Saturday, February 28, 2009

Still Wishing It Was Spring!

It just keeps getting "better", it's 25° and snowing!

This squirrel...well, maybe not this specific one--we have a lot of squirrels in our backyard and they all look the same to me...SOME squirrel has spent the past few weeks tucking away twigs and leaves under the top step of our deck.

Not every twig stays tucked away though...there are just as many on the ground. In fact, that's what first drew my attention to the nest(?) -- "what the heck is that stack of sticks out under the deck?"

But enough of the snow photos! We're wishing it was spring here!


Thursday, Rick and I spent a couple of hours at Kansas City's botanical gardens, when the temperatures were in the mid to upper 60's. (It was 70 ° on Wednesday! Crazy midwest weather!))

There was a fragrance garden exhibit that we wanted to see. It was in the conservatory and it felt like we stepped through a door right into spring!

It was the first time I'd seen one of these--a Red Powder Puff Tree.

We also took a walk on the nature trail and it was really nice to be outdoors enjoying some fresh air.

On the way home, whenever we visit the gardens, we also like to make a stop at Cockrell Mercantile. It's a small vintage-y village with an old farm house, a couple barns and little cottages filled with beautiful housewares, mostly for the kitchen.

This is my favorite cottage!

It makes this collector's heart go PITT-TY-PAT!

Fiestaware dishes everywhere!

And I mean everywhere...inside...

and out!

It was such a lovely day and a fun daytrip, and I'm glad our timing was so great--it kind of balances out snowy days like today.


Friday, February 27, 2009

"Wishing It Was Spring" Fat Quarter Swap

It couldn't be more true--wishing for spring--currently, it is 27°(F).

Just a couple of weeks ago, Darci (Stitches and Scissors) hosted a fat quarter swap to help us through days like today.

Donna and I were swap partners and I love the fabric she sent!

The fat quarters are from Anna Maria Horner's "Good Folks" Collection.

After we got our swap partner's name, Donna emailed to ask me if I had a specific request or if I would like a total surprise in the mail. I chose to be surprised. I'm not sure if she knew that Anna Maria Horner is one of my favorite fabric designers, but it was the perfect surprise!

Thank you very much, Donna...I'm going to my craft room now to play with springtime fabrics and colors.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Playing with Puppies, Fabric and Gifties

On Saturday, Shawn, her daughter, Bethany, and I drove out to Karla's for Craft Day. Beth, and a new crafting friend, Mary were there too. We actually did get some crafting done, but I didn't take a single photo of the gorgeous papers that were being added to journals, tags and atc's. I couldn't resist just taking pictures of the three puppies playing around us in Karla's studio. Her yorkie, Twinkle, recently had puppies--six girls. Three had already moved to their new homes, but we had so much fun playing with the ones that were still there. They were so sweet and cuddly!

Isn't this one of the cutest faces you've ever seen?!
And that's lucky me getting to cuddle with her! (Shawn took this photo.)


In a different kind of playing, I had some time yesterday to work on, and finish:) my red and aqua charity block for Project Improv, the project I talked about here.

Also, please, take a peek at two more wonderful gifties I won during the One World~One Heart giveaways.

From Nikki, a lovely fabric ATC. The hearts are cut out of fabric paper she makes that really sparkles! She also dyes the wool for her pieces. Thank you, Nikki!

And from Melissa, this grand assortment of collage sheets and accents from Paper Imagery Designs. Thanks, Melissa!

I think crafty gifts are one of the best kinds of mail!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The OWOH Love Continues!

I was so fortunate, during the recent One World~One Heart event, to be the winner of some very LOVELY giveaways! Please let me share with you.

From Anne, these incredible ATC's--she really has a way with creating color and texture (check out her blog to see lots more)! Thank you, Anne.

From Linda, a beautiful bracelet made with glass beads, silver spacers and charm! Thanks, Linda.

And from Diane (who does some amazing image transfer work), this lovely mixed media picture, "Mother and Child", and also some little extras that I look forward to using in my own work! Thank you, Diane.

In addition to their beautiful gifts, I've also made three new friends and found three wonderful new blogs to visit...definitely a gift that keeps on giving!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Puppy Love Tag Book

I thought Valentine's Day might be a nice day to share my Puppy Love Tag Book I received from the swap Karla hosted. It arrived all wrapped up so sweet and pretty!

Karla created all of the covers for them...mine shows a vintage photo of a sweet young couple with a heart of handpainted flowers around them. She tied up the tags with lovely ribbons, a heart shaped "Puppy Love" tag and added a scottie dog and heart charms!
(02-23-09) Edited to add this next photo...because I realized the "Puppy Love" heart had gotten flipped to the back of the book and it's too cute to be hidden. Also, today I added a vintage rhinestone pin (or is it a brooch? I'm not sure of the difference) to the cover. Back when I was gathering up supplies to make tags for the swap, I came across a Poodle pin that I'd gotten at an antique mall last summer. I set it aside to add to my book when it got here, but just now got around to doing it. I think it's a nice addition.

The first tag in my book is from Brenda Romine...the image she used for "devotion" is perfect and heart-warming. I love the tab on the side that says "love"--it reads "always" on the other side.

The tag from Amy Wald just makes me want to say "aaawwwhhhh"...what a cute little guy and his puppy! The crepe paper ruffle sewn to the bottom is a great touch.

I love the way Amy also prettied up the back of her tag.

The next tag was created by Kathy Lowry...the 1938 calendar is a great background and Kathy added a tiny heart sticker next to February 14!

I love the sparkly JOY wings on the back...

Gretchen Schaumann made this tag...the background paper is a pretty flocked one and I love the face on that sweet pup!

Debe Leone designed this one...the little dog bones coming out of the button on the bakers twine are adorable! Actually, there are a lot of wonderful details on this oh-so-sweet tag...

and on the back too!

The day I got my tag book in the mail, I got so tickled to see a tag from Shawn! Shawn lives about 15 minutes away from me. We met at Karla's Bloggers Tea Party last summer, have become fast friends and like to carpool when we go to Craft Day at Karla's--it makes the hour or so drive a lot more fun.
I've always loved Shawn's work...she adds lots of texture and depth and sparkle. The photo on her tag is raised up and the heart and key are too.

The back of Shawn's tag is a piece of art by itself...aren't those owls cute?

I made this last tag. When I was painting my backgrounds, I had painted a couple extra in case I messed up on one of them. I'm glad to say that I escaped a mess-up so decided to make a tag to add to my book when it arrived.

I want to say thank you to all of the artists for your pieces of tag loveliness! And a big thank you to Karla for all of the organizing and time and creativity she gave to this swap...I've spent a lot of time admiring and enjoying my little tag book!

"Happy Valentine's Day!"


Sewing Quilt Blocks

Yesterday, I mailed out four quilt blocks that I finished this week for two Flickr groups I'm in.

The first two blocks were for Sew Connected 2, a virtual quilting bee/collaboration with 16 members. Each month, everyone sews a quilt block for one group member with fabric that member chooses and sends to us. The completed block is mailed back to the sender who ends up with 16 quilt blocks to put together into a beautiful quilt!

February blocks were sewn for Katy (I'm a Ginger Monkey) who sent out beautiful Liberty Prints for us to work with. Liberty Prints were new to me, but those that were familiar with them were very excited about Katy's choice. Well, now I can tell you that I understand why--the fabric is quite elegant, yet easy to sew. I ended up making two blocks instead of just one. Katy sent plenty of fabric and one of the prints I just wasn't able to work into the first this may be the only time I sew with Liberty Prints since they're a little pricey.

The other two blocks were for the Bushfire Quilt Project. The request was for "wonky" or "maverick" stars on a light background--the stars could be whatever we wanted, a couple of colors or "scrappy", etc. I chose to sew scrappy stars and had the best time! I think this might be my new favorite pattern:)

You can read about the Bushfire Quilt Project here or here.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

One World ~ One Heart Winner!


This is the day that nine hundred and eleven blogs (yes, 911 blogs) all over the world are announcing winners in the One World~One Heart Giveaways!

I used the Random Number Generator to select a winner...

And #18 is:

Caryl (Caryl's Realm)

Congratulations to Caryl! I've contacted her and heard back and I'll be mailing out her prize this afternoon.

A big THANK YOU to Caryl, and all of you who stopped by to comment during this huge blog event!!! Your lovely, kind words have been so appreciated.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Projects, Finished and Projects, Future

I really have to say something about my family...they are the BEST gift-givers! Really! Rick and the kids--all of them--are incredibly thoughtful and creative. Somehow, they just know!

For instance...

Since my blog is mainly craft related, I thought you might appreciate this basket of future projects from first-daughter and son-in-law...and as one crafter to another, I thought you might know the glee I experienced when I saw it! Yes?


This is a recently finished's a teeny little drawstring bag crocheted with sock yarn. I like the way it turned out but not sure what to use it for--maybe a jewelry pouch.


These are the six finished tags I sent to Karla for her Puppy Love Tag Book Swap.

When she receives all of the tags--from 60 swappers--she's going to mix them up into groups that look cute together, add a tag cover that she's created and tie them together with pretty ribbons, etc. Then, around Valentine's Day, we will receive back a pretty Puppy Love Tag Book! Aawwwhhh, don't you just love puppies? Hey, if you want to see some really cute ones, head over to Karla's won't be disappointed:)