Tuesday, January 31, 2012


February's here, and so is pincushion #2!

This one is a little bit bigger than last month's. 5 1/2" tall without the base.
And the base, well it's a candlestick! Another way to showcase a little something that might be tucked away and forgotten. A family heirloom, something vintage, or even the last remaining piece in a set that has gotten broken bit by bit over the years.

And, of course, a button. Sewn into the fabric's pincushions (almost) always show off a button.

And here are a few more to inspire you:

You can access the pattern and other details (including several ready made cushions) here.

Sundays at the Shore

We have been attending church over in Morro Bay for a little while now. We enjoy it a lot. There is always a good message to be heard. And the worship service is also nice. And the people, of course!!
But one of the added perks is that it is in Morro Bay, which happens to be one of our favorite US cities. After the service we like to head out to the beach and walk a little.

Isn't it just gorgeous?

Just a perk....
One little blessed perk that brings joy to my soul.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Think" is bad

We live on a pretty quiet street.
On any given day I can look out my front window and see nothing but nature.

An unusually busy, high traffic day on the street would look a lot like this:

A VERY unusual day would look like this:

I don't like this kind of thing. It just doesn't read normal. Something is up, and if it involves this many men in neon... it just can't be good.

Turns out they are gonna start digging up the neighborhood next month. And "high pressure" testing some old pipe line. And they "think" it runs through our place.

Lucky us.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Inspired by...

Pinterest again!!

This time I cannot show you the original pin because I lost track of it. It seems to have disappeared into the vast cosmic entity known as Pinterest.

It's called the Champagne Chandelier. And it is completely wonderful.

It's made with clear glass and plastic (mostly plastic) ornaments, fishing line, and a grate.
The ornaments are suspended from the grate by varying lengths of fishing line, and the grate is attached to the ceiling. (We used the front of a box-fan for the grate and my guy just temporarily attached it to the ceiling.)

It hung over our New Year's Eve dinner table.

I hosted the main course of the progressive dinner party we enjoyed with a lovely group of friends. All of whom, by the way, used a little Pin-spiration to plan their part of the evening!!

The chandelier photos were taken by my friend Laura of Dienzo Designs.You can see more of her work here. She is amazing!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kris Kringle

Kris Kringle is a family tradition of ours.

We started doing it in the early 1990s when the girls were little. And it remains a family favorite for us.

Here's how it works:
Every year after Thanksgiving Dinner, when all the guests have gone home and the dishes have been washed, we draw names. Just the 4 of us. (A few others have slipped in and out over the years, including this year when Kyle, our future son-in-law, joined us. But for the most part it has been just us.) Then, we have from that very moment until Christmas Eve to hand-make a gift for our chosen person. By yourself. No help. Because it is a secret.

When our girls were little they would lock themselves in their bedroom or the office (with a "do not enter" note on the door) and proceed to annihilate entire jars of glitter, bottles of glue, reams of paper and boxes of markers. And scotch tape. We should have bought stock in scotch tape!!

Sometimes they would help themselves to my fabric. They'd cut big holes right out of the middle of it. And when they were finished, they would fold it up and slip it back onto the shelf so I wouldn't know it had been missing. Then, months (or even years later) we would pull that piece of fabric off the shelf to use it and find the giant gaping hole right in the center. And we would laugh and laugh and laugh.

Those are cherished memories to be sure.

The Kris Kringle is our Christmas Eve gift. We exchange them in the evening, after dinner when all of the guests have gone home and the dishes have been washed. And it is so hard to wait!! Because it is as wonderful and exciting to GIVE your handmade treasure as it is to get one.

The last two years in a row, my guy has drawn my name. I want to show you what he made for me. The first one you saw yesterday.

This is actually a bird feeder. But in the winter I just put water in it because the seed would just get wet and moldy. He made it out of an old light fixture I had bought at a yard sale and then never used. And he made it tall, about 5 feet tall, to keep it out of the reach of our cat who is a very mighty hunter. So smart.

This year, he stuck with the bird theme because he knows how much I love birds. He made me this:

Isn't it just completely wonderful!! I just cannot even imagine how he came up the idea of a HANDMADE hummingbird feeder!
He said he went to the thrift store 3 separate times before he found the perfect bottle (awwww) and then he used a scrap piece of copper left over from another job. He even hammered out the end to form a little blossom. It is so cute.

Now I am just waiting till spring so I can fill it up with red sugared water and invite my friend Linda over so we can enjoy the birds.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Feed the Birds

Last week I was helping a friend prune roses. The "friend" was Grandpa George and the roses belonged to another friend, Linda.

Linda and I have been friends for half of forever, so I know just how sweet she is. I could list off a zillion things here but I am just gonna say one. She is hosting my daughter's wedding in June!! In her beautiful, rose covered back yard. So sweet.

That's why I was there pruning roses. And glad-to-the-bone to do it. Anyway, (here's where the birds come in!!) whenever she comes to visit me she always ohhhs and ahhhs over all of the birds in my yard. And whenever I go to her house, I think, why??? Because she has so many more birds, and nests and blossoms and peace and quiet than I do! Not to mention the stars. I think you can see every single star in the night sky from her house. But I digress. Again.

She has a water fountain that bubbles away in her back yard. And the little song birds just LOVE it. So I was watching all of these little birds while I was pruning and it made me realize that I needed to get my fountain fixed. Pronto. This time of year, especially, the little birds need fresh water. And I have seen a big decrease in feather visitors. So this had to be addressed. And fast. I couldn't have Linda showing up and seeing no birds in my yard!!

My guy fixed it on Sunday. And today, two whole days later, we have a yard full of birds, including this guy:

And these guys:

This one flew off before I could snap his picture:

This fine fellow:

And this guy:

And now things feel more right, over here in my neck of the woods.
And Linda, feel free to stop by any time. I have birds!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

And the winner is...

Lucky #5, which happens to be Wilma from NC.
Enjoy your pattern, Wilma!
And to everyone else... enjoy the rest of your Monday!!
A new pincushion will be presented on February 1st (with another giveaway, of course).
It's heart-ish. And adorable.
We'll talk more about it then.....

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's Giveaway Time Again

Heirloom Tomatoes is the POM for January.

And a pattern simply must be given away.

Leave a comment to be entered. It's that easy!

And how about a couple of pattern reviews. You can read them here and here.
And guess what, they are giving away patterns too!!
I hope you win one :)

Winner will be drawn and announced on Monday.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Block 5: Big Strings

It's time for Block 5.
And it's going to look very familiar to you. You can download the pattern here.

More string blocks. But this time they are 8 1/2". And you are gonna need 6 of them.
Be sure and stick with your chosen background color, and let me remind you of these few tips from last time:
~Do you see that little strip of white/gray. I regretted that very much. Don't do that.
~Do you see that there are lots of different black prints, but there is no huge difference in scale or shade. Do that.

Remember, this is our last month of making just parts. Next month we are going to start putting it all together. You will still need a few more things, but it will be a make-them-as-you-go situation, from here on out.

Happy stitching!!

Oh yeah, did you hear about the new POM??
If not, scroll down to the previous post.

Pincushion of the Month Club

It is here!

The pincushion of the month club for 2012.

I have so many wonderful pincushion patterns that I want to share with you. Some will be small and some will be big. Some will be simple and others will be a bit harder. Some will be new and some will be ones you have already seen. And then there are the embellishments! Oh the embellishments. There will be a mix of new things and vintage treasures with a few unexpected surprises thrown in too!! (Like September!)

I am so excited about this little adventure. So let's jump right in.
January will be....Heirloom Tomatoes.

It was so hard to decide where to start. Of course, something new was calling to me but so was this one. And since it is THE classic pincushion, it had to go first. And because it has such a clean and tidy little look, it had to be in January. Because we are all looking to simplify and organize and live tidy in January. (Come July we're over it, but in January....) And because it has a little bling to it, it's reminiscent of New Year's Eve celebrations.

So you see why it had to go first?!

In case you haven't seen this pattern before, let me tell you about it. First of all, it's tiny. It has a circumference of 7 whole inches and stands about 1 inch tall. So it is THE PERFECT place to showcase a lovely little bit vintage charm. A button, of course, but also an earring or a small broach or even a charm. Whatever you might have tucked away in a drawer that you have been saving...for something...but don't know what. Maybe it's a stray or mismatched piece. Or maybe it was your Granny's. Or maybe it's a piece with a little wear showing. Even better! Take it out of the drawer and use it to adorn your new little pincushion. Then, sit that pincushion right there on your sewing table and let it shine, just like old times!!

You are gonna love this one. It is SO sweet.

You can access the POM page right here.

Oh, and did I mention that each pattern will be sale priced for the month it is highlighted.
And that there are PDF patterns available.
And kits.
And a few ready-made cushions. Like this one:

And this one:

So pop on over and check it out.
And if you are interested in reviewing a pattern and hosting a giveaway on your blog, just let me know!! Because I need your help getting the word out!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!

I hope that each of you is blessed beyond measure in 2012!