29 January 2010

Stash Treasures!


Wool n Perle Cotton, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Yesterday I escaped the cold and snow of Flagstaff for a day in the warmth of Phoenix! My excuse for going was the Quilt Festival and I did enjoy it! So many lovely quilts and fabrics to see as well as lots of other fabric crafts! I added a few things to my stash including the lovely array of felted wool above and an assortment of perle cottons, all in my favorite colors! I loved the projects and ideas from the Bird Brain Designs booth!

Green
Several booths had lovely assortments of ribbons and trims, so I added a few of those as well, all in my usual shades of green and white! I'm envisioning peacock feathers made from the sparkly green feathered trim!

Bobbins n Lace
These lovely wooden spools are perfectly sized for storing special bits of lace! I love their patina.

Iris Basket 29Jan10
Upon arriving home, I found a box waiting at my door step, which enclosed this wonderful basket of Dutch Iris just starting to grow! This is part 2 (of 3) of my Christmas gift from my sister! What fun it is to have this ongoing gift to brighten the midwinter days!

22 January 2010

SNOW!


22Jan10 1300pm 02, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Flagstaff has been getting snow all week. The first storm on Monday dropped about 1 foot. The storm on Tuesday dropped another foot. Then, Wednesday night, the big storm hit bringing lots of moisture from storm ravaged California.

21Jan10 0800am
When I got home from work Thursday morning, the neighbor and I shoveled the walk in front of our apartment. Per weather reports, we had 12" or more of snow on top of the earlier snow.

21Jan10 1700pm rain
By late afternoon, we'd gotten about 26" of snow, but then the snow turned into pouring rain. It melted off some of the snow and gave us a break from shoveling. It almost looks like the piles of snow decreased.

22Jan10 1300pm 01
Friday morning, the rain turned back to snow. Snow depth of 36" or more! It's coming down so fast that by the time you reach the end of the walk, it needs done again! I'm so grateful for great neighbors that all take turns helping to keep our walk clear! I'm also grateful that despite the heavy wet snow we haven't lost power, though several business around town have had major roof collapses.

The snow is supposed to keep falling until mid-day Saturday!

22Jan10 1500 pm
Edit: 3:00 pm The snow on the hillside behind the apartment.

22Jan10 1500 pm
The wall of snow off the patio is at least 4 1/2 feet deep!

19 January 2010

Block 2 Finished!


Block 2 Finished!, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
What a joy it is to finish a block that I am so pleased with! This block had a few unfinished spots that I wasn't sure what to do with for the longest time, but at long last it is fully complete!

Block 2 oak leaves
First, I added the satin stitch oak leaves and tatted butterfly. I also added some bead embellisment to the lower left seam on the block (visible in the full photo above) to fill in some of the empty space.

Block 2 Cast on flowers
The last patch to finish was the beige velvet. I love the texture and look of velvet but don't really like embroidering on it as it can be difficult to make the stitching stand out well. After perusing many embroidery books, I decided to try some little flowers, almost like a patch of chamomile. With chain stitched centers and cast-on stitch petals and fly stitch fronds, I'm quite pleased with the way this patch ended up!

Block 3 swags
Block 3 is also underway. Along side a piece of lace, I've embroidered two different swag treatments. One with many french knots using a white/ivory/verypale pink variegated thread, and the other with a chain stitch swag and two types of bouquets. For the small leaves I used a padded fishbone stitch. The fern like leaves use a regular fishbone stitch.

Block 3 leafy vine
On a patch of lovely silk charmeuse, I embroidered more vining buttonhole stitch leaves! I love doing these and love the effect of the rayon thread on the charmeuse!

Bulb Basket
Here in Flagstaff, we are gearing up for lots of snow with a possible total of 5 feet or more of snow by the end of the week. The larder is stocked and essentials such as firewood and water laid in just in case we lose power. The basket of blooming bulbs is such a beacon of hope that spring will come, even when the snow falls steadily outside and the world is clothed in icy white. I love having this spot of green inside!
Paperwhites

12 January 2010

Neck Warmer


Neck Warmer, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Project 3 finished!

When I'm sitting and working on a handwork project, I often find that my neck gets cold with the result that the rest of me gets cold too. Putting something around my neck keeps me warm and keeps my arms free for working. I wanted a little scarf to be used indoors, so not too long and not too wide and not too bulky.

neck warmer swatches
I knit several swatches first but felt that they were too fussy for what I wanted. In the end, I decided on a simple seed stich pattern. Here are the instructions.

Seed Stitch Neck Warmer
3 1/2" wide x 39" long
Paton's Classic Wool - 1 Skein (I used about 1/2 a skein in Leaf Green)
1 pair knitting needles, US size 7 or 4.5mm
1 crochet hook US size G

Loosely cast on (I use a knitted cast on) 17 stitches leaving a long tail about 2 to 3 yards long for edging. Wrap tail into small hank or wrap on bobbin to keep out of the way while knitting.

First row only: K2, (p1, k1) for 12 stitches, p1, k2
All other rows: Slip 1 purlwise, (k1, p1) for 14 stitches, k2
Knit for desired length. I knit mine 37" long.

Loosely bind off, cutting tail about 2 to 3 yards long, bringing tail through last stitch to secure.

With crochet hook, make a slip stitch in first stitch. Do 5 double crochets in 2nd or 3rd stitch from sl st , sl st in 2nd or 3rd stitch from dbl crochets, repeat across for 3 shells. I eyeballed the placement of the 3 shells across the end rather than counting out stitches. Repeat for other end. Weave end through.

(with thanks to Myrna Stahman author of "Stahman's Shawls & Scarves for how to begin and end the rows for a nice smooth edge.)

Daybook ~ Jan 12, 2010


Thomas w bulbs , originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

For today...
A class for work this afternoon, walking with my sister, a night of work and a meeting the following morning ~ it’s busy!

I am thinking...
About all the projects I need to finish up! I keep finding more things to add to the list!

I am thankful for...
The time I get to spend with my sister during the week!

I am wearing...
Blue jeans, black sweater with a white cotton blouse.

I am remembering...
a co-worker friend who is going through a difficult time

Can Cozys
I completed…
two knitting projects this week that have been lingering in the work basket. The two can cozys were knit of cotton chenille. They fit aluminum cans better than narrow bottles, but there were no cans available to model them! I also finished a knitted shawl that has been in my workbasket for about 4 years. It is of Lion Brand Homespun yarn in the Tapestry colorway. I choose the yarn because it was so wonderfully soft, but I’m not so happy with how it gets very fuzzy. I wonder how well it will wash.
Lion Brand Homespun Shawl

I am hoping...
To find an item I misplaced! I’ve searched the entire apartment from my sock drawer to the files of scrapbook paper to the trash cans and even unpacked all the Christmas decorations to see if it was there!

Noticing that...
The sky was still light at 6 pm! I love that the days are getting longer once again!

Pondering these words...
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established. Proverbs 19:21

From the kitchen...
No cooking today ~ looking forward to leftover Thai food (Gaeng Gai Phuket ~ chicken, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes and pineapple in a spicy red curry sauce! Yum!)

Around the house...
I am focusing on organizing and completing projects this month!

Bulb Basket
One of my favorite things...
in January is watching forced bulbs grow and prepare to bloom! This basket is part of my Christmas gift from my sister. All the blooms will be white, which are my favorite! It lifts my heart to see green growing things in the midst of winter!

Blessings and peace to all! May you have a beautiful day!

05 January 2010

Projects for 2010

Rather than making New Year's Resolutions, I've been looking at all the projects I'd like to finish in the coming year. Most are unfinished objects that I've started over the last couple of years. Looks like Crazy Quilting and Knitting are my crafts of choice these days! Although I hope to do more painting, both in oils and watercolors, this year as well.

There are a few new handwork projects to work on starting this month. I have signed up for the 2010 Bead Journal Project! I don't have anything far enough along to show at the moment, but I'm quite excited about this project, which for me will combine embroidery and beading inspired by my love of nature, gardens and little cottages!

Silk Palette
Then there are the crazy quilting round robins. I'm limiting myself to no more than 2 at a time so I have time to work on my own projects. In the next few days, I need to complete six 6" blocks for the Encrusted DYB (do your block) Round Robin. I'd like to use a palette of greens and brown but can't decide between using the lush silks above

Cotton Palette
or these nice cottons. Since the idea for encrusted crazy quilting is to cover the block with stitching/beading/lace, etc, I'm leaning towards the cottons and thinking of saving the silk for another series of blocks with mostly silk ribbon embroidery... after I complete some of the old projects above!

January doodles
I've also been doodling a little bit! The pincushion continuously has needles filled with bits of unused threads and so often, I end up discarding them as I no longer need those specific threads, but need the needles for something else. So using a scrap of linen, I decided to use those bits of thread to freehand some stitching rather than discarding threads. I'm going to use this bit for the cover of a little book!

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