Monday, June 28, 2010

Black Sheep

      I visited Martha Stewart's blog today........for the first time.  I was delighted to discover that today's post is about her two new BLACK SHEEP!    They are so cute!  Two dashees for her!  Just had to post a link because
I am partial to these creatures..........  I guess Martha has good taste!

Something New

When I was young I loved crewel embroidery and often worked on kits that I received as gifts. While exploring blogs on embroidery and related handwork I have become interested in embroidery again--particularly free style. So far my attempts would be called free style samplers, I suppose. I am just having fun while I remove the rust from my fingers and try some new stitches.
Two fabric weaving blogs have inspired me. They are Ivory Blush Roses and What If (links to the right); the author of the latter has two more blogs on spirit cloth (see What If for her links). I find that fabric weaving is a fun way to use up scraps.
Below is a photo of my first attempt at embroidered woven cloth (click on all photos for enlarged views). I basted my woven strips to a piece of felt. I incorporated some strips of a bed sheet which was new; I do not recommend this because it is not soft/worn enough for a needle to easily penetrate . The design is pretty much hodge-podge, but I had fun. This exercise began to give me a feel for what this is about.
I especially liked using these tatted flowers from a vintage piece.
My second attempt is below. This time I wanted to create a flower garden in blues and whites. I like this one much better. The woven fabric was basted on a 8 1/2 by 11" piece of felt; this works well for me.

The white embroidered piece around the robins was cut from a vintage pillow case. The robins were cut from some bird fabric; I hand-sewed tiny stitches around each and added a little quilting to their bodies. I hand-sewed down all of the exposed edges of cloth.
The flowers in the upper right were my favorite and I plan to embroider more on a pillow for my Etsy shop. Their centers were cut from a piece of vintage trim.
I feel my stitching skills start to revive!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


     Several years ago I observed something unexpected while hiking Moro Rock Trail at Sequoia National Park.  Because the trail up to the site is steep and  long,  I, out of shape, walked slowly and took occasional rests.  The hike goes to a high elevation and there is very little greenery along the way, as I recall--just lots of rock  At one of my stops I peered over the side of the trail and saw a hummingbird near the wall of rock below, hovering around a small flowering plant.  It seemed strange to see a hummingbird there--but  a beautiful surprize! 
     I have been pleasantly surprized at other times.  While at our recent Ledge Park hike I took a photo of  columbine growing out of what appeared to be bare, pock-marked rock (see pic below).  I love these moments!  They are symbols of hope.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ledge Park

In May my family hiked at Ledge Park, Wisconsin. It was light hiking along a bluff at the edge of woods. It was late afternoon, and the play of the sunlight on flowers and rock outcroppings was particularly beautiful.
There were many moss-covered rocks and boulders. They reminded me of one of my favorite authors, Rosemary Wells. When my boys were little I loved reading her childrens' books about Ruby, Max, etc. I especially liked the three book series Voyage to the Bunny Planet. It includes a book called Moss Pillows, in which a boy bunny escapes from a horrible day at his aunt and uncle's house when a Bunny Queen takes him to the Bunny Planet. There he is shown the day that should have his case, a day alone in the woods. His visit includes resting on moss. The books are very charming!
I have posted a few photographs from my own visit to the Bunny Planet....

Friday, June 4, 2010

Out of Hiding

     Maybe the title should refer to me.....I am slow to post these days!  At this time I am sick with something like a bad headcold and sore throat.  I can not remember the last time I was sick with this.  I am a firm believer in taking echinacea when I feel a cold coming on; if I do that I either do not get sick or I have a light case.  Not sure what happened this time.
     Back to the intended topic..........earlier this spring I took several photographs at an area park and garden.  I loved seeing the contrast of the early spring growth against the the dead and decay from winter.  It speaks of hope to me.  I have posted a few of the pics below

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In addition to being a violist, I am a wife and mother (three sons). I dabble in writing, handwork, sewing and photography.