Happy Halloween!

White Pumpkins, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

The leaves of autumn have all fallen here. They dance across the ground, hopping and skipping along in the cool breeze as though to celebrate their freedom at being released from the tree. In swirls, they gather on my doorstep. This morning, I scooped some up to add to the display on my china cabinet. A chance to enjoy their color for a few more days. I'm sure the kitties will make short work of them!
Z n S Halloween 1990
I've never been much on celebrating Halloween. Goblins and ghouls, witches and skeletons have never been of much interest to me. But I loved it when my kids were small and when they looked as cute as my two youngest sons did in this picture taken in 1990!

Halloween Blessing

God of time
God of dark
God of earth
God of heaven,
You are
Stronger than the elements,
Stronger than the shadows,
Stronger than the fears,
Stronger than human wills,
Stronger than the spirits,
Stronger than magic spells.

Your presence be our shield
The love of God to enfold us;
The peace of God to still us;
The spirit of God to fill us;
The saints of God to inspire us;
The angels of God to guard us
This night, this winter, forever.

from "Celtic Blessings * Prayers for Everyday Life"
compiled by Ray Simpson



reflections , originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
Even my walls seem to be having sea dreams lately! The above picture was taken of the changing light on the living room wall. It fascinates me how light can take something plain and boring and change it into a wonderland!

Thank you to everyone who left a comment for the mermaid dotee drawing! I used a random integer generator to choose a number from 1 to 17 and it choose 10. Congratulations to Louise who left the 10th comment! Send me your snail-mail address Louise, and this mermaid will be on her way to you!
Autumn oak
Autumn here fades slowly away in muted shades of amber, ochre and russet. Using the photo editor, I played with today's photo of the oaks out side my apartment to give it the feeling of a painting.

I must admit that I have been going through a bit of a dry spell creatively. Instead, I am using the time to organize years worth of photographs that have been stacked randomly in a storage tub. So many memories are brought to life by going through these! Soon, I hope that they will all be stored neatly in albums in chronological order! Then I hope to begin scrapbooking a few of my favorite memories from them. I won't try to scrapbook all of them, but rather I'll choose the special moments and include the scrapbook pages right in the photo albums. The owner of our local scrapbook store has been doing this and I love the idea! You can read about her scrapbook project HERE. In the end, this seems a much simpler solution!
2nd Cream/white Block
I've also gotten a slow start on my next cream/ivory crazy quilt block. So far it is pieced and there are a couple of seams finished. I'm hoping to keep the embellishments and embroidery in tune with the first block so that I can use them together to create a lovely large wall hanging someday!


Playing with Needle and Thread!

ATC's, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

In addition to the day's usual tasks, I found time to play with needle and thread! I've always loved tiny things, so stitching ATC's is right up my alley.
leafy roses ATC
First came scraps of rosie fabric, then embroidery with size 8 pearl cotton, and lastly, the addition of beads for a bit of sparkle. Sweet!
Simple Green ATCs
Then I tried a pair in my favorite greens and natural linen. No beads, nothing too fancy. Just simple stitching in size 5 pearl cotton, inspired by some stitching I saw in a Japanese craft book a while back. A few tiny buttons from the button box make perfect little flowers! So far, of the ATCs that I have made, these two are my favorite! I'd love to know which are yours!


The Sea goes Ever On

34a, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
All that remains to finish on the Sea Dreams wall hanging is to finish the handstitching of the border (with a little tweaking here and there to even things up), the starfish sewn on and to hang it on the wall!
Sea Dreams mermaid Dotee
To celebrate being at the finishing point of this project that I have loved, I created a Mermaid Dotee Doll for one of my readers! Leave a comment on this post and on October 25th, I'll draw a name!


Paper Crafting

Altered Moleskins front, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

I love to keep a little notebook in my bag to jot down ideas, do quick sketches in and simply to keep track of all the little bits of information that comes my way. The small Moleskine cahiers are perfect for this purpose, not too big and lightweight. However, I'm not fond of the plain black or craft paper covers, so yesterday I spent some delightful time, cutting and pasting and altering two of them.
Altered Moleskins back
For both of them, I used old wallpaper scraps from Karla Nathan and my favorite scrapping paper with a lovely almost irridescent sheen and a leathery texture. For the one on the left, I backed some paper lace from One Hundred Wishes with bits of torn mulberry paper in shades of rose and green to give it interest. For the one on the right, I used some lovely chiyogami paper and a sweet bunny sticker from From Japan with Love. The little bunny cutouts are from a QuicKutz template.
Altered Moleskins inside
For the inside, I used pink origami paper and a different chiyogami paper. Now there are two more lovely little books to use that fit my personality and tastes much better than plain ol' black!


Sweet Daisies

A bit of art among the autumn decorations makes me smile!
Daisies ATC
The daisy buttons and charm sat unused in a tray next to my chair while I pondered what to do with them. Then at the fabric store, I spied a charming fat quarter of daisy material and an idea was born. A few more fabric scraps and another crazy quilted collage ATC was born!
Autumn meal
It is a blustry and cool day here. Days like this make me want to nest, to seek warmth and comfort, especially as I feel a cold coming on. In the kitchen, I put together a simple meal of small new potatoes baked with a bit of olive oil and parsley and some petite brussel sprouts. So pretty in the bowl that I had to take a photograph!

Speaking of photographs, there are two blogs that have posted some photographs too beautiful not to share! Enjoy!
~ Joanna of My Meanderings, has recently returned from a trip to Ireland and posted some beautiful photos of Quin Abbey that move me.

~ Also check out the ethereal photos of a "Glimmering Morning" in Sweden on Liisa's blog, Ottilia's Veranda.


Scarlet Beauties

Autumn Leaves 2, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

The green cloak of summer subsides revealing scarlet beauties.
Autumn Leaves 3
Blazing leaves with hearts of gold.
Autumn Leaves 1
Bouquets of autumn glory.


A Handful of Tiny Scraps

Fabric ATC, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

A handful of fabric scraps that I couldn't bear to discard, most no larger than 1" or 2" square, inspired a bit of creative exploration. I set out to transform these tiny scraps into something pretty. A bit of muslin, some "Stitch Witchery" and otherwise worthless scraps became a wee little crazy quilt collage, 2" x 3" in size, an ATC (artist trading card) in fabric.


White Pumpkins

White Pumpkins, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

The grocery had white pumpkins! I love the addition they make to my autumn decorating. The nubby gourd on the far left is especially fun.
Bowl of Threads
While organizing my sewing/crafting supplies this week, I came across a box of old crochet and tatting cotton. As an addition to my autumn decorating, I heaped them in a wooden bowl and placed it on my low bookcases.
I love the way the light plays over the various threads.
Fabric shelves
As you may have noticed, I haven't done much blogging this past week. Instead I've been reorganizing all my sewing, art and crafting supplies. Here is a glimpse through the closet door of the new shelves after stacking the fabric on them. Hanging at the top of the doorway are the many Dotee Dolls that I have received in swaps in the past year.
Fabric storage
One of the things about crazy quilting, is that one tends to accumulate lots of fairly small pieces of fabric, many of them nothing more than irregular scraps. I've been struggling with a way to keep them organized. Mine were jumbled into a basket and a box and I was forever digging and hunting and making a mess as I searched for just the right piece. Then I found these wooden crates and now, all these small fabrics are organized and I can see just what I have!
Linen Fabric Green fabrics
I love seeing the fabrics stacked neatly on the shelves almost as much as I like seeing pretty linens stacked and folded!

While the sewing/craft/art/knitting/spinning supplies have all been reorganized, I am still working on downsizing the number of books I have. In order to use the shelves for fabric, I had to empty them of books first. There are quite a few to get rid of! But at last, I also have room to set up my easel and hopefully that means that I'll be able to paint on a regular basis again!


Blue & Gold Pincushion

Blue & Gold Pincushion, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

This was such a different project for me! I'm not sure if it's really a pincushion or simply an "objet d'art"! Once in a while, it's good to let go of inhibitions and just let creativity flow without trying to stay within the bounds of preconceived ideas!
Blue and Gold PC stitching
When I started this, it was going to have seam embellishments that were much more "traditional", but instead I found myself extending the design of the central fabric. Now, silk ribbon embroidered (SRE) roses add dimension as do the beads.

Blue and GoldPincushion 03
When these cushions are pulled into shape, I'm always amazed at the transformation from flat art to dimensional art!
Blue and GoldPincushion 05
Around the base, some black machine made lace with a tatted appearance finishes off the base.


Autumn in the air

Autumn in the air, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
Autumn is in the air today. Flagstaff sits in the forest and to reduce the fire risk, they do a lot of controlled burning in the autumn. Today, the air is hazy with lingering smoke. The leaves slowly turn, one small cluster at a time. There is something about an autumn day that just makes me feel content.
Last Seams
Over the past few days, I've been working on a number of projects. One of the projects I've been savoring has been my Sea Dreams wallhanging. I've enjoyed this project so much as well as the spin-off projects that came with it that I hate to see it come to an end. The last seam is now embellished. Only the cloud and the finishing left to do.
Thread Keeper
I've made several of these little fabric thread keepers. They are wonderful for containing all sorts of things on my desk in addition to acting as mini waste baskets when sewing.
Outer cover back
Progress has been made on my hussif as well. The back and back inside panel are now complete. The little book pocket contains a small moleskin cahier that I covered with collage. Each page is filling up with ideas for seam embellishments and makes a wonderful little reference to refer to when I have run out of ideas!
Scissor pouch
I'm especially happy with the scissor pouch!
Blue & Gold
The lastest new project is another small pincushion. At first, I was going to do the seams in sequins and beads, but on a whim, decided to continue the black pattern of the central fabric out onto the other pieces.
idea tray
When I'm working, I gather my fabrics and embellishments together. With all my ideas and materials together, it makes it easy to work. Though I rarely use all the elements gathered, it helps give me something cohesive to work with. Sometimes, the working tray looks better than the project!