Friday, December 1, 2017

Beading in Belgium

Yes, here I am - slow at posting again. It's now time to think about the holidays and that's a really busy time at my house.

I know that many quilters also have an interest in beading and I met the nicest lady via the internet who taught herself to do exquisite beading in Belgium. Let me introduce Renata. Her artistry and determination to be successful are inspiring. She has not one, but three Etsy shops where you can see her work and find out more about her.
and also a shop with her paintings

As Renata explains: Art and music have always been a large part of my life since I was a child. I took drawing lessons and sang and later on I learned to play the piano. Up until 2007 when I had to stop it all, because of severe problems with my back and joints. My cartilage is of very poor quality and as a result I have had several surgeries. Singing in a choir or band was no longer an option, because it got to be to painful. I needed to find another occupation or hobby to keep my mind of the pain.

That way I came to the idea of starting to make my own jewelry. The question was how to start. Internet has no secrets for me so I started searching diligently on the web and taught myself how to make jewelry. In the beginning they were very simple necklaces by just stringing beads on a wire.
Giving up was not an option and I went on a search for more intricate beadwork that I would be able to make. Not just something I could shake out of my sleeve. So I discovered the magazine Bead&Button, which contained a lot of special beadwork. I bought the book Creative Beading, which was a compilation of all the stuff they had published in their magazines throughout the past year. That way I learned a lot of different techniques and got inspired to make my own designs.

Nowadays practically all of my spare time goes to beading and designing jewelry. Everything in my shop is made by myself. A lot of those pieces require a lot of technique and 3 or more days to make. But I just love making special jewelry, original and unique pieces of art.

This beautiful beaded box really caught my eye. Can you imagine all the hours that went into making it?

She also shows pictures of her works in progress. It's amazing!

Working on a new Bargello necklace in Rose gold white and ivory with Swarovski crystal 

As for me, I'll try to be back online soon to post again. Perhaps I'll focus on my progress at decorating the house. I have one Christmas item on display so far and yes, it's a Christmas quilt! Most of it is the result of a block exchange with the guild that I belong to. I had it on display one year at the South Carolina State Fair so perhaps I'll find a picture of it to share.

Happy "Get Ready for the Holidays" Everyone!

Monday, September 18, 2017

2017 Quilts

I can't believe it has been so long since I posted here! I'm still quilting and here are some things I made earlier this year. The first one is a quilt top made for Quilts of Valor. I've wanted to do this for a long time. The white stars are actually the same size. I didn't have a place to hang it so you could see it that way.

Next is a quilt that I made for my younger granddaughter. Yes, I was very slow at getting this one completed. She got it when she turned 8 months old. It's special because she has an older sister and the pattern is called "Sisters Forever". I had some fabric that showed 2 sisters together in a variety of poses (likely the print design comes from a vintage sewing pattern). It's larger than what I would normally have made as a baby quilt, but with the odd layout of the blocks, I didn't want to try to adjust the size.

I also made a tied blanket with fleece fabric for one of my triplet grandsons. I'll look back to find a picture of it to add later.

We had a big family gathering here for the week of the solar eclipse. We had a total solar eclipse here and it was fantastic! A special time because we all live in different states and don't get the chance to be together very often.

That wraps up most of my news! I'll certainly post something sooner next time. I hope everyone had a good summer.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Galaxy Stars and Exchange Blocks

Finally, I'm updating my blog!

It's been a long time since I took a quilt class, but here I was in mid-August enjoying the Galaxy Stars class taught by Anita Bowen. I struggled deciding on colors for the quilt. Yes, it's bright; isn't it?   I wanted a quilt featuring pink and brown so I went with that and included some golden yellow.
(Thank you to Anita for taking this picture and sending it to me.)

I've also been working on exchange blocks for our guild. I'm one of the people working on guild programs this year and proposed several categories people could choose if they wanted to be in a block exchange. We'll be swapping our blocks in October. I signed up for two of the themes, but my groups are small. I just completed my exchange blocks for the Gingerbread category. I don't want to uncover the surprise early, but here you can see that my block includes freshly baked cookies cooling by the window.

Next on my list to do will be my blocks with the theme Quilts on Barns. I'm excited to see what I come up with for that one.

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

It's Time for an Irish Blessing

May your day be touched
by a bit of Irish luck,
brightened by a song in your heart,
and warmed by the smiles
of the people you love.

I'm not a bit Irish, but I always enjoy celebrating St. Patrick's Day - corned beef and cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and onions and a batch of green cupcakes to finish things off.

Yes, you've probably noticed that it has been awhile since I posted anything. It seems I get busy on so many computer sites these days. Also, with my eye trying to recover from surgery I haven't been sewing lately. I'll be sewing soon!

All of my grandchildren have their birthdays from the very end of February to the very first part of March. Perhaps that's good because I have something to post since one of my grandsons wanted a blanket for his birthday. This was my first time trying to make a fleece blanket with the fringe holding the two fabrics together. I'm posting a picture so you can see it. It's chocolate brown on one side and has a dinosaur print on the other. Another of the other triplets wants one now and I bought the fabric, but it will likely be a week or so before I can make it. The hardest part seemed to be trimming the two pieces of fabric so they were square and the same size. I suspect a really large table would have been handy.

Hopefully I can post again before Easter.  Enjoy each day as we move into Spring! 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!
I'm always amazed when I log on and see "how long it has been". Perhaps 2016 will be my year for logging on more frequently.

So, what has been happening? Well, the New Year got off to a rough start. The corner of one of my front teeth broke off on New Years' Day. I knew there wouldn't be any way to deal with it until Monday. Then to top things off I was due to have cataract surgery on Wednesday.

So, most of Monday was spent waiting to hear back from the eye surgeon's office about whether it was okay to have the tooth taken care of that close to my cataract surgery. It turned out that if there was nothing done that impacted my gums, it was fine to get it repaired. I talked with my dentist's office and they got me in for a Tuesday appointment. Tooth repaired without using any injections and I was good to have my cataract surgery on Wednesday. So far, this eye is doing so much better than last time. I changed surgeon, surgery site, and all eye drops that were used. The last surgery was such a bad experience and this time is so much better.

There hasn't been any quilting or other sewing going on so far. My eyes tire pretty easily and bright light is still bothersome. Once I can deal with the bright light I use next to  my sewing machine I think I will work more on the Greater Columbia Quilters 2015 Mystery Quilt. I'll be sure to post a picture of it next time. The fabrics I am using are some that I had been saving for a special project.

Speaking of "special project", I'll share pictures of the I Spy quilt that I made for my granddaughter for Christmas. This was my first time adding "minky" as the backing for a quilt. What an experience! I read somewhere to use spray adhesive to hold the layers together. Spraying the whole thing at once was not working for me. Finally I had better luck spraying one row at a time, quilting that one row and then spraying the next row. I think this will be my one and only quilt backed with "minky" even though I love how soft it feels.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Post Surgery Post

I realized I had not been back here since I had my surgery towards the end of July. There was plenty of reason why I had so much pain when I posted last time. The surgeon talked about using robotic surgery to do repairs and I waited extra time to get on the list for that, but once surgery started not much of my surgery could be done using robotics. Nonetheless here I am a few weeks later with stitches pretty much over my entire abdomen but not much that is visible from the outside. The marvels of modern medicine! I'm still in the healing phase but hopefully it will heal nicely. (That's in contrast to two years ago when much of my surgery resulted in "on the skin" stitches and staples that really looked nasty ... but it's great that scars begin to fade in time.)

So where have I been since my surgery? Well, one outing was to the surgeon's office to be checked after two weeks. Then last week I decided it had been long enough and I drove into Lexington for a much needed haircut. Meanwhile to keep myself entertained here at home, I've stepped into the world of card making with a new machine that cuts and embosses. I'm teaching myself how to use the supplies that I've ordered. Of course it didn't take me long to discover that You Tube has many demonstrations on how to use a specific die (or whatever)! I had no idea paper could be so complicated. My favorite papercuts are using the dies that produce something that looks like lace.

Here's a photo of one of the dies I bought. 

Hopefully there will be all kinds of beautiful things made of paper at my house soon and I'll be back to working with fabric. I pulled  my crochet hook out a time or two but that's still a work in progress.
I hope everyone is doing well and had a good summer.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Week with Too Much to Do

I'm sorry that I haven't posted in such a long time. It's the usual excuse - when I have things going on, I don't have time to post and when there's nothing going on, there's nothing to write about.

I'll begin with a quilt related picture. Our quilt guild had Susan Lentz as the speaker in April and she has such interesting work - the program she presented was based on "Last Words" and I love how she incorporates vintage lace, vintage embroidery, and even vintage buttons into her art. Many of the pieces began as tombstone rubbings. If you want to read more about Susan, she has a web site you can visit it at

Now back to my heading for this post. This past week was one of the busiest I've ever had. My husband was in the hospital so I was the only one at home and I was visiting the hospital for as many hours as I could every day. I was so happy when he got to come home Thursday afternoon! Any time there is just one of us at home, there is so much to do. If it hadn't been for fast food and the drive-in lane, I don't know how I would have managed to eat dinner. I ate lunch at the hospital, my better choice, and was amazed by all the choices they had and at least I ordered healthy meals there.

Then to add to all the problems, I felt really bad nearly all week - extreme abdominal pain. I plan to go the doctor tomorrow to see if they can tell me what is going on. My older horse joined in on the medical problems on Wednesday evening. He had colic, which is pretty serious and can be deadly for a horse. Luckily some wonderful neighbors came over to help me and I called the equine vet so she could come out to treat him. By the time she got to the barn, it was dark so I was very thankful for the lights at the barn - not quite like daytime, but not too bad either. My horse was a wonderful patient. My neighbor and I had walked him for 90 minutes before the vet arrived so we got a workout, too. Then he got a bit sedated and lots of "treatment". He's doing really well. However, after a colic, they are very limited as for what they can eat so along came a complicated feeding schedule for him and I was having to separate the horses while they ate so he wouldn't eat some of the other horse's food. Some may know that I got this Arabian horse when he was 6 months old, so he has grown up in the family. There was a well-know Arabian stud named Dixie Fireflash and many of his offspring have been very successful in a variety of endeavors. My horse is a son of Dixie Fireflash. He was in some local shows when he was younger and he would watch the other horses so he knew what to do.We have been impressed by his intelligence many times. 

All I can say is "I Survived"! Thanks to all the friends who said a prayer or sent good wishes to get me through the week. Here's a quote about endurance that I though you might enjoy.

Hope is endurance.
Hope is holding on and going on and trusting in the Lord.
- Michael Novak

And before I close for this evening, I'll be wishing a Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers next Sunday.
Hopefully my absence from this blog won't be so long next time.