Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside...

Talk about getting into the spirit! Last Sunday, we awoke to snow and got about 4" and it has definitely stuck around. I LOVE's so exciting and beautiful. Every time it snows, I'm still like a little kid in a candy shop! We don't get snow very often and when we do, it's a big deal here! Usually our snow is very wet and doesn't stick around for too many days and we often get freezing rain. But we've had an "arctic blast" hit us since Sunday, and other than the temperature warming up to a balmy 37 yesterday afternoon and this morning, we are back to cold weather tonight through Tuesday next week with more snow in the forecast. Our highs will be back in the 20's again starting this evening. I was beginning to wonder if we might have a white Christmas this year or a very cold one, but they are saying we will warm up on Christmas Eve. Well, you never know!

Thought I'd share some snowy pictures with you. The first two are shots off the deck. They were taken Sunday, and some snow still remains in the yard and on roofs.

This is a shot into the far corner of our backyard. You can see the squirrel feeder in the corner and the wind chime on the ginkgo tree.

This is a shot of our black bamboo holding its own in the frigid weather and our three graces fountain filling with snow. No water from the fountain for the birds or squirrels now. Only what they can get from the two bird baths. As a matter of fact, yesterday I witnessed one of our squirrels sitting on the fountain bowl where she normally comes to get a drink of water and sat there at ate the snow...I never have seen that before! Mark pulled the pump out of the fountain this year because we lost our last pump due to the freezing weather.

The Christmas lights are shining outside, the tree is decorated, the house is decorated, and the stockings are hung. I'm all done shopping and have begun to wrap some gifts. It's been a great few days with snow falling, music playing, and feeling more in the holiday spirit.

I haven't completed anything to share with you, but I have been beading and doing a few other things. I have been paying most all my beading attention to an art doll that has been sitting far too long and being neglected. Since this is a gift, I shouldn't show this but I sure didn't want you to think I'm just sitting around and sipping hot chocolate!!! So...I thought I'd share another sneak peek with you. It will be the last peek before she flies to her home. I will share pictures in full (front and back) when I'm done and I know she's arrived to her destination.

She is getting lots of texture right now with moss stitch and is finally really filling in and coming alive. She is getting that nice weight to her and I just love that!

I have started beading on my November BJP and December is laid out and ready, but they've both taken a backseat of late. I'm not too worried, as my bead journal pages are fairly simple. The holidays, of course, have been the other focus lately.

Thought I'd share another project that I have been working on occasionally. It has been sitting around in a zip-lock bag for at least a year now and I thought it was time to get it done. I have two antique beaded purses that are in sad shape that I've wanted to harvest the beads from. The bags each have holes and the threads are disintegrating. Every now and then I go sit for awhile and cull through the pile of beads, selecting and sorting the beads by color and remove any that are not healthy. This bead pile is one side of one of the purses. The beads that are in bags are what I already sorted from the other side. I don't know why I enjoy doing it, but I do. In a way it's like shell or treasure hunting to me. They are valuable little beauties and it's wanting to save them. Soon it will be another thing checked off my to-do list!

Well...the temperature has dropped while I have been writing this post and it is 10:15 a.m., and it is snowing!!! Big, lush, beautiful flakes!!! The cold air wasn't suppose to be here until this afternoon or evening! It's going to be an interesting five days! I hope you are well, staying warm and feeling the spirit!!! ~Lisa ;-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Stitched with Love and Hope...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Thoughts and actions have turned toward Christmas and the lights and decorations have begun here. It's hard to believe Christmas is in 23 has come so fast this year!

A few months ago, I received a package from Monica containing some squares that were leftover from the Pink Artist Project. We were asked to make a 10" x 10" art quilt out of the squares we received. When done and sent back to Monica, she is going to do her 'MAGIC' and stitch the art quilts together and make one large wall quilt. The quilt will be sold with the proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I was honored to be able to help with this project and enjoyed stitching love and hope into this quilt. It was such a thrill to see and hold the art squares I received. You certainly could feel the love in each and every one! I can only imagine how Monica felt when she received hundreds of heartfelt art squares!!!

I had sketched and decided exactly how I wanted to do the quilt. My intentions were to do needle felting on each side. Intentions don't always work out! ~wink~ The needle felting worked out fine on the pink side but when it came to the red side, the shade of red roving did not go with the square nor the red and blue wool felt I had bought. What to do? I finally realized to just do what I had intended to do but with the felt only. So it evolved. I used a variety of 8/0 and 11/0 seed beads, triangle beads, and bugle beads. I added Antique French red flower/clover sequins, Vintage French sky blue white-heart seed beads, Antique French sky blue white-heart tile cylinder beads, 2 mm Swarovski crystals, and mother of pearl fuchsia heart buttons. I did 3-bead picot stitch around the red side and attached the white side to the back with 3-bead picot stitch also.

I hope I honored each artist and their squares that were sent to me. I'm looking forward to seeing all the art quilts stitched together! I know it will be just beautiful and will raise more money for such a worthy cause! Thank you Monica for including me in this project! I really enjoyed working on this piece!!!

"Keep Hope Alive" ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I received a wonderful package in the mail from my friend Tammy! Awhile back we decided to do a swap. Tammy created this beautiful book thong made with a bamboo tile. It is so light weight. She decorated the tile with birds on one side and bees on the other. Does that not have my name written all over it?! It is embellished with gold leaf around the edges, braided silk ribbon, and beautiful beads. I just love it! It immediately went into one of four books that have been sitting and waiting for me.

Inside the box were two more beautifully wrapped packages! She totally stunned and surprised me with this beautiful beaded doll!!! Isn't she wonderful? I just adore her!!! She is tiny, standing 3 inches tall, and Tammy made her face too. Check out the cute ruffle around her body! She certainly has Tammy's heart art written all over her. She also shared some lovely beads with me and not one that she shared do I have. They are beautiful and I'm looking forward to using them soon.

Tammy is a sweetheart and I always enjoy visiting her blog. She is a talented and fun gal who is always experimenting and trying something new. She is making soldered pendant/charms right now and I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with those. She shares wonderful pictures of 'Mom Nature" in Connecticut...her part of the world. If you have a chance, swing by and visit her!

Thank you Tammy!!! You are so generous and I am honored to own your heart art. I will treasure them always.

Isn't she a doll!!!

Well...back to beading and all that comes with the season! I hope you are finding the time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays! ~Lisa