31 January 2011

Stash Building


Valdani Pearl Cotton, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend a day at the Phoenix Quilt Festival. There is limited opportunity to add nice fabrics to my working stash in Flagstaff, so it's a treat to go and see so many wonderful things! I'd been saving up for it and came home with a nice assortment of things like these lovely Valdani Pearl Cotton threads in lovely woodland shades!

Lace Motifs
There were also a few dealers there with bargain bin priced lace. I ended up with quite an assortment of trims, most for around a dollar!

New Books!
One of the things I didn't get last year was Ann Cox's lovely A to Z of Ribbon Flowers. All year long, I regretted not having picked it up, so it was my first purchase along with a couple of other lovely books!

Woodland Fabrics
My main reason for going to the festival was that I wanted some more batiks in shades of woodland/green. I was able to pick up a nice assortment! I love these! They will be a perfect complement to my current stash and should give me enough fabric to create my woodland quilt!

Just for Fun fabric
Then there was this fabric, just for fun, in lovely tropical shades!

Felted Wool and more Batik
A little bundle of rosy red dyed felted wool made me think of hearts... and the lovely rosy/lavender batik would go beautifully!

Wildflower Fabrics
My surprise purchase was this lovely assortment of wildflower fabrics. They remind me of the gorgeous wildflowers in the Colorado high country that I so enjoy. I debated over and again, and as you can see, eventually decided that they must come home with me! Now to dream up a lovely project to use them in!

End of January


Dried Daffodils, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

The daffodils dried beautifully on their stalks. So fine and delicate in their papery softness. I couldn't help but save them for a few days to enjoy further.

Lisa's work on Rita's Autumn DYB Block
Still on the autumn trend, I've finished work on Rita's beautiful blocks. She chose such lush silks to make them out of and stated how she loves the red's, gold's and purple's of autumn. I opted to focus on seamwork on her block.

Detail of Rita's block
This circular pattern is becoming a favorite as it is so adaptable! I also love the little featherstitch grapevine!

Rita's completed blocks
These are the four completed blocks so far. Each block has a simple, elegant beauty to it, so I wanted to also keep my block in a similar vein. I still feel that the wine colored patch could use something else in the corner, but everything I've tried makes the block feel heavy and out of balance, so I opted to leave well enough alone and leave it as is. The blocks above are by Beryl, Cathy L., Ritva and myself. One more set of blocks in the Autumn DYB and I can focus on the "For the Birds" round robin!

23 January 2011

Autumn Block for Ritva


Autumn Block for Ritva, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Christmas may be past and most of us are looking forward to spring, but I've been stitching away with thoughts of autumn! I got a little behind on this round robin and am so happy to have finished Ritva's block! The bright orange fabrics were a challenge for me on this block. Adding a piece of dyed lace helped to tone down the brightest block and provided a bit of color to pull through the rest of the block. Each of the other people who worked on these blocks before me, added lots of the little leaves, so I followed suit!

Detail of Ritva's Block
The center of the block is filled with autumn flora. When I work on a block like this, I realize what a linear thinker I can be. My tendency is to want to do all the seams with an embellishment in each patch. Working on round robin blocks has been teaching me to think beyond the seam, to not be afraid to cross borders. On this block the placements of seam treatments helps to frame the motifs and it ends up being a more interesting block because of it.

21 January 2011

Springtime on my Walls


Springtime on my Walls, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

One of the things I love about my new arrangement, is that it gives me more wall space to hang some of my favorite paintings! These have been tucked away in the back of my closet for far too long and I'm so delighted to have them out again! Can you tell that I really love springtime?! While the lower center painting was inspired by a photo in a magazine, the others are all views of Iowa in the spring.

I lived in Iowa for two years while going to nursing school and fell in love with the rural landscape and especially the intense greens of springtime! Just looking at these brings back such wonderful memories of driving along the gravel roads, breathing in the damp earthy smells of spring, soaking in all the beauty! I loved that tucked away here and there were little parks or preserves, such as Sutcliffe Woodland, the scene of the painting on the left. My daughter and I were driving along one day and saw a sign for it and decided to take a look. After driving several miles along an increasingly rural road, we pulled into a tree covered parking area, walked through the big orange farm gate and were greeted with this lovely scene ~ hundreds and hundreds of Resurrection Lilies in full bloom in a wooded glade. It was right out of a fairy tale!

Pictures hung

20 January 2011

Stitching Corner!


Stitching Corner!, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

The carpets are cleaned and I was given the go-ahead to put everything back, so my apartment is getting back to normal at last, including the new stitching corner in the living room! I'd been trying to stitch sitting in the big comfy chairs, but while they are great for relaxing, taking a nap or kicking back to watch a movie, they weren't great for stitching in. So I moved my table and shelves over by the window and set up a dedicated stitching corner.

Threads Buttons n Boxes
A quick turn to the side and I can reach all my threads and silk ribbons as well as boxes of color coordinated trims. I sorted all the buttons out into color coordinated tubs to make it easier to find what I'm after.

Stitching books
Turn a little more and I can access all my stitching books (and knitting books too!) as well as more lace, trims and beads.

Stitching Table
The table provides a nice space to work. Having the cubby-hole shelf nearby helps to keep all the little bits organized, yet in view so I can quickly see what I'm after. I use shallow wooden trays, painted white, to organize my projects and can easily set them aside if I need more space. It looks a little cluttered, but that seems to be the way I work best!

Getting back together
And in the afternoon, when the sun comes in for it's brief visit, the living room and my stitching corner are beautifully bright! I love the new open feeling and that I can stitch and look outside to watch the birds in the trees and the occasional wildlife that visits the hillside! There are still a few things to put away, but they go in the storage shed on the patio, which hasn't been repaired as of yet. But now the end is in sight and functional again!

Now I need to take advantage of all this freshening up and get some of the round robin blocks finished that I've gotten so far behind on!

18 January 2011

Another Year Older!


Hyacinths in January, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Are you familiar with this old proverb?

If you have only two coins,
use one to buy a loaf of bread to nourish the body,
with the other, a hyacinth to nourish the soul.

Oh, how I agree with it! I'm loving these sweetly scented, delicate blooms on my windowsill right now! I love that they bloomed just in time for my birthday!

14 January 2011

Pansy Blocks are Home!


Pansy Blocks home!, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

One of the things I love about round robins is that you make these blocks up and send them off. Then, one day, months later, you receive a package in the mail and the blocks return, beautifully embroidered and embellished! It's such fun to see what other's do with what was sent out!

Pansy Bell Pull plan
These blocks will make a lovely springy bell pull! I'm still playing with the order, but hope to get this put together in the next couple of weeks!

Still a Mess
Around the apartment, things are still chaotic. Stacks of books still piled everywhere! Furniture and lamps all over. But it's coming together. I'm liking the rearrangement of the living room. It feels so big and open and without furniture cutting across the middle of the room, surprisingly lighter and brighter!

In scale to disasters and flooding happening in other parts of the world, my little flood was a mere inconvenience. My heart goes out to all those dealing with the enormous loss of property and life.

12 January 2011

January Posies & Rearranging


January Posies, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

The daffodils my sister sent me for Christmas are blooming! So pretty! I love the frilly ruffled yellow trumpets on these!

White Primroses
Also blooming beautifully are the white primroses!

Paperwhite Shoots
The second batch of paperwhites is coming along nicely too! Those green shoots bring so much hope!

Thomas wondering...
Poor Thomas is feeling a little overwhelmed with the mess and not at all impressed with the flowers at the moment! I must admit that I can understand it! It's been like living in a rummage sale for the past week.

Study in transition
The mess has inspired some rearranging! The carpet is finally back where it should be and I've been moving my study around. Since I've lived here, the desk has been in front of the window, which I have loved... but it has also inspired a lot of day dreaming and in the winter it is so chilly! So I'm moving the desk to the wall and am looking forward to having space to hang some of my art and handwork where I'll be able to see and enjoy it and hopefully derive inspiration from it. I'll post more pics once it's all together. Changes are happening in the living room as well and I've created a nice little stitching corner that I can't wait to show you ~ after I've neatened it up a bit!

Bead Mix Tins
Even the little things have been getting some attention. I like to keep bead mixes in these old Altoid tins, but they were always sliding around and I could never remember which color was in which. Then I had the bright idea of storing them on edge (they fit perfectly in the tray!) and labeling them. It's not perfect yet, but it works for me and is easy to grab a tin or two when I want to work on a project! Eventually, I'd like to paint each lid to match the color of the bead mix inside.

For now, I need to get back to putting things in order! I just love freshening things up now and then!

09 January 2011

January To-Do List


Tablescape, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
Thank you so very much for all the comments and concerns! They were deeply appreciated!

Each January, I like to take some time to think about what I want to accomplish in the coming year. Not quite resolutions, the list is more of a guideline for the year. It includes projects I want to complete as well as trips to take, purchases to make and other pragmatic items such as routine car maintenance along with a couple of loftier, less concrete goals I'd like to work towards. Throughout the year I refer to the list to help keep me on track. This year it should be possible to accomplish everything on my list, IF I can stay focused! But I need to keep from getting sidetracked. For some reason, it always seems easier to begin a project than to finish one!

2011 Projects

Here's are a few of my projects for 2011
* Finish the Cream/White Crazy Quilt
* Trees/Bluebirds lap quilt (I've been gathering supplies and cutting pieces!)
* Get completed pieces framed (there are 5 that need done)
*Finish knitting/blocking 2 shawls that are well under way:
- white mohair
- green kid-lin (not shown)
* Finish knitting the Basket-weave lap afghan
* Complete the Autumn DYB CQI Round Robin
* Complete the For the Birds DYB CQI Round Robin
* Several other stitching projects!
I think that gives me quite a lot to work towards for the time being!

Cleaning up
The mess from the frozen/burst pipe is gradually getting cleaned up. Tomorrow, the carpet layers come to put new pad down and relay the carpet in the study. On the patio, I've been able to create some order out of the chaos. Patches of ice remain where boxes were frozen to the ground, but at least now I can look out my windows without seeing a jumbled heap of stuff!
Inside, Mollie Kitty and I are enjoying all the blooming bulbs and flowers! She sits next to them much of the day and when she thinks I'm not looking, I catch her with her nose among the leaves. I think she enjoys them just as much as I do!

06 January 2011

Winter Whites


Winter Whites, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

The grocery store had a whole assortment of white flowers for just a couple dollars each. Who could resist?!

04 January 2011

Serenity Amidst the Chaos


Busted Pipe River, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Temperatures of -19F (or lower) on New Year's Eve
Frozen pipes
No running water for 3 days
Burst pipes
A wintry river, created by burst pipes.
One storage shed completely soaked and frozen solid
One room, the study, soaked halfway across the floor
A chaotic morning spent moving hundreds of books, desk, bookshelves, art supply dresser to any open dry spot available elsewhere in the apartment.
Patio covered in damaged, wet, frozen possessions from the storage shed... now frozen solid to the patio in a thick glaze of ice!

Study in White
Gratefulness
Restored running water
Carpet fluttering across the floor while fans dry it, the floor below and the damp walls
A co-worker who switched shifts with me so I don’t have to miss work while dealing with the chaos
A day to spend rearranging furnishings and belongings in order to function without stress until all is repaired.

Serenity amongst the Chaos
One spot of serenity
The top of the china cabinet
White with a little green
Peaceful
Calm

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