Sunday, July 23, 2017

"Lace, Tucks, Hearts, Bears and some Quilting"

 "Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures."
H.Jackson Brown, Jr.

Sure, who isn't thinking big thoughts these days?  It's difficult to find something to take our minds off those big thoughts and worries of the day.  Don't you think?  Maybe it's just me, but I find it invaluable, sometimes, to search around the cottage for a diversion from those big, heavy thoughts.  Something that might give me a little while to contemplate the small, enjoyable things of life.  So, for the last hour or so, I have gathered my thoughts around these things:  lace, tucks, hearts, bears and some quilting.  These things exist here in my little corner of the world, and at certain times...well, I'd rather spend some time gathering them together,  and enjoying an hour to two than thinking those big thoughts.  Like today.

This little bear is holding a small heart made by my friend, Bibi.  So cute.

 I've shown you these bears before....but not with this particular selection of lace, tucks, hearts or quilting.  I find "hunting and gathering" tucked fabric with  lace or crocheting is very enjoyable.  Hard to find, but worth the looking.  Do you?

There is a little pillow with tucks in the background of this photo.  The pillow was made by my sister-in-law, Betsy.  It is delicate and so dear.  In front of that is a little doll bed pillow with an appliqued heart.  A little heart pincushion, made by the mother of a good friend.  Dear also.  And, then, a doll bed quilt I made a long time ago...with tiny embroidered hearts and to enlarge if you wish to see that.  

Here is the tiniest bear I have....just about three inches tall....there with a pink heart pin I found a while back.  Both so sweet!  Some lace and underneath the lace, some tucks...the bottom of a vintage skirt.  And, all in front of a vintage quilt top in the Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern.  It belongs to my sister-in-law Nancy's mother.  Made by her Mother's sister and with any luck, I will have it quilted for her by next summer in time for her 90th birthday.    Some mending and such will have to be done first.  When this huge job is done, you will definitely see it here on the blog. 

 Another look at that quilt, with the bear I made wearing a heart necklace, a tucked piece with crocheted lace, and a small crazy quilted pincushion I made some time ago, also with a tiny embroidered heart. you have a "small pleasures diversion" for a Sunday afternoon from my house to yours.

until next time

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Pink Bird

In the last couple of days, I 'unearthed' this ceramic piece in the garage.  As I tend to fill every kind of container you can think of with buttons and such...this time, I thought of a little collection I have of tiny balls of perle cotton, crochet thread, etc.  The colors were just so perfect.  I love this little 
'flower' dish with the perfect pink bird hovering over it....and so, with a bit more color  -  a quilt, this blog post came about.

 I love how the top of the "flower" is yellow and as you look down, it turns into this pretty pink color...just like the bird.

 A bit closer....

 And, upside down.  Where it's really pink!  There you see the maker...Royal Copley.

Thought I should give you a better idea of it's size...even the thread size can be noted.    I don't think I can ever use this I rarely find these little balls of thread in my flea market trips...and this thread is, to me, very special.  

And, what about the quilt?  It's special too.  Actually, most of the quilt is in need of lots of repair, so it may not happen.  However, I will do something with it...meantime, it's great for a backdrop.  With PINK!    


 And, more color!

As you know, shopping at the flea market is one of my favorite things and I've been doing it for years.  So, therefore, my house is full of "stuff.'  My doctor recently told me to keep it up as it "keeps me going."  Oh, yea, Permission!  How cool is that?  People tell me that my house 'looks just like me."  And, you know I have always said there is a story for every item.  With that in mind, I found this quote today:

"Collect things that you love, that are authentic to you, and your house becomes your story."
Erin Flett


Bird Nest Cottage
until next time,

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Summer Day at the Cottage

It's a quiet summer day here at Bird Nest Cottage, so I thought I'd show a bit of the flowering going on around here.  I do not have a green thumb,  so many of these are in pots, but some actually are in the ground and I have hopes of not killing them.  I'm trying harder than usual, since I LOVE
them so.

Here's a quote I took a fancy to this morning:

Jim Carrey

 This Crepe Myrtle tree is really in the wrong place, but I do love this shady little corner.  We will be trimming it in the has white blooms, nearly all of them gone right now.  

 Here we are out front of the cottage......I really do call it a cottage.  Mostly because I just like the way it sounds!

 I had some rocks that were collected by my late Mother-in-Law.  They used to have a farm between Harrison and Yellville, Arkansas.  There was a creek and she gathered rocks and arrowheads there.  I ended up with some of those rocks.  I gave some to my son-in-law and he made an angel by their back porch for my daughter.  As we say around here 'I had a fit over it' and the minute I got home had to put an angel in my own flower bed.  I like that we have given a new home to Alleen's rock collection!

 The green heart hanging here is MOSS.  Too Cute!  Given to me by my daughter.  

 The quotes:

"I would sooner live in a cottage and wonder at everything than live in a castle and wonder at nothing."
 Joan Winmill Brown

"Better my own cottage than the palace of another."
A Welsh Proverb

 Looking outward from my front door.  A very beautiful summer day!

 Then, outward to the patio...a very HOT place right now.

 Also looking outward from the door in the room I call The Pantry. 

Just a little visit on a hot summer day.  I am so grateful, not only for my home, but also for air-conditioning. 

Bird Nest Cottage
until next time 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Church, A Pin, A Dish and Some Crochet

 Once again, I am at a loss as to what to post....but, since I've been absent from the blog for so long, I thought you might forgive seeing something from a post or two from the past.  It seems as if blogs are falling along the wayside and I'm not really wanting this one to fade away with the rest, so hopefully, I'll be able to do a better job in whatever  time we have left of the very fleeting year of 2017!

I think I last showed this little quilt in 2008.  It now lives at my youngest brother's house.  It is 17 1/2 inches x 23 1/2 inches, hand appliqued, quilted and embroidered.  And, you'll notice one of my favorite things there......a tree!  Love making those!  Also....there are French Knots, another favorite.
Do you see the city in the background?    And, the little church....I've used that church to make several pieces, long gone to other homes.  Maybe I'll do another one someday. 

 Those knots!  And, there are little strips of fabric made into a border.  Leftovers from a Log Cabin quilt.

 A close-up of the church and tree.  I seem to remember using one strand each of three greens to make the leaves.

 Now here are three things I could not and did not make!  That teeny little crocheted pincushion is just dear (and OLD), the petit point basket is dear also and how sweet is that tiny dish...a gift.

 Just beautiful!

 I found this pin at a flea market years ago.  Such tiny stitching!  It was love at first sight!


And, once again, that pin!  One of my favorite motifs in stitching is a basket like this one filled with flowers.  I never tire of finding them!

And, so....a new post.  Not the most original I have done....but, it's a post!!
(I'm not pushing my capabilities at this point.)  Hoping you are well and enjoying your summer....❤️

until next time

Thursday, May 18, 2017

What I See

The first three photos in today's post were gathered TODAY from the internet.  They are beautiful!
Had I seen these in the past, I could say they may have inspired me to create a piece of work, but since I just saw them today....all I can say is they ARE an INSPIRATION!  Normally, I might SEE a tree or a house or a flower here on my own little bit of the planet that might possibly get me enthused about stitching a new design based upon those particular sights.  Sometimes, I just IMAGINE these things into existence.  So, I want to share these three with you and let you know what they made me think of today.

First, that beautiful pink tree!  OH, MY!  French Knots!  When I see blooming trees, I always want to embroider some French Knots into a little tree...set in some simple scene. 

Then, more trees!  This scene is quite beautiful too.  Years ago, while teaching a class, I said that trees in 'silhouette' - like these -  have convinced me that "trees are Nature's version of lace."  If you've ever driven down a country road just before dark, you have seen trees like this....yes, all lacy against the darkening sky.  More inspiration, for sure.

Look at what is left of this very old, old house!  I can imagine the stories that whirl in and out of it through the missing windows and doors.  I wish it could be saved.  It is beautiful to me.  (There is one not far from me...I've shown in on the blog before....fading away into oblivion.  I need to go photograph it again before it's gone.  I am inspired by these places to create tiny little houses made of applique and embroidery.  Mine is a poor version of such a sweet old place.  Just a memory, really, of a place I never actually experienced.  Maybe a quilter/embroiderer lived there, stitching her creations - not like I do...for pleasure, but to keep herself and the family warm.  I like to think of things like that.

So, those three photographs are inspiring, for sure, but what I create never looks anything like what inspires me to stitch.  It's funny how that works.  Then, too, I haven't the talent to stitch anything that looks realistic. There's that.  I guess I can stitch a 'reminder' of a real thing or place though.  And, I have to keep it simple as basic stitching is what I'm best at.

This little framed piece (2"x3") is one of my favorite pieces.  I could never let it go as it is one of the first tiny scenes I made.  Maybe someone will think enough of it to save it when I'm gone. 

Another scene.  A pincushion.  Just a tad over three inches square.  A friend said it would be difficult to actually stick a pin in it.  Seriously?  It's made of hundreds of stitches actually.  With a needle making each and every one.  How many holes would that be?  Maybe you can see I've got some heart pins sticking in the top.  They make me smile.

And, a close-up of that barn.  It's 4 1/2" x 6 1/2."  I made it...then the Old Navy Man said the barn  would never have power hooked up to it as it didn't have any power lines to supply it.  So, I felt obligated to stitch those...adding a tiny transformer!  He loved that.  And, of course, that made me happy.  (Sorry about the reflections on the glass!)

More trees, a tiny house.......wild flowers.  Oh yes, "my soul is made of wildflowers."  That's a quote from an artist named Katie Daisy.    I agree, as I think mine is too.  This piece was made way before I'd ever heard of Katie's work....but it would have inspired me had I seen it then.  You can see her work at

This piece consists of a painted canvas with a piece of painted and embroidered quilt batting added on top.  I loved making it.   (Do you see the swing in the tree?)


I've made several bird pincushions......about six inches square.  All with beaded edgings.  Sold all of them.  Maybe one day I'll make myself one....???  This bird is about 1 1/2" long.

This one is tiny too...but the whole pincushion is only six or so inches, so it's all small.  FUN, but hard work too.  I think I like tedious work to be honest.  (Those eggs are tiny beads.)

Lastly, more birds.  I painted the fabric, then embroidered the birds, etc.  

So...did any of this make sense?  Inspired by the photos of others seen on the Internet, by scenes from my daily life, or scenes as "Anne of Green Gables" might say..."within the scope of my imagination," I am hoping to create again in the near future.  I've been in a slump, but working my way out of it.  I'll be spending some time with some of my favorite 'peeps' in the next few weeks, but hope to return sometime in June with a thing to two to talk about.

Do take care out there!

Bird Nest Cottage
until next time

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.