While it's true that all the rain beat down the crocus patch in the front yard, there were others that survived!
As I was washing dishes this morning, I looked up through the window and spotted a few bright spots of purple on the hill in the back yard. Crocus!
I thought I had dug all the bulbs up last year and transplanted them to the front yard. But some of those tiny bulbs hid from me in the Fall and decided to bloom all on their own. So I was able to take some crocus portraits this year after all.
Here's one of the rare variety in my yard - white with purple stripes.
Maybe I should wash dishes more often. I would have seen them sooner.
Every year I look forward to watching my crocus push out of the ground, bud their pretty purple selves, then bloom in the sun. Every year I get down on my belly andtaketheirportraits. I love them. They are my first sign of Spring.
This year, they tried. They really, really tried. But the rain has been relentless. My pretty babies finally gave up today.
I've completed the embroidery on the last square of my granddaughter's quilt. I love the way this Frog turned out! I loved it so much, I gave him a heart.
Now on to the next step. I've decided to serge the edges because this fabric is so light, and the stitching is already so close to the edges of the squares (don't know why Mom did that!) that if I wash the squares I'm pretty sure that the fabric will fray all the way up to the edge of the stitching. And I do need to wash them. After all, they're at minimum 20 years old. More likely, closer to 45 years old.
Man, I hope this works.
So, 12 squares times four sides to serge. That will take a bit of time. Good thing my serger is fast - as long as the multiple threads don't get all jammed up.
Today I got lost by doing a lot of digital decluttering. It feels good to have some of my computer files in better order, but there's really nothing tangible to show for it. Except, maybe, me being less frayed around the edges.
Maybe tomorrow I can go find myself - and lose myself - in art.
Or maybe I'll spend the day reading. Who knows? That would be good for my soul, too.
I've made some changes to the quilt. The blue squares never looked quite right to me, so I found another yellow and another pink to substitute. There are still lots of steps left that I'm unsure about, but I'll figure it out as I go along.
Dale and I drove down to Moscow, Idaho yesterday. I got to attend our daughter Julie's baby shower, put on by a very nice group of her friends. Daughter Jodie drove all the way to Moscow from Springfield, Oregon to share in the joy. What a lovely day.
Jodie took this photo of me with the baby mama. Love it.
So here's where several of the pieces come together -- in individualized cards for my daughters, my aunt, and my good friend.
I started with white card blanks. Using the green acrylic paint and a pencil eraser, I made polka dots all over the front of the card, and in a "frame" on the inside of the card.
Next, I cut some slits in the card front and slid the toothpicks holding the leprechauns in place. Those toothpicks were covered up by the coffee filter shamrocks. Then I tied a small bow from light green satin ribbon and adhered it onto the shamrock stem.
Jeff and Julie
On the inside, I used double-sided tape to adhere the sentiment to the card, centering it within the polka dot frame I made. (Sorry, no photo of that).
On the cards I made for my aunt and friend, I didn't have photos of them I could work with. So I made two extra leprechauns with my face that I used on their cards.
I made some special cards and care packages for a few of my favorite people. I learned yesterday that they were received, so over the next few days I'll show what I included.
For my three daughters, I sent the care packages. I wrapped the gifts in tissue paper, and included this gift tag on the outside.
Very simple. I used some of the tags I made last May. Then I formed a four-leaf clover from a chenille stem and hot-glued it to the front. I wrote "Lucky!" with a green felt marker. I put their names on the back.
I'm pressed for time today, so this will have to do for now. More St. Patty's day crafts to come this week.
I made another set of frames for our mantle for St. Patrick's Day. I liked the ones I made for Fall and Noel so much that I decided to make some more. I was laughing with Dale that most folks with five frames for this holiday would probably spell out "LUCKY." Not me. Huh.
I didn't take any photos while making this. But the process was pretty easy.
I painted 4" wooden letters with green acrylic paint. The letters and paint were bought at Walmart. Note that the "K" was too wide, so I had to trim down two of the serifs so the letter would fit in the frame.
Also, this time, instead of trying to use spray paint (that didn't work so well with "FALL," or a paintbrush like I did with "NOEL," I got a disposable mini paint roller/paint tray combo at the Dollar Tree. It's not good quality, but it did the job really really well. It was much easier to use a roller than a brush, and it did a fantastic job with coverage. Bonus: when the painting was done, clean-up was a breeze because I could throw the tools away.
I bought 5 black 5" x 7" at the Dollar Tree. I'd planned to use gold frames I already had, but the gold glitter background and the gold frames clashed. So I bought the black frames instead.
I placed some gold glitter Fun Foam in the frame behind the glass and replaced the back of the frame. I found the glitter Fun Foam at Walmart.
I glued the wood letters to the glass. I used a spacer (made from a piece of scrap paper) at the bottom of the frame so that I could get the placement of the letters centered correctly before gluing them in place.
I couldn't find any half-size wood letters, so had to try a couple ideas before I his upon this solution for "ME." I found a font on my computer that matched the font of the wood letters pretty well. I printed out the word "ME" in a few sizes to see which would work the best. Once I decided on the proper size, I carefully cut the letters out of the paper with sharp pointy scissors.
I used a piece of sticky-back green Fun Foam for "ME." I traced the letters on the back of the Fun Foam, making sure that they were reversed (mirror image). Then I cut the letters out of the foam, removed the backing, and pressed them into place on the glass of the last frame. I added a little dancing leprechaun sticker next to the "E. The sticker was also from the Dollar Tree.
Before setting the frames on the mantle, I covered the mantle with some green fabric and some felt so the frames won't scratch the wood.
I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out. It was especially serendipitous that the green Fun Foam matched the green paint so well. From a distance, it's hard to tell that some of the letters are wood and others are Fun Foam. Better yet, if I want to make more of these frames for other holidays or seasons, I know I can now use Fun Foam instead of wood letters and the project will cost even less money.
My original title for this is The 30 Minute Easy as Heck Over-the-Top St. Patrick's Day Wreath
But it was too long for the title bar. It's actually going to take me far longer to photograph, photo edit, write, post this blog post, and clean up all the glitter than it took to make the silly thing.
I started out with a 10 inch foam wreath form and covered it by wrapping green crepe paper streamers around it.
Then I took a couple packages of these glittery foam shamrock shapes from the Dollar Tree and pinned them to the wreath form with straight sewing pins, alternating the light and dark colored shamrocks. I pinned these in two rows.
It was OK, but I wanted it BIGGER. So I dug into my lace stash and found this six inch wide cotton eyelet lace. I pinned it in ruffles around the back of the wreath.
Then I took this 2.5 inch wide gold-with-gold-glitter-flecks ribbon and formed a bow. I tied it onto the wreath with a thinner gold ribbon.
I added a hanger on the back made of floral wire, pinned to the wreath with floral pins. Then I climbed up on the hearth to hang the wreath over the mantle.
The final size is approximately 18 inches in diameter. This really is a flamboyant wreath. It makes me laugh. It's hanging on the bricks calling out, "Hello, world!"
One nice thing about this wreath is that it will be as easy to take apart as it was to put together and all the components can be reused. It will add a splash of color to our bleak winter for a week, though. There's still ice covering a good portion of the backyard, but we're beginning to hear birdsong and see some sprouting bulbs now.
I spent most of the day in my Studio today. I completed two-and-a-half projects. Here's a sneak peek at the third project in progress.
It involves coffee filters, markers, and a spray of water. The technique is one used in lots of preschools, but it's the first I ever tried it. I can imagine lots of possibilities for future use. For now, I have some shamrocks ready to complete a craft.
Over the years, St. Patrick's Day is not a holiday I've celebrated much. After all, our family's ancestors are from Germany, Italy, and a mix of eastern European countries. The most I've done is wear a little green to keep from getting pinched or dress up for a fun photo. I had a total of four small decorative items. So I thought I'd do something about that this year and make a few more decorations.
First, I framed three of the four items I had on hand, each of which I made over the years. Because they are so small, none of them made much of an impact on their own. So I grabbed a frame from my stash, some scrapbook paper, and some glue dots and put them all in one place.
The Irish beaded counted thread ornament called Little Bit o' Blarney from the Sweetheart Tree that I stitched in 2006.
The leprechaun made from a wooden clothespin I made in 2014.
The cross-stitch Luck pin I made in 2004.
This combo piece will join other decor I made to decorate the living room mantle. I'll share other decor in the coming days. In addition, I've also been crafting some special gifts for the young leprechauns in my life. I hope to get all the goodies finished so I can mail them this weekend, and will share the surprises after the gifts have been received. After all, St. Patrick's day is only six days away!
I wrote a nice long letter to a friend today, then decided to send it with a handcrafted card. I found some inspiration on Pinterest.
I used a standard card blank. The border is washi tape. The shamrock is composed of three heart shapes cut from glitter cardstock. The stem is drawn on with permanent marker. The center is a puffy dot sticker.
The inside of the card is from a free downloadable image.
Winter is lingering here in the northwest. It's been only in the last week that the afternoons are warm enough and bright enough that I've been able to go outside for a short walk. I'm still dodging ice and gravel and cars on the streets, but it's doing my soul some good to get a bit of fresh air.
Today I grabbed my camera on the way out the door. I didn't have any particular photo in mind, but I figured I could follow the light and see where it landed.
Quite a few neighborhood dogs seemed happy to be let outside to play. They barked and wagged their tails as I walked past. This pretty lad stood, front paws on the hurricane fence, to bark a hello, then turned to enjoy the breeze on his face.