April 30, 2010

You Know You Want To Play...

Happy May Day, friends!
I joined an Artist Trading Card swap after I was invited by
Andrea at Indigo Blue, and I've finally
finished my cards and have them ready to put in the mail today.
I only had to make six cards.
They can be created using threads, textiles, paint, plastics,
mixed media, or your own personal favorite art form.
The only requirement is their size.
They have to be 2.5" x 3.5"...playing card size.
In fact, I actually use a playing card on the back of all of mine.

If you're interested in joining the swap, please send me an email.
I'll get back to you with the list of six names
you'll send your cards to.

Come on and join in the fun!
You know you wanna play...
PS. I just learned that our blog friend, Maggie from Just Between Me and You had an accident at work...at the jail. Don't have details yet, but we do know that she's home being cared for by her daughter. Please keep her in your prayers. I'll let you know how she's doing as I hear more.

April 29, 2010

Baby Bling...

Remember those sweet, little shoes I showed you in this post?
They were sent by my niece's best friend, to embellish for her beautiful
daughter, Evie.
With the wedding over and the happy couple back at home,
I was able to concentrate on this project.
Ribbon rosettes, Swarovski crystals, sequins and ab glass beads.
Little girls need pink...and just the right amount of "Baby Bling".
What do you think?
I hope Evie and her mommy love them!
I hope her mommy sends me a photo of Evie wearing them!

April 28, 2010

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic...

I received this beautiful pin before Mum and Burt's wedding.
It's another stunning example of the needlework talent of my
friend, Paulette Racanelli of Beedeebabee.

She and have share a mutual admiration of each other's work,
and a little while ago, we agreed to do a swap.
Her favorite color is pink.
Mine is a peach/pink.

I sent this to her...
and she gifted me with one of her stunning beadwork pins.

I received her reaction on Monday, and it surely made me smile.
We've gone back and forth, Chip and Dale-style...
"You're work is the most stunning and beautiful."
"No, I insist, your work is the most stunning and beautiful!"

We both agreed that we'll be good friends for a long time,
and we look forward to the time when we'll be able to sit
across the table from each other and share a cup of friendship tea.
Then, I'll tell her, in person, that
every little thing she does is magic!

Don't forget to click on her blog link to see all her fabulous creations!

April 27, 2010

Thanks, Willie G...

When one rides a motorcycle, it's important to wear
gear that is functional and practical.
I never ride in shorts or tank tops.
I wear my leather jacket and chaps
on long trips or for highway riding.
I always ride wearing a helmet,
I wear boots that are made specifically
for motorcycle riding...boots that
have the proper sole for contact with pavement
and offer more ankle and foot protection.

They're called "Rider's Boots",
as opposed to "After Riding Boots",
which are lighter weight and do not offer
the same level of riding protection.
(Ok...End of Lesson in Motorcycle Boots 101.)

The first photograph was my very first pair of Riders Boots.
These are the boots I've been wearing lately.
A little "fancier", but still military in appearance.
Sturdy and strong, but certainly not very "girly"...
...until yesterday.
Handsome and I went to our local Harley dealership
and my eyes settled these beauties.
And then I saw a tag on 'em that made me gasp...
"Rider's Boots"!!!
Finally, Willie G. and the gang at Harley have
created a boot that not only have that safe rider's sole,
but will make the boys take a second look
when a female rider wears them!
Because, let's face it girlfriends...
Even grandmas like to look smokin' sexy every now and then!
Thanks, Willie G.!

April 25, 2010

The Fruits Of My "Pla-bor"...

You've been so patient. You really have.
Because I'm so grateful that you care
enough to follow my musings to begin with,
I thought I'd show you full images of the
gifts I created in my studio last week.
These gifts are both for blog buddies.

The first set is my part of a swap that one
friend and I agreed to do. I thoroughly admire her work
and I love what I received from her. I'll post a
photo of her gift to me after I know that she has received this set.

The lined tote is my own design - perhaps for her projects in progress.
The heart is filled with 100% wool batting,
and then I added pearl trim and silk roses.
Lastly, I sprayed it with my Egyptian Cotton Linen Spray.
Now, if you've been reading my latest posts,
it won't be hard for you to figure out where this gift will be going.
I love working with these materials, and the creation
of this floral heart was pure joy.
Silk ribbon embroidery and beautiful shimmering beads to
remind her of a shared blog moment.
I hope she loves my gift to her as much as I cherish her gift to me.
These are part of my Hearts' Desire series, and I'll be listing up
new hearts in my Boutique that will be available for purchase.
They could be used as a sachet, a pincushion, or just a pretty accent.
You may choose to have them sprayed with the cotton spray, or
I can add a tiny pouch of lavender buds to the wool batting.
Additionally, I'd be happy to make special orders for your personal taste.

I'll share more information on size, pricing
and available Hearts' Desire hearts later this week.

Do you think my friends will love these?
Oh, gosh. I sure hope so!
I had to change the title of my post from "Labor" to "Pla-bor".
Projects like these are really too much fun to consider as work.
Thank you to all of you who shared concerns and get well wishes for our friend, Richard. He was able to return home - with his sweet Labrador, Stout, today. We're so grateful that his trip to the hospital wasn't more serious than we feared.

April 24, 2010

Sharin' The Love In Blogland...

These are the components of the project I started yesterday.
Some things may not get used, and I'll save them for another time.
I love working with silk ribbon and beads.
See my favorite fabric underneath?
Another surprise for a special someone.
I'll share a sneak peek tomorrow.
I know. It's so hard to wait, isn't it?
When I went to the mailbox yesterday, I was greeted
by a big red envelope.
Hmmmm. Where is this from? Near Tampa?
Jeanette? Sweet Jeanette!

Did I miss a special occasion?
Is it my Birthday again so soon?
(Remember - I capitalize my big deal birthdays!)
Was this a giveaway?
The note from Jeanette said that she
just wanted to share a few gifts with me.
Sweet Jeanette really lives up to her name!
I immediately tore into the packaging to find all these lovely gifts...
Just. Because.
A beautiful Longaberger bag that I'm looking forward to using...
A slimline pink wallet (I love pink, too!)
Yummy vanilla tea, and a primitive piece of needlework.
She enclosed the prettiest card with a lovely note.

It's official!
This beautiful woman really is SweetJeanette!
I hope you'll visit her blog and share the love.
I stop in for every new post, and once you stop by,
you'll ask for return invitations, I swear!

Thank you, Jeanette, my dear friend.
We're going to have to get together soon!

I'd love to thank you in person for your generosity.

April 23, 2010

Please Don't Shed On My Knitting...

Two sleeves are finished and I've started on the back of the sweater now.
I loved this sweater pattern in green cotton (remember?),
so I know I'm going to love it in creamy, soft bamboo.

I started this sweater during the wedding gown project, and this is how
much I've managed to accomplish so far. The pattern and I
are so well acquainted that it's really a fun sweater to knit.

I'm already working on the ribbing, so that part will skip right along!
Kes has company for the next few days (or more). Our good friend, Richard, made an emergency trip to the hospital Thursday night, and had to leave Stout behind at home. He (Richard, not Stout), then called us this morning to ask us to go and liberate his dog, who'd probably been crossing his legs for hours awaiting his master's return. So, at 6:30 Friday morning, Handsome and I brought Stout home to stay with us for a while.

The two Labs are good friends, and have spent lots of time together, so Kes is glad to have him around...as long as he doesn't try to play with her toys, and as long as he stays well clear of her food dish! Besides, she really thinks he's kind of a debonair fellow! (Just look at his way with the ladies.) Kes loves 'em tall, dark and mysterious. This ought to be fun.

April 22, 2010

The Gift's In The Mail...

This is Part Two of the gift I worked on for one of my
online friends. It will be shipping today, along with Part One.
I'll post full photos as soon as I know she's received it.

You can see the same silk ribbon roses and pearl trim,
that were in the Part One, and then I added
beadwork along the pattern of the fabric.

I love this fabric, and you're likely to see more
projects which feature it in the future.

I'm working on more gifts now, and promise to share
the finished items with you over the next few days.
A few items will even make their way to the Boutique soon.
Friday Night Date Night will feature homemade pizza
which the newlyweds will share with us this evening.

Only a few more days and they'll be heading to their
new home. We're going to enjoy what little time
we have left with them on this trip.

April 21, 2010

And I Become A Child Again...

One of the stunning photos from Kate's Monday, April 19th post

On Monday, I read this post from my friend, Kathleen (Kate) Young at Chronicles of a Country Girl. You need to know just how much I enjoy reading what Kate writes. She shares her country life with her husband and their border collie, George (who has his own Facebook page!). I love sharing her daily walks on their property, and her incredible images (I covet her camera and her photographic "eye".)

When I left a comment on Monday, this is part of what I wrote to her:

Hi Kate: I simply adore (and miss) lilacs. Nothing like them in the whole wide world...and none in Florida. ;0( Thanks for sharing them with me, too.

Later that evening, I received an email from her asking for my address, and I asked for hers in return. We exchanged information that night, and I'm so glad. Here's why...
A package arrived yesterday with a return address I didn't recognize. Sweet Kate had sent her incredible images to me straight from her print service! My photograph doesn't do hers justice, and that's why I used one of her blog images as the first photo here today. These lilacs - which were captured from her yard - are stunning, and my heart swelled at Kate's generosity in sending them to me.

My eyes welled with tears at both her kindness, and the childhood memories of days long ago...lilac bushes coloring our backyard with their blossoms and their scent. Tall bushes, lovingly pruned by my mum, and their perennial promises to return every spring. If I close my eyes, I can relive those carefree days, and the thoughts make me smile.

I don't know if Kate has any idea just what a kind, meaningful and special gift she sent to me this week. I do know that I'll find the most perfect frames for both of them so that one can reside in our bedroom and one will have a permanent spot in the studio. I'll think of her with great fondness whenever I look at them...and I'm already working on a special gift for her!

Thank you, Kate, from the very depths of my heart.
If you haven't had the pleasure of exploring Chronicles of a Country Girl, please click on the image of her blog header and settle in for a bit. There's a lot to see, read and experience. I'm sure that you'll find that she speaks to you, too. Don't forget to say "hello" to her (and George!) when you visit. I know she'll appreciate it.

April 20, 2010

The Color Of Friendship...

A few hours in the studio, creating a gift for a friend.
I can't show you the entire gift. I don't want to give away the surprise.
I hand crafted silk roses. Then added snippets of the trim from
Mum's wedding gown, vintage crocheted lace and a silver acorn.

Tomorrow, it will be traveling to a new home...
along with a few other little gifts.

Have you tried making a silk ribbon rose yet?
They're a little like potato chips...you can't stop at just one!

What's your favorite color?

April 19, 2010

Rainy Days And Mondays...

Nothing quite like the sunlight coming in on our
pool deck in the morning...
Unless it rained the night before, and the raindrops are
still clinging to the screens on the roof of the screen enclosure.
God's little diamonds, greeting us as we sip our morning coffee.
This is indeed a fleeting sight.
Within a short period of time, the breeze and sun had
dried up all the raindrops.
Lucky Girl...I caught a few frames before this gift disappeared.

April 18, 2010

A Travel Day For Some...

(photograph taken by a professional gallery in MN)
My loving brother, Lydell and his family...
wife, Jennifer and sons, Lydell III and Westyn.

Yesterday was a travel day for them. They had to be at Ft. Myers airport
by 1:30 to turn in their rental car - and then wait until 6 pm to board
a flight back to Minnesota. A long day for them, to be sure.

It was so wonderful to have them here in Florida for Mum and Burt's
beautiful beach wedding. We were able to visit and spend time together.
Handsome and I were able to see what thoughtful and remarkable
sons my brother and sister-in-love have raised. We're blessed, for sure.

Tears were shed when they left. We miss them already.
It's hard when there is fifteen hundred miles between our homes.

Sunday was a day of travel for them...and a day of rest for us.
Mum and Burt are at their beach cottage,
all the rest of our family has returned to their homes and
Handsome, Kes and I are home together.
Today, I'll be spending some time in the studio and
I'll have some new things to share with you very soon.
I've added a Flickr album to share more wedding photos with you.
Just click HERE to see them.

April 17, 2010

Sweet Love...

The groom's first look at his bride.
He started to cry.
This wedding gown was especially sweet to make.
How often does a daughter get the privilege
of making a wedding gown for her mother?
The bride is my mum! The groom is Burt.
He and my mum have been friends for about forty five years.
Our families spent many hours together when we were growing up.
I went to school with his daughter...and she and I moved in
together when we got our first apartment...and our second.
Now, she's my sister!
The weather was perfect.
Our family is now larger.
Love after forty five years leading to marriage to a good and dear friend.
That's Sweet Love!
Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Burton Rentmeister
With Love From Your Family.

April 16, 2010

Silk Rose Tutorial...

So, I admit it. As Madelyn Kahn said in Blazing Saddles,
"I'mmmm tireddd".
It's been an exciting week, and tomorrow is the big day,
but a promise is a promise...

I promised a silk rose tutorial for you. Yesterday, I photographed my process for you, but soon I'll do a video tutorial which will help anyone who has trouble with my photo version.

All you have to do is click on the photo to go to my Flickr album tutorial.
Please comment if you have any questions or need any clarification.

Today is the big day!
It's my brother's 51st birthday...
our daughter-in-law, Jessica's birthday,
(of course, I won't give away her age!)
and also
We're celebrating a beach wedding today!!!

If you come back tomorrow, I'll share photos
of the bride and groom, some of the festivities,
as well as family and friends who
are here to honor and bless their union.

Happy Birthday, Lydell and Jessica!!!

April 15, 2010

An Upcoming Silk Rose Tutorial And Family...

Remember these silk roses?
When I shared this photo with you a little while ago, I was asked if I'd
do a tutorial on how to make them. Mine are made from
silk charmeuse fabric, but you can use any fabric or ribbon.
I was thinking tomorrow might be a good day to share my technique.
Come back and I'll show you just how they're made.
More family arrived to celebrate. Dinner on the lanai, lots of giggling and
reminiscing. Being thankful for miracles large (healing from cancer)
and small (seeing each other again after many years).
And the party rolls on!