Sunday, April 29, 2012

a crocheted edge...

it started out as a necklace...

a bit of blocking and a light press with the iron

but I think it will get more use as an edging for this pink piece...

hand stitched cotton and lace with crocheted edge

and the garden is starting to show some progress, but the indigo seeds never did sprout...

waiting for the first cucumber on that vine

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I was cleaning out the hummingbird feeder and when rinsing it out, the bubbles just clung to each other from one end of the bottle to the other...some beautiful formations. It reminded me of the honeycombs created by bees...perfect hexagonal cells...a family of bubbles. I tried to capture it on video. Kind of fuzzy when you watch it full screen but you get the idea.

bubbles in a jar
The bubbles are oh so life.

Grace got me thinking about videos when talking about her beautiful goats. Check them out here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

another mystery item...

I love putting out these mystery items. I always learn so much from all of you. These coins/pendants were found by a friend at a garage sale. The round item looks like a chinese coin but we're not sure about the oddly shaped item. Looks like a pendant to me but I have no idea about the significance of the symbols. Anybody have any ideas???? Do tell...

Eva posted lots of good info on Facebook about these coins and I have done a bit further research. It is all in the comments below. They are called 'spade coins' and there's lots of info about them here.

And  a little while ago, I was the winner,  on Morna's blog, of this lovely heart pin. Thank you Morna. Can't wait to wear it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cusspots transformed...

Deb Lacativa sells what she calls cusspots. You can see them here and her explanation of  the word is here. I bought one last year and loved the reveal of all the treasures inside. My cusspot was thrown into the dyepot at one point and I wasn't real pleased with the way it turned out. That's the first part of the story. I use a variety of different type needles when sewing and once they go into the pincushion, they tend to disappear and I can never find the one I'm looking converted my cusspot into a marked needle holder. I stuffed it real well with 'cluster stuff' (a kind of polyester stuffing) and stitched some cloth to the top to hold it down. I then took some of the wonderfully dyed pieces I got from Heike at Gerdiary, stitched them on and embroidered a letter at the top of each section to represent, Embroidery, Tapestry, Milliner needles and a ? for miscellaneous ones. We'll see if this helps me keep them organized and findable.

M is for Milliners needles

E for embroidery, T for tapestry and the ? for others
And, of course, the top is perfect for pins.
I just recently purchased another cusspot from Deb. Will have to think of something to do with the new one.

Monday, April 16, 2012

blue is the color lately...

The scrim smocking piece is finished. Did a bit of free motion stitching on the scrim to give a lace like frame and backed it with some blue hand dyed cotton.

scrim smocking    6" square

And doing a bit of crocheting...

a necklace that will have some pearl beads added at the bottom

Saturday, April 14, 2012

for those of you who knew Herm...

About 2 hours ago my doorbell rang and this sweet lady, Christine, asked me if I knew Hermilla Knutson. She had my name written down on an envelope with an incorrect phone number for me. She said that Herm had told her about me when she last spoke to her on the phone just before she passed. Since we both lived in Austin, Herm wanted Christine to visit with me. Since she couldn't reach me by phone, she just got in her car and drove to my house.  We sat and talked for over an hour. She met Herm in Washington D.C. when they were both working for the government (they were in their 20s) and since they both were originally from Monterey, Mexico, they became fast friends. She said that Herm was overwhelmed with all the wonderful mail and stitchings she received when she was ill and spoke so much about all of us in this friendship circle. Christine was surprised to hear about the friendships made strictly through Jude's classes and e-mails. She does have some pictures that she will try to find and I will share them with you. We hope to meet again sometime soon. She is still in contact with Sam (Herm's husband) and I even learned the story about how they met. Christine says that Sam and Herm were wonderful together and his love for her is what extended her life. So many wonderful stories. It was a surprise visit and a most pleasant afternoon listening to all she had to tell. This is a picture of sweet Christine who is still working at the age of 79 at the University of Texas in Austin.


Friday, April 13, 2012

scrim smocking...

slow going and very fiddly but has possibilities. I'm thinking 'scrim weaving' as well...

creating a smocking pattern on scrim

A quilting friend gave me a section of her Apaloosa plant. I haven't been able to find much info online other than an Apaloosa bean plant which this is not. My friend says it is very invasive and can't be purchased. Anybody know anything more about this plant. I expect to put it in a pot.

Apaloosa plant

And since quite a few of you have asked if scrim is the same as cheesecloth, I'm posting a picture of both. Scrim has a much finer weave and comes in beige and bleached white. It is sold in fabric stores. Cheesecloth has a very loose weave and is generally sold in the supermarket or the craft stores in packages as it is used in food preparation.

I love using both in making lace with needle and thread.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

dangles and ruching...

lots of stitching going on here while waiting for a new stove to be installed.

dangles made with scrim to attach to an embroidered piece

bullion stitches, french knots, machine stitched scrim and ruching

The hummingbirds have really grown. check them out here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

an upcoming fashion designer who recycles...

and in her own words:

"If I were poor I would design my clothing out of garbage bags that people have thrown away. My feet would hurt in garbage bag shoes but I would manage. " Skye

made with a white trash bag

Skye is 7½ years old

Not much dyeing going on here since my stove went out and I'm waiting for the new one to be installed sometime next week. These 2 pieces were done on cotton, soaked in soy milk. Cotton just doesn't give me the same results as silk.

cotton bundle around copper pipe

I used oak leaves from the dye bath that turned black from iron in the water in this bundle that was wrapped around a very rusty tin can.

oak leaf impressions where the cloth did not touch the tin can

nothing dramatic

but there is a partially hidden face here
Click on images for a closer view.
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