Monday, March 29, 2010

The ride home

This last picture was taken on Monarch Pass. I've been trained to be totally paranoid of mountain passes by all the time we go over Hoosier Pass which has hairpin turns and often is covered with snow and ice. We had to go over 3 passes on our vacation; La Veta, Wolf Creek, and Monarch Pass, and each one I anticipated with dread because of Hoosier Pass. All of them were pretty tame compared to Hoosier though. When we travelled over Monarch Pass I was just hoping we'd get over before dark -- you can see the sun is setting on the mountains.

Magazine Rack

I bought this magazine rack at a store that was going out of business. It works well for storing stitching pamphlets and patterns.

Tast 2010 - Week 3 Beaded Hebedo Stitch

This picture isn't too good, but I had fun playing with this stitch.

Dog is uber happy today...

so why shouldn't we all be?!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring Break - Arches National Park

On the last day of spring break we went to Arches National Park. It was nice enough we took a couple of hikes and then we headed home.

Leftovers in the Sewing Room

I kept the containers my little bead boxes were in and I have these full of leftover bits of things. There is bead soup, silk threads, cotton threads, silk ribbon, ribbon and fibers, and silk flowers. I stack them up on my sewing table for color and inspiration and when I need something I check here first.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Break Vacation - Bryce Canyon

On last Thursday we arrived at Bryce Canyon National Park. It was freezing cold and the wind was blowing so there was no hiking for us. We did get to stop by several viewing areas, but had to dress up in winter coats, gloves and hats to do it! How do you like the little jay bird -- I think he would look nice stitched!

An Ironing Station

You probably already do this too, but I like using this little tabletop ironing board and a craft iron for my crazy quilting and applique. I only get out the big one for sane quilts and it hides behind my closet door when I'm not using it. (It finally has a place! LOL!)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sewing Room - My Favorite Things

As far as I am concerned, no sewing room would be complete without some of your favorite momentos around to bring a smile to your face! I love things old and things to remind me of good times! These old toys were given to me by my Mom a several years ago, but belonged to my Dad when he was only a boy. In the wagon I put a couple of momentos from the CQI retreat last year - the heart box Gerry K. gave out to everyone and the hand made button spools were given out by Claudina H. On the motorcycle on his lap is a gift my husband gave me along with a gift card to shop at a bead shop here in town. He took the time to pick out a sweet red heart bead on his own and I treasure it. On top of the bus I put several old wooden spools of thread that I got at an estate sales (one of my favorite past times is going to these).

Spring Break Vacation - Zion National Park

We stayed overnight in Page, Arizona and the lovely picture of the lake is on the way out of town. Wednesday was a gorgeous day with temps up to 67 degrees. We hiked in Zion National Park and it was great!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Break Vacation - Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde was our stop on Wednesday. Mesa Verde is a series of cave dwellings in southwest Colorado. It was a beautiful area and was very interesting to see how they lived. I enjoyed reading how they used the yucca plant to make fibers that they then weaved into intricate baskets. Also, they were beaders!

Tast 2010 Week 2 - Knotted Loop

Of course I am behind in this endeavor, but here is week two's stitching. The butterfly and flower are a little weirdly shaped, but it shows the type of things that can be done with this stitch.

A gift! Tatting!

These lovely tatted pieces were done by my friend Sunela at Stitchmap. She is an excellent tatter! It will look really nice on my Christmas CQ piece (as of yet unstarted). She is my apprentice in CQ, but she can be my tatting mentor anytime!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Caddy and Trays

I use a wooden caddy I found at an antique store to keep all my scizzors and rotary cutters in to keep them handy.

Another thing I like to use when using beads or buttons are the little glass trays you see stacked up next to the caddy. I will dump my beads into them when I'm using them and it is convenient to just pour them back into their containers when I'm done. Alternatively I will store tools that I need in them (like my punchneedle or punchneedle threader) or store things temporarily when I sorthing things. I got these through Pampered Chef and they are called "Simple Additions".

Spring Break Vacation - Monte Vista, Wolf Creek Pass, Pagosa Springs

Tuesday we got up before the break of dawn to see the sun rising on thousands of cranes. We spent the night in Monte Vista where thousands of cranes come in once a year and the town of Monte Vista celebrates it by having a crane festival. Many people come to photograph the cranes and we were lucky enough to stumble onto it. It was a beautiful site. We drove over Wolf Creek Pass and then continued onto Pagosa Springs where we toured around a bit. We ended up in Durango and stayed in town. I managed to find two bead stores where I relieved myself of the burden of carrying some of my cash, but not nearly as much as I wanted to!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sewing Cabinet Drawers

These are cute ways to store all sorts of things. I am putting small stitching books in one and have zippers and thread samples in the other.

Spring Break Vacation - Great Sand Dunes National Park, La Veta

Left is the valley in La Veta and on the right are the Sand Dunes.
We took a short vacation for spring break last week and are back! It was a great vacation! We drove through south Colorado into Utah and then circled back towards the north on the way back. The first stop was, quite by accident (a sad pun), was in La Veta, CO. There was a fatal accident on La Veta Pass which was closed for 2-3 hours as a result, and so we drove into La Veta to spend the time. Strangely enough, La Veta is where Judyth Baker Montano has her studio so we drove by. I didn't stop - didn't want to disturb her. We drove on to Cuchara, just short of the pass, which was a pretty mountain valley. Our second stop of the day was Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Park which is a HUGE sand dune. My daughter climbed to the top -- my dH and I got about 3/4 of the way up before she met us on the way down and we gladly turned around. For the rest of the trip whenever we hiked up hill or through sand we'd moan "...the sand dunes".

Left: These are the Sand Dunes with a gorgeous mountainous background.

Above is my dH climbing up -- my daughter is the little dot up ahead.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Storing ribbons

Someone gave me the idea of storing ribbons in a clear container to show off the ribbons. I found this clear paint can in the container stor and just love it. I'm going to have to go back and get more I think. I love being able to see what I have to work with.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tast 2010 Week 1 - Diamond Stitch

This is the first week of Sharon Boggins Tast Challenge ( ) and this is my attempts to sew the diamond stitch. I had a lot of fun doing it and now know one more stitch to use on my crazy quilts!

Ta Da! The clean sewing room!

So I can enter my sewing room, walk around in it and even mess it up again if I want to! NOT!
This is the newly organized closet. My dH put shelves in for me eons ago, but I moved all my sane quilting fabric to the basement in favor of my crazy quilting supplies. (-;
This is a lovely antque dresser used by my father when he was young. I love it and it contains some of my UFOs. Next to it is one of my two ugly, but supremely efficient fabric storage drawers on wheels. Then there is the well behaved cat on the floor. I have 3 cats who love to steal my thread balls. I don't always let them in, but this one can stay! LOL!
This is a picture of my sewing and ironing center. Notice the small drawered dresser under the table -- I love things with drawers. (-; I have some of my books in a rack in the corner.

This is where I do my rotary cutting for sane quilts and work on hand work. I have a small t.v. that I watch DVDs of tv shows on while I sew. This center is complete with lurking dog. (-; I thought about putting up a peg board on this wall, but I'm not sure I have enough things to hang on one.

This treasure is the lovely cabinet I bought in November in Longmont. Gerry K., from CQI, pointed it out to the CQI ladies when they were doing their organization challenge. Unfortunately I was too unorganized to participate then, but I will be blogging about some of the things I've done since to organize my sewing area. I'm so excited because I'm almost done and may actually get to sew! Isn't this cabinet a beauty! It has 44 drawers! I spent a long time making colored linings out of acid free paper so I'd have a safe place to store all my yummy fabrics and embellishments. I sorted through my favorite fabrics looking for my ultimate favorites, and many of the drawers have become storage of fabrics and embellishments for future crazy quilts. I also have my beads stored in this cabinet. I will blog about some of the contents of the cabinet later. One of the really special things about this cabinet is that it previously belonged to a stitcher who stored all her sewing supplies in it along with her large collection of costume jewelry. Her granddaughter sold it to me and told me the memories she had of going to her grandmother's home and playing dress-up with all the jewelry. I hope to have a couple of drawers of goodies that my granddaughters can root through when they come over to continue the tradition. The top is rather junky, but I need some place to put my stereo and ribbons. (-;

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Buttons, buttons...who's got the buttons.

Because I am a tease, I've decided not to put up the picture of my newly cleaned sewing room today! Bad me! However, I am going to show you something fun that i decided to do with my buttons while sorting things out. (Course fun is relative -- I'm pretty sure my family wouldn't think this was too fun LOL!) I had my favorite buttons, sorted by color, in a metal cabinet with many little plastic drawers like the kind you see in a garage to hold screws and nails. I also have a round cheese box for the buttons that are overflow. I like the cabinet for storage, but thought it was getting a little bit too full. So, I had purchase some spice containers at a garage sale (for $5) with the intention of storing my favorite of the favorite buttons in them, but never got around to doing it. The spice containers ended up in my Red Cross donation box, but after a couple of days I pulled it back out (you are never supposed to do this!) and decided to fill it after all. Because I love being able to see my embellishments in all their glory (it motivates me and makes me "pretty happy" as I love all things pretty), it works for me. Here are my buttons and storage methods in all their pretty colors.

The not so favorite and favorites.

The favorites of the favorites and my button color wheel!

Here's a couple webpages of spice containers that might work in your sewing room, but after looking at these prices, garage sales and thrift shops may be the way to go! and I'm sure there are many more out there. I like the pricey clear stacking acrylic ones, but probably more practical are the shelves you can mount on the wall or the ones that fit into drawers, the best choice depending on where you have more space available. (-;