Lace trims 3, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

I washed lace last night. For this delicate task, I use Eucalon, which is mild and does a nice job of removing dirt and grime with a soak of an hour or two. A second hour long soak with some Clorox 2 removed a few stains that the Eucalon didn't. After a good rinsing and gentle squeeze to remove the excess water, I ironed them while still damp and hung them on hangers to dry.

Lace trims 2
Now they are all clean and ready to use on various projects! Some of the lace appears to have been tea dyed at some point. There are a few that once adorned pillowcases and still have a bit of fabric sewn along the edges. Another piece, appears to have been trimmed from a petticoat hem! I'm saving it to trim a new petticoat! How sweet it will look to have a bit of lovely handmade lace peeking from under my skirt hems!


Fun with ATCs!

Rose in Bloom ATCs, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

Over the past few days, I've been having fun creating some ATCs for trade on Swap-Bot. For those wondering what ATC stands for, it means "Artist Trading Cards" that are 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". They can be lovely little pieces of art and since I love tiny things, I really enjoy making these! For the "Rose in Bloom" themed cards, I copied a page out of one of my circa 1900 copies of Louisa May Alcott's "Rose in Bloom" book, added stamping, a little water color, an acrylic paint wash and some German lithographed die cuts!

Oriental ATCs
Another theme was "Oriental. For these I used stamping once again, a spritz of antique linen ink mixed with water and twinkling H2Os, some lovely origami paper and some Sakura blossoms from Japan.

Stamped Birds ATCs
"Stamped Birds" was the third theme and for these I used some of my collaged backgrounds, text from an old damaged bird book and of couse, some stamped bird images! I liked these so much that I made a couple of extra ones!Stamped Birds ATCs 2


Signs of Spring!

Yesterday at Barnes & Noble, I found the February issue of my very favorite magazine ~ Country Living, British Edition. A magazine cover like this makes my heart sing! What beauty! What hope for the coming season!

Sweet Signs of Spring
As a voracious reader (among other things!), I used to buy and read as many as 15 magazines a month. But with the efforts of downsizing over the past few years, I'm down to just a couple a month and British Country Living is the one, that I try to find, no matter what. I love the beautifully written and photographed articles such as this one on Spring bulbs!

Spring pages 2
Doesn't it make you want to get out into the garden or greenhouse and put your hands in the soil , pot up some lovely flowers and enjoy the changing of the seasons? I just had to share my delight in this issue with all of you!


Blushing Pincushion

2009 Feb 22_1154, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

In between other crazy quilt projects, I'm tucking a few little pincushions. I find them quick projects and a fun way to experiment with ideas while turning out a completed project at the same time.

2009 Feb 22_1140
I started off with a square of unbleached muslin, on which I pieced some lovely blushing silk dupioni in a circle 1/4" larger than a CD, which I used as my template. Then with some lovely silk pearl cotton and beading threads, I stitched the seam embellishments and added a piece of French lace received from Corey Amaro!

2009 Feb 22_1145
I added a millinary flower from my stash, some old shabby sequins left over from some ballet costume work I did years ago, a few worn faux pearls and rosey colored beads from my stash.

2009 Feb 22_1148
The bottom seam is embellished with a bit of ivory cotton eyelash yarn leftover from my Mother's weaving days!


Bleeding Hearts and Daisies

More flowers for the spring crazy quilt block! A clump of old fashioned daisies with leaves in fly and feather stitch ~ I'm thinking they need a little bee to visit! My favorite is the wand of bleeding hearts!

While I believe in living in the season and enjoying it to the fullest, I find at this time of year that my heart yearns for spring! Working on these lovely spring flowers helps ease the yearning a little! In my reading, I came across this poem, which I thought fit my sentiments about this time of waiting. Enjoy!

That weary time which comes between
The last snow and the earliest green!
One barren clod the wide fields lie,
And our comfort is the sky.

We know the sap is in the tree.
That life at buried roots must be;
Yet dreary is the earth we tread,
As if her very soul were dead.

Before the dawn, -- the darkest hour!
The blank and chill, before the flower!
Beauty prepares this background gray,
Whereon her loveliest tints to lay.

Ah, patience! ere we dream of it,
Spring's fair new gospel will be writ;
Look up! good only can befall,
While Heaven is at the heart of all!
~ Lucy Larcom

P.S. ~ I had to laugh ~ I looked back at last years posting, and discovered that nearly a year to the day I posted this same poem!


Gypsy Rose

My part on Gerry's block is now finished! I copied the rose from some vintage linens with a few modifications in color and leaf placement. Then I added some wandering vine around the rose to finish the patch off.

Gerry's block
The butterfly bead was looking a little lost, so I added a trail of irredescent threads. It fills in the space nicely, giving it interest without adding too much weight visually to the corner.

Gypsy Jewels block
Gerry saw the in-progress photos and has now named her block "Gypsy Jewels"! While it took me a while to get started on this block, once I got going on it, it has been so much fun to work on! I think I need to work with brighter colors a little more often!


Gypsy Colors

Gerry K block Lisa's Work, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
When Gerry K's round robin block arrived, it's colors made me think of the bright and colorful clothing and caravans of gypsies! It's been fun to work outside of my normal pastel and subdued colors and work with brights for a bit! It has also been a challenge!
Gerry K's CQ block
Gerry wanted lots of fancy seams, but the green satin seemed a little too plain, so I played around with a bit of lace and ended up dying some with alcohol inks to match the colors of the block ~ my first foray into dying lace. Now that I've finished a few bright sequin flowers and fancy seams, I'm pleased with the way this is going! I hope Gerry likes it as well! I have a bit more to do on it ~ I'm thinking about doing an embroidered rose, bohemian style on the purple block, but need to build my courage up before I get started on it!
Thomas n Mollie
My sweet kitties have been enjoying the afternoon sun! I've been cleaning like crazy today and it's where they've been sitting all day, out of my way! Poor Thomas is terrified of the vacumn and of brooms and mops, so cleaning day is not his favorite! I had just put the vacumn away when I took this picture. I think it's his, "I'm so relieved that's over!" look!


A Valentine for You!

Vintage Valentine, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

As my Valentine to you, I thought I'd share some Hearts from around my home!

Tin Hearts
Tin heart molds with sweet rose candies!

Pottery Heart
A sweet little pottery heart received in a recent swap!

Couer a la Bleeding Heart
Delightful Bleeding Heart flower ornaments in a heart shaped couer de la creme mold.

Linen Heart
A heart of pure linen hanging on the mirror in my living room with the floral garland I made last winter.

Bleeding Heart Stamps
Heart stamps received on the swap package from Germany!

Heart Candy Dish
A crystal heart dish with violet and rose candies from Italy!

Heart of a Dotee
The heart of a Dotee ~ this one made by Isabell from Germany!

Button Hearts
Button hearts and a few roses from my crafting stash!

CQ hearts
Tiny crazy quilted hearts in progress!

Happy Valentine's Day!
May you spend it with those you love!


Making Valentines

making Valentines, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
I've been having fun trying out different ideas for Valentine Cards! Lots of rubber stamping, cutting, collage making and die-cuting! Cutting and pasting can be such satisfying play!
San Francisco Peaks, AZ
We've had lots of snow this past week ~ 29" between Saturday night and Tuesday! As I write this, it's snowing out once again, but shouldn't amount to much thankfully! I had to go out yesterday and drove around a little until I found this lovely view of the San Francisco Peaks cloaked in winter's snow!


A Lace Heart

Lace Heart 2, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
Inspired by the lace hearts that Cerri at Little Pink Studio made and the tutorial she did at Jolie Paquet, I made one of my own using some of the bits of lovely lace in my own stash! I love the old fashioned, delicate and feminine look it has.

Up close
A sweet aged pink flower tied with a bit of lace adds just the right amount of decoration.

Ribbon Bow
An ivory satin ribbon tied in a bow looks charming hanging from the old tattered shelf.

Valentine Vignette
All together, it makes a charming Valentine vignette in my living room!


Pink Tulips

Pink Tulips, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.

These pale pink tulips begged to brought home this morning! Tulips are such tactile flowers, so smooth and serene!

Valentine ATCs
With Valentine's just a week away, I've been doing a bit of Valentine crafting. These ATC's are for a swap. The background is collage on watercolor paper of torn strips of pages from old damaged books and sheet music. The color comes from stamp pads and twinkling H2O's (iridescent watercolors!). Once it was dry, Valentined themed rubber stamps were used to create some over pattern. Then I cut the sheet up into ATCs and inchies. With a bit of lace, some reproduction ephemera, stickles glitter and a bit of gold paint, they came out lovely!


Amazing Mail!

When I went to the mailbox today, I found a heap of packages from all over the world in it! So exciting to receive so many treasures from all over!

The package from Germany contained a sweet Valentine Dotee Doll named Rose! She arrived with an assortment of lovely items including a lovely little pottery heart, a silk rose clip and a page of wonderful German die cuts and a beautiful card! Thank you Isabell! This had to be the best swap I've ever received!

Silk Ribbon Rainbow
A package from Amy in Texas (one of my blog readers!) contained a generous rainbow of silk embroidery ribbon and a lovely tatted doily to use in my work! Thank you Amy!

From Australia
My friend Val in Australia sent me a package filled to the brim with wonderful fabrics, pearl cotton, beads, silk embroidery ribbon and a delightful little cross stitch project featuring violets! Thank you Val! This was such a lovely surprise!

From my friend Gail in New York, I received a copy of "Knit Two", the 2nd book about the "Friday Night Knitting Club"! Thank you Gail!

I also received two other packages of things I'd ordered ~ a few special beads for an upcoming crazy quilt project and an old book on crazy quilting! What an exciting mail day this has been! It definitely makes up for feeling a bit under the weather today with a sore throat and cold!



appleblossoms, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
One of my favorite things is appleblossoms in springtime! I had to add some to my flower garden block along with a little bluebird button!
A clump of fern is growing in the corner ~ a home for a snail perhaps?



Periwinkle, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
A vine of Periwinkle (aka Vinca) grew overnight in the corner of the Flower Garden block! A little pink ladybug is happy at home amongst the buttonhole stitch leaves! Rumor has it that a little snail is also looking for a place to live!


Stitching Flowers

Flower Garden Block, originally uploaded by ivoryblushroses.
In years past, in this wintry season, I used to putter in the garden on mild days doing midwinter cleanup of the roses and perennials, hunting daily for the first signs of green shoots coming up through the soil. Hours were spent perusing garden catalogs and thinking about what changes I wanted to make to the garden. Living in an apartment with no place to garden, I miss those things, so turned my attention instead to creating a crazy quilted flower garden. First, I gathered up all the little scraps of silk dupioni that I couldn't bear to discard and found a small piece of muslin scrap leftover from something else and made a block that is about 5 1/2" x 10". I have no idea at this point what I'll use it for, but for the time being I sure am having fun embellishing it!
Roses and Violets
On most of my previous crazy quilt work, I have completed all the seams before adding any embellishment, but on this block, I'm playing around a bit and trying some new things! Such as the sweet violets in the center and the trellis of Fargo roses! I've added some sweet ribbon trim that you can see in the first picture.
Dragonfly & Bluebells
This sweet beaded dragonfly was inspired by many of the ones I have seen on other's crazy quilts. I love the way it and the butterfly charm bring life to this block! I'm thinking there will be a few other critters before it's done! What fun it has been to play with bright colors instead of my usual subdued palette and to use some new techniques!