Coming Home!

Stephen in Iraq, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

We received a call yesterday afternoon that my son Stephen should be back in the States this evening! What a joy that he returns safe and sound from Iraq!

Thank you from the depths of my heart for all the prayers and good wishes for him while he was deployed!


Preparing CQ Blocks

4 blocks, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
I'm signed up in several round robins at the moment and have been preparing blocks to send out. One of them is an "Under the Sea" themed "Do Your Block" aka DYB in which we make 6 blocks about 6" square and each person in the round robin gets to complete one whole block. Since they are small, they aren't so overwhelming! I've been thinking about doing another sea themed project for a while and after seeing Pat Winter's, "Mermaid's Tale" book on her blog and in the recent issue of Sew Sommerset, I knew I wanted to do a book too. I chose a scallop shell shape about 6" acorss and have used fabric to make the "scallops". While I'll send 6 of the pages out for the round robin, I hope to do both the front and back covers myself so will be making a total of 10 blocks for this! I think it's off to a good start!

1st 4 blocks
The other DYB round robin I'm in is an "Anything Goes" theme, meaning I can choose what I want. For this, I used some of the Flower Fairy "silkies" from Evening Star Designs that I ordered and used some of those lucious silk duiponi pieces to surround them. They look a little formal and square at the moment, but the embellishment should make them softer and more relaxed!


Ready for Valentine's Day!

Valentine Dotees, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Two little dotee dolls ready for Valentine's Day! One is headed to Florida, the other to Pennsylvania! They came out so sweet!


Pink and Rosie Crafting!

Pink and Rosie crafting!, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

The past few days, my crafting all seems to involve shades of pink and soft green, hearts and sweet ribbon roses!

For pink Inchies
The next batch of inchies is underway. Some in shades of pink and white...

for Green Inchies
And some in soft green and white!

ATG Trad RR nkd block
Now that the Holiday season is past, several round robins are also underway. This is my block for the Anything Goes traditional round robin on CQI (Crazy Quilting International). The little crocheted flowers off to the side were made my Aunt many years ago. I believe she originally intended them for a doilie as she made many with lovely flowers. I'm hoping one of the ladies who works on this block will find a way to incorporate them!

P.S. ~ Thank you for all the lovely Birthday wishes!


A Day of Roses!

Birthday treat, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

I'm now officially past the half century mark... Why does 51 sound so old when inside I feel only 35 or so?! I bought myself a birthday treat this week. A lovely bundle of silk duiponi in lucious shades, some sweet Flower Fairy silkies to use in a crazy quilting project I've got in the works, lovely shades of green pearl cotton and silk ribbon and some sweet tiny pink and white flower beads as well as a couple of bluebird buttons! Such anticipation to use these lovely things!

Rose Scents
I've been spending a quiet birthday at home and realized that there is a theme running through the day ~ Roses! It all started this morning with a rose scented shower and bit of rosewater cologne after.

Tea with Rosebud Cottage
My morning tea was in a rose covered teacup and saucer while I perused my idea book for "Rosebud Cottage" that I hope to build someday. The plans are always being tweaked! I love the planning and dreaming about it nearly as much as I'll enjoy actually getting to build it someday!

Birthday reading ~ beautiful magazines
I found some lovely reading material ~ a set of lovely magazines including my favorite British "Country Living" magazine!

Birthday reading ~ lovely books
And also some lovely books from my shelves to dream over. Gorgeous gardens and roses to infuse my dreams!

Birthday movie viewing
Later this evening I hope to watch a movie or two ~ some old favorites ~ I long for gardens like the ones featured in "The Secret Garden" and revel in the beauty and gorgeous clothing in "A Room with a View".

Leone Rosette Drops
The candy bowl has been refreshed with delightfully flavored Rosette drops by Leone, an Italian candy maker. There are a few violet flavored candies in that dish as well! A special bit of sweetness for the day!


Inchies and Paperwhites!

Inchies set, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
The set of inchies is complete! Now I need to put a wide mat around them and find a frame in 2/3 proportions to frame this set. Then I'll hang it on the wall in my main bathroom, which is decorated in these same colors. These inchies have been so much fun to work on! I'm already thinking about the next set I want to make! Maybe something in green or pink or even all cream/white! I'm thinking these little inchies would make lovely brooches!

The paperwhites continue to bloom beautifully! Between them and the hyacinths, my entire apartment smells like spring!


A Hint of Spring to come

Paperwhites and Hyacinth, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

The apartment is filled with the scent of hyacinth and paperwhites ~ a lovely hint of spring to come! Flowering bulbs in January have to be one of my favorite things!

Valentine Collage
At scrapbooking this past week, while everyone else was making beautiful scrapbook pages, I instead turned my efforts to making this Valentine collage to hang on my refrigerator! I'm into squares these days, though these are "twinchies" rather than "inchies", meaning they are 2 inches square instead of 1. The button fairy is one I made last year. She has a magnet on the back and seemed the perfect way to hang the Valentine collage!

Flock of birds
In spare moments, I've been creating a flock of felt and embroidered birds! Once I find the right cord, I'll hang these in a "chain" of birds to decorate a narrow wall in my apartment. I'm trying to decide if I want to make some cream colored ones with matching green embroidery to go in between these.

A huge Thank You to everyone who leaves comments! I'm not very good at replying to all of them (if I did, I'd never have time to stitch!), but I do read and treasure each comment and read your blogs with delight!



Cutting Inchies, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
I imagine this isn't what you were thinking I'd do with that bit of crazy quilting from yesterday! I must admit that cutting into somthing I embroidered had to be one of the hardest things I've done!

Inchie Blanks
The piece started out slightly larger than 4 x 6", and now has turned into 24, 1" square pieces ~ also known as Inchies.

Inchie blanks group b
Now that all the pieces are cut, I'll add embellishment to each one and embroider the edges with a buttonhole or blanket stitch.

Inchies in progress!
Here are the first few completed inchies!


Serenity, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

My apartment is on the west side of the building facing a hillside to the west and southwest. Especially during the winter, when the sun rides low in the sky, it receives very little direct light. Each day in the mid-afternoon, the sun peeks over the hill and treetops and for a couple of hours, fills the living room with light. Those two hours often find me sitting there, watching the light as it plays across the walls and dances in the old mirror. It's such a serene time of day.

Curly Wool
These balls of curly wool are remnants of my mother's weaving yarns that I brought back from Colorado. Eventually I hope to knit some little sheep from them, but for now, I simply enjoy the wonderful texture!

African Violet
The miniature African Violet continues to send out new blossoms! I've never seen so many on it! How wonderful it is to have blooming plants in January when all outside is cold and ice!

Crazy Quilting or...?
I have another little project in the works! On a muslin foundation, I combined bits of white silk dupioni, pale aqua crepe and pale blue organza ribbon along with a few bits of lace and ribbon trim. Then I added embroidery here and there, filling space a bit randomly. I like the way the organza ribbon adds just a hint of color and the way the Kreinik blending filaments and irridescent threads brink the piece to life! It's sort of an odd little thing ~ I wonder what it will become?!


A New Little Pincushion!

CQ Pincushion, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

My ankle is doing enough better, that I've been able to return to work this past week. Changing back to a night schedule has resulted in being awake at odd hours of the night. I find those good times to sit and stitch! The result of last nights sleepless hours was this little pincushion! This one uses the metal lids from frozen juice concentrate to form the base.
CQ Pincushion top
I love these colors! Soon, my entire home will be clothed in shades of mossy green, natural linen and shades of creamy white!
The paperwhites have just begun to bloom! This year, I'm trying something new. My mother sent me a tip by a gentleman from Cornell University. Once the bulbs have sent out roots and the foliage is a couple inches high, water them with a mix of 7 parts water to 1 part vodka (or white rum or gin). This is supposed to keep the plants shorter so they don't flop over so easily. So far, I have to say it seems to be working quite well!
Mini African Violet
The miniature African Violet is also blooming like mad! This little plant is 9 years old and blooms 9 months of the year! I love that it puts out so many blooms in the middle of January!


Itty Bitty Dotee

Itty Bitty Dotee, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Now that Christmas is over and the time of making Christmas gifts and ornaments is past, it's easy for me to slip into January doldrums. Having something to create that involves deadlines spurs my creativity, so I've signed up for a few swaps on Swap-Bot. One of them is for an "Itty Bitty Dotee" doll. This little gal measures a mere 1 1/2" in length with a bit more for the tail and hanger. Fun to work on!
Itty Bitty Dotee up close Itty Bitty Dotee back
She has a flower hat, which is more visible from the back as well as bead embellishment on her outfit! many of the beads and fabric were recieved in various swaps I've done in the past!

One of my resolutions or goals for this year is to step up my efforts to follow this old proverb and not buy anything new unless there is no alternative! Dotee dolls are a great way to use up many of the bits and pieces that I'm to frugal to discard!

Use it up!
Wear it out!
Make it do!
Or do without!


"Joy" at Last!

Joy, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

I've finally got a picture of "Joy" for you! This is going out to Jacque in New Zealand! I wanted this to be sparkly and joyful, the bird flying up for joy!
Putting away Christmas
Today the Christmas decorations are being put away. Mollie Kitter doesn't seem to be very happy about! She's been sitting amidst all the decorations all afternoon and watching me intently. I must admit that it seems like the decorations just went up and now they are coming down. But it will be nice to have a freshly clean and a less cluttered home for the month of January!


My Prayer for You in the New Year!

Hope in the New Year!, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

May the Father of Life pour out His grace on you;
may you feel His hand in everything you do
and be strengthened by the things He brings you through:
this is my prayer for you.

May the Son of God be Lord in all your ways;
may He shepherd you the length of all your days,
and in your heart may He receive the praise:
this is my prayer for you.

And despite how simple it may sound,
I pray that His grace will abound
and motivate everything you do;
and may the fullness of His love be shared through you.

May His Spirit comfort you, and make you strong,
may He discipline you gently when you're wrong,
and in your heart may He give you a song:
this is my prayer for you.

May Jesus be Lord in all your ways,
may He shepherd you the length of all your days,
and in your heart may He receive the praise:
this is my prayer for you, my prayer for you.
"Celtic Daily Prayer" from the Northumbria Community