playing miniature golf (Jeanne got a hole in one on her very first try!), laughing, having BBQ, and watching a 3D movie here at home.

Watch Out, Julie!
I received what I wanted most this week  -- time with our daughters.

Many thanks to Jeanne for these photos.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

25th Wedding Anniversary

On Wednesday, Dale and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary!

We celebrated simply. I cooked a meal for him of crock pot Hawaiian chicken, rice pilaf, sauteed vegetables, and some sparkling cider. (I used chicken thighs because they are more flavorful than breasts). Then I set the table with linens, stemware, candles, and silver decorations.

I made a miniature 3-layer white cake, too! I decorated it with with silver ribbons, white ribbon flowers, and silver beads. It mimicked our wedding cake in that we had flowers and pearl beads around the edges of our cake 25 years ago.

When Dale got home, he gave me a box of my favorite chocolates and these 25 beautiful long-stemmed red roses!

For Dale, I found a frame for his abstract art painting, a couple silver ties, and a personalized tie tack. After dinner, we did one of our favorite activities - a ride in the convertible. It was such a lovely evening! I am so very grateful for our living, breathing, happy marriage.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Forest Floor

There are a lot of changes afoot on the forest floor these days. A couple weeks ago, Kiwanis Park was covered by a sea of delicate camas flowers.

Click for a larger image

They are a lovely sign of the change in weather here in north Idaho.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

An Engagement Celebration

Last weekend Dale and I had the great good fortune to travel to Oregon to spend time with our Jodie and her new fiance, Ken. We kept the pomp out of it and enjoyed the heck out of our days together in simple, fun ways.

First, Jodie took me to the Dorris Ranch which will be the site of their wedding. What a beautiful spot, rich with local history. While there, we even found a geocache.

After eating lunch at a cozy hangout in Eugene, we headed back to Springfield for 18 holes of mini golf. It was a great course where we even got to travel under a giant waterfall!

I'm happy to say that I tied for 2nd -- a rare bit of good luck.

After the game we headed over to a new-to-Jodie park in town. We ducked out of the sun, sitting under an arbor between a river and a train car and drank some water and root beer to cool off. Now Jo can mark another park visited off her list.

We ended the evening with some kettle corn and Notting Hill back at their duplex. An ideal end to a lovely day.

All photos by my daughter Jodie.

Monday, April 11, 2016

When Evening Falls

Dale and I went out for a long drive in the convertible after he got off work today. We drove through downtown Coeur d'Alene, then east through Nettleton Gulch, then north on 15th Street to the road that overlooks Hayden Lake.

Beautiful dusk. Good company.

Along the way we saw at least 20 white tail deer having their evening meal. I only had my phone's camera with me, and this (sketchy) photo was the sole slightly decent capture. But I'm putting it here as a reminder to myself of a lovely evening with the best guy I know.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

At Dorris Ranch

When Dale and I were in Oregon celebrating Jodie and Ken's engagement, Jodie took me out to Dorris Ranch, the setting for their nuptials. It's a really beautiful setting. She'll marry in a meadow near a grove of filbert trees (otherwise known as hazelnuts ... but don't call them that in Springfield!)

After looking around for a while, we decided to find a geocache. It was near this cavernous structure.

click for a larger image

What is it, you ask?
Some enormous fungi on a giant fallen tree.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Big Pile of Sparkle

Nothing catches my eye quite like sparkly things. This year, for the first time ever, I've decided to have a Christmas "theme" tree upstairs. It will be covered in beaded ornaments. I've made some over the years, but not nearly enough to cover a 6 foot tree. This means I have lots of delightful ornament crafting to do in the months ahead.

Jeanne came by one day to have a crafternoon with me. Jodie Skyped in. We all chatted and crafted together. I bought six different beaded ornament kits. Jeanne picked these star-shaped ones to try first.

All the beads and wire are supplied in the kit. We needed only the beading tools, a pencil, and a little hot glue. Putting them together made for a very pleasant afternoon in my Studio.

Here's the kit I used. It makes eight ornaments ... with a few beads left over.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Mess that is My Desk - Part 3

Progress is being made!

Believe me, it's easier to see when comparing this photo to the last one. Magazines, old mail, catalogs have been filed or recycled and the old checkbooks were shredded. The book is ready for donation. Christmas cards have been processed and old cards converted to next year's gift tags.

I still have some documents to read, some lists to update, some donations to get out of the house and those last pesky small Piles of Indecision to complete. But I'm making progress.

:: pats on the back ::
:: pats on the back ::
(that's for you, Jodie!)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Toy Shelf

This toy shelf is another #CornerOfMyHome. These sweet memories sit on top of the fabric case in my studio. Here's the story behind a few of the favorites:

Mr. Peanut I got him at a restaurant convention when I was just a kid. Every now and then my dad would let us go with him to these industry shows. The vendors would have give-aways for the kids. Mr. Peanut lost his arm at one point, but I sewed it back on with my young girl clumsy stitches.

Ellie That doll in the back row was a gift from my sister Eleanore. I think she got it for me when she was going to fashion school in Los Angeles. I like her because she's tall and red-headed, just like the sister who gave her to me in the '60s.

Little Bear He's the one with the specks. He actually has a hole that goes from the top of his head down through his body to his bottom. My brother Carl gave me a lamp one Christmas and this bear decorated the pole. I used the lamp on my nightstand for years. The lamp got wobbly and fell apart when I was a teenager. But I've never been able to give up the bear from the brother that always had my back. (We were the two lefties in the family). Carl died when I was about 30. Little Bear is a quiet reminder of a happy time.

Flower That's that adorable wonky blue-eyed white kitten. When Jodie was tiny, her grandmother gave her a lifelike white stuffed kitten. Jodie named it Flower and carried it with her everywhere! She wanted a real kitten just like her favorite stuffed animal. As Jodie got bigger, she wanted to learn to sew. I gave her some fabric, and she made this version of Flower all by herself! I love is SO MUCH! She's perfect in her own droopy, dismembered, barely-held-together way. And now just look at the crafter Jodie has become!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Circle of Life

This post is a tad grizzly ... just sayin'

I went outside to the back deck this afternoon to set a rug out to dry in the sun. On the grass below the deck, I noticed a dead bird. I was sure it was dead because ... gulp ... no head. So I went back into the house to find something to use to clean it up. But before I could, I heard some very loud bird sounds.

A falcon(?) was perched on top of the dead bird! I grabbed my camera, quickly changed some settings, and snapped a couple photos.

I had to raise the blinds, and I think that action caused the bird to startle. Before I knew it, the live bird picked up the dead bird and flew off! Yike!

At least I don't have to figure out how to pick up the dead bird.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Mess that is My Desk - Part 2

The First Sort

The first pass through the box went fairly quickly. The items are sorted into logical piles. Most will be easy to process. The smallest pile is now my only Pile of Indecision. Not bad!

I liked that I could toss a bunch of the small bits of paper: notes to myself, expired coupons, donation requests, etc. A few items need to be transposed into another format. A few things put away in other parts of the house. The two biggest piles are correspondence - mostly Christmas cards, birthday cards, thank you notes, and a few personal letters. Then some catalogs and a couple medical documents.

This now feels do-able!

Dale's being a sport and agreeing to leave the piles on the dining room table until I process them one by one.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Mess that is My Desk - Part 1

As I come out of the fog of 2015 and start regaining my energy, I'm finding corners of my home that received no love and care during the family upset. My desk is a prime example. I call this my Pile Of Indecision.

It's mail and magazines and papers to file and Christmas cards and who knows what. If it was a low priority, or if it needed extra attention but wasn't critical, or if I needed to make a decision about where it belongs, it got put in this box. 

And the pile grew.

And the pile began to topple.

So this week's goal is to tame the mess on my desk, make some decisions, and give myself more breathing space.

I'll keep myself honest by posting progress here on my blog.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Forager

While I was on the moose hunt in our local park last week, I noticed all kinds of new life on the forest floor. The wildflowers are beginning to form a purple carpet undulating in the breeze. Birds are chasing each other as they scramble for nest-building grasses and twigs.

Then about 75 feet from the patch of moose dung, I saw this gal skittering from shadow to shadow ... with a big nut in her mouth.

Grocery shopping, I presume.