Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Sign

Rarely do I post two days in a row. I know you've noticed that. So, you must have already figured out that I have something important I want to show you. Well, "important" is an individual thing, so you may not find this important at all, but I DO, so I wanted to share this photo with you.

I made a quick trip to one of my favorite flea markets this a.m. The Bee's Knees. And, right inside the front door, my eyes landed on this sign. Well, it's already it 'spoke' to me. And, then, I read it. OH MY! It's that 'heart' thing again. Had to have it....because just think about what it says...."you have my whole heart." Of course, you do and now you know. Anyone who enters the Nest in my backyard will know.

See, it WAS important. What do you think? take care, pat

PS. I was asked in an email to explain my 'S' hook story to you. I will, but first, I thought you needed a break from my odd stories. Next time I will tell you and then after that...I'll show you something pretty. Promise.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just One More Special Story

This is the second installment of my special 'heart' stories. Some of you may call them my "weird heart stories." That's ok. It won't bother me. I suppose I feel compelled to tell you these stories because I find them very uplifting. Special. You may call them whatever you wish and I'll be fine with it.

As you know....I have a habit of putting hearts on my work and am attracted to all kinds of things 'heart.' As you also know....the heart shape is the universal symbol of love. It works for me! So, when they seem to appear in my life without any rhyme or reason...I pay attention.

A few days before I left for my retreat on the 7th of this month....I took my daily walk out to the mailbox. I saw something at the end of my driveway....just laying there and for some reason, I thought it might be a dead bird. There is a power line that crosses our property, so I thought maybe a bird had died up there and landed on the concrete. (By the way, I could never be an eye witness in a court, as I can't really see details further than about ten feet away and that's pushing it!!) As I approached the mailbox, I realized it wasn't a dead bird, thankfully, but was something entirely different.

When I reached the object, imagine my surprise when I realized it was a HEART. No, I did not think "it's just a piece of wood," I thought HEART! I just jumped up and down, yelling "it's a heart!" (Yes, my neighbors already know I am 'not like them.') I picked up the heart and was overjoyed, running into the house to show the old navy man. Well, he wasn't nearly as excited as I was. I said, "Oh, look what I found by the mailbox...what does it look like to you?" "Duh," he said..."it's a heart." "Well, don't you think it's odd?" "No," he said. So I said, "You aren't the least bit amazed that a heart was at the foot of MY driveway....ME....the person that appliques hearts, embroiders hearts, searches for hearts?" Again, he said "No."

So, ok, it's a piece of wood (about six inches long), it probably fell off one of the many pickup trucks that go up and down our street. BUT, it fell in MY driveway. Not one of the neighbors...the ones who don't collect hearts....but MY driveway, the person who does! So......actually, I feel it came from somewhere 'out in the universe' as a special treat from someone, somewhere...especially for me! And, gosh, I just thought of was by my mailbox! Mail from out in the universe! I love it!!!!

So, yeah, I know you are probably shaking your heads, thinking I've gone off my rocker or something. It's ok. Me....I'm still thinking it is a very special "thinking of you" gift. And, so I will add it to my other heart treasures....and be grateful I'm thought of "out in the universe somewhere!" take care, pat

PS. By the way, I once had a weird experience with "S" hooks. It went on for weeks. You're probably lucky I didn't tell you that story today!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Very Special Heart

I intended to post today about something other than what you see here, but I got so excited over this, I had to go ahead and show it to you. So, here's the story. As you've read on this blog before, I love to find heart rocks. I now look for them everywhere I go. My sister and brother-in-law remember that I do this. They live in Texas, where the old navy man and I are originally from. Actually, they live in McGregor, which is near Waco. My brother-in-law, Rick, (a carpenter, originally from the state of Maine) loves to go out in the Texas countryside in search of fossils, petrified wood,etc. The other day, he did just that and found one of those heart shaped rocks. A very special one, as you can see.

Here he is with his pickup loaded with petrified wood. And, in another photo, you can see the heart he found. Turns out he visited a mutual friend's home out in the country...between McGregor and Waco. And went searching. He says he was very excited and surprised to find such nice pieces of petrified wood and in picking them up....looked down and saw this rock, which turned out to be a heart. Of course, that made the day even more he knew the rock would go to ME! How cool is that? What a very nice and thoughtful brother-in-law I have!!!

So, look at the heart....can you believe it? I received a tiny little package from Texas on Friday and couldn't believe my eyes when I opened it. There, inside a tiny red box, was this heart rock.
I had to call immediately and ask if it was a trick. Absolutely not....the story is true, I heard back.
And, I believe it....Rick tells the truth (even when it hurts) of the things that makes him a great brother-in-law. After a careful examination, everyone present at my house at the time (the old navy man, his sister, my father-in-law and me) concluded that it had to be real even though it was so unbelievable. Thank you again, Rick!!!!!

A very special heart....from nature....and from a sweet brother-in-law. How nice he remembered that I am partial to those heart rocks. Lucky me!

In my next post, I'm going to show you a heart delivered to me by someone out there in the universe unknown to that will also surprise you. So, stay tuned! take care, pat

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Favorite New Book!

Last week I was on looking for a redwork book a friend had told me about. I found it, ordered it and then noticed another book that just called my name. Loudly. It called my name so loudly it roared and I just had to stop and listen, look inside and press that order button. I KNEW it would become one of my favorite books...ever! It arrived at my house on Saturday and I will not be the same as I loved every single page and all the designs. That, and the photos are to die for!

The book is "Crazy-Quilted Memories" by Brian Haggard. It's published by C&T Publishing. It's delicious!!! You will want it too and can purchase one directly from my new best friend, Brian, by visiting his blog, The Creative World of Brian Haggard. Click HERE to go there and tell him I said Hi. No kidding, if you love crazy quilting and embroidery, you won't be able to put it down.

Brian is also working on a second book which will be out next FAll. I plan on being the first to buy it....well, let's race to see who gets it first!!!! Ok, for now....let me know if you get this one and how much you love it!! (And, thanks, Brian, for this gorgeous book!!) take care, pat

PS. No, I still have not figured out how to get my photos published in the order I want them since I got this new computer. What's with me anyway?

BTW, I've been asked about the redwork book. Love it too, but for different reasons. You might want to check it out also. "Simple Pleasures in Redwork" by Kathy Schmitz. Published by Leisure Arts, Inc. Lovely redwork samplers and other pretty things! Enjoy both!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

At Our Quilt Retreat

In my last post, I mentioned that I would post again on Tuesday (the 13th). As you can see, I am LATE. I don't like being late, but here's what happened....I completely wore myself out at the retreat and I am learning that I do not recover from that as fast as I used to. So, even though I haven't even unpacked my 'quilt stuff' yet, I do have a bit of energy to post tonight. And, I'm not a total dud, as I did work at the studio downtown a bit on Monday and until three o'clock today.

The retreat was WONDERFUL!!! It really was. I left on Wednesday and got home Sunday afternoon. I would have been home sooner, but spent some extra time visiting with my 'peeps' before I left the 4H Center. I have some lovely and very funny 'peeps' so it was quite a nice experience. After being on my rather aged feet for four days....all I really wanted to do when I got home was collapse in my terrific and very tall iron bed. But, alas, you know that was not to be. So, here I am now, finally, sharing with you some of the photos of what I did at the retreat. (I had meant to take lots of photos to share....but totally forgot to do much of rather than do a sorry job of it, I have decided to show you what I was up to out there.)

I was asked, once again, to make the ribbons for the Challenges. Since our theme was "Farmer's Market" I wanted to use burlap for the foundation. For the Apron Challenge, I machine stitched an appliqued apron to muslin and used wire for an hanger. I aged some clothespins to pin them to the winning aprons. These are about six inches square. I made some little Log Cabin Squares for the Quilt of my very favorite patterns. I hope the recipients enjoy them.

In my last post, I said I was teaching a class called "Glorified Quilt Squares." A very simple quilt made up of nine squares....embellished with little embroidered motifs. The picture here is of my unfinished quilt...which was good as it didn't discourage some of my beginner's by being too intimidating, which is a good thing. We used all my very favorite 'school girl stitches' to work in their choice of the many embroidery designs I provided for them. I think they had fun and learned a few things. I did too. If you click on the photo you can see some of the designs up close. Remember, I mentioned that I would tell you about how I named the quilt? Here it is: One day I arrived early at my friend Carol Ann's house where we were having our monthly Knot meeting. She came to the door with wet hair, exclaiming that 'she hadn't even been GLORIFIED yet.' Meaning, of course, that she had yet to put on her makeup and do her hair. I thought it a perfectly charming thing to say....and thought it would fit this it truly has not yet been glorified....but is on it's way. That tickles me.

The other class I taught was Crazy Heart Pincushions. Sort of self-explanatory. Here are two. One I made for my friend, Sharon, with her blog name on it. The other I made "just because" and sold it during my class. I love making you may remember, I made many of them last year. Click on this photo too, in order to see the stitches and the beading better.

On Thursday night, I taught a 'Make It and Take It" class. We had never had one of those before and I wasn't sure how it would go over as it didn't begin until 8:30 p.m. Turns out a lot of folks wanted to be in there...much to my surprise. It went pretty well...and I was pleased at the comments. We made little books from new and used envelopes and cards. The smallest was ONE INCH square and you can see it in the photo. The largest was greeting card size. I believe it was successful as they are planning to have another one next time. (I'm adding this way after I posted this evening. One of my friends, whose opinion I value, kindly emailed and told me the photo for the Make It/Take It books wasn't showing on this post. OOPS. Well, I can never add more than five photos....and that one would make therefore, it's NOT here. Sorry. I'll show you those in my next post. Sometimes I can't see the forest of the trees, if you know what I mean!)

Lastly, I wanted to show you Jim's box of perle cotton. Just because I think it is gorgeous. For a bit, he left that box on a table in my classroom. Tempting me. But I was good and left it alone.
If you haven't tried embroidery with some of this perle all means, please do. It will be beautiful!

So....I'm almost back to normal now. Whatever normal is. I imagine it will take me the rest of this week to get things totally put away. I am looking forward to cleaning up the studio and moving a few things around...then getting down to the real work here....which is FINISHING some things and looking forward to Fall. In my next post...or the one after...depending on the mail and all that - I will be showing you a new book I have ordered. It's supposed to be here on Friday or Saturday. You will LOVE it! I can't wait to show it to you. Meantime, y'all take care. pat

PS. My favorite comment on the class evaluation cards: "She smelled good!" How many times do you get feedback like that! (I'm laughing.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Just a Peek

Wednesday I leave for my guild's quilt retreat. I will be teaching two classes. It's always great fun and sometimes quite exciting. This year I will be teaching a class on my Crazy Heart Pincushions. You've seen them on my blog before. And, I will also be teaching a quilting class called "Glorified Quilt Squares." It was inspired by a certain antique quilt made here in Arkansas. (I can't wait to tell you how I arrived at the name of this class.) There will be more about this quilt story in some future post.

For tonight, I thought I'd give you a 'peek' at parts of the quilt top. It is small...just 24" x 24" and not yet quilted...I'm thinking I need to add some more to it. This is the way I am....I can never really decide where the stopping place is...I just want to keep going. With that in mind, just know that these photos are just little peeks at the overall quilt. A tease.

The rest of tonight and all of tomorrow will be dedicated to finishing up my class kits, patterns, and so forth and packing up all the essentials and loading my car. That little PT Cruiser will be packed beyond belief. So, I knew if I wanted to had to be now and it couldn't be long....hence, the peek. I hope you enjoy it and have a good weekend too. I'll be back on Sunday, but probably won't be able to make a sentence until Tuesday or so!! (If you've been to one of these retreats before, you'll believe me when I say you are exhausted afterwards, but don't realize it until you arrive back at home!) Y'all take care......pat

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Desk Organizer

I'm spending a lot of time these days preparing for my classes at our guild's quilt retreat next week. A lot of time. Making kits is a chore when there are other things that need doing. Things I don't particularly laundry, cooking, grocery shopping. Well, really, I don't mind those things, in fact, they can all be downright enjoyable. But, not when I've got a zillion things to do and time is running out. That's where I am today.

Do you make lists? I have been a listmaker my whole entire existence. I can remember making lists as a child. I've no idea if I ever accomplished all I listed, but I remember making them. I LOVE checking things off the list! (And, yes, before you think I actually DO everything on the list...know this...some things get carried over to future lists!)

So, this morning, amid all the preparations for classes.....the infamous daily list had to be made. Laundry, pay bills, put a roast in the slow cooker, post on the blog, etc. OH! Posting! My iMac is telling me it's getting late.....and I've nearly forgotten to post! Lots of times I post very late at night, which is my preferred time to do it. No one bothers me. But, today, with so much to do....if I take any kind of detour thinking-wise, I could forget to post altogether and that would not be good. So, here we are and what to talk about? Back to my latest photos to choose about this desk organizer? I made it down at the studio and everyone likes maybe you will and you might make one for yourself.

No, I didn't think of this idea myself. I saw it while reading the archives on one of my favorite blogs. The blog belongs to Karen Valentine. You can visit it here. Her posts are always good and I enjoy my visits there very much. If you'd like to read the post she did on 9-14-2009 about these desk organizers, go here. Leave a comment as I'm sure she'd enjoy hearing from you.

I chose this old book and decided to use some birds to decorate it. Imagine me decorating with birds...who would ever expect that? Anyway, I chose some birds on some scrapbooking card stock to cut out and decorate with.....and as I tend to do, chose some words to accompany the birds. One of the birds was chosen to sit on a card and preside over the nest, so to speak. Others are at the front and back edges of the inside covers. Before I added those birds, I used gel medium to cover the front inside cover of the book with some old looking text....and on the back inside cover, I just added some paper I liked the color of....with more birds, of course.

Those words again....if you read beginning from the top bird and then across the bottom ones, it says
"they were led to the numberless rovings of fancy.' Who knows what that means, but I think it looks and sounds pretty. On the back cover, it says "the airiness of a bird just flit across my fancy." I do so enjoy finding these words and phrases to add to my collages...and now this book/desk organizer.

I have some of my favorite cards from blogging friends displayed in this book. I plan to add more as I collect them. You could use this organizer to display any kind of papers or photos, etc. What do you think? Is it fun, or what? Thanks, Karen, for teaching me something! Y'all have a good weekend coming up and I'll probably post one more time before I leave for the retreat on Wednesday. Now, back to that list!!! take care out there, pat

A Bit of Heaven

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