Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

I think it's time to post my painting again.  At last a poinsettia that I never have to water.

And a casual Christmas portrait from several years ago...

All our family visits are over, our shopping is done, our treats are consumed...and it still only Christmas Eve. 

We ventured out today to get, of all things, a new toilet seat.  While we were there, I picked up a pack of kitchen towels.  Yep, that's it.  That's what we got each other for Christmas.  We usually buy what we need throughout the year, so a gift specifically for Dec. 25 just hasn't been a big deal for us for quite some time.

We celebrate our faith in, and love of, Christ everyday and since we don't have small children visiting, there is no need for a great deal of decorating or thoughts of Santa.  With this being said, I would like to wish all my friends Merry Christmas and pray that you are healthy and happy.

Since you did stop by, I'd like  you to stay...

Stay safe and warm and be careful of the winter storms that will be making themselves known this week.  Most of all stay true to yourself and don't forget to stay creative.

Merry Christmas to All

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Felted eyeglass case

Peri and I have been doing a lot of research and reading on felting.  (You remember my sweater felting post of a few weeks ago?)  Anyway, there is needle felting and sculpting like our bloggy friend Viv does.  Her excitement with a new craft was very evident in her post from several years ago.  My fear of repeatedly stabbing my fingers has prevented me from getting started on this craft.

There is felting from roving.  As in using wool roving that has to be placed on a mat and hand felted with hot water to make a sheet of felted fabric.  It results in unusual and vibrant one-of-a-kind pieces of fabric.  This is the same type of material used in needle felting and comes in a beautiful array of colors, often harvested from animals raised lovingly by the artists for this very purpose, then processed and custom dyed as part of their art. Wool roving is used in a vast number of ways.

There is also machine felting, as in washing machine... which is actually fulling, but is called felting in an attempt to avoid confusion.  (Check this link if you want to read about fulling in great detail). 

Previously I had never used wool yarn for any of my projects.  I was under the lifetime (that's a long time, by the way) impression that wool yarn was scratchy.  While I was in CA I got a skein of merino wool, named for the type of sheep that produces this lovely wool.   The moment my new birch crochet tool made it's first loop, I was hooked.  This yarn is a dream to work with and it's 100% wool so I can felt/full it in my top loader washer. 

After making an over-sized glasses case, see the image on the left,  I felted it and tossed it in the dryer.  You can see the size difference in the photo on the right.

I  think I could have made it even a bit larger.  My original plan was to use it for my shades, but it shrunk to the size of  readers instead.  It is still quite nice.  You can still see some of the stitches and the wool got a bit fuzzy.  Some folks shave off  the fuzzies with one of those sweater pill shavers, but I kind of like the texture.

So there you go... I'm crocheting with wool.  I'm quite happily surprised with my new yarn and hope to acquire more of this luscious yarn in the future.

That's all for now.  We'll talk soon.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Some people are sooooo sneaky!

Look what showed up on my doorstep today!

My sister and Karin got together and surprised me with this cardinal.  It's my favorite bird and every time there is one for sale at Countryfolks Keepsakes, it is sold immediately.  So apparently the two of them got together and decided to surprise me with one.

I had just talked to Peri earlier today and I suppose when I didn't mention anything about it, she realized it hadn't been delivered yet.  She's better with Christmas secrets than I remember.

It's just beautiful, and I love it.

Thanks again, you crazy gals, thanks.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hello there!

Well, we're back from visiting my sisters in California.  We had a really nice time visiting, sightseeing and shopping.  We went to the zoo and we rode around and looked at the Christmas lights in the neighborhoods and had a pleasant time while we were there.

The resort where we stayed has just undergone a massive renovation so while it is the same resort that I have shared photos of before, they are somewhat different this year.

We got several early Christmas gifts, in addition to the trip itself, and one of those is a new camera.  Not knowing, of course, that I would be getting a new camera, some of the pictures are taken with my more basic camera and aren't quite as clear as I would like.

With all that being said, let's start off with a tour of the suite at the resort.

Instead of the usual fruit basket, we were greeted with a nice carafe of cool water and a bowl of fruit dried there at the resort.  I suppose that is what it was, as I had never seen grapes on the stem.  Peri and I laughingly commented that perhaps it was just an old bowl of fruit.  Seriously, the grapes were very tasty.  The rest of the dried fruit...not so much.

The sleeping quarters have been revamped with new mattresses, beds and bedding.

In addition to the new bedrooms, there was new furniture in the living area...

 as well as new wooden floors with new rugs and colorful pottery

For some reason someone seemed to think that a distressed leather chair would be an asset to the decor, but my slinky jersey blouses did not agree.

I immediately had to cover this crackly chair with a coverlet to keep from ruining my clothes.  Grrr.  The cabinet beneath the widescreen telly holds the fridge and espresso maker and such.

This is just the beginning of the five days that we were there, so I won't bore you with too many more photos this post, but I do want you to see this...

My sister, Peri, is a fan of the art of our friend Karin at Countryfolk Keepsakes and has a nice collection of her work displayed on her mantle.

 Karin's art is displayed in a lovely grouping, along with a self portrait that Peri did...

 and here we see Gracie, nestled among the little pillow doll that I crafted and the portrait of Zipper Cat, that I painted in pastels.

In this view you can see a portion of the beautiful, artisan crafted cabinets that hold some of their other works of art.

I'm quite honored to be included in the fine art that they have displayed.  There is another cabinet that holds the more whimsical art pieces, and even more of mine and hubby's sculptures are displayed there.  The gals have such lovely decorating tastes and we are honored to have our art showcased in their home.

Well, there is a lot more to come, but it does take time to decide what pictures to show.  I'll be back soon with more.

Take care and don't wear yourselves out shopping and baking.