Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Busy Time…

Downton Girls
Can you believe that tonight is the last episode of the season????   Downton Abbey is my all time FAVORITE thing to watch right now.  I ADORE the settting, the clothes, the hats, the characters'… all of it.  But, darn it only started back up in January (here in the US).  SEVEN  Shows in all…. Come on PBS you can do better than that.
Cora at Tea
I wish I was Cora sitting there having tea.  Not a care in the world but, I’m busy as a bee.  If I can grab a cup of coffee I’m doing good.  I’m packing like a fool.  We sign on the new (well new to us) house on February 22 & take possession on the 27th.
What am I most excited about?
Not a very glamorous photo of the new workshop (that’s hubby & the architect heading out to check things out.
And right now…. the current owner has this full of boy toys but, that will change!!!!  LOVE the sky lights with all that natural light.  This will be an amazing workshop/studio.  I will have room to spread out!  I will have room to set up places for sooooooooooo many of you to come play.  I have soooooooooooooooo many plans, dreams & ideas.
The back yard has plenty of room for the expansion of another connecting building…  And although the grass is dormant since this was taken in January… I have so many plans for all this space.  It’s 2.5 acres in all.  It’s not Downton Abbey but, I can’t wait to start making it look & feel like home.  And believe me… THERE IS MUCH TO DO!  I’ll share before & after photos as we go.  Have a great week.
HUGS! Charlene

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Forever Yours Class with Ruth Rae!

I borrowed the photo above from Ruth as mine seemed to come out dark in class…  But I am so excited to share my time at Ruth’s Class Forever Yours held at Kim Caldwell’s beautiful home.  Please click on the pink Forever Yours to link to Ruth’s post about this beautiful project.   The project was also in Somerset Sew & Kim knew the minute she saw it that she HAD TO have Ruth come play with us.
I have been to many of Kim’s AMAZING EVENTS but, never to a small get together at her home & I was so excited to see where the Queen of Creating Artistic Bliss lived.  The day was a little dreary (as was the weather much of my visit in January) but, Kim’s table was cheery & sweet.
Flowers, candy, Valentine treats…. what more could a girl ask for?
Her kitchen is DARLING!!! All that natural light spilling in the windows.
The cutest darn decor… I mean the little petticoat covered drink bar was 2 DIE 4!  Ok girlie… I may have to copy that one as I LOVE IT!
Alright… I’m off track so back to the class.  All the girls started arriving & here you can see Cheryl passing out her Valentines(we of course had an exchange).  Terry is doing a little kitchen duty, Susan & Erin are setting up their stations. 
One style of Valentine I did for the girls was a 1930 Image that I transferred to fabric.  I then stitched it (zig zag) on red felt that had pinked edges.  I then did a trapuntoed  heart (you stitch around the heart interior & then make a tiny cut in the back & stuff the heart) which made the heart dimensional.  I then used white fabric paint to replicate the lace around the outside of the heart.  Final touch was hand sewing the tiny pearls on the heart.  I thought it turned out very sweet.
This little cupid was my second style.  Again fabric transferred image sewn on to red felt.   I slit the fabric to be able to slip 2 tiny feathers in to become her wings.
Vickie made me this sweet pillow style Valentine stuffed with a mixture of the most delicious VANILLA fragrance pellets along with ground walnut shells (which sharpen needles when they are put into the pin cushion).  I don’t think I could stick needles in this beautiful face.  Vickie loves pom poms & I will never see another pom pom without thinking of my sweet friend.  All the girls made beautiful Valentines which we exchanged & are going to place in our finished books.
Here is Ruth’s book bag sitting at my space.  The piece on the bottom is the book bag with all the beautiful EXTRA’s that have been stitched on layer by layer.  And on top of it sits a bundle of vintage letters tied with a beautiful pink bow & a little hand made bauble for decoration.  Again, click on the pink link at the beginning of the post to see Ruth’s photos (or Somerset’s which have much better lighting).
Before the class Vickie & I took the Somerset Sew magazine & followed the directions in it for some of our hearts & pockets (or envelopes) to be made ahead of time.  In the magazine she stated the envelopes should be made from  12x12 pieces of fabric.  In the class they used 8x8 so ours were a larger scale.   AND Vickie had some beautiful/fancy fabrics that we played with.  Above is my red crushed velvet heart (the back is a lush vintage sweater sleeve that was used).  Vintage millinery pieces decorate the front.
This shows the heart & the envelope I made to put it in.  Also, you see a smaller pink one done with hand dyed Velvet Vickie had created before.  And on the left (back) is a piece of fabric that she sewed using free motion (with a product that shrinks when steam ironed) & this created that wonderful puffy heart design.  I think I may put that on the back of my bag.

Here’s a little piece that will be layered onto some part of the book.  I did this piece in class.  I love how Ruth had us gather the under fabric adding a layer of gathered & stitched hymnal paper & hand stitch X’s holding it all down with a twinkle from a crystal bead & sheen of a MOP button. 

This is Ruth’s & I think I like the look of the less formal fabrics for this project.  I love the textures she has used on all the different pages & pieces.  I may do two different styled books as I really like both.
That was everyone's goal/wish that day.  I was sharing a machine between Vickie & Andrea but, I can say that I need practice to even begin… And I need to see if my dinosaur will even do free motion.  Let me share a few of the treasures that Ruth had for sale that day.  You will see really great examples of Free Motion Sewing.
Free Motion Belt
Above is 4 photos showing all the work & detail of a belt that Ruth had for sale.  Oh to be a size 8!!!!!  It was a soft belt that wrapped low on the hip worn over a cute silky puffy sleeved Magnolia Pearl top (worn by Ruth’s helper Kelly).
I ALMOST bought this darling little dress but, I had to remind myself that I would simply have to have it packed away for a LONG while during our moving/remodeling process & didn’t think that was the right thing to do.
Look at this vintage treasure with the tiny heart banner & some of Ruth’s jewelry.
Another dress COVERED in free motion.  I think this was a little too free/covered  for me!
And last but, not least was this scarf which was covered with beautiful free motion writing.  I didn’t take it off the manni but, I think it was a poem.  WOW!  And how long did that take?  Hope you enjoy this little snippet of one day of 10 spent in California this past cool rainy January.  Check back for a sneak peek of Kim’s house.  Back to packing….
HUGS!   Charlene

Friday, February 1, 2013

California AGAIN!!!!!!!

I promised to be better about my blogging.  AND I MEANT TO BE!!!!!  But, January started off with a BANG & I headed back to California for multiple reasons… But, while there I was so lucky to spend time with some of my Art Sisters.  I flew into Orange County Airport & Vickie whisked me away.  That weekend we hooked up with Sandy, Joy, Laurie (plus we saw Cynthia) at the Pasadena Bead Show.  It’s the “BOMB”  Best bead show I’ve ever been to.  We had a ball & spent WAY MORE $$$$ than we should have.  Dinner in downtown Pasadena was a blast & we all put our heads together planning our trip to Round Top this Spring (Cindy & I already have soooooooo much planned & I had to pin these girls down so we can start making reservations for the side trips).   
While there we also had a chance to head to Matilda Mouse Antique Show.  It only happens once a month (Friday & Saturday) & I had always dreamed of attending (& had my first chance in December while at Kim’s Winter Wonderland).  Well, this time the theme was LOVE & Valentines…..
The day was wet & cool but, we headed south anyway.  There’s the back of Vickie making a MAD DASH for the front door.   The sale is held in the old barn on the Betty Crocker Estate.
This is not the greatest photo (it was very hard with the overcast skies making it grey & dark (once inside it really got difficult & a flash just made it all weird light).  But, I showed you this so you could see the check out counter & all the great old architectural stuff in the barn (as well as the great bone structure of the barn itself).  It was cold & damp inside but, beautiful in a sort of rustic way.
Beautiful OLD treasures everywhere.
Such darling displays!
Outside nature had dressed in her finest…. the pyracantha berries bursting on this bush.  So pretty.  I could just imagine the birds joy when they see this.
And Matilda (she’s a Wirehaired Fox Terrier) made an appearance!!!! The show is named after this sweet dear.  She is very OLD & it is difficult for her to attend now but, her “Daddy” brought her down for just a little while.  She’s  so cute.  My friend Cynthia tells me she has always been dressed for the occasion (or theme…. one year at Christmas she was dressed like Mary in the Manger).  Here she’s sporting a vintage pink something for Valentines Day.  She lays up on the counter while “Momma & Daddy” run the cash register.  WHAT A LIFE!
Also, while there Vickie & I drove north to Nipomo to deliver Christmas gifts to friends of hers.  Since her sweet Hubby had surgery right before Christmas she hadn’t been up there to “play Santa”.  This gave us a chance to spend a couple of days with our dear friend Diana Frey.
With tears in our eyes we had to say good bye WAY TOO SOON but, there was much talk of our plans to be together this summer!  And… right before I left for California….. As if I didn’t have enough already going on, we signed a contract on a new house here in Texas.  I saw it right before I left but, jumped on that jet plane only to be signing more papers via email once in California.  Looks like I might not be enjoying that beautiful new Master Bathroom we just finished remodeling this past  fall.  Here’s a sneak peek at the house….
So, forgive me for my delay in starting my Blogging year out but, it looks like another busy year…. Stay tuned for house news & more photos from California.
Thank you to all my Art Sisters that I got to visit with.  I LOVE MY TIME WITH YOU!!!!!
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