Tuesday, July 31, 2012


.....Soooooo, again those little resist dyed felted wool pieces I created are calling me.   I'm just crazy about playing with them.....despite the frustration I've experienced more often than not.  

 ...and again, I forgot to take a 'before' photo.  This piece was dyed in three different dye baths after accordion folding the felted wool & securing with large rubber bands.

That yielded what appeared to me as a landscape view.....sun, sky, water...with numerous cracks of white lines throughout where the rubber bands had been placed.
 Why I thought stitching these lines with white thread was a good idea is now beyond me.  AND worse, why I thought it would be a good idea to fill in some of the spaces with more heavy stitching is even dumber.
So, now I'm in the process of removing some of the stitching.  I've already determined picking out all of it would be insane......so I'm on the verge of kissing this piece goodbye.  I rarely give up once I've started.....but this one is a candidate for the circular file.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Can you stuff an elephant into a suitcase?  Nope???  Well, me either....

Nor could I cope with the mess my fabric closet had become.....soooo....

 .....out it all came.....

.....and back it went......now it 'looks' better, but sadly will not function any better.  My closet is a fairly good size....its depth is the problem.  Requiring one stack of fabric in front of another. I can't even reach the top shelf nor the 2nd row of the 2nd from the top.  Basically, if I want to get at anything in the back....out the front fabric must come.

Of course I've thought of using clear plastic bins......to make moving the 'stacks' easier.  I actually had that system in a previous home and wasn't keen about it.  So for now.....I feel more organized.....the tidy gene I have must be fed!

However, none of my wools or felt are stored here.......you really don't want to see that mess!!

Note.....my apologies to those of you who receive automatic posts.....and thus received this one numerous times.....I was having trouble uploading my photos....and of course my impatient gene MADE ME keep hitting keys until it worked.....my bad!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Hope you'll enjoy some of the decorating ideas that caught my eye while I was doing docent duties at the Flat Rock Showcase house....

 I personally LOVED these light fixtures....

 The shower curtain isn't very practical but....the clear plastic balls in the tub were a very clever staging touch.
 One lone log cabin pillow.....nicely done in decorator fabrics.
 I've never seen a home with so many alcoves as this one had.....every bedroom and hallway seemed to have one.  BUT.....since I don't hang out in 7,300 sq. ft. homes....what do I know??
 Twig lamp base
 This artwork is handmade paper, dyed silk paper.
 Twig furniture has always been a fav of mine, but 'the husband' dislikes them so we've never owned any.......  These were surprisingly comfortable.
 How cute is this.....a day bed swing located in one of the several covered porches.
The final photo.....another 'staged' bathtub.  This one was filled mostly with tissue paper, topped by silver and clear balls...and one sequin rubber ducky.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Historic Flat Rock, NC presents the 2012 Designer Showhouse July 21 - Aug 5th.  I've already posted some photos taken during the set up of the room our fiber group PTA has designed....now I want to share how other designers have transformed this house.

The house is 7,300 sq ft., 11.5 private acres, 5 bedrooms, 5 baths, 2 half-baths, 4 fireplaces....on and on.  It is on the market for $2,499,000.  Click here see 'before' photo on the realtor listing.

I'll keep the text short....just enjoy.....and or dream on....
 Entrance to loft library from den.
Now....we are in the actual library at the top of the spiral stairs..... This may be difficult to see....notice how this bookshelf is set on an angle?  That's because this section is moveable....when open, it reveals another doorway (see white door) to the upstairs hallway. Cool....when closed, you'd never know about the hidden door!
Looking down from the library to the den.

 Dining room with hand painted mural.
 How cool is this?!?  A dumb waiter, servicing all three floors is located in an alcove of the kitchen.
 Speaking of kitchen.....the view straight ahead is what is probably intended as a family room.  To the right, (not in view) is an informal dining area and to the left is the open kitchen.  Notice directly behind the sunflowers on the counter top....you'll see a wood paneled refrigerator....one of two in the kitchen!
Another view of the family room off the kitchen.

More photos tomorrow....there were so many decorating touches to admire.....I guess for those of us who saw the house empty....the transformation is so much more awesome than you readers can imagine.  Try clicking on the photos to get a better view of the decor.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


A word that should be in every one's vocabulary is:  Persistence

Of course, immediate gratification works too, but life (or sewing projects) don't always work that way.

I'm very much a perfectionist, but impulsive as well.  Those two personality traits don't mix well....but normally the perfectionist in me wins out.  After lots of stops and restarts....my current project is complete.

 Crop Circles 8" x 12"
Artist resist dyed felted wool, hand embroidered, & beaded
Available for purchase here


Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Well.....dang.....I really felt that the areas surrounding the circles needed a bit more surface design......but so far the magic combination hasn't been discovered.

 Using a single strand of DMC embroidery floss.....the area between the green sections was 'dimpled'.

 Nope....not liking it.....so before continuing further, I experimented by adding two short units of 3 parallel lines (lower center).
 Yes....that's better.  Out came the 'dimpling' and more little line units were added using several different complimentary colors of floss.
Detail  -  all these photos are clickable to enlarge for better viewing.

Am I calling it finished yet?  Probably not.....I'll report back....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Work continues on this yet unnamed little resist dyed felted wool piece.  It's truly sew and rip.....can't seem to get a handle on the design......

Let's see if these embellishments make it through a second look....

Saturday, July 21, 2012


One of the many positives about living in our Western North Carolina location is the abundance of opportunities to enjoy fabulous Bluegrass music.

We attended a Gibson Brothers concert last night in Franklin, NC at the Performing Arts Center.  Though we know their music, we've never seen a live show....and we were not disappointed.

Take a listen....
....one always needs to keep their eyes open as inspiration can be found everywhere....including bathroom doors as seen at this theater.  I loved how they used what appeared to be Corning Glass decorator panels in the door....opaque enough for privacy but it allowed light to filter into the stall.   

Friday, July 20, 2012


Progress continues on the memorial quilt I'm making to honor my brother which will be presented to Bookworm Gardens in October.  I plan to post a step-by-step blog after completion....but here's some snippets...

 The quilt will feature both hand and machine quilting.  Sadly, all the time spent on hand quilting barely shows on this black and white fabric.
Here's a detail of some beading on the sun.  Note the white basting lines.....they remind me where the finished outside edge of the quilt will be. I always make the "working" outside measurements of my quilts, 1/4" - 1/2" larger than the desired finished size. This allows me to square the quilt without losing any important design elements.
Right now lots and lots of beading is taking place.  Each hand quilted 'sun ray' is receiving attention.  The idea is to accentuate the rays, not overpower them, so only clear and white beads are being used.  Altering the style of beads allows the light to hit them differently which should contribute to the texture and 'light' of the quilt.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Gosh, I was just thinking I was getting the knack of embellishing these small resist dyed felted wool pieces.....but...maybe not so much.

 The colors of this one are particularly pleasing to me...though not a combination I'd have pulled from my stash.  Which....is just another reason this  experiment in resist dye has been good for me!

As usual, the fabric is stabilized with a non-fusible pellon interfacing.  At first glance, because this piece measures 8" x 12" which is larger than the others I've tackled (6" x6"), it seemed like the embellishment choices would be effortless.
 This photo is clickable.....to enlarge.  You'll see hand embroidery has been added.....as I'm still thinking...hey....I've got a handle on this...
 ...BUT....nope, I don't.  It gets worse the more embellishing there is.  Be glad that you've been spared photos of all the motifs that were added and then ripped out.
.....As any dedicated quilter knows.....these pieces really do tell us what they want....perhaps I haven't listened hard enough.  I'm trying to tune in now....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Mountain living may be very scenic, but the roads are simply deadly on tires.  I can't tell you how many damaged tires we've had resulting from the poor condition of our roads and how often replacement is needed simply due to wear and tear of driving steep curvy roads.

A big complaint I have about some folks in this area is their total disregard for their animals.  Dogs and cats run freely....many starving and injured.  "The husband" volunteers at the animal shelter, taking photos and posting to the internet weekly in an effort to find homes for those that are turned in.  As of July 9th....Haywood County had already processed nearly 1,700 animals....no slow down in sight.

So when a dog ran out in the road in front of my car yesterday, I swerved to miss it and hit a pot hole which ruined my front tire.  Fortunately, I was quite close to home and limped back with a tire that was flat as a pancake.  It had to be replaced.....so as 'the husband' was handling that task.....

.....look who decided to help.  Sooty it appears likes to be in the car.....even the trunk.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Sorry....still not much sewing going on so I hope this post will be of interest to you instead.  We are now into our 7th year living in the mountains since relocating from Wisconsin.  We are still fairly shocked that we made this huge change in our life style, but overall happy that we did.

Yet.....NC will of course never be home to me. The culture continues to be somewhat foreign. Food is one area where I find a big difference. I'm sure Carolinian's would be just as surprised walking through our supermarkets as I continue to be here.  But....ya gotta wonder....do people really eat these things???  

Yikes...smoked neckbones, pork chunk fatback, ham hocks, pork side meat (what's that?  bacon??), & pork cracklins......just give me a Sheboygan Brat served on a Sheboygan Hardroll...mustard and dill pickles.  NO....not sauerkraut or ketchup or sweet pickles.....I'm not flexible.  To top this off.....well....I'm sure you all can guess.....  Yes, a Culver's Chocolate Concrete Malt!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


'The husband' alerted me to this short video.....I'm not one for spending my time watching these things but I took a look anyway.  The subject is:  'What do dogs do when you aren't home.'

WARNING.....do not have any liquids in your mouth when viewing or it may just come out your nose cause you'll be laughing so much.

In previewing the posted video.....I couldn't get it to play from my post.....so if that happens to you, click this link....it's really short and soooo worth it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rain, rain

While much of the country suffers from drought, we've had rain for about 7 days straight.....very unusual for our mountain area.

This has put a real crimp in our daily 90 min. walk (forced march).  Our new pooch is a real hot house flower and refuses to walk in the rain.  What lab doesn't like water.....Sooty, that's who!

There was a break in the downpours today and we headed out....and believe me, we needed the exercise.  Lately, we've been marveling about what a well behaved dog she's turned into.  Now we realize that's only because we give her so much exercise, she's too tired to chew up the furniture or empty our bathroom trash container.  Unfortunately, the naughty behavior was beginning again....therefore the minute the rain stopped we grabbed the leash.

She loves to dash about as far as the leash will allow....getting into the roadside weeds etc.  Today she stirred up a colony of ground bees and got stung several times.  We don't normally allow her on the furniture but made an exception tonight because she seemed unusually lethargic and we wanted to keep an eye on her.  Personally, I think she's a con artist.....it took her no time at all to make herself comfortable, asleep on her back!