Monday, July 29, 2013

"Trees: Nature's Version of Lace"

Today I am wandering away a little bit from the objects shown in my studio tour....this afternoon I was reminded of something I have said many times in the past.  That 'something' is my opinion about trees.  I think "trees are Nature's version of Lace." That idea crept into my mind one time as the old navy man and I were out for a ride in the country, and it has stuck with me ever since.  So, I'm going to show you some trees and you see if you agree afterwards.  Some are real, some are not. So, to begin, I will show you an appliqued and embroidered quilt I made....part of it serves as the banner for this blog.  No, it doesn't have a thing to do with Nature, other than I LOVE trees and think of either applique or embroidery when I am observing them.  Specifically, French Knots.  However, on this tree, I have cut out tiny little leaves and stitched them down individually by sewing over each in a straight stitch.....the flowers and such below the tree are all embroidered.  Now, this may not look like lace to YOU, but to me, it is a similar idea.

Here is a close-up of the largest tree.  I've been told that I place the leaves too close to each other a lot and don't allow the branches to 'show,'  but I think I did ok on this tree and besides....I make these trees to please it doesn't matter to me what the critics may or may not say.....I make them the way I 'see' them.

 These trees are in my backyard.  We live on two acres in town....on a rectangular lot, so the house is on the front acre and this view is the back acre.  I love this view, especially late in the evening.  Now, look at how those lower branches hang down....does that remind you of the edges of lace? 

Here are a couple of photos I took one cold day..........Doves love my little Nest...they are always perching on the roof and because there are trees around, they sometimes sit in the trees and observe life at my backyard studio.  I love the doves... and the sound of a Mourning Dove is one of my favorite sounds here.  (Oh, my goodness, especially if it's foggy!)  But, in these photos...observe the limbs of the tree....all LACEY!!!  Do YOU see?

One snowy day....very cold...I managed to take the photos you see here.  While I am not a fan of Winter, I do like seeing trees like this - all bare with a frosting of snow, showing off their branches - so very pretty.  To my mind's eye, these trees look VERY lacey.


Here is another tree I've stitched.  The trunk is appliqued...and the leaves are embroidered and very sparse.  I wanted them that way.....the little limbs are drawn on with a permanent marker.  I enjoyed making this tree very much.


Here are a couple of other trees I have made.  I mentioned French Knots earlier...I ADORE them!  And, so enjoy making them.  Two little fruit trees in bloom.  Whenever I see fruit trees in bloom...I immediately want to go stitch some French Knots....and I like pointing this out to people if I happen to be with someone when I see the fruit trees.  Yes, some people, I am sure, think I am NUTS.  Fortunately, I don't mind!

 Here is another photo of my back yard.........Now, notice how those branches look in this weather/time of day.  Beautiful and yes, to me....lacey!

This tree is across the street from me....and it is so pretty in the spring.  Might you possibly think this one looks like lace?  I sure do.  

 This tree is in my least it was.  Damaged by too many storms, lightening, wind, etc., there is just about nothing left of it...(this is an old photo)....we don't yet have the guts to cut it cutting down trees just isn't something we want to do. 

Here is a little tree I made...this is an ATC card (2 1/2 x 3 inches).....the tree trunk and branches are  just a bit of fabric stitched down with a running stitch....the leaves are little Lazy Daisy stitches.  Yes, it was fun.........and yes, this one also reminds me of lace.

OH, my goodness!  I DO love these trees in the Fall.  At the end of my street.....I have to make a point to stop there each year to get a photo or two.  Now, surely these remind you of lace?  

And, here is another....Fall is my favorite time of the I guess that is why these trees attract me so much. It's funny, I rarely choose Fall colors to work with....but I DO love seeing them around the countryside in October/November. 

 As you can see, I didn't put these photos in any particular we are back in Winter again.    So pretty with the snow on the limbs...these are across the street around the Catholic church....sometimes I walk over there and when it's cold, you can hear the limbs talking as they blow a bit in the wind.  Definitely lace here.

And, here we are again in my backyard.  So, if this photo doesn't convince you that trees are Nature's version of lace, I don't know what will.  

Or this one...very near the house.  

And, the backyard again...this is the most peaceful place I know of in town.  (Well, except my daughter's back patio...oh, that's another post on another day!) 

But, as I said, my favorite time of day to 'look' is in the early evening....see the light on that tree back there....surely you are seeing what I mean....LACE.     If you still don't 'get it' that's ok.  I'll just enjoy thinking it for you!  

In my next post, I'll get back to showing you a couple of things people wanted to know about in the Nest, I just had to spend this little bit of time with you enjoying TREES!!  Take care out there.  pat

Thursday, July 25, 2013

"A Green Glass Button Collection"

From the tour of my studio someone asked about the stack of glass boxes and the green buttons.  So, being that they are one of my very favorite collections here, I have decided to let them 'out of the box' and show them to you.  Here's the glass box....with an assortment of beautiful green buttons.......many of which were a gift to me from a friend. 

All of these little gems came out of that box.  All of them are glass.  All delightful!!

This is a pin made from several old buttons.  I didn't make it, but found it at the flea market.  Notice the two green buttons. 

Some of the this photo two my favorites would be the rectangular light green one and the triangular one with the gold edging. 

I love the larger button in this photo...but I don't think it's all that old......but the fancy green ones...four here.....ARE vintage.  I looked them up once and know they are worth a lot more than I paid for them......all glass...all gorgeous!

LOVE these too!  Look at that tiny pretty!  I'm especially fond of green glass, rather it's a button, a drinking glass, a vase, so pretty!

I have some glass ball buttons in green and in a few different sizes.  In this photo there is one, clear green, but I also love that greenish/blue button too.  And, those three with the pink.  They are very small.

More small ones.

The diamond shaped one and the oval one are two of my all time favorites.

I've no idea, really, which buttons are worth the most.........I just know which ones I love the most.   For instance, on the left about half way up the photo...that tiny faceted one.  LOVE!!!

I think they are all quite nice!

Some more ball shaped buttons...these are kind of large...........I prefer that little square one in the middle!


You can find something different to like in each's always amazing to me that these have lasted as long as they have without somehow getting broken!

Love this one!

This one is my VERY favorite of all!  Can you see why?  Yes, it's that cute little bird!!!

And, a few more.  Amazing how many buttons there could be in this world!

And, finally, another look into the glass box.  I think of it as a 'Treasure Chest.  My friend, Claudine, in France, said my Nest "was like the cave of Ali Baba."  I suppose this little glass box is as good a treasure as I will ever come maybe she is right!   Hope you enjoyed seeing these lovely green glass gems.  Til next time, take care.  Pat

Monday, July 22, 2013

"My Green Blackboard and Some Favorite Quotes"

 As promised, here is the post about my 'green blackboard' and some quotes.  If you 'toured' my backyard studio in the last few posts, then you've seen this....but I had wanted to say a bit about it and let you read the quotes written on it.  First of all....if you didn't read this part....I purchased this blackboard from my friend Laverne.  She was having an estate sale at her 'old home place' as we call them in the South, and she knew I would want something from it as I knew her parents....especially her Dad.  We both shared the love of 'hunting and gathering' all kinds of stuff.  Her parents were really nice people too.  So, of course, I wanted to come over and ended up buying this blackboard and several other things...and I'm so happy I had the chance to do that....and think of them each time I even look at this blackboard...much less write on it.  Thanks again, Laverne!!!

I actually thought I'd use it for pattern drawing and such things, but found that I am too much a creature of habit...I still prefer tracing paper to do those things, however, one of my favorite things, it turns out,  is finding quotes here and there and writing them on the blackboard...reading one or two for inspiration when I'm at my work table.  Since I have always loved to 'write things down' - this blackboard brings me lots of satisfaction and pleasure and I like to think Laverne's Dad is also getting some pleasure from it too.  Good words sent out into the Universe and all that.    By the way....yes, I know I keep calling it a blackboard and it's green!  When I went to school, they were always black...even at my age...some habits hang on!!

In case you actually want to read these quotes and can't read my handwriting in these is what they say:

1.  Upper left:

"Tell the truth.  Sing with passion. Work with laughter.  Love with heart.  'Cause that's all that matters in the end."

2.  Middle left:

  "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.  And, the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking.  Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know it when you find it."

(I wasn't aware of Steve Jobs until my son went to work for Apple some years ago.  I thank Steve Jobs for his work every time I sit at my computer and get to hear from YOU!)

3. Bottom left:

"When you are older you will understand how precious little things seemingly of no value in themselves, can be loved and prized above all price when they convey the love and thoughtfulness of a good heart."

4. Top right:

"A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands, and his brain, and his heart is an artist."

5.  Middle right:

"In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine."

6.  The Heart:

I cut this heart from a sheet of ledger paper from one of those hundred year old ledgers my son-in-law gave me.  I attached it to the blackboard with poster tape...easily removable.  I have no reason why, I just wanted to do it!

In my opinion...there can never be enough said about the heart...and as I've pointed out is one of my very favorite motifs to work with.

#7 A surprise:

"Grandmother is AWESOME!"
grandson, TYLER  (twenty-eight this Wednesday)

I found this written on my blackboard after a visit from my grandson.  I'm NOT erasing it!

So, there you are....some 'heart' thoughts that are very important.  I hope you enjoyed them.   And, if you also have a blackboard.....maybe you will jot one or two down for your own inspiration.  (Or, maybe your grandkids will!)  See you next time...stay cool......and safe.  pat

Friday, July 19, 2013

Beaded Purses and a Necklace

I came out into the Nest tonight to take photos of the blackboard.  Now, really.  Where was my brain?
Caught myself arranging this little purse on an old quilt I made long has a story by maybe I'll tell it some other time.  Anyway, out of the blue, I thought.."Oh, I'm doing the wrong thing...this isn't the blackboard."  So, pardon my lack of thought tonight, I'll do the blackboard thing on Sunday or Monday.  Some of my readers made special requests to know more about several things shown on my studio tour.  Dana, Christy and Claudine (in no particular order) asked about the beaded purse on the mannequin, the silver necklace also on the mannequin and fringe.  Hence, this post.

 This is the little purse I mentioned buying at the Biltmore Estate on a trip with friends, Sharon H. Jim, and Deon.  The color is pretty's a dark bluish grey.  And, lovely.  I hope you enjoy seeing it up close.  Of course, I had to buy at the time I was really into making fringed pincushions and loved the beading. 

So, here are some close ups...this one being the strap.  It's long...and I like that it's three strands of beading in a braided effect.  It wouldn't be hard to reproduce if you were so inclined.

 The top part of the purse is really neat....I like that the fabric peeks out.  

 A quick look inside.  The purse is quite small and that opening is about three inches wide.

Here is the little silver purse.  It was a gift from my friend, Mary Lou....and also was displayed on the mannequin.   

 Here it is opened up.....TINY.  So cute and lacey.  It's about 1 1/2 inches across and 1 3/4 inches up and down.  Maybe I should have put something in it for the photo...but I just now thought of it.  Some days I just don't get how my brain works....or doesn't.

You can see it here in my hand....pretty, isn't it?

 Here it is from the side.  I have some special little silver charms I should probably put inside it...that would be cute.

This is the back........

 And, here it is opened........yes...something has to go in there.  Thank you again, Mary's right at home I want YOU to feel when you come over!

This little purse....5 inches x 8 inches when closed like this....was displayed in that glass-topped wooden box near the jewelry boxes over all the beads in the studio tour, Part Three.  Another flea market find.  I LOVE the beading on it...including the background beading.  So pretty.

Embroidered and beaded.  Quite lovely.

Embroidered in Straight Stitches, and then beaded in several different kinds of beads.

In this photo, you see the flower on the back of the purse.  The background beading reminds me of 'echo' quilting.

Here is the purse opened up.....

And, here it is open and standing up.  LOVE!

I HAD to show this one to wasn't in the tour, but I wanted you to see it anyway.  It is completely made of beads....and weighs a ton.  It's quite old and actually falling apart.  I found it at a flea market and had to 'rescue' it.  Too delicate to repair, but beautiful to see.  And, there is more fringe to look at.  These are metal beads, in a silver, bronze or brass, and gold.  They are three different a very complicated design.  Up at the top about an inch and half can see where some kind of strap or handle was removed.  The 'flaps' front and back fold down.  

Here is a close up of the fringe.  Quilt simple, really, but a fancy fringe would not have been necessary with the complicated beading design.  

Here is a close up view.

 And, another.  You can see that it isn't in very good shape......but consider it's age.

In this of the top edges is folded down...having no fabric involved means that both the inside and the outside of the bag are I weighs a LOT...and it feels cool to the touch too.  It's fun to hold...very tactile.

Another photo of the fringe.

 And a better closeup.  Can you imagine beading this?  Now, how old do you think it is?  And, having nothing at all to go on....I think it is from France.  No idea why. you think it might be French?  Do any of you have any guesses?  I paid $5 for it.  Just couldn't bear to leave it at the flea market!

 And, here it is with Mary Lou's heart over top...right in the center.  I particularly like this photo!  Hope you enjoyed the beads!  And, on Sunday or Monday, I WILL post about the blackboard.  Meantime, take care, enjoy yourself and scout out some wonderful beading or fringed items for yourself...really a couple of fun items to search for!  Take care, stay cool.  pat

PS.  Had to add this photo.  Now, really, look at these beads...coming off one strand of the fringe.  This is what the 'big fuss' is about.  Hundreds of these tiny beads...sewn each to the other in this little bag.  Don't you wonder who did it?  And, how....while probably in poor light.  Little tiny beads....making a BIG, BIG statement!  You gotta love it!

A Bit of Heaven

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