30 September 2008

Rosebud Pincushion


Rosebud Pincushion, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

I love the big pincushions that I've been making, but have also wanted to make some smaller ones. This sweet little pincushion uses the metal lids from frozen juice concentrate instead of CDs!
Stitching 01
It was a much smaller piece to work on, so the embellishment went quickly. Since it was a small piece, I was able to devote time to making lots of french knots without getting too overwhelmed by them!
Rosebud Pincushion 01
Once I had assembled the pincushion, I realized that the top needed something else. At flea markets and antique shops, I've been picking up baggies of ribbon roses and so I gathered an assortment for the top.
Bottom
The bottom is a heavy poly/wool felt. I've covered the join with a velvet ribbon and little rose colored beads.
side view 02
I'm so happy with this little confection of a pincushion! I'm thinking that rather than be used for sewing needles and pins, I'll use it on my dresser to hold a few special pins that I wear with my blouses now and then!

26 September 2008

Lockett Meadow


Lockett Meadow, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Once upon a time there was an enormous volcano here, whose top blew off many millenia ago, leaving numerous peaks that are now known collectively as the San Francisco Peaks. Lockett Meadow sits in the inner basin of those peaks. Over the two years I've lived here, many people have told me about this area and that I should go see it, so today, that's what I did. One of my reasons for coming was to observe the beginning of the autumn leaf changing. Here, the aspen groves glow in vivid gold against the dark pine greens. Even though they've just begun to change, it is spectacular already.

Pond
After traversing a narrow and rough dirt/rock road, one comes upon the meadow just past this pond. It was sprinkling lightly when I arrived and I sat and watched the pattern of drops on the water for quite some time.

Into the woods
A small hike into the woods led past the reddened trunks of grand Ponderosa Pines and beautifully white trunks of aspen trees. Here I stopped to observe a chicaree squirrel dropping pinecones from the Pinon Pines. Upon observing me, he sounded an ongoing warning call that was loud and echoed through the trees. Like bagpipes, he had two sounds, an ongoing loud chatter and a softer droning sound that went on simultaneously! For a tiny squirrel, he made an enormous amount of noise!
Aspen
Standing under the aspens, the dappled yellow green light seems to glow.
Aspen leaf on lichen
Underfoot, the first of the season's fallen leaves create works of art where they fall.
changing leaves
Looking down reveals changes in the small plant life too. I love these brilliant red leaves among the green!
Wild Asters
Back out in the meadow, there are wildflowers to enjoy, such as these lovely wild asters.
Changing Aspen
And now, one last look at the hillsides of aspen before heading home!

25 September 2008

Sea Dreaming continues!


Seams 4, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
I hadn't planned on purchasing any more embellishments for this block, but when I saw these darling little fish beads, I knew they "belonged" on this piece! The little blue and white tatted edging has been the most frustrating thing to work with on this wall hanging. I've started and then "frogged" several different methods of attaching it. Finally, I arrived at this simple chain stitch (which could be more even but I'm not ripping it out again!) to attach it. At last, Im reasonably happy with it.
Seams 3
For a long time, I debated if I really wanted to add a "button/bead" cluster to this piece but once these elements came together, it seemd like a good thing. It adds a nice counter balance to the seashell/starfish corner and the little fish above.
Seams 5
The lace cloud is coming along. I used a variation of a cast on stitch to fill in missing pieces of lace. Next, I'll add beads a possibly a bit of silk ribbon to finish it off. And just maybe, I'll add a seagull or two floating on the breeze.
33a Sea Dreams
I'm excited to have this block nearing completion! One more seam treatment, some work on the cloud and then it's time to add the border of a lovely creamy silk dupoini! I've so many ideas for more projects as well as things I want to make for Christmas gifts, that I need to get some of the current projects finished and out of the way!

24 September 2008

Winners!


Autumn block finished, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

The Autumn Block will be winging it's way to Lynn in Southern California tomorrow! Congratulations Lynn! Thank you to everyone who participated! It was so enjoyable to work on this block while thinking about all the readers of this blog!

And speaking of winners, I too was a winner! Corey at Tongue in Cheek deemed my answer the most creative in her most recent French Antique Guessing Game! I never would have guessed that they were bottle toppers! Instead, the little figures, a cherub and a rampant lion looked to me like music box dancers! What fun that Corey liked my answer so well that she choose it as the winning creative answer!

Autumn vignette
With the onset of Autumn, I've been doing a little redecorating for the season. The pale aquas of summer are giving way to warm woods, old books and hand dipped beeswax candles. This display looks a little dark and heavy to me, so will get tweaked in the coming days.

Autumn begins 2
The landscape is doing some fall redecorating as well. The wild grasses on the hillside are changing to ochre hues and the oak leaves change to burnished amber tones one branch at a time.
Late wildflowers
The wildflowers have been spectacular this year. Right now, the hillsides are covered with these brilliant yellow flowers.
Wild White Aster
Just off my patio, there are enormous clumps of wild white asters.
White Thistle?
Also off the patio are these white thistle like flowers. They are so delicate looking but have sharp stinging prickles! While many would remove them as a weedy and unpleasant plant, I leave them as they are part of the natural flora and fauna of the area. I delight in seeing the wondrous diversity of nature and how it changes from year to year. Because we had much snow this past winter and a good amount of rain during this monsoon season, things are blooming this year that haven't bloomed in past years. It always amazes me how some of these plants can lie dormant if conditions are not just right and then burst into glorious bloom after years of inactivity!

20 September 2008

Sherry"s Round Robin Block


Sherrys block as sent, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
This is the second block I've had the opportunity to work on in our CQI Fabulous First Timers #3 Round Robin. I fell in love with the rich reds, greens and black of this block!
Sherry's block detail of Lisa's work
My additions include the gold lace, the silk ribbon embroidered holly leaf seam treatment, the gold star seam treatment and the gold sequin and pine tree seam treatment. I would love to have kept going on this block, but need to leave some space for the other two ladies to work on it! Now if I could just find some of those lovely fabrics to make my own similar block!

17 September 2008

Autumn in the Air


Autumn block, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
The weather has cooled off here and nights are chilly. With early morning temperatures in the 30's, the furnace has been turned on briefly each day and I'm contemplating changing the white cotton sheets on the bed for creamy flannel ones. Even the birdsong at the birdfeeders on my patio has changed to a more wintery sound.

The autumn block for the giveaway is nearly complete! All that remains is to complete the border and backing and then it is ready to send out! If you would like to enter for a chance at it, leave a comment on the "Milestones" post. The drawing will take place on September 24th! I must admit that it will be hard to part with this block!

Sea Dreams seams
I've also done a little work embellishing seams on my Sea Dreams wall hanging. I'm undecided about the little starfish. It seems to overwhelm that corner. I haven't attached it yet and will decide once I have more of the embellishment done.

15 September 2008

Buttons and Old Lace


old lace 1, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Yesterday I came across a box I had tucked away in the shed. Imagine my delight to find a box of old lace trims that I had collected over the years but "misplaced"! What fun to go through them!
narrow lace
When antiquing, I tend to look for old handmade lace and eschew the more modern polyester laces. These tiny trims may get used in crazy quilts or to adorn a baby dress or even edge the neckline or cuffs of a blouse or dress. I am in awe of the needleworkers who invested hours of time into these amazing trims!
old lace 2
Unusual lace is more to my liking than the more ordinary types. Like this lovely bobbin lace. Some of the threads used in it are different than what one usually sees.
old lace 3
This old bobbin lace has seen better days, but will be lovely used to trim a crazy quilt block. My closest friend in Colorado gifted me with the tiny white needlelace trim below it. I love the scalloped shape it forms!
Crocheted lace with tatted cord
This lace appears to be crocheted in two tones of cream and ecru and uses a picot edged cord that almost appears to be tatted. Such a feathery look to it!
Dark Pearls 01
While hunting for some buttons for one of the crazy quilt blocks I'm working on, I realized that I had a large number of "dark" mother of pearl buttons. So I picked through until I had a whole handful of them. Dark Pearls 03
Many of them have a pinkish undertone along with the darker blues and grays. I suspect the larger ones might have been used on coats.
Dark Pearls 02
The button with the etched design looks like butterfly to me. I've set it aside to use on a crazy quilt block in the near future!

11 September 2008

Travel Treasures


Fruit stand 3, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

One of the things I love about traveling, is that each trip reveals a new treasure, something that will be carried in the memory like a precious jewel. Sometimes, it is the expected thing, like having the whole family around, or a planned event such as attending the Scottish Festival. This trip to Colorado certainly held many such treasures for me.
Fruit stand 2
But occasionally, something unexpected captures one's fancy. On the way home from Colorado, I left the interstate behind just south of Raton, NM and traveled through Cimarron, up over the mountains to Taos and down the Rio Grande River Gorge to Santa Fe, simply to see some different scenery. While the mileage is nearly the same, perhaps even shorter, it is a much slower route. I enjoyed seeing the large pronghorn antelope on the prairie outside of Cimarron, glorious views of Mt Wheeler (the highest point in NM) , as well as the quaint architecture and lovely gardens of homes outside of Taos. I decided to skirt around Taos completely as I was quite tired by this point and beginning to wish I was a bit closer to home. The Rio Grand River Gorge between Taos and Santa Fe was as stunning as I recalled from a previous visit. An open black rift in a broad flat sagebrush plain. But the thing that made me stop was this colorful fruit stand between Taos and Espanola.
Drying flowers and Chiles
Sopyn's Fruit Stand is painted gaily in red, green and white. Colorful ristras of drying chilies hang from the eve along with colorful bunches of drying statice and other flowers. Baskets of tomatoes, apples, squash and cucumbers filled the benches. A hint of autumn coming shows in the pumpkins and gourds sitting in front.
Fruit stand 1
I actually drove past the stand for several miles and then turned around and drove back to it! I'm so glad I did! What a treasure this Fruit Stand will be in my memories! And tonight, my dinner will be buckwheat pasta topped with lovely tomatoes from this farm stand!

As today is September 11, I would be remiss not to note that it is also my sister's birthday! Happy Birthday Holly!
My sister!
On this day that holds so many tragic memories for people, I am reminded of two passages of scripture.

Isaiah 41:10
"Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand."

Romans 8:38, 39
"For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Blessings to all!

10 September 2008

Milestones


View of Longs Peak, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Home again. I have left one home behind for another. Being in Colorado with my family for nearly two weeks was wonderful. There is a comfort in being surrounded by ones family that is matched by nothing else. It was so hard to leave them and return to Flagstaff. Yet it is good to be back, among my own things, with my kitties, my sister nearby and my job to look forward to. The above picture is a view from my parent’s home looking towards Longs Peak. The picture below is the view I had coming into Flagstaff last night. Wasn't that a stunning sunset?!
Sunset
There is so much to tell you about! There are milestones reached, awards received, projects started and stories to tell! Where to begin?!
Autumn Block up close
Let’s start with a few milestones achieved by this blog! This post is my 100th post! This blog has also now had over 10,000 visitors! Also, in the past two weeks, I’ve received several blog awards! In honor of these milestones, I’m having a blog giveaway. Above is a glimpse of the Autumn CQ Wall hanging that I’m doing for it. It’s not quite finished, but will be soon! If you would like to enter, please leave a comment on THIS post and two weeks from today, on September 24th, I’ll draw the winner!
Art de Pico I heart your blog Kreative
So about those awards! It is heartwarming to be appreciated in such a fashion! I would like to thank the following ladies for these awards!
Ati ~ Ati on the Crazy Road
Marty52 ~ Textiles in Time
Cheryl ~ Cheryl’s Chatelaine
Adrienne ~ With a Grateful Heart
THANK YOU! I am truly honored by them!

After long and hard thought on this, I’ve decided not to permanently post the awards here as I feel it would change the peaceful feel of Ivory Blush Roses, but I do want to acknowledge the awards and share how grateful I am for them! This world of blogging connections is amazing and I am daily enriched by being able to reach out and share in the lives of people all around the world!

Many thanks to everyone who has left a comment in the past few weeks! I read and cherish each comment, but have fallen hopelessly behind on replying and humbly beg forgiveness!

Naked Autumn Block Nkd Scottish blk Christmas block ~ naked
One of the joys of visiting the family was spending much time with my daughter the seamstress and exploring her fabric stash and several bags of recent donations to her stash that she has received. From her stash, I was able to put together several small CQ blocks and got her started on her first CQ block! The three above are 8x8” blocks. One for the Autumn Block that I’m giving away, a Scottish themed block and a Christmas one. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture of the patriotic themed block my daughter is working on. We spent many happy hours going through fabric and trims!
Amy, Jon & Sally
Another joyful day was spent with my oldest son and his fiancé in the mountains. We had a leisurely hike around Long Lake in the Indian Peaks area, which has to be just about my most favorite place in Colorado. The mountains were beautiful as always, the forests green and lush after a summer and winter of lots of moisture and the wildflowers astounding in beauty! We had a wonderful time taking pictures and simply enjoying the day together!
Sandstorm
On another day, I spent time with my daughter in law, gathering photos for a scrapbook of my son the Marine’s time in Iraq. He’s been sending us pictures, including the one above of him standing in front of an incoming sandstorm.
Scotch Tasting
My stay in Colorado ended with a weekend at the Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Games in Estes Park. The weather was perfect ~ a blend of cool, misty days and sunshine and blue skies. On the first day, I attended a Scotch Tasting taught by Ian, the main distiller for Glenfiddich!
Jessie, Lisa & Zach
My daughter and youngest son joined me for the last half of the festival and we had our picture taken with some of the cannons that are fired off hourly during the festival. It was a glorious time together!
Lisa and kids 8Sep08
On the last night there, we gathered everyone in front of the fireplace for photographs. Here you can see me with my kids, except for my son the Marine in Iraq and his wife who was traveling with her parents this week.

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