Saturday, December 31, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!







Well, here we are! 2011 has only a few hours left. I'm ready to look forward to a Happy New Year and I know you are too. As you can see, I must not be going 'out and about' to celebrate. No, the old navy man and I are in for the night. He's watching football and I'm out here in the Nest wishing the New Year in...well, not yet. I have to talk to you first! As soon as I press the Publish button on this blog post, I will join him. We'll be cheering at midnight, just as we always have....together! Well, that's a great start for a new year right there~~

I've chosen to show you some buttons. As I know many of you do...I collect them. No, I'm not the type of collector who sorts them into files and photographs each one and find the value of each, entering those numbers in a notebook. Not even close. I have buttons, as you can see, in all kinds of containers and I have FUN with them. I have plain ones, fancy ones, old ones and new ones. Some of the nicer buttons live in my old green 'button cabinet' which in reality is a vintage cardboard box with three segmented drawers in it. All the rest live in all kinds of containers in just about every room in the house and lots of them in the Nest. (Well, there aren't any in the kitchen right now, but there has been and probably will be again. And, there are some in the bathroom, but I forgot to take a picture of them earlier when I took these other photos.)

For some reason....well, mostly on a whim, I thought I could use buttons to celebrate tonight. I've no idea what that means about my mind....but you know me by now....so I know you 'get it.'

There is a compote full of buttons....it's there with my Happy New Year sign, made just moments ago. As you can tell, I spent no time on it....but thought I needed to include a sign wishing you a Happy New Year! I have an old toy pickup truck. One day I plunked some buttons down in the bed of the truck and there have been buttons in it ever since. They get changed once in a while.
There is a photo showing where that pickup 'lives.' It could be moved at any time...we just never know how long I'll leave something in one place, but for now....this is where it lives. Same for everything I've got, really. I have an old compote filled with buttons on my coffee table. You see it here with a vintage bowl with a bird sitting on the edge and a pink rose. Love it so.

There is a tray of buttons sitting on an antique oak chest in my living room. In that photo, you can also see buttons in the little glass cabinet. Some of my friends and relatives kinda think I'm a bit 'over-the-top,' but I don't concern myself with things like that. These all seem perfectly logical places to keep buttons if you ask me.

I've recently set up a workspace in the living room. No, there really is no room for it....it's crowded in there....but I'm sensing we might have a bad winter and on really cold days (and especially cold, frozen nights) I will not want to spend much time out here in the Nest and also will save that heating expense. So....in one of my photos you will see the work table. There are three glass containers there...vintage....holding an assortment of odd buttons. As you can see, there is room for MORE in those containers. Do you know what those containers were used for?
I thought they were old aquariums, but someone said they were used to hold batteries. I don't know, but I do know that I will put buttons in just about any container.

So....hope you've enjoyed the button 'tour' and later tonight when we are welcoming in the New Year, I will also be sending you good wishes for a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thank you so much for going through 2011 along with me and I hope to hear from you often as we make our way through 2012. You make my day!!! Stay safe, warm, cozy and HAPPY....hugs, pat

Monday, December 26, 2011

Blue Collage







Tonight I wanted to post something that had nothing to do with Christmas, the New Year, eating, presents, or the usual things we talk about this time of year. I wanted to just show something restful and not do a lot of talking. So......here are two collages I made week before last at the downtown studio. All I'm going to say about them is they were fun, didn't take a lifetime to make, were made from an assortment of paper napkins, some paint and two pieces leftover from our backyard fence. They were great fun to do and for some reason - ended up blue with a touch of green.....an unusual color combo from me, as my faves are red, pink, and green. I find them restful. Do you? (No, I didn't say 'boring'...I said restful.) Hope you enjoy seeing them and I'll see you later in the week....and I hope you get some well-deserved rest before the next busy weekend holiday coming up! stay warm, safe and cozy...pat

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 Giveaway Winners and a Crazy Quilt

It's not long til Christmas now and I'm going to talk about two things tonight...my Christmas Giveaway and my Christmas Crazy quilt. (Sorry, the quilt isn't going anywhere...I may never get another one made!)

First things first....as promised, the 'old Navy man' has chosen two WINNERS!! Oh,my......there were sure a lot of comments on my last post....evidently you all want to win. Cool. I'm very lucky to have such nice blog readers and I appreciate each and every one of you. I hope the two winners will be very happy and all the rest of you will be glad for them. If it helps at all, I will be giving away 'more goodies' toward the end of February, so you'll have another chance to win something. That is my blog anniversary month.

Now for those Christmas Giveaway winners:

Jane S. wins the "French Inspired Home" book and a pincushion. And, Bonnie wins the "Somerset Holidays & Celebrations" magazine and a pincushion. I've just sent you two an email asking for your mailing addresses so I can send your 'goodies' to you. Merry Christmas!!

Being this close to Christmas, I thought I show you my favorite Christmas Crazy Quilt. If you visited my blog last year, you've already seen it and if you visit next year, you'll probably see it again....I seem to enjoy showing it to you all each year and that's about the only time it gets out of the quilt closet. I made this many years ago. The quilt was inspired by the backing fabric...it had such sweet images on it. And, of course....I had to over indulge myself in the beading of it.

You can't tell from the photo, but ALL the edges of the quilt are beaded. The bottom edge in a random length 'fringe' and the other three edges in what I call a 'handkerchief' edge. You can find instructions for that edging in Nancy Eha's book "Off the Beadin' Path." She calls it a 'three bead edging.' It's great fun to do and very simple to do. Maybe I'll show you how one of these days if you'd like. Everyone always asks me how long it took to bead the edges. Well, I hate keeping track of that kind of thing, preferring to 'just enjoy doing it.' However, for some unknown reason....I do know that it took me eight hours just to bead the bottom fringe. After that I quit counting. Hope you enjoy another look at this little quilt!

I sincerely wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too! Thank you so much for visiting my blog this year and I hope to show you more from the Nest during 2012! Please enjoy yourselves and stay warm, safe and cozy!! I'll post again early next week. Have a fantastic weekend!!! pat

PS. I just thought of something...maybe in February I'll show you how to bead that 'three bead edging' and those tiny embroidered hearts I promised you instructions on earlier this year (and didn't come through with). Yeah....it can be my Valentine gift to you...perhaps in conjunction with the anniversary Giveaway. Stay tuned!

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Christmas 2011 Giveaways







Now it is time to do my usual "Christmas thing" and that is to have a giveaway from me to you. Well, two of you anyway. Don't I always say I wish I could send everyone something? Yes, I do. And, I wish I could, but as you know, none of us can do that. Instead, I will have the 'old navy man' choose two of you to receive my giveaways for Christmas 2011. If you will kindly leave a comment on this post, the two winners will be chosen on this coming Tuesday, 12-20-11 at 10:00 p.m. and I will post the winners after that time, that very night.

So, you ask, what lovely gifts will the winners be receiving. Well, as you can see here, I have a wonderful book for winner #1 and an equally wonderful magazine for winner #2. Along with these, each winner will receive a six inch pincushion. These are just about the most simple pincushions I have ever made....but since I like to applique, I thought for a change of pace, I'd keep them simple and just applique a heart on each one....letting the fabrics speak for themselves. As you can see, the heart is a red print that I just love and have hoarded for a while and it's just about all gone...with me managing to get two large hearts out of the remnants. The background isn't linen, but kinda looks like it and the back is a wonderful fabric, which to my mind looks 'kind of French.' As you know, I know nothing about French fabrics, but I've imagined these to be French. Well, we have to have fun in our own way sometimes.......

I know you will enjoy the book and the magazine. First of all, the book is one of my favorites: "The French Inspired Home" by Kaari Meng. Scrumptious! And, also very inspiring. The magazine is "Somerset Holidays & Celebrations." It, too, is very inspiring. I love many of the Stampington magazines and could actually spend all my 'mad money' (or more!) on them. Books and magazines are two of my weaknesses.....what about you?

So, there we are! Two giveaways.....just leave me a comment on this post and make sure I have a way to get in touch with you....because if you are one of the two winners, I'll need to email you on Tuesday night!!!! I'll be looking forward to sending these lovely things to you in thanks for all your visits this year...THANK YOU SO MUCH (!) for visiting me in 2011. Merry Christmas!
And, stay warm, safe and cozy........giant hugs, pat

PS. Remember, I'll be happy to send one of these packages to you no matter where you live on the planet....so comment please.......you might win!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Art, Out and About







Yesterday, a special art showing was held at the Searcy Art Gallery. The gallery is located in a marvelous house build in the 1800's which has become the local city art gallery. Recently freshly painted and glorified, the house is a wonderful place to visit and see some artwork from local artists. There is also a small gift shop there.

This day, four of the artists from Second Saturday Studio had their work featured. The show will hang until sometime in January. Those four girls are the most precious people and I am lucky enough to get to spend time with them at our downtown studio. Of course, as you've read here before, one of them is my own daughter and the other three have become really good friends of mine. I'm so proud of them and their work and thought you might like to see some of the pieces in the show.

Kelly (my daughter) does abstracts. It's really fun to watch her create her colorful paintings. She uses all kinds of techniques to get the paint colors 'just the way she wants them' although at the beginning of each painting even she doesn't know how it will turn out. It's fascinating! Kelly is a realtor in 'real' life, with one grown son.

Micah paints whimsical little 'stories.' At least, that's how I look at it. There always seems to be a friend or family 'story' which has given her an idea and she runs with it. Her colors are delightful and we all 'ooh and ahh' as she works. In her 'real' life, she is a hairdresser and has two teenagers.

Cheri paints using oils, watercolors or acrylics and paints on a variety of different objects...from artist's canvas, to wood, to antique tin ceiling tiles....it's always a surprise what she will come up with. And, we always enjoy her adventures. Cheri used to work in the advertising world, but right now she is raising her wonderful twelve year old son.

Audra will paint your pet in watercolor. She's very good at it....the animals always look REAL.
She is young, with two small kids and has a job too. I'm always amazed at the portraits she paints.

How these girls do all they do is a mystery to me. They are constantly busy and yet make the time to create. They are inspiring!!!

Hope you enjoy seeing some of their work and remember to check back here later in the week. I'm having a Christmas Giveaway pretty soon! Enjoy your great new week too and stay safe, warm and cozy! pat

PS. YES, there IS a ballerina by the Christmas tree...there was dancing, a one act play, and a book signing as that 'little bit extra' for the opening! A wonderful time was had by all!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

An AQG Auction Item







This coming Monday, night at the monthly meeting of the Arkansas Quilters Guild, their annual auction will be held. This annual auction began last year. If you read my blog last year at this time, you will remember that one of the auction items was a day at my backyard studio. Pat C. won that tour and we had a very nice day. This year, I decided to create one of my pincushions for auction. Inspired by my friend, Allie Aller and her book CRAZY QUILTING, I made this pincushion. Visit Allie HERE.

This pincushion is 6 inches by ten inches. At the guilds' last AWOL retreat, I asked for scraps of fabric from several of the attendees. I used those scraps to make this entire pincushion....including the back fabrics and the hexagon flower I used for a label. Being made from scraps left me with not a lot of choice when it came to colors, but I managed just fine. The back is made from all yellows and browns as I could not integrate all those yellows in with the pinks/reds, etc., that I used on the front. I have a reputation in the guild as working with 'mud' colors, so I felt more comfortable using the yellows on the back. I think it turned out ok.

So....here we are...scrap fabrics, some DMC floss in different colors, birds I simply have to always use, embroidered leaves...as you know one of my favorite designs. There are also French Knots.....now, those I could make for hours at a time!!

Then, of course, my favorite edgings...beads! I made bead soup to come up with enough beads in my color selection...and then, those antique looking gold beads too. I LOVE to make a beaded edge where you have to count every single bead to get a certain pattern in the beaded 'fringe.'
However, if I intended to finish the pincushion...I had to just go 'random' and not count those beads. This means that not all the loops of the 'fringe' are the same length. They vary. Well, it's handmade, so I think since this pincushion was made from scraps...the imperfect beading is ok.
You'll tell me, I know what you think. I hope you do.

The pincushion is now in the possession of my friend, Shannon, who is responsible for the auction items. She received it in the mail yesterday and let me know it had arrived. I hope she was right in her prediction that it will certainly raise some money for the guild. I'll be anxious to hear how it goes. And, I hope you have enjoyed seeing this pincushion...as you know, I enjoy making them.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and I'll 'see' you soon. Stay warm. pat

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fun at Thanksgiving



Oh, I'm so behind in my posting.....how are you out there? I'm sure you may be like me....running as fast as you can to get things done and feeling at the end of the day as if you haven't accomplished a thing. That's me. I'm not very fond of days that end with me wondering what I did all day, with nothing that 'shows.' Do you know that feeling? It's very similar to days when you grocery shop, spend a vast amount of money, haul it all into the house and realize that you don't have much to show for the amount you've spent and the energy it took to get it all home. So similar.

So....I've been very busy, but have nothing of interest to tell you about. I have spent the last hour or so looking at photos I took over the Thanksgiving weekend, choosing these to show you. When I am worn out and feel the need for something to make me smile....I think some cute guys always do the trick! How about these two?

As you may remember, my son Scott came for several days over Thanksgiving week. One of the things he enjoys doing is making bread and he did that at least twice during that week. YUM! A couple of days after Thanksgiving, in his sister's kitchen, he was making some bread and my great nephew, John Carter, was invited to 'help' him. (John Carter is six years old.) So, he made a small loaf of his own....doesn't he look cute in these photos? Well, they both do, actually. John Carter was so proud and pronounced his bread 'fun to make and good to eat.' And, Scott enjoyed having his little second cousin join in the bread making. Adorable.

Are you smiling now? Me, too. Time has passed and they are both back home now. If you will remember, I always dread taking my son to the airport to return to California. I made myself do better this time, but his sister boo-hooed like crazy. She and I may go see him next year....oh, what fun that would be! And, I'm sure more bread would be involved....well, I should lose weight before then...oh dear!

Hope you are all well.......and taking time to smile and enjoy the cute guys in your family....of course, the cute girls too!!!!! pat

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio
Right in My Backyard

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.