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My Quilting Tools

I have set up a nice comfortable spot to work on my hand quilting and stitchery. Being a very early riser (usually 5 am) it is a quiet area so that those who are still sleeping are not disturbed. The side table has a nice size surface for all the special items that I need. It also has three drawers on the front for supplies. The rolling thread holder that keeps the thread handy and steady so that I can easily pull out the length that is needed. It also has spots for scissors, thimble, pins and needles with a magnet on the side. Next are my little sharp scissors. Just having a regular pair is good but the decorative ones make me happy. A coaster that someone made with a nice size mug with hot morning coffee. This is one of my favorites picked up at Sagamore Hill. It lists all the National Parks and looks like a flag. A needle keeper for the quilting needles. This one I made myself. I have another for embroidery needles too. The little Altoid can holds 1/2 inch applique needles which help so much because the needle thread doesn’t get tangled on the pins. The fabric petals that I will be appliqueing onto the quilt.
Here you can see the tiny little pins that hold the petals securely in place.
I put a pillow on my lap for many reasons; it is nice to have the working surface higher to rest my wrists when sewing. It is also nice to hold the needle when I have to get more thread. Here I am getting the petal ready to applique by basting under the edge . My Mom made this pillow for me along with another I have on my chair, right after I got married 40 years ago. Some of the fabric is wearing and I love that I have found the perfect use for them. This pillow is also perfect to prop my Ipad on to make it eye level. Also learning from experience is perfect if you have a sore neck.
This is my scrap and thread disposal container. Margaret, a friend made this handy little flannel container. It is perfect because everything stays put till I clear it out and throw it away.
My sewing basket with a divided shelf on top and a deeper area underneath. A favorite Longaberger basket. It has a handle and lid.
Many of us quilters and hand stitchers have cats. I feel that this is definitely a quilting tool. This is Mama and she is thinking hard about getting under the blinds and causing some kind of havoc.
Pavel comes in every morning, looks out the door window and then proceeds to lick the window. If I don’t have the quilt out yet to work on, he will look at that area then look at me and walk out. He then will come back in and start the whole process again and settles in if I have the quilt out. Some days I have to sadly disturb his slumber to give me more fabric to make it easier to work with. He takes it all in stride.
You need a comfy chair. I recently got this glider rocker with the padding. I love it so much. Good lighting is a requirement that is right over the top of my shoulder and a smaller table lamp for more lighting.
Hinterberg floor hoop that will just be the perfect thing to use to quilt from my chair. The height can be adjusted. Unfortunately this company no longer exists but can probably be found on eBay.
Finished up the flower, snipped the threads and disposed of them properly instead of throwing on the floor. I have approximately 10 more of the flowers to sew onto this border.
This table is my tall studio table. It has a cutting mat on it. I recently had to cut out more of the petals. The cat on the chair is Mama , the one that had her back to us above. I do have to fight the cats to be able to use this chair.
This is my new taller chair that helped immensely when cutting out the petals. I believe it is 29 inches and the other is 24. With the shorter chair I felt like a little kid at dinner time and usually ended up standing. The shorter chair I sit to paint with, watch tv with and my Ipad is eyelevel too. The stool you see if for the cats to jump up to the top of the table. They have a comfy blanket so they can be with me and look out the window. If not they will find a spot on whatever I am working on. I hope you enjoyed my tour and if you have any questions drop me a line. Happy Stitching!

Stay Healthy My Friends ❤

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To the New Year

Yesterday, on New Years we had ice/rain/ice event. Really it was a good day for it, most people didn’t have to worry about going to work., then not so many accidents. Today it is just cloudy and I went out in the yard to see if I could find a little something to take a picture of. These little gems were Iris and with the two of them and ice they resemble a heart.
Now that all the leaves are off of our pretty birch tree there was all kinds of lichen on the tree.
This stays so green all winter and in the spring it has pretty magenta flowers.
Ice on the trunk. I had to be careful, it was a layer of ice on the ground.
A lot going on here, taking the old calendars down and unpacking the new ones. I will give you a close up of the painting I did yesterday. Paint, pencil sharpener, color wheel, etc. I really may put things away on here.
Let’s Party! Images of some of our cats, former and present. I had drawn this several years ago and then misplaced the tablet. Recently I found it again and thought it was a perfect day to paint it. It is on Aquarelle Watercolor 140 lb. I have on similar that I did after I lost this one and it is in the shop now and I will get this one up soon.

When I downloaded my camera pictures this morning I was disappointed to find some images missing. I had that happen recently another time. They were pictures of the four of us at Christmas. It is time to purchase a new one. Can’t stand to have that happen again.

This is just a practice piece but I want to, along with my paintings, sell stitchery items. It is in the baby stages right now and I will keep you updated. I just really enjoy doing handstitching.
This table always has something going on it. Always have my mask nearby to grab when I am going out. Great binoculars Tom purchased for me. They are fabulous!! Matt Medium, watercolor crayons that I use to draw placement on my paintings. It dissolves when I paint over it. Pencils, scissors and rulers oh my! I have gotten two new taller chairs to sit up at these taller tables. I used to feel like a short kid at the dinner table. It will be more productive to use now.
Remember Joy. Taking down the Christmas tree today, it is always sad but life goes on. Those branches are from a redbud that I trimmed up. Couldn’t stand to just throw them away.
Sharing this ham recipe from the Kroger mailer from Christmas. It was very very good. I had not bought a ham before what had the skin that needed removed and leaving the fat on. It was so good that Kevin has requested it for his birthday.

My goals for 2021:

Read more books …..Make more art…..Finish quilts…..develop a stitchery line…..organize my basement studio (that is where my fabric is at)… on our pictures, loose and digital…..I have my grandmothers cookbooks that I want to look at and do something with…..strip and stain stairs and windowsills…..paint the kickplate part of the stairs…..chalkpaint tables and such…..Figure out all of the other great things that my new sewing machine does other than forward and backwards…..Read through magazines I have….tear out pages I want to keep and recycle the rest.

I don’t do resolutions, I can never keep them. Lists are my thing, then I can check it off.

I am reading a new book that I received from Sam. “The President is Missing” by Bill Clinton and James Patterson. I am just into the first couple chapters but it has been good so far. Will do a book review when I am done with it.

I have high hopes for 2021. I have been applying to art shows, and now up to four. Outdoor shows with masks and sanitizer, and distancing are good. I also think the vaccine will be well on its way to being in peoples arms.

My Anthony Fauci bobblehead. Tom ordered this right after Dr. Fauci threw out the first pitch at the Nationals game in July. I think it finally was delivered in November. He kept telling me “You are going to Love this” and I do and did and really was surprised. It sits prominently on my bookshelf with many others we have collected.

We sure have missed going to Tigers baseball games among so many other things too.
But I think most of all of the people who have lost their lives and who have lasting effects from having Covid-19.
We have so many things to never forget and are always learning.
Please stay healthy.
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Winter Solstice:

solstice that marks the onset of winter, at the time of the shortest day, about December 22 in the northern hemisphere and June 21 in the southern hemisphere.

Happy Winter Solstice to all of you. Now we can look forward to seconds added on to the day to begin the slow ascent to longer days. I don’t know the difference, some definitions show December 21 and others December 22. I will just go by my Charley Harper calendar.

This little painting is titled “Preparing” and is our Christmas Card this year.

“All the Woodland Animals were Decorating in Preparation”

Four days until Christmas and I pretty much have my list and am checking it off.

Wrap gifts, make goodies, grocery store and finishing touches, plan to be ready by Thursday.

I think with this picture I was trying to take an image of the full moon but I just couldn’t get it right. Doesn’t it look like a reindeer though?
Last night, the sky was clear and I was able to see Jupiter and Saturn, and I took photos (to the best of my ability). Tonight is supposed to be the night where they are in alignment but it is a cloudy day. Here is a video I found that explains the phenomena.
I am happy to report that progress is being made on this quilt. One side has these flowers appliqued on and now I have started on the other side. If a little time each day is devoted to the project then it goes much faster.
I want to share this beautiful dimensional birthday card one of my gal pals sent. I feel very special because I am sure it was time consuming.
Here you can see the three layers. It is a fabulous card from a fabulous friend. You will be glad to know that Pavel was not bothered by my flash.
It was a banner week in the mail. I also received this journal from my other gal pal. Each page has a treat on it from hidden tags to papers that she dyed along with interesting cards.
Here are some of the dyed papers, a flower that she made.
Tags and pockets, it was just beautiful. With each page turn it is a treat.
The vintage looking papers, lace and torn fabric for the ribbon.
I am ending my post with Miggy or his whole name is Miguel Cabrera. One of our favorite Detroit Tigers. Miggy the cat is a polydactal with extra toes and it is like he has baseball mitts on his paws. He is such a sweetie but so big, 13 to 14 pounds. Every night when I go to bed I have to wrestle with him because he thinks he is going to sleep on my chest and stomach. After seven to ten minutes he finally gets the hint. He is so long that when we shut the bedroom door he can reach up and open the door. With his big paws he can maneuver round door handles too.

I hope you are doing well, are safe and healthy.

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A woodpecker, Art Dates, morning sky, Quilts, delightful room

Everything came together with these next set of pictures. I had my camera near, and also had the stronger lens on. I saw this woodpecker peaking out from the side of the feeder where the suet is.
I had to wait awhile but he decided to jump on the roof.
He then turned around and showed me his beautiful markings.
I think he was watching me take his picture!
Thinking about coming onto the other suet.
I was so thrilled to get these pictures. I don’t know what kind it was but he was beautiful!! I was so Delighted!
Noelle came over for an art date on Halloween. We decided that a Halloween Journal page was in order. She was dressed like a sweet witch and we printed it off in an eerie color. We used blending inks and stamps. Noelle is a cat gal like me and she needed a Sophie fix.
The picture we used for her page. Sophie again made it into the picture. She is truly a ham! Each time Noelle comes over I enjoy seeing what she is putting into her sketch book. Some really great ideas.
I had another Art Date with Lela and we worked with watercolors. Various kinds, just kids watercolors, watercolor pencils, watercolor crayons, artists watercolors and various papers. We also did washes, and blending and found what papers worked the best.
We used the hairdryer to quickly dry the watercolors. Lela was using the watercolor crayons to put various shades on the pumpkins and blending them. We had a really nice time and it gives this budding artist good ideas to go forward. She has many good and good ideas going on in her sketch book. It’s fun!
Sunrise sky on 11/18/20. Breathtaking and Georgeous!!!
This little quilt is my own design. It has it all, piecing, applique, embroidery and mitered corners. I would work on it every morning for an hour or so and it is completed. My goal is to use up everything that I have and minimally purchase anything. I have my own stash and inherited wonderful fabrics and quilts and tops from my Mother. I will be busy until I can’t see anymore. I made the top five years ago and finished it in 2020.
The next quilt I pulled out and have been working on.

My Mother passed away in 1997 of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It is just a horrible disease that has no cure. A person that is affected by it has holes in their brains and it can affect their eyes, balance, short term memory and then dementia. It is Alzheimer’s on steroids, from the first time we noticed that something wasn’t right until she passed away in 1997 it took only 55 days and she was 70 years old, it was very much shocking. My sister and I became acquainted with a group of people on a site who also had a loved one die of this disease. There are 143 hearts on this quilt, just a tip of the iceberg but it is a way that we were going to bring attention to this somewhat unknown disease. I started this quilt in 2000 and pulled it out this year to get it finished, it should take me all of 2021. The hearts are embroidered by many different people. I would send out names, blocks of fabric and a heart template and they would send back embroidered hearts. Some people just did their own loved ones and others asked if someone could do theirs because they didn’t know how to embroider. All the fabric is from my Mothers stash. The words at the top of the quilt….We Lost You to CJD… the bottom…..You Are Not Forgotten. I now work on appliqueing the side petals each morning. I will probably need to make more. Just taking my time and enjoying the process.

This view brings me joy. It it looking from our foyer area into my studio. So many things that I love in this picture. The paintings in the studio, my Carrie Schmitt original, the little table I found at a Meijer store in Michigan. I keep candles in it. I would collect miniatures when growing up and I keep them in that little shelf with a glass door, found at Home Goods. The chalk painted table in a turquois blue. The little heart wings on the shelf is by Janet Lynch of Heart Werks, a local artist.
Two pretty deep drawers that hold candles in glass jars.
One of my favorite pieces of pottery from an artist at a show. I don’t know who they are, it was a husband and wife team and she was also an art teacher. It was during my first year of doing shows. Do you have any areas in your home that just give you a great rush of joy?

I hope you are staying healthy. If you have any comments or questions I would love to get them.

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Art installations, gallery and virtual

Did you know…..there is an art gallery at the Three Rivers Apartment complex? The entrance is across from Superior and Lafayette streets and also across from Don Halls Gas House. The Fort Wayne Artists Guild hangs art their among other places through out the city. This is a juried art show and my “Among Friends” was chosen to hang there along with many other beautiful paintings. The link to the show.
At the Lutheran Rehab Hospital I have an installation of twelve paintings in the cafeteria. Because of Covid-19 the coordinator of this program for the FWAG was only able to hang the art. I was not able to take any photos. I understand only employees and patients are allowed in the building right now but they have colorful and cheery art to look at when they have their meals. These will be up through the end of December. “Bob’s Hideout” is one of the twelve that are showing now.

The Fort Wayne Artists Guild also has an online members gallery with beautiful local artists paintings. The link to the online gallery.

Starting November 25 through December 26th, the Fort Wayne Artist Guild is having a Holiday Art Show and Sale. Wednesday November 25th the hours will be 4 pm to 8 pm. Regular Hours after that are Wednesday through Friday 11am through 7pm and Saturdays are 9 am to 5 pm. It will be held at 256 West Main Street, Fort Wayne. I will have four originals for sale along with prints and cards. Buy some original art for your home or for some lucky recipient for Christmas. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

“O Happy Day” will be one of my paintings for sale at the art show.
“Bunny Love” will be there also.

Here on my website I have a gallery of all my paintings, and an online shop to purchase cards, prints and some originals. Link to the gallery. Link to the online shop. Free shipping is still available, use the coupon code Freeship.

Mini Reproduction note cards with simple stamp images from my personal stamp collection.

Since the Artist Studio Tour was put on hold for 2020 we decided to build a virtual site to transition into 2021. The link to this site is here. It is still young, keep an eye out for additions.

To receive this post via email sign up on the right side of my home page.

Stay safe and healthy my friends. ❤

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The Colors of Fall

It was such a beautiful day, from early morning to this evening. I am trying out an updated Envira Gallery and learning how to put a gallery in my blog post. Some of these pictures I have had and others were taken today. I did not have the strong lens on my camera but if you look closely there is a hawk on the swing set. Our warty pumpkins decorating the porch. The morning cloud reflection in the pond with the sun shining on the newly cut corn field. A close up of the neighbors tree that is absolutely gorgeous. I have quite a few things to share that it is overwhelming to think about doing a big post so I may just do little bloggings through the week.

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The Dunes National Lakeshore was beautiful

Last weekend we went to Chesterton, IN and made our way to the Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore. We started out at the Visitors Center and walked around looking at the art and gardens. The inside ranger told us about getting to the Riverwalk and driving around Beverly Shores. These two guys had their masks on.
Racoon art on a two-sided bench.
You know who
White tail deer
Saw Whet Owl. I really was looking forward to the 12 minute videos they were showing at the visitor center but they were a no go because of the virus. There are many good videos on YouTube under Dunes101 though.
We were driving down US 12 and turned at the sign for Kemil Beach. This view will be beautiful in a couple of weeks. There is just a touch of red right then.
Turning on Lakefront Drive we parked and walked down to Dunbar Beach. It was very windy that day which made the lake all the more beautiful with the waves.
The breaking waves just sometimes reach us. On the horizon is Chicago, 35 miles away.
Dunbar beach is right next to the Century of Progress Homes which have a very interesting history. I found a couple of good articles that answers many of our questions that came up. Someone did live in that first house because that sign says Beware of Dog. This article is from 2018 so I would bet that 2020 did not see a tour. We went down a road that ended up being a dead end and saw the Old North Church Replica but didn’t know it at the time.
We then moved down Lakefront Drive toward Beverly Shores which also has an interesting history. We stopped at Lakeview Beach and I was able to get a better picture of Chicago.
The path to go down to the beach was closed but it was below the rocky area. Probably put those there to fight against erosion.
I love the skyline of big cities. I remember driving near New York City and seeing that skyline, it was memorable for me.
We turned around going west on Hwy. 12 past Burns Harbor where you see steel mills and look for the sign to find the Portage lakefront and Riverwalk. It was kind of tricky to get to it and we had to turn around once. It was worth it once we got there. This is the riverwalk and it looked interesting to walk out on. Notice there is no one out there. The waves were splashing into it. There was one guy who decided to give it a try. I should have gotten a picture of him trying to make it out to the end, he gave up halfway in and came running back wet and cold.
This picture is not clear because all of the water splashing onto the riverwalk.
We were fascinated by the surfers. Probably watched them for 45 minutes. I got a good group of pictures of this woman getting up on her board. Here she is just ahead of the swell.
Starting to get up on her board.
Standing and riding the wave.
Still going and she looked good.
She is starting to go down because the wave is going down. It takes them a while to find a wave to get up on. Not too many times did it work for them. They had wet suits on and some had head gear too. I spoke with someone in Chesterton and she said that someone is out there 365 days a year. Some men will come out with ice on their beards.
Here are the waves hitting the rock wall.
A good picture of the waves and swells and the steel mills in the distance. Tom and I both love watching the water and had an enjoyable two days away. Getting a little bit of nature and a big body of water and it is only two hours away.

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Beautiful Mandalas and Color

Earlier in the week a cold front was moving in and the clouds in the sky were low and blue. We were due and it is almost October. I always look forward to a change of seasons and the cooler weather. I knew that frost would be showing up soon during the night and decided to take advantage of the changing colors of leaves and enjoy the flowers that are still blooming.
I strolled around the yard getting colors and textures to make madalas. Here is the official definition from Merriam Webster: Definition of mandala

1: a Hindu or Buddhist graphic symbol of the universe specifically a circle enclosing a square with a deity on each side that is used chiefly as an aid to meditation
2: a graphic and often symbolic pattern usually in the form of a circle divided into four separate sections or bearing a multiple projection of an image

The Following are the four that I came up with. I used almost all of the cuttings.

I have these little blocks of color around our house. We are going to be painting and I have gotten samples of colors to see what they will look like. Some make the team some don’t, these are still on the bubble. You can ask for small jars of paints, I picked mine up at Lowe’s for $4.00 each.
The color on the right is a sage green, it did not show as well on this picture but they will be on rooms are beside each other. I do like it and the rooms have many large windows.
This sage plant looked like the same color as this little Pewabic Pottery vase but once I got it out in the sunlight the sage is more purple. I was delighted to be reintroduced to the vase…it does help to dust a little deeper sometimes.

Tom and I are taking a couple of days away this weekend. We are just going to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and I am hoping to get some good pictures. My camera batteries are all charged. We are celebrating 40 years of marriage October 4th. In leu of the pandemic we thought with being careful we could get two hours away for two days. Our masks are all washed up too and ready to go.

Stay safe and healthy.

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Remembering 911

19 years and I can still remember how I felt when listening and watching that day. What started out as hearing that a plane had gone into the World Trade Center Tower, thinking it must have been an errant small plane that had gone off course. Then realizing it was full size airliners that were intentionally driven into these towers. I still feel that fearsome pit into my stomach just like that day, when thinking about it.

We visited New York City in 2016 and of course made our way to the World Trade Center Memorial.
I always try to feel what it was like that day for the people walking down the street. For the size of the buildings and the area that they fell… isn’t big in comparison. You watch when the towers fell after burning with the jet fuel and it is unimaginable what terror there was. The people who were in the tower above the hole of the plane and had no way to get down. They would call their families for the goodbyes and some just jumped to their deaths.
The first responders who were there to do what they were trained for and lost their lives when the towers fell.
Just remembering all the souls that were lost that day also at the Pentagon, at the field in Shanksville Pennsylvania. What horror they went through.
We did change that day, life is always throwing things at us but we will prevail, adapt and overcome.
This is in Battery Park in lower Manhattan, which is just down the street from the World Trade Center Memorial. This was between the towers and they have brought it down to Battery Park and turned it into an eternal light. Here is information about it and it seems as if it has been moved closer to the memorial.
This is a picture of the WTC memorial from Battery Park. Think about sitting in that park, or walking through it and watching the planes fly into these buildings.
I want to leave this post with the picture of the Statue of Liberty I took while at Battery Park. Both Tom and I loved New York City. I could have sat there for hours to just take it all in. Looking out at Ferries and thinking about what history happened in this area. These waters are where the British brought their ships up in the 1700’s. These waters split to make the Hudson and the East Rivers and a little further up the Hudson is where the plane had to be landed ten years ago, an amazing feat that was. We could go on, and on and on, we have a wonderful country that always prevails, with pain, but we remember.

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Artfest, West Central Home and Garden Tour, Bloomfest

This next weekend I will be selling my art at the Artfest that is running with the West Central Home and Garden Tour. This is a nice write up about this with all the information . It runs on Saturday and Sunday, September 12 and 13.
Here is the list of the artists that will be there. It is on a triangular grassy area at West Jefferson, Garden Street and Swinny Park Place.
My booth from Bloom Fest on August 29th. There were such a nice amount of artists an array of food trucks. The Allen County Board of Health came and inspected and gave it high marks for following protocol. The same method will be handled at Art Fest this weekend. So far it looks like 70’s and sunny….fingers crossed.
I will have new art pieces up too.
An illustration and poem from the Small Talk book. I thought it may be apropos for this week.