Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pincushions, Another View

It's been a busy day, but I wanted to post something 'pretty.' Something that tells you what kind of work I like to do...aside from quilting, that is. Now, you know that I haven't been quilting in a while, but I do still consider myself a quiltmaker, however, there is nothing new along those lines in the Nest just yet, and may not be for a while to come....but there are plenty of 'little things' in my photo archives for me to bring back out and show once in a while.

I don't know about you, but I tend to forget just what I have made and bringing out the photos occasionally reminds me that I didn't just vacuum or do laundry, or buy groceries, or cook, or dust. Well, you get the picture.

So....here are a few of my treasures.... all living somewhere else....happily, I hope. (I do still have one larger of the blue ones, which I saved.) I do appreciate everyone who has ever purchased one of my pincushions.....as they are made with love and great care. It's nice to know they have good homes and are loved as I loved making them.

I really did enjoy making this little pink pincushion...very small and narrow....but makes a statement anyway. Oh, goodness! The Tea Cup pincushion.....painted that teacup one day and saved it for probably several years before I stitched the pincushion. That was fun. The rose pincushion on a soft green background.......that was an experiment that turned out pretty good. The Heart and Vine Love pincushion....I could stitch those vines all day long, they are such fun.
Then, of course, the little blue square and a rectangular tiny pincushion stitched all in white embroidery floss in chain stitch...most of it one strand of floss. Tedious....but great fun.

There are more....yes...several more...that now live in other places. Silk ribbon, embroidery floss, a bit of fabric and some beads and the work of my two hands...I'm so glad I love to do this work! Today I am remembering these and as always, thinking I should be making more and more, rather than less and less. Time will tell, I suppose...as time seems to fly past more quickly each day.

Sure hope you enjoyed this viewing of them......one more time. Stay safe, warm and cozy, pat

PS. Next time, maybe I'll show you 'another view' of some hearts since FEBRUARY begins tomorrow!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Belated Birthday Gift

At my last monthly group meeting on January 19th, my friend Jim, presented me with a birthday gift. Well, OK, my birthday was in October....but dear friend Jim and I have not seen each other since September. We held our January meeting at his home, so that is when I received the gift. Bear in mind that going to his house is a gift unto itself. I mean it too. You might want to visit his blog HERE. If you scroll down to see his new silver collection and cabinet....you might understand what I mean. I've got some pretty good photos myself of the now 'massive' collection....such fun for me to see, but thank goodness I don't have to clean it. (You might let me know if you'd like to see those photos.)

Now, about the gift. Well, when I first laid my eyes on it, I had to laugh! It's just one of those 'happy' things. No way could you see it and not smile. Jim, often referred to by me as Mr. G.,tends to be a bit OCD...as am I. We sometimes never know when a project is finished....we just have to stop. So, if you look closely, you will see that he eventually did stop! I love it. Truly. And, it's so SPARKLEY!! He managed to include just about everything he knows about me in this piece plus a lot of tiny mirrors. My cat, Ethel. Birds. Nests. Stamps, which I love to collect. Buttons, lace, flowers and every other little thing...there's even a tea cup as he knows I enjoy hot tea. You'll notice the artist's palette...he says that is him! Well, yes it is! And, my family and some of my friends call me the Queen....so you see the queen chess piece in the background and the word QUEEN. What fun is this???

I photographed my present at the downtown studio....where it will live for a while, then come home to my backyard studio. Everyone who comes in sees it right away....remember...it is very SPARKLEY!!! And, they laugh too and think it is wonderful. You see it here, right in the middle of my workspace, that way, when I'm there....I can look at it and smile and remember that Mr. G thought of me on my birthday. And, the day sparkles!! Thank you, Jim....you really are a good and dear friend!!

Hope you, my very appreciated readers, enjoy seeing this piece of art as much as I enjoy owning it!!! Take care out there....pat

PS. I know that some of these photos are a bit blurry....with all that sparkling....I couldn't seem to get a very sharp photo...but I'm sure you'll enjoy seeing them anyway.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Crazy Quilt

As promised, here is much more about the Crazy Quilt I gave you a 'peek' at a few posts back. This is the second of the two I received requests to show 'more' of....and when I can, I like to cooperate. This quilt took a year for me to make.....well, actually nine months, but it seemed like ten years. I was asked to design and make a crazy quilt for Leisure Arts, Inc., and this is the result. It was 1999.

I actually really enjoyed the designing of the quilt AND the stitching, although they chose the colors and these were not the ones I would have chosen....but I worked hard on it and you see the results.

There is really only one pieced block, repeated twenty-five times. rotated around and embellished with different designs. Of course, the stitching was my favorite part. I always actually quilt my crazy quilts too...something that isn't always done...and as you can see in the border, I included some beads in the quilting stitches. I love the way this border fabric worked out and was pleased that even though the beads don't show up well until you look closely, the quilting adds so much to the quilt. And, the beads a tiny bit of elegance.

I used DMC embroidery floss in the quilt and YLI silk ribbon.

The book published using my designs is called "The Big Book of Crazy Quilt Stitches" (Leisure Arts, Inc.,Copyright 1999) and you can still get it in some places. You'll notice the cover, which I've shown here. The quilt on the cover was made 'in house' at Leisure Arts, Inc. They decided to use embroidery thread for all the designs rather than the silk ribbon. All the quilts inside the book were also made 'in house' except the original quilt, which I made myself. I was not thrilled about them substituting thread for ribbon, but just had to get over it. For years, now, I have been thinking I should make it over and do it 'my way' and try a bit of that thread embroidery along with the silk ribbon, however, I am not getting any younger, so may just let that thought die down. We'll see how that goes. The quilt I am showing you here IS the one I designed and made and appears on page 11.

I've chosen to show you as many photos as I thought possible before you got bored with the whole thing....so I am hoping you enjoy seeing this quilt...rather than just that little 'peek.' take care out there, pat

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Wholecloth Double Wedding Ring Quilt

Last week I showed you a few 'peeks' at some of my quilts. A couple of you asked to see more of two of those quilts. So...here is the first of the two. You will notice on one of the photos is the embroidered date of 1981. Yes, that is actually when this little quilt was made. So here is it's 'story.'

In 1981, the year we moved to Arkansas from Silver City, New Mexico, I purchased a piece of yardage printed with a Double Wedding Ring pattern. 'Way back then, printed patterns could be found and seemed to be a new idea, and many people bought them so they'd have the 'look' of the pattern, but not all the work of sewing one together. I always considered it kind of 'cheating' but, as you can see, I DID buy some myself. To my way of thinking....it would make a great project to PRACTICE my quilting stitches. And, truly, it really was.

This little quilt is lap quilt size and it has been used many, many times. It's soft as can be and at this point, a bit faded, but I still remember sitting and quilting it, thinking while I did so that my stitches were really going to improve. I think I still make exactly the same stitches!!! (By the way, have I ever told you I quilt one stitch at a time? I do.) What it did do was give me a little more speed while quilting, although I've never really concerned myself with how much time it takes to finish something.

Over the years, I've come to appreciate those hours spent practicing....and still love to hand quilt. Now, though, finding those hours to do so is an even harder thing to do. As I often say...so much to do, so little time!!

Hope you enjoy seeing more of this little quilt and next I will show you more of the Crazy Quilt you recently 'peeked' at. Hope you are all warm, safe and cozy! pat

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Special Bird Nest

It should come as no surprise to you that I am partial to birds. Real ones. And, the not-so-real ones. Likewise, I am totally nuts over bird nests. Well, the name of my blog is BIRD NEST ON THE GROUND...what would you expect? Anyway....people give me birds and bird nests. The 'real' and the 'not-so-real.' The birds...well, of course, they are definitely not real. But, we do feed birds here and I see them each day. We have regular visitors...my favorites are the Cardinals...perhaps because being RED, I can see them better than others, however, I'm awfully partial to Mourning Doves for their sounds. And, then, there are the hummingbirds. Oh...you know I really love them all.

So, I wanted you to see a special Nest that was presented to me by my friend, Vicki. It is sitting here amongst other nests...some real and some not-so-real. Vicki's beautiful nest is knitted. Yes, I did say KNITTED! You see it here....all those gorgeous yarns and ribbons, trims, glass leaves, and such. She says there are over 200 different yarns, ribbons and such making up each nest. I believe it. And, I think it is a VERY SPECIAL NEST, indeed! Before this Nest arrived at my house, I couldn't imagine how she made it...and, now that I've seen the Nest in all it's glory, I still can't imagine how she did it....and there's no telling how much the time she spent doing it....after all, knitting together hundreds of little strands of magic yarns....and then, getting it to turn out like a real Nest, now that is tricky!!! Actually, this Nest looks as if it should live in a magic forrest.....just delightful!!!

I played around with these Nests the other night, trying to find a way to display the real and not-so-real nests, along with the Very Special Nest, somewhere in my house...and came up with the idea of displaying them on my entry buffet. (Yes, I know you don't usually put a buffet in the entry, but my dining room already had one and there was no room for another anywhere but right here! Found at one of the local flea markets - for a great price, you know I just had to buy it! As I mentioned to my friend, Jim, the other day....YES, we are both evidently "hoarders.") After placing the nests there, I decided I needed something else behind the nests, so chose a painting by my brother-in-law, Don. "Autumn Stream." I think it looks pretty there. For sale, of course, and borrowed, from our downtown art studio.

An avid knitter, Vicki makes these very special Nests with a specific reason in mind....she raises funds for the Ronald McDonald House in her area. In addition to knitting (a lot!!!) she is a nurse. A very special nurse, if you ask me. You may visit Vicki at her blog, 2 Bagsfull, HERE. When you do, you can find out about the Nests and see what all Vicki does....including showing you the beautiful gardens that her husband, the "Gardener" tends. You can travel along with them and see beautiful places they visit too. You'll enjoy it.

I find bird nests around our two acres....even one of my neighbors, Jimmy, has been known to bring me a fallen nest once in a while. They are fascinating to me....perhaps because I am also a nest-maker in a way. But, actually, this special soft and glittery Nest is something I will always enjoy and every time I look at it...I will remember the very special lady who made it. Thanks, again, Vicki and may your new year bring you much joy!!!

Visit again soon...I will be showing a quilt...I know you love seeing those and I like showing them to you. Meantime, stay safe, warm and cozy! pat

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Other Two Clipboards

I mentioned the other day that I'd show you the remaining two clipboards I have made....remember, I had found three at the flea market...the old kind...and decided to make 'art' out of them. And, I mentioned I had been inspired by my friend Shannon. So....here are the two remaining clipboards....one for a friend, and one for sale at the downtown studio.

The first one I made for Marisa...she works at the local newspaper. A young person...I was surprised to find that she liked the same kind of old, or should I say 'vintage' stuff that I do. So, I made a clipboard I would like and I'm thinking she might also.

First, I painted the clipboard. Front and back. Then, I found various paper napkins, and other paper 'decorations' for it....and included a sheet from the ancient ledger I own. Pink paper flowers and silk leaves that I painted. As always, I added words.......as you know, one of my favorite things to do. I have a rubber stamp that is nothing but rows of little dots. I love painting those and stamping dots all over things...I think they may show up enough for you to see them here, front and back.

The second one is an odd pink. More paper flowers, paper napkins, a tag, the bird/and bird house were part of a birthday card my daughter gave me once. And, as I often do, I've drawn a little vine here and there.

So....two clipboards. I think they are fun. You?

By the way, I wanted to answer a question one of my readers asked. She wanted to know how I took such nice photos. Well, my goodness....I was surprised as no one has said that before. So, I felt I should mention this. I don't consider myself any kind of photographer at all, but I like to take photos and give all the credit for any of them to my camera. It's a Canon PowerShot SD750. A gift from my son and one of my very favorite things. Honestly, all I do is aim the thing and press the button! I use the Macro setting a lot and rarely use the flash. So, see, it takes no talent on my part and I can delete the photos I don't care for....a very cool thing. Oh, and it has a nice size screen so I can see what I'm getting....a plus for a person with goofy vision.

Next post, I will show you something special. A gift from a friend. Soon, expect to see more of a couple of those quilts I gave you a 'peek' of last post, as requested. So....see you soon. Stay warm, safe and cozy....pat

A Bit of Heaven

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